Science.gov

Sample records for molecular biological application

  1. Structural Biology and Molecular Applications Research

    Cancer.gov

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

  2. Clinical Applications of Molecular Biology for Infectious Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Speers, David J

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Medical and molecular biological application in the FELI

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Campione-Piccardo, J

    1986-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Proctor, Elizabeth A; Dokholyan, Nikolay V

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Proctor, Elizabeth A; Dokholyan, Nikolay V

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-03

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Applications of the Aurora parallel Prolog system to computational molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Lusk, E.L.; Overbeek, R.; Mudambi, S.; Szeredi, P.

    1993-09-01

    We describe an investigation into the use of the Aurora parallel Prolog system in two applications within the area of computational molecular biology. The computational requirements were large, due to the nature of the applications, and were large, due to the nature of the applications, and were carried out on a scalable parallel computer the BBN ``Butterfly`` TC-2000. Results include both a demonstration that logic programming can be effective in the context of demanding applications on large-scale parallel machines, and some insights into parallel programming in Prolog.

  11. Molecular biology of potyviruses.

    PubMed

    Revers, Frédéric; García, Juan Antonio

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Single-stranded DNA-binding proteins (SSBs) -- sources and applications in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Kur, Józef; Olszewski, Marcin; Długołecka, Anna; Filipkowski, Paweł

    2005-01-01

    Single-stranded DNA-binding proteins (SSBs) play essential roles in DNA replication, recombination, and repair in bacteria, archaea and eukarya. The SSBs share a common core ssDNA-binding domain with a conserved OB (oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding) fold. This ssDNA-binding domain was presumably present in the common ancestor to all three major branches of life. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in SSBs because they are useful for molecular biology methods and for analytical purposes. In this review, we concentrate on recent advances in the discovery of new sources of SSBs as well as certain aspects of their applications in analytical sciences.

  13. Molecular biology of development

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  15. Insights into the biology of Borrelia burgdorferi gained through the application of molecular genetics.

    PubMed

    Groshong, Ashley M; Blevins, Jon S

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the vector-borne bacterium that causes Lyme disease, was first identified in 1982. It is known that much of the pathology associated with Lyme borreliosis is due to the spirochete's ability to infect, colonize, disseminate, and survive within the vertebrate host. Early studies aimed at defining the biological contributions of individual genes during infection and transmission were hindered by the lack of adequate tools and techniques for molecular genetic analysis of the spirochete. The development of genetic manipulation techniques, paired with elucidation and annotation of the B. burgdorferi genome sequence, has led to major advancements in our understanding of the virulence factors and the molecular events associated with Lyme disease. Since the dawn of this genetic era of Lyme research, genes required for vector or host adaptation have garnered significant attention and highlighted the central role that these components play in the enzootic cycle of this pathogen. This chapter covers the progress made in the Borrelia field since the application of mutagenesis techniques and how they have allowed researchers to begin ascribing roles to individual genes. Understanding the complex process of adaptation and survival as the spirochete cycles between the tick vector and vertebrate host will lead to the development of more effective diagnostic tools as well as identification of novel therapeutic and vaccine targets. In this chapter, the Borrelia genes are presented in the context of their general biological roles in global gene regulation, motility, cell processes, immune evasion, and colonization/dissemination.

  16. Prokaryotic toxin-antitoxin systems--the role in bacterial physiology and application in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Bukowski, Michal; Rojowska, Anna; Wladyka, Benedykt

    2011-01-01

    Bacteria have developed multiple complex mechanisms ensuring an adequate response to environmental changes. In this context, bacterial cell division and growth are subject to strict control to ensure metabolic balance and cell survival. A plethora of studies cast light on toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems as metabolism regulators acting in response to environmental stress conditions. Many of those studies suggest direct relations between the TA systems and the pathogenic potential or antibiotic resistance of relevant bacteria. Other studies point out that TA systems play a significant role in ensuring stability of mobile genetic material. The evolutionary origin and relations between various TA systems are still a subject of a debate. The impact of toxin-antitoxin systems on bacteria physiology prompted their application in molecular biology as tools allowing cloning of some hard-to-maintain genes, plasmid maintenance and production of recombinant proteins.

  17. Molecular biomimetics: nanotechnology through biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-09-01

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

  18. Molecular biomimetics: nanotechnology through biology.

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Molecular Models in Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodman, Richard E.

    1970-01-01

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

  1. MyLabStocks: a web-application to manage molecular biology materials

    PubMed Central

    Chuffart, Florent; Yvert, Gaël

    2014-01-01

    Laboratory stocks are the hardware of research. They must be stored and managed with mimimum loss of material and information. Plasmids, oligonucleotides and strains are regularly exchanged between collaborators within and between laboratories. Managing and sharing information about every item is crucial for retrieval of reagents, for planning experiments and for reproducing past experimental results. We have developed a web-based application to manage stocks commonly used in a molecular biology laboratory. Its functionalities include user-defined privileges, visualization of plasmid maps directly from their sequence and the capacity to search items from fields of annotation or directly from a query sequence using BLAST. It is designed to handle records of plasmids, oligonucleotides, yeast strains, antibodies, pipettes and notebooks. Based on PHP/MySQL, it can easily be extended to handle other types of stocks and it can be installed on any server architecture. MyLabStocks is freely available from: https://forge.cbp.ens-lyon.fr/redmine/projects/mylabstocks under an open source licence. PMID:24643870

  2. MyLabStocks: a web-application to manage molecular biology materials.

    PubMed

    Chuffart, Florent; Yvert, Gaël

    2014-05-01

    Laboratory stocks are the hardware of research. They must be stored and managed with mimimum loss of material and information. Plasmids, oligonucleotides and strains are regularly exchanged between collaborators within and between laboratories. Managing and sharing information about every item is crucial for retrieval of reagents, for planning experiments and for reproducing past experimental results. We have developed a web-based application to manage stocks commonly used in a molecular biology laboratory. Its functionalities include user-defined privileges, visualization of plasmid maps directly from their sequence and the capacity to search items from fields of annotation or directly from a query sequence using BLAST. It is designed to handle records of plasmids, oligonucleotides, yeast strains, antibodies, pipettes and notebooks. Based on PHP/MySQL, it can easily be extended to handle other types of stocks and it can be installed on any server architecture. MyLabStocks is freely available from: https://forge.cbp.ens-lyon.fr/redmine/projects/mylabstocks under an open source licence.

  3. Building DNA nanostructures for molecular computation, templated assembly, and biological applications.

    PubMed

    Rangnekar, Abhijit; LaBean, Thomas H

    2014-06-17

    CONSPECTUS: DNA is a critical biomolecule well-known for its roles in biology and genetics. Moreover, its double-helical structure and the Watson-Crick pairing of its bases make DNA structurally predictable. This predictability enables design and synthesis of artificial DNA nanostructures by suitable programming of the base sequences of DNA strands. Since the advent of the field of DNA nanotechnology in 1982, a variety of DNA nanostructures have been designed and used for numerous applications. In this Account, we discuss the progress made by our lab which has contributed toward the overall advancement of the field. Tile-based DNA nanostructures are an integral part of structural DNA nanotechnology. These structures are formed using several short, chemically synthesized DNA strands by programming their base sequences so that they self-assemble into desired constructs. Design and assembly of several DNA tiles will be discussed in this Account. Tiles include, for example, TX tiles with three parallel, coplanar duplexes, 4 × 4 cross-tiles with four arms, and weave-tiles with weave-like architecture. Another category of tiles we will present involve multiple parallel duplexes that assemble to form closed tubular structures. All of these tile types have been used to form micrometer-scale one- and two-dimensional arrays and lattices. Origami-based structures constitute another category where a long single-stranded DNA scaffold is folded into desired shapes by association with multiple short staple strands. This Account will describe the efforts by our lab in devising new strategies to improve the maximum size of origami structures. The various DNA nanostructures detailed here have been used in a wide variety of different applications. This Account will discuss the use of DNA tiles for logical computation, encoding information as molecular barcodes, and functionalization for patterning of other nanoscale organic and inorganic materials. Consequently, we have used DNA

  4. Calculating the secrets of life: Applications of the mathematical sciences in molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Lander, E.S.; Waterman, M.S.

    1995-12-31

    Molecular biology has emerged from the synthesis of two complementary approaches to the study of life-biochemistry and genetics--to become one of the most exciting and vibrant scientific fields at the end of the twentieth century. This book covers the following topic areas: a brief history of the intellectual foundations of modem molecular biology; mapping heredity; seeing conserved signals: using algorithms to detect similarities between biosequences; hearing distant echoes: using extremal statistics to probe evolutionary origins; calibrating the clock: using stochastic processes to measure the rate of evolution; winding the double helix; using geometry, topology, and mechanics of DNA; unwinding the double helix: using differential mechanics to probe conformational changes in DNA; lifting the curtain: using topology to probe the hidden action of enzymes; folding the sheets: using computational methods to predict the structure of proteins.

  5. Information theory in molecular biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adami, Christoph

    2004-04-01

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

  6. Quantum Information Biology: From Information Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics to Applications in Molecular Biology and Cognitive Psychology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asano, Masanari; Basieva, Irina; Khrennikov, Andrei; Ohya, Masanori; Tanaka, Yoshiharu; Yamato, Ichiro

    2015-10-01

    We discuss foundational issues of quantum information biology (QIB)—one of the most successful applications of the quantum formalism outside of physics. QIB provides a multi-scale model of information processing in bio-systems: from proteins and cells to cognitive and social systems. This theory has to be sharply distinguished from "traditional quantum biophysics". The latter is about quantum bio-physical processes, e.g., in cells or brains. QIB models the dynamics of information states of bio-systems. We argue that the information interpretation of quantum mechanics (its various forms were elaborated by Zeilinger and Brukner, Fuchs and Mermin, and D' Ariano) is the most natural interpretation of QIB. Biologically QIB is based on two principles: (a) adaptivity; (b) openness (bio-systems are fundamentally open). These principles are mathematically represented in the framework of a novel formalism— quantum adaptive dynamics which, in particular, contains the standard theory of open quantum systems.

