Science.gov

Sample records for engineering molecular biology

  1. Molecular Biological Methods in Environmental Engineering.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guocai; Wei, Li; Chang, Chein-Chi; Zhang, Yuhua; Wei, Dong

    2016-10-01

    Bacteria, acting as catalysts, perform the function of degrading pollutants. Molecular biological techniques play an important role in research on the community analysis, the composition and the functions of complex microbial communities. The development of secondary high-throughput pyrosequencing techiniques enhances the understanding of the composition of the microbial community. The literatures of 2015 indicated that 16S rDNA gene as genetic tag is still the important method for bacteria identification and classification. 454 high throughput sequencing and Illumina MiSeq sequencing have been the primary and widely recognized methods to analyze the microbial. This review will provide environmental engineers and microbiologists an overview of important advancements in molecular techniques and highlight the application of these methods in diverse environments. PMID:27620079

  2. Plant synthetic biology for molecular engineering of signalling and development.

    PubMed

    Nemhauser, Jennifer L; Torii, Keiko U

    2016-03-02

    Molecular genetic studies of model plants in the past few decades have identified many key genes and pathways controlling development, metabolism and environmental responses. Recent technological and informatics advances have led to unprecedented volumes of data that may uncover underlying principles of plants as biological systems. The newly emerged discipline of synthetic biology and related molecular engineering approaches is built on this strong foundation. Today, plant regulatory pathways can be reconstituted in heterologous organisms to identify and manipulate parameters influencing signalling outputs. Moreover, regulatory circuits that include receptors, ligands, signal transduction components, epigenetic machinery and molecular motors can be engineered and introduced into plants to create novel traits in a predictive manner. Here, we provide a brief history of plant synthetic biology and significant recent examples of this approach, focusing on how knowledge generated by the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana has contributed to the rapid rise of this new discipline, and discuss potential future directions.

  3. A discussion of molecular biology methods for protein engineering.

    PubMed

    Zawaira, Alexander; Pooran, Anil; Barichievy, Samantha; Chopera, Denis

    2012-05-01

    A number of molecular biology techniques are available to generate variants from a particular start gene for eventual protein expression. We discuss the basic principles of these methods in a repertoire that may be used to achieve the elemental steps in protein engineering. These include site-directed, deletion and insertion mutagenesis. We provide detailed case studies, drawn from our own experiences, packaged together with conceptual discussions and include an analysis of the techniques presented with regards to their uses in protein engineering.

  4. Incorporating Molecular and Cellular Biology into a Chemical Engineering Degree Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connor, Kim C.

    2005-01-01

    There is a growing need for a workforce that can apply engineering principles to molecular based discovery and product development in the biological sciences. To this end, Tulane University established a degree program that incorporates molecular and cellular biology into the chemical engineering curriculum. In celebration of the tenth anniversary…

  5. Introducing Molecular Biology to Environmental Engineers through Development of a New Course.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oerther, Daniel B.

    2002-01-01

    Introduces a molecular biology course designed for environmental engineering majors using 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid-targeted technology that allows students to identify and study microorganisms in bioreactor environments. (Contains 17 references.) (YDS)

  6. Molecular-level engineering of THz/IR-sensitive materials for future biological sensing application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woolard, Dwight; Recine, Gregory; Bykhovski, Alexei; Zhang, Weidong

    2010-08-01

    While the unique spectral information associated with chemical and biological molecules within the terahertz frequency regime (~ 3.0-3.0 millimeters) motivates its use for practical sensing applications, limiting factors at the macroscale (weak spectral absorption, broad line widths and masking geometrical effects introduced by the samples) provides motivation for man-engineered sensing materials that allow for the transduction of the spectral information about target molecules from the nanoscale. This brief letter will overview work being performed by our research group to define molecular-level functionality that will be useful for realizing "THz/IR-sensitive" materials. Here the goal is to define switchable molecular components that when incorporated into larger DNA-based nanoscaffolds lead to THz and/or IR regime electronic and/or photonic material properties that are dictated in a predictable manner by novel functionality paradigms. In particular, theoretical modeling and design studies are being performed to engineer organic and biological switches that can be incorporated into DNA-based architectures that enable the precise extraction of nanoscale information (e.g., composition, dynamics, conformation) through electronic/photonic transformations to the macroscale. Hence, these studies seek to define new spectral-based sensing modalities useful for characterizing bio-molecules

  7. Teaching Applied Genetics and Molecular Biology to Agriculture Engineers. Application of the European Credit Transfer System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiss, J.; Egea-Cortines, M.

    2008-01-01

    We have been teaching applied molecular genetics to engineers and adapted the teaching methodology to the European Credit Transfer System. We teach core principles of genetics that are universal and form the conceptual basis of most molecular technologies. The course then teaches widely used techniques and finally shows how different techniques…

  8. Engineering molecular machines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erman, Burak

    2016-04-01

    Biological molecular motors use chemical energy, mostly in the form of ATP hydrolysis, and convert it to mechanical energy. Correlated thermal fluctuations are essential for the function of a molecular machine and it is the hydrolysis of ATP that modifies the correlated fluctuations of the system. Correlations are consequences of the molecular architecture of the protein. The idea that synthetic molecular machines may be constructed by designing the proper molecular architecture is challenging. In their paper, Sarkar et al (2016 New J. Phys. 18 043006) propose a synthetic molecular motor based on the coarse grained elastic network model of proteins and show by numerical simulations that motor function is realized, ranging from deterministic to thermal, depending on temperature. This work opens up a new range of possibilities of molecular architecture based engine design.

  9. Molecular biomimetics: nanotechnology through biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarikaya, Mehmet; Tamerler, Candan; Jen, Alex K.-Y.; Schulten, Klaus; Baneyx, François

    2003-09-01

    Proteins, through their unique and specific interactions with other macromolecules and inorganics, control structures and functions of all biological hard and soft tissues in organisms. Molecular biomimetics is an emerging field in which hybrid technologies are developed by using the tools of molecular biology and nanotechnology. Taking lessons from biology, polypeptides can now be genetically engineered to specifically bind to selected inorganic compounds for applications in nano- and biotechnology. This review discusses combinatorial biological protocols, that is, bacterial cell surface and phage-display technologies, in the selection of short sequences that have affinity to (noble) metals, semiconducting oxides and other technological compounds. These genetically engineered proteins for inorganics (GEPIs) can be used in the assembly of functional nanostructures. Based on the three fundamental principles of molecular recognition, self-assembly and DNA manipulation, we highlight successful uses of GEPI in nanotechnology.

  10. Molecular biomimetics: nanotechnology through biology.

    PubMed

    Sarikaya, Mehmet; Tamerler, Candan; Jen, Alex K-Y; Schulten, Klaus; Baneyx, François

    2003-09-01

    Proteins, through their unique and specific interactions with other macromolecules and inorganics, control structures and functions of all biological hard and soft tissues in organisms. Molecular biomimetics is an emerging field in which hybrid technologies are developed by using the tools of molecular biology and nanotechnology. Taking lessons from biology, polypeptides can now be genetically engineered to specifically bind to selected inorganic compounds for applications in nano- and biotechnology. This review discusses combinatorial biological protocols, that is, bacterial cell surface and phage-display technologies, in the selection of short sequences that have affinity to (noble) metals, semiconducting oxides and other technological compounds. These genetically engineered proteins for inorganics (GEPIs) can be used in the assembly of functional nanostructures. Based on the three fundamental principles of molecular recognition, self-assembly and DNA manipulation, we highlight successful uses of GEPI in nanotechnology.

  11. Engineering scalable biological systems

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Synthetic biology is focused on engineering biological organisms to study natural systems and to provide new solutions for pressing medical, industrial and environmental problems. At the core of engineered organisms are synthetic biological circuits that execute the tasks of sensing inputs, processing logic and performing output functions. In the last decade, significant progress has been made in developing basic designs for a wide range of biological circuits in bacteria, yeast and mammalian systems. However, significant challenges in the construction, probing, modulation and debugging of synthetic biological systems must be addressed in order to achieve scalable higher-complexity biological circuits. Furthermore, concomitant efforts to evaluate the safety and biocontainment of engineered organisms and address public and regulatory concerns will be necessary to ensure that technological advances are translated into real-world solutions. PMID:21468204

  12. Molecular biology of development

    SciTech Connect

    Davidson, E.H.; Firtel, R.A.

    1984-01-01

    This book is a compilation of papers presented at a symposium on the molecular biology of development. Topics discussed include: cytoplasmic localizations and pattern formations, gene expression during oogenesis and early development, developmental expression of gene families molecular aspects of plant development and transformation in whole organisms and cells.

  13. Molecular engineering of myosin.

    PubMed Central

    Manstein, Dietmar J

    2004-01-01

    Protein engineering and design provide excellent tools to investigate the principles by which particular structural features relate to the mechanisms that underlie the biological function of a protein. In addition to studies aimed at dissecting the communication pathways within enzymes, recent advances in protein engineering approaches make it possible to generate enzymes with increased catalytic efficiency and specifically altered or newly introduced functions. Here, two approaches using state-of-the-art protein design and engineering are described in detail to demonstrate how key features of the myosin motor can be changed in a specific and predictable manner. First, it is shown how replacement of an actin-binding surface loop with synthetic sequences, whose flexibility and charge density is varied, can be employed to manipulate the actin affinity, the catalytic activity and the efficiency of coupling between actin- and nucleotide-binding sites of myosin motor constructs. Then the use of pre-existing molecular building blocks, which are derived from unrelated proteins, is described for manipulating the velocity and even the direction of movement of recombinant myosins. PMID:15647166

  14. Multiplexed Engineering in Biology.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Jameson K; Church, George M

    2016-03-01

    Biotechnology is the manufacturing technology of the future. However, engineering biology is complex, and many possible genetic designs must be evaluated to find cells that produce high levels of a desired drug or chemical. Recent advances have enabled the design and construction of billions of genetic variants per day, but evaluation capacity remains limited to thousands of variants per day. Here we evaluate biological engineering through the lens of the design–build–test cycle framework and highlight the role that multiplexing has had in transforming the design and build steps. We describe a multiplexed solution to the ‘test’ step that is enabled by new research. Achieving a multiplexed test step will permit a fully multiplexed engineering cycle and boost the throughput of biobased product development by up to a millionfold.

  15. Molecularly engineered surfaces for cell biology: from static to dynamic surfaces.

    PubMed

    Gooding, J Justin; Parker, Stephen G; Lu, Yong; Gaus, Katharina

    2014-04-01

    Surfaces with a well-defined presentation of ligands for receptors on the cell membrane can serve as models of the extracellular matrix for studying cell adhesion or as model cell surfaces for exploring cell-cell contacts. Because such surfaces can provide exquisite control over, for example, the density of these ligands or when the ligands are presented to the cell, they provide a very precise strategy for understanding the mechanisms by which cells respond to external adhesive cues. In the present feature article, we present an overview of the basic biology of cell adhesion before discussing surfaces that have a static presentation of immobile ligands. We outline the biological information that such surfaces have given us, before progressing to recently developed switchable surfaces and surfaces that mimic the lipid bilayer, having adhesive ligands that can move around the membrane and be remodeled by the cell. Finally, the feature article closes with some of the biological information that these new types of surfaces could provide.

  16. Sinapate esters in brassicaceous plants: biochemistry, molecular biology, evolution and metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Milkowski, Carsten; Strack, Dieter

    2010-06-01

    Brassicaceous plants are characterized by a pronounced metabolic flux toward sinapate, produced by the shikimate/phenylpropanoid pathway, which is converted into a broad spectrum of O-ester conjugates. The abundant sinapate esters in Brassica napus and Arabidopsis thaliana reflect a well-known metabolic network, including UDP-glucose:sinapate glucosyltransferase (SGT), sinapoylglucose:choline sinapoyltransferase (SCT), sinapoylglucose:L-malate sinapoyltransferase (SMT) and sinapoylcholine (sinapine) esterase (SCE). 1-O-Sinapoylglucose, produced by SGT during seed development, is converted to sinapine by SCT and hydrolyzed by SCE in germinating seeds. The released sinapate feeds via sinapoylglucose into the biosynthesis of sinapoylmalate in the seedlings catalyzed by SMT. Sinapoylmalate is involved in protecting the leaves against the deleterious effects of UV-B radiation. Sinapine might function as storage vehicle for ready supply of choline for phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in young seedlings. The antinutritive character of sinapine and related sinapate esters hamper the use of the valuable seed protein of the oilseed crop B. napus for animal feed and human nutrition. Due to limited variation in seed sinapine content within the assortment of B. napus cultivars, low sinapine lines cannot be generated by conventional breeding giving rise to genetic engineering of sinapate ester metabolism as a promising means. In this article we review the progress made throughout the last decade in identification of genes involved in sinapate ester metabolism and characterization of the encoded enzymes. Based on gene structures and enzyme recruitment, evolution of sinapate ester metabolism is discussed. Strategies of targeted metabolic engineering, designed to generate low-sinapate ester lines of B. napus, are evaluated.

  17. Evolutionary principles and synthetic biology: avoiding a molecular tragedy of the commons with an engineered phage

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In prior work, adding a gene to phage T7 that degraded the host K1 capsule facilitated growth when plated on capsulated hosts. However, the transgenic protein (an endosialidase) is expressed as an exoenzyme, released from the cell at lysis but unattached to the phage particle. There is thus the possibility that the gene will be subject to a tragedy of the commons and be selected against, if the enzyme benefits other genomes. Results This evolutionary perspective was supported in short term experiments. The genome carrying the endosialidase gene was favored on a capsulated host if grown in physical isolation of control genomes (lacking the gene) but was selected against otherwise. Conclusions These results challenge efforts to engineer phages with exoenzymes that degrade biofilm polymers. If biofilms do not facilitate spatially structured phage growth, the transgenic enzymes may be rapidly eliminated from the phage population after release in the environment, even if the transgene benefits overall phage growth on the biofilm. PMID:22947166

  18. Molecular Models in Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodman, Richard E.

    1970-01-01

    Describes types of molecular models (ball-and-stick, framework, and space-filling) and evaluates commercially available kits. Gives instructions for constructive models from polystyrene balls and pipe-cleaners. Models are useful for class demonstrations although not sufficiently accurate for research use. Illustrations show biologically important…

  19. Measurement Frontiers in Molecular Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laderman, Stephen

    2009-03-01

    Developments of molecular measurements and manipulations have long enabled forefront research in evolution, genetics, biological development and its dysfunction, and the impact of external factors on the behavior of cells. Measurement remains at the heart of exciting and challenging basic and applied problems in molecular and cell biology. Methods to precisely determine the identity and abundance of particular molecules amongst a complex mixture of similar and dissimilar types require the successful design and integration of multiple steps involving biochemical manipulations, separations, physical probing, and data processing. Accordingly, today's most powerful methods for characterizing life at the molecular level depend on coordinated advances in applied physics, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, and engineering. This is well illustrated by recent approaches to the measurement of DNA, RNA, proteins, and intact cells. Such successes underlie well founded visions of how molecular biology can further assist in answering compelling scientific questions and in enabling the development of remarkable advances in human health. These visions, in turn, are motivating the interdisciplinary creation of even more comprehensive measurements. As a further and closely related consequence, they are motivating innovations in the conceptual and practical approaches to organizing and visualizing large, complex sets of interrelated experimental results and distilling from those data compelling, informative conclusions.

  20. Grand challenges for biological engineering

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jeong-Yeol; Riley, Mark R

    2009-01-01

    Biological engineering will play a significant role in solving many of the world's problems in medicine, agriculture, and the environment. Recently the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) released a document "Grand Challenges in Engineering," covering broad realms of human concern from sustainability, health, vulnerability and the joy of living. Biological engineers, having tools and techniques at the interface between living and non-living entities, will play a prominent role in forging a better future. The 2010 Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE) conference in Cambridge, MA, USA will address, in part, the roles of biological engineering in solving the challenges presented by the NAE. This letter presents a brief outline of how biological engineers are working to solve these large scale and integrated problems of our society. PMID:19772647

  1. Molecular biology of potyviruses.

    PubMed

    Revers, Frédéric; García, Juan Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Potyvirus is the largest genus of plant viruses causing significant losses in a wide range of crops. Potyviruses are aphid transmitted in a nonpersistent manner and some of them are also seed transmitted. As important pathogens, potyviruses are much more studied than other plant viruses belonging to other genera and their study covers many aspects of plant virology, such as functional characterization of viral proteins, molecular interaction with hosts and vectors, structure, taxonomy, evolution, epidemiology, and diagnosis. Biotechnological applications of potyviruses are also being explored. During this last decade, substantial advances have been made in the understanding of the molecular biology of these viruses and the functions of their various proteins. After a general presentation on the family Potyviridae and the potyviral proteins, we present an update of the knowledge on potyvirus multiplication, movement, and transmission and on potyvirus/plant compatible interactions including pathogenicity and symptom determinants. We end the review providing information on biotechnological applications of potyviruses.

  2. Teaching biology with engineering practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potter, Stephen

    The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) expresses a vision of science education that requires students to not only have an understanding of science concepts but be able to investigate the natural world through process of science inquiry or to solve meaningful problems though the practices of engineering design. While incorporating engineering practices into our science curriculum will soon be requirement of the new state standards, there is little research published as to how this should be implemented in a biology classroom. The goal of this study was to measure the effectiveness of incorporating engineering design into a biology curriculum on student understanding of engineering practices and science content knowledge. The results of this study indicate that the integration of engineering design in a biology curriculum has a positive effect on student's science content knowledge as well as their understanding of engineering design principles.

  3. Molecular Biology of Nitrogen Fixation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shanmugam, K. T.; Valentine, Raymond C.

    1975-01-01

    Reports that as a result of our increasing knowledge of the molecular biology of nitrogen fixation it might eventually be possible to increase the biological production of nitrogenous fertilizer from atmospheric nitrogen. (GS)

  4. Biological handbook for engineers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1970-01-01

    Microbiological background information is compiled in handbook for engineers and scientists working on bio-related projects. It is intended as aid in - /1/ evaluating effects of engineering procedures on microbial life, /2/ determining effects of decontamination and sterilization on performance of overall systems, and /3/ understanding language of microbiologists.

  5. Teaching Molecular Biology with Microcomputers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reiss, Rebecca; Jameson, David

    1984-01-01

    Describes a series of computer programs that use simulation and gaming techniques to present the basic principles of the central dogma of molecular genetics, mutation, and the genetic code. A history of discoveries in molecular biology is presented and the evolution of these computer assisted instructional programs is described. (MBR)

  6. [Molecular biology of hearing].

    PubMed

    Stöver, T; Diensthuber, M

    2011-03-01

    The inner ear is our most sensitive sensory organ and can be subdivided into 3 functional units: organ of Corti, stria vascularis and spiral ganglion. The appropriate stimulus for the organ of hearing is sound which travels through the external auditory canal to the middle ear where it is transmitted to the inner ear. The inner ear habors the hair cells, the sensory cells of hearing. The inner hair cells are capable of mechanotransduction, the transformation of mechanical force into an electrical signal, which is the basic principle of hearing. The stria vascularis generates the endocochlear potential and maintains the ionic homeostasis of the endolymph. The dendrites of the spiral ganglion form synaptic contacts with the hair cells. The spiral ganglion is composed of neurons that transmit the electrical signals from the cochlea to the central nervous system. In the past years there was significant progress in research on the molecular basis of hearing. More and more genes and proteins which are related to hearing can be identified and characterized. The increasing knowledge on these genes contributes not only to a better understanding of the mechanism of hearing but also to a deeper understanding of the molecular basis of hereditary hearing loss. This basic research is a prerequisite for the development of molecular diagnostics and novel therapies for hearing loss.

  7. Molecular biology of hearing

    PubMed Central

    Stöver, Timo; Diensthuber, Marc

    2012-01-01

    The inner ear is our most sensitive sensory organ and can be subdivided into three functional units: organ of Corti, stria vascularis and spiral ganglion. The appropriate stimulus for the organ of hearing is sound, which travels through the external auditory canal to the middle ear where it is transmitted to the inner ear. The inner ear houses the hair cells, the sensory cells of hearing. The inner hair cells are capable of mechanotransduction, the transformation of mechanical force into an electrical signal, which is the basic principle of hearing. The stria vascularis generates the endocochlear potential and maintains the ionic homeostasis of the endolymph. The dendrites of the spiral ganglion form synaptic contacts with the hair cells. The spiral ganglion is composed of neurons that transmit the electrical signals from the cochlea to the central nervous system. In recent years there has been significant progress in research on the molecular basis of hearing. An increasing number of genes and proteins related to hearing are being identified and characterized. The growing knowledge of these genes contributes not only to greater appreciation of the mechanism of hearing but also to a deeper understanding of the molecular basis of hereditary hearing loss. This basic research is a prerequisite for the development of molecular diagnostics and novel therapies for hearing loss. PMID:22558056

  8. Synthetic biology meets tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Davies, Jamie A; Cachat, Elise

    2016-06-15

    Classical tissue engineering is aimed mainly at producing anatomically and physiologically realistic replacements for normal human tissues. It is done either by encouraging cellular colonization of manufactured matrices or cellular recolonization of decellularized natural extracellular matrices from donor organs, or by allowing cells to self-organize into organs as they do during fetal life. For repair of normal bodies, this will be adequate but there are reasons for making unusual, non-evolved tissues (repair of unusual bodies, interface to electromechanical prostheses, incorporating living cells into life-support machines). Synthetic biology is aimed mainly at engineering cells so that they can perform custom functions: applying synthetic biological approaches to tissue engineering may be one way of engineering custom structures. In this article, we outline the 'embryological cycle' of patterning, differentiation and morphogenesis and review progress that has been made in constructing synthetic biological systems to reproduce these processes in new ways. The state-of-the-art remains a long way from making truly synthetic tissues, but there are now at least foundations for future work. PMID:27284030

  9. Synthetic biology: an emerging engineering discipline.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Allen A; Lu, Timothy K

    2012-01-01

    Over the past decade, synthetic biology has emerged as an engineering discipline for biological systems. Compared with other substrates, biology poses a unique set of engineering challenges resulting from an incomplete understanding of natural biological systems and tools for manipulating them. To address these challenges, synthetic biology is advancing from developing proof-of-concept designs to focusing on core platforms for rational and high-throughput biological engineering. These platforms span the entire biological design cycle, including DNA construction, parts libraries, computational design tools, and interfaces for manipulating and probing synthetic circuits. The development of these enabling technologies requires an engineering mindset to be applied to biology, with an emphasis on generalizable techniques in addition to application-specific designs. This review aims to discuss the progress and challenges in synthetic biology and to illustrate areas where synthetic biology may impact biomedical engineering and human health.

  10. Biosilica: Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Function in Demosponges as well as its Applied Aspects for Tissue Engineering.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaohong; Schröder, Heinz C; Wiens, Matthias; Schloßmacher, Ute; Müller, Werner E G

    2012-01-01

    Biomineralization, biosilicification in particular (i.e. the formation of biogenic silica, SiO(2)), has become an exciting source of inspiration for the development of novel bionic approaches following 'nature as model'. Siliceous sponges are unique among silica-forming organisms in their ability to catalyze silica formation using a specific enzyme termed silicatein. In this study, we review the present state of knowledge on silicatein-mediated 'biosilica' formation in marine demosponges, the involvement of further molecules in silica metabolism and their potential applications in nano-biotechnology and bio-medicine. While most forms of multicellular life have developed a calcium-based skeleton, a few specialized organisms complement their body plan with silica. Only sponges (phylum Porifera) are able to polymerize silica enzymatically mediated in order to generate massive siliceous skeletal elements (spicules) during a unique reaction, at ambient temperature and pressure. During this biomineralization process (i.e. biosilicification), hydrated, amorphous silica is deposited within highly specialized sponge cells, ultimately resulting in structures that range in size from micrometres to metres. This peculiar phenomenon has been comprehensively studied in recent years, and in several approaches, the molecular background was explored to create tools that might be employed for novel bioinspired biotechnological and biomedical applications. Thus, it was discovered that spiculogenesis is mediated by the enzyme silicatein and starts intracellularly. The resulting silica nanoparticles fuse and subsequently form concentric lamellar layers around a central protein filament, consisting of silicatein and the scaffold protein silintaphin-1. Once the growing spicule is extruded into the extracellular space, it obtains final size and shape. Again, this process is mediated by silicatein and silintaphin-1/silintaphin-1, in combination with other molecules such as galectin and

  11. Molecular biology of chromosome function

    SciTech Connect

    Adolph, K.W. )

    1989-01-01

    The structure and function of chromosomes are closely linked since chromosome organization profoundly influences the activity of the genome in replication and transcription. Many fundamental results originated from studies of bacterial and viral systems chosen for their less-complex cycles. However, the processes of replication and transcription show differences between the higher and simpler systems. Three important subjects are covered in this volume: DNA replication and recombination, gene transcription, and chromosome organization. Eukaryotic, prokaryotic, and viral systems are discussed. The information presented is derived from techniques of structural biology and biophysics, including computer graphics and X-ray crystallography, as well as biochemistry, molecular and cell biology.

  12. Information theory in molecular biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adami, Christoph

    2004-04-01

    This article introduces the physics of information in the context of molecular biology and genomics. Entropy and information, the two central concepts of Shannon's theory of information and communication, are often confused with each other but play transparent roles when applied to statistical ensembles (i.e., identically prepared sets) of symbolic sequences. Such an approach can distinguish between entropy and information in genes, predict the secondary structure of ribozymes, and detect the covariation between residues in folded proteins. We also review applications to molecular sequence and structure analysis, and introduce new tools in the characterization of resistance mutations, and in drug design.

  13. Chemical engineering of molecular qubits.

    PubMed

    Wedge, C J; Timco, G A; Spielberg, E T; George, R E; Tuna, F; Rigby, S; McInnes, E J L; Winpenny, R E P; Blundell, S J; Ardavan, A

    2012-03-01

    We show that the electron spin phase memory time, the most important property of a molecular nanomagnet from the perspective of quantum information processing, can be improved dramatically by chemically engineering the molecular structure to optimize the environment of the spin. We vary systematically each structural component of the class of antiferromagnetic Cr(7)Ni rings to identify the sources of decoherence. The optimal structure exhibits a phase memory time exceeding 15  μs.

  14. Chemical Engineering of Molecular Qubits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wedge, C. J.; Timco, G. A.; Spielberg, E. T.; George, R. E.; Tuna, F.; Rigby, S.; McInnes, E. J. L.; Winpenny, R. E. P.; Blundell, S. J.; Ardavan, A.

    2012-03-01

    We show that the electron spin phase memory time, the most important property of a molecular nanomagnet from the perspective of quantum information processing, can be improved dramatically by chemically engineering the molecular structure to optimize the environment of the spin. We vary systematically each structural component of the class of antiferromagnetic Cr7Ni rings to identify the sources of decoherence. The optimal structure exhibits a phase memory time exceeding 15μs.

  15. 7th Annual Systems Biology Symposium: Systems Biology and Engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Galitski, Timothy P.

    2008-04-01

    Systems biology recognizes the complex multi-scale organization of biological systems, from molecules to ecosystems. The International Symposium on Systems Biology has been hosted by the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington, since 2002. The annual two-day event gathers the most influential researchers transforming biology into an integrative discipline investingating complex systems. Engineering and application of new technology is a central element of systems biology. Genome-scale, or very small-scale, biological questions drive the enigneering of new technologies, which enable new modes of experimentation and computational analysis, leading to new biological insights and questions. Concepts and analytical methods in engineering are now finding direct applications in biology. Therefore, the 2008 Symposium, funded in partnership with the Department of Energy, featured global leaders in "Systems Biology and Engineering."

  16. The molecular biology of ilarviruses.

    PubMed

    Pallas, Vicente; Aparicio, Frederic; Herranz, Mari C; Sanchez-Navarro, Jesus A; Scott, Simon W

    2013-01-01

    Ilarviruses were among the first 16 groups of plant viruses approved by ICTV. Like Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV), bromoviruses, and cucumoviruses they are isometric viruses and possess a single-stranded, tripartite RNA genome. However, unlike these other three groups, ilarviruses were recognized as being recalcitrant subjects for research (their ready lability is reflected in the sigla used to create the group name) and were renowned as unpromising subjects for the production of antisera. However, it was recognized that they shared properties with AMV when the phenomenon of genome activation, in which the coat protein (CP) of the virus is required to be present to initiate infection, was demonstrated to cross group boundaries. The CP of AMV could activate the genome of an ilarvirus and vice versa. Development of the molecular information for ilarviruses lagged behind the knowledge available for the more extensively studied AMV, bromoviruses, and cucumoviruses. In the past 20 years, genomic data for most known ilarviruses have been developed facilitating their detection and allowing the factors involved in the molecular biology of the genus to be investigated. Much information has been obtained using Prunus necrotic ringspot virus and the more extensively studied AMV. A relationship between some ilarviruses and the cucumoviruses has been defined with the recognition that members of both genera encode a 2b protein involved in RNA silencing and long distance viral movement. Here, we present a review of the current knowledge of both the taxonomy and the molecular biology of this genus of agronomically and horticulturally important viruses.

  17. Biology: An Important Agricultural Engineering Mechanism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henderson, S. M.

    1974-01-01

    Describes the field of bioengineering with particular emphasis on agricultural engineering, and presents the results of a survey of schools that combine biology and engineering in their curricula. (JR)

  18. Marine molecular biology: an emerging field of biological sciences.

    PubMed

    Thakur, Narsinh L; Jain, Roopesh; Natalio, Filipe; Hamer, Bojan; Thakur, Archana N; Müller, Werner E G

    2008-01-01

    An appreciation of the potential applications of molecular biology is of growing importance in many areas of life sciences, including marine biology. During the past two decades, the development of sophisticated molecular technologies and instruments for biomedical research has resulted in significant advances in the biological sciences. However, the value of molecular techniques for addressing problems in marine biology has only recently begun to be cherished. It has been proven that the exploitation of molecular biological techniques will allow difficult research questions about marine organisms and ocean processes to be addressed. Marine molecular biology is a discipline, which strives to define and solve the problems regarding the sustainable exploration of marine life for human health and welfare, through the cooperation between scientists working in marine biology, molecular biology, microbiology and chemistry disciplines. Several success stories of the applications of molecular techniques in the field of marine biology are guiding further research in this area. In this review different molecular techniques are discussed, which have application in marine microbiology, marine invertebrate biology, marine ecology, marine natural products, material sciences, fisheries, conservation and bio-invasion etc. In summary, if marine biologists and molecular biologists continue to work towards strong partnership during the next decade and recognize intellectual and technological advantages and benefits of such partnership, an exciting new frontier of marine molecular biology will emerge in the future.

  19. Consistent design schematics for biological systems: standardization of representation in biological engineering

    PubMed Central

    Matsuoka, Yukiko; Ghosh, Samik; Kitano, Hiroaki

    2009-01-01

    The discovery by design paradigm driving research in synthetic biology entails the engineering of de novo biological constructs with well-characterized input–output behaviours and interfaces. The construction of biological circuits requires iterative phases of design, simulation and assembly, leading to the fabrication of a biological device. In order to represent engineered models in a consistent visual format and further simulating them in silico, standardization of representation and model formalism is imperative. In this article, we review different efforts for standardization, particularly standards for graphical visualization and simulation/annotation schemata adopted in systems biology. We identify the importance of integrating the different standardization efforts and provide insights into potential avenues for developing a common framework for model visualization, simulation and sharing across various tools. We envision that such a synergistic approach would lead to the development of global, standardized schemata in biology, empowering deeper understanding of molecular mechanisms as well as engineering of novel biological systems. PMID:19493898

  20. Molecular engineering with bridged polysilsesquioxanes

    SciTech Connect

    LOY,DOUGLAS A.; SHEA,KENNETH J.

    2000-05-09

    Bridged polysilsesquioxanes are a class of hybrid organic-inorganic materials that permit molecular engineering of bulk properties including porosity. Prepared by sol-gel polymerization of monomers with two or more trialkoxysilyl groups, the materials are highly cross-linked amorphous polymers that are readily obtained as gels. The bridging configuration of the hydrocarbon group insures that network polymers are readily formed and that the organic functionality is homogeneously distributed throughout the polymeric scaffolding at the molecular level. This permits the bulk properties, including surface area, pore size, and dielectric constant to be engineered through the selection of the bridging organic group. Numerous bridging groups have been incorporated. This presentation will focus on the effects that the length, flexibility, and substitution geometry of the hydrocarbon bridging groups have on the properties of the resulting bridged polysilsesquioxanes. Details of the preparation, characterization, and some structure property relationships of these bridged polysilsesquioxanes will be given.

  1. The molecular biology of cancer.

    PubMed

    Bertram, J S

    2000-12-01

    identifies key genes directly involved in carcinogenesis and demonstrates how mutations in these genes allow cells to circumvent cellular controls. This detailed understanding of the process of carcinogenesis at the molecular level has only been possible because of the advent of modern molecular biology. This new discipline, by precisely identifying the molecular basis of the differences between normal and malignant cells, has created novel opportunities and provided the means to specifically target these modified genes. Whenever possible this review highlights these opportunities and the attempts being made to generate novel, molecular based therapies against cancer. Successful use of these new therapies will rely upon a detailed knowledge of the genetic defects in individual tumors. The review concludes with a discussion of how the use of high throughput molecular arrays will allow the molecular pathologist/therapist to identify these defects and direct specific therapies to specific mutations.

  2. Molecular characteristics versus biological activity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Applegate, Vernon C.; Smith, Manning A.; Willeford, Bennett R.

    1967-01-01

    The molecular characteristics of mononitrophenols containing halogens not only play a key role in their biological activity but provide a novel example of selective toxicity among vertebrate animals. It has been reported that efforts to control the parasitic sea lamprey in the Great Lakes are directed at present to the applications of a selective toxicant to streams inhabited by lamprey larvae. Since 1961, the larvicide that has been used almost exclusively in the control program has been 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM). However, this is only one of about 15 closely related compounds, all halogen-containing mononitrophenols, that display a selectively toxic action upon lampreys. Although not all of the halogenated mononitrophenols are selectively toxic to lampreys (in fact, fewer than half of those tested), no other group of related compounds has displayed any useful larvicidal activity except for the substituted nitrosalicylanilides.

  3. Molecular engineering of polymersome surface topology

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Pérez, Lorena; Messager, Lea; Gaitzsch, Jens; Joseph, Adrian; Sutto, Ludovico; Gervasio, Francesco Luigi; Battaglia, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Biological systems exploit self-assembly to create complex structures whose arrangements are finely controlled from the molecular to mesoscopic level. We report an example of using fully synthetic systems that mimic two levels of self-assembly. We show the formation of vesicles using amphiphilic copolymers whose chemical nature is chosen to control both membrane formation and membrane-confined interactions. We report polymersomes with patterns that emerge by engineering interfacial tension within the polymersome surface. This allows the formation of domains whose topology is tailored by chemical synthesis, paving the avenue to complex supramolecular designs functionally similar to those found in viruses and trafficking vesicles. PMID:27152331

  4. History of the molecular biology of cytomegaloviruses.

    PubMed

    Stinski, Mark F

    2014-01-01

    The history of the molecular biology of cytomegaloviruses from the purification of the virus and the viral DNA to the cloning and expression of the viral genes is reviewed. A key genetic element of cytomegalovirus (the CMV promoter) contributed to our understanding of eukaryotic cell molecular biology and to the development of lifesaving therapeutic proteins. The study of the molecular biology of cytomegaloviruses also contributed to the development of antivirals to control the viral infection.

  5. Engineering life through Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Chopra, Paras; Kamma, Akhil

    2006-01-01

    Synthetic Biology is a field involving synthesis of novel biological systems which are not generally found in nature. It has brought a new paradigm in science as it has enabled scientists to create life from the scratch, hence helping better understand the principles of biology. The viability of living organisms that use unnatural molecules is also being explored. Unconventional projects such as DNA playing tic-tac-toe, bacterial photographic film, etc. are taking biology to its extremes. The field holds a promise for mass production of cheap drugs and programming bacteria to seek-and-destroy tumors in the body. However, the complexity of biological systems make the field a challenging one. In addition to this, there are other major technical and ethical challenges which need to be addressed before the field realizes its true potential.

  6. Monod and the spirit of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2015-06-01

    The founders of molecular biology shared views on the place of biology within science, as well as on the relations of molecular biology to Darwinism. Jacques Monod was no exception, but the study of his writings is particularly interesting because he expressed his point of view very clearly and pushed the implications of some of his choices further than most of his contemporaries. The spirit of molecular biology is no longer the same as in the 1960s but, interestingly, Monod anticipated some recent evolutions of this discipline.

  7. Molecular ferroelectrics: where electronics meet biology

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiangyu; Liu, Yuanming; Zhang, Yanhang; Cai, Hong-Ling; Xiong, Ren-Gen

    2013-01-01

    In the last several years, we have witnessed significant advances in molecular ferroelectrics, with ferroelectric properties of molecular crystals approaching those of barium titanate. In addition, ferroelectricity has been observed in biological systems, filling an important missing link in bioelectric phenomena. In this perspective, we will present short historical notes on ferroelectrics, followed by overview on the fundamentals of ferroelectricity. Latest development in molecular ferroelectrics and biological ferroelectricity will then be highlighted, and their implications and potential applications will be discussed. We close by noting molecular ferroelectric as an exciting frontier between electronics and biology, and a number of challenges ahead are also noted. PMID:24018952

  8. Molecular ferroelectrics: where electronics meet biology.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiangyu; Liu, Yuanming; Zhang, Yanhang; Cai, Hong-Ling; Xiong, Ren-Gen

    2013-12-28

    In the last several years, we have witnessed significant advances in molecular ferroelectrics, with the ferroelectric properties of molecular crystals approaching those of barium titanate. In addition, ferroelectricity has been observed in biological systems, filling an important missing link in bioelectric phenomena. In this perspective, we will present short historical notes on ferroelectrics, followed by an overview of the fundamentals of ferroelectricity. The latest developments in molecular ferroelectrics and biological ferroelectricity will then be highlighted, and their implications and potential applications will be discussed. We close by noting molecular ferroelectric as an exciting frontier between electronics and biology, and a number of challenges ahead are also described.

  9. Molecular biology for the computer scientist

    SciTech Connect

    Subramaniam, S.

    1995-12-31

    This tutorial was one of eight tutorials selected to be presented at the Third International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology which was held in the United Kingdom from July 16 to 19, 1995. This tutorial focuses on the following: the cell and the structural and energetic basis of life molecules; membrane structure; bioenergetics; eukaryotes and functional specialization; examples of molecular systems; evolution and diversity; and modern techniques in molecular biology.

  10. Molecular biology of microbial ureases.

    PubMed Central

    Mobley, H L; Island, M D; Hausinger, R P

    1995-01-01

    progress in our understanding of the molecular biology of microbial ureases is reviewed. PMID:7565414

  11. Origins of molecular biology in Japan.

    PubMed

    Obayashi, M

    1986-06-01

    The purpose of this paper is to discuss the origins of molecular biology in Japan. Japanese molecular biology does not have a long history since it started only after World War II. Especially, molecular genetics which uses "bacteriophage" had hardly been studied before the war and only a few scientists were interested in it immediately after the war. This is one of the origins of molecular biology in Japan. But there are other origins, one of which is the group formed by biologists, biochemists and physicists interested in nucleic acids. This group also started just after the war. Still another origin is the group of enzymologists. Enzymology was one of the main subjects of biochemistry from before the war. In Japan, biochemistry developed in conjunction with the medical and agricultural sciences from the pre-war era. These played an important role in introducing molecular biology from Europe and the United States after the war. A historical study of the development of molecular biology in Japan, comparing it with the history of molecular biology in Europe and the United States, should contribute to the elucidation of the features of the history of molecular biology in Japan.

  12. Synthetic Biology Approaches to Engineer T cells

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chia-Yung; Rupp, Levi J.; Roybal, Kole T.; Lim, Wendell A.

    2015-01-01

    There is rapidly growing interest in learning how to engineer immune cells, such as T lymphocytes, because of the potential of these engineered cells to be used for therapeutic applications such as the recognition and killing of cancer cells. At the same time, our knowhow and capability to logically engineer cellular behavior is growing rapidly with the development of synthetic biology. Here we describe how synthetic biology approaches are being used to rationally alter the behavior of T cells to optimize them for therapeutic functions. We also describe future developments that will be important in order to construct safe and precise T cell therapeutics. PMID:26218616

  13. Modular Tissue Engineering: Engineering Biological Tissues from the Bottom Up

    PubMed Central

    Nichol, Jason W.; Khademhosseini, Ali

    2009-01-01

    Tissue engineering creates biological tissues that aim to improve the function of diseased or damaged tissues. To enhance the function of engineered tissues there is a need to generate structures that mimic the intricate architecture and complexity of native organs and tissues. With the desire to create more complex tissues with features such as developed and functional microvasculature, cell binding motifs and tissue specific morphology, tissue engineering techniques are beginning to focus on building modular microtissues with repeated functional units. The emerging field known as modular tissue engineering focuses on fabricating tissue building blocks with specific microarchitectural features and using these modular units to engineer biological tissues from the bottom up. In this review we will examine the promise and shortcomings of “bottom-up” approaches to creating engineered biological tissues. Specifically, we will survey the current techniques for controlling cell aggregation, proliferation and extracellular matrix deposition, as well as approaches to generating shape-controlled tissue modules. We will then highlight techniques utilized to create macroscale engineered biological tissues from modular microscale units. PMID:20179781

  14. Modular Tissue Engineering: Engineering Biological Tissues from the Bottom Up.

    PubMed

    Nichol, Jason W; Khademhosseini, Ali

    2009-01-01

    Tissue engineering creates biological tissues that aim to improve the function of diseased or damaged tissues. To enhance the function of engineered tissues there is a need to generate structures that mimic the intricate architecture and complexity of native organs and tissues. With the desire to create more complex tissues with features such as developed and functional microvasculature, cell binding motifs and tissue specific morphology, tissue engineering techniques are beginning to focus on building modular microtissues with repeated functional units. The emerging field known as modular tissue engineering focuses on fabricating tissue building blocks with specific microarchitectural features and using these modular units to engineer biological tissues from the bottom up. In this review we will examine the promise and shortcomings of "bottom-up" approaches to creating engineered biological tissues. Specifically, we will survey the current techniques for controlling cell aggregation, proliferation and extracellular matrix deposition, as well as approaches to generating shape-controlled tissue modules. We will then highlight techniques utilized to create macroscale engineered biological tissues from modular microscale units.

  15. ENGINEERING BULLETIN: ROTATING BIOLOGICAL CONTACTORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Rotating biological contactors employ aerobic fixed-film treatment to degrade either organic and/or nitrogenous (ammonia-nitrogen) constituents present in aqueous waste streams. ixed-film systems provide a surface to which the biomass can adhere. Treatment is achieved as the wast...

  16. Molecular machines - a new dimension of biological sciences.

    PubMed

    Głogocka, Daria; Przybyło, Magdalena; Langner, Marek

    2015-06-01

    Biological systems are characterized by directional and precisely controlled flow of matter and information along with the maintenance of their structural patterns. This is possible thanks to sequential transformations of information, energy and structure carried out by molecular machines. The new perception of biological systems, including their mechanical aspects, requires the implementation of tools and approaches previously developed for engineering sciences. In this review paper, a biological system is presented in a new perspective as an ensemble of coordinated molecular devices functioning in the limited space confined by the biological membrane. The working of a molecular machine is presented using the example of F0F1 ATPase, and the general conditions necessary for the coordination of a large number of functional units are described.

  17. An engineering viewpoint on biological robustness.

    PubMed

    Khammash, Mustafa

    2016-03-23

    In his splendid article "Can a biologist fix a radio?--or, what I learned while studying apoptosis," Y. Lazebnik argues that when one uses the right tools, similarity between a biological system, like a signal transduction pathway, and an engineered system, like a radio, may not seem so superficial. Here I advance this idea by focusing on the notion of robustness as a unifying lens through which to view complexity in biological and engineered systems. I show that electronic amplifiers and gene expression circuits share remarkable similarities in their dynamics and robustness properties. I explore robustness features and limitations in biology and engineering and highlight the role of negative feedback in shaping both.

  18. An engineering viewpoint on biological robustness.

    PubMed

    Khammash, Mustafa

    2016-01-01

    In his splendid article "Can a biologist fix a radio?--or, what I learned while studying apoptosis," Y. Lazebnik argues that when one uses the right tools, similarity between a biological system, like a signal transduction pathway, and an engineered system, like a radio, may not seem so superficial. Here I advance this idea by focusing on the notion of robustness as a unifying lens through which to view complexity in biological and engineered systems. I show that electronic amplifiers and gene expression circuits share remarkable similarities in their dynamics and robustness properties. I explore robustness features and limitations in biology and engineering and highlight the role of negative feedback in shaping both. PMID:27007299

  19. The Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment: A Concept Assessment for Upper-Division Molecular Biology Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Couch, Brian A.; Wood, William B.; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2015-01-01

    Measuring students' conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in…

  20. Engineering and Assembly of Protein Modules into Functional Molecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Hirschi, Stephan; Stauffer, Mirko; Harder, Daniel; Müller, Daniel J; Meier, Wolfgang; Fotiadis, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology approaches range from the introduction of unique features into organisms to the assembly of isolated biomacromolecules or synthetic building blocks into artificial biological systems with biomimetic or completely novel functionalities. Simple molecular systems can be based on containers on the nanoscale that are equipped with tailored functional modules for various applications in healthcare, industry or biological and medical research. The concept, or vision, of assembling native or engineered proteins and/or synthetic components as functional modules into molecular systems is discussed. The main focus is laid on the engineering of energizing modules generating chemical energy, transport modules using this energy to translocate molecules between compartments of a molecular system, and catalytic modules (bio-)chemically processing the molecules. Further key aspects of this discourse are possible approaches for the assembly of simple nanofactories and their applications in biotechnology and medical health. PMID:27363367

  1. Genetics and molecular biology of breast cancer

    SciTech Connect

    King, M.C.; Lippman, M.

    1992-12-31

    This volume contains the abstracts of oral presentations and poster sessions presented at the Cold Springs Harbor Meeting on Cancer Cells, this meeting entitled Genetics and Molecular Biology of Breast Cancer.

  2. Molecular beacons: an optimal multifunctional biological probe.

    PubMed

    Li, Yongsheng; Zhou, Xiaoyan; Ye, Duyun

    2008-09-01

    Molecular beacon technology is set up based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and the complementary pairing principles. These fluorescent molecular probes, which are very highly specific and sensitive, have now become one important tool in medical and biological researches. This review introduces the molecular beacons structure, principle, the main impact factors, the labeling of the molecular beacons, and research progress on molecular beacons fluorescent-label in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA sequence analysis, gene dynamic detection in living cells, protein (enzyme)-nucleic acid interactions and applications in clinical medicine.

  3. Seeing the Unseen: Molecular Visualization in Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finnan, Jeff; Taylor-Papp, Kim; Duran, Mesut

    2005-01-01

    In high school biology, students are challenged by many molecular concepts and structures. They meander through a number of molecular structures, some in macromolecular form: carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, nucleotides. Student difficulties arise in part from inability to visualize what they can't easily see. Students struggle moving from…

  4. Protein dynamics: Moore's law in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Vendruscolo, Michele; Dobson, Christopher M

    2011-01-25

    The millisecond barrier has been broken in molecular dynamics simulations of proteins. Such simulations are increasingly revealing the inner workings of biological systems by generating atomic-level descriptions of their behaviour that make testable predictions about key molecular processes.

  5. Can biological complexity be reverse engineered?

    PubMed

    Green, Sara

    2015-10-01

    Concerns with the use of engineering approaches in biology have recently been raised. I examine two related challenges to biological research that I call the synchronic and diachronic underdetermination problem. The former refers to challenges associated with the inference of design principles underlying system capacities when the synchronic relations between lower-level processes and higher-level systems capacities are degenerate (many-to-many). The diachronic underdetermination problem regards the problem of reverse engineering a system where the non-linear relations between system capacities and lower-level mechanisms are changing over time. Braun and Marom argue that recent insights to biological complexity leave the aim of reverse engineering hopeless - in principle as well as in practice. While I support their call for systemic approaches to capture the dynamic nature of living systems, I take issue with the conflation of reverse engineering with naïve reductionism. I clarify how the notion of design principles can be more broadly conceived and argue that reverse engineering is compatible with a dynamic view of organisms. It may even help to facilitate an integrated account that bridges the gap between mechanistic and systems approaches.

  6. Can biological complexity be reverse engineered?

    PubMed

    Green, Sara

    2015-10-01

    Concerns with the use of engineering approaches in biology have recently been raised. I examine two related challenges to biological research that I call the synchronic and diachronic underdetermination problem. The former refers to challenges associated with the inference of design principles underlying system capacities when the synchronic relations between lower-level processes and higher-level systems capacities are degenerate (many-to-many). The diachronic underdetermination problem regards the problem of reverse engineering a system where the non-linear relations between system capacities and lower-level mechanisms are changing over time. Braun and Marom argue that recent insights to biological complexity leave the aim of reverse engineering hopeless - in principle as well as in practice. While I support their call for systemic approaches to capture the dynamic nature of living systems, I take issue with the conflation of reverse engineering with naïve reductionism. I clarify how the notion of design principles can be more broadly conceived and argue that reverse engineering is compatible with a dynamic view of organisms. It may even help to facilitate an integrated account that bridges the gap between mechanistic and systems approaches. PMID:25903121

  7. Singlet molecular oxygen generated by biological hydroperoxides.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Sayuri; Martinez, Glaucia R; Medeiros, Marisa H G; Di Mascio, Paolo

    2014-10-01

    The chemistry behind the phenomenon of ultra-weak photon emission has been subject of considerable interest for decades. Great progress has been made on the understanding of the chemical generation of electronically excited states that are involved in these processes. Proposed mechanisms implicated the production of excited carbonyl species and singlet molecular oxygen in the mechanism of generation of chemiluminescence in biological system. In particular, attention has been focused on the potential generation of singlet molecular oxygen in the recombination reaction of peroxyl radicals by the Russell mechanism. In the last ten years, our group has demonstrated the generation of singlet molecular oxygen from reactions involving the decomposition of biologically relevant hydroperoxides, especially from lipid hydroperoxides in the presence of metal ions, peroxynitrite, HOCl and cytochrome c. In this review we will discuss details on the chemical aspects related to the mechanism of singlet molecular oxygen generation from different biological hydroperoxides.

  8. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization

    SciTech Connect

    Litchfield, J.H.; Zupancic, T.J.; Kittle, J.D. Jr.; Baker, B.; Palmer, D.T.; Traunero, C.G.; Wyza, R.E.; Schweitzer, A.; Conkle, H.N. ); Chakravarty, L.; Tuovinen, O.H. )

    1992-10-08

    Progress is reported in understanding Thiobacillus molecular biology, specifically in the area of vector development. At the initiation of this program, the basic elements needed for performing genetic engineering in T. ferrooxidans were either not yet developed. Improved techniques are described which will make it easier to construct and analyze the genetic structure and metabolism of recombinant T. ferrooxidans. The metabolism of the model organic sulfur compound dibenzothiophene (DBT) by certain heterotrophic bacteria was confirmed and characterized. Techniques were developed to analyze the metabolites of DBT, so that individual 4S pathway metabolites could be distinguished. These techniques are expected to be valuable when engineering organic sulfur metabolism in Thiobacillus. Strain isolation techniques were used to develop pure cultures of T. ferrooxidans seven of which were assessed as potential recombinant hosts. The mixotrophic strain T. coprinus was also characterized for potential use as an electroporation host. A family of related Thiobacillus plasmids was discovered in the seven strains of P. ferrooxidans mentioned above. One of these plasmids, pTFI91, was cloned into a pUC-based plasmid vector, allowing it to propagate in E. coli. A key portion of the cloned plasmid was sequenced. This segment, which is conserved in all of the related plasmids characterized, contains the vegetative origin of DNA replication, and fortuitously, a novel insertion sequence, designated IS3091. The sequence of the DNA origin revealed that these Thiobacillus plasmids represent a unique class of replicons not previously described. The potentially useful insertion sequence IS3091 was identified as a new member of a previously undefined family of insertion sequences which include the E. coli element IS30.

  9. Molecular biology of pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Zavoral, Miroslav; Minarikova, Petra; Zavada, Filip; Salek, Cyril; Minarik, Marek

    2011-06-28

    In spite of continuous research efforts directed at early detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer, the outlook for patients affected by the disease remains dismal. With most cases still being diagnosed at advanced stages, no improvement in survival prognosis is achieved with current diagnostic imaging approaches. In the absence of a dominant precancerous condition, several risk factors have been identified including family history, chronic pancreatitis, smoking, diabetes mellitus, as well as certain genetic disorders such as hereditary pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, familial atypical multiple mole melanoma, and Peutz-Jeghers and Lynch syndromes. Most pancreatic carcinomas, however, remain sporadic. Current progress in experimental molecular techniques has enabled detailed understanding of the molecular processes of pancreatic cancer development. According to the latest information, malignant pancreatic transformation involves multiple oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes that are involved in a variety of signaling pathways. The most characteristic aberrations (somatic point mutations and allelic losses) affect oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes within RAS, AKT and Wnt signaling, and have a key role in transcription and proliferation, as well as systems that regulate the cell cycle (SMAD/DPC, CDKN2A/p16) and apoptosis (TP53). Understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms should promote development of new methodology for early diagnosis and facilitate improvement in current approaches for pancreatic cancer treatment.

  10. [Molecular biology methods in immunohematology].

    PubMed

    Tournamille, C

    2013-05-01

    The molecular basis of almost all antigens of the 33 blood group systems are known. These knowledge and the advent of the PCR technology have allowed the DNA-based genotyping in order to predict the presence or absence of a blood group antigen on the cell membrane of red blood cells. DNA genotyping is required in cases where red blood cells patient cannot be used for serological typing either after a recent transfusion or because of the presence of autoantibodies on the red blood cells. Numerous DNA assays are available to detect any nucleotide polymorphism on the genes encoding blood group antigens. The technologies have improved to answer quickly to any case of transfusion emergency and to limit the risk of DNA contamination in a molecular diagnostic laboratory. Some technologies are ready for high-throughput blood group genotyping. They will be used in the future to obtain a fully typed blood group card of each donor but also to detect blood donors with rare phenotypes to register them to the Banque Nationale de Sang de Phénotype Rare (BNSPR). PMID:23587623

  11. From Gene to Protein: A 3-Week Intensive Course in Molecular Biology for Physical Scientists

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nadeau, Jay L.

    2009-01-01

    This article describes a 3-week intensive molecular biology methods course based upon fluorescent proteins, which is successfully taught at the McGill University to advanced undergraduates and graduates in physics, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, and medicine. No previous knowledge of biological terminology or methods is expected, so…

  12. Glycan Engineering for Cell and Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, Matthew E.; Hsieh-Wilson, Linda C.

    2016-01-01

    Cell-surface glycans are a diverse class of macromolecules that participate in many key biological processes, including cell-cell communication, development, and disease progression. Thus, the ability to modulate the structures of glycans on cell surfaces provides a powerful means not only to understand fundamental processes but also to direct activity and elicit desired cellular responses. Here, we describe methods to sculpt glycans on cell surfaces and highlight recent successes in which artificially engineered glycans have been employed to control biological outcomes such as the immune response and stem cell fate. PMID:26933739

  13. Molecular plasmonics for biology and nanomedicine

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yue Bing; Kiraly, Brian; Weiss, Paul S; Huang, Tony Jun

    2014-01-01

    The optical excitation of surface plasmons in metal nanoparticles leads to nanoscale spatial confinement of electromagnetic fields. The confined electromagnetic fields can generate intense, localized thermal energy and large near-field optical forces. The interaction between these effects and nearby molecules has led to the emerging field known as molecular plasmonics. Recent advances in molecular plasmonics have enabled novel optical materials and devices with applications in biology and nanomedicine. In this article, we categorize three main types of interactions between molecules and surface plasmons: optical, thermal and mechanical. Within the scope of each type of interaction, we will review applications of molecular plasmonics in biology and nanomedicine. We include a wide range of applications that involve sensing, spectral analysis, imaging, delivery, manipulation and heating of molecules, biomolecules or cells using plasmonic effects. We also briefly describe the physical principles of molecular plasmonics and progress in the nanofabrication, surface functionalization and bioconjugation of metal nanoparticles. PMID:22630155

  14. Molecular plasmonics for biology and nanomedicine.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yue Bing; Kiraly, Brian; Weiss, Paul S; Huang, Tony Jun

    2012-05-01

    The optical excitation of surface plasmons in metal nanoparticles leads to nanoscale spatial confinement of electromagnetic fields. The confined electromagnetic fields can generate intense, localized thermal energy and large near-field optical forces. The interaction between these effects and nearby molecules has led to the emerging field known as molecular plasmonics. Recent advances in molecular plasmonics have enabled novel optical materials and devices with applications in biology and nanomedicine. In this article, we categorize three main types of interactions between molecules and surface plasmons: optical, thermal and mechanical. Within the scope of each type of interaction, we will review applications of molecular plasmonics in biology and nanomedicine. We include a wide range of applications that involve sensing, spectral analysis, imaging, delivery, manipulation and heating of molecules, biomolecules or cells using plasmonic effects. We also briefly describe the physical principles of molecular plasmonics and progress in the nanofabrication, surface functionalization and bioconjugation of metal nanoparticles.

