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Sample records for enhancing genetic gains

  1. Advances in maize genomics and their value for enhancing genetic gains from breeding.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yunbi; Skinner, Debra J; Wu, Huixia; Palacios-Rojas, Natalia; Araus, Jose Luis; Yan, Jianbing; Gao, Shibin; Warburton, Marilyn L; Crouch, Jonathan H

    2009-01-01

    Maize is an important crop for food, feed, forage, and fuel across tropical and temperate areas of the world. Diversity studies at genetic, molecular, and functional levels have revealed that, tropical maize germplasm, landraces, and wild relatives harbor a significantly wider range of genetic variation. Among all types of markers, SNP markers are increasingly the marker-of-choice for all genomics applications in maize breeding. Genetic mapping has been developed through conventional linkage mapping and more recently through linkage disequilibrium-based association analyses. Maize genome sequencing, initially focused on gene-rich regions, now aims for the availability of complete genome sequence. Conventional insertion mutation-based cloning has been complemented recently by EST- and map-based cloning. Transgenics and nutritional genomics are rapidly advancing fields targeting important agronomic traits including pest resistance and grain quality. Substantial advances have been made in methodologies for genomics-assisted breeding, enhancing progress in yield as well as abiotic and biotic stress resistances. Various genomic databases and informatics tools have been developed, among which MaizeGDB is the most developed and widely used by the maize research community. In the future, more emphasis should be given to the development of tools and strategic germplasm resources for more effective molecular breeding of tropical maize products.

  2. Advances in Maize Genomics and Their Value for Enhancing Genetic Gains from Breeding

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yunbi; Skinner, Debra J.; Wu, Huixia; Palacios-Rojas, Natalia; Araus, Jose Luis; Yan, Jianbing; Gao, Shibin; Warburton, Marilyn L.; Crouch, Jonathan H.

    2009-01-01

    Maize is an important crop for food, feed, forage, and fuel across tropical and temperate areas of the world. Diversity studies at genetic, molecular, and functional levels have revealed that, tropical maize germplasm, landraces, and wild relatives harbor a significantly wider range of genetic variation. Among all types of markers, SNP markers are increasingly the marker-of-choice for all genomics applications in maize breeding. Genetic mapping has been developed through conventional linkage mapping and more recently through linkage disequilibrium-based association analyses. Maize genome sequencing, initially focused on gene-rich regions, now aims for the availability of complete genome sequence. Conventional insertion mutation-based cloning has been complemented recently by EST- and map-based cloning. Transgenics and nutritional genomics are rapidly advancing fields targeting important agronomic traits including pest resistance and grain quality. Substantial advances have been made in methodologies for genomics-assisted breeding, enhancing progress in yield as well as abiotic and biotic stress resistances. Various genomic databases and informatics tools have been developed, among which MaizeGDB is the most developed and widely used by the maize research community. In the future, more emphasis should be given to the development of tools and strategic germplasm resources for more effective molecular breeding of tropical maize products. PMID:19688107

  3. Evaluating realized genetic gains from tree improvement.

    Treesearch

    J.B. St. Clair

    1993-01-01

    Tree improvement has become an essential part of the management of forest lands for wood production, and predicting yields and realized gains from forests planted with genetically-improved trees will become increasingly important. This paper discusses concepts of tree improvement and genetic gain important to growth and yield modeling, and reviews previous studies of...

  4. Measuring Financial Gains from Genetically Superior Trees

    Treesearch

    George Dutrow; Clark Row

    1976-01-01

    Planting genetically superior loblolly pines will probably yield high profits.Forest economists have made computer simulations that predict financial gains expected from a tree improvement program under actual field conditions.

  5. Genetic enhancements and expectations.

    PubMed

    Sorensen, K

    2009-07-01

    Some argue that genetic enhancements and environmental enhancements are not importantly different: environmental enhancements such as private schools and chess lessons are simply the old-school way to have a designer baby. I argue that there is an important distinction between the two practices--a distinction that makes state restrictions on genetic enhancements more justifiable than state restrictions on environmental enhancements. The difference is that parents have no settled expectations about genetic enhancements.

  6. Genetic Gains Through Testing and Crossing Longleaf Pine Plus Trees

    Treesearch

    Calvin F. Bey; E. Bayne Snyder

    1978-01-01

    A progeny test of 226 superior tree selections from nine geographic sources across the South confirmed earlier results that showed the Gulf Coast source superior in survival and growth. Family variation within a region was large and provided additional genetic gain. Control-pollinated tests of elite x elite trees yielded even more gains. Progeny of the elite x elite...

  7. Microstrip antenna gain enhancement with metamaterial radome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Attachi, S.; Saleh, C.; Bouzouad, M.

    2017-01-01

    In this work, a high gain patch antenna using multilayer FSS radome is proposed for millimeter-wave applications. The antenna operating frequency is 43.5 GHz. The antenna/radome system consists of one, two, three, or four layers of metasurfaces placed in the near-field region of a microstrip patch antenna. The antenna/radome system gain is improved by 9 dBi compared to the patch antenna alone, and the radiation pattern half-power beamwidth is reduces to 20° in both E- and H-planes.

  8. Fundamental limitations to gain enhancement in periodic media and waveguides.

    PubMed

    Grgić, Jure; Ott, Johan Raunkjær; Wang, Fengwen; Sigmund, Ole; Jauho, Antti-Pekka; Mørk, Jesper; Mortensen, N Asger

    2012-05-04

    A common strategy to compensate for losses in optical nanostructures is to add gain material in the system. By exploiting slow-light effects it is expected that the gain may be enhanced beyond its bulk value. Here we show that this route cannot be followed uncritically: inclusion of gain inevitably modifies the underlying dispersion law, and thereby may degrade the slow-light properties underlying the device operation and the anticipated gain enhancement itself. This degradation is generic; we demonstrate it for three different systems of current interest (coupled-resonator optical waveguides, Bragg stacks, and photonic crystal waveguides). Nevertheless, a small amount of added gain may be beneficial.

  9. Potential of gene drives with genome editing to increase genetic gain in livestock breeding programs.

    PubMed

    Gonen, Serap; Jenko, Janez; Gorjanc, Gregor; Mileham, Alan J; Whitelaw, C Bruce A; Hickey, John M

    2017-01-04

    This paper uses simulation to explore how gene drives can increase genetic gain in livestock breeding programs. Gene drives are naturally occurring phenomena that cause a mutation on one chromosome to copy itself onto its homologous chromosome. We simulated nine different breeding and editing scenarios with a common overall structure. Each scenario began with 21 generations of selection, followed by 20 generations of selection based on true breeding values where the breeder used selection alone, selection in combination with genome editing, or selection with genome editing and gene drives. In the scenarios that used gene drives, we varied the probability of successfully incorporating the gene drive. For each scenario, we evaluated genetic gain, genetic variance [Formula: see text], rate of change in inbreeding ([Formula: see text]), number of distinct quantitative trait nucleotides (QTN) edited, rate of increase in favourable allele frequencies of edited QTN and the time to fix favourable alleles. Gene drives enhanced the benefits of genome editing in seven ways: (1) they amplified the increase in genetic gain brought about by genome editing; (2) they amplified the rate of increase in the frequency of favourable alleles and reduced the time it took to fix them; (3) they enabled more rapid targeting of QTN with lesser effect for genome editing; (4) they distributed fixed editing resources across a larger number of distinct QTN across generations; (5) they focussed editing on a smaller number of QTN within a given generation; (6) they reduced the level of inbreeding when editing a subset of the sires; and (7) they increased the efficiency of converting genetic variation into genetic gain. Genome editing in livestock breeding results in short-, medium- and long-term increases in genetic gain. The increase in genetic gain occurs because editing increases the frequency of favourable alleles in the population. Gene drives accelerate the increase in allele frequency

  10. Controlled mass pollination in loblolly pine to increase genetic gains

    Treesearch

    F.E. Bridgwater; D.L. Bramlett; T.D. Byram; W.J. Lowe

    1998-01-01

    Controlled mass pollination (CMP) is one way to increase genetic gains from traditional wind-pollinated seed orchards. Methodology is under development by several forestry companies in the southern USA. Costs of CMP depend on the efficient installation, pollination, and removal of inexpensive paper bags. Even in pilot-scale studies these costs seem reasonable. Net...

  11. Obesity and diabetes genetic variants associated with gestational weight gain

    PubMed Central

    Stuebe, Alison M.; Lyon, Helen; Herring, Amy; Ghosh, Joyee; Wise, Alison; North, Kari E.; Siega-Riz, Anna Maria

    2011-01-01

    Objective To determine whether genetic variants associated with diabetes and obesity predict gestational weight gain. Study Design 960 participants in the Pregnancy, Infection and Nutrition cohorts were genotyped for 27 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with diabetes and obesity. Results Among white and black women (n=960), KCNQ1 risk allele carriage was directly associated with weight gain (p < 0.01). In Bayesian hierarchical models among white women (N=628), we found posterior odds ratios > 3 for inclusion of TCF2 and THADA SNPs in our models. Among black women (n=332), we found associations between risk allele carriage and weight gain for the THADA and INSIG2 SNPs. In Bayesian variable selection models, we found an interaction between the TSPAN8 risk allele and pre-gravid obesity, with lower weight gain among obese risk allele carriers. Conclusion We found evidence that diabetes and obesity risk alleles interact with maternal pre-gravid BMI to predict gestational weight gain. PMID:20816152

  12. Slow-light-enhanced gain in active photonic crystal waveguides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ek, Sara; Lunnemann, Per; Chen, Yaohui; Semenova, Elizaveta; Yvind, Kresten; Mork, Jesper

    2014-09-01

    Passive photonic crystals have been shown to exhibit a multitude of interesting phenomena, including slow-light propagation in line-defect waveguides. It was suggested that by incorporating an active material in the waveguide, slow light could be used to enhance the effective gain of the material, which would have interesting application prospects, for example enabling ultra-compact optical amplifiers for integration in photonic chips. Here we experimentally investigate the gain of a photonic crystal membrane structure with embedded quantum wells. We find that by solely changing the photonic crystal structural parameters, the maximum value of the gain coefficient can be increased compared with a ridge waveguide structure and at the same time the spectral position of the peak gain be controlled. The experimental results are in qualitative agreement with theory and show that gain values similar to those realized in state-of-the-art semiconductor optical amplifiers should be attainable in compact photonic integrated amplifiers.

  13. Slow-light-enhanced gain in active photonic crystal waveguides.

    PubMed

    Ek, Sara; Lunnemann, Per; Chen, Yaohui; Semenova, Elizaveta; Yvind, Kresten; Mork, Jesper

    2014-09-30

    Passive photonic crystals have been shown to exhibit a multitude of interesting phenomena, including slow-light propagation in line-defect waveguides. It was suggested that by incorporating an active material in the waveguide, slow light could be used to enhance the effective gain of the material, which would have interesting application prospects, for example enabling ultra-compact optical amplifiers for integration in photonic chips. Here we experimentally investigate the gain of a photonic crystal membrane structure with embedded quantum wells. We find that by solely changing the photonic crystal structural parameters, the maximum value of the gain coefficient can be increased compared with a ridge waveguide structure and at the same time the spectral position of the peak gain be controlled. The experimental results are in qualitative agreement with theory and show that gain values similar to those realized in state-of-the-art semiconductor optical amplifiers should be attainable in compact photonic integrated amplifiers.

  14. Does justice require genetic enhancements?

    PubMed

    Holtug, N

    1999-04-01

    It is argued that justice in some cases provides a pro tanto reason genetically to enhance victims of the genetic lottery. Various arguments--both to the effect that justice provides no such reason and to the effect that while there may be such reasons, they are overridden by certain moral constraints--are considered and rejected. Finally, it is argued that justice provides stronger reasons to perform more traditional medical tasks (treatments), and that therefore genetic enhancements should not play an important role in a public health care system.

  15. Correlation between genetic polymorphisms and stroke recovery: analysis of the GAIN Americas and GAIN International Studies.

    PubMed

    Cramer, S C; Procaccio, V

    2012-05-01

    Recovery after stroke occurs on the basis of specific molecular events. Genetic polymorphisms associated with impaired neural repair or plasticity might reduce recovery from stroke and might also account for some of the intersubject variability in stroke recovery. This study hypothesized that the ApoE ε4 polymorphism and the val(66) met polymorphism for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are each associated with poorer outcome after stroke. Associations with mitochondrial genotype were also explored. Genotypes were determined in 255 stroke patients who also received behavioral evaluations in the Glycine Antagonist In Neuroprotection (GAIN) clinical trials. The primary outcome measure was recovery during the first month post-stroke, as this is the time when neural repair is at a maximum and so when genetic influences might have their largest impact. Two secondary outcome measures at 3 months post-stroke were also examined.   Genotype groups were similar acutely post-stroke. Presence of the ApoE ε4 polymorphism was associated with significantly poorer recovery over the first month post-stroke (P = 0.023) and with a lower proportion of subjects with minimal or no disability (modified Rankin score 0-1, P = 0.01) at 3 months post-stroke. Indeed, those with this polymorphism were approximately half as likely to achieve minimal or no disability (18.2%) versus those with polymorphism absent (35.5%). Findings were confirmed in multivariate models. Results suggested possible effects from the val(66) met BDNF polymorphism and from the R0 mitochondrial DNA haplotype.   Genetic factors, particularly the ApoE ε4 polymorphism, might contribute to variability in outcomes after stroke. © 2012 The Author(s) European Journal of Neurology © 2012 EFNS.

  16. Sharpening of enhanced backscattering peak in a disordered gain medium

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, S.C. |; Zhang, Z.

    1996-08-01

    We study theoretically the phenomenon of enhanced backscattering (EBS) from a bulk disordered gain medium due to the presence of a dye and a pump beam. We show that the presence of the gain, in combination with the effect of saturation, can dramatically sharpen the EBS peak function. In the particular case of a point source incidence for the probe beam along with the presence of a plane-wave pump beam, the EBS approaches a {delta} function in angular space.{copyright} {ital 1996 The American Physical Society.}

  17. Maternal and fetal genetic contribution to gestational weight gain.

    PubMed

    Warrington, N M; Richmond, R; Fenstra, B; Myhre, R; Gaillard, R; Paternoster, L; Wang, C A; Beaumont, R N; Das, S; Murcia, M; Barton, S J; Espinosa, A; Thiering, E; Atalay, M; Pitkänen, N; Ntalla, I; Jonsson, A E; Freathy, R; Karhunen, V; Tiesler, C M T; Allard, C; Crawford, A; Ring, S M; Melbye, M; Magnus, P; Rivadeneira, F; Skotte, L; Hansen, T; Marsh, J; Guxens, M; Holloway, J W; Grallert, H; Jaddoe, V W V; Lowe, W L; Roumeliotaki, T; Hattersley, A T; Lindi, V; Pahkala, K; Panoutsopoulou, K; Standl, M; Flexeder, C; Bouchard, L; Nohr, E A; Marina, L S; Kogevinas, M; Niinikoski, H; Dedoussis, G; Heinrich, J; Reynolds, R M; Lakka, T; Zeggini, E; Raitakari, O T; Chatzi, L; Inskip, H M; Bustamante, M; Hivert, M-F; Jarvelin, M-R; Sørensen, T I A; Pennell, C; Felix, J F; Jacobsson, B; Geller, F; Evans, D M; Lawlor, D A

    2017-10-09

    Clinical recommendations to limit gestational weight gain (GWG) imply high GWG is causally related to adverse outcomes in mother or offspring, but GWG is the sum of several inter-related complex phenotypes (maternal fat deposition and vascular expansion, placenta, amniotic fluid and fetal growth). Understanding the genetic contribution to GWG could help clarify the potential effect of its different components on maternal and offspring health. Here we explore the genetic contribution to total, early and late GWG. A genome-wide association study was used to identify maternal and fetal variants contributing to GWG in up to 10 543 mothers and 16 317 offspring of European origin, with replication in 10 660 mothers and 7561 offspring. Additional analyses determined the proportion of variability in GWG from maternal and fetal common genetic variants and the overlap of established genome-wide significant variants for phenotypes relevant to GWG (e.g. maternal BMI and glucose, birthweight). Approximately 20% of the variability in GWG was tagged by common maternal genetic variants, and the fetal genome made a surprisingly minor contribution to explaining variation in GWG. Variants near the Pregnancy Specific Beta-1-Glycoprotein 5 (PSG5) gene reached genome-wide significance (P=1.71 × 10(-8)) for total GWG in the offspring genome, but did not replicate. Some established variants associated with increased BMI, fasting glucose and type 2 diabetes were associated with lower early, and higher later GWG. Maternal variants related to higher systolic blood pressure were related to lower late GWG. Established maternal and fetal birthweight variants were largely unrelated to GWG. We found a modest contribution of maternal common variants to GWG and some overlap of maternal BMI, glucose and type 2 diabetes variants with GWG. These findings suggest that associations between GWG and later offspring/maternal outcomes may be due to the relationship of maternal BMI and diabetes with

  18. The myth of genetic enhancement.

    PubMed

    Rosoff, Philip M

    2012-06-01

    The ongoing revolution in molecular genetics has led many to speculate that one day we will be able to change the expression or phenotype of numerous complex traits to improve ourselves in many different ways. The prospect of genetic enhancements has generated heated controversy, with proponents advocating research and implementation, with caution advised for concerns about justice, and critics tending to see the prospect of genetic enhancements as an assault on human freedom and human nature. Both camps base their arguments on the unquestioned assumption that the science will realize either their dreams or nightmares. In this paper, I show that their beliefs are based upon two fundamental mistakes. First, they are based upon an unwarranted reliance in a genetic determinism that takes for granted that the traits that we might most want to enhance, like intelligence, aggression, shyness, and even athletic ability, can be causally directed by specific genes. In so doing, character descriptions are reified to be concrete and discrete entities, in this case, genes. Second, they have accepted on faith that there is, or will be, a science to translate their hopes or worries into reality when, in fact, that is unlikely to occur because of the irreducible complexity of phenotypic expression.

  19. Gain-enhanced hyperbolic metamaterials at telecommunication frequencies (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smalley, Joseph S. T.; Vallini, Felipe; Kante, Boubacar; Shahin, Shiva; Riley, Conor; Fainman, Yeshaiahu

    2015-09-01

    Using effective medium theory (EMT), Bloch's theorem (BT), and the transfer matrix method (TMM), we analyze the possibility of gain-enhanced transmission in metamaterials with hyperbolic dispersion at telecommunication frequencies. We compare different combinations of dissipative metals and active dielectrics, including noble metals, transparent conducting oxides (TCO), III-V compounds, and solid-state dopants. We find that both indium gallium arsenide phosphide (InGaAsP) and erbium-doped silica (Er:SiO2), when combined with silver, show promise as a platform for demonstration of pump-dependent transmission. On the other hand, when these active dielectrics are combined with aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO), a low-loss TCO, gain-enhanced transmission is negligible. Results based on EMT are compared to the more accurate BT and TMM. When losses are ignored, quantitative agreement between these analytical techniques is observed near the center of the first Brillouin zone of a one-dimensional periodic structure. Including realistic levels of loss and gain, however, EMT predictions become overly optimistic compared to BT and TMM. We also discuss the limitations to assumptions inherent to EMT, BT, and TMM, and suggest avenues for future analysis.

  20. Gain enhancement with near-zero-index metamaterial superstrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouzouad, M.; Chaker, S. M.; Bensafielddine, D.; Laamari, E. M.

    2015-11-01

    The objective of this paper was to use a near-zero-index ( n) metamaterial as a single- or a double-layer superstrate suspended above a microstrip patch antenna, operating at 43 GHz, for the gain enhancement. The single metamaterial layer superstrate consists of a periodic arrangement of Jerusalem cross unit cells and behaves as an homogeneous medium characterized by a refractive index close to zero. This metamaterial property allows gathering radiated waves from the antenna and collimates them toward the superstrate normal direction. The proposed design improves the antenna gain by 5.1 dB with the single-layer superstrate and 7 dB with the double-layer superstrate.

  1. Efficient use of hybrid Genetic Algorithms in the gain optimization of distributed Raman amplifiers.

    PubMed

    Neto, B; Teixeira, A L J; Wada, N; André, P S

    2007-12-24

    In this paper, we propose an efficient and accurate method that combines the Genetic Algorithm (GA) with the Nelder-Mead method in order to obtain the gain optimization of distributed Raman amplifiers. By using these two methods together, the advantages of both are combined: the convergence of the GA and the high accuracy of the Nelder-Mead. To enhance the convergence of the GA, several features were examined and correlated with fitting errors. It is also shown that when the right moment to switch between methods is chosen, the computation time can be reduced by a factor of two.

  2. Who gains? Genetic and neurophysiological correlates of BMI gain upon college entry in women.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Lance O

    2014-11-01

    The present investigation examined P3 event-related electroencephalographic potentials and a short and selected list of addiction-related candidate gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within 84 female students, aged 18-20 yrs. The students were assigned to groups defined by the presence versus absence of a positive body mass index (BMI) change from the pre-college physical exam to the current day. Analyses revealed significantly greater P3 latencies and reduced P3 amplitudes during a response inhibition task among students who exhibited a BMI gain. BMI gain was also significantly associated with a ANKK1 SNP previously implicated in substance dependence risk. In logistic regression analyses, P3 latencies at the frontal electrode and this ANKK1 genotype correctly classified 71.1% of the students into the BMI groups. The present findings suggest that heritable indicators of impaired response inhibition can differentiate students who may be on a path toward an overweight or obese body mass.

  3. "Genetic Engineering" Gains Momentum (Science/Society Case Study).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, John W.; Moore, Elizabeth A., Eds.

    1980-01-01

    Reviews the benefits and hazards of genetic engineering, or "recombinant-DNA" research. Recent federal safety rules issued by NIH which ease the strict prohibitions on recombinant-DNA research are explained. (CS)

  4. "Genetic Engineering" Gains Momentum (Science/Society Case Study).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, John W.; Moore, Elizabeth A., Eds.

    1980-01-01

    Reviews the benefits and hazards of genetic engineering, or "recombinant-DNA" research. Recent federal safety rules issued by NIH which ease the strict prohibitions on recombinant-DNA research are explained. (CS)

  5. Who Gains? Genetic and Neurophysiological Correlates of BMI Gain Upon College Entry in Women

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Lance O.

    2014-01-01

    The present investigation examined P3 event-related electroencephalographic potentials and a short and selected list of addiction-related candidate gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within 84 female students, aged 18–20 yrs. The students were assigned to groups defined by the presence versus absence of a positive body mass index (BMI) change from the pre-college physical exam to the current day. Analyses revealed significantly greater P3 latencies and reduced P3 amplitudes during a response inhibition task among students who exhibited a BMI gain. BMI gain was also significantly associated with a ANKK1 SNP previously implicated in substance dependence risk. In logistic regression analyses, P3 latencies at the frontal electrode and this ANKK1 genotype correctly classified 71.1% of the students into the BMI groups. The present findings suggest that heritable indicators of impaired response inhibition can differentiate students who may be on a path toward an overweight or obese body mass. PMID:25049133

  6. Enhanced redundancy gain in schizophrenics: a correlate of callosal dysfunction?

    PubMed

    Florio, Vincenzo; Marzi, Carlo A; Girelli, Andrea; Savazzi, Silvia

    2008-09-01

    An abnormal pattern of hemispheric asymmetry, possibly as a result of disturbed interhemispheric communication, is widely, albeit by no means unanimously, held as a major cause of schizophrenia. To behaviourally test interhemispheric communication in schizophrenia we used a task that has been shown to be a reliable indicator of callosal functioning, namely, the redundant signals effect (RSE). It consists of the speeding of simple reaction time when responding to double as opposed to single visual stimuli. When the stimuli in a pair are presented to different hemispheres patients who underwent total commissurotomy or suffer from callosal agenesis show a paradoxically enhanced RSE with respect to healthy controls. Therefore, if schizophrenia patients have a callosal abnormality they ought to show a similar effect. In three experiments we tested a total of 55 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and 51 healthy controls. In Experiment 1 we presented unilateral single stimuli and bilateral simultaneous double stimuli. The RSE was reliably larger in schizophrenics than in controls. In Experiment 2 the temporal interval between the two stimuli in a pair was varied. We found that while in controls the RSE disappeared with interstimulus intervals longer than 17ms, in schizophrenia patients there was a RSE only for simultaneous double stimuli. Finally, in Experiment 3 we found that there was no enhanced redundancy gain in schizophrenics when the double stimuli were presented to one and the same hemisphere, and therefore, with no need for callosal transmission. All in all, the present results provide evidence of a callosal dysfunction in schizophrenia that impairs interhemispheric integration.

  7. Genetic enhancement: plan now to act later.

    PubMed

    Mehlman, Maxwell J

    2005-03-01

    All three main articles in the issues of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal endorse the view that genetic enhancement should be permitted, including human germ-line genetic enhancement. However, unregulated, wealth-based access to genetic enhancement in general, and germ-line enhancement in particular, would create intolerable risks for society. Although there are a number of practical problems raised by proposals to regulate or restrict access to genetic enhancement, which will make it difficult if not impossible to muster support for any effective restrictions until we begin to experience the societal problems that genetic enhancement will create, it is important to consider now what restrictions would be appropriate, how they would be imposed, and what changes would be needed in existing laws and institutions to facilitate them. Without this type of groundwork, there is no way society will be in a position to act in time.

  8. Molecular mechanisms in atopic eczema: insights gained from genetic studies.

    PubMed

    Brown, Sara J

    2017-01-01

    Atopic eczema (synonymous with atopic dermatitis) is a common heterogeneous phenotype with a wide spectrum of severity, from mild transient disease to a severe chronic disorder with atopic and non-atopic comorbidities. Eczema is a complex trait, resulting from the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors. The skin, as an organ that can be biopsied easily, provides opportunities for detailed molecular genetic analysis. Strategies applied to the investigation of atopic eczema include candidate gene and genome-wide studies, extreme phenotypes, and comparative analysis of inflammatory skin diseases. Genetic studies have identified a central role for skin barrier impairment in eczema predisposition and perpetuation; this has brought about a paradigm shift in understanding atopic disease, but specific molecular targets to improve skin barrier function remain elusive. The role of Th2-mediated immune dysfunction is also central to atopic inflammation, and has proved to be a powerful target for biological therapy in atopic eczema. Advances in understanding eczema pathogenesis have provided opportunities for patient stratification, primary prevention, and therapy development, but there remain considerable challenges in the application of this knowledge to optimize benefit for patients with atopic eczema in the era of personalized medicine. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Recent Genetic Gains in Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Oilseed Rape.

    PubMed

    Stahl, Andreas; Pfeifer, Mara; Frisch, Matthias; Wittkop, Benjamin; Snowdon, Rod J

    2017-01-01

    Nitrogen is essential for plant growth, and N fertilization allows farmers to obtain high yields and produce sufficient agricultural commodities. On the other hand, nitrogen losses potentially cause adverse effects to ecosystems and to human health. Increasing nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is vital to solve the conflict between productivity, to secure the demand of a growing world population, and the protection of the environment. To ensure this, genetic improvement is considered to be a paramount aspect toward ecofriendly crop production. Winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) is the second most important oilseed crop in the world and is cultivated in many regions across the temperate zones. To our knowledge, this study reports the most comprehensive field-based data generated to date for an empirical evaluation of genetic improvement in winter oilseed rape varieties under two divergent nitrogen fertilization levels (NFLs). A collection of 30 elite varieties registered between 1989 and 2014, including hybrids and open pollinated varieties, was tested in a 2-year experiment in 10 environments across Germany for changes in seed yield and seed quality traits. Furthermore, NUE was calculated. We observed a highly significant genetics-driven increase in seed yield per-se and, thus, increased NUE at both NFLs. On average, seed yield from modern open-pollinated varieties and modern hybrids was higher than from old open-pollinated varieties and old hybrids. The annual yield progress across all tested varieties was ~35 kg ha(-1) year(-1) at low nitrogen and 45 kg ha(-1) year(-1) under high nitrogen fertilization. Furthermore, in modern varieties an increased oil concentration and decreased protein concentration was observed. Despite, the significant effects of nitrogen fertilization, a surprisingly low average seed yield gap of 180 kg N ha(-1) was noted between high and low nitrogen fertilization. Due to contrary effects of N fertilization on seed yield per-se and seed

  10. Recent Genetic Gains in Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Oilseed Rape

    PubMed Central

    Stahl, Andreas; Pfeifer, Mara; Frisch, Matthias; Wittkop, Benjamin; Snowdon, Rod J.

    2017-01-01

    Nitrogen is essential for plant growth, and N fertilization allows farmers to obtain high yields and produce sufficient agricultural commodities. On the other hand, nitrogen losses potentially cause adverse effects to ecosystems and to human health. Increasing nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is vital to solve the conflict between productivity, to secure the demand of a growing world population, and the protection of the environment. To ensure this, genetic improvement is considered to be a paramount aspect toward ecofriendly crop production. Winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) is the second most important oilseed crop in the world and is cultivated in many regions across the temperate zones. To our knowledge, this study reports the most comprehensive field-based data generated to date for an empirical evaluation of genetic improvement in winter oilseed rape varieties under two divergent nitrogen fertilization levels (NFLs). A collection of 30 elite varieties registered between 1989 and 2014, including hybrids and open pollinated varieties, was tested in a 2-year experiment in 10 environments across Germany for changes in seed yield and seed quality traits. Furthermore, NUE was calculated. We observed a highly significant genetics-driven increase in seed yield per-se and, thus, increased NUE at both NFLs. On average, seed yield from modern open-pollinated varieties and modern hybrids was higher than from old open-pollinated varieties and old hybrids. The annual yield progress across all tested varieties was ~35 kg ha−1 year−1 at low nitrogen and 45 kg ha−1 year−1 under high nitrogen fertilization. Furthermore, in modern varieties an increased oil concentration and decreased protein concentration was observed. Despite, the significant effects of nitrogen fertilization, a surprisingly low average seed yield gap of 180 kg N ha−1 was noted between high and low nitrogen fertilization. Due to contrary effects of N fertilization on seed yield per-se and seed

  11. High-gain nonlinear observer for simple genetic regulation process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, L. A.; Ibarra-Junquera, V.; Escalante-Minakata, P.; Rosu, H. C.

    2007-07-01

    High-gain nonlinear observers occur in the nonlinear automatic control theory and are in standard usage in chemical engineering processes. We apply such a type of analysis in the context of a very simple one-gene regulation circuit. In general, an observer combines an analytical differential-equation-based model with partial measurement of the system in order to estimate the non-measured state variables. We use one of the simplest observers, that of Gauthier et al., which is a copy of the original system plus a correction term which is easy to calculate. For the illustration of this procedure, we employ a biological model, recently adapted from Goodwin's old book by De Jong, in which one plays with the dynamics of the concentrations of the messenger RNA coding for a given protein, the protein itself, and a single metabolite. Using the observer instead of the metabolite, it is possible to rebuild the non-measured concentrations of the mRNA and the protein.

  12. The Potential of Aspen Clonal Forestry in Alberta: Breeding Regions and Estimates of Genetic Gain from Selection

    PubMed Central

    Gylander, Tim; Hamann, Andreas; Brouard, Jean S.; Thomas, Barb R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Aspen naturally grows in large, single-species, even-aged stands that regenerate clonally after fire disturbance. This offers an opportunity for an intensive clonal forestry system that closely emulates the natural life history of the species. In this paper, we assess the potential of genetic tree improvement and clonal deployment to enhance the productivity of aspen forests in Alberta. We further investigate geographic patterns of genetic variation in aspen and infer forest management strategies under uncertain future climates. Methodology/Principal Findings Genetic variation among 242 clones from Alberta was evaluated in 13 common garden trials after 5–8 growing seasons in the field. Broad-sense heritabilities for height and diameter at breast height (DBH) ranged from 0.36 to 0.64, allowing 5–15% genetic gains in height and 9–34% genetic gains in DBH. Geographic partitioning of genetic variance revealed predominant latitudinal genetic differentiation. We further observed that northward movement of clones almost always resulted in increased growth relative to local planting material, while southward movement had a strong opposite effect. Conclusion/Significance Aspen forests are an important natural resource in western Canada that is used for pulp and oriented strandboard production, accounting for ∼40% of the total forest harvest. Moderate to high broad-sense heritabilities in growth traits suggest good potential for a genetic tree improvement program with aspen. Significant productivity gains appear possible through clonal selection from existing trials. We propose two breeding regions for Alberta, and suggest that well-tested southern clones may be used in the northern breeding region, accounting for a general warming trend observed over the last several decades in Alberta. PMID:22957006

  13. Genetic gains from selection for fiber traits in Gossypium hirsutum L.

    PubMed

    de Faria, G M P; Sanchez, C F B; de Carvalho, L P; da Silva Oliveira, M; Cruz, C D

    2016-11-21

    Brazil is among the five largest producers of cotton in the world, cultivating the species Gossypium hirsutum L. r. latifolium Hutch. The cultivars should have good fiber quality as well as yield. Genetic improvement of fiber traits requires the study of the genetic structure of the populations under improvement, leading to the identification of promising parent plants. To this end, it is important to acquire some information, such as estimates of genetic variance components and heritability coefficients, which will support the appropriate choice of the breeding strategy to be employed as well as enable the estimation of gains from selection. This study aimed to evaluate some agronomic characteristics, such as fiber quality and yield, estimating genetic parameters for the purpose of predicting earnings. Twelve cultivars of cotton, including four male progenitors (CNPA 01-42, BRS Verde, Glandless, and Okra leaf) and eight female progenitors (Delta opal, CNPA 7H, Aroeira, Antares, Sucupira, Facual, Precoce 3, and CNPA 8H), were used in performing crosses according to design I, proposed by Comstock and Robinson (1948). The experimental design was a randomized block with four replications. We observed genetic variability among all traits as well as higher efficiency of selection for the gains related to traits. Our results showed that the combined selection presented the highest genetic gains for all traits. For fiber length, the female/male selection and the combined selection resulted in the highest genetic gain.

  14. Enhancing optical gains in Si nanocrystals via hydrogenation and cerium ion doping

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Dong-Chen; Li, Yan-Li; Song, Sheng-Chi; Guo, Wen-Ping; Lu, Ming; Chen, Jia-Rong

    2014-07-28

    We report optical gain enhancements in Si nanocrystals (Si-NCs) via hydrogenation and Ce{sup 3+} ion doping. Variable stripe length technique was used to obtain gains. At 0.3 W/cm{sup 2} pumping power density of pulsed laser, net gains were observed together with gain enhancements after hydrogenation and/or Ce{sup 3+} ion doping; gains after loss corrections were between 89.52 and 341.95 cm{sup −1}; and the photoluminescence (PL) lifetime was found to decrease with the increasing gain enhancement. At 0.04 W/cm{sup 2} power density, however, no net gain was found and the PL lifetime increased with the increasing PL enhancement. The results were discussed according to stimulated and spontaneous excitation and de-excitation mechanisms of Si-NCs.

  15. Feature-based attention enhances performance by increasing response gain.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Katrin; Heeger, David J; Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-12-01

    Covert spatial attention can increase contrast sensitivity either by changes in contrast gain or by changes in response gain, depending on the size of the attention field and the size of the stimulus (Herrmann et al., 2010), as predicted by the normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). For feature-based attention, unlike spatial attention, the model predicts only changes in response gain, regardless of whether the featural extent of the attention field is small or large. To test this prediction, we measured the contrast dependence of feature-based attention. Observers performed an orientation-discrimination task on a spatial array of grating patches. The spatial locations of the gratings were varied randomly so that observers could not attend to specific locations. Feature-based attention was manipulated with a 75% valid and 25% invalid pre-cue, and the featural extent of the attention field was manipulated by introducing uncertainty about the upcoming grating orientation. Performance accuracy was better for valid than for invalid pre-cues, consistent with a change in response gain, when the featural extent of the attention field was small (low uncertainty) or when it was large (high uncertainty) relative to the featural extent of the stimulus. These results for feature-based attention clearly differ from results of analogous experiments with spatial attention, yet both support key predictions of the normalization model of attention.

  16. Feature-based attention enhances performance by increasing response gain

    PubMed Central

    Herrmann, Katrin; Heeger, David J.; Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    Covert spatial attention can increase contrast sensitivity either by changes in contrast gain or by changes in response gain, depending on the size of the attention field and the size of the stimulus (Herrmann, Montaser-Kouhsari, Carrasco, & Heeger, 2010), as predicted by the normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). For feature-based attention, unlike spatial attention, the model predicts only changes in response gain, regardless of whether the featural extent of the attention field is small or large. To test this prediction, we measured the contrast dependence of feature-based attention. Observers performed an orientation-discrimination task on a spatial array of grating patches. The spatial locations of the gratings were varied randomly so that observers could not attend to specific locations. Feature-based attention was manipulated with a 75% valid and 25% invalid pre-cue, and the featural extent of the attention field was manipulated by introducing uncertainty about the upcoming grating orientation. Performance accuracy was better for valid than for invalid pre-cues, consistent with a change in response gain, when the featural extent of the attention field was small (low uncertainty) or when it was large (high uncertainty) relative to the featural extent of the stimulus. These results for feature-based attention clearly differ from results of analogous experiments with spatial attention, yet both support key predictions of the normalization model of attention. PMID:22580017

  17. The potential of shifting recombination hotspots to increase genetic gain in livestock breeding.

    PubMed

    Gonen, Serap; Battagin, Mara; Johnston, Susan E; Gorjanc, Gregor; Hickey, John M

    2017-07-04

    This study uses simulation to explore and quantify the potential effect of shifting recombination hotspots on genetic gain in livestock breeding programs. We simulated three scenarios that differed in the locations of quantitative trait nucleotides (QTN) and recombination hotspots in the genome. In scenario 1, QTN were randomly distributed along the chromosomes and recombination was restricted to occur within specific genomic regions (i.e. recombination hotspots). In the other two scenarios, both QTN and recombination hotspots were located in specific regions, but differed in whether the QTN occurred outside of (scenario 2) or inside (scenario 3) recombination hotspots. We split each chromosome into 250, 500 or 1000 regions per chromosome of which 10% were recombination hotspots and/or contained QTN. The breeding program was run for 21 generations of selection, after which recombination hotspot regions were kept the same or were shifted to adjacent regions for a further 80 generations of selection. We evaluated the effect of shifting recombination hotspots on genetic gain, genetic variance and genic variance. Our results show that shifting recombination hotspots reduced the decline of genetic and genic variance by releasing standing allelic variation in the form of new allele combinations. This in turn resulted in larger increases in genetic gain. However, the benefit of shifting recombination hotspots for increased genetic gain was only observed when QTN were initially outside recombination hotspots. If QTN were initially inside recombination hotspots then shifting them decreased genetic gain. Shifting recombination hotspots to regions of the genome where recombination had not occurred for 21 generations of selection (i.e. recombination deserts) released more of the standing allelic variation available in each generation and thus increased genetic gain. However, whether and how much increase in genetic gain was achieved by shifting recombination hotspots depended

  18. Persistency of Prediction Accuracy and Genetic Gain in Synthetic Populations Under Recurrent Genomic Selection.

    PubMed

    Müller, Dominik; Schopp, Pascal; Melchinger, Albrecht E

    2017-03-10

    Recurrent selection (RS) has been used in plant breeding to successively improve synthetic and other multiparental populations. Synthetics are generated from a limited number of parents [Formula: see text] but little is known about how [Formula: see text] affects genomic selection (GS) in RS, especially the persistency of prediction accuracy ([Formula: see text]) and genetic gain. Synthetics were simulated by intermating [Formula: see text]= 2-32 parent lines from an ancestral population with short- or long-range linkage disequilibrium ([Formula: see text]) and subjected to multiple cycles of GS. We determined [Formula: see text] and genetic gain across 30 cycles for different training set (TS) sizes, marker densities, and generations of recombination before model training. Contributions to [Formula: see text] and genetic gain from pedigree relationships, as well as from cosegregation and [Formula: see text] between QTL and markers, were analyzed via four scenarios differing in (i) the relatedness between TS and selection candidates and (ii) whether selection was based on markers or pedigree records. Persistency of [Formula: see text] was high for small [Formula: see text] where predominantly cosegregation contributed to [Formula: see text], but also for large [Formula: see text] where [Formula: see text] replaced cosegregation as the dominant information source. Together with increasing genetic variance, this compensation resulted in relatively constant long- and short-term genetic gain for increasing [Formula: see text] > 4, given long-range LDA in the ancestral population. Although our scenarios suggest that information from pedigree relationships contributed to [Formula: see text] for only very few generations in GS, we expect a longer contribution than in pedigree BLUP, because capturing Mendelian sampling by markers reduces selective pressure on pedigree relationships. Larger TS size ([Formula: see text]) and higher marker density improved persistency of

  19. Persistency of Prediction Accuracy and Genetic Gain in Synthetic Populations Under Recurrent Genomic Selection

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Dominik; Schopp, Pascal; Melchinger, Albrecht E.

    2017-01-01

    Recurrent selection (RS) has been used in plant breeding to successively improve synthetic and other multiparental populations. Synthetics are generated from a limited number of parents (Np), but little is known about how Np affects genomic selection (GS) in RS, especially the persistency of prediction accuracy (rg,g^) and genetic gain. Synthetics were simulated by intermating Np= 2–32 parent lines from an ancestral population with short- or long-range linkage disequilibrium (LDA) and subjected to multiple cycles of GS. We determined rg,g^ and genetic gain across 30 cycles for different training set (TS) sizes, marker densities, and generations of recombination before model training. Contributions to rg,g^ and genetic gain from pedigree relationships, as well as from cosegregation and LDA between QTL and markers, were analyzed via four scenarios differing in (i) the relatedness between TS and selection candidates and (ii) whether selection was based on markers or pedigree records. Persistency of rg,g^ was high for small Np, where predominantly cosegregation contributed to rg,g^, but also for large Np, where LDA replaced cosegregation as the dominant information source. Together with increasing genetic variance, this compensation resulted in relatively constant long- and short-term genetic gain for increasing Np > 4, given long-range LDA in the ancestral population. Although our scenarios suggest that information from pedigree relationships contributed to rg,g^ for only very few generations in GS, we expect a longer contribution than in pedigree BLUP, because capturing Mendelian sampling by markers reduces selective pressure on pedigree relationships. Larger TS size (NTS) and higher marker density improved persistency of rg,g^ and hence genetic gain, but additional recombinations could not increase genetic gain. PMID:28064189

  20. Reflections on the ethics of genetic enhancement.

    PubMed

    Murray, Thomas H

    2002-01-01

    The technologies made available by new research in genetics and genomics have been and will be used not only to diagnose and treat disease, but also to attempt to enhance human traits and capacities. A broad definition of genetic-enhancement technologies, not merely gene manipulation, but also indirect genetic technologies, such as biosynthetic drugs, is needed to capture the full range of possible applications. It is difficult, but often possible, to anticipate the enhancement temptations of new therapies. Such anticipation may help us in shaping the marketing, availability, or other aspects of those technologies. Appropriate public and professional policies are needed, and work on them should begin immediately. Most important, we must stimulate public education and dialogue to encourage personal ethical reflection on the appropriate uses and limits of genetic-enhancement technologies.

  1. Genetic enhancement, human nature, and rights.

    PubMed

    McConnell, Terrance

    2010-08-01

    Authors such as Francis Fukuyama, the President's Council on Bioethics, and George Annas have argued that biotechnological interventions that aim to promote genetic enhancement pose a threat to human nature. This paper clarifies what conclusions these critics seek to establish, and then shows that there is no plausible account of human nature that will meet the conditions necessary to support this position. Appeals to human nature cannot establish a prohibition against the pursuit of genetic enhancement.

  2. X ray laser with enhanced x ray gain through photodepopulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elton, Raymond C.

    1990-07-01

    This patent discloses a nuclear charge Z lasing on a 3-2 Balmer-a transition, a second hydrogenic ion having a nuclear charge Z/2 emitting Lyman-a and Lyman-B photons, wherein n=2 electrons of he first hydrogenic ion are excited to the n=4 and n=6 level by resonance absorption of Lyman-a and Lyman-B photons from the second hydrogenic ion. The invention results in an increase in population inversion and gain to saturation, an improvement in overall efficiency and an increase in plasma size.

  3. Gain enhancement for wideband end-fire antenna design with artificial material.

    PubMed

    Wei, Min; Sun, Yuanhua; Wu, Xi; Wen, Wu

    2016-01-01

    Gain enhancement wideband end-fire antenna is proposed in this paper. The proposed antenna can achieve gain enhancement by loading novel artificial materials structures (Split-ring Resonators) in the end-fire direction while broad bandwidth is realized by using elliptic dipole elements and a microstrip to coplanar balun. The measurements show that the proposed antenna have around 5-8 dB gain in the working band (5-11 GHz), which is around 2 dB more than the unloaded one. This antenna can be used in target recognition systems for its advantages of end-fire radiation broad bandwidth and high gain.

  4. The effects of selection for gain in mice on the direct-maternal genetic correlation.

    PubMed

    Swartz, A R; Famula, T R

    1994-10-01

    Components of genetic variation for postweaning growth traits were estimated for both control and growth stocks of mice. The effect of phenotypic selection for gain, which genetically combines selection for additive direct and maternal effects, on additive genetic variance components, heritability, and additive genetic correlationsis discussed. Quantitative genetic theory predicts that simultaneous selection for two metric traits in the same direction will cause the genetic correlation between the two traits to become more negative. The results presented in this paper conflict with this theory. The direct-maternal additive genetic correlation was more negative in the control line (with 356 mice) than in the growth-selected line (with 320 mice) for the three traits analyzed (0.310 vs 0.999 for 21-day weight, 0.316 vs 1.000 for 42-day weight, and 0.506 vs 1.000 for gain from 21-42 days). Estimates were obtained by restricted maximum likelihood (REML) computed under a derivative free algorithm (DFREML).

  5. Genetic enhancement technologies and the new society.

    PubMed

    Smith, G P

    2000-01-01

    So long as procreation continues to remain a central driving force in a marital relationship, and the family the very core of progressive society, efforts will be undertaken to expand the period of fecundity and combat infertility. Genetic planning and eugenic programming are more rational and humane alternatives to population regulation than death by famine and war. Genetic enhancement technologies and the scientific research undertaken to advance them should be viewed as not only aiding (or, sometimes resolving) the tragedy of infertility in family planning, but as a tool for enhancing the health of a Nation's citizens by engineering man's genetic weaknesses out of the line of inheritance. Put simply, healthier and genetically sound individuals have a much better opportunity for pursuing and achieving the "good life" and making a significant contribution to society's greater well being.

  6. Genetic modifications for personal enhancement: a defence.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Timothy F

    2014-04-01

    Bioconservative commentators argue that parents should not take steps to modify the genetics of their children even in the name of enhancement because of the damage they predict for values, identities and relationships. Some commentators have even said that adults should not modify themselves through genetic interventions. One commentator worries that genetic modifications chosen by adults for themselves will undermine moral agency, lead to less valuable experiences and fracture people's sense of self. These worries are not justified, however, since the effects of modification will not undo moral agency as such. Adults can still have valuable experiences, even if some prior choices no longer seem meaningful. Changes at the genetic level will not always, either, alienate people from their own sense of self. On the contrary, genetic modifications can help amplify choice, enrich lives and consolidate identities. Ultimately, there is no moral requirement that people value their contingent genetic endowment to the exclusion of changes important to them in their future genetic identities. Through weighing risks and benefits, adults also have the power to consent to, and assume the risks of, genetic modifications for themselves in a way not possible in prenatal genetic interventions.

  7. Distinct developmental genetic mechanisms underlie convergently evolved tooth gain in sticklebacks.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Nicholas A; Glazer, Andrew M; Donde, Nikunj N; Cleves, Phillip A; Agoglia, Rachel M; Miller, Craig T

    2015-07-15

    Teeth are a classic model system of organogenesis, as repeated and reciprocal epithelial and mesenchymal interactions pattern placode formation and outgrowth. Less is known about the developmental and genetic bases of tooth formation and replacement in polyphyodonts, which are vertebrates with continual tooth replacement. Here, we leverage natural variation in the threespine stickleback fish Gasterosteus aculeatus to investigate the genetic basis of tooth development and replacement. We find that two derived freshwater stickleback populations have both convergently evolved more ventral pharyngeal teeth through heritable genetic changes. In both populations, evolved tooth gain manifests late in development. Using pulse-chase vital dye labeling to mark newly forming teeth in adult fish, we find that both high-toothed freshwater populations have accelerated tooth replacement rates relative to low-toothed ancestral marine fish. Despite the similar evolved phenotype of more teeth and an accelerated adult replacement rate, the timing of tooth number divergence and the spatial patterns of newly formed adult teeth are different in the two populations, suggesting distinct developmental mechanisms. Using genome-wide linkage mapping in marine-freshwater F2 genetic crosses, we find that the genetic basis of evolved tooth gain in the two freshwater populations is largely distinct. Together, our results support a model whereby increased tooth number and an accelerated tooth replacement rate have evolved convergently in two independently derived freshwater stickleback populations using largely distinct developmental and genetic mechanisms.

  8. Genetic diversity and selection gain in the physic nut (Jatropha curcas).

    PubMed

    Brasileiro, B P; Silva, S A; Souza, D R; Santos, P A; Oliveira, R S; Lyra, D H

    2013-07-08

    The use of efficient breeding methods depends on knowledge of genetic control of traits to be improved. We estimated genetic parameters, selection gain, and genetic diversity in physic nut half-sib families, in order to provide information for breeding programs of this important biofuel species. The progeny test included 20 half-sib families in 4 blocks and 10 plants per plot. The mean progeny heritability values were: 50% for number of bunches, 47% for number of fruits, 35% for number of seeds, 6% for stem diameter, 26% for number of primary branches, 14% for number of secondary branches, 66% for plant height, and 25% for survival of the plants, demonstrating good potential for early selection in plant height, number of branches, and number of fruits per plant. In the analysis of genetic diversity, genotypes were divided into 4 groups. Genotypes 18, 19, 20, and 8 clustered together and presented the highest means for the vegetative and production. Lower means were observed in the 17, 12, 13, and 9 genotypes from the same group. We detected genetic variability in this population, with high heritability estimates and accuracy, demonstrating the possibility of obtaining genetic gains for vegetative characters and production at 24 months after planting.

  9. Distinct developmental genetic mechanisms underlie convergently evolved tooth gain in sticklebacks

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Nicholas A.; Glazer, Andrew M.; Donde, Nikunj N.; Cleves, Phillip A.; Agoglia, Rachel M.; Miller, Craig T.

    2015-01-01

    Teeth are a classic model system of organogenesis, as repeated and reciprocal epithelial and mesenchymal interactions pattern placode formation and outgrowth. Less is known about the developmental and genetic bases of tooth formation and replacement in polyphyodonts, which are vertebrates with continual tooth replacement. Here, we leverage natural variation in the threespine stickleback fish Gasterosteus aculeatus to investigate the genetic basis of tooth development and replacement. We find that two derived freshwater stickleback populations have both convergently evolved more ventral pharyngeal teeth through heritable genetic changes. In both populations, evolved tooth gain manifests late in development. Using pulse-chase vital dye labeling to mark newly forming teeth in adult fish, we find that both high-toothed freshwater populations have accelerated tooth replacement rates relative to low-toothed ancestral marine fish. Despite the similar evolved phenotype of more teeth and an accelerated adult replacement rate, the timing of tooth number divergence and the spatial patterns of newly formed adult teeth are different in the two populations, suggesting distinct developmental mechanisms. Using genome-wide linkage mapping in marine-freshwater F2 genetic crosses, we find that the genetic basis of evolved tooth gain in the two freshwater populations is largely distinct. Together, our results support a model whereby increased tooth number and an accelerated tooth replacement rate have evolved convergently in two independently derived freshwater stickleback populations using largely distinct developmental and genetic mechanisms. PMID:26062935

  10. Realized gain and prediction of yield with genetically improved Pinus radiata in New Zealand

    SciTech Connect

    Carson, S.D.; Hayes, J.D. ); Garcia, O. . Centro de Investigacions Forestais de Lourizan)

    1999-05-01

    Pinus radiata D. Don seedlots of varying genetic quality were compared in block-plot genetic-gain trials at 10 locations representing most of the site types in New Zealand. Permanent sample plots were measured annually for growth from age 6--8 yr from planting to ages 15--17 (midrotation). Seedlots from first-generation open-pollinated seed orchards and a mix of crosses that all involved the top-performing parent were, respectively, on average 4.5 % and 5.3% taller and had 6% and 11% larger mean diameter, 12% and 30% more basal area, and 15% and 34% more stem volume than seedlots originating from mild mass selection in harvested stands (climbing select). The observed growth increases were quantified as changes in the rate of growth from that predicted by pre-existing growth models in order to account for tree size and stocking differences. Seedlots from first-generation seed orchards and crosses of the top clone, respectively, grew 5.1% and 4.5% faster in height, and functions for basal area and stocking changed 13% and 26.4% faster, respectively, than the baseline growth models, which were based on climbing select. This implies that increased basal area growth must be taken into account in order to obtain accurate prediction of gain in stem volume. The incorporation of these observed increases in growth rates into stand growth models as genetic-gain multipliers in order to extrapolate predictions of growth of genetically improved seedlots beyond the sites, silvicultures, and seedlots represented in the genetic gain trials is discussed.

  11. Weighted Genetic Risk Scores and Prediction of Weight Gain in Solid Organ Transplant Populations

    PubMed Central

    Saigi-Morgui, Núria; Quteineh, Lina; Bochud, Pierre-Yves; Crettol, Severine; Kutalik, Zoltán; Wojtowicz, Agnieszka; Bibert, Stéphanie; Beckmann, Sonja; Mueller, Nicolas J; Binet, Isabelle; van Delden, Christian; Steiger, Jürg; Mohacsi, Paul; Stirnimann, Guido; Soccal, Paola M.; Pascual, Manuel; Eap, Chin B

    2016-01-01

    Background Polygenic obesity in Solid Organ Transplant (SOT) populations is considered a risk factor for the development of metabolic abnormalities and graft survival. Few studies to date have studied the genetics of weight gain in SOT recipients. We aimed to determine whether weighted genetic risk scores (w-GRS) integrating genetic polymorphisms from GWAS studies (SNP group#1 and SNP group#2) and from Candidate Gene studies (SNP group#3) influence BMI in SOT populations and if they predict ≥10% weight gain (WG) one year after transplantation. To do so, two samples (nA = 995, nB = 156) were obtained from naturalistic studies and three w-GRS were constructed and tested for association with BMI over time. Prediction of 10% WG at one year after transplantation was assessed with models containing genetic and clinical factors. Results w-GRS were associated with BMI in sample A and B combined (BMI increased by 0.14 and 0.11 units per additional risk allele in SNP group#1 and #2, respectively, p-values<0.008). w-GRS of SNP group#3 showed an effect of 0.01 kg/m2 per additional risk allele when combining sample A and B (p-value 0.04). Models with genetic factors performed better than models without in predicting 10% WG at one year after transplantation. Conclusions This is the first study in SOT evaluating extensively the association of w-GRS with BMI and the influence of clinical and genetic factors on 10% of WG one year after transplantation, showing the importance of integrating genetic factors in the final model. Genetics of obesity among SOT recipients remains an important issue and can contribute to treatment personalization and prediction of WG after transplantation. PMID:27788139

  12. Bioethics, sport and the genetically enhanced athlete.

    PubMed

    Miah, Andy

    2002-01-01

    This paper begins by acknowledging the interest taken by various international organisations in genetic enhancement and sport, including the US President's Council on Bioethics (July, 2002) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (March, 2002). It is noticed how sporting organisations have been particularly concerned to emphasize the 'threat' of genetics to sport, whereas other institutions have recognised the broader bioethical issues arising from this prospect, which do not readily reject the use of genetic technology in sport. Sports are identified as necessarily 'human' and 'moral' practices, the exploration of which can reveal greater insight into the intuitive fears about genetic modification. It is argued that anti-doping testing measures and sanctions unacceptably persecute the athlete. While there are substantial reasons to be concerned about the use of genetic modification in sport, the desire for policy ought not diminish the need for ethical research; nor ought such research embody the similar guise of traditional 'anti' doping strategies. Rather, the approach to genetics in sport must be informed more by broader social policies in bioethics and recognition of the greater goods arising from genetic technology.

  13. Low-index-metamaterial for gain enhancement of planar terahertz antenna

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Qing-Le; Si, Li-Ming Lv, Xin; Huang, Yongjun; Zhu, Weiren

    2014-03-15

    We theoretically present a high gain planar antenna at terahertz (THz) frequencies by combing a conventional log-periodic antenna (LPA) with a low-index-metamaterial (LIM, |n| < 1). The LIM is realized by properly designing a fishnet metamaterial using full-wave finite-element simulation. Owing to the impedance matching, the LIM can be placed seamlessly on the substrate of the LPA without noticeable reflection. The effectiveness of using LIM for antenna gain enhancement is confirmed by comparing the antenna performance with and without LIM, where significantly improved half-power beam-width (3-dB beam-width) and more than 4 dB gain enhancement are seen within a certain frequency range. The presented LIM-enhanced planar THz antenna is compact, flat, low profile, and high gain, which has extensive applications in THz systems, including communications, radar, and spectroscopy.

  14. Estimate of genetic gain in popcorn after cycles of phenotypic recurrent selection.

    PubMed

    Ematné, H J; Nunes, J A R; Dias, K O G; Prado, P E R; Souza, J C

    2016-05-20

    Popcorn is widely consumed in Brazil, yet there are few breeding programs for this crop. Recurrent selection (RS) is a viable breeding alternative for popcorn; however, the gains achieved must be frequently checked. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of selection for grain type (round and pointed) after four cycles of phenotypic RS on the main agronomic traits of popcorn, to estimate the genetic gain achieved for the trait of expansion volume (EV), and to obtain estimates of phenotypic correlations for the main traits of the crop in the UFLA E and UFLA R populations. The zero, one, two, and three cycles of the UFLA E and UFLA R populations, the fourth cycle, and the controls IAC-112 and IAC-125 were used. The experiments were conducted at the experimental farm of Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA; Environment 1) and at the experimental area of the Genetics and Plant Breeding Sector of the Department of Biology at UFLA (Environment 2) in the 2010/11 crop season. Nine agronomic traits were evaluated, including EV and grain yield (GY). The UFLA R and UFLA E populations showed similar behavior for all evaluated traits. The type of grain did not affect the genetic gain for EV, which was 5 and 3.7% in each cycle carried out in the UFLA E and UFLA R population, respectively. Phenotypic selection carried out during recombination for EV is an effective method for increasing expression of the trait. EV and GY did not show a linear association.

  15. 'Battling my biology': psychological effects of genetic testing for risk of weight gain.

    PubMed

    Meisel, S F; Wardle, J

    2014-04-01

    The availability of genetic tests for multifactorial conditions such as obesity raises concerns that higher-risk results could lead to fatalistic reactions or lower-risk results to complacency. No study has investigated the effects of genetic test feedback for the risk of obesity in non-clinical samples. The present study explored psychological and behavioral reactions to genetic test feedback for a weight related gene (FTO) in a volunteer sample (n = 18) using semi-structured interviews. Respondents perceived the gene test result as scientifically objective; removing some of the emotion attached to the issue of weight control. Those who were struggling with weight control reported relief of self-blame. There was no evidence for either complacency or fatalism; all respondents emphasized the importance of lifestyle choices in long-term weight management, although they recognized the role of both genes and environment. Regardless of the test result, respondents evaluated the testing positively and found it motivating and informative. Genetic test feedback for risk of weight gain may offer psychological benefits beyond its objectively limited clinical utility. As the role of genetic counselors is likely to expand, awareness of reasons for genetic testing for common, complex conditions and reactions to the test result is important.

  16. Using Genetic Mouse Models to Gain Insight into Glaucoma: Past Results and Future Possibilities

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Kimberly A.; Harder, Jeffrey M.; Williams, Pete A.; Rausch, Rebecca L.; Kiernan, Amy E.; Nair, K. Saidas; Anderson, Michael G.; John, Simon W.; Howell, Gareth R.; Libby, Richard T.

    2015-01-01

    While all forms of glaucoma are characterized by a specific pattern of retinal ganglion cell death, they are clinically divided into several distinct subclasses, including normal tension glaucoma, primary open angle glaucoma, congenital glaucoma, and secondary glaucoma. For each type of glaucoma there are likely numerous molecular pathways that control susceptibility to the disease. Given this complexity, a single animal model will never precisely model all aspects of all the different types of human glaucoma. Therefore, multiple animal models have been utilized to study glaucoma but more are needed. Because of the powerful genetic tools available to use in the laboratory mouse, it has proven to be a highly useful mammalian system for studying the pathophysiology of human disease. The similarity between human and mouse eyes coupled with the ability to use a combination of advanced cell biological and genetic tools in mice have led to a large increase in the number of studies using mice to model specific glaucoma phenotypes. Over the last decade, numerous new mouse models and genetic tools have emerged, providing important insight into the cell biology and genetics of glaucoma. In this review, we describe available mouse genetic models that can be used to study glaucoma-relevant disease/pathobiology. Furthermore, we discuss how these models have been used to gain insights into ocular hypertension (a major risk factor for glaucoma) and glaucomatous retinal ganglion cell death. Finally, the potential for developing new mouse models and using advanced genetic tools and resources for studying glaucoma are discussed. PMID:26116903

  17. A wavelet neural network based on genetic algorithm and its application to gain scheduling flight control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xun; Zhang, Weiguo; Yin, Wei; Li, Aijun

    2006-11-01

    As enlarging of the flight envelop, the aerodynamic derivative of the airplane varies enormous. The gain scheduling method is usually used to deal with it. But the workload is enormously and the stability is difficulty to be assured. To solve the above problem, a large envelope wavelet neural network gain scheduling flight control law design method based on genetic algorithm is presented in this paper. Wavelet has good time accuracy in high frequency-domain and the good frequency accuracy in low frequency-domain. Neural network has the self-learning character. In this method, wavelet function instead of Sigmoid function as the excitation function. So the two merits are merged and the high nonlinear function approximation capability could be achieved. In order to obtain higher accuracy and faster speed, genetic algorithm is used to optimize the parameters of the wavelet neural network. This method is used in design the large envelope gain scheduling flight control law. This simulation results show that good control capability could be achieved in large envelope and the system is still stable when modeling error is 20%. In the situation of 20% modeling error, the maximum overshoot is only 12m and it is 35% of the maximum overshoot using normal method.

  18. Gain enhanced Fano resonance in a coupled photonic crystal cavity-waveguide structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yanhui; Qian, Chenjiang; Qiu, Kangsheng; Tang, Jing; Sun, Yue; Jin, Kuijuan; Xu, Xiulai

    2016-09-01

    Systems with coupled cavities and waveguides have been demonstrated as optical switches and optical sensors. To optimize the functionalities of these optical devices, Fano resonance with asymmetric and steep spectral line shape has been used. We theoretically propose a coupled photonic crystal cavity-waveguide structure to achieve Fano resonance by placing partially reflecting elements in waveguide. To enhance Fano resonance, optical gain material is introduced into the cavity. As the gain increases, the transmission line shape becomes steepened and the transmissivity can be six times enhanced, giving a large contrast by a small frequency shift. It is prospected that the gain enhanced Fano resonance is very useful for optical switches and optical sensors.

  19. Gain enhanced Fano resonance in a coupled photonic crystal cavity-waveguide structure

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yanhui; Qian, Chenjiang; Qiu, Kangsheng; Tang, Jing; Sun, Yue; Jin, Kuijuan; Xu, Xiulai

    2016-01-01

    Systems with coupled cavities and waveguides have been demonstrated as optical switches and optical sensors. To optimize the functionalities of these optical devices, Fano resonance with asymmetric and steep spectral line shape has been used. We theoretically propose a coupled photonic crystal cavity-waveguide structure to achieve Fano resonance by placing partially reflecting elements in waveguide. To enhance Fano resonance, optical gain material is introduced into the cavity. As the gain increases, the transmission line shape becomes steepened and the transmissivity can be six times enhanced, giving a large contrast by a small frequency shift. It is prospected that the gain enhanced Fano resonance is very useful for optical switches and optical sensors. PMID:27640809

  20. Potential benefits of genomic selection on genetic gain of small ruminant breeding programs.

    PubMed

    Shumbusho, F; Raoul, J; Astruc, J M; Palhiere, I; Elsen, J M

    2013-08-01

    In conventional small ruminant breeding programs, only pedigree and phenotype records are used to make selection decisions but prospects of including genomic information are now under consideration. The objective of this study was to assess the potential benefits of genomic selection on the genetic gain in French sheep and goat breeding designs of today. Traditional and genomic scenarios were modeled with deterministic methods for 3 breeding programs. The models included decisional variables related to male selection candidates, progeny testing capacity, and economic weights that were optimized to maximize annual genetic gain (AGG) of i) a meat sheep breeding program that improved a meat trait of heritability (h(2)) = 0.30 and a maternal trait of h(2) = 0.09 and ii) dairy sheep and goat breeding programs that improved a milk trait of h(2) = 0.30. Values of ±0.20 of genetic correlation between meat and maternal traits were considered to study their effects on AGG. The Bulmer effect was accounted for and the results presented here are the averages of AGG after 10 generations of selection. Results showed that current traditional breeding programs provide an AGG of 0.095 genetic standard deviation (σa) for meat and 0.061 σa for maternal trait in meat breed and 0.147 σa and 0.120 σa in sheep and goat dairy breeds, respectively. By optimizing decisional variables, the AGG with traditional selection methods increased to 0.139 σa for meat and 0.096 σa for maternal traits in meat breeding programs and to 0.174 σa and 0.183 σa in dairy sheep and goat breeding programs, respectively. With a medium-sized reference population (nref) of 2,000 individuals, the best genomic scenarios gave an AGG that was 17.9% greater than with traditional selection methods with optimized values of decisional variables for combined meat and maternal traits in meat sheep, 51.7% in dairy sheep, and 26.2% in dairy goats. The superiority of genomic schemes increased with the size of the

  1. A Confucian reflection on genetic enhancement.

    PubMed

    Fan, Ruiping

    2010-04-01

    This essay explores a proper Confucian vision on genetic enhancement. It argues that while Confucians can accept a formal starting point that Michael Sandel proposes in his ethics of giftedness, namely, that children should be taken as gifts, Confucians cannot adopt his generalist strategy. The essay provides a Confucian full ethics of giftedness by addressing a series of relevant questions, such as what kind of gifts children are, where the gifts are from, in which way they are given, and for what purpose they are given. It indicates that Confucians should sort out different types of enhancement and bring them to the test of the Confucian values in terms of both Confucian virtue principles and specific ritual rules. It concludes that Confucians can accept some types of enhancement but must reject others.

  2. Laser plasma wakefield acceleration gain enhancement by means of accelerating Bessel pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, S.; Parola, A.; Di Trapani, P.; Jedrkiewicz, O.

    2017-06-01

    In this paper, we propose an approach to enhance the electron energy gain in standard laser-driven plasma wakefield accelerators, using accelerating Bessel pulses with tunable group velocity so to avoid electron dephasing. We use in the numerical simulations a one-dimensional theoretical model in the linear regime, taking advantage of the "diffraction-free" properties of the localized Bessel beam and thus neglecting transverse effects during the acceleration process. With a multistage tailoring approach, we show a gain enhancement of more than 100 with electron energies that may reach the GeV range over distances shorter than 1 m.

  3. Genetic Gain and Inbreeding from Genomic Selection in a Simulated Commercial Breeding Program for Perennial Ryegrass.

    PubMed

    Lin, Zibei; Cogan, Noel O I; Pembleton, Luke W; Spangenberg, German C; Forster, John W; Hayes, Ben J; Daetwyler, Hans D

    2016-03-01

    Genomic selection (GS) provides an attractive option for accelerating genetic gain in perennial ryegrass () improvement given the long cycle times of most current breeding programs. The present study used simulation to investigate the level of genetic gain and inbreeding obtained from GS breeding strategies compared with traditional breeding strategies for key traits (persistency, yield, and flowering time). Base population genomes were simulated through random mating for 60,000 generations at an effective population size of 10,000. The degree of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the resulting population was compared with that obtained from empirical studies. Initial parental varieties were simulated to match diversity of current commercial cultivars. Genomic selection was designed to fit into a company breeding program at two selection points in the breeding cycle (spaced plants and miniplot). Genomic estimated breeding values (GEBVs) for productivity traits were trained with phenotypes and genotypes from plots. Accuracy of GEBVs was 0.24 for persistency and 0.36 for yield for single plants, while for plots it was lower (0.17 and 0.19, respectively). Higher accuracy of GEBVs was obtained for flowering time (up to 0.7), partially as a result of the larger reference population size that was available from the clonal row stage. The availability of GEBVs permit a 4-yr reduction in cycle time, which led to at least a doubling and trebling genetic gain for persistency and yield, respectively, than the traditional program. However, a higher rate of inbreeding per cycle among varieties was also observed for the GS strategy. Copyright © 2016 Crop Science Society of America.

  4. Antenna Gain Enhancement and Beamshaping using a Diffractive Optical Element (DOE) Lens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torbitt, Christopher

    Dielectric and metamaterial lenses have been designed for gain enhancement and beam shaping. The motivation for this work came from a commercially available slotted waveguide antenna with a dielectric lens that shapes the beam and enhances the gain only in the azimuth plane. When two of these antennas, each with a dielectric lens, are stacked as an array to form the sum and difference patterns the elevation plane gain is low and the beam width too wide to be acceptable for radar applications. The objective of the present work is to design a diffractive optical element (DOE) lens for gain enhancement gain and beam shaping. As compared to other available lenses it is much thinner, lighter and easily machined. The DOE lens is made from rexolite which has a dielectric constant of 2.53. The DOE lens is composed of a series of zones which focus the light at a certain focal length. The phase is the same everywhere on each zone at the focal point. The phase difference between neighboring zones is 2pi, resulting in a constructive interference at the focus. These zones are able to focus the radiation from an antenna in order to enhance the gain and shape the beam. The design parameters include the lens diameter, number of zones, the center zone thickness for a particular frequency and refractive index of the dielectric material. A comprehensive study has been performed in CST Microwave Studio to illustrate the properties of the DOE lens. The focusing property for image formation is verified by a plane wave excitation. Lenses have been designed and tested at different frequencies and with varying design parameters. Gain enhancement and beam shaping are illustrated by modeling the DOE lens in CST and placing it in front of different antennas. This work presents lenses for 10GHz and 40GHz horn antennas, a 3GHz slotted waveguide antenna array, and a 10GHz microstrip patch arrays. Beam shaping and focusing is clearly illustrated for each type of antenna. It is seen that the size

  5. Effects of Genotype by Environment Interaction on Genetic Gain and Genetic Parameter Estimates in Red Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.).

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Nguyen H; Hamzah, Azhar; Thoa, Ngo P

    2017-01-01

    The extent to which genetic gain achieved from selection programs under strictly controlled environments in the nucleus that can be expressed in commercial production systems is not well-documented in aquaculture species. The main aim of this paper was to assess the effects of genotype by environment interaction on genetic response and genetic parameters for four body traits (harvest weight, standard length, body depth, body width) and survival in Red tilapia (Oreochromis spp.). The growth and survival data were recorded on 19,916 individual fish from a pedigreed population undergoing three generations of selection for increased harvest weight in earthen ponds from 2010 to 2012 at the Aquaculture Extension Center, Department of Fisheries, Jitra in Kedah, Malaysia. The pedigree comprised a total of 224 sires and 262 dams, tracing back to the base population in 2009. A multivariate animal model was used to measure genetic response and estimate variance and covariance components. When the homologous body traits in freshwater pond and cage were treated as genetically distinct traits, the genetic correlations between the two environments were high (0.85-0.90) for harvest weight and square root of harvest weight but the estimates were of lower magnitudes for length, width and depth (0.63-0.79). The heritabilities estimated for the five traits studied differed between pond (0.02 to 0.22) and cage (0.07 to 0.68). The common full-sib effects were large, ranging from 0.23 to 0.59 in pond and 0.11 to 0.31 in cage across all traits. The direct and correlated responses for four body traits were generally greater in pond than in cage environments (0.011-1.561 vs. -0.033-0.567 genetic standard deviation units, respectively). Selection for increased harvest body weight resulted in positive genetic changes in survival rate in both pond and cage culture. In conclusion, the reduced selection response and the magnitude of the genetic parameter estimates in the production environment

  6. Undergraduates Achieve Learning Gains in Plant Genetics through Peer Teaching of Secondary Students

    PubMed Central

    Chrispeels, H. E.; Klosterman, M. L.; Martin, J. B.; Lundy, S. R.; Watkins, J. M.; Gibson, C. L.

    2014-01-01

    This study tests the hypothesis that undergraduates who peer teach genetics will have greater understanding of genetic and molecular biology concepts as a result of their teaching experiences. Undergraduates enrolled in a non–majors biology course participated in a service-learning program in which they led middle school (MS) or high school (HS) students through a case study curriculum to discover the cause of a green tomato variant. The curriculum explored plant reproduction and genetic principles, highlighting variation in heirloom tomato fruits to reinforce the concept of the genetic basis of phenotypic variation. HS students were taught additional activities related to mole­cular biology techniques not included in the MS curriculum. We measured undergraduates’ learning outcomes using pre/postteaching content assessments and the course final exam. Undergraduates showed significant gains in understanding of topics related to the curriculum they taught, compared with other course content, on both types of assessments. Undergraduates who taught HS students scored higher on questions specific to the HS curriculum compared with undergraduates who taught MS students, despite identical lecture content, on both types of assessments. These results indicate the positive effect of service-learning peer-teaching experiences on undergraduates’ content knowledge, even for non–science major students. PMID:25452487

  7. Genetic benefits enhance the reproductive success of polyandrous females

    PubMed Central

    Newcomer, Scott D.; Zeh, Jeanne A.; Zeh, David W.

