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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Nemhauser, Jennifer L.; Torii, Keiko U.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27249346

  3. Molecular biology and genetic engineering in nitrogen fixation.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Patricia C

    2011-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex and tightly regulated process limited to a group of prokaryotic species known as diazotrophs. Among well-studied diazotrophs, Azotobacter vinelandii is the best studied for its convenience of aerobic growth, its high levels of nitrogenase expression, and its genetic tractability. This chapter includes protocols and strategies in the molecular biology and genetic engineering of A. vinelandii that have been used as valuable tools for advancing studies on the biosynthesis, mechanism, and regulation of nitrogen fixation.

  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. 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…

  6. Micropropagation, genetic engineering, and molecular biology of Populus

    Treesearch

    N. B. Klopfenstein; Y. W. Chun; M. -S. Kim; M. A. Ahuja; M. C. Dillon; R. C. Carman; L. G. Eskew

    1997-01-01

    Thirty-four Populus biotechnology chapters, written by 85 authors, are comprised in 5 sections: 1) in vitro culture (micropropagation, somatic embryogenesis, protoplasts, somaclonal variation, and germplasm preservation); 2) transformation and foreign gene expression; 3) molecular biology (molecular/genetic characterization); 4) biotic and abiotic resistance (disease,...

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. Methods of Genome Engineering: a New Era of Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Chugunova, A A; Dontsova, O A; Sergiev, P V

    2016-07-01

    Genome sequencing now progressing much faster than our understanding of the majority of gene functions. Studies of physiological functions of various genes would not be possible without the ability to manipulate the genome. Methods of genome engineering can now be used to inactivate a gene to study consequences, introduce heterologous genes into the genome for scientific and biotechnology applications, create genes coding for fusion proteins to study gene expression, protein localization, and molecular interactions, and to develop animal models of human diseases to find appropriate treatment. Finally, genome engineering might present the possibility to cure hereditary diseases. In this review, we discuss and compare the most important methods for gene inactivation and editing, as well as methods for incorporation of heterologous genes into the genome.

  10. Engineering molecular circuits using synthetic biology in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Wieland, Markus; Fussenegger, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology has made significant leaps over the past decade, and it now enables rational and predictable reprogramming of cells to conduct complex physiological activities. The bases for cellular reprogramming are mainly genetic control components affecting gene expression. A huge variety of these modules, ranging from engineered fusion proteins regulating transcription to artificial RNA devices affecting translation, is available, and they often feature a highly modular scaffold. First endeavors to combine these modules have led to autoregulated expression systems and genetic cascades. Analogous to the rational engineering of electronic circuits, the existing repertoire of artificial regulatory elements has further enabled the ambitious reprogramming of cells to perform Boolean calculations or to mimic the oscillation of circadian clocks. Cells harboring synthetic gene circuits are not limited to cell culture, as they have been successfully implanted in animals to obtain tailor-made therapeutics that have made it possible to restore urea or glucose homeostasis as well as to offer an innovative approach to artificial insemination.

  11. Biological Activities of Natural and Engineered Cyclotides, a Novel Molecular Scaffold for Peptide-Based Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Angie E.; Camarero, Julio A.

    2012-01-01

    Cyclotides are a growing family of large plant-derived backbone-cyclized polypeptides (≈30 amino acids long) that share a disulfide-stabilized core characterized by an unusual knotted structure. Their unique circular backbone topology and knotted arrangement of three disulfide bonds makes them exceptionally stable to thermal, chemical, and enzymatic degradation compared to other peptides of similar size. Currently more than 100 sequences of different cyclotides have been characterized and the number is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. Considering their stability, biological activities and ability to cross the cell membrane, cyclotides can be exploited to develop new peptide-based drugs with high potential for success. The cyclotide scaffold can be engineered or evolved using molecular evolution to inhibit protein-protein interactions implicated in cancer and other human diseases, or design new antimicrobial. The present review reports the biological diversity and therapeutic potential of natural and engineered cyclotides. PMID:20858197

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Foundations for engineering biology.

    PubMed

    Endy, Drew

    2005-11-24

    Engineered biological systems have been used to manipulate information, construct materials, process chemicals, produce energy, provide food, and help maintain or enhance human health and our environment. Unfortunately, our ability to quickly and reliably engineer biological systems that behave as expected remains quite limited. Foundational technologies that make routine the engineering of biology are needed. Vibrant, open research communities and strategic leadership are necessary to ensure that the development and application of biological technologies remains overwhelmingly constructive.

  15. 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.

  16. Structural and functional diversity among amyloid proteins: Agents of disease, building blocks of biology, and implications for molecular engineering.

    PubMed

    Bleem, Alissa; Daggett, Valerie

    2017-01-01

    Amyloids have long been associated with protein dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases, but recent research has demonstrated that some organisms utilize the unique properties of the amyloid fold to create functional structures with important roles in biological processes. Additionally, new engineering approaches have taken advantage of amyloid structures for implementation in a wide variety of materials and devices. In this review, the role of amyloid in human disease is discussed and compared to the functional amyloids, which serve a largely structural purpose. We then consider the use of amyloid constructs in engineering applications, including their utility as building blocks for synthetic biology and molecular engineering. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 7-20. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Electrochemical reverse engineering: A systems-level tool to probe the redox-based molecular communication of biology.

    PubMed

    Li, Jinyang; Liu, Yi; Kim, Eunkyoung; March, John C; Bentley, William E; Payne, Gregory F

    2016-12-29

    The intestine is the site of digestion and forms a critical interface between the host and the outside world. This interface is composed of host epithelium and a complex microbiota which is "connected" through an extensive web of chemical and biological interactions that determine the balance between health and disease for the host. This biology and the associated chemical dialogues occur within a context of a steep oxygen gradient that provides the driving force for a variety of reduction and oxidation (redox) reactions. While some redox couples (e.g., catecholics) can spontaneously exchange electrons, many others are kinetically "insulated" (e.g., biothiols) allowing the biology to set and control their redox states far from equilibrium. It is well known that within cells, such non-equilibrated redox couples are poised to transfer electrons to perform reactions essential to immune defense (e.g., transfer from NADH to O2 for reactive oxygen species, ROS, generation) and protection from such oxidative stresses (e.g., glutathione-based reduction of ROS). More recently, it has been recognized that some of these redox-active species (e.g., H2O2) cross membranes and diffuse into the extracellular environment including lumen to transmit redox information that is received by atomically-specific receptors (e.g., cysteine-based sulfur switches) that regulate biological functions. Thus, redox has emerged as an important modality in the chemical signaling that occurs in the intestine and there have been emerging efforts to develop the experimental tools needed to probe this modality. We suggest that electrochemistry provides a unique tool to experimentally probe redox interactions at a systems level. Importantly, electrochemistry offers the potential to enlist the extensive theories established in signal processing in an effort to "reverse engineer" the molecular communication occurring in this complex biological system. Here, we review our efforts to develop this

  1. Biological engineering and systems biology--new opportunities for engineers in the pharmaceutical industry.

    PubMed

    Lauffenburger, Douglas A

    2004-01-01

    The consecutive life science revolutions of molecular biology and genomic biology have led to the promise for improving human health by molecular-level interventions--but the accompanying challenge of doing so in a rational, predictive manner. Addressing this challenge, and meeting this promise, requires understanding of complex biological processes with molecular detail but in integrative fashion; the emerging field aimed at this endeavor is now commonly termed 'systems biology'. In many ways, this field is an ideal application area for the biological engineering discipline, and offers tremendous opportunities for biology-based engineers. This talk will present a view of key aspects of this vision.

  2. Human papillomavirus molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Harden, Mallory E; Munger, Karl

    Human papillomaviruses are small DNA viruses with a tropism for squamous epithelia. A unique aspect of human papillomavirus molecular biology involves dependence on the differentiation status of the host epithelial cell to complete the viral lifecycle. A small group of these viruses are the etiologic agents of several types of human cancers, including oral and anogenital tract carcinomas. This review focuses on the basic molecular biology of human papillomaviruses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Molecular biology in physiology

    SciTech Connect

    Chien, S.; Gargus, J.J.

    1987-08-01

    The aim of this symposium on molecular biology in physiology was to introduce molecular biology to physiologists who had relatively little exposure to the new developments in this field, so that they can become conversant on this topic and contribute to the advancement of physiology by incorporating molecular biological approaches as a part of their research arsenal. This report is a review of the symposium, which consisted of two four-part sessions. Each session had four papers. After the discussion of the basic concepts, terminology, and methodology used in molecular biology, it was shown how these basic principles have been applied to the study of the genes encoding two membrane proteins that have important transport functions (band 3 and ATPase). The second half of the symposium consisted of papers on the state-of-the-art developments in the application of molecular biology to the studies of the atrial natriuretic factor and renin genes, adenylate cyclase-coupled adrenergic receptors, acetylcholine receptors and sodium channel, and long-term and short-term memories. The ultimate goal is that these examples will provide an impetus for the opening of new frontiers of research in physiology by taking advantage of the tools developed from recent advances in molecular biology.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Biological Molecular Machines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurzyński, Michał

    2007-11-01

    Like small molecules taking part in usual chemical reactions, biological molecular machines perform their functions owing to thermal fluctuations and the only difference consists in more complex and specially organized internal dynamics. It is this dynamics that determines processes of free energy transduction in molecular machines. The case of the actomyosin motor is considered in some detail.

  7. Reverse Engineering Molecular Hypergraphs

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Ahsanur; Poirel, Christopher L.; Badger, David J.; Estep, Craig; Murali, T.M.

    2014-01-01

    Analysis of molecular interaction networks is pervasive in systems biology. This research relies almost entirely on graphs for modeling interactions. However, edges in graphs cannot represent multiway interactions among molecules, which occur very often within cells. Hypergraphs may be better representations for networks having such interactions, since hyperedges can naturally represent relationships among multiple molecules. Here, we propose using hypergraphs to capture the uncertainty inherent in reverse engineering gene-gene networks. Some subsets of nodes may induce highly varying subgraphs across an ensemble of networks inferred by a reverse engineering algorithm. We provide a novel formulation of hyperedges to capture this uncertainty in network topology. We propose a clustering-based approach to discover hyperedges. We show that our approach can recover hyperedges planted in synthetic data sets with high precision and recall, even for moderate amount of noise. We apply our techniques to a data set of pathways inferred from genetic interaction data in S. cerevisiae related to the unfolded protein response. Our approach discovers several hyperedges that capture the uncertain connectivity of genes in relevant protein complexes, suggesting that further experiments may be required to precisely discern their interaction patterns. We also show that these complexes are not discovered by an algorithm that computes frequent and dense subgraphs. PMID:24384702

  8. Reverse engineering molecular hypergraphs.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Ahsanur; Poirel, Christopher L; Badger, David J; Estep, Craig; Murali, T M

    2013-01-01

    Analysis of molecular interaction networks is pervasive in systems biology. This research relies almost entirely on graphs for modeling interactions. However, edges in graphs cannot represent multiway interactions among molecules, which occur very often within cells. Hypergraphs may be better representations for networks having such interactions, since hyperedges can naturally represent relationships among multiple molecules. Here, we propose using hypergraphs to capture the uncertainty inherent in reverse engineering gene-gene networks. Some subsets of nodes may induce highly varying subgraphs across an ensemble of networks inferred by a reverse engineering algorithm. We provide a novel formulation of hyperedges to capture this uncertainty in network topology. We propose a clustering-based approach to discover hyperedges. We show that our approach can recover hyperedges planted in synthetic data sets with high precision and recall, even for moderate amount of noise. We apply our techniques to a data set of pathways inferred from genetic interaction data in S. cerevisiae related to the unfolded protein response. Our approach discovers several hyperedges that capture the uncertain connectivity of genes in relevant protein complexes, suggesting that further experiments may be required to precisely discern their interaction patterns. We also show that these complexes are not discovered by an algorithm that computes frequent and dense subgraphs.

  9. ENGINEERING BULLETIN: BIOLOGICAL TOXICITY TESTING

    EPA Science Inventory

    This Engineering Bulletin is intended to provide site managers with information on ecological assessment and biological toxicity testing, applicability of biological toxicity testing, planning effective biological toxicity assessments, descriptions of test methods, limitations, c...

  10. Molecular imaging with engineered physiology

    PubMed Central

    Desai, Mitul; Slusarczyk, Adrian L.; Chapin, Ashley; Barch, Mariya; Jasanoff, Alan

    2016-01-01

    In vivo imaging techniques are powerful tools for evaluating biological systems. Relating image signals to precise molecular phenomena can be challenging, however, due to limitations of the existing optical, magnetic and radioactive imaging probe mechanisms. Here we demonstrate a concept for molecular imaging which bypasses the need for conventional imaging agents by perturbing the endogenous multimodal contrast provided by the vasculature. Variants of the calcitonin gene-related peptide artificially activate vasodilation pathways in rat brain and induce contrast changes that are readily measured by optical and magnetic resonance imaging. CGRP-based agents induce effects at nanomolar concentrations in deep tissue and can be engineered into switchable analyte-dependent forms and genetically encoded reporters suitable for molecular imaging or cell tracking. Such artificially engineered physiological changes, therefore, provide a highly versatile means for sensitive analysis of molecular events in living organisms. PMID:27910951

  11. Molecular imaging with engineered physiology.

    PubMed

    Desai, Mitul; Slusarczyk, Adrian L; Chapin, Ashley; Barch, Mariya; Jasanoff, Alan

    2016-12-02

    In vivo imaging techniques are powerful tools for evaluating biological systems. Relating image signals to precise molecular phenomena can be challenging, however, due to limitations of the existing optical, magnetic and radioactive imaging probe mechanisms. Here we demonstrate a concept for molecular imaging which bypasses the need for conventional imaging agents by perturbing the endogenous multimodal contrast provided by the vasculature. Variants of the calcitonin gene-related peptide artificially activate vasodilation pathways in rat brain and induce contrast changes that are readily measured by optical and magnetic resonance imaging. CGRP-based agents induce effects at nanomolar concentrations in deep tissue and can be engineered into switchable analyte-dependent forms and genetically encoded reporters suitable for molecular imaging or cell tracking. Such artificially engineered physiological changes, therefore, provide a highly versatile means for sensitive analysis of molecular events in living organisms.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Grand challenges for biological engineering.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Jeong-Yeol; Riley, Mark R

    2009-09-22

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Synthetic biology--putting engineering into biology.

    PubMed

    Heinemann, Matthias; Panke, Sven

    2006-11-15

    Synthetic biology is interpreted as the engineering-driven building of increasingly complex biological entities for novel applications. Encouraged by progress in the design of artificial gene networks, de novo DNA synthesis and protein engineering, we review the case for this emerging discipline. Key aspects of an engineering approach are purpose-orientation, deep insight into the underlying scientific principles, a hierarchy of abstraction including suitable interfaces between and within the levels of the hierarchy, standardization and the separation of design and fabrication. Synthetic biology investigates possibilities to implement these requirements into the process of engineering biological systems. This is illustrated on the DNA level by the implementation of engineering-inspired artificial operations such as toggle switching, oscillating or production of spatial patterns. On the protein level, the functionally self-contained domain structure of a number of proteins suggests possibilities for essentially Lego-like recombination which can be exploited for reprogramming DNA binding domain specificities or signaling pathways. Alternatively, computational design emerges to rationally reprogram enzyme function. Finally, the increasing facility of de novo DNA synthesis-synthetic biology's system fabrication process-supplies the possibility to implement novel designs for ever more complex systems. Some of these elements have merged to realize the first tangible synthetic biology applications in the area of manufacturing of pharmaceutical compounds.

  17. At a glance: cellular biology for engineers.

    PubMed

    Khoshmanesh, K; Kouzani, A Z; Nahavandi, S; Baratchi, S; Kanwar, J R

    2008-10-01

    Engineering contributions have played an important role in the rise and evolution of cellular biology. Engineering technologies have helped biologists to explore the living organisms at cellular and molecular levels, and have created new opportunities to tackle the unsolved biological problems. There is now a growing demand to further expand the role of engineering in cellular biology research. For an engineer to play an effective role in cellular biology, the first essential step is to understand the cells and their components. However, the stumbling block of this step is to comprehend the information given in the cellular biology literature because it best suits the readers with a biological background. This paper aims to overcome this bottleneck by describing the human cell components as micro-plants that form cells as micro-bio-factories. This concept can accelerate the engineers' comprehension of the subject. In this paper, first the structure and function of different cell components are described. In addition, the engineering attempts to mimic various cell components through numerical modelling or physical implementation are highlighted. Next, the interaction of different cell components that facilitate complicated chemical processes, such as energy generation and protein synthesis, are described. These complex interactions are translated into simple flow diagrams, generally used by engineers to represent multi-component processes.

  18. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2012-11-16

    Metabolic engineering emerged 20 years ago as the discipline occupied with the directed modification of metabolic pathways for the microbial synthesis of various products. As such, it deals with the engineering (design, construction, and optimization) of native as well as non-natural routes of product synthesis, aided in this task by the availability of synthetic DNA, the core enabling technology of synthetic biology. The two fields, however, only partially overlap in their interest in pathway engineering. While fabrication of biobricks, synthetic cells, genetic circuits, and nonlinear cell dynamics, along with pathway engineering, have occupied researchers in the field of synthetic biology, the sum total of these areas does not constitute a coherent definition of synthetic biology with a distinct intellectual foundation and well-defined areas of application. This paper reviews the origins of the two fields and advances two distinct paradigms for each of them: that of unit operations for metabolic engineering and electronic circuits for synthetic biology. In this context, metabolic engineering is about engineering cell factories for the biological manufacturing of chemical and pharmaceutical products, whereas the main focus of synthetic biology is fundamental biological research facilitated by the use of synthetic DNA and genetic circuits.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Molecular biology references.

    PubMed

    2003-05-01

    Many of the units in this manual describe methods and techniques for the cloning, expression, and structural analysis of neural genes and proteins. We assume that users of these protocols have at least some introductory background in recombinant DNA technology (or are working with a collaborator who does); therefore, we have not provided comprehensive coverage of all of these topics, but rather have concentrated on presenting selected techniques that will be of the most interest and use to the general neuroscience laboratory. More comprehensive coverage of these topics can be found in Current Protocols in Molecular Biology (CPMB), which is extensively cross-referenced throughout this manual. These cross-references are summarized in this appendix.

  2. 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)

  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. Data warehousing in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Schönbach, C; Kowalski-Saunders, P; Brusic, V

    2000-05-01

    In the business and healthcare sectors data warehousing has provided effective solutions for information usage and knowledge discovery from databases. However, data warehousing applications in the biological research and development (R&D) sector are lagging far behind. The fuzziness and complexity of biological data represent a major challenge in data warehousing for molecular biology. By combining experiences in other domains with our findings from building a model database, we have defined the requirements for data warehousing in molecular biology.

  5. Molecular biology of atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Mannarino, Elmo; Pirro, Matteo

    2008-01-01

    The traditional view of atherosclerosis as a pathological lipid deposition within the artery wall has been redefined by a more complex concept of an ongoing inflammatory disease. The atherosclerotic process is initiated when cardiovascular risk factors, through a chemical, mechanical or immunological insult, activate and/or injury the endothelium, thus contributing to endothelial dysfunction and fragmentation. This triggers a cascade of inflammatory reactions, in which monocytes, macrophages, T lymphocytes, vascular smooth muscle cells actively participate. Particularly, atherosclerotic lesions have been seen to have increased expression of T helper-1 cells together with increased levels of the T helper-1 related pro-inflammatory cytokines. Along with pro-inflammatory cytokines, other molecular factors involved in atherosclerosis appearance, progression and complication include chemokines, growth factors, vasoactive substances, enzymes, apoptosis signals and many others. Many of these molecular factors are both involved as possible markers of the atherosclerotic disease activity and burden, but may also play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of the disease. In recent years, the discovery of progenitor cells of myeloid origin has offered the prospect of merging the most recent theories on the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis with the evolving concept of a role of these progenitor cells in the repair of the injured vessel wall and the neovascularisation of ischemic tissues. This review summarizes current knowledge about the biology of atherosclerosis with emphasis on the mechanisms of endothelial damage and repair and on the concept that the turnover and replacement of endothelial cells is a major determinant in the maintenance of vascular integrity. PMID:22460847

  6. 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. © 2016 Authors; published by Portland Press Limited.

  7. Synthetic biology meets tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Jamie A.; Cachat, Elise

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. Mammalian Synthetic Biology: Engineering Biological Systems.

    PubMed

    Black, Joshua B; Perez-Pinera, Pablo; Gersbach, Charles A

    2017-06-21

    The programming of new functions into mammalian cells has tremendous application in research and medicine. Continued improvements in the capacity to sequence and synthesize DNA have rapidly increased our understanding of mechanisms of gene function and regulation on a genome-wide scale and have expanded the set of genetic components available for programming cell biology. The invention of new research tools, including targetable DNA-binding systems such as CRISPR/Cas9 and sensor-actuator devices that can recognize and respond to diverse chemical, mechanical, and optical inputs, has enabled precise control of complex cellular behaviors at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. These tools have been critical for the expansion of synthetic biology techniques from prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic hosts to mammalian systems. Recent progress in the development of genome and epigenome editing tools and in the engineering of designer cells with programmable genetic circuits is expanding approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease and to establish personalized theranostic strategies for next-generation medicines. This review summarizes the development of these enabling technologies and their application to transforming mammalian synthetic biology into a distinct field in research and medicine.

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. Biological and biomimetic molecular machines.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tony J; Juluri, Bala K

    2008-02-01

    The evolution of life facilitates the creation of biological molecular machines. In these so-called 'nanomachines,' nature elegantly shows that when precisely organized and assembled, simple molecular mechanical components can link motions efficiently from the nanometer scale to the macroscopic world, and achieve complex functions such as powering skeletal muscles, synthesizing ATP and producing DNA/RNA. Inspired by nature, researchers are creating artifical molecular machines with tailored structures and properties, with the aim of realizing man-made active nanosystems that operate with the same efficiency and complexity as biological nanomachines. It is anticipated that in the not-too-distant future, unique applications of biological and biomimetic molecular machines will emerge in areas such as biochemical instrumentation and nanomedicine.

  12. Molecular Biology of Archaebacteria

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-03-31

    elucidate at the molecular level some of the features that make archaebacteria unique and distinguish them from eubacteria and eucaryotes. Three types...regulate translation of the mRNA by a mechanism similar to that employed in eubacteria . Thus halophilic archaebacteria retain the same gene order and...possibly also the same regulatory mechanism for controlling ribosomal protein synthesis that is found in eubacteria . Ribosomal protein structure: The

  13. 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

  14. Molecular biology of sarcomas.

    PubMed

    Gebhardt, M C

    1996-07-01

    There has been a virtual explosion of information relating to the biology of sarcomas with which we as orthopaedists deal. Much more is yet to be learned. These findings will teach us more about the etiology of these tumors. More important, the findings will alter the way in which these tumors are treated. It is unlikely that we will continue to treat osteosarcoma or Ewing's sarcoma patients with currently available drug regimens and surgery or make treatment decisions based on the histologic classification of tumors we know today. If we are to remain active in the management of these patients we must be aware of the findings as they occur. That will ensure both that we remain the primary caretakers of these patients, and that we will continue to be stimulated intellectually by these intriguing scientific investigations.

  15. Engineering microbes with synthetic biology frameworks.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Effendi; Nielsen, David; Solomon, Kevin; Prather, Kristala Jones

    2008-12-01

    Typically, the outcome of biologically engineered unit operations cannot be controlled a priori due to the incorporation of ad hoc design into complex natural systems. To mitigate this problem, synthetic biology presents a systematic approach to standardizing biological components for the purpose of increasing their programmability and robustness when assembled with the aim to achieve novel biological functions. A complex engineered biological system using only standardized biological components is yet to exist. Nevertheless, current attempts to create and to implement modular, standardized biological components pave the way for the future creation of highly predictable artificial biological systems. Although synthetic biology frameworks can be applied to any biological engineering endeavor, this article will focus on providing a brief overview of advances in the field and its recent utilization for the engineering of microbes.

  16. Molecular Imaging in Synthetic Biology, and Synthetic Biology in Molecular Imaging.

    PubMed

    Gilad, Assaf A; Shapiro, Mikhail G

    2017-02-17

    Biomedical synthetic biology is an emerging field in which cells are engineered at the genetic level to carry out novel functions with relevance to biomedical and industrial applications. This approach promises new treatments, imaging tools, and diagnostics for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal inflammatory syndromes to cancer, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. As these cellular technologies undergo pre-clinical and clinical development, it is becoming essential to monitor their location and function in vivo, necessitating appropriate molecular imaging strategies, and therefore, we have created an interest group within the World Molecular Imaging Society focusing on synthetic biology and reporter gene technologies. Here, we highlight recent advances in biomedical synthetic biology, including bacterial therapy, immunotherapy, and regenerative medicine. We then discuss emerging molecular imaging approaches to facilitate in vivo applications, focusing on reporter genes for noninvasive modalities such as magnetic resonance, ultrasound, photoacoustic imaging, bioluminescence, and radionuclear imaging. Because reporter genes can be incorporated directly into engineered genetic circuits, they are particularly well suited to imaging synthetic biological constructs, and developing them provides opportunities for creative molecular and genetic engineering.

  17. 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."

  18. 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

    2012-03-09

    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.

  19. 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)

  20. 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)

  1. Developmental biology and tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Marga, Francoise; Neagu, Adrian; Kosztin, Ioan; Forgacs, Gabor

    2007-12-01

    Morphogenesis implies the controlled spatial organization of cells that gives rise to tissues and organs in early embryonic development. While morphogenesis is under strict genetic control, the formation of specialized biological structures of specific shape hinges on physical processes. Tissue engineering (TE) aims at reproducing morphogenesis in the laboratory, i.e., in vitro, to fabricate replacement organs for regenerative medicine. The classical approach to generate tissues/organs is by seeding and expanding cells in appropriately shaped biocompatible scaffolds, in the hope that the maturation process will result in the desired structure. To accomplish this goal more naturally and efficiently, we set up and implemented a novel TE method that is based on principles of developmental biology and employs bioprinting, the automated delivery of cellular composites into a three-dimensional (3D) biocompatible environment. The novel technology relies on the concept of tissue liquidity according to which multicellular aggregates composed of adhesive and motile cells behave in analogy with liquids: in particular, they fuse. We emphasize the major role played by tissue fusion in the embryo and explain how the parameters (surface tension, viscosity) that govern tissue fusion can be used both experimentally and theoretically to control and simulate the self-assembly of cellular spheroids into 3D living structures. The experimentally observed postprinting shape evolution of tube- and sheet-like constructs is presented. Computer simulations, based on a liquid model, support the idea that tissue liquidity may provide a mechanism for in vitro organ building.