  7. Investigating the Postmortem Molecular Biology of Cartilage and its Potential Forensic Applications.

    PubMed

    Bolton, Shawna N; Whitehead, Michael P; Dudhia, Jayesh; Baldwin, Timothy C; Sutton, Raul

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated the postmortem molecular changes that articular cartilage undergoes following burial. Fresh pig trotters were interred in 30-cm-deep graves at two distinct locations exhibiting dissimilar soil environments for up to 42 days. Extracts of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint cartilage from trotters disinterred weekly over 6 weeks were analyzed by Western blot against the monoclonal antibody 2-B-6 to assess aggrecan degradation. In both soil conditions, aggrecan degradation by-products of decreasing molecular size and complexity were observed up to 21 days postmortem. Degradation products were undetected after this time and coincided with MCP/MTP joint exposure to the soil environment. These results show that cartilage proteoglycans undergo an ordered molecular breakdown, the analysis of which may have forensic applications. This model may prove useful for use as a human model and for forensic investigations concerning crimes against animals and the mortality of endangered species.

  8. Dynalets: a new method for modelling and compressing biological signals. Applications to physiological and molecular signals.

    PubMed

    Demongeot, Jacques; Hansen, Olivier; Hamie, Ali; Franco, Céline; Sutton, Brian; Cohen, Elie-Paul

    2014-11-01

    The biological information coming from electrophysiologic sensors like ECG, pulse sensor or from molecular signal devices like NMR spectrometry has to be visualized and manipulated in a compressed way for an efficient medical use by clinicians, if stored in scientific data bases or in personalized patient records repositories. Here, we define a new transform called Dynalet based on Liénard ordinary differential equations susceptible to model the mechanism at the source of the studied signal, and we propose to apply this new technique first to the modelling and compression of real biological periodic signals like ECG and pulse rhythm. We consider that the cardiovascular activity results from the summation of cellular oscillators located in the cardiac sinus node and we show that, as a result, the van der Pol oscillator (a particular Liénard system) fits well the ECG signal and the pulse signal. The reconstruction of the original signal (pulse or ECG) using Dynalet transform is then compared with that of Fourier, counting the number of parameters to be set for obtaining an expected signal-to-noise ratio. Then, we apply the Dynalet transform to the modelling and compression of molecular spectra obtained by protein NMR spectroscopy. The reconstruction of the original signal (peak) using Dynalet transform is again compared with that of Fourier. After reconstructing visually the peak, we propose to periodize the signal and give it to hear, the whole process being called the protein "stethoscope". PMID:25444705

  9. Application of molecular biology at the approach of Bartter's syndrome: case report.

    PubMed

    Reis, Geisilaine Soares Dos; Miranda, Débora Marques de; Pereira, Paula Cristina de Barros; Sarubi, Helena Cunha; Rodrigues, Luciana Bastos; Marco, Luiz Armando Cunha de; Silva, Ana Cristina Simões E

    2012-03-01

    This paper aims to show the utility of molecular biology for diagnose Bartter syndrome (BS) by the case report of two sisters and to propose a diagram for the molecular approach of this syndrome. The two reported cases presented prematurity, pregnancy complicated with polyhydramnio and low birth weight. During the first year of life, children exhibited polyuria, polydipsia and failure to thrive, leading to the investigation of renal tubular diseases and innate errors of metabolism. The laboratorial exams suggested BS, but the definitive diagnostic was only obtained by the detection of homozygous mutation on the exon 5 of the gene KCNJ1, resulting in a substitution of the aminoacid alanin for valin on codon 214 (A214V) in both DNA stripes in the two sisters and a heterozygous mutation in their parents. The definitive diagnostic of BS is frequently very difficult to be obtained. Consequently, considering the reported cases, we showed the utility of molecular techniques for the definitive diagnostic of BS and we proposed a diagram for the rational use of these techniques.

  10. Application of molecular biology at the approach of Bartter's syndrome: case report.

    PubMed

    Reis, Geisilaine Soares Dos; Miranda, Débora Marques de; Pereira, Paula Cristina de Barros; Sarubi, Helena Cunha; Rodrigues, Luciana Bastos; Marco, Luiz Armando Cunha de; Silva, Ana Cristina Simões E

    2012-03-01

    This paper aims to show the utility of molecular biology for diagnose Bartter syndrome (BS) by the case report of two sisters and to propose a diagram for the molecular approach of this syndrome. The two reported cases presented prematurity, pregnancy complicated with polyhydramnio and low birth weight. During the first year of life, children exhibited polyuria, polydipsia and failure to thrive, leading to the investigation of renal tubular diseases and innate errors of metabolism. The laboratorial exams suggested BS, but the definitive diagnostic was only obtained by the detection of homozygous mutation on the exon 5 of the gene KCNJ1, resulting in a substitution of the aminoacid alanin for valin on codon 214 (A214V) in both DNA stripes in the two sisters and a heterozygous mutation in their parents. The definitive diagnostic of BS is frequently very difficult to be obtained. Consequently, considering the reported cases, we showed the utility of molecular techniques for the definitive diagnostic of BS and we proposed a diagram for the rational use of these techniques. PMID:22441188

  11. Molecular ferroelectrics: where electronics meet biology

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Molecular ferroelectrics: where electronics meet biology.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-28

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

  13. Molecular Biology of Nitrogen Fixation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1975-01-01

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

  14. A flexible microfluidic processor for molecular biology: application to microarray sample preparation.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuan; Jones, Wendell; Rasti, Farzaneh; Blaga, Iuliu; Bogdan, Greg; Eberhart, David; Kobrin, Boris; Lee, Dongho; Nielsen, Bill; van Gelder, Ezra; Jovanovich, Stevan; Stern, Seth

    2011-08-01

    We describe a programmable microfluidic system with onboard pumps and valves that has the ability to process reaction volumes in the sub-microlitre to hundred microlitre range. The flexibility of the architecture is demonstrated with a commercial molecular biology protocol for mRNA amplification, implemented without significant modification. The performance of the microchip system is compared to conventional bench processing at each stage of the multistep protocol, and DNA microarrays are used to assess the quality and performance of bench- and microchip-amplified RNA. The results show that the microchip system reactions are similar to bench control reactions at each step, and that the microchip- and bench-derived amplified RNAs are virtually indistinguishable in differential microarray analyses.

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

    PubMed

    Luker, Gary D

    2002-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Luker, Gary D

    2002-04-01

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

  17. The photocatalytic production of organic-free water for molecular biological and pharmaceutical applications.

    PubMed

    Cooper, G; Borish, L; Mascali, J; Watson, C; Kirkegaard, K; Morrissey, L; Tedesco, J L

    1994-03-31

    The inability of conventional water-purification systems to meet the ultra-high purity needs of molecular biology and biopharmaceuticals reliably was attributed to their almost exclusive utilization of phase-transfer technologies. Water quality may unpredictably degrade when confronted by microorganism blooms or altered feed water characteristics. Photocatalytic point-of-use water-purification systems fed by deionized water were demonstrated to meet the most stringent water-purity needs of the molecular biologist. The reliability of the photocatalytic water-purification technology was attributed to its ability to destroy organic contaminants rather than just effect their phase transfer. Photocatalytically produced water was shown to be free of detectable microorganisms, DNA, endotoxins and RNAses. It is suitable for immunological studies involving tissue and other cell cultures because of its lack of detectable endotoxins. Because DNA was also undetectable, it is suitable for DNA and endotoxin zero-standards as well as pharmaceutical formulation. The photocatalytic water is a reliable substitute for diethyl pyrocarbonate-treated water used in RNA work, compatible with PCR and sufficiently free from other contaminants to be useful for most biochemical and enzymatic assays. PMID:7764728

  18. Application of cytology and molecular biology in diagnosing premalignant or malignant oral lesions

    PubMed Central

    Mehrotra, Ravi; Gupta, Anurag; Singh, Mamta; Ibrahim, Rahela

    2006-01-01

    Early detection of a premalignant or cancerous oral lesion promises to improve the survival and the morbidity of patients suffering from these conditions. Cytological study of oral cells is a non-aggressive technique that is well accepted by the patient, and is therefore an attractive option for the early diagnosis of oral cancer, including epithelial atypia and squamous cell carcinoma. However its usage has been limited so far due to poor sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing oral malignancies. Lately it has re-emerged due to improved methods and it's application in oral precancer and cancer as a diagnostic and predictive method as well as for monitoring patients. Newer diagnostic techniques such as "brush biopsy" and molecular studies have been developed. Recent advances in cytological techniques and novel aspects of applications of scraped or exfoliative cytology for detecting these lesions and predicting their progression or recurrence are reviewed here. PMID:16556320

  19. Studies of complex biological systems with applications to molecular medicine: the need to integrate transcriptomic and proteomic approaches.

    PubMed

    Silvestri, Elena; Lombardi, Assunta; de Lange, Pieter; Glinni, Daniela; Senese, Rosalba; Cioffi, Federica; Lanni, Antonia; Goglia, Fernando; Moreno, Maria

    2011-01-01

    Omics approaches to the study of complex biological systems with potential applications to molecular medicine are attracting great interest in clinical as well as in basic biological research. Genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics are characterized by the lack of an a priori definition of scope, and this gives sufficient leeway for investigators (a) to discern all at once a globally altered pattern of gene/protein expression and (b) to examine the complex interactions that regulate entire biological processes. Two popular platforms in "omics" are DNA microarrays, which measure messenger RNA transcript levels, and proteomic analyses, which identify and quantify proteins. Because of their intrinsic strengths and weaknesses, no single approach can fully unravel the complexities of fundamental biological events. However, an appropriate combination of different tools could lead to integrative analyses that would furnish new insights not accessible through one-dimensional datasets. In this review, we will outline some of the challenges associated with integrative analyses relating to the changes in metabolic pathways that occur in complex pathophysiological conditions (viz. ageing and altered thyroid state) in relevant metabolically active tissues. In addition, we discuss several new applications of proteomic analysis to the investigation of mitochondrial activity.

  20. Applications of space-electrophoresis in medicine. [for cellular separations in molecular biology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bier, M.