    1999-01-01

    Although it is generally accepted that females can gain material benefits by mating with more than one male, the proposal that polyandry provides genetic benefits remains controversial, largely because direct experimental support is lacking. Here, we report the results of a study testing for genetic benefits to polyandry in the pseudoscorpion Cordylochernes scorpioides. In an experiment that controlled for male mating experience and the number of spermatophores accepted by a female, twice-mated females received either one sperm-packet from each of two different males (the “DM” treatment) or two sperm-packets from a single male (the same male or “SM” treatment). Over their lifetime, DM females gave birth to 32% more offspring than did SM females, primarily because of a significantly reduced rate of spontaneous abortion. This result could not be attributed to male infertility nor to lack of sexual receptivity in males paired with previous mates. Spermatophore and sperm numbers did not differ between males presented with a previous mate and males paired with a new female. Because SM and DM females received the same quantity of ejaculate, it was possible to eliminate material benefits as a contributor to the enhanced reproductive success of DM females. The reduction in embryo failure rate achieved by DM females is most consistent with the genetic incompatibility avoidance hypothesis, i.e., that polyandry enables females to exploit postcopulatory mechanisms for reducing the risk and/or cost of fertilization by genetically incompatible sperm. This study, which rigorously controlled for material benefits and excluded inbreeding effects, demonstrates that polyandry provides genetic benefits that significantly enhance female lifetime reproductive success. PMID:10468592

  8. Measurement bias dependence of enhanced bipolar gain degradation at low dose rates

    SciTech Connect

    Witczak, S.C.; Lacoe, R.C.; Mayer, D.C.; Schrimpf, R.D.; Barnaby, H.J.; Galloway, K.F.; Pease, R.L.; Fleetwood, D.M.

    1998-03-01

    Oxide trapped charge, field effects from emitter metallization, and high level injection phenomena moderate enhanced gain degradation of lateral pnp transistors at low dose rates. Hardness assurance tests at elevated irradiation temperatures require larger design margins for low power measurement biases.

  9. Defining desired genetic gains for rainbow trout breeding objective using analytic hierarchy process.

    PubMed

    Sae-Lim, P; Komen, H; Kause, A; van Arendonk, J A M; Barfoot, A J; Martin, K E; Parsons, J E

    2012-06-01

    Distributing animals from a single breeding program to a global market may not satisfy all producers, as they may differ in market objectives and farming environments. Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is used to estimate preferences, which can be aggregated to consensus preference values using weighted goal programming (WGP). The aim of this study was to use an AHP-WGP based approach to derive desired genetic gains for rainbow trout breeding and to study whether breeding trait preferences vary depending on commercial products and farming environments. Two questionnaires were sent out. Questionnaire-A (Q-A) was distributed to 178 farmers from 5 continents and used to collect information on commercial products and farming environments. In this questionnaire, farmers were asked to rank the 6 most important traits for genetic improvement from a list of 13 traits. Questionnaire B (Q-B) was sent to all farmers who responded to Q-A (53 in total). For Q-B, preferences of the 6 traits were obtained using pairwise comparison. Preference intensity was given to quantify (in % of a trait mean; G%) the degree to which 1 trait is preferred over the other. Individual preferences, social preferences, and consensus preferences (Con-P) were estimated using AHP and WGP. Desired gains were constructed by multiplying Con-P by G%. The analysis revealed that the 6 most important traits were thermal growth coefficient (TGC), survival (Surv), feed conversion ratio (FCR), condition factor (CF), fillet percentage (FIL%), and late maturation (LMat). Ranking of traits based on average Con-P values were Surv (0.271), FCR (0.246), TGC (0.246), LMat (0.090), FIL% (0.081), and CF (0.067). Corresponding desired genetic gains (in % of trait mean) were 1.63, 1.87, 1.67, 1.29, 0.06, and 0.33%, respectively. The results from Con-P values show that trait preferences may vary for different types of commercial production or farming environments. This study demonstrated that combination of AHP and WGP can

  10. Binocular combination of phase and contrast explained by a gain-control and gain-enhancement model

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Jian; Klein, Stanley A.; Levi, Dennis M.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated suprathreshold binocular combination, measuring both the perceived phase and perceived contrast of a cyclopean sine wave. We used a paradigm adapted from Ding and Sperling (2006, 2007) to measure the perceived phase by indicating the apparent location (phase) of the dark trough in the horizontal cyclopean sine wave relative to a black horizontal reference line, and we used the same stimuli to measure perceived contrast by matching the binocular combined contrast to a standard contrast presented to one eye. We found that under normal viewing conditions (high contrast and long stimulus duration), perceived contrast is constant, independent of the interocular contrast ratio and the interocular phase difference, while the perceived phase shifts smoothly from one eye to the other eye depending on the contrast ratios. However, at low contrasts and short stimulus durations, binocular combination is more linear and contrast summation is phase-dependent. To account for phase-dependent contrast summation, we incorporated a fusion remapping mechanism into our model, using disparity energy to shift the monocular phases towards the cyclopean phase in order to align the two eyes' images through motor/sensory fusion. The Ding-Sperling model with motor/sensory fusion mechanism gives a reasonable account of the phase dependence of binocular contrast combination and can account for either the perceived phase or the perceived contrast of a cyclopean sine wave separately; however it requires different model parameters for the two. However, when fit to both phase and contrast data simultaneously, the Ding-Sperling model fails. Incorporating interocular gain enhancement into the model results in a significant improvement in fitting both phase and contrast data simultaneously, successfully accounting for both linear summation at low contrast energy and strong nonlinearity at high contrast energy. PMID:23397038

  11. Binocular combination of phase and contrast explained by a gain-control and gain-enhancement model.

    PubMed

    Ding, Jian; Klein, Stanley A; Levi, Dennis M

    2013-02-08

    We investigated suprathreshold binocular combination, measuring both the perceived phase and perceived contrast of a cyclopean sine wave. We used a paradigm adapted from Ding and Sperling (2006, 2007) to measure the perceived phase by indicating the apparent location (phase) of the dark trough in the horizontal cyclopean sine wave relative to a black horizontal reference line, and we used the same stimuli to measure perceived contrast by matching the binocular combined contrast to a standard contrast presented to one eye. We found that under normal viewing conditions (high contrast and long stimulus duration), perceived contrast is constant, independent of the interocular contrast ratio and the interocular phase difference, while the perceived phase shifts smoothly from one eye to the other eye depending on the contrast ratios. However, at low contrasts and short stimulus durations, binocular combination is more linear and contrast summation is phase-dependent. To account for phase-dependent contrast summation, we incorporated a fusion remapping mechanism into our model, using disparity energy to shift the monocular phases towards the cyclopean phase in order to align the two eyes' images through motor/sensory fusion. The Ding-Sperling model with motor/sensory fusion mechanism gives a reasonable account of the phase dependence of binocular contrast combination and can account for either the perceived phase or the perceived contrast of a cyclopean sine wave separately; however it requires different model parameters for the two. However, when fit to both phase and contrast data simultaneously, the Ding-Sperling model fails. Incorporating interocular gain enhancement into the model results in a significant improvement in fitting both phase and contrast data simultaneously, successfully accounting for both linear summation at low contrast energy and strong nonlinearity at high contrast energy.

  12. Genetic Susceptibility, Change in Physical Activity, and Long-term Weight Gain.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tiange; Huang, Tao; Heianza, Yoriko; Sun, Dianjianyi; Zheng, Yan; Ma, Wenjie; Jensen, Majken K; Kang, Jae H; Wiggs, Janey L; Pasquale, Louis R; Rimm, Eric B; Manson, JoAnn E; Hu, Frank B; Willett, Walter C; Qi, Lu

    2017-10-01

    Whether change in physical activity over time modifies the genetic susceptibility to long-term weight gain is unknown. We calculated a BMI-genetic risk score (GRS) based on 77 BMI-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and a body fat percentage (BF%)-GRS based on 12 BF%-associated SNPs in 9,390 women from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and 5,291 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS). We analyzed the interactions between each GRS and change in physical activity on BMI/body weight change within five 4-year intervals from 1986 to 2006 using multivariable generalized linear models with repeated-measures analyses. Both the BMI-GRS and the BF%-GRS were associated with long-term increases in BMI/weight, and change in physical activity consistently interacted with the BF%-GRS on BMI change in the NHS (P for interaction = 0.025) and HPFS (P for interaction = 0.001). In the combined cohorts, 4-year BMI change per 10-risk allele increment was -0.02 kg/m(2) among participants with greatest increase in physical activity and 0.24 kg/m(2) among those with greatest decrease in physical activity (P for interaction < 0.001), corresponding to 0.01 kg versus 0.63 kg weight changes every 4 years (P for interaction = 0.001). Similar but marginal interactions were observed for the BMI-GRS (P for interaction = 0.045). Our data indicate that the genetic susceptibility to weight gain may be diminished by increasing physical activity. © 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.

  13. Comparison of genetic gains per year for carcass traits among breeding programs in the Japanese Brown and the Japanese Black cattle.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Y; Miyake, T; Gaillard, C; Oguni, T; Matsumoto, M; Ito, M; Kurahara, T; Sasae, Y; Fujinaka, K; Ohtagaki, S; Dougo, T

    2006-02-01

    The breeding program for beef cattle in Japan has changed dramatically over 4 decades. Visual judging was done initially, but progeny testing in test stations began in 1968. In the 1980s, the genetic evaluation program using field records, so-called on-farm progeny testing, was first adopted in Oita, Hyogo, and Kumamoto prefectures. In this study, genetic trends for carcass traits in these 3 Wagyu populations were estimated, and genetic gains per year were compared among the 3 different beef cattle breeding programs. The field carcass records used were collected between 1988 and 2003. The traits analyzed were carcass weight, LM area, rib thickness, s.c. fat thickness, and beef marbling standard number. The average breeding values of reproducing dams born the same year were used to estimate the genetic trends for the carcass traits. For comparison of the 3 breeding programs, birth years of the dams were divided into 3 periods reflecting each program. Positive genetic trends for beef marbling standard number were clearly shown in all populations. The genetic gains per year for all carcass traits were significantly enhanced by adopting the on-farm progeny testing program. These results indicate that the on-farm progeny testing program with BLUP is a very powerful approach for genetic improvement of carcass traits in Japanese Wagyu beef cattle.

  14. Fast Ignition Thermonuclear Fusion: Enhancement of the Pellet Gain by the Colossal-Magnetic-Field Shells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefan, V. Alexander

    2013-10-01

    The fast ignition fusion pellet gain can be enhanced by a laser generated B-field shell. The B-field shell, (similar to Earth's B-field, but with the alternating B-poles), follows the pellet compression in a frozen-in B-field regime. A properly designed laser-pellet coupling can lead to the generation of a B-field shell, (up to 100 MG), which inhibits electron thermal transport and confines the alpha-particles. In principle, a pellet gain of few-100s can be achieved in this manner. Supported in part by Nikola Tesla Labs, Stefan University, 1010 Pearl, La Jolla, CA 92038-1007.

  15. Genetic enhancement in sport: just another form of doping?

    PubMed

    Mehlman, Maxwell J

    2012-12-01

    Patented genetic technologies such as the ACTN3 genetic test are adding a new dimension to the types of performance enhancement available to elite athletes. Organized sports organizations and governments are seeking to prevent athletes' use of biomedical enhancements. This paper discusses how these interdiction efforts will affect the use and availability of genetic technologies that can enhance athletic performance. The paper provides a working definition of enhancement, and in light of that definition and the concerns of the sports community, reviews genetic enhancement as a result of varied technologies, including, genetic testing to identify innate athletic ability, performance-enhancing drugs developed with genetic science and technology, pharmacogenetics, enhancement through reproductive technologies, somatic gene transfer, and germ line gene transfer.

  16. Undergraduates achieve learning gains in plant genetics through peer teaching of secondary students.

    PubMed

    Chrispeels, H E; Klosterman, M L; Martin, J B; Lundy, S R; Watkins, J M; Gibson, C L; Muday, G K

    2014-01-01

    This study tests the hypothesis that undergraduates who peer teach genetics will have greater understanding of genetic and molecular biology concepts as a result of their teaching experiences. Undergraduates enrolled in a non-majors biology course participated in a service-learning program in which they led middle school (MS) or high school (HS) students through a case study curriculum to discover the cause of a green tomato variant. The curriculum explored plant reproduction and genetic principles, highlighting variation in heirloom tomato fruits to reinforce the concept of the genetic basis of phenotypic variation. HS students were taught additional activities related to mole-cular biology techniques not included in the MS curriculum. We measured undergraduates' learning outcomes using pre/postteaching content assessments and the course final exam. Undergraduates showed significant gains in understanding of topics related to the curriculum they taught, compared with other course content, on both types of assessments. Undergraduates who taught HS students scored higher on questions specific to the HS curriculum compared with undergraduates who taught MS students, despite identical lecture content, on both types of assessments. These results indicate the positive effect of service-learning peer-teaching experiences on undergraduates' content knowledge, even for non-science major students. © 2014 H. E. Chrispeels et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2014 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  17. Genetic Redundancies Enhance Information Transfer in Noisy Regulatory Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigo, Guillermo; Poyatos, Juan F.

    2016-01-01

    Cellular decision making is based on regulatory circuits that associate signal thresholds to specific physiological actions. This transmission of information is subjected to molecular noise what can decrease its fidelity. Here, we show instead how such intrinsic noise enhances information transfer in the presence of multiple circuit copies. The result is due to the contribution of noise to the generation of autonomous responses by each copy, which are altogether associated with a common decision. Moreover, factors that correlate the responses of the redundant units (extrinsic noise or regulatory cross-talk) contribute to reduce fidelity, while those that further uncouple them (heterogeneity within the copies) can lead to stronger information gain. Overall, our study emphasizes how the interplay of signal thresholding, redundancy, and noise influences the accuracy of cellular decision making. Understanding this interplay provides a basis to explain collective cell signaling mechanisms, and to engineer robust decisions with noisy genetic circuits. PMID:27741249

  18. Depression Risk Predicts Blunted Neural Responses to Gains and Enhanced Responses to Losses in Healthy Children

    PubMed Central

    Luking, Katherine R.; Pagliaccio, David; Luby, Joan L.; Barch, Deanna M.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Maternal major depressive disorder (MDD) increases risk for MDD and predicts reduced reward responding in adolescent offspring. However, it is unclear whether alterations in neural response to reward can be detected in school-aged children at high risk prior to the typical increase in reward response observed in adolescence. Method To assess relationships between neural response to gain/loss feedback, MDD risk, and child depressive symptoms, forty-seven psychiatrically healthy 7–10-year-old children (16 at high-risk given maternal MDD) completed questionnaires and a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) card-guessing game where candy was gained and lost. Results High-risk children showed both blunted response to gain and greater deactivation/reduced activation to loss within the ventral striatum and anterior insula. Within the striatum, risk-group differences in response to loss feedback were significantly larger than for gain, with greater deactivation to loss predicting risk-group status above and beyond blunted gain activation. Anhedonia was related to reduced deactivation to loss (i.e. reduced sensitivity to loss), while negative mood was related to enhanced deactivation to loss (i.e. enhanced sensitivity to loss) in the ventral striatum. Conclusion High-risk children showed blunted ventral striatal activation to gain feedback, but ventral striatal deactivation to loss was a stronger predictor of MDD risk. Further, relationships between response to loss and elevated depressive symptoms within the ventral striatum and cingulate differed depending on the type of depressive symptom. Together these results highlight the potentially important role of response to loss of reward in childhood risk for depression. PMID:27015724

  19. Modeling of genetic gain for single traits from marker-assisted seedling selection in clonally propagated crops

    PubMed Central

    Ru, Sushan; Hardner, Craig; Carter, Patrick A; Evans, Kate; Main, Dorrie; Peace, Cameron

    2016-01-01

    Seedling selection identifies superior seedlings as candidate cultivars based on predicted genetic potential for traits of interest. Traditionally, genetic potential is determined by phenotypic evaluation. With the availability of DNA tests for some agronomically important traits, breeders have the opportunity to include DNA information in their seedling selection operations—known as marker-assisted seedling selection. A major challenge in deploying marker-assisted seedling selection in clonally propagated crops is a lack of knowledge in genetic gain achievable from alternative strategies. Existing models based on additive effects considering seed-propagated crops are not directly relevant for seedling selection of clonally propagated crops, as clonal propagation captures all genetic effects, not just additive. This study modeled genetic gain from traditional and various marker-based seedling selection strategies on a single trait basis through analytical derivation and stochastic simulation, based on a generalized seedling selection scheme of clonally propagated crops. Various trait-test scenarios with a range of broad-sense heritability and proportion of genotypic variance explained by DNA markers were simulated for two populations with different segregation patterns. Both derived and simulated results indicated that marker-based strategies tended to achieve higher genetic gain than phenotypic seedling selection for a trait where the proportion of genotypic variance explained by marker information was greater than the broad-sense heritability. Results from this study provides guidance in optimizing genetic gain from seedling selection for single traits where DNA tests providing marker information are available. PMID:27148453

  20. Prediction of genetic gains by selection indices using mixed models in elephant grass for energy purposes.

    PubMed

    Silva, V B; Daher, R F; Araújo, M S B; Souza, Y P; Cassaro, S; Menezes, B R S; Gravina, L M; Novo, A A C; Tardin, F D; Júnior, A T Amaral

    2017-09-27

    Genetically improved cultivars of elephant grass need to be adapted to different ecosystems with a faster growth speed and lower seasonality of biomass production over the year. This study aimed to use selection indices using mixed models (REML/BLUP) for selecting families and progenies within full-sib families of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) for biomass production. One hundred and twenty full-sib progenies were assessed from 2014 to 2015 in a randomized block design with three replications. During this period, the traits dry matter production, the number of tillers, plant height, stem diameter, and neutral detergent fiber were assessed. Families 3 and 1 were the best classified, being the most indicated for selection effect. Progenies 40, 45, 46, and 49 got the first positions in the three indices assessed in the first cut. The gain for individual 40 was 161.76% using Mulamba and Mock index. The use of selection indices using mixed models is advantageous in elephant grass since they provide high gains with the selection, which are distributed among all the assessed traits in the most appropriate situation to breeding programs.

  1. Giant gain enhancement in photonic crystals with a degenerate band edge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Othman, Mohamed A. K.; Yazdi, Farshad; Figotin, Alex; Capolino, Filippo

    2016-01-01

    We propose a new approach leading to giant gain enhancement. It is based on unconventional slow-wave resonance associated with a degenerate band edge (DBE) in the dispersion diagram for a special class of photonic crystals supporting four modes at each frequency. We show that the gain enhancement in a Fabry-Pérot cavity (FPC) when operating at the DBE is several orders of magnitude stronger when compared to a cavity of the same length made of a standard photonic crystal with a regular band edge (RBE). The giant gain condition is explained by a significant increase in the photon lifetime and in the local density of states. We have demonstrated the existence of DBE operated special cavities that provide for superior gain conditions for solid-state lasers, quantum cascade lasers, traveling wave tubes, and distributed solid-state amplifiers. We also report the possibility to achieve low-threshold lasing in FPC with DBE compared to RBE-based lasers.

  2. Chronic clozapine treatment in female rats does not induce weight gain or metabolic abnormalities but enhances adiposity: implications for animal models of antipsychotic-induced weight gain.

    PubMed

    Cooper, G D; Harrold, J A; Halford, J C G; Goudie, A J

    2008-02-15

    The ability of clozapine to induce weight gain in female rats was investigated in three studies with progressively lowered doses of clozapine. In an initial preliminary high dose study, clozapine at 6 and 12 mg/kg (i.p., b.i.d.) was found to induce weight loss. In a subsequent intermediate dose study, we obtained no evidence for clozapine-induced weight gain despite using identical procedures and doses of clozapine (1-4 mg/kg, i.p., b.i.d.) with which we have observed olanzapine-induced weight gain, hyperphagia, enhanced adiposity and metabolic changes [Cooper G, Pickavance L, Wilding J, Halford J, Goudie A (2005). A parametric analysis of olanzapine-induced weight gain in female rats. Psychopharmacology; 181: 80-89.]. Instead, clozapine induced weight loss without alteration in food intake and muscle mass or changes in levels of glucose, insulin, leptin and prolactin. However, these intermediate doses of clozapine enhanced visceral adiposity and elevated levels of adiponectin. In a final study, low doses of clozapine (0.25-0.5 mg/kg, i.p, b.i.d.) induced weight loss. These data demonstrate that clozapine-induced weight gain can be much more difficult to observe in female rats than olanzapine-induced weight gain. Moreover, these findings contrast with clinical findings with clozapine, which induces substantial weight gain in humans. Clozapine-induced enhanced adiposity appears to be easier to observe in rats than weight gain. These findings, along with other preclinical studies, suggest that enhanced adiposity can be observed in the absence of antipsychotic-induced weight gain and hyperphagia, possibly reflecting a direct drug effect on adipocyte function independent of drug-induced hyperphagia [e.g. Minet-Ringuet J, Even P, Valet P, Carpene C, Visentin V, Prevot D, Daviaud D, Quignard-Boulange A, Tome D, de Beaurepaire R (2007). Alterations of lipid metabolism and gene expression in rat adipocytes during chronic olanzapine treatment. Molecular Psychiatry; 12: 562

  3. Genetic gains in the UENF-14 popcorn population with recurrent selection.

    PubMed

    Freitas, I L J; do Amaral Júnior, A T; Freitas, S P; Cabral, P D S; Ribeiro, R M; Gonçalves, L S A

    2014-01-21

    The popcorn breeding program of Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro aims to provide farmers a cultivar with desirable agronomic traits, particularly with respect to grain yield (GY) and popping expansion (PE). We evaluated full-sib families from the seventh cycle of recurrent selection and estimated the genetic progress with respect to GY and PE. Eight traits were evaluated in 200 full-sib families that were randomized into blocks with two replicates per set in two contrasting environments, Campos dos Goytacazes and Itaocara, located in north and northwest Rio de Janeiro State, respectively. There were significant differences between sets in families with respect to all traits evaluated, which indicates genetic variability that may be explored in future cycles. Using random economic weights in the selection of superior progenies, the Mulamba and Mock index showed gains for PE and GY of 5.11 and 7.78%, respectively. Significant PE and GY increases were found when comparing the evolution of mean values of these two parameters that were assessed at cycles C₀-C₆ and predicted for C₇. Thus, an advanced-cycle popcorn cultivar with genotypic superiority for the main traits of economic interest can be made available to farmers in Rio de Janeiro State.

  4. Bandwidth enhancement of MgZnO-based MSM photodetectors by inductive gain peaking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ping; Guo, Xinlu; Guo, Lixin; He, Jingfang; Yang, Yintang; Zhang, Zhiyong

    2016-08-01

    For high-speed optical communication applications, the bandwidth of photodetector would be a key limitation. In this work, the bandwidth property of MgZnO-based Metal-Semiconductor-Metal (MSM) photodetector considering RC and transit limitations is investigated on the basis of the series and enhanced gain peaked photodetector circuits proposed by us with different finger widths. To ensure the accuracy of parameters, the high-filed transportation characteristics of MgZnO are investigated by a three-valley ensemble Monte Carlo simulation combined with first principle calculations. The results show that the gain peaking technique, especially the enhanced gain peaking, can improve the bandwidth of MgZnO MSM photodetector to a maximum value of 61.28 GHz, corresponding to a bandwidth enhancement of 49% without undesired effects. Three-dimensional electromagnetic computation is further performed to design and simulate the on-chip-inductor. The value of the simulated inductor is approximately 0.0529 nH, which is in good agreement with the designed value of 0.0569 nH. This work benefits the development of high speed MgZnO MSM photodetector.

  5. Theoretical study on enhanced differential gain and extremely reduced linewidth enhancement factor in quantum-well lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamanaka, Takayuki; Yoshikuni, Yuzo; Yokoyama, Kiyoyuki; Lui, Wayne; Seki, Shunji

    1993-06-01

    Low-chirped lasing operation in semiconductor lasers is desirable for high-speed high-bit-rate optical transmission. This paper addresses this issue with a theoretical investigation of possibility of extreme reductions in the linewidth enhancement factor (alpha factor) in quantum-well (QW) lasers to a value of zero. We show that in reducing the alpha factor it is essential that lasing oscillation be around the peak of the differential gain spectrum, not in the vicinity of the gain peak. The condition for such lasing oscillation is analytically derived. The wavelength dependence of the material gain, the differential gain, and the alpha factor are calculated in detail taking into account the effects of compressive-strain and band mixing on the valence subband structure. Along with the derived condition, we also discuss the effect of p-type modulation doping in compressive-strained QW's. It is shown that alpha-factor, the anomalous dispersion part in the spectrum, crosses zero in the region of positive material gain, which makes it possible to attain virtual chirpless operation by detuning.

  6. Association between Maternal Fish Consumption and Gestational Weight Gain: Influence of Molecular Genetic Predisposition to Obesity

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Sofus C.; Ängquist, Lars; Laurin, Charles; Morgen, Camilla S.; Jakobsen, Marianne U.; Paternoster, Lavinia; Smith, George Davey; Olsen, Sjurdur F.; Sørensen, Thorkild I. A.; Nohr, Ellen A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Studies suggest that fish consumption can restrict weight gain. However, little is known about how fish consumption affects gestational weight gain (GWG), and whether this relationship depends on genetic makeup. Objective To examine the association between fish consumption and GWG, and whether this relationship is dependent on molecular genetic predisposition to obesity. Design A nested case-cohort study based on the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) sampling the most obese women (n = 990) and a random sample of the remaining participants (n = 1,128). Replication of statistically significant findings was attempted in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) (n = 4,841). We included 32 body mass index (BMI) associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 5 SNPs found associated with GWG. BMI associated SNPs were combined in a genetic risk score (GRS). Associations between consumption of fish, GRS or individual variants and GWG were analysed, and interactions between fish and the GRS or individual variants were examined. Results In the DNBC, each portion/week (150 g) of fatty fish was associated with a higher GWG of 0.58 kg (95% CI: 0.16, 0.99, P<0.01). For total fish and lean fish, similar patterns were observed, but these associations were not statistically significant. We found no association between GRS and GWG, and no interactions between GRS and dietary fish on GWG. However, we found an interaction between the PPARG Pro12Ala variant and dietary fish. Each additional Pro12Ala G-allele was associated with a GWG of -0.83 kg (95% CI: -1.29, -0.37, P<0.01) per portion/week of dietary fish, with the same pattern for both lean and fatty fish. In ALSPAC, we were unable to replicate these findings. Conclusion We found no consistent evidence of association between fish consumption and GWG, and our results indicate that the association between dietary fish and GWG has little or no dependency on GRS or individual SNPs. PMID:26930408

  7. Association between Maternal Fish Consumption and Gestational Weight Gain: Influence of Molecular Genetic Predisposition to Obesity.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Sofus C; Ängquist, Lars; Laurin, Charles; Morgen, Camilla S; Jakobsen, Marianne U; Paternoster, Lavinia; Smith, George Davey; Olsen, Sjurdur F; Sørensen, Thorkild I A; Nohr, Ellen A

    2016-01-01

    Studies suggest that fish consumption can restrict weight gain. However, little is known about how fish consumption affects gestational weight gain (GWG), and whether this relationship depends on genetic makeup. To examine the association between fish consumption and GWG, and whether this relationship is dependent on molecular genetic predisposition to obesity. A nested case-cohort study based on the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) sampling the most obese women (n = 990) and a random sample of the remaining participants (n = 1,128). Replication of statistically significant findings was attempted in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) (n = 4,841). We included 32 body mass index (BMI) associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 5 SNPs found associated with GWG. BMI associated SNPs were combined in a genetic risk score (GRS). Associations between consumption of fish, GRS or individual variants and GWG were analysed, and interactions between fish and the GRS or individual variants were examined. In the DNBC, each portion/week (150 g) of fatty fish was associated with a higher GWG of 0.58 kg (95% CI: 0.16, 0.99, P<0.01). For total fish and lean fish, similar patterns were observed, but these associations were not statistically significant. We found no association between GRS and GWG, and no interactions between GRS and dietary fish on GWG. However, we found an interaction between the PPARG Pro12Ala variant and dietary fish. Each additional Pro12Ala G-allele was associated with a GWG of -0.83 kg (95% CI: -1.29, -0.37, P<0.01) per portion/week of dietary fish, with the same pattern for both lean and fatty fish. In ALSPAC, we were unable to replicate these findings. We found no consistent evidence of association between fish consumption and GWG, and our results indicate that the association between dietary fish and GWG has little or no dependency on GRS or individual SNPs.

  8. Psychological responses to genetic testing for weight gain: a vignette study.

    PubMed

    Meisel, Susanne F; Walker, Catherine; Wardle, Jane

    2012-03-01

    Genetic testing for obesity risk is increasingly available to the public but few studies have examined motivational or affective reactions. Here we report findings from a "vignette" study investigating reactions to "higher-risk" and "average-risk" results for the obesity-related FTO gene in two groups: a panel sample of individuals with weight concerns, for whom testing may have treatment implications (n = 306, mean age = 45 years, mean BMI = 35) and a student sample (n = 395, mean age = 25 years, mean BMI = 23), for whom testing would have implications for obesity prevention. Participants were given FTO gene information that described higher-risk alleles as linked with modest weight gain and slightly higher risk of obesity. They responded to both higher- and average-risk vignettes, with order randomized. Interest in genetic testing was high overall, and higher in panel respondents than students (93% vs. 78% would "probably" or "definitely" have the test; P < 0.001). In students, a higher-risk result generated higher motivation to change (d = 0.15; P < 0.001), but also slightly higher negative affect (d = 0.03, P < 0.001) and fatalism (d = 0.05, P < 0.001) than an average-risk result. Panel respondents also had higher motivation to change (d = 0.17, P < 0.001) as well as relief about having an explanation for their body weight (d = 0.02, P = 0.013) in the higher-risk condition, but no increase in fatalism or depression. These results suggest that at the level of anticipated responses to FTO gene feedback, higher-risk results had positive motivational effects with minimal changes in negative affect or fatalism. Genetic testing has the potential to be a useful clinical or preventive tool when combined with appropriate information.

  9. A Compact Pentagonal Ring CPW-Fed Zeroth Order Resonating Antenna with Gain Enhancement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Ashish; Chaudhary, Raghvendra Kumar

    2017-09-01

    In this work, a pentagonal ring CPW-fed zeroth order resonating (ZOR) antenna with gain enhancement is proposed. Gain enhancement is achieved by means of electromagnetic bandgap structures (EBG) loaded on patch. The proposed antenna is operated in series resonant mode, therefore resonance frequency is dominated by series parameters of the conventional CRLH transmission line. The antenna comprises of a circular patch which is imposed by interdigital capacitor and EBG structures. Meandered line inductor is connected between patch and pentagonal ground plane in order to ensure miniaturization using CRLH resonant approach. Measurement results shows that proposed antenna offers ZOR resonance at 2.7 GHz with 4.81 %, 10 dB fractional bandwidth. The antenna offers simulated gain of 1.63 dBi and 80.6 % radiation efficiency at ZOR frequency. Surface current distribution shows that how these CRLH - TL components responsible for origination of ZOR mode. Proposed antenna exhibits excellent radiation patterns with cross polarization level of -53 dB in the boresight direction.

  10. Printed Wide-Slot Antenna Design with Bandwidth and Gain Enhancement on Low-Cost Substrate

    PubMed Central

    Samsuzzaman, M.; Islam, M. T.; Mandeep, J. S.; Misran, N.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a printed wide-slot antenna design and prototyping on available low-cost polymer resin composite material fed by a microstrip line with a rotated square slot for bandwidth enhancement and defected ground structure for gain enhancement. An I-shaped microstrip line is used to excite the square slot. The rotated square slot is embedded in the middle of the ground plane, and its diagonal points are implanted in the middle of the strip line and ground plane. To increase the gain, four L-shaped slots are etched in the ground plane. The measured results show that the proposed structure retains a wide impedance bandwidth of 88.07%, which is 20% better than the reference antenna. The average gain is also increased, which is about 4.17 dBi with a stable radiation pattern in the entire operating band. Moreover, radiation efficiency, input impedance, current distribution, axial ratio, and parametric studies of S11 for different design parameters are also investigated using the finite element method-based simulation software HFSS. PMID:24696661

  11. Printed wide-slot antenna design with bandwidth and gain enhancement on low-cost substrate.

    PubMed

    Samsuzzaman, M; Islam, M T; Mandeep, J S; Misran, N

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a printed wide-slot antenna design and prototyping on available low-cost polymer resin composite material fed by a microstrip line with a rotated square slot for bandwidth enhancement and defected ground structure for gain enhancement. An I-shaped microstrip line is used to excite the square slot. The rotated square slot is embedded in the middle of the ground plane, and its diagonal points are implanted in the middle of the strip line and ground plane. To increase the gain, four L-shaped slots are etched in the ground plane. The measured results show that the proposed structure retains a wide impedance bandwidth of 88.07%, which is 20% better than the reference antenna. The average gain is also increased, which is about 4.17 dBi with a stable radiation pattern in the entire operating band. Moreover, radiation efficiency, input impedance, current distribution, axial ratio, and parametric studies of S11 for different design parameters are also investigated using the finite element method-based simulation software HFSS.

  12. Meander-line-based inhomogeneous anisotropic artificial material for gain enhancement of UWB Vivaldi antenna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandey, Gaurav Kumar; Singh, Hari Shankar; Meshram, Manoj Kumar

    2016-02-01

    An inhomogeneous anisotropic (IA) artificial material (AM) is proposed having epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) characteristics and effective refractive index >1, simultaneously, in the same direction. Further, the proposed IA-AM is utilized for the gain enhancement of Vivaldi antenna for ultra-wideband (UWB) applications. The IA-AM consists of two types of compact meandered line-based anisotropic artificial material with ENZ characteristics in two adjacent narrow bands of 5.5-8.5 and 8-11.5 GHz. However, the non-resonant behavior of the artificial material in other direction appears with high refractive index property in broadband region. The combination of both the unit cells with broadband ENZ and high refractive index property is used to improve the gain of the Vivaldi antenna in broadband. The proposed IA-AM-loaded Vivaldi antenna exhibits a gain enhancement of up to 2 dBi compared to the original antenna in the operating frequency band of 3.1-12 GHz with | S 11| < -10 dB. The proposed antenna shows nearly stable unidirectional radiation patterns with high directivity and nearly flat group delay.

  13. Amphetamine Enhances Gains in Auditory Discrimination Training in Adult Schizophrenia Patients.

    PubMed

    Swerdlow, Neal R; Tarasenko, Melissa; Bhakta, Savita G; Talledo, Jo; Alvarez, Alexis I; Hughes, Erica L; Rana, Brinda; Vinogradov, Sophia; Light, Gregory A

    2016-10-25

    Targeted cognitive training (TCT) of auditory processing enhances higher-order cognition in schizophrenia patients. TCT performance gains can be detected after 1 training session. As a prelude to a potential clinical trial, we assessed a pharmacological augmentation of cognitive therapy (PACT) strategy by testing if the psychostimulant, amphetamine, augments TCT gains in auditory processing speed (APS) in schizophrenia patients and healthy subjects (HS). HS and schizophrenia patients were tested in a screening session (test 1), followed by a double-blind crossover design (tests 2-3), comparing placebo vs amphetamine (10 mg; 7 d between tests). On each test day, 1 hour of Posit Science "Sound Sweeps" training was bracketed by 2- to 4-minute pre- and post-training assessments of APS. Training consisted of a speeded auditory time-order judgment task of successive frequency modulation sweeps. Auditory system "learning" (APS post- vs pre-training) was enhanced by amphetamine (main effect of drug: P < .002; patients: d = 0.56, P < .02; HS: d = 0.39, nonsignificant), and this learning was sustained for at least 1 week. Exploratory analyses assessed potential biomarker predictors of sensitivity to these effects of amphetamine. Amphetamine enhances auditory discrimination learning in schizophrenia patients. We do not know whether gains in APS observed in patients after 1 hour of TCT predict clinical benefits after a full course of TCT. If amphetamine can enhance the therapeutic effects of TCT, this would provide strong support for a "PACT" treatment paradigm for schizophrenia. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Brillouin-Erbium fiber laser with enhanced feedback coupling using common Erbium gain section.

    PubMed

    Samsuri, N M; Zamzuri, A K; Al-Mansoori, M H; Ahmad, A; Mahdi, M A

    2008-10-13

    We demonstrate an enhanced architecture of Brillouin-Erbium fiber laser utilizing the reverse-S-shaped fiber section as the coupling mechanism. The enhancement is made by locating a common section of Erbium-doped fiber next to the single-mode fiber to amplify the Brillouin pumps and the oscillating Stokes lines. The requirement of having two Erbium gain sections to enhance the multiple Brillouin Stokes lines generation is neglected by the proposed fiber laser structure. The mode competitions arise from the self-lasing cavity modes of the fiber laser are efficiently suppressed by the stronger pre-amplified Brillouin pump power before entering the single mode fiber section. The maximum output power of 20 mW is obtained from the proposed fiber laser with 10 laser lines that equally separated by 0.089 nm spacing.

  15. Central angiotensin (1-7) enhances baroreflex gain in conscious rabbits with heart failure.

    PubMed

    Kar, Sumit; Gao, Lie; Belatti, Daniel A; Curry, Pamela L; Zucker, Irving H

    2011-10-01

    In chronic heart failure (CHF), arterial baroreflex function is impaired, in part, by activation of the central renin-angiotensin system. A metabolite of angiotensin (Ang) II, Ang-(1-7), has been shown to exhibit cardiovascular effects that are in opposition to that of Ang II. However, the action of Ang-(1-7) on sympathetic outflow and baroreflex function is not well understood, especially in CHF. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of intracerebroventricular infusion of Ang-(1-7) on baroreflex control of heart rate and renal sympathetic nerve activity in conscious rabbits with CHF. We hypothesized that central Ang-(1-7) would improve baroreflex function in CHF. Ang-(1-7) (2 nmol/1 μL per hour) or artificial cerebrospinal fluid (1 μL per hour) was infused by an osmotic minipump for 4 days in sham and pacing-induced CHF rabbits (n=3 to 6 per group). Ang-(1-7) treatment had no effects in sham rabbits but reduced heart rate and increased baroreflex gain (7.4±1.5 versus 2.5±0.4 bpm/mm Hg; P<0.05) in CHF rabbits. The Ang-(1-7) antagonist A779 (8 nmol/1 μL per hour) blocked the improvement in baroreflex gain in CHF. Baroreflex gain increased in CHF+Ang-(1-7) animals when only the vagus was allowed to modulate baroreflex control by acute treatment with the β-1 antagonist metoprolol, indicating increased vagal tone. Baseline renal sympathetic nerve activity was significantly lower, and baroreflex control of renal sympathetic nerve activity was enhanced in CHF rabbits receiving Ang-(1-7). These data suggest that augmentation of central Ang-(1-7) inhibits sympathetic outflow and increases vagal outflow in CHF, thus contributing to enhanced baroreflex gain in this disease state.

  16. An assessment of yield gains under climate change due to genetic modification of pearl millet.

    PubMed

    Singh, Piara; Boote, K J; Kadiyala, M D M; Nedumaran, S; Gupta, S K; Srinivas, K; Bantilan, M C S

    2017-12-01

    Developing cultivars with traits that can enhance and sustain productivity under climate change will be an important climate smart adaptation option. The modified CSM-CERES-Pearl millet model was used to assess yield gains by modifying plant traits determining crop maturity duration, potential yield and tolerance to drought and heat in pearl millet cultivars grown at six locations in arid (Hisar, Jodhpur, Bikaner) and semi-arid (Jaipur, Aurangabad and Bijapur) tropical India and two locations in semi-arid tropical West Africa (Sadore in Niamey and Cinzana in Mali). In all the study locations the yields decreased when crop maturity duration was decreased by 10% both in current and future climate conditions; however, 10% increase in crop maturity significantly (p<0.05) increased yields at Aurangabad and Bijapur, but not at other locations. Increasing yield potential traits by 10% increased yields under both the climate situations in India and West Africa. Drought tolerance imparted the lowest yield gain at Aurangabad (6%), the highest at Sadore (30%) and intermediate at the other locations under current climate. Under climate change the contribution of drought tolerance to the yield of cultivars either increased or decreased depending upon changes in rainfall of the locations. Yield benefits of heat tolerance substantially increased under climate change at most locations, having the greatest effects at Bikaner (17%) in India and Sadore (13%) in West Africa. Aurangabad and Bijapur locations had no yield advantage from heat tolerance due to their low temperature regimes. Thus drought and heat tolerance in pearl millet increased yields under climate change in both the arid and semi-arid tropical climates with greater benefit in relatively hotter environments. This study will assists the plant breeders in evaluating new promising plant traits of pearl millet for adapting to climate change at the selected locations and other similar environments. Copyright © 2017 The

  17. Enhancing speed of pinning synchronizability: low-degree nodes with high feedback gains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Ming-Yang; Zhuo, Zhao; Liao, Hao; Fu, Zhong-Qian; Cai, Shi-Min

    2015-12-01

    Controlling complex networks is of paramount importance in science and engineering. Despite recent efforts to improve controllability and synchronous strength, little attention has been paid to the speed of pinning synchronizability (rate of convergence in pinning control) and the corresponding pinning node selection. To address this issue, we propose a hypothesis to restrict the control cost, then build a linear matrix inequality related to the speed of pinning controllability. By solving the inequality, we obtain both the speed of pinning controllability and optimal control strength (feedback gains in pinning control) for all nodes. Interestingly, some low-degree nodes are able to achieve large feedback gains, which suggests that they have high influence on controlling system. In addition, when choosing nodes with high feedback gains as pinning nodes, the controlling speed of real systems is remarkably enhanced compared to that of traditional large-degree and large-betweenness selections. Thus, the proposed approach provides a novel way to investigate the speed of pinning controllability and can evoke other effective heuristic pinning node selections for large-scale systems.

  18. Enhancing speed of pinning synchronizability: low-degree nodes with high feedback gains

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ming-Yang; Zhuo, Zhao; Liao, Hao; Fu, Zhong-Qian; Cai, Shi-Min

    2015-01-01

    Controlling complex networks is of paramount importance in science and engineering. Despite recent efforts to improve controllability and synchronous strength, little attention has been paid to the speed of pinning synchronizability (rate of convergence in pinning control) and the corresponding pinning node selection. To address this issue, we propose a hypothesis to restrict the control cost, then build a linear matrix inequality related to the speed of pinning controllability. By solving the inequality, we obtain both the speed of pinning controllability and optimal control strength (feedback gains in pinning control) for all nodes. Interestingly, some low-degree nodes are able to achieve large feedback gains, which suggests that they have high influence on controlling system. In addition, when choosing nodes with high feedback gains as pinning nodes, the controlling speed of real systems is remarkably enhanced compared to that of traditional large-degree and large-betweenness selections. Thus, the proposed approach provides a novel way to investigate the speed of pinning controllability and can evoke other effective heuristic pinning node selections for large-scale systems. PMID:26626045

  19. Enhancing family communication about genetics: ethical and professional dilemmas.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Jan; Gaff, Clara

    2013-02-01

    When a new genetic condition is diagnosed within a family, genetic counselors often describe a sense of responsibility towards other at risk family members to be appropriately informed about their status. Successful communication of genetic information in families is contingent on many factors. While a small number of probands directly state their intention not to inform their relatives, many who do intend to communicate this information appear to be unsuccessful for a wide range of reasons and may benefit from follow up support from a genetic counselor. Drawing on the reciprocal-engagement model (REM) of genetic counseling practice we explore how enhancing family communication about genetics raises a number of ethical and professional challenges for counselors-and describe how we resolved these. A subsequent manuscript will describe the counseling framework we have developed to enhance family communication about genetics.

  20. The wisdom of caution: genetic enhancement and future children.

    PubMed

    Borenstein, Jason

    2009-12-01

    Many scholars predict that the technology to modify unborn children genetically is on the horizon. According to supporters of genetic enhancement, allowing parents to select a child's traits will enable him/her to experience a better life. Following their logic, the technology will not only increase our knowledge base and generate cures for genetic illness, but it may enable us to increase the intelligence, strength, and longevity of future generations as well. Yet it must be examined whether supporters of genetic enhancement, especially libertarians, adequately appreciate the ethical hazards emerging from the technology, including whether its use might violate the harm principle.

  1. A Cognitive Tutor for Genetics Problem Solving: Learning Gains and Student Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corbett, Albert; Kauffman, Linda; Maclaren, Ben; Wagner, Angela; Jones, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    Genetics is a unifying theme of biology that poses a major challenge for students across a wide range of post-secondary institutions, because it entails complex problem solving. This article reports a new intelligent learning environment called the Genetics Cognitive Tutor, which supports genetics problem solving. The tutor presents complex,…

  2. A Cognitive Tutor for Genetics Problem Solving: Learning Gains and Student Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corbett, Albert; Kauffman, Linda; Maclaren, Ben; Wagner, Angela; Jones, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    Genetics is a unifying theme of biology that poses a major challenge for students across a wide range of post-secondary institutions, because it entails complex problem solving. This article reports a new intelligent learning environment called the Genetics Cognitive Tutor, which supports genetics problem solving. The tutor presents complex,…

  3. The contribution of migrant breeds to the genetic gain of beef traits of German Vorderwald and Hinterwald cattle.

    PubMed

    Hartwig, S; Wellmann, R; Hamann, H; Bennewitz, J

    2014-12-01

    During the past decades, migrant contributions have accumulated in many local breeds. Cross-breeding was carried out to mitigate the risk of inbreeding depression and to improve the performance of local breeds. However, breeding activities for local breeds were not as intensive and target oriented as for popular high-yielding breeds. Therefore, even if performance improved, the gap between the performance of local and popular breeds increased for many traits. Furthermore, the genetic originality of local breeds declined due to the increasing contributions of migrant breeds. This study examined the importance of migrant breed influences for the realization of breeding progress of beef traits of German Vorderwald and Hinterwald cattle. The results show that there is a high amount of migrant contributions and their effects on performance are substantial for most traits. The effect of the French cattle breed Montbéliard (p-value 0.014) on daily gain of Vorderwald bulls at test station was positive. The effects of Vorderwald ancestors (p-value for daily gain 0.007 and p-value for net gain 0.004) were positive for both traits under consideration in the population of Hinterwald cattle. Additionally, the effect of remaining breeds (p-value 0.030) on net gain of Hinterwald cattle in the field was also positive. The estimated effect of Fleckvieh ancestors on net gain of Hinterwald cattle was even larger but not significant. Breeding values adjusted for the effects of the migrant breeds showed little genetic trend.

  4. Genetic Screening of Cells with Enhanced Antibody Production

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-22

    Final Progress Report DARPA Grant No. W911NF-05-C-0059 Genetic Screening of Cells with Enhanced Antibody Production By Roxanne Duan, Ph.D...Functional Genetics , Inc. January 22, 2007 Summary Here we report the progress made for grant No. W911NF-05-C-0059 between the entire funding...period, 06/01/05 and 8/31/06. We have completed the study proposed: to use Functional Genetics ’ proprietary technology, Random Homozygous Knock Out

  5. Immunological loss-of-function due to genetic gain-of-function in humans: autosomal dominance of the third kind

    PubMed Central

    Quartier, Pierre

    2015-01-01

    All the human primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) recognized as such in the 1950s were Mendelian traits and, whether autosomal or X-linked, displayed recessive inheritance. The first autosomal dominant (AD) PID, hereditary angioedema, was recognized in 1963. However, since the first identification of autosomal recessive (AR), X-linked recessive (XR) and AD PID-causing genes in 1985 (ADA; severe combined immunodeficiency), 1986 (CYBB, chronic granulomatous disease) and 1989 (SERPING1; hereditary angioedema), respectively, the number of genetically defined AD PIDs has increased more rapidly than that of any other type of PID. AD PIDs now account for 61 of the 260 known conditions (23%). All known AR PIDs are caused by alleles with some loss-of-function (LOF). A single XR PID is caused by gain-of-function (GOF) mutations (WASP-related neutropenia, 2001). In contrast, only 44 of 61 AD defects are caused by LOF alleles, which exert dominance by haploinsufficiency or negative dominance. Since 2003, up to 17 AD disorders of the third kind, due to GOF alleles, have been described. Remarkably, six of the 17 genes concerned also harbor monoallelic (STAT3), biallelic (C3, CFB, CARD11, PIK3R1) or both monoallelic and biallelic (STAT1) LOF alleles in patients with other clinical phenotypes. Most heterozygous GOF alleles result in auto-inflammation, auto-immunity, or both, with a wide range of immunological and clinical forms. Some also underlie infections and, fewer, allergies, by impairing or enhancing immunity to non-self. Malignancies are also rare. The enormous diversity of immunological and clinical phenotypes is thought provoking and mirrors the diversity and pleiotropy of the underlying genotypes. These experiments of nature provide a unique insight into the quantitative regulation of human immunity. PMID:25645939

  6. GENETIC ENGINEERING OF ENHANCED MICROBIAL NITRIFICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Experiments were conducted to introduce genetic information in the form of antibiotic or mercuric ion resistance genes into Nitrobacter hamburgensis strain X14. The resistance genes were either stable components of broad host range plasmids or transposable genes on methods for p...

  7. Genetic Engineering Strategies for Enhanced Biodiesel Production.

    PubMed

    Hegde, Krishnamoorthy; Chandra, Niharika; Sarma, Saurabh Jyoti; Brar, Satinder Kaur; Veeranki, Venkata Dasu

    2015-07-01

    The focus on biodiesel research has shown a tremendous growth over the last few years. Several microbial and plant sources are being explored for the sustainable biodiesel production to replace the petroleum diesel. Conventional methods of biodiesel production have several limitations related to yield and quality, which led to development of new engineering strategies to improve the biodiesel production in plants, and microorganisms. Substantial progress in utilizing algae, yeast, and Escherichia coli for the renewable production of biodiesel feedstock via genetic engineering of fatty acid metabolic pathways has been reported in the past few years. However, in most of the cases, the successful commercialization of such engineering strategies for sustainable biodiesel production is yet to be seen. This paper systematically presents the drawbacks in the conventional methods for biodiesel production and an exhaustive review on the present status of research in genetic engineering strategies for production of biodiesel in plants, and microorganisms. Further, we summarize the technical challenges need to be tackled to make genetic engineering technology economically sustainable. Finally, the need and prospects of genetic engineering technology for the sustainable biodiesel production and the recommendations for the future research are discussed.

  8. GENETIC ENGINEERING OF ENHANCED MICROBIAL NITRIFICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Experiments were conducted to introduce genetic information in the form of antibiotic or mercuric ion resistance genes into Nitrobacter hamburgensis strain X14. The resistance genes were either stable components of broad host range plasmids or transposable genes on methods for p...

  9. Enhancement of rice canopy carbon gain by elevated CO(2) is sensitive to growth stage and leaf nitrogen concentration.

    PubMed

    Sakai, H; Hasegawa, T; Kobayashi, K

    2006-01-01

    Increasing our understanding of the factors regulating seasonal changes in rice canopy carbon gain (C(gain): daily net photosynthesis -- night respiration) under elevated CO(2) concentrations ([CO(2)]) will reduce our uncertainty in predicting future rice yields and assist in the development of adaptation strategies. In this study we measured CO(2) exchange from rice (Oryza sativa) canopies grown at c. 360 and 690 micromol mol(-1)[CO(2)] in growth chambers continuously over three growing seasons. Stimulation of C(gain) by elevated [CO(2)] was 22-79% during vegetative growth, but decreased to between -12 and 5% after the grain-filling stage, resulting in a 7-22% net enhancement for the whole season. The decreased stimulation of C(gain) resulted mainly from decreased canopy net photosynthesis and partially from increased respiration. A decrease in canopy photosynthetic capacity was noted where leaf nitrogen (N) decreased. The effect of elevated [CO(2)] on leaf area was generally small, but most dramatic under ample N conditions; this increased the stimulation of whole-season C(gain). These results suggest that a decrease in C(gain) enhancement following elevated CO(2) levels is difficult to avoid, but that careful management of nitrogen levels can alter the whole-season C(gain) enhancement.

  10. Undergraduates Achieve Learning Gains in Plant Genetics through Peer Teaching of Secondary Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chrispeels, H. E.; Klosterman, M. L.; Martin, J. B.; Lundy, S. R.; Watkins, J. M.; Gibson, C. L.; Muday, G. K.

    2014-01-01

    This study tests the hypothesis that undergraduates who peer teach genetics will have greater understanding of genetic and molecular biology concepts as a result of their teaching experiences. Undergraduates enrolled in a non-majors biology course participated in a service-learning program in which they led middle school (MS) or high school (HS)…

  11. Undergraduates Achieve Learning Gains in Plant Genetics through Peer Teaching of Secondary Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chrispeels, H. E.; Klosterman, M. L.; Martin, J. B.; Lundy, S. R.; Watkins, J. M.; Gibson, C. L.; Muday, G. K.

    2014-01-01

    This study tests the hypothesis that undergraduates who peer teach genetics will have greater understanding of genetic and molecular biology concepts as a result of their teaching experiences. Undergraduates enrolled in a non-majors biology course participated in a service-learning program in which they led middle school (MS) or high school (HS)…

  12. Controlling inbreeding and maximizing genetic gain using semi-definite programming with pedigree-based and genomic relationships.

    PubMed

    Schierenbeck, S; Pimentel, E C G; Tietze, M; Körte, J; Reents, R; Reinhardt, F; Simianer, H; König, S

    2011-12-01

    Because of the relatively high levels of genetic relationships among potential bull sires and bull dams, innovative selection tools should consider both genetic gain and genetic relationships in a long-term perspective. Optimum genetic contribution theory using official estimated breeding values for a moderately heritable trait (production index, Index-PROD), and a lowly heritable functional trait (index for somatic cell score, Index-SCS) was applied to find optimal allocations of bull dams and bull sires. In contrast to previous practical applications using optimizations based on Lagrange multipliers, we focused on semi-definite programming (SDP). The SDP methodology was combined with either pedigree (a(ij)) or genomic relationships (f(ij)) among selection candidates. Selection candidates were 484 genotyped bulls, and 499 preselected genotyped bull dams completing a central test on station. In different scenarios separately for PROD and SCS, constraints on the average pedigree relationships among future progeny were varied from a(ij)=0.08 to a(ij)=0.20 in increments of 0.01. Corresponding constraints for single nucleotide polymorphism-based kinship coefficients were derived from regression analysis. Applying the coefficient of 0.52 with an intercept of 0.14 estimated for the regression pedigree relationship on genomic relationship, the corresponding range to alter genomic relationships varied from f(ij) = 0.18 to f(ij) = 0.24. Despite differences for some bulls in genomic and pedigree relationships, the same trends were observed for constraints on pedigree and corresponding genomic relationships regarding results in genetic gain and achieved coefficients of relationships. Generally, allowing higher values for relationships resulted in an increase of genetic gain for Index-PROD and Index-SCS and in a reduction in the number of selected sires. Interestingly, more sires were selected for all scenarios when restricting genomic relationships compared with restricting

  13. Frequency response and bandwidth enhancement in Ge/Si avalanche photodiodes with over 840 GHz gain-bandwidth-product.

    PubMed

    Zaoui, Wissem Sfar; Chen, Hui-Wen; Bowers, John E; Kang, Yimin; Morse, Mike; Paniccia, Mario J; Pauchard, Alexandre; Campbell, Joe C

    2009-07-20

    In this work we report a separate-absorption-charge-multiplication Ge/Si avalanche photodiode with an enhanced gain-bandwidth-product of 845 GHz at a wavelength of 1310 nm. The corresponding gain value is 65 and the electrical bandwidth is 13 GHz at an optical input power of -30 dBm. The unconventional high gain-bandwidth-product is investigated using device physical simulation and optical pulse response measurement. The analysis of the electric field distribution, electron and hole concentration and drift velocities in the device shows that the enhanced gain-bandwidth-product at high bias voltages is due to a decrease of the transit time and avalanche build-up time limitation at high fields.

  14. The silencing of Kierkegaard in Habermas' critique of genetic enhancement.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Karin

    2009-06-01

    The main purpose of this paper is to draw attention to an important part of Habermas' critique of genetic enhancement, which has been largely ignored in the discussion; namely his use of Kierkegaard's reflections on the existential conditions for becoming one-self from Either/or and the Sickness unto Death. It will be argued that, although Habermas presents some valuable and highly significant perspectives on the effect of genetic enhancement on the individual's self-understanding and ability to experience him- or herself as a free and equal individual, he does not succeed in working out a consistent argument. The claim is that he fails to explain how the existential analysis is related to his reflections on the sociological and psychological impacts of genetic enhancement in the realm of communicative action. It is this lack of theoretical clarity, which seems to render Habermas vulnerable to some of the critique which has been raised against his theory from a number of different scientific disciplines and areas of research. Hence, the first part of the paper provides some examples of the nature and variety of this critique, the second part presents Habermas' own critique of genetic enhancement in the context of a dispute between so-called 'liberal' and 'conservative' arguments, and finally, the third part discusses the limits and possibilities of his position in a future debate about genetic enhancement.

  15. Postnatal human genetic enhancement and the parens patriae doctrine

    PubMed Central

    Tamir, Sivan

    2016-01-01

    Abstract This paper explores the role of the state, acting as parens patriae, with respect to the future-looking technology of postnatal human genetic enhancement (PoGE), applied to minors by their parents or the state. Considering postnatal rather than prenatal genetic enhancement (PGE) allows us to explore the putative obligations of the state with respect to actual persons, in contrast to future persons the subjects of speculative investigation in the traditionally studied case of PGE. Part I features PoGE, mostly by analogy to PGE and other (non-genetic) postnatal enhancements. Part II examines the nature and scope of the parens patriae doctrine, distinguishing between its protective and substitutive facets. I conclude, drawing on contemporary legal constructions, that: a) the state's interference in parental genetic enhancement (GE) discretion, under its protective role, should generally be minimal, reserved to extreme cases where grave harm to the child has been caused or is reasonably foreseeable; and b) since we cannot readily find parents obligated to genetically enhance their offspring, the state as parens patriae, under its substitutive role, will be respectively exempt from such duty towards state-dependent-children, save for certain GEs considered a sine qua non necessity, equally obligating parents and state to provide children with. PMID:28852539

  16. A gain and bandwidth enhanced transimpedance preamplifier for Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Tzu-Yung; Green, Roger J.; O'Connor, Peter B.

    2011-01-01

    The nature of the ion signal from a 12-T Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer and the electronic noise were studied to further understand the electronic detection limit. At minimal cost, a new transimpedance preamplifier was designed, computer simulated, built, and tested. The preamplifier design pushes the electronic signal-to-noise performance at room temperature to the limit, because of its enhanced tolerance of the capacitance of the detection device, lower intrinsic noise, and larger flat mid-band gain (input current noise spectral density of around 1 pA/\\documentclass[12pt]{minimal}\\begin{document}$\\sqrt{\\mbox{Hz}}$\\end{document}Hz when the transimpedance is about 85 dBΩ). The designed preamplifier has a bandwidth of ∼3 kHz to 10 MHz, which corresponds to the mass-to-charge ratio, m/z, of approximately 18 to 61 k at 12 T. The transimpedance and the bandwidth can be easily adjusted by changing the value of passive components. The feedback limitation of the circuit is discussed. With the maximum possible transimpedance of 5.3 MΩ when using an 0402 surface mount resistor, the preamplifier was estimated to be able to detect ∼110 charges in a single scan. PMID:22225232

  17. Colestilan decreases weight gain by enhanced NEFA incorporation in biliary lipids and fecal lipid excretion.

    PubMed

    Sugimoto-Kawabata, Kanami; Shimada, Hiroshi; Sakai, Kaoru; Suzuki, Kazuo; Kelder, Thomas; Pieterman, Elsbet J; Cohen, Louis H; Havekes, Louis M; Princen, Hans M; van den Hoek, Anita M

    2013-05-01

    Bile acid sequestrants (BASs) are cholesterol-lowering drugs that also affect hyperglycemia. The mechanism by which BASs exert these and other metabolic effects beyond cholesterol lowering remains poorly understood. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of a BAS, colestilan, on body weight, energy expenditure, and glucose and lipid metabolism and its mechanisms of action in high-fat-fed hyperlipidemic APOE*3 Leiden (E3L) transgenic mice. Mildly insulin-resistant E3L mice were fed a high-fat diet with or without 1.5% colestilan for 8 weeks. Colestilan treatment decreased body weight, visceral and subcutaneous fat, and plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels but increased food intake. Blood glucose and plasma insulin levels were decreased, and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp analysis demonstrated improved insulin sensitivity, particularly in peripheral tissues. In addition, colestilan decreased energy expenditure and physical activity, whereas it increased the respiratory exchange ratio, indicating that colestilan induced carbohydrate catabolism. Moreover, kinetic analysis revealed that colestilan increased [(3)H]NEFA incorporation in biliary cholesterol and phospholipids and increased fecal lipid excretion. Gene expression analysis in liver, fat, and muscle supported the above findings. In summary, colestilan decreases weight gain and improves peripheral insulin sensitivity in high-fat-fed E3L mice by enhanced NEFA incorporation in biliary lipids and increased fecal lipid excretion.

  18. Assessing potential genetic gains from varietal planting stock in loblolly pine plantations

    Treesearch

    Scott D. Roberts; Randall J. Rousseau; B. Landis Herrin

    2013-01-01

    Forest landowners have increasingly more options when it comes to loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) planting stock. The majority of plantations in recent decades have been established with seedlings produced from second-generation open-pollinated (second-Gen OP) seed. However, foresters have begun recognizing the increased gains obtainable from full-sib...

  19. Expected genetic gains and development plans for two longlead pine third-generation seedling seed orchards

    Treesearch

    C.D. Nelson; L.H. Lott; D.P. Gwaze

    2005-01-01

    Selection and thinning plans were developed for two longleaf pine (Pinus palushis Mill .), third-generation seedling seed orchards located in southeastern Mississippi and central Louisiana. The two orchards were part of several long-term experimental field tests designed to investigate genetic variation in height growth and brown spot needle blight (...

  20. A diploid inbred line strategy to accelerate genetic gain in potato

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Breeding potato at the tetraploid level is inefficient and slow. Potato breeding has not kept pace with advances in breeding strategies and genomics tools. This project initiates our plan to convert potato into a diploid crop capable of self-pollination. This will allow breeders to realize the genet...

  1. Genome analysis and genetic enhancement of tomato.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Vikrant; Mathur, Saloni; Solanke, Amolkumar U; Sharma, Manoj K; Kumar, Rahul; Vyas, Shailendra; Khurana, Paramjit; Khurana, Jitendra P; Tyagi, Akhilesh K; Sharma, Arun K

    2009-01-01

    The Solanaceae is an important family of vegetable crops, ornamentals and medicinal plants. Tomato has served as a model member of this family largely because of its enriched cytogenetic, genetic, as well as physical, maps. Mapping has helped in cloning several genes of importance such as Pto, responsible for resistance against bacterial speck disease, Mi-1.2 for resistance against nematodes, and fw2.2 QTL for fruit weight. A high-throughput genome-sequencing program has been initiated by an international consortium of 10 countries. Since heterochromatin has been found to be concentrated near centromeres, the consortium is focusing on sequencing only the gene-rich euchromatic region. Genomes of the members of Solanaceae show a significant degree of synteny, suggesting that the tomato genome sequence would help in the cloning of genes for important traits from other Solanaceae members as well. ESTs from a large number of cDNA libraries have been sequenced, and microarray chips, in conjunction with wide array of ripening mutants, have contributed immensely to the understanding of the fruit-ripening phenomenon. Work on the analysis of the tomato proteome has also been initiated. Transgenic tomato plants with improved abiotic stress tolerance, disease resistance and insect resistance, have been developed. Attempts have also been made to develop tomato as a bioreactor for various pharmaceutical proteins. However, control of fruit quality and ripening remains an active and challenging area of research. Such efforts should pave the way to improve not only tomato, but also other solanaceous crops.

  2. Genetic enhancement of Brassica napus seed quality.

    PubMed

    Hannoufa, Abdelali; Pillai, Bhinu V S; Chellamma, Sreekala

    2014-02-01

    The ultimate value of the Brassica napus (canola) seed is derived from the oil fraction, which has long been recognized for its premium dietary attributes, including its low level of saturated fatty acids, high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, and favorable omega-3 fatty acid profile. However, the protein (meal) portion of the seed has also received favorable attention for its essential amino acids, including abundance of sulfur-containing amino acids, such that B. napus protein is being contemplated for large scale use in livestock and fish feed formulations. Efforts to optimize the composition of B. napus oil and protein fractions are well documented; therefore, this article will review research concerned with optimizing secondary metabolites that affect the quality of seed oil and meal, from undesirable anti-nutritional factors to highl value beneficial products. The biological, agronomic, and economic values attributed to secondary metabolites have brought much needed attention to those in Brassica oilseeds and other crops. This review focuses on increasing levels of beneficial endogenous secondary metabolites (such as carotenoids, choline and tochopherols) and decreasing undesirable antinutritional factors (glucosinolates, sinapine and phytate). Molecular genetic approaches are given emphasis relative to classical breeding.

  3. Selection for feed efficiency traits and correlated genetic responses in feed intake and weight gain of Nellore cattle.

    PubMed

    Grion, A L; Mercadante, M E Z; Cyrillo, J N S G; Bonilha, S F M; Magnani, E; Branco, R H

    2014-03-01

    The objectives of this study were to estimate genetic parameters for indicator traits of feed efficiency and to recommend traits that would result in better responses to selection for increased weaning weight (weaning weight adjusted to 210 d of age [W210]), ADG, and metabolic BW (BW(0.75)) and lower DMI. Records of W210 from 8,004 Nellore animals born between 1978 and 2011 and postweaning performance test records from 678 males and females born between 2004 and 2011 were used. The following feed efficiency traits were evaluated: G:F, partial efficiency of growth (PEG), relative growth rate (RGR), Kleiber's ratio (KR), residual feed intake (RFI), residual weight gain (RWG), and residual intake and gain (RIG). Covariance and variance components were estimated by the restricted maximum likelihood method using multitrait analysis under an animal model. Estimates of genetic gain and correlated responses were obtained considering single-stage and 2-stage selection. Heritability estimates were 0.22 ± 0.03 (W210), 0.60 ± 0.08 (DMI), 0.42 ± 0.08 (ADG), 0.56 ± 0.06 (BW(0.75)), 0.19 ± 0.07 (G:F), 0.25 ± 0.09 (PEG), 0.19 ± 0.07 (RGR), 0.22 ± 0.07 (KR), 0.33 ± 0.10 (RFI), 0.13 ± 0.07 (RWG), and 0.19 ± 0.08 (RIG). The genetic correlations of DMI with W210 (0.64 ± 0.10), ADG (0.87 ± 0.06), and BW(0.75) (0.84 ± 0.05) were high. The only efficiency traits showing favorable responses to selection for lower DMI were G:F, PEG, RFI, and RIG. However, the use of G:F, PEG, or RFI as a selection criterion results in unfavorable correlated responses in some growth traits. The linear combination of RFI and RWG through RIG is the best selection criterion to obtain favorable responses in postweaning growth and feed intake of Nellore cattle in single-stage selection. Genetic gains in feed efficiency are expected even after preselection for W210 and subsequent feed efficiency testing of the preselected animals.

  4. The experience of dentists who gained enhanced skills in endodontics within a novel pilot training programme.

    PubMed

    Eliyas, S; Briggs, P; Gallagher, J E

    2017-02-24

    Objective To explore the experiences of primary care dentists following training to enhance endodontic skills and their views on the implications for the NHS.Design Qualitative study using anonymised free text questionnaires.Setting Primary care general dental services within the National Health Service (NHS) in London, United Kingdom.Subjects and methods Eight primary care dentists who completed this training were asked about factors affecting participant experience of the course, perceived impact on themselves, their organisation, their patients and barriers/facilitators to providing endodontic treatment in NHS primary care. Data were transferred verbatim to a spreadsheet and thematically analysed.Intervention 24-month part-time educational and service initiative to provide endodontics within the NHS, using a combination of training in simulation lab and treatment of patients in primary care.Results Positive impacts were identified at individual (gains in knowledge, skills, confidence, personal development), patient (more teeth saved, quality of care improved) and system levels (access, value for money). Suggested developments for future courses included more case discussions, teaching of practical skills earlier in the course and refinement of the triaging processes. Barriers to using the acquired skills in providing endodontic treatment in primary care within the NHS were perceived to be resources (remuneration, time, skills) and accountability. Facilitators included appropriately remunerated contracts, necessary equipment and time.Conclusion This novel pilot training programme in endodontics combining general practice experience with education/training, hands-on experience and a portfolio was perceived by participants as beneficial for extending skills and service innovation in primary dental care. The findings provide insight into primary dental care practitioners' experience with education/training and have implications for future educational initiatives in

  5. n-3 Essential fatty acids decrease weight gain in genetically obese mice.

    PubMed

    Cunnane, S C; McAdoo, K R; Horrobin, D F

    1986-07-01

    1. Lean (ln/ln) and obese (ob/ob) mice were given diets containing a fat source of 100 g evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) oil (fatty acids 18:2n-6, 18:3n-6; EPO) or 100 g cod liver oil (20:5n-3, 22:6n-3; CLO)/kg diet. 2. Weight gain was lower in the ob/ob mice fed on CLO, an effect unrelated to food intake. 3. In the ob/ob mice fed on CLO, thromboxane synthesis by clotting platelets was reduced compared with that in ob/ob mice fed on EPO. 4. The ob/ob CLO-fed mice had lower arachidonic acid but higher levels of n-3 fatty acids in liver, brown adipose tissue and white adipose tissue. 5. The n-3 fatty acids in CLO therefore replaced the n-6 fatty acids in tissue lipids and reduced synthesis of '2 series' prostaglandins in addition to causing lower weight gain in the CLO-fed ob/ob mice.

  6. Genetic enhancement of peanut oil quality and disease resistance

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The objectives of this project were to develop recombinant inbred lines (RILs, derived from SunOleic 97R x NC94022 ) for genetic and genomic studies and enhancement of peanut oil quality and disease resistance. The major fatty acids (oleic acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid) were 83.5%, 1.8%, an...

  7. Integrated genomic approaches to enhance genetic resistance in chickens

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The chicken has led the way amongst agricultural animal species in infectious disease control and, in particular, selection for genetic resistance. The generation of the chicken genome sequence and the availability of other empowering tools and resources greatly enhance the ability to select for enh...

  8. Behavioural genetics: why eugenic selection is preferable to enhancement.

    PubMed

    Savulescu, Julian; Hemsley, Melanie; Newson, Ainsley; Foddy, Bennett

    2006-01-01

    Criminal behaviour is but one behavioural tendency for which a genetic influence has been suggested. Whilst this research certainly raises difficult ethical questions and is subject to scientific criticism, one recent research project suggests that for some families, criminal tendency might be predicted by genetics. In this paper, supposing this research is valid, we consider whether intervening in the criminal tendency of future children is ethically justifiable. We argue that, if avoidance of harm is a paramount consideration, such an intervention is acceptable when genetic selection is employed instead of genetic enhancement. Moreover, other moral problems in avoiding having children with a tendency to criminal behaviour, such as the prospect of social discrimination, can also be overcome.

  9. Gain enhancement plasma-loaded FEL in the presence of beat waves

    SciTech Connect

    Shamamian, A.H.; Gevorgian, L.A.

    1995-12-31

    An expression for the dielectric permittivity of underdense plasma interacting with laser beat waves is derived. It is shown that the presence of beat waves in plasma results in an effective growth of the plasma frequency. The FEL Gain is investigated in the case when the frequency of soft photons weakly depending on the electron beam energy and the synchronism condition is maintained. It is shown that the plasma beat waves lead to the essential increase in FEL gain.

  10. Enhanced energy transport in genetically engineered excitonic networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Heechul; Heldman, Nimrod; Rebentrost, Patrick; Abbondanza, Luigi; Iagatti, Alessandro; Alessi, Andrea; Patrizi, Barbara; Salvalaggio, Mario; Bussotti, Laura; Mohseni, Masoud; Caruso, Filippo; Johnsen, Hannah C.; Fusco, Roberto; Foggi, Paolo; Scudo, Petra F.; Lloyd, Seth; Belcher, Angela M.

    2016-02-01

    One of the challenges for achieving efficient exciton transport in solar energy conversion systems is precise structural control of the light-harvesting building blocks. Here, we create a tunable material consisting of a connected chromophore network on an ordered biological virus template. Using genetic engineering, we establish a link between the inter-chromophoric distances and emerging transport properties. The combination of spectroscopy measurements and dynamic modelling enables us to elucidate quantum coherent and classical incoherent energy transport at room temperature. Through genetic modifications, we obtain a significant enhancement of exciton diffusion length of about 68% in an intermediate quantum-classical regime.

  11. Governmentality, biopower, and the debate over genetic enhancement.

    PubMed

    McWhorter, Ladelle

    2009-08-01

    Although Foucault adamantly refused to make moral pronouncements or dictate moral principles or political programs to his readers, his work offers a number of tools and concepts that can help us develop our own ethical views and practices. One of these tools is genealogical analysis, and one of these concepts is "biopower." Specifically, this essay seeks to demonstrate that Foucault's concept of biopower and his genealogical method are valuable as we consider moral questions raised by genetic enhancement technologies. First, it examines contemporary debate over the development, marketing, and application of such technologies, suggesting that what passes for ethical deliberation is often little more than political maneuvering in a field where stakes are very high and public perceptions will play a crucial role in decisions about which technologies will be funded or disallowed. It goes on to argue that genuine ethical deliberation on these issues requires some serious investigation of their historical context. Accordingly, then, it takes up the oft-heard charge from critics that genetic enhancement technologies are continuous with twentieth-century eugenic projects or will usher in a new age of eugenics. Foucault explicitly links twentieth-century eugenics with the rise of biopower. Through review of some aspects of the twentieth-century eugenics movement alongside some of the rhetoric and claims of enhancement's modern-day proponents, the essay shows ways in which deployment of genetic enhancement technologies is and is not continuous with earlier deployments of biopower.