  15. New faster CHARMM molecular dynamics engine

    PubMed Central

    Hynninen, Antti-Pekka; Crowley, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    We introduce a new faster molecular dynamics (MD) engine into the CHARMM software package. The new MD engine is faster both in serial (i.e., single CPU core) and parallel execution. Serial performance is approximately two times higher than in the previous version of CHARMM. The newly programmed parallelization method allows the MD engine to parallelize up to hundreds of CPU cores. PMID:24302199

  16. The molecular biology of galactosemia.

    PubMed

    Elsas, L J; Lai, K

    1998-01-01

    Classic galactosemia is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by the deficiency of galactose 1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT). Although the potentially lethal, neonatal hepatotoxic syndrome is prevented by newborn screening and galactose restriction, long-term outcome for older patients with galactosemia remains problematic. After the cloning and sequencing of the GALT gene, more than 130 mutations in the GALT gene have been associated with GALT deficiency; this review relates them to function and clinical outcome. Two common mutations, Q188R and K285N, account for more than 70% of G alleles in the white population and are associated with classic galactosemia and impaired GALT function. In the black population, S135L accounts for 62% of the alleles causing galactosemia and is associated with good outcomes. A large 5 kb deletion in the GALT gene is found in Ashkenazim Jews. The Duarte galactosemia variant is caused by N314D. Homozygosity for N314D reduces GALT activity to 50%. When either E203K or a 1721C-->T transition (Los Angeles variant) are present in cis with N314D, GALT activity reverts to normal. In this review, we discuss the structural biology of these mutations as they affect both the GALT enzyme and patient outcome.

  17. The Molecular Biology Database Collection: 2008 update

    PubMed Central

    Galperin, Michael Y.

    2008-01-01

    The Nucleic Acids Research online Molecular Biology Database Collection is a public repository that lists more than 1000 databases described in this and previous Nucleic Acids Research annual database issues, as well as a selection of molecular biology databases described in other journals. All databases included in this Collection are freely available to the public. The 2008 update includes 1078 databases, 110 more than the previous one. The links to more than 80 databases have been updated and 25 obsolete databases have been removed from the list. The complete database list and summaries are available online at the Nucleic Acids Research web site, http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/. PMID:18025043

  18. BIONET: national computer resource for molecular biology.

    PubMed Central

    Smith, D H; Brutlag, D; Friedland, P; Kedes, L H

    1986-01-01

    This paper describes briefly the BIONET National Computer Resource for Molecular Biology. This presentation is intended as information for scientists in molecular biology and related disciplines who require access to computational methods for sequence analysis. We describe the goals, and the service and research opportunities offered to the community by BIONET, the relationship of BIONET to other national and regional resources, our recent efforts toward distribution of the resource to BIONET Satellites, and procedures for investigators to gain access to the Resource. PMID:3945548

  19. Molecular Mechanism of Biological Proton Transport

    SciTech Connect

    Pomes, R.

    1998-09-01

    Proton transport across lipid membranes is a fundamental aspect of biological energy transduction (metabolism). This function is mediated by a Grotthuss mechanism involving proton hopping along hydrogen-bonded networks embedded in membrane-spanning proteins. Using molecular simulations, the authors have explored the structural, dynamic, and thermodynamic properties giving rise to long-range proton translocation in hydrogen-bonded networks involving water molecules, or water wires, which are emerging as ubiquitous H{sup +}-transport devices in biological systems.

  20. Frontiers of NMR in Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    1999-08-25

    NMR spectroscopy is expanding the horizons of structural biology by determining the structures and describing the dynamics of blobular proteins in aqueous solution, as well as other classes of proteins including membrane proteins and the polypeptides that form the aggregates diagnostic of prion and amyloid diseases. Significant results are also emerging on DNA and RNA oligomers and their complexes with proteins. This meeting focused attention on key structural questions emanating from molecular biology and how NMR spectroscopy can be used to answer them.

  1. Mapping the moral boundaries of biological engineering

    PubMed Central

    Russ, Zachary N

    2009-01-01

    The following essay was written by a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, Mr. Zachary Russ. Mr. Russ was one of 174 students who submitted a 1000–1200 word essay to the 4th Annual Bioethics Contest sponsored by the Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE). A group of professionals in Biological Engineering assessed and ranked the essays in a blinded process. Five semi-finalists were invited to present their essays at a session at the annual meeting of IBE in Santa Clara, CA on March 21, 2009. Five judges scored all the presentation at the annual meeting and selected Mr. Russ's contribution as the overall winner (1st Place). PMID:19422721

  2. Molecular biology of Hendra and Nipah viruses.

    PubMed

    Wang, L; Harcourt, B H; Yu, M; Tamin, A; Rota, P A; Bellini, W J; Eaton, B T

    2001-04-01

    The structure and genetic organization of Hendra and Nipah viruses places them in the subfamily Paramyxovirinae. However, low homology with other subfamily members and several novel biological and molecular features such as genome length and F(0 )cleavage site suggest classification in a new genus within the Paramyxovirinae.

  3. Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of Bacteriophage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onodera, Kazukiyo

    The development of the molecular biology of bacteriophage such as T4, lambda and filamentous phages was described and the process that the fundamental knowledge obtained in this field has subsequently led us to the technology of phage display was introduced.

  4. Systematic Representation of Molecular Biology Knowledge.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Kathleen M.

    A small set of relationships has been identified which appears to be sufficient for describing all molecular and cellular reactions and structures discussed in an introductory biology course. A precise definition has been developed for each relationship. These 20 relationships are of four types: (1) analytical; (2) spatial; (3) temporal; and (4)…

  5. Molecular profiles to biology and pathways: a systems biology approach.

    PubMed

    Van Laere, Steven; Dirix, Luc; Vermeulen, Peter

    2016-06-16

    Interpreting molecular profiles in a biological context requires specialized analysis strategies. Initially, lists of relevant genes were screened to identify enriched concepts associated with pathways or specific molecular processes. However, the shortcoming of interpreting gene lists by using predefined sets of genes has resulted in the development of novel methods that heavily rely on network-based concepts. These algorithms have the advantage that they allow a more holistic view of the signaling properties of the condition under study as well as that they are suitable for integrating different data types like gene expression, gene mutation, and even histological parameters.

  6. Mechanistic modeling confronts the complexity of molecular cell biology.

    PubMed

    Phair, Robert D

    2014-11-01

    Mechanistic modeling has the potential to transform how cell biologists contend with the inescapable complexity of modern biology. I am a physiologist-electrical engineer-systems biologist who has been working at the level of cell biology for the past 24 years. This perspective aims 1) to convey why we build models, 2) to enumerate the major approaches to modeling and their philosophical differences, 3) to address some recurrent concerns raised by experimentalists, and then 4) to imagine a future in which teams of experimentalists and modelers build-and subject to exhaustive experimental tests-models covering the entire spectrum from molecular cell biology to human pathophysiology. There is, in my view, no technical obstacle to this future, but it will require some plasticity in the biological research mind-set.

  7. Engineered Protein Machines: Emergent Tools for Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Glasscock, Cameron J; Lucks, Julius B; DeLisa, Matthew P

    2016-01-21

    Nature has evolved an array of intricate protein assemblies that work together to perform the chemistry that maintains life. These protein machines function with exquisite specificity and coordination to accomplish their tasks, from DNA and RNA synthesis to protein folding and post-translational modifications. Despite their complexity, synthetic biologists have succeeded in redesigning many aspects of these molecular machines. For example, natural DNA polymerases have now been engineered to catalyze the synthesis of alternative genetic polymers called XNAs, orthogonal RNA polymerases and ribosomes have been engineered to enable the construction of genetic logic gates, and protein biogenesis machinery such as chaperonins and protein translocons have been repurposed to improve folding and expression of recombinant proteins. In this Review, we highlight the progress made in understanding, engineering, and repurposing bacterial protein machines for use in synthetic biology and biotechnology.

  8. Engineered ion channels as emerging tools for chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Michael; Yang, Jerry

    2013-12-17

    Over the last 25 years, researchers have developed exogenously expressed, genetically engineered, semi-synthetic, and entirely synthetic ion channels. These structures have sufficient fidelity to serve as unique tools that can reveal information about living organisms. One of the most exciting success stories is optogenetics: the use of light-gated channels to trigger action potentials in specific neurons combined with studies of the response from networks of cells or entire live animals. Despite this breakthrough, the use of molecularly engineered ion channels for studies of biological systems is still in its infancy. Historically, researchers studied ion channels in the context of their own function in single cells or in multicellular signaling and regulation. Only recently have researchers considered ion channels and pore-forming peptides as responsive tools to report on the chemical and physical changes produced by other biochemical processes and reactions. This emerging class of molecular probes has a number of useful characteristics. For instance, these structures can greatly amplify the signal of chemical changes: the binding of one molecule to a ligand-gated ion channel can result in flux of millions of ions across a cell membrane. In addition, gating occurs on sub-microsecond time scales, resulting in fast response times. Moreover, the signal is complementary to existing techniques because the output is ionic current rather than fluorescence or radioactivity. And finally, ion channels are also localized at the membrane of cells where essential processes such as signaling and regulation take place. This Account highlights examples, mostly from our own work, of uses of ion channels and pore-forming peptides such as gramicidin in chemical biology. We discuss various strategies for preparing synthetically tailored ion channels that range from de novo designed synthetic molecules to genetically engineered or simply exogenously expressed or reconstituted wild

  9. Ship diesel emission aerosols: A comprehensive study on the chemical composition, the physical properties and the molecular biological and toxicological effects on human lung cells of aerosols from a ship diesel engine operated with heavy or light diesel fuel oil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmermann, R.; Buters, J.; Öder, S.; Dietmar, G.; Kanashova, T.; Paur, H.; Dilger, M.; Mülhopt, S.; Harndorf, H.; Stengel, B.; Rabe, R.; Hirvonen, M.; Jokiniemi, J.; Hiller, K.; Sapcariu, S.; Berube, K.; Sippula, O.; Streibel, T.; Karg, E.; Schnelle-Kreis, J.; Lintelmann, J.; Sklorz, M.; Arteaga Salas, M.; Orasche, J.; Müller, L.; Reda, A.; Passig, J.; Radischat, C.; Gröger, T.; Weiss, C.

    2013-12-01

    The Virtual Helmholtz Institute-HICE (www.hice-vi.eu) addresses chemical & physical properties, transformation processes and health effects of anthropogenic combustion emissions. This is performed by thorough comprehensive chemical and physical characterization of combustion aerosols (including application of advantageous on-line methods) and studying of biological effects on human lung cell-cultures. A new ALI air-liquid-interface (ALI) exposition system and a mobile S2-biological laboratory were developed for the HICE-measurements. Human alveolar basal epithelial cells (A549 etc.) are ALI-exposed to fresh, diluted (1:40-1:100) combustion aerosols and subsequently were toxicologically and molecular-biologically characterized (e.g. proteomics). By using stable isotope labeling technologies (13C-Glucose/metabolomics; 2H-Lysine/SILAC-proteomics), high sensitivity and accuracy for detection of molecular-biological effects is achievable even at sub-toxic effect dose levels. Aerosols from wood combustion and ship diesel engine (heavy/light fuel oil) have been investigated. The effect of wood combustion and ship diesel PM e.g. on the protein expression of ALI-exposed A549 cells was compared. Filtered aerosol is used as gas-reference for the isotope labeling based method (SILAC). Therefore the effects of wood combustion- and shipping diesel-PM can be directly compared. Ship diesel aerosol causes a broader distribution in the observed fold changes (log2), i.e. more proteins are significantly up-/down-regulated in case of shipping diesel PM-exposure. This corresponds to a stronger biological reaction if compared to wood combustion-PM exposure. The chemical analysis results on wood combustion- and ship diesel-PM depict more polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)/oxidized-PAH but less of some transition metals (V, Fe) in the wood combustion case. Interestingly, alkylated PAH are considerably more abundant in shipping PM, suggesting that PAH/Oxy-PAH may be less relevant for

  10. Magnetic engineering with molecular bricks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blundell, Stephen

    2013-03-01

    Magnetic materials can be constructed using molecular components to build up novel and unusual architectures. This approach provides an exciting opportunity for exploring the physics of magnetism. Gaining control of the building blocks of magnetic materials and thereby achieving particular characteristics will make possible the design and growth of bespoke magnetic devices. While progress in the synthesis of molecular materials, and especially coordination polymers, represents a significant step towards this goal, the ability to tune the magnetic interactions within a particular framework remains in its infancy but promising advances are being made, including the production of single molecule magnets and a variety of extended structures. We have recently found a chemical method which achieves dimensionality selection via preferential inhibition of the magnetic exchange in an S = 1/2 antiferromagnet along one crystal direction, switching the system from being quasi-two- to quasi-one-dimensional while effectively maintaining the nearest-neighbour coupling strength. We have also demonstrated that single molecule magnets can be used to store quantum information and have devised a strategy for extending the spin coherence time by chemical adjustment. Very recently we have found that introduction of a molecular spacer layer can produce a greater than fourfold enhancement in the superconducting transition temperature of iron selenide. The experimental techniques used in this work include ESR, muSR and high magnetic fields.

  11. Recent Advances in Engineering Polyvalent Biological Interactions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Polyvalent interactions, where multiple ligands and receptors interact simultaneously, are ubiquitous in nature. Synthetic polyvalent molecules, therefore, have the ability to affect biological processes ranging from protein–ligand binding to cellular signaling. In this review, we discuss recent advances in polyvalent scaffold design and applications. First, we will describe recent developments in the engineering of polyvalent scaffolds based on biomolecules and novel materials. Then, we will illustrate how polyvalent molecules are finding applications as toxin and pathogen inhibitors, targeting molecules, immune response modulators, and cellular effectors. PMID:25426695

  12. Engineering biological systems toward a sustainable bioeconomy.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Mateus Schreiner Garcez

    2015-06-01

    The nature of our major global risks calls for sustainable innovations to decouple economic growth from greenhouse gases emission. The development of sustainable technologies has been negatively impacted by several factors including sugar production costs, production scale, economic crises, hydraulic fracking development and the market inability to capture externality costs. However, advances in engineering of biological systems allow bridging the gap between exponential growth of knowledge about biology and the creation of sustainable value chains for a broad range of economic sectors. Additionally, industrial symbiosis of different biobased technologies can increase competitiveness and sustainability, leading to the development of eco-industrial parks. Reliable policies for carbon pricing and revenue reinvestments in disruptive technologies and in the deployment of eco-industrial parks could boost the welfare while addressing our major global risks toward the transition from a fossil to a biobased economy.

  13. Engineering biological systems toward a sustainable bioeconomy.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Mateus Schreiner Garcez

    2015-06-01

    The nature of our major global risks calls for sustainable innovations to decouple economic growth from greenhouse gases emission. The development of sustainable technologies has been negatively impacted by several factors including sugar production costs, production scale, economic crises, hydraulic fracking development and the market inability to capture externality costs. However, advances in engineering of biological systems allow bridging the gap between exponential growth of knowledge about biology and the creation of sustainable value chains for a broad range of economic sectors. Additionally, industrial symbiosis of different biobased technologies can increase competitiveness and sustainability, leading to the development of eco-industrial parks. Reliable policies for carbon pricing and revenue reinvestments in disruptive technologies and in the deployment of eco-industrial parks could boost the welfare while addressing our major global risks toward the transition from a fossil to a biobased economy. PMID:25845304

  14. Molecular knots in biology and chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Nicole C. H.; Jackson, Sophie E.

    2015-09-01

    Knots and entanglements are ubiquitous. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, these fascinating topological entities can be either useful or cumbersome. In recent decades, the importance and prevalence of molecular knots have been increasingly recognised by scientists from different disciplines. In this review, we provide an overview on the various molecular knots found in naturally occurring biological systems (DNA, RNA and proteins), and those created by synthetic chemists. We discuss the current knowledge in these fields, including recent developments in experimental and, in some cases, computational studies which are beginning to shed light into the complex interplay between the structure, formation and properties of these topologically intricate molecules.

  15. Molecular biology of the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, E.G.

    1988-01-01

    This book examines new methods of molecular biology that are providing valuable insights into the human brain, the genes that govern its assembly and function, and the many genetic defects that cause neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, Cri du Chat syndrome, Huntington's disease, and bipolar depression disorder. In addition, the book reviews techniques in molecular neurobiological research, including the use of affinity reagents, chimeric receptors, and site-directed mutagenesis in localizing the ion channel and cholinergic binding site, and the application of somatic cell genetics in isolating specific chromosomes or chromosomal segments.

  16. Engineering simulations for cancer systems biology.

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    Computer simulation can be used to inform in vivo and in vitro experimentation, enabling rapid, low-cost hypothesis generation and directing experimental design in order to test those hypotheses. In this way, in silico models become a scientific instrument for investigation, and so should be developed to high standards, be carefully calibrated and their findings presented in such that they may be reproduced. Here, we outline a framework that supports developing simulations as scientific instruments, and we select cancer systems biology as an exemplar domain, with a particular focus on cellular signalling models. We consider the challenges of lack of data, incomplete knowledge and modelling in the context of a rapidly changing knowledge base. Our framework comprises a process to clearly separate scientific and engineering concerns in model and simulation development, and an argumentation approach to documenting models for rigorous way of recording assumptions and knowledge gaps. We propose interactive, dynamic visualisation tools to enable the biological community to interact with cellular signalling models directly for experimental design. There is a mismatch in scale between these cellular models and tissue structures that are affected by tumours, and bridging this gap requires substantial computational resource. We present concurrent programming as a technology to link scales without losing important details through model simplification. We discuss the value of combining this technology, interactive visualisation, argumentation and model separation to support development of multi-scale models that represent biologically plausible cells arranged in biologically plausible structures that model cell behaviour, interactions and response to therapeutic interventions. PMID:22974398

  17. The Boltzmann equation in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Dubois, Jean-Marc; Ouanounou, Gilles; Rouzaire-Dubois, Béatrice

    2009-01-01

    In the 1870's, Ludwig Boltzmann proposed a simple equation that was based on the notion of atoms and molecules and that defined the probability of finding a molecule in a given state. Several years later, the Boltzmann equation was developed and used to calculate the equilibrium potential of an ion species that is permeant through membrane channels and to describe conformational changes of biological molecules involved in different mechanisms including: open probability of ion channels, effect of molecular crowding on protein conformation, biochemical reactions and cell proliferation. The aim of this review is to trace the history of the developments of the Boltzmann equation that account for the behaviour of proteins involved in molecular biology and physiology.

  18. Molecular neurodegeneration: basic biology and disease pathways.

    PubMed

    Vassar, Robert; Zheng, Hui

    2014-09-23

    The field of neurodegeneration research has been advancing rapidly over the past few years, and has provided intriguing new insights into the normal physiological functions and pathogenic roles of a wide range of molecules associated with several devastating neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Huntington's disease, and Down syndrome. Recent developments have also facilitated initial efforts to translate preclinical discoveries toward novel therapeutic approaches and clinical trials in humans. These recent developments are reviewed in the current Review Series on "Molecular Neurodegeneration: Basic Biology and Disease Pathways" in a number of state-of-the-art manuscripts that cover themes presented at the Third International Conference on Molecular Neurodegeneration: "Basic biology and disease pathways" held in Cannes, France, September, 2013.

  19. 2004 Reversible Associations in Structure & Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Edward Eisenstein Nancy Ryan Gray

    2005-03-23

    The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on 2004 Gordon Research Conference on Reversible Associations in Structure & Molecular Biology was held at Four Points Sheraton, CA, 1/25-30/2004. The Conference was well attended with 82 participants (attendees list attached). The attendees represented the spectrum of endeavor in this field coming from academia, industry, and government laboratories, both U.S. and foreign scientists, senior researchers, young investigators, and students.

  20. Molecular and chemical engineering of bacteriophages for potential medical applications.

    PubMed

    Hodyra, Katarzyna; Dąbrowska, Krystyna

    2015-04-01

    Recent progress in molecular engineering has contributed to the great progress of medicine. However, there are still difficult problems constituting a challenge for molecular biology and biotechnology, e.g. new generation of anticancer agents, alternative biosensors or vaccines. As a biotechnological tool, bacteriophages (phages) offer a promising alternative to traditional approaches. They can be applied as anticancer agents, novel platforms in vaccine design, or as target carriers in drug discovery. Phages also offer solutions for modern cell imaging, biosensor construction or food pathogen detection. Here we present a review of bacteriophage research as a dynamically developing field with promising prospects for further development of medicine and biotechnology.

  1. Boswellic acids: biological actions and molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Poeckel, Daniel; Werz, Oliver

    2006-01-01

    Gum resin extracts of Boswellia species have been traditionally applied in folk medicine for centuries to treat various chronic inflammatory diseases, and experimental data from animal models and studies with human subjects confirmed the potential of B. spec extracts for the treatment of not only inflammation but also of cancer. Analysis of the ingredients of these extracts revealed that the pentacyclic triterpenes boswellic acids (BAs) possess biological activities and appear to be responsible for the respective pharmacological actions. Approaches in order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the biological effects of BAs identified 5-lipoxygenase, human leukocyte elastase, toposiomerase I and II, as well as IkappaB kinases as molecular targets of BAs. Moreover, it was shown that depending on the cell type and the structure of the BAs, the compounds differentially interfere with signal transduction pathways including Ca(2+/-) and MAPK signaling in various blood cells, related to functional cellular processes important for inflammatory reactions and tumor growth. This review summarizes the biological actions of BAs on the cellular and molecular level and attempts to put the data into perspective of the beneficial effects manifested in animal studies and trials with human subjects related to inflammation and cancer.

  2. The Molecular Biology Database Collection: 2002 update

    PubMed Central

    Baxevanis, Andreas D.

    2002-01-01

    The Molecular Biology Database Collection is an online resource listing key databases of value to the biological community. This Collection is intended to bring fellow scientists’ attention to high-quality databases that are available throughout the world, rather than just be a lengthy listing of all available databases. As such, this up-to-date listing is intended to serve as the initial point from which to find specialized databases that may be of use in biological research. The databases included in this Collection provide new value to the underlying data by virtue of curation, new data connections or other innovative approaches. Short, searchable summaries and updates for each of the databases included in the Collection are available through the Nucleic Acids Research Web site at http://nar.oupjournals.org. PMID:11752241

  3. The Molecular Biology Database Collection: 2003 update

    PubMed Central

    Baxevanis, Andreas D.

    2003-01-01

    The Molecular Biology Database Collection is an online resource listing key databases of value to the biological community. This Collection is intended to bring fellow scientists' attention to high-quality databases that are available throughout the world, rather than just be a lengthy listing of all available databases. As such, this up-to-date listing is intended to serve as the jumping-off point from which to find specialized databases that may be of use in advancing biological research. The databases included in this Collection provide new value to the underlying data by virtue of curation, new data connections or other innovative approaches. Short, searchable summaries and updates for each of the databases included in this Collection are available through the Nucleic Acids Research Web site at http://nar.oupjournals.org. PMID:12519937

  4. Can molecular cell biology explain chromosome motions?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Mitotic chromosome motions have recently been correlated with electrostatic forces, but a lingering "molecular cell biology" paradigm persists, proposing binding and release proteins or molecular geometries for force generation. Results Pole-facing kinetochore plates manifest positive charges and interact with negatively charged microtubule ends providing the motive force for poleward chromosome motions by classical electrostatics. This conceptual scheme explains dynamic tracking/coupling of kinetochores to microtubules and the simultaneous depolymerization of kinetochore microtubules as poleward force is generated. Conclusion We question here why cells would prefer complex molecular mechanisms to move chromosomes when direct electrostatic interactions between known bound charge distributions can accomplish the same task much more simply. PMID:21619650

  5. Molecular Engineering of Acoustic Protein Nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Lakshmanan, Anupama; Farhadi, Arash; Nety, Suchita P; Lee-Gosselin, Audrey; Bourdeau, Raymond W; Maresca, David; Shapiro, Mikhail G

    2016-08-23

    Ultrasound is among the most widely used biomedical imaging modalities, but has limited ability to image specific molecular targets due to the lack of suitable nanoscale contrast agents. Gas vesicles-genetically encoded protein nanostructures isolated from buoyant photosynthetic microbes-have recently been identified as nanoscale reporters for ultrasound. Their unique physical properties give gas vesicles significant advantages over conventional microbubble contrast agents, including nanoscale dimensions and inherent physical stability. Furthermore, as a genetically encoded material, gas vesicles present the possibility that the nanoscale mechanical, acoustic, and targeting properties of an imaging agent can be engineered at the level of its constituent proteins. Here, we demonstrate that genetic engineering of gas vesicles results in nanostructures with new mechanical, acoustic, surface, and functional properties to enable harmonic, multiplexed, and multimodal ultrasound imaging as well as cell-specific molecular targeting. These results establish a biomolecular platform for the engineering of acoustic nanomaterials. PMID:27351374

  6. Engineering and Biology: Counsel for a Continued Relationship

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Arnon; Siegal, Mark L.; Soyer, Orkun S.; Wagner, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Biologists frequently draw on ideas and terminology from engineering. Evolutionary systems biology—with its circuits, switches, and signal processing—is no exception. In parallel with the frequent links drawn between biology and engineering, there is ongoing criticism against this cross-fertilization, using the argument that over-simplistic metaphors from engineering are likely to mislead us as engineering is fundamentally different from biology. In this article, we clarify and reconfigure the link between biology and engineering, presenting it in a more favorable light. We do so by, first, arguing that critics operate with a narrow and incorrect notion of how engineering actually works, and of what the reliance on ideas from engineering entails. Second, we diagnose and diffuse one significant source of concern about appeals to engineering, namely that they are inherently and problematically metaphorical. We suggest that there is plenty of fertile ground left for a continued, healthy relationship between engineering and biology. PMID:26085824

  7. Bottom-Up Biology: Harnessing Engineering to Understand Nature.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Daniel A

    2016-09-26

    Engineering as a field has fundamentally different goals than biology, but the perspective that engineers take-that systems can be designed and built-is helping to advance biological sciences by motivating and equipping efforts to construct biological systems from the bottom up. PMID:27676431

  8. [Meningiomas: anatomical pathology and molecular biology].

    PubMed

    Bekiashev, A Kh; Korshunov, A G; Cherekaev, V A

    2007-01-01

    In the past 5-10 years, there has been a considerable progress the understanding of the biology of meningioma. The most important advances have been made by comprehensive studies of the pathogenesis of meningioma in molecular genetics. Several target genes could be identified for mutation or inactivation. Additional chromosomal regions that are usually subject to deletion or amplification and point to the presence of tumor suppressor genes or proto-oncogenes were found. The revised and updated 2000 WHO Classification is a major innovation in the histopathology of meningiomas. The new classification system more precisely and objectively determines the grade of meningioma, which allows one to more logically make a prognosis of the recurrence and aggressive behavior of the tumor. The present overview places particular emphasis on recent advances in its molecular biology. It summarizes the most important aspects of the classification of meningiomas, which makes it possible to include the results of biological observations into the respective context, and also considers the mechanisms of angiogenesis and edema development and the role of hormonal receptors in meningiomas.

  9. The molecular biology of vertebrate olfaction.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Sara; Teeling, Emma C

    2014-11-01

    The importance of chemosensation for vertebrates is reflected in the vast and variable nature of their chemosensory tissues, neurons, and genes, which we explore in this review. Immense progress has been made in elucidating the molecular biology of olfaction since the discovery of the olfactory receptor genes by Buck and Axel, which eventually won the authors the Nobel Prize. In particular, research linking odor ligands to olfactory receptors (ORs) is truly revolutionizing our understanding of how a large but limited number of chemosensory receptors can allow us to perceive the massive diversity of odors in our habitat. This research is providing insight into the evolution of genomes and providing the raw data needed to explore links between genotype and phenotype, still a grand challenge in biology. Research into olfaction is still developing and will no doubt continue until we have a clear understanding of how all odors are detected and the evolutionary forces that have molded the chemosensory subgenome in vertebrates. This knowledge will not only be a huge step in elucidating olfactory function, advancing scientific knowledge and techniques, but there are also commercial applications for this research. This review focuses on the molecular basis of chemosensation, particularly olfaction, its evolution across vertebrates and the recent molecular advances linking odors to their cognate receptors. PMID:25312375

  10. The molecular biology of vertebrate olfaction.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Sara; Teeling, Emma C

    2014-11-01

    The importance of chemosensation for vertebrates is reflected in the vast and variable nature of their chemosensory tissues, neurons, and genes, which we explore in this review. Immense progress has been made in elucidating the molecular biology of olfaction since the discovery of the olfactory receptor genes by Buck and Axel, which eventually won the authors the Nobel Prize. In particular, research linking odor ligands to olfactory receptors (ORs) is truly revolutionizing our understanding of how a large but limited number of chemosensory receptors can allow us to perceive the massive diversity of odors in our habitat. This research is providing insight into the evolution of genomes and providing the raw data needed to explore links between genotype and phenotype, still a grand challenge in biology. Research into olfaction is still developing and will no doubt continue until we have a clear understanding of how all odors are detected and the evolutionary forces that have molded the chemosensory subgenome in vertebrates. This knowledge will not only be a huge step in elucidating olfactory function, advancing scientific knowledge and techniques, but there are also commercial applications for this research. This review focuses on the molecular basis of chemosensation, particularly olfaction, its evolution across vertebrates and the recent molecular advances linking odors to their cognate receptors.

  11. Biological Moleculars: Have Most of Our Problems Already Been Solved?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Downey, James P.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Evolution has resulted in biological machinery that engineers have great reason to envy and at present can only poorly mimic. This is not just a curiosity as biological systems perform many functions that are desired industrial processes. Examples include photosynthesis, chemosynthesis, energy storage, low temperature chemical conversion, reproducible manufacture of chemical compounds, etc. The bases of biological machinery are the proteins and nucleic acids that comprise living organisms. Each molecule functions as a part of a biological machine. In many cases the molecule can be properly regarded as a stand alone machine of its own. Concepts and methods for harnessing the power of biological molecules exist but are often overlooked in the industrial world. Some are old and appear crude but are quite effective, e.g. the fermentation of grains and fruits. Currently, there is a revolution in progress regarding the harnessing biological processes. These include techniques such as genetic manipulation via polymerase chain reaction, forced evolution also known as evolution in a test tube, determination of molecular structure, and combinatorial chemistry. The following is a brief discussion on how these processes are performed and how they may relate to industrial and aerospace processes.

  12. Biologically inspired highly efficient buoyancy engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akle, Barbar; Habchi, Wassim; Abdelnour, Rita; Blottman, John, III; Leo, Donald

    2012-04-01

    Undersea distributed networked sensor systems require a miniaturization of platforms and a means of both spatial and temporal persistence. One aspect of this system is the necessity to modulate sensor depth for optimal positioning and station-keeping. Current approaches involve pneumatic bladders or electrolysis; both require mechanical subsystems and consume significant power. These are not suitable for the miniaturization of sensor platforms. Presented in this study is a novel biologically inspired method that relies on ionic motion and osmotic pressures to displace a volume of water from the ocean into and out of the proposed buoyancy engine. At a constant device volume, the displaced water will alter buoyancy leading to either sinking or floating. The engine is composed of an enclosure sided on the ocean's end by a Nafion ionomer and by a flexible membrane separating the water from a gas enclosure. Two electrodes are placed one inside the enclosure and the other attached to the engine on the outside. The semi-permeable membrane Nafion allows water motion in and out of the enclosure while blocking anions from being transferred. The two electrodes generate local concentration changes of ions upon the application of an electrical field; these changes lead to osmotic pressures and hence the transfer of water through the semi-permeable membrane. Some aquatic organisms such as pelagic crustacean perform this buoyancy control using an exchange of ions through their tissue to modulate its density relative to the ambient sea water. In this paper, the authors provide an experimental proof of concept of this buoyancy engine. The efficiency of changing the engine's buoyancy is calculated and optimized as a function of electrode surface area. For example electrodes made of a 3mm diameter Ag/AgCl proved to transfer approximately 4mm3 of water consuming 4 Joules of electrical energy. The speed of displacement is optimized as a function of the surface area of the Nafion

  13. Molecular cell biology and molecular genetics of Histoplasma capsulatum.

    PubMed

    Ignatov, Atanas; Keath, Elizabeth J

    2002-10-01

    Histoplasma capsulatum is a dimorphic ascomycete which is capable of producing a broad spectrum of disease ranging from mild asymptomatic, pulmonary illness to severe, life-threatening systemic mycosis. Regulatory mechanisms that use temperature and other environmental cues are paramount to the successful adaptation of the organism as an effective intracellular pathogenic yeast. Although the biochemistry and phenomenology of reversible morphogenesis have been well examined in Histoplasma, the identification and functional characterization of genes and their products that are required for early establishment or maintenance of the parasitic yeast phase in intracellular host compartments have only recently been fruitful. Advances in the molecular biology of Histoplasma, including approaches to introduce telomeric plasmids, reporter fusion constructs, and gene disruption cassettes into the fungus are poised to solidify the pre-eminence of this fungus as a model system which can be applied to other dimorphic fungal pathogens that exhibit similar cellular and immunological complexities. This review centers on recent developments in the molecular cell biology and molecular genetics of Histoplasma capsulatum that provide important new avenues for examining the mold-to-yeast phase transition beyond the historical, binary view of dimorphism and the implications that these successful approaches may have on seminal issues in fungal pathogenesis. PMID:12452281

  14. 2009 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism & Molecular Biology GRC

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Julie Maupin- Furlow

    2009-07-26

    Archaea, one of three major evolutionary lineages of life, are a fascinating and diverse group of microbes with deep roots overlapping those of eukaryotes. The focus of the 'Archaea: Ecology Metabolism & Molecular Biology' GRC conference expands on a number of emerging topics highlighting new paradigms in archaeal metabolism, genome function and systems biology; information processing; evolution and the tree of life; the ecology and diversity of archaea and their viruses; and industrial applications. The strength of this conference lies in its ability to couple a field with a rich history in high quality research with new scientific findings in an atmosphere of stimulating exchange. This conference remains an excellent opportunity for younger scientists to interact with world experts in this field.

  15. 2011 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism, & Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Keneth Stedman

    2011-08-05

    Archaea, one of three major evolutionary lineages of life, are a fascinating and diverse group of microbes with deep roots overlapping those of eukaryotes. The focus of the 'Archaea: Ecology Metabolism & Molecular Biology' GRC conference expands on a number of emerging topics highlighting new paradigms in archaeal metabolism, genome function and systems biology; information processing; evolution and the tree of life; the ecology and diversity of archaea and their viruses. The strength of this conference lies in its ability to couple a field with a rich history in high quality research with new scientific findings in an atmosphere of stimulating exchange. This conference remains an excellent opportunity for younger scientists to interact with world experts in this field.

  16. Reverse engineering chemical structures from molecular descriptors : how many solutions?

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, William Michael; Martin, Shawn Bryan; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel

    2005-06-01

    Physical, chemical and biological properties are the ultimate information of interest for chemical compounds. Molecular descriptors that map structural information to activities and properties are obvious candidates for information sharing. In this paper, we consider the feasibility of using molecular descriptors to safely exchange chemical information in such a way that the original chemical structures cannot be reverse engineered. To investigate the safety of sharing such descriptors, we compute the degeneracy (the number of structure matching a descriptor value) of several 2D descriptors, and use various methods to search for and reverse engineer structures. We examine degeneracy in the entire chemical space taking descriptors values from the alkane isomer series and the PubChem database. We further use a stochastic search to retrieve structures matching specific topological index values. Finally, we investigate the safety of exchanging of fragmental descriptors using deterministic enumeration.

  17. 2007 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism and Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Imke Schroeder Nancy Ryan Gray

    2008-09-18

    The Archaea are a fascinating and diverse group of prokaryotic organisms with deep roots overlapping those of eukaryotes. The focus of this GRC conference, 'Archaea: Ecology Metabolism & Molecular Biology', expands on a number of emerging topics highlighting the evolution and composition of microbial communities and novel archaeal species, their impact on the environment, archaeal metabolism, and research that stems from sequence analysis of archaeal genomes. The strength of this conference lies in its ability to couple reputable areas with new scientific topics in an atmosphere of stimulating exchange. This conference remains an excellent opportunity for younger scientists to interact with world experts in this field.

  18. Genetics and molecular biology of hypotension

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robertson, D.

    1994-01-01

    Major strides in the molecular biology of essential hypertension are currently underway. This has tended to obscure the fact that a number of inherited disorders associated with low blood pressure exist and that these diseases may have milder and underrecognized phenotypes that contribute importantly to blood pressure variation in the general population. This review highlights some of the gene products that, if abnormal, could cause hypotension in some individuals. Diseases due to abnormalities in the catecholamine enzymes are discussed in detail. It is likely that genetic abnormalities with hypotensive phenotypes will be as interesting and diverse as those that give rise to hypertensive disorders.

  19. From Cellular Mechanotransduction to Biologically Inspired Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Ingber, Donald E.

    2010-01-01

    This article is based on a lecture I presented as the recipient of the 2009 Pritzker Distinguished Lecturer Award at the Biomedical Engineering Society annual meeting in October 2009. Here, I review more than thirty years of research from my laboratory, beginning with studies designed to test the theory that cells use tensegrity (tensional integrity) architecture to stabilize their shape and sense mechanical signals, which I believed to be critical for control of cell function and tissue development. Although I was trained as a cell biologist, I found that the tools I had at my disposal were insufficient to experimentally test these theories, and thus I ventured into engineering to find critical solutions. This path has been extremely fruitful as it has led to confirmation of the critical role that physical forces play in developmental control, as well as how cells sense and respond to mechanical signals at the molecular level through a process known as cellular mechanotransduction. Many of the predictions of the cellular tensegrity model relating to cell mechanical behaviors have been shown to be valid, and this vision of cell structure led to discovery of the central role that transmembrane adhesion receptors, such as integrins, and the cytoskeleton play in mechanosensing and mechanochemical conversion. In addition, these fundamental studies have led to significant unexpected technology fallout, including development of micromagnetic actuators for non-invasive control of cellular signaling, microfluidic systems as therapeutic extracorporeal devices for sepsis therapy, and new DNA-based nanobiotechnology approaches that permit construction of artificial tensegrities that mimic properties of living materials for applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. PMID:20140519

  20. Engineering controllable bidirectional molecular motors based on myosin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Lu; Nakamura, Muneaki; Schindler, Tony D.; Parker, David; Bryant, Zev

    2012-04-01

    Cytoskeletal motors drive the transport of organelles and molecular cargoes within cells and have potential applications in molecular detection and diagnostic devices. Engineering molecular motors with controllable properties will allow selective perturbation of mechanical processes in living cells and provide optimized device components for tasks such as molecular sorting and directed assembly. Biological motors have previously been modified by introducing activation/deactivation switches that respond to metal ions and other signals. Here, we show that myosin motors can be engineered to reversibly change their direction of motion in response to a calcium signal. Building on previous protein engineering studies and guided by a structural model for the redirected power stroke of myosin VI, we have constructed bidirectional myosins through the rigid recombination of structural modules. The performance of the motors was confirmed using gliding filament assays and single fluorophore tracking. Our strategy, in which external signals trigger changes in the geometry and mechanics of myosin lever arms, should make it possible to achieve spatiotemporal control over a range of motor properties including processivity, stride size and branchpoint turning.

  1. Engineering imaging probes and molecular machines for nanomedicine.

    PubMed

    Tong, Sheng; Cradick, Thomas J; Ma, Yan; Dai, Zhifei; Bao, Gang

    2012-10-01

    Nanomedicine is an emerging field that integrates nanotechnology, biomolecular engineering, life sciences and medicine; it is expected to produce major breakthroughs in medical diagnostics and therapeutics. Due to the size-compatibility of nano-scale structures and devices with proteins and nucleic acids, the design, synthesis and application of nanoprobes, nanocarriers and nanomachines provide unprecedented opportunities for achieving a better control of biological processes, and drastic improvements in disease detection, therapy, and prevention. Recent advances in nanomedicine include the development of functional nanoparticle based molecular imaging probes, nano-structured materials as drug/gene carriers for in vivo delivery, and engineered molecular machines for treating single-gene disorders. This review focuses on the development of molecular imaging probes and engineered nucleases for nanomedicine, including quantum dot bioconjugates, quantum dot-fluorescent protein FRET probes, molecular beacons, magnetic and gold nanoparticle based imaging contrast agents, and the design and validation of zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and TAL effector nucleases (TALENs) for gene targeting. The challenges in translating nanomedicine approaches to clinical applications are discussed.

  2. Molecular biology approaches in bioadhesion research

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Marcelo; Lengerer, Birgit; Ostermann, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Summary The use of molecular biology tools in the field of bioadhesion is still in its infancy. For new research groups who are considering taking a molecular approach, the techniques presented here are essential to unravelling the sequence of a gene, its expression and its biological function. Here we provide an outline for addressing adhesion-related genes in diverse organisms. We show how to gradually narrow down the number of candidate transcripts that are involved in adhesion by (1) generating a transcriptome and a differentially expressed cDNA list enriched for adhesion-related transcripts, (2) setting up a BLAST search facility, (3) perform an in situ hybridization screen, and (4) functional analyses of selected genes by using RNA interference knock-down. Furthermore, latest developments in genome-editing are presented as new tools to study gene function. By using this iterative multi-technologies approach, the identification, isolation, expression and function of adhesion-related genes can be studied in most organisms. These tools will improve our understanding of the diversity of molecules used for adhesion in different organisms and these findings will help to develop innovative bio-inspired adhesives. PMID:25161834

  3. Rhabdomyosarcoma: Advances in Molecular and Cellular Biology

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xin; Guo, Wei; Shen, Jacson K.; Mankin, Henry J.; Hornicek, Francis J.; Duan, Zhenfeng

    2015-01-01

    Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft tissue malignancy in childhood and adolescence. The two major histological subtypes of RMS are alveolar RMS, driven by the fusion protein PAX3-FKHR or PAX7-FKHR, and embryonic RMS, which is usually genetically heterogeneous. The prognosis of RMS has improved in the past several decades due to multidisciplinary care. However, in recent years, the treatment of patients with metastatic or refractory RMS has reached a plateau. Thus, to improve the survival rate of RMS patients and their overall well-being, further understanding of the molecular and cellular biology of RMS and identification of novel therapeutic targets are imperative. In this review, we describe the most recent discoveries in the molecular and cellular biology of RMS, including alterations in oncogenic pathways, miRNA (miR), in vivo models, stem cells, and important signal transduction cascades implicated in the development and progression of RMS. Furthermore, we discuss novel potential targeted therapies that may improve the current treatment of RMS. PMID:26420980

  4. [The molecular biology of distraction osteogenesis].

    PubMed

    Boulétreau, P; Longaker, M T

    2004-02-01

    Distraction osteogenesis has become a mainstay in bone engineering and the recent application of this technique to the membranous craniofacial skeleton has significantly improved our armamentarium for reconstructive craniomaxillofacial procedures. However, if the biomechanical, histological and ultrastructural changes associated with distraction osteogenesis have been widely described, the molecular mechanisms governing the formation of new bone in the interfragmental gap of gradually distracted bone segments remain largely unclear. Recently, our laboratory has described a rat mandibular distraction model that provides an excellent environment for deciphering the molecular mechanisms that mediate distraction osteogenesis. In this Article, we present the hypotheses and current research that have furthered our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that govern distraction osteogenesis. Recent studies have implicated a growing number of cytokines that are intimately involved in the regulation of bone synthesis and turnover. The gene regulation of numerous cytokines (Transforming Growth Factor-B, Bone Morphogenetic Proteins, Insulin-like Growth Factor-1, Fibroblast Growth Factor-2) during distraction osteogenesis have been best characterized and will be discussed in this text. We believe that novel systems like the rat model will facilitate our understanding of the biomolecular mechanisms that mediate membranous distraction osteogenesis and will ultimately guide the development of targeted-strategies designed to accelerate bone healing.

  5. The molecular biology capstone assessment: a concept assessment for upper-division molecular biology students.

    PubMed

    Couch, Brian A; Wood, William B; Knight, Jennifer K

    2015-03-01

    Measuring students' conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in novel scenarios. Targeted at graduating students, the MBCA consists of 18 multiple-true/false (T/F) questions. Each question consists of a narrative stem followed by four T/F statements, which allows a more detailed assessment of student understanding than the traditional multiple-choice format. Questions were iteratively developed with extensive faculty and student feedback, including validation through faculty reviews and response validation through student interviews. The final assessment was taken online by 504 students in upper-division courses at seven institutions. Data from this administration indicate that the MBCA has acceptable levels of internal reliability (α=0.80) and test-retest stability (r=0.93). Students achieved a wide range of scores with a 67% overall average. Performance results suggest that students have an incomplete understanding of many molecular biology concepts and continue to hold incorrect conceptions previously documented among introductory-level students. By pinpointing areas of conceptual difficulty, the MBCA can provide faculty members with guidance for improving undergraduate biology programs.

  6. The Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment: A Concept Assessment for Upper-Division Molecular Biology Students

    PubMed Central

    Couch, Brian A.; Wood, William B.; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2015-01-01

    Measuring students’ conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in novel scenarios. Targeted at graduating students, the MBCA consists of 18 multiple-true/false (T/F) questions. Each question consists of a narrative stem followed by four T/F statements, which allows a more detailed assessment of student understanding than the traditional multiple-choice format. Questions were iteratively developed with extensive faculty and student feedback, including validation through faculty reviews and response validation through student interviews. The final assessment was taken online by 504 students in upper-division courses at seven institutions. Data from this administration indicate that the MBCA has acceptable levels of internal reliability (α = 0.80) and test–retest stability (r = 0.93). Students achieved a wide range of scores with a 67% overall average. Performance results suggest that students have an incomplete understanding of many molecular biology concepts and continue to hold incorrect conceptions previously documented among introductory-level students. By pinpointing areas of conceptual difficulty, the MBCA can provide faculty members with guidance for improving undergraduate biology programs. PMID:25713098

  7. PREFACE: Nanobiology: from physics and engineering to biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nussinov, Ruth; Alemán, Carlos

    2006-03-01

    Biological systems are inherently nano in scale. Unlike nanotechnology, nanobiology is characterized by the interplay between physics, materials science, synthetic organic chemistry, engineering and biology. Nanobiology is a new discipline, with the potential of revolutionizing medicine: it combines the tools, ideas and materials of nanoscience and biology; it addresses biological problems that can be studied and solved by nanotechnology; it devises ways to construct molecular devices using biomacromolecules; and it attempts to build molecular machines utilizing concepts seen in nature. Its ultimate aim is to be able to predictably manipulate these, tailoring them to specified needs. Nanobiology targets biological systems and uses biomacromolecules. Hence, on the one hand, nanobiology is seemingly constrained in its scope as compared to general nanotechnology. Yet the amazing intricacy of biological systems, their complexity, and the richness of the shapes and properties provided by the biological polymers, enrich nanobiology. Targeting biological systems entails comprehension of how they work and the ability to use their components in design. From the physical standpoint, ultimately, if we are to understand biology we need to learn how to apply physical principles to figure out how these systems actually work. The goal of nanobiology is to assist in probing these systems at the appropriate length scale, heralding a new era in the biological, physical and chemical sciences. Biology is increasingly asking quantitative questions. Quantitation is essential if we are to understand how the cell works, and the details of its regulation. The physical sciences provide tools and strategies to obtain accurate measurements and simulate the information to allow comprehension of the processes. Nanobiology is at the interface of the physical and the biological sciences. Biology offers to the physical sciences fascinating problems, sophisticated systems and a rich repertoire of

  8. Ins and outs of systems biology vis-à-vis molecular biology: continuation or clear cut?

    PubMed

    De Backer, Philippe; De Waele, Danny; Van Speybroeck, Linda

    2010-03-01

    The comprehension of living organisms in all their complexity poses a major challenge to the biological sciences. Recently, systems biology has been proposed as a new candidate in the development of such a comprehension. The main objective of this paper is to address what systems biology is and how it is practised. To this end, the basic tools of a systems biological approach are explored and illustrated. In addition, it is questioned whether systems biology 'revolutionizes' molecular biology and 'transcends' its assumed reductionism. The strength of this claim appears to depend on how molecular and systems biology are characterised and on how reductionism is interpreted. Doing credit to molecular biology and to methodological reductionism, it is argued that the distinction between molecular and systems biology is gradual rather than sharp. As such, the classical challenge in biology to manage, interpret and integrate biological data into functional wholes is further intensified by systems biology's use of modelling and bioinformatics, and by its scale enlargement.

  9. Systematic technology transfer from biology to engineering.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Julian F V; Mann, Darrell L

    2002-02-15

    Solutions to problems move only very slowly between different disciplines. Transfer can be greatly speeded up with suitable abstraction and classification of problems. Russian researchers working on the TRIZ (Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch) method for inventive problem solving have identified systematic means of transferring knowledge between different scientific and engineering disciplines. With over 1500 person years of effort behind it, TRIZ represents the biggest study of human creativity ever conducted, whose aim has been to establish a system into which all known solutions can be placed, classified in terms of function. At present, the functional classification structure covers nearly 3 000 000 of the world's successful patents and large proportions of the known physical, chemical and mathematical knowledge-base. Additional tools are the identification of factors which prevent the attainment of new technology, leading directly to a system of inventive principles which will resolve the impasse, a series of evolutionary trends of development, and to a system of methods for effecting change in a system (Su-fields). As yet, the database contains little biological knowledge despite early recognition by the instigator of TRIZ (Genrich Altshuller) that one day it should. This is illustrated by natural systems evolved for thermal stability and the maintenance of cleanliness. PMID:16210175

  10. Teaching Molecular Biological Techniques in a Research Content

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stiller, John W.; Coggins, T. Chad

    2006-01-01

    Molecular biological methods, such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis, are now commonly taught to students in introductory biology courses at the college and even high school levels. This often includes hands-on experience with one or more molecular techniques as part of a general biology laboratory. To assure that most…

  11. A National Comparison of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Capstone Experiences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aguanno, Ann; Mertz, Pamela; Martin, Debra; Bell, Ellis

    2015-01-01

    Recognizing the increasingly integrative nature of the molecular life sciences, the "American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" (ASBMB) recommends that Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) programs develop curricula based on concepts, content, topics, and expected student outcomes, rather than courses. To that end,…

  12. Engineering Superconductivity by Molecular Charge Transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Sajida; Clark, K.; Hassesnien, A.; Braun, K.-F.; Tanaka, H.; Hla, S.-W.

    2010-03-01

    By mixing donor and acceptor molecular systems, different classes of materials such as insulators, metals, semiconductors and superconductors can be formed. Here we engineer nanoscale superconducting clusters by depositing donor BETS and acceptor GaCl4 on a Ag(111) surface. First, we probe the electronic properties of individual species, BETS and Et4N-GaCl4 on Ag(111) using tunneling spectroscopy at 5.4 K. Based on strong molecule-molecule interactions, both molecular species form clusters on the surface, and the corresponding tunneling spectroscopy data do not reveal any features around the Fermi level. A surprising structural transformation occurs when both molecular species are put together on this surface where the BETS start forming long chains. Tunneling spectroscopy data of the molecular clusters with mixed species shows formation of new HOMO-LUMO level. Most astoundingly, high resolution spectroscopy data reveal the existence of the superconducting gap within these clusters, thus opening a novel avenue of molecular superconductivity at the nanoscale spatial limit.

  13. 2010 Plant Molecular Biology Gordon Research Conference

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Sussman

    2010-07-23

    The Plant Molecular Biology Conference has traditionally covered a breadth of exciting topics and the 2010 conference will continue in that tradition. Emerging concerns about food security have inspired a program with three main themes: (1) genomics, natural variation and breeding to understand adaptation and crop improvement, (2) hormonal cross talk, and (3) plant/microbe interactions. There are also sessions on epigenetics and proteomics/metabolomics. Thus this conference will bring together a range of disciplines, will foster the exchange of ideas and enable participants to learn of the latest developments and ideas in diverse areas of plant biology. The conference provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to discuss their research because additional speakers in each session will be selected from submitted abstracts. There will also be a poster session each day for a two-hour period prior to dinner. In particular, this conference plays a key role in enabling students and postdocs (the next generation of research leaders) to mingle with pioneers in multiple areas of plant science.

  14. Biological (molecular and cellular) markers of toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Shugart, L.R.

    1990-10-01

    The overall objective of this study is to evaluate the use of the small aquarium fish, Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes), as a predictor of potential genotoxicity following exposure to carcinogens. This will be accomplished by quantitatively investigating the early molecular events associated with genotoxicity of various tissues of Medaka subsequent to exposure of the organism to several known carcinogens, such as diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). Because of the often long latent period between initial contact with certain chemical and physical agents in our environment and subsequent expression of deleterious health or ecological impact, the development of sensitive methods for detecting and estimating early exposure is needed so that necessary interventions can ensue. A promising biological endpoint for detecting early exposure to damaging chemicals is the interaction of these compounds with cellular macromolecules such as Deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA). This biological endpoint assumes significance because it can be one of the critical early events leading eventually to adverse effects (neoplasia) in the exposed organism.

  15. Unconventional biological threats and the molecular biological response to biological threats.

    PubMed

    Greenfield, Ronald A; Lutz, Brock D; Huycke, Mark M; Gilmore, Michael S

    2002-06-01

    This article concludes this symposium on potential agents of warfare and terrorism with discussion of 3 topics. First, influenza A virus is discussed as a potential biological weapon. Although it does not receive much attention in this role, the potential for mass casualties and public panic certainly exist if an epidemic of a virulent influenza A virus were initiated. Second, agroterrorism, terrorism directed at livestock or poultry or crops, is briefly discussed. Finally, the potential role of techniques of modern molecular biology to create new agents for bioterrorism or enhance the terrorist potential of available agents, and the known roles of these techniques in defense against biological warfare or terrorism are discussed.

  16. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, YZ; Lee, JK; Zhao, HM

    2013-11-15

    Synthetic biology provides numerous great opportunities for chemical engineers in the development of new processes for large-scale production of biofuels, value-added chemicals, and protein therapeutics. However, challenges across all scales abound. In particular, the modularization and standardization of the components in a biological system, so-called biological parts, remain the biggest obstacle in synthetic biology. In this perspective, we will discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing synthetic biology field and the important roles that chemical engineers can play in its advancement. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yunzi; Lee, Jung-Kul; Zhao, Huimin

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology provides numerous great opportunities for chemical engineers in the development of new processes for large-scale production of biofuels, value-added chemicals, and protein therapeutics. However, challenges across all scales abound. In particular, the modularization and standardization of the components in a biological system, so-called biological parts, remain the biggest obstacle in synthetic biology. In this perspective, we will discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing synthetic biology field and the important roles that chemical engineers can play in its advancement. PMID:24222925

  18. Third international congress of plant molecular biology: Molecular biology of plant growth and development

    SciTech Connect

    Hallick, R.B.

    1995-02-01

    The Congress was held October 6-11, 1991 in Tucson with approximately 3000 scientists attending and over 300 oral presentations and 1800 posters. Plant molecular biology is one of the most rapidly developing areas of the biological sciences. Recent advances in the ability to isolate genes, to study their expression, and to create transgenic plants have had a major impact on our understanding of the many fundamental plant processes. In addition, new approaches have been created to improve plants for agricultural purposes. This is a book of presentation and posters from the conference.