    1976-01-01

    The nature of electrophoresis is reviewed and potential advances realizable in the field of biology and medicine from a space electrophoresis facility are examined. The ground-based applications of electrophoresis: (1) characterization of an ionized species; (2) determination of the quantitative composition of a complex mixture; and (3) isolation of the components of a mixture, separation achieved on the basis of the difference in transport rates is reviewed. The electrophoresis of living cells is considered, touching upon the following areas: the separation of T and B lymphocytes; the genetic influence on mouse lymphocyte mobilities; the abnormal production of specific and monoclonal immunoproteins; and the study of cancer. Schematic diagrams are presented of three types of electrophoresis apparatus: the column assembly for the static electrophoresis experiment on the Apollo-Soyuz mission, the continuous flow apparatus used in the same mission and a miniaturized electrophoresis apparatus.

  1. Inflammatory therapeutic targets in coronary atherosclerosis-from molecular biology to clinical application.

    PubMed

    Linden, Fabian; Domschke, Gabriele; Erbel, Christian; Akhavanpoor, Mohammadreza; Katus, Hugo A; Gleissner, Christian A

    2014-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death worldwide. Over the past two decades, it has been clearly recognized that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the arterial wall. Accumulating data from animal experiments have supported this hypothesis, however, clinical applications making use of this knowledge remain scarce. In spite of optimal interventional and medical therapy, the risk for recurrent myocardial infarction remains by about 20% over 3 years after acute coronary syndromes, novel therapies to prevent atherogenesis or treat atherosclerosis are urgently needed. This review summarizes selected potential molecular inflammatory targets that may be of clinical relevance. We also review recent and ongoing clinical trails that target inflammatory processes aiming at preventing adverse cardiovascular events. Overall, it seems surprising that translation of basic science into clinical practice has not been a great success. In conclusion, we propose to focus on specific efforts that promote translational science in order to improve outcome and prognosis of patients suffering from atherosclerosis.

  2. Inflammatory therapeutic targets in coronary atherosclerosis—from molecular biology to clinical application

    PubMed Central

    Linden, Fabian; Domschke, Gabriele; Erbel, Christian; Akhavanpoor, Mohammadreza; Katus, Hugo A.; Gleissner, Christian A.

    2014-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death worldwide. Over the past two decades, it has been clearly recognized that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the arterial wall. Accumulating data from animal experiments have supported this hypothesis, however, clinical applications making use of this knowledge remain scarce. In spite of optimal interventional and medical therapy, the risk for recurrent myocardial infarction remains by about 20% over 3 years after acute coronary syndromes, novel therapies to prevent atherogenesis or treat atherosclerosis are urgently needed. This review summarizes selected potential molecular inflammatory targets that may be of clinical relevance. We also review recent and ongoing clinical trails that target inflammatory processes aiming at preventing adverse cardiovascular events. Overall, it seems surprising that translation of basic science into clinical practice has not been a great success. In conclusion, we propose to focus on specific efforts that promote translational science in order to improve outcome and prognosis of patients suffering from atherosclerosis. PMID:25484870

  3. Applications of DNA Nanomechanical Devices to Molecular Biology and to Programmed Dynamic Motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chunhua

    Not merely is DNA a favorable genetic material, but an effective supermolecular subunit for nanoconstruction as well. In structural DNA nanotechnology, rigid branched DNA motifs have been combined with sticky-ended cohesion to build DNA objects, arrays and devices for functional purposes. Reciprocating devices are key features in macroscopic machines. In Chapter II, I report the construction of two reciprocal PX-JX2 devices, wherein the control strands leading to the PX state in one device lead to the JX2 state in the other device, and vice versa. The formation, transformation and reciprocal motions of these two devices are confirmed utilizing gel electrophoresis, and atomic force microscopy. This system is likely to be of use for molecular robotic applications where reciprocal motions are of value in addition its inherent contribution to molecular choreography and molecular aesthetics. Recently, several DNA-based nanomechanical devices have been developed as an attractive tool for fine measurements on nanoscale objects. In Chapter III, I have constructed a device wherein two DNA triple crossover (TX) molecules are connected by a shaft, similar to a previous device that measured the amount of work that can be performed by integration host factor [Shen, W., Bruist, M., Goodman, S. & Seeman, N. C., Angew. Chemie Int. Ed. 43, 4750-4752 (2004)]. In the present case, the binding site on the shaft contains the sequence recognized by apo-SoxR, the apo-form of a protein that is a redox-sensing transcriptional activator; previous data suggest that it distorts its binding site by an amount that corresponds to about two base pairs. A pair of dyes reports the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) signal between the two TX domains, reflecting changes in the shape of the device upon binding the protein. The TX domains are used to amplify the signal expected from a relatively small distortion of the DNA binding site. From FRET analysis of apo-SoxR binding, the effect of

  4. Molecular characteristics versus biological activity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1967-01-01

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

  5. Molecular beacons: an optimal multifunctional biological probe.

    PubMed

    Li, Yongsheng; Zhou, Xiaoyan; Ye, Duyun

    2008-09-01

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

  6. Teaching Molecular Biology with Microcomputers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reiss, Rebecca; Jameson, David

    1984-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiss, J.; Egea-Cortines, M.

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Molecular plasmonics for biology and nanomedicine

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Molecular plasmonics for biology and nanomedicine.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  10. [Molecular biology of hearing].

    PubMed

    Stöver, T; Diensthuber, M

    2011-03-01

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

  11. Molecular biology of hearing

    PubMed Central

    Stöver, Timo; Diensthuber, Marc

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Tetracycline Antibiotics: Mode of Action, Applications, Molecular Biology, and Epidemiology of Bacterial Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Chopra, Ian; Roberts, Marilyn

    2001-01-01

    Tetracyclines were discovered in the 1940s and exhibited activity against a wide range of microorganisms including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, chlamydiae, mycoplasmas, rickettsiae, and protozoan parasites. They are inexpensive antibiotics, which have been used extensively in the prophlylaxis and therapy of human and animal infections and also at subtherapeutic levels in animal feed as growth promoters. The first tetracycline-resistant bacterium, Shigella dysenteriae, was isolated in 1953. Tetracycline resistance now occurs in an increasing number of pathogenic, opportunistic, and commensal bacteria. The presence of tetracycline-resistant pathogens limits the use of these agents in treatment of disease. Tetracycline resistance is often due to the acquisition of new genes, which code for energy-dependent efflux of tetracyclines or for a protein that protects bacterial ribosomes from the action of tetracyclines. Many of these genes are associated with mobile plasmids or transposons and can be distinguished from each other using molecular methods including DNA-DNA hybridization with oligonucleotide probes and DNA sequencing. A limited number of bacteria acquire resistance by mutations, which alter the permeability of the outer membrane porins and/or lipopolysaccharides in the outer membrane, change the regulation of innate efflux systems, or alter the 16S rRNA. New tetracycline derivatives are being examined, although their role in treatment is not clear. Changing the use of tetracyclines in human and animal health as well as in food production is needed if we are to continue to use this class of broad-spectrum antimicrobials through the present century. PMID:11381101

  13. Measurement Frontiers in Molecular Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laderman, Stephen

    2009-03-01

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

  14. Design and construction of a first-generation high-throughput integrated robotic molecular biology platform for bioenergy applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The molecular biological techniques for plasmid-based assembly and cloning of gene open reading frames are essential for elucidating the function of the proteins encoded by the genes. These techniques involve the production of full-length cDNA libraries as a source of plasmid-based clones to expres...

  15. Molecular biology of chromosome function

    SciTech Connect

    Adolph, K.W. )

    1989-01-01

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

  16. The molecular biology of ilarviruses.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Molecular biology of the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, E.G.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mengual, Lourdes

    2013-06-01

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

  19. The molecular biology of cancer.

    PubMed

    Bertram, J S

    2000-12-01

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

  20. Design and construction of a first-generation high-throughput integrated robotic molecular biology platform for bioenergy applications.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Stephen R; Butt, Tauseef R; Bartolett, Scott; Riedmuller, Steven B; Farrelly, Philip

    2011-08-01

    The molecular biological techniques for plasmid-based assembly and cloning of gene open reading frames are essential for elucidating the function of the proteins encoded by the genes. High-throughput integrated robotic molecular biology platforms that have the capacity to rapidly clone and express heterologous gene open reading frames in bacteria and yeast and to screen large numbers of expressed proteins for optimized function are an important technology for improving microbial strains for biofuel production. The process involves the production of full-length complementary DNA libraries as a source of plasmid-based clones to express the desired proteins in active form for determination of their functions. Proteins that were identified by high-throughput screening as having desired characteristics are overexpressed in microbes to enable them to perform functions that will allow more cost-effective and sustainable production of biofuels. Because the plasmid libraries are composed of several thousand unique genes, automation of the process is essential. This review describes the design and implementation of an automated integrated programmable robotic workcell capable of producing complementary DNA libraries, colony picking, isolating plasmid DNA, transforming yeast and bacteria, expressing protein, and performing appropriate functional assays. These operations will allow tailoring microbial strains to use renewable feedstocks for production of biofuels, bioderived chemicals, fertilizers, and other coproducts for profitable and sustainable biorefineries.

  1. History of the molecular biology of cytomegaloviruses.

    PubMed

    Stinski, Mark F

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Preparation of 17β-estradiol surface molecularly imprinted polymers and their application to the analysis of biological samples.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Wang, Lingling; Han, Yanting

    2013-11-01

    17β-Estradiol (E2) surface molecularly imprinted polymers have been prepared using functionalized monodispersed poly(glycidyl methacrylate-co-ethylene dimethacrylate) beads as a support. The resulting polymers were found to be uniform in size (5 μm), and the surfaces of the microspheres possessed large pore-like structures. A chromatographic experiment demonstrated that the resulting microspheres exhibited high levels of recognition and selectivity toward the target molecule. The particles were employed as a novel sorbent in a molecularly imprinted SPE protocol. A method was then developed involving the combination of the pretreatment with HPLC to determine the levels of estrogen secreted from Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 cells. The obtained results revealed that the extraction recoveries of E2 from real samples were in the range of 73.0-97.5% with RSDs of < 7.5% (n = 3). Calibration curves were established with R values > 0.9996 for concentrations in the range of 0.50-100.00 ng/mL. The LOD of this new method was 0.14 ng/mL. Compared with traditional C18 SPE agents, the particles showed high selectivity and extraction efficiency for E2 in the pretreatment process. The particles could therefore be used to determine trace estrogen in biological samples with a UV detector only.