  12. Genetic diversity enhances restoration success by augmenting ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Laura K; McGlathery, Karen J; Waycott, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    Disturbance and habitat destruction due to human activities is a pervasive problem in near-shore marine ecosystems, and restoration is often used to mitigate losses. A common metric used to evaluate the success of restoration is the return of ecosystem services. Previous research has shown that biodiversity, including genetic diversity, is positively associated with the provision of ecosystem services. We conducted a restoration experiment using sources, techniques, and sites similar to actual large-scale seagrass restoration projects and demonstrated that a small increase in genetic diversity enhanced ecosystem services (invertebrate habitat, increased primary productivity, and nutrient retention). In our experiment, plots with elevated genetic diversity had plants that survived longer, increased in density more quickly, and provided more ecosystem services (invertebrate habitat, increased primary productivity, and nutrient retention). We used the number of alleles per locus as a measure of genetic diversity, which, unlike clonal diversity used in earlier research, can be applied to any organism. Additionally, unlike previous studies where positive impacts of diversity occurred only after a large disturbance, this study assessed the importance of diversity in response to potential environmental stresses (high temperature, low light) along a water-depth gradient. We found a positive impact of diversity along the entire depth gradient. Taken together, these results suggest that ecosystem restoration will significantly benefit from obtaining sources (transplants or seeds) with high genetic diversity and from restoration techniques that can maintain that genetic diversity.

  13. MHC-dependent survival in a wild population: evidence for hidden genetic benefits gained through extra-pair fertilizations.

    PubMed

    Brouwer, Lyanne; Barr, Iain; van de Pol, Martijn; Burke, Terry; Komdeur, Jan; Richardson, David S

    2010-08-01

    Females should prefer to be fertilized by males that increase the genetic quality of their offspring. In vertebrates, genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) play a key role in the acquired immune response and have been shown to affect mating preferences. They are therefore important candidates for the link between mate choice and indirect genetic benefits. Higher MHC diversity may be advantageous because this allows a wider range of pathogens to be detected and combated. Furthermore, individuals harbouring rare MHC alleles might better resist pathogen variants that have evolved to evade common MHC alleles. In the Seychelles warbler, females paired with low MHC-diversity males elevate the MHC diversity of their offspring to levels comparable to the population mean by gaining extra-pair fertilizations. Here, we investigate whether increased MHC diversity results in higher life expectancy and whether there are any additional benefits of extra-pair fertilizations. Our 10-year study found a positive association between MHC diversity and juvenile survival, but no additional survival advantage of extra-pair fertilizations. In addition, offspring with a specific allele (Ase-ua4) had a fivefold longer life expectancy than offspring without this allele. Consequently, the interacting effects of sexual selection and pathogen-mediated viability selection appear to be important for maintaining MHC variation in the Seychelles warbler. Our study supports the prediction that MHC-dependent extra-pair fertilizations result in genetic benefits for offspring in natural populations. However, such genetic benefits might be hidden and not necessarily apparent in the widely used fitness comparison of extra- and within-pair offspring.

  14. Experiences gained from implementing mandatory buffer strips in Denmark: how can we enhance their ecosystem services?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronvang, Brian; Hoffmann, Carl Christian; Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette; Hille, Sandra; Rubæk, Gitte; Heckrath, Goswin; Gertz, Flemming; Jensen, Henning; Feuerback, Peter; Strand, John; Stutter, Marc

    2015-04-01

    along watercourses from ca. 50,000 ha to ca. 25,000 ha and at the same time they reduced the width of the mandatory BSs from 10 m to 9 m. The aim of this presentation is to share the experience gained in Denmark on establishing mandatory BSs. Furthermore, we will show some preliminary results from two newly initiated research projects (BUFFERTECH and BALTICSEA2020) that studies how to enhance the ecosystem services provided by buffer strips. We will show how intelligently to guide managers when establishing BSs along watercourses at catchment scale utilizing a combined P-index model for soil erosion and a statistical model for P retention in BSs as well as results obtained from new 'Engineered' or 'Constructed' BSs that delays tile drainage flow from field to streams thereby increasing nutrient retention. Acknowledgement The work is supported by the Strategic Research Foundation/Innovation Fund Denmark project 'BUFFERTECH - Optimization of Ecosystem Services Provided by Buffer Strips Using Novel Technological Methods' (Grant No. 1305-00017B) and the BalticSea2020 project 'Integrerade skyddszoner (IBZ)'.

  15. Enhanced wavelength shift in partly gain-coupled distributed feedback lasers using quantum well intermixing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhan, L.; Chan, K. S.; Pun, E. Y. B.; Ho, H. P.

    2003-12-01

    In this paper, we present a theoretical study on the properties of wavelength shift due to quantum well (QW) intermixing in the partly gain-coupled distributed feedback (DFB) lasers. A maximum possible wavelength red-shift of 9.2 nm is predicted if using a proper DFB grating, whose period is smaller than that in the conventional DFB lasers. In contrast to the index-coupled λ/4-shifted DFB lasers, no increase in carrier density is required to compensate for the gain reduction due to QW intermixing, as the threshold gain in the partly gain-coupled DFB laser decreases with the QW intermixing because of the increase in the coupling coefficient. The injected threshold current density for lasing is considerably flat in the wavelength red-shift range. The result is important as it indicates that the QW intermixing technique may be used in the fabrication of the equal threshold DFB lasers with different wavelengths in the monolithically integrated laser arrays.

  16. Power gain performance enhancement of independently biased heterojunction bipolar transistor cascode chip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luong, Duy Manh; Takayama, Yoichiro; Ishikawa, Ryo; Honjo, Kazuhiko

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this research is to study the power gain performance of an independently biased cascode structure or a new cascode structure (NCS) in comparison to that of a conventional cascode structure (CCS) at 1.9 GHz while investigating the bias conditions. We found that the bias collector current (Ic2) of the common-base (CB) or second-stage transistor is the key factor contributing to the power gain difference between a NCS and a CCS. By employing a monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) InGaP/GaAs heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT), simulation and experimental results show that a NCS with higher Ic2 than that of a CCS can offer better power gain performance but less stability compared with a CCS. On the other hand, although a NCS with lower Ic2 than that of a CCS exhibits worse power gain performance compared with a CCS, it can be more stable than a CCS. All of the above indicate that a NCS can deliver superior radio frequency (RF) performance compared with a CCS by setting the appropriate bias conditions.

  17. Substantial gain enhancement for optical parametric amplification and oscillation in two-dimensional chi(2) nonlinear photonic crystals.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hsi-Chun; Kung, A H

    2008-06-23

    We have analyzed optical parametric interaction in a 2D NPC. While in general the nonlinear coefficient is small compared to a 1D NPC, we show that at numerous orientations a multitude of reciprocal vectors contribute additively to enhance the gain in optical parametric amplification and oscillation in a 2D patterned crystal. In particular, we have derived the effective nonlinear coefficients for common-signal amplification and common-idler amplification for a tetragonal inverted domain pattern. We show that in the specific case of signal amplification with QPM by both G(10) and G(11), symmetry of the crystal results in coupled interaction with the corresponding signal amplification by G(10) and G(1,-1). As a consequence, this coupled utilization of all three reciprocal vectors leads to a substantial increase in parametric gain. Using PPLN we demonstrate numerically that a gain that comes close to that of a 1D QPM crystal could be realized in a 2D NPC with an inverted tetragonal domain pattern. This special mechanism produces two pairs of identical signal and idler beams propagating in mirror-imaged forward directions. In conjunction with this gain enhancement and multiple beams output we predict that there is a large pulling effect on the output wavelength due to dynamic signal build-up in the intrinsic noncollinear geometry of a 2D NPC OPO.

  18. Exploiting genomics and natural genetic variation to decode macrophage enhancers

    PubMed Central

    Romanoski, Casey E.; Link, Verena M.; Heinz, Sven; Glass, Christopher K.

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian genome contains on the order of a million enhancer-like regions that are required to establish the identities and functions of specific cell types. Here, we review recent studies in immune cells that have provided insight into the mechanisms that selectively activate certain enhancers in response to cell lineage and environmental signals. We describe a working model wherein distinct classes of transcription factors define the repertoire of active enhancers in macrophages through collaborative and hierarchical interactions, and discuss important challenges to this model, specifically providing examples from T cells. We conclude by discussing the use of natural genetic variation as a powerful approach for decoding transcription factor combinations that play dominant roles in establishing the enhancer landscapes, and the potential that these insights have for advancing our understanding of the molecular causes of human disease. PMID:26298065

  19. Enhanced learning after genetic overexpression of a brain growth protein.

    PubMed

    Routtenberg, A; Cantallops, I; Zaffuto, S; Serrano, P; Namgung, U

    2000-06-20

    Ramón y Cajal proposed 100 years ago that memory formation requires the growth of nerve cell processes. One-half century later, Hebb suggested that growth of presynaptic axons and postsynaptic dendrites consequent to coactivity in these synaptic elements was essential for such information storage. In the past 25 years, candidate growth genes have been implicated in learning processes, but it has not been demonstrated that they in fact enhance them. Here, we show that genetic overexpression of the growth-associated protein GAP-43, the axonal protein kinase C substrate, dramatically enhanced learning and long-term potentiation in transgenic mice. If the overexpressed GAP-43 was mutated by a Ser --> Ala substitution to preclude its phosphorylation by protein kinase C, then no learning enhancement was found. These findings provide evidence that a growth-related gene regulates learning and memory and suggest an unheralded target, the GAP-43 phosphorylation site, for enhancing cognitive ability.

  20. An Extended Normalization Model of Attention Accounts for Feature-Based Attentional Enhancement of Both Response and Coherence Gain

    PubMed Central

    Krishna, B. Suresh; Treue, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Paying attention to a sensory feature improves its perception and impairs that of others. Recent work has shown that a Normalization Model of Attention (NMoA) can account for a wide range of physiological findings and the influence of different attentional manipulations on visual performance. A key prediction of the NMoA is that attention to a visual feature like an orientation or a motion direction will increase the response of neurons preferring the attended feature (response gain) rather than increase the sensory input strength of the attended stimulus (input gain). This effect of feature-based attention on neuronal responses should translate to similar patterns of improvement in behavioral performance, with psychometric functions showing response gain rather than input gain when attention is directed to the task-relevant feature. In contrast, we report here that when human subjects are cued to attend to one of two motion directions in a transparent motion display, attentional effects manifest as a combination of input and response gain. Further, the impact on input gain is greater when attention is directed towards a narrow range of motion directions than when it is directed towards a broad range. These results are captured by an extended NMoA, which either includes a stimulus-independent attentional contribution to normalization or utilizes direction-tuned normalization. The proposed extensions are consistent with the feature-similarity gain model of attention and the attentional modulation in extrastriate area MT, where neuronal responses are enhanced and suppressed by attention to preferred and non-preferred motion directions respectively. PMID:27977679

  1. An Extended Normalization Model of Attention Accounts for Feature-Based Attentional Enhancement of Both Response and Coherence Gain.

    PubMed

    Schwedhelm, Philipp; Krishna, B Suresh; Treue, Stefan

    2016-12-01

    Paying attention to a sensory feature improves its perception and impairs that of others. Recent work has shown that a Normalization Model of Attention (NMoA) can account for a wide range of physiological findings and the influence of different attentional manipulations on visual performance. A key prediction of the NMoA is that attention to a visual feature like an orientation or a motion direction will increase the response of neurons preferring the attended feature (response gain) rather than increase the sensory input strength of the attended stimulus (input gain). This effect of feature-based attention on neuronal responses should translate to similar patterns of improvement in behavioral performance, with psychometric functions showing response gain rather than input gain when attention is directed to the task-relevant feature. In contrast, we report here that when human subjects are cued to attend to one of two motion directions in a transparent motion display, attentional effects manifest as a combination of input and response gain. Further, the impact on input gain is greater when attention is directed towards a narrow range of motion directions than when it is directed towards a broad range. These results are captured by an extended NMoA, which either includes a stimulus-independent attentional contribution to normalization or utilizes direction-tuned normalization. The proposed extensions are consistent with the feature-similarity gain model of attention and the attentional modulation in extrastriate area MT, where neuronal responses are enhanced and suppressed by attention to preferred and non-preferred motion directions respectively.

  2. Double-maximum enhancement of signal-to-noise ratio gain via stochastic resonance and vibrational resonance.

    PubMed

    Duan, Fabing; Chapeau-Blondeau, François; Abbott, Derek

    2014-08-01

    This paper studies the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) gain of a parallel array of nonlinear elements that transmits a common input composed of a periodic signal and external noise. Aiming to further enhance the SNR gain, each element is injected with internal noise components or high-frequency sinusoidal vibrations. We report that the SNR gain exhibits two maxima at different values of the internal noise level or of the sinusoidal vibration amplitude. For the addition of internal noise to an array of threshold-based elements, the condition for occurrence of stochastic resonance is analytically investigated in the limit of weak signals. Interestingly, when the internal noise components are replaced by high-frequency sinusoidal vibrations, the SNR gain displays the vibrational multiresonance phenomenon. In both considered cases, there are certain regions of the internal noise intensity or the sinusoidal vibration amplitude wherein the achieved maximal SNR gain can be considerably beyond unity for a weak signal buried in non-Gaussian external noise. Due to the easy implementation of sinusoidal vibration modulation, this approach is potentially useful for improving the output SNR in an array of nonlinear devices.

  3. Multiple criteria decision-making process to derive consensus desired genetic gains for a dairy cattle breeding objective for diverse production systems.

    PubMed

    Kariuki, C M; van Arendonk, J A M; Kahi, A K; Komen, H

    2017-06-01

    Dairy cattle industries contribute to food and nutrition security and are a source of income for numerous households in many developing countries. Selective breeding can enhance efficiency in these industries. Developing dairy industries are characterized by diverse production and marketing systems. In this paper, we use weighted goal aggregating procedure to derive consensus trait preferences for different producer categories and processors. We based the study on the dairy industry in Kenya. The analytic hierarchy process was used to derive individual preferences for milk yield (MY), calving interval (CIN), production lifetime (PLT), mature body weight (MBW), and fat yield (FY). Results show that classical classification of production systems into large-scale and smallholder systems does not capture all differences in trait preferences. These differences became apparent when classification was based on productivity at the individual animal level, with high and low intensity producers and processors as the most important groups. High intensity producers had highest preferences for PLT and MY, whereas low intensity producers had highest preference for CIN and PLT; processors preferred MY and FY the most. The highest disagreements between the groups were observed for FY, PLT, and MY. Individual and group preferences were aggregated into consensus preferences using weighted goal programming. Desired gains were obtained as a product of consensus preferences and percentage genetic gains (G%). These were 2.42, 0.22, 2.51, 0.15, and 0.87 for MY, CIN, PLT, MBW, and FY, respectively. Consensus preferences can be used to derive a single compromise breeding objective for situations where the same genetic resources are used in diverse production and marketing circumstances. The Authors. Published by the Federation of Animal Science Societies and Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Dairy Science Association®. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

  4. Gain enhanced L-band optical fiber amplifiers and tunable fiber lasers with erbium-doped fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, H.; Leblanc, M.; Schinn, G. W.

    2003-02-01

    We report on the experimental investigation of gain enhanced L-band erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFA) by either recycling residual ASE or using a second C-band wavelength pump laser and on the experimental demonstration of L-band tunable erbium-doped fiber ring lasers. We observed that by reflecting ASE from pumped erbium-doped fiber (EDF) the L-band EDFA gain can be enhanced of 2-15 dB depending on amplifier designs. We also studied wavelength and power dependence of second pump laser on the gain enhanced L-band EDFA and found that an optimum wavelength for second pump laser was between 1550 and 1560 nm. Finally, a L-band tunable erbium-doped fiber laser was also constructed in which lazing oscillation was observed closed to 1624 nm by recycling residual ASE. This L-band tunable laser has a line-width of about 300 MHz, an output power of 1 mW, and a signal to source spontaneous emission ratio of 60 dB.

  5. Bandwidth and gain enhancement of optically transparent 60-GHz CPW-fed antenna by using BSIS-UC-EBG structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ning; Tian, Huiping; Guo, Zheng; Yang, Daquan; Zhou, Jian; Ji, Yuefeng

    2015-06-01

    A method in terms of bandwidth and gain enhancement is presented for optically transparent coplanar waveguide fed (CPW-Fed) antenna, which supports unlicensed 60 GHz band (57-66 GHz) applications. The original antenna and mesh antenna in [8] were designed on a transparent material that is made of a 0.2-mm-thick fused silica 7980 Corning substrate (ɛr: 3.8 and tan δ: 0.0001). However, the peak gains of -5.3 and -5.4 dBi at 60 GHz of those antennas can be further improved. Thus, in this paper, a novel bidirectional symmetric I-shaped slot uniplanar compact electromagnetic band-gap (BSIS-UC-EBG) structure with a reflection phase band of 58.0-62.1 GHz is proposed to improve antenna performance. Based on this BSIS-UC-EBG structure, both transparent BSIS-UC-EBG antenna and transparent mesh BSIS-UC-EBG antenna with enhanced properties are presented and discussed. The analysis results show that the impedance bandwidth (the peak gain) of transparent BSIS-UC-EBG antenna and transparent mesh BSIS-UC-EBG antenna are enhanced to 36.6% (4.7 dBi) and 44.7% (5.8 dBi), respectively. In addition, we also discuss the comparison of radiation patterns at 60 GHz, and the results illustrate that the radiation patterns are basically identical.

  6. Mating strategies with genomic information reduce rates of inbreeding in animal breeding schemes without compromising genetic gain.

    PubMed

    Liu, H; Henryon, M; Sørensen, A C

    2017-04-01

    We tested the hypothesis that mating strategies with genomic information realise lower rates of inbreeding (∆F) than with pedigree information without compromising rates of genetic gain (∆G). We used stochastic simulation to compare ∆F and ∆G realised by two mating strategies with pedigree and genomic information in five breeding schemes. The two mating strategies were minimum-coancestry mating (MC) and minimising the covariance between ancestral genetic contributions (MCAC). We also simulated random mating (RAND) as a reference point. Generations were discrete. Animals were truncation-selected for a single trait that was controlled by 2000 quantitative trait loci, and the trait was observed for all selection candidates before selection. The criterion for selection was genomic-breeding values predicted by a ridge-regression model. Our results showed that MC and MCAC with genomic information realised 6% to 22% less ∆F than MC and MCAC with pedigree information without compromising ∆G across breeding schemes. MC and MCAC realised similar ∆F and ∆G. In turn, MC and MCAC with genomic information realised 28% to 44% less ∆F and up to 14% higher ∆G than RAND. These results indicated that MC and MCAC with genomic information are more effective than with pedigree information in controlling rates of inbreeding. This implies that genomic information should be applied to more than just prediction of breeding values in breeding schemes with truncation selection.

  7. Effects of a breeding scheme combined by genomic pre-selection and progeny testing on annual genetic gain in a dairy cattle population.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Takeshi; Togashi, Kenji; Iwama, Satoru; Matsumoto, Shigeo; Moribe, Kimihiro; Nakanishi, Takatoshi; Hagiya, Koichi; Hayasaka, Kiyoshi

    2014-06-01

    The effectiveness of the incorporation of genomic pre-selection into dairy cattle progeny testing (GS-PT) was compared with that of progeny testing (PT) where the fraction of dam to breed bull (DB) selected was 0.01. When the fraction of sires to breed bulls (SB) selected without being progeny tested to produce young bulls (YB) in the next generation was 0.2, the annual genetic gain from GS-PT was 13% to 43% greater when h(2)  = 0.3 and 16% to 53% greater when h(2)  = 0.1 compared with that from PT. Given h(2)  = 0.3, a selection accuracy of 0.8 for both YB and DB, and selected fractions of 0.117 for YB and 0.04 for DB, GS-PT produced 40% to 43% greater annual genetic gain than PT. Given h(2)  = 0.1, a selection accuracy of 0.6 for both YB and DB, and selected fractions of 0.117 for YB and 0.04 for DB, annual genetic gain from GS-PT was 48% to 53% greater than that from PT. When h(2)  = 0.3, progeny testing capacity had little effect on annual genetic gain from GS-PT. However, when h(2)  = 0.1, annual genetic gain from GS-PT increased with increasing progeny testing capacity.

  8. Can enhancement be distinguished from prevention in genetic medicine?

    PubMed

    Juengst, E T

    1997-04-01

    In discussions of the ethics of human gene therapy, it has become standard to draw a distinction between the use of human gene transfer techniques to treat health problems and their use to enhance or improve normal human traits. Some dispute the normative force of this distinction by arguing that it is undercut by the legitimate medical use of human gene transfer techniques to prevent disease-such as genetic engineering to bolster immune function, improve the efficiency of DNA repair, or add cellular receptors to capture and process cholesterol. If disease prevention is a proper goal of medicine, these critics argue, and the use of gene transfer techniques to enhance human health maintenance capacities will help achieve that goal, then the "treatment/enhancement" distinction cannot define the limits of legitimate gene therapy. In this paper, I argue that a line can be drawn between prevention and enhancement for gene therapy (and thus between properly medical and nonmedical uses of gene therapy), but only if one is willing to accept two rather old-fashioned claims: 1) Some health problems are best understood as if they were entities in their own right, reifiable as processes or parts in a biological system, with at least as much ontological objectivity and theoretical significance as the functions that they inhibit. 2) Legitimate preventive genetic health care should be limited to efforts to defend people from attack by these more robust pathological entities, rather than changing their bodies to evade social injustices.

  9. Ejector Enhanced Pulsejet Based Pressure Gain Combustors: An Old Idea With a New Twist

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paxson, Daniel E.; Dougherty, Kevin T.

    2005-01-01

    An experimental investigation of pressure-gain combustion for gas turbine application is described. The test article consists of an off-the-shelf valved pulsejet, and an optimized ejector, both housed within a shroud. The combination forms an effective can combustor across which there is a modest total pressure rise rather than the usual loss found in conventional combustors. Although the concept of using a pulsejet to affect semi-constant volume (i.e., pressure-gain) combustion is not new, that of combining it with a well designed ejector to efficiently mix the bypass flow is. The result is a device which to date has demonstrated an overall pressure rise of approximately 3.5 percent at an overall temperature ratio commensurate with modern gas turbines. This pressure ratio is substantially higher than what has been previously reported in pulsejet-based combustion experiments. Flow non-uniformities in the downstream portion of the device are also shown to be substantially reduced compared to those within the pulsejet itself. The standard deviation of total pressure fluctuations, measured just downstream of the ejector was only 5.0 percent of the mean. This smoothing aspect of the device is critical to turbomachinery applications since turbine performance is, in general, negatively affected by flow non-uniformities and unsteadiness. The experimental rig will be described and details of the performance measurements will be presented. Analyses showing the thermodynamic benefits from this level of pressure-gain performance in a gas turbine will also be assessed for several engine types. Issues regarding practical development of such a device are discussed, as are potential emissions reductions resulting from the rich burning nature of the pulsejet and the rapid mixing (quenching) associated with unsteady ejectors.

  10. 93-133 GHz Band InP High-Electron-Mobility Transistor Amplifier with Gain-Enhanced Topology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Masaru; Shiba, Shoichi; Matsumura, Hiroshi; Takahashi, Tsuyoshi; Nakasha, Yasuhiro; Suzuki, Toshihide; Hara, Naoki

    2013-04-01

    In this study, we developed a new type of high-frequency amplifier topology using 75-nm-gate-length InP-based high-electron-mobility transistors (InP HEMTs). To enhance the gain for a wide frequency range, a common-source common-gate hybrid amplifier topology was proposed. A transformer-based balun placed at the input of the amplifier generates differential signals, which are fed to the gate and source terminals of the transistor. The amplified signal is outputted at the drain node. The simulation results show that the hybrid topology exhibits a higher gain from 90 to 140 GHz than that of the conventional common-source or common-gate amplifier. The two-stage amplifier fabricated using the topology exhibits a small signal gain of 12 dB and a 3-dB bandwidth of 40 GHz (93-133 GHz), which is the largest bandwidth and the second highest gain reported among those of published 120-GHz-band amplifiers. In addition, the measured noise figure was 5 dB from 90 to 100 GHz.

  11. Enhancing the performance of a high-gain free electron laser operating at millimeter wavelengths

    SciTech Connect

    Barletta, W.A.; Anderson, B.; Fawley, W.M.; Neil, V.K.; Orzechowski, T.J.; Prosnitz, D.; Scharlemann, E.T.; Yarema, S.M.; Paul, A.C.; Hopkins, D.

    1984-10-25

    A high-gain, high extraction efficiency, free electron laser (FEL) amplifier operating at the Experimental Test Accelerator (ETA) at 34.6 GHz has demonstrated a small signal gain of 13.4 dB/m. With a 30 kW input signal, the amplifier has produced a saturated output of 80 MW and a 5% extraction efficiency. Comparison of these results with a linear model at small signal levels indicates that the amplifier can deliver saturated output starting from noise, if the brightness of the electron beam is sufficiently high. The brightness of the ETA is far below that possible with optimized choice of practical design characteristics such as peak voltage, cathode type, gun electrode geometry, and focusing field topology. In particular, the measured brightness of the ETA injector is limited by plasma effects from the present cold, plasma cathode. As part of a coordinated theoretical and experimental effort to improve injector performance, we are using the EBQ gun design code to explore the current limits of gridless, relativistic, Pierce columns with moderate current density (>50 A/cm/sup 2/) at the cathode. The chief component in our experimental effort is a readily modified electron gun that will allow us to test many candidate cathode materials, types, and electrode geometries at field stresses up to 1 MV/cm. 8 references, 5 figures.

  12. GABAergic Neural Activity Involved in Salicylate-Induced Auditory Cortex Gain Enhancement

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jianzhong; Lobarinas, Edward; Deng, Anchun; Goodey, Ronald; Stolzberg, Daniel; Salvi, Richard J.; Sun, Wei

    2011-01-01

    Although high doses of sodium salicylate impair cochlear function, it paradoxically enhances sound-evoked activity in the auditory cortex (AC) and augments acoustic startle reflex responses, neural and behavioral metrics associated with hyperexcitability and hyperacusis. To explore the neural mechanisms underlying salicylate-induced hyperexcitability and “increased central gain”, we examined the effects of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor agonists and antagonists on salicylate-induced hyperexcitability in the AC and startle reflex responses. Consistent with our previous findings, local or systemic application of salicylate significantly increased the amplitude of sound-evoked AC neural activity, but generally reduced spontaneous activity in the AC. Systemic injection of salicylate also significantly increased the acoustic startle reflex. S-baclofen or R-baclofen, GABA-B agonists, which suppressed sound-evoked AC neural firing rate and local field potentials, also suppressed the salicylate-induced enhancement of the AC field potential and the acoustic startle reflex. Local application of vigabatrin, which enhances GABA concentration in the brain, suppressed the salicylate-induced enhancement of AC firing rate. Systemic injection of vigabatrin also reduced the salicylate-induced enhancement of acoustic startle reflex. Collectively, these results suggest that the sound-evoked behavioral and neural hyperactivity induced by salicylate may arise from a salicylate-induced suppression GABAergic inhibition in the AC. PMID:21664433

  13. Accounting for outliers and heteroskedasticity in multibreed genetic evaluations of postweaning gain of Nelore-Hereford cattle.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, F F; Rosa, G J M; Tempelman, R J

    2007-04-01

    The objectives of this study were to demonstrate the utility of hierarchical Bayesian models combining residual heteroskedasticity with robustness for outlier detection and muting and to evaluate the effects of such joint modeling in multibreed genetic evaluations. A 3 x 2 factorial specification of 6 residual variance models based on several distributional (Gaussian, Student's t, or Slash) and variability (homoskedastic or heteroskedastic) assumptions was used to analyze 22,717 postweaning gain records from a Nelore-Hereford population (40,082 animals in the pedigree). To illustrate the utility of the 2 robust distributional specifications (Student's t and Slash) for outlier detection and muting, 3 records from the same contemporary group (an extreme residual outlier, a mild residual outlier, and a near-zero residual) were chosen for further study. The posterior densities of the corresponding weighting variables of these records were used to assess their degree of Gaussian outlyingness and the ability of the robust models to mute the effects of deviant records. The Student's t heteroskedastic provided the best-fit model among the 6 specifications and was preferred for genetic merit inference. Kendall rank correlations of the posterior means of the additive genetic effects of the animals, used to compare the selection order of the Student's t and Gaussian models, were reasonably high across all animals within the most frequent genotypes, ranging from 0.83 to 0.91 and from 0.89 to 0.95 for the homoskedastic and the heteroskedastic versions, respectively. However, when considering only animals ranked in the top 10% by the customary Gaussian homoskedastic model, these rank correlations were reduced considerably, ranging from 0.29 to 0.57 and from 0.72 to 0.85 between the 2 residual densities within the homoskedastic and heteroskedastic versions, respectively. Rank correlations between the homoskedastic and heteroskedastic versions within each of the Gaussian and

  14. Optical integration of laterally modified multiple quantum well structures by implantation enhanced intermixing to realize gain coupled DFB lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofsäß, V.; Kuhn, J.; Kaden, C.; Härle, V.; Bolay, H.; Scholz, F.; Schweizer, H.; Hillmer, H.; Lösch, R.; Schlapp, W.

    1995-12-01

    We report on the realization of gain coupled distributed feedback (GC-DFB) lasers using masked implantation enhanced intermixing (MIEI) in a full planar technology. The process requires only planar epitaxy steps to minimize ion straggling. We present a detailed investigation on the integration processing steps as implantation, subsequent annealing and regrowth with InP (MOCVD). We also discuss critical technology steps. Surface morphology depends very sensitive on implantation and annealing. Nonradiative recombination caused by defects leads to high losses in optical devices. We achieve good results for an AsH 3 stabilized annealing step in a MOCVD equipment, compared to rapid thermal annealing (RTA), which proceeds as the second epitaxial step. Photoluminescence (PL) studies show the excellent interface quality. High homogeneity and small linewidth after the integration process indicate sufficient quality to realize electrical gain coupled DFB-laser devices by IEI.

  15. Enhancing (crop) plant photosynthesis by introducing novel genetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Dann, Marcel; Leister, Dario

    2017-09-26

    Although some elements of the photosynthetic light reactions might appear to be ideal, the overall efficiency of light conversion to biomass has not been optimized during evolution. Because crop plants are depleted of genetic diversity for photosynthesis, efforts to enhance its efficiency with respect to light conversion to yield must generate new variation. In principle, three sources of natural variation are available: (i) rare diversity within extant higher plant species, (ii) photosynthetic variants from algae, and (iii) reconstruction of no longer extant types of plant photosynthesis. Here, we argue for a novel approach that outsources crop photosynthesis to a cyanobacterium that is amenable to adaptive evolution. This system offers numerous advantages, including a short generation time, virtually unlimited population sizes and high mutation rates, together with a versatile toolbox for genetic manipulation. On such a synthetic bacterial platform, 10 000 years of (crop) plant evolution can be recapitulated within weeks. Limitations of this system arise from its unicellular nature, which cannot reproduce all aspects of crop photosynthesis. But successful establishment of such a bacterial host for crop photosynthesis promises not only to enhance the performance of eukaryotic photosynthesis but will also reveal novel facets of the molecular basis of photosynthetic flexibility.This article is part of the themed issue 'Enhancing photosynthesis in crop plants: targets for improvement'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  16. Genetically enhanced cows resist intramammary Staphylococcus aureus infection.

    PubMed

    Wall, Robert J; Powell, Anne M; Paape, Max J; Kerr, David E; Bannerman, Douglas D; Pursel, Vernon G; Wells, Kevin D; Talbot, Neil; Hawk, Harold W

    2005-04-01

    Mastitis, the most consequential disease in dairy cattle, costs the US dairy industry billions of dollars annually. To test the feasibility of protecting animals through genetic engineering, transgenic cows secreting lysostaphin at concentrations ranging from 0.9 to 14 micrograms/ml [corrected] in their milk were produced. In vitro assays demonstrated the milk's ability to kill Staphylococcus aureus. Intramammary infusions of S. aureus were administered to three transgenic and ten nontransgenic cows. Increases in milk somatic cells, elevated body temperatures and induced acute phase proteins, each indicative of infection, were observed in all of the nontransgenic cows but in none of the transgenic animals. Protection against S. aureus mastitis appears to be achievable with as little as 3 micrograms/ml [corrected] of lysostaphin in milk. Our results indicate that genetic engineering can provide a viable tool for enhancing resistance to disease and improve the well-being of livestock.

  17. Alternative growth promoters alter broiler gut microbiome and enhance body weight gain

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) have commonly been used to enhance growth in poultry production. However, there has been increasing concern over the impact of AGPs use in food production on acquisition of antibiotic resistance in zoonotic bacterial pathogens through inter-bacterial transfer of an...

  18. Enhancing Integrative Experiences: Evidence of Student Perceptions of Learning Gains from Cross-Course Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingert, Jason R.; Wasileski, Sally A.; Peterson, Karin; Mathews, Leah Greden; Lanou, Amy Joy; Clarke, David

    2011-01-01

    This article offers food for thought on a strategy used by seven faculty to enhance students' integrative learning by offering cross-course, cross-disciplinary projects and shared activities focused on food. The faculty teach a cluster of ten courses in natural sciences, health sciences, social sciences and humanities that address food themes.…

  19. What Do the Participants Gain? Group Counselling to Enhance Agency at Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vanhalakka-Ruoho, Marjatta; Ruponen, Ritva

    2013-01-01

    Group counselling was carried out in an IT enterprise. The task was to study structured group counselling as a space for enhancing participants' agency at work. The first research question concerned changes the participants reported regarding the group and their collaborative and individual work. The second research question asked what kinds…

  20. High gain harmonic generation free electron lasers enhanced by pseudoenergy bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Takashi; Kinjo, Ryota

    2017-08-01

    We propose a new scheme for high gain harmonic generation free electron lasers (HGHG FELs), which is seeded by a pair of intersecting laser beams to interact with an electron beam in a modulator undulator located in a dispersive section. The interference of the laser beams gives rise to a two-dimensional modulation in the energy-time phase space because of a strong correlation between the electron energy and the position in the direction of dispersion. This eventually forms pseudoenergy bands in the electron beam, which result in efficient harmonic generation in HGHG FELs in a similar manner to the well-known scheme using the echo effects. The advantage of the proposed scheme is that the beam quality is less deteriorated than in other existing schemes.

  1. Enhanced decoding for the Galileo low-gain antenna mission: Viterbi redecoding with four decoding stages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dolinar, S.; Belongie, M.

    1995-01-01

    The Galileo low-gain antenna mission will be supported by a coding system that uses a (14,1/4) inner convolutional code concatenated with Reed-Solomon codes of four different redundancies. Decoding for this code is designed to proceed in four distinct stages of Viterbi decoding followed by Reed-Solomon decoding. In each successive stage, the Reed-Solomon decoder only tries to decode the highest redundancy codewords not yet decoded in previous stages, and the Viterbi decoder redecodes its data utilizing the known symbols from previously decoded Reed-Solomon codewords. A previous article analyzed a two-stage decoding option that was not selected by Galileo. The present article analyzes the four-stage decoding scheme and derives the near-optimum set of redundancies selected for use by Galileo. The performance improvements relative to one- and two-stage decoding systems are evaluated.

  2. Impact of demographic, genetic, and bioimpedance factors on gestational weight gain and birth weight in a Romanian population

    PubMed Central

    Mărginean, Claudiu; Mărginean, Cristina Oana; Bănescu, Claudia; Meliţ, Lorena; Tripon, Florin; Iancu, Mihaela

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The present study had 2 objectives, first, to investigate possible relationships between increased gestational weight gain and demographic, clinical, paraclinical, genetic, and bioimpedance (BIA) characteristics of Romanian mothers, and second, to identify the influence of predictors (maternal and newborns characteristics) on our outcome birth weight (BW). We performed a cross-sectional study on 309 mothers and 309 newborns from Romania, divided into 2 groups: Group I—141 mothers with high gestational weight gain (GWG) and Group II—168 mothers with normal GWG, that is, control group. The groups were evaluated regarding demographic, anthropometric (body mass index [BMI], middle upper arm circumference, tricipital skinfold thickness, weight, height [H]), clinical, paraclinical, genetic (interleukin 6 [IL-6]: IL-6 -174G>C and IL-6 -572C>G gene polymorphisms), and BIA parameters. We noticed that fat mass (FM), muscle mass (MM), bone mass (BM), total body water (TBW), basal metabolism rate (BMR) and metabolic age (P < 0.001), anthropometric parameters (middle upper arm circumference, tricipital skinfold thickness; P < 0.001/P = 0.001) and hypertension (odds ratio = 4.65, 95% confidence interval: 1.27–17.03) were higher in mothers with high GWG. BW was positively correlated with mothers’ FM (P < 0.001), TBW (P = 0.001), BMR (P = 0.02), while smoking was negatively correlated with BW (P = 0.04). Variant genotype (GG+GC) of the IL-6 -572C>G polymorphism was higher in the control group (P = 0.042). We observed that high GWG may be an important predictor factor for the afterward BW, being positively correlated with FM, TBW, BMR, metabolic age of the mothers, and negatively with the mother's smoking status. Variant genotype (GG+GC) of the IL-6 -572C>G gene polymorphism is a protector factor against obesity in mothers. All the variables considered explained 14.50% of the outcome variance. PMID:27399105

  3. SIRT1 Gain of Function Does Not Mimic or Enhance the Adaptations to Intermittent Fasting.

    PubMed

    Boutant, Marie; Kulkarni, Sameer S; Joffraud, Magali; Raymond, Frédéric; Métairon, Sylviane; Descombes, Patrick; Cantó, Carles

    2016-03-08

    Caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to prevent the onset of insulin resistance and to delay age-related physiological decline in mammalian organisms. SIRT1, a NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase enzyme, has been suggested to mediate the adaptive responses to CR, leading to the speculation that SIRT1 activation could be therapeutically used as a CR-mimetic strategy. Here, we used a mouse model of moderate SIRT1 overexpression to test whether SIRT1 gain of function could mimic or boost the metabolic benefits induced by every-other-day feeding (EODF). Our results indicate that SIRT1 transgenesis does not affect the ability of EODF to decrease adiposity and improve insulin sensitivity. Transcriptomic analyses revealed that SIRT1 transgenesis and EODF promote very distinct adaptations in individual tissues, some of which can be even be metabolically opposite, as in brown adipose tissue. Therefore, whereas SIRT1 overexpression and CR both improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, the etiologies of these benefits are largely different. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Inner Hair Cell Loss Disrupts Hearing and Cochlear Function Leading to Sensory Deprivation and Enhanced Central Auditory Gain.

    PubMed

    Salvi, Richard; Sun, Wei; Ding, Dalian; Chen, Guang-Di; Lobarinas, Edward; Wang, Jian; Radziwon, Kelly; Auerbach, Benjamin D

    2016-01-01

    There are three times as many outer hair cells (OHC) as inner hair cells (IHC), yet IHC transmit virtually all acoustic information to the brain as they synapse with 90-95% of type I auditory nerve fibers. Here we review a comprehensive series of experiments aimed at determining how loss of the IHC/type I system affects hearing by selectively destroying these cells in chinchillas using the ototoxic anti-cancer agent carboplatin. Eliminating IHC/type I neurons has no effect on distortion product otoacoustic emission or the cochlear microphonic potential generated by OHC; however, it greatly reduces the summating potential produced by IHC and the compound action potential (CAP) generated by type I neurons. Remarkably, responses from remaining auditory nerve fibers maintain sharp tuning and low thresholds despite innervating regions of the cochlea with ~80% IHC loss. Moreover, chinchillas with large IHC lesions have surprisingly normal thresholds in quiet until IHC losses exceeded 80%, suggesting that only a few IHC are needed to detect sounds in quiet. However, behavioral thresholds in broadband noise are elevated significantly and tone-in-narrow band noise masking patterns exhibit greater remote masking. These results suggest the auditory system is able to compensate for considerable loss of IHC/type I neurons in quiet but not in difficult listening conditions. How does the auditory brain deal with the drastic loss of cochlear input? Recordings from the inferior colliculus found a relatively small decline in sound-evoked activity despite a large decrease in CAP amplitude after IHC lesion. Paradoxically, sound-evoked responses are generally larger than normal in the auditory cortex, indicative of increased central gain. This gain enhancement in the auditory cortex is associated with decreased GABA-mediated inhibition. These results suggest that when the neural output of the cochlea is reduced, the central auditory system compensates by turning up its gain so that

  5. Inner Hair Cell Loss Disrupts Hearing and Cochlear Function Leading to Sensory Deprivation and Enhanced Central Auditory Gain

    PubMed Central

    Salvi, Richard; Sun, Wei; Ding, Dalian; Chen, Guang-Di; Lobarinas, Edward; Wang, Jian; Radziwon, Kelly; Auerbach, Benjamin D.

    2017-01-01

    There are three times as many outer hair cells (OHC) as inner hair cells (IHC), yet IHC transmit virtually all acoustic information to the brain as they synapse with 90–95% of type I auditory nerve fibers. Here we review a comprehensive series of experiments aimed at determining how loss of the IHC/type I system affects hearing by selectively destroying these cells in chinchillas using the ototoxic anti-cancer agent carboplatin. Eliminating IHC/type I neurons has no effect on distortion product otoacoustic emission or the cochlear microphonic potential generated by OHC; however, it greatly reduces the summating potential produced by IHC and the compound action potential (CAP) generated by type I neurons. Remarkably, responses from remaining auditory nerve fibers maintain sharp tuning and low thresholds despite innervating regions of the cochlea with ~80% IHC loss. Moreover, chinchillas with large IHC lesions have surprisingly normal thresholds in quiet until IHC losses exceeded 80%, suggesting that only a few IHC are needed to detect sounds in quiet. However, behavioral thresholds in broadband noise are elevated significantly and tone-in-narrow band noise masking patterns exhibit greater remote masking. These results suggest the auditory system is able to compensate for considerable loss of IHC/type I neurons in quiet but not in difficult listening conditions. How does the auditory brain deal with the drastic loss of cochlear input? Recordings from the inferior colliculus found a relatively small decline in sound-evoked activity despite a large decrease in CAP amplitude after IHC lesion. Paradoxically, sound-evoked responses are generally larger than normal in the auditory cortex, indicative of increased central gain. This gain enhancement in the auditory cortex is associated with decreased GABA-mediated inhibition. These results suggest that when the neural output of the cochlea is reduced, the central auditory system compensates by turning up its gain so that

  6. Gain Enhancement of a Multiband Resonator Using Defected Ground Surface on Epoxy Woven Glass Material

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Mohammad Tariqul; Arshad, Haslina

    2014-01-01

    A multiband microstrip resonator is proposed in this study which is realized through a rectangular radiator with embedded symmetrical rectangular slots in it and a defected ground surface. The study is presented with detailed parametric analyses to understand the effect of various design parameters. The design and analyses are performed using the FIT based full-wave electromagnetic simulator CST microwave studio suite. With selected parameter values, the resonator showed a peak gain of 5.85 dBi at 5.2 GHz, 6.2 dBi at 8.3 GHz, 3.9 dBi at 9.5 GHz, 5.9 dBi at 12.2 GHz, and 4.7 dBi at 14.6 GHz. Meanwhile, the main lobe magnitude and the 3 dB angular beam width are 6.2 dBi and 86°, 5.9 dBi and 53.7°, 8.5 dBi and 43.9°, 8.6 dBi and 42.1°, and 4.7 dBi and 30.1°, respectively, at the resonant frequencies. The overall resonator has a compact dimension of 0.52λ  × 0.52λ  × 0.027λ at the lower resonant frequency. For practical validation, a lab prototype was built on a 1.6 mm thick epoxide woven glass fabric dielectric material which is measured using a vector network analyzer and within an anechoic chamber. The comparison between the simulated and measured results showed a very good understanding, which implies the practical suitability of the proposed multiband resonator design. PMID:24883354

  7. Cumulative gains enhance striatal response to reward opportunities in alcohol-dependent patients

    PubMed Central

    Gilman, Jodi M.; Smith, Ashley R.; Bjork, James M.; Ramchandani, Vijay A.; Momenan, Reza; Hommer, Daniel W.

    2016-01-01

    Substance use disorder is characterized by a transition from volitional to compulsive responding for drug reward. A possible explanation for this transition may be that alcohol-dependent patients (ADP) show a general propensity for a history of rewarded instrumental responses, and these rewarded responses may boost the activation of motivational neurocircuitry for additional reward. Brain imaging studies of decision-making have demonstrated that ADP relative to controls (CON) often show altered neural activation in response to anticipating and receiving rewards, but the majority of studies have not investigated how past performance affects activation. A potential exists for ADP to show increased sensitivity to reward as a function of reward delivery history. In the current study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural correlates of risky decision-making in ADP (n = 18) and CON (n = 18) while they played a two-choice monetary risk-taking game. In addition to investigating general neural recruitment by risky decision-making, we also modeled each participant’s running total of monetary earnings in order to determine areas of activation that correlated with cumulative reward. We found that ADP and CON showed few differences in behavior or in mesolimbic activation by choice for, and receipt of, risky gains. However, when including a cumulative-earnings covariate, ADP exhibited heightened striatal activation that correlated with total earnings during the choice event in the task. The heightened contextual sensitivity of striatal responses to cumulative earnings in ADP may represent a general neurobiological affective substrate for development of automatized instrumental behavior. PMID:24754451

  8. Stochasticity enhances the gaining of bet-hedging strategies in contact-process-like dynamics.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, Jorge; Pigolotti, Simone; Muñoz, Miguel A

    2015-03-01

    In biology and ecology, individuals or communities of individuals living in unpredictable environments often alternate between different evolutionary strategies to spread and reduce risks. Such behavior is commonly referred to as "bet-hedging." Long-term survival probabilities and population sizes can be much enhanced by exploiting such hybrid strategies. Here, we study the simplest possible birth-death stochastic model in which individuals can choose among a poor but safe strategy, a better but risky alternative, or a combination of both. We show analytically and computationally that the benefits derived from bet-hedging strategies are much stronger for higher environmental variabilities (large external noise) and/or for small spatial dimensions (large intrinsic noise). These circumstances are typically encountered by living systems, thus providing us with a possible justification for the ubiquitousness of bet-hedging in nature.

  9. Training leading to repetition failure enhances bench press strength gains in elite junior athletes.

    PubMed

    Drinkwater, Eric J; Lawton, Trent W; Lindsell, Rod P; Pyne, David B; Hunt, Patrick H; McKenna, Michael J

    2005-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the importance of training leading to repetition failure in the performance of 2 different tests: 6 repetition maximum (6RM) bench press strength and 40-kg bench throw power in elite junior athletes. Subjects were 26 elite junior male basketball players (n = 12; age = 18.6 +/- 0.3 years; height = 202.0 +/- 11.6 cm; mass = 97.0 +/- 12.9 kg; mean +/- SD) and soccer players (n = 14; age = 17.4 +/- 0.5 years; height = 179.0 +/- 7.0 cm; mass = 75.0 +/- 7.1 kg) with a history of greater than 6 months' strength training. Subjects were initially tested twice for 6RM bench press mass and 40-kg Smith machine bench throw power output (in watts) to establish retest reliability. Subjects then undertook bench press training with 3 sessions per week for 6 weeks, using equal volume programs (24 repetitions x 80-105% 6RM in 13 minutes 20 seconds). Subjects were assigned to one of two experimental groups designed either to elicit repetition failure with 4 sets of 6 repetitions every 260 seconds (RF(4 x 6)) or allow all repetitions to be completed with 8 sets of 3 repetitions every 113 seconds (NF(8 x 3)). The RF(4 x 6) treatment elicited substantial increases in strength (7.3 +/- 2.4 kg, +9.5%, p < 0.001) and power (40.8 +/- 24.1 W, +10.6%, p < 0.001), while the NF(8 x 3) group elicited 3.6 +/- 3.0 kg (+5.0%, p < 0.005) and 25 +/- 19.0 W increases (+6.8%, p < 0.001). The improvements in the RF(4 x 6) group were greater than those in the repetition rest group for both strength (p < 0.005) and power (p < 0.05). Bench press training that leads to repetition failure induces greater strength gains than nonfailure training in the bench press exercise for elite junior team sport athletes.

  10. Increased genetic gains in sheep, beef and dairy breeding programs from using female reproductive technologies combined with optimal contribution selection and genomic breeding values.

    PubMed

    Granleese, Tom; Clark, Samuel A; Swan, Andrew A; van der Werf, Julius H J

    2015-09-14

    Female reproductive technologies such as multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) and juvenile in vitro embryo production and embryo transfer (JIVET) can boost rates of genetic gain but they can also increase rates of inbreeding. Inbreeding can be managed using the principles of optimal contribution selection (OCS), which maximizes genetic gain while placing a penalty on the rate of inbreeding. We evaluated the potential benefits and synergies that exist between genomic selection (GS) and reproductive technologies under OCS for sheep and cattle breeding programs. Various breeding program scenarios were simulated stochastically including: (1) a sheep breeding program for the selection of a single trait that could be measured either early or late in life; (2) a beef breeding program with an early or late trait; and (3) a dairy breeding program with a sex limited trait. OCS was applied using a range of penalties (severe to no penalty) on co-ancestry of selection candidates, with the possibility of using multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) and/or juvenile in vitro embryo production and embryo transfer (JIVET) for females. Each breeding program was simulated with and without genomic selection. All breeding programs could be penalized to result in an inbreeding rate of 1 % increase per generation. The addition of MOET to artificial insemination or natural breeding (AI/N), without the use of GS yielded an extra 25 to 60 % genetic gain. The further addition of JIVET did not yield an extra genetic gain. When GS was used, MOET and MOET + JIVET programs increased rates of genetic gain by 38 to 76 % and 51 to 81 % compared to AI/N, respectively. Large increases in genetic gain were found across species when female reproductive technologies combined with genomic selection were applied and inbreeding was managed, especially for breeding programs that focus on the selection of traits measured late in life or that are sex-limited. Optimal contribution selection was

  11. Application of random regression model to estimate genetic parameters for average daily gains in Lori-Bakhtiari sheep breed of Iran.

    PubMed

    Farhangfar, H; Naeemipour, H; Zinvand, B

    2007-07-15

    A random regression model was applied to estimate (co) variances, heritabilities and additive genetic correlations among average daily gains. The data was a total of 10876 records belonging to 1828 lambs (progenies of 123 sires and 743 dams) born between 1995 and 2001 in a single large size flock of Lori-Bakhtiari sheep breed in Iran. In the model, fixed environmental effects of year-season of birth, sex, birth type, age of dam and random effects of direct and maternal additive genetic and permanent environment were included. Orthogonal polynomial regression (on the Legendre scale) of third order (cubic) was utilized to model the genetic and permanent environmental (co) variance structure throughout the growth trajectory. Direct and maternal heritability estimates of average daily gains ranged from 0.011 to 0.131 and 0.008 to 0.181, respectively in which pre-weaning average daily gain (0-3 in months) had the lowest direct and highest maternal heritability estimates among the other age groups. The highest and lowest positive direct additive genetic correlations were found to be 0.993 and 0.118 between ADG (0-9) and ADG (0-12) and between ADG (0-3) and ADG (0-12), respectively. The direct additive genetic correlations between adjacent age groups were more closely than between remote age groups.

  12. A Qualitative Look into Israeli Genetic Experts' Insights Regarding Culturally Competent Genetic Counseling and Recommendations for Its Enhancement.

    PubMed

    Siani, Merav; Ben-Zvi Assaraf, Orit

    2017-04-25

    The aim of this study is to describe the perceptions and recommendations of Israeli genetic experts in regard to culturally competent genetic counseling. Qualitative data was collected from 15 semi-structured interviews with Israeli genetics experts. Recurring themes were identified using "thematic analysis" and coded by means of "grounded theory". Our analysis divides data from the genetic experts' interviews into four main themes: Why is culturally competent genetic counseling important? (Describing its contribution to individuals and to society); who is the recipient of culturally competent genetic counseling? (Differentiating the needs of counselees based on genetic education, cultural/religious characteristics and geographic location); what should we include in culturally competent genetic counseling? (Addressing the contents that counseling should convey); how should we perform culturally competent genetic counseling? (Addressing the methods that counseling should employ). In light of the study, we recommend lengthening the genetic counseling session so that counselors will be able to truly gauge all the prior knowledge of the counselees, their religious beliefs, norms, values and attitudes towards genetic testing. We further recommend that students continue to study genetics further into high school. Finally, we suggest adding a preparation session, similar to a prenatal course, to the genetic counseling of lay people so that their genetic knowledge, attitudes and perceptions will be enhanced, leading to more efficient genetic counseling and more informed decisions.

  13. The genetic background of generalized pustular psoriasis: IL36RN mutations and CARD14 gain-of-function variants.

    PubMed

    Sugiura, Kazumitsu

    2014-06-01

    Generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) is often present in patients with existing or prior psoriasis vulgaris (PV; "GPP with PV"). However, cases of GPP have been known to arise without a history of PV ("GPP alone"). There has long been debate over whether GPP alone and GPP with PV are distinct subtypes that are etiologically different from each other. We recently reported that the majority of GPP alone cases is caused by recessive mutations of IL36RN. In contrast, only a few exceptional cases of GPP with PV were found to have recessive IL36RN mutations. Very recently, we also reported that CARD14 p.Asp176His, a gain-of-function variant, is a predisposing factor for GPP with PV; in contrast, the variant is not associated with GPP alone in the Japanese population. These results suggest that GPP alone is genetically different from GPP with PV. IL36RN mutations are also found in some patients with severe acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, palmar-plantar pustulosis, and acrodermatitis continua of hallopeau. CARD14 mutations and variants are causal or disease susceptibility factors of PV, GPP, or pityriasis rubra pilaris, depending on the mutation or variant position of CARD14. It is clinically important to analyze IL36RN mutations in patients with sterile pustulosis. For example, identifying recessive IL36RN mutations leads to early diagnosis of GPP, even at the first episode of pustulosis. In addition, individuals with IL36RN mutations are very susceptible to GPP or GPP-related generalized pustulosis induced by drugs (e.g., amoxicillin), infections, pregnancy, or menstruation. Copyright © 2014 Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Association genetics, geography and ecophysiology link stomatal patterning in Populus trichocarpa with carbon gain and disease resistance trade-offs.

    PubMed

    McKown, Athena D; Guy, Robert D; Quamme, Linda; Klápště, Jaroslav; La Mantia, Jonathan; Constabel, C P; El-Kassaby, Yousry A; Hamelin, Richard C; Zifkin, Michael; Azam, M S

    2014-12-01

    Stomata are essential for diffusive entry of gases to support photosynthesis, but may also expose internal leaf tissues to pathogens. To uncover trade-offs in range-wide adaptation relating to stomata, we investigated the underlying genetics of stomatal traits and linked variability in these traits with geoclimate, ecophysiology, condensed foliar tannins and pathogen susceptibility in black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa). Upper (adaxial) and lower (abaxial) leaf stomatal traits were measured from 454 accessions collected throughout much of the species range. We calculated broad-sense heritability (H(2) ) of stomatal traits and, using SNP data from a 34K Populus SNP array, performed a genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to uncover genes underlying stomatal trait variation. H(2) values for stomatal traits were moderate (average H(2) = 0.33). GWAS identified genes associated primarily with adaxial stomata, including polarity genes (PHABULOSA), stomatal development genes (BRASSINOSTEROID-INSENSITIVE 2) and disease/wound-response genes (GLUTAMATE-CYSTEINE LIGASE). Stomatal traits correlated with latitude, gas exchange, condensed tannins and leaf rust (Melampsora) infection. Latitudinal trends of greater adaxial stomata numbers and guard cell pore size corresponded with higher stomatal conductance (gs ) and photosynthesis (Amax ), faster shoot elongation, lower foliar tannins and greater Melampsora susceptibility. This suggests an evolutionary trade-off related to differing selection pressures across the species range. In northern environments, more adaxial stomata and larger pore sizes reflect selection for rapid carbon gain and growth. By contrast, southern genotypes have fewer adaxial stomata, smaller pore sizes and higher levels of condensed tannins, possibly linked to greater pressure from natural leaf pathogens, which are less significant in northern ecosystems. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. High gain 1.3-μm GaInNAs SOA with fast gain dynamics and enhanced temperature stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitsios, D.; Giannoulis, G.; Iliadis, N.; Korpijärvi, V.-M.; Viheriälä, J.; Laakso, A.; Dris, S.; Spyropoulou, M.; Avramopoulos, H.; Kanellos, G. T.; Pleros, N.; Guina, M.

    2014-03-01

    Semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) are a well-established solution of optical access networks. They could prove an enabling technology for DataCom by offering extended range of active optical functionalities. However, in such costand energy-critical applications, high-integration densities increase the operational temperatures and require powerhungry external cooling. Taking a step further towards improving the cost and energy effectiveness of active optical components, we report on the development of a GaInNAs/GaAs (dilute nitride) SOA operating at 1.3μm that exhibits a gain value of 28 dB and combined with excellent temperature stability owing to the large conduction band offset between GaInNAs quantum well and GaAs barrier. Moreover, the characterization results reveal almost no gain variation around the 1320 nm region for a temperature range from 20° to 50° C. The gain recovery time attained values as short as 100 ps, allowing implementation of various signal processing functionalities at 10 Gb/s. The combined parameters are very attractive for application in photonic integrated circuits requiring uncooled operation and thus minimizing power consumption. Moreover, as a result of the insensitivity to heating issues, a higher number of active elements can be integrated on chip-scale circuitry, allowing for higher integration densities and more complex optical on-chip functions. Such component could prove essential for next generation DataCom networks.

  16. Genetic parameters related to environmental variability of weight traits in a selection experiment for weight gain in mice; signs of correlated canalised response

    PubMed Central

    Ibáñez-Escriche, Noelia; Moreno, Almudena; Nieto, Blanca; Piqueras, Pepa; Salgado, Concepción; Gutiérrez, Juan Pablo

    2008-01-01

    Data from an experimental mice population selected from 18 generations to increase weight gain were used to estimate the genetic parameters associated with environmental variability. The analysis involved three traits: weight at 21 days, weight at 42 days and weight gain between 21 and 42 days. A dataset of 5273 records for males was studied. Data were analysed using Bayesian procedures by comparing the Deviance Information Criterion (DIC) value of two different models: one assuming homogeneous environmental variances and another assuming them as heterogeneous. The model assuming heterogeneity was better in all cases and also showed higher additive genetic variances and lower common environmental variances. The heterogeneity of residual variance was associated with systematic and additive genetic effects thus making reduction by selection possible. Genetic correlations between the additive genetic effects on mean and environmental variance of the traits analysed were always negative, ranging from -0.19 to -0.38. An increase in the heritability of the traits was found when considering the genetic determination of the environmental variability. A suggested correlated canalised response was found in terms of coefficient of variation but it could be insufficient to compensate for the scale effect associated with an increase of the mean. PMID:18400150

  17. Enhanced dynamic range in a genetically encoded Ca2+ sensor.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shun; He, Jun; Jin, Honglin; Yang, Fei; Lu, Jinling; Yang, Jie

    2011-08-19

    Genetically encoded fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) indicators are powerful tools for real-time detection of second messenger molecules and activation of signal proteins. However, these fluorescent protein-based sensors typically display marginal FRET efficiency. To improve their FRET efficiency for optical imaging and screening, we developed a number of fluorescent protein mutants based on cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) and yellow fluorescent protein (YFP). To improve FRET ratios, which were initially within a narrow dynamic range, we used DNA shuffling to develop a new FRET pair called 3xCFP/Venus. The optimized 3xCFP/Venus pair exhibited higher FRET ratios than CyPet/YPet, which has one of the greatest dynamic ranges of protein-based FRET pairs. We converted this FRET pair to a Ca(2+) FRET indicators using circular permutation Venus (cpVenus) linked with 3xCFP to form 3xCFP/cpVenus, which displayed an ∼11-fold change in dynamic range in response to Ca(2+) binding. The enhanced dynamic range for Ca(2+) concentration detection using 3xCFP/cpVenus was confirmed in PC12 cells using previously established indicators (TN-XXL, ECFP/cpCitrine). To our knowledge, this FRET pair displays the largest dynamic range so far among genetically-encoded sensors, and can be used for sensitive FRET detection. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Effect of photonic crystal and frequency selective surface implementation on gain enhancement in the microstrip patch antenna at terahertz frequency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nejati, Ameneh; Sadeghzadeh, Ramezan Ali; Geran, Fatemeh

    2014-09-01

    In this paper, microstrip patch antenna with frequency selective surface (FSS) and photonic band gap (PBG) structures in the frequency range of 0.5-0.7 THz is presented for wireless communications. Proposed patch antenna is designed on a substrate with uniform and non-uniform PBG structures. Here, the effects of substrate thickness, various radii and arrangement of holes on antenna resonance in both PBG forms are studied. Near zero characteristic on uniform and non-uniform PBG substrate is compared and the results show that along with increase in hole radius, antenna operating frequency and bandwidth are increased. Also, the FSS structure is designed as a perfect absorber. Finally, by using FSS and PBG structures simultaneously, gain enhancement, increase in directivity and pattern shaping are studied at THz field. The antenna gain in final structure is increased by 2 dBi (32%) in comparison to simple form and Half-Power beam width is reduced from 100°×80° in simple form to 72°×48° by using FSS and PBG. All simulations and designs are done by Ansoft HFSS and CST Microwave Studio simulation tools with different full wave methods.

  19. Stimulated Raman spectroscopy and nanoscopy of molecules using near field photon induced forces without resonant electronic enhancement gain

    SciTech Connect

    Tamma, Venkata Ananth; Huang, Fei; Kumar Wickramasinghe, H.; Nowak, Derek

    2016-06-06

    We report on stimulated Raman spectroscopy and nanoscopy of molecules, excited without resonant electronic enhancement gain, and recorded using near field photon induced forces. Photon-induced interaction forces between the sharp metal coated silicon tip of an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and a sample resulting from stimulated Raman excitation were detected. We controlled the tip to sample spacing using the higher order flexural eigenmodes of the AFM cantilever, enabling the tip to come very close to the sample. As a result, the detection sensitivity was increased compared with previous work on Raman force microscopy. Raman vibrational spectra of azobenzene thiol and l-phenylalanine were measured and found to agree well with published results. Near-field force detection eliminates the need for far-field optical spectrometer detection. Recorded images show spatial resolution far below the optical diffraction limit. Further optimization and use of ultrafast pulsed lasers could push the detection sensitivity towards the single molecule limit.

  20. Genetic Factors for Enhancement of Nicotine Levels in Cultivated Tobacco

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bingwu; Lewis, Ramsey S.; Shi, Junli; Song, Zhongbang; Gao, Yulong; Li, Wenzheng; Chen, Hongxia; Qu, Rongda

    2015-01-01

    Nicotine has practical applications relating to smoking cessation devices and alternative nicotine products. Genetic manipulation for increasing nicotine content in cultivated tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) may be of value for industrial purposes, including the possibility of enhancing the efficiency of nicotine extraction. Biotechnological approaches have been evaluated in connection with this objective, but field-based results are few. Here, we report characterization of two genes encoding basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors (TFs), NtMYC2a and NtMYC2b from tobacco. Overexpression of NtMYC2a increased leaf nicotine levels in T1 transgenic lines approximately 2.3-fold in greenhouse-grown plants of tobacco cultivar ‘NC 95′. Subsequent field testing of T2 and T3 generations of transgenic NtMYC2a overexpression lines showed nicotine concentrations were 76% and 58% higher than control lines, respectively. These results demonstrated that the increased nicotine trait was stably inherited to the T2 and T3 generations, indicating the important role that NtMYC2a plays in regulating nicotine accumulation in N. tabacum and the great potential of NtMYC2a overexpression in tobacco plants for industrial nicotine production. Collected data in this study also indicated a negative feedback inhibition of nicotine biosynthesis. Further enhancement of nicotine accumulation in tobacco leaf may require modification of the processes of nicotine transport and deposition. PMID:26626731

  1. Enhanced synthesis and release of dopamine in transgenic mice with gain-of-function α6* nAChRs.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuexiang; Lee, Jang-Won; Oh, Gyeon; Grady, Sharon R; McIntosh, J Michael; Brunzell, Darlene H; Cannon, Jason R; Drenan, Ryan M

    2014-04-01

    α6β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs)s in the ventral tegmental area to nucleus accumbens (NAc) pathway are implicated in the response to nicotine, and recent work suggests these receptors play a role in the rewarding action of ethanol. Here, we studied mice expressing gain-of-function α6β2* nAChRs (α6L9'S mice) that are hypersensitive to nicotine and endogenous acetylcholine. Evoked extracellular dopamine (DA) levels were enhanced in α6L9'S NAc slices compared to control, non-transgenic (non-Tg) slices. Extracellular DA levels in both non-Tg and α6L9'S slices were further enhanced in the presence of GBR12909, suggesting intact DA transporter function in both mouse strains. Ongoing α6β2* nAChR activation by acetylcholine plays a role in enhancing DA levels, as α-conotoxin MII completely abolished evoked DA release in α6L9'S slices and decreased spontaneous DA release from striatal synaptosomes. In HPLC experiments, α6L9'S NAc tissue contained significantly more DA, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, and homovanillic acid compared to non-Tg NAc tissue. Serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and norepinephrine (NE) were unchanged in α6L9'S compared to non-Tg tissue. Western blot analysis revealed increased tyrosine hydroxylase expression in α6L9'S NAc. Overall, these results show that enhanced α6β2* nAChR activity in NAc can stimulate DA production and lead to increased extracellular DA levels.

  2. The influence of 5-HT(2C) and MDR1 genetic polymorphisms on antipsychotic-induced weight gain in female schizophrenic patients.

    PubMed

    Kuzman, Martina Rojnic; Medved, Vesna; Bozina, Nada; Hotujac, Ljubomir; Sain, Ivica; Bilusic, Hrvoje

    2008-09-30

    We investigated the relationships between functional genetic variants of the 5-HT(2C) receptor and multidrug-resistant protein (MDR1), coding for P-glycoprotein, and second generation antipsychotic (SDA)-induced weight gain among 108 female schizophrenic patients treated with olanzapine or risperidone for up to 4 months. No significant differences in -759C/T allelic and genotype variants of 5-HT(2C) were found between patients who gained more than 7% of their initial weight compared with those who gained less. Haplotype-based analysis of two MDR1 loci, exon 21 G2677T and exon 26 C3435T, revealed a slightly lower representation of the G2677/C3435 haplotype in the >or=7% group. In the subgroup of patients treated with risperidone, we found borderline overrepresentation of 2677T, significant overrepresentation of 3435T variant and borderline overrepresentation of 2677T/3435T haplotype the >or=7% group, whereas G2677/C3435 haplotype was found to be less represented in the >or=7% group. Our data indicate a nonsignificant role of 759C/T 5-HT(2C) in SDA-induced weight gain, and a stronger influence of the MDR1 G2677T and C3435T polymorphisms on risperidone-induced weight gain in female schizophrenic patients. 3435T and 2677T MDR1 variants, both associated with lower P-gp function, might predispose to higher risperidone accessibility to the brain that would lead to stronger effects, including weight gain.

  3. Enhanced growth of Juniperus thurifera under a warmer climate is explained by a positive carbon gain under cold and drought.

    PubMed

    Gimeno, Teresa E; Camarero, J Julio; Granda, Elena; Pías, Beatriz; Valladares, Fernando

    2012-03-01

    Juniperus thurifera L. is an endemic conifer of the western Mediterranean Basin where it is subjected to a severe climatic stress characterized by low winter temperatures and summer drought. Given the trend of increased warming-induced drought stress in this area and the climatic sensitivity of this species, we expect a negative impact of climate change on growth and ecophysiological performance of J. thurifera in the harsh environments where it dominates. To evaluate this, we measured long- and short-term radial growth using dendrochronology, photosynthesis and water-use efficiency in males, females and juveniles in three sites in Central Spain. Climate was monitored and completed with historical records. Mean annual temperature has increased +0.2 °C per decade in the study area, and the main warming trends corresponded to spring (+0.2 °C per decade) and summer (+0.3 °C per decade). Radial growth and maximum photosynthesis peaked in spring and autumn. Positive photosynthetic rates were maintained all year long, albeit at reduced rates in winter and summer. Radial growth was enhanced by wet conditions in the previous autumn and by warm springs and high precipitation in summer of the year of tree-ring formation. Cloud cover during the summer increased growth, while cloudy winters led to impaired carbon gain and reduced growth in the long term. We argue that maintenance of carbon gain under harsh conditions (low winter temperatures and dry summer months) and plastic xylogenesis underlie J. thurifera's ability to profit from changing climatic conditions such as earlier spring onset and erratic summer rainfall. Our results highlight that not only the magnitude but also the sign of the impact of climate change on growth and persistence of Mediterranean trees is species specific.

  4. Genetic Gains in Yield and Yield Related Traits under Drought Stress and Favorable Environments in a Maize Population Improved Using Marker Assisted Recurrent Selection

    PubMed Central

    Bankole, Folusho; Menkir, Abebe; Olaoye, Gbadebo; Crossa, Jose; Hearne, Sarah; Unachukwu, Nnanna; Gedil, Melaku

    2017-01-01

    The objective of marker assisted recurrent selection (MARS) is to increase the frequency of favorable marker alleles in a population before inbred line extraction. This approach was used to improve drought tolerance and grain yield (GY) in a biparental cross of two elite drought tolerant lines. The testcrosses of randomly selected 50 S1 lines from each of the three selection cycles (C0, C1, C2) of the MARS population, parental testcrosses and the cross between the two parents (F1) were evaluated under drought stress (DS) and well watered (WW) well as under rainfed conditions to determine genetic gains in GY and other agronomic traits. Also, the S1 lines derived from each selection types were genotyped with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Testcrosses derived from C2 produced significantly higher grain field under DS than those derived from C0 with a relative genetic gain of 7% per cycle. Also, the testcrosses of S1 lines from C2 showed an average genetic gain of 1% per cycle under WW condition and 3% per cycle under rainfed condition. Molecular analysis revealed that the frequency of favorable marker alleles increased from 0.510 at C0 to 0.515 at C2, while the effective number of alleles (Ne) per locus decreased from C0 (1.93) to C2 (1.87). Our results underscore the effectiveness of MARS for improvement of GY under DS condition. PMID:28567048

  5. Lotus tenuis x L. corniculatus interspecific hybridization as a means to breed bloat-safe pastures and gain insight into the genetic control of proanthocyanidin biosynthesis in legumes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Proanthocyanidins (PAs) are secondary metabolites that strongly affect plant quality traits. The concentration and the structure of these metabolites influence the palatability and nutritional value of forage legumes. Hence, modulating PAs in the leaves of forage legumes is of paramount relevance for forage breeders worldwide. The lack of genetic variation in the leaf PA trait within the most important forage species and the difficulties in engineering this pathway via the ectopic expression of regulatory genes, prompted us to pursue alternative strategies to enhance this trait in forage legumes of agronomic interest. The Lotus genus includes forage species which accumulate PAs in edible organs and can thus be used as potential donor parents in breeding programs. Results We recovered a wild, diploid and PA-rich population of L. corniculatus and crossed with L. tenuis. The former grows in an alkaline-salty area in Spain while the latter is a diploid species, grown extensively in South American pastures, which does not accumulate PAs in the herbage. The resulting interspecific hybrids displayed several traits of outstanding agronomic relevance such as rhizome production, PA levels in edible tissues sufficient to prevent ruminal bloating (around 5 mg of PAs/g DW), biomass production similar to the cultivated parent and potential for adaptability to marginal lands. We show that PA levels correlate with expression levels of the R2R3MYB transcription factor TT2 and, in turn, with those of the key structural genes of the epicatechin and catechin biosynthetic pathways leading to PA biosynthesis. Conclusions The L. tenuis x L. corniculatus hybrids, reported herein, represent the first example of the introgression of the PA trait in forage legumes to levels known to provide nutritional and health benefits to ruminants. Apart from PAs, the hybrids have additional traits which may prove useful to breed forage legumes with increased persistence and adaptability to

  6. Initial genetic diversity enhances population establishment and alters genetic structuring of a newly established Daphnia metapopulation.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Christopher J; Pantel, Jelena H; Schulz, Kimberly L; Cáceres, Carla E

    2016-07-01

    When newly created habitats are initially colonized by genotypes with rapid population growth rates, later arriving colonists may be prevented from establishing. Although these priority effects have been documented in multiple systems, their duration may be influenced by the diversity of the founding population. We conducted a large-scale field manipulation to investigate how initial clonal diversity influences temporal and landscape patterns of genetic structure in a developing metapopulation. Six genotypes of obligately asexual Daphnia pulex were stocked alone (no clonal diversity) or in combination ('high' clonal diversity) into newly created experimental woodland ponds. We also measured the population growth rate of all clones in the laboratory when raised on higher-quality and lower-quality resources. Our predictions were that in the 3 years following stocking, clonally diverse populations would be more likely to persist than nonclonally diverse populations and exhibit evidence for persistent founder effects. We expected that faster growing clones would be found in more pools and comprise a greater proportion of individuals genotyped from the landscape. Genetic composition, both locally and regionally, changed significantly following stocking. Six of 27 populations exhibited evidence for persistent founder effects, and populations stocked with 'high' clonal diversity were more likely to exhibit these effects than nonclonally diverse populations. Performance in the laboratory was not predictive of clonal persistence or overall dominance in the field. Hence, we conclude that although laboratory estimates of fitness did not fully explain metapopulation genetic structure, initial clonal diversity did enhance D. pulex population establishment and persistence in this system. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Depressive Symptoms Enhance Loss-Minimization, but Attenuate Gain-Maximization in History-Dependent Decision-Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maddox, W. Todd; Gorlick, Marissa A.; Worthy, Darrell A.; Beevers, Christopher G.

    2012-01-01

    Individuals with depressive symptoms typically show deficits in decision-making. However, most work has emphasized decision-making under gain-maximization conditions. A gain-maximization framework may undermine decision-making when depressive symptoms are present because depressives are generally more sensitive to losses than gains. The present…

  8. Energy-localization-enhanced ground-state cooling of a mechanical resonator from room temperature in optomechanics using a gain cavity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yu-Long; Liu, Yu-xi

    2017-08-01

    When a gain system is coupled to a loss system, the energy usually flows from the gain system to the loss one. We here present a counterintuitive theory for the ground-state cooling of a mechanical resonator in an optomechanical system via a gain cavity. The energy flows first from the mechanical resonator into the loss cavity and then into the gain cavity and finally localizes there. The energy localization in the gain cavity dramatically enhances the cooling rate of the mechanical resonator. Moreover, we show that an unconventional optical spring effect, e.g., a giant frequency shift and optically induced damping of the mechanical resonator, can be realized. Those feature a precooling-free ground-state cooling, i.e., the mechanical resonator in thermal excitation at room temperature can directly be cooled to its ground state. This cooling approach has potential application in fundamental tests of quantum physics without complicated cryogenic setups.