  19. IntegromeDB: an integrated system and biological search engine

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background With the growth of biological data in volume and heterogeneity, web search engines become key tools for researchers. However, general-purpose search engines are not specialized for the search of biological data. Description Here, we present an approach at developing a biological web search engine based on the Semantic Web technologies and demonstrate its implementation for retrieving gene- and protein-centered knowledge. The engine is available at http://www.integromedb.org. Conclusions The IntegromeDB search engine allows scanning data on gene regulation, gene expression, protein-protein interactions, pathways, metagenomics, mutations, diseases, and other gene- and protein-related data that are automatically retrieved from publicly available databases and web pages using biological ontologies. To perfect the resource design and usability, we welcome and encourage community feedback. PMID:22260095

  20. Systems Biology as an Integrated Platform for Bioinformatics, Systems Synthetic Biology, and Systems Metabolic Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chia-Chou

    2013-01-01

    Systems biology aims at achieving a system-level understanding of living organisms and applying this knowledge to various fields such as synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and medicine. System-level understanding of living organisms can be derived from insight into: (i) system structure and the mechanism of biological networks such as gene regulation, protein interactions, signaling, and metabolic pathways; (ii) system dynamics of biological networks, which provides an understanding of stability, robustness, and transduction ability through system identification, and through system analysis methods; (iii) system control methods at different levels of biological networks, which provide an understanding of systematic mechanisms to robustly control system states, minimize malfunctions, and provide potential therapeutic targets in disease treatment; (iv) systematic design methods for the modification and construction of biological networks with desired behaviors, which provide system design principles and system simulations for synthetic biology designs and systems metabolic engineering. This review describes current developments in systems biology, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering for engineering and biology researchers. We also discuss challenges and future prospects for systems biology and the concept of systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering. PMID:24709875

  1. Molecular biology and regulation of methane monooxygenase.

    PubMed

    Murrell, J C; Gilbert, B; McDonald, I R

    2000-01-01

    Methanotrophs are ubiquitous in the environment and play an important role in mitigating global warming due to methane. They are also potentially interesting for industrial applications such as production of bulk chemicals or bioremediation. The first step in the oxidation of methane is the conversion to methanol by methane monooxygenase, the key enzyme, which exists in two forms: the cytoplasmic, soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO) and the membrane-bound, particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO). This paper reviews the biochemistry and molecular biology of both forms of MMO. In the past few years there have been many exciting new findings. sMMO components have been expressed in heterologous and homologous hosts. The pMMO has been purified and biochemically studied in some detail and the genes encoding the pMMO have been sequenced. Copper ions have been shown to play a key role in regulating the expression of both MMO enzyme complexes. We also present a model for copper regulation based on results from Northern analysis, primer-extensions and new sequence data, and raise a number of unanswered questions for future studies.

  2. 2003 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism and Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Richard F. Shand

    2004-09-21

    The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on 2003 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism and Molecular Biology was held at Proctor Academy, Andover, NH from August 3-8, 2003. The Conference was well-attended with 150 participants (attendees list attached). The attendees represented the spectrum of endeavor in this field coming from academia, industry, and government laboratories, both U.S. and foreign scientists, senior researchers, young investigators, and students. In designing the formal speakers program, emphasis was placed on current unpublished research and discussion of the future target areas in this field. There was a conscious effort to stimulate lively discussion about the key issues in the field today. Time for formal presentations was limited in the interest of group discussions. In order that more scientists could communicate their most recent results, poster presentation time was scheduled. Attached is a copy of the formal schedule and speaker program and the poster program. In addition to these formal interactions, ''free time'' was scheduled to allow informal discussions. Such discussions are fostering new collaborations and joint efforts in the field. I want to personally thank you for your support of this Conference. As you know, in the interest of promoting the presentation of unpublished and frontier-breaking research, Gordon Research Conferences does not permit publication of meeting proceedings. If you wish any further details, please feel free to contact me. Thank you, Dr. Richard F. Shand, 2003 Conference Chair.

  3. Advancing metabolic engineering through systems biology of industrial microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zongjie; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-12-01

    Development of sustainable processes to produce bio-based compounds is necessary due to the severe environmental problems caused by the use of fossil resources. Metabolic engineering can facilitate the development of highly efficient cell factories to produce these compounds from renewable resources. The objective of systems biology is to gain a comprehensive and quantitative understanding of living cells and can hereby enhance our ability to characterize and predict cellular behavior. Systems biology of industrial microorganisms is therefore valuable for metabolic engineering. Here we review the application of systems biology tools for the identification of metabolic engineering targets which may lead to reduced development time for efficient cell factories. Finally, we present some perspectives of systems biology for advancing metabolic engineering further.

  4. Acellular assessments of engineered-manufactured nanoparticle biological surface reactivity

    EPA Science Inventory

    It is critical to assess the surface properties and reactivity of engineered-manufactured nanoparticles (NPs) as these will influence their interactions with biological systems, biokinetics and toxicity. We examined the physicochemical properties and surface reactivity of metal o...

  5. Commentary: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Educators Launch National Network

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Cheryl; Bell, Ellis; Johnson, Margaret; Mattos, Carla; Sears, Duane; White, Harold B.

    2010-01-01

    The American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) has launched an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded 5 year project to support biochemistry and molecular biology educators learning what and how students learn. As a part of this initiative, hundreds of life scientists will plan and develop a rich central resource for…

  6. Digital Learning Material for Model Building in Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aegerter-Wilmsen, Tinri; Janssen, Fred; Hartog, Rob; Bisseling, Ton

    2005-01-01

    Building models to describe processes forms an essential part of molecular biology research. However, in molecular biology curricula little attention is generally being paid to the development of this skill. In order to provide students the opportunity to improve their model building skills, we decided to develop a number of digital cases about…

  7. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shi, Jia; Wood, William B.; Martin, Jennifer M.; Guild, Nancy A.; Vicens, Quentin; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed and validated a tool for assessing understanding of a selection of fundamental concepts and basic knowledge in undergraduate introductory molecular and cell biology, focusing on areas in which students often have misconceptions. This multiple-choice Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) instrument is designed…

  8. [New concepts in molecular biology applied to traslational research].

    PubMed

    Mengual, Lourdes

    2013-06-01

    This chapter intends to introduce the new concepts that have been established in molecular biology over the last years and are being applied in translational research. The chapter is divided in four big blocks, which treat the molecular biology concepts and techniques in relation to DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites, respectively. Moreover, we give examples of translational application of these new methodologies described.

  9. Molecular Biology and Pathogenicity of Mycoplasmas

    PubMed Central

    Razin, Shmuel; Yogev, David; Naot, Yehudith

    1998-01-01

    The recent sequencing of the entire genomes of Mycoplasma genitalium and M. pneumoniae has attracted considerable attention to the molecular biology of mycoplasmas, the smallest self-replicating organisms. It appears that we are now much closer to the goal of defining, in molecular terms, the entire machinery of a self-replicating cell. Comparative genomics based on comparison of the genomic makeup of mycoplasmal genomes with those of other bacteria, has opened new ways of looking at the evolutionary history of the mycoplasmas. There is now solid genetic support for the hypothesis that mycoplasmas have evolved as a branch of gram-positive bacteria by a process of reductive evolution. During this process, the mycoplasmas lost considerable portions of their ancestors’ chromosomes but retained the genes essential for life. Thus, the mycoplasmal genomes carry a high percentage of conserved genes, greatly facilitating gene annotation. The significant genome compaction that occurred in mycoplasmas was made possible by adopting a parasitic mode of life. The supply of nutrients from their hosts apparently enabled mycoplasmas to lose, during evolution, the genes for many assimilative processes. During their evolution and adaptation to a parasitic mode of life, the mycoplasmas have developed various genetic systems providing a highly plastic set of variable surface proteins to evade the host immune system. The uniqueness of the mycoplasmal systems is manifested by the presence of highly mutable modules combined with an ability to expand the antigenic repertoire by generating structural alternatives, all compressed into limited genomic sequences. In the absence of a cell wall and a periplasmic space, the majority of surface variable antigens in mycoplasmas are lipoproteins. Apart from providing specific antimycoplasmal defense, the host immune system is also involved in the development of pathogenic lesions and exacerbation of mycoplasma induced diseases. Mycoplasmas are

  10. Infusing Bioinformatics and Research-Like Experience into a Molecular Biology Laboratory Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nogaj, Luiza A.

    2014-01-01

    A nine-week laboratory project designed for a sophomore level molecular biology course is described. Small groups of students (3-4 per group) choose a tumor suppressor gene (TSG) or an oncogene for this project. Each group researches the role of their TSG/oncogene from primary literature articles and uses bioinformatics engines to find the gene…

  11. Biological Engineering: A New Discipline for the Next Century.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tao, Bernard Y.

    1993-01-01

    Reviews the issues driving the need for a biological engineering discipline and summarizes current curricula at several universities. The Purdue Biochemical and Food Processing Engineering program is presented as a model for the implementation of curriculum objectives. (23 references) (Author/MCO)

  12. The molecular biology of pulmonary metastasis.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Kartik; Khanna, Chand; Helman, Lee J

    2006-05-01

    Curing cancer requires the treatment of metastatic disease. Whether this is a patient with advanced disease and clinically apparent metastases, or if the patient with localized disease is at risk for development of dissemination, failure to control metastasis will result in a poor outcome. Here, we have presented a molecular guide to our current understanding of the processes underlying metastasis. Experimental clinical trials designed to further the understanding of metastasis are often limited by selection of patients with advanced disease. Therefore, our understanding of the processes involved in the metastatic cascade is limited by the availability of comprehensive experimental model systems. The study of metastasis relies most heavily on xenografts, tumors using human cell lines, or tumor tissue that can grow in mice. These models present a limited recapitulation of the patients. Xenograft models require some degree of immunosuppression on the part of the host, because mice with native immune systems will reject transplanted human tumors, preventing their growth. As a result, mice with immune defects ranging from depleted T cells (nude mice) to absent T, B, and NK cells (SCID-Beige) are used as hosts. As the evasion of the immune system is a key function demonstrated by the metastatic cancer cell, xenograft models, by necessity, subvert this step. Furthermore, recent studies have established that angiogenesis in transplanted tumors is different than in native tumors, further highlighting the limitations of these models. With these limitations, studies of metastasis may require development of models of autochthonous tumors, that is, tumors originating in the study animals. A number of cell lines of autochthonous murine tumors have been established that generate metastatic disease after implantation into mice. Moreover, some transgenic animals spontaneously develop metastatic tumors that, although occurring in genetically engineered animals, may represent the

  13. Industrial waste treatment process engineering. Volume 2: Biological processes

    SciTech Connect

    Celenza, G.J.

    1999-11-01

    Industrial Waste Treatment Process Engineering is a step-by-step implementation manual in three volumes, detailing the selection and design of industrial liquid and solid waste treatment systems. It consolidates all the process engineering principles required to evaluate a wide range of industrial facilities, starting with pollution prevention and source control and ending with end-of-pipe treatment technologies. This three-volume set is a practical guide for environmental engineers with process implementation responsibilities; a one-stop resource for process engineering requirements--from plant planning to implementing specific treatment technologies for unit operations; a comprehensive reference for industrial waste treatment technologies; and includes calculations and worked problems based on industry cases. The contents of Volume 2 include: aeration; aerobic biological oxidation; activated sludge system; biological oxidation: lagoons; biological oxidation: fixed film processes; aerobic digesters; anaerobic waste treatment, anaerobic sludge treatment; and sedimentation.

  14. Fundamental approaches in molecular biology for communication sciences and disorders

    PubMed Central

    Bartlett, Rebecca; Jetté, Marie E; King, Suzanne N.; Schaser, Allison; Thibeault, Susan L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose This contemporary tutorial will introduce general principles of molecular biology, common DNA, RNA and protein assays and their relevance in the field of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). Methods Over the past two decades, knowledge of the molecular pathophysiology of human disease has increased at a remarkable pace. Most of this progress can be attributed to concomitant advances in basic molecular biology and, specifically, the development of an ever-expanding armamentarium of technologies for analysis of DNA, RNA and protein structure and function. Details of these methodologies, their limitations and examples from the CSD literature are presented. Results/Conclusions The use of molecular biology techniques in the fields of speech, language and hearing sciences is increasing, facilitating the need for an understanding of molecular biology fundamentals and common experimental assays. PMID:22232415

  15. Resilin-Like Polypeptide Hydrogels Engineered for Versatile Biological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Li, Linqing; Tong, Zhixiang; Jia, Xinqiao; Kiick, Kristi L.

    2012-01-01

    Natural resilin, the rubber-like protein that exists in specialized compartments of most arthropods, possesses excellent mechanical properties such as low stiffness, high resilience and effective energy storage. Recombinantly-engineered resilin-like polypeptides (RLPs) that possess the favorable attributes of native resilin would be attractive candidates for the modular design of biomaterials for engineering mechanically active tissues. Based on our previous success in creating a novel RLP-based hydrogel and demonstrating useful mechanical and cell-adhesive properties, we have produced a suite of new RLP-based constructs, each equipped with 12 repeats of the putative resilin consensus sequence and a single, distinct biologically active domain. This approach allows independent control over the concentrations of cell-binding, MMP-sensitive, and polysaccharide-sequestration domains in hydrogels comprising mixtures of the various RLPs. The high purity, molecular weight and correct compositions of each new polypeptide have been confirmed via high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS), and amino acid analysis. These RLP-based polypeptides exhibit largely random-coil conformation, both in solution and in the cross-linked hydrogels, as indicated by circular dichroic and infrared spectroscopic analyses. Hydrogels of various compositions, with a range of elastic moduli (1kPa to 25kPa) can be produced from these polypeptides, and the activity of the cell-binding and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) sensitive domains was confirmed. Tris(hydroxymethyl phosphine) cross-linked RLP hydrogels were able to maintain their mechanical integrity as well as the viability of encapsulated primary human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These results validate the promising properties of these RLP-based elastomeric biomaterials. PMID:23505396

  16. Cell and molecular biology of Chlamydomonas

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-01-01

    This document contains only the abstracts of 92 presentations on the biology of Chlamydomonas. Topics include gene transformations, gene regulation, biosynthetic pathways, cell surfaces, circadian clocks, and the development and structure of the flagellar apparatus. (TEM)

  17. Structural Biology and Molecular Applications Research

    Cancer.gov

    Part of NCI's Division of Cancer Biology's research portfolio, research and development in this area focuses on enabling technologies, models, and methodologies to support basic and applied cancer research.

  18. Computer Analogies: Teaching Molecular Biology and Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rice, Stanley; McArthur, John

    2002-01-01

    Suggests that computer science analogies can aid the understanding of gene expression, including the storage of genetic information on chromosomes. Presents a matrix of biology and computer science concepts. (DDR)

  19. Physical mechanisms of biological molecular motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, John H., Jr.; Vajrala, Vijayanand; Infante, Hans L.; Claycomb, James R.; Palanisami, Akilan; Fang, Jie; Mercier, George T.

    2009-03-01

    Biological motors generally fall into two categories: (1) those that convert chemical into mechanical energy via hydrolysis of a nucleoside triphosphate, usually adenosine triphosphate, regarded as life's chemical currency of energy and (2) membrane bound motors driven directly by an ion gradient and/or membrane potential. Here we argue that electrostatic interactions play a vital role for both types of motors and, therefore, the tools of physics can greatly contribute to understanding biological motors.

  20. The extracellular matrix of plants: Molecular, cellular and developmental biology

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-31

    A symposium entitled ``The Extracellular Matrix of Plants: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology was held in Tamarron, Colorado, March 15--21, 1996. The following topics were explored in addresses by 43 speakers: structure and biochemistry of cell walls; biochemistry, molecular biology and biosynthesis of lignin; secretory pathway and synthesis of glycoproteins; biosynthesis of matrix polysaccharides, callose and cellulose; role of the extracellular matrix in plant growth and development; plant cell walls in symbiosis and pathogenesis.

  1. A biochemistry and molecular biology course for secondary school teachers*.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Novell, J M; Cid, E; Gomis, R; Barberà, A; Guinovart, J J

    2004-11-01

    This article describes a course for reinforcing the knowledge of biochemistry in secondary school science teachers. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Barcelona designed a course to bring these teachers up to date with this discipline. In addition to updating their knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology, this course aims to provide teachers with a set of relevant laboratory practices that can be applied in their practical lessons.

  2. Tissue Engineering Organs for Space Biology Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandenburgh, H. H.; Shansky, J.; DelTatto, M.; Lee, P.; Meir, J.

    1999-01-01

    Long-term manned space flight requires a better understanding of skeletal muscle atrophy resulting from microgravity. Atrophy most likely results from changes at both the systemic level (e.g. decreased circulating growth hormone, increased circulating glucocorticoids) and locally (e.g. decreased myofiber resting tension). Differentiated skeletal myofibers in tissue culture have provided a model system over the last decade for gaining a better understanding of the interactions of exogenous growth factors, endogenous growth factors, and muscle fiber tension in regulating protein turnover rates and muscle cell growth. Tissue engineering these cells into three dimensional bioartificial muscle (BAM) constructs has allowed us to extend their use to Space flight studies for the potential future development of countermeasures.

  3. Computer-Based Semantic Network in Molecular Biology: A Demonstration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Callman, Joshua L.; And Others

    This paper analyzes the hardware and software features that would be desirable in a computer-based semantic network system for representing biology knowledge. It then describes in detail a prototype network of molecular biology knowledge that has been developed using Filevision software and a Macintosh computer. The prototype contains about 100…

  4. The molecular biology of Bluetongue virus replication.

    PubMed

    Patel, Avnish; Roy, Polly

    2014-03-01

    The members of Orbivirus genus within the Reoviridae family are arthropod-borne viruses which are responsible for high morbidity and mortality in ruminants. Bluetongue virus (BTV) which causes disease in livestock (sheep, goat, cattle) has been in the forefront of molecular studies for the last three decades and now represents the best understood orbivirus at a molecular and structural level. The complex nature of the virion structure has been well characterised at high resolution along with the definition of the virus encoded enzymes required for RNA replication; the ordered assembly of the capsid shell as well as the protein and genome sequestration required for it; and the role of host proteins in virus entry and virus release. More recent developments of Reverse Genetics and Cell-Free Assembly systems have allowed integration of the accumulated structural and molecular knowledge to be tested at meticulous level, yielding higher insight into basic molecular virology, from which the rational design of safe efficacious vaccines has been possible. This article is centred on the molecular dissection of BTV with a view to understanding the role of each protein in the virus replication cycle. These areas are important in themselves for BTV replication but they also indicate the pathways that related viruses, which includes viruses that are pathogenic to man and animals, might also use providing an informed starting point for intervention or prevention.

  5. Computational approaches to metabolic engineering utilizing systems biology and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Fong, Stephen S

    2014-08-01

    Metabolic engineering modifies cellular function to address various biochemical applications. Underlying metabolic engineering efforts are a host of tools and knowledge that are integrated to enable successful outcomes. Concurrent development of computational and experimental tools has enabled different approaches to metabolic engineering. One approach is to leverage knowledge and computational tools to prospectively predict designs to achieve the desired outcome. An alternative approach is to utilize combinatorial experimental tools to empirically explore the range of cellular function and to screen for desired traits. This mini-review focuses on computational systems biology and synthetic biology tools that can be used in combination for prospective in silico strain design.

  6. Fundamental Approaches in Molecular Biology for Communication Sciences and Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartlett, Rebecca S.; Jette, Marie E.; King, Suzanne N.; Schaser, Allison; Thibeault, Susan L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This contemporary tutorial will introduce general principles of molecular biology, common deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), and protein assays and their relevance in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Method: Over the past 2 decades, knowledge of the molecular pathophysiology of human disease has…

  7. Concepts and Skills in the Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Lab

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyer, Rodney

    2003-01-01

    Most colleges and universities throughout the world now offer a Biochemistry/Molecular Biology (BMB) lab course that is designed for undergraduate students in the molecular life sciences, chemistry, and related fields. To best serve our students, we must introduce them to the most current concepts, skills, and methods available. Suggestions for…

  8. The Macromolecular Concept and the Origins of Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olby, Robert

    1970-01-01

    Traces the origins of molecular biology to the work of 19th century biophysicists, ultrastructurists and collodial chemists. The development of the Aggregate Theory,and its overthrow by the Macromolecule Concept is described. Research in molecular genetics in the pre-second world war period, and the effects of the war on it, are briefly reviewed.…

  9. Using a Computer Animation to Teach High School Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rotbain, Yosi; Marbach-Ad, Gili; Stavy, Ruth

    2008-01-01

    We present an active way to use a computer animation in secondary molecular genetics class. For this purpose we developed an activity booklet that helps students to work interactively with a computer animation which deals with abstract concepts and processes in molecular biology. The achievements of the experimental group were compared with those…

  10. Molecular biology of human muscle disease

    SciTech Connect

    Dunne, P.W.; Epstein, H.F. )

    1991-01-01

    The molecular revolution that is transforming the entire biomedical field has had far-reaching impact in its application to inherited human muscle disease. The gene for Duchenne muscular dystrophy was one of the first cloned without knowledge of the defective protein product. This success was based upon the availability of key chromosomal aberrations that provided molecular landmarks for the disease locus. Subsequent discoveries regarding the mode of expression for this gene, the structure and localization of its protein product dystrophin, and molecular diagnosis of affected and carrier individuals constitute a paradigm for investigation of human genetics. Finding the gene for myotonic muscular dystrophy is requiring the brute force approach of cloning several million bases of DNA, identifying expressed sequences, and characterizing candidate genes. The gene that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has been found serendipitously to be one of the genetic markers on chromosome 14, the {beta} myosin heavy chain.

  11. The fusion of biology, computer science, and engineering: towards efficient and successful synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Linshiz, Gregory; Goldberg, Alex; Konry, Tania; Hillson, Nathan J

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a nascent field that emerged in earnest only around the turn of the millennium. It aims to engineer new biological systems and impart new biological functionality, often through genetic modifications. The design and construction of new biological systems is a complex, multistep process, requiring multidisciplinary collaborative efforts from "fusion" scientists who have formal training in computer science or engineering, as well as hands-on biological expertise. The public has high expectations for synthetic biology and eagerly anticipates the development of solutions to the major challenges facing humanity. This article discusses laboratory practices and the conduct of research in synthetic biology. It argues that the fusion science approach, which integrates biology with computer science and engineering best practices, including standardization, process optimization, computer-aided design and laboratory automation, miniaturization, and systematic management, will increase the predictability and reproducibility of experiments and lead to breakthroughs in the construction of new biological systems. The article also discusses several successful fusion projects, including the development of software tools for DNA construction design automation, recursive DNA construction, and the development of integrated microfluidics systems.

  12. From Biology to Mathematical Models and Back: Teaching Modeling to Biology Students, and Biology to Math and Engineering Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chiel, Hillel J.; McManus, Jeffrey M.; Shaw, Kendrick M.

    2010-01-01

    We describe the development of a course to teach modeling and mathematical analysis skills to students of biology and to teach biology to students with strong backgrounds in mathematics, physics, or engineering. The two groups of students have different ways of learning material and often have strong negative feelings toward the area of knowledge…

  13. [Volatile anaesthesias' molecular biological course of action].

    PubMed

    Søholm, Helle; Olsen, Niels Vidiendal

    2013-01-14

    Anaesthesia is extensively used worldwide and in Denmark alone more than 400,000 anaesthesias are performed each year. In spite of that the molecularly mechanism of anaesthesia has not been proven. Hypotheses have been suggested (lipid versus protein theory), but none has yet been able to explain the whole mechanism. Molecular targets for volatile anaesthetics (e.g. potassium and calcium channels) affected areas in the central nervous system and the impact on the cerebral metabolism versus the cerebral blood flow are discussed. PMID:23331943

  14. [Molecular biology for sarcoma: useful or necessary?].

    PubMed

    Neuville, Agnès; Coindre, Jean-Michel; Chibon, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    Sarcomas are a heterogeneous group of tumors. Their diagnosis is based on morphology and immunohistochemical profile, with categories of tumors according to the type of tissue that they resemble. Nevertheless, for several tumors, cellular origin is unknown. Molecular analysis performed in recent years allowed, combining histophenotype and genomics, better classifying such sarcomas, individualizing new entities and grouping some tumors. Simple and recurrent genetic alterations, such as translocation, mutation, amplification, can be identified in one of two sarcomas and appear as new diagnostic markers. Their identification in specialized laboratories in molecular pathology of sarcomas is often useful and sometimes necessary for a good diagnosis, leading to a heavy and multidisciplinary multi-step treatment.

  15. Modularity, context-dependence, and insulation in engineered biological circuits.

    PubMed

    Del Vecchio, Domitilla

    2015-02-01

    The ability to link systems together such that they behave as predicted once they interact with each other is an essential requirement for the forward-engineering of robust synthetic biological circuits. Unfortunately, because of context-dependencies, parts and functional modules often behave unpredictably once interacting in the cellular environment. This paper reviews recent advances toward establishing a rigorous engineering framework for insulating parts and modules from their context to improve modularity. Overall, a synergy between engineering better parts and higher-level circuit design will be important to resolve the problem of context-dependence.

  16. Methods in molecular biology: plant cytogenetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cytogenetic studies have contributed greatly to our understanding of genetics, biology, reproduction, and evolution. From early studies in basic chromosome behavior the field has expanded enabling whole genome analysis to the manipulation of chromosomes and their organization. This book covers a ran...

  17. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization

    SciTech Connect

    Kilbane, J.J. II; Bielaga, B.A.

    1991-12-01

    The overall objective of this project was to use molecular genetics to develop strains of bacteria with enhanced ability to remove sulfur from coal, and to obtain data that will allow the performance and economics of a coal biodesulfurization process to be predicted. (VC)

  18. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization

    SciTech Connect

    Bielaga, B.A.; Kilbane, J.J.

    1990-04-01

    The overall objectives of this project is to use Molecular Genetics to develop strains of bacteria (esp. Rhodococcus) with enhanced ability to remove sulfur from coal, and to obtain data that will allow the performance and economics of a coal biodesulfurization process to be predicted. 5 figs.

  19. Interactive analysis of systems biology molecular expression data

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Mingwu; Ouyang, Qi; Stephenson, Alan; Kane, Michael D; Salt, David E; Prabhakar, Sunil; Burgner, John; Buck, Charles; Zhang, Xiang

    2008-01-01

    Background Systems biology aims to understand biological systems on a comprehensive scale, such that the components that make up the whole are connected to one another and work through dependent interactions. Molecular correlations and comparative studies of molecular expression are crucial to establishing interdependent connections in systems biology. The existing software packages provide limited data mining capability. The user must first generate visualization data with a preferred data mining algorithm and then upload the resulting data into the visualization package for graphic visualization of molecular relations. Results Presented is a novel interactive visual data mining application, SysNet that provides an interactive environment for the analysis of high data volume molecular expression information of most any type from biological systems. It integrates interactive graphic visualization and statistical data mining into a single package. SysNet interactively presents intermolecular correlation information with circular and heatmap layouts. It is also applicable to comparative analysis of molecular expression data, such as time course data. Conclusion The SysNet program has been utilized to analyze elemental profile changes in response to an increasing concentration of iron (Fe) in growth media (an ionomics dataset). This study case demonstrates that the SysNet software is an effective platform for interactive analysis of molecular expression information in systems biology. PMID:18312669

  20. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Litchfield, J.H.; Zupancic, T.J.; Kittle, J.D. Jr.; Baker, B.; Palmer, D.T.; Traunero, C.G.; Wyza, R.E.; Schweitzer, A.; Conkle, H.N.; Chakravarty, L.; Tuovinen, O.H.

    1992-10-08

    Progress is reported in understanding Thiobacillus molecular biology, specifically in the area of vector development. At the initiation of this program, the basic elements needed for performing genetic engineering in T. ferrooxidans were either not yet developed. Improved techniques are described which will make it easier to construct and analyze the genetic structure and metabolism of recombinant T. ferrooxidans. The metabolism of the model organic sulfur compound dibenzothiophene (DBT) by certain heterotrophic bacteria was confirmed and characterized. Techniques were developed to analyze the metabolites of DBT, so that individual 4S pathway metabolites could be distinguished. These techniques are expected to be valuable when engineering organic sulfur metabolism in Thiobacillus. Strain isolation techniques were used to develop pure cultures of T. ferrooxidans seven of which were assessed as potential recombinant hosts. The mixotrophic strain T. coprinus was also characterized for potential use as an electroporation host. A family of related Thiobacillus plasmids was discovered in the seven strains of P. ferrooxidans mentioned above. One of these plasmids, pTFI91, was cloned into a pUC-based plasmid vector, allowing it to propagate in E. coli. A key portion of the cloned plasmid was sequenced. This segment, which is conserved in all of the related plasmids characterized, contains the vegetative origin of DNA replication, and fortuitously, a novel insertion sequence, designated IS3091. The sequence of the DNA origin revealed that these Thiobacillus plasmids represent a unique class of replicons not previously described. The potentially useful insertion sequence IS3091 was identified as a new member of a previously undefined family of insertion sequences which include the E. coli element IS30.

  1. Towards Engineering Biological Systems in a Broader Context.

    PubMed

    Venturelli, Ophelia S; Egbert, Robert G; Arkin, Adam P

    2016-02-27

    Significant advances have been made in synthetic biology to program information processing capabilities in cells. While these designs can function predictably in controlled laboratory environments, the reliability of these devices in complex, temporally changing environments has not yet been characterized. As human society faces global challenges in agriculture, human health and energy, synthetic biology should develop predictive design principles for biological systems operating in complex environments. Natural biological systems have evolved mechanisms to overcome innumerable and diverse environmental challenges. Evolutionary design rules should be extracted and adapted to engineer stable and predictable ecological function. We highlight examples of natural biological responses spanning the cellular, population and microbial community levels that show promise in synthetic biology contexts. We argue that synthetic circuits embedded in host organisms or designed ecologies informed by suitable measurement of biotic and abiotic environmental parameters could be used as engineering substrates to achieve target functions in complex environments. Successful implementation of these methods will broaden the context in which synthetic biological systems can be applied to solve important problems.

  2. The nucleic acid revolution continues - will forensic biology become forensic molecular biology?

    PubMed

    Gunn, Peter; Walsh, Simon; Roux, Claude

    2014-01-01

    Molecular biology has evolved far beyond that which could have been predicted at the time DNA identity testing was established. Indeed we should now perhaps be referring to "forensic molecular biology." Aside from DNA's established role in identifying the "who" in crime investigations, other developments in medical and developmental molecular biology are now ripe for application to forensic challenges. The impact of DNA methylation and other post-fertilization DNA modifications, plus the emerging role of small RNAs in the control of gene expression, is re-writing our understanding of human biology. It is apparent that these emerging technologies will expand forensic molecular biology to allow for inferences about "when" a crime took place and "what" took place. However, just as the introduction of DNA identity testing engendered many challenges, so the expansion of molecular biology into these domains will raise again the issues of scientific validity, interpretation, probative value, and infringement of personal liberties. This Commentary ponders some of these emerging issues, and presents some ideas on how they will affect the conduct of forensic molecular biology in the foreseeable future.

  3. The Research Proposal in Biomechanical and Biological Engineering Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrison, Roger G.; Nollert, Matthias U.; Schmidtke, David W.; Sikavitsas, Vassilios I.

    2006-01-01

    Students in four biochemical and biological engineering courses for upper-­level undergraduates and graduate students were required to write a research proposal. Breaking the requirements down into segments (such as a summary with specific aims, rough draft, and final draft) due on different dates helped make the assignment more manageable for the…

  4. Molecular biology of retinal ganglion cells.

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, M; Zhou, H; Nathans, J

    1996-01-01

    Retinal ganglion cells are the output neurons that encode and transmit information from the eye to the brain. Their diverse physiologic and anatomic properties have been intensively studied and appear to account well for a number of psychophysical phenomena such as lateral inhibition and chromatic opponency. In this paper, we summarize our current view of retinal ganglion cell properties and pose a number of questions regarding underlying molecular mechanisms. As an example of one approach to understanding molecular mechanisms, we describe recent work on several POU domain transcription factors that are expressed in subsets of retinal ganglion cells and that appear to be involved in ganglion cell development. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:8570601

  5. Molecular Response of Crop Plants to Engineered Nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    Pagano, Luca; Servin, Alia D; De La Torre-Roche, Roberto; Mukherjee, Arnab; Majumdar, Sanghamitra; Hawthorne, Joseph; Marmiroli, Marta; Maestri, Elena; Marra, Robert E; Isch, Susan M; Dhankher, Om Parkash; White, Jason C; Marmiroli, Nelson

    2016-07-01

    Functional toxicology has enabled the identification of genes involved in conferring tolerance and sensitivity to engineered nanomaterial (ENM) exposure in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. Several genes were found to be involved in metabolic functions, stress response, transport, protein synthesis, and DNA repair. Consequently, analysis of physiological parameters, metal content (through ICP-MS quantification), and gene expression (by RT-qPCR) of A. thaliana orthologue genes were performed across different plant species of agronomic interest to highlight putative biomarkers of exposure and effect related to ENMs. This approach led to the identification of molecular markers in Solanum lycopersicum L. and Cucurbita pepo L. (tomato and zucchini) that might not only indicate exposure to ENMs (CuO, CeO2, and La2O3) but also provide mechanistic insight into response to these materials. Through Gene Ontology (GO) analysis, the target genes were mapped in complex interatomic networks representing molecular pathways, cellular components, and biological processes involved in ENM response. The transcriptional response of 38 (out of 204) candidate genes studied varied according to particle type, size, and plant species. Importantly, some of the genes studied showed potential as biomarkers of ENM exposure and effect and may be useful for risk assessment in foods and in the environment. PMID:27301997

  6. Molecular model for hydrated biological tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Erika Tiemi; Rocha, Alexandre Reily; de Carvalho, Luis Felipe das Chagas e. Silva; Almeida, Janete Dias; Martinho, Herculano

    2015-06-01

    A density-functional microscopic model for soft tissues (STmod) is presented. The model was based on a prototype molecular structure from experimentally resolved type I collagen peptide residues and water clusters treated in periodic boundary conditions. We obtained the optimized geometry, binding and coupling energies, dipole moments, and vibrational frequencies. The results concerning the stability of the confined water clusters, the water-water, and water-collagen interactions were successfully correlated to some important experimental trends of normal and inflammatory tissues.

  7. Biological (molecular and cellular) markers of toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    McCarthy, J.F.

    1990-04-01

    The overall objective of this study is to evaluate the use of the small aquarium fish, Japanese Medaka, as a predictor of potential genotoxicity following exposure to carcinogens. This will be accomplished by quantitatively investigating the early molecular events associated with genotoxicity of various tissues of Medaka subsequent to exposure of the organism to several known carcinogens, such as diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). 11 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  8. Engineering Titanium for Improved Biological Response

    SciTech Connect

    Orme, C; Bearinger, J; Dimasi, E; Gilbert, J

    2002-01-23

    The human body and its aggressive environment challenge the survival of implanted foreign materials. Formidable biocompatibility issues arise from biological, chemical, electrical, and tribological origins. The body's electrolytic solution provides the first point of contact with any kind of implant, and is responsible for transport, healing, integration, or attack. Therefore, determining how to successfully control the integration of a biomaterial should begin with an analysis of the early interfacial dynamics involved. setting, a complicated feedback system of solution chemistry, pH, ions, and solubility exists. The introduction of a fixation device instantly confounds this system. The body is exposed to a range of voltages, and wear can bring about significant shifts in potentials across an implant. In the environment of a new implant the solution pH becomes acidic, ionic concentrations shift, cathodic currents can lead to corrosion, and oxygen levels can be depleted; all of these impact the ability of the implant to retain its protective oxide layer and to present a stable interface for the formation of a biolayer. Titanium has been used in orthopedic and maxilofacial surgery for many years due to its reputation as being biocompatible and its ability to osseointegrate. Osseointegration is defined as direct structural and functional connection between ordered, living bone, and the surface of a load carrying implant. Branemark discovered this phenomenon in the 60's while examining titanium juxtaposed to bone. The mechanism by which titanium and its passivating oxide encourage osseosynthetic activity remains unknown. However in general terms the oxide film serves two purposes: first to provide a kinetic barrier that prevents titanium from corroding and second to provide a substrate that allows the constituents of bone (calcium phosphate crystals, cells, proteins, and collagen) to bond to it. We believe that the electrochemical environment dictates the titanium

  9. Molecular model for hydrated biological tissues.

    PubMed

    Sato, Erika Tiemi; Rocha, Alexandre Reily; de Carvalho, Luis Felipe das Chagas e Silva; Almeida, Janete Dias; Martinho, Herculano

    2015-06-01

    A density-functional microscopic model for soft tissues (STmod) is presented. The model was based on a prototype molecular structure from experimentally resolved type I collagen peptide residues and water clusters treated in periodic boundary conditions. We obtained the optimized geometry, binding and coupling energies, dipole moments, and vibrational frequencies. The results concerning the stability of the confined water clusters, the water-water, and water-collagen interactions were successfully correlated to some important experimental trends of normal and inflammatory tissues. PMID:26172825

  10. The molecular biology of WHO grade I astrocytomas

    PubMed Central

    Marko, Nicholas F.; Weil, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    World Health Organization (WHO) grade I astrocytomas include pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) and subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA). As technologies in pharmacologic neo-adjuvant therapy continue to progress and as molecular characteristics are progressively recognized as potential markers of both clinically significant tumor subtypes and response to therapy, interest in the biology of these tumors has surged. An updated review of the current knowledge of the molecular biology of these tumors is needed. We conducted a Medline search to identify published literature discussing the molecular biology of grade I astrocytomas. We then summarized this literature and discuss it in a logical framework through which the complex biology of these tumors can be clearly understood. A comprehensive review of the molecular biology of WHO grade I astrocytomas is presented. The past several years have seen rapid progress in the level of understanding of PA in particular, but the molecular literature regarding both PA and SEGA remains nebulous, ambiguous, and occasionally contradictory. In this review we provide a comprehensive discussion of the current understanding of the chromosomal, genomic, and epigenomic features of both PA and SEGA and provide a logical framework in which these data can be more readily understood. PMID:23090984

  11. The molecular biology of WHO grade I astrocytomas.

    PubMed

    Marko, Nicholas F; Weil, Robert J

    2012-12-01

    World Health Organization (WHO) grade I astrocytomas include pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) and subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA). As technologies in pharmacologic neo-adjuvant therapy continue to progress and as molecular characteristics are progressively recognized as potential markers of both clinically significant tumor subtypes and response to therapy, interest in the biology of these tumors has surged. An updated review of the current knowledge of the molecular biology of these tumors is needed. We conducted a Medline search to identify published literature discussing the molecular biology of grade I astrocytomas. We then summarized this literature and discuss it in a logical framework through which the complex biology of these tumors can be clearly understood. A comprehensive review of the molecular biology of WHO grade I astrocytomas is presented. The past several years have seen rapid progress in the level of understanding of PA in particular, but the molecular literature regarding both PA and SEGA remains nebulous, ambiguous, and occasionally contradictory. In this review we provide a comprehensive discussion of the current understanding of the chromosomal, genomic, and epigenomic features of both PA and SEGA and provide a logical framework in which these data can be more readily understood.

  12. Asymmetry at the molecular level in biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Louise N.

    2005-10-01

    Naturally occurring biological molecules are made of homochiral building blocks. Proteins are composed of L-amino acids (and not D-amino acids); nucleic acids such as DNA have D-ribose sugars (and not L-ribose sugars). It is not clear why nature selected a particular chirality. Selection could have occurred by chance or as a consequence of basic physical chemistry. Possible proposals, including the contribution of the parity violating the weak nuclear force, are discussed together with the mechanisms by which this very small contribution might be amplified. Homochirality of the amino acids has consequences for protein structure. Helices are right handed and beta sheets have a left-hand twist. When incorporated into the tertiary structure of a protein these chiralities limit the topologies of connections between helices and sheets. Polypeptides comprised of D-amino acids can be synthesized chemically and have been shown to adopt stable structures that are the mirror image of the naturally occurring L-amino acid polypeptides. Chirality is important in drug design. Three examples are discussed: penicillin; the CD4 antagonistic peptides; and thalidomide. The absolute hand of a biological structure can only be established by X-ray crystallographic methods using the technique of anomalous scattering.

  13. Evolution of egg coats: linking molecular biology and ecology.

    PubMed

    Shu, Longfei; Suter, Marc J-F; Räsänen, Katja

    2015-08-01

    One central goal of evolutionary biology is to explain how biological diversity emerges and is maintained in nature. Given the complexity of the phenotype and the multifaceted nature of inheritance, modern evolutionary ecological studies rely heavily on the use of molecular tools. Here, we show how molecular tools help to gain insight into the role of egg coats (i.e. the extracellular structures surrounding eggs and embryos) in evolutionary diversification. Egg coats are maternally derived structures that have many biological functions from mediating fertilization to protecting the embryo from environmental hazards. They show great molecular, structural and functional diversity across species, but intraspecific variability and the role of ecology in egg coat evolution have largely been overlooked. Given that much of the variation that influences egg coat function is ultimately determined by their molecular phenotype, cutting-edge molecular tools (e.g. proteomics, glycomics and transcriptomics), combined with functional assays, are needed for rigorous inferences on their evolutionary ecology. Here, we identify key research areas and highlight emerging molecular techniques that can increase our understanding of the role of egg coats in the evolution of biological diversity, from adaptation to speciation.

  14. Genome-scale engineering for systems and synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Esvelt, Kevin M; Wang, Harris H

    2013-01-01

    Genome-modification technologies enable the rational engineering and perturbation of biological systems. Historically, these methods have been limited to gene insertions or mutations at random or at a few pre-defined locations across the genome. The handful of methods capable of targeted gene editing suffered from low efficiencies, significant labor costs, or both. Recent advances have dramatically expanded our ability to engineer cells in a directed and combinatorial manner. Here, we review current technologies and methodologies for genome-scale engineering, discuss the prospects for extending efficient genome modification to new hosts, and explore the implications of continued advances toward the development of flexibly programmable chasses, novel biochemistries, and safer organismal and ecological engineering. PMID:23340847

  15. Overview of selected molecular biological databases

    SciTech Connect

    Rayl, K.D.; Gaasterland, T.

    1994-11-01

    This paper presents an overview of the purpose, content, and design of a subset of the currently available biological databases, with an emphasis on protein databases. Databases included in this summary are 3D-ALI, Berlin RNA databank, Blocks, DSSP, EMBL Nucleotide Database, EMP, ENZYME, FSSP, GDB, GenBank, HSSP, LiMB, PDB, PIR, PKCDD, ProSite, and SWISS-PROT. The goal is to provide a starting point for researchers who wish to take advantage of the myriad available databases. Rather than providing a complete explanation of each database, we present its content and form by explaining the details of typical entries. Pointers to more complete ``user guides`` are included, along with general information on where to search for a new database.

  16. pGLO Mutagenesis: A Laboratory Procedure in Molecular Biology for Biology Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bassiri, Eby A.

    2011-01-01

    A five-session laboratory project was designed to familiarize or increase the laboratory proficiency of biology students and others with techniques and instruments commonly used in molecular biology research laboratories and industries. In this project, the EZ-Tn5 transposon is used to generate and screen a large number of cells transformed with…

  17. The molecular biology of WHO grade II gliomas.

    PubMed

    Marko, Nicholas F; Weil, Robert J

    2013-02-01

    The WHO grading scheme for glial neoplasms assigns Grade II to 5 distinct tumors of astrocytic or oligodendroglial lineage: diffuse astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, oligoastrocytoma, pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, and pilomyxoid astrocytoma. Although commonly referred to collectively as among the "low-grade gliomas," these 5 tumors represent molecularly and clinically unique entities. Each is the subject of active basic research aimed at developing a more complete understanding of its molecular biology, and the pace of such research continues to accelerate. Additionally, because managing and predicting the course of these tumors has historically proven challenging, translational research regarding Grade II gliomas continues in the hopes of identifying novel molecular features that can better inform diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies. Unfortunately, the basic and translational literature regarding the molecular biology of WHO Grade II gliomas remains nebulous. The authors' goal for this review was to present a comprehensive discussion of current knowledge regarding the molecular characteristics of these 5 WHO Grade II tumors on the chromosomal, genomic, and epigenomic levels. Additionally, they discuss the emerging evidence suggesting molecular differences between adult and pediatric Grade II gliomas. Finally, they present an overview of current strategies for using molecular data to classify low-grade gliomas into clinically relevant categories based on tumor biology.

  18. Genetics and molecular biology of Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Albin, R L; Tagle, D A

    1995-01-01

    In 1993, the genetic abnormality responsible for Huntington's disease was identified as a trinucleotide-repeat expansion in a novel gene. Much has been learned about the molecular genetics of Huntington's disease and the possible effects of the trinucleotide expansion in the development of this disease and other neurological disorders. The Huntington's disease locus is widely expressed throughout the brain and in many non-neural tissues. Current speculation about the pathogenesis of neuronal death concentrates on a 'gain of function' effect in which the abnormal protein has acquired a new and lethal property. Future research will define the normal function of the Huntington's disease locus, test hypotheses regarding the putative gain of function, and explore the factors that determine neuronal susceptibility to the effects of the abnormal allele.

  19. Advances and computational tools towards predictable design in biological engineering.

    PubMed

    Pasotti, Lorenzo; Zucca, Susanna

    2014-01-01

    The design process of complex systems in all the fields of engineering requires a set of quantitatively characterized components and a method to predict the output of systems composed by such elements. This strategy relies on the modularity of the used components or the prediction of their context-dependent behaviour, when parts functioning depends on the specific context. Mathematical models usually support the whole process by guiding the selection of parts and by predicting the output of interconnected systems. Such bottom-up design process cannot be trivially adopted for biological systems engineering, since parts function is hard to predict when components are reused in different contexts. This issue and the intrinsic complexity of living systems limit the capability of synthetic biologists to predict the quantitative behaviour of biological systems. The high potential of synthetic biology strongly depends on the capability of mastering this issue. This review discusses the predictability issues of basic biological parts (promoters, ribosome binding sites, coding sequences, transcriptional terminators, and plasmids) when used to engineer simple and complex gene expression systems in Escherichia coli. A comparison between bottom-up and trial-and-error approaches is performed for all the discussed elements and mathematical models supporting the prediction of parts behaviour are illustrated.

  20. B13+: Photodriven Molecular Wankel Engine

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Jin; Sergeeva, Alina P.; Sparta, Manuel; Alexandrova, Anastassia N.

    2012-07-09

    Synthetic molecular motors that are capable of delivering controlled movement upon energy input are one of the key building blocks in nanomachinery. The major energy sources of molecular motors are from chemical reactions, photon beams, or electric current, which are converted into mechanical forces through the excitation of the electronic states of the molecule. The energy scale of the electronic excitation is normally two orders of magnitude larger than the molecular vibrational frequencies. To reduce the heat dissipation and increase the energy utilization efficiency, a motor running purely on the electronic ground-state (GS) potential energy surfaces is highly desirable.

  1. A decade of molecular cell biology: achievements and challenges.

    PubMed

    Akhtar, Asifa; Fuchs, Elaine; Mitchison, Tim; Shaw, Reuben J; St Johnston, Daniel; Strasser, Andreas; Taylor, Susan; Walczak, Claire; Zerial, Marino

    2011-09-23

    Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology celebrated its 10-year anniversary during this past year with a series of specially commissioned articles. To complement this, here we have asked researchers from across the field for their insights into how molecular cell biology research has evolved during this past decade, the key concepts that have emerged and the most promising interfaces that have developed. Their comments highlight the broad impact that particular advances have had, some of the basic understanding that we still require, and the collaborative approaches that will be essential for driving the field forward.

  2. Where statistics and molecular microarray experiments biology meet.

    PubMed

    Kelmansky, Diana M

    2013-01-01

    This review chapter presents a statistical point of view to microarray experiments with the purpose of understanding the apparent contradictions that often appear in relation to their results. We give a brief introduction of molecular biology for nonspecialists. We describe microarray experiments from their construction and the biological principles the experiments rely on, to data acquisition and analysis. The role of epidemiological approaches and sample size considerations are also discussed.

  3. Professor Joseph Warren Horton (1889-1967): biological engineer.

    PubMed

    Zeitlin, Gerald L

    2005-02-01

    Joseph Warren Horton graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1914. He became involved in the early development of electrical measurement devices, televised image transmission, and the detection of underwater sound transmission. In the mid-1930s he was appointed the first leader of the newly created Department of Biological Engineering at MIT and in this position he made major contributions to the application of physics to human physiology, in particular by increasing the safety of explosive inhalational anaesthetic agents.

  4. Molecular biology of coal bio-desulfurization

    SciTech Connect

    Young, K.D.; Gallagher, J.R.

    1991-07-18

    The aim of this project is to use the techniques of molecular genetics to identify, clone, sequence, and enhance the expression of proteins which remove sulfur covalently bound to coal. The cloned dox genes from strain C18 were more fully characterized. Another gene, doxG, is almost identical with the nahC gene, also involved in the naphthalene pathway. These results lead us to believe that dibenzothiophene (DBT) is degraded by the oxidative route along the naphthalene degradative pathway. At least one other gene, doxI, is implicated in the formation of the unidentified fluorescent product from DBT. The Rhodococcus rhodochrous isolate IGTS8 was mutated to produce a variant (strain UV1) that was negative for DBT utilization. This mutant was exposed to further rounds of UV mutagenesis and was used as the host for attempts to introduce various plasmid DNAs. Two plasmids could be introduced into UV1: pRF29 and pLAFR5. A cosmid library of IGTS8 DNA was constructed in pLAFR5 and was electroporated into UV1. Of over 2000 colonies tested three bulk batches, one flask of about 600 clones produced a fluorescent product from DBT. These are being screened to determine if one of these represents a clone that complements the DBT negative phenotype of the UV1 mutant. We obtained chloramphenicol resistant Thiobacillus ferrooxidans after electroporation but these transformants contained no plasmid or transposon sequences, so that insertion of DNA into T. ferrooxidans had not occurred.

  5. The molecular biology of Fanconi anemia.

    PubMed

    Tamary, Hannah; Bar-Yam, Raanan; Zemach, Michal; Dgany, Orly; Shalmon, Lea; Yaniv, Isaac

    2002-10-01

    Fanconi anemia is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized clinically by congenital abnormalities, progressive bone marrow failure, and a predisposition to malignancy. FA cells are sensitive to DNA cross-linking agents. Complementation analysis of FA cells using somatic cell fusion has facilitated the identification of eight complementation groups, suggesting that FA is a genetically heterogeneous disorder. Six genes (FANCA, FANCC, FANCD2, FANCE, FANGF, FANCG) have been cloned so far. The majority of affected patients belong to FA group A. Of the 32 unrelated Israeli patients with FA that we studied, 6 carried the FANCC mutations and 15 the FANCA mutations. Among the Jewish patients, ethnic-related mutations were common. Recent cumulative evidence suggests that the FA proteins are repair proteins. FANCC, FANCA and FANCG bind and interact in a protein complex found in the cytoplasm and nucleus of normal cells. FANCD2 exists in two isoforms; the long active form, FANCD2-L, is absent from FA cells of all complementation groups. FANCD2 colocalizes with BRCA1 in nuclear foci, probably as part of a large genomic surveillance complex. Studies using FANCA and FANCC knockout mice suggest that bone marrow precursors express interferon-gamma hypersensitivity and show progressive apoptosis. The definition of the molecular basis of FA in many affected families now enables prenatal diagnosis.

  6. Molecular/cell engineering approach to autocrine ligand control of cell function.

    PubMed

    Lauffenburger, D A; Forsten, K E; Will, B; Wiley, H S

    1995-01-01

    Tissue engineering, along with other modern cell- and tissue-based health care technologies, depends on successful regulation of cell function by molecular means, including pharmacological agents, materials, and genetics. This regulation is generally mediated by cell receptor/ligand interactions providing primary targets for molecular intervention. While regulatory ligands may often be exogenous in nature, in the categories of endocrine and paracrine hormone systems, they are being increasingly appreciated as crucial in local control of cell and tissue function. Improvements in design of health care technologies involving autocrine ligand interactions with cell receptors should benefit from increased qualitative and quantitative understanding of the kinetic and transport processes governing these interactions. In this symposium paper we offer a concise overview of our recent efforts combining molecular cell biology and engineering approaches to increase the understanding of how molecular and cellular parameters may be manipulated for improved control of cell and tissue function regulated by autocrine ligands.

  7. The role of molecular methods in evaluating biological treatment processes.

    PubMed

    Rittmann, Bruce E

    2002-01-01

    Methods derived from molecular biology provide powerful new tools to analyze biological treatment processes. Because molecular methods can be used to directly interrogate genetic information about the microbial community, they can provide the fine detail that is impossible with the blunt, nondiscriminating information usually obtained from more traditional measures such as biochemical oxygen demand and volatile suspended solids. Molecular methods allow tracking of critical groups of microorganisms, such as ammonia oxidizers, that comprise a small fraction of the total biomass. Molecular methods also allow tracking of specific metabolic reactions or other functions that are key to the satisfactory performance of a system. Despite their power, molecular methods do not provide sufficient information when used alone. Aggregated measures and quantitative modeling remain necessary to establish mass balances, quantify the function of the microbial community, and connect the results of molecular assays to practice. Several examples involving nitrifying bacteria in activated sludge illustrate the fine detail available with molecular methods and how they can be linked to traditional and quantitative analyses. Other manuscripts in this special issue also provide examples of the value of using molecular tools in combination with traditional methods.

  8. Biological magnetic cellular spheroids as building blocks for tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Mattix, Brandon; Olsen, Timothy R.; Gu, Yu; Casco, Megan; Herbst, Austin; Simionescu, Dan T.; Visconti, Richard P.; Kornev, Konstantin G.; Alexis, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), primarily iron oxide nanoparticles, have been incorporated into cellular spheroids to allow for magnetic manipulation into desired shapes, patterns and 3-D tissue constructs using magnetic forces. However, the direct and long-term interaction of iron oxide nanoparticles with cells and biological systems can induce adverse effects on cell viability, phenotype and function, and remain a critical concern. Here we report the preparation of biological magnetic cellular spheroids containing magnetoferritin, a biological MNP, capable of serving as a biological alternative to iron oxide magnetic cellular spheroids as tissue engineered building blocks. Magnetoferritin NPs were incorporated into 3-D cellular spheroids with no adverse effects on cell viability up to 1 week. Additionally, cellular spheroids containing magnetoferritin NPs were magnetically patterned and fused into a tissue ring to demonstrate its potential for tissue engineering applications. These results present a biological approach that can serve as an alternative to the commonly used iron oxide magnetic cellular spheroids, which often require complex surface modifications of iron oxide NPs to reduce the adverse effects on cells. PMID:24176725

  9. Teaching Cell and Molecular Biology for Gender Equity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sible, Jill C.; Wilhelm, Dayna E.; Lederman, Muriel

    2006-01-01

    Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, including cell biology, are characterized by the "leaky pipeline" syndrome in which, over time, women leave the discipline. The pipeline itself and the pond into which it empties may not be neutral. Explicating invisible norms, attitudes, and practices by integrating social studies of…

  10. BioModel engineering for multiscale Systems Biology.

    PubMed

    Heiner, Monika; Gilbert, David

    2013-04-01

    We discuss some motivational challenges arising from the need to model and analyse complex biological systems at multiple scales (spatial and temporal), and present a biomodel engineering framework to address some of these issues within the context of multiscale Systems Biology. Our methodology is based on a structured family of Petri net classes which enables the investigation of a given system using various modelling abstractions: qualitative, stochastic, continuous and hybrid, optionally in a spatial context. We illustrate our approach with case studies demonstrating hierarchical flattening, treatment of space, and hierarchical organisation of space.