  3. 2009 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism & Molecular Biology GRC

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Julie Maupin- Furlow

    2009-07-26

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

  4. Molecular Biological Methods in Environmental Engineering.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  5. The molecular biology of vertebrate olfaction.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Sara; Teeling, Emma C

    2014-11-01

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

  6. The molecular biology of vertebrate olfaction.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Sara; Teeling, Emma C

    2014-11-01

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

  7. Monod and the spirit of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2015-06-01

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

  8. Molecular biology for the computer scientist

    SciTech Connect

    Subramaniam, S.

    1995-12-31

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

  9. Molecular biology of microbial ureases.

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

  10. Origins of molecular biology in Japan.

    PubMed

    Obayashi, M

    1986-06-01

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

  11. On anti-portfolio effects in science and technology with application to reaction kinetics, chemical synthesis, and molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Vlad, Marcel O; Corlan, Alexandru Dan; Popa, Vlad T; Ross, John

    2007-11-20

    The portfolio effect is the increase of the stability of a system to random fluctuations with the increase of the number of random state variables due to spreading the risk among these variables; many examples exist in various areas of science and technology. We report the existence of an opposite effect, the decrease of stability to random fluctuations due to an increase of the number of random state variables. For successive industrial or biochemical processes of independent, random efficiencies, the stability of the total efficiency decreases with the increase of the number of processes. Depending on the variables considered, the same process may display both a portfolio as well as an anti-portfolio behavior. In disordered kinetics, the activation energy of a reaction or transport process is the result of a sum of random components. Although the total activation energy displays a portfolio effect, the rate coefficient displays an anti-portfolio effect. For random-channel kinetics, the stability of the total rate coefficient increases with the average number of reaction pathways, whereas the stability of the survival function has an opposite behavior: it decreases exponentially with the increase of the average number of reaction pathways (anti-portfolio effect). In molecular biology, the total rate of a nucleotide substitution displays a portfolio effect, whereas the probability that no substitutions occur displays an anti-portfolio effect, resulting in faster evolutionary processes due to fluctuations. The anti-portfolio effect emerges for products of random variables or equations involving multiplicative convolution products.

  12. Biologically effective dose in fractionated molecular radiotherapy—application to treatment of neuroblastoma with 131I-mIBG

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mínguez, Pablo; Gustafsson, Johan; Flux, Glenn; Sjögreen Gleisner, Katarina

    2016-03-01

    In this work, the biologically effective dose (BED) is investigated for fractionated molecular radiotherapy (MRT). A formula for the Lea-Catcheside G-factor is derived which takes the possibility of combinations of sub-lethal damage due to radiation from different administrations of activity into account. In contrast to the previous formula, the new G-factor has an explicit dependence on the time interval between administrations. The BED of tumour and liver is analysed in MRT of neuroblastoma with 131I-mIBG, following a common two-administration protocol with a mass-based activity prescription. A BED analysis is also made for modified schedules, when due to local regulations there is a maximum permitted activity for each administration. Modifications include both the simplistic approach of delivering this maximum permitted activity in each of the two administrations, and also the introduction of additional administrations while maintaining the protocol-prescribed total activity. For the cases studied with additional (i.e. more than two) administrations, BED of tumour and liver decreases at most 12% and 29%, respectively. The decrease in BED of the tumour is however modest compared to the two-administration schedule using the maximum permitted activity, where the decrease compared to the original schedule is 47%.

  13. Molecular imprinting: perspectives and applications.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lingxin; Wang, Xiaoyan; Lu, Wenhui; Wu, Xiaqing; Li, Jinhua

    2016-04-21

    Molecular imprinting technology (MIT), often described as a method of making a molecular lock to match a molecular key, is a technique for the creation of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) with tailor-made binding sites complementary to the template molecules in shape, size and functional groups. Owing to their unique features of structure predictability, recognition specificity and application universality, MIPs have found a wide range of applications in various fields. Herein, we propose to comprehensively review the recent advances in molecular imprinting including versatile perspectives and applications, concerning novel preparation technologies and strategies of MIT, and highlight the applications of MIPs. The fundamentals of MIPs involving essential elements, preparation procedures and characterization methods are briefly outlined. Smart MIT for MIPs is especially highlighted including ingenious MIT (surface imprinting, nanoimprinting, etc.), special strategies of MIT (dummy imprinting, segment imprinting, etc.) and stimuli-responsive MIT (single/dual/multi-responsive technology). By virtue of smart MIT, new formatted MIPs gain popularity for versatile applications, including sample pretreatment/chromatographic separation (solid phase extraction, monolithic column chromatography, etc.) and chemical/biological sensing (electrochemical sensing, fluorescence sensing, etc.). Finally, we propose the remaining challenges and future perspectives to accelerate the development of MIT, and to utilize it for further developing versatile MIPs with a wide range of applications (650 references). PMID:26936282

  14. Molecular imprinting: perspectives and applications.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lingxin; Wang, Xiaoyan; Lu, Wenhui; Wu, Xiaqing; Li, Jinhua

    2016-04-21

    Molecular imprinting technology (MIT), often described as a method of making a molecular lock to match a molecular key, is a technique for the creation of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) with tailor-made binding sites complementary to the template molecules in shape, size and functional groups. Owing to their unique features of structure predictability, recognition specificity and application universality, MIPs have found a wide range of applications in various fields. Herein, we propose to comprehensively review the recent advances in molecular imprinting including versatile perspectives and applications, concerning novel preparation technologies and strategies of MIT, and highlight the applications of MIPs. The fundamentals of MIPs involving essential elements, preparation procedures and characterization methods are briefly outlined. Smart MIT for MIPs is especially highlighted including ingenious MIT (surface imprinting, nanoimprinting, etc.), special strategies of MIT (dummy imprinting, segment imprinting, etc.) and stimuli-responsive MIT (single/dual/multi-responsive technology). By virtue of smart MIT, new formatted MIPs gain popularity for versatile applications, including sample pretreatment/chromatographic separation (solid phase extraction, monolithic column chromatography, etc.) and chemical/biological sensing (electrochemical sensing, fluorescence sensing, etc.). Finally, we propose the remaining challenges and future perspectives to accelerate the development of MIT, and to utilize it for further developing versatile MIPs with a wide range of applications (650 references).

  15. Ergot alkaloids--biology and molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Schardl, Christopher L; Panaccione, Daniel G; Tudzynski, Paul

    2006-01-01

    EA have been a major benefit, and a major detriment, to humans since early in recorded history. Their medicinal properties have been used, and continue to be used, to aid in childbirth, with new uses being found in the treatment of neurological and cardiovascular disorders. The surprisingly broad range of pharmaceutical uses for EA stems from their affinities for multiple receptors for three distinct neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline), from the great structural diversity of natural EA, and from the application of chemical techniques that further expand that structural diversity. The dangers posed by EA to humans and their livestock stem from the ubiquity of ergot fungi (Claviceps species) as parasites of cereals, and of related grass endophytes (Epichloë, Neotyphodium, and Balansia species) that may inhabit pasture grasses and produce toxic levels of EA. Further concerns stem from saprophytic EA producers in the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium, especially A. fumigatus, an opportunistic pathogen of humans. Numerous fungal species produce EA with a wide variety of structures and properties. These alkaloids are associated with plants in the families Poaceae, Cyperaceae, and Convolvulaceae, apparently because these plants can have symbiotic fungi that produce EA. Pharmacological activities of EA relate to their specific structures. Known as potent vasoconstrictors, the ergopeptines include a lysergic acid substituent with an amide linkage to a complex cyclol-lactam ring structure generated from three amino acids. Simpler lysergyl amides and clavines are more apt to have oxytonic or psychotropic activities. One of the lysergyl amides is LSD (5), the most potent hallucinogen known. The EA biosynthetic pathway in Claviceps species has been studied extensively for many decades, and recent studies have also employed epichloës and A. fumigatus. The early pathway, shared among these fungi, begins with the action of an aromatic prenyl transferase

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Genetics and molecular biology of breast cancer

    SciTech Connect

    King, M.C.; Lippman, M.

    1992-12-31

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

  18. Seeing the Unseen: Molecular Visualization in Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vendruscolo, Michele; Dobson, Christopher M

    2011-01-25

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

  20. Singlet molecular oxygen generated by biological hydroperoxides.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  1. Interactive analysis of systems biology molecular expression data

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Molecular biology of pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-28

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

  3. Applications of Molecular Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Galbán, Craig; Galbán, Stefanie; Van Dort, Marcian; Luker, Gary D.; Bhojani, Mahaveer S.; Rehemtualla, Alnawaz; Ross, Brian D.

    2015-01-01

    Today molecular imaging technologies play a central role in clinical oncology. The use of imaging techniques in early cancer detection, treatment response and new therapy development is steadily growing and has already significantly impacted clinical management of cancer. In this chapter we will overview three different molecular imaging technologies used for the understanding of disease biomarkers, drug development, or monitoring therapeutic outcome. They are (1) optical imaging (bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging) (2) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and (3) nuclear imaging (e.g, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET)). We will review the use of molecular reporters of biological processes (e.g. apoptosis and protein kinase activity) for high throughput drug screening and new cancer therapies, diffusion MRI as a biomarker for early treatment response and PET and SPECT radioligands in oncology. PMID:21075334

  4. [Molecular biology methods in immunohematology].

    PubMed

    Tournamille, C

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gunn, Peter; Walsh, Simon; Roux, Claude

    2014-01-01

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

  6. The molecular biology of galactosemia.

    PubMed

    Elsas, L J; Lai, K

    1998-01-01

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

  7. The Molecular Biology Database Collection: 2008 update

    PubMed Central

    Galperin, Michael Y.

    2008-01-01

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

  8. BIONET: national computer resource for molecular biology.

    PubMed Central

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

    1986-01-01

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

  9. Molecular Mechanism of Biological Proton Transport

    SciTech Connect

    Pomes, R.

    1998-09-01

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

  10. Frontiers of NMR in Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    1999-08-25

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

  11. Molecular biology of Hendra and Nipah viruses.

    PubMed

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

    2001-04-01

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

  12. Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of Bacteriophage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onodera, Kazukiyo

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

  13. Systematic Representation of Molecular Biology Knowledge.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Kathleen M.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

  15. Molecular biology and regulation of methane monooxygenase.

    PubMed

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

    2000-01-01

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

  16. Application of culture culture-independent molecular biology based methods to evaluate acetic acid bacteria diversity during vinegar processing.