  9. Genetic diversity in honey bee colonies enhances productivity and fitness.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Heather R; Seeley, Thomas D

    2007-07-20

    Honey bee queens mate with many males, creating numerous patrilines within colonies that are genetically distinct. The effects of genetic diversity on colony productivity and long-term fitness are unknown. We show that swarms from genetically diverse colonies (15 patrilines per colony) founded new colonies faster than swarms from genetically uniform colonies (1 patriline per colony). Accumulated differences in foraging rates, food storage, and population growth led to impressive boosts in the fitness (i.e., drone production and winter survival) of genetically diverse colonies. These results further our understanding of the origins of polyandry in honey bees and its benefits for colony performance.

  10. Colestilan decreases weight gain by enhanced NEFA incorporation in biliary lipids and fecal lipid excretion[S

    PubMed Central

    Sugimoto-Kawabata, Kanami; Shimada, Hiroshi; Sakai, Kaoru; Suzuki, Kazuo; Kelder, Thomas; Pieterman, Elsbet J.; Cohen, Louis H.; Havekes, Louis M.; Princen, Hans M.; van den Hoek, Anita M.

    2013-01-01

    Bile acid sequestrants (BASs) are cholesterol-lowering drugs that also affect hyperglycemia. The mechanism by which BASs exert these and other metabolic effects beyond cholesterol lowering remains poorly understood. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of a BAS, colestilan, on body weight, energy expenditure, and glucose and lipid metabolism and its mechanisms of action in high-fat-fed hyperlipidemic APOE*3 Leiden (E3L) transgenic mice. Mildly insulin-resistant E3L mice were fed a high-fat diet with or without 1.5% colestilan for 8 weeks. Colestilan treatment decreased body weight, visceral and subcutaneous fat, and plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels but increased food intake. Blood glucose and plasma insulin levels were decreased, and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp analysis demonstrated improved insulin sensitivity, particularly in peripheral tissues. In addition, colestilan decreased energy expenditure and physical activity, whereas it increased the respiratory exchange ratio, indicating that colestilan induced carbohydrate catabolism. Moreover, kinetic analysis revealed that colestilan increased [3H]NEFA incorporation in biliary cholesterol and phospholipids and increased fecal lipid excretion. Gene expression analysis in liver, fat, and muscle supported the above findings. In summary, colestilan decreases weight gain and improves peripheral insulin sensitivity in high-fat-fed E3L mice by enhanced NEFA incorporation in biliary lipids and increased fecal lipid excretion. PMID:23434610

  11. Prediction of Genetic Values for Feed Intake from Individual Body Weight Gain and Total Feed Intake of the Pen

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Records of individual feed intake (FI) and gain (G) were obtained from the Germ Plasm Evaluation (GPE) program at US Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC). Animals were randomly assigned to pens. Only pens with 6 to 9 steers were used for this study (Data Set 1,289 steers). Variance components and g...

  12. Recent breeding programs enhanced genetic diversity in both desi and kabuli varieties of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

    PubMed Central

    Thudi, Mahendar; Chitikineni, Annapurna; Liu, Xin; He, Weiming; Roorkiwal, Manish; Yang, Wei; Jian, Jianbo; Doddamani, Dadakhalandar; Gaur, Pooran M.; Rathore, Abhishek; Samineni, Srinivasan; Saxena, Rachit K.; Xu, Dawen; Singh, Narendra P.; Chaturvedi, Sushil K.; Zhang, Gengyun; Wang, Jun; Datta, Swapan K.; Xu, Xun; Varshney, Rajeev K.

    2016-01-01

    In order to understand the impact of breeding on genetic diversity and gain insights into temporal trends in diversity in chickpea, a set of 100 chickpea varieties released in 14 countries between 1948 and 2012 were re-sequenced. For analysis, the re-sequencing data for 29 varieties available from an earlier study was also included. Copy number variations and presence absence variations identified in the present study have potential to drive phenotypic variations for trait improvement. Re-sequencing of a large number of varieties has provided opportunities to inspect the genetic and genomic changes reflecting the history of breeding, which we consider as breeding signatures and the selected loci may provide targets for crop improvement. Our study also reports enhanced diversity in both desi and kabuli varieties as a result of recent chickpea breeding efforts. The current study will aid the explicit efforts to breed for local adaptation in the context of anticipated climate changes. PMID:27982107

  13. Recent breeding programs enhanced genetic diversity in both desi and kabuli varieties of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.).

    PubMed

    Thudi, Mahendar; Chitikineni, Annapurna; Liu, Xin; He, Weiming; Roorkiwal, Manish; Yang, Wei; Jian, Jianbo; Doddamani, Dadakhalandar; Gaur, Pooran M; Rathore, Abhishek; Samineni, Srinivasan; Saxena, Rachit K; Xu, Dawen; Singh, Narendra P; Chaturvedi, Sushil K; Zhang, Gengyun; Wang, Jun; Datta, Swapan K; Xu, Xun; Varshney, Rajeev K

    2016-12-16

    In order to understand the impact of breeding on genetic diversity and gain insights into temporal trends in diversity in chickpea, a set of 100 chickpea varieties released in 14 countries between 1948 and 2012 were re-sequenced. For analysis, the re-sequencing data for 29 varieties available from an earlier study was also included. Copy number variations and presence absence variations identified in the present study have potential to drive phenotypic variations for trait improvement. Re-sequencing of a large number of varieties has provided opportunities to inspect the genetic and genomic changes reflecting the history of breeding, which we consider as breeding signatures and the selected loci may provide targets for crop improvement. Our study also reports enhanced diversity in both desi and kabuli varieties as a result of recent chickpea breeding efforts. The current study will aid the explicit efforts to breed for local adaptation in the context of anticipated climate changes.

  14. Multiple Query Evaluation Based on an Enhanced Genetic Algorithm.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tamine, Lynda; Chrisment, Claude; Boughanem, Mohand

    2003-01-01

    Explains the use of genetic algorithms to combine results from multiple query evaluations to improve relevance in information retrieval. Discusses niching techniques, relevance feedback techniques, and evolution heuristics, and compares retrieval results obtained by both genetic multiple query evaluation and classical single query evaluation…

  15. Multiple Query Evaluation Based on an Enhanced Genetic Algorithm.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tamine, Lynda; Chrisment, Claude; Boughanem, Mohand

    2003-01-01

    Explains the use of genetic algorithms to combine results from multiple query evaluations to improve relevance in information retrieval. Discusses niching techniques, relevance feedback techniques, and evolution heuristics, and compares retrieval results obtained by both genetic multiple query evaluation and classical single query evaluation…

  16. Thickness-dependent carrier transport and optically enhanced transconductance gain in III-VI multilayer InSe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Ching-Hwa

    2016-06-01

    Multilayer InSe with a thickness above ˜20 nm, is a direct semiconductor with a peak absorption wavelength approaching λ = 1000 nm, which is a promising candidate for solar-energy conversion and 2D optoelectronics devices. We present herein the experimental observations of thickness-dependent conductivity and photoconductive-responsivity spectrum in multilayer InSe as well as optically enhanced transconductance gain in the multilayer InSe metal-semiconductor-field-effect transistor (MESFET) illuminated by a halogen lamp. The voltage-current (V-I) measurement result shows multilayer InSe belongs to a p-type semiconductor, which can form a p-channel FET device. Thickness (t) dependent conductivity (σ) of multilayer InSe reveals about six-order variation from 5076 (Ω-cm)-1 (t = 5 nm) to 2.56 × 10-3 (Ω-cm)-1 (t = 184 μm, bulk) following a relationship of σ ∝ t -1.38. The highest conductivity in a thin InSe (e.g. t = 5 nm) is due to the increase of carrier density when the thickness is decreased. The photoresponsivity spectrum of a Ag-InSe-Ag multilayer photoconductor demonstrates a prominent peak absorption at 1.1 ˜ 1.3 eV, matches well with the direct-free-exciton energy of the InSe. A multilayer p-InSe MESFET was tested by V-I measurement. The transconductance was measured and determined to be {g}m={≤ft|\\tfrac{\\partial {{{I}}}{{D}}}{\\partial {{{V}}}{{G}}}\\right|}{{{V}}{{SD}}={{2V}}} = ({1.25 +/- 0.008})× {10}-4≤ft(\\tfrac{{{A}}}{{{V}}}\\right). The gm value will enhance about three times when the MESFET was placed under the illumination of a tungsten halogen lamp of a lower power density ˜0.5 mW · cm-2. All the experimental results demonstrate multilayer InSe a promising 2D material available for microelectronics and optoelectronics applications.

  17. Efficiency enhancement of slow-wave electron-cyclotron maser by a second-order shaping of the magnetic field in the low-gain limit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Si-Jia; Zhang, Yu-Fei; Wang, Kang; Li, Yong-Ming; Jing, Jian

    2017-03-01

    Based on the anomalous Doppler effect, we put forward a proposal to enhance the conversion efficiency of the slow-wave electron cyclotron masers (ECM) under the resonance condition. Compared with previous studies, we add a second-order shaping term in the guild magnetic field. Theoretical analyses and numerical calculations show that it can enhance the conversion efficiency in the low-gain limit. The case of the initial velocity spread of electrons satisfying the Gaussian distribution is also analysed numerically.

  18. Incorporation of genetic gain into growth projections of Douglas-Fir using ORGANON and the Forest Vegetation Simulator

    Treesearch

    Peter J. Gould; David D. Marshall

    2010-01-01

    Growth models for coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) are generally based on measurements of stands that are genetically unimproved (or woods-run); therefore, they cannot be expected to accurately project the development of stands that originate from improved seedlots. In this report, we...

  19. Genotype by environment interaction effects in genetic evaluation of preweaning gain for Line 1 Hereford cattle from Miles City, Montana

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    That genotype by environment interaction potentially influences genetic evaluation of beef cattle has long been recognized. However, this recognition has largely been ignored in systems for national cattle evaluation. The objective of this investigation was to determine if direct and maternal geneti...

  20. Minimal increase in genetic diversity enhances predation resistance.

    PubMed

    Koh, Kai S; Matz, Carsten; Tan, Chuan H; LE, Hoang L; Rice, Scott A; Marshall, Dustin J; Steinberg, Peter D; Kjelleberg, Staffan

    2012-04-01

    The importance of species diversity to emergent, ecological properties of communities is increasingly appreciated, but the importance of within-species genetic diversity for analogous emergent properties of populations is only just becoming apparent. Here, the properties and effects of genetic variation on predation resistance in populations were assessed and the molecular mechanism underlying these emergent effects was investigated. Using biofilms of the ubiquitous bacterium Serratia marcescens, we tested the importance of genetic diversity in defending biofilms against protozoan grazing, a main source of mortality for bacteria in all natural ecosystems. S. marcescens biofilms established from wild-type cells produce heritable, stable variants, which when experimentally combined, persist as a diverse assemblage and are significantly more resistant to grazing than either wild type or variant biofilms grown in monoculture. This diversity effect is biofilm-specific, a result of either facilitation or resource partitioning among variants, with equivalent experiments using planktonic cultures and grazers resulting in dominance by a single resistant strain. The variants studied are all the result of single nucleotide polymorphisms in one regulatory gene suggesting that the benefits of genetic diversity in clonal biofilms can occur through remarkably minimal genetic change. The findings presented here provide a new insight on the integration of genetics and population ecology, in which diversity arising through minimal changes in genotype can have major ecological implications for natural populations. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  1. FAAH genetic variation enhances fronto-amygdala function in mouse and human.

    PubMed

    Dincheva, Iva; Drysdale, Andrew T; Hartley, Catherine A; Johnson, David C; Jing, Deqiang; King, Elizabeth C; Ra, Stephen; Gray, J Megan; Yang, Ruirong; DeGruccio, Ann Marie; Huang, Chienchun; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Glatt, Charles E; Hill, Matthew N; Casey, B J; Lee, Francis S

    2015-03-03

    Cross-species studies enable rapid translational discovery and produce the broadest impact when both mechanism and phenotype are consistent across organisms. We developed a knock-in mouse that biologically recapitulates a common human mutation in the gene for fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) (C385A; rs324420), the primary catabolic enzyme for the endocannabinoid anandamide. This common polymorphism impacts the expression and activity of FAAH, thereby increasing anandamide levels. Here, we show that the genetic knock-in mouse and human variant allele carriers exhibit parallel alterations in biochemisty, neurocircuitry and behaviour. Specifically, there is reduced FAAH expression associated with the variant allele that selectively enhances fronto-amygdala connectivity and fear extinction learning, and decreases anxiety-like behaviours. These results suggest a gain of function in fear regulation and may indicate for whom and for what anxiety symptoms FAAH inhibitors or exposure-based therapies will be most efficacious, bridging an important translational gap between the mouse and human.

  2. FAAH genetic variation enhances fronto-amygdala function in mouse and human

    PubMed Central

    Dincheva, Iva; Drysdale, Andrew T.; Hartley, Catherine A.; Johnson, David C.; Jing, Deqiang; King, Elizabeth C.; Ra, Stephen; Gray, Megan; Yang, Ruirong; DeGruccio, Ann Marie; Huang, Chienchun; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Glatt, Charles E.; Hill, Matthew N.; Casey, B. J.; Lee, Francis S.

    2015-01-01

    Cross-species studies enable rapid translational discovery and produce the broadest impact when both mechanism and phenotype are consistent across organisms. We developed a knock-in mouse that biologically recapitulates a common human mutation in the gene for fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) (C385A; rs324420), the primary catabolic enzyme for the endocannabinoid anandamide. This common polymorphism impacts the expression and activity of FAAH, thereby increasing anandamide levels. Here, we show that the genetic knock-in mouse and human variant allele carriers exhibit parallel alterations in biochemisty, neurocircuitry, and behavior. Specifically, there is reduced FAAH expression associated with the variant allele that selectively enhances fronto-amygdala connectivity and fear extinction learning, and decreases anxiety-like behaviors. These results suggest a gain-of-function in fear regulation and may indicate for whom and for what anxiety symptoms FAAH inhibitors or exposure-based therapies will be most efficacious, bridging an important translational gap between the mouse and human. PMID:25731744

  3. Low power analog front-end electronics in deep submicrometer CMOS technology based on gain enhancement techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez-Galán, J. A.; Sánchez-Rodríguez, T.; Sánchez-Raya, M.; Martel, I.; López-Martín, A.; Carvajal, R. G.; Ramírez-Angulo, J.

    2014-06-01

    This paper evaluates the design of front-end electronics in modern technologies to be used in a new generation of heavy ion detectors—HYDE (FAIR, Germany)—proposing novel architectures to achieve high gain in a low voltage environment. As conventional topologies of operational amplifiers in modern CMOS processes show limitations in terms of gain, novel approaches must be raised. The work addresses the design using transistors with channel length of no more than double the feature size and a supply voltage as low as 1.2 V. A front-end system has been fabricated in a 90 nm process including gain boosting techniques based on regulated cascode circuits. The analog channel has been optimized to match a detector capacitance of 5 pF and exhibits a good performance in terms of gain, speed, linearity and power consumption.

  4. Discovery of Genetic Variation that Enhances Improvement of Dairy Production and Health in Cattle and Buffalos

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The hypothesis underlying this project is that genome-wide information on genetic variation will increase accuracy of predictions of genetic merit; will enhance heritability and reliability of these predictions through improved pedigree information; and will improve detection of most quantitative tr...

  5. Enhanced Genetic Tools for Engineering Multigene Traits into Green Algae

    PubMed Central

    Rasala, Beth A.; Chao, Syh-Shiuan; Pier, Matthew; Barrera, Daniel J.; Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2014-01-01

    Transgenic microalgae have the potential to impact many diverse biotechnological industries including energy, human and animal nutrition, pharmaceuticals, health and beauty, and specialty chemicals. However, major obstacles to sophisticated genetic and metabolic engineering in algae have been the lack of well-characterized transformation vectors to direct engineered gene products to specific subcellular locations, and the inability to robustly express multiple nuclear-encoded transgenes within a single cell. Here we validate a set of genetic tools that enable protein targeting to distinct subcellular locations, and present two complementary methods for multigene engineering in the eukaryotic green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The tools described here will enable advanced metabolic and genetic engineering to promote microalgae biotechnology and product commercialization. PMID:24710110

  6. Enhanced genetic tools for engineering multigene traits into green algae.

    PubMed

    Rasala, Beth A; Chao, Syh-Shiuan; Pier, Matthew; Barrera, Daniel J; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2014-01-01

    Transgenic microalgae have the potential to impact many diverse biotechnological industries including energy, human and animal nutrition, pharmaceuticals, health and beauty, and specialty chemicals. However, major obstacles to sophisticated genetic and metabolic engineering in algae have been the lack of well-characterized transformation vectors to direct engineered gene products to specific subcellular locations, and the inability to robustly express multiple nuclear-encoded transgenes within a single cell. Here we validate a set of genetic tools that enable protein targeting to distinct subcellular locations, and present two complementary methods for multigene engineering in the eukaryotic green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The tools described here will enable advanced metabolic and genetic engineering to promote microalgae biotechnology and product commercialization.

  7. Genetic Engineering of Algae for Enhanced Biofuel Production ▿

    PubMed Central

    Radakovits, Randor; Jinkerson, Robert E.; Darzins, Al; Posewitz, Matthew C.

    2010-01-01

    There are currently intensive global research efforts aimed at increasing and modifying the accumulation of lipids, alcohols, hydrocarbons, polysaccharides, and other energy storage compounds in photosynthetic organisms, yeast, and bacteria through genetic engineering. Many improvements have been realized, including increased lipid and carbohydrate production, improved H2 yields, and the diversion of central metabolic intermediates into fungible biofuels. Photosynthetic microorganisms are attracting considerable interest within these efforts due to their relatively high photosynthetic conversion efficiencies, diverse metabolic capabilities, superior growth rates, and ability to store or secrete energy-rich hydrocarbons. Relative to cyanobacteria, eukaryotic microalgae possess several unique metabolic attributes of relevance to biofuel production, including the accumulation of significant quantities of triacylglycerol; the synthesis of storage starch (amylopectin and amylose), which is similar to that found in higher plants; and the ability to efficiently couple photosynthetic electron transport to H2 production. Although the application of genetic engineering to improve energy production phenotypes in eukaryotic microalgae is in its infancy, significant advances in the development of genetic manipulation tools have recently been achieved with microalgal model systems and are being used to manipulate central carbon metabolism in these organisms. It is likely that many of these advances can be extended to industrially relevant organisms. This review is focused on potential avenues of genetic engineering that may be undertaken in order to improve microalgae as a biofuel platform for the production of biohydrogen, starch-derived alcohols, diesel fuel surrogates, and/or alkanes. PMID:20139239

  8. SOFIA: an R package for enhancing genetic visualization with Circos

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Visualization of data from any stage of genetic and genomic research is one of the most useful approaches for detecting potential errors, ensuring accuracy and reproducibility, and presentation of the resulting data. Currently software such as Circos, ClicO FS, and RCircos, among others, provide too...

  9. Learning about Genetic Inheritance through Technology-Enhanced Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Michelle; Merritt, Joi; Opperman, Amanda; Porter, Jakob; Erlenbeck, Kyle

    2012-01-01

    Genetics is an increasingly important topic in today's society, and one that permeates people's lives on many levels. Students, teachers, and the general public alike are constantly exposed to this topic through popular television shows such as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," political issues like voting on stem-cell research, and the…

  10. Learning about Genetic Inheritance through Technology-Enhanced Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Michelle; Merritt, Joi; Opperman, Amanda; Porter, Jakob; Erlenbeck, Kyle

    2012-01-01

    Genetics is an increasingly important topic in today's society, and one that permeates people's lives on many levels. Students, teachers, and the general public alike are constantly exposed to this topic through popular television shows such as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," political issues like voting on stem-cell research, and the…

  11. Genetic engineering of algae for enhanced biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Radakovits, Randor; Jinkerson, Robert E; Darzins, Al; Posewitz, Matthew C

    2010-04-01

    There are currently intensive global research efforts aimed at increasing and modifying the accumulation of lipids, alcohols, hydrocarbons, polysaccharides, and other energy storage compounds in photosynthetic organisms, yeast, and bacteria through genetic engineering. Many improvements have been realized, including increased lipid and carbohydrate production, improved H(2) yields, and the diversion of central metabolic intermediates into fungible biofuels. Photosynthetic microorganisms are attracting considerable interest within these efforts due to their relatively high photosynthetic conversion efficiencies, diverse metabolic capabilities, superior growth rates, and ability to store or secrete energy-rich hydrocarbons. Relative to cyanobacteria, eukaryotic microalgae possess several unique metabolic attributes of relevance to biofuel production, including the accumulation of significant quantities of triacylglycerol; the synthesis of storage starch (amylopectin and amylose), which is similar to that found in higher plants; and the ability to efficiently couple photosynthetic electron transport to H(2) production. Although the application of genetic engineering to improve energy production phenotypes in eukaryotic microalgae is in its infancy, significant advances in the development of genetic manipulation tools have recently been achieved with microalgal model systems and are being used to manipulate central carbon metabolism in these organisms. It is likely that many of these advances can be extended to industrially relevant organisms. This review is focused on potential avenues of genetic engineering that may be undertaken in order to improve microalgae as a biofuel platform for the production of biohydrogen, starch-derived alcohols, diesel fuel surrogates, and/or alkanes.

  12. Genetic Assignment Methods for Gaining Insight into the Management of Infectious Disease by Understanding Pathogen, Vector, and Host Movement

    PubMed Central

    Remais, Justin V.; Xiao, Ning; Akullian, Adam; Qiu, Dongchuan; Blair, David

    2011-01-01

    For many pathogens with environmental stages, or those carried by vectors or intermediate hosts, disease transmission is strongly influenced by pathogen, host, and vector movements across complex landscapes, and thus quantitative measures of movement rate and direction can reveal new opportunities for disease management and intervention. Genetic assignment methods are a set of powerful statistical approaches useful for establishing population membership of individuals. Recent theoretical improvements allow these techniques to be used to cost-effectively estimate the magnitude and direction of key movements in infectious disease systems, revealing important ecological and environmental features that facilitate or limit transmission. Here, we review the theory, statistical framework, and molecular markers that underlie assignment methods, and we critically examine recent applications of assignment tests in infectious disease epidemiology. Research directions that capitalize on use of the techniques are discussed, focusing on key parameters needing study for improved understanding of patterns of disease. PMID:21552326

  13. An Ethical Study on the Uses of Enhancement Genetic Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawakita, Koji

    A variety of biomedical technologies are being developed that can be used for purposes other than treating diseases. Such “enhancement technologies” can be used to improve our own and future generation's life-chances. While these technologies can help people in many ways, their use raises important ethical issues. Some arguments for anti-enhancement as well as pro-enhancement seem to rest, however, on shaky foundation. Both company engineers and the general public had better learn more from technological, economical and philosophical histories. For such subjects may provide engineers with less opportunities of technological misuses and more powers of self-esteem in addition to self-control.

  14. Genetically enhanced cellulase production in Pseudomonas cellulosa using recombinant DNA technology

    DOEpatents

    Dees, H. Craig

    1999-01-01

    An enhanced strain of Pseudomonas celllulosa was obtained by introducing a recombinant genetic construct comprising a heterologous cellulase gene operably connected to a promoter into ATCC 55702, mutagenizing the transformants by treatment with MNNG, and selecting a high cellulase producing transformant. The transformant, designated Pseudomonas cellulosa ATCC XXXX, exhibits enhanced levels of cellulase production relative to the untransformed Pseudomonas cellulosa strain #142 ATCC 55702.

  15. Control of Growth Efficiency in Young Plantation Loblolly Pine and Sweetgum through Irrigation and Fertigation Enhancement of Leaf Carbon Gain

    SciTech Connect

    L. Samuelson

    1999-07-07

    The overall objective of this study was to determine if growth efficiency of young plantation loblolly pine and sweetgum can be maintained by intensive forest management and whether increased carbon gain is the mechanism controlling growth efficiency response to resource augmentation. Key leaf physiological processes were examined over two growing seasons in response to irrigation, fertigation (irrigation with a fertilizer solution), and fertigation plus pest control (pine only). Although irrigation improved leaf net photosynthesis in pine and decreased stomatal sensitivity to vapor pressure deficit in sweetgum, no consistent physiological responses to fertigation were detected in either species. After 4 years of treatment, a 3-fold increase in woody net primary productivity was observed in both species in response to fertigation. Trees supplemented with fertigation and fertigation plus pest control exhibited the largest increases in growth and biomass. Furthermore, growth efficiency was maintained by fertigation and fertigation plus pest control, despite large increases in crown development and self-shading. Greater growth in response to intensive culture was facilitated by significant gains in leaf mass and whole tree carbon gain rather than detectable increases in leaf level processes. Growth efficiency was not maintained by significant increases in leaf level carbon gain but was possibly influenced by changes in carbon allocation to root versus shoot processes.

  16. Genetic improvement of plants for enhanced bio-ethanol production.

    PubMed

    Saha, Sanghamitra; Ramachandran, Srinivasan

    2013-04-01

    The present world energy situation urgently requires exploring and developing alternate, sustainable sources for fuel. Biofuels have proven to be an effective energy source but more needs to be produced to meet energy goals. Whereas first generation biofuels derived from mainly corn and sugarcane continue to be used and produced, the contentious debate between "feedstock versus foodstock" continues. The need for sources that can be grown under different environmental conditions has led to exploring newer sources. Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive source for production of biofuel, but pretreatment costs to remove lignin are high and the process is time consuming. Genetically modified plants that have increased sugar or starch content, modified lignin content, or produce cellulose degrading enzymes are some options that are being explored and tested. This review focuses on current research on increasing production of biofuels by genetic engineering of plants to have desirable characteristics. Recent patents that have been filed in this area are also discussed.

  17. Allele mining and enhanced genetic recombination for rice breeding.

    PubMed

    Leung, Hei; Raghavan, Chitra; Zhou, Bo; Oliva, Ricardo; Choi, Il Ryong; Lacorte, Vanica; Jubay, Mona Liza; Cruz, Casiana Vera; Gregorio, Glenn; Singh, Rakesh Kumar; Ulat, Victor Jun; Borja, Frances Nikki; Mauleon, Ramil; Alexandrov, Nickolai N; McNally, Kenneth L; Sackville Hamilton, Ruaraidh

    2015-12-01

    Traditional rice varieties harbour a large store of genetic diversity with potential to accelerate rice improvement. For a long time, this diversity maintained in the International Rice Genebank has not been fully used because of a lack of genome information. The publication of the first reference genome of Nipponbare by the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP) marked the beginning of a systematic exploration and use of rice diversity for genetic research and breeding. Since then, the Nipponbare genome has served as the reference for the assembly of many additional genomes. The recently completed 3000 Rice Genomes Project together with the public database (SNP-Seek) provides a new genomic and data resource that enables the identification of useful accessions for breeding. Using disease resistance traits as case studies, we demonstrated the power of allele mining in the 3,000 genomes for extracting accessions from the GeneBank for targeted phenotyping. Although potentially useful landraces can now be identified, their use in breeding is often hindered by unfavourable linkages. Efficient breeding designs are much needed to transfer the useful diversity to breeding. Multi-parent Advanced Generation InterCross (MAGIC) is a breeding design to produce highly recombined populations. The MAGIC approach can be used to generate pre-breeding populations with increased genotypic diversity and reduced linkage drag. Allele mining combined with a multi-parent breeding design can help convert useful diversity into breeding-ready genetic resources.

  18. In sport and social justice, is genetic enhancement a game changer?

    PubMed

    Parker, Lisa S

    2012-12-01

    The possibility of genetic enhancement to increase the likelihood of success in sport and life's prospects raises questions for accounts of sport and theories of justice. These questions obviously include the fairness of such enhancement and its relationship to the goals of sport and demands of justice. Of equal interest, however, is the effect on our understanding of individual effort, merit, and desert of either discovering genetic contributions to components of such effort or recognizing the influence of social factors on the development and exercise of individual effort. This paper analyzes arguments about genetic enhancement with the goal of raising questions about how sport and justice regard unchosen, undeserved inequalities and what is assumed to be their opposite-namely, the exercise and results of individual effort. It is suggested that contemplating enhancement of natural assets previously outside human control may reinforce recognition of responsibility to intervene with regard to social advantages so as to support individual effort and improve individuals' life prospects.

  19. Evaluation of implant strategies in Angus-sired steers with high or low genetic potential for marbling and gain.

    PubMed

    Black, D N; Neville, B W; Crosswhite, M R; Dahlen, C R

    2015-11-01

    Sixty-nine Angus-sired steer calves (332.3 kg initial BW) were used to determine the effects of single or double implant strategies on steers of high or low genetic potential (GP) determined by the GeneMax (Zoetis, Florham Park, NJ) genetic profiling test. Steers were assigned to treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial design with factors of 1) composite GP score (high, mean GP score of 86.5 [HI]; low, mean GP score of 25.3[LO]) and 2) implant strategy (single, steers implanted on d 70 [1X], or double, steers implanted d 0 and 70 [2X]). All steers were given the same implant (Revalor-S; Merck Animal Health, Summit, NJ), with the 2X group implanted on d 0 and 70 and the 1X group implanted only on d 70. A diet containing 1.38 Mcal NEg/kg DM was fed ad libitum, once daily. Ultrasound was used to measure body composition characteristics on d 0 and 70. Steers were harvested after 140 d on feed. At both the d-0 and d-70 ultrasound, HI steers had greater ( < 0.001) percent intramuscular fat (IMF) than LO steers, but no differences ( ≥ 0.24) were observed in LM area (LMA), rib fat thickness (RF), or rump fat thickness (RMFT). Steers in the 2X group had larger ( = 0.02) LMA and less ( = 0.03) IMF on d 70 than 1X steers and no differences ( ≥ 0.50) in RF or RMFT were observed. From d 0 to 70, HI steers had ADG, DMI, and G:F ( ≥ 0.60) similar to LO steers; however, 2X steers had greater ( < 0.001) ADG and were more ( < 0.001) feed efficient compared with 1X steers during the same interval. Over the entire 140-d feeding period, there were no differences ( ≥ 0.6) in BW, ADG, DMI, or G:F between GP groups; however, 2X steers had greater ( = 0.03) ADG compared with 1X steers and still had similar ( ≥ 0.12) DMI and G:F. Upon slaughter, marbling score tended to be impacted by a GP × implant interaction (499.9 ± 18.5, 545.6 ± 18.5, 487.1 ± 18.5, and 469.8 ± 18.5 for HI and 2X, HI and 1X, LO and 2X, and LO and 1X, respectively; = 0.06). No differences ( ≥ 0.7) were observed

  20. Genetic associations between daily BW gain and live fleshiness of station-tested young bulls and carcass and meat quality traits of commercial intact males in Piemontese cattle.

    PubMed

    Bonfatti, V; Albera, A; Carnier, P

    2013-05-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate genetic relationships between beef traits of station-tested young bulls and carcass and meat quality traits (MQ) of commercial intact males in Piemontese cattle. Phenotypes for daily gain (DG) and live fleshiness traits (width at withers: WW; shoulder muscularity: SM; loin width: LW; loin thickness: LT; thigh muscularity: TM; thigh profile: TP) and thinness of the shin bone (BT) were available for 3,109 and 2,183 performance-tested young bulls, respectively. Carcass daily gain (CDG), carcass conformation (SEUS), pH at 24 h (pH24h) and 8 d after slaughter (pH8d), lightness (L*), redness (a*), yellowness (b*), hue angle (HA), saturation index (SI), drip loss (DL), cooking loss (CL), and shear force (SF) were assessed for 1,208 commercial intact males. (Co) variance components were estimated in a set of twelve 9-traits analyses using REML and linear animal models including all performance-test traits and 1 carcass or MQ trait at a time. Heritabilities ± SE of beef traits ranged from 0.26 ± 0.03 (LW) to 0.47 ± 0.01 (DG), whereas those of carcass traits and MQ from 0.06 ± 0.03 (CL) to 0.63 ± 0.04 (HA). The genetic correlation (rg) between DG and CDG was 0.75 ± 0.10, indicating that DG, as measured at the test station, is a good indicator of the carcass gain achieved by commercial animals under farms conditions. Daily BW gain of station-tested bulls correlated positively with color traits (from 0.11 ± 0.12 to 0.54 ± 0.09), ph8d (rg ± SE = 0.31 ± 0.11), DL (rg ± SE = 0.29 ± 0.17), and CL (rg ± SE = 0.27 ± 0.18). Live fleshiness of station-tested bulls exhibited genetic correlations with MQ of commercial animals that were positive for L* and b* (from 0.13 ± 0.08 to 0.65 ± 0.14) and negative for pH (from -0.27 ± 0.15 to -0.57 ± 0.11), CL (from -0.16 ± 0.23 to -0.43 ± 0.22), and SF (TM: rg ± SE = -0.31 ± 0.15; TP: rg ± SE = -0.41 ± 0.17). The thinness of the shin bone correlated unfavorably with CDG (rg ± SE

  1. Enhanced Genetic Integrity in Mouse Germ Cells1

    PubMed Central

    Murphey, Patricia; McLean, Derek J.; McMahan, C. Alex; Walter, Christi A.; McCarrey, John R.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Genetically based diseases constitute a major human health burden, and de novo germline mutations represent a source of heritable genetic alterations that can cause such disorders in offspring. The availability of transgenic rodent systems with recoverable, mutation reporter genes has been used to assess the occurrence of spontaneous point mutations in germline cells. Previous studies using the lacI mutation reporter transgenic mouse system showed that the frequency of spontaneous mutations is significantly lower in advanced male germ cells than in somatic cell types from the same individuals. Here we used this same mutation reporter transgene system to show that female germ cells also display a mutation frequency that is lower than that in corresponding somatic cells and similar to that seen in male germ cells, indicating this is a common feature of germ cells in both sexes. In addition, we showed that statistically significant differences in mutation frequencies are evident between germ cells and somatic cells in both sexes as early as mid-fetal stages in the mouse. Finally, a comparison of the mutation frequency in a general population of early type A spermatogonia with that in a population enriched for Thy-1-positive spermatogonia suggests there is heterogeneity among the early spermatogonial population such that a subset of these cells are predestined to form true spermatogonial stem cells. Taken together, these results support the disposable soma theory, which posits that genetic integrity is normally maintained more stringently in the germ line than in the soma and suggests that this is achieved by minimizing the initial occurrence of mutations in early germline cells and their subsequent gametogenic progeny relative to that in somatic cells. PMID:23153565

  2. Assessing the impact of natural service bulls and genotype by environment interactions on genetic gain and inbreeding in organic dairy cattle genomic breeding programs.

    PubMed

    Yin, T; Wensch-Dorendorf, M; Simianer, H; Swalve, H H; König, S

    2014-06-01

    The objective of the present study was to compare genetic gain and inbreeding coefficients of dairy cattle in organic breeding program designs by applying stochastic simulations. Evaluated breeding strategies were: (i) selecting bulls from conventional breeding programs, and taking into account genotype by environment (G×E) interactions, (ii) selecting genotyped bulls within the organic environment for artificial insemination (AI) programs and (iii) selecting genotyped natural service bulls within organic herds. The simulated conventional population comprised 148 800 cows from 2976 herds with an average herd size of 50 cows per herd, and 1200 cows were assigned to 60 organic herds. In a young bull program, selection criteria of young bulls in both production systems (conventional and organic) were either 'conventional' estimated breeding values (EBV) or genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) for two traits with low (h 2=0.05) and moderate heritability (h 2=0.30). GEBV were calculated for different accuracies (r mg), and G×E interactions were considered by modifying originally simulated true breeding values in the range from r g=0.5 to 1.0. For both traits (h 2=0.05 and 0.30) and r mg⩾0.8, genomic selection of bulls directly in the organic population and using selected bulls via AI revealed higher genetic gain than selecting young bulls in the larger conventional population based on EBV; also without the existence of G×E interactions. Only for pronounced G×E interactions (r g=0.5), and for highly accurate GEBV for natural service bulls (r mg>0.9), results suggests the use of genotyped organic natural service bulls instead of implementing an AI program. Inbreeding coefficients of selected bulls and their offspring were generally lower when basing selection decisions for young bulls on GEBV compared with selection strategies based on pedigree indices.

  3. Disease Resistance and the Definition of Genetic Enhancement.

    PubMed

    So, Derek; Kleiderman, Erika; Touré, Seydina B; Joly, Yann

    2017-01-01

    Recent gene editing experiments carried out in human embryos have raised the question of whether interventions like the introduction of a CCR5-Δ32 deletion, which could provide heritable resistance to HIV infection, ought to be considered enhancements. Many authors have used the term "enhancement" in different ways, some based on patients' biomedical outcomes and others on their social context. These classifications are often considered overly imprecise. Nevertheless, the concept of "enhancement" could affect the ways in which these applications are regulated in different jurisdictions, the availability of coverage by insurers or public health care, and the force of public opinion in shaping future policy on gene editing. In order to ethically situate resistance to communicable disease with reference to other techniques, this article provides an overview of its similarities and differences with disease gene therapy in embryos, gene therapy in consenting adults, and vaccination. In discussing key ethical features of CCR5-Δ32 deletion (including its frequency in various populations, biological mechanism, benefits for individuals, and use in previous clinical trials) we offer some potential guideposts for the continuing discussion on how to classify "enhancements" in the age of CRISPR gene editing.

  4. Ethical Concerns About Human Genetic Enhancement in the Malay Science Fiction Novels.

    PubMed

    Isa, Noor Munirah; Hj Safian Shuri, Muhammad Fakhruddin

    2017-03-09

    Advancements in science and technology have not only brought hope to humankind to produce disease-free offspring, but also offer possibilities to genetically enhance the next generation's traits and capacities. Human genetic enhancement, however, raises complex ethical questions, such as to what extent should it be allowed? It has been a great challenge for humankind to develop robust ethical guidelines for human genetic enhancement that address both public concerns and needs. We believe that research about public concerns is necessary prior to developing such guidelines, yet the issues have not been thoroughly investigated in many countries, including Malaysia. Since the novel often functions as a medium for the public to express their concerns, this paper explores ethical concerns about human genetic enhancement expressed in four Malay science fiction novels namely Klon, Leksikon Ledang, Transgenesis Bisikan Rimba and Transgenik Sifar. Religion has a strong influence on the worldview of the Malays therefore some concerns such as playing God are obviously religious. Association of the negative image of scientists as well as the private research companies with the research on human genetic enhancement reflects the authors' concerns about the main motivations for conducting such research and the extent to which such research will benefit society.

  5. Recent Enhancements to the Genetic Risk Prediction Model BRCAPRO

    PubMed Central

    Mazzola, Emanuele; Blackford, Amanda; Parmigiani, Giovanni; Biswas, Swati

    2015-01-01

    BRCAPRO is a widely used model for genetic risk prediction of breast cancer. It is a function within the R package BayesMendel and is used to calculate the probabilities of being a carrier of a deleterious mutation in one or both of the BRCA genes, as well as the probability of being affected with breast and ovarian cancer within a defined time window. Both predictions are based on information contained in the counselee’s family history of cancer. During the last decade, BRCAPRO has undergone several rounds of successive refinements: the current version is part of release 2.1 of BayesMendel. In this review, we showcase some of the most notable features of the software resulting from these recent changes. We provide examples highlighting each feature, using artificial pedigrees motivated by complex clinical examples. We illustrate how BRCAPRO is a comprehensive software for genetic risk prediction with many useful features that allow users the flexibility to incorporate varying amounts of available information. PMID:25983549

  6. Enhancing exposure to genetics and genomics through an innovative medical school curriculum.

    PubMed

    Dhar, Shweta U; Alford, Raye L; Nelson, Elizabeth A; Potocki, Lorraine

    2012-01-01

    Physicians entering medical practice in the 21st century will require more than a basic understanding of human genetics because of rapid progress in the field of genetics and genomics. The current undergraduate medical curriculum at most institutions is not adequate to prepare medical students for these challenges. Enhancing exposure to genetics throughout the medical school curriculum should help prepare the next generation of physicians to use genetic and genomic information for optimal patient care. We have introduced a Genetics Track Curriculum to the undergraduate medical curriculum at Baylor College of Medicine. This track runs in parallel to the existing 4-year curriculum and includes didactic sessions, small group discussions, longitudinal clinical experiences, clinical and laboratory rotations, community outreach, and scholarly projects related to genetics. It also provides the students a means to network and discuss topics and career paths in medical genetics. We have developed a novel curriculum that enhances genomic education for medical students with the ultimate goal of enabling our graduates to deliver more effective and personalized medical care. We believe that the Genetics Track Curriculum at Baylor College of Medicine can serve as a prototype for other medical schools across the country and abroad.

  7. Exploitation of physiological and genetic variability to enhance crop productivity

    SciTech Connect

    Harper, J.E.; Schrader, L.E.; Howell, R.W.

    1985-01-01

    The American Society of Plant Physiologists recognizes the need to identify primary physiological limitations to crop productivity. This basic information is essential to facilitate and accelerate progress towards the goal of enhanced productivity on a global scale. Plant breeders currently select for desirable physiological traits intuitively by selecting for enhanced yield capability. Identification of specific physiological limitations by plant physiologists could potentially foster interdisciplinary research and accelerate progress in breeding for improved cultivars. The recent upsurge in research interest and funding in the area of biotechnology further exemplifies the importance of identification of specific physiological traits which may be amenable to manipulation at the molecular as well as the whole plant level. The theme of this symposium was to focus attention on current progress in identification of possible physiological limitations. The purpose of this publication is to document that progress and hopefully to extend the stimulating ideas to those who were unable to attend the symposium.

  8. Regulation of Ubx expression by epigenetic enhancer silencing in response to Ubx levels and genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Crickmore, Michael A; Ranade, Vikram; Mann, Richard S

    2009-09-01

    For gene products that must be present in cells at defined concentrations, expression levels must be tightly controlled to ensure robustness against environmental, genetic, and developmental noise. By studying the regulation of the concentration-sensitive Drosophila melanogaster Hox gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx), we found that Ubx enhancer activities respond to both increases in Ubx levels and genetic background. Large, transient increases in Ubx levels are capable of silencing all enhancer input into Ubx transcription, resulting in the complete silencing of this gene. Small increases in Ubx levels, brought about by duplications of the Ubx locus, cause sporadic silencing of subsets of Ubx enhancers. Ubx enhancer silencing can also be induced by outcrossing laboratory stocks to D. melanogaster strains established from wild flies from around the world. These results suggest that enhancer activities are not rigidly determined, but instead are sensitive to genetic background. Together, these findings suggest that enhancer silencing may be used to maintain gene product levels within the correct range in response to natural genetic variation.

  9. Using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to probe for genetic markers on single-stranded DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moody, Benjamin; Leotaud, John; McCarty, Gregory S.

    2010-03-01

    Methods capable of quickly and inexpensively collecting genetic information are of increasing importance. We report a method of using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to probe single-stranded DNA for genetic markers. This unique approach is used to analyze unmodified genes of moderate length for genetic markers by hybridizing native test oligonucleotides into a surface-enhanced Raman complex, vastly increasing detection sensitivity as compared to traditional Raman spectroscopy. The Raman complex is formed by sandwiching the test DNA between 40-nm gold nanoparticles and a photolithographically defined gold surface. With this design, we are able to collect characteristic Raman spectra about the test DNA and to detect genetic markers such as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and polymorphic regions. Results show that strands containing one of three different types of polymorphism can be differentiated using statistically significant trends regarding Raman intensity.

  10. Genetic engineering of stem cells for enhanced therapy.

    PubMed

    Nowakowski, Adam; Andrzejewska, Anna; Janowski, Miroslaw; Walczak, Piotr; Lukomska, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    Stem cell therapy is a promising strategy for overcoming the limitations of current treatment methods. The modification of stem cell properties may be necessary to fully exploit their potential. Genetic engineering, with an abundance of methodology to induce gene expression in a precise and well-controllable manner, is particularly attractive for this purpose. There are virus-based and non-viral methods of genetic manipulation. Genome-integrating viral vectors are usually characterized by highly efficient and long-term transgene expression, at a cost of safety. Non-integrating viruses are also highly efficient in transduction, and, while safer, offer only a limited duration of transgene expression. There is a great diversity of transfectable forms of nucleic acids; however, for efficient shuttling across cell membranes, additional manipulation is required. Both physical and chemical methods have been employed for this purpose. Stem cell engineering for clinical applications is still in its infancy and requires further research. There are two main strategies for inducing transgene expression in therapeutic cells: transient and permanent expression. In many cases, including stem cell trafficking and using cell therapy for the treatment of rapid-onset disease with a short healing process, transient transgene expression may be a sufficient and optimal approach. For that purpose, mRNA-based methods seem ideally suited, as they are characterized by a rapid, highly efficient transfection, with outstanding safety. Permanent transgene expression is primarily based on the application of viral vectors, and, due to safety concerns, these methods are more challenging. There is active, ongoing research toward the development of non-viral methods that would induce permanent expression, such as transposons and mammalian artificial chromosomes.

  11. Influence of a Small Fraction of Individuals with Enhanced Mutations on a Population Genetic Pool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cebrat, S.; Stauffer, D.

    It has been observed that a higher mutation load could be introduced into the genomes of children conceived by assisted reproduction technology (fertilization in-vitro). This generates two effects — slightly higher mutational pressure on the whole genetic pool of population and inhomogeneity of mutation distributions in the genetic pool. Computer simulations of the Penna ageing model suggest that already a small fraction of births with enhanced number of new mutations can negatively influence the whole population.

  12. Emerging Global Initiatives in Neurogenetics: The Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium.

    PubMed

    Bearden, Carrie E; Thompson, Paul M

    2017-04-19

    The Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium is a global team science effort, now including over 800 scientists spread across 340 institutions in 35 countries, with the shared goal of understanding disease and genetic influences on the brain. This "crowdsourcing" approach to team neuroscience has unprecedented power for advancing our understanding of both typical and atypical human brain development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Genetic variance and covariance and breed differences for feed intake and average daily gain to improve feed efficiency in growing cattle.

    PubMed

    Retallick, K J; Bormann, J M; Weaber, R L; MacNeil, M D; Bradford, H L; Freetly, H C; Hales, K E; Moser, D W; Snelling, W M; Thallman, R M; Kuehn, L A

    2017-04-01

    Feed costs are a major economic expense in finishing and developing cattle; however, collection of feed intake data is costly. Examining relationships among measures of growth and intake, including breed differences, could facilitate selection for efficient cattle. Objectives of this study were to estimate genetic parameters for growth and intake traits and compare indices for feed efficiency to accelerate selection response. On-test ADFI and on-test ADG (TESTADG) and postweaning ADG (PWADG) records for 5,606 finishing steers and growing heifers were collected at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, NE. On-test ADFI and ADG data were recorded over testing periods that ranged from 62 to 148 d. Individual quadratic regressions were fitted for BW on time, and TESTADG was predicted from the resulting equations. We included PWADG in the model to improve estimates of growth and intake parameters; PWADG was derived by dividing gain from weaning weight to yearling weight by the number of days between the weights. Genetic parameters were estimated using multiple-trait REML animal models with TESTADG, ADFI, and PWADG for both sexes as dependent variables. Fixed contemporary groups were cohorts of calves simultaneously tested, and covariates included age on test, age of dam, direct and maternal heterosis, and breed composition. Genetic correlations (SE) between steer TESTADG and ADFI, PWADG and ADFI, and TESTADG and PWADG were 0.33 (0.10), 0.59 (0.06), and 0.50 (0.09), respectively, and corresponding estimates for heifers were 0.66 (0.073), 0.77 (0.05), and 0.88 (0.05), respectively. Indices combining EBV for ADFI with EBV for ADG were developed and evaluated. Greater improvement in feed efficiency can be expected using an unrestricted index versus a restricted index. Heterosis significantly affected each trait contributing to greater ADFI and TESTADG. Breed additive effects were estimated for ADFI, TESTADG, and the efficiency indices.

  14. Enhancements and justice: problems in determining the requirements of justice in a genetically transformed society.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, Ronald A

    2005-03-01

    There is a concern that genetic engineering will exacerbate existing social divisions and inequalities, especially if only the wealthy can afford genetic enhancements. Accordingly, many argue that justice requires the imposition of constraints on genetic engineering. However, it would be unwise to decide at this time what limits should be imposed in the future. Decision makers currently lack both the theoretical tools and the factual foundation for making sound judgments about the requirements of justice in a genetically transformed society. Moreover, focusing on the uncertain inequities of the future may result in failure to give priority to more pressing inequities of the present. Especially in a country that recently has enacted tax legislation that will widen existing wealth disparities, concern about the distant threat of a genetic aristocracy appears misplaced.

  15. GenMin: An enhanced genetic algorithm for global optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsoulos, Ioannis G.; Lagaris, I. E.

    2008-06-01

    A new method that employs grammatical evolution and a stopping rule for finding the global minimum of a continuous multidimensional, multimodal function is considered. The genetic algorithm used is a hybrid genetic algorithm in conjunction with a local search procedure. We list results from numerical experiments with a series of test functions and we compare with other established global optimization methods. The accompanying software accepts objective functions coded either in Fortran 77 or in C++. Program summaryProgram title: GenMin Catalogue identifier: AEAR_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEAR_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 35 810 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 436 613 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: GNU-C++, GNU-C, GNU Fortran 77 Computer: The tool is designed to be portable in all systems running the GNU C++ compiler Operating system: The tool is designed to be portable in all systems running the GNU C++ compiler RAM: 200 KB Word size: 32 bits Classification: 4.9 Nature of problem: A multitude of problems in science and engineering are often reduced to minimizing a function of many variables. There are instances that a local optimum does not correspond to the desired physical solution and hence the search for a better solution is required. Local optimization techniques are frequently trapped in local minima. Global optimization is hence the appropriate tool. For example, solving a nonlinear system of equations via optimization, employing a least squares type of objective, one may encounter many local minima that do not correspond to solutions (i.e. they are far from zero). Solution method: Grammatical evolution and a stopping rule. Running time: Depending on the

  16. Genetic modification of stem cells to enhance bone repair.

    PubMed

    Gamradt, Seth C; Lieberman, Jay R

    2004-01-01

    Orthopaedic surgeons are often faced with difficult bone loss problems. Conventional bone grafting is usually accomplished with autogenous iliac crest bone graft that provides osteogenic cells, osteoinductive growth factors, and an osteoconductive matrix. Cadaveric bone allograft and bone graft substitutes are inferior to autogenous bone graft because they fail to supply osteogenic cells or a significant amount of osteoinductive growth factors. Recombinant growth factors such as bone morphogenetic protein-2 and osteogenic protein-1 are currently in clinical use but these proteins require supraphysiologic dosing and considerable expense while failing to provide a sustained osteoinductive signal at the implantation site. Mesenchymal stem cells capable of differentiating into mesodermal tissues have been isolated and expanded in culture from several different sources including bone marrow, adipose tissue, and muscle. In the presence of appropriate growth factors these cells can differentiate into osteoblast lineage cells that will form bone in vitro and in vivo. Recent attention has focused on genetic modification of mesenchymal stem cells to both produce and respond to osteogenic growth factors with the goal of developing a tissue engineering strategy for bone repair. This review examines the current potential and limitations of these cellular systems for bone repair.

  17. An enhanced nonparametric streamflow disaggregation model with genetic algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, T.; Salas, J. D.; Prairie, J.

    2010-08-01

    Stochastic streamflow generation is generally utilized for planning and management of water resources systems. For this purpose, a number of parametric and nonparametric models have been suggested in literature. Among them, temporal and spatial disaggregation approaches play an important role particularly to make sure that historical variance-covariance properties are preserved at various temporal and spatial scales. In this paper, we review the underlying features of existing nonparametric disaggregation methods, identify some of their pros and cons, and propose a disaggregation algorithm that is capable of surmounting some of the shortcomings of the current models. The proposed models hinge on k-nearest neighbor resampling, the accurate adjusting procedure, and a genetic algorithm. The models have been tested and compared to an existing nonparametric disaggregation approach using data of the Colorado River system. It has been shown that the model is capable of (1) reproducing the season-to-season correlations including the correlation between the last season of the previous year and the first season of the current year, (2) minimizing or avoiding the generation of flow patterns across the year that are literally the same as those of the historical records, and (3) minimizing or avoiding the generation of negative flows. In addition, it is applicable to intermittent river regimes.

  18. An erythroid enhancer of BCL11A subject to genetic variation determines fetal hemoglobin level

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Daniel E.; Kamran, Sophia C.; Lessard, Samuel; Xu, Jian; Fujiwara, Yuko; Lin, Carrie; Shao, Zhen; Canver, Matthew C.; Smith, Elenoe C.; Pinello, Luca; Sabo, Peter J.; Vierstra, Jeff; Voit, Richard A.; Yuan, Guo-Cheng; Porteus, Matthew H.; Stamatoyannopoulos, John A.; Lettre, Guillaume; Orkin, Stuart H.

    2014-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have ascertained numerous trait-associated common genetic variants, frequently localized to regulatory DNA. We find that common genetic variation at BCL11A associated with fetal hemoglobin (HbF) level lies in noncoding sequences decorated by an erythroid enhancer chromatin signature. Fine-mapping uncovers a motif-disrupting common variant associated with reduced transcription factor binding, modestly diminished BCL11A expression and elevated HbF. The surrounding sequences function in vivo as a developmental stage-specific lineage-restricted enhancer. Genome engineering reveals the enhancer is required in erythroid but not B-lymphoid cells for BCL11A expression. These findings illustrate how GWAS may expose functional variants of modest impact within causal elements essential for appropriate gene expression. We propose the GWAS-marked BCL11A enhancer represents an attractive target for therapeutic genome engineering for the β-hemoglobinopathies. PMID:24115442

  19. An erythroid enhancer of BCL11A subject to genetic variation determines fetal hemoglobin level.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Daniel E; Kamran, Sophia C; Lessard, Samuel; Xu, Jian; Fujiwara, Yuko; Lin, Carrie; Shao, Zhen; Canver, Matthew C; Smith, Elenoe C; Pinello, Luca; Sabo, Peter J; Vierstra, Jeff; Voit, Richard A; Yuan, Guo-Cheng; Porteus, Matthew H; Stamatoyannopoulos, John A; Lettre, Guillaume; Orkin, Stuart H

    2013-10-11

    Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have ascertained numerous trait-associated common genetic variants, frequently localized to regulatory DNA. We found that common genetic variation at BCL11A associated with fetal hemoglobin (HbF) level lies in noncoding sequences decorated by an erythroid enhancer chromatin signature. Fine-mapping uncovers a motif-disrupting common variant associated with reduced transcription factor (TF) binding, modestly diminished BCL11A expression, and elevated HbF. The surrounding sequences function in vivo as a developmental stage-specific, lineage-restricted enhancer. Genome engineering reveals the enhancer is required in erythroid but not B-lymphoid cells for BCL11A expression. These findings illustrate how GWASs may expose functional variants of modest impact within causal elements essential for appropriate gene expression. We propose the GWAS-marked BCL11A enhancer represents an attractive target for therapeutic genome engineering for the β-hemoglobinopathies.

  20. Genome-wide association and systems genetic analyses of residual feed intake, daily feed consumption, backfat and weight gain in pigs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Feed efficiency is one of the major components determining costs of animal production. Residual feed intake (RFI) is defined as the difference between the observed and the expected feed intake given a certain production. Residual feed intake 1 (RFI1) was calculated based on regression of individual daily feed intake (DFI) on initial test weight and average daily gain. Residual feed intake 2 (RFI2) was as RFI1 except it was also regressed with respect to backfat (BF). It has been shown to be a sensitive and accurate measure for feed efficiency in livestock but knowledge of the genomic regions and mechanisms affecting RFI in pigs is lacking. The study aimed to identify genetic markers and candidate genes for RFI and its component traits as well as pathways associated with RFI in Danish Duroc boars by genome-wide associations and systems genetic analyses. Results Phenotypic and genotypic records (using the Illumina Porcine SNP60 BeadChip) were available on 1,272 boars. Fifteen and 12 loci were significantly associated (p < 1.52 × 10-6) with RFI1 and RFI2, respectively. Among them, 10 SNPs were significantly associated with both RFI1 and RFI2 implying the existence of common mechanisms controlling the two RFI measures. Significant QTL regions for component traits of RFI (DFI and BF) were detected on pig chromosome (SSC) 1 (for DFI) and 2 for (BF). The SNPs within MAP3K5 and PEX7 on SSC 1, ENSSSCG00000022338 on SSC 9, and DSCAM on SSC 13 might be interesting markers for both RFI measures. Functional annotation of genes in 0.5 Mb size flanking significant SNPs indicated regulation of protein and lipid metabolic process, gap junction, inositol phosphate metabolism and insulin signaling pathway are significant biological processes and pathways for RFI, respectively. Conclusions The study detected novel genetic variants and QTLs on SSC 1, 8, 9, 13 and 18 for RFI and indicated significant biological processes and metabolic pathways involved in RFI. The

  1. Genome-wide association and systems genetic analyses of residual feed intake, daily feed consumption, backfat and weight gain in pigs.

    PubMed

    Do, Duy Ngoc; Ostersen, Tage; Strathe, Anders Bjerring; Mark, Thomas; Jensen, Just; Kadarmideen, Haja N

    2014-02-17

    Feed efficiency is one of the major components determining costs of animal production. Residual feed intake (RFI) is defined as the difference between the observed and the expected feed intake given a certain production. Residual feed intake 1 (RFI1) was calculated based on regression of individual daily feed intake (DFI) on initial test weight and average daily gain. Residual feed intake 2 (RFI2) was as RFI1 except it was also regressed with respect to backfat (BF). It has been shown to be a sensitive and accurate measure for feed efficiency in livestock but knowledge of the genomic regions and mechanisms affecting RFI in pigs is lacking. The study aimed to identify genetic markers and candidate genes for RFI and its component traits as well as pathways associated with RFI in Danish Duroc boars by genome-wide associations and systems genetic analyses. Phenotypic and genotypic records (using the Illumina Porcine SNP60 BeadChip) were available on 1,272 boars. Fifteen and 12 loci were significantly associated (p < 1.52 × 10-6) with RFI1 and RFI2, respectively. Among them, 10 SNPs were significantly associated with both RFI1 and RFI2 implying the existence of common mechanisms controlling the two RFI measures. Significant QTL regions for component traits of RFI (DFI and BF) were detected on pig chromosome (SSC) 1 (for DFI) and 2 for (BF). The SNPs within MAP3K5 and PEX7 on SSC 1, ENSSSCG00000022338 on SSC 9, and DSCAM on SSC 13 might be interesting markers for both RFI measures. Functional annotation of genes in 0.5 Mb size flanking significant SNPs indicated regulation of protein and lipid metabolic process, gap junction, inositol phosphate metabolism and insulin signaling pathway are significant biological processes and pathways for RFI, respectively. The study detected novel genetic variants and QTLs on SSC 1, 8, 9, 13 and 18 for RFI and indicated significant biological processes and metabolic pathways involved in RFI. The study also detected novel QTLs for

  2. Enhancement of Microbial Biodesulfurization via Genetic Engineering and Adaptive Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jia; Butler, Robert R.; Wu, Fan; Pombert, Jean-François; Kilbane, John J.; Stark, Benjamin C.

    2017-01-01

    In previous work from our laboratories a synthetic gene encoding a peptide (“Sulpeptide 1” or “S1”) with a high proportion of methionine and cysteine residues had been designed to act as a sulfur sink and was inserted into the dsz (desulfurization) operon of Rhodococcus erythropolis IGTS8. In the work described here this construct (dszAS1BC) and the intact dsz operon (dszABC) cloned into vector pRESX under control of the (Rhodococcus) kstD promoter were transformed into the desulfurization-negative strain CW25 of Rhodococcus qingshengii. The resulting strains (CW25[pRESX-dszABC] and CW25[pRESX-dszAS1BC]) were subjected to adaptive selection by repeated passages at log phase (up to 100 times) in minimal medium with dibenzothiophene (DBT) as sole sulfur source. For both strains DBT metabolism peaked early in the selection process and then decreased, eventually averaging four times that of the initial transformed cells; the maximum specific activity achieved by CW25[pRESX-dszAS1BC] exceeded that of CW25[pRESX-dszABC]. Growth rates increased by 7-fold (CW25[pRESX-dszABC]) and 13-fold (CW25[pRESX-dszAS1BC]) and these increases were stable. The adaptations of CW25[pRESX-dszAS1BC] were correlated with a 3-5X increase in plasmid copy numbers from those of the initial transformed cells; whole genome sequencing indicated that during its selection processes no mutations occurred to any of the dsz, S1, or other genes and promoters involved in sulfur metabolism, stress response, or DNA methylation, and that the effect of the sulfur sink produced by S1 is likely very small compared to the cells’ overall cysteine and methionine requirements. Nevertheless, a combination of genetic engineering using sulfur sinks and increasing Dsz capability with adaptive selection may be a viable strategy to increase biodesulfurization ability. PMID:28060828

  3. A single injection of gain-of-function mutant PCSK9 adeno-associated virus vector induces cardiovascular calcification in mice with no genetic modification

    PubMed Central

    Goettsch, Claudia; Hutcheson, Joshua D.; Hagita, Sumihiko; Rogers, Maximillian A.; Creager, Michael D.; Pham, Tan; Choi, Jung; Mlynarchik, Andrew K; Pieper, Brett; Kjolby, Mads; Aikawa, Masanori; Aikawa, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Background Studying atherosclerotic calcification in vivo requires mouse models with genetic modifications. Previous studies showed that injection of recombinant adeno-associated virus vector (AAV) encoding a gain-of-function mutant PCSK9 into mice promotes atherosclerosis. Aim We aim to study cardiovascular calcification induced by PCSK9 AAV in C57BL/6J mice. Methods 10 week-old C57BL/6J mice received a single injection of AAV encoding mutant mPCSK9 (rAAV8/D377Y-mPCSK9). Ldlr−/− mice served as positive controls. Mice consumed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet for 15 or 20 weeks. Aortic calcification was assessed by fluorescence reflectance imaging (FRI) of a near-infrared calcium tracer. Results Serum levels of PCSK9 (0.14 µg/ml to 20 µg/ml, p < 0.01) and total cholesterol (82 mg/dL to 820 mg/dL, p < 0.01) increased within one week after injection and remained elevated for 20 weeks. Atherosclerotic lesion size was similar between PCSK9 AAV and Ldlr−/− mice. Aortic calcification was 0.01%±0.01 in PCSK9 AAV mice and 15.3%±6.1 in Ldlr−/− mice at 15 weeks (p < 0.01); by 20 weeks, the PCSK9 AAV mice aortic calcification grew to 12.4%±4.9. Tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase activity was similar in PCSK9 AAV mice and Ldlr−/− mice at 15 and 20 weeks, respectively. As example of the utility of this model in testing modulators of calcification in vivo, PCSK9 AAV injection to sortilin-deficient mice demonstrated reduced aortic calcification by 46.3% (p < 0.05) compared to littermate controls. Conclusion A single injection of gain-of-function PCSK9 AAV into C57BL/6J mice is a useful tool to study cardiovascular calcification in mice with no genetic manipulation. PMID:27318830

  4. Genetic dissection of the α-globin super-enhancer in vivo

    DOE PAGES

    Hay, Deborah; Hughes, Jim R.; Babbs, Christian; ...

    2016-07-04

    Many genes determining cell identity are regulated by clusters of Mediator-bound enhancer elements collectively referred to as super-enhancers. Furthermore, these super-enhancers have been proposed to manifest higher-order properties important in development and disease. Here we report a comprehensive functional dissection of one of the strongest putative super-enhancers in erythroid cells. By generating a series of mouse models, deleting each of the five regulatory elements of the α-globin super-enhancer individually and in informative combinations, we demonstrate that each constituent enhancer seems to act independently and in an additive fashion with respect to hematological phenotype, gene expression, chromatin structure and chromosome conformation,more » without clear evidence of synergistic or higher-order effects. This study highlights the importance of functional genetic analyses for the identification of new concepts in transcriptional regulation.« less

  5. Genetic dissection of the α-globin super-enhancer in vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Hay, Deborah; Hughes, Jim R.; Babbs, Christian; Davies, James O. J.; Graham, Bryony J.; Hanssen, Lars L. P.; Kassouf, Mira T.; Oudelaar, A. Marieke; Sharpe, Jacqueline A.; Suciu, Maria C.; Telenius, Jelena; Williams, Ruth; Rode, Christina; Li, Pik-Shan; Pennacchio, Len A.; Sloane-Stanley, Jacqueline A.; Ayyub, Helena; Butler, Sue; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Gibbons, Richard J.; Smith, Andrew J. H.; Wood, William G.; Higgs, Douglas R.

    2016-07-04

    Many genes determining cell identity are regulated by clusters of Mediator-bound enhancer elements collectively referred to as super-enhancers. Furthermore, these super-enhancers have been proposed to manifest higher-order properties important in development and disease. Here we report a comprehensive functional dissection of one of the strongest putative super-enhancers in erythroid cells. By generating a series of mouse models, deleting each of the five regulatory elements of the α-globin super-enhancer individually and in informative combinations, we demonstrate that each constituent enhancer seems to act independently and in an additive fashion with respect to hematological phenotype, gene expression, chromatin structure and chromosome conformation, without clear evidence of synergistic or higher-order effects. This study highlights the importance of functional genetic analyses for the identification of new concepts in transcriptional regulation.

  6. Pre-breeding for diversification of primary gene pool and genetic enhancement of grain legumes

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Shivali; Upadhyaya, H. D.; Varshney, R. K.; Gowda, C. L. L.

    2013-01-01

    The narrow genetic base of cultivars coupled with low utilization of genetic resources are the major factors limiting grain legume production and productivity globally. Exploitation of new and diverse sources of variation is needed for the genetic enhancement of grain legumes. Wild relatives with enhanced levels of resistance/tolerance to multiple stresses provide important sources of genetic diversity for crop improvement. However, their exploitation for cultivar improvement is limited by cross-incompatibility barriers and linkage drags. Pre-breeding provides a unique opportunity, through the introgression of desirable genes from wild germplasm into genetic backgrounds readily used by the breeders with minimum linkage drag, to overcome this. Pre-breeding activities using promising landraces, wild relatives, and popular cultivars have been initiated at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to develop new gene pools in chickpea, pigeonpea, and groundnut with a high frequency of useful genes, wider adaptability, and a broad genetic base. The availability of molecular markers will greatly assist in reducing linkage drags and increasing the efficiency of introgression in pre-breeding programs. PMID:23970889

  7. Genetically Induced Cholinergic Hyper-Innervation Enhances Taste Learning

    PubMed Central

    Neseliler, Selin; Narayanan, Darshana; Fortis-Santiago, Yaihara; Katz, Donald B.; Birren, Susan J.

    2011-01-01

    Acute inhibition of acetylcholine (ACh) has been shown to impair many forms of simple learning, and notably conditioned taste aversion (CTA). The most adhered-to theory that has emerged as a result of this work – that ACh increases a taste’s perceived novelty, and thereby its associability – would be further strengthened by evidence showing that enhanced cholinergic function improves learning above normal levels. Experimental testing of this corollary hypothesis has been limited, however, by side-effects of pharmacological ACh agonism and by the absence of a model that achieves long-term increases in cholinergic signaling. Here, we present this further test of the ACh hypothesis, making use of mice lacking the p75 pan-neurotrophin receptor gene, which show a resultant over-abundance of cholinergic neurons in sub-regions of the basal forebrain (BF). We first demonstrate that the p75−/− abnormality directly affects portions of the CTA circuit, locating mouse gustatory cortex (GC) using a functional assay and then using immunohistochemisty to demonstrate cholinergic hyper-innervation of GC in the mutant mice – hyper-innervation that is unaccompanied by changes in cell numbers or compensatory changes in muscarinic receptor densities. We then demonstrate that both p75−/− and wild-type (WT) mice learn robust CTAs, which extinguish more slowly in the mutants. Further testing to distinguish effects on learning from alterations in memory retention demonstrate that p75−/− mice do in fact learn stronger CTAs than WT mice. These data provide novel evidence for the hypothesis linking ACh and taste learning. PMID:22144949

  8. Enhancing the Internationalisation of Distance Education in the Biological Sciences: The DUNE Project and Genetic Engineering.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leach, C. K.; And Others

    1997-01-01

    Describes the Distance Educational Network of Europe (DUNE) project that aims at enhancing the development of distance education in an international context. Highlights issues relating to the delivery of distance-learning courses in a transnational forum. Describes the genetic engineering course that aims at explaining the core techniques of…

  9. Enhancing the Internationalisation of Distance Education in the Biological Sciences: The DUNE Project and Genetic Engineering.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leach, C. K.; And Others

    1997-01-01

    Describes the Distance Educational Network of Europe (DUNE) project that aims at enhancing the development of distance education in an international context. Highlights issues relating to the delivery of distance-learning courses in a transnational forum. Describes the genetic engineering course that aims at explaining the core techniques of…

  10. Analyzing and Quantifying the Gain-of-Function Enhancement of IP3 Receptor Gating by Familial Alzheimer’s Disease-Causing Mutants in Presenilins

    PubMed Central

    Mak, Don-On Daniel; Cheung, King-Ho; Toglia, Patrick; Foskett, J. Kevin; Ullah, Ghanim

    2015-01-01

    Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD)-causing mutant presenilins (PS) interact with inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor (IP3R) Ca2+ release channels resulting in enhanced IP3R channel gating in an amyloid beta (Aβ) production-independent manner. This gain-of-function enhancement of IP3R activity is considered to be the main reason behind the upregulation of intracellular Ca2+ signaling in the presence of optimal and suboptimal stimuli and spontaneous Ca2+ signals observed in cells expressing mutant PS. In this paper, we employed computational modeling of single IP3R channel activity records obtained under optimal Ca2+ and multiple IP3 concentrations to gain deeper insights into the enhancement of IP3R function. We found that in addition to the high occupancy of the high-activity (H) mode and the low occupancy of the low-activity (L) mode, IP3R in FAD-causing mutant PS-expressing cells exhibits significantly longer mean life-time for the H mode and shorter life-time for the L mode, leading to shorter mean close-time and hence high open probability of the channel in comparison to IP3R in cells expressing wild-type PS. The model is then used to extrapolate the behavior of the channel to a wide range of IP3 and Ca2+ concentrations and quantify the sensitivity of IP3R to its two ligands. We show that the gain-of-function enhancement is sensitive to both IP3 and Ca2+ and that very small amount of IP3 is required to stimulate IP3R channels in the presence of FAD-causing mutant PS to the same level of activity as channels in control cells stimulated by significantly higher IP3 concentrations. We further demonstrate with simulations that the relatively longer time spent by IP3R in the H mode leads to the observed higher frequency of local Ca2+ signals, which can account for the more frequent global Ca2+ signals observed, while the enhanced activity of the channel at extremely low ligand concentrations will lead to spontaneous Ca2+ signals in cells expressing FAD

  11. A fast-evolving human NPAS3 enhancer gained reporter expression in the developing forebrain of transgenic mice

    PubMed Central

    Kamm, Gretel B.; López-Leal, Rodrigo; Lorenzo, Juan R.; Franchini, Lucía F.

    2013-01-01

    The developmental brain gene NPAS3 stands out as a hot spot in human evolution because it contains the largest number of human-specific, fast-evolving, conserved, non-coding elements. In this paper we studied 2xHAR142, one of these elements that is located in the fifth intron of NPAS3. Using transgenic mice, we show that the mouse and chimp 2xHAR142 orthologues behave as transcriptional enhancers driving expression of the reporter gene lacZ to a similar NPAS3 expression subdomain in the mouse central nervous system. Interestingly, the human 2xHAR142 orthologue drives lacZ expression to an extended expression pattern in the nervous system. Thus, molecular evolution of 2xHAR142 provides the first documented example of human-specific heterotopy in the forebrain promoted by a transcriptional enhancer and suggests that it may have contributed to assemble the unique properties of the human brain. PMID:24218632

  12. Design of analog front-end circuitry with drift removal and gain enhancement for a highly sensitive handheld impedance cytometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talukder, Niloy

    We present a portable system for personalized blood cell counting consisting of a microfluidic impedance cytometer with portable analog readout feeding into an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The novel design of the analog readout, which consists of a lock-in-amplifier followed by a high-pass filter stage for subtraction of drift and DC offset, and a post-subtraction high gain stage, enables detection of particles and cells as small as 1 mum in diameter, despite using a low-end 8 bit ADC. Applications such as personalized health monitoring require robust device operation and resilience to clogging, thus it is desirable to avoid using channels comparable in size to the particles being detected, thus requiring high levels of sensitivity. Despite using low-end off-the-shelf hardware, our sensing platform was capable of detecting changes in impedance as small as 0.032%, allowing detection of 3 mum diameter particles in 300 mum wide channel. The consecutive upward and downward signature of recorded peaks further helps to differentiate the signal from the noise floor. The performance of our system is comparable to that of a high-end bench-top impedance spectrometer under experimental condition. The novel analog design allowed for an instrument with a footprint of less than 80 cm2. The aim of this work was to demonstrate the potential of using microfluidic impedance spectroscopy for low-cost health monitoring. We demonstrated the utility of the platform technology towards cell counting, however our platform is broadly applicable to assaying wide panels of biomarkers including proteins, nucleic acids, and various cell types.

  13. Genetics of slaughter precocity, carcass weight, and carcass weight gain in Chianina, Marchigiana, and Romagnola young bulls under protected geographical indication.