  11. Human papillomavirus molecular biology and disease association

    PubMed Central

    Egawa, Nagayasu; Griffin, Heather; Kranjec, Christian; Murakami, Isao

    2015-01-01

    Summary Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have evolved over millions of years to propagate themselves in a range of different animal species including humans. Viruses that have co‐evolved slowly in this way typically cause chronic inapparent infections, with virion production in the absence of apparent disease. This is the case for many Beta and Gamma HPV types. The Alpha papillomavirus types have however evolved immunoevasion strategies that allow them to cause persistent visible papillomas. These viruses activate the cell cycle as the infected epithelial cell differentiates in order to create a replication competent environment that allows viral genome amplification and packaging into infectious particles. This is mediated by the viral E6, E7, and E5 proteins. High‐risk E6 and E7 proteins differ from their low‐risk counterparts however in being able to drive cell cycle entry in the upper epithelial layers and also to stimulate cell proliferation in the basal and parabasal layers. Deregulated expression of these cell cycle regulators underlies neoplasia and the eventual progression to cancer in individuals who cannot resolve high‐risk HPV infection. Most work to date has focused on the study of high‐risk HPV types such as HPV 16 and 18, which has led to an understanding of the molecular pathways subverted by these viruses. Such approaches will lead to the development of better strategies for disease treatment, including targeted antivirals and immunotherapeutics. Priorities are now focused toward understanding HPV neoplasias at sites other than the cervix (e.g. tonsils, other transformation zones) and toward understanding the mechanisms by which low‐risk HPV types can sometimes give rise to papillomatosis and under certain situations even cancers. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:25752814

  12. A possible molecular metric for biological evolvability.

    PubMed

    Mittal, Aditya; Jayaram, B

    2012-07-01

    Proteins manifest themselves as phenotypic traits, retained or lost in living systems via evolutionary pressures. Simply put, survival is essentially the ability of a living system to synthesize a functional protein that allows for a response to environmental perturbations (adaptation). Loss of functional proteins leads to extinction. Currently there are no universally applicable quantitative metrics at the molecular level for either measuring 'evolvability' of life or for assessing the conditions under which a living system would go extinct and why. In this work, we show emergence of the first such metric by utilizing the recently discovered stoichiometric margin of life for all known naturally occurring (and functional) proteins. The constraint of having well-defined stoichiometries of the 20 amino acids in naturally occurring protein sequences requires utilization of the full scope of degeneracy in the genetic code, i.e. usage of all codons coding for an amino acid, by only 11 of the 20 amino acids. This shows that the non-availability of individual codons for these 11 amino acids would disturb the fine stoichiometric balance resulting in non-functional proteins and hence extinction. Remarkably, these amino acids are found in close proximity of any given amino acid in the backbones of thousands of known crystal structures of folded proteins. On the other hand, stoichiometry of the remaining 9 amino acids, found to be farther/distal from any given amino acid in backbones of folded proteins, is maintained independent of the number of codons available to synthesize them, thereby providing some robustness and hence survivability.

  13. Molecular biology of somatostatin receptor subtypes.

    PubMed

    Patel, Y C; Greenwood, M; Panetta, R; Hukovic, N; Grigorakis, S; Robertson, L A; Srikant, C B

    1996-08-01

    Somatostatin (SRIF) receptors (ssts) comprise a family of heptahelical membrane proteins encoded by five related genes that map to separate chromosomes and which, with the exception of sst1, are intronless. The ssts1-4 display weak selectivity for SRIF-14 binding, whereas sst5 is SRIF-28-selective. Based on structural similarity and reactivity for octapeptide and hexapeptide sst analogs, ssts2,3 and sst5 belong to a similar sst subclass; ssts1-4 react poorly with these analogs and belong to a separate subclass. All five ssts are functionally coupled to inhibition of adenylyl cyclase via pertussis toxin-sensitive guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-binding proteins. mRNA for ssts1-5 is widely expressed in brain and peripheral organs and displays an overlapping but characteristic pattern that is subtype-selective and tissue- and species-specific. All pituitary cell subsets express sst2 and sst5, with sst5 being more abundant. Individual pituitary cells coexpress multiple sst subtypes. The binding pocket for SRIF-14 ligand lies deep within the membrane in transmembrane domains (TMDs) 3 to 7. Except for extracellular loop 2, it does not involve the other exofacial structures. Human (h)sst2A and hsst5 undergo agonist-mediated desensitization, associated with receptor internalization. The C-tail segment of hsst5 displays positive molecular internalization signals. The ssts inhibit the growth of tumor cells directly, through blockade of mitogenic signaling leading to growth arrest and through induction of apoptosis. This process is associated with translocation of phosphotyrosine phosphatase (PTP) 1C from the cytosol to the membrane.

  14. Human papillomavirus molecular biology and disease association.

    PubMed

    Doorbar, John; Egawa, Nagayasu; Griffin, Heather; Kranjec, Christian; Murakami, Isao

    2015-03-01

    Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have evolved over millions of years to propagate themselves in a range of different animal species including humans. Viruses that have co-evolved slowly in this way typically cause chronic inapparent infections, with virion production in the absence of apparent disease. This is the case for many Beta and Gamma HPV types. The Alpha papillomavirus types have however evolved immunoevasion strategies that allow them to cause persistent visible papillomas. These viruses activate the cell cycle as the infected epithelial cell differentiates in order to create a replication competent environment that allows viral genome amplification and packaging into infectious particles. This is mediated by the viral E6, E7, and E5 proteins. High-risk E6 and E7 proteins differ from their low-risk counterparts however in being able to drive cell cycle entry in the upper epithelial layers and also to stimulate cell proliferation in the basal and parabasal layers. Deregulated expression of these cell cycle regulators underlies neoplasia and the eventual progression to cancer in individuals who cannot resolve high-risk HPV infection. Most work to date has focused on the study of high-risk HPV types such as HPV 16 and 18, which has led to an understanding of the molecular pathways subverted by these viruses. Such approaches will lead to the development of better strategies for disease treatment, including targeted antivirals and immunotherapeutics. Priorities are now focused toward understanding HPV neoplasias at sites other than the cervix (e.g. tonsils, other transformation zones) and toward understanding the mechanisms by which low-risk HPV types can sometimes give rise to papillomatosis and under certain situations even cancers.

  15. [Biochemistry, molecular mechanism of action and biological effects of endotoxin].

    PubMed

    Burgmann, H; Breyer, S

    1995-01-01

    This review is a brief attempt at providing an overview of a subject of enormous complexity-endotoxins and the mediators associated with its biological effects. More specifically it deals with biochemistry and biology of endotoxin, detection of endotoxin with the Limulus amebocyte lysate test, the molecular mechanisms and biological effects, and in the last part with future aspects of therapeutical strategies. It seems certain that the subject will become even more complex and possibly controversial as scientific knowledge further involves. However, because of the high mortality rate of patients suffering from gram-negative sepsis all efforts have to be made to find effective therapeutical strategies.

  16. Engineering C4 photosynthesis into C3 chassis in the synthetic biology age.

    PubMed

    Schuler, Mara L; Mantegazza, Otho; Weber, Andreas P M

    2016-07-01

    C4 photosynthetic plants outperform C3 plants in hot and arid climates. By concentrating carbon dioxide around Rubisco C4 plants drastically reduce photorespiration. The frequency with which plants evolved C4 photosynthesis independently challenges researchers to unravel the genetic mechanisms underlying this convergent evolutionary switch. The conversion of C3 crops, such as rice, towards C4 photosynthesis is a long-standing goal. Nevertheless, at the present time, in the age of synthetic biology, this still remains a monumental task, partially because the C4 carbon-concentrating biochemical cycle spans two cell types and thus requires specialized anatomy. Here we review the advances in understanding the molecular basis and the evolution of the C4 trait, advances in the last decades that were driven by systems biology methods. In this review we emphasise essential genetic engineering tools needed to translate our theoretical knowledge into engineering approaches. With our current molecular understanding of the biochemical C4 pathway, we propose a simplified rational engineering model exclusively built with known C4 metabolic components. Moreover, we discuss an alternative approach to the progressing international engineering attempts that would combine targeted mutagenesis and directed evolution. PMID:26945781

  17. Engineering C4 photosynthesis into C3 chassis in the synthetic biology age.

    PubMed

    Schuler, Mara L; Mantegazza, Otho; Weber, Andreas P M

    2016-07-01

    C4 photosynthetic plants outperform C3 plants in hot and arid climates. By concentrating carbon dioxide around Rubisco C4 plants drastically reduce photorespiration. The frequency with which plants evolved C4 photosynthesis independently challenges researchers to unravel the genetic mechanisms underlying this convergent evolutionary switch. The conversion of C3 crops, such as rice, towards C4 photosynthesis is a long-standing goal. Nevertheless, at the present time, in the age of synthetic biology, this still remains a monumental task, partially because the C4 carbon-concentrating biochemical cycle spans two cell types and thus requires specialized anatomy. Here we review the advances in understanding the molecular basis and the evolution of the C4 trait, advances in the last decades that were driven by systems biology methods. In this review we emphasise essential genetic engineering tools needed to translate our theoretical knowledge into engineering approaches. With our current molecular understanding of the biochemical C4 pathway, we propose a simplified rational engineering model exclusively built with known C4 metabolic components. Moreover, we discuss an alternative approach to the progressing international engineering attempts that would combine targeted mutagenesis and directed evolution.

  18. Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2014

    SciTech Connect

    Voigt, Christopher

    2014-07-01

    SEED2014 focused on advances in the science and technology emerging from the field of synthetic biology. We broadly define this as technologies that accelerate the process of genetic engineering. It highlighted new tool development, as well as the application of these tools to diverse problems in biotechnology, including therapeutics, industrial chemicals and fuels, natural products, and agriculture. Systems spanned from in vitro experiments and viruses, through diverse bacteria, to eukaryotes (yeast, mammalian cells, plants).

  19. Zsyntax: a formal language for molecular biology with projected applications in text mining and biological prediction.

    PubMed

    Boniolo, Giovanni; D'Agostino, Marcello; Di Fiore, Pier Paolo

    2010-03-03

    We propose a formal language that allows for transposing biological information precisely and rigorously into machine-readable information. This language, which we call Zsyntax (where Z stands for the Greek word zetaomegaeta, life), is grounded on a particular type of non-classical logic, and it can be used to write algorithms and computer programs. We present it as a first step towards a comprehensive formal language for molecular biology in which any biological process can be written and analyzed as a sort of logical "deduction". Moreover, we illustrate the potential value of this language, both in the field of text mining and in that of biological prediction.

  20. A Streamlined Molecular Biology Module for Undergraduate Biochemistry Labs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muth, Gregory W.; Chihade, Joseph W.

    2008-01-01

    Site-directed mutagenesis and other molecular biology techniques, including plasmid manipulation and restriction analysis, are commonly used tools in the biochemistry research laboratory. In redesigning our biochemistry lab curricula, we sought to integrate these techniques into a term-long, project-based course. In the module presented here,…

  1. Positron emission tomography provides molecular imaging of biological processes

    PubMed Central

    Phelps, Michael E.

    2000-01-01

    Diseases are biological processes, and molecular imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) is sensitive to and informative of these processes. This is illustrated by detection of biological abnormalities in neurological disorders with no computed tomography or MRI anatomic changes, as well as even before symptoms are expressed. PET whole body imaging in cancer provides the means to (i) identify early disease, (ii) differentiate benign from malignant lesions, (iii) examine all organs for metastases, and (iv) determine therapeutic effectiveness. Diagnostic accuracy of PET is 8–43% higher than conventional procedures and changes treatment in 20–40% of the patients, depending on the clinical question, in lung and colorectal cancers, melanoma, and lymphoma, with similar findings in breast, ovarian, head and neck, and renal cancers. A microPET scanner for mice, in concert with human PET systems, provides a novel technology for molecular imaging assays of metabolism and signal transduction to gene expression, from mice to patients: e.g., PET reporter gene assays are used to trace the location and temporal level of expression of therapeutic and endogenous genes. PET probes and drugs are being developed together—in low mass amounts, as molecular imaging probes to image the function of targets without disturbing them, and in mass amounts to modify the target's function as a drug. Molecular imaging by PET, optical technologies, magnetic resonance imaging, single photon emission tomography, and other technologies are assisting in moving research findings from in vitro biology to in vivo integrative mammalian biology of disease. PMID:10922074

  2. An Inquiry-based Introduction to Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levy, Foster

    2000-01-01

    Presents investigative approaches to teaching molecular biology. Emphasizes a deductive determination of the nature of nucleic acids visualized in a gel, and a comparison of different genomes. Asks why students should take it on faith that what they view on a gel is DNA. (SAH)

  3. Frontiers in nuclear medicine symposium: Nuclear medicine & molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    This document contains the abstracts from the American College of Nuclear Physicians 1993 Fall Meeting entitled, `Frontiers in Nuclear Medicine Symposium: Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Biology`. This meeting was sponsored by the US DOE, Office of Health and Environmental Research, Office of Energy Research. The program chairman was Richard C. Reba, M.D.

  4. Gene Concepts in Higher Education Cell and Molecular Biology Textbooks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albuquerque, Pitombo Maiana; de Almeida, Ana Maria Rocha; El-Hani, Nino Charbel

    2008-01-01

    Despite being a landmark of 20th century biology, the "classical molecular gene concept," according to which a gene is a stretch of DNA encoding a functional product, which may be a single polypeptide or RNA molecule, has been recently challenged by a series of findings (e.g., split genes, alternative splicing, overlapping and nested genes, mRNA…

  5. Web Based Learning Support for Experimental Design in Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilmsen, Tinri; Bisseling, Ton; Hartog, Rob

    An important learning goal of a molecular biology curriculum is a certain proficiency level in experimental design. Currently students are confronted with experimental approaches in textbooks, in lectures and in the laboratory. However, most students do not reach a satisfactory level of competence in the design of experimental approaches. This…

  6. Assessing Practical Laboratory Skills in Undergraduate Molecular Biology Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt, Lynne; Koenders, Annette; Gynnild, Vidar

    2012-01-01

    This study explored a new strategy of assessing laboratory skills in a molecular biology course to improve: student effort in preparation for and participation in laboratory work; valid evaluation of learning outcomes; and students' employment prospects through provision of evidence of their skills. Previously, assessment was based on written…

  7. A Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Course for Secondary School Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fernandez-Novell, J. M.; Cid, E.; Gomis, R.; Barbera, A.; Guinovart, J. J.

    2004-01-01

    This article describes a course for reinforcing the knowledge of biochemistry in secondary school science teachers. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Barcelona designed a course to bring these teachers up to date with this discipline. In addition to updating their knowledge of biochemistry and molecular…

  8. Cell stretching devices as research tools: engineering and biological considerations.

    PubMed

    Kamble, Harshad; Barton, Matthew J; Jun, Myeongjun; Park, Sungsu; Nguyen, Nam-Trung

    2016-08-16

    Cells within the human body are subjected to continuous, cyclic mechanical strain caused by various organ functions, movement, and growth. Cells are well known to have the ability to sense and respond to mechanical stimuli. This process is referred to as mechanotransduction. A better understanding of mechanotransduction is of great interest to clinicians and scientists alike to improve clinical diagnosis and understanding of medical pathology. However, the complexity involved in in vivo biological systems creates a need for better in vitro technologies, which can closely mimic the cells' microenvironment using induced mechanical strain. This technology gap motivates the development of cell stretching devices for better understanding of the cell response to mechanical stimuli. This review focuses on the engineering and biological considerations for the development of such cell stretching devices. The paper discusses different types of stretching concepts, major design consideration and biological aspects of cell stretching and provides a perspective for future development in this research area. PMID:27440436

  9. Biological Diversity and Molecular Plasticity of FIC Domain Proteins.

    PubMed

    Harms, Alexander; Stanger, Frédéric V; Dehio, Christoph

    2016-09-01

    The ubiquitous proteins with FIC (filamentation induced by cyclic AMP) domains use a conserved enzymatic machinery to modulate the activity of various target proteins by posttranslational modification, typically AMPylation. Following intensive study of the general properties of FIC domain catalysis, diverse molecular activities and biological functions of these remarkably versatile proteins are now being revealed. Here, we review the biological diversity of FIC domain proteins and summarize the underlying structure-function relationships. The original and most abundant genuine bacterial FIC domain proteins are toxins that use diverse molecular activities to interfere with bacterial physiology in various, yet ill-defined, biological contexts. Host-targeted virulence factors have evolved repeatedly out of this pool by exaptation of the enzymatic FIC domain machinery for the manipulation of host cell signaling in favor of bacterial pathogens. The single human FIC domain protein HypE (FICD) has a specific function in the regulation of protein stress responses. PMID:27482742

  10. tRNA--the golden standard in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Barciszewska, Mirosława Z; Perrigue, Patrick M; Barciszewski, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) represent a major class of RNA molecules. Their primary function is to help decode a messenger RNA (mRNA) sequence in order to synthesize protein and thus ensures the precise translation of genetic information that is imprinted in DNA. The discovery of tRNA in the late 1950's provided critical insight into a genetic machinery when little was known about the central dogma of molecular biology. In 1965, Robert Holley determined the first nucleotide sequence of alanine transfer RNA (tRNA(Ala)) which earned him the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Today, tRNA is one of the best described and characterized biological molecules. Here we review some of the key historical events in tRNA research which led to breakthrough discoveries and new developments in molecular biology.

  11. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jarsch, Iris K; Daste, Frederic; Gallop, Jennifer L

    2016-08-15

    Curving biological membranes establishes the complex architecture of the cell and mediates membrane traffic to control flux through subcellular compartments. Common molecular mechanisms for bending membranes are evident in different cell biological contexts across eukaryotic phyla. These mechanisms can be intrinsic to the membrane bilayer (either the lipid or protein components) or can be brought about by extrinsic factors, including the cytoskeleton. Here, we review examples of membrane curvature generation in animals, fungi, and plants. We showcase the molecular mechanisms involved and how they collaborate and go on to highlight contexts of curvature that are exciting areas of future research. Lessons from how membranes are bent in yeast and mammals give hints as to the molecular mechanisms we expect to see used by plants and protists.

  12. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jarsch, Iris K; Daste, Frederic; Gallop, Jennifer L

    2016-08-15

    Curving biological membranes establishes the complex architecture of the cell and mediates membrane traffic to control flux through subcellular compartments. Common molecular mechanisms for bending membranes are evident in different cell biological contexts across eukaryotic phyla. These mechanisms can be intrinsic to the membrane bilayer (either the lipid or protein components) or can be brought about by extrinsic factors, including the cytoskeleton. Here, we review examples of membrane curvature generation in animals, fungi, and plants. We showcase the molecular mechanisms involved and how they collaborate and go on to highlight contexts of curvature that are exciting areas of future research. Lessons from how membranes are bent in yeast and mammals give hints as to the molecular mechanisms we expect to see used by plants and protists. PMID:27528656

  13. Cellular and Molecular Biological Approaches to Interpreting Ancient Biomarkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Dianne K.; Neubauer, Cajetan; Ricci, Jessica N.; Wu, Chia-Hung; Pearson, Ann

    2016-06-01

    Our ability to read the molecular fossil record has advanced significantly in the past decade. Improvements in biomarker sampling and quantification methods, expansion of molecular sequence databases, and the application of genetic and cellular biological tools to problems in biomarker research have enabled much of this progress. By way of example, we review how attempts to understand the biological function of 2-methylhopanoids in modern bacteria have changed our interpretation of what their molecular fossils tell us about the early history of life. They were once thought to be biomarkers of cyanobacteria and hence the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis, but we now believe that 2-methylhopanoid biosynthetic capacity originated in the Alphaproteobacteria, that 2-methylhopanoids are regulated in response to stress, and that hopanoid 2-methylation enhances membrane rigidity. We present a new interpretation of 2-methylhopanes that bridges the gap between studies of the functions of 2-methylhopanoids and their patterns of occurrence in the rock record.

  14. [Molecular biology in myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemias "smoldering"].

    PubMed

    Martinelli, Giovanni; Sartor, Chiara; Papayannidis, Cristina; Iacobucci, Ilaria; Paolini, Stefania; Clissa, Cristina; Ottaviani, Emanuela; Finelli, Carlo

    2014-03-01

    Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a heterogeneous group of clonal hematopoietic disorders of the myeloid lineage characterized by peripheral cytopenias and frequent leukemic evolution. MDS differ for clinical presentation, disease behavior and progression and this is the reflection of remarkable variability at molecular level. To this moment disease diagnosis is still dependent on bone marrow morphology that, although high concordance rates among experts are reported, remains subjective. Karyotype analysis is mandatory but diagnosis may be difficult in presence of normal karyotype or non-informative cytogenetics. Standardized molecular markers are needed to better define diagnosis, prediction of disease progression and prognosis. Furthermore, a molecular biology analysis could provide an important therapeutic tool towards tailored therapy and new insights in the disease's biology.

  15. Molecular bioengineering of biomaterials in the 1990s and beyond: a growing liaison of polymers with molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, A S

    1992-02-01

    An important trend in biomaterials research and development is the synthesis of polymers that combine capabilities of biologic recognition (biomimetic) with special physicochemical properties of the synthetic polymer system. Another important trend in such "molecular bioengineering" is to develop, perhaps via computer-aided molecular design, new artificial biomimetic systems by exact placement of functional groups on rigid polymer backbones, cross-linked structures, or macromolecular assemblies. In this way, biocatalytic functioning or biorecognition similar to enzymes and antibodies can be achieved without the inherent instability often encountered with the native biomolecules or assemblies. Perhaps the most exciting trend in biomaterials research and development is the availability of new biomolecules, e.g., via protein engineering and of hardy cells with specific biofunctions and bioresponses that can be tailored to specific medical or biotechnological needs. The wide variety of ways that such biomolecules and cells can be combined with polymeric biomaterials provides tremendously exciting opportunities for the biomaterials scientists and engineers. In addition to these synthetic approaches, new and exciting analytical tools, such as the scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope, are permitting study on a molecular scale of individual and small clusters of proteins and other biomolecular assemblies on surfaces. Cell attachments and spreading may also be visualized at various depths within the cell using the confocal laser microscope. Such analytical techniques can lead to important new knowledge about biologic interactions with biomaterials and, therefore, to development of even more biocompatible implants and devices. This paper overviews the present state of polymeric biomaterials and highlights the important and exciting opportunities generated by the liaison of these materials with molecular biology.

  16. Novel strategies to engineering biological tissue in vitro.

    PubMed

    Urciuolo, Francesco; Imparato, Giorgia; Guaccio, Angela; Mele, Benedetto; Netti, Paolo A

    2012-01-01

    Tissue engineering creates biological tissues that aim to improve the function of diseased or damaged tissues. In this chapter, we examine the promise and shortcomings of "top-down" and "bottom-up" approaches for creating engineered biological tissues. In top-down approaches, the cells are expected to populate the scaffold and create the appropriate extracellular matrix and microarchitecture often with the aid of a bioreactor that furnish the set of stimuli required for an optimal cellular viability. Specifically, we survey the role of cell material interaction on oxygen metabolism in three-dimensional (3D) in vitro cultures as well as the time and space evolution of the transport and biophysical properties during the development of de novo synthesized tissue-engineered constructs. We show how to monitor and control the evolution of these parameters that is of crucial importance to process biohybrid constructs in vitro as well as to elaborate reliable mathematical model to forecast tissue growth under specific culture conditions. Furthermore, novel strategies such as bottom-up approaches to build tissue constructs in vitro are examined. In this fashion, tissue building blocks with specific microarchitectural features are used as modular units to engineer biological tissues from the bottom up. In particular, the attention will be focused on the use of cell seeded microbeads as functional building blocks to realize 3D complex tissue. Finally, a challenge will be the potential integration of bottom-up techniques with more traditional top-down approaches to create more complex tissues than are currently achievable using either technique alone by optimizing the advantages of each technique.

  17. Molecular engineering of antibodies for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes

    PubMed Central

    Ducancel, Frédéric; Muller, Bruno H.

    2012-01-01

    During the past ten years, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have taken center stage in the field of targeted therapy and diagnosis. This increased interest in mAbs is due to their binding accuracy (affinity and specificity) together with the original molecular and structural rules that govern interactions with their cognate antigen. In addition, the effector properties of antibodies constitute a second major advantage associated with their clinical use. The development of molecular and structural engineering and more recently of in vitro evolution of antibodies has opened up new perspectives in the de novo design of antibodies more adapted to clinical and diagnostic use. Thus, efforts are regularly made by researchers to improve or modulate antibody recognition properties, to adapt their pharmacokinetics, engineer their stability, and control their immunogenicity. This review presents the latest molecular engineering results on mAbs with therapeutic and diagnostic applications. PMID:22684311

  18. Supramolecular Polymerization Engineered with Molecular Recognition.

    PubMed

    Haino, Takeharu

    2015-10-01

    Supramolecular polymeric assemblies represent an emerging, promising class of molecular assemblies with enormous versatility compared with their covalent polymeric counterparts. Although a large number of host-guest motifs have been produced over the history of supramolecular chemistry, only a limited number of recognition motifs have been utilized as supramolecular connections in polymeric assemblies. This account describes the molecular recognition of host molecules based on calix[5]arene and bisporphyrin that demonstrate unique guest encapsulations; subsequently, these host-guest motifs are applied to the synthesis of supramolecular polymers that display polymer-like properties in solution and solid states. In addition, new bisresorcinarenes are developed to form supramolecular polymers that are connected via a rim-to-rim hydrogen-bonded dimeric structure, which is composed of two resorcinarene moieties. PMID:26178364

  19. Cell engineering and molecular pharming for biopharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, M A; Rahmah, Anisa Ur; Sinskey, A J; Rha, C K

    2008-05-14

    Biopharmaceuticals are often produced by recombinant E. coli or mammalian cell lines. This is usually achieved by the introduction of a gene or cDNA coding for the protein of interest into a well-characterized strain of producer cells. Naturally, each recombinant production system has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. This paper examines the current practices, developments, and future trends in the production of biopharmaceuticals. Platform technologies for rapid screening and analyses of biosystems are reviewed. Strategies to improve productivity via metabolic and integrated engineering are also highlighted.

  20. Cell engineering and molecular pharming for biopharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, M A; Rahmah, Anisa Ur; Sinskey, A J; Rha, C K

    2008-01-01

    Biopharmaceuticals are often produced by recombinant E. coli or mammalian cell lines. This is usually achieved by the introduction of a gene or cDNA coding for the protein of interest into a well-characterized strain of producer cells. Naturally, each recombinant production system has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. This paper examines the current practices, developments, and future trends in the production of biopharmaceuticals. Platform technologies for rapid screening and analyses of biosystems are reviewed. Strategies to improve productivity via metabolic and integrated engineering are also highlighted. PMID:19662143

  1. Cell Engineering and Molecular Pharming for Biopharmaceuticals

    PubMed Central

    Abdullah, M.A; Rahmah, Anisa ur; Sinskey, A.J; Rha, C.K

    2008-01-01

    Biopharmaceuticals are often produced by recombinant E. coli or mammalian cell lines. This is usually achieved by the introduction of a gene or cDNA coding for the protein of interest into a well-characterized strain of producer cells. Naturally, each recombinant production system has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. This paper examines the current practices, developments, and future trends in the production of biopharmaceuticals. Platform technologies for rapid screening and analyses of biosystems are reviewed. Strategies to improve productivity via metabolic and integrated engineering are also highlighted. PMID:19662143

  2. The role of neutron scattering in molecular and cellular biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worcester, D. L.

    1982-09-01

    Neutron scattering measurements of biological macromolecules and materials have provided answers to numerous questions about molecular assemblies and arrangements. Studies of ribosomes, viruses, membranes, and other biological structures are reviewed, with emphasis on the importance of both deuterium labelling and contrast variation with H2O/D2O exchange. Although many studies of biological molecules have been made using contrast variation alone, it is the deuterium labelling experiments that have provided the most precise information and answers to major biological questions. This is largely the result of the low resolution of scattering data and the consequent rapid increase of information content that specific deuterium labelling provides. Procedures for specific deuterium labelling `in vivo' are described for recent work on myelin membranes together with basic aspects of such labelling useful for future research.

  3. Mechanistic modeling confronts the complexity of molecular cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Phair, Robert D.

    2014-01-01

    Mechanistic modeling has the potential to transform how cell biologists contend with the inescapable complexity of modern biology. I am a physiologist–electrical engineer–systems biologist who has been working at the level of cell biology for the past 24 years. This perspective aims 1) to convey why we build models, 2) to enumerate the major approaches to modeling and their philosophical differences, 3) to address some recurrent concerns raised by experimentalists, and then 4) to imagine a future in which teams of experimentalists and modelers build—and subject to exhaustive experimental tests—models covering the entire spectrum from molecular cell biology to human pathophysiology. There is, in my view, no technical obstacle to this future, but it will require some plasticity in the biological research mind-set. PMID:25368428

  4. Using argument notation to engineer biological simulations with increased confidence

    PubMed Central

    Alden, Kieran; Andrews, Paul S.; Polack, Fiona A. C.; Veiga-Fernandes, Henrique; Coles, Mark C.; Timmis, Jon

    2015-01-01

    The application of computational and mathematical modelling to explore the mechanics of biological systems is becoming prevalent. To significantly impact biological research, notably in developing novel therapeutics, it is critical that the model adequately represents the captured system. Confidence in adopting in silico approaches can be improved by applying a structured argumentation approach, alongside model development and results analysis. We propose an approach based on argumentation from safety-critical systems engineering, where a system is subjected to a stringent analysis of compliance against identified criteria. We show its use in examining the biological information upon which a model is based, identifying model strengths, highlighting areas requiring additional biological experimentation and providing documentation to support model publication. We demonstrate our use of structured argumentation in the development of a model of lymphoid tissue formation, specifically Peyer's Patches. The argumentation structure is captured using Artoo (www.york.ac.uk/ycil/software/artoo), our Web-based tool for constructing fitness-for-purpose arguments, using a notation based on the safety-critical goal structuring notation. We show how argumentation helps in making the design and structured analysis of a model transparent, capturing the reasoning behind the inclusion or exclusion of each biological feature and recording assumptions, as well as pointing to evidence supporting model-derived conclusions. PMID:25589574

  5. From biology to mathematical models and back: teaching modeling to biology students, and biology to math and engineering students.

    PubMed

    Chiel, Hillel J; McManus, Jeffrey M; Shaw, Kendrick M

    2010-01-01

    We describe the development of a course to teach modeling and mathematical analysis skills to students of biology and to teach biology to students with strong backgrounds in mathematics, physics, or engineering. The two groups of students have different ways of learning material and often have strong negative feelings toward the area of knowledge that they find difficult. To give students a sense of mastery in each area, several complementary approaches are used in the course: 1) a "live" textbook that allows students to explore models and mathematical processes interactively; 2) benchmark problems providing key skills on which students make continuous progress; 3) assignment of students to teams of two throughout the semester; 4) regular one-on-one interactions with instructors throughout the semester; and 5) a term project in which students reconstruct, analyze, extend, and then write in detail about a recently published biological model. Based on student evaluations and comments, an attitude survey, and the quality of the students' term papers, the course has significantly increased the ability and willingness of biology students to use mathematical concepts and modeling tools to understand biological systems, and it has significantly enhanced engineering students' appreciation of biology.

  6. From Biology to Mathematical Models and Back: Teaching Modeling to Biology Students, and Biology to Math and Engineering Students

    PubMed Central

    McManus, Jeffrey M.; Shaw, Kendrick M.

    2010-01-01

    We describe the development of a course to teach modeling and mathematical analysis skills to students of biology and to teach biology to students with strong backgrounds in mathematics, physics, or engineering. The two groups of students have different ways of learning material and often have strong negative feelings toward the area of knowledge that they find difficult. To give students a sense of mastery in each area, several complementary approaches are used in the course: 1) a “live” textbook that allows students to explore models and mathematical processes interactively; 2) benchmark problems providing key skills on which students make continuous progress; 3) assignment of students to teams of two throughout the semester; 4) regular one-on-one interactions with instructors throughout the semester; and 5) a term project in which students reconstruct, analyze, extend, and then write in detail about a recently published biological model. Based on student evaluations and comments, an attitude survey, and the quality of the students' term papers, the course has significantly increased the ability and willingness of biology students to use mathematical concepts and modeling tools to understand biological systems, and it has significantly enhanced engineering students' appreciation of biology. PMID:20810957

  7. Teaching Molecular Biology to Undergraduate Biology Students: An Illustration of Protein Expression and Purification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sommer, Cesar Adolfo; Silva, Flavio Henrique; Novo, Maria Teresa Marques

    2004-01-01

    Practical classes on protein expression and purification were given to undergraduate biology students enrolled in the elective course "Introduction to Genetic Engineering." The heterologous expression of the green fluorescent protein (GFP)* of "Aequorea victoria" is an interesting system for didactic purposes because it can be viewed easily during…

  8. A diagnostic assessment for introductory molecular and cell biology.

    PubMed

    Shi, Jia; Wood, William B; Martin, Jennifer M; Guild, Nancy A; Vicens, Quentin; Knight, Jennifer K

    2010-01-01

    We have developed and validated a tool for assessing understanding of a selection of fundamental concepts and basic knowledge in undergraduate introductory molecular and cell biology, focusing on areas in which students often have misconceptions. This multiple-choice Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) instrument is designed for use as a pre- and posttest to measure student learning gains. To develop the assessment, we first worked with faculty to create a set of learning goals that targeted important concepts in the field and seemed likely to be emphasized by most instructors teaching these subjects. We interviewed students using open-ended questions to identify commonly held misconceptions, formulated multiple-choice questions that included these ideas as distracters, and reinterviewed students to establish validity of the instrument. The assessment was then evaluated by 25 biology experts and modified based on their suggestions. The complete revised assessment was administered to more than 1300 students at three institutions. Analysis of statistical parameters including item difficulty, item discrimination, and reliability provides evidence that the IMCA is a valid and reliable instrument with several potential uses in gauging student learning of key concepts in molecular and cell biology.

  9. Molecular biology and genetics affecting pediatric solid tumors.

    PubMed

    Lugo-Vicente, H

    2000-01-01

    Since the discovery of oncogenes more than 20 years ago, it has been proven that cancer is a genetically determined disease. Multiple genetic alteration occurs during the course of an illness for neoplasia to develop. Transformation of positive cell growth regulators (oncogenes) and inactivations of negative cell growth regulators (tumor suppressor genes) merge to express a malignant phenotype. These genetic alterations occur as chromosomal translocations, deletions, inversion, amplification or point mutation. The objective of this review is to introduce basic concepts of molecular biology and describe the molecular genetics and biologic clinical findings of the most important solid malignant tumors in children, namely Neuroblastoma, Wilms and Rhabdomyosarcoma. It is the oncology surgeons responsibility to learn basic molecular genetics and tumor biology to provide rational and appropriate care in the setting of multidisciplinary management. Identifications of new oncogenes will continue to be important milestones in diagnosis, early detection of tumor recurrence, and as potential targets for gene therapy. Fusion proteins generated by mutated translocations are true tumor specific antigens and potential targets for therapy. The predicament is that they are proteins needing therapeutic manipulation within the tumor cell nuclei. Technological advances in molecular and genetics will develop tools necessary to manipulate the cell nuclear DNA and target cancer cell.

  10. Recent advances in developing molecular tools for targeted genome engineering of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Lim, Kwang-il

    2015-01-01

    Various biological molecules naturally existing in diversified species including fungi, bacteria, and bacteriophage have functionalities for DNA binding and processing. The biological molecules have been recently actively engineered for use in customized genome editing of mammalian cells as the molecule-encoding DNA sequence information and the underlying mechanisms how the molecules work are unveiled. Excitingly, multiple novel methods based on the newly constructed artificial molecular tools have enabled modifications of specific endogenous genetic elements in the genome context at efficiencies that are much higher than that of the conventional homologous recombination based methods. This minireview introduces the most recently spotlighted molecular genome engineering tools with their key features and ongoing modifications for better performance. Such ongoing efforts have mainly focused on the removal of the inherent DNA sequence recognition rigidity from the original molecular platforms, the addition of newly tailored targeting functions into the engineered molecules, and the enhancement of their targeting specificity. Effective targeted genome engineering of mammalian cells will enable not only sophisticated genetic studies in the context of the genome, but also widely-applicable universal therapeutics based on the pinpointing and correction of the disease-causing genetic elements within the genome in the near future.

  11. Recent advances in developing molecular tools for targeted genome engineering of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Lim, Kwang-il

    2015-01-01

    Various biological molecules naturally existing in diversified species including fungi, bacteria, and bacteriophage have functionalities for DNA binding and processing. The biological molecules have been recently actively engineered for use in customized genome editing of mammalian cells as the molecule-encoding DNA sequence information and the underlying mechanisms how the molecules work are unveiled. Excitingly, multiple novel methods based on the newly constructed artificial molecular tools have enabled modifications of specific endogenous genetic elements in the genome context at efficiencies that are much higher than that of the conventional homologous recombination based methods. This minireview introduces the most recently spotlighted molecular genome engineering tools with their key features and ongoing modifications for better performance. Such ongoing efforts have mainly focused on the removal of the inherent DNA sequence recognition rigidity from the original molecular platforms, the addition of newly tailored targeting functions into the engineered molecules, and the enhancement of their targeting specificity. Effective targeted genome engineering of mammalian cells will enable not only sophisticated genetic studies in the context of the genome, but also widely-applicable universal therapeutics based on the pinpointing and correction of the disease-causing genetic elements within the genome in the near future. PMID:25104401

  12. Synthetic biology and regulatory networks: where metabolic systems biology meets control engineering

    PubMed Central

    He, Fei; Murabito, Ettore; Westerhoff, Hans V.

    2016-01-01

    Metabolic pathways can be engineered to maximize the synthesis of various products of interest. With the advent of computational systems biology, this endeavour is usually carried out through in silico theoretical studies with the aim to guide and complement further in vitro and in vivo experimental efforts. Clearly, what counts is the result in vivo, not only in terms of maximal productivity but also robustness against environmental perturbations. Engineering an organism towards an increased production flux, however, often compromises that robustness. In this contribution, we review and investigate how various analytical approaches used in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology are related to concepts developed by systems and control engineering. While trade-offs between production optimality and cellular robustness have already been studied diagnostically and statically, the dynamics also matter. Integration of the dynamic design aspects of control engineering with the more diagnostic aspects of metabolic, hierarchical control and regulation analysis is leading to the new, conceptual and operational framework required for the design of robust and productive dynamic pathways. PMID:27075000

  13. Synthetic biology and regulatory networks: where metabolic systems biology meets control engineering.

    PubMed

    He, Fei; Murabito, Ettore; Westerhoff, Hans V

    2016-04-01

    Metabolic pathways can be engineered to maximize the synthesis of various products of interest. With the advent of computational systems biology, this endeavour is usually carried out through in silico theoretical studies with the aim to guide and complement further in vitro and in vivo experimental efforts. Clearly, what counts is the result in vivo, not only in terms of maximal productivity but also robustness against environmental perturbations. Engineering an organism towards an increased production flux, however, often compromises that robustness. In this contribution, we review and investigate how various analytical approaches used in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology are related to concepts developed by systems and control engineering. While trade-offs between production optimality and cellular robustness have already been studied diagnostically and statically, the dynamics also matter. Integration of the dynamic design aspects of control engineering with the more diagnostic aspects of metabolic, hierarchical control and regulation analysis is leading to the new, conceptual and operational framework required for the design of robust and productive dynamic pathways.

  14. Synthetic biology and regulatory networks: where metabolic systems biology meets control engineering.

    PubMed

    He, Fei; Murabito, Ettore; Westerhoff, Hans V

    2016-04-01

    Metabolic pathways can be engineered to maximize the synthesis of various products of interest. With the advent of computational systems biology, this endeavour is usually carried out through in silico theoretical studies with the aim to guide and complement further in vitro and in vivo experimental efforts. Clearly, what counts is the result in vivo, not only in terms of maximal productivity but also robustness against environmental perturbations. Engineering an organism towards an increased production flux, however, often compromises that robustness. In this contribution, we review and investigate how various analytical approaches used in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology are related to concepts developed by systems and control engineering. While trade-offs between production optimality and cellular robustness have already been studied diagnostically and statically, the dynamics also matter. Integration of the dynamic design aspects of control engineering with the more diagnostic aspects of metabolic, hierarchical control and regulation analysis is leading to the new, conceptual and operational framework required for the design of robust and productive dynamic pathways. PMID:27075000

  15. Gate engineered performance of single molecular transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, S. J.

    2016-05-01

    The operation, performance and electrostatics of multigated Single Molecular Transistor (SMT) devices are investigated using first-principles based density functional theory calculations for planar (pentacene) and non-planar (sucrose) molecules as islands. It has been found that the incorporation of larger numbers of gates allows enhanced electrostatic control in the SMT operation which has been quantified from the energy calculations and estimation of the gate capacitances. The effect of multiple gates is more dominant for a non-planar molecule than a planar molecule within an SMT which indicates the usefulness of such multi-gate architectures for future nanoelectronic devices.

  16. BIO2010 and beyond: What undergraduate physics does the next generation of molecular biology researchers need?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, Jonathon

    2004-03-01

    What fundamental skills in mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science and engineering are required at the undergraduate level to prepare the next generation of biology majors who will become research scientists? To address this question, Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences, established BIO2010, a committee of the National Research Council (USA), chaired by Lubert Stryer. The report of the committee was published in 2003 as BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists (National Academies Press, Washington DC, www.national-academies.com). I will summarize the recommendations of the Physics and Engineering Panel that was chaired by John Hopfield and give my own views of what physics is essential for researchers in cell and molecular biology.

  17. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS FOR MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (ISMB)

    SciTech Connect

    Debra Goldberg; Matthew Hibbs; Lukas Kall; Ravikumar Komandurglayavilli; Shaun Mahony; Voichita Marinescu; Itay Mayrose; Vladimir Minin; Yossef Neeman; Guy Nimrod; Marian Novotny; Stephen Opiyo; Elon Portugaly; Tali Sadka; Noboru Sakabe; Indra Sarkar; Marc Schaub; Paul Shafer; Olena Shmygelska; Gregory Singer; Yun Song; Bhattacharya Soumyaroop; Michael Stadler; Pooja Strope; Rong Su; Yuval Tabach; Hongseok Tae; Todd Taylor; Michael Terribilini; Asha Thomas; Nam Tran; Tsai-Tien Tseng; Akshay Vashist; Parthiban Vijaya; Kai Wang; Ting Wang; Lai Wei; Yong Woo; Chunlei Wu; Yoshihiro Yamanishi; Changhui Yan; Jack Yang; Mary Yang; Ping Ye; Miao Zhang

    2009-12-29

    The Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) conference has provided a general forum for disseminating the latest developments in bioinformatics on an annual basis for the past 13 years. ISMB is a multidisciplinary conference that brings together scientists from computer science, molecular biology, mathematics and statistics. The goal of the ISMB meeting is to bring together biologists and computational scientists in a focus on actual biological problems, i.e., not simply theoretical calculations. The combined focus on “intelligent systems” and actual biological data makes ISMB a unique and highly important meeting, and 13 years of experience in holding the conference has resulted in a consistently well organized, well attended, and highly respected annual conference. The ISMB 2005 meeting was held June 25-29, 2005 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. The meeting attracted over 1,730 attendees. The science presented was exceptional, and in the course of the five-day meeting, 56 scientific papers, 710 posters, 47 Oral Abstracts, 76 Software demonstrations, and 14 tutorials were presented. The attendees represented a broad spectrum of backgrounds with 7% from commercial companies, over 28% qualifying for student registration, and 41 countries were represented at the conference, emphasizing its important international aspect. The ISMB conference is especially important because the cultures of computer science and biology are so disparate. ISMB, as a full-scale technical conference with refereed proceedings that have been indexed by both MEDLINE and Current Contents since 1996, bridges this cultural gap.

  18. Molecular circuits, biological switches, and nonlinear dose-response relationships.

    PubMed Central

    Andersen, Melvin E; Yang, Raymond S H; French, C Tenley; Chubb, Laura S; Dennison, James E

    2002-01-01

    Signaling motifs (nuclear transcriptional receptors, kinase/phosphatase cascades, G-coupled protein receptors, etc.) have composite dose-response behaviors in relation to concentrations of protein receptors and endogenous signaling molecules. "Molecular circuits" include the biological components and their interactions that comprise the workings of these signaling motifs. Many of these molecular circuits have nonlinear dose-response behaviors for endogenous ligands and for exogenous toxicants, acting as switches with "all-or-none" responses over a narrow range of concentration. In turn, these biological switches regulate large-scale cellular processes, e.g., commitment to cell division, cell differentiation, and phenotypic alterations. Biologically based dose-response (BBDR) models accounting for these biological switches would improve risk assessment for many nonlinear processes in toxicology. These BBDR models must account for normal control of the signaling motifs and for perturbations by toxic compounds. We describe several of these biological switches, current tools available for constructing BBDR models of these processes, and the potential value of these models in risk assessment. PMID:12634127

  19. Time scale of diffusion in molecular and cellular biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holcman, D.; Schuss, Z.

    2014-05-01

    Diffusion is the driver of critical biological processes in cellular and molecular biology. The diverse temporal scales of cellular function are determined by vastly diverse spatial scales in most biophysical processes. The latter are due, among others, to small binding sites inside or on the cell membrane or to narrow passages between large cellular compartments. The great disparity in scales is at the root of the difficulty in quantifying cell function from molecular dynamics and from simulations. The coarse-grained time scale of cellular function is determined from molecular diffusion by the mean first passage time of molecular Brownian motion to a small targets or through narrow passages. The narrow escape theory (NET) concerns this issue. The NET is ubiquitous in molecular and cellular biology and is manifested, among others, in chemical reactions, in the calculation of the effective diffusion coefficient of receptors diffusing on a neuronal cell membrane strewn with obstacles, in the quantification of the early steps of viral trafficking, in the regulation of diffusion between the mother and daughter cells during cell division, and many other cases. Brownian trajectories can represent the motion of a molecule, a protein, an ion in solution, a receptor in a cell or on its membrane, and many other biochemical processes. The small target can represent a binding site or an ionic channel, a hidden active site embedded in a complex protein structure, a receptor for a neurotransmitter on the membrane of a neuron, and so on. The mean time to attach to a receptor or activator determines diffusion fluxes that are key regulators of cell function. This review describes physical models of various subcellular microdomains, in which the NET coarse-grains the molecular scale to a higher cellular-level, thus clarifying the role of cell geometry in determining subcellular function.

  20. The molecular biology of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Frick, Mareike; Dörken, Bernd; Lenz, Georg

    2011-12-01

    Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) represents the most common type of malignant lymphoma. In the last few years, significant progress has been achieved in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of this entity. Gene expression profiling has identified three molecular DLBCL subtypes, termed germinal-center B-cell-like (GCB) DLBCL, activated B-cell-like (ABC) DLBCL, and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBL). In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the biology of these DLBCL subtypes with a special emphasis on novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. PMID:23556103

  1. Molecular biology of gliomas: present and future challenges

    PubMed Central

    Altieri, R.; Agnoletti, A.; Quattrucci, F.; Garbossa, D.; Calamo Specchia, F. M.; Bozzaro, M.; Fornaro, R.; Mencarani, C.; Lanotte, M.; Spaziante, R.; Ducati, A.

    2014-01-01

    Malignant brain tumours are one of the most relevant causes of morbidity and mortality across a wide range of individuals. Malignant glioma is the most common intra axial tumor in the adult. Many researches on this theme brought advances in the knowledge of gliomas biology and pathogenesis and to the development of new agents for targeted molecular therapy. Recent studies focused on either tumor metabolism analysis or epigenetic regulation in the pathogenesis or maintenance of brain tumors. This Review summarizes these developments analyzing molecular pathology and possible further developments for targeted therapies. PMID:25147764

  2. Molecular biology of gliomas: present and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Altieri, R; Agnoletti, A; Quattrucci, F; Garbossa, D; Calamo Specchia, F M; Bozzaro, M; Fornaro, R; Mencarani, C; Lanotte, M; Spaziante, R; Ducati, A

    2014-09-01

    Malignant brain tumours are one of the most relevant causes of morbidity and mortality across a wide range of individuals. Malignant glioma is the most common intra axial tumor in the adult. Many researches on this theme brought advances in the knowledge of gliomas biology and pathogenesis and to the development of new agents for targeted molecular therapy. Recent studies focused on either tumor metabolism analysis or epigenetic regulation in the pathogenesis or maintenance of brain tumors. This Review summarizes these developments analyzing molecular pathology and possible further developments for targeted therapies.

  3. New Tools and New Biology: Recent Miniaturized Systems for Molecular and Cellular Biology

    PubMed Central

    Hamon, Morgan; Hong, Jong Wook

    2013-01-01

    Recent advances in applied physics and chemistry have led to the development of novel microfluidic systems. Microfluidic systems allow minute amounts of reagents to be processed using μm-scale channels and offer several advantages over conventional analytical devices for use in biological sciences: faster, more accurate and more reproducible analytical performance, reduced cell and reagent consumption, portability, and integration of functional components in a single chip. In this review, we introduce how microfluidics has been applied to biological sciences. We first present an overview of the fabrication of microfluidic systems and describe the distinct technologies available for biological research. We then present examples of microsystems used in biological sciences, focusing on applications in molecular and cellular biology. PMID:24305843

  4. Recent Progress on Systems and Synthetic Biology Approaches to Engineer Fungi As Microbial Cell Factories.

    PubMed

    Amores, Gerardo Ruiz; Guazzaroni, María-Eugenia; Arruda, Letícia Magalhães; Silva-Rocha, Rafael

    2016-04-01

    Filamentous fungi are remarkable organisms naturally specialized in deconstructing plant biomass and this feature has a tremendous potential for biofuel production from renewable sources. The past decades have been marked by a remarkable progress in the genetic engineering of fungi to generate industry-compatible strains needed for some biotech applications. In this sense, progress in this field has been marked by the utilization of high-throughput techniques to gain deep understanding of the molecular machinery controlling the physiology of these organisms, starting thus the Systems Biology era of fungi. Additionally, genetic engineering has been extensively applied to modify wellcharacterized promoters in order to construct new expression systems with enhanced performance under the conditions of interest. In this review, we discuss some aspects related to significant progress in the understating and engineering of fungi for biotechnological applications, with special focus on the construction of synthetic promoters and circuits in organisms relevant for industry. Different engineering approaches are shown, and their potential and limitations for the construction of complex synthetic circuits in these organisms are examined. Finally, we discuss the impact of engineered promoter architecture in the single-cell behavior of the system, an often-neglected relationship with a tremendous impact in the final performance of the process of interest. We expect to provide here some new directions to drive future research directed to the construction of high-performance, engineered fungal strains working as microbial cell factories.

  5. Recent Progress on Systems and Synthetic Biology Approaches to Engineer Fungi As Microbial Cell Factories.

    PubMed

    Amores, Gerardo Ruiz; Guazzaroni, María-Eugenia; Arruda, Letícia Magalhães; Silva-Rocha, Rafael

    2016-04-01

    Filamentous fungi are remarkable organisms naturally specialized in deconstructing plant biomass and this feature has a tremendous potential for biofuel production from renewable sources. The past decades have been marked by a remarkable progress in the genetic engineering of fungi to generate industry-compatible strains needed for some biotech applications. In this sense, progress in this field has been marked by the utilization of high-throughput techniques to gain deep understanding of the molecular machinery controlling the physiology of these organisms, starting thus the Systems Biology era of fungi. Additionally, genetic engineering has been extensively applied to modify wellcharacterized promoters in order to construct new expression systems with enhanced performance under the conditions of interest. In this review, we discuss some aspects related to significant progress in the understating and engineering of fungi for biotechnological applications, with special focus on the construction of synthetic promoters and circuits in organisms relevant for industry. Different engineering approaches are shown, and their potential and limitations for the construction of complex synthetic circuits in these organisms are examined. Finally, we discuss the impact of engineered promoter architecture in the single-cell behavior of the system, an often-neglected relationship with a tremendous impact in the final performance of the process of interest. We expect to provide here some new directions to drive future research directed to the construction of high-performance, engineered fungal strains working as microbial cell factories. PMID:27226765

  6. Recent Progress on Systems and Synthetic Biology Approaches to Engineer Fungi As Microbial Cell Factories

    PubMed Central

    Amores, Gerardo Ruiz; Guazzaroni, María-Eugenia; Arruda, Letícia Magalhães; Silva-Rocha, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    Filamentous fungi are remarkable organisms naturally specialized in deconstructing plant biomass and this feature has a tremendous potential for biofuel production from renewable sources. The past decades have been marked by a remarkable progress in the genetic engineering of fungi to generate industry-compatible strains needed for some biotech applications. In this sense, progress in this field has been marked by the utilization of high-throughput techniques to gain deep understanding of the molecular machinery controlling the physiology of these organisms, starting thus the Systems Biology era of fungi. Additionally, genetic engineering has been extensively applied to modify wellcharacterized promoters in order to construct new expression systems with enhanced performance under the conditions of interest. In this review, we discuss some aspects related to significant progress in the understating and engineering of fungi for biotechnological applications, with special focus on the construction of synthetic promoters and circuits in organisms relevant for industry. Different engineering approaches are shown, and their potential and limitations for the construction of complex synthetic circuits in these organisms are examined. Finally, we discuss the impact of engineered promoter architecture in the single-cell behavior of the system, an often-neglected relationship with a tremendous impact in the final performance of the process of interest. We expect to provide here some new directions to drive future research directed to the construction of high-performance, engineered fungal strains working as microbial cell factories. PMID:27226765

  7. Grete Kellenberger-Gujer: Molecular biology research pioneer

    PubMed Central

    Citi, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Grete Kellenberger-Gujer was a Swiss molecular biologist who pioneered fundamental studies of bacteriophage in the mid-20th century at the University of Geneva. Her life and career stories are reviewed here, focusing on her fundamental contributions to our early understanding of phage biology via her insightful analyses of phenomena such as the lysogenic state of a temperate phage (λ), genetic recombination, radiation's in vivo consequences, and DNA restriction-modification; on her creative personality and interactions with peers; and how her academic advancement was affected by gender, societal conditions and cultural attitudes of the time. Her story is important scientifically, putting into perspective features of the scientific community from just before the molecular biology era started through its early years, and also sociologically, in illustrating the numerous “glass ceilings” that, especially then, often hampered the advancement of creative women.

  8. Grete Kellenberger-Gujer: Molecular biology research pioneer.

    PubMed

    Citi, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E

    2016-01-01

    Grete Kellenberger-Gujer was a Swiss molecular biologist who pioneered fundamental studies of bacteriophage in the mid-20(th) century at the University of Geneva. Her life and career stories are reviewed here, focusing on her fundamental contributions to our early understanding of phage biology via her insightful analyses of phenomena such as the lysogenic state of a temperate phage (λ), genetic recombination, radiation's in vivo consequences, and DNA restriction-modification; on her creative personality and interactions with peers; and how her academic advancement was affected by gender, societal conditions and cultural attitudes of the time. Her story is important scientifically, putting into perspective features of the scientific community from just before the molecular biology era started through its early years, and also sociologically, in illustrating the numerous "glass ceilings" that, especially then, often hampered the advancement of creative women. PMID:27607140

  9. Grete Kellenberger-Gujer: Molecular biology research pioneer

    PubMed Central

    Citi, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Grete Kellenberger-Gujer was a Swiss molecular biologist who pioneered fundamental studies of bacteriophage in the mid-20th century at the University of Geneva. Her life and career stories are reviewed here, focusing on her fundamental contributions to our early understanding of phage biology via her insightful analyses of phenomena such as the lysogenic state of a temperate phage (λ), genetic recombination, radiation's in vivo consequences, and DNA restriction-modification; on her creative personality and interactions with peers; and how her academic advancement was affected by gender, societal conditions and cultural attitudes of the time. Her story is important scientifically, putting into perspective features of the scientific community from just before the molecular biology era started through its early years, and also sociologically, in illustrating the numerous “glass ceilings” that, especially then, often hampered the advancement of creative women. PMID:27607140

  10. Grete Kellenberger-Gujer: Molecular biology research pioneer.

    PubMed

    Citi, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E

    2016-01-01

    Grete Kellenberger-Gujer was a Swiss molecular biologist who pioneered fundamental studies of bacteriophage in the mid-20(th) century at the University of Geneva. Her life and career stories are reviewed here, focusing on her fundamental contributions to our early understanding of phage biology via her insightful analyses of phenomena such as the lysogenic state of a temperate phage (λ), genetic recombination, radiation's in vivo consequences, and DNA restriction-modification; on her creative personality and interactions with peers; and how her academic advancement was affected by gender, societal conditions and cultural attitudes of the time. Her story is important scientifically, putting into perspective features of the scientific community from just before the molecular biology era started through its early years, and also sociologically, in illustrating the numerous "glass ceilings" that, especially then, often hampered the advancement of creative women.