    PubMed

    Ilabaca, Carolina; Navarrete, Paola; Mardones, Pamela; Romero, Jaime; Mas, Albert

    2008-08-15

    Acetic acid bacteria (AAB) are considered fastidious microorganisms because they are difficult to isolate and cultivate. Different molecular approaches were taken to detect AAB diversity, independently of their capacity to grow in culture media. Those methods were tested in samples that originated during traditional vinegar production. Bacterial diversity was assessed by analysis of 16S rRNA gene, obtained by PCR amplifications of DNA extracted directly from the acetification container. Bacterial composition was analyzed by RFLP-PCR of 16S rRNA gene, Temporal Temperature Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (TTGE) separation of amplicons containing region V3-V5 of 16S rRNA gene and cloning of those amplicons. TTGE bands and clones were grouped based on their electrophoretic pattern similarity and sequenced to be compared with reference strains. The main microorganism identified in vinegar was Acetobacter pasteurianus, which at the end of the acetification process was considered to be the only microorganism present. The diversity was the highest at 2% acetic acid, where indefinite species of Gluconacetobacter xylinus/europaeus/intermedius were also present.

  17. Automated insertion of sequences into a ribosomal RNA alignment: An application of computational linguistics in molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, R.C.

    1991-11-01

    This thesis involved the construction of (1) a grammar that incorporates knowledge on base invariancy and secondary structure in a molecule and (2) a parser engine that uses the grammar to position bases into the structural subunits of the molecule. These concepts were combined with a novel pinning technique to form a tool that semi-automates insertion of a new species into the alignment for the 16S rRNA molecule (a component of the ribosome) maintained by Dr. Carl Woese's group at the University of Illinois at Urbana. The tool was tested on species extracted from the alignment and on a group of entirely new species. The results were very encouraging, and the tool should be substantial aid to the curators of the 16S alignment. The construction of the grammar was itself automated, allowing application of the tool to alignments for other molecules. The logic programming language Prolog was used to construct all programs involved. The computational linguistics approach used here was found to be a useful way to attach the problem of insertion into an alignment.

  18. Automated insertion of sequences into a ribosomal RNA alignment: An application of computational linguistics in molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, R.C.

    1991-11-01

    This thesis involved the construction of (1) a grammar that incorporates knowledge on base invariancy and secondary structure in a molecule and (2) a parser engine that uses the grammar to position bases into the structural subunits of the molecule. These concepts were combined with a novel pinning technique to form a tool that semi-automates insertion of a new species into the alignment for the 16S rRNA molecule (a component of the ribosome) maintained by Dr. Carl Woese`s group at the University of Illinois at Urbana. The tool was tested on species extracted from the alignment and on a group of entirely new species. The results were very encouraging, and the tool should be substantial aid to the curators of the 16S alignment. The construction of the grammar was itself automated, allowing application of the tool to alignments for other molecules. The logic programming language Prolog was used to construct all programs involved. The computational linguistics approach used here was found to be a useful way to attach the problem of insertion into an alignment.

  19. Molecular knots in biology and chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  20. The Use of Multiscale Molecular Simulations in Understanding a Relationship between the Structure and Function of Biological Systems of the Brain: The Application to Monoamine Oxidase Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Vianello, Robert; Domene, Carmen; Mavri, Janez

    2016-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS Computational techniques provide accurate descriptions of the structure and dynamics of biological systems, contributing to their understanding at an atomic level.Classical MD simulations are a precious computational tool for the processes where no chemical reactions take place.QM calculations provide valuable information about the enzyme activity, being able to distinguish among several mechanistic pathways, provided a carefully selected cluster model of the enzyme is considered.Multiscale QM/MM simulation is the method of choice for the computational treatment of enzyme reactions offering quantitative agreement with experimentally determined reaction parameters.Molecular simulation provide insight into the mechanism of both the catalytic activity and inhibition of monoamine oxidases, thus aiding in the rational design of their inhibitors that are all employed and antidepressants and antiparkinsonian drugs. Aging society and therewith associated neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, including depression, Alzheimer's disease, obsessive disorders, and Parkinson's disease, urgently require novel drug candidates. Targets include monoamine oxidases A and B (MAOs), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and various receptors and transporters. For rational drug design it is particularly important to combine experimental synthetic, kinetic, toxicological, and pharmacological information with structural and computational work. This paper describes the application of various modern computational biochemistry methods in order to improve the understanding of a relationship between the structure and function of large biological systems including ion channels, transporters, receptors, and metabolic enzymes. The methods covered stem from classical molecular dynamics simulations to understand the physical basis and the time evolution of the structures, to combined QM, and QM/MM approaches to probe the chemical mechanisms of enzymatic

  1. The Use of Multiscale Molecular Simulations in Understanding a Relationship between the Structure and Function of Biological Systems of the Brain: The Application to Monoamine Oxidase Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Vianello, Robert; Domene, Carmen; Mavri, Janez

    2016-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS Computational techniques provide accurate descriptions of the structure and dynamics of biological systems, contributing to their understanding at an atomic level.Classical MD simulations are a precious computational tool for the processes where no chemical reactions take place.QM calculations provide valuable information about the enzyme activity, being able to distinguish among several mechanistic pathways, provided a carefully selected cluster model of the enzyme is considered.Multiscale QM/MM simulation is the method of choice for the computational treatment of enzyme reactions offering quantitative agreement with experimentally determined reaction parameters.Molecular simulation provide insight into the mechanism of both the catalytic activity and inhibition of monoamine oxidases, thus aiding in the rational design of their inhibitors that are all employed and antidepressants and antiparkinsonian drugs. Aging society and therewith associated neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, including depression, Alzheimer's disease, obsessive disorders, and Parkinson's disease, urgently require novel drug candidates. Targets include monoamine oxidases A and B (MAOs), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and various receptors and transporters. For rational drug design it is particularly important to combine experimental synthetic, kinetic, toxicological, and pharmacological information with structural and computational work. This paper describes the application of various modern computational biochemistry methods in order to improve the understanding of a relationship between the structure and function of large biological systems including ion channels, transporters, receptors, and metabolic enzymes. The methods covered stem from classical molecular dynamics simulations to understand the physical basis and the time evolution of the structures, to combined QM, and QM/MM approaches to probe the chemical mechanisms of enzymatic

  2. The Use of Multiscale Molecular Simulations in Understanding a Relationship between the Structure and Function of Biological Systems of the Brain: The Application to Monoamine Oxidase Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Vianello, Robert; Domene, Carmen; Mavri, Janez

    2016-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS Computational techniques provide accurate descriptions of the structure and dynamics of biological systems, contributing to their understanding at an atomic level.Classical MD simulations are a precious computational tool for the processes where no chemical reactions take place.QM calculations provide valuable information about the enzyme activity, being able to distinguish among several mechanistic pathways, provided a carefully selected cluster model of the enzyme is considered.Multiscale QM/MM simulation is the method of choice for the computational treatment of enzyme reactions offering quantitative agreement with experimentally determined reaction parameters.Molecular simulation provide insight into the mechanism of both the catalytic activity and inhibition of monoamine oxidases, thus aiding in the rational design of their inhibitors that are all employed and antidepressants and antiparkinsonian drugs. Aging society and therewith associated neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, including depression, Alzheimer's disease, obsessive disorders, and Parkinson's disease, urgently require novel drug candidates. Targets include monoamine oxidases A and B (MAOs), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and various receptors and transporters. For rational drug design it is particularly important to combine experimental synthetic, kinetic, toxicological, and pharmacological information with structural and computational work. This paper describes the application of various modern computational biochemistry methods in order to improve the understanding of a relationship between the structure and function of large biological systems including ion channels, transporters, receptors, and metabolic enzymes. The methods covered stem from classical molecular dynamics simulations to understand the physical basis and the time evolution of the structures, to combined QM, and QM/MM approaches to probe the chemical mechanisms of enzymatic

  3. Molecularly imprinted polymers for biomedical and biotechnological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitrienko, E. V.; Pyshnaya, I. A.; Martyanov, O. N.; Pyshnyi, D. V.

    2016-05-01

    This survey covers main advances in the preparation and application of molecularly imprinted polymers which are capable of specific recognition of biologically active compounds. The principles underlying the production of highly efficient and template-specific molecularly imprinted polymers are discussed. The focus is on the imprinting of highly structured macromolecular and supramolecular templates. The existing and potential applications of molecularly imprinted polymers in various fields of chemistry and molecular biology are considered. The bibliography includes 261 references.

  4. The Boltzmann equation in molecular biology.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Molecular neurodegeneration: basic biology and disease pathways.

    PubMed

    Vassar, Robert; Zheng, Hui

    2014-09-23

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

  6. 2004 Reversible Associations in Structure & Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Edward Eisenstein Nancy Ryan Gray

    2005-03-23

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

  7. Boswellic acids: biological actions and molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Poeckel, Daniel; Werz, Oliver

    2006-01-01

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

  8. The Molecular Biology Database Collection: 2002 update

    PubMed Central

    Baxevanis, Andreas D.

    2002-01-01

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

  9. The Molecular Biology Database Collection: 2003 update

    PubMed Central

    Baxevanis, Andreas D.

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Can molecular cell biology explain chromosome motions?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Cellular and Molecular Biological Approaches to Interpreting Ancient Biomarkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hamon, Morgan; Hong, Jong Wook

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ignatov, Atanas; Keath, Elizabeth J

    2002-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Keneth Stedman

    2011-08-05

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

  16. 2007 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism and Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Imke Schroeder Nancy Ryan Gray

    2008-09-18

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

  17. Genetics and molecular biology of hypotension

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robertson, D.