  2. Biological engineering for sustainable biomass production

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, S.

    1986-09-01

    A new discipline has evolved in efforts to engineer photosynthetic production systems that produce biomass feedstocks efficiently, economically and with minimal adverse environmental impact. In this talk an overview is given of how biological engineering systems are designed to produce energy and novel material products within the framework of existing market infrastructure. Practical examples of biological engineering systems which employ components based on genetic engineering, species propagation, modern agricultural techniques, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering are analyzed for worldwide materials application and environmental conservation. 9 refs., 6 figs.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Yukiko; Ghosh, Samik; Kitano, Hiroaki

    2009-08-06

    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.

  5. Integrating Rehabilitation Engineering Technology With Biologics

    PubMed Central

    Collinger, Jennifer L.; Dicianno, Brad E.; Weber, Douglas J.; Cui, Xinyan Tracy; Wang, Wei; Brienza, David M.; Boninger, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    Rehabilitation engineers apply engineering principles to improve function or to solve challenges faced by persons with disabilities. It is critical to integrate the knowledge of biologics into the process of rehabilitation engineering to advance the field and maximize potential benefits to patients. Some applications in particular demonstrate the value of a symbiotic relationship between biologics and rehabilitation engineering. In this review we illustrate how researchers working with neural interfaces and integrated prosthetics, assistive technology, and biologics data collection are currently integrating these 2 fields. We also discuss the potential for further integration of biologics and rehabilitation engineering to deliver the best technologies and treatments to patients. Engineers and clinicians must work together to develop technologies that meet clinical needs and are accessible to the intended patient population. PMID:21703573

  6. 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.

  7. Network Reverse Engineering Approach in Synthetic Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Haoqian; Liu, Ao; Lu, Yuheng; Sheng, Ying; Wu, Qianzhu; Yin, Zhenzhen; Chen, Yiwei; Liu, Zairan; Pan, Heng; Ouyang, Qi

    2013-12-01

    Synthetic biology is a new branch of interdisciplinary science that has been developed in recent years. The main purpose of synthetic biology is to apply successful principles that have been developed in electronic and chemical engineering to develop basic biological functional modules, and through rational design, develop man-made biological systems that have predicted useful functions. Here, we discuss an important principle in rational design of functional biological circuits: the reverse engineering design. We will use a research project that was conducted at Peking University for the International Genetic Engineering Machine Competition (iGEM) to illustrate the principle: synthesis a cell which has a semi-log dose-response to the environment. Through this work we try to demonstrate the potential application of network engineering in synthetic biology.

  8. 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.

  9. Molecular biology of gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Cervantes, A; Rodríguez Braun, E; Pérez Fidalgo, A; Chirivella González, I

    2007-04-01

    Despite its decreasing incidence overall, gastric cancer is still a challenging disease. Therapy is based mainly upon surgical resection when the tumour remains localised in the stomach. Conventional chemotherapy may play a role in treating micrometastatic disease and is effective as palliative therapy for recurrent or advanced disease. However, the knowledge of molecular pathways implicated in gastric cancer pathogenesis is still in its infancy and the contribution of molecular biology to the development of new targeted therapies in gastric cancer is far behind other more common cancers such as breast, colon or lung. This review will focus first on the difference of two well defined types of gastric cancer: intestinal and diffuse. A discussion of the cell of origin of gastric cancer with some intriguing data implicating bone marrow derived cells will follow, and a comprehensive review of different genetic alterations detected in gastric cancer, underlining those that may have clinical, therapeutic or prognostic implications.

  10. Synthetic biology and its alternatives. Descartes, Kant and the idea of engineering biological machines.

    PubMed

    Kogge, Werner; Richter, Michael

    2013-06-01

    The engineering-based approach of synthetic biology is characterized by an assumption that 'engineering by design' enables the construction of 'living machines'. These 'machines', as biological machines, are expected to display certain properties of life, such as adapting to changing environments and acting in a situated way. This paper proposes that a tension exists between the expectations placed on biological artefacts and the notion of producing such systems by means of engineering; this tension makes it seem implausible that biological systems, especially those with properties characteristic of living beings, can in fact be produced using the specific methods of engineering. We do not claim that engineering techniques have nothing to contribute to the biotechnological construction of biological artefacts. However, drawing on Descartes's and Kant's thinking on the relationship between the organism and the machine, we show that it is considerably more plausible to assume that distinctively biological artefacts emerge within a paradigm different from the paradigm of the Cartesian machine that underlies the engineering approach. We close by calling for increased attention to be paid to approaches within molecular biology and chemistry that rest on conceptions different from those of synthetic biology's engineering paradigm. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Molecular engineering of polymersome surface topology.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Prescribing diatom morphology: toward genetic engineering of biological nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    Kröger, Nils

    2007-12-01

    The formation of inorganic materials with complex form is a widespread biological phenomenon (biomineralization). Among the most spectacular examples of biomineralization is the production by diatoms (a group of eukaryotic microalgae) of intricately nanopatterned to micropatterned cell walls made of silica (SiO2). Understanding the molecular mechanisms of diatom silica biomineralization is not only a fundamental biological problem, but also of great interest in materials engineering, as the biological self-assembly of three-dimensional (3D) inorganic nanomaterials has no man-made analog. Recently, insight into the molecular mechanism of diatom silica formation has been obtained by structural and functional analysis of biomolecules that are involved in this process. Furthermore, the rapid development of diatom molecular genetics has provided new tools for investigating the silica forming machinery of diatoms and for manipulating silica biogenesis. This has opened the door for the production, through genetic engineering, of unique 3D nanomaterials with designed structures and functionalities.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Photoactive molecules for applications in molecular imaging and cell biology.

    PubMed

    Shao, Qing; Xing, Bengang

    2010-08-01

    Photoactive technology has proven successful for non-invasive regulation of biological activities and processes in living cells. With the light-directed generation of biomaterials or signals, mechanisms in cell biology can be investigated at the molecular level with spatial and temporal resolution. In this tutorial review, we aim to introduce the important applications of photoactive molecules for elucidating cell biology on aspects of protein engineering, fluorescence labelling, gene regulation and cell physiological functions.

  16. Enabling plant synthetic biology through genome engineering.

    PubMed

    Baltes, Nicholas J; Voytas, Daniel F

    2015-02-01

    Synthetic biology seeks to create new biological systems, including user-designed plants and plant cells. These systems can be employed for a variety of purposes, ranging from producing compounds of industrial or therapeutic value, to reducing crop losses by altering cellular responses to pathogens or climate change. To realize the full potential of plant synthetic biology, techniques are required that provide control over the genetic code - enabling targeted modifications to DNA sequences within living plant cells. Such control is now within reach owing to recent advances in the use of sequence-specific nucleases to precisely engineer genomes. We discuss here the enormous potential provided by genome engineering for plant synthetic biology.

  17. Molecular biomimetics: nanotechnology and bionanotechnology using genetically engineered peptides.

    PubMed

    Tamerler, Candan; Sarikaya, Mehmet

    2009-05-13

    Nature provides inspiration for designing materials and systems that derive their functions from highly organized structures. Biological hard tissues are hybrid materials having inorganics within a complex organic matrix, the molecular scaffold controlling the inorganic structures. Biocomposites incorporate both biomacromolecules such as proteins, lipids and polysaccharides, and inorganic materials, such as hydroxyapatite, silica, magnetite and calcite. The ordered organization of hierarchical structures in organisms begins via the molecular recognition of inorganics by proteins that control interactions and is followed by the highly efficient self-assembly across scales. Following the molecular biological principle, proteins could also be used in controlling materials formation in practical engineering via self-assembled, hybrid, functional materials structures. In molecular biomimetics, material-specific peptides could be the key in the molecular engineering of biology-inspired materials. With the recent developments of nanoscale engineering in physical sciences and the advances in molecular biology, we now combine genetic tools with synthetic nanoscale constructs to create a novel methodology. We first genetically select and/or design peptides with specific binding to functional solids, tailor their binding and assembly characteristics, develop bifunctional peptide/protein genetic constructs with both material binding and biological activity, and use these as molecular synthesizers, erectors and assemblers. Here, we give an overview of solid-binding peptides as novel molecular agents coupling bio- and nanotechnology.

  18. Biological networks: the tinkerer as an engineer.

    PubMed

    Alon, U

    2003-09-26

    This viewpoint comments on recent advances in understanding the design principles of biological networks. It highlights the surprising discovery of "good-engineering" principles in biochemical circuitry that evolved by random tinkering.

  19. 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.

  20. Engineering reduced evolutionary potential for synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Renda, Brian A; Hammerling, Michael J; Barrick, Jeffrey E

    2014-07-01

    The field of synthetic biology seeks to engineer reliable and predictable behaviors in organisms from collections of standardized genetic parts. However, unlike other types of machines, genetically encoded biological systems are prone to changes in their designed sequences due to mutations in their DNA sequences after these devices are constructed and deployed. Thus, biological engineering efforts can be confounded by undesired evolution that rapidly breaks the functions of parts and systems, particularly when they are costly to the host cell to maintain. Here, we explain the fundamental properties that determine the evolvability of biological systems. Then, we use this framework to review current efforts to engineer the DNA sequences that encode synthetic biology devices and the genomes of their microbial hosts to reduce their ability to evolve and therefore increase their genetic reliability so that they maintain their intended functions over longer timescales.

  1. Molecular biology of weed control.

    PubMed

    Gressel, J

    2000-01-01

    The vast commercial effort to utilize chemical and molecular tools to solve weed control problems has had a major impact on the basic biological sciences as well as benefits to agriculture, and the first generation of transgenic products has been successful, while somewhat crude. More sophisticated products are envisaged and expected. Biotechnologically-derived herbicide-resistant crops have been a considerable benefit, yet in some cases there is a risk that the same useful transgenes may introgress into related weeds, specifically the weeds that are hardest to control without such transgenic crops. Biotechnology can also be used to mitigate the risks. Molecular tools should be considered for weed control without the use of, or with less chemicals, whether by enhancing crop competitiveness with weeds for light, nutrients and water, or via allelochemicals. Biocontrol agents may become more effective as well as more safe when rendered hypervirulent yet non-spreading by biotechnology. There might be ways to disperse deleterious transposons throughout weed populations, obviating the need to modify the crops.

  2. Synthetic biology approaches to engineer T cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Molecular biology for the pediatric surgeon.

    PubMed

    Boulanger, S C; Caty, M G; Glick, P L

    1999-06-01

    Molecular biology is leading a revolution in our understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of disease and will continue to do so. Medicine in the future will require a greater understanding of this field and its methods by medical practitioners. This report reviews the basic aspects of the field including recombinant DNA methods. Of particular importance is how molecular biology will impact pediatric surgeons. Accordingly, the final section of this report briefly reviews the molecular biology of three diseases commonly treated by pediatric surgeons.

  5. 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.

  6. An engineering design approach to systems biology.

    PubMed

    Janes, Kevin A; Chandran, Preethi L; Ford, Roseanne M; Lazzara, Matthew J; Papin, Jason A; Peirce, Shayn M; Saucerman, Jeffrey J; Lauffenburger, Douglas A

    2017-07-17

    Measuring and modeling the integrated behavior of biomolecular-cellular networks is central to systems biology. Over several decades, systems biology has been shaped by quantitative biologists, physicists, mathematicians, and engineers in different ways. However, the basic and applied versions of systems biology are not typically distinguished, which blurs the separate aspirations of the field and its potential for real-world impact. Here, we articulate an engineering approach to systems biology, which applies educational philosophy, engineering design, and predictive models to solve contemporary problems in an age of biomedical Big Data. A concerted effort to train systems bioengineers will provide a versatile workforce capable of tackling the diverse challenges faced by the biotechnological and pharmaceutical sectors in a modern, information-dense economy.

  7. Molecular biology of lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Wendy A; Lam, David C L; O'Toole, Sandra A; Minna, John D

    2013-10-01

    Lung cancers are characterised by abundant genetic diversity with relatively few recurrent mutations occurring at high frequency. However, the genetic alterations often affect a common group of oncogenic signalling pathways. There have been vast improvements in our understanding of the molecular biology that underpins lung cancer in recent years and this has led to a revolution in the diagnosis and treatment of lung adenocarcinomas (ADC) based on the genotype of an individual's tumour. New technologies are identifying key and potentially targetable genetic aberrations not only in adenocarcinoma but also in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung. Lung cancer mutations have been identified in v-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), BRAF and the parallel phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway oncogenes and more recently in MEK and HER2 while structural rearrangements in ALK, ROS1 and possibly rearranged during transfection (RET) provide new therapeutic targets. Amplification is another mechanism of activation of oncogenes such as MET in adenocarcinoma, fibroblastgrowth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) and discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) in SCC. Intriguingly, many of these genetic alternations are associated with smoking status and with particular racial and gender differences, which may provide insight into the mechanisms of carcinogenesis and role of host factors in lung cancer development and progression. The role of tumour suppressor genes is increasingly recognised with aberrations reported in TP53, PTEN, RB1, LKB11 and p16/CDKN2A. Identification of biologically significant genetic alterations in lung cancer that lead to activation of oncogenes and inactivation of tumour suppressor genes has the potential to provide further therapeutic opportunities. It is hoped that these discoveries may make a major contribution to improving outcome for patients with this poor prognosis disease.

  8. Forming and maintaining a heat engine for quantum biology.

    PubMed

    Matsuno, Koichiro

    2006-07-01

    Chemical reactions upholding biological functions and structures are the process of measurement taking place among the participating chemical reactants. Chemical reactions occurring in thermal environments are either endothermic or exothermic. In particular, exothermic reactions that can live with temperature gradients of exogenous origin could potentially be competent enough to synthesize a robust quantum as a heat engine. Molecular organizations leading to the origin of the phenomenon of life might have been associated with the emergence of a quantum coherence embodied in a robust heat engine feeding on quantum decoherence. Evolutionary maintenance of a robust quantum heat engine, once appeared, can further be empowered by the build-up of temperature gradients of endogenous origin. Biology enriches the repertoire of quantum mechanics so as to include a robust heat engine as a legitimate member of a quantum in addition to the already established member of a quantum including an atom, molecule, and macromolecule.

  9. 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...

  10. Synthetic Biological Engineering of Photosynthesis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-11-16

    Patrick_Boyle, Edwin_Wintermute, Jeffrey_Way, Christina_Agapakis, Pamela_Silver. Insulation of a synthetic hydrogen metabolism circuit in bacteria , Journal...allowing for greater hydrogen yields and for dark fermentation of internal energy stores into hydrogen gas. These results proved our ability to connect...One of our overarching goals was to engineer photosynthetic bacteria to produce commodities. We had a number of successes with regard to fatty

  11. Synthetic biology through biomolecular design and engineering.

    PubMed

    Channon, Kevin; Bromley, Elizabeth H C; Woolfson, Derek N

    2008-08-01

    Synthetic biology is a rapidly growing field that has emerged in a global, multidisciplinary effort among biologists, chemists, engineers, physicists, and mathematicians. Broadly, the field has two complementary goals: To improve understanding of biological systems through mimicry and to produce bio-orthogonal systems with new functions. Here we review the area specifically with reference to the concept of synthetic biology space, that is, a hierarchy of components for, and approaches to generating new synthetic and functional systems to test, advance, and apply our understanding of biological systems. In keeping with this issue of Current Opinion in Structural Biology, we focus largely on the design and engineering of biomolecule-based components and systems.

  12. Molecular biomimetics: GEPI-based biological routes to technology.

    PubMed

    Tamerler, Candan; Khatayevich, Dmitriy; Gungormus, Mustafa; Kacar, Turgay; Oren, E Emre; Hnilova, Marketa; Sarikaya, Mehmet

    2010-01-01

    In nature, the viability of biological systems is sustained via specific interactions among the tens of thousands of proteins, the major building blocks of organisms from the simplest single-celled to the most complex multicellular species. Biomolecule-material interaction is accomplished with molecular specificity and efficiency leading to the formation of controlled structures and functions at all scales of dimensional hierarchy. Through evolution, Mother Nature developed molecular recognition by successive cycles of mutation and selection. Molecular specificity of probe-target interactions, e.g., ligand-receptor, antigen-antibody, is always based on specific peptide molecular recognition. Using biology as a guide, we can now understand, engineer, and control peptide-material interactions and exploit them as a new design tool for novel materials and systems. We adapted the protocols of combinatorially designed peptide libraries, via both cell surface or phage display methods; using these we select short peptides with specificity to a variety of practical materials. These genetically engineered peptides for inorganics (GEPI) are then studied experimentally to establish their binding kinetics and surface stability. The bound peptide structure and conformations are interrogated both experimentally and via modeling, and self-assembly characteristics are tested via atomic force microscopy. We further engineer the peptide binding and assembly characteristics using a computational biomimetics approach where bioinformatics based peptide-sequence similarity analysis is developed to design higher generation function-specific peptides. The molecular biomimetic approach opens up new avenues for the design and utilization of multifunctional molecular systems in a wide-range of applications from tissue engineering, disease diagnostics, and therapeutics to various areas of nanotechnology where integration is required among inorganic, organic and biological materials. Here, we

  13. [PROGRESS IN BIOLOGICAL TISSUE ENGINEERING SCAFFOLD MATERIALS].

    PubMed

    Wei, Xiaojuan; Xi, Tingfei; Zheng, Yufeng

    2014-06-01

    To analyze the progress in biological tissue engineering scaffold materials and the clinical application, as well as product development status. Based on extensive investigation in the status of research and application of biological tissue engineering scaffold materials, a comprehensive analysis was made. Meanwhile, a detailed analysis of research and product development was presented. Considerable progress has been achieved in research, products transformation, clinical application, and supervision of biological scaffold for tissue engineering. New directions, new technology, and new products are constantly emerging. With the continuous progress of science and technology and continuous improvement of life sciences theory, the new direction and new focus still need to be continuously adjusted in order to meet the clinical needs. From the aspect of industrial transformation feasibility, acellular scaffolds and extracellular matrix are the most promising new growth of both research and product development in this field.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Engineering colloidal assembly via biological adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiddessen, Amy Lynn

    Due to highly specialized recognition properties, biological receptor-ligand interactions offer valuable tools for engineering the assembly of novel colloidal materials. A unique sub-class of these macromolecules, called selectins, was exploited to develop binary suspensions where particles are programmed to associate reversibly or irreversibly via specific biomolecular cross-linking. Flow cytometry and videomicroscopy were used to examine factors controlling suspension assembly and structure, including biomolecular affinity and density, and individual and total particle volume fractions. By functionalizing small (RA = 0.47 mum) and larger (RB = 2.75 mum) particles with high surface densities of complementary E-selectin/sialyl Lewis X (sLeX) carbohydrate chemistry, a series of structures, from colloidal micelles (large particle coated with smaller particles) and clusters, to rings and elongated chains, was synthesized by decreasing the number ratio, NA/NB, of small (A) to large (B) particles (2 ≤ NA/NB ≤ 200) at low total volume fraction (10-4 ≤ φT ≤ 10-3 ). Using significantly lower surface densities, the low affinity binding between E-selectin and sLeX was exploited to create particles that interact reversibly, and average particle interaction lifetimes were tuned from minutes down to single selectin-carbohydrate bond lifetimes (≈1 s) by reducing sLeX density, a significant step toward assembling ordered microstructures. Particle binding lifetimes were analyzed with a receptor-ligand binding model, yielding estimates for molecular parameters, including on rate, 10-2 s-1 < kon < 10-1 s-1, and unstressed off rate, 0.25 s-1 ≤ kor ≤ 1.0 s-1, that characterize the docking dynamics of particles. Finally, at significantly higher volume fraction (φ T ≥ 10-1) and low number ratio, the rheology of space-filling networks crosslinked by high affinity streptavidin-biotin chemistry was probed to acquire knowledge on bulk properties of biocolloidal suspensions

  19. Addressing biological uncertainties in engineering gene circuits.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Carolyn; Tsoi, Ryan; You, Lingchong

    2016-04-18

    Synthetic biology has grown tremendously over the past fifteen years. It represents a new strategy to develop biological understanding and holds great promise for diverse practical applications. Engineering of a gene circuit typically involves computational design of the circuit, selection of circuit components, and test and optimization of circuit functions. A fundamental challenge in this process is the predictable control of circuit function due to multiple layers of biological uncertainties. These uncertainties can arise from different sources. We categorize these uncertainties into incomplete quantification of parts, interactions between heterologous components and the host, or stochastic dynamics of chemical reactions and outline potential design strategies to minimize or exploit them.

  20. 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.

  1. Homology in classical and molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Patterson, C

    1988-11-01

    Hypotheses of homology are the basis of comparative morphology and comparative molecular biology. The kinds of homologous and nonhomologous relations in classical and molecular biology are explored through the three tests that may be applied to a hypothesis of homology: congruence, conjunction, and similarity. The same three tests apply in molecular comparisons and in morphology, and in each field they differentiate eight kinds of relation. These various relations are discussed and compared. The unit or standard of comparison differs in morphology and in molecular biology; in morphology it is the adult or life cycle, but with molecules it is the haploid genome. In morphology the congruence test is decisive in separating homology and nonhomology, whereas with molecular sequence data similarity is the decisive test. Consequences of this difference are that the boundary between homology and nonhomology is not the same in molecular biology as in morphology, that homology and synapomorphy can be equated in morphology but not in all molecular comparisons, and that there is no detected molecular equivalent of convergence. Since molecular homology may reflect either species phylogeny or gene phylogeny, there are more kinds of homologous relation between molecular sequences than in morphology. The terms paraxenology and plerology are proposed for two of these kinds--respectively, the consequence of multiple xenology and of gene conversion.

  2. Molecular biology of lung cancer: clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Jill E; Minna, John D

    2011-12-01

    Lung cancer is a heterogeneous disease clinically, biologically, histologically, and molecularly. Understanding the molecular causes of this heterogeneity, which might reflect changes occurring in different classes of epithelial cells or different molecular changes occurring in the same target lung epithelial cells, is the focus of current research. Identifying the genes and pathways involved, determining how they relate to the biological behavior of lung cancer, and their utility as diagnostic and therapeutic targets are important basic and translational research issues. This article reviews current information on the key molecular steps in lung cancer pathogenesis, their timing, and clinical implications. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Integrating molecular biology into the veterinary curriculum.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Marion T; Sweeney, Torres

    2007-01-01

    The modern discipline of molecular biology is gaining increasing relevance in the field of veterinary medicine. This trend must be reflected in the curriculum if veterinarians are to capitalize on opportunities arising from this field and direct its development toward their own goals as a profession. This review outlines current applications of molecular-based technologies that are relevant to the veterinary profession. In addition, the current techniques and technologies employed within the field of molecular biology are discussed. Difficulties associated with teaching a subject such as molecular biology within a veterinary curriculum can be alleviated by effectively integrating molecular topics throughout the curriculum, pitching the subject at an appropriate depth, and employing varied teaching methods throughout.

  7. Synthetic biology in cyanobacteria engineering and analyzing novel functions.

    PubMed

    Heidorn, Thorsten; Camsund, Daniel; Huang, Hsin-Ho; Lindberg, Pia; Oliveira, Paulo; Stensjö, Karin; Lindblad, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are the only prokaryotes capable of using sunlight as their energy, water as an electron donor, and air as a source of carbon and, for some nitrogen-fixing strains, nitrogen. Compared to algae and plants, cyanobacteria are much easier to genetically engineer, and many of the standard biological parts available for Synthetic Biology applications in Escherichia coli can also be used in cyanobacteria. However, characterization of such parts in cyanobacteria reveals differences in performance when compared to E. coli, emphasizing the importance of detailed characterization in the cellular context of a biological chassis. Furthermore, cyanobacteria possess special characteristics (e.g., multiple copies of their chromosomes, high content of photosynthetically active proteins in the thylakoids, the presence of exopolysaccharides and extracellular glycolipids, and the existence of a circadian rhythm) that have to be taken into account when genetically engineering them. With this chapter, the synthetic biologist is given an overview of existing biological parts, tools and protocols for the genetic engineering, and molecular analysis of cyanobacteria for Synthetic Biology applications. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Systems biology: the role of engineering in the reverse engineering of biological signaling.

    PubMed

    Iglesias, Pablo A

    2013-05-31

    One of the principle tasks of systems biology has been the reverse engineering of signaling networks. Because of the striking similarities to engineering systems, a number of analysis and design tools from engineering disciplines have been used in this process. This review looks at several examples including the analysis of homeostasis using control theory, the attenuation of noise using signal processing, statistical inference and the use of information theory to understand both binary decision systems and the response of eukaryotic chemotactic cells.

  9. Molecular biology of nuclear autoantigens.

    PubMed

    Saitta, M R; Keene, J D

    1992-05-01

    This article provides a historical overview of the application of molecular and immunologic techniques to the analysis of autoantigenic structure and function, as well as to autoantibody recognition of protein and nucleic acid autoantigens. Examples presented here illustrate the role of autoantibodies as tools in the elucidation of the autoimmune components of cellular ribonucleoproteins. In turn, the subsequent molecular dissection of autoantigenic ribonucleoproteins has advanced understanding of autoantibody specificities. The nature of autoantibodies reactive with various proteins and nucleic acids will be the subject of the following articles in this issue. Taken together, these studies of antibody-antigen interactions that arise during the autoimmune response have revealed novel mechanisms of molecular recognition within the RNP autoantigens. These findings are of general importance for understanding basic cellular processes and have contributed to our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of immunoregulatory abnormalities that arise in autoimmune diseases.

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. Glycan Engineering for Cell and Developmental Biology.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Matthew E; Hsieh-Wilson, Linda C

    2016-01-21

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Emerging molecular approaches in stem cell biology.