  11. Molecular biology of thermosensory transduction in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Ichiro; Mori, Ikue

    2015-10-01

    As the environmental temperature prominently influences diverse biological aspects of the animals, thermosensation and the subsequent information processing in the nervous system has attracted much attention in biology. Thermotaxis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal behavioral paradigm by which to address the molecular mechanism underlying thermosensory transduction. Molecular genetic analysis in combination with other physiological and behavioral studies revealed that sensation of ambient temperature is mediated mainly by cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling in thermosensory neurons. The information of the previously perceived temperature is also stored within the thermosensory neurons, and the consequence of the comparison between the past and the present temperature is conveyed to the downstream interneurons to further regulate the motor-circuits that encode the locomotion.

  12. Current dichotomy between traditional molecular biological and omic research in cancer biology and pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Reinhold, William C

    2015-12-10

    There is currently a split within the cancer research community between traditional molecular biological hypothesis-driven and the more recent "omic" forms or research. While the molecular biological approach employs the tried and true single alteration-single response formulations of experimentation, the omic employs broad-based assay or sample collection approaches that generate large volumes of data. How to integrate the benefits of these two approaches in an efficient and productive fashion remains an outstanding issue. Ideally, one would merge the understandability, exactness, simplicity, and testability of the molecular biological approach, with the larger amounts of data, simultaneous consideration of multiple alterations, consideration of genes both of known interest along with the novel, cross-sample comparisons among cell lines and patient samples, and consideration of directed questions while simultaneously gaining exposure to the novel provided by the omic approach. While at the current time integration of the two disciplines remains problematic, attempts to do so are ongoing, and will be necessary for the understanding of the large cell line screens including the Developmental Therapeutics Program's NCI-60, the Broad Institute's Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's Cancer Genome Project, as well as the the Cancer Genome Atlas clinical samples project. Going forward there is significant benefit to be had from the integration of the molecular biological and the omic forms or research, with the desired goal being improved translational understanding and application.

  13. In focus: molecular and cell biology research in China.

    PubMed

    Yao, Xuebiao; Li, Dangsheng; Pei, Gang

    2013-09-01

    An interactive, intellectual environment with good funding opportunities is essential for the development and success of basic research. The fast-growing economy and investment in science, together with a visionary plan, have attracted foreign scholars to work in China, motivated world-class Chinese scientists to return and strengthened the country's international collaborations. As a result, molecular and cell biology research in China has evolved rapidly over the past decade.

  14. Protocols, practices, and the reproduction of technique in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Michael

    2002-06-01

    Protocols are one of the main organizational resources in molecular biology. They are written instructions that specify ingredients, equipment, and sequences of steps for making technical preparations. Some protocols are published in widely used manuals, while others are hand-written variants used by particular laboratories and individual technicians. It is widely understood, both in molecular biology and in social studies of science, that protocols do not describe exactly what practitioners do in the laboratory workplace. In social studies of science, the difference between protocols and the actual practices of doing them often is used to set up ironic contrasts between 'messy' laboratory practices and the appearance of technical order. Alternatively, in ethnomethodological studies of work, the difference is examined as a constitutive feature, both of the lived-work of doing technical projects, and of the administrative work of regulating and evaluating such projects. The present article takes its point of departure from ethnomethodology, and begins with a discussion of local problems with performing molecular biology protocols on specific occasions. The discussion then moves to particular cases in criminal law in which defense attorneys cross-examine forensic technicians and lab administrators. In these interrogations, the distinction between protocols and actual practices animates the dialogue and becomes consequential for judgments in the case at hand. The article concludes with a discussion of administrative science: the work of treating protocols and paper trails as proxies for actual 'scientific' practices.

  15. Engineering Molecular Transformations for Sustainable Energy Conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Neurock, Matthew

    2010-12-03

    Future strategies for sustainable energy production will undoubtedly require processes and materials that can efficiently convert renewable resources into fuels. Nature’s enzymes can exquisitely integrate highly active catalytic centers within flexible environments that can adaptively guide reactants to products with very high activities and selectivities. They are limited, however, by their stability and ability to integrate into large scale production processes. The design of more robust heterogeneous catalytic materials that mimic the performance of enzymes, however, has been hindered by our limited understanding of how such transformations proceed. The tremendous advances in ab initio quantum mechanical methods, atomistic simulations, and high performance computing that have occurred over the past two decades, however, provide unprecedented ability to track molecular transformations and how they proceed at specific sites and within particular environments. This information together with the advances in in situ spectroscopic methods that follow such transformations can begin to enable the design of atomic surface ensembles and nanoscale reaction environments. This paper provides the author’s perspective on how theory and simulation can be used to move from current onedimensional design efforts based on catalytic descriptors to the design of two-dimensional surfaces, threedimensional reaction environments, and proton-coupled electron transfer systems that mimic enzymes in the transformation of molecules.

  16. Topology and static response of interaction networks in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Radulescu, Ovidiu; Lagarrigue, Sandrine; Siegel, Anne; Veber, Philippe; Le Borgne, Michel

    2006-02-22

    We introduce a mathematical framework describing static response of networks occurring in molecular biology. This formalism has many similarities with the Laplace-Kirchhoff equations for electrical networks. We introduce the concept of graph boundary and we show how the response of the biological networks to external perturbations can be related to the Dirichlet or Neumann problems for the corresponding equations on the interaction graph. Solutions to these two problems are given in terms of path moduli (measuring path rigidity with respect to the propagation of interaction along the graph). Path moduli are related to loop products in the interaction graph via generalized Mason-Coates formulae. We apply our results to two specific biological examples: the lactose operon and the genetic regulation of lipogenesis. Our applications show consistency with experimental results and in the case of lipogenesis check some hypothesis on the behaviour of hepatic fatty acids on fasting. PMID:16849230

  17. Topology and static response of interaction networks in molecular biology

    PubMed Central

    Radulescu, Ovidiu; Lagarrigue, Sandrine; Siegel, Anne; Veber, Philippe; Le Borgne, Michel

    2005-01-01

    We introduce a mathematical framework describing static response of networks occurring in molecular biology. This formalism has many similarities with the Laplace–Kirchhoff equations for electrical networks. We introduce the concept of graph boundary and we show how the response of the biological networks to external perturbations can be related to the Dirichlet or Neumann problems for the corresponding equations on the interaction graph. Solutions to these two problems are given in terms of path moduli (measuring path rigidity with respect to the propagation of interaction along the graph). Path moduli are related to loop products in the interaction graph via generalized Mason–Coates formulae. We apply our results to two specific biological examples: the lactose operon and the genetic regulation of lipogenesis. Our applications show consistency with experimental results and in the case of lipogenesis check some hypothesis on the behaviour of hepatic fatty acids on fasting. PMID:16849230

  18. Biological Responses to Engineered Nanomaterials: Needs for the Next Decade

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The interaction of nanomaterials with biomolecules, cells, and organisms is an enormously vital area of current research, with applications in nanoenabled diagnostics, imaging agents, therapeutics, and contaminant removal technologies. Yet the potential for adverse biological and environmental impacts of nanomaterial exposure is considerable and needs to be addressed to ensure sustainable development of nanomaterials. In this Outlook four research needs for the next decade are outlined: (i) measurement of the chemical nature of nanomaterials in dynamic, complex aqueous environments; (ii) real-time measurements of nanomaterial–biological interactions with chemical specificity; (iii) delineation of molecular modes of action for nanomaterial effects on living systems as functions of nanomaterial properties; and (iv) an integrated systems approach that includes computation and simulation across orders of magnitude in time and space. PMID:27162961

  19. Biological responses to engineered nanomaterials: Needs for the next decade

    DOE PAGES

    Murphy, Catherine J.; Vartanian, Ariane M.; Geiger, Franz M.; Hamers, Robert J.; Pedersen, Joel A.; Cui, Qiang; Haynes, Christy L.; Carlson, Erin E.; Hernandez, Rigoberto; Klaper, Rebecca D.; et al

    2015-06-09

    In this study, the interaction of nanomaterials with biomolecules, cells, and organisms is an enormously vital area of current research, with applications in nanoenabled diagnostics, imaging agents, therapeutics, and contaminant removal technologies. Yet the potential for adverse biological and environmental impacts of nanomaterial exposure is considerable and needs to be addressed to ensure sustainable development of nanomaterials. In this Outlook four research needs for the next decade are outlined: (i) measurement of the chemical nature of nanomaterials in dynamic, complex aqueous environments; (ii) real-time measurements of nanomaterial-biological interactions with chemical specificity; (iii) delineation of molecular modes of action for nanomaterialmore » effects on living systems as functions of nanomaterial properties; and (iv) an integrated systems approach that includes computation and simulation across orders of magnitude in time and space.« less

  20. Biological responses to engineered nanomaterials: Needs for the next decade

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, Catherine J.; Vartanian, Ariane M.; Geiger, Franz M.; Hamers, Robert J.; Pedersen, Joel A.; Cui, Qiang; Haynes, Christy L.; Carlson, Erin E.; Hernandez, Rigoberto; Klaper, Rebecca D.; Orr, Galya; Rosenzweig, Ze'ev

    2015-06-09

    In this study, the interaction of nanomaterials with biomolecules, cells, and organisms is an enormously vital area of current research, with applications in nanoenabled diagnostics, imaging agents, therapeutics, and contaminant removal technologies. Yet the potential for adverse biological and environmental impacts of nanomaterial exposure is considerable and needs to be addressed to ensure sustainable development of nanomaterials. In this Outlook four research needs for the next decade are outlined: (i) measurement of the chemical nature of nanomaterials in dynamic, complex aqueous environments; (ii) real-time measurements of nanomaterial-biological interactions with chemical specificity; (iii) delineation of molecular modes of action for nanomaterial effects on living systems as functions of nanomaterial properties; and (iv) an integrated systems approach that includes computation and simulation across orders of magnitude in time and space.

  1. Clinical Applications of Molecular Biology for Infectious Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Speers, David J

    2006-01-01

    Molecular biological methods for the detection and characterisation of microorganisms have revolutionised diagnostic microbiology and are now part of routine specimen processing. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques have led the way into this new era by allowing rapid detection of microorganisms that were previously difficult or impossible to detect by traditional microbiological methods. In addition to detection of fastidious microorganisms, more rapid detection by molecular methods is now possible for pathogens of public health importance. Molecular methods have now progressed beyond identification to detect antimicrobial resistance genes and provide public health information such as strain characterisation by genotyping. Treatment of certain microorganisms has been improved by viral resistance detection and viral load testing for the monitoring of responses to antiviral therapies. With the advent of multiplex PCR, real-time PCR and improvements in efficiency through automation, the costs of molecular methods are decreasing such that the role of molecular methods will further increase. This review will focus on the clinical utility of molecular methods performed in the clinical microbiology laboratory, illustrated with the many examples of how they have changed laboratory diagnosis and therefore the management of infectious diseases. PMID:16886046

  2. Molecular biology in studies of oceanic primary production

    SciTech Connect

    LaRoche, J.; Falkowski, P.G. ); Geider, R. . Coll. of Marine Studies)

    1992-01-01

    Remote sensing and the use of moored in situ instrumentation has greatly improved our ability to measure phytoplankton chlorophyll and photosynthesis on global scales with high temporal resolution. However, the interpretation of these measurements and their significance with respect to the biogeochemical cycling of carbon relies on their relationship with physiological and biochemical processes in phytoplankton. For example, the use of satellite images of surface chlorophyll to estimate primary production is often based on the functional relationship between photosynthesis and irradiance. A variety of environmental factors such as light, temperature, nutrient availability affect the photosynthesis/irradiance (P vs I) relationship in phytoplankton. We present three examples showing how molecular biology can be used to provide basic insight into the factors controlling primary productivity at three different levels of complexity: 1. Studies of light intensity regulation in unicellular alga show how molecular biology can help understand the processing of environmental cues leading to the regulation of photosynthetic gene expression. 2. Probing of the photosynthetic apparatus using molecular techniques can be used to test existing mechanistic models derived from the interpretation of physiological and biophysical measurements. 3. Exploratory work on the expression of specific proteins during nutrient-limited growth of phytoplankton may lead to the identification and production of molecular probes for field studies.

  3. Molecular biology in studies of oceanic primary production

    SciTech Connect

    LaRoche, J.; Falkowski, P.G.; Geider, R.

    1992-07-01

    Remote sensing and the use of moored in situ instrumentation has greatly improved our ability to measure phytoplankton chlorophyll and photosynthesis on global scales with high temporal resolution. However, the interpretation of these measurements and their significance with respect to the biogeochemical cycling of carbon relies on their relationship with physiological and biochemical processes in phytoplankton. For example, the use of satellite images of surface chlorophyll to estimate primary production is often based on the functional relationship between photosynthesis and irradiance. A variety of environmental factors such as light, temperature, nutrient availability affect the photosynthesis/irradiance (P vs I) relationship in phytoplankton. We present three examples showing how molecular biology can be used to provide basic insight into the factors controlling primary productivity at three different levels of complexity: 1. Studies of light intensity regulation in unicellular alga show how molecular biology can help understand the processing of environmental cues leading to the regulation of photosynthetic gene expression. 2. Probing of the photosynthetic apparatus using molecular techniques can be used to test existing mechanistic models derived from the interpretation of physiological and biophysical measurements. 3. Exploratory work on the expression of specific proteins during nutrient-limited growth of phytoplankton may lead to the identification and production of molecular probes for field studies.

  4. A comparative cellular and molecular biology of longevity database.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Jeffrey A; Liang, Ping; Luo, Xuemei; Page, Melissa M; Gallagher, Emily J; Christoff, Casey A; Robb, Ellen L

    2013-10-01

    Discovering key cellular and molecular traits that promote longevity is a major goal of aging and longevity research. One experimental strategy is to determine which traits have been selected during the evolution of longevity in naturally long-lived animal species. This comparative approach has been applied to lifespan research for nearly four decades, yielding hundreds of datasets describing aspects of cell and molecular biology hypothesized to relate to animal longevity. Here, we introduce a Comparative Cellular and Molecular Biology of Longevity Database, available at ( http://genomics.brocku.ca/ccmbl/ ), as a compendium of comparative cell and molecular data presented in the context of longevity. This open access database will facilitate the meta-analysis of amalgamated datasets using standardized maximum lifespan (MLSP) data (from AnAge). The first edition contains over 800 data records describing experimental measurements of cellular stress resistance, reactive oxygen species metabolism, membrane composition, protein homeostasis, and genome homeostasis as they relate to vertebrate species MLSP. The purpose of this review is to introduce the database and briefly demonstrate its use in the meta-analysis of combined datasets.

  5. A national comparison of biochemistry and molecular biology capstone experiences.

    PubMed

    Aguanno, Ann; Mertz, Pamela; Martin, Debra; Bell, Ellis

    2015-01-01

    Recognizing the increasingly integrative nature of the molecular life sciences, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) recommends that Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) programs develop curricula based on concepts, content, topics, and expected student outcomes, rather than courses. To that end, ASBMB conducted a series of regional workshops to build a BMB Concept Inventory containing validated assessment tools, based on foundational and discipline-specific knowledge and essential skills, for the community to use. A culminating activity, which integrates the educational experience, is often part of undergraduate molecular life science programs. These "capstone" experiences are commonly defined as an attempt to measure student ability to synthesize and integrate acquired knowledge. However, the format, implementation, and approach to outcome assessment of these experiences are quite varied across the nation. Here we report the results of a nation-wide survey on BMB capstone experiences and discuss this in the context of published reports about capstones and the findings of the workshops driving the development of the BMB Concept Inventory. Both the survey results and the published reports reveal that, although capstone practices do vary, certain formats for the experience are used more frequently and similarities in learning objectives were identified. The use of rubrics to measure student learning is also regularly reported, but details about these assessment instruments are sparse in the literature and were not a focus of our survey. Finally, we outline commonalities in the current practice of capstones and suggest the next steps needed to elucidate best practices.

  6. [Molecular biology of renal cancer: bases for genetic directed therapy in advanced disease].

    PubMed

    Maroto Rey, José Pablo; Cillán Narvaez, Elena

    2013-06-01

    There has been expansion of therapeutic options in the management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma due to a better knowledge of the molecular biology of kidney cancers. There are different tumors grouped under the term renal cell carcinoma, being clear cell cancer the most frequent and accounting for 80% of kidney tumors. Mutations in the Von Hippel-Lindau gene can be identified in up to 80% of sporadic clear cell cancer, linking a genetically inheritable disease where vascular tumors are frequent, with renal cell cancer. Other histologic types present specific alterations in molecular pathways, like c-MET in papillary type I tumors, and Fumarase Hydratase in papillary type II tumors. Identification of the molecular alteration for a specific tumor may offer an opportunity for treatment selection based on biomarkers, and, in the future, for developing an engineering designed genetic treatment.

  7. Gene gymnastics: Synthetic biology for baculovirus expression vector system engineering.

    PubMed

    Vijayachandran, Lakshmi S; Thimiri Govinda Raj, Deepak B; Edelweiss, Evelina; Gupta, Kapil; Maier, Josef; Gordeliy, Valentin; Fitzgerald, Daniel J; Berger, Imre

    2013-01-01

    Most essential activities in eukaryotic cells are catalyzed by large multiprotein assemblies containing up to ten or more interlocking subunits. The vast majority of these protein complexes are not easily accessible for high resolution studies aimed at unlocking their mechanisms, due to their low cellular abundance and high heterogeneity. Recombinant overproduction can resolve this bottleneck and baculovirus expression vector systems (BEVS) have emerged as particularly powerful tools for the provision of eukaryotic multiprotein complexes in high quality and quantity. Recently, synthetic biology approaches have begun to make their mark in improving existing BEVS reagents by de novo design of streamlined transfer plasmids and by engineering the baculovirus genome. Here we present OmniBac, comprising new custom designed reagents that further facilitate the integration of heterologous genes into the baculovirus genome for multiprotein expression. Based on comparative genome analysis and data mining, we herein present a blueprint to custom design and engineer the entire baculovirus genome for optimized production properties using a bottom-up synthetic biology approach. PMID:23328086

  8. The mismeasure of machine: Synthetic biology and the trouble with engineering metaphors.

    PubMed

    Boudry, Maarten; Pigliucci, Massimo

    2013-12-01

    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the "blueprint" of an organism, organisms are "reverse engineered" to discover their functionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adaptations, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In particular, the analogy with human-made machines falters when we move down to the level of molecular biology and genetics. Living organisms are far more messy and less transparent than human-made machines. Notoriously, evolution is an opportunistic tinkerer, blindly stumbling on "designs" that no sensible engineer would come up with. Despite impressive technological innovation, the prospect of artificially designing new life forms from scratch has proven more difficult than the superficial analogy with "programming" the right "software" would suggest. The idea of applying straightforward engineering approaches to living systems and their genomes-isolating functional components, designing new parts from scratch, recombining and assembling them into novel life forms-pushes the analogy with human artifacts beyond its limits. In the absence of a one-to-one correspondence between genotype and phenotype, there is no straightforward way to implement novel biological functions and design new life forms. Both the developmental complexity of gene expression and the multifarious interactions of genes and environments are serious obstacles for "engineering" a particular phenotype. The problem of reverse-engineering a desired phenotype to its genetic "instructions" is probably intractable for any but the most simple phenotypes. Recent developments in the field of bio-engineering and synthetic biology reflect these

  9. Genomic Signal Processing: Predicting Basic Molecular Biological Principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alter, Orly

    2005-03-01

    Advances in high-throughput technologies enable acquisition of different types of molecular biological data, monitoring the flow of biological information as DNA is transcribed to RNA, and RNA is translated to proteins, on a genomic scale. Future discovery in biology and medicine will come from the mathematical modeling of these data, which hold the key to fundamental understanding of life on the molecular level, as well as answers to questions regarding diagnosis, treatment and drug development. Recently we described data-driven models for genome-scale molecular biological data, which use singular value decomposition (SVD) and the comparative generalized SVD (GSVD). Now we describe an integrative data-driven model, which uses pseudoinverse projection (1). We also demonstrate the predictive power of these matrix algebra models (2). The integrative pseudoinverse projection model formulates any number of genome-scale molecular biological data sets in terms of one chosen set of data samples, or of profiles extracted mathematically from data samples, designated the ``basis'' set. The mathematical variables of this integrative model, the pseudoinverse correlation patterns that are uncovered in the data, represent independent processes and corresponding cellular states (such as observed genome-wide effects of known regulators or transcription factors, the biological components of the cellular machinery that generate the genomic signals, and measured samples in which these regulators or transcription factors are over- or underactive). Reconstruction of the data in the basis simulates experimental observation of only the cellular states manifest in the data that correspond to those of the basis. Classification of the data samples according to their reconstruction in the basis, rather than their overall measured profiles, maps the cellular states of the data onto those of the basis, and gives a global picture of the correlations and possibly also causal coordination of

  10. PGASO: A synthetic biology tool for engineering a cellulolytic yeast

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background To achieve an economical cellulosic ethanol production, a host that can do both cellulosic saccharification and ethanol fermentation is desirable. However, to engineer a non-cellulolytic yeast to be such a host requires synthetic biology techniques to transform multiple enzyme genes into its genome. Results A technique, named Promoter-based Gene Assembly and Simultaneous Overexpression (PGASO), that employs overlapping oligonucleotides for recombinatorial assembly of gene cassettes with individual promoters, was developed. PGASO was applied to engineer Kluyveromycesmarxianus KY3, which is a thermo- and toxin-tolerant yeast. We obtained a recombinant strain, called KR5, that is capable of simultaneously expressing exoglucanase and endoglucanase (both of Trichodermareesei), a beta-glucosidase (from a cow rumen fungus), a neomycin phosphotransferase, and a green fluorescent protein. High transformation efficiency and accuracy were achieved as ~63% of the transformants was confirmed to be correct. KR5 can utilize beta-glycan, cellobiose or CMC as the sole carbon source for growth and can directly convert cellobiose and beta-glycan to ethanol. Conclusions This study provides the first example of multi-gene assembly in a single step in a yeast species other than Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We successfully engineered a yeast host with a five-gene cassette assembly and the new host is capable of co-expressing three types of cellulase genes. Our study shows that PGASO is an efficient tool for simultaneous expression of multiple enzymes in the kefir yeast KY3 and that KY3 can serve as a host for developing synthetic biology tools. PMID:22839502

  11. Zsyntax: A Formal Language for Molecular Biology with Projected Applications in Text Mining and Biological Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Boniolo, Giovanni; D'Agostino, Marcello; Di Fiore, Pier Paolo

    2010-01-01

    We propose a formal language that allows for transposing biological information precisely and rigorously into machine-readable information. This language, which we call Zsyntax (where Z stands for the Greek word ζωή, life), is grounded on a particular type of non-classical logic, and it can be used to write algorithms and computer programs. We present it as a first step towards a comprehensive formal language for molecular biology in which any biological process can be written and analyzed as a sort of logical “deduction”. Moreover, we illustrate the potential value of this language, both in the field of text mining and in that of biological prediction. PMID:20209084

  12. Engineering chromatin states: chemical and synthetic biology approaches to investigate histone modification function.

    PubMed

    Pick, Horst; Kilic, Sinan; Fierz, Beat

    2014-08-01

    Patterns of histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) and DNA modifications establish a landscape of chromatin states with regulatory impact on gene expression, cell differentiation and development. These diverse modifications are read out by effector protein complexes, which ultimately determine their functional outcome by modulating the activity state of underlying genes. From genome-wide studies employing high-throughput ChIP-Seq methods as well as proteomic mass spectrometry studies, a large number of PTMs are known and their coexistence patterns and associations with genomic regions have been mapped in a large number of different cell types. Conversely, the molecular interplay between chromatin effector proteins and modified chromatin regions as well as their resulting biological output is less well understood on a molecular level. Within the last decade a host of chemical approaches has been developed with the goal to produce synthetic chromatin with a defined arrangement of PTMs. These methods now permit systematic functional studies of individual histone and DNA modifications, and additionally provide a discovery platform to identify further interacting nuclear proteins. Complementary chemical- and synthetic-biology methods have emerged to directly observe and modulate the modification landscape in living cells and to readily probe the effect of altered PTM patterns on biological processes. Herein, we review current methodologies allowing chemical and synthetic biological engineering of distinct chromatin states in vitro and in vivo with the aim of obtaining a molecular understanding of histone and DNA modification function. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Molecular mechanisms of histone modification function.

  13. Special conference of the American Association for Cancer Research on molecular imaging in cancer: linking biology, function, and clinical applications in vivo.

    PubMed

    Luker, Gary D

    2002-04-01

    The AACR Special Conference on Molecular Imaging in Cancer: Linking Biology, Function, and Clinical Applications In Vivo, was held January 23-27, 2002, at the Contemporary Hotel, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL. Co-Chairs David Piwnica-Worms, Patricia Price and Thomas Meade brought together researchers with diverse expertise in molecular biology, gene therapy, chemistry, engineering, pharmacology, and imaging to accelerate progress in developing and applying technologies for imaging specific cellular and molecular signals in living animals and humans. The format of the conference was the presentation of research that focused on basic and translational biology of cancer and current state-of-the-art techniques for molecular imaging in animal models and humans. This report summarizes the special conference on molecular imaging, highlighting the interfaces of molecular biology with animal models, instrumentation, chemistry, and pharmacology that are essential to convert the dreams and promise of molecular imaging into improved understanding, diagnosis, and management of cancer.

  14. Special conference of the American Association for Cancer Research on molecular imaging in cancer: linking biology, function, and clinical applications in vivo.

    PubMed

    Luker, Gary D

    2002-04-01

    The AACR Special Conference on Molecular Imaging in Cancer: Linking Biology, Function, and Clinical Applications In Vivo, was held January 23-27, 2002, at the Contemporary Hotel, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL. Co-Chairs David Piwnica-Worms, Patricia Price and Thomas Meade brought together researchers with diverse expertise in molecular biology, gene therapy, chemistry, engineering, pharmacology, and imaging to accelerate progress in developing and applying technologies for imaging specific cellular and molecular signals in living animals and humans. The format of the conference was the presentation of research that focused on basic and translational biology of cancer and current state-of-the-art techniques for molecular imaging in animal models and humans. This report summarizes the special conference on molecular imaging, highlighting the interfaces of molecular biology with animal models, instrumentation, chemistry, and pharmacology that are essential to convert the dreams and promise of molecular imaging into improved understanding, diagnosis, and management of cancer. PMID:11929844

  15. Synthetic toxicology: where engineering meets biology and toxicology.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Markus; Pei, Lei

    2011-03-01

    This article examines the implications of synthetic biology (SB) for toxicological sciences. Starting with a working definition of SB, we describe its current subfields, namely, DNA synthesis, the engineering of DNA-based biological circuits, minimal genome research, attempts to construct protocells and synthetic cells, and efforts to diversify the biochemistry of life through xenobiology. Based on the most important techniques, tools, and expected applications in SB, we describe the ramifications of SB for toxicology under the label of synthetic toxicology. We differentiate between cases where SB offers opportunities for toxicology and where SB poses challenges for toxicology. Among the opportunities, we identified the assistance of SB to construct novel toxicity testing platforms, define new toxicity-pathway assays, explore the potential of SB to improve in vivo biotransformation of toxins, present novel biosensors developed by SB for environmental toxicology, discuss cell-free protein synthesis of toxins, reflect on the contribution to toxic use reduction, and the democratization of toxicology through do-it-yourself biology. Among the identified challenges for toxicology, we identify synthetic toxins and novel xenobiotics, biosecurity and dual-use considerations, the potential bridging of toxic substances and infectious agents, and do-it-yourself toxin production. PMID:21068213

  16. [Molecular Biology on the Mechanisms of Autism Spectrum Disorder for Clinical Psychiatrists].

    PubMed

    Makinodan, Manabu

    2015-01-01

    While, in general, a certain number of clinical psychiatrists might not be familiar with molecular biology, the mechanisms of mental illnesses have been uncovered by molecular biology for decades. Among mental illnesses, even biological psychiatrists and neuroscientists have paid less attention to the biological treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia since ASD has been regarded as a developmental disorder that was seemingly untreatable. However, multifaceted methods of molecular biology have revealed the mechanisms that would lead to the medication of ASD. In this article, how molecular biology dissects the pathobiology of ASD is described in order to announce the possibilities of biological treatment for clinical psychiatrists.

  17. Experiential Engineering through iGEM--An Undergraduate Summer Competition in Synthetic Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Rudolph; Dori, Yehudit Judy; Kuldell, Natalie H.

    2011-01-01

    Unlike students in other engineering disciplines, undergraduates in biological engineering typically have limited opportunity to develop design competencies, and even fewer chances to implement their designed projects. The international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition is a student Synthetic Biology competition that, in 2009,…

  18. Future of Chemical Engineering: Integrating Biology into the Undergraduate ChE Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mosto, Patricia; Savelski, Mariano; Farrell, Stephanie H.; Hecht, Gregory B.

    2007-01-01

    Integrating biology in the chemical engineering curriculum seems to be the future for chemical engineering programs nation and worldwide. Rowan University's efforts to address this need include a unique chemical engineering curriculum with an intensive biology component integrated throughout from freshman to senior years. Freshman and Sophomore…

  19. Support of the IMA summer program molecular biology. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Friedman, A.

    1995-08-01

    The revolutionary progress in molecular biology within the last 30 years opens the way to full understanding of the molecular structures and mechanisms of living organisms. The mathematical sciences accompany and support much of the progress achieved by experiment and computation, as well as provide insight into geometric and topological properties of biomolecular structure and processes. The 4 week program at the IMA brought together biologists and mathematicians leading researchers, postdocs, and graduate students. It focused on genetic mapping and DNA sequencing, followed by biomolecular structure and dynamics. High-resolution linkage maps of genetic marker were discussed extensively in relation to the human genome project. The next level of DNA mapping is physical mapping, consisting of overlapping clones spanning the genome. These maps are extremely useful for genetic analysis. They provide the material for less redundant sequencing and for detailed searches for a gene among other things. This topic was also extensively studied by the participants. From there, the program moved to consider protein structure and dynamics; this is a broad field with a large array of interesting topics. It is of key importance in answering basic scientific questions about the nature of all living organisms, and has practical biomedical applications. The major subareas of structure prediction and classification, techniques and heuristics for the simulation of protein folding, and molecular dynamics provide a rich problem domain where mathematics can be helpful in analysis, modeling, and simulation. One of the important problems in molecular biology is the three-dimensional structure of proteins, DNA and RNA in the cell, and the relationship between structure and function. The program helped increased the understanding of the topology of cellular DNA, RNA and proteins and the various life-sustaining mechanisms used by the cell which modify this molecular topology.

  20. Reverse engineering the mechanical and molecular pathways in stem cell morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lu, Kai; Gordon, Richard; Cao, Tong

    2015-03-01

    The formation of relevant biological structures poses a challenge for regenerative medicine. During embryogenesis, embryonic cells differentiate into somatic tissues and undergo morphogenesis to produce three-dimensional organs. Using stem cells, we can recapitulate this process and create biological constructs for therapeutic transplantation. However, imperfect imitation of nature sometimes results in in vitro artifacts that fail to recapitulate the function of native organs. It has been hypothesized that developing cells may self-organize into tissue-specific structures given a correct in vitro environment. This proposition is supported by the generation of neo-organoids from stem cells. We suggest that morphogenesis may be reverse engineered to uncover its interacting mechanical pathway and molecular circuitry. By harnessing the latent architecture of stem cells, novel tissue-engineering strategies may be conceptualized for generating self-organizing transplants.

  1. Towards molecular computers that operate in a biological environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahan, Maya; Gil, Binyamin; Adar, Rivka; Shapiro, Ehud

    2008-07-01

    important consequences when performed in a proper context. We envision that molecular computers that operate in a biological environment can be the basis of “smart drugs”, which are potent drugs that activate only if certain environmental conditions hold. These conditions could include abnormalities in the molecular composition of the biological environment that are indicative of a particular disease. Here we review the research direction that set this vision and attempts to realize it.

  2. Extracting evidence from forensic DNA analyses: future molecular biology directions.

    PubMed

    Budowle, Bruce; van Daal, Angela

    2009-04-01

    Molecular biology tools have enhanced the capability of the forensic scientist to characterize biological evidence to the point where it is feasible to analyze minute samples and achieve high levels of individualization. Even with the forensic DNA field's maturity, there still are a number of areas where improvements can be made. These include: enabling the typing of samples of limited quantity and quality; using genetic information and novel markers to provide investigative leads; enhancing automation with robotics, different chemistries, and better software tools; employing alternate platforms for typing DNA samples; developing integrated microfluidic/microfabrication devices to process DNA samples with higher throughput, faster turnaround times, lower risk of contamination, reduced labor, and less consumption of evidentiary samples; and exploiting high-throughput sequencing, particularly for attribution in microbial forensics cases. Knowledge gaps and new directions have been identified where molecular biology will likely guide the field of forensics. This review aims to provide a roadmap to guide those interested in contributing to the further development of forensic genetics.

  3. Proteomics in reproductive biology: beacon for unraveling the molecular complexities.

    PubMed

    Upadhyay, Rahul D; Balasinor, N H; Kumar, Anita V; Sachdeva, Geetanjali; Parte, Priyanka; Dumasia, Kushaan

    2013-01-01

    Proteomics, an interface of rapidly evolving advances in physics and biology, is rapidly developing and expanding its potential applications to molecular and cellular biology. Application of proteomics tools has contributed towards identification of relevant protein biomarkers that can potentially change the strategies for early diagnosis and treatment of several diseases. The emergence of powerful mass spectrometry-based proteomics technique has added a new dimension to the field of medical research in liver, heart diseases and certain forms of cancer. Most proteomics tools are also being used to study physiological and pathological events related to reproductive biology. There have been attempts to generate the proteomes of testes, sperm, seminal fluid, epididymis, oocyte, and endometrium from reproductive disease patients. Here, we have reviewed proteomics based investigations in humans over the last decade, which focus on delineating the mechanism underlying various reproductive events such as spermatogenesis, oogenesis, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, embryo development. The challenge is to harness new technologies like 2-DE, DIGE, MALDI-MS, SELDI-MS, MUDPIT, LC-MS etc., to a greater extent to develop widely applicable clinical tools in understanding molecular aspects of reproduction both in health and disease.

  4. MYC cofactors: molecular switches controlling diverse biological outcomes.

    PubMed

    Hann, Stephen R

    2014-06-17

    The transcription factor MYC has fundamental roles in proliferation, apoptosis, tumorigenesis, and stem cell pluripotency. Over the last 30 years extensive information has been gathered on the numerous cofactors that interact with MYC and the target genes that are regulated by MYC as a means of understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling its diverse roles. Despite significant advances and perhaps because the amount of information learned about MYC is overwhelming, there has been little consensus on the molecular functions of MYC that mediate its critical biological roles. In this perspective, the major MYC cofactors that regulate the various transcriptional activities of MYC, including canonical and noncanonical transactivation and transcriptional repression, will be reviewed and a model of how these transcriptional mechanisms control MYC-mediated proliferation, apoptosis, and tumorigenesis will be presented. The basis of the model is that a variety of cofactors form dynamic MYC transcriptional complexes that can switch the molecular and biological functions of MYC to yield a diverse range of outcomes in a cell-type- and context-dependent fashion.

  5. Using Molecular Biology to Develop Drugs for Renal Cell Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Cowey, C. Lance; Rathmell, W. Kimryn

    2010-01-01

    Background Renal cell carcinoma is a disease marked by a unique biology which has governed it’s long history of poor response to conventional cancer treatments. The discovery of the signaling pathway activated as a result of inappropriate constitutive activation of the hypoxia inducible factors (HIF), transcription factors physiologically and transiently stabilized in response to low oxygen, has provided a primary opportunity to devise treatment strategies to target this oncogenic pathway. Objective A review of the molecular pathogenesis of renal cell cancer as well as molecularly targeted therapies, both those currently available and those in development, will be provided. In addition, trials involving combination or sequential targeted therapy are discussed. Methods A detailed review of the literature describing the molecular biology of renal cell cancer and novel therapies was performed and summarized. Results/Conclusion Therapeutics targeting angiogenesis have provided the first class of agents which provide clinical benefit in a large majority of patients and heralded renal cell carcinoma as a solid tumor paradigm for the development of novel therapeutics. Multiple strategies targeting this pathway and now other identified pathways in renal cell carcinoma provide numerous potential opportunities to make major improvements in treating this historically devastating cancer. PMID:20648240

  6. Molecular Engineering of Antiferromagnetic Rings for Quantum Computation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troiani, F.; Ghirri, A.; Affronte, M.; Carretta, S.; Santini, P.; Amoretti, G.; Piligkos, S.; Timco, G.; Winpenny, R. E.

    2005-05-01

    The substitution of one metal ion in a Cr-based molecular ring with dominant antiferromagnetic couplings allows the engineering of its level structure and ground-state degeneracy. Here we characterize a Cr7Ni molecular ring by means of low-temperature specific-heat and torque-magnetometry measurements, thus determining the microscopic parameters of the corresponding spin Hamiltonian. The energy spectrum and the suppression of the leakage-inducing S mixing render the Cr7Ni molecule a suitable candidate for the qubit implementation, as further substantiated by our quantum-gate simulations.

  7. Biological approaches toward dental pulp regeneration by tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hai-Hua; Jin, Tao; Yu, Qing; Chen, Fa-Ming

    2011-04-01

    Root canal therapy has been the predominant approach in endodontic treatment, wherein the entire pulp is cleaned out and replaced with a gutta-percha filling. However, living pulp is critical for the maintenance of tooth homeostasis and essential for tooth longevity. An ideal form of therapy, therefore, might consist of regenerative approaches in which diseased/necrotic pulp tissues are removed and replaced with regenerated pulp tissues to revitalize the teeth. Dental pulp regeneration presents one of the most challenging issues in regenerative dentistry due to the poor intrinsic ability of pulp tissues for self-healing and regrowth. With the advent of modern tissue engineering and the discovery of dental stem cells, biological therapies have paved the way to utilize stem cells, delivered or internally recruited, to generate dental pulp tissues, where growth factors and a series of dentine extracellular matrix molecules are key mediators that regulate the complex cascade of regeneration events to be faithfully fulfilled.

  8. Engineered biological nanofactories trigger quorum sensing response in targeted bacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, Rohan; Roy, Varnika; Wu, Hsuan-Chen; Bentley, William E.

    2010-03-01

    Biological nanofactories, which are engineered to contain modules that can target, sense and synthesize molecules, can trigger communication between different bacterial populations. These communications influence biofilm formation, virulence, bioluminescence and many other bacterial functions in a process called quorum sensing. Here, we show the assembly of a nanofactory that can trigger a bacterial quorum sensing response in the absence of native quorum molecules. The nanofactory comprises an antibody (for targeting) and a fusion protein that produces quorum molecules when bound to the targeted bacterium. Our nanofactory selectively targets the appropriate bacteria and triggers a quorum sensing response when added to two populations of bacteria. The nanofactories also trigger communication between two bacterial populations that are otherwise non-communicating. We envision the use of these nanofactories in generating new antimicrobial treatments that target the communication networks of bacteria rather than their viability.

  9. Biodiversity: molecular biological domains, symbiosis and kingdom origins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.

    1992-01-01

    The number of extant species of organisms is estimated to be from fewer than 3 to more than 30 x 10(6) (May, 1992). Molecular biology, comparative genetics and ultrastructural analyses provide new insights into evolutionary relationships between these species, including increasingly precise ideas of how species and higher taxa have evolved from common ancestors. Accumulation of random mutations and large macromolecular sequence change in all organisms since the Proterozoic Eon has been importantly supplemented by acquisition of inherited genomes ('symbiogenesis'). Karyotypic alterations (polyploidization and karyotypic fissioning) have been added to these other mechanisms of species origin in plants and animals during the Phanerozoic Eon. The new evolution concepts (coupled with current rapid rates of species extinction and ignorance of the extent of biodiversity) prompted this analysis of the field of systematic biology and its role in the reorganization of extant species into higher taxa. Two superkingdoms (= Domains: Prokaryotae and Eukaryotae) and five kingdoms (Monera = Procaryotae or Bacteria; Protoctista: algae, amoebae, ciliates, foraminifera, oomycetes, slime molds, etc.; Mychota: 'true' fungi; Plantae: one phylum (division) of bryophytes and nine phyla of tracheophytes; and Animalia) are recognized. Two subkingdoms comprise the monera: the great diverse lineages are Archaebacteria and Eubacteria. The criteria for classification using molecular, ultrastructural and genetic data for this scheme are mentioned. For the first time since the nineteenth century, logical, technical definitions for each group are given with their time of appearance as inferred from the fossil record in the primary scientific literature. This classification scheme, which most closely reflects the evolutionary history, molecular biology, genetics and ultrastructure of extant life, requires changes in social organization of biologists, many of whom as botanists and zoologists, still

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Aging in Intervertebral Discs

    PubMed Central

    Vo, Nam V.; Hartman, Robert A.; Patil, Prashanti R.; Risbud, Makarand V.; Kletsas, Dimitris; Iatridis, James C.; Hoyland, Judith A.; Le Maitre, Christine L.; Sowa, Gwendolyn A.; Kang, James D.

    2016-01-01

    Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for the majority of human ailments, including spine-related chronic disability and back pain, which stem from age-associated intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Given the rapid global rise in the aging population, understanding the biology of intervertebral disc aging in order to develop effective therapeutic interventions to combat the adverse effects of aging on disc health is now imperative. Fortunately, recent advances in aging research have begun to shed light on the basic biological process of aging. Here we review some of these insights and organize the complex process of disc aging into three different phases to guide research efforts to understand the biology of disc aging. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge and the recent progress made to elucidate specific molecular mechanisms underlying disc aging. In particular, studies over the last few years have uncovered cellular senescence and genomic instability as important drivers of disc aging. Supporting evidence comes from DNA repair-deficient animal models that show increased disc cellular senescence and accelerated disc aging. Additionally, stress-induced senescent cells have now been well documented to secrete catabolic factors, which can negatively impact the physiology of neighboring cells and ECM. These along with other molecular drivers of aging are reviewed in depth to shed crucial insights into the underlying mechanisms of age-related disc degeneration. We also highlight molecular targets for novel therapies and emerging candidate therapeutics that may mitigate age-associated IDD. PMID:26890203

  11. Biodiversity: molecular biological domains, symbiosis and kingdom origins.

    PubMed

    Margulis, L

    1992-01-01

    The number of extant species of organisms is estimated to be from fewer than 3 to more than 30 x 10(6) (May, 1992). Molecular biology, comparative genetics and ultrastructural analyses provide new insights into evolutionary relationships between these species, including increasingly precise ideas of how species and higher taxa have evolved from common ancestors. Accumulation of random mutations and large macromolecular sequence change in all organisms since the Proterozoic Eon has been importantly supplemented by acquisition of inherited genomes ('symbiogenesis'). Karyotypic alterations (polyploidization and karyotypic fissioning) have been added to these other mechanisms of species origin in plants and animals during the Phanerozoic Eon. The new evolution concepts (coupled with current rapid rates of species extinction and ignorance of the extent of biodiversity) prompted this analysis of the field of systematic biology and its role in the reorganization of extant species into higher taxa. Two superkingdoms (= Domains: Prokaryotae and Eukaryotae) and five kingdoms (Monera = Procaryotae or Bacteria; Protoctista: algae, amoebae, ciliates, foraminifera, oomycetes, slime molds, etc.; Mychota: 'true' fungi; Plantae: one phylum (division) of bryophytes and nine phyla of tracheophytes; and Animalia) are recognized. Two subkingdoms comprise the monera: the great diverse lineages are Archaebacteria and Eubacteria. The criteria for classification using molecular, ultrastructural and genetic data for this scheme are mentioned. For the first time since the nineteenth century, logical, technical definitions for each group are given with their time of appearance as inferred from the fossil record in the primary scientific literature. This classification scheme, which most closely reflects the evolutionary history, molecular biology, genetics and ultrastructure of extant life, requires changes in social organization of biologists, many of whom as botanists and zoologists, still

  12. Biodiversity: molecular biological domains, symbiosis and kingdom origins.

    PubMed

    Margulis, L

    1992-01-01

    The number of extant species of organisms is estimated to be from fewer than 3 to more than 30 x 10(6) (May, 1992). Molecular biology, comparative genetics and ultrastructural analyses provide new insights into evolutionary relationships between these species, including increasingly precise ideas of how species and higher taxa have evolved from common ancestors. Accumulation of random mutations and large macromolecular sequence change in all organisms since the Proterozoic Eon has been importantly supplemented by acquisition of inherited genomes ('symbiogenesis'). Karyotypic alterations (polyploidization and karyotypic fissioning) have been added to these other mechanisms of species origin in plants and animals during the Phanerozoic Eon. The new evolution concepts (coupled with current rapid rates of species extinction and ignorance of the extent of biodiversity) prompted this analysis of the field of systematic biology and its role in the reorganization of extant species into higher taxa. Two superkingdoms (= Domains: Prokaryotae and Eukaryotae) and five kingdoms (Monera = Procaryotae or Bacteria; Protoctista: algae, amoebae, ciliates, foraminifera, oomycetes, slime molds, etc.; Mychota: 'true' fungi; Plantae: one phylum (division) of bryophytes and nine phyla of tracheophytes; and Animalia) are recognized. Two subkingdoms comprise the monera: the great diverse lineages are Archaebacteria and Eubacteria. The criteria for classification using molecular, ultrastructural and genetic data for this scheme are mentioned. For the first time since the nineteenth century, logical, technical definitions for each group are given with their time of appearance as inferred from the fossil record in the primary scientific literature. This classification scheme, which most closely reflects the evolutionary history, molecular biology, genetics and ultrastructure of extant life, requires changes in social organization of biologists, many of whom as botanists and zoologists, still

  13. Deep-UV biological imaging by lanthanide ion molecular protection

    PubMed Central

    Kumamoto, Yasuaki; Fujita, Katsumasa; Smith, Nicholas Isaac; Kawata, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    Deep-UV (DUV) light is a sensitive probe for biological molecules such as nucleobases and aromatic amino acids due to specific absorption. However, the use of DUV light for imaging is limited because DUV can destroy or denature target molecules in a sample. Here we show that trivalent ions in the lanthanide group can suppress molecular photodegradation under DUV exposure, enabling a high signal-to-noise ratio and repetitive DUV imaging of nucleobases in cells. Underlying mechanisms of the photodegradation suppression can be excitation relaxation of the DUV-absorptive molecules due to energy transfer to the lanthanide ions, and/or avoiding ionization and reactions with surrounding molecules, including generation of reactive oxygen species, which can modify molecules that are otherwise transparent to DUV light. This approach, directly removing excited energy at the fundamental origin of cellular photodegradation, indicates an important first step towards the practical use of DUV imaging in a variety of biological applications. PMID:26819825

  14. Diagnosis of Whipple's disease using molecular biology techniques.

    PubMed

    Cosme, Ángel; Ojeda, Evelia; Muñagorri, Ana I; Gaminde, Eduardo; Bujanda, Luis; Larzabal, Mikel; Gil, Inés

    2011-04-01

    The diagnosis of Whipple's disease (WD) is based on the existence of clinical signs and symptoms compatible with the disease and in the presence of PAS-positive diastase-resistant granules in the macrophages of the small intestine. If there is suspicion of the disease but no histological findings or only isolated extraintestinal manifestations, species-specific PCR using different sequences of the T. whippleii genome from different tissue types and biological fluids is recommended.This study reports two cases: the first patient had diarrhea and the disease was suspected after an endoscopic examination of the ileum, while the second patient had multi-systemic manifestations,particularly abdominal, thoracic, and peripheral lymphadenopathies. In both cases, the diagnosis was confirmed using molecular biology techniques to samples from the small intestine or from a retroperineal lymph node, respectively. PMID:21526877

  15. Experiments with a universe for molecular modelling of biological processes.

    PubMed

    Jedruch, W T; Barski, M

    1990-01-01

    A computer simulation program and results of preliminary simulations of an abstract two-dimensional universe are presented, in which biological and physical processes can be modelled at the molecular level. Two types of permanent elements (atoms) occupy squares of the universe: called 0 and 1. Atoms sharing a common square form a particle, with properties determined by its component atoms. Atoms, particles, and complexes of particles move and collide according to rules like those of classical mechanics. At a higher level of organization, the string of atoms in a particle is viewed as a program, whose execution can affect the space around the particle. The computer program (written in Turbo-Pascal language) can simulate the evolution of the universe starting from any given initial configuration of the particles. Three examples of simulations, showing the development of ordered spatial structures from initial sets of randomly distributed particles, illustrate the universe's potential in modelling various molecular processes.

  16. Medical and molecular biological application in the FELI

    SciTech Connect

    Nishimura, E.; Ogino, S.; Suzuki, T.

    1995-12-31

    Some of the user`s rooms of the FELI have been equipped for medical and molecular biological research. Main subjects are immunological reaction and cell fusion induced by IR FEL. We are beginning to do the preliminary irradiation experiments. The cultured T lymphocytes (Molt-4, human) are irradiated to FEL at wavelength 6.3{mu}m with the power density approximate 500mW/mm{sup 2} for 10 minutes, in the culture media (RPMI-1640) including 10% fetal bovine serum. Swelling and consequent collapse of the cells can be observed, probably due to abrasion of the cell membranes.

  17. Mutants of Arabidopsis as tools for physiology and molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Somerville, C.R.; Artus, N.; Browse, J.; Caspar, T.; Estelle, M.; Haughn, G.; Kunst, L.; Martinez, J.; McCourt, P.; Moffatt, B.

    1986-04-01

    The authors discuss the importance of developing a facile system for genetic analysis in higher plants which can be used to approach problems specific to plant biology in much the same way that molecular genetic approaches have been used in other classes of organisms such as yeast and Drosophila. Toward this end, they have developed methods for the isolation and analysis of mutants of Arabidopsis with specific alterations in photosynthesis, photorespiration, starch metabolism, lipid metabolism, purine metabolism, amino acid metabolism and phytohormone responses. The utility of this collection of mutants for studying problems in physiology and biochemistry is illustrated with selected examples.

  18. Dictionary of microbiology and molecular biology. 2nd ed

    SciTech Connect

    Singleton, P.; Sainsbury, D.

    1988-01-01

    A newly revised edition of the standard reference for microbiology and molecular biology. Includes a multitude of new terms and designations which, although widely used in the literature, are seldom defined outside the book or paper in which they first appeared. Also accounts for the changes in the meanings of older terms brought about by advances in knowledge. Definition of all terms reflects their actual usage in current journals and texts, and also given (where appropriate) are former meanings, alternative meanings, and synonyms. Includes terms from such fields as mycology, protozoology, virology, etc.

  19. PALM--a pattern language for molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Helgesen, C; Sibbald, P R

    1993-01-01

    This paper presents a new pattern language, PALM, for describing patterns in molecular biology sequences. The language is intended for representing knowledge about such patterns in a declarative, clear and concise way. It is also shown that its expressive power enables the definition of any regular or context free language, and also higher languages in the Chomsky hierarchy by parameter attachment, variables and procedural attachment. It is also possible to define approximate patterns. The language is rigorously defined, and several examples of its use and expressive power are given. PMID:7584333

  20. A complex systems approach to computational molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Lapedes, A. |

    1993-09-01

    We report on the containing research program at Santa Fe Institute that applies complex systems methodology to computational molecular biology. Two aspects are stressed here are the use of co-evolving adaptive neutral networks for determining predictable protein structure classifications, and the use of information theory to elucidate protein structure and function. A ``snapshot`` of the current state of research in these two topics is presented, representing the present state of two major research thrusts in the program of Genetic Data and Sequence Analysis at the Santa Fe Institute.

  1. How restriction enzymes became the workhorses of molecular biology

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Richard J.

    2005-01-01

    Restriction enzymes have proved to be invaluable for the physical mapping of DNA. They offer unparalleled opportunities for diagnosing DNA sequence content and are used in fields as disparate as criminal forensics and basic research. In fact, without restriction enzymes, the biotechnology industry would certainly not have flourished as it has. The first experiments demonstrating the utility of restriction enzymes were carried out by Danna and Nathans and reported in 1971. This pioneering study set the stage for the modern practice of molecular biology in which restriction enzymes are ubiquitous tools, although they are often taken for granted. PMID:15840723

  2. Simulational nanoengineering: Molecular dynamics implementation of an atomistic Stirling engine.

    PubMed

    Rapaport, D C

    2009-04-01

    A nanoscale-sized Stirling engine with an atomistic working fluid has been modeled using molecular dynamics simulation. The design includes heat exchangers based on thermostats, pistons attached to a flywheel under load, and a regenerator. Key aspects of the behavior, including the time-dependent flows, are described. The model is shown to be capable of stable operation while producing net work at a moderate level of efficiency.

  3. Simulational nanoengineering: Molecular dynamics implementation of an atomistic Stirling engine.

    PubMed

    Rapaport, D C

    2009-04-01

    A nanoscale-sized Stirling engine with an atomistic working fluid has been modeled using molecular dynamics simulation. The design includes heat exchangers based on thermostats, pistons attached to a flywheel under load, and a regenerator. Key aspects of the behavior, including the time-dependent flows, are described. The model is shown to be capable of stable operation while producing net work at a moderate level of efficiency. PMID:19518394

  4. Molecular Biology of Pediatric Hydrocephalus and Hydrocephalus-related Diseases.

    PubMed

    Yamasaki, Mami; Kanemura, Yonehiro

    2015-01-01

    We are beginning to understand the molecular biology of hydrocephalus and its related diseases. X-linked hydrocephalus (XLH), holoprosencephaly (HPE), Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM), and neural tube defect (NTD) can all be discussed with respect to their available molecular genetics knowledge base and its clinical applications. XLH is single gene disorder caused by mutations in the neural cell adhesion molecule-encoding L1CAM (L1) gene. Our knowledge of the molecular basis of XLH is already being applied clinically in disease diagnosis, disease classification, and prenatal diagnosis. However, the molecular mechanism underlying XLH-related hydrocephalus still needs to be clarified. Sixteen causative genes for HPE have been identified, of which mutations are most often found in SHH, ZIC2, SIX3, and TGIF. Genetic interactions, gene complexity, and the wide variety of HPE phenotypes and genotypes are topics for future study. For DWM, two important loci, 3q24, which includes the FOXC1 gene, and 6q25.3, which includes the ZIC1 and ZIC4 genes, were recently identified as causative areas. The planar cell polarity (PCP) genes CELSR1, CELSR2, VANGL1, and VANGL2 have been implicated in NTD; these genes have roles in neural tube closure and ependymal ciliary movement. PMID:26227058

  5. Application and Analysis of Biological Electrospray in Tissue Engineering.

    PubMed

    Yunmin, Ma; Yuanyuan, Liu; Haiping, Chen; Qingxi, Hu

    2015-01-01

    Nan-fiber scaffolds are suitable tools for tissue engineering. Electro spinning materials together with cells presents not adequate to obtain a high cellular zing tissue constructs as the shear force, tensile force, and other physical effects excited in the electro spinning process, which are harmful to cellular differentiation, development and function. However, this limitation has been overcome by a micro integration system of simultaneously bio-electro spraying human adipose stem cells (ASCs) and electro spinning Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Then it was compared to the single electro spinning nan-fiber scaffolds in relation to cell viability, which showed that the scaffolds by micro integration approach has a larger number of surviving cells and more suitable for cell growth and proliferation. In addition, the relationship between different parameters of biological electrospray (voltage, flow rate and distance of the needle from the collecting board) and droplet size of cell suspension was elucidated and the droplets with a near-mono distribution (<50um) could be generated to deposit a single living cell within a droplet. The association of bio-electro spraying with electro spinning (a scaffold preparation technique) has been demonstrated to be a promising and suitable tissue engineering approach in producing nan-fiber based three-dimensional (3-D) cell seeded scaffolds.