    1994-01-01

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

  18. Molecular biology of human muscle disease

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-01-01

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

  19. Molecular biology approaches in bioadhesion research

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Marcelo; Lengerer, Birgit; Ostermann, Thomas

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Rhabdomyosarcoma: Advances in Molecular and Cellular Biology

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Reinhold, William C

    2015-12-10

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

  2. Applications of docking and molecular dynamic studies on the search for new drugs against the biological warfare agents Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    França, Tanos Celmar Costa; Guimarães, Ana Paula; Cortopassi, Wilian Augusto; Oliveira, Aline Alves; Ramalho, Teodorico Castro

    2013-12-01

    The fear of biological warfare agents (BWA) use by terrorists is the major concern of the security agencies and health authorities worldwide today. The non-existence of vaccines or drugs against most BWA and the possibility of genetic modified strains has turned the search for new drugs to a state of urgency. Fast in silico techniques are, therefore, perfect tools for this task once they can quickly provide structures of several new lead compounds for further experimental work. Here we try to present a mini-review on docking and molecular dynamics simulations studies applied to the drug design against the BWA Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

  3. Image informatics in systems biology applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Stephen T. C.

    2005-02-01

    Digital optical microscopy, coupled with parallel processing and a large arsenal of labeling techniques, offers tremendous values to localize, identify, and characterize cells and molecules. This generates many image informatics challenges in requiring new algorithms and tools to extract, classify, correlate, and model image features and content from massive amounts of cellular and molecular images acquired. Image informatics aims to fill this gap. Coupling automated microscopy and image analysis with biostatistical and data mining techniques to provide a system biologic approach in studying the cells, the basic unit of life, potentially leads to many exciting applications in life and health sciences. In this presentation, we describe certain new system biology applications enabled by image informatics technology.

  4. Biocompatible Quantum Dots for Biological Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenthal, Sandra; Chang, Jerry; Kovtun, Oleg; McBride, James; Tomlinson, Ian

    2011-01-01

    Semiconductor quantum dots are quickly becoming a critical diagnostic tool for discerning cellular function at the molecular level. Their high brightness, long-lasting, size-tunable, and narrow luminescence set them apart from conventional fluorescence dyes. Quantum dots are being developed for a variety of biologically oriented applications, including fluorescent assays for drug discovery, disease detection, single protein tracking, and intracellular reporting. This review introduces the science behind quantum dots and describes how they are made biologically compatible. Several applications are also included, illustrating strategies toward target specificity, and are followed by a discussion on the limitations of quantum dot approaches. The article is concluded with a look at the future direction of quantum dots.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Biological Applications of Cryogenic Detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Friedrich, S

    2003-12-03

    High energy resolution and broadband efficiency are enabling the use of cryogenic detectors in biological research. Two areas where they have found initial application are X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF-MS). In synchrotron-based fluorescence-detected XAS cryogenic detectors are used to examine the role of metals in biological systems by measuring their oxidation states and ligand symmetries. In time-of-flight mass spectrometry cryogenic detectors increase the sensitivity for biomolecule detection and identification for masses above {approx}50 kDa, and thus enable TOF-MS on large protein complexes or even entire viruses. More recently, cryogenic detectors have been proposed as optical sensors for fluorescence signals from biomarkers. We discuss the potential for cryogenic detectors in biological research, as well as the challenges the technology faces.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Teaching Molecular Biological Techniques in a Research Content

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stiller, John W.; Coggins, T. Chad

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 2010 Plant Molecular Biology Gordon Research Conference

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Sussman

    2010-07-23

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

  15. Biological (molecular and cellular) markers of toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Shugart, L.R.

    1990-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-06-01

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

  17. NASA Applications of Molecular Nanotechnology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Globus, Al; Bailey, David; Han, Jie; Jaffe, Richard; Levit, Creon; Merkle, Ralph; Srivastava, Deepak

    1998-01-01

    Laboratories throughout the world are rapidly gaining atomically precise control over matter. As this control extends to an ever wider variety of materials, processes and devices, opportunities for applications relevant to NASA's missions will be created. This document surveys a number of future molecular nanotechnology capabilities of aerospace interest. Computer applications, launch vehicle improvements, and active materials appear to be of particular interest. We also list a number of applications for each of NASA's enterprises. If advanced molecular nanotechnology can be developed, almost all of NASA's endeavors will be radically improved. In particular, a sufficiently advanced molecular nanotechnology can arguably bring large scale space colonization within our grasp.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hallick, R.B.

    1995-02-01

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

  19. [The molecular biology of distraction osteogenesis].

    PubMed

    Boulétreau, P; Longaker, M T

    2004-02-01

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

  20. Orthogonal optical force separation simulation of particle and molecular species mixtures under direct current electroosmotic driven flow for applications in biological sample preparation.

    PubMed

    Staton, Sarah J R; Terray, Alex; Collins, Greg E; Hart, Sean J

    2013-04-01

    Presented here are the results from numerical simulations applying optical forces orthogonally to electroosmotically induced flow containing both molecular species and particles. Simulations were conducted using COMSOL v4.2a Multiphysics® software including the particle tracking module. The study addresses the application of optical forces to selectively remove particulates from a mixed sample stream that also includes molecular species in a pinched flow microfluidic device. This study explores the optimization of microfluidic cell geometry, magnitude of the applied direct current electric field, EOF rate, diffusion, and magnitude of the applied optical forces. The optimized equilibrium of these various contributing factors aids in the development of experimental conditions and geometry for future experimentation as well as directing experimental expectations, such as diffusional losses, separation resolution, and percent yield. The result of this work generated an optimized geometry with flow conditions leading to negligible diffusional losses of the molecular species while also being able to produce particle removal at near 100% levels. An analytical device, such as the one described herein with the capability to separate particulate and molecular species in a continuous, high-throughput fashion would be valuable by minimizing sample preparation and integrating gross sample collection seamlessly into traditional analytical detection methods. PMID:23404174

  1. Principle and applications of terahertz molecular imaging.

    PubMed

    Son, Joo-Hiuk

    2013-05-31

    The principle, characteristics and applications of molecular imaging with terahertz electromagnetic waves are reviewed herein. The terahertz molecular imaging (TMI) technique uses nanoparticle probes to achieve dramatically enhanced sensitivity compared with that of conventional terahertz imaging. Surface plasmons, induced around the nanoparticles, raise the temperature of water in biological cells, and the temperature-dependent changes in the optical properties of water, which are large in the terahertz range, are measured differentially by terahertz waves. TMI has been applied to cancer diagnosis and nanoparticle drug delivery imaging. The technique is also compared with magnetic resonance imaging by using a dual-modality nanoparticle probe.

  2. Molecular dynamics simulations: advances and applications

    PubMed Central

    Hospital, Adam; Goñi, Josep Ramon; Orozco, Modesto; Gelpí, Josep L

    2015-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have evolved into a mature technique that can be used effectively to understand macromolecular structure-to-function relationships. Present simulation times are close to biologically relevant ones. Information gathered about the dynamic properties of macromolecules is rich enough to shift the usual paradigm of structural bioinformatics from studying single structures to analyze conformational ensembles. Here, we describe the foundations of molecular dynamics and the improvements made in the direction of getting such ensemble. Specific application of the technique to three main issues (allosteric regulation, docking, and structure refinement) is discussed. PMID:26604800

  3. Molecular dynamics simulations: advances and applications

    PubMed Central

    Hospital, Adam; Goñi, Josep Ramon; Orozco, Modesto; Gelpí, Josep L

    2015-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have evolved into a mature technique that can be used effectively to understand macromolecular structure-to-function relationships. Present simulation times are close to biologically relevant ones. Information gathered about the dynamic properties of macromolecules is rich enough to shift the usual paradigm of structural bioinformatics from studying single structures to analyze conformational ensembles. Here, we describe the foundations of molecular dynamics and the improvements made in the direction of getting such ensemble. Specific application of the technique to three main issues (allosteric regulation, docking, and structure refinement) is discussed.

  4. 2003 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism and Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Richard F. Shand

    2004-09-21

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

  5. Biological applications of graphene oxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gürel, Hikmet Hakan; Salmankurt, Bahadır

    2016-03-01

    Graphene as a 2D material has unique chemical and electronic properties. Because of its unique physical, chemical, and electronic properties, its interesting shape and size make it a promising nanomaterial in many biological applications. However, the lower water-solubility and the irreversible aggregation due to the strong π-π stacking hinder the wide application of graphene nanosheets in biomedical field. Thus, graphene oxide (GO), one derivative of graphene, has been used more frequently in the biological system owing to its relatively higher water solubility and biocompatibility. Recently, it has been demonstrated that nanomaterials with different functional groups on the surface can be used to bind the drug molecules with high affinity. GO has different functional groups such as H, OH and O on its surface; it can be a potential candidate as a drug carrier. The interactions of biomolecules and graphene like structures are long-ranged and very weak. Development of new techniques is very desirable for design of bioelectronics sensors and devices. In this work, we present first-principles spin polarized calculations within density functional theory to calculate effects of charging on DNA/RNA nucleobases on graphene oxide. It is shown that how modify structural and electronic properties of nucleobases on graphene oxide by applied charging.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Molecular imaging: an overview and clinical applications.

    PubMed

    Rollo, F David

    2003-01-01

    Molecular imaging is a new medical discipline that integrates cell biology, molecular biology and diagnostic imaging. Clinical applications of molecular imaging include the use of nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US). The nuclear medicine applications utilize devices such as single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET). Molecular imaging has two basic applications. The first is diagnostic imaging, which is used to determine the location and extent of targeted molecules specific to the disease being assessed. The second is therapy, which is used to treat specific disease-targeted molecules. The basic principle of the diagnostic imaging application is derived from the ability of cell and molecular biologists to identify specific receptor sites associated with target molecules that characterize the disease process to be studied. The biology teams then develop molecular imaging agents, which will bind specifically to the target molecules of interest. The principle for using molecular targeting therapy is based on an extension of the diagnostic imaging principle. Basically, it is assumed that if the molecular probe does target the specific disease molecules of interest, the same molecular agent can be loaded with an agent that will deliver therapy to the targeted cells. Patients and physicians have the clinical expectation that molecular imaging, when used for diagnostic purposes, will significantly improve the time-liness as well as the accuracy of detecting the presence and extent of disease. When applied to therapy, the expectation is that FDA-approved agents will have been shown in clinical trials to provide a significant improvement in clinical outcomes over traditional therapy methods. The eventual clinical owners of molecular imaging may be a specialty group that is a hybrid by conventional measures. For example, the clinical owner should have fundamental knowledge in basic

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Digital Learning Material for Model Building in Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Friedman, A.