    PubMed

    Jaishankar, Amritha; Vrana, Kent

    2009-04-01

    Stem cells are characterized by their ability to self-renew and differentiate into multiple adult cell types. Although substantial progress has been made over the last decade in understanding stem cell biology, recent technological advances in molecular and systems biology may hold the key to unraveling the mystery behind stem cell self-renewal and plasticity. The most notable of these advances is the ability to generate induced pluripotent cells from somatic cells. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of molecular similarities and differences among various stem cell types. Moreover, we survey the current state of systems biology and forecast future needs and direction in the stem cell field.

  16. 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

  17. [Physical methods and molecular biology].

    PubMed

    Serdiuk, I N

    2009-01-01

    The review is devoted to the description of the current state of physical and chemical methods used for studying the structural and functional bases of living processes. Special attention is focused on the physical methods that have opened a new page in the research of the structure of biological macromolecules. They include primarily the methods of detecting and manipulating single molecules using optical and magnetic traps. New physical methods, such as two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and magnetic resonance microscopy are also analyzed briefly in the review. The path that physics and biology have passed for the latest 55 years shows that there is no single method providing all necessary information on macromolecules and their interactions. Each method provides its space-time view of the system. All physical methods are complementary. It is just complementarity that is the fundamental idea justifying the existence in practice of all physical methods, whose description is the aim of the review.

  18. Singlet molecular oxygen generated by biological hydroperoxides.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-05

    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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Molecular biology of pancreatic cancer

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21734801

  2. BIOLOGICAL FORMATION OF MOLECULAR HYDROGEN.

    PubMed

    GRAY, C T; GEST, H

    1965-04-09

    From a general standpoint, the formation of molecular hydrogen can be considered a device for disposal of electrons released in metabolic oxidations. We presume that this means of performing anaerobic oxidations is of ancient origin and that the hydrogen-evolving system of strict anaerobes represents a primitive form of cytochrome oxidase, which in aerobes effects the terminal step of respiration, namely the disposal of electrons by combination with molecular oxygen. We further assume that the original pattern of reactions leading to H(2) production has become modified in various ways (with respect to both mechanisms and functions) during the course of biochemical evolution, and we believe that this point of view suggests profitable approaches for clarifying a number of problems in the intermediary metabolism of microorganisms which produce or utilize H(2). Of special general importance in this connection is the basic problem of defining more precisely the fundamental elements in the regulatory control of anaerobic energy metabolism. Among the more specific aspects awaiting further elucidation are: the relations between formation of H(2) and use of H(2) as a primary reductant for biosynthetic purposes; the various forms of direct and indirect interactions between hydrogenase and N(2) reduction systems; and the transitional stages between anaerobic and aerobic energy-metabolism patterns of facultative organisms.

  3. [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).

  4. Biological spectra analysis: Linking biological activity profiles to molecular structure

    PubMed Central

    Fliri, Anton F.; Loging, William T.; Thadeio, Peter F.; Volkmann, Robert A.

    2005-01-01

    Establishing quantitative relationships between molecular structure and broad biological effects has been a longstanding challenge in science. Currently, no method exists for forecasting broad biological activity profiles of medicinal agents even within narrow boundaries of structurally similar molecules. Starting from the premise that biological activity results from the capacity of small organic molecules to modulate the activity of the proteome, we set out to investigate whether descriptor sets could be developed for measuring and quantifying this molecular property. Using a 1,567-compound database, we show that percent inhibition values, determined at single high drug concentration in a battery of in vitro assays representing a cross section of the proteome, provide precise molecular property descriptors that identify the structure of molecules. When broad biological activity of molecules is represented in spectra form, organic molecules can be sorted by quantifying differences between biological spectra. Unlike traditional structure–activity relationship methods, sorting of molecules by using biospectra comparisons does not require knowledge of a molecule's putative drug targets. To illustrate this finding, we selected as starting point the biological activity spectra of clotrimazole and tioconazole because their putative target, lanosterol demethylase (CYP51), was not included in the bioassay array. Spectra similarity obtained through profile similarity measurements and hierarchical clustering provided an unbiased means for establishing quantitative relationships between chemical structures and biological activity spectra. This methodology, which we have termed biological spectra analysis, provides the capability not only of sorting molecules on the basis of biospectra similarity but also of predicting simultaneous interactions of new molecules with multiple proteins. PMID:15625110

  5. Molecular biology of epilepsy genes.

    PubMed

    Williams, Charles A; Battaglia, Agatino

    2013-06-01

    Multifactorial inheritance is the most important model accounting for the genetic behavior of the common epilepsies. Important to this model is the concept that many cumulative or synergistic risk genes ultimately lead to a threshold effect. Sophisticated molecular testing indicates that the common epilepsies are very polygenic without evidence of any single gene having even a mild-to-modest risk effect. However, enrichment of copy number variants in cohorts of individuals with epilepsy indicates that certain structural changes in the genome can confer significant risk for epilepsy. The mechanisms whereby copy number variants confer this effect are not yet known. The study of epilepsy due to single gene defects however has helped clarify certain seizure mechanisms. For example, discoveries using animal models of SCN1A or ARX mutations implicate a predominant role for interneurons due to disturbed GABAergic function. It is hoped that future genetic and neurobiological studies will provide better insight into how multiple genes contribute to the common epilepsies.

  6. 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

  7. Physics and the origins of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Holliday, Robin

    2006-08-01

    Bohr, Delbrück and Schrödinger were physicists who had important influences on biology in the second half of the twentieth century. They thought that future studies of the gene might reveal new principles or paradoxes, analogous to the wave/particle paradox of light propagation, or even new physical laws. This stimulated several physicists to enter the field of biology. Delbrück founded the bacteriophage group which provided one of the roots of molecular biology. Another was X-ray crystallography which led to the discovery of DNA structure. The strength and success of molecular biology came from the many interactions between geneticists, physicists, chemists and biochemists. It was also characterized by a powerful combination of theoretical and experimental approaches.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Molecular trafficking in tissue engineered cartilage constructs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Rosa, Enrica

    2005-03-01

    Tissue processing in vitro requires an effective trafficking of biologically active agents within three-dimensional constructs for induction of appropriate and enhanced cellular growth, biosynthesis and tissue remodeling. Moreover, nutrients and waste products need to move freely through the cellular constructs to minimize the presence of regions with necrotic and/or apoptotic cells. In tissue-engineered cartilage, for example, during the time of culture, cells seeded within the three-dimensional constructs lay-down their own extracellular matrix and this may lead to a heterogeneous distribution of transport properties both in time and space. In this work the diffusion coefficient of BSA and 500kDa dextran has been measured with FRAP thecnique in agarose gel chondrocytes constructs at different position and time during the culture. The diffusion coefficient of both molecular probes within the developing tissue well correlated with the ECM production and assembly. Moreover the comparision between BSA and dextran transport parameters revealed a selective hindrance effect of the neo tissue on high interacting molecules.

  13. Dictyostelium discoideum: Molecular approaches to cell biology

    SciTech Connect

    Spudich, J.A.

    1987-01-01

    The central point of this book is to present Dictyostelium as a valuable eukaryotic organism for those interested in molecular studies that require a combined biochemical, structural, and genetic approach. The book is not meant to be a comprehensive compilation of all methods involving Dictyostelium, but instead is a selective set of chapters that demonstrates the utility of the organism for molecular approaches to interesting cell biological problems.

  14. Biological (Molecular and Cellular) Markers of Toxicity.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-12-15

    other mammals (Farber, 1987). Therefore, if we are to understand in any depth the processes by which environnental chemicals exhibit genotoxicity ... effectiveness to detect and quantitate biological responses at the molecular level to the action of genotoxic agenst. Particular emphasis was placed on the...Task 3. The short-term responses of the molecular markers as suitable biomarkers to estimate exposure and predict cellular effects to genotoxic

  15. Molecular Biology and Physiology of Methanogenic Archaebacteria

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-06-27

    study the biochemistry, genetics , and molecular biology of the thermophilic autotroph Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum. DNA from antimetabolite...pH 7) [6]. A putatively anabolic enzyme converted to a catabolic role would be of interest. IV. Prospects. A basis for progress in the genetics and...which will be pursued and described. New molecular techniques, such as additive transformation, can be applied to our genetic system. 11 Our

  16. Recent advances in engineering polyvalent biological interactions.

    PubMed

    Varner, Chad T; Rosen, Tania; Martin, Jacob T; Kane, Ravi S

    2015-01-12

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Phair, Robert D

    2014-11-05

    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.

  2. Book review: Baculovirus Molecular Biology, Second Edition

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The application of cell culture and molecular biology methodologies to the study of baculoviruses has resulted in an explosion of information on this group of insect pathogens. The quantity of the corresponding literature on baculoviruses has reached a level difficult for any one researcher to mast...

  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. Rabies vaccine. Developments employing molecular biology methods.

    PubMed

    Paolazzi, C C; Pérez, O; De Filippo, J

    1999-04-01

    Rabies vaccines produced by means of molecular biology are described. Recombinant vaccines employing either viruses as vectors (vaccinia, adenovirus, poxvirus, baculovirus, plant viruses) or a plasmid vector carrying the rabies virus glycoprotein gene are discussed. Synthetic peptide technology directed to rabies vaccine production is also presented.

  5. Molecular Biology and Prevention of Endometrial Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-07-01

    of the oral contraceptive pill (OCP). Project 1: Objectives completed and data previously submitted with 2004 report. Data published this past year...molecular aberrations associated with endometrial carcinogenesis and the biologic mechanisms underlying the protective effect of oral contraceptive (OC...not been altered appreciably. Despite the known protective effect of oral contraceptives , little has been learned regarding the underlying mechanism

  6. 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.

  7. [Endophenotypes: the molecular biology point of view].

    PubMed

    Belzeaux, R; Ibrahim, E C; Cermolacce, M; Fakra, E; Azorin, J M

    2012-12-01

    Endophenotypes are proposed for a better understanding of the molecular substrate underlying psychiatric disorders vulnerability. In this review, we discuss key points of the definition of endophenotypes from the molecular biology point of view. First, we examine the concept of heritability of endophenotype, which does not directly explain the molecular mechanisms responsible for the studied disorder Indeed, we discuss the necessity to better decipher the functional role of polymorphisms associated to endophenotypes, especially if those endophenotypes would be assigned a clinical and biological value. The complexity of endophenotypes definition and use in psychiatric research is also illustrated by the complexity of the human genome organization and gene networks as well as by the gene x environment interactions and also the possible existence of phenocopies.

  8. Application of molecular modeling to biological processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowrey, Alfred H.; Famini, George R.; Wick, Charles

    1993-07-01

    Detailed understanding of the molecular basis for biological processes is now available through computational modeling techniques. Advances in computational algorithms and technology allow applications to large biological macromolecules and permits the study of such problems as binding mechanisms, chemical reactivity, structural and conformational effects, and simulations of molecular motions. Recent crystallographic data provides access to detailed structural information that allows analysis and comparison of various computational techniques. Preliminary semiempirical studies on N-acetylneuraminic acid are presented as an example of computational studies on binding mechanisms. N-acetylneuraminic acid is a substituted carbohydrate, which is a recognition site for binding of proteins (i.e., cholera toxin). These calculations provide some insight into electronic effects on bin in a crystal complex and the effect of the molecular charge on hydrogen bonding the crystal complex.

  9. Parts plus pipes: synthetic biology approaches to metabolic engineering

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Patrick M.; Silver, Pamela A.

    2011-01-01

    Synthetic biologists combine modular biological “parts” to create higher-order devices. Metabolic engineers construct biological “pipes” by optimizing the microbial conversion of basic substrates to desired compounds. Many scientists work at the intersection of these two philosophies, employing synthetic devices to enhance metabolic engineering efforts. These integrated approaches promise to do more than simply improve product yields; they can expand the array of products that are tractable to produce biologically. In this review, we explore the application of synthetic biology techniques to next-generation metabolic engineering challenges, as well as the emerging engineering principles for biological design. PMID:22037345

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Reverse engineering the embryo: a graduate course in developmental biology for engineering students at the University of Manitoba, Canada.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Richard; Melvin, Cameron A

    2003-01-01

    Our desire to educate engineers to be able to understand the component processes of embryogenesis, is driven by the notion that only when principles borrowed from mathematics, fluid mechanics, materials science, etc. are applied to classical problems in developmental biology, will sufficient comprehension be achieved to permit successful understanding and therapeutic manipulation of embryos. As it now stands, biologists seldom possess either skills or interest in those areas of endeavor. Thus, we have determined that it is easier to educate engineers in the principles of developmental biology than to help biologists deal with the complexities of engineering. We describe a graduate course that has been taken, between 1999 and 2002, by 17 engineering students. Our goal is to prepare them to reverse engineer the embryo, i.e., to look at it as an object or process whose construction, albeit self-construction, might be explicable in terms of engineering principles applied at molecular, cellular and whole embryo levels.

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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 biology research in neuropsychiatry: India's contribution.

    PubMed

    Sathyanarayana Rao, T S; Ramesh, B N; Vasudevaraju, P; Rao, K S J

    2010-01-01

    Neuropsychiatric disorders represent the second largest cause of morbidity worldwide. These disorders have complex etiology and patho-physiology. The major lacunae in the biology of the psychiatric disorders include genomics, biomarkers and drug discovery, for the early detection of the disease, and have great application in the clinical management of disease. Indian psychiatrists and scientists played a significant role in filling the gaps. The present annotation provides in depth information related to research contributions on the molecular biology research in neuropsychiatric disorders in India. There is a great need for further research in this direction as to understand the genetic association of the neuropsychiatric disorders; molecular biology has a tremendous role to play. The alterations in gene expression are implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including drug addiction and depression. The development of transgenic neuropsychiatric animal models is of great thrust areas. No studies from India in this direction. Biomarkers in neuropsychiatric disorders are of great help to the clinicians for the early diagnosis of the disorders. The studies related to gene-environment interactions, DNA instability, oxidative stress are less studied in neuropsychiatric disorders and making efforts in this direction will lead to pioneers in these areas of research in India. In conclusion, we provided an insight for future research direction in molecular understanding of neuropsychiatry disorders.

  1. Discovering the intelligence in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Uberbacher, E

    1995-12-01

    The Third International Conference on Intelligent Systems in Molecular Biology was truly an outstanding event. Computational methods in molecular biology have reached a new level of maturity and utility, resulting in many high-impact applications. The success of this meeting bodes well for the rapid and continuing development of computational methods, intelligent systems and information-based approaches for the biosciences. The basic technology, originally most often applied to 'feasibility' problems, is now dealing effectively with the most difficult real-world problems. Significant progress has been made in understanding protein-structure information, structural classification, and how functional information and the relevant features of active-site geometry can be gleaned from structures by automated computational approaches. The value and limits of homology-based methods, and the ability to classify proteins by structure in the absence of homology, have reached a new level of sophistication. New methods for covariation analysis in the folding of large structures such as RNAs have shown remarkably good results, indicating the long-term potential to understand very complicated molecules and multimolecular complexes using computational means. Novel methods, such as HMMs, context-free grammars and the uses of mutual information theory, have taken center stage as highly valuable tools in our quest to represent and characterize biological information. A focus on creative uses of intelligent systems technologies and the trend toward biological application will undoubtedly continue and grow at the 1996 ISMB meeting in St Louis.

  2. 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.

  3. Toward metabolic engineering in the context of system biology and synthetic biology: advances and prospects.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanfeng; Shin, Hyun-dong; Li, Jianghua; Liu, Long

    2015-02-01

    Metabolic engineering facilitates the rational development of recombinant bacterial strains for metabolite overproduction. Building on enormous advances in system biology and synthetic biology, novel strategies have been established for multivariate optimization of metabolic networks in ensemble, spatial, and dynamic manners such as modular pathway engineering, compartmentalization metabolic engineering, and metabolic engineering guided by genome-scale metabolic models, in vitro reconstitution, and systems and synthetic biology. Herein, we summarize recent advances in novel metabolic engineering strategies. Combined with advancing kinetic models and synthetic biology tools, more efficient new strategies for improving cellular properties can be established and applied for industrially important biochemical production.

  4. Engineering controllable bidirectional molecular motors based on myosin.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-19

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Bacterial Genome Engineering and Synthetic Biology: Combating Pathogens

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-11-04

    Bacterial chromosomal modifications have greatly aided in better comprehension of bacterial mechanisms of pathogenesis and virulence. Among the genome...1 Bacterial Genome Engineering and Synthetic Biology: Combating Pathogens 1Malathy Krishnamurthy, 1Richard T. Moore, 1Sathish Rajamani, 1Rekha G...resistance in bacteria. Research The advent of new bacterial genome engineering and synthetic biology (SB) tools is providing promising diagnostic

  9. Engineering for the 21st century: synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Munnelly, Kevin

    2013-05-17

    For years, scientists have hoped that biology would find its engineering counterpart--a series of principles that could be used as reliably as chemical engineering is for chemistry. Thanks to major advances in synthetic biology, those hopes may soon be realized.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 2009 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism & Molecular Biology GRC

    SciTech Connect

    Furlow, Julie Maupin-

    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.

  13. The Molecular Biology of Brain Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Rahmathulla, Gazanfar; Toms, Steven A.; Weil, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    Metastasis to the central nervous system (CNS) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with systemic cancers. Various crucial interactions between the brain environment and tumor cells take place during the development of the cancer at its new location. The rapid expansion in molecular biology and genetics has advanced our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms involved, from invasion to final colonization of new organ tissues. Understanding the various events occurring at each stage should enable targeted drug delivery and individualized treatments for patients, with better outcomes and fewer side effects. This paper summarizes the principal molecular and genetic mechanisms that underlie the development of brain metastasis (BrM). PMID:22481931

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Traditional engineering in the biological century: the biotraditional engineer.

    PubMed

    Friedman, M H

    2001-12-01

    The increasing importance of life science in all engineering is prompting departments in the traditional engineering disciplines to offer life science as part of their curricula. Students who take advantage of this opportunity--"biotraditional engineers"--will be well positioned for careers in their discipline and in related areas of bioengineering. The founder engineering societies, such as the Bioengineering Division of ASME, are responding to this trend by broadening their scope and working increasingly across interdisciplinary borders.

  18. Protein design in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Pleiss, Jürgen

    2011-10-01

    Starting from experimental data on sequence, structure or biochemical properties of enzymes, protein design seeks to construct enzymes with desired activity, stability, specificity and selectivity. Two strategies are widely used to investigate sequence-structure-function relationships: statistical methods to analyse protein families or mutant libraries, and molecular modelling methods to study proteins and their interaction with ligands or substrates. On the basis of these methods, protein design has been successfully applied to fine-tune bottleneck enzymes in metabolic engineering and to design enzymes with new substrate spectra and new functions. However, constructing efficient metabolic pathways by integrating individual enzymes into a complex system is challenging. The field of synthetic biology is still in its infancy, but promising results have demonstrated the feasibility and usefulness of the concept.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. [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.

  2. The molecular biology of distraction osteogenesis.

    PubMed

    Bouletreau, Pierre J; Warren, Stephen M; Longaker, Michael T

    2002-02-01

    Distraction osteogenesis has become a mainstay in bone tissue engineering and has significantly improved our armamentarium for reconstructive craniomaxillofacial procedures. However, although 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, a rat model of mandibular distraction was described that provides an excellent environment for deciphering the molecular mechanisms that mediate distraction osteogenesis. This article presents the hypotheses and current research that have furthered 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-beta1, -beta2, -beta3, bone morphogenetic proteins, insulin-like growth factor-1, fibroblast growth factor-2) and extracellular matrix proteins (osteonectin, osteopontin) during distraction osteogenesis have been best characterized and are discussed in this article. It is believed that understanding the biomolecular mechanisms that mediate membranous distraction osteogenesis may guide the development of targeted strategies designed to improve distraction osteogenesis and accelerate bone healing.

  3. Rhabdomyosarcoma: Advances in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. IntegromeDB: an integrated system and biological search engine.

    PubMed

    Baitaluk, Michael; Kozhenkov, Sergey; Dubinina, Yulia; Ponomarenko, Julia

    2012-01-19

    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. 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. 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.

  6. Molecular biology of the peptide hormone families.

    PubMed

    Pearson, R K; Anderson, B; Dixon, J E

    1993-12-01

    The application of recombinant molecular biology has lead to remarkable advances in our understanding of the basic mechanisms of cell function in general and of the polarized GI endocrine cell in particular. This article focuses on some of the advances made towards determining the contribution of peptide hormone gene regulation to the regulation of physiological events in the GI tract. Application of these techniques to other subcellular processes involved in peptide hormone physiology such as subcellular trafficing in the regulated secretory pathway and post-translational processing have been equally impressive. For example, many of the key enzymes in the peptide hormone processing cascade have been cloned and are being studied at a molecular level. We have focused this article on the SS and gastrin peptides because of their known physiologic importance and interactions, and the depth of analysis accomplished to date. Studies using SS and gastrin as models have established principals that cover the spectrum of luminal regulation of gene activity to the identification of a single amino acid residue responsible for cAMP induction of SS gene expression. Many genes in the GI endocrine system have been cloned and the article by Dr. Habener (elsewhere in this issue) discusses progress made in understanding the complex regulation of the glucagon gene. We anticipate similar advances in studies of cholecystokinin, secretin, motilin, VIP, pancreatic polypeptide, and neuropeptide Y, whose genes have been cloned and initially characterized. Finally, as outlined in this article, the mechanisms of regulation of a specific gene often differ between sites of expression, even within the GI tract. Direct studies of the subcellular mechanisms regulating gene expression and other processes in GI endocrine cells await novel methods to maintain and propagate these cells. These studies will almost certainly involve new and creative uses of recombinant molecular biology.

  7. [Von Willebrand disease. Molecular biology and diagnosis].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Zamora, Edgar; Zavala-Hernández, Cesar; Quintana-González, Sandra; Reyes-Maldonado, Elba

    2015-01-01

    Von Willebrand disease is the most common inherited disorder of the coagulation proteins in humans. There are three types: 1, 2A, 2B, 2N, 2M and 3. It is associated with mutations on chromosome 12 in the region p13.2, encoding the von Willebrand factor (VWF), which is synthesized in endothelial cells and megakaryocytes. The VWF gene has been characterised using molecular biology techniques, which have acquired an important role in diagnosis von Willebrand disease, as well as in the investigation of alterations in other genes, which may be involved in regulating the synthesis, processing, and secretion of VWF. However, there are still no strategies to integrate the molecular biology diagnostic tests available. Analysis of VWF multimers is a methodology that meets the characteristics for diagnosis, but it is not easy to standardise. Considering that even in tertiary centres in our country, von Willebrand patients do not have a definitive diagnosis, it is necessary to implement these methodologies to study and improve diagnosis. Von Willebrand disease is highly heterogeneous due to the molecular mechanisms that produce the various clinical and laboratory phenotypes. In Mexico there are few studies related to this disease; therefore it is essential to conduct a comprehensive study including clinical, basic, and special testing laboratory tests, in order to establish a correct diagnosis, develop new therapeutic approaches, and offer the appropriate medical care and genetic counselling. Copyright © 2015 Academia Mexicana de Cirugía A.C. Published by Masson Doyma México S.A. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-02

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chia-Chou

    2013-10-11

    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.

  12. 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

  13. A plea for more theory in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Wolkenhauer, O; Mesarović, M; Wellstead, P

    2007-01-01

    The integrationist principles of systems theory have proven hugely successful in the physical sciences and engineering. It is an underlying assumption made in the systems approach to biology that they can also be used to understand biological phenomena at the level of an entire organism or organ. Within this holistic vision, the vast majority of systems biology research projects investigate phenomena at the level of the cell, with the belief that unifying principles established at the most basic level can establish a framework within which we may understand phenomena at higher levels of organization. In this spirit, and to use a celestial analogy, if a disease--effecting an organ or entire body--is our universe of discourse, then the cell is the star we gaze at. In building an understanding of disease and the effect of drugs, systems biology makes an implicit assumption about direct causal entailment between cell function and physiology. A skeptic might argue that this is about the same as trying to predict the world economy from observations made at a local supermarket. However, assuming for the moment that the money and hope we are investing in molecular biology, genomics, and systems biology is justified, how should this amazing intellectual achievement be possible? In this chapter we argue that an essential tool to progress is a systems theory that allows biological objects and their operational characteristics to be captured in a succinct yet general form. Armed with this conceptual framework, we construct mathematical representations of standard cellular and intercellular functions which can be integrated to describe more general processes of cell complexes, and potentially entire organs.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Opportunities for yeast metabolic engineering: Lessons from synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Siewers, Verena; Nielsen, Jens

    2011-03-01

    Constant progress in genetic engineering has given rise to a number of promising areas of research that facilitated the expansion of industrial biotechnology. The field of metabolic engineering, which utilizes genetic tools to manipulate microbial metabolism to enhance the production of compounds of interest, has had a particularly strong impact by providing new platforms for chemical production. Recent developments in synthetic biology promise to expand the metabolic engineering toolbox further by creating novel biological components for pathway design. The present review addresses some of the recent advances in synthetic biology and how these have the potential to affect metabolic engineering in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. While S. cerevisiae for years has been a robust industrial organism and the target of multiple metabolic engineering trials, its potential for synthetic biology has remained relatively unexplored and further research in this field could strongly contribute to industrial biotechnology. This review also addresses are general considerations for pathway design, ranging from individual components to regulatory systems, overall pathway considerations and whole-organism engineering, with an emphasis on potential contributions of synthetic biology to these areas. Some examples of applications for yeast synthetic biology and metabolic engineering are also discussed. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. 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,…

  18. 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,…

  19. Teaching cell and molecular biology for gender equity.

    PubMed

    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 science into science education may be the necessary first step in helping female students persist in STEM disciplines. In 2003 and 2004, a sophomore Cell and Molecular Biology course at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) was taught integrating social studies of science with standard material. The course was successfully implemented, teaching students factual content while increasing awareness of the cultures of science and their self-confidence in engaging with the subject. Course evaluation data indicated that females in particular perceived greater gains in logical thinking and problem-solving abilities than females in a traditional cell biology course. Consistent with K-12 studies, males in this class were likely to view scientists as male only, whereas females viewed scientists as male and female. This pilot project demonstrates that social studies can be integrated successfully in a cell biology course. Longitudinal studies of this cohort of students will indicate whether this approach contributes to the retention of women in the field.