  6. Tissue Engineering a Biological Repair Strategy for Lumbar Disc Herniation.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Grace D; Leach, J Kent; Klineberg, Eric O

    2015-01-01

    The intervertebral disc is a critical part of the intersegmental soft tissue of the spinal column, providing flexibility and mobility, while absorbing large complex loads. Spinal disease, including disc herniation and degeneration, may be a significant contributor to low back pain. Clinically, disc herniations are treated with both nonoperative and operative methods. Operative treatment for disc herniation includes removal of the herniated material when neural compression occurs. While this strategy may have short-term advantages over nonoperative methods, the remaining disc material is not addressed and surgery for mild degeneration may have limited long-term advantage over nonoperative methods. Furthermore, disc herniation and surgery significantly alter the mechanical function of the disc joint, which may contribute to progression of degeneration in surrounding tissues. We reviewed recent advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies that may have a significant impact on disc herniation repair. Our review on tissue engineering strategies focuses on cell-based and inductive methods, each commonly combined with material-based approaches. An ideal clinically relevant biological repair strategy will significantly reduce pain and repair and restore flexibility and motion of the spine. PMID:26634189

  7. Synthetic biology approaches to engineering the nitrogen symbiosis in cereals.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Christian; Oldroyd, Giles E D

    2014-05-01

    Nitrogen is abundant in the earth's atmosphere but, unlike carbon, cannot be directly assimilated by plants. The limitation this places on plant productivity has been circumvented in contemporary agriculture through the production and application of chemical fertilizers. The chemical reduction of nitrogen for this purpose consumes large amounts of energy and the reactive nitrogen released into the environment as a result of fertilizer application leads to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as widespread eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems. The environmental impacts are intensified by injudicious use of fertilizers in many parts of the world. Simultaneously, limitations in the production and supply of chemical fertilizers in other regions are leading to low agricultural productivity and malnutrition. Nitrogen can be directly fixed from the atmosphere by some bacteria and Archaea, which possess the enzyme nitrogenase. Some plant species, most notably legumes, have evolved close symbiotic associations with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Engineering cereal crops with the capability to fix their own nitrogen could one day address the problems created by the over- and under-use of nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture. This could be achieved either by expression of a functional nitrogenase enzyme in the cells of the cereal crop or through transferring the capability to form a symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. While potentially transformative, these biotechnological approaches are challenging; however, with recent advances in synthetic biology they are viable long-term goals. This review discusses the possibility of these biotechnological solutions to the nitrogen problem, focusing on engineering the nitrogen symbiosis in cereals.

  8. Application and Analysis of Biological Electrospray in Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Yunmin, Ma; Yuanyuan, Liu; Haiping, Chen; Qingxi, Hu

    2015-01-01

    Nan-fiber scaffolds are suitable tools for tissue engineering. Electro spinning materials together with cells presents not adequate to obtain a high cellular zing tissue constructs as the shear force, tensile force, and other physical effects excited in the electro spinning process, which are harmful to cellular differentiation, development and function. However, this limitation has been overcome by a micro integration system of simultaneously bio-electro spraying human adipose stem cells (ASCs) and electro spinning Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Then it was compared to the single electro spinning nan-fiber scaffolds in relation to cell viability, which showed that the scaffolds by micro integration approach has a larger number of surviving cells and more suitable for cell growth and proliferation. In addition, the relationship between different parameters of biological electrospray (voltage, flow rate and distance of the needle from the collecting board) and droplet size of cell suspension was elucidated and the droplets with a near-mono distribution (<50um) could be generated to deposit a single living cell within a droplet. The association of bio-electro spraying with electro spinning (a scaffold preparation technique) has been demonstrated to be a promising and suitable tissue engineering approach in producing nan-fiber based three-dimensional (3-D) cell seeded scaffolds. PMID:26089992

  9. Tissue Engineering a Biological Repair Strategy for Lumbar Disc Herniation

    PubMed Central

    O'Connell, Grace D.; Leach, J. Kent; Klineberg, Eric O.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The intervertebral disc is a critical part of the intersegmental soft tissue of the spinal column, providing flexibility and mobility, while absorbing large complex loads. Spinal disease, including disc herniation and degeneration, may be a significant contributor to low back pain. Clinically, disc herniations are treated with both nonoperative and operative methods. Operative treatment for disc herniation includes removal of the herniated material when neural compression occurs. While this strategy may have short-term advantages over nonoperative methods, the remaining disc material is not addressed and surgery for mild degeneration may have limited long-term advantage over nonoperative methods. Furthermore, disc herniation and surgery significantly alter the mechanical function of the disc joint, which may contribute to progression of degeneration in surrounding tissues. We reviewed recent advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies that may have a significant impact on disc herniation repair. Our review on tissue engineering strategies focuses on cell-based and inductive methods, each commonly combined with material-based approaches. An ideal clinically relevant biological repair strategy will significantly reduce pain and repair and restore flexibility and motion of the spine. PMID:26634189

  10. Molecular engineering of glycosaminoglycan chemistry for biomolecule delivery

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Tobias; Goude, Melissa C.; McDevitt, Todd C.

    2013-01-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are linear, negatively charged polysaccharid es that interact with a variety of positively-charged growth factors. In this review article, the effects of engineering GAG chemistry for molecular delivery applications in regenerative medicine are presented. Three major areas of focus at the structure-function-property interface are discussed: 1) macromolecular properties of GAGs, 2) effects of chemical modifications on protein binding, and 3) degradation mechanisms of GAGs. GAG-protein interactions can be based on 1) GAG sulfation pattern, 2) GAG carbohydrate conformation, and 3) GAG polyelectrolyte behavior. Chemical modifications of GAGs, which are commonly performed to engineer molecular delivery systems, affect protein binding and are highly dependent on the site of modification on the GAG molecules. The rate and mode of degradation can determine the release of molecules as well as the length of GAG fragments to which the cargo is electrostatically coupled and eventually released from the delivery system. Overall, GAG-based polymers are a versatile biomaterial platform offering novel means to engineer molecular delivery systems with a high degree of control in order to better treat a range of degenerate or injured tissues. PMID:24121191

  11. The bioartificial pancreas (BAP): Biological, chemical and engineering challenges.

    PubMed

    Iacovacci, Veronica; Ricotti, Leonardo; Menciassi, Arianna; Dario, Paolo

    2016-01-15

    The bioartificial pancreas (BAP) represents a viable solution for the treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D). By encapsulating pancreatic cells in a semipermeable membrane to allow nutrient, insulin and glucose exchange, the side effects produced by islets and whole organ transplantation-related immunosuppressive therapy can be circumvented. Several factors, mainly related to materials properties, capsule morphology and biological environment, play a key role in optimizing BAP systems. The BAP is an extremely complex delivery system for insulin. Despite considerable efforts, in some instances meeting with limited degree of success, a BAP capable of restoring physiological pancreas functions without the need for immunosuppressive drugs and of controlling blood glucose levels especially in large animal models and a few clinical trials, does not exist. The state of the art in terms of materials, fabrication techniques and cell sources, as well as the current status of commercial devices and clinical trials, are described in this overview from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. In addition, challenges to the creation of effective BAP systems are highlighted including future perspectives in terms of component integration from both a biological and an engineering viewpoint.

  12. Developing protein documentaries and other multimedia presentations for molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Quinn, G; Wang, H P; Martinez, D; Bourne, P E

    1999-01-01

    Computer-based multimedia technology for distance learning and research has come of age--the price point is acceptable, domain experts using off-the-shelf software can prepare compelling materials, and the material can be efficiently delivered via the Internet to a large audience. While not presenting any new scientific results, this paper outlines experiences with a variety of commercial and free software tools and the associated protocols we have used to prepare protein documentaries and other multimedia presentations relevant to molecular biology. A protein documentary is defined here as a description of the relationship between structure and function in a single protein or in a related family of proteins. A description using text and images which is further enhanced by the use of sound and interactive graphics. Examples of documentaries prepared to describe cAMP dependent protein kinase, the founding structural member of the protein kinase family for which there is now over 40 structures can be found at http://franklin.burnham-inst.org/rcsb. A variety of other prototype multimedia presentations for molecular biology described in this paper can be found at http://fraklin.burnham-inst.org. PMID:10380212

  13. Errant life, molecular biology, and biopower: Canguilhem, Jacob, and Foucault.

    PubMed

    Talcott, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    This paper considers the theoretical circumstances that urged Michel Foucault to analyse modern societies in terms of biopower. Georges Canguilhem's account of the relations between science and the living forms an essential starting point for Foucault's own later explorations, though the challenges posed by the molecular revolution in biology and François Jacob's history of it allowed Foucault to extend and transform Canguilhem's philosophy of error. Using archival research into his 1955-1956 course on "Science and Error," I show that, for Canguilhem, it is inauthentic to treat a living being as an error, even if living things are capable of making errors in the domain of knowledge. The emergent molecular biology in the 1960s posed a grave challenge, however, since it suggested that individuals could indeed be errors of genetic reproduction. The paper discusses how Canguilhem and Foucault each responded to this by examining, among other texts, their respective reviews of Jacob's The Logic of the Living. For Canguilhem this was an opportunity to reaffirm the creativity of life in the living individual, which is not a thing to be evaluated, but the source of values. For Foucault, drawing on Jacob's work, this was the opportunity to develop a transformed account of valuation by posing biopower as the DNA of society. Despite their disagreements, the paper examines these three authors as different iterations of a historical epistemology attuned to errancy, error, and experimentation.

  14. Errant life, molecular biology, and biopower: Canguilhem, Jacob, and Foucault.

    PubMed

    Talcott, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    This paper considers the theoretical circumstances that urged Michel Foucault to analyse modern societies in terms of biopower. Georges Canguilhem's account of the relations between science and the living forms an essential starting point for Foucault's own later explorations, though the challenges posed by the molecular revolution in biology and François Jacob's history of it allowed Foucault to extend and transform Canguilhem's philosophy of error. Using archival research into his 1955-1956 course on "Science and Error," I show that, for Canguilhem, it is inauthentic to treat a living being as an error, even if living things are capable of making errors in the domain of knowledge. The emergent molecular biology in the 1960s posed a grave challenge, however, since it suggested that individuals could indeed be errors of genetic reproduction. The paper discusses how Canguilhem and Foucault each responded to this by examining, among other texts, their respective reviews of Jacob's The Logic of the Living. For Canguilhem this was an opportunity to reaffirm the creativity of life in the living individual, which is not a thing to be evaluated, but the source of values. For Foucault, drawing on Jacob's work, this was the opportunity to develop a transformed account of valuation by posing biopower as the DNA of society. Despite their disagreements, the paper examines these three authors as different iterations of a historical epistemology attuned to errancy, error, and experimentation. PMID:25515360

  15. Holism and life manifestations: molecular and space-time biology.

    PubMed

    Krecek, J

    2010-01-01

    Appeals of philosophers to look for new concepts in sciences are being met with a weak response. Limited attention is paid to the relation between synthetic and analytic approach in solving problems of biology. An attempt is presented to open a discussion on a possible role of holism. The term "life manifestations" is used in accordance with phenomenology. Multicellular creatures maintain milieu intérieur to keep an aqueous milieu intracellulair in order to transform the energy of nutrients into the form utilizable for driving cellular life manifestations. Milieu intérieur enables to integrate this kind of manifestations into life manifestations of the whole multicellular creatures. The integration depends on a uniqueness and uniformity of the genome of cells, on their mutual recognition and adherence. The processes of ontogenetic development represent the natural mode of integration of cellular life manifestations. Functional systems of multicellular creatures are being established by organization of integrable cells using a wide range of developmental processes. Starting from the zygote division the new being displays all properties of a whole creature, although its life manifestations vary. Therefore, the whole organism is not only more than its parts, as supposed by holism, but also more than developmental stages of its life manifestations. Implicitly, the units of whole multicellular creature are rather molecular and developmental events than the cells per se. Holism, taking in mind the existence of molecular and space-time biology, could become a guide in looking for a new mode of the combination of analytical and synthetic reasoning in biology.

  16. Transmission electron microscopy in molecular structural biology: A historical survey.

    PubMed

    Harris, J Robin

    2015-09-01

    In this personal, historic account of macromolecular transmission electron microscopy (TEM), published data from the 1940s through to recent times is surveyed, within the context of the remarkable progress that has been achieved during this time period. The evolution of present day molecular structural biology is described in relation to the associated biological disciplines. The contribution of numerous electron microscope pioneers to the development of the subject is discussed. The principal techniques for TEM specimen preparation, thin sectioning, metal shadowing, negative staining and plunge-freezing (vitrification) of thin aqueous samples are described, with a selection of published images to emphasise the virtues of each method. The development of digital image analysis and 3D reconstruction is described in detail as applied to electron crystallography and reconstructions from helical structures, 2D membrane crystals as well as single particle 3D reconstruction of icosahedral viruses and macromolecules. The on-going development of new software, algorithms and approaches is highlighted before specific examples of the historical progress of the structural biology of proteins and viruses are presented.

  17. Transmission electron microscopy in molecular structural biology: A historical survey.

    PubMed

    Harris, J Robin

    2015-09-01

    In this personal, historic account of macromolecular transmission electron microscopy (TEM), published data from the 1940s through to recent times is surveyed, within the context of the remarkable progress that has been achieved during this time period. The evolution of present day molecular structural biology is described in relation to the associated biological disciplines. The contribution of numerous electron microscope pioneers to the development of the subject is discussed. The principal techniques for TEM specimen preparation, thin sectioning, metal shadowing, negative staining and plunge-freezing (vitrification) of thin aqueous samples are described, with a selection of published images to emphasise the virtues of each method. The development of digital image analysis and 3D reconstruction is described in detail as applied to electron crystallography and reconstructions from helical structures, 2D membrane crystals as well as single particle 3D reconstruction of icosahedral viruses and macromolecules. The on-going development of new software, algorithms and approaches is highlighted before specific examples of the historical progress of the structural biology of proteins and viruses are presented. PMID:25475529

  18. Review and application of group theory to molecular systems biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we provide a review of selected mathematical ideas that can help us better understand the boundary between living and non-living systems. We focus on group theory and abstract algebra applied to molecular systems biology. Throughout this paper we briefly describe possible open problems. In connection with the genetic code we propose that it may be possible to use perturbation theory to explore the adjacent possibilities in the 64-dimensional space-time manifold of the evolving genome. With regards to algebraic graph theory, there are several minor open problems we discuss. In relation to network dynamics and groupoid formalism we suggest that the network graph might not be the main focus for understanding the phenotype but rather the phase space of the network dynamics. We show a simple case of a C6 network and its phase space network. We envision that the molecular network of a cell is actually a complex network of hypercycles and feedback circuits that could be better represented in a higher-dimensional space. We conjecture that targeting nodes in the molecular network that have key roles in the phase space, as revealed by analysis of the automorphism decomposition, might be a better way to drug discovery and treatment of cancer. PMID:21696623

  19. Advances in the cellular and molecular biology of angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Egginton, Stuart; Bicknell, Roy

    2011-12-01

    Capillaries have been recognized for over a century as one of the most important components in regulating tissue oxygen transport, and their formation or angiogenesis a pivotal element of tissue remodelling during development and adaptation. Clinical interest stems from observations that both excessive and inadequate vascular growth plays a major role in human diseases, and novel developments in treatments for cancer and eye disease increasingly rely on anti-angiogenic therapies. Although the discovery of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) provided the first clue for specificity of signalling in endothelial cell activation, understanding the integrative response that drives angiogenesis requires a much broader perspective. The Advances in the Cellular and Molecular Biology of Angiogenesis meeting brought together researchers at the forefront of this rapidly moving field to provide an update on current understanding, and the most recent insights into molecular and cellular mechanisms of vascular growth. The plenary lecture highlighted the integrative nature of the angiogenic process, whereas invited contributions from basic and clinician scientists described fundamental mechanisms and disease-associated issues of blood vessel formation, grouped under a number of themes to aid discussion. These articles will appeal to academic, clinical and pharmaceutical scientists interested in the molecular and cellular basis of angiogenesis, their modulation or dysfunction in human diseases, and application of these findings towards translational medicine. PMID:22103485

  20. Molecular Biology of Insect Sodium Channels and Pyrethroid Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Ke; Du, Yuzhe; Rinkevich, Frank; Nomura, Yoshiko; Xu, Peng; Wang, Lingxin; Silver, Kristopher; Zhorov, Boris S.

    2015-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for the initiation and propagation of the action potential in neurons and other excitable cells. Because of their critical roles in electrical signaling, sodium channels are targets of a variety of naturally occurring and synthetic neurotoxins, including several classes of insecticides. This review is intended to provide an update on the molecular biology of insect sodium channels and the molecular mechanism of pyrethroid resistance. Although mammalian and insect sodium channels share fundamental topological and functional properties, most insect species carry only one sodium channel gene, compared to multiple sodium channel genes found in each mammalian species. Recent studies showed that two posttranscriptional mechanisms, alternative splicing and RNA editing, are involved in generating functional diversity of sodium channels in insects. More than 50 sodium channel mutations have been identified to be responsible for or associated with knockdown resistance (kdr) to pyrethroids in various arthropod pests and disease vectors. Elucidation of molecular mechanism of kdr led to the identification of dual receptor sites of pyrethroids on insect sodium channels. Most of the kdr mutations appear to be located within or close to the two receptor sites. The accumulating knowledge of insect sodium channels and their interactions with insecticides provides a foundation for understanding the neurophysiology of sodium channels in vivo and the development of new and safer insecticides for effective control of arthropod pests and human disease vectors. PMID:24704279

  1. Applications of Discrete Molecular Dynamics in biology and medicine.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Elizabeth A; Dokholyan, Nikolay V

    2016-04-01

    Discrete Molecular Dynamics (DMD) is a physics-based simulation method using discrete energetic potentials rather than traditional continuous potentials, allowing microsecond time scale simulations of biomolecular systems to be performed on personal computers rather than supercomputers or specialized hardware. With the ongoing explosion in processing power even in personal computers, applications of DMD have similarly multiplied. In the past two years, researchers have used DMD to model structures of disease-implicated protein folding intermediates, study assembly of protein complexes, predict protein-protein binding conformations, engineer rescue mutations in disease-causative protein mutants, design a protein conformational switch to control cell signaling, and describe the behavior of polymeric dispersants for environmental cleanup of oil spills, among other innovative applications. PMID:26638022

  2. Applications of Discrete Molecular Dynamics in biology and medicine.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Elizabeth A; Dokholyan, Nikolay V

    2016-04-01

    Discrete Molecular Dynamics (DMD) is a physics-based simulation method using discrete energetic potentials rather than traditional continuous potentials, allowing microsecond time scale simulations of biomolecular systems to be performed on personal computers rather than supercomputers or specialized hardware. With the ongoing explosion in processing power even in personal computers, applications of DMD have similarly multiplied. In the past two years, researchers have used DMD to model structures of disease-implicated protein folding intermediates, study assembly of protein complexes, predict protein-protein binding conformations, engineer rescue mutations in disease-causative protein mutants, design a protein conformational switch to control cell signaling, and describe the behavior of polymeric dispersants for environmental cleanup of oil spills, among other innovative applications.

  3. Tagging and Purifying Proteins to Teach Molecular Biology and Advanced Biochemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roecklein-Canfield, Jennifer A.; Lopilato, Jane

    2004-01-01

    Two distinct courses, "Molecular Biology" taught by the Biology Department and "Advanced Biochemistry" taught by the Chemistry Department, complement each other and, when taught in a coordinated and integrated way, can enhance student learning and understanding of complex material. "Molecular Biology" is a comprehensive lecture-based course with a…

  4. Implementation and Assessment of a Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics Undergraduate Degree Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pham, Daphne Q. -D.; Higgs, David C.; Statham, Anne; Schleiter, Mary Kay

    2008-01-01

    The Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside has developed and implemented an innovative, multidisciplinary undergraduate curriculum in Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics (MBB). The objective of the MBB program is to give students a hands-on facility with molecular biology theories and laboratory techniques, an…

  5. Molecularly defined plasmonic engineering to visualize antibody binding events by eye

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, A. W.; Cooper, J. M.

    2013-02-01

    We report a novel plasmonic tuning technique which allows colorimetric, naked-eye detection of protein-protein binding at extreme sensitivities. Utilizing an engineered approach to molecularly-driven plasmonic-coupling, we construct three-part plasmonic "bowtie" structures within protein nanoarrays using single biomolecular binding events. Precise molecular positioning of single gold nanaoparticles inside plasmonic bowties allows us to shape the plasmon supported by each array element in order to engineer a visible color-shift. By ensuring that only a single binding site is available inside each feature, we ensure plasmon homogeneity across the array, a unique technological solution which is essential to providing the sensitivity and observability we demonstrate here. This work represents a step-change in molecularly-mediated plasmonics and colorimetric biosensing, enabling biologically-controlled nanoengineering at single-protein resolutions. The potential applications of this powerful technique are not limited to biosensing and point-of-care diagnostics, and will also impact the emerging fields of molecularly driven nanoengineering and electronics.

  6. Biological production of monoethanolamine by engineered Pseudomonas putida S12.

    PubMed

    Foti, Mirjam; Médici, Rosario; Ruijssenaars, Harald J

    2013-09-10

    Pseudomonas putida S12 was engineered for the production of monoethanolamine (MEA) from glucose via the decarboxylation of the central metabolite L-serine, which is catalyzed by the enzyme L-serine decarboxylase (SDC). The host was first evaluated for its tolerance towards MEA as well as its endogenous ability to degrade this alkanolamine. Growth inhibition was observed at MEA concentrations above 100 mM, but growth was never completely arrested even at 750 mM of MEA. P. putida S12 was able to catabolize MEA in the absence of ammonia, but deletion of the eutBC genes that encode ethanolamine ammonia-lyase (EAL) enzyme sufficed to eliminate this capacity. For the biological production of MEA, the sdc genes from Arabidopsis thaliana (full-length and a truncated version) and Volvox carteri were expressed in P. putida S12. From 20 mM of glucose, negligible amounts of MEA were produced by P. putida S12 ΔeutBC expressing the sdc genes from A. thaliana and V. carteri. However, 0.07 mmol of MEA was obtained per g of cell dry weight of P. putida S12 ΔeutBC expressing the truncated variant of the A. thaliana SDC. When the medium was supplemented with L-serine (30 mM), MEA production increased to 1.25 mmol MEA g⁻¹ CDW, demonstrating that L-serine availability was limiting MEA production. PMID:23876477

  7. Rectified Brownian movement in molecular and cell biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, Ronald F.

    1998-02-01

    A unified model is presented for rectified Brownian movement as the mechanism for a variety of putatively chemomechanical energy conversions in molecular and cell biology. The model is established by a detailed analysis of ubiquinone transport in electron transport chains and of allosteric conformation changes in proteins. It is applied to P-type ATPase ion transporters and to a variety of rotary arm enzyme complexes. It provides a basis for the dynamics of actin-myosin cross-bridges in muscle fibers. In this model, metabolic free energy does no work directly, but instead biases boundary conditions for thermal diffusion. All work is done by thermal energy, which is harnessed at the expense of metabolic free energy through the establishment of the asymmetric boundary conditions.

  8. Molecular and biological aspects of the bovine immunodeficiency virus.

    PubMed

    Corredor, Andrea G; St-Louis, Marie-Claude; Archambault, Denis

    2010-01-01

    The bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV) was isolated in 1969 from a cow, R-29, with a wasting syndrome suggesting bovine leucosis. The virus, first designated bovine visna-like virus, remained unstudied until HIV was discovered in 1983. Then, it was demonstrated in 1987 that the bovine R-29 isolate was a lentivirus with striking similarity to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Moreover, BIV has the most complex genomic structure among all identified lentiviruses shown by several regulatory/accessory genes encoding proteins, some of which are involved in the regulation of virus gene expression. This manuscript aims to review biological and molecular aspects of BIV, with emphasis on regulatory/accessory viral genes/proteins which are involved in virus expression. PMID:20210777

  9. Molecular biological characterization of equine surfactant protein A.

    PubMed

    Hospes, R; Hospes, B I L; Reiss, I; Bostedt, H; Gortner, L

    2002-12-01

    In the following, we describe the isolation and sequencing of the equine surfactant protein A (Sp-A) as found in both the cDNA and the genomic DNA. We found a length of the cDNA sequence of 747 bp (base pairs), in translation into amino acids of 248. Compared with the known molecular biological facts about Sp-A in other species, the cDNA sequence obtained showed highest homology with that of sheep (85.01%). The genomic DNA of equine Sp-A, as in other species, includes three introns. There were no hints for the existence of two different Sp-A genes. These results should form the basis for a better understanding of respiratory failure in foals and adult horses, and also lead to further studies on this item.

  10. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Cameron-Smith, David; Wessner, Barbara; Franzke, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a major risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional impairments. Within a homogeneous age sample there is a considerable variation in the extent of disease and functional impairment risk, revealing a need for valid biomarkers to aid in characterizing the complex aging processes. The identification of biomarkers is further complicated by the diversity of biological living situations, lifestyle activities and medical treatments. Thus, there has been no identification of a single biomarker or gold standard tool that can monitor successful or healthy aging. Within this short review the current knowledge of putative biomarkers is presented, focusing on their application to the major physiological mechanisms affected by the aging process including physical capability, nutritional status, body composition, endocrine and immune function. This review emphasizes molecular and DNA-based biomarkers, as well as recent advances in other biomarkers such as microRNAs, bilirubin or advanced glycation end products. PMID:27271660

  11. Obstructive renal injury: from fluid mechanics to molecular cell biology.

    PubMed

    Ucero, Alvaro C; Gonçalves, Sara; Benito-Martin, Alberto; Santamaría, Beatriz; Ramos, Adrian M; Berzal, Sergio; Ruiz-Ortega, Marta; Egido, Jesus; Ortiz, Alberto

    2010-04-22

    Urinary tract obstruction is a frequent cause of renal impairment. The physiopathology of obstructive nephropathy has long been viewed as a mere mechanical problem. However, recent advances in cell and systems biology have disclosed a complex physiopathology involving a high number of molecular mediators of injury that lead to cellular processes of apoptotic cell death, cell injury leading to inflammation and resultant fibrosis. Functional studies in animal models of ureteral obstruction using a variety of techniques that include genetically modified animals have disclosed an important role for the renin-angiotensin system, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and other mediators of inflammation in this process. In addition, high throughput techniques such as proteomics and transcriptomics have identified potential biomarkers that may guide clinical decision-making.

  12. Software library with applications in virology and molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Campione-Piccardo, J

    1986-06-01

    A menu-driven interactive package of computer programs has been developed to help in calculations commonly required in laboratories using virological and molecular biological techniques. Two of the programs use two of the most accurate methods available for determining viral titers, several programs were designed to optimize experimental parameters and others help in the analysis of recombinant DNA data. All of the programs use specially developed original algorithms which in some cases are based also on equations originally derived. The programs were written in Microsoft BASIC using mostly hardware independent commands and functions and should run without major modifications in most microcomputers with BASIC interpreters or compilers. The programs are menu-driven and fully interactive. PMID:3755444

  13. Engineering molecular mechanics: an efficient static high temperature molecular simulation technique.

    PubMed

    Subramaniyan, Arun K; Sun, C T

    2008-07-16

    Inspired by the need for an efficient molecular simulation technique, we have developed engineering molecular mechanics (EMM) as an alternative molecular simulation technique to model high temperature (T>0 K) phenomena. EMM simulations are significantly more computationally efficient than conventional techniques such as molecular dynamics simulations. The advantage of EMM is achieved by converting the dynamic atomistic system at high temperature (T>0 K) into an equivalent static system. Fundamentals of the EMM methodology are derived using thermal expansion to modify the interatomic potential. Temperature dependent interatomic potentials are developed to account for the temperature effect. The efficiency of EMM simulations is demonstrated by simulating the temperature dependence of elastic constants of copper and nickel and the thermal stress developed in a confined copper system.

  14. Escherichia coli and the French School of Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Agnes

    2010-09-01

    André Lwoff, Jacques Monod, and François Jacob, the leaders of the French school of molecular biology, greatly contributed between 1937 and 1965 to its development and triumph. The main discovery of Lwoff was the elucidation of the mechanism of bacteriophage induction, the phenomenon of lysogeny, that led to the model of genetic regulation uncovered later by Jacob and Monod. Working on bacterial growth, Monod discovered in 1941 the phenomenon of diauxy and uncovered the nature of enzyme induction. By combining genetic and biochemical approaches, Monod brought to light the structure and functions of the Escherichia coli lactose system, comprising the genes necessary for lactose metabolism, i.e., β-galactosidase and lactose permease, a pump responsible for accumulation of galactosides into the cells. An additional genetic factor (the i gene) determines the inducibility and constitutivity of enzyme synthesis. Around the same time, François Jacob and Elie Wollman dissected the main events of bacterial conjugation that enabled them to construct a map of the E. coli chromosome and to demonstrate its circularity. The genetic analysis of the lactose system led Monod and Jacob to elucidate the mechanism of the regulation of gene expression and to propose the operon model: a unit of coordinate transcription. One of the new concepts that emerged from the operon model was messenger RNA. In 1963, Monod developed one of the most elegant concepts of molecular biology, the theory of allostery. In 1965, Lwoff, Monod and Jacob were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. PMID:26443784

  15. Escherichia coli and the French School of Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Agnes

    2010-09-01

    André Lwoff, Jacques Monod, and François Jacob, the leaders of the French school of molecular biology, greatly contributed between 1937 and 1965 to its development and triumph. The main discovery of Lwoff was the elucidation of the mechanism of bacteriophage induction, the phenomenon of lysogeny, that led to the model of genetic regulation uncovered later by Jacob and Monod. Working on bacterial growth, Monod discovered in 1941 the phenomenon of diauxy and uncovered the nature of enzyme induction. By combining genetic and biochemical approaches, Monod brought to light the structure and functions of the Escherichia coli lactose system, comprising the genes necessary for lactose metabolism, i.e., β-galactosidase and lactose permease, a pump responsible for accumulation of galactosides into the cells. An additional genetic factor (the i gene) determines the inducibility and constitutivity of enzyme synthesis. Around the same time, François Jacob and Elie Wollman dissected the main events of bacterial conjugation that enabled them to construct a map of the E. coli chromosome and to demonstrate its circularity. The genetic analysis of the lactose system led Monod and Jacob to elucidate the mechanism of the regulation of gene expression and to propose the operon model: a unit of coordinate transcription. One of the new concepts that emerged from the operon model was messenger RNA. In 1963, Monod developed one of the most elegant concepts of molecular biology, the theory of allostery. In 1965, Lwoff, Monod and Jacob were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

  16. Molecular engineering of polymer actuators for biomedical and industrial use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banister, Mark; Eichorst, Rebecca; Gurr, Amy; Schweitzer, Georgette; Geronov, Yordan; Rao, Pavalli; McGrath, Dominic

    2012-04-01

    Five key materials engineering components and how each component impacted the working performance of a polymer actuator material are investigated. In our research we investigated the change of actuation performance that occurred with each change we made to the material. We investigated polymer crosslink density, polymer chain length, polymer gelation, type and density of reactive units, as well as the addition of binders to the polymer matrix. All five play a significant role and need to be addressed at the molecular level to optimize a polymer gel for use as a practical actuator material for biomedical and industrial use.

  17. Light-driven DNA nanomachine with a photoresponsive molecular engine.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, Yukiko; Asanuma, Hiroyuki

    2014-06-17

    CONSPECTUS: DNA is regarded as an excellent nanomaterial due to its supramolecular property of duplex formation through A-T and G-C complementary pairs. By simply designing sequences, we can create any desired 2D or 3D nanoarchitecture with DNA. Based on these nanoarchitectures, motional DNA-based nanomachines have also been developed. Most of the nanomachines require molecular fuels to drive them. Typically, a toehold exchange reaction is applied with a complementary DNA strand as a fuel. However, repetitive operation of the machines accumulates waste DNA duplexes in the solution that gradually deteriorate the motional efficiency. Hence, we are facing an "environmental problem" even in the nanoworld. One of the direct solutions to this problem is to use clean energy, such as light. Since light does not contaminate the reaction system, a DNA nanomachine run by a photon engine can overcome the drawback of waste that is a problem with molecular-fueled engines. There are several photoresponsive molecules that convert light energy to mechanical motion through the change of geometry of the molecules; these include spiropyran, diarylethene, stilbene, and azobenzene. Although each molecule has both advantages and drawbacks, azobenzene derivatives are widely used as "molecular photon engines". In this Account, we review light-driven DNA nanomachines mainly focusing on the photoresponsive DNAs that we have developed for the past decade. The basis of our method is installation of an azobenzene into a DNA sequence through a d-threoninol scaffold. Reversible hybridization of the DNA duplex, triggered by trans-cis isomerization of azobenzene in the DNA sequences by irradiation with light, induces mechanical motion of the DNA nanomachine. Moreover we have successfully developed azobenzene derivatives that improve its photoisomerizaition properties. Use of these derivatives and techniques have allowed us to design various DNA machines that demonstrate sophisticated motion in

  18. Light-driven DNA nanomachine with a photoresponsive molecular engine.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, Yukiko; Asanuma, Hiroyuki

    2014-06-17

    CONSPECTUS: DNA is regarded as an excellent nanomaterial due to its supramolecular property of duplex formation through A-T and G-C complementary pairs. By simply designing sequences, we can create any desired 2D or 3D nanoarchitecture with DNA. Based on these nanoarchitectures, motional DNA-based nanomachines have also been developed. Most of the nanomachines require molecular fuels to drive them. Typically, a toehold exchange reaction is applied with a complementary DNA strand as a fuel. However, repetitive operation of the machines accumulates waste DNA duplexes in the solution that gradually deteriorate the motional efficiency. Hence, we are facing an "environmental problem" even in the nanoworld. One of the direct solutions to this problem is to use clean energy, such as light. Since light does not contaminate the reaction system, a DNA nanomachine run by a photon engine can overcome the drawback of waste that is a problem with molecular-fueled engines. There are several photoresponsive molecules that convert light energy to mechanical motion through the change of geometry of the molecules; these include spiropyran, diarylethene, stilbene, and azobenzene. Although each molecule has both advantages and drawbacks, azobenzene derivatives are widely used as "molecular photon engines". In this Account, we review light-driven DNA nanomachines mainly focusing on the photoresponsive DNAs that we have developed for the past decade. The basis of our method is installation of an azobenzene into a DNA sequence through a d-threoninol scaffold. Reversible hybridization of the DNA duplex, triggered by trans-cis isomerization of azobenzene in the DNA sequences by irradiation with light, induces mechanical motion of the DNA nanomachine. Moreover we have successfully developed azobenzene derivatives that improve its photoisomerizaition properties. Use of these derivatives and techniques have allowed us to design various DNA machines that demonstrate sophisticated motion in

  19. Molecular Biology and Infection of Hepatitis E Virus.

    PubMed

    Nan, Yuchen; Zhang, Yan-Jin

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a viral pathogen transmitted primarily via fecal-oral route. In humans, HEV mainly causes acute hepatitis and is responsible for large outbreaks of hepatitis across the world. The case fatality rate of HEV-induced hepatitis ranges from 0.5 to 3% in young adults and up to 30% in infected pregnant women. HEV strains infecting humans are classified into four genotypes. HEV strains from genotypes 3 and 4 are zoonotic, whereas those from genotypes 1 and 2 have no known animal reservoirs. Recently, notable progress has been accomplished for better understanding of HEV biology and infection, such as chronic HEV infection, in vitro cell culture system, quasi-enveloped HEV virions, functions of the HEV proteins, mechanism of HEV antagonizing host innate immunity, HEV pathogenesis and vaccine development. However, further investigation on the cross-species HEV infection, host tropism, vaccine efficacy, and HEV-specific antiviral strategy is still needed. This review mainly focuses on molecular biology and infection of HEV and offers perspective new insight of this enigmatic virus.

  20. Molecular Biology and Infection of Hepatitis E Virus.

    PubMed

    Nan, Yuchen; Zhang, Yan-Jin

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a viral pathogen transmitted primarily via fecal-oral route. In humans, HEV mainly causes acute hepatitis and is responsible for large outbreaks of hepatitis across the world. The case fatality rate of HEV-induced hepatitis ranges from 0.5 to 3% in young adults and up to 30% in infected pregnant women. HEV strains infecting humans are classified into four genotypes. HEV strains from genotypes 3 and 4 are zoonotic, whereas those from genotypes 1 and 2 have no known animal reservoirs. Recently, notable progress has been accomplished for better understanding of HEV biology and infection, such as chronic HEV infection, in vitro cell culture system, quasi-enveloped HEV virions, functions of the HEV proteins, mechanism of HEV antagonizing host innate immunity, HEV pathogenesis and vaccine development. However, further investigation on the cross-species HEV infection, host tropism, vaccine efficacy, and HEV-specific antiviral strategy is still needed. This review mainly focuses on molecular biology and infection of HEV and offers perspective new insight of this enigmatic virus. PMID:27656178

  1. Molecular biological aspects on canine and human mammary tumors.

    PubMed

    Rivera, P; von Euler, H

    2011-01-01

    The high incidence of mammary tumor disease reported in certain canine breeds suggests a significant genetic component, as has already been described in human familial breast cancer-in BRCA1- and BRCA2-associated breast cancer in particular. The identification of genetic risk factors is critical to improvements in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these tumors. In recent years, there has been significant progress in developing the tools and reagents necessary to analyze the canine genome. This work has culminated in a high-quality draft genome sequence, as well as a single-nucleotide polymorphism map and single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays for genomewide association analysis. These tools provide an unprecedented opportunity to characterize the genetic influences in canine diseases such as cancer, eventually allowing for exploration of more effective therapies. Given the high homology between the canine genome sequence and its human counterpart--as well as the many similarities regarding the morphology, biological behavior, and clinical course of mammary tumors in both species--the dog has proven to be an excellent comparative model. This review highlights the comparative aspects regarding certain areas within molecular biology, and it discusses future perspectives. The findings in larger genomewide association analyses and cDNA expression arrays are described, and the BRCA1/BRCA2 complex is compared in detail between the 2 species. PMID:21147766

  2. Molecular Biology and Infection of Hepatitis E Virus

    PubMed Central

    Nan, Yuchen; Zhang, Yan-Jin

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a viral pathogen transmitted primarily via fecal-oral route. In humans, HEV mainly causes acute hepatitis and is responsible for large outbreaks of hepatitis across the world. The case fatality rate of HEV-induced hepatitis ranges from 0.5 to 3% in young adults and up to 30% in infected pregnant women. HEV strains infecting humans are classified into four genotypes. HEV strains from genotypes 3 and 4 are zoonotic, whereas those from genotypes 1 and 2 have no known animal reservoirs. Recently, notable progress has been accomplished for better understanding of HEV biology and infection, such as chronic HEV infection, in vitro cell culture system, quasi-enveloped HEV virions, functions of the HEV proteins, mechanism of HEV antagonizing host innate immunity, HEV pathogenesis and vaccine development. However, further investigation on the cross-species HEV infection, host tropism, vaccine efficacy, and HEV-specific antiviral strategy is still needed. This review mainly focuses on molecular biology and infection of HEV and offers perspective new insight of this enigmatic virus.

  3. Molecular Biology and Infection of Hepatitis E Virus

    PubMed Central

    Nan, Yuchen; Zhang, Yan-Jin

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a viral pathogen transmitted primarily via fecal-oral route. In humans, HEV mainly causes acute hepatitis and is responsible for large outbreaks of hepatitis across the world. The case fatality rate of HEV-induced hepatitis ranges from 0.5 to 3% in young adults and up to 30% in infected pregnant women. HEV strains infecting humans are classified into four genotypes. HEV strains from genotypes 3 and 4 are zoonotic, whereas those from genotypes 1 and 2 have no known animal reservoirs. Recently, notable progress has been accomplished for better understanding of HEV biology and infection, such as chronic HEV infection, in vitro cell culture system, quasi-enveloped HEV virions, functions of the HEV proteins, mechanism of HEV antagonizing host innate immunity, HEV pathogenesis and vaccine development. However, further investigation on the cross-species HEV infection, host tropism, vaccine efficacy, and HEV-specific antiviral strategy is still needed. This review mainly focuses on molecular biology and infection of HEV and offers perspective new insight of this enigmatic virus. PMID:27656178

  4. Experiential Engineering Through iGEM—An Undergraduate Summer Competition in Synthetic Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Rudolph; Dori, Yehudit Judy; Kuldell, Natalie H.

    2011-04-01

    Unlike students in other engineering disciplines, undergraduates in biological engineering typically have limited opportunity to develop design competencies, and even fewer chances to implement their designed projects. The international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition is a student Synthetic Biology competition that, in 2009, included 110 teams from across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the US. Working at their own schools over the summer, the students use a kit of biological parts from the Registry of Standard Biological Parts, as well as new parts of their own design, to build biological systems that operate in living cells. Two years of survey data collected from undergraduates after their iGEM experiences in 2007 and 2008 suggest that both learning and identity as a biological engineer increase as a result of iGEM.

  5. Biological and molecular basis of human breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Russo, J; Yang, X; Hu, Y F; Bove, B A; Huang, Y; Silva, I D; Tahin, Q; Wu, Y; Higgy, N; Zekri, A; Russo, I H

    1998-09-01

    Human breast cancer remains the most common malignancy in the American women. The ultimate cure of this disease relies on a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the initiation and progression of this disease. The neoplastic transformation of HBEC in vitro represents a successful model for obtaining knowledge on the molecular and biological alterations that may contribute to the tumorigenic mechanisms. We have presented here a current understanding of chemically transformed HBEC in the following aspects: 1. Factors affecting the transformation of HBEC such as genetic predisposition and differentiation status and prior immortalization; 2. New targets for studying the mechanism of cell immortalization such as alterations in telomerase activity and differential expression of cell cycle dependent genes as well as others recently isolated through differential cloning such as H-ferritin, and a calcium binding protein; 3. Epigenetic and genetic mechanisms underlying cell transformation; 4. The association of microsatellite instability in specific loci on chromosomes 11, 13, and 16 with the progression of cell transformation; and 5. The application of microcell mediated chromosome transfer technique as an approach to testing the functional role of specific genes whose dysregulation or loss of function may contribute to the ultimate cell transformation. Further efforts in this cell system will be directed to determine the roles of identified molecular changes as well as the mapping/cloning of tumor suppressor or senescence genes such as those that may reside on chromosomes 11 or 17. PMID:9727085

  6. Molecular codes in biological and chemical reaction networks.

    PubMed

    Görlich, Dennis; Dittrich, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Shannon's theory of communication has been very successfully applied for the analysis of biological information. However, the theory neglects semantic and pragmatic aspects and thus cannot directly be applied to distinguish between (bio-) chemical systems able to process "meaningful" information from those that do not. Here, we present a formal method to assess a system's semantic capacity by analyzing a reaction network's capability to implement molecular codes. We analyzed models of chemical systems (martian atmosphere chemistry and various combustion chemistries), biochemical systems (gene expression, gene translation, and phosphorylation signaling cascades), an artificial chemistry, and random reaction networks. Our study suggests that different chemical systems possess different semantic capacities. No semantic capacity was found in the model of the martian atmosphere chemistry, the studied combustion chemistries, and highly connected random networks, i.e. with these chemistries molecular codes cannot be implemented. High semantic capacity was found in the studied biochemical systems and in random reaction networks where the number of second order reactions is twice the number of species. We conclude that our approach can be applied to evaluate the information processing capabilities of a chemical system and may thus be a useful tool to understand the origin and evolution of meaningful information, e.g. in the context of the origin of life.

  7. Molecular imaging of biological tissue using gas cluster ions

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Hua; Wucher, Andreas; Winograd, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

    An Arn+ (n = 1–6000) gas cluster ion source has been utilized to map the chemical distribution of lipids in a mouse brain tissue section. We also show that the signal from high mass species can be further enhanced by doping a small amount of CH4 into the Ar cluster to enhance the ionization of several biologically important molecules. Coupled with secondary ion mass spectrometry instrumentation which utilizes a continuous Ar cluster ion projectile, maximum spatial resolution and maximum mass resolution can be achieved at the same time. With this arrangement, it is possible to achieve chemically resolved molecular ion images at the 4-µm resolution level. The focused Arn+/[Arx(CH4)y]+ beams (4–10 µm) have been applied to the study of untreated mouse brain tissue. A high signal level of molecular ions and salt adducts, mainly from various phosphocholine lipids, has been seen and directly used to map the chemical distribution. The signal intensity obtained using the pure Ar cluster source, the CH4-doped cluster source and C60 is also presented. PMID:26207076

  8. Molecular Codes in Biological and Chemical Reaction Networks

    PubMed Central

    Görlich, Dennis; Dittrich, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Shannon’s theory of communication has been very successfully applied for the analysis of biological information. However, the theory neglects semantic and pragmatic aspects and thus cannot directly be applied to distinguish between (bio-) chemical systems able to process “meaningful” information from those that do not. Here, we present a formal method to assess a system’s semantic capacity by analyzing a reaction network’s capability to implement molecular codes. We analyzed models of chemical systems (martian atmosphere chemistry and various combustion chemistries), biochemical systems (gene expression, gene translation, and phosphorylation signaling cascades), an artificial chemistry, and random reaction networks. Our study suggests that different chemical systems posses different semantic capacities. No semantic capacity was found in the model of the martian atmosphere chemistry, the studied combustion chemistries, and highly connected random networks, i.e. with these chemistries molecular codes cannot be implemented. High semantic capacity was found in the studied biochemical systems and in random reaction networks where the number of second order reactions is twice the number of species. We conclude that our approach can be applied to evaluate the information processing capabilities of a chemical system and may thus be a useful tool to understand the origin and evolution of meaningful information, e.g. in the context of the origin of life. PMID:23372756

  9. Bioimage informatics: a new area of engineering biology

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Hanchuan

    2008-01-01

    In recent years, the deluge of complicated molecular and cellular microscopic images creates compelling challenges for the image computing community. There has been an increasing focus on developing novel image processing, data mining, database and visualization techniques to extract, compare, search and manage the biological knowledge in these data-intensive problems. This emerging new area of bioinformatics can be called ‘bioimage informatics’. This article reviews the advances of this field from several aspects, including applications, key techniques, available tools and resources. Application examples such as high-throughput/high-content phenotyping and atlas building for model organisms demonstrate the importance of bioimage informatics. The essential techniques to the success of these applications, such as bioimage feature identification, segmentation and tracking, registration, annotation, mining, image data management and visualization, are further summarized, along with a brief overview of the available bioimage databases, analysis tools and other resources. Contact: pengh@janelia.hhmi.org Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:18603566

  10. Genetic engineering of modular PKSs: from combinatorial biosynthesis to synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Weissman, Kira J

    2016-02-01

    Multienzyme polyketide synthases (PKSs) are molecular-scale assembly lines which construct complex natural products in bacteria. The underlying modular architecture of these gigantic catalysts inspired, from the moment of their discovery, attempts to modify them by genetic engineering to produce analogues of predictable structure. These efforts have resulted in hundreds of metabolites new to nature, as detailed in this review. However, in the face of many failures, the heady days of imagining the possibilities for a truly 'combinatorial biosynthesis' of polyketides have faded. It is now more appropriate to talk about 'PKS synthetic biology' with its more modest goals of delivering specific derivatives of known structure in combination with and as a complement to synthetic chemistry approaches. The reasons for these failures will be discussed in terms of our growing understanding of the three-dimensional architectures and mechanisms of these systems. Finally, some thoughts on the future of the field will be presented.

  11. Genetic engineering of modular PKSs: from combinatorial biosynthesis to synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Weissman, Kira J

    2016-02-01

    Multienzyme polyketide synthases (PKSs) are molecular-scale assembly lines which construct complex natural products in bacteria. The underlying modular architecture of these gigantic catalysts inspired, from the moment of their discovery, attempts to modify them by genetic engineering to produce analogues of predictable structure. These efforts have resulted in hundreds of metabolites new to nature, as detailed in this review. However, in the face of many failures, the heady days of imagining the possibilities for a truly 'combinatorial biosynthesis' of polyketides have faded. It is now more appropriate to talk about 'PKS synthetic biology' with its more modest goals of delivering specific derivatives of known structure in combination with and as a complement to synthetic chemistry approaches. The reasons for these failures will be discussed in terms of our growing understanding of the three-dimensional architectures and mechanisms of these systems. Finally, some thoughts on the future of the field will be presented. PMID:26555805

  12. Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology: Volume 51, Molecular biology of Homo sapiens

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-01-01

    Thirteen years marked the time between the discovery of the double helix in 1953 and the elucidation of the genetic code in 1966. A similar interval has now passed since the development by Cohen and Boyer of a simple procedure for the cloning of selective DNA fragments. The scientific advances made possible by the subsequent modification and elaboration of these original cloning procedures now amaze, stimulate, and increasingly often overwhelm us. Facts that until recently were virtually unobtainable now flow forth almost effortlessly. Most excitingly, the frenetic pace of these new discoveries, instead of marking the impending end of a glorious moment of learning, give every indication of opening up scientific frontiers that will take hundreds if not thousands of years to explore thoroughly. This new era of enlightenment is nowhere more apparent than in our newfound ability to study ourselves at the molecular level. This volume is the first of two collections of papers submitted by the contributors to the Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology for 1986 - molecular biology of Homo sapiens. Contained in this collection are 80 papers grouped into sessions entitled Human Gene Map, Genetic Diagnosis, Human Evolution, and Drugs Made Off Human Genes.

  13. Common practice in molecular biology may introduce statistical bias and misleading biological interpretation.

    PubMed

    Hocquette, Jean François; Brandstetter, Anna M.

    2002-06-01

    In studies on enzyme activity or gene expression at the protein level, data are usually analyzed by using a standard curve after subtracting blank values. In most cases and for most techniques (spectrophotometric assays, ELISA), this approach satisfies the basic principles of linearity and specificity. In our experience, this might be also the case for Western-blot analysis. By contrast, mRNA data are usually presented as arbitrary units of the ratio of a target RNA over levels of a control RNA species. We here demonstrate by simple experiments and various examples that this data-normalization procedure may result in misleading conclusions. Common molecular biology techniques have never been carefully tested according to the basic principles of validation of quantitative techniques. We thus prefer a regression-based approach for quantifying mRNA levels relatively to a control RNA species by Northern-blot, semi-quantitative RT-PCR or similar techniques. This type of techniques is also characterized by a lower reproducibility for repeated assays when compared to biochemical analyses. Therefore, we also recommend to design experiments, which allow the detection of a similar range of variance by biochemical and molecular biology techniques. Otherwise, spurious conclusions may be provided regarding the control level of gene expression.

  14. Mathematical Biology Modules Based on Modern Molecular Biology and Modern Discrete Mathematics

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Robin; Hodge, Terrell; Enyedi, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    We describe an ongoing collaborative curriculum materials development project between Sweet Briar College and Western Michigan University, with support from the National Science Foundation. We present a collection of modules under development that can be used in existing mathematics and biology courses, and we address a critical national need to introduce students to mathematical methods beyond the interface of biology with calculus. Based on ongoing research, and designed to use the project-based-learning approach, the modules highlight applications of modern discrete mathematics and algebraic statistics to pressing problems in molecular biology. For the majority of projects, calculus is not a required prerequisite and, due to the modest amount of mathematical background needed for some of the modules, the materials can be used for an early introduction to mathematical modeling. At the same time, most modules are connected with topics in linear and abstract algebra, algebraic geometry, and probability, and they can be used as meaningful applied introductions into the relevant advanced-level mathematics courses. Open-source software is used to facilitate the relevant computations. As a detailed example, we outline a module that focuses on Boolean models of the lac operon network. PMID:20810955

  15. Mathematical biology modules based on modern molecular biology and modern discrete mathematics.

    PubMed

    Robeva, Raina; Davies, Robin; Hodge, Terrell; Enyedi, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    We describe an ongoing collaborative curriculum materials development project between Sweet Briar College and Western Michigan University, with support from the National Science Foundation. We present a collection of modules under development that can be used in existing mathematics and biology courses, and we address a critical national need to introduce students to mathematical methods beyond the interface of biology with calculus. Based on ongoing research, and designed to use the project-based-learning approach, the modules highlight applications of modern discrete mathematics and algebraic statistics to pressing problems in molecular biology. For the majority of projects, calculus is not a required prerequisite and, due to the modest amount of mathematical background needed for some of the modules, the materials can be used for an early introduction to mathematical modeling. At the same time, most modules are connected with topics in linear and abstract algebra, algebraic geometry, and probability, and they can be used as meaningful applied introductions into the relevant advanced-level mathematics courses. Open-source software is used to facilitate the relevant computations. As a detailed example, we outline a module that focuses on Boolean models of the lac operon network.

  16. Molecular structure of photosynthetic microbial biofuels for improved engine combustion and emissions characteristics.

    PubMed

    Hellier, Paul; Purton, Saul; Ladommatos, Nicos

    2015-01-01

    The metabolic engineering of photosynthetic microbes for production of novel hydrocarbons presents an opportunity for development of advanced designer biofuels. These can be significantly more sustainable, throughout the production-to-consumption lifecycle, than the fossil fuels and crop-based biofuels they might replace. Current biofuels, such as bioethanol and fatty acid methyl esters, have been developed primarily as drop-in replacements for existing fossil fuels, based on their physical properties and autoignition characteristics under specific combustion regimes. However, advances in the genetic engineering of microalgae and cyanobacteria, and the application of synthetic biology approaches offer the potential of designer strains capable of producing hydrocarbons and oxygenates with specific molecular structures. Furthermore, these fuel molecules can be designed for higher efficiency of energy release and lower exhaust emissions during combustion. This paper presents a review of potential fuel molecules from photosynthetic microbes and the performance of these possible fuels in modern internal combustion engines, highlighting which modifications to the molecular structure of such fuels may enhance their suitability for specific combustion regimes. PMID:25941673

  17. Molecular structure of photosynthetic microbial biofuels for improved engine combustion and emissions characteristics.

    PubMed

    Hellier, Paul; Purton, Saul; Ladommatos, Nicos

    2015-01-01

    The metabolic engineering of photosynthetic microbes for production of novel hydrocarbons presents an opportunity for development of advanced designer biofuels. These can be significantly more sustainable, throughout the production-to-consumption lifecycle, than the fossil fuels and crop-based biofuels they might replace. Current biofuels, such as bioethanol and fatty acid methyl esters, have been developed primarily as drop-in replacements for existing fossil fuels, based on their physical properties and autoignition characteristics under specific combustion regimes. However, advances in the genetic engineering of microalgae and cyanobacteria, and the application of synthetic biology approaches offer the potential of designer strains capable of producing hydrocarbons and oxygenates with specific molecular structures. Furthermore, these fuel molecules can be designed for higher efficiency of energy release and lower exhaust emissions during combustion. This paper presents a review of potential fuel molecules from photosynthetic microbes and the performance of these possible fuels in modern internal combustion engines, highlighting which modifications to the molecular structure of such fuels may enhance their suitability for specific combustion regimes.