    PubMed

    Sbarra, F; Mantovani, R; Quaglia, A; Bittante, G

    2013-06-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate the heritability and genetic correlation of age at slaughter (AS), as an indicator of slaughter precocity, carcass weight (CW), and CW gain (CWG = CW × AS(-1)) obtained from young bulls of 3 Italian autochthonous beef cattle breeds [i.e., Chianina (CHI), Marchigiana (MAR), and Romagnola (ROM)]. In addition, the study aimed at evaluating the effect of corrected or uncorrected CW for AS, and analyzing the relationship between adjusted or unadjusted CW with CWG in term of changes in rank correlation in groups of sires with high accuracy. Data were obtained from the Consortium of protected geographical indication (PGI) "Vitellone Bianco dell'Appennino Centrale" (i.e., white young bull of Central Apennines), approved by the European Union. After editing, 20,872 complete records were retained for subsequent Bayesian analysis. Univariate animal model produced h(2) estimates of medium value for AS (i.e., from 0.28 for CHI to 0.39 for the ROM breed). The CW presented h(2) estimates less than AS, ranging from 0.13 for CHI to 0.24 for ROM bulls. The adjustment of CW by AS (CWU-AS) increased the h(2) values for CW in all breeds (i.e., from 0.20 to 0.29). Point estimate of genetic correlations between AS and CW obtained by a bivariate analysis were moderate to low, and negative in all breeds (from -0.08 to -0.29). Rerankings of sire for univariate CW (CWU) analysis and CWU-AS were more noticeable for CHI and ROM (rank correlation of 0.875 and 0.897, respectively) than for the MAR breed (rank correlation of 0.967). Comparing bivariate EBV for CW with EBV for CWU or CWU-AS increased rank correlation to 0.937 for ROM, but for CHI it remained lower (i.e., 0.861), indicating a possible large reranking of sires by correcting CW for AS in this breed. Daily CWG presented h(2) estimates greater than CW and similar or greater than AS. It appears to be a good indicator of instant growth rate capacity of the animal but lacking information on the

  14. Integration of deployable fluid lenses and reflectors with endoluminal therapeutic ultrasound applicators: Preliminary investigations of enhanced penetration depth and focal gain.

    PubMed

    Adams, Matthew S; Salgaonkar, Vasant A; Scott, Serena J; Sommer, Graham; Diederich, Chris J

    2017-07-06

    , with greater achievable performance using perfluorocarbon lens fluid. Simulations of a 50 mm balloon OD, 10 mm transducer outer diameter (OD), 1.5 MHz assembly in water resulted in maximum intensity gain of ~170 (focal dimensions: ~12 mm length × 1.4 mm width) at ~5 cm focal depth and focal gains above 100 between 24 and 84 mm depths. A smaller (10 mm balloon OD, 4 mm transducer OD, 1.5 MHz) configuration produced a maximum gain of 6 at 9 mm depth. Compared to a conventional applicator with a fixed spherically focused transducer of 12 mm diameter, focal gain was enhanced at depths beyond 20 mm for assembly configurations with balloon diameters ≥ 20 mm. Hydrophone characterizations of the experimental assembly (31 mm reflector/lens diameter, 4.75 mm transducer radius, 1.7 MHz) illustrated focusing at variable depths between 10-70 mm with a maximum gain of ~60 and demonstrated agreement with theoretical simulations. Biothermal simulations (30 s sonication, 75 °C maximum) indicate that investigated applicator assembly configurations, at 30 mm and 50 mm balloon diameters, could create localized ellipsoidal thermal lesions increasing in size from 10 to 55 mm length × 3-6 mm width in liver tissue as target depth increased from 2 to 10 cm. Preliminary theoretical and experimental analysis demonstrates that combining endoluminal ultrasound with an expandable acoustic reflector and fluid lens assembly can significantly enhance acoustic focal gain and penetration from inherently smaller diameter catheter-based applicators. © 2017 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

  15. Enhanced Bayesian modelling in BAPS software for learning genetic structures of populations.

    PubMed

    Corander, Jukka; Marttinen, Pekka; Sirén, Jukka; Tang, Jing

    2008-12-16

    During the most recent decade many Bayesian statistical models and software for answering questions related to the genetic structure underlying population samples have appeared in the scientific literature. Most of these methods utilize molecular markers for the inferences, while some are also capable of handling DNA sequence data. In a number of earlier works, we have introduced an array of statistical methods for population genetic inference that are implemented in the software BAPS. However, the complexity of biological problems related to genetic structure analysis keeps increasing such that in many cases the current methods may provide either inappropriate or insufficient solutions. We discuss the necessity of enhancing the statistical approaches to face the challenges posed by the ever-increasing amounts of molecular data generated by scientists over a wide range of research areas and introduce an array of new statistical tools implemented in the most recent version of BAPS. With these methods it is possible, e.g., to fit genetic mixture models using user-specified numbers of clusters and to estimate levels of admixture under a genetic linkage model. Also, alleles representing a different ancestry compared to the average observed genomic positions can be tracked for the sampled individuals, and a priori specified hypotheses about genetic population structure can be directly compared using Bayes' theorem. In general, we have improved further the computational characteristics of the algorithms behind the methods implemented in BAPS facilitating the analyses of large and complex datasets. In particular, analysis of a single dataset can now be spread over multiple computers using a script interface to the software. The Bayesian modelling methods introduced in this article represent an array of enhanced tools for learning the genetic structure of populations. Their implementations in the BAPS software are designed to meet the increasing need for analyzing large

  16. Participation in a Year-Long CURE Embedded into Major Core Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology Laboratory Courses Results in Gains in Foundational Biological Concepts and Experimental Design Skills by Novice Undergraduate Researchers†

    PubMed Central

    Peteroy-Kelly, Marcy A.; Marcello, Matthew R.; Crispo, Erika; Buraei, Zafir; Strahs, Daniel; Isaacson, Marisa; Jaworski, Leslie; Lopatto, David; Zuzga, David

    2017-01-01

    This two-year study describes the assessment of student learning gains arising from participation in a year-long curriculum consisting of a classroom undergraduate research experience (CURE) embedded into second-year, major core Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB) laboratory courses. For the first course in our CURE, students used micro-array or RNAseq analyses to identify genes important for environmental stress responses by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The students were tasked with creating overexpressing mutants of their genes and designing their own original experiments to investigate the functions of those genes using the overexpression and null mutants in the second CURE course. In order to evaluate student learning gains, we employed three validated concept inventories in a pretest/posttest format and compared gains on the posttest versus the pretest with student laboratory final grades. Our results demonstrated that there was a significant correlation between students earning lower grades in the Genetics laboratory for both years of this study and gains on the Genetics Concept Assessment (GCA). We also demonstrated a correlation between students earning lower grades in the Genetics laboratory and gains on the Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) for year 1 of the study. Students furthermore demonstrated significant gains in identifying the variable properties of experimental subjects when assessed using the Rubric for Experimental (RED) design tool. Results from the administration of the CURE survey support these findings. Our results suggest that a year-long CURE enables lower performing students to experience greater gains in their foundational skills for success in the STEM disciplines. PMID:28904646

  17. Participation in a Year-Long CURE Embedded into Major Core Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology Laboratory Courses Results in Gains in Foundational Biological Concepts and Experimental Design Skills by Novice Undergraduate Researchers.

    PubMed

    Peteroy-Kelly, Marcy A; Marcello, Matthew R; Crispo, Erika; Buraei, Zafir; Strahs, Daniel; Isaacson, Marisa; Jaworski, Leslie; Lopatto, David; Zuzga, David

    2017-01-01

    This two-year study describes the assessment of student learning gains arising from participation in a year-long curriculum consisting of a classroom undergraduate research experience (CURE) embedded into second-year, major core Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB) laboratory courses. For the first course in our CURE, students used micro-array or RNAseq analyses to identify genes important for environmental stress responses by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The students were tasked with creating overexpressing mutants of their genes and designing their own original experiments to investigate the functions of those genes using the overexpression and null mutants in the second CURE course. In order to evaluate student learning gains, we employed three validated concept inventories in a pretest/posttest format and compared gains on the posttest versus the pretest with student laboratory final grades. Our results demonstrated that there was a significant correlation between students earning lower grades in the Genetics laboratory for both years of this study and gains on the Genetics Concept Assessment (GCA). We also demonstrated a correlation between students earning lower grades in the Genetics laboratory and gains on the Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) for year 1 of the study. Students furthermore demonstrated significant gains in identifying the variable properties of experimental subjects when assessed using the Rubric for Experimental (RED) design tool. Results from the administration of the CURE survey support these findings. Our results suggest that a year-long CURE enables lower performing students to experience greater gains in their foundational skills for success in the STEM disciplines.

  18. Genetic dissection of the α-globin super-enhancer in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Hay, Deborah; Hughes, Jim R.; Rode, Christina; Li, Pik-Shan; Pennacchio, Len A.; Sloane-Stanley, Jacqueline A.; Ayyub, Helena; Butler, Sue; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Gibbons, Richard J.; Smith, Andrew J.H.; Wood, William G.; Higgs, Douglas R.

    2016-01-01

    Many genes determining cell identity are regulated by clusters of mediator-bound enhancer elements collectively referred to as super-enhancers. These have been proposed to manifest higher-order properties important in development and disease. Here, we report a comprehensive functional dissection of one of the strongest putative super-enhancers in erythroid cells. By generating a series of mouse models, deleting each of the five regulatory elements of the α-globin super-enhancer singly and in informative combinations, we demonstrate that each constituent enhancer appears to act independently and in an additive fashion with respect to hematologic phenotype, gene expression, chromatin structure and chromosome conformation, without clear evidence of synergistic or higher-order effects. Our study highlights the importance of functional genetic analyses for the identification of new concepts in transcriptional regulation. PMID:27376235

  19. Spectroscopic characterization of genetically modified flax fibres enhanced with poly-3-hydroxybutyric acid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wróbel-Kwiatkowska, Magdalena; Szopa, Jan; Dymińska, Lucyna; Mączka, Mirosław; Hanuza, Jerzy

    2009-02-01

    Genetically modified flax fibres, derived from transgenic flax with expression of three bacterial genes necessary for synthesis of poly-3-hydroxybutyric acid (PHB), have been analysed. These transgenic flaxes, enhanced with different amount of the PHB, have been studied by FT-IR spectroscopy. The integral intensities of the IR bands have been used for estimation of the chemical content of the normal and transgenic flaxes as well as the differences between the natural and genetically modified flax fibres. The spectroscopic data were compared to those obtained from chemical analysis of flax fibres.

  20. Genetic variants in the mTOR pathway and interaction with body size and weight gain on breast cancer risk in African-American and European American women.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Ting-Yuan David; Shankar, Jyoti; Zirpoli, Gary; Roberts, Michelle R; Hong, Chi-Chen; Bandera, Elisa V; Ambrosone, Christine B; Yao, Song

    2016-08-01

    Positive energy imbalance and growth factors linked to obesity promote the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. As the obesity-breast cancer associations differ between European American (EA) and African-American (AA) women, we investigated genetic variants in the mTOR pathway and breast cancer risk in these two racial groups. We examined 400 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 31 mTOR pathway genes in the Women's Circle of Health Study with 1263 incident breast cancers (645 EA, 618 AA) and 1382 controls (641 EA, 741 AA). Multivariable logistic regression was performed separately within racial groups. Effect modification was assessed for measured body size and weight gain since age 20. In EA women, variants in FRAP1 rs12125777 (intron), PRR5L rs3740958 (synonymous coding), and CDKAL1 rs9368197 (intron) were associated with increased breast cancer risk, while variants in RPTOR rs9900506 (intron) were associated with decreased risk (nominal p-trend for functional and FRAP1 SNPs or p adjusted for correlated test [p ACT] < 0.05). For AA women, variants in RPTOR rs3817293 (intron), PIK3R1 rs7713645 (intron), and CDKAL1 rs9368197 were associated with decreased breast cancer risk. The significance for FRAP1 rs12125777 and RPTOR rs9900506 in EA women did not hold after correction for multiple comparisons. The risk associated with FRAP1 rs12125777 was higher among EAs who had body mass index ≥30 kg/m(2) (odds ratio = 7.69, 95 % CI 2.11-28.0; p-interaction = 0.007) and gained weight ≥35 lb since age 20 (odds ratio = 3.34, 95 % CI 1.42-7.85; p-interaction = 0.021), compared to their counterparts. The mTOR pathway may be involved in breast cancer carcinogenesis differently for EA and AA women.

  1. Technology-enhanced maintenance of treatment gains in eating disorders: efficacy of an intervention delivered via text messaging.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Stephanie; Okon, Eberhard; Meermann, Rolf; Kordy, Hans

    2012-08-01

    Given the lack of maintenance interventions for eating disorders, a program delivered via the short message service (SMS) and text messaging was developed to support patients after their discharge from inpatient treatment. The efficacy of the intervention was studied in a randomized controlled trial. Additionally, its impact on the utilization of outpatient treatment during follow-up was investigated. One hundred sixty-five female patients with bulimia nervosa or a related eating disorder not otherwise specified were randomly assigned to a control group (treatment as usual; TAU) or an intervention group (SMS-based maintenance intervention; SMS). After hospital discharge, participants in the intervention group submitted a weekly symptom report via text message for 16 weeks and received tailored feedback. Primary outcome was the rate of partial remission 8 months after discharge from inpatient treatment. The difference in remission rates reached significance in the intent-to-treat analyses (SMS = 51.2%; TAU = 36.1%), χ²(1) = 3.81, p = .05, and approached significance in the completer analysis (SMS = 59.2%; TAU = 43.5%), χ²(1) = 3.44, p = .06. There were no differences in the utilization of outpatient treatment. Remission rates between the intervention and control groups were not significantly different among patients who used outpatient treatment (63.2% vs. 55.6%), χ²(1) = 0.44, p = .51. A significant difference was found in those who did not utilize such treatment (54.5% vs. 30.3%), χ²(1) = 3.97, p = .046. The aftercare intervention was efficacious in enhancing treatment outcome after discharge from inpatient treatment. © 2012 American Psychological Association

  2. Metamaterials with Gain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, Ortwin

    2012-02-01

    Nanoplasmonic metamaterials are the key to an extreme control of light and allow us to conceive materials with negative or vanishing refractive index. Indeed, metamaterials enable a multitude of exciting and useful applications, such as subwavelength focusing, invisibility cloaking, and ``trapped rainbow'' stopping of light. The realization of these materials has recently advanced from the microwave to the optical regime. However, at optical wavelengths, metamaterials may suffer from high dissipative losses owing to the metallic nature of their constituent nanoplasmonic meta-molecules. It is therefore not surprising that overcoming loss restrictions by gain is currently one of the most important topics in metamaterials' research. At the same time, providing gain on the nanoplasmonic (metamolecular) level opens up exciting new possibilities such as a whole new type of metamaterial nano-laser with a cavity length of about a tenth of the wavelength. The talk gives an overview of the state of the art of gain-enhanced metamaterials. Particular focus will be placed on nano-plasmonic metamaterials (such as double-fishnet metamaterials) with integrated laser dyes as gain medium. The successful compensation of loss by gain is demonstrated on the meta-molecular level. On the basis of a comprehensive, microscopic Maxwell-Bloch Langevin approach of spatio-temporal light amplification and lasing in gain-enhanced nanoplasmonic (negative-index) metamaterials a methodology based on the discrete Poynting's theorem is introduced that allows dynamic tracing of the flow of electromagnetic energy into and out of ``microscopic'' channels (light field, plasmons, gain medium). It is shown that steady-state amplification can be achieved in nanoplasmonic metamaterials. Finally, a complex spatio-temporal interplay of light-field and coherent absorption dynamics is revealed in the lasing dynamics of a nanoplasmonic gain-enhanced double-fishnet metamaterial.

  3. Genetic enhancement in the twenty-first century: three problems in legal imagining.

    PubMed

    Berry, R M

    1999-01-01

    By what method should we resolve the ethical and public policy issues surrounding genetic enhancement: a utilitarian calculus, appeal to Scripture, application of neo-Kantian principles? In this Article, the author claims that, despite the diversity of our basic methodological commitments, we can advance our shared understanding of the issues surrounding genetic enhancement and come to agree upon certain central features as essential to any adequate method for resolving those issues. The author attempts to make modest headway on both fronts by engaging in "legal imagining." Legal imagining consists of examining hypothetical problems from the lawyer's perspective, the perspective of a caring, professional friend. This Article examines and discusses three problems in legal imagining.

  4. Performance enhancement for crystallization unit of a sugar plant using genetic algorithm technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tewari, P. C.; Khanduja, Rajiv; Gupta, Mahesh

    2012-05-01

    This paper deals with the performance enhancement for crystallization unit of a sugar plant using genetic algorithm. The crystallization unit of a sugar industry has three main subsystems arranged in series. Considering exponential distribution for the probable failures and repairs, the mathematical formulation of the problem is done using probabilistic approach, and differential equations are developed on the basis of Markov birth-death process. These equations are then solved using normalizing conditions so as to determine the steady-state availability of the crystallization unit. The performance of each subsystem of crystallization unit in a sugar plant has also been optimized using genetic algorithm. Thus, the findings of the present paper will be highly useful to the plant management for the timely execution of proper maintenance decisions and, hence, to enhance the system performance.

  5. Generating isolated terawatt-attosecond x-ray pulses via a chirped-laser-enhanced high-gain free-electron laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhen; Feng, Chao; Zhao, Zhentang

    2017-04-01

    A feasible method is proposed to generate isolated attosecond terawatt x-ray radiation pulses in high-gain free-electron lasers. In the proposed scheme, a frequency chirped laser pulse is employed to generate a gradually varied spacing current enhancement of the electron beam, and a series of spatiotemporal shifters are applied between the undulator sections to amplify a chosen ultrashort radiation pulse from self-amplified spontaneous emission. Three-dimensional start-to-end simulations have been carried out, and the calculation results demonstrated that 0.15 nm x-ray pulses with a peak power over 1 TW and a duration of several tens of attoseconds could be achieved by using the proposed technique.

  6. Genetic diversity enhanced by ancient introgression and secondary contact in East Pacific black mangroves.

    PubMed

    Nettel, Alejandro; Dodd, Richard S; Afzal-Rafii, Zara; Tovilla-Hernández, Cristian

    2008-06-01

    Regional distribution of genetic diversity in widespread species may be influenced by hybridization with locally restricted, closely related species. Previous studies have shown that Central American East Pacific populations of the wide-ranged Avicennia germinans, the black mangrove, harbour higher genetic diversity than the rest of its range. Genetic diversity in this region might be enhanced by introgression with the locally restricted Avicennia bicolor. We tested the hypotheses of ancient hybridization using phylogenetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA and intergenic chloroplast DNA; we also tested for current hybridization by population level analysis of nuclear microsatellites. Our results unveiled ancient ITS introgression between a northern Pacific Central American A. germinans lineage and A. bicolor. However, microsatellite data revealed contemporary isolation between the two species. Polymorphic ITS sequences from Costa Rica and Panama are consistent with a zone of admixture between the introgressant ITS A. germinans lineage and a southern Central American lineage of A. germinans. Interspecific introgression influenced lineage diversity and divergence at the nuclear ribosomal DNA; intraspecific population differentiation and secondary contact are more likely to have enhanced regional genetic diversity in Pacific Central American populations of the widespread A. germinans.

  7. Genetic enhancement, social justice, and welfare-oriented patterns of distribution.

    PubMed

    Etieyibo, Edwin

    2012-07-01

    The debate over the host of moral issues that genetic enhancement technology (GET) raises has been significant. One argument that has been advanced to impugn its moral legitimacy is the 'unfair advantage argument' (UAA), which states: allowing access to GET to be determined by socio-economic status would lead to unjust outcomes, namely, create a genetic caste system, and with it the exacerbation and perpetuation of existing socio-economic inequalities. Fritz Allhoff has recently objected to the argument, the kernel of which is that it conflates the use of the technology with its distribution. GET, he argues, would generate unjust outcomes only if it is distributed according to principles of an unjust pattern of distribution; for if we can determine what constitutes a 'just' distributive scheme, then the technology can be allocated according to the principles of that scheme. In this paper I argue the following cluster of related claims: (1) both UAA and Allhoff's proposed distributive schemes ignore the importance of non-genetic factors in the development of an individual's characteristics and capacities; (2) if we accept the view that it is good to prevent unjust outcomes that arise because some have exclusive access to GET, then we have to accept wide-ranging distributive schemes; (3) by tracking genetic and non-genetic factors wide-ranging schemes do violate in some sense the widely shared value of neutrality in liberal democracies. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Enhanced biofilm formation and multi-host transmission evolve from divergent genetic backgrounds in Campylobacter jejuni.

    PubMed

    Pascoe, Ben; Méric, Guillaume; Murray, Susan; Yahara, Koji; Mageiros, Leonardos; Bowen, Ryan; Jones, Nathan H; Jeeves, Rose E; Lappin-Scott, Hilary M; Asakura, Hiroshi; Sheppard, Samuel K

    2015-11-01

    Multicellular biofilms are an ancient bacterial adaptation that offers a protective environment for survival in hostile habitats. In microaerophilic organisms such as Campylobacter, biofilms play a key role in transmission to humans as the bacteria are exposed to atmospheric oxygen concentrations when leaving the reservoir host gut. Genetic determinants of biofilm formation differ between species, but little is known about how strains of the same species achieve the biofilm phenotype with different genetic backgrounds. Our approach combines genome-wide association studies with traditional microbiology techniques to investigate the genetic basis of biofilm formation in 102 Campylobacter jejuni isolates. We quantified biofilm formation among the isolates and identified hotspots of genetic variation in homologous sequences that correspond to variation in biofilm phenotypes. Thirteen genes demonstrated a statistically robust association including those involved in adhesion, motility, glycosylation, capsule production and oxidative stress. The genes associated with biofilm formation were different in the host generalist ST-21 and ST-45 clonal complexes, which are frequently isolated from multiple host species and clinical samples. This suggests the evolution of enhanced biofilm from different genetic backgrounds and a possible role in colonization of multiple hosts and transmission to humans.

  9. GENETICS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY: Gain and loss of function mutations of the calcium-sensing receptor and associated proteins: current treatment concepts.

    PubMed

    Mayr, Bernhard; Schnabel, Dirk; Dörr, Helmuth-Günther; Schöfl, Christof

    2016-05-01

    The calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) is the main calcium sensor in the maintenance of calcium metabolism. Mutations of the CASR, the G protein alpha 11 (GNA11) and the adaptor-related protein complex 2 sigma 1 subunit (AP2S1) genes can shift the set point for calcium sensing causing hyper- or hypo-calcemic disorders. Therapeutic concepts for these rare diseases range from general therapies of hyper- and hypo-calcemic conditions to more pathophysiology oriented approaches such as parathyroid hormone (PTH) substitution and allosteric CASR modulators. Cinacalcet is a calcimimetic that enhances receptor function and has gained approval for the treatment of hyperparathyroidism. Calcilytics in turn attenuate CASR activity and are currently under investigation for the treatment of various diseases. We conducted a literature search for reports about treatment of patients harboring inactivating or activating CASR, GNA11 or AP2S1 mutants and about in vitro effects of allosteric CASR modulators on mutated CASR. The therapeutic concepts for patients with familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (FHH), neonatal hyperparathyroidism (NHPT), neonatal severe hyperparathyroidism (NSHPT) and autosomal dominant hypocalcemia (ADH) are reviewed. FHH is usually benign, but symptomatic patients benefit from cinacalcet. In NSHPT patients pamidronate effectively lowers serum calcium, but most patients require parathyroidectomy. In some patients cinacalcet can obviate the need for surgery, particularly in heterozygous NHPT. Symptomatic ADH patients respond to vitamin D and calcium supplementation but this may increase calciuria and renal complications. PTH treatment can reduce relative hypercalciuria. None of the currently available therapies for ADH, however, prevent tissue calcifications and complications, which may become possible with calcilytics that correct the underlying pathophysiologic defect. © 2016 European Society of Endocrinology.

  10. Enhancement of myocardial regeneration through genetic engineering of cardiac progenitor cells expressing Pim-1 kinase.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Kimberlee M; Cottage, Christopher T; Wu, Weitao; Din, Shabana; Gude, Natalie A; Avitabile, Daniele; Quijada, Pearl; Collins, Brett L; Fransioli, Jenna; Sussman, Mark A

    2009-11-24

    Despite numerous studies demonstrating the efficacy of cellular adoptive transfer for therapeutic myocardial regeneration, problems remain for donated cells with regard to survival, persistence, engraftment, and long-term benefits. This study redresses these concerns by enhancing the regenerative potential of adoptively transferred cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) via genetic engineering to overexpress Pim-1, a cardioprotective kinase that enhances cell survival and proliferation. Intramyocardial injections of CPCs overexpressing Pim-1 were given to infarcted female mice. Animals were monitored over 4, 12, and 32 weeks to assess cardiac function and engraftment of Pim-1 CPCs with echocardiography, in vivo hemodynamics, and confocal imagery. CPCs overexpressing Pim-1 showed increased proliferation and expression of markers consistent with cardiogenic lineage commitment after dexamethasone exposure in vitro. Animals that received CPCs overexpressing Pim-1 also produced greater levels of cellular engraftment, persistence, and functional improvement relative to control CPCs up to 32 weeks after delivery. Salutary effects include reduction of infarct size, greater number of c-kit(+) cells, and increased vasculature in the damaged region. Myocardial repair is significantly enhanced by genetic engineering of CPCs with Pim-1 kinase. Ex vivo gene delivery to enhance cellular survival, proliferation, and regeneration may overcome current limitations of stem cell-based therapeutic approaches.

  11. Giant enhancement of optical high-order sideband generation and their control in a dimer of two cavities with gain and loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jiahui; Li, Jiahua; Xiao, Qian; Wu, Ying

    2016-06-01

    Parity-time (PT ) symmetric systems, which rely on the balanced gain-loss condition and render the Hamiltonian non-Hermitian, have provided a new platform to engineer effective light-matter interactions in recent years. Here we explore the high-order sideband features of the output fields obtained from a PT -symmetric optical system consisting of a passive nonlinear cavity coupled to an active linear cavity. By employing a perturbation technique, we derive analytic formulas used to determine the nonlinear transmission coefficient of optical second-order sideband in this structure. Using experimentally achievable parameters, it is clearly shown that the efficiency of the second-order sideband generation can be greatly enhanced in the PT -symmetric dimer, extremely in the vicinity of the transition point from unbroken- to broken-PT regimes. Moreover, we further analyzed the influences of the system parameters, including the photon-tunneling rate between two cavities, Kerr nonlinearity strength, and optical detuning, on the second-order sideband generation. Subsequently we investigate the higher-order sideband output spectrum by numerical simulations, where the sideband amplitude also is largely enhanced in the PT -symmetric arrangement, compared with the passive-passive double-cavity system. Our obtained results provide a new avenue for acquiring optical high-order sidebands and operating light, which may inspire further applications in chip-scale optical communications and optical frequency combs.

  12. Enhanced vascularization of cultured skin substitutes genetically modified to overexpress vascular endothelial growth factor.

    PubMed

    Supp, D M; Supp, A P; Bell, S M; Boyce, S T

    2000-01-01

    Cultured skin substitutes have been used as adjunctive therapies in the treatment of burns and chronic wounds, but they are limited by lack of a vascular plexus. This deficiency leads to greater time for vascularization compared with native skin autografts and contributes to graft failure. Genetic modification of cultured skin substitutes to enhance vascularization could hypothetically lead to improved wound healing. To address this hypothesis, human keratinocytes were genetically modified by transduction with a replication incompetent retrovirus to overexpress vascular endothelial growth factor, a specific and potent mitogen for endothelial cells. Cultured skin substitutes consisting of collagen-glycosaminoglycan substrates inoculated with human fibroblasts and either vascular endothelial growth factor-modified or control keratinocytes were prepared, and were cultured in vitro for 21 d. Northern blot analysis demonstrated enhanced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA in genetically modified keratinocytes and in cultured skin substitutes prepared with modified cells. Furthermore, the vascular endothelial growth factor-modified cultured skin substitutes secreted greatly elevated levels of vascular endothelial growth factor protein throughout the entire culture period. The bioactivity of vascular endothelial growth factor protein secreted by the genetically modified cultured skin substitutes was demonstrated using a microvascular endothelial cell growth assay. Vascular endothelial growth factor-modified and control cultured skin substitutes were grafted to full-thickness wounds on athymic mice, and elevated vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA expression was detected in the modified grafts for at least 2 wk after surgery. Vascular endothelial growth factor-modified grafts exhibited increased numbers of dermal blood vessels and decreased time to vascularization compared with controls. These results indicate that genetic modification of

  13. Genetics

    MedlinePlus

    ... Inheritance; Heterozygous; Inheritance patterns; Heredity and disease; Heritable; Genetic markers ... The chromosomes are made up of strands of genetic information called DNA. Each chromosome contains sections of ...

  14. The genetics of Tamarix

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Genetic studies have helped us gain basic knowledge of the Tamarix invasion. We now have a better understanding of the species identities involved in the invasion, their evolutionary relationships, and the contribution of hybridization to the invasion. This information can be used to enhance the eff...

  15. Genetic diversity enhances the resistance of a seagrass ecosystem to disturbance.

    PubMed

    Hughes, A Randall; Stachowicz, John J

    2004-06-15

    Motivated by recent global reductions in biodiversity, empirical and theoretical research suggests that more species-rich systems exhibit enhanced productivity, nutrient cycling, or resistance to disturbance or invasion relative to systems with fewer species. In contrast, few data are available to assess the potential ecosystem-level importance of genetic diversity within species known to play a major functional role. Using a manipulative field experiment, we show that increasing genotypic diversity in a habitat-forming species (the seagrass Zostera marina) enhances community resistance to disturbance by grazing geese. The time required for recovery to near predisturbance densities also decreases with increasing eelgrass genotypic diversity. However, there is no effect of diversity on resilience, measured as the rate of shoot recovery after the disturbance, suggesting that more rapid recovery in diverse plots is due solely to differences in disturbance resistance. Genotypic diversity did not affect ecosystem processes in the absence of disturbance. Thus, our results suggest that genetic diversity, like species diversity, may be most important for enhancing the consistency and reliability of ecosystems by providing biological insurance against environmental change.

  16. A review of genetic engineering biotechnologies for enhanced chronic wound healing.

    PubMed

    Sessions, John W; Armstrong, David G; Hope, Sandra; Jensen, Brian D

    2017-02-01

    Traditional methods for addressing chronic wounds focus on correcting dysfunction by controlling extracellular elements. This review highlights technologies that take a different approach - enhancing chronic wound healing by genetic modification to wound beds. Featured cutaneous transduction/transfection methods include viral modalities (ie adenoviruses, adeno-associated viruses, retroviruses and lentiviruses) and conventional non-viral modalities (ie naked DNA injections, microseeding, liposomal reagents, particle bombardment and electroporation). Also explored are emerging technologies, focusing on the exciting capabilities of wound diagnostics such as pyrosequencing as well as site-specific nuclease editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9 used to both transiently and permanently genetically modify resident wound bed cells. Additionally, new non-viral transfection methods (ie conjugated nanoparticles, multi-electrode arrays, and microfabricated needles and nanowires) are discussed that can potentially facilitate more efficient and safe transgene delivery to skin but also represent significant advances broadly to tissue regeneration research.

  17. Wild Help for Enhancing Genetic Resistance in Lentil Against Fungal Diseases.

    PubMed

    Bhadauria, Vijai; Wong, Melissa M L; Bett, Kirstin E; Banniza, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Lentil (Lens culinaris) is one of the cool season grain legume crops and an important source of dietary proteins and fibre. Fungal diseases are main constraints to lentil production and account for significant yield and quality losses. Lentil has a narrow genetic base presumably due to a bottleneck during domestication and as a result, any resistance to fungal diseases in the cultivated genepool is gradually eroded and overcome by pathogens. New sources of resistance have been identified in wild lentil (Lens ervoides). This article provides an overview of harnessing resistance potential of wild germplasm to enhance genetic resistance in lentil cultivars using next-generation sequencing-based genotyping, comparative genomics and marker-assisted selection breeding.

  18. Genetic or pharmacological reduction of PERK enhances cortical-dependent taste learning.

    PubMed

    Ounallah-Saad, Hadile; Sharma, Vijendra; Edry, Efrat; Rosenblum, Kobi

    2014-10-29

    Protein translation initiation is controlled by levels of eIF2α phosphorylation (p-eIF2α) on Ser51. In addition, increased p-eIF2α levels impair long-term synaptic plasticity and memory consolidation, whereas decreased levels enhance them. Levels of p-eIF2α are determined by four kinases, of which protein kinase RNA-activated (PKR), PKR-like endoplastic reticulum kinase (PERK), and general control nonderepressible 2 are extensively expressed in the mammalian mature brain. Following identification of PERK as the major kinase to determine basal levels of p-eIF2α in primary neuronal cultures, we tested its function as a physiological constraint of memory consolidation in the cortex, the brain structure suggested to store, at least in part, long-term memories in the mammalian brain. To that aim, insular cortex (IC)-dependent positive and negative forms of taste learning were used. Genetic reduction of PERK expression was accomplished by local microinfusion of a lentivirus harboring PERK Short hairpin RNA, and pharmacological inhibition was achieved by local microinfusion of a PERK-specific inhibitor (GSK2606414) to the rat IC. Both genetic reduction of PERK expression and pharmacological inhibition of its activity reduced p-eIF2α levels and enhanced novel taste learning and conditioned taste aversion, but not memory retrieval. Moreover, enhanced extinction was observed together with enhanced associative memory, suggesting increased cortical-dependent behavioral plasticity. The results suggest that, by phosphorylating eIF2α, PERK functions in the cortex as a physiological constraint of memory consolidation, and its downregulation serves as cognitive enhancement.

  19. A Method to Exploit the Structure of Genetic Ancestry Space to Enhance Case-Control Studies.

    PubMed

    Bodea, Corneliu A; Neale, Benjamin M; Ripke, Stephan; Daly, Mark J; Devlin, Bernie; Roeder, Kathryn

    2016-05-05

    One goal of human genetics is to understand the genetic basis of disease, a challenge for diseases of complex inheritance because risk alleles are few relative to the vast set of benign variants. Risk variants are often sought by association studies in which allele frequencies in case subjects are contrasted with those from population-based samples used as control subjects. In an ideal world we would know population-level allele frequencies, releasing researchers to focus on case subjects. We argue this ideal is possible, at least theoretically, and we outline a path to achieving it in reality. If such a resource were to exist, it would yield ample savings and would facilitate the effective use of data repositories by removing administrative and technical barriers. We call this concept the Universal Control Repository Network (UNICORN), a means to perform association analyses without necessitating direct access to individual-level control data. Our approach to UNICORN uses existing genetic resources and various statistical tools to analyze these data, including hierarchical clustering with spectral analysis of ancestry; and empirical Bayesian analysis along with Gaussian spatial processes to estimate ancestry-specific allele frequencies. We demonstrate our approach using tens of thousands of control subjects from studies of Crohn disease, showing how it controls false positives, provides power similar to that achieved when all control data are directly accessible, and enhances power when control data are limiting or even imperfectly matched ancestrally. These results highlight how UNICORN can enable reliable, powerful, and convenient genetic association analyses without access to the individual-level data. Copyright © 2016 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The genetic basis for the selection of dairy goats with enhanced resistance to gastrointestinal nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Heckendorn, Felix; Bieber, Anna; Werne, Steffen; Saratsis, Anastasios; Maurer, Veronika; Stricker, Chris

    2017-01-01

    Gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) severely affect small ruminant production worldwide. Increasing problems of anthelmintic resistance have given strong impetus to the search for alternative strategies to control GIN. Selection of animals with an enhanced resistance to GIN has been shown to be successful in sheep. In goats, the corresponding information is comparatively poor. Therefore, the present study was designed to provide reliable data on heritabilities of and genetic correlations between phenotypic traits linked to GIN and milk yield in two major dairy goat breeds (Alpine and Saanen). In all, 20 herds totalling 1303 goats were enrolled in the study. All herds had (i) a history of gastrointestinal nematode infection, (ii) uniform GIN exposure on pasture and (iii) regular milk recordings. For all goats, individual recordings of faecal egg counts (FEC), FAMACHA© eye score, packed cell volume (PCV) and milk yield were performed twice a year with an anthelmintic treatment in between. The collected phenotypic data were multivariately modelled using animal as a random effect with its covariance structure inferred from the pedigree, enabling estimation of the heritabilities of the respective traits and the genetic correlation between them. The heritabilities of FEC, FAMACHA© and PCV were 0.07, 0.22 and 0.22, respectively. The genetic correlation between FEC and FAMACHA© was close to zero and −0.41 between FEC and PCV. The phenotypic correlation between FEC and milk yield was close to zero, whereas the genetic correlation was 0.49. Our data suggest low heritability of FEC in Saanen and Alpine goats and an unfavourable genetic correlation of FEC with milk yield. PMID:28792887

  1. Dilute nitride resonant cavity enhanced photodetector with internal gain for the λ ∼ 1.3 μm optical communications window

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balkan, N.; Erol, A.; Sarcan, F.; Al-Ghuraibawi, L. F. F.; Nordin, M. S.

    2015-10-01

    We report on a novel dilute nitride-based resonant cavity enhanced photodetector (RCEPD) operating at 1.286 μm. The RCEPD was fabricated using 21 pairs top and 24 pairs bottom GaAs/AlGaAs distributed Bragg reflectors for mirrors and 7 nm thick nine GaAs/Ga0.65In0.35N0.02 As0.98 quantum wells as the absorption region. For a 15 μm diameter window, the photocurrent at 1.286 μm is 27 μA and 42 μA, at V = 0 and -1 V, respectively, whereas the dark current is as low as 1.7 nA at -1 V. At the operating wavelength, an excellent wavelength selectivity with a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 5 nm, and a high quantum efficiency of 43% are demonstrated. The device exhibits significant internal gain at very small reverse bias voltages of V ⩾ -2 V with an overall quantum efficiency of 67%. These are the best ever recorded values for a dilute nitride RCEPD.

  2. Enhancing Neurobehavioral Gains with the Aid of Games and Exercise (ENGAGE): Initial open trial of a novel early intervention fostering the development of preschoolers' self-regulation.

    PubMed

    Healey, Dione M; Halperin, Jeffrey M

    2015-01-01

    Poor self-regulation during the preschool years predicts a wide array of adverse adult outcomes and, as such, is an important treatment target. We assessed the efficacy of a novel early intervention aimed at fostering the development of preschoolers' self-regulation. Enhancing Neurobehavioral Gains with the Aid of Games and Exercise (ENGAGE) involves parents and children playing a wide range of games targeting self-regulation on a daily basis over a 5-week period. Twenty-five New Zealand families, in whom parents identified their children as difficult to manage, took part in this study. Parent hyperactivity, aggression, and attention problems ratings on the BASC-2 were used to assess improvements in behavioral self-regulation, and subtests of the Stanford Binet-5 and NEPSY-2 were used to assess improvements in cognitive control. Improvements in parent-rated hyperactivity, aggression, and attention problems were maintained throughout the 12-month follow-up. In addition, improvements were found in two neurocognitive areas associated with self-regulation. While more rigorous randomized controlled trials are necessary, ENGAGE shows promise as a novel intervention for developing self-regulation in at-risk preschoolers.

  3. Dietary and genetic obesity promote liver inflammation and tumorigenesis by enhancing IL-6 and TNF expression.

    PubMed

    Park, Eek Joong; Lee, Jun Hee; Yu, Guann-Yi; He, Guobin; Ali, Syed Raza; Holzer, Ryan G; Osterreicher, Christoph H; Takahashi, Hiroyuki; Karin, Michael

    2010-01-22

    Epidemiological studies indicate that overweight and obesity are associated with increased cancer risk. To study how obesity augments cancer risk and development, we focused on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the common form of liver cancer whose occurrence and progression are the most strongly affected by obesity among all cancers. We now demonstrate that either dietary or genetic obesity is a potent bona fide liver tumor promoter in mice. Obesity-promoted HCC development was dependent on enhanced production of the tumor-promoting cytokines IL-6 and TNF, which cause hepatic inflammation and activation of the oncogenic transcription factor STAT3. The chronic inflammatory response caused by obesity and enhanced production of IL-6 and TNF may also increase the risk of other cancers. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Dietary and genetic obesity promote liver inflammation and tumorigenesis by enhancing IL-6 and TNF expression

    PubMed Central

    Park, Eek Joong; Lee, Jun Hee; Yu, Guann-Yi; He, Guobin; Ali, Syed Raza; Holzer, Ryan G; Österreicher, Christoph H.; Takahashi, Hiroyuki; Karin, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Summary Epidemiological studies indicate that overweight and obesity are associated with increased cancer risk. To study how obesity augments cancer risk and development, we focused on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the common form of liver cancer whose occurrence and progression are the most strongly affected by obesity amongst all cancers. We now demonstrate that either dietary or genetic obesity is a potent bona fide liver tumor promoter in mice. Obesity-promoted HCC development was dependent on enhanced production of the tumor promoting cytokines IL-6 and TNF, which cause hepatic inflammation and activation of the oncogenic transcription factor STAT3. The chronic inflammatory response caused by obesity and enhanced production of IL-6 and TNF may also increase the risk of other cancers. PMID:20141834

  5. A genetic dissection of breed composition and performance enhancement in the Alaskan sled dog

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Alaskan sled dog offers a rare opportunity to investigate the development of a dog breed based solely on performance, rather than appearance, thus setting the breed apart from most others. Several established breeds, many of which are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), have been introduced into the sled dog population to enhance racing performance. We have used molecular methods to ascertain the constitutive breeds used to develop successful sled dog lines, and in doing so, determined the breed origins of specific performance-related behaviors. One hundred and ninety-nine Alaskan sled dogs were genotyped using 96 microsatellite markers that span the canine genome. These data were compared to that from 141 similarly genotyped purebred dog breeds. Sled dogs were evaluated for breed composition based on a variety of performance phenotypes including speed, endurance and work ethic, and the data stratified based on population structure. Results We observe that the Alaskan sled dog has a unique molecular signature and that the genetic profile is sufficient for identifying dogs bred for sprint versus distance. When evaluating contributions of existing breeds we find that the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky contributions are associated with enhanced endurance; Pointer and Saluki are associated with enhanced speed and the Anatolian Shepherd demonstrates a positive influence on work ethic. Conclusion We have established a genetic breed profile for the Alaskan sled dog, identified profile variance between sprint and distance dogs, and established breeds associated with enhanced performance attributes. These data set the stage for mapping studies aimed at finding genes that are associated with athletic attributes integral to the high performing Alaskan sled dog. PMID:20649949

  6. Genetic conjugation of components in two pneumococcal fusion protein vaccines enhances paediatric mucosal immune responses.

    PubMed

    Pope, Caroline; Oliver, Elizabeth H; Ma, Jiangtao; Langton Hewer, Claire; Mitchell, Tim J; Finn, Adam

    2015-03-30

    Streptococcus pneumoniae colonises the upper respiratory tract and can cause pneumonia, meningitis and otitis media. Existing pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are expensive to produce and only protect against 13 of the 90+ pneumococcal serotypes; hence there is an urgent need for the development of new vaccines. We have shown previously in mice that pneumolysin (Ply) and a non-toxic variant (Δ6Ply) enhance antibody responses when genetically fused to pneumococcal surface adhesin A (PsaA), a potentially valuable effect for future vaccines. We investigated this adjuvanticity in human paediatric mucosal primary immune cell cultures. Adenoidal mononuclear cells (AMNC) from children aged 0-15 years (n=46) were stimulated with conjugated, admixed or individual proteins, cell viability and CD4+ T-cell proliferative responses were assessed using flow cytometry and cytokine secretion was measured using multiplex technology. Proliferation of CD4+ T-cells in response to PsaAPly, was significantly higher than responses to individual or admixed proteins (p=0.002). In contrast, an enhanced response to PsaAΔ6Ply compared to individual or admixed proteins only occurred at higher concentrations (p<0.01). Evaluation of cytotoxicity suggested that responses occurred when Ply-induced cytolysis was inhibited, either by fusion or mutation, but importantly an additional toxicity independent immune enhancing effect was also apparent as a result of fusion. Responses were MHC class II dependent and had a Th1/Th17 profile. Genetic fusion of Δ6Ply to PsaA significantly modulates and enhances pro-inflammatory CD4+ T-cell responses without the cytolytic effects of some other pneumolysoids. Membrane binding activity of such proteins may confer valuable adjuvant properties as fusion may assist Δ6Ply to deliver PsaA to the APC surface effectively, contributing to the initiation of anti-pneumococcal CD4+ T-cell immunity.

  7. Owning genetic information and gene enhancement techniques: why privacy and property rights may undermine social control of the human genome.

    PubMed

    Moore, A D

    2000-04-01

    In this article I argue that the proper subjects of intangible property claims include medical records, genetic profiles, and gene enhancement techniques. Coupled with a right to privacy these intangible property rights allow individuals a zone of control that will, in most cases, justifiably exclude governmental or societal invasions into private domains. I argue that the threshold for overriding privacy rights and intangible property rights is higher, in relation to genetic enhancement techniques and sensitive personal information, than is commonly suggested. Once the bar is raised, so-to-speak, the burden of overriding it is formidable. Thus many policy decisions that have been recently proposed or enacted--citywide audio and video surveillance, law enforcement DNA sweeps, genetic profiling, national bans on genetic testing and enhancement of humans, to name a few--will have to be backed by very strong arguments.

  8. Genetic engineering of crops: a ray of hope for enhanced food security.

    PubMed

    Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Gill, Ritu; Tuteja, Renu; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-01-01

    Crop improvement has been a basic and essential chase since organized cultivation of crops began thousands of years ago. Abiotic stresses as a whole are regarded as the crucial factors restricting the plant species to reach their full genetic potential to deliver desired productivity. The changing global climatic conditions are making them worse and pointing toward food insecurity. Agriculture biotechnology or genetic engineering has allowed us to look into and understand the complex nature of abiotic stresses and measures to improve the crop productivity under adverse conditions. Various candidate genes have been identified and transformed in model plants as well as agriculturally important crop plants to develop abiotic stress-tolerant plants for crop improvement. The views presented here are an attempt toward realizing the potential of genetic engineering for improving crops to better tolerate abiotic stresses in the era of climate change, which is now essential for global food security. There is great urgency in speeding up crop improvement programs that can use modern biotechnological tools in addition to current breeding practices for providing enhanced food security.

  9. Genetic modification of plant cell walls to enhance biomass yield and biofuel production in bioenergy crops.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanting; Fan, Chunfen; Hu, Huizhen; Li, Ying; Sun, Dan; Wang, Youmei; Peng, Liangcai

    2016-01-01

    Plant cell walls represent an enormous biomass resource for the generation of biofuels and chemicals. As lignocellulose property principally determines biomass recalcitrance, the genetic modification of plant cell walls has been posed as a powerful solution. Here, we review recent progress in understanding the effects of distinct cell wall polymers (cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, pectin, wall proteins) on the enzymatic digestibility of biomass under various physical and chemical pretreatments in herbaceous grasses, major agronomic crops and fast-growing trees. We also compare the main factors of wall polymer features, including cellulose crystallinity (CrI), hemicellulosic Xyl/Ara ratio, monolignol proportion and uronic acid level. Furthermore, the review presents the main gene candidates, such as CesA, GH9, GH10, GT61, GT43 etc., for potential genetic cell wall modification towards enhancing both biomass yield and enzymatic saccharification in genetic mutants and transgenic plants. Regarding cell wall modification, it proposes a novel groove-like cell wall model that highlights to increase amorphous regions (density and depth) of the native cellulose microfibrils, providing a general strategy for bioenergy crop breeding and biofuel processing technology.

  10. Genetic Enhancement of the Ability to Tolerate Photoinhibition by Introduction of Unsaturated Bonds into Membrane Glycerolipids.

    PubMed Central

    Gombos, Z.; Kanervo, E.; Tsvetkova, N.; Sakamoto, T.; Aro, E. M.; Murata, N.

    1997-01-01

    Strong light leads to damage to photosynthetic machinery, particularly at low temperatures, and the main site of the damage is the D1 protein of the photosystem II (PSII) complex. Here we describe that transformation of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 with the desA gene for a [delta]12 desaturase increased unsaturation of membrane lipids and enhanced tolerance to strong light. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the successful genetic enhancement of tolerance to strong light. Analysis of the light-induced inactivation and of the subsequent recovery of the activity of the PSII complex revealed that the recovery process was markedly accelerated by the genetic transformation. Labeling experiments with [35S]L-methionine also revealed that the synthesis of the D1 protein de novo at low temperature, which was a prerequisite for the restoration of the PSII complex, was much faster in the transformed cells than in the wild-type cells. These findings demonstrate that the ability of membrane lipids to desaturate fatty acids is important for the photosynthetic organisms to tolerate strong light, by accelerating the synthesis of the D1 protein de novo. PMID:12223823

  11. Genetic or pharmacological blockade of noradrenaline synthesis enhances the neurochemical, behavioural, and neurotoxic effects of methamphetamine

    PubMed Central

    Weinshenker, David; Ferrucci, Michela; Busceti, Carla L.; Biagioni, Francesca; Lazzeri, Gloria; Liles, L. Cameron; Lenzi, Paola; Murri, Luigi; Paparelli, Antonio; Fornai, Francesco

    2008-01-01

    N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP-4) lesions of the locus coeruleus (LC), the major brain noradrenergic nucleus, exacerbate the damage to nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) terminals caused by the psychostimulant methamphetamine (METH). However, because noradrenergic terminals contain other neuromodulators and the noradrenaline (NA) transporter, which may act as a neuroprotective buffer, it was unclear whether this enhancement of METH neurotoxicity was caused by the loss of noradrenergic innervation or the loss of NA itself. We addressed the specific role of NA by comparing the effects of METH in mice with noradrenergic lesions (DSP-4) and those with intact noradrenergic terminals but specifically lacking NA (genetic or acute pharmacological blockade of the NA biosynthetic enzyme dopamine β-hydroxylase; DBH). We found that genetic deletion of DBH (DBH −/− mice) and acute treatment of wild-type mice with a DBH inhibitor (fusaric acid) recapitulated the effects of DSP-4 lesions on METH responses. All three methods of NA depletion enhanced striatal DA release, extracellular oxidative stress (as measured by in vivo microdialysis of DA and 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid), and behavioural stereotypies following repeated METH administration. These effects accompanied a worsening of the striatal DA neuron terminal damage and ultrastructural changes to medium spiny neurons. We conclude that NA itself is neuroprotective and plays a fundamental role in the sensitivity of striatal DA terminals to the neurochemical, behavioural, and neurotoxic effects of METH. PMID:18042179

  12. Genetically Engineered Alginate Lyase-PEG Conjugates Exhibit Enhanced Catalytic Function and Reduced Immunoreactivity

    PubMed Central

    Lamppa, John W.; Ackerman, Margaret E.; Lai, Jennifer I.; Scanlon, Thomas C.; Griswold, Karl E.

    2011-01-01

    Alginate lyase enzymes represent prospective biotherapeutic agents for treating bacterial infections, particularly in the cystic fibrosis airway. To effectively deimmunize one therapeutic candidate while maintaining high level catalytic proficiency, a combined genetic engineering-PEGylation strategy was implemented. Rationally designed, site-specific PEGylation variants were constructed by orthogonal maleimide-thiol coupling chemistry. In contrast to random PEGylation of the enzyme by NHS-ester mediated chemistry, controlled mono-PEGylation of A1-III alginate lyase produced a conjugate that maintained wild type levels of activity towards a model substrate. Significantly, the PEGylated variant exhibited enhanced solution phase kinetics with bacterial alginate, the ultimate therapeutic target. The immunoreactivity of the PEGylated enzyme was compared to a wild type control using in vitro binding studies with both enzyme-specific antibodies, from immunized New Zealand white rabbits, and a single chain antibody library, derived from a human volunteer. In both cases, the PEGylated enzyme was found to be substantially less immunoreactive. Underscoring the enzyme's potential for practical utility, >90% of adherent, mucoid, Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms were removed from abiotic surfaces following a one hour treatment with the PEGylated variant, whereas the wild type enzyme removed only 75% of biofilms in parallel studies. In aggregate, these results demonstrate that site-specific mono-PEGylation of genetically engineered A1-III alginate lyase yielded an enzyme with enhanced performance relative to therapeutically relevant metrics. PMID:21340021

  13. A Method to Exploit the Structure of Genetic Ancestry Space to Enhance Case-Control Studies

    PubMed Central

    Bodea, Corneliu A.; Neale, Benjamin M.; Ripke, Stephan; Barclay, Murray; Peyrin-Biroulet, Laurent; Chamaillard, Mathias; Colombel, Jean-Frederick; Cottone, Mario; Croft, Anthony; D’Incà, Renata; Halfvarson, Jonas; Hanigan, Katherine; Henderson, Paul; Hugot, Jean-Pierre; Karban, Amir; Kennedy, Nicholas A.; Khan, Mohammed Azam; Lémann, Marc; Levine, Arie; Massey, Dunecan; Milla, Monica; Montgomery, Grant W.; Ng, Sok Meng Evelyn; Oikonomou, Ioannis; Peeters, Harald; Proctor, Deborah D.; Rahier, Jean-Francois; Roberts, Rebecca; Rutgeerts, Paul; Seibold, Frank; Stronati, Laura; Taylor, Kirstin M.; Törkvist, Leif; Ublick, Kullak; Van Limbergen, Johan; Van Gossum, Andre; Vatn, Morten H.; Zhang, Hu; Zhang, Wei; Andrews, Jane M.; Bampton, Peter A.; Barclay, Murray; Florin, Timothy H.; Gearry, Richard; Krishnaprasad, Krupa; Lawrance, Ian C.; Mahy, Gillian; Montgomery, Grant W.; Radford-Smith, Graham; Roberts, Rebecca L.; Simms, Lisa A.; Amininijad, Leila; Cleynen, Isabelle; Dewit, Olivier; Franchimont, Denis; Georges, Michel; Laukens, Debby; Peeters, Harald; Rahier, Jean-Francois; Rutgeerts, Paul; Theatre, Emilie; Van Gossum, André; Vermeire, Severine; Aumais, Guy; Baidoo, Leonard; Barrie, Arthur M.; Beck, Karen; Bernard, Edmond-Jean; Binion, David G.; Bitton, Alain; Brant, Steve R.; Cho, Judy H.; Cohen, Albert; Croitoru, Kenneth; Daly, Mark J.; Datta, Lisa W.; Deslandres, Colette; Duerr, Richard H.; Dutridge, Debra; Ferguson, John; Fultz, Joann; Goyette, Philippe; Greenberg, Gordon R.; Haritunians, Talin; Jobin, Gilles; Katz, Seymour; Lahaie, Raymond G.; McGovern, Dermot P.; Nelson, Linda; Ng, Sok Meng; Ning, Kaida; Oikonomou, Ioannis; Paré, Pierre; Proctor, Deborah D.; Regueiro, Miguel D.; Rioux, John D.; Ruggiero, Elizabeth; Schumm, L. Philip; Schwartz, Marc; Scott, Regan; Sharma, Yashoda; Silverberg, Mark S.; Spears, Denise; Steinhart, A. Hillary; Stempak, Joanne M.; Swoger, Jason M.; Tsagarelis, Constantina; Zhang, Wei; Zhang, Clarence; Zhao, Hongyu; Aerts, Jan; Ahmad, Tariq; Arbury, Hazel; Attwood, Anthony; Auton, Adam; Ball, Stephen G.; Balmforth, Anthony J.; Barnes, Chris; Barrett, Jeffrey C.; Barroso, Inês; Barton, Anne; Bennett, Amanda J.; Bhaskar, Sanjeev; Blaszczyk, Katarzyna; Bowes, John; Brand, Oliver J.; Braund, Peter S.; Bredin, Francesca; Breen, Gerome; Brown, Morris J.; Bruce, Ian N.; Bull, Jaswinder; Burren, Oliver S.; Burton, John; Byrnes, Jake; Caesar, Sian; Cardin, Niall; Clee, Chris M.; Coffey, Alison J.; Connell, John M.C.; Conrad, Donald F.; Cooper, Jason D.; Dominiczak, Anna F.; Downes, Kate; Drummond, Hazel E.; Dudakia, Darshna; Dunham, Andrew; Ebbs, Bernadette; Eccles, Diana; Edkins, Sarah; Edwards, Cathryn; Elliot, Anna; Emery, Paul; Evans, David M.; Evans, Gareth; Eyre, Steve; Farmer, Anne; Ferrier, Nicol; Flynn, Edward; Forbes, Alistair; Forty, Liz; Franklyn, Jayne A.; Frayling, Timothy M.; Freathy, Rachel M.; Giannoulatou, Eleni; Gibbs, Polly; Gilbert, Paul; Gordon-Smith, Katherine; Gray, Emma; Green, Elaine; Groves, Chris J.; Grozeva, Detelina; Gwilliam, Rhian; Hall, Anita; Hammond, Naomi; Hardy, Matt; Harrison, Pile; Hassanali, Neelam; Hebaishi, Husam; Hines, Sarah; Hinks, Anne; Hitman, Graham A.; Hocking, Lynne; Holmes, Chris; Howard, Eleanor; Howard, Philip; Howson, Joanna M.M.; Hughes, Debbie; Hunt, Sarah; Isaacs, John D.; Jain, Mahim; Jewell, Derek P.; Johnson, Toby; Jolley, Jennifer D.; Jones, Ian R.; Jones, Lisa A.; Kirov, George; Langford, Cordelia F.; Lango-Allen, Hana; Lathrop, G. Mark; Lee, James; Lee, Kate L.; Lees, Charlie; Lewis, Kevin; Lindgren, Cecilia M.; Maisuria-Armer, Meeta; Maller, Julian; Mansfield, John; Marchini, Jonathan L.; Martin, Paul; Massey, Dunecan C.O.; McArdle, Wendy L.; McGuffin, Peter; McLay, Kirsten E.; McVean, Gil; Mentzer, Alex; Mimmack, Michael L.; Morgan, Ann E.; Morris, Andrew P.; Mowat, Craig; Munroe, Patricia B.; Myers, Simon; Newman, William; Nimmo, Elaine R.; O’Donovan, Michael C.; Onipinla, Abiodun; Ovington, Nigel R.; Owen, Michael J.; Palin, Kimmo; Palotie, Aarno; Parnell, Kirstie; Pearson, Richard; Pernet, David; Perry, John R.B.; Phillips, Anne; Plagnol, Vincent; Prescott, Natalie J.; Prokopenko, Inga; Quail, Michael A.; Rafelt, Suzanne; Rayner, Nigel W.; Reid, David M.; Renwick, Anthony; Ring, Susan M.; Robertson, Neil; Robson, Samuel; Russell, Ellie; St Clair, David; Sambrook, Jennifer G.; Sanderson, Jeremy D.; Sawcer, Stephen J.; Schuilenburg, Helen; Scott, Carol E.; Scott, Richard; Seal, Sheila; Shaw-Hawkins, Sue; Shields, Beverley M.; Simmonds, Matthew J.; Smyth, Debbie J.; Somaskantharajah, Elilan; Spanova, Katarina; Steer, Sophia; Stephens, Jonathan; Stevens, Helen E.; Stirrups, Kathy; Stone, Millicent A.; Strachan, David P.; Su, Zhan; Symmons, Deborah P.M.; Thompson, John R.; Thomson, Wendy; Tobin, Martin D.; Travers, Mary E.; Turnbull, Clare; Vukcevic, Damjan; Wain, Louise V.; Walker, Mark; Walker, Neil M.; Wallace, Chris; Warren-Perry, Margaret; Watkins, Nicholas A.; Webster, John; Weedon, Michael N.; Wilson, Anthony G.; Woodburn, Matthew; Wordsworth, B. Paul; Yau, Chris; Young, Allan H.; Zeggini, Eleftheria; Brown, Matthew A.; Burton, Paul R.; Caulfield, Mark J.; Compston, Alastair; Farrall, Martin; Gough, Stephen C.L.; Hall, Alistair S.; Hattersley, Andrew T.; Hill, Adrian V.S.; Mathew, Christopher G.; Pembrey, Marcus; Satsangi, Jack; Stratton, Michael R.; Worthington, Jane; Hurles, Matthew E.; Duncanson, Audrey; Ouwehand, Willem H.; Parkes, Miles; Rahman, Nazneen; Todd, John A.; Samani, Nilesh J.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; McCarthy, Mark I.; Craddock, Nick; Deloukas, Panos; Donnelly, Peter; Blackwell, Jenefer M.; Bramon, Elvira; Casas, Juan P.; Corvin, Aiden; Jankowski, Janusz; Markus, Hugh S.; Palmer, Colin N.A.; Plomin, Robert; Rautanen, Anna; Trembath, Richard C.; Viswanathan, Ananth C.; Wood, Nicholas W.; Spencer, Chris C.A.; Band, Gavin; Bellenguez, Céline; Freeman, Colin; Hellenthal, Garrett; Giannoulatou, Eleni; Pirinen, Matti; Pearson, Richard; Strange, Amy; Blackburn, Hannah; Bumpstead, Suzannah J.; Dronov, Serge; Gillman, Matthew; Jayakumar, Alagurevathi; McCann, Owen T.; Liddle, Jennifer; Potter, Simon C.; Ravindrarajah, Radhi; Ricketts, Michelle; Waller, Matthew; Weston, Paul; Widaa, Sara; Whittaker, Pamela; Daly, Mark J.; Devlin, Bernie; Roeder, Kathryn

    2016-01-01

    One goal of human genetics is to understand the genetic basis of disease, a challenge for diseases of complex inheritance because risk alleles are few relative to the vast set of benign variants. Risk variants are often sought by association studies in which allele frequencies in case subjects are contrasted with those from population-based samples used as control subjects. In an ideal world we would know population-level allele frequencies, releasing researchers to focus on case subjects. We argue this ideal is possible, at least theoretically, and we outline a path to achieving it in reality. If such a resource were to exist, it would yield ample savings and would facilitate the effective use of data repositories by removing administrative and technical barriers. We call this concept the Universal Control Repository Network (UNICORN), a means to perform association analyses without necessitating direct access to individual-level control data. Our approach to UNICORN uses existing genetic resources and various statistical tools to analyze these data, including hierarchical clustering with spectral analysis of ancestry; and empirical Bayesian analysis along with Gaussian spatial processes to estimate ancestry-specific allele frequencies. We demonstrate our approach using tens of thousands of control subjects from studies of Crohn disease, showing how it controls false positives, provides power similar to that achieved when all control data are directly accessible, and enhances power when control data are limiting or even imperfectly matched ancestrally. These results highlight how UNICORN can enable reliable, powerful, and convenient genetic association analyses without access to the individual-level data. PMID:27087321

  14. Enhanced genetic analysis of single human bioparticles recovered by simplified micromanipulation from forensic 'touch DNA' evidence.

    PubMed

    Farash, Katherine; Hanson, Erin K; Ballantyne, Jack

    2015-03-09

    DNA profiles can be obtained from 'touch DNA' evidence, which comprises microscopic traces of human biological material. Current methods for the recovery of trace DNA employ cotton swabs or adhesive tape to sample an area of interest. However, such a 'blind-swabbing' approach will co-sample cellular material from the different individuals, even if the individuals' cells are located in geographically distinct locations on the item. Thus, some of the DNA mixtures encountered in touch DNA samples are artificially created by the swabbing itself. In some instances, a victim's DNA may be found in significant excess thus masking any potential perpetrator's DNA. In order to circumvent the challenges with standard recovery and analysis methods, we have developed a lower cost, 'smart analysis' method that results in enhanced genetic analysis of touch DNA evidence. We describe an optimized and efficient micromanipulation recovery strategy for the collection of bio-particles present in touch DNA samples, as well as an enhanced amplification strategy involving a one-step 5 µl microvolume lysis/STR amplification to permit the recovery of STR profiles from the bio-particle donor(s). The use of individual or few (i.e., "clumps") bioparticles results in the ability to obtain single source profiles. These procedures represent alternative enhanced techniques for the isolation and analysis of single bioparticles from forensic touch DNA evidence. While not necessary in every forensic investigation, the method could be highly beneficial for the recovery of a single source perpetrator DNA profile in cases involving physical assault (e.g., strangulation) that may not be possible using standard analysis techniques. Additionally, the strategies developed here offer an opportunity to obtain genetic information at the single cell level from a variety of other non-forensic trace biological material.

  15. Genetic engineering of the biosynthesis of glycinebetaine enhances thermotolerance of photosystem II in tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xinghong; Wen, Xiaogang; Gong, Hongmei; Lu, Qingtao; Yang, Zhipan; Tang, Yunlai; Liang, Zheng; Lu, Congming

    2007-02-01

    Genetically engineered tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) with the ability to accumulate glycinebetaine was established. The wild type and transgenic plants were exposed to heat treatment (25-50 degrees C) for 4 h in the dark and under growth light intensity (300 mumol m(-2) s(-1)). The analyses of oxygen-evolving activity and chlorophyll fluorescence demonstrated that photosystem II (PSII) in transgenic plants showed higher thermotolerance than in wild type plants in particular when heat stress was performed in the light, suggesting that the accumulation of glycinebetaine leads to increased tolerance to heat-enhanced photoinhibition. This increased tolerance was associated with an improvement on thermostability of the oxygen-evolving complex and the reaction center of PSII. The enhanced tolerance was caused by acceleration of the repair of PSII from heat-enhanced photoinhibition. Under heat stress, there was a significant accumulation of H(2)O(2), O (2) (-) and catalytic Fe in wild type plants but this accumulation was much less in transgenic plants. Heat stress significantly decreased the activities of catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, and monodehydroascorbate reductase in wild type plants whereas the activities of these enzymes either decreased much less or maintained or even increased in transgenic plants. In addition, heat stress increased the activity of superoxide dismutase in wild type plants but this increase was much greater in transgenic plants. Furthermore, transgenic plants also showed higher content of ascorbate and reduced glutathione than that of wild type plants under heat stress. The results suggest that the increased thermotolerance induced by accumulation of glycinebetaine in vivo was associated with the enhancement of the repair of PSII from heat-enhanced photo inhibition, which might be due to less accumulation of reactive oxygen species in transgenic plants.

  16. Curcumin enhances wound healing in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats and genetically diabetic mice.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, G S; Mani, H; Gaddipati, J P; Singh, A K; Seth, P; Banaudha, K K; Patnaik, G K; Maheshwari, R K

    1999-01-01

    Tissue repair and wound healing are complex processes that involve inflammation, granulation and tissue remodeling. Interactions of different cells, extracellular matrix proteins and their receptors are involved in wound healing, and are mediated by cytokines and growth factors. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a natural product obtained from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa, enhanced cutaneous wound healing in rats and guinea pigs. In this study, we have evaluated the efficacy of curcumin treatment by oral and topical applications on impaired wound healing in diabetic rats and genetically diabetic mice using a full thickness cutaneous punch wound model. Wounds of animals treated with curcumin showed earlier re-epithelialization, improved neovascularization, increased migration of various cells including dermal myofibroblasts, fibroblasts, and macrophages into the wound bed, and a higher collagen content. Immunohistochemical localization showed an increase in transforming growth factor-beta1 in curcumin-treated wounds compared to controls. Enhanced transforming growth factor-beta1 mRNA expression in treated wounds was confirmed by in situ hybridization, and laser scan cytometry. A delay in the apoptosis patterns was seen in diabetic wounds compared to curcumin treated wounds as shown by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridyl triphosphate nick end labeling analysis. Curcumin was effective both orally and topically. These results show that curcumin enhanced wound repair in diabetic impaired healing, and could be developed as a pharmacological agent in such clinical settings.

  17. Genetic Transformation and Hairy Root Induction Enhance the Antioxidant Potential of Lactuca serriola L.

    PubMed Central

    Elkelish, Amr; Elansary, Hosam O.; Ali, Hayssam M.; Elshikh, Mohamed; Witczak, Jacques; Ahmad, Margaret

    2017-01-01

    Lactuca serriola L. is a herbaceous species, used for human nutrition and medicinal purposes. The high antioxidant capacity of L. serriola indicates the possibility of enhancing its edible and health potential by increasing the flavonoid and phenolic contents. The present study aimed at enhancing the production of phenolics and flavonoids by hairy root cultures in Lactuca serriola transformed with Agrobacterium rhizogenes strain AR15834 harbouring the rolB gene. The genetic transformation of rolB in transformed roots was validated, and rolB expression level was evaluated using real-time qPCR analysis. Expression levels of flavonoid biosynthesis genes (CHI, PAL, FLS, and CHS) were assessed in the hairy and nontransformed roots. Results showed higher expression levels in the transgenic roots than in the nontransformed ones (p < 0.01). Transgenic hairy roots exhibited a 54.8–96.7% increase in the total phenolic content, 38.1–76.2% increase in the total flavonoid content, and 56.7–96.7% increase in the total reducing power when compared with the nontransgenic roots (p < 0.01). DPPH results also revealed that the transgenic hairy roots exhibited a 31.6–50% increase in antioxidant potential, when compared to normal roots. This study addressed the enhancement of secondary metabolite biosynthesis by hairy root induction in L. serriola. PMID:28835782

  18. A cautionary tale on genetic screens based on a gain-of-expression approach: The case of LanB1.

    PubMed

    de Celis, Jose F; Molnar, Cristina

    2010-01-01

    Gain of function screens have being frequently used to search for genes affecting a particular adult character or developmental process. These experiments are made possible by the adoption of the Gal4/UAS system to flies, and by the design of P elements bearing UAS sequences. We recently published two screens in which a large number of newly generated P-UAS insertions were crossed with Gal4 drivers expressed in the pupal veins and in the central region of the wing disc. From the data obtained in these and other screens, it seems that a gain-of-function phenotype is a rare occurrence observed only for about 5-8% of insertion sites. Insertions affecting the expression of signaling molecules were particularly enriched in the screens. In contrast, gain-of-function phenotypes due to insertions not belonging to this class appear to be caused by multiple protein-specific mechanisms that could only be unraveled after extensive analysis. We present some data concerning the overexpression of LamB1, a gene encoding the B subunit of Laminin trimers in Drosophila, and show that Notch protein subcellular localization and signaling is compromised in cells overexpressing LanB1.

  19. Cell type specificity and host genetic polymorphisms influence antibody-dependent enhancement of dengue virus infection.

    PubMed

    Boonnak, Kobporn; Dambach, Kaitlyn M; Donofrio, Gina C; Tassaneetrithep, Boonrat; Marovich, Mary A

    2011-02-01

    Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) is implicated in severe, usually secondary, dengue virus (DV) infections. Preexisting heterotypic antibodies, via their Fc-gamma receptor (FcγR) interactions, may increase disease severity through enhanced target cell infection. Greater numbers of infected target cells may contribute to higher viremia and excess cytokine levels often observed in severe disease. Monocytes, macrophages, and immature and mature dendritic cells (DC) are considered major cellular targets of DV. Apheresis of multiple donors allowed isolation of autologous primary myeloid target cell types for head-to-head comparison of infection rates, viral output, and cytokine production under direct infection (without antibody) or ADE conditions (with antibody). All studied cell types except immature DC supported ADE. All cells undergoing ADE secreted proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6 [IL-6] and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α]) at enhancement titers, but distinct cell-type-specific patterns were observed for other relevant proteins (alpha/beta interferon [IFN-α/β] and IL-10). Macrophages produced type I interferons (IFN-α/β) that were modulated by ADE. Mature DC mainly secreted IFN-β. Interestingly, only monocytes secreted IL-10, and only upon antibody-enhanced infection. While ADE infection rates were remarkably consistent in monocytes (10 to 15%) across donors, IL-10 protein levels varied according to previously described regulatory single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL-10 promoter region. The homozygous GCC haplotype was associated with high-level IL-10 secretion, while the ACC and ATA haplotypes produced intermediate and low levels of IL-10, respectively. Our data suggest that ADE effects are cell type specific, are influenced by host genetics, and, depending on relative infection rates, may further contribute to the complexity of DV pathogenesis.

  20. A classical genetic solution to enhance the biosynthesis of anticancer phytochemicals in Andrographis paniculata Nees.

    PubMed

    Valdiani, Alireza; Talei, Daryush; Tan, Soon Guan; Abdul Kadir, Mihdzar; Maziah, Mahmood; Rafii, Mohd Yusop; Sagineedu, Sreenivasa Rao

    2014-01-01

    Andrographolides, the diterpene lactones, are major bioactive phytochemicals which could be found in different parts of the medicinal herb Andrographis paniculata. A number of such compounds namely andrographolide (AG), neoandrographolide (NAG), and 14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide (DDAG) have already attracted a great deal of attention due to their potential therapeutic effects in hard-to-treat diseases such as cancers and HIV. Recently, they have also been considered as substrates for the discovery of novel pharmaceutical compounds. Nevertheless, there is still a huge gap in knowledge on the genetic pattern of the biosynthesis of these bioactive compounds. Hence, the present study aimed to investigate the genetic mechanisms controlling the biosynthesis of these phytochemicals using a diallel analysis. The high performance liquid chromatography analysis of the three andrographolides in 210 F1 progenies confirmed that the biosynthesis of these andrographolides was considerably increased via intraspecific hybridization. The results revealed high, moderate and low heterosis for DDAG, AG and NAG, respectively. Furthermore, the preponderance of non-additive gene actions was affirmed in the enhancement of the three andrographolides contents. The consequence of this type of gene action was the occurrence of high broad-sense and low narrow-sense heritabilities for the above mentioned andrographolides. The prevalence of non-additive gene action suggests the suitability of heterosis breeding and hybrid seed production as a preferred option to produce new plant varieties with higher andrographolide contents using the wild accessions of A. paniculata. Moreover, from an evolutionary point of view, the occurrence of population bottlenecks in the Malaysian accessions of A. paniculata was unveiled by observing a low level of additive genetic variance (VA ) for all the andrographolides.