  20. Teaching Cell and Molecular Biology for Gender Equity

    PubMed Central

    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 science into science education may be the necessary first step in helping female students persist in STEM disciplines. In 2003 and 2004, a sophomore Cell and Molecular Biology course at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) was taught integrating social studies of science with standard material. The course was successfully implemented, teaching students factual content while increasing awareness of the cultures of science and their self-confidence in engaging with the subject. Course evaluation data indicated that females in particular perceived greater gains in logical thinking and problem-solving abilities than females in a traditional cell biology course. Consistent with K–12 studies, males in this class were likely to view scientists as male only, whereas females viewed scientists as male and female. This pilot project demonstrates that social studies can be integrated successfully in a cell biology course. Longitudinal studies of this cohort of students will indicate whether this approach contributes to the retention of women in the field. PMID:17012214

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  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. Molecular biology of cantharidin in cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Rauh, Rolf; Kahl, Stefan; Boechzelt, Herbert; Bauer, Rudolf; Kaina, Bernd; Efferth, Thomas

    2007-07-04

    Herbal medicine is one of the forms of traditional medical practice. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and traditional Vietnamese medicine (TVM) are well-known for their long-standing tradition of herbal medicine. Secreted by many species of blister beetle, most notably by the 'Spanish fly' (Lytta vesicatoria), cantharidin inhibits protein phosphatases 1 and 2A (PP1, PP2A). Blister beetle has been used in Asian traditional medicine to treat Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) infections and associated warts, and is now also used for cancer treatment. A combination of both genomic and postgenomic techniques was used in our studies to identify candidate genes affecting sensitivity or resistance to cantharidin. Cantharidin was not found to be related to multidrug resistance phenotype, suggesting its potential usefulness for the treatment of refractory tumors. Oxidative stress response genes diminish the activity of cantharidin by inducing DNA strand breaks which may be subject to base excision repair and induce apoptosis in a p53- and Bcl2-dependent manner. Cantharidin is one of many natural products used in traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Vietnamese medicine for cancer treatment. Combined methods of pharmaceutical biology and molecular biology can help elucidate modes of action of these natural products.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Myeloproliferative neoplasms: Current molecular biology and genetics.

    PubMed

    Saeidi, Kolsoum

    2016-02-01

    Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are clonal disorders characterized by increased production of mature blood cells. Philadelphia chromosome-negative MPNs (Ph-MPNs) consist of polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF). A number of stem cell derived mutations have been identified in the past 10 years. These findings showed that JAK2V617F, as a diagnostic marker involving JAK2 exon 14 with a high frequency, is the best molecular characterization of Ph-MPNs. Somatic mutations in an endoplasmic reticulum chaperone, named calreticulin (CALR), is the second most common mutation in patients with ET and PMF after JAK2 V617F mutation. Discovery of CALR mutations led to the increased molecular diagnostic of ET and PMF up to 90%. It has been shown that JAK2V617F is not the unique event in disease pathogenesis. Some other genes' location such as TET oncogene family member 2 (TET2), additional sex combs-like 1 (ASXL1), casitas B-lineage lymphoma proto-oncogene (CBL), isocitrate dehydrogenase 1/2 (IDH1/IDH2), IKAROS family zinc finger 1 (IKZF1), DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A), suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS), enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), tumor protein p53 (TP53), runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) and high mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) have also identified to be involved in MPNs phenotypes. Here, current molecular biology and genetic mechanisms involved in MNPs with a focus on the aforementioned factors is presented.

  8. Genetics and molecular biology of deafness. Update.

    PubMed

    Grundfast, K M; Siparsky, N; Chuong, D

    2000-12-01

    This article discusses the latest research in the molecular biology and genetics of hearing impairment and its importance to otolaryngologists. Recent research has led to the discovery of many of the genes and gene products that are responsible for hereditary hearing impairment. State mandated screening of newborn infants for hearing loss ensures that a large number of hearing-impaired children will be detected at a very early age. Additionally, these children often will be referred to the otolaryngologist for evaluation of the hearing impairment. It is the otolaryngologist who must gather a detailed family history and perform a thorough physical examination to fully assess the cause of the hearing impairment. In taking the family history, it is important to note that the diagnosis of a hereditary hearing impairment often involves the evaluation of a large-sized family that has a history of hearing disorders. A history of an affected individual in a small family does not necessarily support a diagnosis of hearing impairment in later affected offspring because of the small sample size. Often, a hearing impairment that is part of a syndrome may not be detected because the physical findings associated with a syndrome are subtle in a young infant. For example, the white forelock seen in patients with Waardenburg's syndrome type I cannot be visualized in the infant who lacks hair. Additionally, some patients with syndromic hearing impairment do not present with physical findings, but rather they exhibit abnormal laboratory studies. Additional points to remember include the following: As infectious iatrogenic causes of hearing impairment decrease, the relative incidence of hereditary hearing impairment will increase. Hereditary hearing impairment can present as an isolated finding, or in association with a number of anomalies recognizable as a syndrome. The study of genetics and molecular biology has led to the identification of genes associated with hearing impairment

  9. 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.

  10. Synthetic biology: new engineering rules for an emerging discipline

    PubMed Central

    Andrianantoandro, Ernesto; Basu, Subhayu; Karig, David K; Weiss, Ron

    2006-01-01

    Synthetic biologists engineer complex artificial biological systems to investigate natural biological phenomena and for a variety of applications. We outline the basic features of synthetic biology as a new engineering discipline, covering examples from the latest literature and reflecting on the features that make it unique among all other existing engineering fields. We discuss methods for designing and constructing engineered cells with novel functions in a framework of an abstract hierarchy of biological devices, modules, cells, and multicellular systems. The classical engineering strategies of standardization, decoupling, and abstraction will have to be extended to take into account the inherent characteristics of biological devices and modules. To achieve predictability and reliability, strategies for engineering biology must include the notion of cellular context in the functional definition of devices and modules, use rational redesign and directed evolution for system optimization, and focus on accomplishing tasks using cell populations rather than individual cells. The discussion brings to light issues at the heart of designing complex living systems and provides a trajectory for future development. PMID:16738572

  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. Engineering the mechanical and biological properties of nanofibrous vascular grafts for in situ vascular tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Henry, Jeffrey J D; Yu, Jian; Wang, Aijun; Lee, Randall; Fang, Jun; Li, Song

    2017-08-17

    Synthetic small diameter vascular grafts have a high failure rate, and endothelialization is critical for preventing thrombosis and graft occlusion. A promising approach is in situ tissue engineering, whereby an acellular scaffold is implanted and provides stimulatory cues to guide the in situ remodeling into a functional blood vessel. An ideal scaffold should have sufficient binding sites for biomolecule immobilization and a mechanical property similar to native tissue. Here we developed a novel method to blend low molecular weight (LMW) elastic polymer during electrospinning process to increase conjugation sites and to improve the mechanical property of vascular grafts. LMW elastic polymer improved the elasticity of the scaffolds, and significantly increased the amount of heparin conjugated to the micro/nanofibrous scaffolds, which in turn increased the loading capacity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and prolonged the release of VEGF. Vascular grafts were implanted into the carotid artery of rats to evaluate the in vivo performance. VEGF treatment significantly enhanced endothelium formation and the overall patency of vascular grafts. Heparin coating also increased cell infiltration into the electrospun grafts, thus increasing the production of collagen and elastin within the graft wall. This work demonstrates that LMW elastic polymer blending is an approach to engineer the mechanical and biological property of micro/nanofibrous vascular grafts for in situ vascular tissue engineering.

  13. Biological and biomedical applications of engineered nucleases.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yunzhi; Xiao, Li; Li, Alice S S; Zhang, Xu; Sirois, Pierre; Zhang, Jia; Li, Kai

    2013-09-01

    The development of engineered nucleases is the fruit of a new technological approach developed in the last two decades which has led to significant benefits on genome engineering, particularly on gene therapy. These applications enable efficient and specific genetic modifications via the induction of a double-strand break (DSB) in a specific genomic target sequence, followed by the homology-directed repair (HDR) or non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) pathways. In addition to the application on gene modification in cells and intact organisms, a number of recent papers have reported that this gene editing technology can be applied effectively to human diseases. With the promising data obtained using engineered endonucleases in gene therapy, it appears reasonable to expect that more diseases could be treated and even be cured in this new era of individualized medicine. This paper first brief introduces the development of engineered nucleases with a special emphasis on zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector (TALE) nucleases (TALENs), and then takes CCR5-based gene therapy as an example to discuss the therapeutic applications of engineered nucleases.

  14. Synthetic Biology: Engineering Living Systems from Biophysical Principles.

    PubMed

    Bartley, Bryan A; Kim, Kyung; Medley, J Kyle; Sauro, Herbert M

    2017-03-28

    Synthetic biology was founded as a biophysical discipline that sought explanations for the origins of life from chemical and physical first principles. Modern synthetic biology has been reinvented as an engineering discipline to design new organisms as well as to better understand fundamental biological mechanisms. However, success is still largely limited to the laboratory and transformative applications of synthetic biology are still in their infancy. Here, we review six principles of living systems and how they compare and contrast with engineered systems. We cite specific examples from the synthetic biology literature that illustrate these principles and speculate on their implications for further study. To fully realize the promise of synthetic biology, we must be aware of life's unique properties. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Engineering RNA-binding proteins for biology.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu; Varani, Gabriele

    2013-08-01

    RNA-binding proteins play essential roles in the regulation of gene expression. Many have modular structures and combine relatively few common domains in various arrangements to recognize RNA sequences and/or structures. Recent progress in engineering the specificity of the PUF class RNA-binding proteins has shown that RNA-binding domains may be combined with various effector or functional domains to regulate the metabolism of targeted RNAs. Designer RNA-binding proteins with tailored sequence specificity will provide valuable tools for biochemical research as well as potential therapeutic applications. In this review, we discuss the suitability of various RNA-binding domains for engineering RNA-binding specificity, based on the structural basis for their recognition. We also compare various protein engineering and design methods applied to RNA-binding proteins, and discuss future applications of these proteins.

  16. Molecular thermodynamics for food science and engineering.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Phuong-Mai; Guiga, Wafa; Vitrac, Olivier

    2016-10-01

    We argue that thanks to molecular modeling approaches, many thermodynamic properties required in Food Science and Food Engineering will be calculable within a few hours from first principles in a near future. These new possibilities will enable to bridge via multiscale modeling composition, process and storage effects to reach global optimization, innovative concepts for food or its packaging. An outlook of techniques and a series of examples are given in this perspective. We emphasize solute chemical potentials in polymers, liquids and their mixtures as they cannot be understood and estimated without theory. The presented atomistic and coarse-grained methods offer a natural framework to their conceptualization in polynary systems, entangled or crosslinked homo- or heteropolymers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Engineering crystals by the strategy of molecular tectonics.

    PubMed

    Wuest, James D

    2005-12-21

    Detailed structures of molecular crystals cannot yet be predicted with consistent accuracy, but the strategy of molecular tectonics offers crystal engineers a powerful tool for designing molecules that are predisposed to form crystals with particular structural features and properties.

  18. 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.

  19. Molecular biology of breast tumors and prognosis.

    PubMed

    Baldassarre, Gustavo; Belletti, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Great scientific, economical, and organizational efforts are in place to understand the causes of onset, identify the critical molecular players of progression, and define new lines of intervention providing more benefits and less toxicity. These efforts have certainly not been vain, since overall survival, especially in specific subsets of breast cancer, has greatly improved during the last decades. At present, breast cancer patients' treatment and care have reached a high standard of quality, and currently one of the most urgent needs resides in the necessity to better distinguish the tumors that need to be more aggressively treated and identify the best therapeutic option tailored to each patient. This objective will be achievable only if the information clarifying the biology of breast cancer can be successfully transferred to the clinic. A common effort by scientists and clinicians toward this integration and toward the use of multidisciplinary approaches will be necessary to reach this important goal.

  20. [The molecular biology of hepatitis C virus].

    PubMed

    Koutsoudakis, George; Forns, Xavier; Pérez-Del-Pulgar, Sofía

    2013-04-01

    Since the discovery of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), a plethora of experimental models have evolved, allowing the virus's life cycle and the pathogenesis of associated liver diseases to be investigated. These models range from inoculation of cultured cells with serum from patients with hepatitis C to the use of surrogate models for the study of specific stages of the HCV life cycle: retroviral pseudoparticles for the study of HCV entry, replicons for the study of HCV replication, and the HCV cell culture model, which reproduces the entire life cycle (replication and production of infectious particles). The use of these tools has been and remains crucial to identify potential therapeutic targets in the different stages of the virus's life cycle and to screen new antiviral drugs. A clear example is the recent approval of two viral protease inhibitors (boceprevir and telaprevir) in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. This review analyzes the advances made in the molecular biology of HCV and highlights possible candidates as therapeutic targets for the treatment of HCV infection.

  1. 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.

  2. Diagnosis of Dermatophytosis Using Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Verrier, Julie; Monod, Michel

    2017-02-01

    Identification of fungi in dermatological samples using PCR is reliable and provides significantly improved results in comparison with cultures. It is possible to identify the infectious agent when negative results are obtained from cultures. In addition, identification of the infectious agent can be obtained in 1 day. Conventional and real-time PCR methods used for direct fungus identification in collected samples vary by DNA extraction methods, targeted DNA and primers, and the way of analysing the PCR products. The choice of a unique method in a laboratory is complicated because the results expected from skin and hair sample analysis are different from those expected in cases of onychomycosis. In skin and hair samples, one dermatophyte among about a dozen possible species has to be identified. In onychomycosis, the infectious agents are mainly Trichophyton rubrum and, to a lesser extent, Trichophyton interdigitale, but also moulds insensitive to oral treatments used for dermatophytes, which renders fungal identification mandatory. The benefits obtained with the use of PCR methods for routine analysis of dermatological samples have to be put in balance with the relative importance of getting a result in a short time, the price of molecular biology reagents and equipment, and especially the time spent conducting laboratory manipulations.

  3. Zika virus genome biology and molecular pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Anyou; Thurmond, Stephanie; Islas, Leonel; Hui, Kingyung; Hai, Rong

    2017-03-22

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging RNA virus in the widespread Flavivirus genus. Recently, ZIKV has rapidly spread around the world and has been implicated in human disease, including neurological disorders, triggering public and scientific attention. Understanding how ZIKV causes disease is the highest priority, yet little is known about this virus. Here we examine the currently published data from ZIKV studies to provide the latest understanding of ZIKV genome biology and molecular pathogenesis. The ZIKV genome evolved rapidly from the Flavivirus genus and diverged from the members of this genus, even within the dengue virus cluster to which ZIKV belongs. Genome variations and divergences also exist among ZIKV strains/isolates. These genome divergences might account for the uniqueness of Zika disease. ZIKV infection activates not only the antiviral immune response but also the pro-inflammatory responses associated with disease symptoms. Strikingly, ZIKV activates protein complexes that are functionally associated with disease process, such as glial cell activation and proliferation (for example, Toll-like receptors), apoptosis and cell death, and inflammation. The activation of these complexes may critically contribute to Zika disease. The novel insights into ZIKV genome divergence and disease mechanisms summarized in this review will help accelerate the development of anti-ZIKV strategies.

  4. Vibrio natriegens as a fast-growing host for molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Weinstock, Matthew T; Hesek, Eric D; Wilson, Christopher M; Gibson, Daniel G

    2016-10-01

    A rapidly growing bacterial host would be desirable for a range of routine applications in molecular biology and biotechnology. The bacterium Vibrio natriegens has the fastest growth rate of any known organism, with a reported doubling time of <10 min. We report the development of genetic tools and methods to engineer V. natriegens and demonstrate the advantages of using these engineered strains in common biotech processes.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. [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.

  8. 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…

  9. Molecular biology and the pediatric surgeon: definitions and basic methodology.

    PubMed

    Tagge, E P; Tagge, D U; Chandler, J C; Pitre, B R; Haddad, G; Frankel, A E; Willingham, M C; Garvin, A J; Papas, T S

    1996-08-01

    Molecular biology techniques and their application are becoming increasingly important to the practicing clinician. This article reviews the basics of DNA chemistry and highlights important molecular biology techniques. It will provide a guide for the pediatric surgeon as she/he attempts to integrate this field into everyday practice.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Basic science through engineering? Synthetic modeling and the idea of biology-inspired engineering.

    PubMed

    Knuuttila, Tarja; Loettgers, Andrea

    2013-06-01

    Synthetic biology is often understood in terms of the pursuit for well-characterized biological parts to create synthetic wholes. Accordingly, it has typically been conceived of as an engineering dominated and application oriented field. We argue that the relationship of synthetic biology to engineering is far more nuanced than that and involves a sophisticated epistemic dimension, as shown by the recent practice of synthetic modeling. Synthetic models are engineered genetic networks that are implanted in a natural cell environment. Their construction is typically combined with experiments on model organisms as well as mathematical modeling and simulation. What is especially interesting about this combinational modeling practice is that, apart from greater integration between these different epistemic activities, it has also led to the questioning of some central assumptions and notions on which synthetic biology is based. As a result synthetic biology is in the process of becoming more "biology inspired."

  15. Bibliometric analysis of original molecular biology research in anaesthesia.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, K; Girard, T; Kindler, C H

    2004-10-01

    Molecular biology has expanded the horizons of anaesthesia during the last 20 years and has led to an increase of basic science articles that are published in the specialised anaesthetic journals or originate in anaesthetic institutions. We searched for and analysed the specific features, such as year of publication, publishing journal, and country of origin, of all such molecular biology articles stored in the MEDLINE database during the period 1986-2002. We identified 1265 original articles that used molecular biology techniques; 223 (18%) of these articles were published in anaesthetic journals and 1042 (82%) articles in 556 other biomedical journals. While in the late 1980s only a few molecular biology articles were published each year by anaesthetic institutions, worldwide this number reached approximately 200 basic science articles by the end of 2002. The USA clearly dominates the field of anaesthesia with respect to molecular biology research with 839 (66%) such articles.

  16. [Application of genome engineering in medical synthetic biology].

    PubMed

    Wang, Fangyuan; Zhao, Dehua; Qi, Lei Stanley

    2017-03-25

    Synthetic biology aims to establish a complete set of engineering principles, theories, and methods, via the rational design and assembly of basic biological parts, for the goal of effective implementation of complex biological systems with programmable functions. In recent years, with emerging novel classes of programmable genetic parts, in particular, the establishment and optimization of CRISPR and CRISPRi technology platforms, synthetic biology is entering a new era. This review summarizes recent advances on CRISPR genome editing and gene regulation technologies, their applications in constructing programmable biological parts, and their roles in building sophisticated gene circuits. We also provide a future vision on how synthetic biology can transform medicine (named medical synthetic biology, MSB) and therapeutics.

  17. 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

  18. How to prepare engineers in medicine and biology?

    PubMed

    Kwok, Ezra; Marshall, Greg; Chan, Anthony

    2008-01-01

    Biomedical Engineering education has become very popular in the past two decades. New biomedical engineering programs have been developed to prepare students for this emerging field of study. Due to its highly multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature, combined with the fact that many engineering students have limited life sciences backgrounds, preparing graduates for an engineering career incorporating medicine and biology is not straight forward. The University of British Columbia established a graduate level biomedical engineering program in the fall of 2006 after an industry survey and extensive consultation process. The program curriculum also employs a device-based approach to the education of life science components including anatomy and physiology. Feedback from current students, industry sponsors, and practicing biomedical engineers favour this UBC approach. The program will continually update its curriculum and delivery style in response to the industry needs and student evaluation.

  19. The molecular biology in wound healing & non-healing wound.

    PubMed

    Qing, Chun

    2017-08-01

    The development of molecular biology and other new biotechnologies helps us to recognize the wound healing and non-healing wound of skin in the past 30 years. This review mainly focuses on the molecular biology of many cytokines (including growth factors) and other molecular factors such as extracellular matrix (ECM) on wound healing. The molecular biology in cell movement such as epidermal cells in wound healing was also discussed. Moreover many common chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers, leg ulcers, diabetic foot wounds, venous stasis ulcers, etc. usually deteriorate into non-healing wounds. Therefore the molecular biology such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and other molecular factors in diabetes non-healing wounds were also reviewed. Copyright © 2017 Daping Hospital and the Research Institute of Surgery of the Third Military Medical University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Medline search engine for finding genetic markers with biological significance.

    PubMed

    Xuan, Weijian; Wang, Pinglang; Watson, Stanley J; Meng, Fan

    2007-09-15

    Genome-wide high density SNP association studies are expected to identify various SNP alleles associated with different complex disorders. Understanding the biological significance of these SNP alleles in the context of existing literature is a major challenge since existing search engines are not designed to search literature for SNPs or other genetic markers. The literature mining of gene and protein functions has received significant attention and effort while similar work on genetic markers and their related diseases is still in its infancy. Our goal is to develop a web-based tool that facilitates the mining of Medline literature related to genetic studies and gene/protein function studies. Our solution consists of four main function modules for (1) identification of different types of genetic markers or genetic variations in Medline records (2) distinguishing positive versus negative linkage or association between genetic markers and diseases (3) integrating marker genomic location data from different databases to enable the retrieval of Medline records related to markers in the same linkage disequilibrium region (4) and a web interface called MarkerInfoFinder to search, display, sort and download Medline citation results. Tests using published data suggest MarkerInfoFinder can significantly increase the efficiency of finding genetic disorders and their underlying molecular mechanisms. The functions we developed will also be used to build a knowledge base for genetic markers and diseases. The MarkerInfoFinder is publicly available at: http://brainarray.mbni.med.umich.edu/brainarray/datamining/MarkerInfoFinder.

  1. Regenerative biology and engineering: strategies for tissue restoration.

    PubMed

    Stocum, D L

    1998-01-01

    Over the past 50 years, we have made remarkable advances in the use of bionic devices and solid organ transplants as replacement parts for failing tissues and organs. These approaches to tissue restoration, however, have a number of drawbacks. Thus, a new approach, regenerative biology and engineering, has been developed, consisting of the strategies of cell transplantation, bioartificial tissue constructs, and stimulation of regeneration in vivo. Cell transplants have been successfully used to restore articular cartilage and to treat Parkinson's disease in humans. In rats, transplanted fetal and embryonic stem cell line-derived cardiomyocytes have been shown to differentiate and integrate well with the ventricular myocardium, suggesting the feasibility of using such transplants to restore damaged cardiac muscle. Diabetic symptoms in humans have been alleviated by implanting a bioartificial pancreas consisting of islet cells microencapsulated in alginate. Hydroxyapatite matrixes can stimulate the regeneration of bone across large gaps. Collagenous artificial matrixes can stimulate the regeneration of dermis, and peripheral nerve grafts embedded in a fibrin clot containing fibroblast growth factor-1 stimulate some regeneration of spinal cord axons in adult rats. Future research in regenerative biology will focus on several issues: (1) providing adequate sources of cells for transplantation and bioartificial tissue construction and determining ways to prevent these cells from coming under attack by the immune system, (2) developing new and better materials to build better bionic devices and bioartificial constructs and to stimulate regeneration in vivo, (3) determining how many tissues of the body might contain reserve cells for regeneration in vivo, (4) analyzing the molecular differences between cells and environments of regenerating versus nonregenerating tissues, and (5) understanding the factors and mechanisms involved in the proliferation and patterning of

  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. 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.

  4. Engineered bacteriorhodopsin: a molecular scale potential switch.

    PubMed

    Patil, Amol V; Premaraban, Thenuhan; Berthoumieu, Olivia; Watts, Anthony; Davis, Jason J

    2012-04-27

    Bacteriorhodopsin, BR, is a natural, photoresponsive, biomolecule that has potential application in data storage, imaging and sensing. Being membrane-bound, however, it is coupled with metallic electronic surfaces only with some difficulty. We report herein a facile method to generate uniformly orientated, anchored and active monolayers of BR on metallic electrodes. In the present study, the cytoplasmic side of the BR is equipped with an engineered cysteine to achieve largely lipid-free, orientation-specific, highly stable, covalent immobilization on gold surfaces. By using non-invasive Kelvin probe force microscopy, it is possible to measure the light-induced proton accumulation at the extracellular protein surface at truly molecular scales. The intimate probe-BR interaction possible on lipid removal facilitates the detection of photoinduced surface potential switching substantially larger ((20.4 ± 7.5) mV) with functional single delipidated mutant BR trimers than for the wild-type protein. The proton pumping detected is also notably highly unidirectional with the orientated protein. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Biological augmentation and tissue engineering approaches in meniscus surgery.

    PubMed

    Moran, Cathal J; Busilacchi, Alberto; Lee, Cassandra A; Athanasiou, Kyriacos A; Verdonk, Peter C

    2015-05-01

    The purpose of this review was to evaluate the role of biological augmentation and tissue engineering strategies in meniscus surgery. Although clinical (human), preclinical (animal), and in vitro tissue engineering studies are included here, we have placed additional focus on addressing preclinical and clinical studies reported during the 5-year period used in this review in a systematic fashion while also providing a summary review of some important in vitro tissue engineering findings in the field over the past decade. A search was performed on PubMed for original works published from 2009 to March 31, 2014 using the term "meniscus" with all the following terms: "scaffolds," "constructs," "cells," "growth factors," "implant," "tissue engineering," and "regenerative medicine." Inclusion criteria were the following: English-language articles and original clinical, preclinical (in vivo), and in vitro studies of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine application in knee meniscus lesions published from 2009 to March 31, 2014. Three clinical studies and 18 preclinical studies were identified along with 68 tissue engineering in vitro studies. These reports show the increasing promise of biological augmentation and tissue engineering strategies in meniscus surgery. The role of stem cell and growth factor therapy appears to be particularly useful. A review of in vitro tissue engineering studies found a large number of scaffold types to be of promise for meniscus replacement. Limitations include a relatively low number of clinical or preclinical in vivo studies, in addition to the fact there is as yet no report in the literature of a tissue-engineered meniscus construct used clinically. Neither does the literature provide clarity on the optimal meniscus scaffold type or biological augmentation with which meniscus repair or replacement would be best addressed in the future. There is increasing focus on the role of mechanobiology and biomechanical and

  6. Central Equipment Facility for Molecular Marine Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-03-07

    used. Projects supported include marine symbiosis (Haygood, Felback), cell biology (Vacquier), pressure adaptation in marine bacteria (Bartlett), population genetics and evolution of marine organisms (Perrin, Newman).