  18. Molecular Structure of Photosynthetic Microbial Biofuels for Improved Engine Combustion and Emissions Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Hellier, Paul; Purton, Saul; Ladommatos, Nicos

    2015-01-01

    The metabolic engineering of photosynthetic microbes for production of novel hydrocarbons presents an opportunity for development of advanced designer biofuels. These can be significantly more sustainable, throughout the production-to-consumption lifecycle, than the fossil fuels and crop-based biofuels they might replace. Current biofuels, such as bioethanol and fatty acid methyl esters, have been developed primarily as drop-in replacements for existing fossil fuels, based on their physical properties and autoignition characteristics under specific combustion regimes. However, advances in the genetic engineering of microalgae and cyanobacteria, and the application of synthetic biology approaches offer the potential of designer strains capable of producing hydrocarbons and oxygenates with specific molecular structures. Furthermore, these fuel molecules can be designed for higher efficiency of energy release and lower exhaust emissions during combustion. This paper presents a review of potential fuel molecules from photosynthetic microbes and the performance of these possible fuels in modern internal combustion engines, highlighting which modifications to the molecular structure of such fuels may enhance their suitability for specific combustion regimes. PMID:25941673

  19. Molecular self-assembly for biological investigations and nanoscale lithography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheunkar, Sarawut

    Small, diffusible molecules when recognized by their binding partners, such as proteins and antibodies, trigger enzymatic activity, cell communication, and immune response. Progress in analytical methods enabling detection, characterization, and visualization of biological dynamics at the molecular level will advance our exploration of complex biological systems. In this dissertation, analytical platforms were fabricated to capture membrane-associated receptors, which are essential proteins in cell signaling pathways. The neurotransmitter serotonin and its biological precursor were immobilized on gold substrates coated with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of oligo(ethylene glycol)alkanethiols and their reactive derivatives. The SAM-coated substrates present the biologically selective affinity of immobilized molecules to target native membrane-associated receptors. These substrates were also tested for biospecificity using antibodies. In addition, small-molecule-functionalized platforms, expressing neurotransmitter pharmacophores, were employed to examine kinetic interactions between G-protein-coupled receptors and their associated neurotransmitters. The binding interactions were monitored using a quartz crystal microbalance equipped with liquid-flow injection. The interaction kinetics of G-protein-coupled serotonin 1A receptor and 5-hydroxytyptophan-functionalized surfaces were studied in a real-time, label-free environment. Key binding parameters, such as equilibrium dissociation constants, binding rate constants, and dissociative half-life, were extracted. These parameters are critical for understanding and comparing biomolecular interactions in modern biomedical research. By integrating self-assembly, surface functionalization, and nanofabrication, small-molecule microarrays were created for high-throughput screening. A hybrid soft-lithography, called microcontact insertion printing, was used to pattern small molecules at the dilute scales necessary for highly

  20. Engineering and Evolution of Molecular Chaperones and Protein Disaggregases with Enhanced Activity.

    PubMed

    Mack, Korrie L; Shorter, James

    2016-01-01

    Cells have evolved a sophisticated proteostasis network to ensure that proteins acquire and retain their native structure and function. Critical components of this network include molecular chaperones and protein disaggregases, which function to prevent and reverse deleterious protein misfolding. Nevertheless, proteostasis networks have limits, which when exceeded can have fatal consequences as in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A promising strategy is to engineer proteostasis networks to counter challenges presented by specific diseases or specific proteins. Here, we review efforts to enhance the activity of individual molecular chaperones or protein disaggregases via engineering and directed evolution. Remarkably, enhanced global activity or altered substrate specificity of various molecular chaperones, including GroEL, Hsp70, ClpX, and Spy, can be achieved by minor changes in primary sequence and often a single missense mutation. Likewise, small changes in the primary sequence of Hsp104 yield potentiated protein disaggregases that reverse the aggregation and buffer toxicity of various neurodegenerative disease proteins, including α-synuclein, TDP-43, and FUS. Collectively, these advances have revealed key mechanistic and functional insights into chaperone and disaggregase biology. They also suggest that enhanced chaperones and disaggregases could have important applications in treating human disease as well as in the purification of valuable proteins in the pharmaceutical sector. PMID:27014702

  1. Engineering and Evolution of Molecular Chaperones and Protein Disaggregases with Enhanced Activity

    PubMed Central

    Mack, Korrie L.; Shorter, James

    2016-01-01

    Cells have evolved a sophisticated proteostasis network to ensure that proteins acquire and retain their native structure and function. Critical components of this network include molecular chaperones and protein disaggregases, which function to prevent and reverse deleterious protein misfolding. Nevertheless, proteostasis networks have limits, which when exceeded can have fatal consequences as in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A promising strategy is to engineer proteostasis networks to counter challenges presented by specific diseases or specific proteins. Here, we review efforts to enhance the activity of individual molecular chaperones or protein disaggregases via engineering and directed evolution. Remarkably, enhanced global activity or altered substrate specificity of various molecular chaperones, including GroEL, Hsp70, ClpX, and Spy, can be achieved by minor changes in primary sequence and often a single missense mutation. Likewise, small changes in the primary sequence of Hsp104 yield potentiated protein disaggregases that reverse the aggregation and buffer toxicity of various neurodegenerative disease proteins, including α-synuclein, TDP-43, and FUS. Collectively, these advances have revealed key mechanistic and functional insights into chaperone and disaggregase biology. They also suggest that enhanced chaperones and disaggregases could have important applications in treating human disease as well as in the purification of valuable proteins in the pharmaceutical sector. PMID:27014702

  2. STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY AND MOLECULAR MEDICINE RESEARCH PROGRAM (LSBMM)

    SciTech Connect

    Eisenberg, David S.

    2008-07-15

    The UCLA-DOE Institute of Genomics and Proteomics is an organized research unit of the University of California, sponsored by the Department of Energy through the mechanism of a Cooperative Agreement. Today the Institute consists of 10 Principal Investigators and 7 Associate Members, developing and applying technologies to promote the biological and environmental missions of the Department of Energy, and 5 Core Technology Centers to sustain this work. The focus is on understanding genomes, pathways and molecular machines in organisms of interest to DOE, with special emphasis on developing enabling technologies. Since it was founded in 1947, the UCLA-DOE Institute has adapted its mission to the research needs of DOE and its progenitor agencies as these research needs have changed. The Institute started as the AEC Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine, directed by Stafford Warren, who later became the founding Dean of the UCLA School of Medicine. In this sense, the entire UCLA medical center grew out of the precursor of our Institute. In 1963, the mission of the Institute was expanded into environmental studies by Director Ray Lunt. I became the third director in 1993, and in close consultation with David Galas and John Wooley of DOE, shifted the mission of the Institute towards genomics and proteomics. Since 1993, the Principal Investigators and Core Technology Centers are entirely new, and the Institute has separated from its former division concerned with PET imaging. The UCLA-DOE Institute shares the space of Boyer Hall with the Molecular Biology Institute, and assumes responsibility for the operation of the main core facilities. Fig. 1 gives the organizational chart of the Institute. Some of the benefits to the public of research carried out at the UCLA-DOE Institute include the following: The development of publicly accessible, web-based databases, including the Database of Protein Interactions, and the ProLinks database of genomicly inferred protein function linkages

  3. International Conference on the Cell and Molecular Biology of Chlamydomonas

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Stephen Miller

    2010-06-10

    The 2010 Conference on the Cell and Molecular Biology of Chlamydomonas was held June 6-10 near Boston, MA, and attracted a record 273 participants, 146 from US labs, 10 from Canada, and the remainder from 18 other countries. The single-celled algal protist Chlamydomonas is a key research organism for many investigators, including those who study photosynthesis, cell motility, adaptation to environmental stresses, the evolution of multicellularity, and the production of biofuels. Chlamydomonas researchers gather every two years at a research conference to exchange methods, develop collaborative efforts, disseminate recent findings, and plan large-scale studies to improve the usefulness of this unique research organism. This conference provides the only opportunity for Chlamydomonas scientists who work on different research problems to meet face to face, and greatly speeds progress in their respective fields. An important function of these Chlamydomonas conferences is to promote and showcase the work of younger scientists, and to attract new investigators into the Chlamydomonas community. DOE award SC0004085 was used to offset the travel and registration costs for 18 young investigators, 9 of whom were women, including one African American. Most of these scientists would not have been able to attend the conference without DOE support. A total of 208 research presentations were made at the meeting, 80 talks (63 presented by students, postdocs, and pre-tenured faculty) and 128 posters. Cell motility and biofuels/metabolism were the best-represented research areas, with a total of 77 presentations. This fact underscores the growing importance of Chlamydomonas as a research and production tool in the rapidly expanding world of biofuels research. A total of 28 talks and posters were presented on the topics of photosynthesis and stress responses, which were among the next best-represented research areas. As at several recent Chlamydomonas meetings, important advances were

  4. Towards Microsecond Biological Molecular Dynamics Simulations on Hybrid Processors

    SciTech Connect

    Hampton, Scott S; Agarwal, Pratul K

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Molecular biology of Homo sapiens: Abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Spring Harbor symposium on quantitative biology

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, J.D.; Siniscalco, M.

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Springs Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology. The topic for this meeting was the ''Molecular Biology of Homo sapiens.'' Sessions were entitled Human Gene Map, Human Cancer Genes, Genetic Diagnosis, Human Evolution, Drugs Made Off Human Genes, Receptors, and Gene Therapy. (DT)

  6. Engineering protein-based machines to emulate key steps of metabolism (biological energy conversion)

    PubMed

    Urry; Peng; Hayes; McPherson; Xu; Woods; Gowda; Pattanaik

    1998-04-01

    Metabolism is the conversion of available energy sources to those energy forms required for sustaining and propagating living organisms; this is simply biological energy conversion. Proteins are the machines of metabolism; they are the engines of motility and the other machines that interconvert energy forms not involving motion. Accordingly, metabolic engineering becomes the use of natural protein-based machines for the good of society. In addition, metabolic engineering can utilize the principles, whereby proteins function, to design new protein-based machines to fulfill roles for society that proteins have never been called upon throughout evolution to fulfill. This article presents arguments for a universal mechanism whereby proteins perform their diverse energy conversions; it begins with background information, and then asserts a set of five axioms for protein folding, assembly, and function and for protein engineering. The key process is the hydrophobic folding and assembly transition exhibited by properly balanced amphiphilic protein sequences. The fundamental molecular process is the competition for hydration between hydrophobic and polar, e.g., charged, residues. This competition determines Tt, the onset temperature for the hydrophobic folding and assembly transition, Nhh, the numbers of waters of hydrophobic hydration, and the pKa of ionizable functions. Reported acid-base titrations and pH dependence of microwave dielectric relaxation data simultaneously demonstrate the interdependence of Tt, Nhh and the pKa using a series of microbially prepared protein-based poly(30mers) with one glutamic acid residue per 30mer and with an increasing number of more hydrophobic phenylalanine residues replacing valine residues. Also, reduction of nicotinamides and flavins is shown to lower Tt, i.e., to increase hydrophobicity. Furthermore, the argument is presented, and related to an extended Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, wherein reduction of nicotinamides represents

  7. Interface-engineered templates for molecular spin memory devices.

    PubMed

    Raman, Karthik V; Kamerbeek, Alexander M; Mukherjee, Arup; Atodiresei, Nicolae; Sen, Tamal K; Lazić, Predrag; Caciuc, Vasile; Michel, Reent; Stalke, Dietmar; Mandal, Swadhin K; Blügel, Stefan; Münzenberg, Markus; Moodera, Jagadeesh S

    2013-01-24

    The use of molecular spin state as a quantum of information for storage, sensing and computing has generated considerable interest in the context of next-generation data storage and communication devices, opening avenues for developing multifunctional molecular spintronics. Such ideas have been researched extensively, using single-molecule magnets and molecules with a metal ion or nitrogen vacancy as localized spin-carrying centres for storage and for realizing logic operations. However, the electronic coupling between the spin centres of these molecules is rather weak, which makes construction of quantum memory registers a challenging task. In this regard, delocalized carbon-based radical species with unpaired spin, such as phenalenyl, have shown promise. These phenalenyl moieties, which can be regarded as graphene fragments, are formed by the fusion of three benzene rings and belong to the class of open-shell systems. The spin structure of these molecules responds to external stimuli (such as light, and electric and magnetic fields), which provides novel schemes for performing spin memory and logic operations. Here we construct a molecular device using such molecules as templates to engineer interfacial spin transfer resulting from hybridization and magnetic exchange interaction with the surface of a ferromagnet; the device shows an unexpected interfacial magnetoresistance of more than 20 per cent near room temperature. Moreover, we successfully demonstrate the formation of a nanoscale magnetic molecule with a well-defined magnetic hysteresis on ferromagnetic surfaces. Owing to strong magnetic coupling with the ferromagnet, such independent switching of an adsorbed magnetic molecule has been unsuccessful with single-molecule magnets. Our findings suggest the use of chemically amenable phenalenyl-based molecules as a viable and scalable platform for building molecular-scale quantum spin memory and processors for technological development.

  8. Microgravity research in plant biological systems: Realizing the potential of molecular biology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, Norman G.; Ryan, Clarence A.

    1993-01-01

    The sole all-pervasive feature of the environment that has helped shape, through evolution, all life on Earth is gravity. The near weightlessness of the Space Station Freedom space environment allows gravitational effects to be essentially uncoupled, thus providing an unprecedented opportunity to manipulate, systematically dissect, study, and exploit the role of gravity in the growth and development of all life forms. New and exciting opportunities are now available to utilize molecular biological and biochemical approaches to study the effects of microgravity on living organisms. By careful experimentation, we can determine how gravity perception occurs, how the resulting signals are produced and transduced, and how or if tissue-specific differences in gene expression occur. Microgravity research can provide unique new approaches to further our basic understanding of development and metabolic processes of cells and organisms, and to further the application of this new knowledge for the betterment of humankind.

  9. Synthesis, characterization, biological evaluation and molecular docking of steroidal spirothiazolidinones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shamsuzzaman; Abdul Baqi, Khan A. A.; Ali, Abad; Asif, Mohd; Mashrai, Ashraf; Khanam, Hena; Sherwani, Asif; Yaseen, Zahid; Owais, Mohammad

    2015-04-01

    The present work describes a convenient synthesis of steroidal spirothiazolidinone derivatives (3, 10-12) in a two-step process. All the newly synthesized compounds have been characterized by means of elemental analyses, IR, 1H NMR, 13C NMR and MS. Lipinski's 'Rule of Five' analysis and biological score predicted higher intrinsic quality of the synthesized compounds and revealed that these compounds have good passive oral absorption. The DNA binding studies of the synthesized compounds with CT-DNA were carried out by UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. The molecular docking study suggested electrostatic interaction between synthesized compounds and nucleotide base pairs. The antitumor activity was tested in vitro against human leukemia cancer cell (Jurkat) and blood peripheral mononuclear normal cell (PBMCs) lines by MTT method. In addition, apoptosis and nonenzymatic degradation of DNA have been investigated. The acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor activities of the derivatives were also evaluated using Ellman's method. The present study has shown that steroidal spirothiazolidinone derivatives (3, 10-12) can be used as template to design more potent and selective cytotoxic and AChE inhibition agents through modification and derivatization.

  10. Recent advances in the molecular and cellular biology of bunyaviruses.

    PubMed

    Walter, Cheryl T; Barr, John N

    2011-11-01

    The family Bunyaviridae of segmented, negative-stranded RNA viruses includes over 350 members that infect a bewildering variety of animals and plants. Many of these bunyaviruses are the causative agents of serious disease in their respective hosts, and are classified as emerging viruses because of their increased incidence in new populations and geographical locations throughout the world. Emerging bunyaviruses, such as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, tomato spotted wilt virus and Rift Valley fever virus, are currently attracting great interest due to migration of their arthropod vectors, a situation possibly linked to climate change. These and other examples of continued emergence suggest that bunyaviruses will probably continue to pose a sustained global threat to agricultural productivity, animal welfare and human health. The threat of emergence is particularly acute in light of the lack of effective preventative or therapeutic treatments for any of these viruses, making their study an important priority. This review presents recent advances in the understanding of the bunyavirus life cycle, including aspects of their molecular, cellular and structural biology. Whilst special emphasis is placed upon the emerging bunyaviruses, we also describe the extensive body of work involving model bunyaviruses, which have been the subject of major contributions to our overall understanding of this important group of viruses.

  11. Delta hepatitis: molecular biology and clinical and epidemiological features.

    PubMed Central

    Polish, L B; Gallagher, M; Fields, H A; Hadler, S C

    1993-01-01

    Hepatitis delta virus, discovered in 1977, requires the help of hepatitis B virus to replicate in hepatocytes and is an important cause of acute, fulminant, and chronic liver disease in many regions of the world. Because of the helper function of hepatitis delta virus, infection with it occurs either as a coinfection with hepatitis B or as a superinfection of a carrier of hepatitis B surface antigen. Although the mechanisms of transmission are similar to those of hepatitis B virus, the patterns of transmission of delta virus vary widely around the world. In regions of the world in which hepatitis delta virus infection is not endemic, the disease is confined to groups at high risk of acquiring hepatitis B infection and high-risk hepatitis B carriers. Because of the propensity of this viral infection to cause fulminant as well as chronic liver disease, continued incursion of hepatitis delta virus into areas of the world where persistent hepatitis B infection is endemic will have serious implications. Prevention depends on the widespread use of hepatitis B vaccine. This review focuses on the molecular biology and the clinical and epidemiologic features of this important viral infection. PMID:8358704

  12. The roles of integration in molecular systems biology.

    PubMed

    O'Malley, Maureen A; Soyer, Orkun S

    2012-03-01

    A common way to think about scientific practice involves classifying it as hypothesis- or data-driven. We argue that although such distinctions might illuminate scientific practice very generally, they are not sufficient to understand the day-to-day dynamics of scientific activity and the development of programmes of research. One aspect of everyday scientific practice that is beginning to gain more attention is integration. This paper outlines what is meant by this term and how it has been discussed from scientific and philosophical points of view. We focus on methodological, data and explanatory integration, and show how they are connected. Then, using some examples from molecular systems biology, we will show how integration works in a range of inquiries to generate surprising insights and even new fields of research. From these examples we try to gain a broader perspective on integration in relation to the contexts of inquiry in which it is implemented. In today's environment of data-intensive large-scale science, integration has become both a practical and normative requirement with corresponding implications for meta-methodological accounts of scientific practice. We conclude with a discussion of why an understanding of integration and its dynamics is useful for philosophy of science and scientific practice in general.

  13. Disciplinary baptisms: a comparison of the naming stories of genetics, molecular biology, genomics, and systems biology.

    PubMed

    Powell, Alexander; O'Malley, Maureen A; Müller-Wille, Staffan; Calvert, Jane; Dupré, John

    2007-01-01

    Understanding how scientific activities use naming stories to achieve disciplinary status is important not only for insight into the past, but for evaluating current claims that new disciplines are emerging. In order to gain a historical understanding of how new disciplines develop in relation to these baptismal narratives, we compare two recently formed disciplines, systems biology and genomics, with two earlier related life sciences, genetics and molecular biology. These four disciplines span the twentieth century, a period in which the processes of disciplinary demarcation fundamentally changed from those characteristic of the nineteenth century. We outline how the establishment of each discipline relies upon an interplay of factors that include paradigmatic achievements, technological innovation, and social formations. Our focus, however, is the baptism stories that give the new discipline a founding narrative and articulate core problems, general approaches and constitutive methods. The highly plastic process of achieving disciplinary identity is further marked by the openness of disciplinary definition, tension between technological possibilities and the ways in which scientific issues are conceived and approached, synthesis of reductive and integrative strategies, and complex social interactions. The importance--albeit highly variable--of naming stories in these four cases indicates the scope for future studies that focus on failed disciplines or competing names. Further attention to disciplinary histories could, we suggest, give us richer insight into scientific development. PMID:18411835

  14. DNA Aptamer Based Nanodrugs: Molecular Engineering for Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Cansiz, Sena; Zhang, Liqin; Wu, Cuichen; Wu, Yuan; Teng, I-Ting; Hou, Weijia; Wang, Yanyue; Wan, Shuo; Cai, Ren; Jin, Chen; Liu, Qiaoling; Tan, Weihong

    2015-01-01

    In the past two decades, the study of cancer therapy has gradually advanced to the “Nano” era. Numerous novel nanomaterials armed with unique physical properties have been introduced into biomedical research. At the same time, functional nucleic acid molecules, especially aptamers, have aroused broad attention from the biomedical community. Benefiting from the advancement of molecular engineering strategies, it is now feasible to combine the cancer specific recognition capability of aptamers with various other special functions of nanomaterials to develop cancer specific drugs at the nanoscale. Nanodrugs are now offering an unprecedented opportunity to achieve the goal of efficient targeted delivery as well as controlled release. This review highlights some achievements of multiple aptamer-based nanodrug systems which have emerged in recent years, including studies in the infant stage of “proof-of-concept”. PMID:26177853

  15. Molecular engineering of porous silica using aryl templates

    DOEpatents

    Loy, D.A.; Shea, K.J.

    1994-06-14

    A process is described for manipulating the porosity of silica using a series of organic template groups covalently incorporated into the silicate matrix. The templates in the bridged polysilsesquioxanes are selectively removed from the material by oxidation with oxygen plasma or other means, leaving engineered voids or pores. The size of these pores is dependent upon the length or size of the template or spacer. The size of the templates is measured in terms of Si-Si distances which range from about 0.67 nm to 1.08 nm. Changes introduced by the loss of the templates result in a narrow range of micropores (i.e. <2 nm). Both aryl and alkyl template groups are used as spacers. Novel microporous silica materials useful as molecular sieves, desiccants, and catalyst supports are produced. 3 figs.

  16. Molecular engineering of porous silica using aryl templates

    DOEpatents

    Loy, Douglas A.; Shea, Kenneth J.

    1994-01-01

    A process for manipulating the porosity of silica using a series of organic template groups covalently incorporated into the silicate matrix. The templates in the bridged polysilsesquioxanes are selectively removed from the material by oxidation with oxygen plasma or other means, leaving engineered voids or pores. The size of these pores is dependent upon the length or size of the template or spacer. The size of the templates is measured in terms of Si-Si distances which range from about 0.67 nm to 1.08 nm. Changes introduced by the loss of the templates result in a narrow range of micropores (i.e. <2 nm). Both aryl and alkyl template groups are used as spacers. Novel microporous silica materials useful as molecular seives, dessicants, and catalyst supports are produced.

  17. Just Working with the Cellular Machine: A High School Game for Teaching Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Fernanda Serpa; Dumpel, Renata; Gomes da Silva, Luisa B.; Rodrigues, Carlos R.; Santos, Dilvani O.; Cabral, Lucio Mendes; Castro, Helena C.

    2008-01-01

    Molecular biology is a difficult comprehension subject due to its high complexity, thus requiring new teaching approaches. Herein, we developed an interdisciplinary board game involving the human immune system response against a bacterial infection for teaching molecular biology at high school. Initially, we created a database with several…

  18. A Curriculum Skills Matrix for Development and Assessment of Undergraduate Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caldwell, Benjamin; Rohlman, Christopher; Benore-Parsons, Marilee

    2004-01-01

    We have designed a skills matrix to be used for developing and assessing undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory curricula. We prepared the skills matrix for the Project Kaleidoscope Summer Institute workshop in Snowbird, Utah (July 2001) to help current and developing undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology program…

  19. Accessing Nature’s diversity through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    King, Jason R.; Edgar, Steven; Qiao, Kangjian; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    In this perspective, we highlight recent examples and trends in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology that demonstrate the synthetic potential of enzyme and pathway engineering for natural product discovery. In doing so, we introduce natural paradigms of secondary metabolism whereby simple carbon substrates are combined into complex molecules through “scaffold diversification”, and subsequent “derivatization” of these scaffolds is used to synthesize distinct complex natural products. We provide examples in which modern pathway engineering efforts including combinatorial biosynthesis and biological retrosynthesis can be coupled to directed enzyme evolution and rational enzyme engineering to allow access to the “privileged” chemical space of natural products in industry-proven microbes. Finally, we forecast the potential to produce natural product-like discovery platforms in biological systems that are amenable to single-step discovery, validation, and synthesis for streamlined discovery and production of biologically active agents. PMID:27081481

  20. Reformulating General Engineering and Biological Systems Engineering Programs at Virginia Tech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lohani, Vinod K.; Wolfe, Mary Leigh; Wildman, Terry; Mallikarjunan, Kumar; Connor, Jeffrey

    2011-01-01

    In 2004, a group of engineering and education faculty at Virginia Tech received a major curriculum reform and engineering education research grant under the department-level reform (DLR) program of the NSF. This DLR project laid the foundation of sponsored research in engineering education in the Department of Engineering Education. The DLR…

  1. The molecular biology of the olive fly comes of age

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    were shown to be differentially expressed in the female and male reproductive systems analyzed. Finally, the expression profile of the embryonic serendipity-α locus and the pre-apoptotic head involution defective gene were analyzed during embryonic developmental stages. Conclusions Several years of molecular studies on the olive fly can now be combined with new information from whole transcriptome analyses and lead to a deep understanding of the biology of this notorious insect pest. This is a prerequisite for the development of novel embryonic lethality female sexing strains for successful SIT efforts which, combined with improved mass-reared conditions, give new hope for efficient SIT applications for the olive fly. PMID:25472866

  2. Escherichia coli and the Emergence of Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Agnes

    2011-12-01

    The creation of the "Phage group" by M. Delbrück, S. E. Luria, and A. D. Hershey in 1940 at Cold Spring Harbor played a crucial role in the development of molecular biology. In the 1940s, working with Escherichia coli and its viruses, Luria and Delbrück discovered the spontaneous nature of bacterial mutations and Hershey described recombination in bacteriophages and demonstrated with M. Chase that the genetic material that infects bacteria is DNA. At the same time, S. Benzer defined the structure of a functional genetic unit and J. Lederberg and E. Tatum discovered sexual recombination between bacteria. Some years later, Lederberg's group discovered extrachromosomal particles, the plasmids, and a novel way of genetic transfer through bacteriophages, called transduction. In 1949, at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, A. Lwoff uncovered the mechanism of lysogeny. Shortly afterwards, F. Jacob and E. Wollman unraveled the mechanism of the sexual process in E. coli and established the circularity of the bacterial chromosome. In the 1960s, J. Monod and F. Jacob, by genetic analysis of the E. coli lactose system, proposed the operon model for gene regulation and introduced the concept of messenger RNA. The elucidation of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953 by F. Crick and J. Watson had major consequences: the establishment of the copying mechanism (Meselson and Stahl), the discovery of the nature of the genetic code (S. Brenner) leading to its deciphering. E. coli and its phages were instrumental in the development of recombinant DNA technology based on the discovery of the restriction-modification system by W. Arber. PMID:26442505

  3. Escherichia coli and the Emergence of Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Agnes

    2011-12-01

    The creation of the "Phage group" by M. Delbrück, S. E. Luria, and A. D. Hershey in 1940 at Cold Spring Harbor played a crucial role in the development of molecular biology. In the 1940s, working with Escherichia coli and its viruses, Luria and Delbrück discovered the spontaneous nature of bacterial mutations and Hershey described recombination in bacteriophages and demonstrated with M. Chase that the genetic material that infects bacteria is DNA. At the same time, S. Benzer defined the structure of a functional genetic unit and J. Lederberg and E. Tatum discovered sexual recombination between bacteria. Some years later, Lederberg's group discovered extrachromosomal particles, the plasmids, and a novel way of genetic transfer through bacteriophages, called transduction. In 1949, at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, A. Lwoff uncovered the mechanism of lysogeny. Shortly afterwards, F. Jacob and E. Wollman unraveled the mechanism of the sexual process in E. coli and established the circularity of the bacterial chromosome. In the 1960s, J. Monod and F. Jacob, by genetic analysis of the E. coli lactose system, proposed the operon model for gene regulation and introduced the concept of messenger RNA. The elucidation of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953 by F. Crick and J. Watson had major consequences: the establishment of the copying mechanism (Meselson and Stahl), the discovery of the nature of the genetic code (S. Brenner) leading to its deciphering. E. coli and its phages were instrumental in the development of recombinant DNA technology based on the discovery of the restriction-modification system by W. Arber.

  4. The molecular biology of plastid division in higher plants.

    PubMed

    Aldridge, Cassie; Maple, Jodi; Møller, Simon G

    2005-04-01

    Plastids are essential plant organelles vital for life on earth, responsible not only for photosynthesis but for many fundamental intermediary metabolic reactions. Plastids are not formed de novo but arise by binary fission from pre-existing plastids, and plastid division therefore represents an important process for the maintenance of appropriate plastid populations in plant cells. Plastid division comprises an elaborate pathway of co-ordinated events which include division machinery assembly at the division site, the constriction of envelope membranes, membrane fusion and, ultimately, the separation of the two new organelles. Because of their prokaryotic origin bacterial cell division has been successfully used as a paradigm for plastid division. This has resulted in the identification of the key plastid division components FtsZ, MinD, and MinE, as well as novel proteins with similarities to prokaryotic cell division proteins. Through a combination of approaches involving molecular genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry, it is now becoming clear that these proteins act in concert during plastid division, exhibiting both similarities and differences compared with their bacterial counterparts. Recent efforts in the cloning of the disrupted loci in several of the accumulation and replication of chloroplasts mutants has further revealed that the division of plastids is controlled by a combination of prokaryote-derived and host eukaryote-derived proteins residing not only in the plastid stroma but also in the cytoplasm. Based on the available data to date, a working model is presented showing the protein components involved in plastid division, their subcellular localization, and their protein interaction properties. PMID:15753112

  5. Concise review: Engineering myocardial tissue: the convergence of stem cells biology and tissue engineering technology.

    PubMed

    Buikema, Jan Willem; Van Der Meer, Peter; Sluijter, Joost P G; Domian, Ibrahim J

    2013-12-01

    Advanced heart failure represents a leading public health problem in the developed world. The clinical syndrome results from the loss of viable and/or fully functional myocardial tissue. Designing new approaches to augment the number of functioning human cardiac muscle cells in the failing heart serve as the foundation of modern regenerative cardiovascular medicine. A number of clinical trials have been performed in an attempt to increase the number of functional myocardial cells by the transplantation of a diverse group of stem or progenitor cells. Although there are some encouraging suggestions of a small early therapeutic benefit, to date, no evidence for robust cell or tissue engraftment has been shown, emphasizing the need for new approaches. Clinically meaningful cardiac regeneration requires the identification of the optimum cardiogenic cell types and their assembly into mature myocardial tissue that is functionally and electrically coupled to the native myocardium. We here review recent advances in stem cell biology and tissue engineering and describe how the convergence of these two fields may yield novel approaches for cardiac regeneration.

  6. Intervertebral disc regeneration: from the degenerative cascade to molecular therapy and tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Vadalà, Gianluca; Russo, Fabrizio; Di Martino, Alberto; Denaro, Vincenzo

    2015-06-01

    Low back pain is one of the major health problems in industrialized countries, as a leading source of disability in the working population. Intervertebral disc degeneration has been identified as its main cause, being a progressive process mainly characterized by alteration of extracellular matrix composition and water content. Many factors are involved in the degenerative cascade, such as anabolism/catabolism imbalance, reduction of nutrition supply and progressive cell loss. Currently available treatments are symptomatic, and surgical procedures consisting of disc removal are often necessary. Recent advances in our understanding of intervertebral disc biology led to an increased interest in the development of novel biological treatments aimed at disc regeneration. Growth factors, gene therapy, stem cell transplantation and biomaterials-based tissue engineering might support intervertebral disc regeneration by overcoming the limitation of the self-renewal mechanism. The aim of this paper is to overview the literature discussing the current status of our knowledge from the degenerative cascade of the intervertebral disc to the latest molecular, cell-based therapies and tissue-engineering strategies for disc regeneration.

  7. Engineered Biological Pacemakers | NCI Technology Transfer Center | TTC

    Cancer.gov

    The National Institute on Aging's Cellular Biophysics Section is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize biological pacemakers.

  8. Review of the cellular and biological principles of distraction osteogenesis: An in vivo bioreactor tissue engineering model.

    PubMed

    Dhaliwal, K; Kunchur, R; Farhadieh, R

    2016-02-01

    Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a widely used technique in plastic and orthopaedic surgery. During the process, mechanical force is applied to fractured bone to enhance the regenerative processes and induce new bone formation. Although there is an abundance of literature on the clinical process of DO, there is a distinct lack of focus on the underlying biological principles governing this process. DO follows the basic premises of tissue engineering. The mechanical stress stimulates mesenchymal stem cell differentiation down an osteoblastic lineage on a matrix background. The aim of this review is to give an overview of the current knowledge of the molecular mechanism governing this process.

  9. Medical and biological engineering in the next 20 years: the promise and the challenges.

    PubMed

    2013-07-01

    In 2011, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) (www.aimbe.org) celebrated its 20th anniversary by undertaking to identify major societal challenges to which medical and biological engineers can contribute solutions in the next 20 years. This report is a summary of the six major challenges that were identified. The report also discusses some specific areas within these high-level challenges that can form the basis for policy action, provides a brief rationale for pursuing those areas, and discusses roadblocks to progress. The six overarching challenges are: 1) engineering safe and sustainable water and food supply, 2) engineering personalized health care, 3) engineering solutions to injury and chronic diseases, 4) engineering global health through infectious disease prevention and therapy, 5) engineering sustainable bioenergy production, and 6) engineering the 21st century US economy. While arrived at independently by AIMBE, many of the elements overlap with similar challenges identified by other bodies. The similarities highlight the central mission of medical and biological engineers, working with other experts, which is to solve important problems central to human health and welfare.

  10. MOLECULAR IMAGING OF PROSTATE CANCER: translating molecular biology approaches into the clinical realm

    PubMed Central

    Vargas, Hebert Alberto; Grimm, Jan; Donati, Olivio F.; Sala, Evis; Hricak, Hedvig

    2016-01-01

    The epidemiology of prostate cancer has dramatically changed since the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in the 1980’s. Most prostate cancers today are detected at early stages of the disease and are considered “indolent”, however some patients’ prostate cancers demonstrate a more aggressive behavior which leads to rapid progression and death. Increasing understanding of the biology underlying the heterogeneity that characterizes this disease has lead to a continuously evolving role of imaging in the management of prostate cancer. Functional and metabolic imaging techniques are gaining importance as the impact on the therapeutic paradigm has shifted from structural tumor detection alone to distinguishing patients with indolent tumors that can be managed conservatively (e.g., by active surveillance) from patients with more aggressive tumors that may require definitive treatment with surgery or radiation. In this review, we discuss advanced imaging techniques that allow direct visualization of molecular interactions relevant to prostate cancer and their potential for translation to the clinical setting in the near future. The potential use of imaging to follow molecular events during drug therapy as well as the use of imaging agents for therapeutic purposes will also be discussed. PMID:25693661

  11. 2012 PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JULY 15-20, 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Sussman, Michael

    2013-07-20

    The 2012 Gordon Conference on Plant Molecular Biology will present cutting-edge research on molecular aspects of plant growth and development, with particular emphasis on recent discoveries in molecular mechanisms involved with plant signaling systems. The Conference will feature a wide range of topics in plant molecular biology including hormone receptors and early events in hormone signaling, plant perception of and response to plant pathogen and symbionts, as well as technological and biological aspects of epigenomics particularly as it relates to signaling systems that regulate plant growth and development. Genomic approaches to plant signaling will be emphasized, including genomic profiling technologies for quantifying various biological subsystems, such as the epigenome, transcriptome, phosphorylome, and metabolome. The meeting will include an important session devoted to answering the question, "What are the biological and technological limits of plant breeding/genetics, and how can they be solved"?

  12. Engineering modular ‘ON’ RNA switches using biological components

    PubMed Central

    Ceres, Pablo; Trausch, Jeremiah J.; Batey, Robert T.

    2013-01-01

    Riboswitches are cis-acting regulatory elements broadly distributed in bacterial mRNAs that control a wide range of critical metabolic activities. Expression is governed by two distinct domains within the mRNA leader: a sensory ‘aptamer domain’ and a regulatory ‘expression platform’. Riboswitches have also received considerable attention as important tools in synthetic biology because of their conceptually simple structure and the ability to obtain aptamers that bind almost any conceivable small molecule using in vitro selection (referred to as SELEX). In the design of artificial riboswitches, a significant hurdle has been to couple the two domains enabling their efficient communication. We previously demonstrated that biological transcriptional ‘OFF’ expression platforms are easily coupled to diverse aptamers, both biological and SELEX-derived, using simple design rules. Here, we present two modular transcriptional ‘ON’ riboswitch expression platforms that are also capable of hosting foreign aptamers. We demonstrate that these biological parts can be used to facilely generate artificial chimeric riboswitches capable of robustly regulating transcription both in vitro and in vivo. We expect that these modular expression platforms will be of great utility for various synthetic biological applications that use RNA-based biosensors. PMID:23999097

  13. Engineering modular 'ON' RNA switches using biological components.

    PubMed

    Ceres, Pablo; Trausch, Jeremiah J; Batey, Robert T

    2013-12-01

    Riboswitches are cis-acting regulatory elements broadly distributed in bacterial mRNAs that control a wide range of critical metabolic activities. Expression is governed by two distinct domains within the mRNA leader: a sensory 'aptamer domain' and a regulatory 'expression platform'. Riboswitches have also received considerable attention as important tools in synthetic biology because of their conceptually simple structure and the ability to obtain aptamers that bind almost any conceivable small molecule using in vitro selection (referred to as SELEX). In the design of artificial riboswitches, a significant hurdle has been to couple the two domains enabling their efficient communication. We previously demonstrated that biological transcriptional 'OFF' expression platforms are easily coupled to diverse aptamers, both biological and SELEX-derived, using simple design rules. Here, we present two modular transcriptional 'ON' riboswitch expression platforms that are also capable of hosting foreign aptamers. We demonstrate that these biological parts can be used to facilely generate artificial chimeric riboswitches capable of robustly regulating transcription both in vitro and in vivo. We expect that these modular expression platforms will be of great utility for various synthetic biological applications that use RNA-based biosensors. PMID:23999097

  14. A paradigm for the integration of biology in materials science and engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roeder, Ryan K.

    2010-07-01

    The integration of biology in materials science and engineering can be complicated by the lack of a common framework and common language between otherwise disparate disciplines. History may offer a valuable lesson as modern materials science and engineering itself resulted from the integration of traditionally disparate disciplines that were delineated by classes of materials. The integration of metallurgy, ceramics, and polymers into materials science and engineering was facilitated, in large part, by a unifying paradigm based upon processing-structure-property relationships that is now well-accepted. Therefore, a common paradigm might also help unify the vast array of perspectives and challenges present in the interdisciplinary study of biomaterials, biological materials, and biomimetic materials. The traditional materials science and engineering paradigm was modified to account for the adaptive and hierarchical nature of biological materials. Various examples of application to research and education are considered.

  15. Reverse engineering and identification in systems biology: strategies, perspectives and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Villaverde, Alejandro F.; Banga, Julio R.

    2014-01-01

    The interplay of mathematical modelling with experiments is one of the central elements in systems biology. The aim of reverse engineering is to infer, analyse and understand, through this interplay, the functional and regulatory mechanisms of biological systems. Reverse engineering is not exclusive of systems biology and has been studied in different areas, such as inverse problem theory, machine learning, nonlinear physics, (bio)chemical kinetics, control theory and optimization, among others. However, it seems that many of these areas have been relatively closed to outsiders. In this contribution, we aim to compare and highlight the different perspectives and contributions from these fields, with emphasis on two key questions: (i) why are reverse engineering problems so hard to solve, and (ii) what methods are available for the particular problems arising from systems biology? PMID:24307566

  16. Reverse engineering and identification in systems biology: strategies, perspectives and challenges.

    PubMed

    Villaverde, Alejandro F; Banga, Julio R

    2014-02-01

    The interplay of mathematical modelling with experiments is one of the central elements in systems biology. The aim of reverse engineering is to infer, analyse and understand, through this interplay, the functional and regulatory mechanisms of biological systems. Reverse engineering is not exclusive of systems biology and has been studied in different areas, such as inverse problem theory, machine learning, nonlinear physics, (bio)chemical kinetics, control theory and optimization, among others. However, it seems that many of these areas have been relatively closed to outsiders. In this contribution, we aim to compare and highlight the different perspectives and contributions from these fields, with emphasis on two key questions: (i) why are reverse engineering problems so hard to solve, and (ii) what methods are available for the particular problems arising from systems biology?

  17. Biological and structural characterization of a naturally inspired material engineered from elastin as a candidate for tissue engineering applications.

    PubMed

    Vassalli, Massimo; Sbrana, Francesca; Laurita, Alessandro; Papi, Massimiliano; Bloise, Nora; Visai, Livia; Bochicchio, Brigida

    2013-12-23

    The adoption of a biomimetic approach in the design and fabrication of innovative materials for biomedical applications is encountering a growing interest. In particular, new molecules are being engineered on the basis of proteins present in the extracellular matrix, such as fibronectin, collagen, or elastin. Following this approach scientists expect to be able not only to obtain materials with tailored mechanical properties but also to elicit specific biological responses inherited by the mimicked tissue. In the present work, a novel peptide, engineered starting from the sequence encoded by exon 28 of human tropoelastin, was characterized from a chemical, physical, and biological point of view. The obtained molecule was observed to aggregate at high temperatures, forming a material able to induce a biological effect similar to what elastin does in the physiological context. This material seems to be a good candidate to play a relevant role in future biomedical applications with special reference to vascular surgery.

  18. Surflex: fully automatic flexible molecular docking using a molecular similarity-based search engine.

    PubMed

    Jain, Ajay N

    2003-02-13

    Surflex is a fully automatic flexible molecular docking algorithm that combines the scoring function from the Hammerhead docking system with a search engine that relies on a surface-based molecular similarity method as a means to rapidly generate suitable putative poses for molecular fragments. Results are presented evaluating reliability and accuracy of dockings compared with crystallographic experimental results on 81 protein/ligand pairs of substantial structural diversity. In over 80% of the complexes, Surflex's highest scoring docked pose was within 2.5 A root-mean-square deviation (rmsd), with over 90% of the complexes having one of the top ranked poses within 2.5 A rmsd. Results are also presented assessing Surflex's utility as a screening tool on two protein targets (thymidine kinase and estrogen receptor) using data sets on which competing methods were run. Performance of Surflex was significantly better, with true positive rates of greater than 80% at false positive rates of less than 1%. Docking time was roughly linear in number of rotatable bonds, beginning with a few seconds for rigid molecules and adding approximately 10 s per rotatable bond.

  19. A perfect time to harness advanced molecular technologies to explore the fundamental biology of Toxocara species.

    PubMed

    Gasser, Robin B

    2013-04-15

    Toxocarosis is of major canine health and socioeconomic importance worldwide. Although many studies have given insights into toxocarosis, to date, there has been limited exploration of the molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, epidemiology and ecology of Toxocara species as well as parasite-host interactions using '-omic' technologies. The present article gives a background on Toxocara species and toxocarosis, describes molecular tools for specific identification and genetic analysis, and provides a prospective view of the benefits that advanced molecular technologies will have towards better understanding the parasites and disease. Tackling key biological questions employing a 'systems biology' approach should lead to new and improved strategies for the treatment, diagnosis and control of toxocarosis.

  20. Hybrid semi-parametric mathematical systems: bridging the gap between systems biology and process engineering.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Ana P; Carinhas, Nuno; Dias, João M L; Cruz, Pedro; Alves, Paula M; Carrondo, Manuel J T; Oliveira, Rui

    2007-12-01

    Systems biology is an integrative science that aims at the global characterization of biological systems. Huge amounts of data regarding gene expression, proteins activity and metabolite concentrations are collected by designing systematic genetic or environmental perturbations. Then the challenge is to integrate such data in a global model in order to provide a global picture of the cell. The analysis of these data is largely dominated by nonparametric modelling tools. In contrast, classical bioprocess engineering has been primarily founded on first principles models, but it has systematically overlooked the details of the embedded biological system. The full complexity of biological systems is currently assumed by systems biology and this knowledge can now be taken by engineers to decide how to optimally design and operate their processes. This paper discusses possible methodologies for the integration of systems biology and bioprocess engineering with emphasis on applications involving animal cell cultures. At the mathematical systems level, the discussion is focused on hybrid semi-parametric systems as a way to bridge systems biology and bioprocess engineering.

  1. Molecular Biology of Learning: Modulation of Transmitter Release.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kandel, Eric R.; Schwartz, James H.

    1982-01-01

    Describes how a behavioral system in Aplysia (marine snail) can be used to examine mechanisms of several forms of learning at different levels of analysis: behavioral, cell-physiological, ultrastructural, and molecular. Focusing on short-term sensitization, suggests how molecular mechanisms can be extended to explain long-term memory and classical…

  2. Importance of systems biology in engineering microbes for biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Redding, Alyssa M.; Rutherford, Becky J.; Keasling, Jay D.

    2009-12-02

    Microorganisms have been rich sources for natural products, some of which have found use as fuels, commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, polymers, and drugs, to name a few. The recent interest in production of transportation fuels from renewable resources has catalyzed numerous research endeavors that focus on developing microbial systems for production of such natural products. Eliminating bottlenecks in microbial metabolic pathways and alleviating the stresses due to production of these chemicals are crucial in the generation of robust and efficient production hosts. The use of systems-level studies makes it possible to comprehensively understand the impact of pathway engineering within the context of the entire host metabolism, to diagnose stresses due to product synthesis, and provides the rationale to cost-effectively engineer optimal industrial microorganisms.

  3. Who wrote the book of life? Information and the transformation of molecular biology, 1945-55.

    PubMed

    Kay, L E

    1995-01-01

    This paper focuses on the opening of a discursive space: the emergence of informational and scriptural representations of life and hereditiy and their self-negating consequences for the construction of biological meaning. It probes the notion of writing and the book of life and shows how molecular biology's claims to a status of language and texuality undermines its own objective of control. These textual significations were historically contingent. The informational representations of heredity and life were not an outcome of the internal cognitive momentum of molecular biology; they were not a logical necessity of the unravelling of the base-pairing of the DNA double-helix. They were transported into molecular biology still within the protein paradigm of the gene in the 1940s and permeated nearly every discipline in the life and social sciences. These information-based models, metaphors, linguistic, and semiotic tools which were central to the formulation of the genetic code were transported into molecular biology from cybernetics, information theory, electronic computing, and control and communication systems--technosciences that were deeply embedded with the military experiences of World War II and the Cold War. The information discourse thus became fixed in molecular biology not because it worked in the narrow epistemic sense (it did not), but because it positioned molecular biology within postwar discourse and culture, perhaps within the transition to a post-modern information-based society. PMID:11613275

  4. Research and engineering assessment of biological solubilization of phosphate

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, R.D.; McIlwain, M.E.; Losinski, S.J.; Taylor, D.D.

    1993-03-01

    This research and engineering assessment examined a microbial phosphate solubilization process as a method of recovering phosphate from phosphorus containing ore compared to the existing wet acid and electric arc methods. A total of 860 microbial isolates, collected from a range of natural environments were tested for their ability to solubilize phosphate from rock phosphate. A bacterium (Pseudomonas cepacia) was selected for extensive characterization and evaluation of the mechanism of phosphate solubilization and of process engineering parameters necessary to recover phosphate from rock phosphate. These studies found that concentration of hydrogen ion and production of organic acids arising from oxidation of the carbon source facilitated microbial solubilization of both pure chemical insoluble phosphate compounds and phosphate rock. Genetic studies found that phosphate solubilization was linked to an enzyme system (glucose dehydrogenase). Process-related studies found that a critical solids density of 1% by weight (ore to liquid) was necessary for optimal solubilization. An engineering analysis evaluated the cost and energy requirements for a 2 million ton per year sized plant, whose size was selected to be comparable to existing wet acid plants.

  5. Systems biology for molecular life sciences and its impact in biomedicine.

    PubMed

    Medina, Miguel Ángel

    2013-03-01

    Modern systems biology is already contributing to a radical transformation of molecular life sciences and biomedicine, and it is expected to have a real impact in the clinical setting in the next years. In this review, the emergence of systems biology is contextualized with a historic overview, and its present state is depicted. The present and expected future contribution of systems biology to the development of molecular medicine is underscored. Concerning the present situation, this review includes a reflection on the "inflation" of biological data and the urgent need for tools and procedures to make hidden information emerge. Descriptions of the impact of networks and models and the available resources and tools for applying them in systems biology approaches to molecular medicine are provided as well. The actual current impact of systems biology in molecular medicine is illustrated, reviewing two cases, namely, those of systems pharmacology and cancer systems biology. Finally, some of the expected contributions of systems biology to the immediate future of molecular medicine are commented.

  6. Surface engineering on mesoporous silica chips for enriching low molecular weight phosphorylated proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Ye; Peng, Yang; Lin, Kevin; Shen, Haifa; Brousseau, Louis C., III; Sakamoto, Jason; Sun, Tong; Ferrari, Mauro

    2011-02-01

    Phosphorylated peptides and proteins play an important role in normal cellular activities, e.g., gene expression, mitosis, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis, as well as tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. However, technical hurdles hinder the use of common fractionation methods to capture phosphopeptides from complex biological fluids such as human sera. Herein, we present the development of a dual strategy material that offers enhanced capture of low molecular weight phosphoproteins: mesoporous silica thin films with precisely engineered pore sizes that sterically select for molecular size combined with chemically selective surface modifications (i.e. Ga3+, Ti4+ and Zr4+) that target phosphoroproteins. These materials provide high reproducibility (CV = 18%) and increase the stability of the captured proteins by excluding degrading enzymes, such as trypsin. The chemical and physical properties of the composite mesoporous thin films were characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and ellipsometry. Using mass spectroscopy and biostatistics analysis, the enrichment efficiency of different metal ions immobilized on mesoporous silica chips was investigated. The novel technology reported provides a platform capable of efficiently profiling the serum proteome for biomarker discovery, forensic sampling, and routine diagnostic applications.Phosphorylated peptides and proteins play an important role in normal cellular activities, e.g., gene expression, mitosis, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis, as well as tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. However, technical hurdles hinder the use of common fractionation methods to capture phosphopeptides from complex biological fluids such as human sera. Herein, we present the development of a dual strategy material that offers enhanced capture of low molecular weight phosphoproteins: mesoporous

  7. Decellularized and Engineered Tendons as Biological Substitutes: A Critical Review

    PubMed Central

    Lovati, Arianna B.; Bottagisio, Marta; Moretti, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    Tendon ruptures are a great burden in clinics. Finding a proper graft material as a substitute for tendon repair is one of the main challenges in orthopaedics, for which the requirement of a biological scaffold would be different for each clinical application. Among biological scaffolds, the use of decellularized tendon-derived matrix increasingly represents an interesting approach to treat tendon ruptures. We analyzed in vitro and in vivo studies focused on the development of efficient protocols for the decellularization and for the cell reseeding of the tendon matrix to obtain medical devices for tendon substitution. Our review considered also the proper tendon source and preclinical animal models with the aim of entering into clinical trials. The results highlight a wide panorama in terms of allogenic or xenogeneic tendon sources, specimen dimensions, physical or chemical decellularization techniques, and the cell type variety for reseeding from terminally differentiated to undifferentiated mesenchymal stem cells and their static or dynamic culture employed to generate implantable constructs tested in different animal models. We try to identify the most efficient approach to achieve an optimal biological scaffold for biomechanics and intrinsic properties, resembling the native tendon and being applicable in clinics in the near future, with particular attention to the Achilles tendon substitution. PMID:26880985

  8. Signal amplification in biological and electrical engineering systems: universal role of cascades.

    PubMed

    Grubelnik, Vladimir; Dugonik, Bogdan; Osebik, Davorin; Marhl, Marko

    2009-08-01

    In this paper we compare the cascade mechanisms of signal amplification in biological and electrical engineering systems, and show that they share the capacity to considerably amplify signals, and respond to signal changes both quickly and completely, which effectively preserves the form of the input signal. For biological systems, these characteristics are crucial for efficient and reliable cellular signaling. We show that this highly-efficient biological mechanism of signal amplification that has naturally evolved is mathematically fully equivalent with some man-developed amplifiers, which indicates parallels between biological evolution and successful technology development.

  9. Synthesis of Charge Transfer Dyes for Use as Molecular Sensors in Biological Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christie, Joseph J.

    2003-01-01

    This is a continuation of last year's project to synthesize tetraaryl substituted benzodifurans for use as molecular probes in biological systems. The project will involve the synthesis and chemical characterization of dyes and precursor molecules.

  10. Foundational concepts and underlying theories for majors in "biochemistry and molecular biology".

    PubMed

    Tansey, John T; Baird, Teaster; Cox, Michael M; Fox, Kristin M; Knight, Jennifer; Sears, Duane; Bell, Ellis

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members and science educators from around the country that focused on identifying: 1) core principles of biochemistry and molecular biology, 2) essential concepts and underlying theories from physics, chemistry, and mathematics, and 3) foundational skills that undergraduate majors in biochemistry and molecular biology must understand to complete their major coursework. Using information gained from these workshops, as well as from the ASBMB accreditation working group and the NSF Vision and Change report, the Core Concepts working group has developed a consensus list of learning outcomes and objectives based on five foundational concepts (evolution, matter and energy transformation, homeostasis, information flow, and macromolecular structure and function) that represent the expected conceptual knowledge base for undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology. This consensus will aid biochemistry and molecular biology educators in the development of assessment tools for the new ASBMB recommended curriculum.

  11. Practicing Real Science in the Laboratory: A Project-Based Approach to Teaching Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wimmers, Larry E.

    2001-01-01

    Describes a molecular biology laboratory in which students study the role of the enzyme polygalacturonase in the softening of tomatoes during ripening by developing their own hypotheses and designing their own experiments. (MM)

  12. 2012 CELLULAR & MOLECULAR FUNGAL BIOLOGY GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JUNE 17 - 22, 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Judith Berman

    2012-06-22

    The Gordon Research Conference on CELLULAR & MOLECULAR FUNGAL BIOLOGY was held at Holderness School, Holderness New Hampshire, June 17 - 22, 2012. The 2012 Gordon Conference on Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology (CMFB) will present the latest, cutting-edge research on the exciting and growing field of molecular and cellular aspects of fungal biology. Topics will range from yeast to filamentous fungi, from model systems to economically important organisms, and from saprophytes and commensals to pathogens of plants and animals. The CMFB conference will feature a wide range of topics including systems biology, cell biology and morphogenesis, organismal interactions, genome organisation and regulation, pathogenesis, energy metabolism, biomass production and population genomics. The Conference was well-attended with 136 participants. Gordon Research Conferences does not permit publication of meeting proceedings.

  13. Progress in nucleic acid research and molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Cohn, W.E. ); Moldave, K. )

    1989-01-01

    This book is organized under the following headings: Transposable elements in Drosophilia; Regulation of gene expression; Structure and function of repetitive and unusual sequences; Retroviruses; Molecular analysis of chromosomal translocation and gene insertion.

  14. Intravascular near-infrared fluorescence molecular imaging of atherosclerosis: toward coronary arterial visualization of biologically high-risk plaques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calfon, Marcella A.; Vinegoni, Claudio; Ntziachristos, Vasilis; Jaffer, Farouc A.

    2010-01-01

    New imaging methods are urgently needed to identify high-risk atherosclerotic lesions prior to the onset of myocardial infarction, stroke, and ischemic limbs. Molecular imaging offers a new approach to visualize key biological features that characterize high-risk plaques associated with cardiovascular events. While substantial progress has been realized in clinical molecular imaging of plaques in larger arterial vessels (carotid, aorta, iliac), there remains a compelling, unmet need to develop molecular imaging strategies targeted to high-risk plaques in human coronary arteries. We present recent developments in intravascular near-IR fluorescence catheter-based strategies for in vivo detection of plaque inflammation in coronary-sized arteries. In particular, the biological, light transmission, imaging agent, and engineering principles that underlie a new intravascular near-IR fluorescence sensing method are discussed. Intravascular near-IR fluorescence catheters appear highly translatable to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, and thus may offer a new in vivo method to detect high-risk coronary plaques and to assess novel atherosclerosis biologics.

  15. Morphology of Filamentous Fungi: Linking Cellular Biology to Process Engineering Using Aspergillus niger

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krull, Rainer; Cordes, Christiana; Horn, Harald; Kampen, Ingo; Kwade, Arno; Neu, Thomas R.; Nörtemann, Bernd

    In various biotechnological processes, filamentous fungi, e.g. Aspergillus niger, are widely applied for the production of high value-added products due to their secretion efficiency. There is, however, a tangled relationship between the morphology of these microorganisms, the transport phenomena and the related productivity. The morphological characteristics vary between freely dispersed mycelia and distinct pellets of aggregated biomass. Hence, advantages and disadvantages for mycel or pellet cultivation have to be balanced out carefully. Due to this inadequate understanding of morphogenesis of filamentous microorganisms, fungal morphology, along with reproducibility of inocula of the same quality, is often a bottleneck of productivity in industrial production. To obtain an optimisation of the production process it is of great importance to gain a better understanding of the molecular and cell biology of these microorganisms as well as the approaches in biochemical engineering and particle technique, in particular to characterise the interactions between the growth conditions, cell morphology, spore-hyphae-interactions and product formation. Advances in particle and image analysis techniques as well as micromechanical devices and their applications to fungal cultivations have made available quantitative morphological data on filamentous cells. This chapter provides the ambitious aspects of this line of action, focussing on the control and characterisation of the morphology, the transport gradients and the approaches to understand the metabolism of filamentous fungi. Based on these data, bottlenecks in the morphogenesis of A. niger within the complex production pathways from gene to product should be identified and this may improve the production yield.