  1. A Classical Genetic Solution to Enhance the Biosynthesis of Anticancer Phytochemicals in Andrographis paniculata Nees

    PubMed Central

    Talei, Daryush; Abdul Kadir, Mihdzar; Rafii, Mohd Yusop; Sagineedu, Sreenivasa Rao

    2014-01-01

    Andrographolides, the diterpene lactones, are major bioactive phytochemicals which could be found in different parts of the medicinal herb Andrographis paniculata. A number of such compounds namely andrographolide (AG), neoandrographolide (NAG), and 14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide (DDAG) have already attracted a great deal of attention due to their potential therapeutic effects in hard-to-treat diseases such as cancers and HIV. Recently, they have also been considered as substrates for the discovery of novel pharmaceutical compounds. Nevertheless, there is still a huge gap in knowledge on the genetic pattern of the biosynthesis of these bioactive compounds. Hence, the present study aimed to investigate the genetic mechanisms controlling the biosynthesis of these phytochemicals using a diallel analysis. The high performance liquid chromatography analysis of the three andrographolides in 210 F1 progenies confirmed that the biosynthesis of these andrographolides was considerably increased via intraspecific hybridization. The results revealed high, moderate and low heterosis for DDAG, AG and NAG, respectively. Furthermore, the preponderance of non-additive gene actions was affirmed in the enhancement of the three andrographolides contents. The consequence of this type of gene action was the occurrence of high broad-sense and low narrow-sense heritabilities for the above mentioned andrographolides. The prevalence of non-additive gene action suggests the suitability of heterosis breeding and hybrid seed production as a preferred option to produce new plant varieties with higher andrographolide contents using the wild accessions of A. paniculata. Moreover, from an evolutionary point of view, the occurrence of population bottlenecks in the Malaysian accessions of A. paniculata was unveiled by observing a low level of additive genetic variance (VA) for all the andrographolides. PMID:24586262

  2. Exopolysaccharide production by a genetically engineered Enterobacter cloacae strain for microbial enhanced oil recovery.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shanshan; Zhang, Zhongzhi; Luo, Yijing; Zhong, Weizhang; Xiao, Meng; Yi, Wenjing; Yu, Li; Fu, Pengcheng

    2011-05-01

    Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) is a petroleum biotechnology for manipulating function and/or structure of microbial environments existing in oil reservoirs for prolonged exploitation of the largest source of energy. In this study, an Enterobacter cloacae which is capable of producing water-insoluble biopolymers at 37°C and a thermophilic Geobacillus strain were used to construct an engineered strain for exopolysaccharide production at higher temperature. The resultant transformants, GW3-3.0, could produce exopolysaccharide up to 8.83 g l(-1) in molasses medium at 54°C. This elevated temperature was within the same temperature range as that for many oil reservoirs. The transformants had stable genetic phenotype which was genetically fingerprinted by RAPD analysis. Core flooding experiments were carried out to ensure effective controlled profile for the simulation of oil recovery. The results have demonstrated that this approach has a promising application potential in MEOR. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Novel quantitative pigmentation phenotyping enhances genetic association, epistasis, and prediction of human eye colour.

    PubMed

    Wollstein, Andreas; Walsh, Susan; Liu, Fan; Chakravarthy, Usha; Rahu, Mati; Seland, Johan H; Soubrane, Gisèle; Tomazzoli, Laura; Topouzis, Fotis; Vingerling, Johannes R; Vioque, Jesus; Böhringer, Stefan; Fletcher, Astrid E; Kayser, Manfred

    2017-02-27

    Success of genetic association and the prediction of phenotypic traits from DNA are known to depend on the accuracy of phenotype characterization, amongst other parameters. To overcome limitations in the characterization of human iris pigmentation, we introduce a fully automated approach that specifies the areal proportions proposed to represent differing pigmentation types, such as pheomelanin, eumelanin, and non-pigmented areas within the iris. We demonstrate the utility of this approach using high-resolution digital eye imagery and genotype data from 12 selected SNPs from over 3000 European samples of seven populations that are part of the EUREYE study. In comparison to previous quantification approaches, (1) we achieved an overall improvement in eye colour phenotyping, which provides a better separation of manually defined eye colour categories. (2) Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) known to be involved in human eye colour variation showed stronger associations with our approach. (3) We found new and confirmed previously noted SNP-SNP interactions. (4) We increased SNP-based prediction accuracy of quantitative eye colour. Our findings exemplify that precise quantification using the perceived biological basis of pigmentation leads to enhanced genetic association and prediction of eye colour. We expect our approach to deliver new pigmentation genes when applied to genome-wide association testing.

  4. Enhancing fructooligosaccharides production by genetic improvement of the industrial fungus Aspergillus niger ATCC 20611.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Liu, Caixia; Xie, Yijia; Li, Ning; Ning, Zhanguo; Du, Na; Huang, Xirong; Zhong, Yaohua

    2017-03-23

    Aspergillus niger ATCC20611 is one of the most potent filamentous fungi used commercially for production of fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are prospective components of functional food by stimulating probiotic bacteria in the human gut. However, current strategies for improving FOS yield still rely on production process development. The genetic engineering approach hasn't been applied in industrial strains to increase FOS production level. Here, an optimized polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated protoplast transformation system was established in A. niger ATCC 20611 and used for further strain improvement. The pyrithiamine resistance gene (ptrA) was selected as a dominant marker and protoplasts were prepared with high concentration (up to 10(8)g(-1) wet weight mycelium) by using mixed cell wall-lysing enzymes. The transformation frequency with ptrA can reach 30-50 transformants per μg of DNA. In addition, the efficiency of co-transformation with the EGFP reporter gene (egfp) was high (approx. 82%). Furthermore, an activity-improved variant of β-fructofuranosidase, FopA(A178P), was successfully overexpressed in A. niger ATCC 20611 by using the transformation system. The transformant, CM6, exhibited a 58% increase in specific β-fructofuranosidase activity (up to 507U/g), compared to the parental strain (320U/g), and effectively reduced the time needed for completion of FOS synthesis. These results illustrate the feasibility of strain improvement through genetic engineering for further enhancement of FOS production level.

  5. Novel quantitative pigmentation phenotyping enhances genetic association, epistasis, and prediction of human eye colour

    PubMed Central

    Wollstein, Andreas; Walsh, Susan; Liu, Fan; Chakravarthy, Usha; Rahu, Mati; Seland, Johan H.; Soubrane, Gisèle; Tomazzoli, Laura; Topouzis, Fotis; Vingerling, Johannes R.; Vioque, Jesus; Böhringer, Stefan; Fletcher, Astrid E.; Kayser, Manfred

    2017-01-01

    Success of genetic association and the prediction of phenotypic traits from DNA are known to depend on the accuracy of phenotype characterization, amongst other parameters. To overcome limitations in the characterization of human iris pigmentation, we introduce a fully automated approach that specifies the areal proportions proposed to represent differing pigmentation types, such as pheomelanin, eumelanin, and non-pigmented areas within the iris. We demonstrate the utility of this approach using high-resolution digital eye imagery and genotype data from 12 selected SNPs from over 3000 European samples of seven populations that are part of the EUREYE study. In comparison to previous quantification approaches, (1) we achieved an overall improvement in eye colour phenotyping, which provides a better separation of manually defined eye colour categories. (2) Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) known to be involved in human eye colour variation showed stronger associations with our approach. (3) We found new and confirmed previously noted SNP-SNP interactions. (4) We increased SNP-based prediction accuracy of quantitative eye colour. Our findings exemplify that precise quantification using the perceived biological basis of pigmentation leads to enhanced genetic association and prediction of eye colour. We expect our approach to deliver new pigmentation genes when applied to genome-wide association testing. PMID:28240252

  6. Global wild annual Lens collection: a potential resource for lentil genetic base broadening and yield enhancement.

    PubMed

    Singh, Mohar; Bisht, Ishwari Singh; Kumar, Sandeep; Dutta, Manoranjan; Bansal, Kailash Chander; Karale, Moreshwar; Sarker, Ashutosh; Amri, Ahmad; Kumar, Shiv; Datta, Swapan Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Crop wild relatives (CWRs) are invaluable gene sources for various traits of interest, yet these potential resources are themselves increasingly threatened by the impact of climate change as well as other anthropogenic and socio-economic factors. The prime goal of our research was to cover all aspects of wild Lens genetic resource management like species characterization, agro-morphological evaluation, diversity assessment, and development of representative sets for its enhanced utilization in lentil base broadening and yield improvement initiatives. We characterized and evaluated extensively, the global wild annual Lens taxa, originating from twenty seven counties under two agro-climatic conditions of India consecutively for three cropping seasons. Results on various qualitative and quantitative characters including two foliar diseases showed wide variations for almost all yield attributing traits including multiple disease resistance in the wild species, L. nigricans and L. ervoides accessions. The core set developed from the entire Lens taxa had maximum representation from Turkey and Syria, indicating rich diversity in accessions originating from these regions. Diversity analysis also indicated wide geographical variations across genepool as was reflected in the core set. Potential use of core set, as an initial starting material, for genetic base broadening of cultivated lentil was also suggested.

  7. Global Wild Annual Lens Collection: A Potential Resource for Lentil Genetic Base Broadening and Yield Enhancement

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Mohar; Bisht, Ishwari Singh; Kumar, Sandeep; Dutta, Manoranjan; Bansal, Kailash Chander; Karale, Moreshwar; Sarker, Ashutosh; Amri, Ahmad; Kumar, Shiv; Datta, Swapan Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Crop wild relatives (CWRs) are invaluable gene sources for various traits of interest, yet these potential resources are themselves increasingly threatened by the impact of climate change as well as other anthropogenic and socio-economic factors. The prime goal of our research was to cover all aspects of wild Lens genetic resource management like species characterization, agro-morphological evaluation, diversity assessment, and development of representative sets for its enhanced utilization in lentil base broadening and yield improvement initiatives. We characterized and evaluated extensively, the global wild annual Lens taxa, originating from twenty seven counties under two agro-climatic conditions of India consecutively for three cropping seasons. Results on various qualitative and quantitative characters including two foliar diseases showed wide variations for almost all yield attributing traits including multiple disease resistance in the wild species, L. nigricans and L. ervoides accessions. The core set developed from the entire Lens taxa had maximum representation from Turkey and Syria, indicating rich diversity in accessions originating from these regions. Diversity analysis also indicated wide geographical variations across genepool as was reflected in the core set. Potential use of core set, as an initial starting material, for genetic base broadening of cultivated lentil was also suggested. PMID:25254552

  8. Pharmacologic and genetic strategies to enhance cell therapy for cardiac regeneration.

    PubMed

    Kanashiro-Takeuchi, Rosemeire M; Schulman, Ivonne Hernandez; Hare, Joshua M

    2011-10-01

    Cell-based therapy is emerging as an exciting potential therapeutic approach for cardiac regeneration following myocardial infarction (MI). As heart failure (HF) prevalence increases over time, development of new interventions designed to aid cardiac recovery from injury are crucial and should be considered more broadly. In this regard, substantial efforts to enhance the efficacy and safety of cell therapy are continuously growing along several fronts, including modifications to improve the reprogramming efficiency of inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPS), genetic engineering of adult stem cells, and administration of growth factors or small molecules to activate regenerative pathways in the injured heart. These interventions are emerging as potential therapeutic alternatives and/or adjuncts based on their potential to promote stem cell homing, proliferation, differentiation, and/or survival. Given the promise of therapeutic interventions to enhance the regenerative capacity of multipotent stem cells as well as specifically guide endogenous or exogenous stem cells into a cardiac lineage, their application in cardiac regenerative medicine should be the focus of future clinical research. This article is part of a special issue entitled "Key Signaling Molecules in Hypertrophy and Heart Failure." Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Pharmacologic And Genetic Strategies To Enhance Cell Therapy For Cardiac Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kanashiro-Takeuchi, Rosemeire M.; Schulman, Ivonne Hernandez; Hare, Joshua M.

    2012-01-01

    Cell-based therapy is emerging as an exciting potential therapeutic approach for cardiac regeneration following myocardial infarction (MI). As heart failure (HF) prevalence increases over time, development of new interventions designed to aid cardiac recovery from injury are crucial and should be considered more broadly. In this regard, substantial efforts to enhance the efficacy and safety of cell therapy are continuously growing along several fronts, including modifications to improve the reprogramming efficiency of inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPS), genetic engineering of adult stem cells, and administration of growth factors or small molecules to activate regenerative pathways in the injured heart. These interventions are emerging as potential therapeutic alternatives and/or adjuncts based on their potential to promote stem cell homing, proliferation, differentiation, and/or survival. Given the promise of therapeutic interventions to enhance the regenerative capacity of multipotent stem cells as well as specifically guide endogenous or exogenous stem cells into a cardiac lineage, their application in cardiac regenerative medicine should be the focus of future clinical research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘Key Signaling Molecules Special Issue’. PMID:21645519

  10. Genetic silencing of Nrf2 enhances X-ROS in dysferlin-deficient muscle

    PubMed Central

    Kombairaju, Ponvijay; Kerr, Jaclyn P.; Roche, Joseph A.; Pratt, Stephen J. P.; Lovering, Richard M.; Sussan, Thomas E.; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Shi, Guoli; Biswal, Shyam; Ward, Christopher W.

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative stress is a critical disease modifier in the muscular dystrophies. Recently, we discovered a pathway by which mechanical stretch activates NADPH Oxidase 2 (Nox2) dependent ROS generation (X-ROS). Our work in dystrophic skeletal muscle revealed that X-ROS is excessive in dystrophin-deficient (mdx) skeletal muscle and contributes to muscle injury susceptibility, a hallmark of the dystrophic process. We also observed widespread alterations in the expression of genes associated with the X-ROS pathway and redox homeostasis in muscles from both Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients and mdx mice. As nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) plays an essential role in the transcriptional regulation of genes involved in redox homeostasis, we hypothesized that Nrf2 deficiency may contribute to enhanced X-ROS signaling by reducing redox buffering. To directly test the effect of diminished Nrf2 activity, Nrf2 was genetically silenced in the A/J model of dysferlinopathy—a model with a mild histopathologic and functional phenotype. Nrf2-deficient A/J mice exhibited significant muscle-specific functional deficits, histopathologic abnormalities, and dramatically enhanced X-ROS compared to control A/J and WT mice, both with functional Nrf2. Having identified that reduced Nrf2 activity is a negative disease modifier, we propose that strategies targeting Nrf2 activation may address the generalized reduction in redox homeostasis to halt or slow dystrophic progression. PMID:24600403

  11. Weight Gain After Kidney Transplant.

    PubMed

    Aksoy, Nilgün

    2016-11-01

    Weight gain and obesity are frequent problems for renal transplant patients. The purpose of this review is to show why weight gain is experienced by patients after kidney transplant and the significance of prevention. To investigate this topic, PubMed and Ulakbim databases were searched with the following key words: renal transplant and transplantation, weight gain, and obesity. Weight gain frequently appears in the first year after transplant, and it is reported to be a common problem for patients within the first 6 months. Weight gain varies between 6 and 10 kg, and the change in mean body mass index varies between 2 and 3.8 kg/m2 after transplant. Potential factors causing weight gain after kidney transplant are the use of immunosuppressive medications to protect the newly implanted organ and the changes in life style, such as dietary intake and insufficient physical activity. In addition, weight gain is affected by factors such as age, sex, race, lack of acute rejection, genetics, and psychological factors related to stress. A better understanding of food intake, physical activities, and environmental factors causing weight gain after kidney transplant and the development of dietary intake and physical activity protocols specific to individuals would be helpful for health care professionals.

  12. Smoking cessation and weight gain.

    PubMed

    Filozof, C; Fernández Pinilla, M C; Fernández-Cruz, A

    2004-05-01

    Cigarette smoking is the single most important preventable cause of death and illness. Smoking cessation is associated with substantial health benefits. Weight gain is cited as a primary reason for not trying to quit smoking. There is a great variability in the amount of weight gain but younger ages, lower socio-economic status and heavier smoking are predictors of higher weight gain. Weight change after smoking cessation appears to be influenced by underlying genetic factors. Besides, weight gain after smoking cessation is largely because of increased body fat and some studies suggest that it mostly occurs in the subcutaneous region of the body. The mechanism of weight gain includes increased energy intake, decreased resting metabolic rate, decreased physical activity and increased lipoprotein lipase activity. Although there is convincing evidence for the association between smoking cessation and weight gain, the molecular mechanisms underlying this relationship are not well understood. This review summarizes current information of the effects of nicotine on peptides involved in feeding behaviour. Smoking was shown to impair glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and cross-sectional studies have demonstrated that smokers are insulin-resistant and hyperinsulinaemic, as compared with non-smokers. Smoking cessation seems to improve insulin sensitivity in spite of the weight gain. Nicotine replacement - in particular nicotine gum - appears to be effective in delaying post-cessation weight gain. In a group of women who failed to quit smoking because of weight gain, a dietary intervention (intermittent very-low-calorie diet) plus nicotine gum showed to both increase success rate in terms of smoking cessation and prevent weight gain. On the other hand, body weight gain at the end of treatment was significantly lower in the patients receiving bupropion or bupropion plus nicotine patch, compared with placebo. Studies with new drugs available for the treatment of obesity

  13. Extensive genetic diversity and low linkage disequilibrium within the COMT locus in Germplasm Enhancement of Maize populations

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Caffeic acid 3-O-methytransferase (COMT) gene is a prime candidate for cell wall digestibility improvement based on the characterization of brown midrib-3 mutants. We compared the genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium at COMT locus between populations sampled within the Germplasm Enhance...

  14. Utilizing genetic diversity in the desert watermelon citrullus colocynthis for enhancing watermelon cultivars for resistance to biotic and abiotic stress

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Wide genetic diversity exists among the desert watermelon Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. (CC) accessions collected in the deserts of northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Because of their resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, there can be a viable source of genes used for enhancing wa...

  15. Enhanced hexose fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae through integration of stoichiometric modeling and genetic screening.

    PubMed

    Quarterman, Josh; Kim, Soo Rin; Kim, Pan-Jun; Jin, Yong-Su

    2015-01-20

    In order to determine beneficial gene deletions for ethanol production by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we performed an in silico gene deletion experiment based on a genome-scale metabolic model. Genes coding for two oxidative phosphorylation reactions (cytochrome c oxidase and ubiquinol cytochrome c reductase) were identified by the model-based simulation as potential deletion targets for enhancing ethanol production and maintaining acceptable overall growth rate in oxygen-limited conditions. Since the two target enzymes are composed of multiple subunits, we conducted a genetic screening study to evaluate the in silico results and compare the effect of deleting various portions of the respiratory enzyme complexes. Over two-thirds of the knockout mutants identified by the in silico study did exhibit experimental behavior in qualitative agreement with model predictions, but the exceptions illustrate the limitation of using a purely stoichiometric model-based approach. Furthermore, there was a substantial quantitative variation in phenotype among the various respiration-deficient mutants that were screened in this study, and three genes encoding respiratory enzyme subunits were identified as the best knockout targets for improving hexose fermentation in microaerobic conditions. Specifically, deletion of either COX9 or QCR9 resulted in higher ethanol production rates than the parental strain by 37% and 27%, respectively, with slight growth disadvantages. Also, deletion of QCR6 led to improved ethanol production rate by 24% with no growth disadvantage. The beneficial effects of these gene deletions were consistently demonstrated in different strain backgrounds and with four common hexoses. The combination of stoichiometric modeling and genetic screening using a systematic knockout collection was useful for narrowing a large set of gene targets and identifying targets of interest. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Genetic delivery of an immunoRNase by an oncolytic adenovirus enhances anticancer activity.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Ulibarri, Inés; Hammer, Katharina; Arndt, Michaela A E; Kaufmann, Johanna K; Dorer, Dominik; Engelhardt, Sarah; Kontermann, Roland E; Hess, Jochen; Allgayer, Heike; Krauss, Jürgen; Nettelbeck, Dirk M

    2015-05-01

    Antibody therapy of solid cancers is well established, but suffers from unsatisfactory tumor penetration of large immunoglobulins or from low serum retention of antibody fragments. Oncolytic viruses are in advanced clinical development showing excellent safety, but suboptimal potency due to limited virus spread within tumors. Here, by developing an immunoRNase-encoding oncolytic adenovirus, we combine viral oncolysis with intratumoral genetic delivery of a small antibody-fusion protein for targeted bystander killing of tumor cells (viro-antibody therapy). Specifically, we explore genetic delivery of a small immunoRNase consisting of an EGFR-binding scFv antibody fragment fused to the RNase Onconase (ONC(EGFR)) that induces tumor cell death by RNA degradation after cellular internalization. Onconase is a frog RNase that combines lack of immunogenicity and excellent safety in patients with high tumor killing potency due to its resistance to the human cytosolic RNase inhibitor. We show that ONC(EGFR) expression by oncolytic adenoviruses is feasible with an optimized, replication-dependent gene expression strategy. Virus-encoded ONC(EGFR) induces potent and EGFR-dependent bystander killing of tumor cells. Importantly, the ONC(EGFR)-encoding oncolytic adenovirus showed dramatically increased cytotoxicity specifically to EGFR-positive tumor cells in vitro and significantly enhanced therapeutic activity in a mouse xenograft tumor model. The latter demonstrates that ONC(EGFR) is expressed at levels sufficient to trigger tumor cell killing in vivo. The established ONC(EGFR)-encoding oncolytic adenovirus represents a novel agent for treatment of EGFR-positive tumors. This viro-antibody therapy platform can be further developed for targeted/personalized cancer therapy by exploiting antibody diversity to target further established or emerging tumor markers or combinations thereof. © 2014 UICC.

  17. Genetic removal of basal nitric oxide enhances contractile activity in isolated murine collecting lymphatic vessels.

    PubMed

    Scallan, Joshua P; Davis, Michael J

    2013-04-15

    The role of nitric oxide (NO) in regulating lymphatic contractile function and, consequently, lymph flow has been the subject of intense study. Despite this, the precise effects of NO on lymphatic contractile activity remain unclear. Recent hypotheses posit that basal levels of endogenous NO increase lymphatic contraction strength as a consequence of lowering frequency (i.e. positive lusitropy), whereas higher agonist-evoked concentrations of NO exert purely inhibitory effects on contractile function. We tested both hypotheses directly by isolating and cannulating collecting lymphatic vessels from genetically modified mice for ex vivo study. The effects of basal NO and agonist-evoked NO were evaluated, respectively, by exposing wild-type (WT), endothelial NO synthase (eNOS)(-/-) and inducible NO synthase (iNOS)(-/-) lymphatic vessels to controlled pressure steps followed by ACh doses. To compare with pharmacological inhibition of eNOS, we repeated both tests in the presence of l-NAME. Surprisingly, genetic removal of basal NO enhanced contraction amplitude significantly without increasing contraction frequency. Higher levels of NO production stimulated by ACh evoked dilation, decreased tone, slowed contraction frequency and reduced fractional pump flow. We conclude that basal NO specifically depresses contraction amplitude, and that greater NO production then inhibits all other aspects of contractile function. Further, this work demonstrates definitively that mouse collecting lymphatic vessels exhibit autonomous, large-amplitude contractions that respond to pressure similarly to collecting lymphatics of other mammalian species. At least in the peripheral lymphatic vasculature, NO production depresses contractile function, which influences lymph flow needed for fluid regulation, humoral immunity and cancer metastasis.

  18. Genetic engineering of Yarrowia lipolytica for enhanced production of trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been extensively studied for decades because of its health benefits including cancer prevention, anti-atherogenic and anti-obesity effects, and modulation of the immune system. We previously described the production of trans-10, cis-12 CLA in Yarrowia lipolytica by expressing the gene coding for linoleic acid isomerase from Propionibacterium acnes (pai). However the stable strain produced CLA at about 0.08% of dry cell weight (DCW), a level of production which was not high enough for practical applications. The goal of the present study was to enhance production of CLA by genetic engineering of Y. lipolytica strains. Results We have now co-expressed the delta 12-desaturase gene (FADS12, d12) from Mortierella alpina together with the codon-optimized linoleic acid isomerase (opai) gene in Y. lipolytica, expressed under the control of promoter hp16d modified by fusing 12 copies of UAS1B to the original promoter hp4d. A multi-copy integration plasmid was used to further enhance the expression of both genes. Using glucose as the sole carbon source, the genetically-modified Y. lipolytica produced trans-10, cis-12-CLA at a level of up to 10% of total fatty acids and 0.4% of DCW. Furthermore, when the recombinant yeast was grown with soybean oil, trans-10, cis-12-CLA now accumulated at a level of up to 44% of total fatty acids, which represented 30% of DCW after 38.5 h of cultivation. In addition, trans-10, cis-12-CLA was also detected in the growth medium up to 0.9 g/l. Conclusions We have successfully produced trans-10, cis-12-CLA with a titre of 4 g/l of culture (3.1 g/l in cells and 0.9 g/l in culture medium). Our results demonstrate the potential use of Y. lipolytica as a promising microbial cell factory for trans-10, cis-12-CLA production. PMID:23866108

  19. Light-extraction enhancement for light-emitting diodes: a firefly-inspired structure refined by the genetic algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bay, Annick; Mayer, Alexandre

    2014-09-01

    The efficiency of light-emitting diodes (LED) has increased significantly over the past few years, but the overall efficiency is still limited by total internal reflections due to the high dielectric-constant contrast between the incident and emergent media. The bioluminescent organ of fireflies gave incentive for light-extraction enhance-ment studies. A specific factory-roof shaped structure was shown, by means of light-propagation simulations and measurements, to enhance light extraction significantly. In order to achieve a similar effect for light-emitting diodes, the structure needs to be adapted to the specific set-up of LEDs. In this context simulations were carried out to determine the best geometrical parameters. In the present work, the search for a geometry that maximizes the extraction of light has been conducted by using a genetic algorithm. The idealized structure considered previously was generalized to a broader variety of shapes. The genetic algorithm makes it possible to search simultaneously over a wider range of parameters. It is also significantly less time-consuming than the previous approach that was based on a systematic scan on parameters. The results of the genetic algorithm show that (1) the calculations can be performed in a smaller amount of time and (2) the light extraction can be enhanced even more significantly by using optimal parameters determined by the genetic algorithm for the generalized structure. The combination of the genetic algorithm with the Rigorous Coupled Waves Analysis method constitutes a strong simulation tool, which provides us with adapted designs for enhancing light extraction from light-emitting diodes.

  20. Genetic Design of Enhanced Valley Splitting towards a Spin Qubit in Silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Lijun; Luo, Jun-Wei; Saraiva, Andre; Koiller, Belita; Zunger, Alex

    2013-03-01

    The quantum state of an electron in the Si conduction band holds exceptional promise for quantum computing, owing to its attractive spin coherence properties and adaptability to standard electronics. A paramount challenge is the orbital degeneracy of the lowest conduction band of Si, which is potentially a serious source of decoherence for spin qubits. Hence, isolating a single electron valley state by creating a sufficiently large valley splitting (VS) is a prerequisite for the realization of Si-based spin qubits. Previous explorations of Si quantum wells confined by Si-Ge alloy barriers led thus far to a limited VS of the order of 1 meV or smaller. Here we demonstrate, via an atomically resolved pseudopotential theory, that the monolayer ordering of Si-Ge barriers within reach of modern superlattice growth techniques can be harnessed to enhance the VS by up to one order of magnitude compared to disordered random alloy barriers. A biologically inspired genetic-algorithm search allowed us to identify magic atomic layer sequences of the superlattice barriers that isolate single electron valley state in Si with VS as large as ~9 meV. These results may provide a roadmap for reliable spin-only quantum computing in Si. Funded by DOE through Energy Frontier Research Center, Center for Inverse Design, and the Brazilian agencies FAPERJ, CNPq and CAPES

  1. Enhanced efficiency of genetic programming toward cardiomyocyte creation through topographical cues

    PubMed Central

    Morez, Constant; Noseda, Michela; Paiva, Marta Abreu; Belian, Elisa; Schneider, Michael D.; Stevens, Molly M.

    2015-01-01

    Generation of de novo cardiomyocytes through viral over-expression of key transcription factors represents a highly promising strategy for cardiac muscle tissue regeneration. Although the feasibility of cell reprogramming has been proven possible both in vitro and in vivo, the efficiency of the process remains extremely low. Here, we report a chemical-free technique in which topographical cues, more specifically parallel microgrooves, enhance the directed differentiation of cardiac progenitors into cardiomyocyte-like cells. Using a lentivirus-mediated direct reprogramming strategy for expression of Myocardin, Tbx5, and Mef2c, we showed that the microgrooved substrate provokes an increase in histone H3 acetylation (AcH3), known to be a permissive environment for reprogramming by “stemness” factors, as well as stimulation of myocardin sumoylation, a post-translational modification essential to the transcriptional function of this key co-activator. These biochemical effects mimicked those of a pharmacological histone deacetylase inhibitor, valproic acid (VPA), and like VPA markedly augmented the expression of cardiomyocyte-specific proteins by the genetically engineered cells. No instructive effect was seen in cells unresponsive to VPA. In addition, the anisotropy resulting from parallel microgrooves induced cellular alignment, mimicking the native ventricular myocardium and augmenting sarcomere organization. PMID:26302234

  2. Enhanced ethanol fermentation of brewery wastewater using the genetically modified strain E. coli KO11.

    PubMed

    Rao, Kripa; Chaudhari, Vaibhav; Varanasi, Sasidhar; Kim, Dong-Shik

    2007-02-01

    We have used liquid waste obtained from a beer brewery process to produce ethanol. To increase the productivity, genetically modified organism, Escherichia coli KO11, was used for ethanol fermentation. Yeast was also used to produce ethanol from the same feed stock, and the ethanol production rates and resulting concentrations of sugars and ethanol were compared with those of KO11. In the experiments, first the raw wastewater was directly fermented using two strains with no saccharification enzymes added. Then, commercial enzymes, alpha-amylase, pectinase, or a combination of both, were used for simultaneous saccharification and fermentation, and the results were compared with those of the no-enzyme experiments for KO11 and yeast. Under the given conditions with or without the enzymes, yeast produced ethanol more rapidly than E. coli KO11, but the final ethanol concentrations were almost the same. For both yeast and KO11, the enzymes were observed to enhance the ethanol yields by 61-84% as compared to the fermentation without enzymes. The combination of the two enzymes increased ethanol production the most for the both strains. The advantages of using KO11 were not demonstrated clearly as compared to the yeast fermentation results.

  3. Characterization and noninvasive diagnosis of bladder cancer with serum surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy and genetic algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shaoxin; Li, Linfang; Zeng, Qiuyao; Zhang, Yanjiao; Guo, Zhouyi; Liu, Zhiming; Jin, Mei; Su, Chengkang; Lin, Lin; Xu, Junfa; Liu, Songhao

    2015-05-01

    This study aims to characterize and classify serum surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) spectra between bladder cancer patients and normal volunteers by genetic algorithms (GAs) combined with linear discriminate analysis (LDA). Two group serum SERS spectra excited with nanoparticles are collected from healthy volunteers (n = 36) and bladder cancer patients (n = 55). Six diagnostic Raman bands in the regions of 481-486, 682-687, 1018-1034, 1313-1323, 1450-1459 and 1582-1587 cm-1 related to proteins, nucleic acids and lipids are picked out with the GAs and LDA. By the diagnostic models built with the identified six Raman bands, the improved diagnostic sensitivity of 90.9% and specificity of 100% were acquired for classifying bladder cancer patients from normal serum SERS spectra. The results are superior to the sensitivity of 74.6% and specificity of 97.2% obtained with principal component analysis by the same serum SERS spectra dataset. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves further confirmed the efficiency of diagnostic algorithm based on GA-LDA technique. This exploratory work demonstrates that the serum SERS associated with GA-LDA technique has enormous potential to characterize and non-invasively detect bladder cancer through peripheral blood.

  4. Genetic variants in the enhancer region of the thymidylate synthase gene in the Chilean population

    PubMed Central

    Acuña, M; Eaton, L; Cifuentes, L; Massardo, D

    2006-01-01

    Aims Thymidylate synthase (TYMS) is an important target enzyme for the fluoropyrimidines. The TYMS gene enhancer region possesses tandemly repeated (TSER) sequences that are polymorphic in humans and different among ethnic groups. The aims of this study were to estimate the frequencies of the TSER variants in two hospital samples located in the northern (HSJ) and eastern (CLC) parts of Santiago, Chile, and compare them with the frequencies in other populations of different ethnic origin. Methods Genotyping of TSER variants in 368 Chilean subjects (HSJ = 178 and CLC = 190) by polymerase chain reaction; products of amplification were electrophoresed, obtaining fragments of 250 bp for allele TSER*3 and 220 bp for allele TSER*2. Results The two hospital samples had different degrees of Amerindian admixture (HSJ 34.5%; CLC 15.9%), which was not reflected in the observed frequencies of the CLC TSER*3: 56.8% and HSJ TSER*3: 53.4%. Conclusions Our results are unexpected, considering that genetic markers in the Chilean population generally show allele frequencies between those observed in European Caucasians and Amerindians and that the percentage of Amerindian admixture in CLC is lower than in HSJ. Both hospitals should have had greater frequencies of TSER*3 than were found and the frequency should have been greater in HSJ than in CLC; the only logical explanation of our results is that the frequency of this allele in aboriginal Chilean people is much lower than the 80% estimated for Mongoloid populations. PMID:16722845

  5. Genetic enhancement of ventricular contractility protects against pressure-overload-induced cardiac dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Du, Xiao-Jun; Fang, Lin; Gao, Xiao-Ming; Kiriazis, Helen; Feng, Xinheng; Hotchkin, Elodie; Finch, Angela M; Chaulet, Hervé; Graham, Robert M

    2004-11-01

    In response to pressure-overload, cardiac function deteriorates and may even progress to fulminant heart failure and death. Here we questioned if genetic enhancement of left ventricular (LV) contractility protects against pressure-overload. Transgenic (TG) mice with cardiac-restricted overexpression (66-fold) of the alpha(1A)-adrenergic receptor (alpha(1A)-AR) and their non-TG (NTG) littermates, were subjected to transverse aorta constriction (TAC)-induced pressure-overload for 12 weeks. TAC-induced hypertrophy was similar in the NTG and TG mice but the TG mice were less likely to die of heart failure compared to the non-TG animals (P <0.05). The hypercontractile phenotype of the TG mice was maintained over the 12-week period following TAC with LV fractional shortening being significantly greater than in the NTG mice (42+/-2 vs 29+/-1%, P <0.01). In the TG animals, 11-week beta-AR-blockade with atenolol neither induced hypertrophy nor suppressed the hypercontractile phenotype. The hypertrophic response to pressure-overload was not altered by cardiac alpha(1A)-AR overexpression. Moreover, the inotropic phenotype of alpha(1A)-AR overexpression was well maintained under conditions of pressure overload. Although the functional decline in contractility with pressure overload was similar in the TG and NTG animals, given that contractility was higher before TAC in the TG mice, their LV function was better preserved and heart failure deaths were fewer after induction of pressure overload.

  6. Toward responsible stock enhancement: broadcast spawning dynamics and adaptive genetic management in white seabass aquaculture

    PubMed Central

    Gruenthal, Kristen M; Drawbridge, Mark A

    2012-01-01

    The evolutionary effects captive-bred individuals that can have on wild conspecifics are necessary considerations for stock enhancement programs, but breeding protocols are often developed without the knowledge of realized reproductive behavior. To help fill that gap, parentage was assigned to offspring produced by a freely mating group of 50 white seabass (Atractoscion nobilis), a representative broadcast spawning marine finfish cultured for conservation. Similar to the well-known and closely related red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), A. nobilis exhibited large variation in reproductive success. More males contributed and contributed more equally than females within and among spawns in a mating system best described as lottery polygyny. Two females produced 27% of the seasonal offspring pool and female breeding effective size averaged 1.85 per spawn and 12.38 seasonally, whereas male breeding effective size was higher (6.42 and 20.87, respectively), with every male contributing 1–7% of offspring. Further, females batch spawned every 1–5 weeks, while males displayed continuous reproductive readiness. Sex-specific mating strategies resulted in multiple successful mate pairings and a breeding effective to census size ratio of ≥0.62. Understanding a depleted species’ mating system allowed management to more effectively utilize parental genetic variability for culture, but the fitness consequences of long-term stocking can be difficult to address. PMID:25568060

  7. Toward responsible stock enhancement: broadcast spawning dynamics and adaptive genetic management in white seabass aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Gruenthal, Kristen M; Drawbridge, Mark A

    2012-06-01

    The evolutionary effects captive-bred individuals that can have on wild conspecifics are necessary considerations for stock enhancement programs, but breeding protocols are often developed without the knowledge of realized reproductive behavior. To help fill that gap, parentage was assigned to offspring produced by a freely mating group of 50 white seabass (Atractoscion nobilis), a representative broadcast spawning marine finfish cultured for conservation. Similar to the well-known and closely related red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), A. nobilis exhibited large variation in reproductive success. More males contributed and contributed more equally than females within and among spawns in a mating system best described as lottery polygyny. Two females produced 27% of the seasonal offspring pool and female breeding effective size averaged 1.85 per spawn and 12.38 seasonally, whereas male breeding effective size was higher (6.42 and 20.87, respectively), with every male contributing 1-7% of offspring. Further, females batch spawned every 1-5 weeks, while males displayed continuous reproductive readiness. Sex-specific mating strategies resulted in multiple successful mate pairings and a breeding effective to census size ratio of ≥0.62. Understanding a depleted species' mating system allowed management to more effectively utilize parental genetic variability for culture, but the fitness consequences of long-term stocking can be difficult to address.

  8. Enhancement of the Gene Targeting Efficiency of Non-Conventional Yeasts by Increasing Genetic Redundancy

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zao; Sun, Hongbing; Li, Pengfei; He, Ning; Zhu, Taicheng; Li, Yin

    2013-01-01

    In contrast to model yeasts, gene targeting efficiencies of non-conventional yeasts are usually low, which greatly limits the research and applications of these organisms. In this study, we aimed to enhance the gene targeting efficiency of non-conventional yeasts by improving the fitness of mutant strains, particularly by increasing the genetic redundancy of host cells. To demonstrate this process, OCH1 gene deletion in Pichia pastoris was performed. Extra copies of the OCH1 gene on a helper plasmid were provided for the P. pastoris GS115 strain before the native OCH1 gene in the genomic DNA was knocked out. The redundancy in OCH1 gene significantly eliminated the growth defects of the och1 mutant and increased the deletion efficiency of the OCH1 gene by two orders of magnitude with the same length of homologous flanks. The same strategy was used to delete the KU70 and SGS1 genes. The targeting efficiencies of KU70 and SGS1 were increased by 1- and 23-fold, respectively. Therefore, this study provided an efficient strategy for the deletion of “stubborn” genes in non-conventional yeasts. This study further showed that cellular fitness is potentially an important factor that can limit the efficiency of gene targeting. PMID:23505447

  9. Genetic engineering approaches for enhanced production of biodiesel fuel from microalgae

    SciTech Connect

    Roessler, P.G.

    1993-12-31

    Efforts are currently underway in several laboratories to develop renewable fuels from biological sources. This group has been involved in research concerning the production of lipid-derived {open_quotes}biodiesel{close_quotes} fuel from microscopic algae. Lipid accumulation in algae typically occurs during periods of environmental stress, including growth under nutrient-deficient conditions. Biochemical studies have suggested that acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), a biotin-containing enzyme that catalyzes an early step in fatty acid biosynthesis, may be involved in the control of this lipid accumulation process. Therefore, it may be possible to enhance lipid production rates by increasing the activity of this enzyme via genetic engineering. As a first step toward this objective, the authors have cloned the gene that encodes ACC from the eukaryotic alga Cyclotella cryptica, representing the first time that this gene has been isolated from a photosynthetic organism. The amino acid sequence of ACC deducted from this gene exhibits a high degree of similarity to the sequences of animal and yeast ACCs in the biotin carboxylase and carboxyltransferase domains, but less similarity exists in the bioin carboxyl carrier protein domain. Comparison of the genomic nucleotide sequence to the sequences of cDNA clones has revealed the presence of two introns in the gene. The authors are currently constructing expression vectors containing this gene and developing algal transformation protocols to enable over expression of ACC in C. cryptica and all other algal species.

  10. Characterization and noninvasive diagnosis of bladder cancer with serum surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy and genetic algorithms.

    PubMed

    Li, Shaoxin; Li, Linfang; Zeng, Qiuyao; Zhang, Yanjiao; Guo, Zhouyi; Liu, Zhiming; Jin, Mei; Su, Chengkang; Lin, Lin; Xu, Junfa; Liu, Songhao

    2015-05-07

    This study aims to characterize and classify serum surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) spectra between bladder cancer patients and normal volunteers by genetic algorithms (GAs) combined with linear discriminate analysis (LDA). Two group serum SERS spectra excited with nanoparticles are collected from healthy volunteers (n = 36) and bladder cancer patients (n = 55). Six diagnostic Raman bands in the regions of 481-486, 682-687, 1018-1034, 1313-1323, 1450-1459 and 1582-1587 cm(-1) related to proteins, nucleic acids and lipids are picked out with the GAs and LDA. By the diagnostic models built with the identified six Raman bands, the improved diagnostic sensitivity of 90.9% and specificity of 100% were acquired for classifying bladder cancer patients from normal serum SERS spectra. The results are superior to the sensitivity of 74.6% and specificity of 97.2% obtained with principal component analysis by the same serum SERS spectra dataset. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves further confirmed the efficiency of diagnostic algorithm based on GA-LDA technique. This exploratory work demonstrates that the serum SERS associated with GA-LDA technique has enormous potential to characterize and non-invasively detect bladder cancer through peripheral blood.

  11. Genetics

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The genus Capsicum represents one of several well characterized Solanaceous genera. A wealth of classical and molecular genetics research is available for the genus. Information gleaned from its cultivated relatives, tomato and potato, provide further insight for basic and applied studies. Early ...

  12. Genetics

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Maintaining genetic variation in wild populations of Arctic organisms is fundamental to the long-term persistence of high latitude biodiversity. Variability is important because it provides options for species to respond to changing environmental conditions and novel challenges such as emerging path...

  13. The Impact of PNPLA3 rs738409 Genetic Polymorphism and Weight Gain ≥10 kg after Age 20 on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Non-Obese Japanese Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Nishioji, Kenichi; Mochizuki, Naomi; Kobayashi, Masao; Kamaguchi, Mai; Sumida, Yoshio; Nishimura, Takeshi; Yamaguchi, Kanji; Kadotani, Hiroshi; Itoh, Yoshito

    2015-01-01

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in non-obese individuals is inadequately elucidated. We aim to investigate the impact of known genetic polymorphisms on NAFLD and the interaction between genetic risks and weight gain on NAFLD in obese and non-obese Japanese individuals. A total of 1164 participants who received health checkups were included. Participants with excessive alcohol consumption, with viral hepatitis or other inappropriate cases were excluded. Fatty liver was diagnosed by ultrasonography. Participants with a body mass index (BMI) of <18.5 kg/m2, 18.5–22.9 kg/m2, 23.0–24.9 kg/m2 and ≥25 kg/m2 were classified underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese, respectively. Self-administered questionnaire for lifestyle was assessed and a total of 8 previously reported genetic polymorphisms were chosen and examined. In all, 824 subjects were enrolled. The overall prevalence of NAFLD was 33.0%: 0% in underweight, 15.3% in normal weight, 41.1% in overweight and 71.7% in obese individuals. The prevalence of NAFLD is more affected by the G allele of patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 (PNPLA3) rs738409 in normal weight (odds ratio (OR) 3.52; 95%-CI: 1.42–8.71; P = 0.0063) and in overweight individuals (OR 2.60; 95%-CI: 1.14–5.91; P = 0.0225) than in obese individuals (not significant). Moreover, the G allele of PNPLA3 rs738409 and weight gain ≥10 kg after age 20 had a joint effect on the risk of NAFLD in the normal weight (OR 12.00; 95% CI: 3.71–38.79; P = 3.3×10−5) and the overweight individuals (OR 13.40; 95% CI: 2.92–61.36; P = 0.0008). The G allele of PNPLA3 rs738409 is a prominent risk factor for NAFLD and the interaction between the PNPLA3 rs738409 and weight gain ≥10 kg after age 20 plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of NAFLD, especially in non-obese Japanese individuals. PMID:26485523

  14. Genetic Analysis of Stress Responses in Soil Bacteria for Enhanced Bioremediation of Mixed Contaminants

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Kwong-Kwok

    2000-12-31

    needed. In addition, F199 contains aromatic oxygenases that are relevant to degradation of contaminants at that site and is representative of a large class of similar organisms from Savannah River Identification of the genes responsive to different stresses encountered at contaminated sites will provide a basic understanding of stress responses in soil bacteria and can lead to improved strategies for bioremediation. Enhanced in situ removal of hazardous wastes by stimulating growth of indigenous bacteria with nutrients or electron acceptors such as oxygen has been demonstrated. However, how much and how often to apply these supplements has largely been determined empirically. As a result, a controlled, reproducible, and properly managed degradation of pollutants in the environment is difficult to achieve. Genes inducible by low nutrient and low oxygen conditions can serve as markers for determining the minimal amount of supplements needed. The disappearance and reappearance of such stress responses will determine how much and when nutrients and oxygen are needed to be applied or reapplied. Similar applications of stress-inducible markers are already being applied in bacterial cultures in solution (Selifonova and Eaton, 1996). Stress responses induced by pollutants also have potential use as a biological index for the performance of indigenous bacteria during bioremediation as well as a microbiological risk assessment index for environmental pollutants. For instance, measurement of the stress responses of contaminant-degrading microorganisms would provide information complementary to measurement of enzymatic activity. This more complete picture of the physiological state of the desired organisms can be used to predict their performance. Finally, prior knowledge of the stress responses of competing bacteria could be used to predict their environmental competitiveness. Promoters from stress inducible genes will facilitate the construction of genetically engineered

  15. Neural stem cells genetically modified to overexpress cu/zn-superoxide dismutase enhance amelioration of ischemic stroke in mice.

    PubMed

    Sakata, Hiroyuki; Niizuma, Kuniyasu; Wakai, Takuma; Narasimhan, Purnima; Maier, Carolina M; Chan, Pak H

    2012-09-01

    The harsh host brain microenvironment caused by production of reactive oxygen species after ischemic reperfusion injury offers a significant challenge to survival of transplanted neural stem cells (NSCs) after ischemic stroke. Copper/zinc-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is a specific antioxidant enzyme that counteracts superoxide anions. We have investigated whether genetic manipulation to overexpress SOD1 enhances survival of grafted stem cells and accelerates amelioration of ischemic stroke. NSCs genetically modified to overexpress or downexpress SOD1 were administered intracerebrally 2 days after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Histological and behavioral tests were examined from Days 0 to 28 after stroke. Overexpression of SOD1 suppressed production of superoxide anions after ischemic reperfusion injury and reduced NSC death after transplantation. In contrast, downexpression of SOD1 promoted superoxide generation and increased oxidative stress-mediated NSC death. Transplantation of SOD1-overexpressing NSCs enhanced angiogenesis in the ischemic border zone through upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor. Moreover, grafted SOD1-overexpressing NSCs reduced infarct size and improved behavioral performance compared with NSCs that were not genetically modified. Our findings reveal a strong involvement of SOD1 expression in NSC survival after ischemic reperfusion injury. We propose that conferring antioxidant properties on NSCs by genetic manipulation of SOD1 is a potential approach for enhancing the effectiveness of cell transplantation therapy in ischemic stroke.

  16. Impact of demographic, genetic, and bioimpedance factors on gestational weight gain and birth weight in a Romanian population: A cross-sectional study in mothers and their newborns: the Monebo study (STROBE-compliant article).

    PubMed

    Mărginean, Claudiu; Mărginean, Cristina Oana; Bănescu, Claudia; Meliţ, Lorena; Tripon, Florin; Iancu, Mihaela

    2016-07-01

    The present study had 2 objectives, first, to investigate possible relationships between increased gestational weight gain and demographic, clinical, paraclinical, genetic, and bioimpedance (BIA) characteristics of Romanian mothers, and second, to identify the influence of predictors (maternal and newborns characteristics) on our outcome birth weight (BW).We performed a cross-sectional study on 309 mothers and 309 newborns from Romania, divided into 2 groups: Group I-141 mothers with high gestational weight gain (GWG) and Group II-168 mothers with normal GWG, that is, control group.The groups were evaluated regarding demographic, anthropometric (body mass index [BMI], middle upper arm circumference, tricipital skinfold thickness, weight, height [H]), clinical, paraclinical, genetic (interleukin 6 [IL-6]: IL-6 -174G>C and IL-6 -572C>G gene polymorphisms), and BIA parameters.We noticed that fat mass (FM), muscle mass (MM), bone mass (BM), total body water (TBW), basal metabolism rate (BMR) and metabolic age (P < 0.001), anthropometric parameters (middle upper arm circumference, tricipital skinfold thickness; P < 0.001/P = 0.001) and hypertension (odds ratio = 4.65, 95% confidence interval: 1.27-17.03) were higher in mothers with high GWG. BW was positively correlated with mothers' FM (P < 0.001), TBW (P = 0.001), BMR (P = 0.02), while smoking was negatively correlated with BW (P = 0.04). Variant genotype (GG+GC) of the IL-6 -572C>G polymorphism was higher in the control group (P = 0.042).We observed that high GWG may be an important predictor factor for the afterward BW, being positively correlated with FM, TBW, BMR, metabolic age of the mothers, and negatively with the mother's smoking status. Variant genotype (GG+GC) of the IL-6 -572C>G gene polymorphism is a protector factor against obesity in mothers. All the variables considered explained 14.50% of the outcome variance.

  17. Adaptive allocation of attentional gain.

    PubMed

    Scolari, Miranda; Serences, John T

    2009-09-23

    Humans are adept at distinguishing between stimuli that are very similar, an ability that is particularly crucial when the outcome is of serious consequence (e.g., for a surgeon or air-traffic controller). Traditionally, selective attention was thought to facilitate perception by increasing the gain of sensory neurons tuned to the defining features of a behaviorally relevant object (e.g., color, orientation, etc.). In contrast, recent mathematical models counterintuitively suggest that, in many cases, attentional gain should be applied to neurons that are tuned away from relevant features, especially when discriminating highly similar stimuli. Here we used psychophysical methods to critically evaluate these "ideal observer" models. The data demonstrate that attention enhances the gain of the most informative sensory neurons, even when these neurons are tuned away from the behaviorally relevant target feature. Moreover, the degree to which an individual adopted optimal attentional gain settings by the end of testing predicted success rates on a difficult visual discrimination task, as well as the amount of task improvement that occurred across repeated testing sessions (learning). Contrary to most traditional accounts, these observations suggest that the primary function of attentional gain is not to enhance the representation of target features per se, but instead to optimize performance on the current perceptual task. Additionally, individual differences in gain suggest that the operating characteristics of low-level attentional phenomena are not stable trait-like attributes and that variability in how attention is deployed may play an important role in determining perceptual abilities.

  18. Exploring the Role of Plant Genetics to Enhance Soil Carbon Sequestration in Hybrid Poplar Plantations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Garten, C. T.; Classen, A. T.

    2008-12-01

    Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased in recent decades and are projected to increase even further during the coming century. These projections have prompted scientists and policy-makers to consider how plants and soils can be used to stabilize CO2 concentrations. Although storing carbon in terrestrial ecosystems represents an attractive near-term option for mitigating rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, enhancing the sequestration potential of managed systems will require advancements in understanding the fundamental mechanisms that control rates of carbon transfer and turnover in plants and soils. To address this challenge, a mathematical model was constructed to evaluate how changes in particular plant traits and management practices could affect soil carbon storage beneath hybrid poplar (Populus) plantations. The model was built from four sub-models that describe aboveground biomass, root biomass, soil carbon dynamics, and soil nitrogen transformations for trees growing throughout a user-defined rotation. Simulations could be run over one or multiple rotations. A sensitivity analysis of the model indicated changes in soil carbon storage were affected by variables that could be linked to hybrid poplar traits like rates of aboveground production, partitioning of carbon to coarse and fine roots, and rates of root decomposition. A higher ratio of belowground to aboveground production was especially important and correlated directly with increased soil carbon storage. Faster decomposition rates for coarse and fine dead roots resulted in a greater loss of carbon to the atmosphere as CO2 and less residual organic carbon for transfer to the fast soil carbon pool. Hence, changes in root chemistry that prolonged dead root decomposition rates, a trait that is under potential genetic control, were predicted to increase soil carbon storage via higher soil carbon inputs. Nitrogen limitation of both aboveground biomass production and soil carbon sequestration was

  19. Genetic Correlations Greatly Increase Mutational Robustness and Can Both Reduce and Enhance Evolvability

    PubMed Central

    Greenbury, Sam F.; Schaper, Steffen; Ahnert, Sebastian E.; Louis, Ard A.

    2016-01-01

    Mutational neighbourhoods in genotype-phenotype (GP) maps are widely believed to be more likely to share characteristics than expected from random chance. Such genetic correlations should strongly influence evolutionary dynamics. We explore and quantify these intuitions by comparing three GP maps—a model for RNA secondary structure, the HP model for protein tertiary structure, and the Polyomino model for protein quaternary structure—to a simple random null model that maintains the number of genotypes mapping to each phenotype, but assigns genotypes randomly. The mutational neighbourhood of a genotype in these GP maps is much more likely to contain genotypes mapping to the same phenotype than in the random null model. Such neutral correlations can be quantified by the robustness to mutations, which can be many orders of magnitude larger than that of the null model, and crucially, above the critical threshold for the formation of large neutral networks of mutationally connected genotypes which enhance the capacity for the exploration of phenotypic novelty. Thus neutral correlations increase evolvability. We also study non-neutral correlations: Compared to the null model, i) If a particular (non-neutral) phenotype is found once in the 1-mutation neighbourhood of a genotype, then the chance of finding that phenotype multiple times in this neighbourhood is larger than expected; ii) If two genotypes are connected by a single neutral mutation, then their respective non-neutral 1-mutation neighbourhoods are more likely to be similar; iii) If a genotype maps to a folding or self-assembling phenotype, then its non-neutral neighbours are less likely to be a potentially deleterious non-folding or non-assembling phenotype. Non-neutral correlations of type i) and ii) reduce the rate at which new phenotypes can be found by neutral exploration, and so may diminish evolvability, while non-neutral correlations of type iii) may instead facilitate evolutionary exploration and so

  20. Genetic Transformation of Artemisia carvifolia Buch with rol Genes Enhances Artemisinin Accumulation.

    PubMed

    Dilshad, Erum; Cusido, Rosa Maria; Ramirez Estrada, Karla; Bonfill, Mercedes; Mirza, Bushra

    2015-01-01

    The potent antimalarial drug artemisinin has a high cost, since its only viable source to date is Artemisia annua (0.01-0.8% DW). There is therefore an urgent need to design new strategies to increase its production or to find alternative sources. In the current study, Artemisia carvifolia Buch was selected with the aim of detecting artemisinin and then enhancing the production of the target compound and its derivatives. These metabolites were determined by LC-MS in the shoots of A. carvifolia wild type plants at the following concentrations: artemisinin (8μg/g), artesunate (2.24μg/g), dihydroartemisinin (13.6μg/g) and artemether (12.8μg/g). Genetic transformation of A. carvifolia was carried out with Agrobacterium tumefaciens GV3101 harboring the rol B and rol C genes. Artemisinin content increased 3-7-fold in transgenics bearing the rol B gene, and 2.3-6-fold in those with the rol C gene. A similar pattern was observed for artemisinin analogues. The dynamics of artemisinin content in transgenics and wild type A.carvifolia was also correlated with the expression of genes involved in its biosynthesis. Real time qPCR analysis revealed the differential expression of genes involved in artemisinin biosynthesis, i.e. those encoding amorpha-4, 11 diene synthase (ADS), cytochrome P450 (CYP71AV1), and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1), with a relatively higher transcript level found in transgenics than in the wild type plant. Also, the gene related to trichome development and sesquiterpenoid biosynthesis (TFAR1) showed an altered expression in the transgenics compared to wild type A.carvifolia, which was in accordance with the trichome density of the respective plants. The trichome index was significantly higher in the rol B and rol C gene-expressing transgenics with an increased production of artemisinin, thereby demonstrating that the rol genes are effective inducers of plant secondary metabolism.

  1. Standing genetic variation in a tissue-specific enhancer underlies selfing-syndrome evolution in Capsella.

    PubMed

    Sicard, Adrien; Kappel, Christian; Lee, Young Wha; Woźniak, Natalia Joanna; Marona, Cindy; Stinchcombe, John R; Wright, Stephen I; Lenhard, Michael

    2016-11-29

    Mating system shifts recurrently drive specific changes in organ dimensions. The shift in mating system from out-breeding to selfing is one of the most frequent evolutionary transitions in flowering plants and is often associated with an organ-specific reduction in flower size. However, the evolutionary paths along which polygenic traits, such as size, evolve are poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear how natural selection can specifically modulate the size of one organ despite the pleiotropic action of most known growth regulators. Here, we demonstrate that allelic variation in the intron of a general growth regulator contributed to the specific reduction of petal size after the transition to selfing in the genus Capsella Variation within this intron affects an organ-specific enhancer that regulates the level of STERILE APETALA (SAP) protein in the developing petals. The resulting decrease in SAP activity leads to a shortening of the cell proliferation period and reduced number of petal cells. The absence of private polymorphisms at the causal region in the selfing species suggests that the small-petal allele was captured from standing genetic variation in the ancestral out-crossing population. Petal-size variation in the current out-crossing population indicates that several small-effect mutations have contributed to reduce petal-size. These data demonstrate how tissue-specific regulatory elements in pleiotropic genes contribute to organ-specific evolution. In addition, they provide a plausible evolutionary explanation for the rapid evolution of flower size after the out-breeding-to-selfing transition based on additive effects of segregating alleles.

  2. Genetic Enhancement of Limb Defects in a Mouse Model of Cornelia de Lange Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    LOPEZ-BURKS, MARTHA E.; SANTOS, ROSAYSELA; KAWAUCHI, SHIMAKO; CALOF, ANNE L.; LANDER, ARTHUR D.

    2016-01-01

    Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) is characterized by a wide variety of structural and functional abnormalities in almost every organ system of the body. CdLS is now known to be caused by mutations that disrupt the function of the cohesin complex or its regulators, and studies of animal models and cell lines tell us that the effect of these mutations is to produce subtle yet pervasive dysregulation of gene expression. With many hundreds of mostly small gene expression changes occurring in every cell type and tissue, identifying the etiology of any particular birth defect is very challenging. Here we focus on limb abnormalities, which are commonly seen in CdLS. In the limb buds of the Nipbl-haploinsufficient mouse (Nipbl+/− mouse), a model for the most common form of CdLS, modest gene expression changes are observed in several candidate pathways whose disruption is known to cause limb abnormalities, yet the limbs of Nipbl+/− mice develop relatively normally. We hypothesized that further impairment of candidate pathways might produce limb defects similar to those seen in CdLS, and performed genetic experiments to test this. Focusing on Sonic hedgehog (Shh), Bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp), and Hox gene pathways, we show that decreasing Bmp or Hox function (but not Shh function) enhances polydactyly in Nipbl+/− mice, and in some cases produces novel skeletal phenotypes. However, frank limb reductions, as are seen in a subset of individuals with CdLS, do not occur, suggesting that additional signaling and/or gene regulatory pathways are involved in producing such dramatic changes. PMID:27120109

  3. Standing genetic variation in a tissue-specific enhancer underlies selfing-syndrome evolution in Capsella

    PubMed Central

    Sicard, Adrien; Lee, Young Wha; Woźniak, Natalia Joanna; Marona, Cindy; Stinchcombe, John R.; Wright, Stephen I.; Lenhard, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Mating system shifts recurrently drive specific changes in organ dimensions. The shift in mating system from out-breeding to selfing is one of the most frequent evolutionary transitions in flowering plants and is often associated with an organ-specific reduction in flower size. However, the evolutionary paths along which polygenic traits, such as size, evolve are poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear how natural selection can specifically modulate the size of one organ despite the pleiotropic action of most known growth regulators. Here, we demonstrate that allelic variation in the intron of a general growth regulator contributed to the specific reduction of petal size after the transition to selfing in the genus Capsella. Variation within this intron affects an organ-specific enhancer that regulates the level of STERILE APETALA (SAP) protein in the developing petals. The resulting decrease in SAP activity leads to a shortening of the cell proliferation period and reduced number of petal cells. The absence of private polymorphisms at the causal region in the selfing species suggests that the small-petal allele was captured from standing genetic variation in the ancestral out-crossing population. Petal-size variation in the current out-crossing population indicates that several small-effect mutations have contributed to reduce petal-size. These data demonstrate how tissue-specific regulatory elements in pleiotropic genes contribute to organ-specific evolution. In addition, they provide a plausible evolutionary explanation for the rapid evolution of flower size after the out-breeding-to-selfing transition based on additive effects of segregating alleles. PMID:27849572

  4. Genetically engineered immunomodulatory Streptococcus thermophilus strains producing antioxidant enzymes exhibit enhanced anti-inflammatory activities.

    PubMed

    Del Carmen, Silvina; de Moreno de LeBlanc, Alejandra; Martin, Rebeca; Chain, Florian; Langella, Philippe; Bermúdez-Humarán, Luis G; LeBlanc, Jean Guy

    2014-02-01

    The aims of this study were to develop strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) having both immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties and to evaluate their anti-inflammatory effects both in vitro, in different cellular models, and in vivo, in a mouse model of colitis. Different Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus strains were cocultured with primary cultures of mononuclear cells. Analysis of the pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines secreted by these cells after coincubation with candidate bacteria revealed that L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus CRL 864 and S. thermophilus CRL 807 display the highest anti-inflammatory profiles in vitro. Moreover, these results were confirmed in vivo by the determination of the cytokine profiles in large intestine samples of mice fed with these strains. S. thermophilus CRL 807 was then transformed with two different plasmids harboring the genes encoding catalase (CAT) or superoxide dismutase (SOD) antioxidant enzymes, and the anti-inflammatory effects of recombinant streptococci were evaluated in a mouse model of colitis induced by trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS). Our results showed a decrease in weight loss, lower liver microbial translocation, lower macroscopic and microscopic damage scores, and modulation of the cytokine production in the large intestines of mice treated with either CAT- or SOD-producing streptococci compared to those in mice treated with the wild-type strain or control mice without any treatment. Furthermore, the greatest anti-inflammatory activity was observed in mice receiving a mixture of both CAT- and SOD-producing streptococci. The addition of L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus CRL 864 to this mixture did not improve their beneficial effects. These findings show that genetically engineering a candidate bacterium (e.g., S. thermophilus CRL 807) with intrinsic immunomodulatory properties by introducing a gene expressing an antioxidant enzyme enhances its anti

  5. Genetic increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels enhances learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Nakajo, Yukako; Miyamoto, Susumu; Nakano, Yoshikazu; Xue, Jing-Hui; Hori, Takuya; Yanamoto, Hiroji

    2008-11-19

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin, is known to promote neuronal differentiation stimulating neurite outgrowth in the developing CNS, and is also known to modulate synaptic plasticity, thereby contributing to learning and memory in the mature brain. Here, we investigated the role of increased levels of intracerebral BDNF in learning and memory function. Using genetically engineered transgenic BDNF overexpressing mice (RTG-BDNF), young adult, homozygous (+/+), heterozygous (+/-), or wild-type (-/-) littermates, we analyzed escape latency to a hidden-platform and swimming velocity in the Morris Water Maze test (MWM) with modifications for the mice. The MWM comprised 4 trials per day over 5 consecutive days (sessions) without prior or subsequent training. In a separate set of animals, BDNF protein levels in the cortex, thalamostriatum and the hippocampus were measured quantitatively using ELISA. In the BDNF (+/-) mice, the BDNF levels in the cortex, the thalamostriatum and the hippocampus were significantly high, compared to the wild-type littermates; 238%, 158%, and 171%, respectively (P<0.01, one-way ANOVA and a post-hoc test in each region). The BDNF levels in the BDNF (+/+) mice were not elevated. The BDNF (+/-), but not the (+/+) mice, demonstrated significantly shorter escape latency, shorter total path length in the MWM, and more frequent arrivals at the location where the platform had been placed previously in the probe trial, compared with the wild-type littermates (P<0.05, at each time pint). Because the maximum swimming velocity was not affected in the BDNF-transgenic mice, increased BDNF levels in the brain were found to enhance spatial learning and memory function. Although it has been postulated that excessive BDNF is deteriorating for neuronal survival or neurite outgrowth, further investigations are needed to clarify the mechanism of paradoxical lack of increase in BDNF levels in the (+/+) mouse brain.

  6. Genetically Engineered Immunomodulatory Streptococcus thermophilus Strains Producing Antioxidant Enzymes Exhibit Enhanced Anti-Inflammatory Activities

    PubMed Central

    del Carmen, Silvina; de Moreno de LeBlanc, Alejandra; Martin, Rebeca; Chain, Florian; Langella, Philippe; Bermúdez-Humarán, Luis G.

    2014-01-01

    The aims of this study were to develop strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) having both immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties and to evaluate their anti-inflammatory effects both in vitro, in different cellular models, and in vivo, in a mouse model of colitis. Different Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus strains were cocultured with primary cultures of mononuclear cells. Analysis of the pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines secreted by these cells after coincubation with candidate bacteria revealed that L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus CRL 864 and S. thermophilus CRL 807 display the highest anti-inflammatory profiles in vitro. Moreover, these results were confirmed in vivo by the determination of the cytokine profiles in large intestine samples of mice fed with these strains. S. thermophilus CRL 807 was then transformed with two different plasmids harboring the genes encoding catalase (CAT) or superoxide dismutase (SOD) antioxidant enzymes, and the anti-inflammatory effects of recombinant streptococci were evaluated in a mouse model of colitis induced by trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS). Our results showed a decrease in weight loss, lower liver microbial translocation, lower macroscopic and microscopic damage scores, and modulation of the cytokine production in the large intestines of mice treated with either CAT- or SOD-producing streptococci compared to those in mice treated with the wild-type strain or control mice without any treatment. Furthermore, the greatest anti-inflammatory activity was observed in mice receiving a mixture of both CAT- and SOD-producing streptococci. The addition of L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus CRL 864 to this mixture did not improve their beneficial effects. These findings show that genetically engineering a candidate bacterium (e.g., S. thermophilus CRL 807) with intrinsic immunomodulatory properties by introducing a gene expressing an antioxidant enzyme enhances its anti

  7. IR gain monitor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilbert, Bryan

    2013-10-01

    The gain of the IR channel of WFC3 will be measured using a series of internal flat fields. Using knowledge gained from ground testing and previous cycles, we propose to collect flat field ramps which will be used to create photon transfer curves and give a measure of the gain. This continues the strategy of last cycle's gain monitor, in proposal 13080.

  8. Should we select for genetic moral enhancement? A thought experiment using the MoralKinder (MK+) haplotype.

    PubMed

    Faust, Halley S

    2008-01-01

    By using preimplantation haplotype diagnosis, prospective parents are able to select embryos to implant through in vitro fertilization. If we knew that the naturally-occurring (but theoretical) MoralKinder (MK+) haplotype would predispose individuals to a higher level of morality than average, is it permissible or obligatory to select for the MK+ haplotype? I.e., is it moral to select for morality? This paper explores the various potential issues that could arise from genetic moral enhancement.

  9. Genetic variation in T-box binding element functionally affects SCN5A/SCN10A enhancer.

    PubMed

    van den Boogaard, Malou; Wong, L Y Elaine; Tessadori, Federico; Bakker, Martijn L; Dreizehnter, Lisa K; Wakker, Vincent; Bezzina, Connie R; 't Hoen, Peter A C; Bakkers, Jeroen; Barnett, Phil; Christoffels, Vincent M

    2012-07-01

    The contraction pattern of the heart relies on the activation and conduction of the electrical impulse. Perturbations of cardiac conduction have been associated with congenital and acquired arrhythmias as well as cardiac arrest. The pattern of conduction depends on the regulation of heterogeneous gene expression by key transcription factors and transcriptional enhancers. Here, we assessed the genome-wide occupation of conduction system-regulating transcription factors TBX3, NKX2-5, and GATA4 and of enhancer-associated coactivator p300 in the mouse heart, uncovering cardiac enhancers throughout the genome. Many of the enhancers colocalized with ion channel genes repressed by TBX3, including the clustered sodium channel genes Scn5a, essential for cardiac function, and Scn10a. We identified 2 enhancers in the Scn5a/Scn10a locus, which were regulated by TBX3 and its family member and activator, TBX5, and are functionally conserved in humans. We also provided evidence that a SNP in the SCN10A enhancer associated with alterations in cardiac conduction patterns in humans disrupts TBX3/TBX5 binding and reduces the cardiac activity of the enhancer in vivo. Thus, the identification of key regulatory elements for cardiac conduction helps to explain how genetic variants in noncoding regulatory DNA sequences influence the regulation of cardiac conduction and the predisposition for cardiac arrhythmias.

  10. Fluorescent genetic barcoding in mammalian cells for enhanced multiplexing capabilities in flow cytometry.

    PubMed

    Smurthwaite, Cameron A; Hilton, Brett J; O'Hanlon, Ryan; Stolp, Zachary D; Hancock, Bryan M; Abbadessa, Darin; Stotland, Aleksandr; Sklar, Larry A; Wolkowicz, Roland

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of the green fluorescent protein from Aequorea victoria has revolutionized the field of cell and molecular biology. Since its discovery a growing panel of fluorescent proteins, fluorophores and fluorescent-coupled staining methodologies, have expanded the analytical capabilities of flow cytometry. Here, we exploit the power of genetic engineering to barcode individual cells with genes encoding fluorescent proteins. For genetic engineering, we utilize retroviral technology, which allows for the expression of ectopic genetic information in a stable manner in mammalian cells. We have genetically barcoded both adherent and nonadherent cells with different fluorescent proteins. Multiplexing power was increased by combining both the number of distinct fluorescent proteins, and the fluorescence intensity in each channel. Moreover, retroviral expression has proven to be stable for at least a 6-month period, which is critical for applications such as biological screens. We have shown the applicability of fluorescent barcoded multiplexing to cell-based assays that rely themselves on genetic barcoding, or on classical staining protocols. Fluorescent genetic barcoding gives the cell an inherited characteristic that distinguishes it from its counterpart. Once cell lines are developed, no further manipulation or staining is required, decreasing time, nonspecific background associated with staining protocols, and cost. The increasing number of discovered and/or engineered fluorescent proteins with unique absorbance/emission spectra, combined with the growing number of detection devices and lasers, increases multiplexing versatility, making fluorescent genetic barcoding a powerful tool for flow cytometry-based analysis.

  11. Accuracy of whole-genome prediction using a genetic architecture-enhanced variance-covariance matrix.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhe; Erbe, Malena; He, Jinlong; Ober, Ulrike; Gao, Ning; Zhang, Hao; Simianer, Henner; Li, Jiaqi

    2015-02-09

    Obtaining accurate predictions of unobserved genetic or phenotypic values for complex traits in animal, plant, and human populations is possible through whole-genome prediction (WGP), a combined analysis of genotypic and phenotypic data. Because the underlying genetic architecture of the trait of interest is an important factor affecting model selection, we propose a new strategy, termed BLUP|GA (BLUP-given genetic architecture), which can use genetic architecture information within the dataset at hand rather than from public sources. This is achieved by using a trait-specific covariance matrix ( T: ), which is a weighted sum of a genetic architecture part ( S: matrix) and the realized relationship matrix ( G: ). The algorithm of BLUP|GA (BLUP-given genetic architecture) is provided and illustrated with real and simulated datasets. Predictive ability of BLUP|GA was validated with three model traits in a dairy cattle dataset and 11 traits in three public datasets with a variety of genetic architectures and compared with GBLUP and other approaches. Results show that BLUP|GA outperformed GBLUP in 20 of 21 scenarios in the dairy cattle dataset and outperformed GBLUP, BayesA, and BayesB in 12 of 13 traits in the analyzed public datasets. Further analyses showed that the difference of accuracies for BLUP|GA and GBLUP significantly correlate with the distance between the T: and G: matrices. The new strategy applied in BLUP|GA is a favorable and flexible alternative to the standard GBLUP model, allowing to account for the genetic architecture of the quantitative trait under consideration when necessary. This feature is mainly due to the increased similarity between the trait-specific relationship matrix ( T: matrix) and the genetic relationship matrix at unobserved causal loci. Applying BLUP|GA in WGP would ease the burden of model selection. Copyright © 2015 Zhang et al.

  12. Genetic Transformation of Artemisia carvifolia Buch with rol Genes Enhances Artemisinin Accumulation

    PubMed Central

    Dilshad, Erum; Cusido, Rosa Maria; Estrada, Karla Ramirez; Bonfill, Mercedes; Mirza, Bushra

    2015-01-01

    The potent antimalarial drug artemisinin has a high cost, since its only viable source to date is Artemisia annua (0.01–0.8% DW). There is therefore an urgent need to design new strategies to increase its production or to find alternative sources. In the current study, Artemisia carvifolia Buch was selected with the aim of detecting artemisinin and then enhancing the production of the target compound and its derivatives. These metabolites were determined by LC-MS in the shoots of A. carvifolia wild type plants at the following concentrations: artemisinin (8μg/g), artesunate (2.24μg/g), dihydroartemisinin (13.6μg/g) and artemether (12.8μg/g). Genetic transformation of A. carvifolia was carried out with Agrobacterium tumefaciens GV3101 harboring the rol B and rol C genes. Artemisinin content increased 3-7-fold in transgenics bearing the rol B gene, and 2.3-6-fold in those with the rol C gene. A similar pattern was observed for artemisinin analogues. The dynamics of artemisinin content in transgenics and wild type A.carvifolia was also correlated with the expression of genes involved in its biosynthesis. Real time qPCR analysis revealed the differential expression of genes involved in artemisinin biosynthesis, i.e. those encoding amorpha-4, 11 diene synthase (ADS), cytochrome P450 (CYP71AV1), and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1), with a relatively higher transcript level found in transgenics than in the wild type plant. Also, the gene related to trichome development and sesquiterpenoid biosynthesis (TFAR1) showed an altered expression in the transgenics compared to wild type A.carvifolia, which was in accordance with the trichome density of the respective plants. The trichome index was significantly higher in the rol B and rol C gene-expressing transgenics with an increased production of artemisinin, thereby demonstrating that the rol genes are effective inducers of plant secondary metabolism. PMID:26444558

  13. Genetic Engineering of the Biosynthesis of Glycinebetaine Enhances Photosynthesis against High Temperature Stress in Transgenic Tobacco Plants1

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xinghong; Liang, Zheng; Lu, Congming

    2005-01-01

    Genetically engineered tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) with the ability to synthesis glycinebetaine was established by introducing the BADH gene for betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase from spinach (Spinacia oleracea). The genetic engineering enabled the plants to accumulate glycinebetaine mainly in chloroplasts and resulted in enhanced tolerance to high temperature stress during growth of young seedlings. Moreover, CO2 assimilation of transgenic plants was significantly more tolerant to high temperatures than that of wild-type plants. The analyses of chlorophyll fluorescence and the activation of Rubisco indicated that the enhancement of photosynthesis to high temperatures was not related to the function of photosystem II but to the Rubisco activase-mediated activation of Rubisco. Western-blotting analyses showed that high temperature stress led to the association of Rubisco activase with the thylakoid membranes from the stroma fractions. However, such an association was much more pronounced in wild-type plants than in transgenic plants. The results in this study suggest that under high temperature stress, glycinebetaine maintains the activation of Rubisco by preventing the sequestration of Rubisco activase to the thylakoid membranes from the soluble stroma fractions and thus enhances the tolerance of CO2 assimilation to high temperature stress. The results seem to suggest that engineering of the biosynthesis of glycinebetaine by transformation with the BADH gene might be an effective method for enhancing high temperature tolerance of plants. PMID:16024688

  14. Welfare Gains from Financial Liberalization

    PubMed Central

    Townsend, Robert M.; Ueda, Kenichi

    2010-01-01

    Financial liberalization has been a controversial issue, as empirical evidence for growth enhancing effects is mixed. Here, we find sizable welfare gains from liberalization (cost to repression), though the gain in economic growth is ambiguous. We take the view that financial liberalization is a government policy that alters the path of financial deepening, while financial deepening is endogenously chosen by agents given a policy and occurs in transition towards a distant steady state. This history-dependent view necessitates the use of simulation analysis based on a growth model. Our application is a specific episode: Thailand from 1976 to 1996. PMID:20806055

  15. Characterization of Greater Middle Eastern genetic variation for enhanced disease gene discovery

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Eric M.; Halees, Anason; Itan, Yuval; Spencer, Emily G.; He, Yupeng; Azab, Mostafa Abdellateef; Gabriel, Stacey B.; Belkadi, Aziz; Boisson, Bertrand; Abel, Laurent; Clark, Andrew G.; Alkuraya, Fowzan S.; Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Gleeson, Joseph G.