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

    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. Over the past 2 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 communication sciences and disorders 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.

  8. Creating to understand - developmental biology meets engineering in Paris.

    PubMed

    Kicheva, Anna; Rivron, Nicolas C

    2017-03-01

    In November 2016, developmental biologists, synthetic biologists and engineers gathered in Paris for a meeting called 'Engineering the embryo'. The participants shared an interest in exploring how synthetic systems can reveal new principles of embryonic development, and how the in vitro manipulation and modeling of development using stem cells can be used to integrate ideas and expertise from physics, developmental biology and tissue engineering. As we review here, the conference pinpointed some of the challenges arising at the intersection of these fields, along with great enthusiasm for finding new approaches and collaborations. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Complex human disorders and molecular system engineering: historical perspective and potential impacts.

    PubMed

    Emamian, Effat S; Abdi, Ali

    2009-01-01

    The challenging nature of complex human disorders has taught us that we can not untangle a disorder unless we understand how the "engine" of molecular systems works. After learning the basic physiology of different organs in the human body, a "molecular revolution" occurred, which has now generated a huge amount of information regarding the function of individual molecules in human cells. The difficult task, however, is to understand how thousands of molecules communicate and work together to deliver a specific function, and more importantly, what goes wrong when the system fails and causes different diseases. The emerging field of systems biology is now opening the door for engineers, to join molecular biologists and enter the era of molecular biomedical engineering.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  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. Bottom-up synthetic biology: engineering in a tinkerer's world.

    PubMed

    Schwille, Petra

    2011-09-02

    How synthetic can "synthetic biology" be? A literal interpretation of the name of this new life science discipline invokes expectations of the systematic construction of biological systems with cells being built module by module--from the bottom up. But can this possibly be achieved, taking into account the enormous complexity and redundancy of living systems, which distinguish them quite remarkably from design features that characterize human inventions? There are several recent developments in biology, in tight conjunction with quantitative disciplines, that may bring this literal perspective into the realm of the possible. However, such bottom-up engineering requires tools that were originally designed by nature's greatest tinkerer: evolution.

  14. Assessment of knowledge of participants on basic molecular biology techniques after 5-day intensive molecular biology training workshops in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Yisau, J I; Adagbada, A O; Bamidele, T; Fowora, M; Brai, B I C; Adebesin, O; Bamidele, M; Fesobi, T; Nwaokorie, F O; Ajayi, A; Smith, S I

    2017-02-01

    The deployment of molecular biology techniques for diagnosis and research in Nigeria is faced with a number of challenges, including the cost of equipment and reagents coupled with the dearth of personnel skilled in the procedures and handling of equipment. Short molecular biology training workshops were conducted at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), to improve the knowledge and skills of laboratory personnel and academics in health, research, and educational facilities. Five-day molecular biology workshops were conducted annually between 2011 and 2014, with participants drawn from health, research facilities, and the academia. The courses consisted of theoretical and practical sessions. The impact of the workshops on knowledge and skill acquisition was evaluated by pre- and post-tests which consisted of 25 multiple choice and other questions. Sixty-five participants took part in the workshops. The mean knowledge of molecular biology as evaluated by the pre- and post-test assessments were 8.4 (95% CI 7.6-9.1) and 13.0 (95 CI 11.9-14.1), respectively. The mean post-test score was significantly greater than the mean pre-test score (p < 0.0001). The five-day molecular biology workshop significantly increased the knowledge and skills of participants in molecular biology techniques. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2017.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Molecular engineering of industrial enzymes: recent advances and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Yang, Haiquan; Li, Jianghua; Shin, Hyun-Dong; Du, Guocheng; Liu, Long; Chen, Jian

    2014-01-01

    Many enzymes are efficiently produced by microbes. However, the use of natural enzymes as biocatalysts has limitations such as low catalytic efficiency, low activity, and low stability, especially under industrial conditions. Many protein engineering technologies have been developed to modify natural enzymes and eliminate these limitations. Commonly used protein engineering strategies include directed evolution, site-directed mutagenesis, truncation, and terminal fusion. This review summarizes recent advances in the molecular engineering of industrial enzymes and discusses future prospects in this field. We expect this review to increase interest in and advance the molecular engineering of industrial enzymes.

  18. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Cell-free synthetic biology for in vitro prototype engineering

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Simon J.; MacDonald, James T.

    2017-01-01

    Cell-free transcription–translation is an expanding field in synthetic biology as a rapid prototyping platform for blueprinting the design of synthetic biological devices. Exemplar efforts include translation of prototype designs into medical test kits for on-site identification of viruses (Zika and Ebola), while gene circuit cascades can be tested, debugged and re-designed within rapid turnover times. Coupled with mathematical modelling, this discipline lends itself towards the precision engineering of new synthetic life. The next stages of cell-free look set to unlock new microbial hosts that remain slow to engineer and unsuited to rapid iterative design cycles. It is hoped that the development of such systems will provide new tools to aid the transition from cell-free prototype designs to functioning synthetic genetic circuits and engineered natural product pathways in living cells. PMID:28620040

  20. Cell-free synthetic biology for in vitro prototype engineering.

    PubMed

    Moore, Simon J; MacDonald, James T; Freemont, Paul S

    2017-06-15

    Cell-free transcription-translation is an expanding field in synthetic biology as a rapid prototyping platform for blueprinting the design of synthetic biological devices. Exemplar efforts include translation of prototype designs into medical test kits for on-site identification of viruses (Zika and Ebola), while gene circuit cascades can be tested, debugged and re-designed within rapid turnover times. Coupled with mathematical modelling, this discipline lends itself towards the precision engineering of new synthetic life. The next stages of cell-free look set to unlock new microbial hosts that remain slow to engineer and unsuited to rapid iterative design cycles. It is hoped that the development of such systems will provide new tools to aid the transition from cell-free prototype designs to functioning synthetic genetic circuits and engineered natural product pathways in living cells. © 2017 The Author(s).

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. Cell and molecular mechanics of biological materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bao, G.; Suresh, S.

    2003-11-01

    Living cells can sense mechanical forces and convert them into biological responses. Similarly, biological and biochemical signals are known to influence the abilities of cells to sense, generate and bear mechanical forces. Studies into the mechanics of single cells, subcellular components and biological molecules have rapidly evolved during the past decade with significant implications for biotechnology and human health. This progress has been facilitated by new capabilities for measuring forces and displacements with piconewton and nanometre resolutions, respectively, and by improvements in bio-imaging. Details of mechanical, chemical and biological interactions in cells remain elusive. However, the mechanical deformation of proteins and nucleic acids may provide key insights for understanding the changes in cellular structure, response and function under force, and offer new opportunities for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. This review discusses some basic features of the deformation of single cells and biomolecules, and examines opportunities for further research.

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. Using biological inspiration to engineer functional nanostructured materials.

    PubMed

    Wendell, David W; Patti, Jordan; Montemagno, Carlo D

    2006-11-01

    Humans have always looked to nature for design inspiration, and material design on the molecular level is no different. Here we explore how this idea applies to nanoscale biomimicry, specifically examining both recent advances and our own work on engineering lipid and polymer membrane systems with cellular processes.

  8. Using the Power of Organic Synthesis for Engineering the Interactions of Nanoparticles with Biological Systems.

    PubMed

    Mizuhara, Tsukasa; Moyano, Daniel F; Rotello, Vincent M

    2016-02-01

    The surface properties of nanoparticles (NPs) dictate their interaction with the outside world. The use of precisely designed molecular ligands to control NP surface properties provides an important toolkit for modulating their interaction with biological systems, facilitating their use in biomedicine. In this review we will discuss the application of the atom-by-atom control provided by organic synthesis to the generation of engineered nanoparticles, with emphasis on how the functionalization of NPs with these "small" organic molecules (Mw < 1,000) can be used to engineer NPs for a wide range of applications.

  9. Impact of systems biology on metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Jens; Jewett, Michael C

    2008-02-01

    Industrial biotechnology is a rapidly growing field. With the increasing shift towards a bio-based economy, there is rising demand for developing efficient cell factories that can produce fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, materials, nutraceuticals, and even food ingredients. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is extremely well suited for this objective. As one of the most intensely studied eukaryotic model organisms, a rich density of knowledge detailing its genetics, biochemistry, physiology, and large-scale fermentation performance can be capitalized upon to enable a substantial increase in the industrial application of this yeast. Developments in genomics and high-throughput systems biology tools are enhancing one's ability to rapidly characterize cellular behaviour, which is valuable in the field of metabolic engineering where strain characterization is often the bottleneck in strain development programmes. Here, the impact of systems biology on metabolic engineering is reviewed and perspectives on the role of systems biology in the design of cell factories are given.

  10. Molecular biology techniques and applications for ocean sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zehr, J. P.; Hewson, I.; Moisander, P.

    2009-05-01

    The study of marine microorganisms using molecular biological techniques is now widespread in the ocean sciences. These techniques target nucleic acids which record the evolutionary history of microbes, and encode for processes which are active in the ocean today. Molecular techniques can form the basis of remote instrumentation sensing technologies for marine microbial diversity and ecological function. Here we review some of the most commonly used molecular biological techniques. These techniques include the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse-transcriptase PCR, quantitative PCR, whole assemblage "fingerprinting" approaches (based on nucleic acid sequence or length heterogeneity), oligonucleotide microarrays, and high-throughput shotgun sequencing of whole genomes and gene transcripts, which can be used to answer biological, ecological, evolutionary and biogeochemical questions in the ocean sciences. Moreover, molecular biological approaches may be deployed on ocean sensor platforms and hold promise for tracking of organisms or processes of interest in near-real time.

  11. 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.

  12. Debaryomyces hansenii: A Model System for Marine Molecular Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-05-30

    System for Marine Molecular Biology PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: June 1, 1990 to May 30, 1991 RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: To establish Debaryomyces hansenii as a model...Analysis of 17s rRNA gene from the marine yeast Debaryomyces hansenii . In preparation for Current Genetics. TRAINING ACTIVITIES Two graduate students, one...Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara. Grant Title: Debaryomyces hansenii : A Model System for Marine Molecular Biology. Period of

  13. 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

  14. Engineering plant metabolism into microbes: from systems biology to synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Xu, Peng; Bhan, Namita; Koffas, Mattheos A G

    2013-04-01

    Plant metabolism represents an enormous repository of compounds that are of pharmaceutical and biotechnological importance. Engineering plant metabolism into microbes will provide sustainable solutions to produce pharmaceutical and fuel molecules that could one day replace substantial portions of the current fossil-fuel based economy. Metabolic engineering entails targeted manipulation of biosynthetic pathways to maximize yields of desired products. Recent advances in Systems Biology and the emergence of Synthetic Biology have accelerated our ability to design, construct and optimize cell factories for metabolic engineering applications. Progress in predicting and modeling genome-scale metabolic networks, versatile gene assembly platforms and delicate synthetic pathway optimization strategies has provided us exciting opportunities to exploit the full potential of cell metabolism. In this review, we will discuss how systems and synthetic biology tools can be integrated to create tailor-made cell factories for efficient production of natural products and fuel molecules in microorganisms.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Recent applications of synthetic biology tools for yeast metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Michael K; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-02-01

    The last 20 years of metabolic engineering has enabled bio-based production of fuels and chemicals from renewable carbon sources using cost-effective bioprocesses. Much of this work has been accomplished using engineered microorganisms that act as chemical factories. Although the time required to engineer microbial chemical factories has steadily decreased, improvement is still needed. Through the development of synthetic biology tools for key microbial hosts, it should be possible to further decrease the development times and improve the reliability of the resulting microorganism. Together with continuous decreases in price and improvements in DNA synthesis, assembly and sequencing, synthetic biology tools will rationalize time-consuming strain engineering, improve control of metabolic fluxes, and diversify screening assays for cellular metabolism. This review outlines some recently developed synthetic biology tools and their application to improve production of chemicals and fuels in yeast. Finally, we provide a perspective for the challenges that lie ahead. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permission@oup.com.

  19. 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.

  20. [Application of molecular biological techniques in Taenia identification].

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Liu, Hang; Yang, Yi-Mei

    2011-10-01

    The traditional identification of Taenia spp. based on morphological features of adult and cysticercus has difficulties in identifying the morphologically similar species. The recent development of molecular techniques provides more scientific ways for distinguishing Taenia species. This paper summarizes the application of molecular biological techniques in the identification of Taenia, such as analysis of DNA sequence, PCR-RFLP and LAMP.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. Advances and Computational Tools towards Predictable Design in Biological Engineering

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25161694

  9. NANOPARTICLES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS IN CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Edina C.; Wang, Andrew Z.

    2013-01-01

    Nanoparticles can be engineered with distinctive compositions, sizes, shapes, and surface chemistries to enable novel techniques in a wide range of biological applications. The unique properties of nanoparticles and their behavior in biological milieu also enable exciting and integrative approaches to studying fundamental biological questions. This review will provide an overview of various types of nanoparticles and concepts of targeting nanoparticles. We will also discuss the advantages and recent applications of using nanoparticles as tools for drug delivery, imaging, sensing, and for the understanding of basic biological processes. PMID:24104563

  10. Immunochemical methods in cell and molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Mayer, R.J.; Walker, J.H.

    1987-01-01

    This book presents immuno-chemical techniques for isolating and analysing a wide variety of biological products. CONTENTS: Introduction, Polyclonal Antiserum Production;Polyclonal Antiserum Processing;Uses of Polyclonal Antisera. Production and Use of Monoclonal Antibodies;Synthetic Petpides: A New Development in Protein Immunochemistry;and Technical Supplement.

  11. Methods in molecular biology: plant cytogenetics

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. Molecular biology and cytopathology. Principles and applications.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Fernando C; Vielh, Philippe

    2012-12-01

    Some of the main applications of molecular techniques using cellular materials obtained from tumors by means of non-gynecological exfoliative cytology or fine-needle aspiration are briefly described in this review. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Genetics and molecular biology in laboratory medicine, 1963-2013.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, John B

    2013-01-01

    The past 50 years have seen many changes in laboratory medicine, either as causes or consequences of increases in productivity and expansion of the range of information which can be provided. The drivers and facilitators of change in relation to clinical applications of molecular biology included the need for diagnostic tools for genetic diseases and technical advances such as PCR and sequencing. However, molecular biology techniques have proved to have far wider applications, from detection of infectious agents to molecular characterization of tumors. Journals such as Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine play an important role in communication of these advances to the laboratory medicine community and in publishing evaluations of their practical value.

  18. METHODS IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: ASSAYING CHROMATIN SIRTUINS

    PubMed Central

    Silberman, Dafne M.; Sebastian, Carlos; Mostoslavsky, Raul

    2015-01-01

    Summary Most of the sirtuins’ nuclear substrates indentified so far are histones or other chromatin-associated proteins and, thus, it is of special relevance the development of good biochemical techniques to analyze the biology of these proteins in the context of chromatin. Here, we describe several of the chromatin-based techniques to identify sirtuins’ substrates, including a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) protocol, an acid-extraction protocol, and a nucleosomal immunoprecipitation protocol to analyze putative sirtuin chromatin interactors. PMID:24014405

  19. 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.

  20. The nucleic acid revolution continues – will forensic biology become forensic molecular biology?

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24634675

  1. Engineering the robustness of industrial microbes through synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Linjiang; Zhu, Yan; Zhang, Yanping; Li, Yin

    2012-02-01

    Microbial fermentations and bioconversions play a central role in the production of pharmaceuticals, enzymes and chemicals. To meet the demands of industrial production, it is desirable that microbes maintain a maximized carbon flux towards target metabolites regardless of fluctuations in intracellular or extracellular environments. This requires cellular systems that maintain functional stability and dynamic homeostasis in a given physiological state, or manipulate transitions between different physiological states. Stable maintenance or smooth transition can be achieved through engineering of dynamic controllability, modular and hierarchical organization, or functional redundancy, three key features of biological robustness in a cellular system. This review summarizes how synthetic biology can be used to improve the robustness of industrial microbes.

  2. [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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Application of Molecular Modeling to Biological Processes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-07-01

    informa- tion. DNA is the storehouse for the information that ultimately governs the synthesis of all biomolecules. It is generally found in the Watson ... Crick double helix . Breakthroughs in computer graphics and simulations have discovered that intercalation of flat aromatic rings is a major mechanism...for mutations.’ 0 Using molecular mechanics, docking studies show that molecules (e.g., acridine) can insert through the edge of the DNA helix . This

  4. 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.

  5. Irreversible thermodynamic analysis and application for molecular heat engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucia, Umberto; Açıkkalp, Emin

    2017-09-01

    Is there a link between the macroscopic approach to irreversibility and microscopic behaviour of the systems? Consumption of free energy keeps the system away from a stable equilibrium. Entropy generation results from the redistribution of energy, momentum, mass and charge. This concept represents the essence of the thermodynamic approach to irreversibility. Irreversibility is the result of the interaction between systems and their environment. The aim of this paper is to determine lost works in a molecular engine and compare results with macro (classical) heat engines. Firstly, irreversible thermodynamics are reviewed for macro and molecular cycles. Secondly, irreversible thermodynamics approaches are applied for a quantum heat engine with -1/2 spin system. Finally, lost works are determined for considered system and results show that macro and molecular heat engines obey same limitations. Moreover, a quantum thermodynamic approach is suggested in order to explain the results previously obtained from an atomic viewpoint.

  6. 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).

  7. 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. © 2016 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Engineered elastomeric proteins with dual elasticity can be controlled by a molecular regulator.

    PubMed

    Cao, Yi; Li, Hongbin

    2008-08-01

    Elastomeric proteins are molecular springs that confer excellent mechanical properties to many biological tissues and biomaterials. Depending on the role performed by the tissue or biomaterial, elastomeric proteins can behave as molecular springs or shock absorbers. Here we combine single-molecule atomic force microscopy and protein engineering techniques to create elastomeric proteins that can switch between two distinct types of mechanical behaviour in response to the binding of a molecular regulator. The proteins are mechanically labile by design and behave as entropic springs with an elasticity that is governed by their configurational entropy. However, when a molecular regulator binds to the protein, it switches into a mechanically stable state and can act as a shock absorber. These engineered proteins effectively mimic and combine the two extreme forms of elastic behaviour found in natural elastomeric proteins, and thus represent a new type of smart nanomaterial that will find potential applications in nanomechanics and material sciences.

  9. Molecular engineering and characterization of self-assembled biorecognition surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Sheng

    The development of molecular engineering techniques for the fabrication of biomaterial surfaces is of importance in the field of biomaterials. It offers opportunities for better understanding of biological processes on material surfaces and rational design of contemporary biomaterials. Our work in this area aims to develop novel engineering strategies to design biorecognition surfaces via self-assembly and surface derivatization. Fundamental issues regarding self-assembled monolayer (SAM) structure, formation kinetics, and chemical derivatization were investigated systematically using electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRAS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and contact angle measurements. Novel engineering concepts based on multifunctionality and statistical pattern matching were introduced and applied to develop biomimetic surfaces. Our study illustrated that molecules underwent structural transition and orientation development during self-assembly formation, from a disordered, low-density, more liquid-like structure to a highly ordered, closed-packed crystalline-like structure. Surface properties, such as wettability and the reactivity of outermost functional groups can be related to film structure, packing density, as well as molecular orientation. Given the order and organization of SAMs, the accessibility and reactivity of the outermost functional groups, reaction kinetics, stoichiometry, and SAMs stability were studied systematically by surface derivatization of trifluoroacetic anhydride (TFAA). The TFAA derivatization reactions exhibited rapid kinetics on the hydroxyl-terminated SAMs. The data from complementary surface analytical techniques consistently indicated a nearly complete surface reaction. Biomimetic surfaces were made by random immobilization of amino acid of arginine (R), glycine (G), and aspartic acid (D) on well-defined SAMs

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Systems biology of molecular chaperone networks.

    PubMed

    Csermely, Péter; Korcsmáros, Tamás; Kovács, István A; Szalay, Máté S; Soti, Csaba

    2008-01-01

    Molecular chaperones are not only fascinating molecular machines that help the folding, refolding, activation or assembly of other proteins, but also have a number of functions. These functions can be understood only by considering the emergent properties of cellular networks--and that of chaperones as special network constituents. As a notable example for the network-related roles of chaperones they may act as genetic buffers stabilizing the phenotype of various cells and organisms, and may serve as potential regulators of evolvability. Why are chaperones special in the context of cellular networks? Chaperones: (1) have weak links, i.e. low affinity, transient interactions with most of their partners; (2) connect hubs, i.e. act as 'masterminds' of the cell being close to several centre proteins with a lot of neighbours; and (3) are in the overlaps of network modules, which confers upon them a special regulatory role. Importantly, chaperones may uncouple or even quarantine modules of protein-protein interaction networks, signalling networks, genetic regulatory networks and membrane organelle networks during stress, which gives an additional chaperone-mediated protection for the cell at the network-level. Moreover, chaperones are essential to rebuild inter-modular contacts after stress by their low affinity, 'quasi-random' sampling of the potential interaction partners in different cellular modules. This opens the way to the chaperone-regulated modular evolution of cellular networks, and helps us to design novel therapeutic and anti-ageing strategies.

  14. Ordinary differential equations with applications in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Ilea, M; Turnea, M; Rotariu, M

    2012-01-01

    Differential equations are of basic importance in molecular biology mathematics because many biological laws and relations appear mathematically in the form of a differential equation. In this article we presented some applications of mathematical models represented by ordinary differential equations in molecular biology. The vast majority of quantitative models in cell and molecular biology are formulated in terms of ordinary differential equations for the time evolution of concentrations of molecular species. Assuming that the diffusion in the cell is high enough to make the spatial distribution of molecules homogenous, these equations describe systems with many participating molecules of each kind. We propose an original mathematical model with small parameter for biological phospholipid pathway. All the equations system includes small parameter epsilon. The smallness of epsilon is relative to the size of the solution domain. If we reduce the size of the solution region the same small epsilon will result in a different condition number. It is clear that the solution for a smaller region is less difficult. We introduce the mathematical technique known as boundary function method for singular perturbation system. In this system, the small parameter is an asymptotic variable, different from the independent variable. In general, the solutions of such equations exhibit multiscale phenomena. Singularly perturbed problems form a special class of problems containing a small parameter which may tend to zero. Many molecular biology processes can be quantitatively characterized by ordinary differential equations. Mathematical cell biology is a very active and fast growing interdisciplinary area in which mathematical concepts, techniques, and models are applied to a variety of problems in developmental medicine and bioengineering. Among the different modeling approaches, ordinary differential equations (ODE) are particularly important and have led to significant advances

  15. 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.

  16. Biological surface engineering: a simple system for cell pattern formation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, S; Yan, L; Altman, M; Lässle, M; Nugent, H; Frankel, F; Lauffenburger, D A; Whitesides, G M; Rich, A

    1999-07-01

    Biological surface engineering using synthetic biological materials has a great potential for advances in our understanding of complex biological phenomena. We developed a simple system to engineer biologically relevant surfaces using a combination of self-assembling oligopeptide monolayers and microcontact printing (muCP). We designed and synthesized two oligopeptides containing a cell adhesion motif (RADS)n (n = 2 and 3) at the N-terminus, followed by an oligo(alanine) linker and a cysteine residue at the C-terminus. The thiol group of cysteine allows the oligopeptides to attach covalently onto a gold-coated surface to form monolayers. We then microfabricated a variety of surface patterns using the cell adhesion peptides in combination with hexa-ethylene glycol thiolate which resist non-specific adsorption of proteins and cells. The resulting patterns consist of areas either supporting or inhibiting cell adhesion, thus they are capable of aligning cells in a well-defined manner, leading to specific cell array and pattern formations.

  17. Recent advances of molecular toolbox construction expand Pichia pastoris in synthetic biology applications.

    PubMed

    Kang, Zhen; Huang, Hao; Zhang, Yunfeng; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Pichia pastoris: (reclassified as Komagataella phaffii), a methylotrophic yeast strain has been widely used for heterologous protein production because of its unique advantages, such as readily achievable high-density fermentation, tractable genetic modifications and typical eukaryotic post-translational modifications. More recently, P. pastoris as a metabolic pathway engineering platform has also gained much attention. In this mini-review, we addressed recent advances of molecular toolboxes, including synthetic promoters, signal peptides, and genome engineering tools that established for P. pastoris. Furthermore, the applications of P. pastoris towards synthetic biology were also discussed and prospected especially in the context of genome-scale metabolic pathway analysis.

  18. 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.

  19. Cellular and molecular biology of neuronal dystonin.

    PubMed

    Ferrier, Andrew; Boyer, Justin G; Kothary, Rashmi

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal dystonin isoforms are giant cytoskeletal cross-linking proteins capable of interacting with actin and microtubule networks, protein complexes, membrane-bound organelles and cellular membranes. In the neuromuscular system, dystonin proteins are involved in maintaining cytoarchitecture integrity and have more recently been ascribed roles in other cellular processes such as organelle structure and intracellular transport. Loss of dystonin expression in mice results in a profound sensory ataxia termed dystonia musculorum (dt), which is attributed to the degeneration of sensory nerves. This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the dystonin gene, the structure of encoded proteins, biological functions of neuronal dystonin isoforms, and known roles of dystonin in dt pathogenesis and human disease. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Molecular biology of testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Exposito, R; Merino, M; Aguayo, C

    2016-06-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common solid tumors in young adult men. They constitute a unique pathology because of their embryonic and germ origin and their special behavior. Genetic predisposition, environmental factors involved in their development and genetic aberrations have been under study in many works throughout the last years trying to explain the susceptibility and the transformation mechanism of TGCTs. Despite the high rate of cure in this type of tumors because its particular sensitivity to cisplatin, there are tumors resistant to chemotherapy for which it is needed to find new therapies. In the present work, it has been carried out a literature review on the most important molecular aspects involved in the onset and development of such tumors, as well as a review of the major developments regarding prognostic factors, new prognostic biomarkers and the possibility of new targeted therapies.