    1995-08-01

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

  12. Molecular Biology and Pathogenicity of Mycoplasmas

    PubMed Central

    Razin, Shmuel; Yogev, David; Naot, Yehudith

    1998-01-01

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

  13. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-10-08

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

  14. Reviewe: Genetics and genomics in equine exercise physiology: an overview of the new applications of molecular biology as positive and negative markers of performance and health.

    PubMed

    Barrey, E

    2010-11-01

    Equine breeding selection has been developed by applying quantitative genetic methods for calculating the heritability of the complex traits such as performance in racing or sport competitions. With the great development of biotechnologies, equine molecular genetics has come of age. The recent sequencing of the equine genome by an international consortium was a major advance that will impact equine genomics in the near future. With the rapid progress in equine genetics, new applications in early performance evaluation and the detection of disease markers become available. Many new biomolecular tools will change management of horse selection, disease diagnosis and treatment. The purpose of this review is to present new developments in equine genetics and genomics for performance evaluation and health markers after a short summary of the previous knowledge about the genetic components of the exercise performance traits.

  15. Towards molecular computers that operate in a biological environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

    Even though electronic computers are the only computer species we are accustomed to, the mathematical notion of a programmable computer has nothing to do with electronics. In fact, Alan Turing’s notional computer [L.M. Turing, On computable numbers, with an application to the entcheidungsproblem, Proc. Lond. Math. Soc. 42 (1936) 230-265], which marked in 1936 the birth of modern computer science and still stands at its heart, has greater similarity to natural biomolecular machines such as the ribosome and polymerases than to electronic computers. This similarity led to the investigation of DNA-based computers [C.H. Bennett, The thermodynamics of computation - Review, Int. J. Theoret. Phys. 21 (1982) 905-940; A.M. Adleman, Molecular computation of solutions to combinatorial problems, Science 266 (1994) 1021-1024]. Although parallelism, sequence specific hybridization and storage capacity, inherent to DNA and RNA molecules, can be exploited in molecular computers to solve complex mathematical problems [Q. Ouyang, et al., DNA solution of the maximal clique problem, Science 278 (1997) 446-449; R.J. Lipton, DNA solution of hard computational problems, Science 268 (1995) 542-545; R.S. Braich, et al., Solution of a 20-variable 3-SAT problem on a DNA computer, Science 296 (2002) 499-502; Liu Q., et al., DNA computing on surfaces, Nature 403 (2000) 175-179; D. Faulhammer, et al., Molecular computation: RNA solutions to chess problems, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97 (2000) 1385-1389; C. Mao, et al., Logical computation using algorithmic self-assembly of DNA triple-crossover molecules, Nature 407 (2000) 493-496; A.J. Ruben, et al., The past, present and future of molecular computing, Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell. Biol. 1 (2000) 69-72], we believe that the more significant potential of molecular computers lies in their ability to interact directly with a biochemical environment such as the bloodstream and living cells. From this perspective, even simple molecular computations may have

  16. Imaging mass spectrometry: Molecular microscopy for the new age of biology and medicine.

    PubMed

    Caprioli, Richard M

    2016-06-01

    Imaging mass spectrometry provides a powerful tool for monitoring and discovery of molecular processes in the spatial domain in tissues for research and practical applications in both biology and medicine. This technology directly measures molecular compounds in tissues without the use of target-specific reagents such as antibodies, is applicable to a wide variety of analytes, and can provide spatial resolutions below the single cell level. Importantly, it has paradigm shifting capabilities in clinical applications, especially for anatomic pathology.

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

    PubMed

    Yamasaki, Mami; Kanemura, Yonehiro

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. A possible molecular metric for biological evolvability.

    PubMed

    Mittal, Aditya; Jayaram, B

    2012-07-01

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

  20. [Biological characteristics of calliphoridae and its application in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Boa; Wen, Charn; Qi, Li-Li; Wang, He; Wang, Ji

    2013-12-01

    Diptera Calliphoridae is the first major kind of flies that appears on the decomposed corpses. In forensic entomology, according to the living characteristics of Calliphoridae flies, we could accurately estimate postmortem interval (PMI) in a murder or unidentified case and could provide useful clues to solve the case. This paper introduces the characteristics of the biology and morphology of Diptera Calliphoridae, and reviews the combined application of forensic entomology, molecular biology, mathematical morphology and toxicology.

  1. Thermophilic molds: Biology and applications.

    PubMed

    Singh, Bijender; Poças-Fonseca, Marcio J; Johri, B N; Satyanarayana, Tulasi

    2016-11-01

    Thermophilic molds thrive in a variety of natural habitats including soils, composts, wood chip piles, nesting materials of birds and other animals, municipal refuse and others, and ubiquitous in their distribution. These molds grow in simple media containing carbon and nitrogen sources and mineral salts. Polyamines are synthesized in these molds and the composition of lipids varies considerably, predominantly containing palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids with low levels of lauric, palmiotoleic and stearic acids. Thermophilic molds are capable of efficiently degrading organic materials by secreting thermostable enzymes, which are useful in the bioremediation of industrial wastes and effluents that are rich in oil, heavy metals, anti-nutritional factors such as phytic acid and polysaccharides. Thermophilic molds synthesize several antimicrobial substances and biotechnologically useful miscellaneous enzymes. The analysis of genomes of thermophilic molds reveals high G:C contents, shorter introns and intergenic regions with lesser repetitive sequences, and further confirms their ability to degrade agro-residues efficiently. Genetic engineering has aided in ameliorating the characteristics of the enzymes of thermophilic molds. This review is aimed at focusing on the biology of thermophilic molds with emphasis on recent developments in the analysis of genomes, genetic engineering and potential applications.

  2. Thermophilic molds: Biology and applications.

    PubMed

    Singh, Bijender; Poças-Fonseca, Marcio J; Johri, B N; Satyanarayana, Tulasi

    2016-11-01

    Thermophilic molds thrive in a variety of natural habitats including soils, composts, wood chip piles, nesting materials of birds and other animals, municipal refuse and others, and ubiquitous in their distribution. These molds grow in simple media containing carbon and nitrogen sources and mineral salts. Polyamines are synthesized in these molds and the composition of lipids varies considerably, predominantly containing palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids with low levels of lauric, palmiotoleic and stearic acids. Thermophilic molds are capable of efficiently degrading organic materials by secreting thermostable enzymes, which are useful in the bioremediation of industrial wastes and effluents that are rich in oil, heavy metals, anti-nutritional factors such as phytic acid and polysaccharides. Thermophilic molds synthesize several antimicrobial substances and biotechnologically useful miscellaneous enzymes. The analysis of genomes of thermophilic molds reveals high G:C contents, shorter introns and intergenic regions with lesser repetitive sequences, and further confirms their ability to degrade agro-residues efficiently. Genetic engineering has aided in ameliorating the characteristics of the enzymes of thermophilic molds. This review is aimed at focusing on the biology of thermophilic molds with emphasis on recent developments in the analysis of genomes, genetic engineering and potential applications. PMID:26777293

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

    PubMed

    Egginton, Stuart; Bicknell, Roy

    2011-12-01

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

  4. Cell and molecular biology of Chlamydomonas

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-01-01

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

  5. Computer Analogies: Teaching Molecular Biology and Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rice, Stanley; McArthur, John

    2002-01-01

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

  6. Physical mechanisms of biological molecular motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  7. Molecular communication among biological nanomachines: a layered architecture and research issues.

    PubMed

    Nakano, Tadashi; Suda, Tatsuya; Okaie, Yutaka; Moore, Michael J; Vasilakos, Athanasios V

    2014-09-01

    Molecular communication is an emerging communication paradigm for biological nanomachines. It allows biological nanomachines to communicate through exchanging molecules in an aqueous environment and to perform collaborative tasks through integrating functionalities of individual biological nanomachines. This paper develops the layered architecture of molecular communication and describes research issues that molecular communication faces at each layer of the architecture. Specifically, this paper applies a layered architecture approach, traditionally used in communication networks, to molecular communication, decomposes complex molecular communication functionality into a set of manageable layers, identifies basic functionalities of each layer, and develops a descriptive model consisting of key components of the layer for each layer. This paper also discusses open research issues that need to be addressed at each layer. In addition, this paper provides an example design of targeted drug delivery, a nanomedical application, to illustrate how the layered architecture helps design an application of molecular communication. The primary contribution of this paper is to provide an in-depth architectural view of molecular communication. Establishing a layered architecture of molecular communication helps organize various research issues and design concerns into layers that are relatively independent of each other, and thus accelerates research in each layer and facilitates the design and development of applications of molecular communication.

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

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-11-01

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

  10. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Callman, Joshua L.; And Others

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

  12. The molecular biology of Bluetongue virus replication.

    PubMed

    Patel, Avnish; Roy, Polly

    2014-03-01

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

  13. Biological Applications of Synthetic Nanomachines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagan, Daniel Robert

    The field of synthetic nano/microscale propulsion devices has been rapidly expanding because of their ability to possess many key features necessary for bioanalytical applications on biological microchip devices and targeted in vivo delivery. Past studies focused on developing powerful and easily controllable motors by investigating different propulsion schemes (e.g. electrophoretic, bubble release, magnetically propelled) for use in physiological environments. These engineering advancements and the nanomotors inherit capabilities have allowed for their use in three research areas: motion-based biosensing, cellular and biomolecular isolation, and targeted drug delivery. The first research area investigates a unique speed increase of electrophoretically propelled nanomotors when in the presence of silver ions. Au/Pt nanomotors propel by the electrocatalytic decomposition of H2O2 fuel. While most metal ions resulted in a decrease in speed to near Brownian levels, Ag+ has shown a steady increase in speed from 10microm/s to 52microm/s over the micro-molar range. This phenomenon was exploited by tagging nucleic acid detector probes with Ag nanoparticles when conducting simple sandwich assays. This resulted in a cheap, fast, and sensitive, motion-based readout of the concentration-dependent DNA target present on the sandwich assay. The second area of research involved the bioisolation of nucleic acids, protein, bacteria, and cancer cells by bubble-based microrockets. These microrockets contain a platinum interior to catalyze peroxide fuel and can be easily functionalized with antibodies and nucleic acid capture probes to isolate target biomolecules. The motion of these micro-isolation devices creates convection for faster isolation and can be used to transport the biomolecules to a clean environment. The third area of research is focused on targeted drug delivery by various propulsion methods. The ability of nanomotors to transport PLGA and liposome drug vesicles to

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyer, Rodney

    2003-01-01

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

  16. The Macromolecular Concept and the Origins of Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olby, Robert

    1970-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Søholm, Helle; Olsen, Niels Vidiendal

    2013-01-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Methods in molecular biology: plant cytogenetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. [Progress in molecular biology of a semi-mangrove, Millettia pinnata].