  16. Workshop in computational molecular biology, April 15, 1991--April 14, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Tavare, S.

    1995-04-12

    Funds from this award were used to the Workshop in Computational Molecular Biology, `91 Symposium entitled Interface: Computing Science and Statistics, Seattle, Washington, April 21, 1991; the Workshop in Statistical Issues in Molecular Biology held at Stanford, California, August 8, 1993; and the Session on Population Genetics a part of the 56th Annual Meeting, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, San Francisco, California, August 9, 1993.

  17. Engineering derivatives from biological systems for advanced aerospace applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winfield, Daniel L.; Hering, Dean H.; Cole, David

    1991-01-01

    The present study consisted of a literature survey, a survey of researchers, and a workshop on bionics. These tasks produced an extensive annotated bibliography of bionics research (282 citations), a directory of bionics researchers, and a workshop report on specific bionics research topics applicable to space technology. These deliverables are included as Appendix A, Appendix B, and Section 5.0, respectively. To provide organization to this highly interdisciplinary field and to serve as a guide for interested researchers, we have also prepared a taxonomy or classification of the various subelements of natural engineering systems. Finally, we have synthesized the results of the various components of this study into a discussion of the most promising opportunities for accelerated research, seeking solutions which apply engineering principles from natural systems to advanced aerospace problems. A discussion of opportunities within the areas of materials, structures, sensors, information processing, robotics, autonomous systems, life support systems, and aeronautics is given. Following the conclusions are six discipline summaries that highlight the potential benefits of research in these areas for NASA's space technology programs.

  18. A Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Experiment and Evaluation System for Biotechnology Specialty Students: An Effective Evaluation System to Improve the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Experiment Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Suxia; Wu, Haizhen; Zhao, Jian; Ou, Ling; Zhang, Yuanxing

    2010-01-01

    In an effort to achieve high success in knowledge and technique acquisition as a whole, a biochemistry and molecular biology experiment was established for high-grade biotechnology specialty students after they had studied essential theory and received proper technique training. The experiment was based on cloning and expression of alkaline…

  19. Size Matters: Molecular Weight Specificity of Hyaluronan Effects in Cell Biology

    PubMed Central

    Cyphert, Jaime M.; Trempus, Carol S.; Garantziotis, Stavros

    2015-01-01

    Hyaluronan signaling properties are unique among other biologically active molecules, that they are apparently not influenced by postsynthetic molecular modification, but by hyaluronan fragment size. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the generation of hyaluronan fragments of different size and size-dependent differences in hyaluronan signaling as well as their downstream biological effects. PMID:26448754

  20. Metabolic Engineering for Production of Biorenewable Fuels and Chemicals: Contributions of Synthetic Biology

    PubMed Central

    Jarboe, Laura R.; Zhang, Xueli; Wang, Xuan; Moore, Jonathan C.; Shanmugam, K. T.; Ingram, Lonnie O.

    2010-01-01

    Production of fuels and chemicals through microbial fermentation of plant material is a desirable alternative to petrochemical-based production. Fermentative production of biorenewable fuels and chemicals requires the engineering of biocatalysts that can quickly and efficiently convert sugars to target products at a cost that is competitive with existing petrochemical-based processes. It is also important that biocatalysts be robust to extreme fermentation conditions, biomass-derived inhibitors, and their target products. Traditional metabolic engineering has made great advances in this area, but synthetic biology has contributed and will continue to contribute to this field, particularly with next-generation biofuels. This work reviews the use of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology in biocatalyst engineering for biorenewable fuels and chemicals production, such as ethanol, butanol, acetate, lactate, succinate, alanine, and xylitol. We also examine the existing challenges in this area and discuss strategies for improving biocatalyst tolerance to chemical inhibitors. PMID:20414363

  1. Paper-based chemical and biological sensors: Engineering aspects.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Snober; Bui, Minh-Phuong Ngoc; Abbas, Abdennour

    2016-03-15

    Remarkable efforts have been dedicated to paper-based chemosensors and biosensors over the last few years, mainly driven by the promise of reaching the best trade-off between performance, affordability and simplicity. Because of the low-cost and rapid prototyping of these sensors, recent research has been focused on providing affordable diagnostic devices to the developing world. The recent progress in sensitivity, multi-functionality and integration of microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (µPADs), increasingly suggests that this technology is not only attractive in resource-limited environments but it also represents a serious challenger to silicon, glass and polymer-based biosensors. This review discusses the design, chemistry and engineering aspects of these developments, with a focus on the past few years.

  2. Synthetic biology for engineering acetyl coenzyme A metabolism in yeast.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Jens

    2014-01-01

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a widely used cell factory for the production of fuels, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. The use of this cell factory for cost-efficient production of novel fuels and chemicals requires high yields and low by-product production. Many industrially interesting chemicals are biosynthesized from acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), which serves as a central precursor metabolite in yeast. To ensure high yields in production of these chemicals, it is necessary to engineer the central carbon metabolism so that ethanol production is minimized (or eliminated) and acetyl-CoA can be formed from glucose in high yield. Here the perspective of generating yeast platform strains that have such properties is discussed in the context of a major breakthrough with expression of a functional pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in the cytosol. PMID:25370498

  3. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  4. Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of potent discodermolide fluorescent and photoaffinity molecular probes.

    PubMed

    Smith, Amos B; Rucker, Paul V; Brouard, Ignacio; Freeze, B Scott; Xia, Shujun; Horwitz, Susan Band

    2005-11-10

    [structure: see text] The design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of a series of (+)-discodermolide molecular probes possessing photoaffinity and fluorescent appendages has been achieved. Stereoselective olefin cross-metathesis comprised a key tactic for construction of two of the molecular probes. Three photoaffinity probes were radiolabeled with tritium.

  5. Cloning Yeast Actin cDNA Leads to an Investigative Approach for the Molecular Biology Laboratory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Black, Michael W.; Tuan, Alice; Jonasson, Erin

    2008-01-01

    The emergence of molecular tools in multiple disciplines has elevated the importance of undergraduate laboratory courses that train students in molecular biology techniques. Although it would also be desirable to provide students with opportunities to apply these techniques in an investigative manner, this is generally not possible in the…

  6. Tangible Models and Haptic Representations Aid Learning of Molecular Biology Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johannes, Kristen; Powers, Jacklyn; Couper, Lisa; Silberglitt, Matt; Davenport, Jodi

    2016-01-01

    Can novel 3D models help students develop a deeper understanding of core concepts in molecular biology? We adapted 3D molecular models, developed by scientists, for use in high school science classrooms. The models accurately represent the structural and functional properties of complex DNA and Virus molecules, and provide visual and haptic…

  7. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students' Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections…

  8. DAMBE: software package for data analysis in molecular biology and evolution.

    PubMed

    Xia, X; Xie, Z

    2001-01-01

    DAMBE (data analysis in molecular biology and evolution) is an integrated software package for converting, manipulating, statistically and graphically describing, and analyzing molecular sequence data with a user-friendly Windows 95/98/2000/NT interface. DAMBE is free and can be downloaded from http://web.hku.hk/~xxia/software/software.htm. The current version is 4.0.36.

  9. Biologically improved nanofibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Bhaarathy, V; Venugopal, J; Gandhimathi, C; Ponpandian, N; Mangalaraj, D; Ramakrishna, S

    2014-11-01

    Nanofibrous structure developed by electrospinning technology provides attractive extracellular matrix conditions for the anchorage, migration and differentiation of stem cells, including those responsible for regenerative medicine. Recently, biocomposite nanofibers consisting of two or more polymeric blends are electrospun more tidily in order to obtain scaffolds with desired functional and mechanical properties depending on their applications. The study focuses on one such an attempt of using copolymer Poly(l-lactic acid)-co-poly (ε-caprolactone) (PLACL), silk fibroin (SF) and Aloe Vera (AV) for fabricating biocomposite nanofibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering. SEM micrographs of fabricated electrospun PLACL, PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV nanofibrous scaffolds are porous, beadless, uniform nanofibers with interconnected pores and obtained fibre diameter in the range of 459 ± 22 nm, 202 ± 12 nm and 188 ± 16 nm respectively. PLACL, PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV electrospun mats obtained at room temperature with an elastic modulus of 14.1 ± 0.7, 9.96 ± 2.5 and 7.0 ± 0.9 MPa respectively. PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers have more desirable properties to act as flexible cell supporting scaffolds compared to PLACL for the repair of myocardial infarction (MI). The PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers had a contact angle of 51 ± 12° compared to that of 133 ± 15° of PLACL alone. Cardiac cell proliferation was increased by 21% in PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers compared to PLACL by day 6 and further increased to 42% by day 9. Confocal analysis for cardiac expression proteins myosin and connexin 43 was observed better by day 9 compared to all other nanofibrous scaffolds. The results proved that the fabricated PLACL/SF/AV nanofibrous scaffolds have good potentiality for the regeneration of infarcted myocardium in cardiac tissue engineering. PMID:25280706

  10. Enzymes used in molecular biology: a useful guide

    PubMed Central

    Rittié, Laure

    2008-01-01

    Since molecular cloning has become routine laboratory technique, manufacturers offer countless sources of enzymes to generate and manipulate nucleic acids. Thus, selecting the appropriate enzyme for a specific task may seem difficult to the novice. This review aims at providing the readers with some cues for understanding the function and specificities of the different sources of polymerases, ligases, nucleases, phosphatases, methylases, and topoisomerases used for molecular cloning. We provide a description of the most commonly used enzymes of each group, and explain their properties and mechanism of action. By pointing out key requirements for each enzymatic activity and clarifying their limitations, we aim at guiding the reader in selecting appropriate enzymatic source and optimal experimental conditions for molecular cloning experiments. PMID:18766469

  11. Synergizing Engineering and Biology to Treat and Model Skeletal Muscle Injury and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Bursac, Nenad; Juhas, Mark; Rando, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    Although skeletal muscle is one of the most regenerative organs in our body, various genetic defects, alterations in extrinsic signaling, or substantial tissue damage can impair muscle function and the capacity for self-repair. The diversity and complexity of muscle disorders have attracted much interest from both cell biologists and, more recently, bioengineers, leading to concentrated efforts to better understand muscle pathology and develop more efficient therapies. This review describes the biological underpinnings of muscle development, repair, and disease, and discusses recent bioengineering efforts to design and control myomimetic environments, both to study muscle biology and function and to aid in the development of new drug, cell, and gene therapies for muscle disorders. The synergy between engineering-aided biological discovery and biology-inspired engineering solutions will be the path forward for translating laboratory results into clinical practice. PMID:26643021

  12. An engineer's view on genetic information and biological evolution.

    PubMed

    Battail, Gérard

    2004-01-01

    We develop ideas on genome replication introduced in Battail [Europhys. Lett. 40 (1997) 343]. Starting with the hypothesis that the genome replication process uses error-correcting means, and the auxiliary one that nested codes are used to this end, we first review the concepts of redundancy and error-correcting codes. Then we show that these hypotheses imply that: distinct species exist with a hierarchical taxonomy, there is a trend of evolution towards complexity, and evolution proceeds by discrete jumps. At least the first two features above may be considered as biological facts so, in the absence of direct evidence, they provide an indirect proof in favour of the hypothesized error-correction system. The very high redundancy of genomes makes it possible. In order to explain how it is implemented, we suggest that soft codes and replication decoding, to be briefly described, are plausible candidates. Experimentally proven properties of long-range correlation of the DNA message substantiate this claim.

  13. Engineered plant biomass particles coated with biological agents

    DOEpatents

    Dooley, James H.; Lanning, David N.

    2014-06-24

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

  14. Biomaterials — where biology, physics, chemistry, engineering and medicine meet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hing, K. A.

    2008-03-01

    The success or failure of an implant material in the body depends on a complex interaction between a synthetic 'foreign body' and the 'host tissue'. These interactions occur at many levels from the sub-microscopic level, where subtle changes in the surface physio-chemistry can substantially alter the nature of the biomaterial-host tissue interface, through the microscopical level (e.g. sensitivity to surface topography) to the macrostructural level (e.g. dependence on scaffold porosity). Thus the factors that control these responses are not only biologically determined but also mechanically, physically and chemically mediated, although identifying where one starts and the other finishes can be difficult. Design of a successful medical device has therefore to call on expertise within a wide range of disciplines. In terms of both investigating the basic science behind the factors which orchestrate a biological response and developing research tools that enable study of these responses. However, a medical device must also meet the economic and practical demands of health care professionals who will ultimately be using it in the clinic. Bone graft substitute materials are used in orthopaedics as an alternative or adjunct to autografting, a practice where the patient 'donates' bone from a healthy site to aid bone repair at a damaged or diseased site. These materials are used in a wide range of procedures from total hip revision to spinal fusion and their evolution over the last 10 years illustrates how an interdisciplinary approach has benefited their development and may lead to further innovation in the future.

  15. Inhalable DNase I microparticles engineered with biologically active excipients.

    PubMed

    Osman, Rihab; Al Jamal, Khuloud T; Kan, Pei-Lee; Awad, Gehanne; Mortada, Nahed; El-Shamy, Abd-Elhameed; Alpar, Oya

    2013-12-01

    Highly viscous mucus poses a big challenge for the delivery of particulates carrying therapeutics to patients with cystic fibrosis. In this study, surface modifying DNase I loaded particles using different excipients to achieve better lung deposition, higher enzyme stability or better biological activity had been exploited. For the purpose, controlled release microparticles (MP) were prepared by co-spray drying DNase I with the polymer poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and the biocompatible lipid surfactant 1,2-dipalmitoyl-Sn-phosphatidyl choline (DPPC) using various hydrophilic excipients. The effect of the included modifiers on the particle morphology, size, zeta potential as well as enzyme encapsulation efficiency, biological activity and release had been evaluated. Powder aerosolisation performance and particle phagocytosis by murine macrophages were also investigated. The results showed that more than 80% of enzyme activity was recovered after MP preparation and that selected surface modifiers greatly increased the enzyme encapsulation efficiency. The particle morphology was greatly modified altering in turn the powders inhalation indices where dextran, ovalbumin and chitosan hydrochloride increased considerably the respirable fraction compared to the normal hydrophilic carriers lactose and PVP. Despite of the improved aerosolisation caused by chitosan hydrochloride, yet retardation of chitosan coated particles in artificial mucus samples discouraged its application. On the other hand, dextran and polyanions enhanced DNase I effect in reducing cystic fibrosis mucus viscosity. DPPC proved good ability to reduce particles phagocytic uptake even in the presence of the selected adjuvants. The prepared MP systems were biocompatible with lung epithelial cells. To conclude, controlled release DNase I loaded PLGA-MP with high inhalation indices and enhanced mucolytic activity on CF sputum could be obtained by surface modifying the particles with PGA or dextran. PMID

  16. How was teleology eliminated in early molecular biology?

    PubMed

    Sloan, Phillip R

    2012-03-01

    This paper approaches the issue of the status of teleological reasoning in contemporary biology through a historical examination of events of the 1930s that surrounded Niels Bohr's efforts to introduce 'complementarity' into biological discussions. The paper examines responses of three theoretical physicists who engaged boundary questions between the biological and physical sciences in this period in response to Bohr-Ernst Pascual Jordan (1902-80), Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), and Max Delbrück (1906-81). It is claimed that none of these physicists sufficiently understood Bohr's 'critical' teleological arguments, which are traced to the lineage of Kant and Harald Høffding and their respective resolutions of the Antinomy of Teleological Judgment. The positions of these four historical actors are discussed in terms of Ernst Mayr's distinction of 'teleological,' 'teleomatic,' and 'teleonomic' explanations. A return to some of the views articulated by Bohr, and behind him, to Høffding and Kant, is claimed to provide a framework for reintroducing a 'critical' teleology into biological discussions.

  17. How was teleology eliminated in early molecular biology?

    PubMed

    Sloan, Phillip R

    2012-03-01

    This paper approaches the issue of the status of teleological reasoning in contemporary biology through a historical examination of events of the 1930s that surrounded Niels Bohr's efforts to introduce 'complementarity' into biological discussions. The paper examines responses of three theoretical physicists who engaged boundary questions between the biological and physical sciences in this period in response to Bohr-Ernst Pascual Jordan (1902-80), Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), and Max Delbrück (1906-81). It is claimed that none of these physicists sufficiently understood Bohr's 'critical' teleological arguments, which are traced to the lineage of Kant and Harald Høffding and their respective resolutions of the Antinomy of Teleological Judgment. The positions of these four historical actors are discussed in terms of Ernst Mayr's distinction of 'teleological,' 'teleomatic,' and 'teleonomic' explanations. A return to some of the views articulated by Bohr, and behind him, to Høffding and Kant, is claimed to provide a framework for reintroducing a 'critical' teleology into biological discussions. PMID:22326083

  18. Towards molecular medicine: a case for a biological periodic table.

    PubMed

    Gawad, Charles

    2005-01-01

    The recently amplified pace of development in the technologies to study both normal and aberrant cellular physiology has allowed for a transition from the traditional reductionist approaches to global interrogations of human biology. This transformation has created the anticipation that we will soon more effectively treat or contain most types of diseases through a 'systems-based' approach to understanding and correcting the underlying etiology of these processes. However, to accomplish these goals, we must first have a more comprehensive understanding of all the elements involved in human cellular physiology, as well as why and how they interact. With the vast number of biological components that have and are being discovered, creating methods with modern computational techniques to better organize biological elements is the next requisite step in this process. This article aims to articulate the importance of the organization of chemical elements into a periodic table had on the conversion of chemistry into a quantitative, translatable science, as well as how we can apply the lessons learned in that transition to the current transformation taking place in biology.

  19. The Use of MERLOT in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Scott

    2005-01-01

    The referatory, Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT), contains links to 1300 electronic teaching resources in biology and chemistry. Approximately 20% have been peer reviewed, and most have user comments or assignments attached. In addition to being a source of educational resources, the MERLOT project seeks…

  20. Molecular probes for nonlinear optical imaging of biological membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanchard-Desce, Mireille H.; Ventelon, Lionel; Charier, Sandrine; Moreaux, Laurent; Mertz, Jerome

    2001-12-01

    Second-harmonic generation (SHG) and two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) are nonlinear optical (NLO) phenomena that scale with excitation intensity squared, and hence give rise to an intrinsic 3-dimensional resolution when used in microscopic imaging. TPEF microscopy has gained widespread popularity in the biology community whereas SHG microscopy promises to be a powerful tool because of its sensitivity to local asymmetry. We have implemented an approach toward the design of NLO-probes specifically adapted for SHG and/or TPEF imaging of biological membranes. Our strategy is based on the design of nanoscale amphiphilic NLO-phores. We have prepared symmetrical bolaamphiphilic fluorophores combining very high two-photon absorption (TPA) cross-sections in the visible red region and affinity for cellular membranes. Their incorporation and orientation in lipid membranes can be monitored via TPEF anisotropy. We have also prepared amphiphilic push-pull chromophores exhibiting both large TPA cross-sections and very large first hyperpolarizabilities in the near-IR region. These NLO-probes have proved to be particularly useful for imaging of biological membranes by simultaneous SHG and TPEF microscopy and offer attractive prospects for real-time imaging of fundamental biological processes such as adhesion, fusion or reporting of membrane potentials.

  1. WWW Entrez: A Hypertext Retrieval Tool for Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Epstein, Jonathan A.; Kans, Jonathan A.; Schuler, Gregory D.

    This article describes the World Wide Web (WWW) Entrez server which is based upon the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI) Entrez retrieval database and software. Entrez is a molecular sequence retrieval system that contains an integrated view of portions of Medline and all publicly available nucleotide and protein databases,…

  2. Recent advances in yeast molecular biology: recombinant DNA. [Lead abstract

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-09-01

    Separate abstracts were prepared for the 25 papers presented at a workshop focusing on chromosomal structure, gene regulation, recombination, DNA repair, and cell type control, that have been obtained by experimental approaches incorporating the new technologies of yeast DNA transformation, molecular cloning, and DNA sequence analysis. (KRM)

  3. Roles of cell volume in molecular and cellular biology.

    PubMed

    Dubois, Jean-Marc; Rouzaire-Dubois, Béatrice

    2012-04-01

    Extracellular tonicity and volume regulation control a great number of molecular and cellular functions including: cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, hormone and neuromediator release, gene expression, ion channel and transporter activity and metabolism. The aim of this review is to describe these effects and to determine if they are direct or are secondarily the result of the activity of second messengers. PMID:22192789

  4. [Progress in molecular biology of a semi-mangrove, Millettia pinnata].

    PubMed

    Huang, Jianzi; Zhang, Wanke; Huang, Rongfeng; Zheng, Yizhi

    2015-04-01

    Millettia pinnata L. is a leguminous tree with great potential in biodiesel applications and also a typical semi-mangrove. In this review, we presented several aspects about the recent research progress in molecular biology of M. pinnata. We descrived several types of molecular markers used to assess the genetic diversity and phylogeny of this species, genome and transcriptome analyses based on high-throughput sequencing platform accomplished for this species, and several gene and genomic sequences of this species isolated for further research. Finally, based on the current research progress, we proposed some orientations for future molecular biology research on M. pinnata. PMID:26380403

  5. [Progress in molecular biology of a semi-mangrove, Millettia pinnata].

    PubMed

    Huang, Jianzi; Zhang, Wanke; Huang, Rongfeng; Zheng, Yizhi

    2015-04-01

    Millettia pinnata L. is a leguminous tree with great potential in biodiesel applications and also a typical semi-mangrove. In this review, we presented several aspects about the recent research progress in molecular biology of M. pinnata. We descrived several types of molecular markers used to assess the genetic diversity and phylogeny of this species, genome and transcriptome analyses based on high-throughput sequencing platform accomplished for this species, and several gene and genomic sequences of this species isolated for further research. Finally, based on the current research progress, we proposed some orientations for future molecular biology research on M. pinnata.

  6. Molecular communication among biological nanomachines: a layered architecture and research issues.

    PubMed

    Nakano, Tadashi; Suda, Tatsuya; Okaie, Yutaka; Moore, Michael J; Vasilakos, Athanasios V

    2014-09-01

    Molecular communication is an emerging communication paradigm for biological nanomachines. It allows biological nanomachines to communicate through exchanging molecules in an aqueous environment and to perform collaborative tasks through integrating functionalities of individual biological nanomachines. This paper develops the layered architecture of molecular communication and describes research issues that molecular communication faces at each layer of the architecture. Specifically, this paper applies a layered architecture approach, traditionally used in communication networks, to molecular communication, decomposes complex molecular communication functionality into a set of manageable layers, identifies basic functionalities of each layer, and develops a descriptive model consisting of key components of the layer for each layer. This paper also discusses open research issues that need to be addressed at each layer. In addition, this paper provides an example design of targeted drug delivery, a nanomedical application, to illustrate how the layered architecture helps design an application of molecular communication. The primary contribution of this paper is to provide an in-depth architectural view of molecular communication. Establishing a layered architecture of molecular communication helps organize various research issues and design concerns into layers that are relatively independent of each other, and thus accelerates research in each layer and facilitates the design and development of applications of molecular communication.

  7. A thermosensitive low molecular weight hydrogel as scaffold for tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Ziane, Sophia; Schlaubitz, Silke; Miraux, Sylvain; Patwa, Amit; Lalande, Charlotte; Bilem, Ibrahim; Lepreux, Sébastien; Rousseau, Benoît; Le Meins, Jean-François; Latxague, Laurent; Barthélémy, Philippe; Chassande, Olivier

    2012-02-23

    Hydrogels that are non-toxic, easy to use, cytocompatible, injectable and degradable are valuable biomaterials for tissue engineering and tissue repair. However, few compounds currently fulfil these requirements. In this study, we describe the biological properties of a new type of thermosensitive hydrogel based on low-molecular weight glycosyl-nucleosyl-fluorinated (GNF) compound. This gel forms within 25 min by self-assembly of monomers as temperature decreases. It degrades slowly in vitro and in vivo. It induces moderate chronic inflammation and is progressively invaded by host cells and vessels, suggesting good integration to the host environment. Although human adult mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue (ASC) cannot adhere on the gel surface or within a 3D gel scaffold, cell aggregates grow and differentiate normally when entrapped in the GNF-based gel. Moreover, this hydrogel stimulates osteoblast differentiation of ASC in the absence of osteogenic factors. When implanted in mice, gel-entrapped cell aggregates survive for several weeks in contrast with gel-free spheroids. They are maintained in their original site of implantation where they interact with the host tissue and adhere on the extracellular matrix. They can differentiate in situ into alkaline phosphatase positive osteoblasts, which deposit a calcium phosphate-rich matrix. When injected into subcutaneous sites, gel-encapsulated cells show similar biological properties as implanted gel-cells complexes. These data point GNF-based gels as a novel class of hydrogels with original properties, in particular osteogenic potential, susceptible of providing new therapeutic solutions especially for bone tissue engineering applications.

  8. Modularity in developmental biology and artificial organs: a missing concept in tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Lenas, Petros; Luyten, Frank P; Doblare, Manuel; Nicodemou-Lena, Eleni; Lanzara, Andreina Elena

    2011-06-01

    Tissue engineering is reviving itself, adopting the concept of biomimetics of in vivo tissue development. A basic concept of developmental biology is the modularity of the tissue architecture according to which intermediates in tissue development constitute semiautonomous entities. Both engineering and nature have chosen the modular architecture to optimize the product or organism development and evolution. Bioartificial tissues do not have a modular architecture. On the contrary, artificial organs of modular architecture have been already developed in the field of artificial organs. Therefore the conceptual support of tissue engineering by the field of artificial organs becomes critical in its new endeavor of recapitulating in vitro the in vivo tissue development.

  9. Molecular biology of mycoplasmas: from the minimum cell concept to the artificial cell.

    PubMed

    Cordova, Caio M M; Hoeltgebaum, Daniela L; Machado, Laís D P N; Santos, Larissa Dos

    2016-01-01

    Mycoplasmas are a large group of bacteria, sorted into different genera in the Mollicutes class, whose main characteristic in common, besides the small genome, is the absence of cell wall. They are considered cellular and molecular biology study models. We present an updated review of the molecular biology of these model microorganisms and the development of replicative vectors for the transformation of mycoplasmas. Synthetic biology studies inspired by these pioneering works became possible and won the attention of the mainstream media. For the first time, an artificial genome was synthesized (a minimal genome produced from consensus sequences obtained from mycoplasmas). For the first time, a functional artificial cell has been constructed by introducing a genome completely synthesized within a cell envelope of a mycoplasma obtained by transformation techniques. Therefore, this article offers an updated insight to the state of the art of these peculiar organisms' molecular biology.

  10. Case study: Using microbe molecular biology for Gulf oil spill clean up.

    PubMed

    Jones, Daniel R

    2011-01-01

    This case has the student actively investigate the regulation of expression of a novel bacterial gene in the context of attempts to solve a real world problem, clean up of the April 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Although the case is fictitious, it is based on factual gene regulatory characteristics of oil-degrading microbes. The case is written for a sophomore Cell Biology lecture course at Indiana Wesleyan University that is taught to Biology/Pre-Med majors. This study is also appropriate for use in undergraduate microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and molecular genetics courses. The case is intended to enhance coverage of transcription, translation, control of gene expression, and selected molecular biology techniques. Opportunities to practice critical thinking skills and to a lesser extent an introduction to the paradigm of life science research at the industry level are provided.

  11. Molecular biology of mycoplasmas: from the minimum cell concept to the artificial cell.

    PubMed

    Cordova, Caio M M; Hoeltgebaum, Daniela L; Machado, Laís D P N; Santos, Larissa Dos

    2016-01-01

    Mycoplasmas are a large group of bacteria, sorted into different genera in the Mollicutes class, whose main characteristic in common, besides the small genome, is the absence of cell wall. They are considered cellular and molecular biology study models. We present an updated review of the molecular biology of these model microorganisms and the development of replicative vectors for the transformation of mycoplasmas. Synthetic biology studies inspired by these pioneering works became possible and won the attention of the mainstream media. For the first time, an artificial genome was synthesized (a minimal genome produced from consensus sequences obtained from mycoplasmas). For the first time, a functional artificial cell has been constructed by introducing a genome completely synthesized within a cell envelope of a mycoplasma obtained by transformation techniques. Therefore, this article offers an updated insight to the state of the art of these peculiar organisms' molecular biology. PMID:27142538

  12. [Molecular engineering of cellulase catalytic domain based on glycoside hydrolase family].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaomei; Li, Dandan; Wang, Lushan; Zhao, Yue; Chen, Guanjun

    2013-04-01

    Molecular engineering of cellulases can improve enzymatic activity and efficiency. Recently, the Carbohydrate-Active enZYmes Database (CAZy), including glycoside hydrolase (GH) families, has been established with the development of Omics and structural measurement technologies. Molecular engineering based on GH families can obviously decrease the probing space of target sequences and structures, and increase the odds of experimental success. Besides, the study of cellulase active-site architecture paves the way toward the explanation of catalytic mechanism. This review focuses on the main GH families and the latest progresses in molecular engineering of catalytic domain. Based on the combination of analysis of a large amount of data in the same GH family and their conservative active-site architecture information, rational design will be an important direction for molecular engineering and promote the rapid development of the conversion of biomass. PMID:23894816

  13. Systems theoretic analysis of the central dogma of molecular biology: some recent results.

    PubMed

    Gao, Rui; Yu, Juanyi; Zhang, Mingjun; Tarn, Tzyh-Jong; Li, Jr-Shin

    2010-03-01

    This paper extends our early study on a mathematical formulation of the central dogma of molecular biology, and focuses discussions on recent insights obtained by employing advanced systems theoretic analysis. The goal of this paper is to mathematically represent and interpret the genetic information flow at the molecular level, and explore the fundamental principle of molecular biology at the system level. Specifically, group theory was employed to interpret concepts and properties of gene mutation, and predict backbone torsion angle along the peptide chain. Finite state machine theory was extensively applied to interpret key concepts and analyze the processes related to DNA hybridization. Using the proposed model, we have transferred the character-based model in molecular biology to a sophisticated mathematical model for calculation and interpretation.

  14. Recent Advances in Molecular Biology of Thyroid Cancer and Their Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Mingzhao

    2009-01-01

    Synopsis Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy with a rapid rising incidence in recent years. Novel efficient management strategies are increasingly needed for this cancer. Remarkable advances have occurred in recent years in understanding the molecular biology of thyroid cancer. This is reflected in several major biological areas of thyroid cancer, including the molecular alterations for the loss of radioiodine avidity of thyroid cancer, the pathogenic role of the MAP kinase and PI3K/Akt pathways and their related genetic alterations, and the aberrant methylation of functionally important genes in thyroid tumorigenesis and pathogenesis. These exciting advances in molecular biology of thyroid cancer provide unprecedented opportunities for the development of molecular-based novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies for this cancer. PMID:19040974

  15. Introduction to the special issue on molecular imaging in radiation biology.

    PubMed

    Humm, John L; Dewhirst, Mark W; Bhujwalla, Zaver M

    2012-04-01

    Molecular imaging is an evolving science that is concerned with the development of novel imaging probes and biomarkers that can be used to non-invasively image molecular and cellular processes. This special issue approaches molecular imaging in the context of radiation research, focusing on biomarkers and imaging methods that provide measurable signals that can assist in the quantification of radiation-induced effects of living systems at the physical, chemical and biological levels. The potential to image molecular changes in response to a radiation insult opens new and exciting opportunities for a more profound understanding of radiation biology, with the possibility of translation of these techniques to radiotherapy practice. This special issue brings together 14 reviews dedicated to the use of molecular imaging in the field of radiation research. The initial three reviews are introductory overviews of the key molecular imaging modalities: magnetic resonance, nuclear and optical. This is followed by 11 reviews each focusing on a specialist area within the field of radiation research. These include: hypoxia and perfusion, tissue metabolism, normal tissue injury, cell death and viability, receptor targeting and nanotechnology, reporter genes, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and biological dosimetry. Over the preceding decade, molecular imaging brought significant new advances to our understanding of every area of radiation biology. This special issue shows us these advances and points to the vibrant future of our field armed with these new capabilities.

  16. A molecular biology-based approach to resolve the subunit orientation of lipoprotein lipase

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Howard; Yang, Dawn; Hill, John S.; Davis, Richard C.; Nikazy, Judith; Schotz, Michael C.

    1997-01-01

    The subunit orientation of a dimeric enzyme influences the mechanism of action and function. To determine the subunit arrangement of lipoprotein lipase (LPL), a molecular biology-based approach was initiated. An eight amino acid linker region was engineered between two LPL monomers and expressed in COS-7 cells. The resultant tandem-repeat molecule (LPLTR) was lipolytically active and had kinetic parameters, salt inhibition, cofactor-dependent activity, heparin-binding characteristics, and a functional unit size very similar to the expressed native human enzyme. By these criteria, LPLTR was the functional equivalent of native LPL. Considering the length of the linker peptide (no more than 24 Å), monomers in the tethered molecule were restricted to a head-to-tail subunit arrangement. Since LPLTR demonstrated native enzyme-like properties while constrained to this subunit arrangement, these results provide the first compelling evidence that native LPL monomers are arranged in a head-to-tail subunit orientation within the active dimer. Thus, LPL function in physiology, lipolysis, and binding to cell-surface components must now be addressed with this subunit orientation in mind. The utility of the tandem-repeat approach to resolve the subunit arrangement of an obligate dimer has been demonstrated with LPL and could be generalized for use with other oligomeric enzymes. PMID:9159117

  17. Streptococcal M protein: molecular design and biological behavior.

    PubMed Central

    Fischetti, V A

    1989-01-01

    M protein is a major virulence determinant for the group A streptococcus by virtue of its ability to allow the organism to resist phagocytosis. Common in eucaryotes, the fibrillar coiled-coil design for the M molecule may prove to be a common motif for surface proteins in gram-positive organisms. This type of structure offers the organism several distinct advantages, ranging from antigenic variation to multiple functional domains. The close resemblance of this molecular design to that of certain mammalian proteins could help explain on a molecular level the formation of epitopes responsible for serological cross-reactions between microbial and mammalian proteins. Many of the approaches described in the elucidation of the M-protein structure may be applied for characterizing similar molecules in other microbial systems. Images PMID:2670192

  18. Molecular microbiology: new dimensions for cutaneous biology and wound healing.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jo M; Zenilman, Jonathan M; Lazarus, Gerald S

    2010-01-01

    The role of bacteria in the pathogenesis of chronic, nonhealing wounds is unclear. All wounds are colonized with bacteria, but differentiating colonizers from invading organisms is difficult, if not impossible, at the present time. Furthermore, robust new molecular genomic techniques have shown that only 1% of bacteria can be grown in culture; anaerobes are especially difficult to identify using standard culture methods. Recent studies utilizing microbial genomic methods have demonstrated that chronic wounds are host to a wide range of microorganisms. New techniques also show that microorganisms are capable of forming highly organized biofilms within the wound that differ dramatically in gene expression and phenotype from bacteria that are typically seen in planktonic conditions. The aim of this review is to present a concise description of infectious agents as defined by new molecular techniques and to summarize what is known about the microbiology of chronic wounds in order to relate them to the pathophysiology and therapy of chronic wounds.

  19. [Molecular biology of familial cases of human melanoma].

    PubMed

    Kit, O I; Vodolazhsky, D L; Timoshkina, N N; Przhedetsky, Yu V; Khokhlova, O V

    2015-01-01

    Skin melanoma is an etiologically heterogeneous disease, the development of which is related to a complex interaction of environmental factors and individual genetic characteristics. This article provides current molecular-genetic aspects of familial cases of melanoma and polymorphism of genes directly related to the risk of developing this hereditary disease. The studies of hereditary cancer cases add our knowledge of mechanisms oncotransformation, genetic changes in signaling pathways, which are responsible for invasiveness, metastasis and drug resistance of melanoma cells of the skin.

  20. Hybrid molecular probe for nucleic acid analysis in biological samples.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chaoyong James; Martinez, Karen; Lin, Hui; Tan, Weihong

    2006-08-01

    The ability to detect changes in gene expression, especially in real-time and with sensitivity sufficient enough to monitor small variations in a single-cell, will have considerable value in biomedical research and applications. Out of the many available molecular probes for intracellular monitoring of nucleic acids, molecular beacon (MB) is the most frequently used probe with the advantages of high sensitivity and selectivity. However, any processes in which the MB stem-loop structure is broken will result in a restoration of the fluorescence in MB. This brings in a few possibilities for false positive signal such as nuclease degradation, protein binding, thermodynamic fluctuation, solution composition variations (such as pH, salt concentration) and sticky-end pairing. These unwanted processes do exist inside living cells, making nucleic acid monitoring inside living cells difficult. We have designed and synthesized a hybrid molecular probe (HMP) for intracellular nucleic acid monitoring to overcome these problems. HMP has two DNA probes, one labeled with a donor and the other an acceptor. The two DNA probes are linked by a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) linker, with each DNA being complementary to adjacent areas of a target sequence. Target binding event brings the donor and acceptor in proximity, resulting in quenching of the donor fluorescence and enhancement of the acceptor emission. The newly designed HMP has high sensitivity, selectivity, and fast hybridization kinetics. The probe is easy to design and synthesize. HMP does not generate any false positive signal upon digestion by nuclease, binding by proteins, forming complexes by sticky-end pairing, or by other molecular interaction processes. HMP is capable of selectively detecting nucleic acid targets from cellular samples.

  1. [Molecular biology of castration-resistant prostate cancer].

    PubMed

    Doucet, Ludovic; Terrisse, Safae; Gauthier, Hélène; Pouessel, Damien; Le Maignan, Christine; Teixeira, Luis; Culine, Stéphane

    2015-06-01

    Castration-resistant prostate cancer was subjected to a paradigm switch from hormone resistance to androgen deprivation therapy resistance during the last decade. Indeed, new therapeutics targeting the androgen receptor showed clinical efficacy in patients with progressive disease under castration. Thus, it is a proof that the AR remains a dominant driver of oncogenesis in earlier-called hormone resistant prostate cancer. This review summarizes the molecular mechanisms involved in castration-resistant prostate cancer.

  2. The Future of Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology: Towards a Systematic Practice

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Vikramaditya G.; De Mey, Marjan; Lim, Chin Giaw; Ajikumar, Parayil Kumaran; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2012-01-01

    Industrial biotechnology promises to revolutionize conventional chemical manufacturing in the years ahead, largely owing to the excellent progress in our ability to re-engineer cellular metabolism. However, most successes of metabolic engineering have been confined to over-producing natively synthesized metabolites in E. coli and S. cerevisiae. A major reason for this development has been the descent of metabolic engineering, particularly secondary metabolic engineering, to a collection of demonstrations rather than a systematic practice with generalizable tools. Synthetic biology, a more recent development, faces similar criticisms. Herein, we attempt to lay down a framework around which bioreaction engineering can systematize itself just like chemical reaction engineering. Central to this undertaking is a new approach to engineering secondary metabolism known as ‘multivariate modular metabolic engineering’ (MMME), whose novelty lies in its assessment and elimination of regulatory and pathway bottlenecks by re-defining the metabolic network as a collection of distinct modules. After introducing the core principles of MMME, we shall then present a number of recent developments in secondary metabolic engineering that could potentially serve as its facilitators. It is hoped that the ever-declining costs of de novo gene synthesis; the improved use of bioinformatic tools to mine, sort and analyze biological data; and the increasing sensitivity and sophistication of investigational tools will make the maturation of microbial metabolic engineering an autocatalytic process. Encouraged by these advances, research groups across the world would take up the challenge of secondary metabolite production in simple hosts with renewed vigor, thereby adding to the range of products synthesized using metabolic engineering. PMID:22629571

  3. Animal models of osteoarthritis in an era of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Bendele, A M

    2002-12-01

    Animal models of osteoarthritis (OA) are used to study the pathogenesis of cartilage degeneration and to evaluate potential anti-arthritic drugs for clinical use. In general, these models fall into 2 categories, spontaneous and induced (surgical instability or genetic manipulation). Animal models of naturally occurring OA occur in knee joints of guinea pigs, mice and Syrian hamsters. Commonly utilized surgical instability models include medial meniscal tear in guinea pigs and rats, medial or lateral partial meniscectomy in rabbits, medial partial or total meniscectomy or anterior cruciate transection in dogs. Transgenic models have been developed in mice. These models all have potential use in the study of molecular mechanisms associated with OA development via use of immunohistochemistry, biochemistry and molecular probes to identify altered matrix molecules at different stages in disease progression. Testing of specific types of inhibitors developed through evaluation of matrix changes in the disease process will ultimately help identify key processes which initiate and perpetuate the disease and will lead to discovery of new disease modifying pharmaceutical agents for OA patients. This paper will focus on the discussion of several models which are likely to be useful in the molecular dissection of processes involved in cartilage degeneration. PMID:15758375

  4. REVIEW ARTICLE: The physics of biological molecular motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, N.; Thornhill, R. A.

    1998-02-01

    Molecular motors are the fundamental agents of movement in living organisms. A prime example is the actomyosin motor that powers muscle contraction. We illustrate the remarkable physics of this motor using a simplified three-state model, in which a myosin cross-bridge attaches to an actin filament, tilts over and then detaches. This `cross-bridge cycle', driven by ATP hydrolysis, is similar to a thermodynamic cycle, except that the molecular system is stochastic. Random transitions in the cycle therefore produce tension fluctuations, which have recently been observed in single-molecule experiments. Furthermore, since the rate constants for attachment and tilting depend on the elastic energy in the cross-bridge spring, the molecular motor is a highly nonlinear mechanical system. A bias tension `stretch activates' the motor, and it then develops the remarkable property of `negative viscosity', which allows it to perform as a self-sustained mechanical oscillator. However, when a series of attachment sites is available, the motor operates instead as a ratchet, pulling the actin filament rapidly forwards against a light load, whilst a heavy load pulls the filament only very slowly in the opposite direction. Similar ideas may apply to the dynein-tubulin motor that powers cilia and flagella and the kinesin-tubulin motor used in intracellular transport.

  5. The molecular biology of tick-borne encephalitis virus. Review article.

    PubMed

    Heinz, F X; Mandl, C W

    1993-10-01

    Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus is a member of the flavivirus genus and the family Flaviviridae. Like other flaviviruses such as yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis or the dengue viruses, it is an important human pathogen, endemic in many European countries, Russia and China. The disease can be effectively prevented by vaccination with a formalin-inactivated whole virus vaccine. In recent years major advances have been made in the understanding of the molecular biology of TBE virus, including the complete sequence analysis of the genomic RNA of the European and Far Eastern strains. As shown in these studies, the virion RNA contains a single long open reading frame that codes for the structural proteins at the 5' end and the nonstructural proteins at the 3' end. Co- and posttranslational cleavages by a viral and cellular proteases lead to the formation of individual viral proteins. The mature virion is composed of an isometric capsid surrounded by a lipid envelope with two membrane-associated proteins. One of these, protein E, is of paramount importance for several important viral functions, especially during the entry phase of the viral life cycle. Protein E is also responsible for the induction of a protective immune response. A detailed map of antigenic sites has been established and the structure of an anchor-free form of E is currently being investigated by X-ray diffraction analysis. Understanding the molecular basis of the functions of this protein together with the knowledge of its three-dimensional structure may provide clues for developing specific antiviral agents. Protein E has also been shown to be an important determinant of virulence, with single amino acid substitutions at selected sites leading to attenuation. Engineering of such mutations into cDNA clones to produce new recombinant viruses may open up new avenues for the development of live vaccines. PMID:8267950

  6. The molecular biology of tick-borne encephalitis virus. Review article.

    PubMed

    Heinz, F X; Mandl, C W

    1993-10-01

    Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus is a member of the flavivirus genus and the family Flaviviridae. Like other flaviviruses such as yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis or the dengue viruses, it is an important human pathogen, endemic in many European countries, Russia and China. The disease can be effectively prevented by vaccination with a formalin-inactivated whole virus vaccine. In recent years major advances have been made in the understanding of the molecular biology of TBE virus, including the complete sequence analysis of the genomic RNA of the European and Far Eastern strains. As shown in these studies, the virion RNA contains a single long open reading frame that codes for the structural proteins at the 5' end and the nonstructural proteins at the 3' end. Co- and posttranslational cleavages by a viral and cellular proteases lead to the formation of individual viral proteins. The mature virion is composed of an isometric capsid surrounded by a lipid envelope with two membrane-associated proteins. One of these, protein E, is of paramount importance for several important viral functions, especially during the entry phase of the viral life cycle. Protein E is also responsible for the induction of a protective immune response. A detailed map of antigenic sites has been established and the structure of an anchor-free form of E is currently being investigated by X-ray diffraction analysis. Understanding the molecular basis of the functions of this protein together with the knowledge of its three-dimensional structure may provide clues for developing specific antiviral agents. Protein E has also been shown to be an important determinant of virulence, with single amino acid substitutions at selected sites leading to attenuation. Engineering of such mutations into cDNA clones to produce new recombinant viruses may open up new avenues for the development of live vaccines.

  7. Combining Radiation Epidemiology With Molecular Biology-Changing From Health Risk Estimates to Therapeutic Intervention.

    PubMed

    Abend, Michael; Port, Matthias

    2016-08-01

    The authors herein summarize six presentations dedicated to the key session "molecular radiation epidemiology" of the ConRad meeting 2015. These presentations were chosen in order to highlight the promise when combining conventional radiation epidemiology with molecular biology. Conventional radiation epidemiology uses dose estimates for risk predictions on health. However, combined with molecular biology, dose-dependent bioindicators of effect hold the promise to improve clinical diagnostics and to provide target molecules for potential therapeutic intervention. One out of the six presentations exemplified the use of radiation-induced molecular changes as biomarkers of exposure by measuring stabile chromosomal translocations. The remaining five presentations focused on molecular changes used as bioindicators of the effect. These bioindicators of the effect could be used for diagnostic purposes on colon cancers (genomic instability), thyroid cancer (CLIP2), or head and neck squamous cell cancers. Therapeutic implications of gene expression changes were examined in Chernobyl thyroid cancer victims and Mayak workers. PMID:27356062

  8. Combining Radiation Epidemiology With Molecular Biology-Changing From Health Risk Estimates to Therapeutic Intervention.

    PubMed

    Abend, Michael; Port, Matthias

    2016-08-01

    The authors herein summarize six presentations dedicated to the key session "molecular radiation epidemiology" of the ConRad meeting 2015. These presentations were chosen in order to highlight the promise when combining conventional radiation epidemiology with molecular biology. Conventional radiation epidemiology uses dose estimates for risk predictions on health. However, combined with molecular biology, dose-dependent bioindicators of effect hold the promise to improve clinical diagnostics and to provide target molecules for potential therapeutic intervention. One out of the six presentations exemplified the use of radiation-induced molecular changes as biomarkers of exposure by measuring stabile chromosomal translocations. The remaining five presentations focused on molecular changes used as bioindicators of the effect. These bioindicators of the effect could be used for diagnostic purposes on colon cancers (genomic instability), thyroid cancer (CLIP2), or head and neck squamous cell cancers. Therapeutic implications of gene expression changes were examined in Chernobyl thyroid cancer victims and Mayak workers.

  9. The College Commissions - Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fooks, Joyce Lane

    Information concerning the eight science college commissions now in existence is provided. These commissions encompass the fields of agriculture, biology, chemistry, engineering, geography, geology, mathematics and physics. An overview of the primary functions and commitments of the commissions and consulting services offered is presented. Also…

  10. Modeling human risk: Cell & molecular biology in context

    SciTech Connect

    1997-06-01

    It is anticipated that early in the next century manned missions into outer space will occur, with a mission to Mars scheduled between 2015 and 2020. However, before such missions can be undertaken, a realistic estimation of the potential risks to the flight crews is required. One of the uncertainties remaining in this risk estimation is that posed by the effects of exposure to the radiation environment of outer space. Although the composition of this environment is fairly well understood, the biological effects arising from exposure to it are not. The reasons for this are three-fold: (1) A small but highly significant component of the radiation spectrum in outer space consists of highly charged, high energy (HZE) particles which are not routinely experienced on earth, and for which there are insufficient data on biological effects; (2) Most studies on the biological effects of radiation to date have been high-dose, high dose-rate, whereas in space, with the exception of solar particle events, radiation exposures will be low-dose, low dose-rate; (3) Although it has been established that the virtual absence of gravity in space has a profound effect on human physiology, it is not clear whether these effects will act synergistically with those of radiation exposure. A select panel will evaluate the utilizing experiments and models to accurately predict the risks associated with exposure to HZE particles. Topics of research include cellular and tissue response, health effects associated with radiation damage, model animal systems, and critical markers of Radiation response.

  11. Basal cell carcinoma — molecular biology and potential new therapies

    PubMed Central

    Kasper, Maria; Jaks, Viljar; Hohl, Daniel; Toftgård, Rune

    2012-01-01

    Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin, the most common malignancy in individuals of mixed European descent, is increasing in incidence due to an aging population and sun exposure habits. The realization that aberrant activation of Hedgehog signaling is a pathognomonic feature of BCC development has opened the way for exciting progress toward understanding BCC biology and translation of this knowledge to the clinic. Genetic mouse models closely mimicking human BCCs have provided answers about the tumor cell of origin, and inhibition of Hedgehog signaling is emerging as a potentially useful targeted therapy for patients with advanced or multiple BCCs that have hitherto lacked effective treatment. PMID:22293184

  12. [Metastasis tumors of the central nervous system: molecular biology].

    PubMed

    Bello, M Josefa; González-Gómez, P; Rey, J A

    2004-12-01

    Metastases in the nervous system represent an important and growing problem in the clinical practice, being the cause of a great mortality in the developed countries. This article reviews the few data available on the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of these tumours, leading to oncogene activation, inactivation of tumour suppressor genes, not only by the classical mechanisms, but also by the tumour cell epigenetic balance alteration. We conclude that all this knowledge will lead in the future to a better diagnosis, treatment and clinic evolution of these patients.

  13. Biological and molecular characterizations of Toxoplasma gondii strains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cole, R.A.; Lindsay, D.S.; Howe, D.K.; Roderick, Constance L.; Dubey, J.P.; Thomas, N.J.; Baeten, L.A.

    2000-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from brain or heart tissue from 15 southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) in cell cultures. These strains were used to infect mice that developed antibodies to T. gondii as detected in the modified direct agglutination test and had T. gondii tissue cysts in their brains at necropsy. Mouse brains containing tissue cysts from 4 of the strains were fed to 4 cats. Two of the cats excreted T. gondii oocysts in their feces that were infectious for mice. Molecular analyses of 13 strains indicated that they were all type II strains, but that they were genetically distinct from one another.

  14. Molecular Biology and Immunology of Head & Neck Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Theresa; Califano, Joseph A.

    2015-01-01

    Synopsis In recent years our knowledge and understanding of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) has expanded dramatically. New high-throughput sequencing technologies have accelerated these discoveries since the first reports of whole exome sequencing of HNSCC tumors in 2011. In addition, the discovery of human papillomavirus (HPV) in relationship with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma has shifted our molecular understanding of the disease. New investigation into the role of immune evasion in HNSCC has also led to potential novel therapies based on immune specific systemic therapies. PMID:25979390

  15. [Molecular biology of familial cases of human melanoma].

    PubMed

    Kit, O I; Vodolazhsky, D L; Timoshkina, N N; Przhedetsky, Yu V; Khokhlova, O V

    2015-01-01

    Skin melanoma is an etiologically heterogeneous disease, the development of which is related to a complex interaction of environmental factors and individual genetic characteristics. This article provides current molecular-genetic aspects of familial cases of melanoma and polymorphism of genes directly related to the risk of developing this hereditary disease. The studies of hereditary cancer cases add our knowledge of mechanisms oncotransformation, genetic changes in signaling pathways, which are responsible for invasiveness, metastasis and drug resistance of melanoma cells of the skin. PMID:26995975

  16. Molecular biology and immunology of head and neck cancer.

    PubMed

    Guo, Theresa; Califano, Joseph A

    2015-07-01

    In recent years, our knowledge and understanding of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) has expanded dramatically. New high-throughput sequencing technologies have accelerated these discoveries since the first reports of whole-exome sequencing of HNSCC tumors in 2011. In addition, the discovery of human papillomavirus in relationship with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma has shifted our molecular understanding of the disease. New investigation into the role of immune evasion in HNSCC has also led to potential novel therapies based on immune-specific systemic therapies.

  17. Biotechnology and synthetic biology approaches for metabolic engineering of bioenergy crops.

    PubMed

    Shih, Patrick M; Liang, Yan; Loqué, Dominique

    2016-07-01

    The Green Revolution has fuelled an exponential growth in human population since the mid-20th century. Due to population growth, food and energy demands will soon surpass supply capabilities. To overcome these impending problems, significant improvements in genetic engineering will be needed to complement breeding efforts in order to accelerate the improvement of agronomical traits. The new field of plant synthetic biology has emerged in recent years and is expected to support rapid, precise, and robust engineering of plants. In this review, we present recent advances made in the field of plant synthetic biology, specifically in genome editing, transgene expression regulation, and bioenergy crop engineering, with a focus on traits related to lignocellulose, oil, and soluble sugars. Ultimately, progress and innovation in these fields may facilitate the development of beneficial traits in crop plants to meet society's bioenergy needs. PMID:27030440

  18. Biotechnology and synthetic biology approaches for metabolic engineering of bioenergy crops.

    PubMed

    Shih, Patrick M; Liang, Yan; Loqué, Dominique

    2016-07-01

    The Green Revolution has fuelled an exponential growth in human population since the mid-20th century. Due to population growth, food and energy demands will soon surpass supply capabilities. To overcome these impending problems, significant improvements in genetic engineering will be needed to complement breeding efforts in order to accelerate the improvement of agronomical traits. The new field of plant synthetic biology has emerged in recent years and is expected to support rapid, precise, and robust engineering of plants. In this review, we present recent advances made in the field of plant synthetic biology, specifically in genome editing, transgene expression regulation, and bioenergy crop engineering, with a focus on traits related to lignocellulose, oil, and soluble sugars. Ultimately, progress and innovation in these fields may facilitate the development of beneficial traits in crop plants to meet society's bioenergy needs.

  19. Can Man Control His Biological Evolution? A Symposium on Genetic Engineering. Genetic Engineering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramsey, Paul

    1972-01-01

    Presented are issues related to genetic engineering. Increased knowledge of techniques to manipulate genes are apt to create confusion about moral values in relation to unborn babies and other living organisms on earth. Human beings may use this knowledge to disturb the balance maintained by nature. (PS)

  20. Protozoan HSP90-heterocomplex: molecular interaction network and biological significance.

    PubMed

    Figueras, Maria J; Echeverria, Pablo C; Angel, Sergio O

    2014-05-01

    The HSP90 chaperone is a highly conserved protein from bacteria to higher eukaryotes. In eukaryotes, this chaperone participates in different large complexes, such as the HSP90 heterocomplex, which has important biological roles in cell homeostasis and differentiation. The HSP90-heterocomplex is also named the HSP90/HSP70 cycle because different co-chaperones (HIP, HSP40, HOP, p23, AHA1, immunophilins, PP5) participate in this complex by assembling sequentially, from the early to the mature complex. In this review, we analyze the conservation and relevance of HSP90 and the HSP90-heterocomplex in several protozoan parasites, with emphasis in Plasmodium spp., Toxoplasma spp., Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma spp. In the last years, there has been an outburst of studies based on yeast two-hybrid methodology, co-immunoprecipitation-mass spectrometry and bioinformatics, which have generated a most comprehensive protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of HSP90 and its co-chaperones. This review analyzes the existing PPI networks of HSP90 and its co-chaperones of some protozoan parasites and discusses the usefulness of these powerful tools to analyze the biological role of the HSP90-heterocomplex in these parasites. The generation of a T. gondii HSP90 heterocomplex PPI network based on experimental data and a recent Plasmodium HSP90 heterocomplex PPI network are also included and discussed. As an example, the putative implication of nuclear transport and chromatin (histones and Sir2) as HSP90-heterocomplex interactors is here discussed.