    2016-01-01

    The Greater Middle East (GME) has been a central hub of human migration and population admixture. The tradition of consanguinity, variably practiced in the Gulf region, North Africa, and Central Asia 1–3, has resulted in an elevated burden of recessive disease4. Here we generated a whole exome GME variome from 1,111 unrelated subjects. We detected substantial diversity from sub-geographies, continental and subregional admixture, several ancient founder populations with little evidence of bottlenecks. Measured consanguinity was an order-of-magnitude above that of other sampled populations, and included an increased burden of runs of homozygosity (ROH), but no evidence for reduced burden of deleterious variation due to classically theorized ‘genetic purging’. Applying this database to unsolved GME recessive conditions reduced the number of potential disease-causing variants by 4–7-fold. These results reveal the variegated GME genetic architecture and support future human genetic discoveries in Mendelian and population genetics. PMID:27428751

  16. Incorporation of genetic technologies associated with applied reproductive technologies to enhance world food production

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Animal breeding and reproductive physiology have been closely related throughout the history of animal production science. Artificial insemination provides the best method of increasing the influence of sires with superior genetics to improve production traits. Multiple ovulation embryo transfer (MO...

  17. Improved adherence with PTH(1–84) in an extension trial for 24 months results in enhanced BMD gains in the treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis

    PubMed Central

    Bilezikian, J. P.; Greenspan, S. L.; Wüster, C.; Muñoz-Torres, M.; Bone, H. G.; Rosen, C. J.; Andersen, H. S.; Hanley, D. A.

    2016-01-01

    Summary The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of PTH(1–84) treatment over 24 months followed by 12 months discontinuation on BMD, bone turnover markers, fractures and the impact of adherence on efficacy. Introduction There is limited information about the effect of PTH(1-84) after 18 months and limited data about the impact of compliance on response to anabolic therapy. Methods Seven hundred and eighty-one subjects who received active PTH(1–84) in the Treatment of Osteoporosis with Parathyroid hormone trial for approximately 18 months were entered into a 6-month open-label extension. Thereafter, they were followed for 12 additional months after discontinuation of treatment. Endpoints examined included changes in BMD and biochemical markers. Results PTH(1–84) treatment over 24 months increased BMD at the lumbar spine by 6.8 % above baseline (p < 0.05). The total corresponding BMD increases at the hip and femoral neck were 1.1 and 2.2% above baseline. Larger increases in spine BMD were observed in participants with ≥80 % adherence to daily injections of PTH(1–84) (8.3% in adherent vs 4.9 % in poorly adherent patients). Total hip BMD gains were 1.7 % in adherent vs 0.6 % in poorly adherent participants. Markers of bone turnover (BSAP and NTx) peaked 6 months after starting PTH(1–84) treatment and declined slowly but remained above baseline at 24 months. After discontinuation of PTH(1–84) treatment (at 24 months), bone turnover markers returned to near baseline levels by 30 months. The adherent group sustained significantly fewer fractures than the poorly adherent group. Conclusions PTH(1–84) treatment over 24 months results in continued increases in lumbar spine BMD. Adherence to treatment with PTH(1–84) for up to 24 months is also associated with greater efficacy. PMID:22930240

  18. Expression of recombinant human α-lactalbumin in milk of transgenic cloned pigs is sufficient to enhance intestinal growth and weight gain of suckling piglets.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jin; Li, Qiuyan; Li, Yan; Wen, Xiao; Li, Zhiyuan; Zhang, Zaihu; Zhang, Jiuming; Yu, Zhengquan; Li, Ning

    2016-06-10

    Human α-lactalbumin (HLA) has very high nutritional value and important physiological functions during the neonatal period. The peptides derived from HLA provide diverse health benefits including antimicrobial, antiviral, immune-modulating, and antihypertensive effects. Thus, it is worth investigating the effects on offspring development of increasing HLA in milk. In this study, we found that recombinant human α-lactalbumin (rHLA) exhibits efficient inhibition of dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) activity in an in vitro simulated gastrointestinal digestion system. Using a BAC clone containing the complete HLA gene as a candidate vector, we generated two lines of transgenic cloned sows via somatic cell nuclear transfer that over-expressed rHLA. The average concentrations of rHLA in milk from the two lines of transgenic cloned sows were 2.24 ± 0.71 mg/ml and 2.67 ± 1.29 mg/ml. The feeding experiments revealed that rHLA represses dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) activity in vivo. Furthermore, the piglets reared by rHLA transgenic cloned sows exhibit better performance in gain of body weight and intestine growth than the control piglets reared by non-transgenic sows. Therefore, these findings indicate that rHLA could serve as a natural precursor for a DPP-IV inhibitor, and the transgenic technology that produced the over-expression of rHLA could be a useful method for pig breeders to improve lactation performance. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. IR Gain Monitor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilbert, Bryan

    2012-10-01

    The gain of the IR channel of WFC3 will be measured using a series of internal flat fields. Using knowledge gained from ground testing and previous cycles, we propose to collect flat field ramps which will be used to create photon transfer curves and give a measure of the gain.

  20. Central Gain Control in Tinnitus and Hyperacusis

    PubMed Central

    Auerbach, Benjamin D.; Rodrigues, Paulo V.; Salvi, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Sensorineural hearing loss induced by noise or ototoxic drug exposure reduces the neural activity transmitted from the cochlea to the central auditory system. Despite a reduced cochlear output, neural activity from more central auditory structures is paradoxically enhanced at suprathreshold intensities. This compensatory increase in the central auditory activity in response to the loss of sensory input is referred to as central gain enhancement. Enhanced central gain is hypothesized to be a potential mechanism that gives rise to hyperacusis and tinnitus, two debilitating auditory perceptual disorders that afflict millions of individuals. This review will examine the evidence for gain enhancement in the central auditory system in response to cochlear damage. Further, it will address the potential cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this enhancement and discuss the contribution of central gain enhancement to tinnitus and hyperacusis. Current evidence suggests that multiple mechanisms with distinct temporal and spectral profiles are likely to contribute to central gain enhancement. Dissecting the contributions of these different mechanisms at different levels of the central auditory system is essential for elucidating the role of central gain enhancement in tinnitus and hyperacusis and, most importantly, the development of novel treatments for these disorders. PMID:25386157

  1. Genetic analysis of stress responses in soil bacteria for enhanced bioremediation of mixed contaminants. 1998 annual progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, K.K.

    1998-06-01

    'To realize the full potential of bioremediation, the individual bacterial responses to the stresses (lack of nutrients or oxygen; mixed pollutants) encountered at contaminated sites must be understood. This information can then be extrapolated to field applications using indigenous bacteria or genetically engineered micro-organisms. Studying bacterial response to stresses presents an opportunity for improving bioremediation strategies, both with indigenous populations and genetically engineered microbes, and should contribute to environmental management and restoration goals. Enhancing in-situ removal of hazardous wastes by stimulating the growth of indigenous bacteria with nutrients has been demonstrated. But how much and how often to apply these supplements has been difficult to determine, and controlled and reproducible degradation of pollutants in the environment has not yet been achieved. As of May 31st 1998, this report summarizes work after 17 months of a 36 month project.'

  2. MuRF2 regulates PPARγ1 activity to protect against diabetic cardiomyopathy and enhance weight gain induced by a high fat diet.

    PubMed

    He, Jun; Quintana, Megan T; Sullivan, Jenyth; L Parry, Traci; J Grevengoed, Trisha; Schisler, Jonathan C; Hill, Joseph A; Yates, Cecelia C; Mapanga, Rudo F; Essop, M Faadiel; Stansfield, William E; Bain, James R; Newgard, Christopher B; Muehlbauer, Michael J; Han, Yipin; Clarke, Brian A; Willis, Monte S

    2015-08-05

    In diabetes mellitus the morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular disease is increased and represents an important independent mechanism by which heart disease is exacerbated. The pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy involves the enhanced activation of PPAR transcription factors, including PPARα, and to a lesser degree PPARβ and PPARγ1. How these transcription factors are regulated in the heart is largely unknown. Recent studies have described post-translational ubiquitination of PPARs as ways in which PPAR activity is inhibited in cancer. However, specific mechanisms in the heart have not previously been described. Recent studies have implicated the muscle-specific ubiquitin ligase muscle ring finger-2 (MuRF2) in inhibiting the nuclear transcription factor SRF. Initial studies of MuRF2-/- hearts revealed enhanced PPAR activity, leading to the hypothesis that MuRF2 regulates PPAR activity by post-translational ubiquitination. MuRF2-/- mice were challenged with a 26-week 60% fat diet designed to simulate obesity-mediated insulin resistance and diabetic cardiomyopathy. Mice were followed by conscious echocardiography, blood glucose, tissue triglyceride, glycogen levels, immunoblot analysis of intracellular signaling, heart and skeletal muscle morphometrics, and PPARα, PPARβ, and PPARγ1-regulated mRNA expression. MuRF2 protein levels increase ~20% during the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy induced by high fat diet. Compared to littermate wildtype hearts, MuRF2-/- hearts exhibit an exaggerated diabetic cardiomyopathy, characterized by an early onset systolic dysfunction, larger left ventricular mass, and higher heart weight. MuRF2-/- hearts had significantly increased PPARα- and PPARγ1-regulated gene expression by RT-qPCR, consistent with MuRF2's regulation of these transcription factors in vivo. Mechanistically, MuRF2 mono-ubiquitinated PPARα and PPARγ1 in vitro, consistent with its non-degradatory role in diabetic cardiomyopathy. However

  3. Gamma-Rhythmic Gain Modulation.

    PubMed

    Ni, Jianguang; Wunderle, Thomas; Lewis, Christopher Murphy; Desimone, Robert; Diester, Ilka; Fries, Pascal

    2016-10-05

    Cognition requires the dynamic modulation of effective connectivity, i.e., the modulation of the postsynaptic neuronal response to a given input. If postsynaptic neurons are rhythmically active, this might entail rhythmic gain modulation, such that inputs synchronized to phases of high gain benefit from enhanced effective connectivity. We show that visually induced gamma-band activity in awake macaque area V4 rhythmically modulates responses to unpredictable stimulus events. This modulation exceeded a simple additive superposition of a constant response onto ongoing gamma-rhythmic firing, demonstrating the modulation of multiplicative gain. Gamma phases leading to strongest neuronal responses also led to shortest behavioral reaction times, suggesting functional relevance of the effect. Furthermore, we find that constant optogenetic stimulation of anesthetized cat area 21a produces gamma-band activity entailing a similar gain modulation. As the gamma rhythm in area 21a did not spread backward to area 17, this suggests that postsynaptic gamma is sufficient for gain modulation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Genetic determination of the enhanced drought resistance of rice maintainer HuHan2B by pedigree breeding

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Haibin; Feng, Fangjun; Lou, Qiaojun; Xia, Hui; Ma, Xiaosong; Liu, Yunhua; Xu, Kai; Yu, Xinqiao; Mei, Hanwei; Luo, Lijun

    2016-01-01

    The ongoing deficit of fresh water resource in rice growing regions has made the selection of water-saving and drought-resistance rice (WDR) a crucial factor in developing sustainable cultivation. HuHan2B, a new japonica maintainer for WDR breeding, had the same yield potential as recurrent parent HanFengB but showed improved drought resistance in fields. We investigated the genomic content accumulation and candidate genes passed from parent to offspring using the genomic and transcriptomic approaches. The genomic constitution indicated that the genetic similarity was 84% between HuHan2B and HanFengB; additionally, 7,256 genes with specific alleles were inherited by HuHan2B from parents other than HanFengB. The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) under drought stress showed that biological function was significantly enriched for transcript regulation in HuHan2B, while the oxidation-reduction process was primarily enriched in HanFengB. Furthermore, 36 DEGs with specific inherited alleles in HuHan2B were almost involved in the regulatory network of TFs and target genes. These findings suggested that major-effect genes were congregated and transformed into offspring in manner of interacting network by breeding. Thus, exploiting the potential biological function of allelic-influencing DEGs would be of great importance for improving selection efficiency and the overall genetic gain of multiple complex traits. PMID:27853319

  5. Genetic Enhancement of Polyploid Crops Using Tools of Classical Cytogenetics and Modern Biotechnology

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Traditional plant breeding has been mainly instrumental in the genetic improvement of crop plants. Sustained improvement of crop species has been achieved through hybridization with landraces and allied species resulting in high-yielding, superior cultivars of staple food crops. Although plant bre...

  6. Characterization of Greater Middle Eastern genetic variation for enhanced disease gene discovery.

    PubMed

    Scott, Eric M; Halees, Anason; Itan, Yuval; Spencer, Emily G; He, Yupeng; Azab, Mostafa Abdellateef; Gabriel, Stacey B; Belkadi, Aziz; Boisson, Bertrand; Abel, Laurent; Clark, Andrew G; Alkuraya, Fowzan S; Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Gleeson, Joseph G

    2016-09-01

    The Greater Middle East (GME) has been a central hub of human migration and population admixture. The tradition of consanguinity, variably practiced in the Persian Gulf region, North Africa, and Central Asia, has resulted in an elevated burden of recessive disease. Here we generated a whole-exome GME variome from 1,111 unrelated subjects. We detected substantial diversity and admixture in continental and subregional populations, corresponding to several ancient founder populations with little evidence of bottlenecks. Measured consanguinity rates were an order of magnitude above those in other sampled populations, and the GME population exhibited an increased burden of runs of homozygosity (ROHs) but showed no evidence for reduced burden of deleterious variation due to classically theorized 'genetic purging'. Applying this database to unsolved recessive conditions in the GME population reduced the number of potential disease-causing variants by four- to sevenfold. These results show variegated genetic architecture in GME populations and support future human genetic discoveries in Mendelian and population genetics.

  7. Incorporation of genetic technologies associated with applied reproductive technologies to enhance world food production.

    PubMed

    Cushman, Robert A; McDaneld, Tara G; Kuehn, Larry A; Snelling, Warren M; Nonneman, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Animal breeding and reproductive physiology have been closely related throughout the history of animal production science. Artificial insemination provides the best method of increasing the influence of sires with superior genetics to improve production traits. Multiple ovulation embryo transfer (MOET) provides some ability to increase the genetic influence of the maternal line as well. The addition of genetic technologies to this paradigm allows for improved methods of selecting sires and dams carrying the best genes for production and yield of edible products and resistance to diseases and parasites. However, decreasing the number of influential parents within a population also increases the risk of propagating a recessive gene that could negatively impact the species (Reprod Domest Anim 44:792-796, 2009; BMC Genomics 11:337, 2010). Furthermore, antagonistic genotypic relationships between production traits and fertility (Anim Prod Sci 49:399-412, 2009; Anim Genet 43:442-446, 2012) suggest that care must be taken to ensure that increasing the frequency of genes with a positive influence on production does not negatively impact the fertility of the replacement females entering the herd.

  8. Intensive cognitive training in schizophrenia enhances working memory and associated prefrontal cortical efficiency in a manner that drives long-term functional gains.

    PubMed

    Subramaniam, Karuna; Luks, Tracy L; Garrett, Coleman; Chung, Cleo; Fisher, Melissa; Nagarajan, Srikantan; Vinogradov, Sophia

    2014-10-01

    We investigated whether intensive computerized cognitive training in schizophrenia could improve working memory performance and increase signal efficiency of associated middle frontal gyri (MFG) circuits in a functionally meaningful manner. Thirty schizophrenia participants and 13 healthy comparison participants underwent fMRI scanning during a letter N-back working memory task. Schizophrenia participants were then randomly assigned to either 80 h (16 weeks) of cognitive training or a computer games control condition. After this intervention, participants completed a second fMRI N-back scanning session. At baseline, during 2-back working memory trials, healthy participants showed the largest and most significant activation in bilateral MFG, which correlated with task performance. Schizophrenia participants showed impaired working memory, hypoactivation in left MFG, and no correlation between bilateral MFG signal and task performance. After training, schizophrenia participants improved their 2-back working memory performance and showed increased activation in left MFG. They also demonstrated a significant association between enhanced task performance and right MFG signal, similar to healthy participants. Both task performance and brain activity in right MFG after training predicted better generalized working memory at 6-month follow-up. Furthermore, task performance and brain activity within bilateral MFG predicted better occupational functioning at 6-month follow-up. No such findings were observed in the computer games control participants. Working memory impairments in schizophrenia and its underlying neural correlates in MFG can be improved by intensive computerized cognitive training; these improvements generalize beyond the trained task and are associated with enduring effects on cognition and functioning 6 months after the intervention. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Enhanced genetic maps from family-based disease studies: population-specific comparisons

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Accurate genetic maps are required for successful and efficient linkage mapping of disease genes. However, most available genome-wide genetic maps were built using only small collections of pedigrees, and therefore have large sampling errors. A large set of genetic studies genotyped by the NHLBI Mammalian Genotyping Service (MGS) provide appropriate data for generating more accurate maps. Results We collected a large sample of uncleaned genotype data for 461 markers generated by the MGS using the Weber screening sets 9 and 10. This collection includes genotypes for over 4,400 pedigrees containing over 17,000 genotyped individuals from different populations. We identified and cleaned numerous relationship and genotyping errors, as well as verified the marker orders. We used this dataset to test for population-specific genetic maps, and to re-estimate the genetic map distances with greater precision; standard errors for all intervals are provided. The map-interval sizes from the European (or European descent), Chinese, and Hispanic samples are in quite good agreement with each other. We found one map interval on chromosome 8p with a statistically significant size difference between the European and Chinese samples, and several map intervals with significant size differences between the African American and Chinese samples. When comparing Palauan with European samples, a statistically significant difference was detected at the telomeric region of chromosome 11p. Several significant differences were also identified between populations in chromosomal and genome lengths. Conclusions Our new population-specific screening set maps can be used to improve the accuracy of disease-mapping studies. As a result of the large sample size, the average length of the 95% confidence interval (CI) for a 10 cM map interval is only 2.4 cM, which is considerably smaller than on previously published maps. PMID:21247494

  10. Genetic Predisposition to Multiple Myeloma at 5q15 Is Mediated by an ELL2 Enhancer Polymorphism.

    PubMed

    Li, Ni; Johnson, David C; Weinhold, Niels; Kimber, Scott; Dobbins, Sara E; Mitchell, Jonathan S; Kinnersley, Ben; Sud, Amit; Law, Philip J; Orlando, Giulia; Scales, Matthew; Wardell, Christopher P; Försti, Asta; Hoang, Phuc H; Went, Molly; Holroyd, Amy; Hariri, Fadi; Pastinen, Tomi; Meissner, Tobias; Goldschmidt, Hartmut; Hemminki, Kari; Morgan, Gareth J; Kaiser, Martin; Houlston, Richard S

    2017-09-12

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignancy of plasma cells. Genome-wide association studies have shown that variation at 5q15 influences MM risk. Here, we have sought to decipher the causal variant at 5q15 and the mechanism by which it influences tumorigenesis. We show that rs6877329 G > C resides in a predicted enhancer element that physically interacts with the transcription start site of ELL2. The rs6877329-C risk allele is associated with reduced enhancer activity and lowered ELL2 expression. Since ELL2 is critical to the B cell differentiation process, reduced ELL2 expression is consistent with inherited genetic variation contributing to arrest of plasma cell development, facilitating MM clonal expansion. These data provide evidence for a biological mechanism underlying a hereditary risk of MM at 5q15. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Resistance training and the enhancement of the gains in material-handling ability and physical fitness of British Army recruits during basic training.

    PubMed

    Williams, A G; Rayson, M P; Jones, D A

    2002-03-15

    The aim was to evaluate the efficacy of a modified British Army basic training that included resistance training in improving material-handling performance and physical fitness, and to compare the modified training directly with the normal basic training. Forty-three males [19.2 (2.6) years of age, 1764 (72) mm in height, 73.0 (10.6) kg in mass] and nine females [19.1 (2.2) years, 1641 (67) mm, 62.0 (7.2) kg] performed the modified basic training. Testing occurred in the week before and in the final week of the 11-week basic training. Improvements with the modified training were observed for all six material-handling tests, including 8-12% for maximal box lifting, 15-19% for repetitive lifting and carrying and 9-17% for loaded marching (all p < 0.01), and other established measures of aerobic fitness, strength and kinanthropometric characteristics. Significantly greater improvements were observed for the modified training compared with the normal training in maximal box lift to 1.45 m (12.4 versus 1.7%, p < 0.01), 3.2 km loaded march performance with 15 kg (8.9 versus 3.6%, p < 0.05), estimated fat-free mass (4.2 versus 1.5%, p < 0.001), predicted VO(2max) (1 min(-1)) (9.3 versus 4.1%, p < 0.01) and dynamic lift to 1.45 m (15.5 versus 0.2%, p < 0.001). It was concluded that the improvements in material-handling ability and other aspects of physical fitness brought about in recruits by British Army basic training can be enhanced by the use of a physical training programme that includes a carefully designed resistance training element. Of particular note are the improvements shown in performance on material-handling tasks that require muscular strength, as these represent many of the tasks that soldiers encounter in their military careers.

  12. Gain weighted eigenspace assignment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, John B.; Andrisani, Dominick, II

    1994-01-01

    This report presents the development of the gain weighted eigenspace assignment methodology. This provides a designer with a systematic methodology for trading off eigenvector placement versus gain magnitudes, while still maintaining desired closed-loop eigenvalue locations. This is accomplished by forming a cost function composed of a scalar measure of error between desired and achievable eigenvectors and a scalar measure of gain magnitude, determining analytical expressions for the gradients, and solving for the optimal solution by numerical iteration. For this development the scalar measure of gain magnitude is chosen to be a weighted sum of the squares of all the individual elements of the feedback gain matrix. An example is presented to demonstrate the method. In this example, solutions yielding achievable eigenvectors close to the desired eigenvectors are obtained with significant reductions in gain magnitude compared to a solution obtained using a previously developed eigenspace (eigenstructure) assignment method.

  13. Genetic enhancement of cognition in a kindred with cone–rod dystrophy due to RIMS1 mutation

    PubMed Central

    Sisodiya, Sanjay M; Thompson, Pamela J; Need, Anna; Harris, Sarah E; Weale, Michael E; Wilkie, Susan E; Michaelides, Michel; Free, Samantha L; Walley, Nicole; Gumbs, Curtis; Gerrelli, Dianne; Ruddle, Piers; Whalley, Lawrence J; Starr, John M; Hunt, David M; Goldstein, David B; Deary, Ian J; Moore, Anthony T

    2007-01-01

    Background The genetic basis of variation in human cognitive abilities is poorly understood. RIMS1 encodes a synapse active‐zone protein with important roles in the maintenance of normal synaptic function: mice lacking this protein have greatly reduced learning ability and memory function. Objective An established paradigm examining the structural and functional effects of mutations in genes expressed in the eye and the brain was used to study a kindred with an inherited retinal dystrophy due to RIMS1 mutation. Materials and methods Neuropsychological tests and high‐resolution MRI brain scanning were undertaken in the kindred. In a population cohort, neuropsychological scores were associated with common variation in RIMS1. Additionally, RIMS1 was sequenced in top‐scoring individuals. Evolution of RIMS1 was assessed, and its expression in developing human brain was studied. Results Affected individuals showed significantly enhanced cognitive abilities across a range of domains. Analysis suggests that factors other than RIMS1 mutation were unlikely to explain enhanced cognition. No association with common variation and verbal IQ was found in the population cohort, and no other mutations in RIMS1 were detected in the highest scoring individuals from this cohort. RIMS1 protein is expressed in developing human brain, but RIMS1 does not seem to have been subjected to accelerated evolution in man. Conclusions A possible role for RIMS1 in the enhancement of cognitive function at least in this kindred is suggested. Although further work is clearly required to explore these findings before a role for RIMS1 in human cognition can be formally accepted, the findings suggest that genetic mutation may enhance human cognition in some cases. PMID:17237123

  14. Simultaneous Identification of Temperature-Dependent Thermal Properties via Enhanced Genetic Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czél, Balázs; Gróf, Gyula

    2012-06-01

    Simultaneous inverse identification of the temperature-dependent volumetric heat capacity and thermal conductivity of a solid material based on transient temperature histories was studied. The inverse problem was defined according to the evaluation of the BICOND thermophysical property measurement method. The material property functions were defined by several data points with linear interpolation between them. In this way, no previous information is needed about the expected temperature dependency of the material property functions. The inverse problem was solved by a real-valued genetic algorithm using simulated measurement results. New genetic operators (smooth initialization and smooth mutation) were developed and applied. The accuracy of the inverse solution was studied in two test cases including linear, square, and sinusoidal functions. The effects of regularization and random noise in the temperature histories were also analyzed. Based on the results, the proposed method is likely to be effective in evaluation of real measured temperature histories to simultaneously determine temperature-dependent thermophysical properties.

  15. An enhanced algorithm for multiple sequence alignment of protein sequences using genetic algorithm.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manish

    2015-01-01

    One of the most fundamental operations in biological sequence analysis is multiple sequence alignment (MSA). The basic of multiple sequence alignment problems is to determine the most biologically plausible alignments of protein or DNA sequences. In this paper, an alignment method using genetic algorithm for multiple sequence alignment has been proposed. Two different genetic operators mainly crossover and mutation were defined and implemented with the proposed method in order to know the population evolution and quality of the sequence aligned. The proposed method is assessed with protein benchmark dataset, e.g., BALIBASE, by comparing the obtained results to those obtained with other alignment algorithms, e.g., SAGA, RBT-GA, PRRP, HMMT, SB-PIMA, CLUSTALX, CLUSTAL W, DIALIGN and PILEUP8 etc. Experiments on a wide range of data have shown that the proposed algorithm is much better (it terms of score) than previously proposed algorithms in its ability to achieve high alignment quality.

  16. An enhanced algorithm for multiple sequence alignment of protein sequences using genetic algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Manish

    2015-01-01

    One of the most fundamental operations in biological sequence analysis is multiple sequence alignment (MSA). The basic of multiple sequence alignment problems is to determine the most biologically plausible alignments of protein or DNA sequences. In this paper, an alignment method using genetic algorithm for multiple sequence alignment has been proposed. Two different genetic operators mainly crossover and mutation were defined and implemented with the proposed method in order to know the population evolution and quality of the sequence aligned. The proposed method is assessed with protein benchmark dataset, e.g., BALIBASE, by comparing the obtained results to those obtained with other alignment algorithms, e.g., SAGA, RBT-GA, PRRP, HMMT, SB-PIMA, CLUSTALX, CLUSTAL W, DIALIGN and PILEUP8 etc. Experiments on a wide range of data have shown that the proposed algorithm is much better (it terms of score) than previously proposed algorithms in its ability to achieve high alignment quality. PMID:27065770

  17. Genetic modification of chondrocytes with insulin-like growth factor-1 enhances cartilage healing in an equine model.

    PubMed

    Goodrich, L R; Hidaka, C; Robbins, P D; Evans, C H; Nixon, A J

    2007-05-01

    Gene therapy with insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) increases matrix production and enhances chondrocyte proliferation and survival in vitro. The purpose of this study was to determine whether arthroscopically-grafted chondrocytes genetically modified by an adenovirus vector encoding equine IGF-1 (AdIGF-1) would have a beneficial effect on cartilage healing in an equine femoropatellar joint model. A total of 16 horses underwent arthroscopic repair of a single 15 mm cartilage defect in each femoropatellar joint. One joint received 2 x 10(7) AdIGF-1 modified chondrocytes and the contralateral joint received 2 x 10(7) naive (unmodified) chondrocytes. Repairs were analysed at four weeks, nine weeks and eight months after surgery. Morphological and histological appearance, IGF-1 and collagen type II gene expression (polymerase chain reaction, in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry), collagen type II content (cyanogen bromide and sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis), proteoglycan content (dimethylmethylene blue assay), and gene expression for collagen type I, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, MMP-3, MMP-13, aggrecanase-1, tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) and TIMP-3 were evaluated. Genetic modification of chondrocytes significantly increased IGF-1 mRNA and ligand production in repair tissue for up to nine weeks following transplantation. The gross and histological appearance of IGF-1 modified repair tissue was improved over control defects. Gross filling of defects was significantly improved at four weeks, and a more hyaline-like tissue covered the lesions at eight months. Histological outcome at four and nine weeks post-transplantation revealed greater tissue filling of defects transplanted with genetically modified chondrocytes, whereas repair tissue in control defects was thin and irregular and more fibrous. Collagen type II expression in IGF-1 gene-transduced defects was increased 100-fold at four weeks and

  18. Genetic evidence that Shp-2 tyrosine phosphatase is a signal enhancer of the epidermal growth factor receptor in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Cheng-Kui; Yu, Wen-Mei; Azzarelli, Biagio; Feng, Gen-Sheng

    1999-01-01

    By using both genetic and biochemical approaches, we have investigated the physiological role of Shp-2, a cytoplasmic tyrosine phosphatase with two Src homology 2 domains, in signaling pathways downstream of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R). In previous studies, a targeted deletion mutation in the SH2-N domain of Shp-2 was introduced into the murine Shp-2 locus, which resulted in embryonic lethality of homozygous mutant (Shp-2−/−) mice at midgestation. By aggregating Shp-2−/− embryonic stem cells with wild-type embryos, we created Shp-2−/−/wild-type chimeric animals. Most chimeras had open eyelids at birth and abnormal skin development, a phenotype characteristic of mice with mutations in EGF-R signaling components. In genetic crosses, a heterozygous Shp-2 mutation dominantly enhanced the phenotype of a weak mutant allele of EGF-R (wa-2), resulting in distinctive growth retardation, developmental defects in the skin, lung, and intestine, and perinatal mortality that are reminiscent of EGF-R knockout mice. Biochemical analysis revealed that signal propagation proximal to the EGF-R upon EGF stimulation was significantly attenuated in wa-2 fibroblast cells, which was exacerbated by the additional Shp-2 mutation. Thus, we provide biological evidence here that protein-tyrosine phosphatase Shp-2 acts to enhance information flow from the EGF-R in mouse growth and development. PMID:10411909

  19. Expression of rabbit IL-4 by recombinant myxoma viruses enhances virulence and overcomes genetic resistance to myxomatosis.

    PubMed

    Kerr, P J; Perkins, H D; Inglis, B; Stagg, R; McLaughlin, E; Collins, S V; Van Leeuwen, B H

    2004-06-20

    Rabbit IL-4 was expressed in the virulent standard laboratory strain (SLS) and the attenuated Uriarra (Ur) strain of myxoma virus with the aim of creating a Th2 cytokine environment and inhibiting the development of an antiviral cell-mediated response to myxomatosis in infected rabbits. This allowed testing of a model for genetic resistance to myxomatosis in wild rabbits that have undergone 50 years of natural selection for resistance to myxomatosis. Expression of IL-4 significantly enhanced virulence of both virulent and attenuated virus strains in susceptible (laboratory) and resistant (wild) rabbits. SLS-IL-4 completely overcame genetic resistance in wild rabbits. The pathogenesis of SLS-IL-4 was compared in susceptible and resistant rabbits. The results support a model for resistance to myxomatosis of an enhanced innate immune response controlling virus replication and allowing an effective antiviral cell-mediated immune response to develop in resistant rabbits. Expression of IL-4 did not overcome immunity to myxomatosis induced by immunization.

  20. Genetic surveillance detects both clonal and epidemic transmission of malaria following enhanced intervention in Senegal.

    PubMed

    Daniels, Rachel; Chang, Hsiao-Han; Séne, Papa Diogoye; Park, Danny C; Neafsey, Daniel E; Schaffner, Stephen F; Hamilton, Elizabeth J; Lukens, Amanda K; Van Tyne, Daria; Mboup, Souleymane; Sabeti, Pardis C; Ndiaye, Daouda; Wirth, Dyann F; Hartl, Daniel L; Volkman, Sarah K

    2013-01-01

    Using parasite genotyping tools, we screened patients with mild uncomplicated malaria seeking treatment at a clinic in Thiès, Senegal, from 2006 to 2011. We identified a growing frequency of infections caused by genetically identical parasite strains, coincident with increased deployment of malaria control interventions and decreased malaria deaths. Parasite genotypes in some cases persisted clonally across dry seasons. The increase in frequency of genetically identical parasite strains corresponded with decrease in the probability of multiple infections. Further, these observations support evidence of both clonal and epidemic population structures. These data provide the first evidence of a temporal correlation between the appearance of identical parasite types and increased malaria control efforts in Africa, which here included distribution of insecticide treated nets (ITNs), use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria detection, and deployment of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). Our results imply that genetic surveillance can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of disease control strategies and assist a rational global malaria eradication campaign.

  1. Genetic manipulation of iron biomineralization enhances MR relaxivity in a ferritin-M6A chimeric complex

    PubMed Central

    Radoul, Marina; Lewin, Limor; Cohen, Batya; Oren, Roni; Popov, Stanislav; Davidov, Geula; Vandsburger, Moriel H.; Harmelin, Alon; Bitton, Ronit; Greneche, Jean-Marc; Neeman, Michal; Zarivach, Raz

    2016-01-01

    Ferritin has gained significant attention as a potential reporter gene for in vivo imaging by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, due to the ferritin ferrihydrite core, the relaxivity and sensitivity for detection of native ferritin is relatively low. We report here on a novel chimeric magneto-ferritin reporter gene – ferritin-M6A – in which the magnetite binding peptide from the magnetotactic bacteria magnetosome-associated Mms6 protein was fused to the C-terminal of murine h-ferritin. Biophysical experiments showed that purified ferritin-M6A assembled into a stable protein cage with the M6A protruding into the cage core, enabling magnetite biomineralisation. Ferritin-M6A-expressing C6-glioma cells showed enhanced (per iron) r2 relaxivity. MRI in vivo studies of ferritin-M6A-expressing tumour xenografts showed enhanced R2 relaxation rate in the central hypoxic region of the tumours. Such enhanced relaxivity would increase the sensitivity of ferritin as a reporter gene for non-invasive in vivo MRI-monitoring of cell delivery and differentiation in cellular or gene-based therapies. PMID:27211820

  2. Genetic counselling in parents of children with congenital heart disease significantly improves knowledge about causation and enhances psychosocial functioning.

    PubMed

    Blue, Gillian M; Kasparian, Nadine A; Sholler, Gary F; Kirk, Edwin P; Winlaw, David S

    2015-01-15

    One of the key questions asked by parents of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) is 'why' and 'how did this happen?'. Receiving more information in response to these questions is therefore important to parents. This study sought to assess the efficacy of individualised genetic counselling sessions in improving knowledge of causation and psychosocial functioning in parents of children with CHD. Parents of children undergoing surgery for CHD were offered individualised genetic counselling during their child's hospital admission. Assessments occurred at three time-points (immediately pre-, immediately post-, and two months post-session) using questionnaires comprising a purpose-designed knowledge measure, as well as validated psychological measures. Of the 94 participants approached, 57 attended the genetic counselling session (participation rate=60.6%). Knowledge scores for the participants who completed all three questionnaires improved significantly from pre- (x¯=7.38/16, SD=3.53) to post-session (x¯=13.33/16, SD=2.82) (p<0.001). Participants retained this knowledge over time, with no changes in scores at two-month follow-up (p=0.11). Perceived personal control also increased post-session, while reported guilt, shame, depression, anxiety and stress decreased. Overall satisfaction was high, with 96.4% of participants indicating they would recommend this service to other parents of children with CHD. Individualised genetic counselling sessions were highly beneficial to parents of children with CHD in regards to improving knowledge about the causes of CHD and enhancing psychosocial functioning, and should be considered as part of 'best care' practices. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The Kv1.3 channel blocker Vm24 enhances muscle glucose transporter 4 mobilization but does not reduce body-weight gain in diet-induced obese male rats.

    PubMed

    Jaimes-Hoy, Lorraine; Gurrola, Georgina B; Cisneros, Miguel; Joseph-Bravo, Patricia; Possani, Lourival D; Charli, Jean-Louis

    2017-07-15

    Voltage-gated potassium channels 1.3 (Kv1.3) can be targeted to reduce diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice. Since species-specific differences in Kv1.3 expression and pharmacology have been observed, we tested the effect of Vm24, a high-affinity specific blocker of Kv1.3 channels from Vaejovis mexicanus smithi, on body weight (BW), glucose tolerance and insulin resistance in diet-induced obese rats. Young adult male Wistar rats were switched to a high-fat/high-fructose (HFF) diet. Eighteen days later animals were divided in two groups: vehicle and Vm24 group. Subcutaneous injections were applied every other day until sacrifice 2months later. An additional cohort was maintained on standard chow. The HFF diet promoted obesity. Treatment with Vm24 did not alter various metabolic parameters such as food intake, BW gain, visceral white adipose tissue mass, adipocyte diameter, serum glucose, leptin and thyroid hormone concentrations, brown adipose tissue mass or uncoupling protein-1 expression, and insulin tolerance. Vm24 did reduce basal and glucose-stimulated serum insulin concentrations, serum C-peptide concentration, increased QUICKI, and tended to lower HOMA-IR. Vm24 treatment did not change the activation of insulin receptor substrate-1, but enhanced protein-kinase B activation and membrane glucose-transporter 4 (GLUT4) protein levels in skeletal muscle. In conclusion, in male rats, long-term blockade of Kv1.3 channels with Vm24 does not reduce weight gain and visceral adiposity induced by HFF diet; instead, it reduces serum insulin concentration, and enhances GLUT4 mobilization in skeletal muscle. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Invention and Gain Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Robert J.; Dixon, Stacey

    1989-01-01

    Gain analysis is applied to the invention of the sewing needle as well as different sewing implements and modes of sewing. The analysis includes a two-subject experiment. To validate the generality of gain heuristics and underlying switching processes, the invention of the assembly line is also analyzed. (TJH)

  5. Invention and Gain Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Robert J.; Dixon, Stacey

    1989-01-01

    Gain analysis is applied to the invention of the sewing needle as well as different sewing implements and modes of sewing. The analysis includes a two-subject experiment. To validate the generality of gain heuristics and underlying switching processes, the invention of the assembly line is also analyzed. (TJH)

  6. Weight gain - unintentional

    MedlinePlus

    ... trying to do so can have many causes. Metabolism slows down as you age . This can cause weight gain if you eat too much, eat the wrong foods, or do not get enough exercise. Drugs that can cause weight gain include: Birth ...

  7. CRISPR/Cas9 system as an innovative genetic engineering tool: Enhancements in sequence specificity and delivery methods.

    PubMed

    Jo, Young-Il; Suresh, Bharathi; Kim, Hyongbum; Ramakrishna, Suresh

    2015-12-01

    While human gene therapy has gained significant attention for its therapeutic promise, CRISPR/Cas9 technology has made a breakthrough as an efficient genome editing tool by emulating prokaryotic immune defense mechanisms. Although many studies have found that CRISPR/Cas9 technology is more efficient, specific and manipulable than previous generations of gene editing tools, it can be further improved by elevating its overall efficiency in a higher frequency of genome modifications and reducing its off-target effects. Here, we review the development of CRISPR/Cas9 technology, focusing on enhancement of its sequence specificity, reduction of off-target effects and delivery systems. Moreover, we describe recent successful applications of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in laboratory and clinical studies.

  8. Enhanced Genetic Analysis of Single Human Bioparticles Recovered by Simplified Micromanipulation from Forensic ‘Touch DNA’ Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Farash, Katherine; Hanson, Erin K.; Ballantyne, Jack

    2015-01-01

    DNA profiles can be obtained from ‘touch DNA’ evidence, which comprises microscopic traces of human biological material. Current methods for the recovery of trace DNA employ cotton swabs or adhesive tape to sample an area of interest. However, such a ‘blind-swabbing’ approach will co-sample cellular material from the different individuals, even if the individuals’ cells are located in geographically distinct locations on the item. Thus, some of the DNA mixtures encountered in touch DNA samples are artificially created by the swabbing itself. In some instances, a victim’s DNA may be found in significant excess thus masking any potential perpetrator’s DNA. In order to circumvent the challenges with standard recovery and analysis methods, we have developed a lower cost, ‘smart analysis’ method that results in enhanced genetic analysis of touch DNA evidence. We describe an optimized and efficient micromanipulation recovery strategy for the collection of bio-particles present in touch DNA samples, as well as an enhanced amplification strategy involving a one-step 5 µl microvolume lysis/STR amplification to permit the recovery of STR profiles from the bio-particle donor(s). The use of individual or few (i.e., “clumps”) bioparticles results in the ability to obtain single source profiles. These procedures represent alternative enhanced techniques for the isolation and analysis of single bioparticles from forensic touch DNA evidence. While not necessary in every forensic investigation, the method could be highly beneficial for the recovery of a single source perpetrator DNA profile in cases involving physical assault (e.g., strangulation) that may not be possible using standard analysis techniques. Additionally, the strategies developed here offer an opportunity to obtain genetic information at the single cell level from a variety of other non-forensic trace biological material. PMID:25867046

  9. Enhanced Identification of Potential Pleiotropic Genetic Variants for Bone Mineral Density and Breast Cancer.

    PubMed

    Peng, Cheng; Lou, Hui-Ling; Liu, Feng; Shen, Jie; Lin, Xu; Zeng, Chun-Ping; Long, Ji-Rong; Su, Kuan-Jui; Zhang, Lan; Greenbaum, Jonathan; Deng, Wei-Feng; Li, Yu-Mei; Deng, Hong-Wen

    2017-07-31

    Epidemiological and clinical evidences have shown that bone mineral density (BMD) has a close relationship with breast cancer (BC). They might potentially have a shared genetic basis. By incorporating information about these pleiotropic effects, we may be able to explore more of the traits' total heritability. We applied a recently developed conditional false discovery rate (cFDR) method to the summary statistics from two independent GWASs to identify the potential pleiotropic genetic variants for BMD and BC. By jointly analyzing two large independent GWASs of BMD and BC, we found strong pleiotropic enrichment between them and identified 102 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in BMD and 192 SNPs in BC with cFDR < 0.05, including 230 SNPs that might have been overlooked by the standard GWAS analysis. cFDR-significant genes were enriched in GO terms and KEGG pathways which were crucial to bone metabolism and/or BC pathology (adjP < 0.05). Some cFDR-significant genes were partially validated in the gene expressional validation assay. Strong interactions were found between proteins produced by cFDR-significant genes in the context of biological mechanism of bone metabolism and/or BC etiology. Totally, we identified 7 pleiotropic SNPs that were associated with both BMD and BC (conjunction cFDR < 0.05); CCDC170, ESR1, RANKL, CPED1, and MEOX1 might play important roles in the pleiotropy of BMD and BC. Our study highlighted the significant pleiotropy between BMD and BC and shed novel insight into trait-specific as well as the potentially shared genetic architecture for both BMD and BC.

  10. Optobionic vision--a new genetically enhanced light on retinal prosthesis.

    PubMed

    Degenaar, Patrick; Grossman, Nir; Memon, Muhammad Ali; Burrone, Juan; Dawson, Martin; Drakakis, Emmanuel; Neil, Mark; Nikolic, Konstantin

    2009-06-01

    The recent discovery that neurons can be photostimulated via genetic incorporation of artificial opsins is creating a revolution in the field of neural stimulation. In this paper we show its potential in the field of retinal prosthesis. We show that we need typically 100 mW cm(-2) in instantaneous light intensity on the neuron in order to stimulate action potentials. We also show how this can be reduced down to safe levels in order to negate thermal and photochromic damage to the eye. We also describe a gallium nitride LED light source which is also able to generate patterns of the required intensity in order to transfer reliable images.

  11. An Enhanced Genetic Approach to Composing Cooperative Learning Groups for Multiple Grouping Criteria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Yin, Peng-Yeng; Hwang, Chi-Wei; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2008-01-01

    Cooperative learning is known to be an effective educational strategy in enhancing the learning performance of students. The goal of a cooperative learning group is to maximize all members' learning efficacy. This is accomplished via promoting each other's success, through assisting, sharing, mentoring, explaining, and encouragement. To achieve…

  12. An Enhanced Genetic Approach to Composing Cooperative Learning Groups for Multiple Grouping Criteria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Yin, Peng-Yeng; Hwang, Chi-Wei; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2008-01-01

    Cooperative learning is known to be an effective educational strategy in enhancing the learning performance of students. The goal of a cooperative learning group is to maximize all members' learning efficacy. This is accomplished via promoting each other's success, through assisting, sharing, mentoring, explaining, and encouragement. To achieve…

  13. Using evolutionary costs to enhance the efficacy of malaria control via genetically manipulated mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Koella, Jacob C; Zaghloul, Lamia

    2008-11-01

    An earlier mathematical model exploring the use of genetically manipulated mosquitoes for malaria control suggested that the prevalence of malaria is reduced significantly only if almost all mosquitoes become completely resistant to malaria. Central to the model was the 'cost of resistance': the reduction of a resistant mosquito's evolutionary fitness in comparison with a sensitive one's. Here, we consider the possibility of obtaining more optimistic outcomes by taking into account the epidemiological (in addition to the evolutionary) consequences of a cost of resistance that decreases the life-span of adult mosquitoes (the most relevant parameter for the parasite's epidemiology). There are two main results. First, if despite its cost, resistance is fixed in the population, increasing the cost of resistance decreases the intensity of transmission. However, this epidemiological effect is weak if resistance is effective enough to be considered relevant for control. Second, if the cost of resistance prevents its fixation, increasing it intensifies transmission. Thus, the epidemiological effect of the cost of resistance cannot compensate for the lower frequency of resistant mosquitoes in the population. Overall, our conclusion remains pessimistic: so that genetic manipulation can become a promising method of malaria control, we need techniques that enable almost all mosquitoes to be almost completely resistant to infection.

  14. Molecular genetic improvements of cyanobacteria to enhance the industrial potential of the microbe: A review.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Tylor J; Gibbons, Jaimie L; Gu, Liping; Zhou, Ruanbao; Gibbons, William R

    2016-11-01

    The rapid increase in worldwide population coupled with the increasing demand for fossil fuels has led to an increased urgency to develop sustainable sources of energy and chemicals from renewable resources. Using microorganisms to produce high-value chemicals and next-generation biofuels is one sustainable option and is the focus of much current research. Cyanobacteria are ideal platform organisms for chemical and biofuel production because they can be genetically engineered to produce a broad range of products directly from CO2 , H2 O, and sunlight, and require minimal nutrient inputs. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview on advances that have been or could be made to improve strains of cyanobacteria for industrial purposes. First, the benefits of using cyanobacteria as a platform for chemical and biofuel production are discussed. Next, an overview of cyanobacterial strain improvements by genetic engineering is provided. Finally, mutagenesis techniques to improve the industrial potential of cyanobacteria are described. Along with providing an overview on various areas of research that are currently being investigated to improve the industrial potential of cyanobacteria, this review aims to elucidate potential targets for future research involving cyanobacteria as an industrial microorganism. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:1357-1371, 2016.

  15. Increasing public involvement in enriching our fish stocks through genetic enhancement.

    PubMed

    Halvorson, H O; Quezada, F

    1999-11-01

    A total of 70%, of the world's conventional commercial fish species are now fully exploited, overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion. This dramatic crash in the capture world fisheries production has led to problems in foods distribution, balance of payments, employment, and ecological depletion. Public support for breeding programs with terrestrial farm animals and plants in agriculture have revolutionized this industry over the past few hundred years. However, new genetic rearing technologies to improve marine animal production through aquaculture that utilize modern biology to obtain sustainable aquaculture and preserve biodiversity provide a promise to address these problems. However aquaculture has not been subject to public discussion and approval. Public involvement, not necessarily acquiescence, provide value added in the decision making process. Public understanding and involvement involves three stages. (i) Public concern over the pool of genetic information; (ii) if aquaculture is to respond to the fisheries crises with innovation, the knowledge gap between public understanding and scientific information must be bridged; and (iii) strategies must be developed for achieving this. Release of recombinant DNA to the environment, and handling exotic species, are useful case studies. Illustrations will be given of communication bridges to the public and ways to involve the public in making policy decisions.

  16. From The Cover: Poly- amino ester-containing microparticles enhance the activity of nonviral genetic vaccines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Little, Steven R.; Lynn, David M.; Ge, Qing; Anderson, Daniel G.; Puram, Sidharth V.; Chen, Jianzhu; Eisen, Herman N.; Langer, Robert

    2004-06-01

    Current nonviral genetic vaccine systems are less effective than viral vaccines, particularly in cancer systems where epitopes can be weakly immunogenic and antigen-presenting cell processing and presentation to T cells is down-regulated. A promising nonviral delivery method for genetic vaccines involves microencapsulation of antigen-encoding DNA, because such particles protect plasmid payloads and target them to phagocytic antigen-presenting cells. However, conventional microparticle formulations composed of poly lactic-co-glycolic acid take too long to release encapsulated payload and fail to induce high levels of target gene expression. Here, we describe a microparticle-based DNA delivery system composed of a degradable, pH-sensitive poly- amino ester and poly lactic-co-glycolic acid. These formulations generate an increase of 3-5 orders of magnitude in transfection efficiency and are potent activators of dendritic cells in vitro. When used as vaccines in vivo, these microparticle formulations, unlike conventional formulations, induce antigen-specific rejection of transplanted syngenic tumor cells.

  17. Indoor acoustic gain design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Concha-Abarca, Justo Andres

    2002-11-01

    The design of sound reinforcement systems includes many variables and usually some of these variables are discussed. There are criteria to optimize the performance of the sound reinforcement systems under indoor conditions. The equivalent acoustic distance, the necessary acoustic gain, and the potential acoustic gain are parameters which must be adjusted with respect to the loudspeaker array, electric power and directionality of loudspeakers, the room acoustics conditions, the distance and distribution of the audience, and the type of the original sources. The design and installation of front of the house and monitoring systems have individual criteria. This article is about this criteria and it proposes general considerations for the indoor acoustic gain design.

  18. Genetically-Driven Enhancement of Dopaminergic Transmission Affects Moral Acceptability in Females but Not in Males: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Pellegrini, Silvia; Palumbo, Sara; Iofrida, Caterina; Melissari, Erika; Rota, Giuseppina; Mariotti, Veronica; Anastasio, Teresa; Manfrinati, Andrea; Rumiati, Rino; Lotto, Lorella; Sarlo, Michela; Pietrini, Pietro

    2017-01-01

    Moral behavior has been a key topic of debate for philosophy and psychology for a long time. In recent years, thanks to the development of novel methodologies in cognitive sciences, the question of how we make moral choices has expanded to the study of neurobiological correlates that subtend the mental processes involved in moral behavior. For instance, in vivo brain imaging studies have shown that distinct patterns of brain neural activity, associated with emotional response and cognitive processes, are involved in moral judgment. Moreover, while it is well-known that responses to the same moral dilemmas differ across individuals, to what extent this variability may be rooted in genetics still remains to be understood. As dopamine is a key modulator of neural processes underlying executive functions, we questioned whether genetic polymorphisms associated with decision-making and dopaminergic neurotransmission modulation would contribute to the observed variability in moral judgment. To this aim, we genotyped five genetic variants of the dopaminergic pathway [rs1800955 in the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene, DRD4 48 bp variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR), solute carrier family 6 member 3 (SLC6A3) 40 bp VNTR, rs4680 in the catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) gene, and rs1800497 in the ankyrin repeat and kinase domain containing 1 (ANKK1) gene] in 200 subjects, who were requested to answer 56 moral dilemmas. As these variants are all located in genes belonging to the dopaminergic pathway, they were combined in multilocus genetic profiles for the association analysis. While no individual variant showed any significant effects on moral dilemma responses, the multilocus genetic profile analysis revealed a significant gender-specific influence on human moral acceptability. Specifically, those genotype combinations that improve dopaminergic signaling selectively increased moral acceptability in females, by making their responses to moral dilemmas more similar to

  19. Genetically-Driven Enhancement of Dopaminergic Transmission Affects Moral Acceptability in Females but Not in Males: A Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Silvia; Palumbo, Sara; Iofrida, Caterina; Melissari, Erika; Rota, Giuseppina; Mariotti, Veronica; Anastasio, Teresa; Manfrinati, Andrea; Rumiati, Rino; Lotto, Lorella; Sarlo, Michela; Pietrini, Pietro

    2017-01-01

    Moral behavior has been a key topic of debate for philosophy and psychology for a long time. In recent years, thanks to the development of novel methodologies in cognitive sciences, the question of how we make moral choices has expanded to the study of neurobiological correlates that subtend the mental processes involved in moral behavior. For instance, in vivo brain imaging studies have shown that distinct patterns of brain neural activity, associated with emotional response and cognitive processes, are involved in moral judgment. Moreover, while it is well-known that responses to the same moral dilemmas differ across individuals, to what extent this variability may be rooted in genetics still remains to be understood. As dopamine is a key modulator of neural processes underlying executive functions, we questioned whether genetic polymorphisms associated with decision-making and dopaminergic neurotransmission modulation would contribute to the observed variability in moral judgment. To this aim, we genotyped five genetic variants of the dopaminergic pathway [rs1800955 in the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene, DRD4 48 bp variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR), solute carrier family 6 member 3 (SLC6A3) 40 bp VNTR, rs4680 in the catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) gene, and rs1800497 in the ankyrin repeat and kinase domain containing 1 (ANKK1) gene] in 200 subjects, who were requested to answer 56 moral dilemmas. As these variants are all located in genes belonging to the dopaminergic pathway, they were combined in multilocus genetic profiles for the association analysis. While no individual variant showed any significant effects on moral dilemma responses, the multilocus genetic profile analysis revealed a significant gender-specific influence on human moral acceptability. Specifically, those genotype combinations that improve dopaminergic signaling selectively increased moral acceptability in females, by making their responses to moral dilemmas more similar to

  20. Genetic engineering of rice capable of synthesizing fructans and enhancing chilling tolerance.

    PubMed

    Kawakami, Akira; Sato, Yutaka; Yoshida, Midori

    2008-01-01

    Fructans are water-soluble fructose oligomers and polymers that are based on sucrose, and have been implicated in protecting plants against water stress. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is highly sensitive to chilling temperatures, and is not able to synthesize fructans. Two wheat fructan-synthesizing enzymes, sucrose:sucrose 1-fructosyltransferase, encoded by wft2, or sucrose:fructan 6-fructosyltransferase, encoded by wft1, were introduced into rice plants, and rice transformants that accumulate fructans were successfully obtained. The mature leaf blades of transgenic rice lines with wft2 or wft1 accumulated 16.2 mg g(-1) FW of oligo- and polysaccharides mainly composed of inulin oligomers of more than DP7, and 3.7 mg g(-1) FW of oligo- and polysaccharides, mainly composed of phlein oligomers of more than DP15, respectively. The transgenic rice seedlings with wft2 accumulated significantly higher concentrations of oligo- and polysaccharides than non-transgenic rice seedlings, and exhibited enhanced chilling tolerance. The oligo- and polysaccharide concentrations of seedlings expressing wft1 were obviously lower than those of lines expressing wft2, and no correlation between oligo- and polysaccharide concentrations and chilling tolerance was detected in wft1-expressing rice lines. The results suggest that transgenic rice lines expressing wheat-derived fructosyltransferase genes accumulated large amounts of fructans in mature leaf blades and exhibited enhanced chilling tolerance at the seedling stage. This is the first report owing that fructan accumulation enhanced tolerance to non-freezing low temperatures.

  1. Heat shock and genetic activation of HSF-1 enhance immunity to bacteria.

    PubMed

    Singh, Varsha; Aballay, Alejandro

    2006-11-01

    The relationship between fever and microbial infections has been known for a number of years, as well as several key mediators involved in its elicitation. However, the mechanisms by which fever confers protection to infected hosts are less clear. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which has been extensively used in recent years to study microbial infections and innate immune responses, has recently been used to study the effect of increased temperature in immunity. Upon heat shock exposure, nematodes become more resistant to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the enhanced resistance to the pathogen requires heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF-1) and a system of small and 90 kDa heat shock proteins (HSPs). Experiments using additional Gram negative and Gram positive pathogens show that HSF-1 is part of a multipathogen defense pathway. In addition, C. elegans innate immunity can be activated enhancing HSF-1 activity by directly overexpressing HSF-1 or by overexpressing DAF-16, which is a forkhead transcription factor that acts upstream HSF-1 in aging and immunity. Blocking the inhibitory signal of the DAF-2 insulin like receptor, which acts upstream DAF-16, also results in an enhanced HSF-1 dependent immunity. In addition, mutations that affect DAF-21, C. elegans homologue of Hsp90 which forms an inhibitory complex with HSF-1, appear to boost immunity by activating the HSF-1 pathway. The role of the HSF-1 pathway in innate immunity and immunosenescence is discussed.

  2. Molecular genetic analysis of Drosophila eyes absent mutants reveals an eye enhancer element.

    PubMed Central

    Zimmerman, J E; Bui, Q T; Liu, H; Bonini, N M

    2000-01-01

    The eyes absent (eya) gene is critical for normal eye development in Drosophila and is highly conserved to vertebrates. To define regions of the gene critical for eye function, we have defined the mutations in the four viable eya alleles. Two of these mutations are eye specific and undergo transvection with other mutations in the gene. These were found to be deletion mutations that remove regulatory sequence critical for eye cell expression of the gene. Two other viable alleles cause a reduced eye phenotype and affect the function of the gene in additional tissues, such as the ocelli. These mutations were found to be insertion mutations of different transposable elements within the 5' UTR of the transcript. Detailed analysis of one of these revealed that the transposable element has become subject to regulation by eye enhancer sequences of the eya gene, disrupting normal expression of EYA in the eye. More extended analysis of the deletion region in the eye-specific alleles indicated that the deleted region defines an enhancer that activates gene expression in eye progenitor cells. This enhancer is responsive to ectopic expression of the eyeless gene. This analysis has defined a critical regulatory region required for proper eye expression of the eya gene. PMID:10628984

  3. Genetic activation of ERK5 MAP kinase enhances adult neurogenesis and extends hippocampus-dependent long-term memory.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenbin; Pan, Yung-Wei; Zou, Junhui; Li, Tan; Abel, Glen M; Palmiter, Richard D; Storm, Daniel R; Xia, Zhengui

    2014-02-05

    Recent studies have shown that inhibition of adult neurogenesis impairs the formation of hippocampus-dependent memory. However, it is not known whether increasing adult neurogenesis affects the persistence of hippocampus-dependent long-term memory. Furthermore, signaling mechanisms that regulate adult neurogenesis are not fully defined. We recently reported that the conditional and targeted knock-out of ERK5 MAP kinase in adult neurogenic regions of the mouse brain attenuates adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus and disrupts several forms of hippocampus-dependent memory. Here, we developed a gain-of-function knock-in mouse model to specifically activate endogenous ERK5 in the neurogenic regions of the adult brain. We report that the selective and targeted activation of ERK5 increases adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus by enhancing cell survival, neuronal differentiation, and dendritic complexity. Conditional ERK5 activation also improves the performance of challenging forms of spatial learning and memory and extends hippocampus-dependent long-term memory. We conclude that enhancing signal transduction of a single signaling pathway within adult neural stem/progenitor cells is sufficient to increase adult neurogenesis and improve the persistence of hippocampus-dependent memory. Furthermore, activation of ERK5 may provide a novel therapeutic target to improve long-term memory.

  4. On the Reliability of Nonlinear Modeling using Enhanced Genetic Programming Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, S. M.; Affenzeller, M.; Wagner, S.

    The use of genetic programming (GP) in nonlinear system identification enables the automated search for mathematical models that are evolved by an evolutionary process using the principles of selection, crossover and mutation. Due to the stochastic element that is intrinsic to any evolutionary process, GP cannot guarantee the generation of similar or even equal models in each GP process execution; still, if there is a physical model underlying to the data that are analyzed, then GP is expected to find these structures and produce somehow similar results. In this paper we define a function for measuring the syntactic similarity of mathematical models represented as structure trees; using this similarity function we compare the results produced by GP techniques for a data set representing measurement data of a BMW Diesel engine.

  5. Genetic engineering of cyanobacteria to enhance biohydrogen production from sunlight and water.

    PubMed

    Masukawa, Hajime; Kitashima, Masaharu; Inoue, Kazuhito; Sakurai, Hidehiro; Hausinger, Robert P

    2012-01-01

    To mitigate global warming caused by burning fossil fuels, a renewable energy source available in large quantity is urgently required. We are proposing large-scale photobiological H(2) production by mariculture-raised cyanobacteria where the microbes capture part of the huge amount of solar energy received on earth's surface and use water as the source of electrons to reduce protons. The H(2) production system is based on photosynthetic and nitrogenase activities of cyanobacteria, using uptake hydrogenase mutants that can accumulate H(2) for extended periods even in the presence of evolved O(2). This review summarizes our efforts to improve the rate of photobiological H(2) production through genetic engineering. The challenges yet to be overcome to further increase the conversion efficiency of solar energy to H(2) also are discussed.

  6. Biochemical and genetic engineering strategies to enhance hydrogen production in photosynthetic algae and cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Srirangan, Kajan; Pyne, Michael E; Perry Chou, C

    2011-09-01

    As an energy carrier, hydrogen gas is a promising substitute to carbonaceous fuels owing to its superb conversion efficiency, non-polluting nature, and high energy content. At present, hydrogen is predominately synthesized via chemical reformation of fossil fuels. While various biological methods have been extensively explored, none of them is justified as economically feasible. A sustainable platform for biological production of hydrogen will certainly impact the biofuel market. Among a selection of biological systems, algae and cyanobacteria have garnered major interests as potential cell factories for hydrogen production. In conjunction with photosynthesis, these organisms utilize inexpensive inorganic substrates and solar energy for simultaneous biosynthesis and hydrogen evolution. However, the hydrogen yield associated with these organisms remains far too low to compete with the existing chemical systems. This article reviews recent advances of biochemical, bioprocess, and genetic engineering strategies in circumventing technological limitations to hopefully improve the applicative potential of these photosynthetic hydrogen production systems. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Enhanced characteristics of genetically modified switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for high biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Shen, Hui; Poovaiah, Charleson R; Ziebell, Angela; Tschaplinski, Timothy J; Pattathil, Sivakumar; Gjersing, Erica; Engle, Nancy L; Katahira, Rui; Pu, Yunqiao; Sykes, Robert; Chen, Fang; Ragauskas, Arthur J; Mielenz, Jonathan R; Hahn, Michael G; Davis, Mark; Stewart, C Neal; Dixon, Richard A

    2013-05-07

    Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the most promising renewable and clean energy resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. However, the resistance to accessibility of sugars embedded in plant cell walls (so-called recalcitrance) is a major barrier to economically viable cellulosic ethanol production. A recent report from the US National Academy of Sciences indicated that, "absent technological breakthroughs", it was unlikely that the US would meet the congressionally mandated renewable fuel standard of 35 billion gallons of ethanol-equivalent biofuels plus 1 billion gallons of biodiesel by 2022. We here describe the properties of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) biomass that has been genetically engineered to increase the cellulosic ethanol yield by more than 2-fold. We have increased the cellulosic ethanol yield from switchgrass by 2.6-fold through overexpression of the transcription factor PvMYB4. This strategy reduces carbon deposition into lignin and phenolic fermentation inhibitors while maintaining the availability of potentially fermentable soluble sugars and pectic polysaccharides. Detailed biomass characterization analyses revealed that the levels and nature of phenolic acids embedded in the cell-wall, the lignin content and polymer size, lignin internal linkage levels, linkages between lignin and xylans/pectins, and levels of wall-bound fucose are all altered in PvMYB4-OX lines. Genetically engineered PvMYB4-OX switchgrass therefore provides a novel system for further understanding cell wall recalcitrance. Our results have demonstrated that overexpression of PvMYB4, a general transcriptional repressor of the phenylpropanoid/lignin biosynthesis pathway, can lead to very high yield ethanol production through dramatic reduction of recalcitrance. MYB4-OX switchgrass is an excellent model system for understanding recalcitrance, and provides new germplasm for developing switchgrass cultivars as biomass feedstocks for biofuel

  8. Enhanced characteristics of genetically modified switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for high biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the most promising renewable and clean energy resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. However, the resistance to accessibility of sugars embedded in plant cell walls (so-called recalcitrance) is a major barrier to economically viable cellulosic ethanol production. A recent report from the US National Academy of Sciences indicated that, “absent technological breakthroughs”, it was unlikely that the US would meet the congressionally mandated renewable fuel standard of 35 billion gallons of ethanol-equivalent biofuels plus 1 billion gallons of biodiesel by 2022. We here describe the properties of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) biomass that has been genetically engineered to increase the cellulosic ethanol yield by more than 2-fold. Results We have increased the cellulosic ethanol yield from switchgrass by 2.6-fold through overexpression of the transcription factor PvMYB4. This strategy reduces carbon deposition into lignin and phenolic fermentation inhibitors while maintaining the availability of potentially fermentable soluble sugars and pectic polysaccharides. Detailed biomass characterization analyses revealed that the levels and nature of phenolic acids embedded in the cell-wall, the lignin content and polymer size, lignin internal linkage levels, linkages between lignin and xylans/pectins, and levels of wall-bound fucose are all altered in PvMYB4-OX lines. Genetically engineered PvMYB4-OX switchgrass therefore provides a novel system for further understanding cell wall recalcitrance. Conclusions Our results have demonstrated that overexpression of PvMYB4, a general transcriptional repressor of the phenylpropanoid/lignin biosynthesis pathway, can lead to very high yield ethanol production through dramatic reduction of recalcitrance. MYB4-OX switchgrass is an excellent model system for understanding recalcitrance, and provides new germplasm for developing switchgrass cultivars as

  9. Preventing Weight Gain

    MedlinePlus

    ... this? Submit Button Our Division About Us Nutrition Physical Activity Overweight & Obesity Healthy Weight Breastfeeding Micronutrient Malnutrition State and Local Programs Preventing Weight Gain Language: English (US) Español ( ...

  10. Antidepressants and Weight Gain

    MedlinePlus

    Diseases and Conditions Depression (major depressive disorder) Can antidepressants cause weight gain? Answers from Daniel K. Hall- ... is a possible side effect of nearly all antidepressants. However, each person responds to antidepressants differently. Some ...

  11. Male-enhanced expression and genetic conservation of a gene isolated with an anti-H-Y antibody.

    PubMed

    Lau, Y F; Chan, K M; Kan, Y W; Goldberg, E

    1987-01-01

    The hypothesis of the serological H-Y antigen as the inducer molecule for mammalian male sex differentiation has been considered an important working model in developmental biology. However, because of the difficulties involved in its detection, supporting evidence in molecular terms is lacking for this hypothesis. The isolation of the gene for the serological H-Y antigen is essential to the acertainment of its proposed functions. Using recombinant DNA technology and specific anti-H-Y sera we have isolated a candidate gene, the MEA gene, for the serological H-Y antigen. Molecular characterization of the MEA gene shows male-enhanced expression and genetic conservation patterns similar to those attributed to the serological H-Y antigen. The isolation of this candidate gene for the serological H-Y antigen. The isolation of this candidate gene for the serological H-Y antigen would allow further investigations to identify the functions for this molecule in molecular terms.

  12. VECSEL gain characterization.

    PubMed

    Mangold, Mario; Wittwer, Valentin J; Sieber, Oliver D; Hoffmann, Martin; Krestnikov, Igor L; Livshits, Daniil A; Golling, Matthias; Südmeyer, Thomas; Keller, Ursula

    2012-02-13

    We present the first full gain characterization of two vertical external cavity surface emitting laser (VECSEL) gain chips with similar designs operating in the 960-nm wavelength regime. We optically pump the structures with continuous-wave (cw) 808-nm radiation and measure the nonlinear reflectivity for 130-fs and 1.4-ps probe pulses as function of probe pulse fluence, pump power, and heat sink temperature. With this technique we are able to measure the saturation behavior for VECSEL gain chips for the first time. The characterization with 1.4-ps pulses resulted in saturation fluences of 40-80 μJ/cm2, while probing with 130-fs pulses yields reduced saturation fluences of 30-50 μJ/cm2 for both structures. For both pulse durations this is lower than previously assumed. A small-signal gain of up to 5% is obtained with this technique. Furthermore, in a second measurement setup, we characterize the spectral dependence of the gain using a tunable cw probe beam. We measure a gain bandwidth of over 26 nm for both structures, full width at half maximum.

  13. An improved ARS2-derived nuclear reporter enhances the efficiency and ease of genetic engineering in Chlamydomonas.

    PubMed

    Specht, Elizabeth A; Nour-Eldin, Hussam Hassan; Hoang, Kevin T D; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2015-03-01

    The model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has been used to pioneer genetic engineering techniques for high-value protein and biofuel production from algae. To date, most studies of transgenic Chlamydomonas have utilized the chloroplast genome due to its ease of engineering, with a sizeable suite of reporters and well-characterized expression constructs. The advanced manipulation of algal nuclear genomes has been hampered by limited strong expression cassettes, and a lack of high-throughput reporters. We have improved upon an endogenous reporter gene - the ARS2 gene encoding an arylsulfatase enzyme - that was first cloned and characterized decades ago but has not been used extensively. The new construct, derived from ARS2 cDNA, expresses significantly higher levels of reporter protein and transforms more efficiently, allowing qualitative and quantitative screening using a rapid, inexpensive 96-well assay. The improved arylsulfatase expression cassette was used to screen a new transgene promoter from the ARG7 gene, and found that the ARG7 promoter can express the ARS2 reporter as strongly as the HSP70-RBCS2 chimeric promoter that currently ranks as the best available promoter, thus adding to the list of useful nuclear promoters. This enhanced arylsulfatase reporter construct improves the efficiency and ease of genetic engineering within the Chlamydomonas nuclear genome, with potential application to other algal strains.

  14. Enhanced genetic modification of adult growth factor mobilized peripheral blood hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells with rapamycin.

    PubMed

    Li, Lijing; Torres-Coronado, Mónica; Gu, Angel; Rao, Anitha; Gardner, Agnes M; Epps, Elizabeth W; Gonzalez, Nancy; Tran, Chy-Anh; Wu, Xiwei; Wang, Jin-Hui; DiGiusto, David L

    2014-10-01

    Genetic modification of adult human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) with lentiviral vectors leads to long-term gene expression in the progeny of the HSPCs and has been used to successfully treat several monogenic diseases. In some cases, the gene-modified cells have a selective growth advantage over nonmodified cells and eventually are the dominant engrafted population. However, in disease indications for which the gene-modified cells do not have a selective advantage, optimizing transduction of HSPC is paramount to successful stem cell-based gene therapy. We demonstrate here that transduction of adult CD34+ HSPCs with lentiviral vectors in the presence of rapamycin, a widely used mTORC1 inhibitor, results in an approximately threefold increase in stable gene marking with minimal effects on HSPC growth and differentiation. Using this approach, we have demonstrated that we can enhance the frequency of gene-modified HSPCs that give rise to clonogenic progeny in vitro without excessive increases in the number of vector copies per cell or changes in integration pattern. The genetic marking of HSPCs and expression of transgenes is durable, and transplantation of gene-modified HSPCs into immunodeficient mice results in high levels of gene marking of the lymphoid and myeloid progeny in vivo. The prior safe clinical history of rapamycin in other applications supports the use of this compound to generate gene-modified autologous HSPCs for our HIV gene therapy clinical trials.