  3. Comparative molecular modelling of biologically active sterols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baran, Mariusz; Mazerski, Jan

    2015-04-01

    Membrane sterols are targets for a clinically important antifungal agent - amphotericin B. The relatively specific antifungal action of the drug is based on a stronger interaction of amphotericin B with fungal ergosterol than with mammalian cholesterol. Conformational space occupied by six sterols has been defined using the molecular dynamics method to establish if the conformational features correspond to the preferential interaction of amphotericin B with ergosterol as compared with cholesterol. The compounds studied were chosen on the basis of structural features characteristic for cholesterol and ergosterol and on available experimental data on the ability to form complexes with the antibiotic. Statistical analysis of the data obtained has been performed. The results show similarity of the conformational spaces occupied by all the sterols tested. This suggests that the conformational differences of sterol molecules are not the major feature responsible for the differential sterol - drug affinity.

  4. [Molecular biology of von Willebrand disease].

    PubMed

    Melo-Nava, Brenda; Peñaloza, Rosenda

    2007-01-01

    Von Willebrand Factor (VWF) is a large multimeric glycoprotein expressed in the megakaryocytes and endothelial cells of all vertebrates. It participates fundamentally in the primary and secondary hemostasis because it induces the adhesion of platelets to vascular subendothelium and promotes aggregation of platelets when blood vessels and capillaries are damaged. In addition, VWF links to factor VIII which avoids its proteolysis. The deficiency or the inadequate synthesis of the VWF causes von Willebrand disease (VWD), which is the most common hereditary bleeding disorder in humans principally from mucous and cutaneous sites. VWD is difficult to detect with accuracy due to interrelation among VWF with different components of hemostasis, although it is performed by different tests of haemostatic system, and the basic mechanisms in VWD are herein emphasized. The diagnosis of VWD is difficult due to the heterogeneous manifestation of the disease, which also complicates its classification. This article focuses on the molecular aspects of the disease and discusses their possible clinical implications.

  5. Teaching molecular genetics: Chapter 1--Background principles and methods of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Knoers, Nine V A M; Monnens, Leo A H

    2006-02-01

    In this first chapter of the series "Teaching molecular genetics," an introduction to molecular genetics is presented. We describe the structure of DNA and genes and explain in detail the central dogma of molecular biology, that is, the flow of genetic information from DNA via RNA to polypeptide (protein). In addition, several basic and frequently used general molecular tools, such as restriction enzymes, Southern blotting, DNA amplification and sequencing are discussed, in order to lay the foundations for the forthcoming chapters.

  6. Molecular and biological hallmarks of ageing.

    PubMed

    Aunan, J R; Watson, M M; Hagland, H R; Søreide, K

    2016-01-01

    Ageing is the inevitable time-dependent decline in physiological organ function that eventually leads to death. Age is a major risk factor for many of the most common medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. This study reviews currently known hallmarks of ageing and their clinical implications. A literature search of PubMed/MEDLINE was conducted covering the last decade. Average life expectancy has increased dramatically over the past century and is estimated to increase even further. Maximum longevity, however, appears unchanged, suggesting a universal limitation to the human organism. Understanding the underlying molecular processes of ageing and health decline may suggest interventions that, if used at an early age, can prevent, delay, alleviate or even reverse age-related diseases. Hallmarks of ageing can be grouped into three main categories. The primary hallmarks cause damage to cellular functions: genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations and loss of proteostasis. These are followed by antagonistic responses to such damage: deregulated nutrient sensing, altered mitochondrial function and cellular senescence. Finally, integrative hallmarks are possible culprits of the clinical phenotype (stem cell exhaustion and altered intercellular communication), which ultimately contribute to the clinical effects of ageing as seen in physiological loss of reserve, organ decline and reduced function. The sum of these molecular hallmarks produces the clinical picture of the elderly surgical patient: frailty, sarcopenia, anaemia, poor nutrition and a blunted immune response system. Improved understanding of the ageing processes may give rise to new biomarkers of risk or prognosis, novel treatment targets and translational approaches across disciplines that may improve outcomes. © 2016 BJS Society Ltd Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 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.

  8. CellNet: network biology applied to stem cell engineering.

    PubMed

    Cahan, Patrick; Li, Hu; Morris, Samantha A; Lummertz da Rocha, Edroaldo; Daley, George Q; Collins, James J

    2014-08-14

    Somatic cell reprogramming, directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, and direct conversions between differentiated cell lineages represent powerful approaches to engineer cells for research and regenerative medicine. We have developed CellNet, a network biology platform that more accurately assesses the fidelity of cellular engineering than existing methodologies and generates hypotheses for improving cell derivations. Analyzing expression data from 56 published reports, we found that cells derived via directed differentiation more closely resemble their in vivo counterparts than products of direct conversion, as reflected by the establishment of target cell-type gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Furthermore, we discovered that directly converted cells fail to adequately silence expression programs of the starting population and that the establishment of unintended GRNs is common to virtually every cellular engineering paradigm. CellNet provides a platform for quantifying how closely engineered cell populations resemble their target cell type and a rational strategy to guide enhanced cellular engineering. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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…

  10. 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…

  11. Encapsulins: molecular biology of the shell.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Robert J; Cassidy-Amstutz, Caleb; Chaijarasphong, Thawatchai; Savage, David F

    2017-10-01

    Compartmentalization is both a fundamental principle of cellular organization and an emerging theme in prokaryotic biology. Work in the past few decades has shown that protein-based organelles called microcompartments enhance the function of encapsulated cargo proteins. More recently, the repertoire of known prokaryotic organelles has expanded beyond microcompartments to include a new class of smaller proteinaceous compartments, termed nanocompartments (also known as encapsulins). Nanocompartments are icosahedral capsids that are smaller and less complex than microcompartments. Encapsulins are formed by a single species of shell protein that self-assembles and typically encapsulates only one type of cargo protein. Significant progress has been made in understanding the structure of nanocompartment shells and the loading of cargo to the interior. Recent analysis has also demonstrated the prevalence of encapsulin genes throughout prokaryotic genomes and documented a large diversity of cargo proteins with a variety of novel functions, suggesting that nanocompartments play an important role in many microbes. Here we review the current understanding of encapsulin structure and function and highlight exciting open questions of physiological significance.

  12. [Molecular biology of haemostasis: fibrinogen, factor XIII].

    PubMed

    Meyer, M

    2004-05-01

    Genetic defects of fibrinogen are caused by a broad spectrum of mutations in one of the three structural genes FGA, FGB and FGG. They result in complete or partial lack of plasma fibrinogen (a- or hypofibrinogenaemia) or in structural abnormalities affecting protein function (dysfibrinogenaemia). In contrast to afibrinogenaemia mainly caused by nonsense, frameshift, and splice site mutations resulting in substantially truncated polypeptide chains (mainly Aalpha), in hypo- and dysfibrinogenaemias missense mutations lead to the exchange of single amino acids as dominating underlying defect. In the cases with quantitative disorders, bleeding with various degrees of severity is generally observed. Dysfibrinogenaemia is associated with both bleeding or thrombosis or even a combination of haemorrhagic and thromboembolic symptoms. About one half of the dysfibrinogenaemic cases is clinically asymptomatic. The plasmatic factor XIII (FXIII) is a heterotetramer composed of two A and two B subunits encoded by two different genes. FXIII deficiency is associated with bleeding, wound dehiscence and recurrent spontaneous abortions. The most frequent form is caused by defects in the A subunit with a broad spectrum of underlying mutations. Defects of the B subunit are very rare and were molecularly elucidated in only a few cases.

  13. Cellular and Molecular Biology of Airway Mucins

    PubMed Central

    Lillehoj, Erik P.; Kato, Kosuke; Lu, Wenju; Kim, Kwang C.

    2017-01-01

    Airway mucus constitutes a thin layer of airway surface liquid with component macromolecules that covers the luminal surface of the respiratory tract. The major function of mucus is to protect the lungs through mucociliary clearance of inhaled foreign particles and noxious chemicals. Mucus is comprised of water, ions, mucin glycoproteins, and a variety of other macromolecules, some of which possess anti-microbial, anti-protease, and anti-oxidant activities. Mucins comprise the major protein component of mucus and exist as secreted and cell-associated glycoproteins. Secreted, gel-forming mucins are mainly responsible for the viscoelastic property of mucus, which is crucial for effective mucociliary clearance. Cell-associated mucins shield the epithelial surface from pathogens through their extracellular domains and regulate intracellular signaling through their cytoplasmic regions. However, neither the exact structures of mucin glycoproteins, nor the manner through which their expression is regulated, are completely understood. This chapter reviews what is currently known about the cellular and molecular properties of airway mucins. PMID:23445810

  14. Epidemiology and molecular biology of Barrett esophagus.

    PubMed

    Casson, Alan G; Williams, Lara; Guernsey, Duane L

    2005-01-01

    Over the past three decades, there has been a marked change in the epidemiology of esophageal malignancy, with an increasing incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma. The reasons for this are largely unknown and remain controversial, but several lifestyle risk factors have been proposed, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is hypothesized that chronic GERD results in acute mucosal injury, promotes cellular proliferation, and induces specialized columnar metaplasia (Barrett esophagus). Progression of Barrett esophagus to invasive adenocarcinoma is reflected histologically by the metaplasia-dysplasia-carcinoma sequence. Dysplasia is widely regarded as the precursor of invasive cancer, and high-grade dysplasia in Barrett epithelium is frequently associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma. Although several molecular alterations have been described in Barrett esophagus, it is anticipated that relatively few will prove to be clinically useful. To date, biomarkers which currently appear to predict the progression of Barrett esophagus to invasive malignancy include aneuploidy, loss of heterozygosity of 17p (implicating the p53 tumor suppressor gene), and cyclin D1 protein overexpression, and with further validation, will most likely be incorporated into routine clinical practice. It is anticipated that models incorporating objective scores of sociodemographic and lifestyle risk factors (ie, age, gender, body mass index), severity of reflux symptoms, endoscopic and histologic findings, and an assessment of a panel of biomarkers will be developed to further define subsets of patients with Barrett esophagus at increased risk for malignant progression, thereby permitting the development of more rational endoscopic surveillance and screening programs.

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular Biology of STLV-III and HTLV-IV

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-08-22

    proviral clones to assess heterogeneity in a given virus population. The modifications to the standard Sanger method are: 1 . An increased primer-to...IIi AD-A228 929 il~t COP, A CONTRACT NO: DAND17-87-C-7187 TITLE: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF STLV-III AND HTLV -IV PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Joseph Sodroski...21702-5012 63105A 63105H29 AC 072 11. TITLE (Include Security Clasification) Molecular Biology of STLV-III and HTLV -IV 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) Joseph

  17. Molecular Biology of STLV-III and HTLV-IV

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-08-10

    AD-A228 948 DTIC FILE COpy AD C3NTRACT NO: DAMD17-87-C-7187 TITLE: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF STLV-III AND HTLV -IV PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Joseph Sodroski...NO.Frederick, Maryland 21702-5012 63105A 63105H29 AC 072 11. TITLE (Include Security Classification) Molecular Biology of STLV-III and HTLV -IV 12...FROM7/ 1 /88 TO6/-.10 891 1989 August 10 I 17 16. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTATION 17. COSATI CODES L1ISUBJECT TERMS (Co €ki ’ orrreve f tfnrcessar endfNiti" y b/ck

  18. Multispectral optical tweezers for molecular diagnostics of single biological cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, Corey; Fardad, Shima; Sincore, Alex; Vangheluwe, Marie; Baudelet, Matthieu; Richardson, Martin

    2012-03-01

    Optical trapping of single biological cells has become an established technique for controlling and studying fundamental behavior of single cells with their environment without having "many-body" interference. The development of such an instrument for optical diagnostics (including Raman and fluorescence for molecular diagnostics) via laser spectroscopy with either the "trapping" beam or secondary beams is still in progress. This paper shows the development of modular multi-spectral imaging optical tweezers combining Raman and Fluorescence diagnostics of biological cells.

  19. 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.

  20. Engineering molecular crystals with abnormally weak cohesion.

    PubMed

    Maly, Kenneth E; Gagnon, Eric; Wuest, James D

    2011-05-14

    Adding astutely placed methyl groups to hexaphenylbenzene increases molecular weight but simultaneously weakens key C-H···π interactions, thereby leading to decreased enthalpies of sublimation and showing that materials with abnormally weak cohesion can be made by identifying and then obstructing interactions that help control association.

  1. Hepatitis B virus molecular biology and pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Lamontagne, R. Jason; Bagga, Sumedha; Bouchard, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    As obligate intracellular parasites, viruses need a host cell to provide a milieu favorable to viral replication. Consequently, viruses often adopt mechanisms to subvert host cellular signaling processes. While beneficial for the viral replication cycle, virus-induced deregulation of host cellular signaling processes can be detrimental to host cell physiology and can lead to virus-associated pathogenesis, including, for oncogenic viruses, cell transformation and cancer progression. Included among these oncogenic viruses is the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Despite the availability of an HBV vaccine, 350–500 million people worldwide are chronically infected with HBV, and a significant number of these chronically infected individuals will develop hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Epidemiological studies indicate that chronic infection with HBV is the leading risk factor for the development of HCC. Globally, HCC is the second highest cause of cancer-associated deaths, underscoring the need for understanding mechanisms that regulate HBV replication and the development of HBV-associated HCC. HBV is the prototype member of the Hepadnaviridae family; members of this family of viruses have a narrow host range and predominately infect hepatocytes in their respective hosts. The extremely small and compact hepadnaviral genome, the unique arrangement of open reading frames, and a replication strategy utilizing reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate to generate the DNA genome are distinguishing features of the Hepadnaviridae. In this review, we provide a comprehensive description of HBV biology, summarize the model systems used for studying HBV infections, and highlight potential mechanisms that link a chronic HBV-infection to the development of HCC. For example, the HBV X protein (HBx), a key regulatory HBV protein that is important for HBV replication, is thought to play a cofactor role in the development of HBV-induced HCC, and we highlight the functions of HBx that may

  2. Systems biology and metabolic engineering of Arthrospira cell factories.

    PubMed

    Klanchui, Amornpan; Vorapreeda, Tayvich; Vongsangnak, Wanwipa; Khannapho, Chiraphan; Cheevadhanarak, Supapon; Meechai, Asawin

    2012-01-01

    Arthrospira are attractive candidates to serve as cell factories for production of many valuable compounds useful for food, feed, fuel and pharmaceutical industries. In connection with the development of sustainable bioprocessing, it is a challenge to design and develop efficient Arthrospira cell factories which can certify effective conversion from the raw materials (i.e. CO2 and sun light) into desired products. With the current availability of the genome sequences and metabolic models of Arthrospira, the development of Arthrospira factories can now be accelerated by means of systems biology and the metabolic engineering approach. Here, we review recent research involving the use of Arthrospira cell factories for industrial applications, as well as the exploitation of systems biology and the metabolic engineering approach for studying Arthrospira. The current status of genomics and proteomics through the development of the genome-scale metabolic model of Arthrospira, as well as the use of mathematical modeling to simulate the phenotypes resulting from the different metabolic engineering strategies are discussed. At the end, the perspective and future direction on Arthrospira cell factories for industrial biotechnology are presented.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-06

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Molecular engineering of semiconductor surfaces and devices.

    PubMed

    Ashkenasy, Gonen; Cahen, David; Cohen, Rami; Shanzer, Abraham; Vilan, Ayelet

    2002-02-01

    Grafting organic molecules onto solid surfaces can transfer molecular properties to the solid. We describe how modifications of semiconductor or metal surfaces by molecules with systematically varying properties can lead to corresponding trends in the (electronic) properties of the resulting hybrid (molecule + solid) materials and devices made with them. Examples include molecule-controlled diodes and sensors, where the electrons need not to go through the molecules (action at a distance), suggesting a new approach to molecule-based electronics.

  13. Mesoscopic Fluorescence Molecular Tomography for Evaluating Engineered Tissues

    PubMed Central

    Ozturk, Mehmet S.; Chen, Chao-Wei; Ji, Robin; Zhao, Lingling; Nguyen, Bao-Ngoc B.; Fisher, John P.; Chen, Yu; Intes, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    Optimization of regenerative medicine strategies includes the design of biomaterials, development of cell-seeding methods, and control of cell-biomaterial interactions within the engineered tissues. Among these steps, one paramount challenge is to non-destructively image the engineered tissues in their entirety to assess structure, function, and molecular expression. It is especially important to be able to enable cell phenotyping and monitor the distribution and migration of cells throughout the bulk scaffold. Advanced fluorescence microscopic techniques are commonly employed to perform such tasks; however, they are limited to superficial examination of tissue constructs. Therefore, the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine would greatly benefit from the development of molecular imaging techniques which are capable of non-destructive imaging of three-dimensional cellular distribution and maturation within a tissue-engineered scaffold beyond the limited depth of current microscopic techniques. In this review, we focus on an emerging depth-resolved optical mesoscopic imaging technique, termed Laminar Optical Tomography (LOT) or Mesoscopic Fluorescence Molecular Tomography (MFMT), which enables longitudinal imaging of cellular distribution in thick tissue engineering constructs at depths of a few millimeters and with relatively high resolution. The physical principle, image formation, and instrumentation of LOT/MFMT systems are introduced. Representative applications in tissue engineering include imaging the distribution of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) embedded in hydrogels, imaging of bio-printed tissues, and in vivo applications. PMID:26645079

  14. 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.

  15. Engineering the Feedback Dynamics of in vitro Synthetic Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, Joshua D.

    Building a biochemical system from scratch that rivals a living cell in ability to robustly perform many complex tasks in response to environmental signals is beyond the state-of-the- art. However, feedback is clearly a principle widely employed by cells---as it is by engineers---to enable robust dynamical behaviors, although a limited system-level understanding of feedback regulation and dynamical behavior in biochemical contexts hampers our ability to engineer such systems. Studying simple feedback systems in a rich, yet fully synthetic, biochemical context---like that provided by DNA nanotechnology---may therefore lead to a new state-of-the-art for synthetic biological systems. This thesis, in keeping with this philosophy, describes basic efforts in engineering bio- chemical feedback control systems in the form of simple, in vitro, nucleic-acid-based devices. I describe two such devices, which provide basic test-beds for engineering feedback dynamics in vitro. The first device is a DNA nanomotor, previously described in the literature, that is built from and operated by nucleic acid components, and that I modify by the introduction of a protein enzyme to improve the performance of the device in experimental tests. The second device I design and build from nucleic acid components and two protein enzymes to regulate the free quantity of an RNA molecule, which in turn can be used to dynamically drive the operation of other nucleic-acid-based systems---such as the first device---in a robust manner.

  16. Cell and molecular biology of epidermal growth factor receptor.

    PubMed

    Ceresa, Brian P; Peterson, Joanne L

    2014-01-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been one of the most intensely studied cell surface receptors due to its well-established roles in developmental biology, tissue homeostasis, and cancer biology. The EGFR has been critical for creating paradigms for numerous aspects of cell biology, such as ligand binding, signal transduction, and membrane trafficking. Despite this history of discovery, there is a continual stream of evidence that only the surface has been scratched. New ways of receptor regulation continue to be identified, each of which is a potential molecular target for manipulating EGFR signaling and the resultant changes in cell and tissue biology. This chapter is an update on EGFR-mediated signaling, and describes some recent developments in the regulation of receptor biology.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Engineering Therapeutic T Cells: From Synthetic Biology to Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Esensten, Jonathan H.; Bluestone, Jeffrey A.; Lim, Wendell A.

    2017-01-01

    Engineered T cells are currently in clinical trials to treat patients with cancer, solid organ transplants, and autoimmune diseases. However, the field is still in its infancy. The design, and manufacturing, of T cell therapies is not standardized and is performed mostly in academic settings by competing groups. Reliable methods to define dose and pharmacokinetics of T cell therapies need to be developed. As of mid-2016, there are no US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved T cell therapeutics on the market, and FDA regulations are only slowly adapting to the new technologies. Further development of engineered T cell therapies requires advances in immunology, synthetic biology, manufacturing processes, and government regulation. In this review, we outline some of these challenges and discuss the contributions that pathologists can make to this emerging field. PMID:27959633

  20. Reverse engineering for biologically inspired cognitive architectures: a critical analysis.

    PubMed

    Schierwagen, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Research initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic try to utilize the operational principles of organisms and brains to develop biologically inspired, artificial cognitive systems. This paper describes the standard way bio-inspiration is gained, i.e. decompositional analysis or reverse engineering. The indisputable complexity of brain and mind raise the issue of whether they can be understood by applying the standard method. Using Robert Rosen's modeling relation, the scientific analysis method itself is made a subject of discussion. It is concluded that the fundamental assumption of cognitive science, i.e. complex cognitive systems are decomposable, must be abandoned. Implications for investigations of organisms and behavior as well as for engineering artificial cognitive systems are discussed.

  1. Engineering Therapeutic T Cells: From Synthetic Biology to Clinical Trials.

    PubMed

    Esensten, Jonathan H; Bluestone, Jeffrey A; Lim, Wendell A

    2017-01-24

    Engineered T cells are currently in clinical trials to treat patients with cancer, solid organ transplants, and autoimmune diseases. However, the field is still in its infancy. The design, and manufacturing, of T cell therapies is not standardized and is performed mostly in academic settings by competing groups. Reliable methods to define dose and pharmacokinetics of T cell therapies need to be developed. As of mid-2016, there are no US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved T cell therapeutics on the market, and FDA regulations are only slowly adapting to the new technologies. Further development of engineered T cell therapies requires advances in immunology, synthetic biology, manufacturing processes, and government regulation. In this review, we outline some of these challenges and discuss the contributions that pathologists can make to this emerging field.

  2. 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.

  3. Engineering microbial consortia: a new frontier in synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Brenner, Katie; You, Lingchong; Arnold, Frances H

    2008-09-01

    Microbial consortia are ubiquitous in nature and are implicated in processes of great importance to humans, from environmental remediation and wastewater treatment to assistance in food digestion. Synthetic biologists are honing their ability to program the behavior of individual microbial populations, forcing the microbes to focus on specific applications, such as the production of drugs and fuels. Given that microbial consortia can perform even more complicated tasks and endure more changeable environments than monocultures can, they represent an important new frontier for synthetic biology. Here, we review recent efforts to engineer synthetic microbial consortia, and we suggest future applications.

  4. Biological networks 101: computational modeling for molecular biologists.

    PubMed

    Scholma, Jetse; Schivo, Stefano; Urquidi Camacho, Ricardo A; van de Pol, Jaco; Karperien, Marcel; Post, Janine N

    2014-01-01

    Computational modeling of biological networks permits the comprehensive analysis of cells and tissues to define molecular phenotypes and novel hypotheses. Although a large number of software tools have been developed, the versatility of these tools is limited by mathematical complexities that prevent their broad adoption and effective use by molecular biologists. This study clarifies the basic aspects of molecular modeling, how to convert data into useful input, as well as the number of time points and molecular parameters that should be considered for molecular regulatory models with both explanatory and predictive potential. We illustrate the necessary experimental preconditions for converting data into a computational model of network dynamics. This model requires neither a thorough background in mathematics nor precise data on intracellular concentrations, binding affinities or reaction kinetics. Finally, we show how an interactive model of crosstalk between signal transduction pathways in primary human articular chondrocytes allows insight into processes that regulate gene expression.

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Proceedings: Second international conference on intelligent systems for molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Altman, R.; Brutlag, D.; Karp, P.; Lathrop, R.; Searls, D.

    1994-12-31

    This volume provided full papers for presentations at the Second International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology held August 14-17, 1994 at Stanford University, Stanford, California. Each individual paper has been separately abstracted and indexed for the database.

  15. Progress in nucleic acid research and molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Cohn, W.E. . Biology Div.); Moldave, K. )

    1989-01-01

    This book contain the proceedings on progress in nucleic acid research and molecular biology. Topics covered include: polynucleotide-protein cross-links induced by ultraviolet light and their use for structural investigation of nucleoproteins; left-handed Z-DNA and genetic recombination, and structure and function of signal recognition particle RNA.

  16. Teaching Introductory Cell & Molecular Biology: A Historical and Empirical Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posner, Herbert B.

    1996-01-01

    Describes the reorganized introductory cell and molecular biology lecture course at the State University of New York at Binghamton that was designed to address the issues of lack of active student participation and the stress put on memorization rather than analytical skills. Emphasizes teaching the subject historically and empirically…

  17. 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)

  18. 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…

  19. Is nanotechnology the key to unravel and engineer biological processes?

    PubMed

    Navarro, Melba; Planell, Josep A

    2012-01-01

    Regenerative medicine is an emerging field aiming to the development of new reparative strategies to treat degenerative diseases, injury, and trauma through developmental pathways in order to rebuild the architecture of the original injured organ and take over its functionality. Most of the processes and interactions involved in the regenerative process take place at subcellular scale. Nanotechnology provides the tools and technology not only to detect, to measure, or to image the interactions between the different biomolecules and biological entities, but also to control and guide the regenerative process. The relevance of nanotechnology for the development of regenerative medicine as well as an overview of the different tools that contribute to unravel and engineer biological systems are presented in this chapter. In addition, general data about the social impact and global investment in nanotechnology are provided.

  20. ``Recycling'' Geophysics: Monitoring and Isotopic Analysis of Engineered Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doherty, R.; Singh, K. P.; Ogle, N.; Ntarlagiannis, D.

    2010-12-01

    The emerging sub discipline of biogeophysics has provoked debate on the mechanisms of microbial processes that may contribute to geophysical signatures. At field scales geophysical signatures are often non unique due to the many parameters (physical, chemical, and biological) that are involved. It may be easier to apply geophysical techniques such as electrodic potential (EP), self potential (SP) and induced polarization (IP) to engineered biological systems where there is a degree of control over the design of the physical and chemical domain. Here we present results of a column experiment that was designed to anaerobically biodegrade dissolved organic matter in landfill leachate. The column utilises a recycled porous media (concrete) to help sequester organic carbon. Electrodic potential, self potential and induced polarisation are used in conjunction with chemical and isotopic techniques to monitor the effectiveness of this approach. Preliminary carbon and oxygen isotopic analysis on concrete from the column in contact with leachate show isotopic enrichment suggesting abiotic precipitation of carbonates.