  15. Genetic variation at the 8q24.21 renal cancer susceptibility locus affects HIF binding to a MYC enhancer

    PubMed Central

    Grampp, Steffen; Platt, James L.; Lauer, Victoria; Salama, Rafik; Kranz, Franziska; Neumann, Viviana K.; Wach, Sven; Stöhr, Christine; Hartmann, Arndt; Eckardt, Kai-Uwe; Ratcliffe, Peter J.; Mole, David R.; Schödel, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is characterized by loss of function of the von Hippel–Lindau tumour suppressor (VHL) and unrestrained activation of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs). Genetic and epigenetic determinants have an impact on HIF pathways. A recent genome-wide association study on renal cancer susceptibility identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in an intergenic region located between the oncogenes MYC and PVT1. Here using assays of chromatin conformation, allele-specific chromatin immunoprecipitation and genome editing, we show that HIF binding to this regulatory element is necessary to trans-activate MYC and PVT1 expression specifically in cells of renal tubular origins. Moreover, we demonstrate that the risk-associated polymorphisms increase chromatin accessibility and activity as well as HIF binding to the enhancer. These findings provide further evidence that genetic variation at HIF-binding sites modulates the oncogenic transcriptional output of the VHL–HIF axis and provide a functional explanation for the disease-associated effects of SNPs in ccRCC. PMID:27774982

  16. Enhanced Genetic Modification of Adult Growth Factor Mobilized Peripheral Blood Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells With Rapamycin

    PubMed Central

    Li, Lijing; Torres-Coronado, Mónica; Gu, Angel; Rao, Anitha; Gardner, Agnes M.; Epps, Elizabeth W.; Gonzalez, Nancy; Tran, Chy-Anh; Wu, Xiwei; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2014-01-01

    Genetic modification of adult human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) with lentiviral vectors leads to long-term gene expression in the progeny of the HSPCs and has been used to successfully treat several monogenic diseases. In some cases, the gene-modified cells have a selective growth advantage over nonmodified cells and eventually are the dominant engrafted population. However, in disease indications for which the gene-modified cells do not have a selective advantage, optimizing transduction of HSPC is paramount to successful stem cell-based gene therapy. We demonstrate here that transduction of adult CD34+ HSPCs with lentiviral vectors in the presence of rapamycin, a widely used mTORC1 inhibitor, results in an approximately threefold increase in stable gene marking with minimal effects on HSPC growth and differentiation. Using this approach, we have demonstrated that we can enhance the frequency of gene-modified HSPCs that give rise to clonogenic progeny in vitro without excessive increases in the number of vector copies per cell or changes in integration pattern. The genetic marking of HSPCs and expression of transgenes is durable, and transplantation of gene-modified HSPCs into immunodeficient mice results in high levels of gene marking of the lymphoid and myeloid progeny in vivo. The prior safe clinical history of rapamycin in other applications supports the use of this compound to generate gene-modified autologous HSPCs for our HIV gene therapy clinical trials. PMID:25107584

  17. Enhanced sialylation of recombinant erythropoietin in genetically engineered Chinese-hamster ovary cells.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Yeon Tae; Choi, One; Son, Young Dok; Park, Seung Yeol; Kim, Jung Hoe

    2009-04-01

    Sialic acid, the terminal sugar in N-linked complex glycans, is usually found in glycoproteins and plays a major role in determining the circulatory lifespan of glycoproteins. In the present study we attempted to enhance the sialylation of recombinant EPO (erythropoietin) in CHO (Chinese-hamster ovary) cells. To enhance EPO sialylation, we introduced human alpha2,3-ST (alpha2,3-sialyltransferase) and CMP-SAS (CMP-sialic acid synthase) into recombinant human EPO-producing CHO cells. The sialylation of EPO was increased by the expression of alpha2,3-ST alone. Although the co-expression of alpha2,3-ST and CMP-SAS did not further increase sialylation, an increase in the intracellular pool of CMP-sialic acid was noted. On the basis of these observations, it was postulated that the transport capacity of CMP-sialic acid into the Golgi lumen was limited, thereby causing the reduced availability of CMP-sialic acid substrate for sialylation. Therefore, we co-expressed human alpha2,3-ST and CMP-SAS, as well as overexpress Chinese hamster CMP-sialic acid transporter (CMP-SAT) in CHO cells, which produced recombinant human EPO. When alpha2,3-ST, CMP-SAS, and CMP-SAT were overexpressed in CHO cells, there was a corresponding increase in sialylation compared with the co-expression of alpha2,3-ST and CMP-SAS. The present study provides a useful strategy for enhancing the sialylation of therapeutic glycoproteins produced in CHO cells.

  18. Lactococcus lactis BFE920 activates the innate immune system of olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus), resulting in protection against Streptococcus iniae infection and enhancing feed efficiency and weight gain in large-scale field studies.

    PubMed

    Kim, Daniel; Beck, Bo Ram; Heo, Saet-Byeol; Kim, Jungjoon; Kim, Hyun Duk; Lee, Sun-Min; Kim, Youngchan; Oh, So Young; Lee, Kyungro; Do, HyungKi; Lee, KwanHee; Holzapfel, Wilhelm H; Song, Seong Kyu

    2013-11-01

    The protective effect of a food-grade lactic acid bacterium Lactococcus lactis BFE920 against disease of olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) cultivated on a large scale was studied. Initially, antimicrobial activity of L. lactis against several fish pathogens was evaluated in vitro; the probiotic showed strong antibacterial activity against Streptococcus iniae, Streptococcus parauberis and Enterococcus viikkiensis, and moderate activity against Lactococcus garviae. When olive flounders were fed for two weeks with experimental diets containing varying concentrations of L. lactis (1 × 10(6), 5 × 10(6), 2.5 × 10(7) and 1.25 × 10(8) CFU/g feed), all the experimental feed groups showed 68-77% survival upon challenge with S. iniae. A field-scale feeding trial with L. lactis dietary supplement was conducted in a local fish farm (n = 12,000) for three months, and disease resistance, innate immune parameters and growth performance were evaluated. The average weight gain and feed efficiency were increased up to 6.8% and 8.5%, respectively. At the end of the feeding trial, the olive flounders were challenged with S. iniae. The L. lactis-fed group was protected from S. iniae challenge with a 66% survival rate. This disease protection is due to the flounder's innate immunity activated by the L. lactis administration: increased lysosomal activities and production of IL-12 and IFN-γ. These data clearly indicated that L. lactis BFE920 may be developed as a functional feed additive for protection against diseases, and for enhancement of feed efficiency and weight gain in olive flounder farming.

  19. Dominant Enhancers of Egfr in Drosophila Melanogaster: Genetic Links between the Notch and Egfr Signaling Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Price, J. V.; Savenye, E. D.; Lum, D.; Breitkreutz, A.

    1997-01-01

    The Drosophila epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a key component of a complex signaling pathway that participates in multiple developmental processes. We have performed an F(1) screen for mutations that cause dominant enhancement of wing vein phenotypes associated with mutations in Egfr. With this screen, we have recovered mutations in Hairless (H), vein, groucho (gro), and three apparently novel loci. All of the E(Egfr)s we have identified show dominant interactions in transheterozygous combinations with each other and with alleles of N or Su(H), suggesting that they are involved in cross-talk between the N and EGFR signaling pathways. Further examination of the phenotypic interactions between Egfr, H, and gro revealed that reductions in Egfr activity enhanced both the bristle loss associated with H mutations, and the bristle hyperplasia and ocellar hypertrophy associated with gro mutations. Double mutant combinations of Egfr and gro hypomorphic alleles led to the formation of ectopic compound eyes in a dosage sensitive manner. Our findings suggest that these E(Egfr)s represent links between the Egfr and Notch signaling pathways, and that Egfr activity can either promote or suppress Notch signaling, depending on its developmental context. PMID:9383058

  20. Genetically controlled upregulation of adenosine A(1) receptor expression enhances the survival of primary cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Serchov, Tsvetan; Atas, Hasan-Cem; Normann, Claus; van Calker, Dietrich; Biber, Knut

    2012-10-01

    Adenosine has a key endogenous neuroprotective role in the brain, predominantly mediated by the adenosine A(1) receptor (A(1)R). This has been mainly explored using pharmacological tools and/or receptor knockout mice strains. It has long been suggested that the neuroprotective effects of A(1)R are increased following receptor upregulation, thus attenuating neuronal damage in pathological conditions. We have previously shown that the neuroprotective and neuromodulatory actions of the cytokines IL-6 and oncostatin M are mediated by induction of neuronal A(1)R expression. In order to investigate the direct effects of A(1)R upregulation in neurons, we have generated a tetracycline-regulated expression system with a bidirectional promoter, directing the simultaneous expression of the mouse A(1)R and GFP/mCherry reporter genes. In a first step, we tested the efficacy of the system in transiently transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells. In addition, we confirmed the functional integrity of the expressed A(1)R by whole-cell patch clamp recordings. We demonstrated that A(1)R-transfected primary neurons show enhanced survival against N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced excitotoxicity. Pretreatment with an A(1)R-selective agonist additionally strongly decreased neuronal cell death, while an A(1)R antagonist completely abolished the neuroprotective effects of A(1)R upregulation. The presented data provide for the first time direct evidence that the upregulation of A(1)R enhances neuronal survival.

  1. Lights on for HIF-1α: genetically enhanced mouse cardiomyocytes for heart tissue imaging.

    PubMed

    Hesse, Amke R; Levent, Elif; Zieseniss, Anke; Tiburcy, Malte; Zimmermann, Wolfram H; Katschinski, Dörthe M

    2014-01-01

    The hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a suitable marker for tissue oxygenation. We intended to develop cardiomyocytes (CMs) expressing the oxygen-dependent degradation domain of HIF-1α fused to the firefly luciferase (ODD-Luc) followed by proof-of-concept for its applicability in the assessment of heart muscle oxygenation. We first generated embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines (ODD-Luc ESCs) from a Tg ROSA26 ODD-Luc/+ mouse. Subsequent CMs selection was facilitated by stable integration of an antibiotic resistance expressed under the control of the αMHC promoter. ODD-Luc ESCs showed a strong Luc-signal within 1 h of hypoxia (1% oxygen), which coincided with endogenous HIF-1α. Engineered heart muscle (EHM) constructed with ODD-Luc CMs confirmed the utility of the model to sense hypoxia, and monitor reoxygenation also in a multicellular heart muscle model. Pharmacologically induced inotropy/chronotropy under isoprenaline resulted in enhanced Luc-signal suggesting enhanced oxygen consumption, leading to notable myocardial hypoxia. ODD-Luc-CMs can be used to monitor dynamic changes of cardiomyocyte oxygenation in living heart muscle samples. We provide proof-of-concept for pharmacologically induced myocardial interventions and envision applications of the developed model in drug screens and fundamental studies of ischemia/reperfusion injury. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  2. A new class of temporarily phenotypic enhancers identified by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genetic screening

    PubMed Central

    Diao, Yarui; Li, Bin; Meng, Zhipeng; Jung, Inkyung; Lee, Ah Young; Dixon, Jesse; Maliskova, Lenka; Guan, Kun-liang; Shen, Yin; Ren, Bing

    2016-01-01

    With <2% of the human genome coding for proteins, a major challenge is to interpret the function of the noncoding DNA. Millions of regulatory sequences have been predicted in the human genome through analysis of DNA methylation, chromatin modification, hypersensitivity to nucleases, and transcription factor binding, but few have been shown to regulate transcription in their native contexts. We have developed a high-throughput CRISPR/Cas9-based genome-editing strategy and used it to interrogate 174 candidate regulatory sequences within the 1-Mbp POU5F1 locus in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). We identified two classical regulatory elements, including a promoter and a proximal enhancer, that are essential for POU5F1 transcription in hESCs. Unexpectedly, we also discovered a new class of enhancers that contribute to POU5F1 transcription in an unusual way: Disruption of such sequences led to a temporary loss of POU5F1 transcription that is fully restored after a few rounds of cell division. These results demonstrate the utility of high-throughput screening for functional characterization of noncoding DNA and reveal a previously unrecognized layer of gene regulation in human cells. PMID:26813977

  3. Enhancement in Motor Learning through Genetic Manipulation of the Lynx1 Gene

    PubMed Central

    Miwa, Julie M.; Walz, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    The cholinergic system is a neuromodulatory neurotransmitter system involved in a variety of brain processes, including learning and memory, attention, and motor processes, among others. The influence of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of the cholinergic system are moderated by lynx proteins, which are GPI-anchored membrane proteins forming tight associations with nicotinic receptors. Previous studies indicate lynx1 inhibits nicotinic receptor function and limits neuronal plasticity. We sought to investigate the mechanism of action of lynx1 on nicotinic receptor function, through the generation of lynx mouse models, expressing a soluble version of lynx and comparing results to the full length overexpression. Using rotarod as a test for motor learning, we found that expressing a secreted variant of lynx leads to motor learning enhancements whereas overexpression of full-length lynx had no effect. Further, adult lynx1KO mice demonstrated comparable motor learning enhancements as the soluble transgenic lines, whereas previously, aged lynx1KO mice showed performance augmentation only with nicotine treatment. From this we conclude the motor learning is more sensitive to loss of lynx function, and that the GPI anchor plays a role in the normal function of the lynx protein. In addition, our data suggests that the lynx gene plays a modulatory role in the brain during aging, and that a soluble version of lynx has potential as a tool for adjusting cholinergic-dependent plasticity and learning mechanisms in the brain. PMID:23139735

  4. Enhancement in motor learning through genetic manipulation of the Lynx1 gene.

    PubMed

    Miwa, Julie M; Walz, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    The cholinergic system is a neuromodulatory neurotransmitter system involved in a variety of brain processes, including learning and memory, attention, and motor processes, among others. The influence of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of the cholinergic system are moderated by lynx proteins, which are GPI-anchored membrane proteins forming tight associations with nicotinic receptors. Previous studies indicate lynx1 inhibits nicotinic receptor function and limits neuronal plasticity. We sought to investigate the mechanism of action of lynx1 on nicotinic receptor function, through the generation of lynx mouse models, expressing a soluble version of lynx and comparing results to the full length overexpression. Using rotarod as a test for motor learning, we found that expressing a secreted variant of lynx leads to motor learning enhancements whereas overexpression of full-length lynx had no effect. Further, adult lynx1KO mice demonstrated comparable motor learning enhancements as the soluble transgenic lines, whereas previously, aged lynx1KO mice showed performance augmentation only with nicotine treatment. From this we conclude the motor learning is more sensitive to loss of lynx function, and that the GPI anchor plays a role in the normal function of the lynx protein. In addition, our data suggests that the lynx gene plays a modulatory role in the brain during aging, and that a soluble version of lynx has potential as a tool for adjusting cholinergic-dependent plasticity and learning mechanisms in the brain.

  5. Genetic enhancement of microsomal epoxide hydrolase improves metabolic detoxification but impairs cerebral blood flow regulation.

    PubMed

    Marowsky, Anne; Haenel, Karen; Bockamp, Ernesto; Heck, Rosario; Rutishauser, Sibylle; Mule, Nandkishor; Kindler, Diana; Rudin, Markus; Arand, Michael

    2016-12-01

    Microsomal epoxide hydrolase (mEH) is a detoxifying enzyme for xenobiotic compounds. Enzymatic activity of mEH can be greatly increased by a point mutation, leading to an E404D amino acid exchange in its catalytic triad. Surprisingly, this variant is not found in any vertebrate species, despite the obvious advantage of accelerated detoxification. We hypothesized that this evolutionary avoidance is due to the fact that the mEH plays a dualistic role in detoxification and control of endogenous vascular signaling molecules. To test this, we generated mEH E404D mice and assessed them for detoxification capacity and vascular dynamics. In liver microsomes from these mice, turnover of the xenobiotic compound phenanthrene-9,10-oxide was four times faster compared to WT liver microsomes, confirming accelerated detoxification. mEH E404D animals also showed faster metabolization of a specific class of endogenous eicosanoids, arachidonic acid-derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) to dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs). Significantly higher DHETs/EETs ratios were found in mEH E404D liver, urine, plasma, brain and cerebral endothelial cells compared to WT controls, suggesting a broad impact of the mEH mutant on endogenous EETs metabolism. Because EETs are strong vasodilators in cerebral vasculature, hemodynamics were assessed in mEH E404D and WT cerebral cortex and hippocampus using cerebral blood volume (CBV)-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Basal CBV0 levels were similar between mEH E404D and control mice in both brain areas. But vascular reactivity and vasodilation in response to the vasodilatory drug acetazolamide were reduced in mEH E404D forebrain compared to WT controls by factor 3 and 2.6, respectively. These results demonstrate a critical role for mEH E404D in vasodynamics and suggest that deregulation of endogenous signaling pathways is the undesirable gain of function associated with the E404D variant.

  6. Genetic Algorithm Used for Load Shedding Based on Sensitivity to Enhance Voltage Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titare, L. S.; Singh, P.; Arya, L. D.

    2014-12-01

    This paper presents an algorithm to calculate optimum load shedding with voltage stability consideration based on sensitivity of proximity indicator using genetic algorithm (GA). Schur's inequality based proximity indicator of load flow Jacobian has been selected, which indicates system state. Load flow Jacobian of the system is obtained using Continuation power flow method. If reactive power and active rescheduling are exhausted, load shedding is the last line of defense to maintain the operational security of the system. Load buses for load shedding have been selected on the basis of sensitivity of proximity indicator. The load bus having large sensitivity is selected for load shedding. Proposed algorithm predicts load bus rank and optimum load to be shed on load buses. The algorithm accounts inequality constraints not only in present operating conditions, but also for predicted next interval load (with load shedding). Developed algorithm has been implemented on IEEE 6-bus system. Results have been compared with those obtained using Teaching-Learning-Based Optimization (TLBO), particle swarm optimization (PSO) and its variant.

  7. Genetic design of enhanced valley splitting towards a spin qubit in silicon

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lijun; Luo, Jun-Wei; Saraiva, Andre; Koiller, Belita; Zunger, Alex

    2013-01-01

    The long spin coherence time and microelectronics compatibility of Si makes it an attractive material for realizing solid-state qubits. Unfortunately, the orbital (valley) degeneracy of the conduction band of bulk Si makes it difficult to isolate individual two-level spin-1/2 states, limiting their development. This degeneracy is lifted within Si quantum wells clad between Ge-Si alloy barrier layers, but the magnitude of the valley splittings achieved so far is small—of the order of 1 meV or less—degrading the fidelity of information stored within such a qubit. Here we combine an atomistic pseudopotential theory with a genetic search algorithm to optimize the structure of layered-Ge/Si-clad Si quantum wells to improve this splitting. We identify an optimal sequence of multiple Ge/Si barrier layers that more effectively isolates the electron ground state of a Si quantum well and increases the valley splitting by an order of magnitude, to ∼9 meV. PMID:24013452

  8. The genetic-algorithm-enhanced blind system identification for water distribution pipeline leak detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jin; Wen, Yumei; Li, Ping

    2007-07-01

    The conventional leak location is based on the correlation of leak acoustic signals acquired spatially separately. By correlation, the time lag is estimated for localizing the leakage. In these methods, the detection distance is a prerequisite that has to be known beforehand. However, in practice, this prerequisite is not always satisfied. In this case, the correlation-based methods are not feasible. Actually, the acquired signals contain the characteristics related to the acoustic propagation channels; thus the blind system identification strategy is applied to estimate the transmission performances of acoustic channels. Then the times due to the propagation of the leak source signal travelling from the leak point to sensors are determined. In this way, for leak location, the detection distance is no longer a prerequisite. In blind system identification, due to the long impulse responses of the leak acoustic channels, the channels are inevitably ill conditioned and sensitive to the initial values. To overcome the ill conditions, the overlap-save and cross-correlation fitting techniques are utilized to identify the long impulse sequences under a built constraint. In order to avoid converging to the local minima, the genetic algorithm is used to minimize the cost functions. The practical detection results show the validity of the proposed scheme.

  9. Modelling complex features from histone modification signatures using genetic algorithm for the prediction of enhancer region.

    PubMed

    Lee, Nung Kion; Fong, Pui Kwan; Abdullah, Mohd Tajuddin

    2014-01-01

    Using Genetic Algorithm, this paper presents a modelling method to generate novel logical-based features from DNA sequences enriched with H3K4mel histone signatures. Current histone signature is mostly represented using k-mers content features incapable of representing all the possible complex interactions of various DNA segments. The main contributions are, among others: (a) demonstrating that there are complex interactions among sequence segments in the histone regions; (b) developing a parse tree representation of the logical complex features. The proposed novel feature is compared to the k-mers content features using datasets from the mouse (mm9) genome. Evaluation results show that the new feature improves the prediction performance as shown by f-measure for all datasets tested. Also, it is discovered that tree-based features generated from a single chromosome can be generalized to predict histone marks in other chromosomes not used in the training. These findings have a great impact on feature design considerations for histone signatures as well as other classifier design features.

  10. Biological invasions: paradox lost and paradise gained.

    PubMed

    Hufbauer, Ruth A

    2008-03-25

    A new study shows how an invasive snail species accrues elevated genetic variation for key life-history traits through multiple introductions and outcrossing to create genetically novel offspring. Furthermore, the invaders' offspring follow a unique life-history strategy that may enhance their ability to invade.

  11. Enhanced flight performance by genetic manipulation of wing shape in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Robert P.; Nakata, Toshiyuki; Henningsson, Per; Bomphrey, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Insect wing shapes are remarkably diverse and the combination of shape and kinematics determines both aerial capabilities and power requirements. However, the contribution of any specific morphological feature to performance is not known. Using targeted RNA interference to modify wing shape far beyond the natural variation found within the population of a single species, we show a direct effect on flight performance that can be explained by physical modelling of the novel wing geometry. Our data show that altering the expression of a single gene can significantly enhance aerial agility and that the Drosophila wing shape is not, therefore, optimized for certain flight performance characteristics that are known to be important. Our technique points in a new direction for experiments on the evolution of performance specialities in animals. PMID:26926954

  12. Enhancement of phosphate absorption by garden plants by genetic engineering: a new tool for phytoremediation.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Keisuke; Togami, Junichi; Mason, John G; Chandler, Stephen F; Tanaka, Yoshikazu

    2013-01-01

    Although phosphorus is an essential factor for proper plant growth in natural environments, an excess of phosphate in water sources causes serious pollution. In this paper we describe transgenic plants which hyperaccumulate inorganic phosphate (Pi) and which may be used to reduce environmental water pollution by phytoremediation. AtPHR1, a transcription factor for a key regulator of the Pi starvation response in Arabidopsis thaliana, was overexpressed in the ornamental garden plants Torenia, Petunia, and Verbena. The transgenic plants showed hyperaccumulation of Pi in leaves and accelerated Pi absorption rates from hydroponic solutions. Large-scale hydroponic experiments indicated that the enhanced ability to absorb Pi in transgenic torenia (AtPHR1) was comparable to water hyacinth a plant that though is used for phytoremediation causes overgrowth problems.

  13. Enhancement of Phosphate Absorption by Garden Plants by Genetic Engineering: A New Tool for Phytoremediation

    PubMed Central

    Togami, Junichi; Mason, John G.; Chandler, Stephen F.; Tanaka, Yoshikazu

    2013-01-01

    Although phosphorus is an essential factor for proper plant growth in natural environments, an excess of phosphate in water sources causes serious pollution. In this paper we describe transgenic plants which hyperaccumulate inorganic phosphate (Pi) and which may be used to reduce environmental water pollution by phytoremediation. AtPHR1, a transcription factor for a key regulator of the Pi starvation response in Arabidopsis thaliana, was overexpressed in the ornamental garden plants Torenia, Petunia, and Verbena. The transgenic plants showed hyperaccumulation of Pi in leaves and accelerated Pi absorption rates from hydroponic solutions. Large-scale hydroponic experiments indicated that the enhanced ability to absorb Pi in transgenic torenia (AtPHR1) was comparable to water hyacinth a plant that though is used for phytoremediation causes overgrowth problems. PMID:23984322

  14. Micelle-Enhanced Bioorthogonal Labeling of Genetically Encoded Azido Groups on the Lipid-Embedded Surface of a GPCR.

    PubMed

    Tian, He; Sakmar, Thomas P; Huber, Thomas

    2015-06-15

    Genetically encoded p-azido-phenylalanine (azF) residues in G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) can be targeted with dibenzocyclooctyne-modified (DIBO-modified) fluorescent probes by means of strain-promoted [3+2] azide-alkyne cycloaddition (SpAAC). Here we show that azF residues situated on the transmembrane surfaces of detergent-solubilized receptors exhibit up to 1000-fold rate enhancement relative to azF residues on water-exposed surfaces. We show that the amphipathic moment of the labeling reagent, consisting of hydrophobic DIBO coupled to hydrophilic Alexa dye, results in strong partitioning of the DIBO group into the hydrocarbon core of the detergent micelle and consequently high local reactant concentrations. The observed rate constant for the micelleenhanced SpAAC is comparable with those of the fastest bioorthogonal labeling reactions known. Targeting hydrophobic regions of membrane proteins by use of micelle-enhanced SpAAC should expand the utility of bioorthogonal labeling strategies.

  15. Malignancy Detection on Mammography Using Dual Deep Convolutional Neural Networks and Genetically Discovered False Color Input Enhancement.

    PubMed

    Teare, Philip; Fishman, Michael; Benzaquen, Oshra; Toledano, Eyal; Elnekave, Eldad

    2017-08-01

    Breast cancer is the most prevalent malignancy in the US and the third highest cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Regular mammography screening has been attributed with doubling the rate of early cancer detection over the past three decades, yet estimates of mammographic accuracy in the hands of experienced radiologists remain suboptimal with sensitivity ranging from 62 to 87% and specificity from 75 to 91%. Advances in machine learning (ML) in recent years have demonstrated capabilities of image analysis which often surpass those of human observers. Here we present two novel techniques to address inherent challenges in the application of ML to the domain of mammography. We describe the use of genetic search of image enhancement methods, leading us to the use of a novel form of false color enhancement through contrast limited adaptive histogram equalization (CLAHE), as a method to optimize mammographic feature representation. We also utilize dual deep convolutional neural networks at different scales, for classification of full mammogram images and derivative patches combined with a random forest gating network as a novel architectural solution capable of discerning malignancy with a specificity of 0.91 and a specificity of 0.80. To our knowledge, this represents the first automatic stand-alone mammography malignancy detection algorithm with sensitivity and specificity performance similar to that of expert radiologists.

  16. Genetic Signatures for Enhanced Olfaction in the African Mole-Rats

    PubMed Central

    Stathopoulos, Sofia; Bishop, Jacqueline M.; O’Ryan, Colleen

    2014-01-01

    The Olfactory Receptor (OR) superfamily, the largest in the vertebrate genome, is responsible for vertebrate olfaction and is traditionally subdivided into 17 OR families. Recent studies characterising whole-OR subgenomes revealed a ‘birth and death’ model of evolution for a range of species, however little is known about fine-scale evolutionary dynamics within single-OR families. This study reports the first assessment of fine-scale OR evolution and variation in African mole-rats (Bathyergidae), a family of subterranean rodents endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. Because of the selective pressures of life underground, enhanced olfaction is proposed to be fundamental to the evolutionary success of the Bathyergidae, resulting in a highly diversified OR gene-repertoire. Using a PCR-sequencing approach, we analysed variation in the OR7 family across 14 extant bathyergid species, which revealed enhanced levels of functional polymorphisms concentrated across the receptors’ ligand-binding region. We propose that mole-rats are able to recognise a broad range of odorants and that this diversity is reflected throughout their OR7 gene repertoire. Using both classic tests and tree-based methods to test for signals of selection, we investigate evolutionary forces across the mole-rat OR7 gene tree. Four well-supported clades emerged in the OR phylogeny, with varying signals of selection; from neutrality to positive and purifying selection. Bathyergid life-history traits and environmental niche-specialisation are explored as possible drivers of adaptive OR evolution, emerging as non-exclusive contributors to the positive selection observed at OR7 genes. Our results reveal unexpected complexity of evolutionary mechanisms acting within a single OR family, providing insightful perspectives into OR evolutionary dynamics. PMID:24699281

  17. Genetic modification of embryonic stem cells with VEGF enhances cell survival and improves cardiac function.

    PubMed

    Xie, Xiaoyan; Cao, Feng; Sheikh, Ahmad Y; Li, Zongjin; Connolly, Andrew J; Pei, Xuetao; Li, Ren-Ke; Robbins, Robert C; Wu, Joseph C

    2007-01-01

    Cardiac stem cell therapy remains hampered by acute donor cell death posttransplantation and the lack of reliable methods for tracking cell survival in vivo. We hypothesize that cells transfected with inducible vascular endothelial growth factor 165 (VEGF(165)) can improve their survival as monitored by novel molecular imaging techniques. Mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells were transfected with an inducible, bidirectional tetracycline (Bi-Tet) promoter driving VEGF(165) and renilla luciferase (Rluc). Addition of doxycycline induced Bi-Tet expression of VEGF(165) and Rluc significantly compared to baseline (p<0.05). Expression of VEGF(165) enhanced ES cell proliferation and inhibited apoptosis as determined by Annexin-V staining. For noninvasive imaging, ES cells were transduced with a double fusion (DF) reporter gene consisting of firefly luciferase and enhanced green fluorescence protein (Fluc-eGFP). There was a robust correlation between cell number and Fluc activity (R(2)=0.99). Analysis by immunostaining, histology, and RT-PCR confirmed that expression of Bi-Tet and DF systems did not affect ES cell self-renewal or pluripotency. ES cells were differentiated into beating embryoid bodies expressing cardiac markers such as troponin, Nkx2.5, and beta-MHC. Afterward, 5 x 10(5) cells obtained from these beating embryoid bodies or saline were injected into the myocardium of SV129 mice (n=36) following ligation of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and echocardiography showed that VEGF(165) induction led to significant improvements in both transplanted cell survival and cardiac function (p<0.05). This is the first study to demonstrate imaging of embryonic stem cell-mediated gene therapy targeting cardiovascular disease. With further validation, this platform may have broad applications for current basic research and further clinical studies.

  18. Genetic Phagocyte NADPH Oxidase Deficiency Enhances Nonviable Candida albicans-Induced Inflammation in Mouse Lungs.

    PubMed

    Endo, Daiki; Fujimoto, Kenta; Hirose, Rika; Yamanaka, Hiroko; Homme, Mizuki; Ishibashi, Ken-Ichi; Miura, Noriko; Ohno, Naohito; Aratani, Yasuaki

    2017-02-01

    Patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) have mutated phagocyte NADPH oxidase, resulting in reduced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). While the mechanism underlying hyperinfection in CGD is well understood, the basis for inflammatory disorders that arise in the absence of evident infection has not been fully explained. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of phagocyte NADPH oxidase deficiency on lung inflammation induced by nonviable Candida albicans (nCA). Mice deficient in this enzyme (CGD mice) showed more severe neutrophilic pneumonia than nCA-treated wild-type mice, which exhibited significantly higher lung concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC). Neutralization of these proinflammatory mediators significantly reduced neutrophil infiltration. In vitro, production of IL-1β and TNF-α from neutrophils and that of KC from macrophages was enhanced in nCA-stimulated neutrophils from CGD mice. Expression of IL-1β mRNA was higher in the stimulated CGD neutrophils than in the stimulated wild-type cells, concomitant with upregulation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB and its upstream regulator extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2. Pretreatment with an NADPH oxidase inhibitor significantly enhanced IL-1β production in the wild-type neutrophils stimulated with nCA. These results suggest that lack of ROS production because of NADPH oxidase deficiency results in the production of higher levels of proinflammatory mediators from neutrophils and macrophages, which may at least partly contribute to the exacerbation of nCA-induced lung inflammation in CGD mice.

  19. Genetic predisposition to neuroblastoma mediated by a LMO1 super-enhancer polymorphism

    PubMed Central

    Oldridge, Derek A.; Wood, Andrew C.; Weichert-Leahey, Nina; Crimmins, Ian; Sussman, Robyn; Winter, Cynthia; McDaniel, Lee D.; Diamond, Maura; Hart, Lori S.; Zhu, Shizhen; Durbin, Adam D.; Abraham, Brian J.; Anders, Lars; Tian, Lifeng; Zhang, Shile; Wei, Jun S.; Khan, Javed; Bramlett, Kelli; Rahman, Nazneen; Capasso, Mario; Iolascon, Achille; Gerhard, Daniela S.; Guidry Auvil, Jaime M.; Young, Richard A.; Hakonarson, Hakon; Diskin, Sharon J.; Look, A. Thomas; Maris, John M.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Neuroblastoma is a pediatric malignancy that typically arises in early childhood and is derived from the developing sympathetic nervous system. Clinical phenotypes range from localized tumors with excellent outcomes to widely metastatic disease where long-term survival is approximately 40% despite intensive therapy1. A previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified common polymorphisms at the LMO1 gene locus that are highly associated with neuroblastoma susceptibility and oncogenic addiction to LMO1 in the tumor cells2. Here we sought to discover the causal DNA variant at this locus and the mechanism by which it leads to neuroblastoma tumorigenesis. We first imputed all possible genotypes across the LMO1 locus and then mapped highly associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) to areas of chromatin accessibility, evolutionary conservation, and transcription factor binding sites. SNP rs2168101 G>T was the most highly associated variant (combined P=7.47×10-29, Odds Ratio 0.65, 95% CI: 0.60-0.70) and resided in a super-enhancer defined by extensive acetylation of histone H3 lysine 27 within the first intron of LMO1. The ancestral G-allele that is associated with tumor formation resides in a conserved GATA transcription factor binding motif. We show that the newly evolved protective TATA allele is associated with decreased total LMO1 expression (P=0.028) in neuroblastoma primary tumors and ablates GATA3 binding (P<0.0001). We demonstrate allelic imbalance favoring the G-containing strand in tumors heterozygous for this SNP as demonstrated both by RNA sequencing (P<0.0001) and reporter assays (P=0.002). These findings show that a recently evolved polymorphism within a super-enhancer element in the first intron of LMO1 influences neuroblastoma susceptibility through differential GATA transcription factor binding and direct modulation of LMO1 expression in cis, and this leads to an oncogenic dependency in tumor cells. PMID:26560027

  20. Genetic signatures for enhanced olfaction in the African mole-rats.

    PubMed

    Stathopoulos, Sofia; Bishop, Jacqueline M; O'Ryan, Colleen

    2014-01-01

    The Olfactory Receptor (OR) superfamily, the largest in the vertebrate genome, is responsible for vertebrate olfaction and is traditionally subdivided into 17 OR families. Recent studies characterising whole-OR subgenomes revealed a 'birth and death' model of evolution for a range of species, however little is known about fine-scale evolutionary dynamics within single-OR families. This study reports the first assessment of fine-scale OR evolution and variation in African mole-rats (Bathyergidae), a family of subterranean rodents endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. Because of the selective pressures of life underground, enhanced olfaction is proposed to be fundamental to the evolutionary success of the Bathyergidae, resulting in a highly diversified OR gene-repertoire. Using a PCR-sequencing approach, we analysed variation in the OR7 family across 14 extant bathyergid species, which revealed enhanced levels of functional polymorphisms concentrated across the receptors' ligand-binding region. We propose that mole-rats are able to recognise a broad range of odorants and that this diversity is reflected throughout their OR7 gene repertoire. Using both classic tests and tree-based methods to test for signals of selection, we investigate evolutionary forces across the mole-rat OR7 gene tree. Four well-supported clades emerged in the OR phylogeny, with varying signals of selection; from neutrality to positive and purifying selection. Bathyergid life-history traits and environmental niche-specialisation are explored as possible drivers of adaptive OR evolution, emerging as non-exclusive contributors to the positive selection observed at OR7 genes. Our results reveal unexpected complexity of evolutionary mechanisms acting within a single OR family, providing insightful perspectives into OR evolutionary dynamics.

  1. Genetic Regulation of Fate Decisions in Therapeutic T Cells to Enhance Tumor Protection and Memory Formation.

    PubMed

    Veliça, Pedro; Zech, Mathias; Henson, Sian; Holler, Angelika; Manzo, Teresa; Pike, Rebecca; Santos E Sousa, Pedro; Zhang, Lei; Heinz, Niels; Schiedlmeier, Bernhard; Pule, Martin; Stauss, Hans; Chakraverty, Ronjon

    2015-07-01

    A key challenge in the field of T-cell immunotherapy for cancer is creating a suitable platform for promoting differentiation of effector cells while at the same time enabling self-renewal needed for long-term memory. Although transfer of less differentiated memory T cells increases efficacy through greater expansion and persistence in vivo, the capacity of such cells to sustain effector functions within immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments may still be limiting. We have therefore directly compared the impact of effector versus memory differentiation of therapeutic T cells in tumor-bearing mice by introducing molecular switches that regulate cell fate decisions via mTOR. Ectopic expression of RAS homolog enriched in brain (RHEB) increased mTORC1 signaling, promoted a switch to aerobic glycolysis, and increased expansion of effector T cells. By rapidly infiltrating tumors, RHEB-transduced T cells significantly reduced the emergence of immunoedited escape variants. In contrast, expression of proline-rich Akt substrate of 40 kDa (PRAS40) inhibited mTORC1, promoted quiescence, and blocked tumor infiltration. Fate mapping studies following transient expression of PRAS40 demonstrated that mTORC1(low) T cells made no contribution to initial tumor control but instead survived to become memory cells proficient in generating recall immunity. Our data support the design of translational strategies for generating heterogeneous T-cell immunity against cancer, with the appropriate balance between promoting effector differentiation and self-renewal. Unlike pharmacologic inhibitors, the genetic approach described here allows for upregulation as well as inhibition of the mTORC1 pathway and is highly selective for the therapeutic T cells without affecting systemic mTORC1 functions. ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

  2. Assessing and enhancing the introductory science course in physics and biology: Peer instruction, classroom demonstrations, and genetics vocabulary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagen, Adam Paul

    Most introductory college science courses in the United States are taught in large lectures with students rarely having the opportunity to think critically about the material being presented nor to participate actively. Further, many classes focus on teaching rather than learning, that is, the transfer of information as opposed to actual student understanding. This thesis focuses on three studies about the assessment and enhancement of learning in undergraduate science courses. We describe the results of an international survey on the implementation of Peer Instruction (PI), a collaborative learning pedagogy in which lectures are interspersed with short conceptual questions designed to challenge students to think about the material as it is being presented. We present a portrait of the many instructors teaching with PI and the settings in which it is being used as well as data on the effectiveness of PI in enhancing student learning in diverse settings. The wide variety of implementations suggests that PI is a highly adaptable strategy that can work successfully in almost any environment. We also provide recommendations for those considering adopting PI in their classes. Classroom demonstrations are an important aspect of many introductory science courses, but there is little evidence supporting their educational effectiveness. We explore the effect of different modes of presentation on enhancing student learning from demonstrations. Our results show that students who actively engage with a demonstration by predicting the outcome before it is conducted are better able to recall and explain the scenario posed by that demonstration. As preliminary work for the creation of an inventory of conceptual understanding in introductory biology, we discuss results from a survey of vocabulary familiarity and understanding in an undergraduate genetics course. Students begin introductory classes with significant gaps in their understanding, some of which are retained beyond

  3. Receiver Gain Modulation Circuit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Hollis; Racette, Paul; Walker, David; Gu, Dazhen

    2011-01-01

    A receiver gain modulation circuit (RGMC) was developed that modulates the power gain of the output of a radiometer receiver with a test signal. As the radiometer receiver switches between calibration noise references, the test signal is mixed with the calibrated noise and thus produces an ensemble set of measurements from which ensemble statistical analysis can be used to extract statistical information about the test signal. The RGMC is an enabling technology of the ensemble detector. As a key component for achieving ensemble detection and analysis, the RGMC has broad aeronautical and space applications. The RGMC can be used to test and develop new calibration algorithms, for example, to detect gain anomalies, and/or correct for slow drifts that affect climate-quality measurements over an accelerated time scale. A generalized approach to analyzing radiometer system designs yields a mathematical treatment of noise reference measurements in calibration algorithms. By treating the measurements from the different noise references as ensemble samples of the receiver state, i.e. receiver gain, a quantitative description of the non-stationary properties of the underlying receiver fluctuations can be derived. Excellent agreement has been obtained between model calculations and radiometric measurements. The mathematical formulation is equivalent to modulating the gain of a stable receiver with an externally generated signal and is the basis for ensemble detection and analysis (EDA). The concept of generating ensemble data sets using an ensemble detector is similar to the ensemble data sets generated as part of ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) with exception of a key distinguishing factor. EEMD adds noise to the signal under study whereas EDA mixes the signal with calibrated noise. It is mixing with calibrated noise that permits the measurement of temporal-functional variability of uncertainty in the underlying process. The RGMC permits the evaluation of EDA by

  4. Genetic predisposition to neuroblastoma mediated by a LMO1 super-enhancer polymorphism.

    PubMed

    Oldridge, Derek A; Wood, Andrew C; Weichert-Leahey, Nina; Crimmins, Ian; Sussman, Robyn; Winter, Cynthia; McDaniel, Lee D; Diamond, Maura; Hart, Lori S; Zhu, Shizhen; Durbin, Adam D; Abraham, Brian J; Anders, Lars; Tian, Lifeng; Zhang, Shile; Wei, Jun S; Khan, Javed; Bramlett, Kelli; Rahman, Nazneen; Capasso, Mario; Iolascon, Achille; Gerhard, Daniela S; Guidry Auvil, Jaime M; Young, Richard A; Hakonarson, Hakon; Diskin, Sharon J; Look, A Thomas; Maris, John M

    2015-12-17

    Neuroblastoma is a paediatric malignancy that typically arises in early childhood, and is derived from the developing sympathetic nervous system. Clinical phenotypes range from localized tumours with excellent outcomes to widely metastatic disease in which long-term survival is approximately 40% despite intensive therapy. A previous genome-wide association study identified common polymorphisms at the LMO1 gene locus that are highly associated with neuroblastoma susceptibility and oncogenic addiction to LMO1 in the tumour cells. Here we investigate the causal DNA variant at this locus and the mechanism by which it leads to neuroblastoma tumorigenesis. We first imputed all possible genotypes across the LMO1 locus and then mapped highly associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) to areas of chromatin accessibility, evolutionary conservation and transcription factor binding sites. We show that SNP rs2168101 G>T is the most highly associated variant (combined P = 7.47 × 10(-29), odds ratio 0.65, 95% confidence interval 0.60-0.70), and resides in a super-enhancer defined by extensive acetylation of histone H3 lysine 27 within the first intron of LMO1. The ancestral G allele that is associated with tumour formation resides in a conserved GATA transcription factor binding motif. We show that the newly evolved protective TATA allele is associated with decreased total LMO1 expression (P = 0.028) in neuroblastoma primary tumours, and ablates GATA3 binding (P < 0.0001). We demonstrate allelic imbalance favouring the G-containing strand in tumours heterozygous for this SNP, as demonstrated both by RNA sequencing (P < 0.0001) and reporter assays (P = 0.002). These findings indicate that a recently evolved polymorphism within a super-enhancer element in the first intron of LMO1 influences neuroblastoma susceptibility through differential GATA transcription factor binding and direct modulation of LMO1 expression in cis, and this leads to an oncogenic

  5. Control of the olive fruit fly using genetics-enhanced sterile insect technique

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae, is the major arthropod pest of commercial olive production, causing extensive damage to olive crops worldwide. Current control techniques rely on spraying of chemical insecticides. The sterile insect technique (SIT) presents an alternative, environmentally friendly and species-specific method of population control. Although SIT has been very successful against other tephritid pests, previous SIT trials on olive fly have produced disappointing results. Key problems included altered diurnal mating rhythms of the laboratory-reared insects, resulting in asynchronous mating activity between the wild and released sterile populations, and low competitiveness of the radiation-sterilised mass-reared flies. Consequently, the production of competitive, male-only release cohorts is considered an essential prerequisite for successful olive fly SIT. Results We developed a set of conditional female-lethal strains of olive fly (named Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal; RIDL®), providing highly penetrant female-specific lethality, dominant fluorescent marking, and genetic sterility. We found that males of the lead strain, OX3097D-Bol, 1) are strongly sexually competitive with wild olive flies, 2) display synchronous mating activity with wild females, and 3) induce appropriate refractoriness to wild female re-mating. Furthermore, we showed, through a large proof-of-principle experiment, that weekly releases of OX3097D-Bol males into stable populations of caged wild-type olive fly could cause rapid population collapse and eventual eradication. Conclusions The observed mating characteristics strongly suggest that an approach based on the release of OX3097D-Bol males will overcome the key difficulties encountered in previous olive fly SIT attempts. Although field confirmation is required, the proof-of-principle suppression and elimination of caged wild-type olive fly populations through OX3097D-Bol male releases provides

  6. Genetic deletion or TWEAK blocking antibody administration reduce atherosclerosis and enhance plaque stability in mice

    PubMed Central

    Sastre, Cristina; Fernández-Laso, Valvanera; Madrigal-Matute, Julio; Muñoz-García, Begoña; Moreno, Juan A; Pastor-Vargas, Carlos; Llamas-Granda, Patricia; Burkly, Linda C; Egido, Jesús; Martín-Ventura, Jose L; Blanco-Colio, Luis M

    2014-01-01

    Clinical complications associated with atherosclerotic plaques arise from luminal obstruction due to plaque growth or destabilization leading to rupture. Tumour necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 12 (TNFSF12) also known as TNF-related weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) is a proinflammatory cytokine that participates in atherosclerotic plaque development, but its role in plaque stability remains unclear. Using two different approaches, genetic deletion of TNFSF12 and treatment with a TWEAK blocking mAb in atherosclerosis-prone mice, we have analysed the effect of TWEAK inhibition on atherosclerotic plaques progression and stability. Mice lacking both TNFSF12 and Apolipoprotein E (TNFSF12−/−ApoE−/−) exhibited a diminished atherosclerotic burden and lesion size in their aorta. Advanced atherosclerotic plaques of TNFSF12−/−ApoE−/− or anti-TWEAK treated mice exhibited an increase collagen/lipid and vascular smooth muscle cell/macrophage ratios compared with TNFSF12+/+ApoE−/− control mice, reflecting a more stable plaque phenotype. These changes are related with two different mechanisms, reduction of the inflammatory response (chemokines expression and secretion and nuclear factor kappa B activation) and decrease of metalloproteinase activity in atherosclerotic plaques of TNFSF12−/−ApoE−/−. A similar phenotype was observed with anti-TWEAK mAb treatment in TNFSF12+/+ApoE−/− mice. Brachiocephalic arteries were also examined since they exhibit additional features akin to human atherosclerotic plaques associated with instability and rupture. Features of greater plaque stability including augmented collagen/lipid ratio, reduced macrophage content, and less presence of lateral xanthomas, buried caps, medial erosion, intraplaque haemorrhage and calcium content were present in TNFSF12−/−ApoE−/− or anti-TWEAK treatment in TNFSF12+/+ApoE−/− mice. Overall, our data indicate that anti-TWEAK treatment has the capacity to diminish

  7. Genetically enhanced asynapsis of autosomal chromatin promotes transcriptional dysregulation and meiotic failure.

    PubMed

    Homolka, David; Jansa, Petr; Forejt, Jiri

    2012-02-01

    During meiosis, pairing of homologous chromosomes and their synapsis are essential prerequisites for normal male gametogenesis. Even limited autosomal asynapsis often leads to spermatogenic impairment, the mechanism of which is not fully understood. The present study was aimed at deliberately increasing the size of partial autosomal asynapsis and analysis of its impact on male meiosis. For this purpose, we studied the effect of t(12) haplotype encompassing four inversions on chromosome 17 on mouse autosomal translocation T(16;17)43H (abbreviated T43H). The T43H/T43H homozygotes were fully fertile in both sexes, while +/T43H heterozygous males, but not females, were sterile with meiotic arrest at late pachynema. Inclusion of the t(12) haplotype in trans to the T43H translocation resulted in enhanced asynapsis of the translocated autosome, ectopic phosphorylation of histone H2AX, persistence of RAD51 foci, and increased gene silencing around the translocation break. Increase was also on colocalization of unsynapsed chromatin with sex body. Remarkably, we found that transcriptional silencing of the unsynapsed autosomal chromatin precedes silencing of sex chromosomes. Based on the present knowledge, we conclude that interference of meiotic silencing of unsynapsed autosomes with meiotic sex chromosome inactivation is the most likely cause of asynapsis-related male sterility.

  8. Massive sorghum collection genotyped with SSR markers to enhance use of global genetic resources.

    PubMed

    Billot, Claire; Ramu, Punna; Bouchet, Sophie; Chantereau, Jacques; Deu, Monique; Gardes, Laetitia; Noyer, Jean-Louis; Rami, Jean-François; Rivallan, Ronan; Li, Yu; Lu, Ping; Wang, Tianyu; Folkertsma, Rolf T; Arnaud, Elizabeth; Upadhyaya, Hari D; Glaszmann, Jean-Christophe; Hash, C Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Large ex situ collections require approaches for sampling manageable amounts of germplasm for in-depth characterization and use. We present here a large diversity survey in sorghum with 3367 accessions and 41 reference nuclear SSR markers. Of 19 alleles on average per locus, the largest numbers of alleles were concentrated in central and eastern Africa. Cultivated sorghum appeared structured according to geographic regions and race within region. A total of 13 groups of variable size were distinguished. The peripheral groups in western Africa, southern Africa and eastern Asia were the most homogeneous and clearly differentiated. Except for Kafir, there was little correspondence between races and marker-based groups. Bicolor, Caudatum, Durra and Guinea types were each dispersed in three groups or more. Races should therefore better be referred to as morphotypes. Wild and weedy accessions were very diverse and scattered among cultivated samples, reinforcing the idea that large gene-flow exists between the different compartments. Our study provides an entry to global sorghum germplasm collections. Our reference marker kit can serve to aggregate additional studies and enhance international collaboration. We propose a core reference set in order to facilitate integrated phenotyping experiments towards refined functional understanding of sorghum diversity.

  9. Massive Sorghum Collection Genotyped with SSR Markers to Enhance Use of Global Genetic Resources

    PubMed Central

    Bouchet, Sophie; Chantereau, Jacques; Deu, Monique; Gardes, Laetitia; Noyer, Jean-Louis; Rami, Jean-François; Rivallan, Ronan; Li, Yu; Lu, Ping; Wang, Tianyu; Folkertsma, Rolf T.; Arnaud, Elizabeth; Upadhyaya, Hari D.; Glaszmann, Jean-Christophe; Hash, C. Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Large ex situ collections require approaches for sampling manageable amounts of germplasm for in-depth characterization and use. We present here a large diversity survey in sorghum with 3367 accessions and 41 reference nuclear SSR markers. Of 19 alleles on average per locus, the largest numbers of alleles were concentrated in central and eastern Africa. Cultivated sorghum appeared structured according to geographic regions and race within region. A total of 13 groups of variable size were distinguished. The peripheral groups in western Africa, southern Africa and eastern Asia were the most homogeneous and clearly differentiated. Except for Kafir, there was little correspondence between races and marker-based groups. Bicolor, Caudatum, Durra and Guinea types were each dispersed in three groups or more. Races should therefore better be referred to as morphotypes. Wild and weedy accessions were very diverse and scattered among cultivated samples, reinforcing the idea that large gene-flow exists between the different compartments. Our study provides an entry to global sorghum germplasm collections. Our reference marker kit can serve to aggregate additional studies and enhance international collaboration. We propose a core reference set in order to facilitate integrated phenotyping experiments towards refined functional understanding of sorghum diversity. PMID:23565161

  10. Genetic improvement of Saccharomyces cerevisiae wine strains for enhancing cell viability after desiccation stress.

    PubMed

    López-Martínez, Gema; Pietrafesa, Rocchina; Romano, Patrizia; Cordero-Otero, Ricardo; Capece, Angela

    2013-08-01

    In the last few decades spontaneous grape must fermentations have been replaced by inoculated fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains as active dry yeast (ADY). Among the essential genes previously characterized to overcome the cell-drying/rehydration process, six belong to the group of very hydrophilic proteins known as hydrophilins. Among them, only SIP18 has shown early transcriptional response during dehydration stress. In fact, the overexpression in S. cerevisiae of gene SIP18 increases cell viability after the dehydration process. The purpose of this study was to characterize dehydration stress tolerance of three wild and one commercial S. cerevisiae strains of wine origin. The four strains were submitted to transformation by insertion of the gene SIP18. Selected transformants were submitted to the cell-drying-rehydration process and yeast viability was evaluated by both viable cell count and flow cytometry. The antioxidant capacity of SIP18p was illustrated by ROS accumulation reduction after H2 O2 attack. Growth data as cellular duplication times and lag times were calculated to estimate cell vitality after the cell rehydration process. The overexpressing SIP18 strains showed significantly longer time of lag phase despite less time needed to stop the leakage of intracellular compounds during the rehydration process. Subsequently, the transformants were tested in inoculated grape must fermentation at laboratory scale in comparison to untransformed strains. Chemical analyses of the resultant wines indicated that no significant change for the content of secondary compounds was detected. The obtained data showed that the transformation enhances the viability of ADY without affecting fermentation efficiency and metabolic behaviour. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Genetics- and genomics-based interventions for nutritional enhancement of grain legume crops: status and outlook.

    PubMed

    Bohra, Abhishek; Sahrawat, Kanwar L; Kumar, Shiv; Joshi, Rohit; Parihar, Ashok K; Singh, Ummed; Singh, Deepak; Singh, Narendra P

    2015-05-01

    Meeting the food demands and ensuring nutritional security of the ever increasing global population in the face of degrading natural resource base and impending climate change is the biggest challenge of the twenty first century. The consequences of mineral/micronutrient deficiencies or the hidden hunger in the developing world are indeed alarming and need urgent attention. In addressing the problems associated with mineral/micronutrient deficiency, grain legumes as an integral component of the farming systems in the developing world have to play a crucial role. For resource-poor populations, a strategy based on selecting and/or developing grain legume cultivars with grains denser in micronutrients, by biofortification, seems the most appropriate and attractive approach to address the problem. This is evident from the on-going global research efforts on biofortification to provide nutrient-dense grains for use by the poorest of the poor in the developing countries. Towards this end, rapidly growing genomics technologies hold promise to hasten the progress of breeding nutritious legume crops. In conjunction with the myriad of expansions in genomics, advances in other 'omics' technologies particularly plant ionomics or ionome profiling open up novel opportunities to comprehensively examine the elemental composition and mineral networks of an organism in a rapid and cost-effective manner. These emerging technologies would effectively guide the scientific community to enrich the edible parts of grain legumes with bio-available minerals and enhancers/promoters. We believe that the application of these new-generation tools in turn would provide crop-based solutions to hidden hunger worldwide for achieving global nutritional security.

  12. Myxoma virus oncolytic efficiency can be enhanced through chemical or genetic disruption of the actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Chad R; Favis, Nicole A; Agopsowicz, Kate C; Hitt, Mary M; Evans, David H

    2013-01-01

    Myxoma virus (MYXV) is one of many animal viruses that exhibit oncolytic properties in transformed human cells. Compared to orthopoxviruses like vaccinia (VACV), MYXV spreads inefficiently, which could compromise its use in treating tumors and their associated metastases. The VACV F11 protein promotes virus exit and rapid spread by inhibiting Rho signalling, which results in a disruption of cortical actin. We have previously shown that although MYXV lacks an F11 homolog, the F11L gene can be introduced into MYXV promoting the spread of this Leporipoxvirus in natural host cells. Here we show that the F11-encoding (F11L(+)) MYXV strain replicates to higher levels in a number of human cancer cells. We also show that F11L(+) MYXV induces better tumor control and prolonged survival of mice bearing MDA-MB-231 cancer cells. Furthermore, we show that this virus also spreads more efficiently from the site of growth in one injected tumor, to a second untreated tumor. While we focused mostly on the use of a modified MYXV we were able to show that the effects of F11 on MYXV growth in cancer cells could be mimicked through the use of pharmacological inhibition or siRNA-mediated silencing of key regulators of cortical actin (RhoA, RhoC, mDia1, or LIMK2). These data suggest that it may be possible to increase the oncolytic efficacy of wild-type MYXV using chemical inhibitors of RhoA/C or their downstream targets. Furthermore, since all viruses must overcome barriers to exit posed by structures like cortical actin, these findings suggest that the oncolytic activity of other viruses may be enhanced through similar strategies.

  13. Myxoma Virus Oncolytic Efficiency Can Be Enhanced Through Chemical or Genetic Disruption of the Actin Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Irwin, Chad R.; Favis, Nicole A.; Agopsowicz, Kate C.; Hitt, Mary M.; Evans, David H.

    2013-01-01

    Myxoma virus (MYXV) is one of many animal viruses that exhibit oncolytic properties in transformed human cells. Compared to orthopoxviruses like vaccinia (VACV), MYXV spreads inefficiently, which could compromise its use in treating tumors and their associated metastases. The VACV F11 protein promotes virus exit and rapid spread by inhibiting Rho signalling, which results in a disruption of cortical actin. We have previously shown that although MYXV lacks an F11 homolog, the F11L gene can be introduced into MYXV promoting the spread of this Leporipoxvirus in natural host cells. Here we show that the F11-encoding (F11L+) MYXV strain replicates to higher levels in a number of human cancer cells. We also show that F11L+ MYXV induces better tumor control and prolonged survival of mice bearing MDA-MB-231 cancer cells. Furthermore, we show that this virus also spreads more efficiently from the site of growth in one injected tumor, to a second untreated tumor. While we focused mostly on the use of a modified MYXV we were able to show that the effects of F11 on MYXV growth in cancer cells could be mimicked through the use of pharmacological inhibition or siRNA-mediated silencing of key regulators of cortical actin (RhoA, RhoC, mDia1, or LIMK2). These data suggest that it may be possible to increase the oncolytic efficacy of wild-type MYXV using chemical inhibitors of RhoA/C or their downstream targets. Furthermore, since all viruses must overcome barriers to exit posed by structures like cortical actin, these findings suggest that the oncolytic activity of other viruses may be enhanced through similar strategies. PMID:24391902

  14. Should I Gain Weight?

    MedlinePlus

    ... If you're having trouble with your body image, talk about how you feel with someone you like and trust who's been through it — maybe a parent, doctor, counselor, coach, or teacher. continue It's the Growth, Not the Gain No ...

  15. Genetic engineering strategies for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and quality enhancement in horticultural crops: a comprehensive review.

    PubMed

    Parmar, Nehanjali; Singh, Kunwar Harendra; Sharma, Deepika; Singh, Lal; Kumar, Pankaj; Nanjundan, J; Khan, Yasin Jeshima; Chauhan, Devendra Kumar; Thakur, Ajay Kumar

    2017-08-01

    Genetic engineering technique offers myriads of applications in improvement of horticultural crops for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, and produce quality enhancement. During last two decades, a large number of transgenic horticultural crops has been developed and more are underway. A number of genes including natural and synthetic Cry genes, protease inhibitors, trypsin inhibitors and cystatin genes have been used to incorporate insect and nematode resistance. For providing protection against fungal and bacterial diseases, various genes like chitinase, glucanase, osmotin, defensin and pathogenesis-related genes are being transferred to many horticultural crops world over. RNAi technique has been found quite successful in inducing virus resistance in horticultural crops in addition to coat protein genes. Abiotic stresses such as drought, heat and salinity adversely affect production and productivity of horticultural crops and a number of genes encoding for biosynthesis of stress protecting compounds including mannitol, glycine betaine and heat shock proteins have been employed for abiotic stress tolerance besides various transcription factors like DREB1, MAPK, WRKY, etc. Antisense gene and RNAi technologies have revolutionized the pace of improvement of horticultural crops, particularly ornamentals for color modification, increasing shelf-life and reducing post-harvest losses. Precise genome editing tools, particularly CRISPR/Cas9, have been efficiently applied in tomato, petunia, citrus, grape, potato and apple for gene mutation, repression, activation and epigenome editing. This review provides comprehensive overview to draw the attention of researchers for better understanding of genetic engineering advancements in imparting biotic and abiotic stress tolerance as well as on improving various traits related to quality, texture, plant architecture modification, increasing shelf-life, etc. in different horticultural crops.

  16. Phenotypic and Marker-Assisted Genetic Enhancement of Parental Lines of Rajalaxmi, an Elite Rice Hybrid.

    PubMed

    Dash, Amit K; Rao, Ravi N; Rao, G J N; Verma, Ram L; Katara, Jawahar L; Mukherjee, Arup K; Singh, Onkar N; Bagchi, Torit B

    2016-01-01

    The cytoplasmic male sterile line system comprising CRMS 32A and its maintainer line CRMS 32B is a popular choice for the development of new hybrids in India as CRMS 32A, having Kalinga 1 cytoplasm (other than WA), is a viable alternative to WA cytoplasm. However, both lines are susceptible to bacterial blight (BB), a major disease on rice. As enhancement of host plant resistance is the most effective and economical strategy to control this disease, four resistance genes (Xa4, xa5, xa13, and Xa21) were transferred from a BB pyramid line of IR64, into the A and B lines using a marker-assisted backcrossing (MAB) breeding strategy. During the transfer of genes into CRMS 32B, foreground selection was applied using markers associated with the genes, and plants having resistance alleles of the donor, are selected. Selection for morphological and quality traits was practiced to select plants similar to the recurrent parent. The four gene and three gene pyramid lines exhibited high levels of resistance against the BB pathogen when challenged with eight virulent isolates. Using genome wide based SSR markers for background selection, pyramids having >95% of the recurrent parent genome were identified. With CRMS 32B gene pyramid as donor, the four resistance genes were transferred into the A line through repeated backcrosses and the A line pyramids also exhibited high level of resistance against BB. Through a combination of selection at phenotypic and molecular levels, four BB resistance genes were successfully introduced into two parental lines (CRMS 32 B and A) of Rajalaxmi, an elite popular hybrid. The pyramided B lines did exhibit high levels of resistance against BB. Selection for morphological and quality traits and background selection hastened the recovery of the recurrent parent genome in the recombinants. Through repeated backcrosses, all the four resistance genes were transferred to CRMS 32A and test crosses suggest that the maintenance ability of the improved CRMS

  17. Phenotypic and Marker-Assisted Genetic Enhancement of Parental Lines of Rajalaxmi, an Elite Rice Hybrid

    PubMed Central

    Dash, Amit K.; Rao, Ravi N.; Rao, G. J. N.; Verma, Ram L.; Katara, Jawahar L.; Mukherjee, Arup K.; Singh, Onkar N.; Bagchi, Torit B.

    2016-01-01

    The cytoplasmic male sterile line system comprising CRMS 32A and its maintainer line CRMS 32B is a popular choice for the development of new hybrids in India as CRMS 32A, having Kalinga 1 cytoplasm (other than WA), is a viable alternative to WA cytoplasm. However, both lines are susceptible to bacterial blight (BB), a major disease on rice. As enhancement of host plant resistance is the most effective and economical strategy to control this disease, four resistance genes (Xa4, xa5, xa13, and Xa21) were transferred from a BB pyramid line of IR64, into the A and B lines using a marker-assisted backcrossing (MAB) breeding strategy. During the transfer of genes into CRMS 32B, foreground selection was applied using markers associated with the genes, and plants having resistance alleles of the donor, are selected. Selection for morphological and quality traits was practiced to select plants similar to the recurrent parent. The four gene and three gene pyramid lines exhibited high levels of resistance against the BB pathogen when challenged with eight virulent isolates. Using genome wide based SSR markers for background selection, pyramids having >95% of the recurrent parent genome were identified. With CRMS 32B gene pyramid as donor, the four resistance genes were transferred into the A line through repeated backcrosses and the A line pyramids also exhibited high level of resistance against BB. Through a combination of selection at phenotypic and molecular levels, four BB resistance genes were successfully introduced into two parental lines (CRMS 32 B and A) of Rajalaxmi, an elite popular hybrid. The pyramided B lines did exhibit high levels of resistance against BB. Selection for morphological and quality traits and background selection hastened the recovery of the recurrent parent genome in the recombinants. Through repeated backcrosses, all the four resistance genes were transferred to CRMS 32A and test crosses suggest that the maintenance ability of the improved CRMS

  18. Genetic dissection of neural circuits by Tol2 transposon-mediated Gal4 gene and enhancer trapping in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Asakawa, Kazuhide; Suster, Maximiliano L; Mizusawa, Kanta; Nagayoshi, Saori; Kotani, Tomoya; Urasaki, Akihiro; Kishimoto, Yasuyuki; Hibi, Masahiko; Kawakami, Koichi

    2008-01-29

    Targeted gene expression is a powerful approach to study the function of genes and cells in vivo. In Drosophila, the P element-mediated Gal4-UAS method has been successfully used for this purpose. However, similar methods have not been established in vertebrates. Here we report the development of a targeted gene expression methodology in zebrafish based on the Tol2 transposable element and its application to the functional study of neural circuits. First, we developed gene trap and enhancer trap constructs carrying an engineered yeast Gal4 transcription activator (Gal4FF) and transgenic reporter fish carrying the GFP or the RFP gene downstream of the Gal4 recognition sequence (UAS) and showed that the Gal4FF can activate transcription through UAS in zebrafish. Second, by using this Gal4FF-UAS system, we performed large-scale screens and generated a large collection of fish lines that expressed Gal4FF in specific tissues, cells, and organs. Finally, we developed transgenic effector fish carrying the tetanus toxin light chain (TeTxLC) gene downstream of UAS, which is known to block synaptic transmission. We crossed the Gal4FF fish with the UAS:TeTxLC fish and analyzed double transgenic embryos for defects in touch response. From this analysis, we discovered that targeted expression of TeTxLC in distinct populations of neurons in the brain and the spinal cord caused distinct abnormalities in the touch response behavior. These studies illustrate that our Gal4FF gene trap and enhancer trap methods should be an important resource for genetic analysis of neuronal functions and behavior in vertebrates.

  19. New functions of the Drosophila rhomboid gene during embryonic and adult development are revealed by a novel genetic method, enhancer piracy.

    PubMed

    Noll, R; Sturtevant, M A; Gollapudi, R R; Bier, E

    1994-08-01

    Localized expression of the Drosophila rhomboid (rho) gene has been proposed to hyperactivate EGF-Receptor signaling in specific cells during development of the embryo and adult. In this report we use a novel transposon based genetic method, enhancer piracy, to drive ectopic expression of a rho cDNA transgene by endogenous genomic enhancers. Many enhancer piracy transposon-rho insertions cause dominant phenotypes, over half of which cannot be duplicated by ubiquitous expression of rho. Genetic interactions between various dominant enhancer piracy alleles and mutations in the EGF-R/RAS signaling pathway indicate that many of these novel phenotypes result from ectopic activation of EGF-R signaling. Patterned mis-expression of the rho cDNA transgene correlates in several cases with localized dominant enhancer piracy phenotypes. Enhancer piracy lines reveal an unanticipated role for rho in imaginal disc formation and provide the first evidence that mis-expression of rho is sufficient for converting entire intervein sectors into veins. Enhancer piracy may prove to be a general strategy for obtaining dominant alleles of a gene of interest in diverse insects, worms, plants, and potentially in vertebrates such as mice and fish.

  20. Gain Coupling VECSELs (POSTPRINT)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    AFRL-RY-WP-TP-2013-0028 GAIN COUPLING VECSELs (POSTPRINT) Robert Bedford Optoelectronic Technology Branch Aerospace Components...COUPLING VECSELs (POSTPRINT) 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER In-house 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 62204F 6. AUTHOR(S) Robert Bedford...Clearance Date 28 December 2012. Report contains color. 14. ABSTRACT Vertical external cavity surface emitting lasers ( VECSELs ) provide a flexible

  1. Expression of Rice Chitinase Gene in Genetically Engineered Tomato Confers Enhanced Resistance to Fusarium Wilt and Early Blight

    PubMed Central

    Jabeen, Nyla; Chaudhary, Zubeda; Gulfraz, Muhammad; Rashid, Hamid; Mirza, Bushra

    2015-01-01

    This is the first study reporting the evaluation of transgenic lines of tomato harboring rice chitinase (RCG3) gene for resistance to two important fungal pathogens Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (Fol) causing fusarium wilt and Alternaria solani causing early blight (EB). In this study, three transgenic lines TL1, TL2 and TL3 of tomato Solanum lycopersicum Mill. cv. Riogrande genetically engineered with rice chitinase (RCG 3) gene and their R1 progeny was tested for resistance to Fol by root dip method and A. solani by detached leaf assay. All the R0 transgenic lines were highly resistant to these fungal pathogens compared to non-transgenic control plants. The pattern of segregation of three independent transformant for Fol and A. solani was also studied. Mendelian segregation was observed in transgenic lines 2 and 3 while it was not observed in transgenic line 1. It was concluded that introduction of chitinase gene in susceptible cultivar of tomato not only enhanced the resistance but was stably inherited in transgenic lines 2 and 3. PMID:26361473

  2. A rapid method for detection of genetically modified organisms based on magnetic separation and surface-enhanced Raman scattering.

    PubMed

    Guven, Burcu; Boyacı, İsmail Hakkı; Tamer, Ugur; Çalık, Pınar

    2012-01-07

    In this study, a new method combining magnetic separation (MS) and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) was developed to detect genetically modified organisms (GMOs). An oligonucleotide probe which is specific for 35 S DNA target was immobilized onto gold coated magnetic nanospheres to form oligonucleotide-coated nanoparticles. A self assembled monolayer was formed on gold nanorods using 5,5'-dithiobis (2-nitrobenzoic acid) (DTNB) and the second probe of the 35 S DNA target was immobilized on the activated nanorod surfaces. Probes on the nanoparticles were hybridized with the target oligonucleotide. Optimization parameters for hybridization were investigated by high performance liquid chromatography. Optimum hybridization parameters were determined as: 4 μM probe concentration, 20 min immobilization time, 30 min hybridization time, 55 °C hybridization temperature, 750 mM buffer salt concentration and pH: 7.4. Quantification of the target concentration was performed via SERS spectra of DTNB on the nanorods. The correlation between the target concentration and the SERS signal was found to be linear within the range of 25-100 nM. The analyses were performed with only one hybridization step in 40 min. Real sample analysis was conducted using Bt-176 maize sample. The results showed that the developed MS-SERS assay is capable of detecting GMOs in a rapid and selective manner. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012

  3. Genetic engineering to enhance the Ehrlich pathway and alter carbon flux for increased isobutanol production from glucose by Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Takashi; Tezuka, Hironori; Ishii, Jun; Matsuda, Fumio; Ogino, Chiaki; Kondo, Akihiko

    2012-05-31

    The production of higher alcohols by engineered bacteria has received significant attention. The budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has considerable potential as a producer of higher alcohols because of its capacity to naturally fabricate fusel alcohols, in addition to its robustness and tolerance to low pH. However, because its natural productivity is not significant, we considered a strategy of genetic engineering to increase production of the branched-chain higher alcohol isobutanol, which is involved in valine biosynthesis. Initially, we overexpressed 2-keto acid decarboxylase (KDC) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) in S. cerevisiae to enhance the endogenous activity of the Ehrlich pathway. We then overexpressed Ilv2, which catalyzes the first step in the valine synthetic pathway, and deleted the PDC1 gene encoding a major pyruvate decarboxylase with the intent of altering the abundant ethanol flux via pyruvate. Through these engineering steps, along with modification of culture conditions, the isobutanol titer of S. cerevisiae was elevated 13-fold, from 11 mg/l to 143 mg/l, and the yield was 6.6 mg/g glucose, which is higher than any previously reported value for S. cerevisiae. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Data-Driven Modeling for UGI Gasification Processes via an Enhanced Genetic BP Neural Network With Link Switches.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shida; Hou, Zhongsheng; Yin, Chenkun

    2016-12-01

    In this brief, an enhanced genetic back-propagation neural network with link switches (EGA-BPNN-LS) is proposed to address a data-driven modeling problem for gasification processes inside United Gas Improvement (UGI) gasifiers. The online-measured temperature of crude gas produced during the gasification processes plays a dominant role in the syngas industry; however, it is difficult to model temperature dynamics via first principles due to the practical complexity of the gasification process, especially as reflected by severe changes in the gas temperature resulting from infrequent manipulations of the gasifier in practice. The proposed data-driven modeling approach, EGA-BPNN-LS, incorporates an NN-LS, an EGA, and the Levenberg-Marquardt (LM) algorithm. The approach cannot only learn the relationships between the control input and the system output from historical data using an optimized network structure through a combination of EGA and NN-LS but also makes use of the networks gradient information via the LM algorithm. EGA-BPNN-LS is applied to a set of data collected from the field to model the UGI gasification processes, and the effectiveness of EGA-BPNN-LS is verified.

  5. AAV8-Mediated In Vivo Overexpression of miR-155 Enhances the Protective Capacity of Genetically Attenuated Malarial Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Hentzschel, Franziska; Hammerschmidt-Kamper, Christiane; Börner, Kathleen; Heiss, Kirsten; Knapp, Bettina; Sattler, Julia M; Kaderali, Lars; Castoldi, Mirco; Bindman, Julia G; Malato, Yann; Willenbring, Holger; Mueller, Ann-Kristin; Grimm, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    Malaria, caused by protozoan Plasmodium parasites, remains a prevalent infectious human disease due to the lack of an efficient and safe vaccine. This is directly related to the persisting gaps in our understanding of the parasite's interactions with the infected host, especially during the clinically silent yet essential liver stage of Plasmodium development. Previously, we and others showed that genetically attenuated parasites (GAP) that arrest in the liver induce sterile immunity, but only upon multiple administrations. Here, we comprehensively studied hepatic gene and miRNA expression in GAP-injected mice, and found both a broad activation of IFNγ-associated pathways and a significant increase of murine microRNA-155 (miR-155), that was especially pronounced in non-parenchymal cells including liver-resident macrophages (Kupffer cells). Remarkably, ectopic upregulation of this miRNA in the liver of mice using robust hepatotropic adeno-associated virus 8 (AAV8) vectors enhanced GAP's protective capacity substantially. In turn, this AAV8-mediated miR-155 expression permitted a reduction of GAP injections needed to achieve complete protection against infectious parasite challenge from previously three to only one. Our study highlights a crucial role of mammalian miRNAs in Plasmodium liver infection in vivo and concurrently implies their great potential as future immune-augmenting agents in improved vaccination regimes against malaria and other diseases. PMID:25189739

  6. Concordant genetic estimators of migration reveal anthropogenically enhanced source-sink population structure in the river sculpin, Cottus gobio.

    PubMed

    Hänfling, B; Weetman, D

    2006-07-01

    River systems are vulnerable to natural and anthropogenic habitat fragmentation and will often harbor populations deviating markedly from simplified theoretical models. We investigated fine-scale population structure in the sedentary river fish Cottus gobio using microsatellites and compared migration estimates from three FST estimators, a coalescent maximum-likelihood method and Bayesian recent migration analyses. Source-sink structure was evident via asymmetry in migration and genetic diversity with smaller upstream locations emigration biased and larger downstream subpopulations immigration biased. Patterns of isolation by distance suggested that the system was largely, but not entirely, in migration-drift equilibrium, with headwater populations harboring a signal of p