  1. Systems biology for understanding and engineering of heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Park, Beom Gi; Kim, Minsuk; Kim, Joonwon; Yoo, Heewang; Kim, Byung-Gee

    2017-01-01

    Heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms continue to draw interest as they can accumulate a large amount of lipids which is a promising feedstock for the production of biofuels and oleochemicals. Nutrient limitation, especially nitrogen limitation, is known to effectively trigger the lipid production in these microorganisms. For the aim of developing improved strains, the mechanisms behind the lipid production have been studied for a long time. Nowadays, system-level understanding of their metabolism and associated metabolic switches is attainable with modern systems biology tools. This work reviews the systems biology studies, based on (i) top-down, large-scale 'omics' tools, and (ii) bottom-up, mathematical modeling methods, on the heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms with an emphasis on further application to metabolic engineering.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  4. Molecular Biology of Gallbladder Cancer: Potential Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Andrén-Sandberg, Åke

    2012-01-01

    Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is a common malignancy of the biliary tract and involves the changes in multiple oncogenes and multiple genetic genes. Since over the past decade there has been an advance in the knowledge of the genetic basis of cancer, mainly as a result of the rapid progression of molecular technology; however, conventional therapeutic approaches have not had much impact on the course of this aggressive neoplasm. Knowledge of the molecular biology of GBC is rapidly growing. Genetic alterations in GBC include adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporter ABCG8, membrane-bound enzyme ADAM-17 of multi-functional gene family, and other genes including p53, COX2, XPC, and RASSF1A. The advances in molecular biology have potential implications for the detection of this disease, using Synuclein-gamma, Syndecan-1, glycoprotein 72 (TAG-72), tumor endothelial marker 8 protein (TEM8) and TNF-alpha. The use of these molecular diagnostic methods is of clinical importance for the gene replacement therapy, genetic prodrug activation therapy, and antisense immunology technology for the treatment of malignancy. The author reviewed recent publications on PubMed, and summarized molecular biology of GBC, with an emphasis on features of potential clinical implications for diagnosis and management. PMID:23112962

  5. 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.

  6. [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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Daste, Frederic

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Murphy, Catherine J.; Vartanian, Ariane M.; Geiger, Franz M.; ...

    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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-24

    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.

  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. Harnessing systems biology approaches to engineer functional microvascular networks.

    PubMed

    Sefcik, Lauren S; Wilson, Jennifer L; Papin, Jason A; Botchwey, Edward A

    2010-06-01

    Microvascular remodeling is a complex process that includes many cell types and molecular signals. Despite a continued growth in the understanding of signaling pathways involved in the formation and maturation of new blood vessels, approximately half of all compounds entering clinical trials will fail, resulting in the loss of much time, money, and resources. Most pro-angiogenic clinical trials to date have focused on increasing neovascularization via the delivery of a single growth factor or gene. Alternatively, a focus on the concerted regulation of whole networks of genes may lead to greater insight into the underlying physiology since the coordinated response is greater than the sum of its parts. Systems biology offers a comprehensive network view of the processes of angiogenesis and arteriogenesis that might enable the prediction of drug targets and whether or not activation of the targets elicits the desired outcome. Systems biology integrates complex biological data from a variety of experimental sources (-omics) and analyzes how the interactions of the system components can give rise to the function and behavior of that system. This review focuses on how systems biology approaches have been applied to microvascular growth and remodeling, and how network analysis tools can be utilized to aid novel pro-angiogenic drug discovery.

  20. 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.

  1. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:21123692

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Molecular biology: the key to personalised treatment in radiation oncology?

    PubMed

    Hirst, D G; Robson, T

    2010-09-01

    We know considerably more about what makes cells and tissues resistant or sensitive to radiation than we did 20 years ago. Novel techniques in molecular biology have made a major contribution to our understanding at the level of signalling pathways. Before the "New Biology" era, radioresponsiveness was defined in terms of physiological parameters designated as the five Rs. These are: repair, repopulation, reassortment, reoxygenation and radiosensitivity. Of these, only the role of hypoxia proved to be a robust predictive and prognostic marker, but radiotherapy regimens were nonetheless modified in terms of dose per fraction, fraction size and overall time, in ways that persist in clinical practice today. The first molecular techniques were applied to radiobiology about two decades ago and soon revealed the existence of genes/proteins that respond to and influence the cellular outcome of irradiation. The subsequent development of screening techniques using microarray technology has since revealed that a very large number of genes fall into this category. We can now obtain an adequately robust molecular signature, predicting for a radioresponsive phenotype using gene expression and proteomic approaches. In parallel with these developments, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) can now detect specific biological molecules such as haemoglobin and glucose, so revealing a 3D map of tumour blood flow and metabolism. The key to personalised radiotherapy will be to extend this capability to the proteins of the molecular signature that determine radiosensitivity.

  4. Molecular biology of the primitive neuroectodermal tumor: a review.

    PubMed

    Raffel, C

    1999-08-15

    In terms of its molecular biology and molecular genetics, medulloblastoma is the most thoroughly studied of the pediatric brain tumors. Alterations in chromosome 17, usually an isochromosome 17q, are the most common cytogenetic abnormalities. Similarly, deletion of the short arm of one 17 chromosome, the result of formation of an iso17q, is the most common molecular biological abnormality found. The gene or genes important in the development of medulloblastoma found on chromsome 17 have not yet been identified. Both a tumor suppressor gene and an oncogene have been identified that may play a role in the development of this tumor type. The Patched (PTC) tumor suppressor gene is inactivated in approximately 15% of medulloblatomas; this alteration may be specific to the desmoplastic variant. Oncogenic mutations in the beta-catenin gene are found in a small subset of medulloblastomas. Both of these genes play central roles in developmental pathways. Prognosis in this tumor type has been related to the level of expression of the neurotrophin receptor trkC. In this review, these and other molecular biological and genetic findings are discussed with respect to the development of medulloblastoma.

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. Biologically active and biomimetic dual gelatin scaffolds for tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, P; Pedraz, J L; Orive, G

    2017-05-01

    We have designed, developed and optimized Genipin cross-linked 3D gelatin scaffolds that were biologically active and biomimetic, show a dual activity both for growth factor and cell delivery. Type B gelatin powder was dissolved in DI water. 100mg of genipin was dissolved in 10ml of DI water. Three genipin concentrations were prepared: 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.3% (w/v). Solutions were mixed at 40°C and under stirring and then left crosslinking for 72h. Scaffolds were obtained by punching 8 mm-cylinders into ethanol 70% solution for 10min and then freeze-drying. Scaffolds were biologically, biomechanically and morphologically evaluated. Cell adhesion and morphology of D1-Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and L-929 fibroblast was studied. Vascular endothelial grwoth factor (VEGF) and Sonic hedgehog (SHH) were used as model proteins. Swelling ratio increased and younǵs module decreased along with the concentration of genipin. All scaffolds were biocompatible according to the toxicity test. MSC and L-929 cell adhesion improved in 0.2% of genipin, obtaining better results with MSCs. VEGF and SHH were released from the gels. This preliminary study suggest that the biologically active and dual gelatin scaffolds may be used for tissue engineering approaches like bone regeneration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Synthetic biology engineering of biofilms as nanomaterials factories.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Peter Q

    2017-06-15

    Bottom-up fabrication of nanoscale materials has been a significant focus in materials science for expanding our technological frontiers. This assembly concept, however, is old news to biology - all living organisms fabricate themselves using bottom-up principles through a vast self-organizing system of incredibly complex biomolecules, a marvelous dynamic that we are still attempting to unravel. Can we use what we have gleaned from biology thus far to illuminate alternative strategies for designer nanomaterial manufacturing? In the present review article, new synthetic biology efforts toward using bacterial biofilms as platforms for the synthesis and secretion of programmable nanomaterials are described. Particular focus is given to self-assembling functional amyloids found in bacterial biofilms as re-engineerable modular nanomolecular components. Potential applications and existing challenges for this technology are also explored. This novel approach for repurposing biofilm systems will enable future technologies for using engineered living systems to grow artificial nanomaterials. © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  11. The engineering of artificial cellular nanosystems using synthetic biology approaches.

    PubMed

    Wu, Fan; Tan, Cheemeng

    2014-01-01

    Artificial cellular systems are minimal systems that mimic certain properties of natural cells, including signaling pathways, membranes, and metabolic pathways. These artificial cells (or protocells) can be constructed following a synthetic biology approach by assembling biomembranes, synthetic gene circuits, and cell-free expression systems. As artificial cells are built from bottom-up using minimal and a defined number of components, they are more amenable to predictive mathematical modeling and engineered controls when compared with natural cells. Indeed, artificial cells have been implemented as drug delivery machineries and in situ protein expression systems. Furthermore, artificial cells have been used as biomimetic systems to unveil new insights into functions of natural cells, which are otherwise difficult to investigate owing to their inherent complexity. It is our vision that the development of artificial cells would bring forth parallel advancements in synthetic biology, cell-free systems, and in vitro systems biology. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Conflict of interests: The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB)

    SciTech Connect

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

    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.

  13. The molecular biology of ear development - "Twenty years are nothing".

    PubMed

    Giraldez, Fernando; Fritzsch, Bernd

    2007-01-01

    Views of classical biological problems changed dramatically with the rise of molecular biology as a common framework. It was indeed the new language of life sciences. Molecular biology increasingly moved us towards a unified view of developmental genetics as ideas and techniques were imported to vertebrates from other biological systems where genetics was in a more advanced state. The ultimate advance has been the ability to actually perform genetic manipulations in vertebrate organisms that were almost unthinkable before. During the last two decades these technical advances entered into and affected the research on ear development. These events are still very recent and have been with us for no longer than two decades, which is the reason for the title of this article. This new scenario forms the basis of the current and productive work of many laboratories, and this is what this Special Issue of The International Journal of Developmental Biology wants to show, presenting a snapshot of insights at the beginning of the 21st Century. In this article, we give an overview of the topics that are addressed in this Ear Development Special Issue, and also we take the opportunity to informally dig into the genealogy of some of those topics, trying to link the current work with some classical work of the past.

  14. Molecular biology of pancreatic cancer: potential clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Sakorafas, G H; Tsiotos, G G

    2001-01-01

    The development of cancer involves the accumulation of genetic changes. Over the past decade there has a been spectacular advance in the knowledge of the genetic basis of cancer, mainly as a result of the rapid progression of molecular technology. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers. Conventional therapeutic approaches have not had much impact on the course of this aggressive neoplasm. Knowledge of the molecular biology of pancreatic cancer has grown rapidly. Genetic alterations in pancreatic cancer include oncogene mutations (most commonly K-ras mutations), and tumour suppressor gene alterations (mainly p53, p16, DCC, etc.). These advances have potential implications for the management of this deadly disease. Identification of a hereditary genetic predisposition to pancreatic cancer has led to the formation of pancreatic cancer registries around the world, with voluntary screening of patients and siblings for the hereditary genetic defect. Asymptomatic population screening remains unrealistic, but the recognition of subpopulations at increased risk from pancreatic cancer, along with novel and sensitive detection techniques, means that targeted population screening is a step closer. Intensive research is performed in specialist laboratories to improve the diagnostic approach in patients with pancreatic cancer. The use of such molecular diagnostic methods is likely to expand. Molecular biology may also have a great impact on the treatment of pancreatic cancer, and many therapeutic approaches are being evaluated in clinical trials, including gene replacement therapy, genetic prodrug activation therapy, antisense immunology and peptide technology. The 'molecular age' has the promise of delivering still better results. This review summarises recent data relating to the molecular biology of pancreatic cancer, with emphasis on features that may be of clinical significance for diagnosis and/or therapy.

  15. Applications of molecular biology and genetics in endocrinology.

    PubMed

    Kopp, Peter

    2007-09-01

    To review the growing impact of molecular biology and genetics on clinical endocrinology. Medical literature, databases, and Web sites describing genetics and genomic medicine with relevance for clinical endocrinology were reviewed. Many monogenic disorders can now be explained at the molecular level and the diagnosis can be established through mutational analysis. The ability to establish a molecular diagnosis is relevant for carrier detection and genetic counseling. In contrast to the significant advances in monogenic disorders, the current knowledge about the genetic components contributing to the pathogenesis of complex disorders is still relatively modest and is a major focus of current research efforts. Molecular biology already has an important impact on therapy in endocrine disorders. A broad spectrum of recombinant peptides and proteins are used in daily practice, eg, insulin and insulin analogues. Moreover, the increasingly detailed understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of cancer is leading to the development of novel and more specific inhibitors. While genetic testing has many advantages, it is important that physicians and patients are aware of potential limitations. They include, among others, technical limitations and allelic and nonallelic heterogeneity. These limitations need to be discussed in detail with patients and relatives, and it is often useful to involve a genetic counselor before obtaining informed consent by the individuals undergoing testing. Molecular biology and genetics play an increasingly important role for the diagnosis and therapy of endocrine disorders. Challenges for the future include the elucidation of the genetic components contributing to complex disorders, eg, diabetes mellitus type 2, and the development of cheaper and comprehensive DNA sequencing technologies. Lastly, it is important that there is continuing attention directed towards the ethical, social, and legal aspects surrounding genetic medicine.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Phenomenological and molecular models of biological proton transfers.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Patrick

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, the main models describing the transfer of a proton in a molecular system are presented. Models valid when the intersite coupling is weak (non-adiabatic and electronically adiabatic regimes) and strong (adiabatic regime) are described. We distinguish molecular models in which the rate constant is obtained by considering explicitly various degrees of freedom of the system and simpler, phenomenological models built to account for the kinetic isotope effect. The relations between the various models are discussed. Their application to specific systems is illustrated by several studies reported in the literature, with a special emphasis on biological systems.

  19. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Applications of molecular self-assembly in tissue engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrington, Daniel Anton

    This thesis studied the application of three self-assembling molecular systems, as potential biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. Cholesteryl-(L-lactic acid)n molecules form thermotropic liquid crystals, which could be coated onto the inner and outer pores of biodegradable PLLA scaffolds, while retaining the lamellar order of the neat material. Primary bovine chondrocytes were cultured on these structures, demonstrating improved attachment and extended retention of phenotype on the C-LA-coated scaffolds. No difference in fibronectin adsorption to C-LA and PLLA surfaces was observed, suggesting a strong role for cholesterol in influencing cell phenotype. A family of peptide-amphiphiles, bearing the "RGD" adhesion sequence from fibronectin, was also assessed in the contexts of cartilage and bladder repair. These molecules self-assemble into one-dimensional fibers, with diameters of 6--8 nm, and lengths of 500 nm or greater. Chondrocytes were seeded and cultured on covalently-crosslinked PA gels and embedded within calcium-triggered PA gels. Cells became dormant over time, but remained viable, suggesting an inappropriate display of the adhesion sequence to cells. A family of "branched" PA molecules with lysine dendron headgroups was designed, in an effort to increase the spatial separation between molecules in the assembled state, and to theoretically improve epitope accessibility. These molecules coated reliably onto PGA fiber scaffolds, and dramatically increased the attachment of human bladder smooth muscle cells, possibly through better epitope display or electrostatic attraction. They also formed strong gels with several negatively-charged biologically-relevant macromolecules. In a third system, amphiphilic segmented dendrimers based on phenylene vinylene and L-lysine entered cells through an endocytic pathway with no discernible toxic effect on cell proliferation or morphology. These amphiphiles formed complex aggregates in aqueous solution, likely

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Engineered Aptamers to Probe Molecular Interactions on the Cell Surface.

    PubMed

    Batool, Sana; Bhandari, Sanam; George, Shanell; Okeoma, Precious; Van, Nabeela; Zümrüt, Hazan E; Mallikaratchy, Prabodhika

    2017-08-29

    Significant progress has been made in understanding the nature of molecular interactions on the cell membrane. To decipher such interactions, molecular scaffolds can be engineered as a tool to modulate these events as they occur on the cell membrane. To guarantee reliability, scaffolds that function as modulators of cell membrane events must be coupled to a targeting moiety with superior chemical versatility. In this regard, nucleic acid aptamers are a suitable class of targeting moieties. Aptamers are inherently chemical in nature, allowing extensive site-specific chemical modification to engineer sensing molecules. Aptamers can be easily selected using a simple laboratory-based in vitro evolution method enabling the design and development of aptamer-based functional molecular scaffolds against wide range of cell surface molecules. This article reviews the application of aptamers as monitors and modulators of molecular interactions on the mammalian cell surface with the aim of increasing our understanding of cell-surface receptor response to external stimuli. The information gained from these types of studies could eventually prove useful in engineering improved medical diagnostics and therapeutics.

  6. Design-based learning for biology: Genetic engineering experience improves understanding of gene expression.

    PubMed

    Ellefson, Michelle R; Brinker, Rebecca A; Vernacchio, Vincent J; Schunn, Christian D

    2008-07-01

    Gene expression is a difficult topic for students to learn and comprehend, at least partially because it involves various biochemical structures and processes occurring at the microscopic level. Designer Bacteria, a design-based learning (DBL) unit for high-school students, applies principles of DBL to the teaching of gene expression. Throughout the 8-week unit, students genetically engineer bacteria to meet a need in their own lives. Through a series of investigations, discussions, and design modifications, students learn about the molecular processes and structures involved in gene expression, and how these processes and structures are dependent upon various environmental variables. This article is intended to describe the Designer Bacteria unit and report preliminary results of student progress and performance on pre-unit and post-unit assessments. Teacher experiences and student progress indicate that Designer Bacteria successfully taught core aspects of gene expression through DBL. Copyright © 2008 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  7. Molecular and cellular biology of small-bowel mucosa.

    PubMed

    Kitchen, Paul A.; Walters, Julian R.F.

    2001-03-01

    Study of the molecular and cellular biology of the small-intestinal mucosa is providing insights into the remarkable properties of this unique tissue. With its structured pattern of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, and its ability to adapt following exposure to luminal nutrients or injury from surgery or pathogens, it functions in a regulated but responsive manner. We review recent publications on factors affecting development, gene expression, cell turnover, and adaptation.

  8. 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.

  9. Electron scattering from molecules and molecular aggregates of biological relevance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorfinkiel, Jimena D.; Ptasinska, Sylwia

    2017-09-01

    In this Topical Review we survey the current state of the art in the study of low energy electron collisions with biologically relevant molecules and molecular clusters. We briefly describe the methods and techniques used in the investigation of these processes and summarise the results obtained so far for DNA constituents and their model compounds, amino acids, peptides and other biomolecules. The applications of the data obtained is briefly described as well as future required developments.

  10. Free molecular biological software available from the EMBL file server.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, R

    1990-04-01

    A new service provided by EMBL (EMBL Software File Server) is described that will make free molecular biology software available to anyone with computer network access. MS-DOS, Apple Macintosh and VAX/VMX are supported at the moment. The programs will be delivered by normal electronic mail; conversion mechanisms will transform binary files to ASCII to allow mail transfer. This service will also help authors to distribute their software conveniently.

  11. Rattlesnake Neurotoxin Structure, Mechanism of Action, Immunology and Molecular Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-09-10

    Aird, S. D., and Kaiser, I. I. (1988) Physiological and immunological properties of small myotoxins from -Zhe venom of the midget faded rattlesnake ...AD-A258 669 AD RATTLESNAKE NEUROTOXIN STRUCTURE, MECHANISM OF ACTION, IMMUNOLOGY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY FINAL REPORT D TIC IVAN I. KAISER ELECTE S DEC...u m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 6 2 7 8 7 A I 6 2 7 8 7 A 8 7 7 I A A [ ~A 3 1 7 8 2 1 (u) Rattlesnake neurotoxin structure

  12. Rattlesnake Neurotoxin Structure, Mechanism of Action, Immunology and Molecular Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-09-01

    from the venom of the midget faded . rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis concolor . Toxicon 2&, 319- 323. Rehm, H. and Betz, H. (1982) Binding of B...8217determined. It was shown to have great similarity to the basic subunits of related toxins from the venoms of the South American and midget faded ...AD-A228 003 CONTRACT NO.: DAMD17-89-C-9007 TITLE: RATTLESNAKE NEUROTOXIN STRUCTURE, MECHANISM OF ACTION, IMMUNOLOGY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY PRINCIPAL

  13. 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. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. [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.

  15. Molecularly Imprinted Intelligent Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications.

    PubMed

    Neves, Mariana I; Wechsler, Marissa E; Gomes, Manuela E; Reis, Rui L; Granja, Pedro L; Peppas, Nicholas A

    2017-02-01

    The development of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) using biocompatible production methods enables the possibility to further exploit this technology for biomedical applications. Tissue engineering (TE) approaches use the knowledge of the wound healing process to design scaffolds capable of modulating cell behavior and promote tissue regeneration. Biomacromolecules bear great interest for TE, together with the established recognition of the extracellular matrix, as an important source of signals to cells, both promoting cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions during the healing process. This review focuses on exploring the potential of protein molecular imprinting to create bioactive scaffolds with molecular recognition for TE applications based on the most recent approaches in the field of molecular imprinting of macromolecules. Considerations regarding essential components of molecular imprinting technology will be addressed for TE purposes. Molecular imprinting of biocompatible hydrogels, namely based on natural polymers, is also reviewed here. Hydrogel scaffolds with molecular memory show great promise for regenerative therapies. The first molecular imprinting studies analyzing cell adhesion report promising results with potential applications for cell culture systems, or biomaterials for implantation with the capability for cell recruitment by selectively adsorbing desired molecules.

  16. 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.

  17. Synthetic metabolism: engineering biology at the protein and pathway scales.

    PubMed

    Martin, Collin H; Nielsen, David R; Solomon, Kevin V; Prather, Kristala L Jones

    2009-03-27

    Biocatalysis has become a powerful tool for the synthesis of high-value compounds, particularly so in the case of highly functionalized and/or stereoactive products. Nature has supplied thousands of enzymes and assembled them into numerous metabolic pathways. Although these native pathways can be use to produce natural bioproducts, there are many valuable and useful compounds that have no known natural biochemical route. Consequently, there is a need for both unnatural metabolic pathways and novel enzymatic activities upon which these pathways can be built. Here, we review the theoretical and experimental strategies for engineering synthetic metabolic pathways at the protein and pathway scales, and highlight the challenges that this subfield of synthetic biology currently faces.

  18. 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.

  19. Physical and chemical mechanisms in molecular radiation biology

    SciTech Connect

    Glass, W.A.; Varma, M.N.

    1991-01-01

    Through its Radiological and Chemical Physics Program, the Department of Energy (DOE) has been a primary source of funding for research in radiation physics and radiochemistry, supporting a wide range of explorations of the link between physical, chemical and biological events. This book is a series of articles by authors working within this field, most of whom have been central to the DOE-sponsored research. The opening papers focus on radiological physics; the second section covers radiation chemistry in a discussion that extends from the initial energy transfer to the production of intermediate chemical species and DNA damage. The third section explores the link between the physical and chemical events and the production of biological effects. Finally the book closes with a series of papers on molecular radiation biology.

  20. From gene to protein: A 3-week intensive course in molecular biology for physical scientists.

    PubMed

    Nadeau, Jay L

    2009-07-01

    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 the material could readily be adapted to earlier undergraduates or students in other fields. The course emphasizes hands-on experience with one half-hour of lecture and 3 and a half hours of laboratory 4 days per week, for a total of 39 hours. The materials are simple and low in cost and all software used is free, making the budget accessible to small universities and community colleges that possess basic teaching wet labs. Conceptual understanding is reinforced with lab reports and an independent final paper on a subject of the student's choice. The final paper describes a possible thesis project, not necessarily the student's own, with assessment based upon grasping of key concepts and methods of molecular biology.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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 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.

  7. Recent science and its exploration: the case of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg

    2009-03-01

    This paper is about the interaction and the intertwinement between history of science as a historical process and history of science as the historiography of this process, taking molecular biology as an example. In the first part, two historical shifts are briefly characterized that appear to have punctuated the emergence of molecular biology between the 1930s and the 1980s, one connected to a new generation of analytical apparatus, the other to properly molecular tools. The second part concentrates on the historiography of this development. Basically, it distinguishes three phases. The first phase was largely dominated by accounts of the actors themselves. The second coincided with the general 'practical turn' in history of science at large, and today's historical appropriations of the molecularization of the life sciences appear to be marked by the changing disciplinary status of the science under review. In a closing remark, an argument is made for differentiating between long-range, middle-range and short-range perspectives in dealing with the history of the sciences.

  8. 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.

  9. Defining the molecular biology of inflammatory breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Charafe-Jauffret, Emmanuelle; Tarpin, Carole; Viens, Patrice; Bertucci, François

    2008-02-01

    Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare, but aggressive form of breast cancer. Despite the progress related to the introduction of primary combination chemotherapy (CT) to the multimodality treatment regimen, the prognosis of IBC remains poor with long-term survival inferior to 50%. Until recently, IBC remained understudied at the molecular level. In the past 10 years, advances have been made in the molecular characterization of the disease. Recently, the use of experimental models and new high-throughput molecular profiling technologies have led to the identification of genes or pathways potentially involved in disease development, which might represent new clinically relevant targets. The aim of this review is to present and discuss what is known about the biology of this particularly aggressive form of breast cancer and to discuss how this knowledge could improve its management.

  10. Bacterial genome engineering and synthetic biology: combating pathogens.

    PubMed

    Krishnamurthy, Malathy; Moore, Richard T; Rajamani, Sathish; Panchal, Rekha G

    2016-11-04

    The emergence and prevalence of multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogenic bacteria poses a serious threat to human and animal health globally. Nosocomial infections and common ailments such as pneumonia, wound, urinary tract, and bloodstream infections are becoming more challenging to treat due to the rapid spread of MDR pathogenic bacteria. According to recent reports by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is an unprecedented increase in the occurrence of MDR infections worldwide. The rise in these infections has generated an economic strain worldwide, prompting the WHO to endorse a global action plan to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance. This health crisis necessitates an immediate action to target the underlying mechanisms of drug resistance in bacteria. The advent of new bacterial genome engineering and synthetic biology (SB) tools is providing promising diagnostic and treatment plans to monitor and treat widespread recalcitrant bacterial infections. Key advances in genetic engineering approaches can successfully aid in targeting and editing pathogenic bacterial genomes for understanding and mitigating drug resistance mechanisms. In this review, we discuss the application of specific genome engineering and SB methods such as recombineering, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), and bacterial cell-cell signaling mechanisms for pathogen targeting. The utility of these tools in developing antibacterial strategies such as novel antibiotic production, phage therapy, diagnostics and vaccine production to name a few, are also highlighted. The prevalent use of antibiotics and the spread of MDR bacteria raise the prospect of a post-antibiotic era, which underscores the need for developing novel therapeutics to target MDR pathogens. The development of enabling SB technologies offers promising solutions to deliver safe and effective antibacterial therapies.

  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. 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

  13. 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

  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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Molecular Bases of cyclodextrin Adapter Interactions with Engineered Protein Nanopores

    SciTech Connect

    Banerjee, A.; Mikhailova, E; Cheley, S; Gu, L; Montoya, M; Nagaoka, Y; Gouaux, E; Bayley, H

    2010-01-01

    Engineered protein pores have several potential applications in biotechnology: as sensor elements in stochastic detection and ultrarapid DNA sequencing, as nanoreactors to observe single-molecule chemistry, and in the construction of nano- and micro-devices. One important class of pores contains molecular adapters, which provide internal binding sites for small molecules. Mutants of the {alpha}-hemolysin ({alpha}HL) pore that bind the adapter {beta}-cyclodextrin ({beta}CD) {approx}10{sup 4} times more tightly than the wild type have been obtained. We now use single-channel electrical recording, protein engineering including unnatural amino acid mutagenesis, and high-resolution x-ray crystallography to provide definitive structural information on these engineered protein nanopores in unparalleled detail.

  18. 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

  19. Bioimage informatics: a new area of engineering biology.

    PubMed

    Peng, Hanchuan

    2008-09-01

    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.

  20. The Molecular Revolution in Cutaneous Biology: EDC and Locus Control.

    PubMed

    Oh, Inez Y; de Guzman Strong, Cristina

    2017-05-01

    The epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) locus consists of a cluster of genes important for the terminal differentiation of the epidermis. While early studies identified the functional importance of individual EDC genes, the recognition of the EDC genes as a cluster with its shared biology, homology, and physical linkage was pivotal to later studies that investigated the transcriptional regulation of the locus. Evolutionary conservation of the EDC and the transcriptional activation during epidermal differentiation suggested a cis-regulatory mechanism via conserved noncoding elements or enhancers. This line of pursuit led to the identification of CNE 923, an epidermal-specific enhancer that was found to mediate chromatin remodeling of the EDC in an AP-1 dependent manner. These genomic studies, as well as the advent of high-throughput sequencing and genome engineering techniques, have paved the way for future investigation into enhancer-mediated regulatory networks in cutaneous biology. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. [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.

  2. 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.

  3. MBEToolbox: a MATLAB toolbox for sequence data analysis in molecular biology and evolution.

    PubMed

    Cai, James J; Smith, David K; Xia, Xuhua; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2005-03-22

    MATLAB is a high-performance language for technical computing, integrating computation, visualization, and programming in an easy-to-use environment. It has been widely used in many areas, such as mathematics and computation, algorithm development, data acquisition, modeling, simulation, and scientific and engineering graphics. However, few functions are freely available in MATLAB to perform the sequence data analyses specifically required for molecular biology and evolution. We have developed a MATLAB toolbox, called MBEToolbox, aimed at filling this gap by offering efficient implementations of the most needed functions in molecular biology and evolution. It can be used to manipulate aligned sequences, calculate evolutionary distances, estimate synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates, and infer phylogenetic trees. Moreover, it provides an extensible, functional framework for users with more specialized requirements to explore and analyze aligned nucleotide or protein sequences from an evolutionary perspective. The full functions in the toolbox are accessible through the command-line for seasoned MATLAB users. A graphical user interface, that may be especially useful for non-specialist end users, is also provided. MBEToolbox is a useful tool that can aid in the exploration, interpretation and visualization of data in molecular biology and evolution. The software is publicly available at http://web.hku.hk/~jamescai/mbetoolbox/ and http://bioinformatics.org/project/?group_id=454

  4. Beyond nature and culture: a note on medicine in the age of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Rheinberger, H J

    1995-01-01

    This paper is divided into two parts. In the first, I examine the relations among molecular biology, gene technology, and medicine, as well as some aspects of the consequences of these relations with respect to the human genome project. I argue that the prevailing momentum of early molecular biology resided in creating the technical means for an extracellular representation of intracellular configurations. As such, its medical impact was rather limited. With the advent of recombinant DNA technologies, a radical change of perspective ensued. The momentum of gene technology is based on the prospects of an intracellular representation of extracellular projects--the "rewriting" of life. Its medical impact is potentially unlimited. In the second part, I question the very opposition between nature and culture that implicitly underlies the notion of medicine as a "cultural system." I argue that both on a macroscopic level (global ecological changes) and on a microscopic level (genetic engineering), the "natural" and the "social" are no longer to be seen as ontologically different. In its uncanny oscillation between retrospection and foresight, between description and proclamation, and between assertion and hesitatiion, this essay translates an uneasiness that I have not been able to overcome while writing it. The essay conveys the tangled views of a hybrid author who himself cannot but oscillate between the perspectives of an actor in the field of molecular biology, a participant in the field of science studies, and a citizen.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. [Tools of molecular biology, what can be expected from them?].

    PubMed

    Delpech, M

    1993-01-01

    The techniques of molecular biology represent a new tool for research and diagnosis. They have been used routinely since the middle 80s. The first applications were mainly in hereditary diseases. These techniques investigated an information and not direct biological activity and so new strategies had to be developed. Two techniques have played key roles. They are Southern's method which enables the detection of specific sequences among DNA fragments in any individual within a few days, and the method of in vitro selective amplification (PCR) which is the equivalent of cloning a sequence of several hundred pairs of bases in any individual in less than 3 hours. In hereditary diseases, molecular biological techniques enable diagnosis of the genetic abnormality responsible for the condition, even when the defect is not known. To this end, two strategies are available. The first, and the most satisfactory, is the direct strategy of characterising the genetic defect itself. This is possible when the mutation is a major alteration of the DNA molecule such as a deletion, an insertion or a recombination or when the mutation is isolated and known. In other cases, an indirect approach may be used which consists of determining whether the subject has received normal or defective chromosomes from his or her parents. The identification of good or bad chromosomes is based on the study of DNA markers: polymorphism. The indirect strategy can only be used under certain conditions: presence of an index case, informativity of polymorphisms, complete family study.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  8. Naumovozyma castellii: an alternative model for budding yeast molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Karademir Andersson, Ahu; Cohn, Marita

    2017-03-01

    Naumovozyma castellii (Saccharomyces castellii) is a member of the budding yeast family Saccharomycetaceae. It has been extensively used as a model organism for telomere biology research and has gained increasing interest as a budding yeast model for functional analyses owing to its amenability to genetic modifications. Owing to the suitable phylogenetic distance to S. cerevisiae, the whole genome sequence of N. castellii has provided unique data for comparative genomic studies, and it played a key role in the establishment of the timing of the whole genome duplication and the evolutionary events that took place in the subsequent genomic evolution of the Saccharomyces lineage. Here we summarize the historical background of its establishment as a laboratory yeast species, and the development of genetic and molecular tools and strains. We review the research performed on N. castellii, focusing on areas where it has significantly contributed to the discovery of new features of molecular biology and to the advancement of our understanding of molecular evolution. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Dissecting the Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases through Network Biology.

    PubMed

    Santiago, Jose A; Bottero, Virginie; Potashkin, Judith A

    2017-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are rarely caused by a mutation in a single gene but rather influenced by a combination of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. Emerging high-throughput technologies such as RNA sequencing have been instrumental in deciphering the molecular landscape of neurodegenerative diseases, however, the interpretation of such large amounts of data remains a challenge. Network biology has become a powerful platform to integrate multiple omics data to comprehensively explore the molecular networks in the context of health and disease. In this review article, we highlight recent advances in network biology approaches with an emphasis in brain-networks that have provided insights into the molecular mechanisms leading to the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's (AD), Parkinson's (PD) and Huntington's diseases (HD). We discuss how integrative approaches using multi-omics data from different tissues have been valuable for identifying biomarkers and therapeutic targets. In addition, we discuss the challenges the field of network medicine faces toward the translation of network-based findings into clinically actionable tools for personalized medicine applications.

  10. An improved failure criterion for biological and engineered staggered composites.

    PubMed

    Barthelat, Francois; Dastjerdi, Ahmad Khayer; Rabiei, Reza

    2013-02-01

    High-performance biological materials such as nacre, spider silk or bone have evolved a staggered microstructure consisting of stiff and strong elongated inclusions aligned with the direction of loading. This structure leads to useful combinations of stiffness, strength and toughness, and it is therefore increasingly mimicked in bio-inspired composites. The performance of staggered composites can be tuned; for example, their mechanical properties increase when the overlap between the inclusions is increased. However, larger overlaps may lead to excessive tensile stress and fracture of the inclusions themselves, a highly detrimental failure mode. Fracture of the inclusions has so far only been predicted using highly simplified models, which hinder our ability to properly design and optimize engineered staggered composites. In this work, we develop a new failure criterion that takes into account the complex stress field within the inclusions as well as initial defects. The model leads to an 'optimum criterion' for cases where the shear tractions on the inclusions is uniform, and a 'conservative' criterion for which the tractions are modelled as point forces at the ends of the overlap regions. The criterion can therefore be applied for a wide array of material behaviour at the interface, even if the details of the shear load transfer is not known. The new criterion is validated with experiments on staggered structures made of millimetre-thick alumina tablets, and by comparison with data on nacre. Formulated in a non-dimensional form, our new criterion can be applied on a wide variety of engineered staggered composites at any length scale. It also reveals new design guidelines, for example high aspect ratio inclusions with weak interfaces are preferable over inclusions with low aspect ratio and stronger interfaces. Together with existing models, this new criterion will lead to optimal designs that harness the full potential of bio-inspired staggered composites.

  11. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Biological effects of high molecular weight lignin derivatives.

    PubMed

    Pessala, Piia; Schultz, Eija; Kukkola, Jukka; Nakari, Tarja; Knuutinen, Juha; Herve, Sirpa; Paasivirta, Jaakko

    2010-10-01

    A number of high molecular weight (HMW) lignin derivatives possessing varied chemical properties were screened for their biological effects in order to obtain more information on the possible structural features of HMW lignin-related effects. The studied compounds were both commercial and in-house extracted lignin derivatives. Bioassays used include reverse electron transport (RET), Vibrio fischeri, Daphnia magna, and juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) hepatocytes. The studied lignin derivatives inhibited the in vitro systems and luminescence of V. fischeri bacteria to some extent-daphnids were not affected. It seems that, at least in the RET assay, certain pH-dependent functional groups in lignin may be of importance regarding the biological effects.

  17. 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.

  18. Research Applications of Proteolytic Enzymes in Molecular Biology

    PubMed Central

    Mótyán, János András; Tóth, Ferenc; Tőzsér, József

    2013-01-01

    Proteolytic enzymes (also termed peptidases, proteases and proteinases) are capable of hydrolyzing peptide bonds in proteins. They can be found in all living organisms, from viruses to animals and humans. Proteolytic enzymes have great medical and pharmaceutical importance due to their key role in biological processes and in the life-cycle of many pathogens. Proteases are extensively applied enzymes in several sectors of industry and biotechnology, furthermore, numerous research applications require their use, including production of Klenow fragments, peptide synthesis, digestion of unwanted proteins during nucleic acid purification, cell culturing and tissue dissociation, preparation of recombinant antibody fragments for research, diagnostics and therapy, exploration of the structure-function relationships by structural studies, removal of affinity tags from fusion proteins in recombinant protein techniques, peptide sequencing and proteolytic digestion of proteins in proteomics. The aim of this paper is to review the molecular biological aspects of proteolytic enzymes and summarize their applications in the life sciences. PMID:24970197

  19. Biologic Therapy and Novel Molecular Targets of Severe Asthma.

    PubMed

    Pepper, Amber N; Renz, Harald; Casale, Thomas B; Garn, Holger

    Treatment options for severe or uncontrolled asthma are increasing, especially pertaining to novel biologic therapies. The 2 primary asthma endotypes, T2 high and T2 low, are defined by the level of type 2 T helper and innate lymphoid cell activity and mediators. Most therapies for severe asthma target T2 high asthma, including the 3 biologics approved for use in the United States and Europe: omalizumb, mepolizumb, and reslizumab. Other biologics, with various molecular targets, are under investigation. Unfortunately, treatment options for T2 low asthma are limited. Although these therapies may improve asthma symptoms, exacerbation rates, and lung function parameters, they have not been shown to modify the disease process or provide lasting benefits after discontinuation. Biomarkers identified thus far to help guide individualized therapy in severe asthma are helpful, but imperfect discriminators for picking the best option for individual patients. This review will discuss the mechanisms of action, indications, and therapeutic effects of currently available and emerging biologics for the treatment of severe or uncontrolled asthma. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Electrophoretic gel image analysis software for the molecular biology laboratory.

    PubMed

    Redman, T; Jacobs, T

    1991-06-01

    We present GelReader 1.0, a microcomputer program designed to make precision, digital analysis of one-dimensional electrophoretic gels accessible to the molecular biology laboratory of modest means. Images of electrophoretic gels are digitized via a desktop flatbed scanner from instant photographs, autoradiograms or chromogenically stained blotting media. GelReader is then invoked to locate lanes and bands and generate a report of molecular weights of unknowns, based on specified sets of standards. Frequently used standards can be stored in the program. Lanes and bands can be added or removed, based upon users' subjective preferences. A unique lane histogram feature facilitates precise manual addition of bands missed by the software. Image enhancement features include palette manipulation, histogram equalization, shadowing and magnification. The user interface strikes a balance between program autonomy and user intervention, in recognition of the variability in electrophoretic gel quality and users' analytical needs.

  1. The human glucocorticoid receptor: molecular basis of biologic function.

    PubMed

    Nicolaides, Nicolas C; Galata, Zoi; Kino, Tomoshige; Chrousos, George P; Charmandari, Evangelia

    2010-01-01

    The characterization of the subfamily of steroid hormone receptors has enhanced our understanding of how a set of hormonally derived lipophilic ligands controls cellular and molecular functions to influence development and help achieve homeostasis. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR), the first member of this subfamily, is a ubiquitously expressed intracellular protein, which functions as a ligand-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of glucocorticoid-responsive genes. The effector domains of the GR mediate transcriptional activation by recruiting coregulatory multi-subunit complexes that remodel chromatin, target initiation sites, and stabilize the RNA-polymerase II machinery for repeated rounds of transcription of target genes. This review summarizes the basic aspects of the structure and actions of the human (h) GR, and the molecular basis of its biologic functions.

  2. Molecular Requirements for the Biological Activity of Ethylene 1

    PubMed Central

    Burg, Stanley P.; Burg, Ellen A.

    1967-01-01

    The molecular requirements for ethylene action were investigated using the pea straight growth test. Biological activity requires an unsaturated bond adjacent to a terminal carbon atom, is inversely related to molecular size, and is decreased by substitutions which lower the electron density in the unsaturated position. Evidence is presented that ethylene binds to a metal containing receptor site. CO2 is a competitive inhibitor of ethylene action, and prevents high concentrations of auxin (which stimulate ethylene formation) from retarding the elongation of etiolated pea stem sections. It is suggested that CO2 delays fruit ripening by displacing the ripening hormone, ethylene, from its receptor site. Binding of ethylene to the receptor site is also impeded when the O2 concentration is lowered, and this may explain why fruit ripening is delayed at low O2 tensions. PMID:16656478

  3. The Human Glucocorticoid Receptor: Molecular Basis of Biologic Function

    PubMed Central

    Nicolaides, Nicolas C.; Galata, Zoi; Kino, Tomoshige; Chrousos, George P.; Charmandari, Evangelia

    2009-01-01

    The characterization of the subfamily of steroid hormone receptors has enhanced our understanding of how a set of hormonally derived lipophilic ligands controls cellular and molecular functions to influence development and help achieve homeostasis. The glucocorticopid receptor (GR), the first member of this subfamily, is a ubiquitously expressed intracellular protein, which functions as a ligand-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of glucocorticoid-responsive genes. The effector domains of the GR mediate transcriptional activation by recruiting coregulatory multi-subunit complexes that remodel chromatin, target initiation sites, and stabilize the RNA polymerase II machinery for repeated rounds of transcription of target genes. This review summarizes the basic aspects of the structure and of the human (h) GR, and the molecular basis of its biologic function. PMID:19818358

  4. 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.

  5. Molecular genetics of glioblastomas: defining subtypes and understanding the biology.

    PubMed

    Renault, Ilana Zalcberg; Golgher, Denise

    2015-02-01

    Despite comprehensive therapy, which includes surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, the prognosis of glioblastoma multiforme is very poor. Diagnosed individuals present an average of 12 to 18 months of life. This article provides an overview of the molecular genetics of these tumors. Despite the overwhelming amount of data available, so far little has been translated into real benefits for the patient. Because this is such a complex topic, the goal is to point out the main alterations in the biological pathways that lead to tumor formation, and how this can contribute to the development of better therapies and clinical care.

  6. Single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Sasmal, Dibyendu K; Pulido, Laura E; Kasal, Shan; Huang, Jun

    2016-12-08

    Single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) is a powerful technique for studying the conformation dynamics and interactions of individual biomolecules. In this review, we describe the concept and principle of smFRET, illustrate general instrumentation and microscopy settings for experiments, and discuss the methods and algorithms for data analysis. Subsequently, we review applications of smFRET in protein conformational changes, ion channel open-close properties, receptor-ligand interactions, nucleic acid structure regulation, vesicle fusion, and force induced conformational dynamics. Finally, we discuss the main limitations of smFRET in molecular biology.

  7. Molecular biology, epidemiology, and the elusive nature of pancreatitis.

    PubMed

    Tenner, Scott

    2015-03-05

    The myriad of presentations of pancreatitis can cause confusion and controversy among clinicians affecting the diagnosis, treatment, and research of patients with these disorders. Although the disease is best thought of as a spectrum with classic presentations, the underlying pathophysiologic reasons for the differences in manifestations remains unknown. In this issue of the Journal, LaRusch and colleagues provide an elegant study combining epidemiology and molecular biology to explain why some patients with pancreatitis develop fibrosis chronic pancreatitis. The implications of the findings add to the growing request to support large multidisciplinary, combined genetic, and epidemiologic studies in pancreatic disease.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Stress and breast cancer: from epidemiology to molecular biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Stress exposure has been proposed to contribute to the etiology of breast cancer. However, the validity of this assertion and the possible mechanisms involved are not well established. Epidemiologic studies differ in their assessment of the relative contribution of stress to breast cancer risk, while physiological studies propose a clear connection but lack the knowledge of intracellular pathways involved. The present review aims to consolidate the findings from different fields of research (including epidemiology, physiology, and molecular biology) in order to present a comprehensive picture of what we know to date about the role of stress in breast cancer development. PMID:21575279

  13. Progress in nucleic acid research and molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Cohn, W.E.; Moldave, K.

    1988-01-01

    Complementary Use of Chemical Modification and Site-Directed Mutagenesis to Probe Structure-Activity Relationships in Enzymes. Mechanisms of the Antiviral Action of Inteferons. Modulation of Cellular Genes by Oncogenes. DNA Damage Produced by Ionizing Radiation in Mammalian Cells: Identities, Mechanisms of Formation, and Reparability. Human Ferritin Gene Expression. Molecular Biology of the Insulin Receptor. Cap-Binding Proteins of Eukaryotic Messenger RNA: Functions in Initiation and Control of Translation. Physical Monitoring of Meiotic and Mitotic Recombination in Yeast. Early Signals Underlying the Induction of the c-fos and c-myc Genes in Quiescent Fibroblasts: Studies with Bombesin and Other Growth Factors. Each chapter includes references.

  14. Building bridges between cellular and molecular structural biology.

    PubMed

    Patwardhan, Ardan; Brandt, Robert; Butcher, Sarah J; Collinson, Lucy; Gault, David; Grünewald, Kay; Hecksel, Corey; Huiskonen, Juha T; Iudin, Andrii; Jones, Martin L; Korir, Paul K; Koster, Abraham J; Lagerstedt, Ingvar; Lawson, Catherine L; Mastronarde, David; McCormick, Matthew; Parkinson, Helen; Rosenthal, Peter B; Saalfeld, Stephan; Saibil, Helen R; Sarntivijai, Sirarat; Solanes Valero, Irene; Subramaniam, Sriram; Swedlow, Jason R; Tudose, Ilinca; Winn, Martyn; Kleywegt, Gerard J

    2017-07-06

    The integration of cellular and molecular structural data is key to understanding the function of macromolecular assemblies and complexes in their in vivo context. Here we report on the outcomes of a workshop that discussed how to integrate structural data from a range of public archives. The workshop identified two main priorities: the development of tools and file formats to support segmentation (that is, the decomposition of a three-dimensional volume into regions that can be associated with defined objects), and the development of tools to support the annotation of biological structures.

  15. [Applications of molecular biology in the wine industry].

    PubMed

    Ramón, D; González-Candelas, L; Pérez-González, J A; González, R; Ventura, L; Sánchez-Torres, P; Vallés, S; Piñaga, F; Gallego, M V; Fernández-Espinar, M T

    1995-03-01

    Population dynamics of natural and inoculated industrial wine fermentations have been studied by using a simple molecular biology technique based on mitochondrial DNA restriction analysis profile. The predominance of the inoculated strain in the inoculated fermentations is obvious. A genetic transformation system has been developed for an industrial wine yeast strain named T73. By using this technique, different fungal hydrolases in this industrial strain have been expressed. Problems and benefits of the application of recombinant DNA techniques in wine yeast strains are also discussed here.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. Molecular Regulation of Contractile Smooth Muscle Cell Phenotype: Implications for Vascular Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Beamish, Jeffrey A.; He, Ping; Kottke-Marchant, Kandice

    2010-01-01

    The molecular regulation of smooth muscle cell (SMC) behavior is reviewed, with particular emphasis on stimuli that promote the contractile phenotype. SMCs can shift reversibly along a continuum from a quiescent, contractile phenotype to a synthetic phenotype, which is characterized by proliferation and extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis. This phenotypic plasticity can be harnessed for tissue engineering. Cultured synthetic SMCs have been used to engineer smooth muscle tissues with organized ECM and cell populations. However, returning SMCs to a contractile phenotype remains a key challenge. This review will integrate recent work on how soluble signaling factors, ECM, mechanical stimulation, and other cells contribute to the regulation of contractile SMC phenotype. The signal transduction pathways and mechanisms of gene expression induced by these stimuli are beginning to be elucidated and provide useful information for the quantitative analysis of SMC phenotype in engineered tissues. Progress in the development of tissue-engineered scaffold systems that implement biochemical, mechanical, or novel polymer fabrication approaches to promote contractile phenotype will also be reviewed. The application of an improved molecular understanding of SMC biology will facilitate the design of more potent cell-instructive scaffold systems to regulate SMC behavior. PMID:20334504

  18. [Molecular biology of biological clock--genetic regulation of circadian rhythm and sleep].

    PubMed

    Kume, Kazuhiko

    2006-07-01

    Circadian rhythm is a universal biological property functioning in most living species on the earth from bacteria and plants to animals. The molecular mechanisms creating this rhythm have recently been elucidated and the transcriptional feedback loop regulation of 'clock genes' is regarded as essential for all species studied so far. Both mammals and insects share the similar clock genes, which highlights the long conservation of circadian rhythm at the genetic level. Sleep and arousal cycles in mammals are known to be regulated by both homeostatic and circadian processes, but the genetic machinery for sleep regulation is still unclear. Recently, it has been reported that insects also have sleep-like behavior, and we showed that insects use dopamine as a regulator of their sleep/arousal cycling, which strongly suggests the similarity of arousal regulation between insects and mammals at the molecular level. In this review, these recent advancements of the molecular understanding of circadian rhythm and sleep/arousal regulation are outlined.

  19. Engineering of molecular and cellular biocatalysts: selected contributions by James E. Bailey.

    PubMed

    Dordick, Jonathan S; Khosla, Chaitan

    2002-09-05

    James (Jay) E. Bailey was a pioneer in biotechnology and biochemical engineering. During his 30 years in academia he made seminal contributions to many fields of chemical engineering science, including catalysis and reaction engineering, bioprocess engineering, mathematical modeling of cellular processes, recombinant DNA technology, enzyme engineering, and metabolic engineering. This article celebrates some of his contributions to the engineering of molecular and cellular biocatalysts, and identifies the influence he had on current and future research in biotechnology. Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Quantitative molecular sensing in biological tissues: an approach to non-invasive optical characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandra, Malavika; Vishwanath, Karthik; Fichter, Greg D.; Liao, Elly; Hollister, Scott J.; Mycek, Mary-Ann

    2006-06-01

    A method to non-invasively and quantitatively characterize thick biological tissues by combining both experimental and computational approaches in tissue optical spectroscopy was developed and validated on fifteen porcine articular cartilage (AC) tissue samples. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to couple non-invasive reflectance and fluorescence spectroscopic measurements on freshly harvested tissues with Monte Carlo computational modeling of time-resolved propagation of both excitation light and multi-fluorophore emission. For reflectance, quantitative agreement between simulation and experiment was achieved to better than 11%. Fluorescence data and simulations were used to extract the ratio of the absorption coefficients of constituent fluorophores for each measured AC tissue sample. This ratio could be used to monitor relative changes in concentration of the constituent fluorophores over time. The samples studied possessed the complexity and variability not found in artificial tissue-simulating phantoms and serve as a model for future optical molecular sensing studies on tissue engineered constructs intended for use in human therapeutics. An optical technique that could non-invasively and quantitatively assess soft tissue composition or physiologic status would represent a significant advance in tissue engineering. Moreover, the general approach described here for optical characterization should be broadly applicable to quantitative, non-invasive molecular sensing applications in complex, three-dimensional biological tissues.