    PubMed

    Huang, Jianzi; Zhang, Wanke; Huang, Rongfeng; Zheng, Yizhi

    2015-04-01

    Millettia pinnata L. is a leguminous tree with great potential in biodiesel applications and also a typical semi-mangrove. In this review, we presented several aspects about the recent research progress in molecular biology of M. pinnata. We descrived several types of molecular markers used to assess the genetic diversity and phylogeny of this species, genome and transcriptome analyses based on high-throughput sequencing platform accomplished for this species, and several gene and genomic sequences of this species isolated for further research. Finally, based on the current research progress, we proposed some orientations for future molecular biology research on M. pinnata. PMID:26380403

  2. [Progress in molecular biology of a semi-mangrove, Millettia pinnata].

    PubMed

    Huang, Jianzi; Zhang, Wanke; Huang, Rongfeng; Zheng, Yizhi

    2015-04-01

    Millettia pinnata L. is a leguminous tree with great potential in biodiesel applications and also a typical semi-mangrove. In this review, we presented several aspects about the recent research progress in molecular biology of M. pinnata. We descrived several types of molecular markers used to assess the genetic diversity and phylogeny of this species, genome and transcriptome analyses based on high-throughput sequencing platform accomplished for this species, and several gene and genomic sequences of this species isolated for further research. Finally, based on the current research progress, we proposed some orientations for future molecular biology research on M. pinnata.

  3. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-12-01

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

  4. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Głogocka, Daria; Przybyło, Magdalena; Langner, Marek

    2015-06-01

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

  6. Analysis application in biological field and prediction of human diseases with dual luminescence molecular of 3.5-generations polyamidoamine dendrimers-porphyrin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jia-Ming; Lin, Chang-Qing; Lin, Shao-Qin; Lin, Li-Ping; Wang, Xin-Xing; Zheng, Mei-Xia; Zhang, Bin

    2010-09-01

    A new phosphorescence-labelling reagent (3.5-G-D-P labelling reagent) was developed, based on 3.5-generation polyamidoamine dendrimers (3.5-G-D) as internal acceptor to capture porphyrin (P) molecular. In the disturber of heavy atom, 3.5-G-D-P could emit room temperature phosphorescence (RTP) of 3.5-G-D and P on the surface of polyamide membrane (PAM), respectively. Products (3.5-G-D-P-WGA) of 3.5-G-D-P labelling triticum vulgaris lectin (WGA) could emit strong and stable RTP signal on the surface of PAM, and it also could take specific affinity adsorption reaction (AA) with alkaline phosphatase (ALP). The product of the AA reaction (3.5-G-D-P-WGA-ALP) could keep the RTP characteristics of 3.5-G-D-P very well, and the Δ Ip of the system was linear correlation to the content of ALP. The Δ Ip of the system with Tween-80 was once for P and twice for 3.5-G-D more than that without Tween-80. Thus, the affinity adsorption solid substrate-room temperature phosphorimetry (AA-SS-RTP) for the determination of trace ALP has been established using Tween-80-3.5-G-D-P to label WGA. The detection limit (LD) of this method was 0.12 fg spot -1 for 3.5-G-D and 0.18 fg spot -1 for P with direct method, 0.14 fg spot -1 for 3.5-G-D and 0.17 fg spot -1 for P with sandwich method, respectively, and the sensitivity was obviously high. This research showed that either using 3.5-G-D or P excitation/emission wavelength to determine the content of ALP in human serum, the results were coincided with ELISA, and the flexibility of AA-SS-RTP was obviously improved and the applicability was wider. Meanwhile, the reaction mechanism of determining ALP by direct method AA-SS-RTP was discussed.

  7. Molecular biology of retinal ganglion cells.

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, M; Zhou, H; Nathans, J

    1996-01-01

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

  8. Molecular model for hydrated biological tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  9. Biological (molecular and cellular) markers of toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    McCarthy, J.F.

    1990-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Robin; Hodge, Terrell; Enyedi, Alexander

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Biological and molecular basis of human breast cancer.

    PubMed

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

    1998-09-01

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

  13. How synthetic biology will reconsider natural bioluminescence and its applications.

    PubMed

    Reeve, Benjamin; Sanderson, Theo; Ellis, Tom; Freemont, Paul

    2014-01-01

    As our understanding of natural biological systems grows, so too does our ability to alter and rebuild them. Synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to biology in order to design and construct novel biological systems for specific applications. Bioluminescent organisms offer a treasure trove of light-emitting enzymes that may have applications in many areas of bioengineering, from biosensors to lighting. A few select bioluminescent organisms have been well researched and the molecular and genetic basis of their luminescent abilities elucidated, with work underway to understand the basis of luminescence in many others. Synthetic biology will aim to package these light-emitting systems as self-contained biological modules, characterize their properties, and then optimize them for use in other chassis organisms. As this catalog of biological parts grows, synthetic biologists will be able to engineer complex biological systems with the ability to emit light. These may use luminescence for an array of disparate functions, from providing illumination to conveying information or allowing communication between organisms. PMID:25216951

  14. Molecular model for hydrated biological tissues.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  15. The molecular biology of WHO grade I astrocytomas

    PubMed Central

    Marko, Nicholas F.; Weil, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

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

  16. The molecular biology of WHO grade I astrocytomas.

    PubMed

    Marko, Nicholas F; Weil, Robert J

    2012-12-01

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

  17. Asymmetry at the molecular level in biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Louise N.

    2005-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, Norman G.; Ryan, Clarence A.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  20. [Development of Zn(2+) selective fluorescent probes for biological applications].

    PubMed

    Hagimori, Masayori

    2013-01-01

    Zn(2+) is an essential element for life and is known to play important roles in biological processes including gene expression, apoptosis, enzyme regulation, immune system and neurotransmission. To investigate physiological roles of free or chelatable Zn(2+) in living cells, Zn(2+)-selective fluorescent probes are valuable tools. A variety of fluorescent probes based on quinoline, BF2 chelated dipyrromethene, fluorescein, etc. has been developed recently. In principle, such tools can provide useful information about zinc biology. However, most of the fluorescent probes presented so far possess a fluorescent core and a separate part for binding to Zn(2+) within the molecule, so that the molecular weight is usually large and the molecules are hydrophobic. As a result, the applications of such molecules in biological systems often face difficulties. Therefore, we need to develop a new class of fluorescent probes for Zn(2+) with improved molecular characteristics. If the initial core structure is small enough, the fluorescent probes may still be molecular weight below 500 with desirable physico-chemical properties, even after the modifications. In this review, we described novel low-molecular-weight fluorescent probes for Zn(2+) based on pyridine-pyridone. Small modification of pyridine-pyridone core structure brought about a marked improvement such as aqueous solubility, affinity toward Zn(2+), and fluorescence ON/OFF switching. Fluorescence images of Zn(2+) in cells showed that the pyridine-pyridone probe can be used in biological applications.

  1. Luciferase Genes as Reporter Reactions: How to Use Them in Molecular Biology?

    PubMed

    Cevenini, L; Calabretta, M M; Calabria, D; Roda, A; Michelini, E

    2016-01-01

    : The latest advances in molecular biology have made available several biotechnological tools that take advantage of the high detectability and quantum efficiency of bioluminescence (BL), with an ever-increasing number of novel applications in environmental, pharmaceutical, food, and forensic fields. Indeed, BL proteins are being used to develop ultrasensitive binding assays and cell-based assays, thanks to their high detectability and to the availability of highly sensitive BL instruments. The appealing aspect of molecular biology tools relying on BL reactions is their general applicability in both in vitro assays, such as cell cultures or purified proteins, and in vivo settings, such as in whole-animal BL imaging. The aim of this chapter is to provide the reader with an overview of state-of-the-art bioluminescent tools based on luciferase genes, highlighting molecular biology strategies that have been applied so far, together with some selected examples.

  2. Overview of selected molecular biological databases

    SciTech Connect

    Rayl, K.D.; Gaasterland, T.

    1994-11-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bassiri, Eby A.

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Xenopus laevis in Developmental and Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dawid, Igor B.; Sargent, Thomas D.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the advantages of Xenopus laevis as an experimental animal in the study of embryogenesis in vertebrates. Summarizes the contributions of this system to the analysis of ribosomal and 5S RNA genes, and the diverse and highly productive applications of the oocyte injection technology. (RT)

  5. The molecular biology of WHO grade II gliomas.

    PubMed

    Marko, Nicholas F; Weil, Robert J

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Albin, R L; Tagle, D A

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nemhauser, Jennifer L; Torii, Keiko U

    2016-03-02

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

  8. The molecular biology of pulmonary metastasis.

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-01

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

  9. Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology: review of the first international conference.

    PubMed

    Clark, D A; Rawlings, C J

    1994-04-01

    This review provides a description of the background to the first international conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology and a problem-oriented overview of the papers presented. It focuses on genome analysis, gene identification, protein and RNA structure prediction and function, the modelling of biochemical pathways and data and knowledge bases. The range and quality of papers indicates that intelligent systems is emerging as an important sub-field of computational applications in the biological sciences.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-23

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

  11. Where statistics and molecular microarray experiments biology meet.

    PubMed

    Kelmansky, Diana M

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Molecular biology of coal bio-desulfurization

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-07-18

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

  13. The molecular biology of Fanconi anemia.

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rittmann, Bruce E

    2002-01-01

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

  15. Applications in biology and condensed matter physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faruqi, A. R.

    1991-12-01

    Position-sensitive detectors are a vital research tool in many areas of structural and molecular biology and condensed matter physics. The present review is mainly restricted to structural information obtained by X-ray scattering and diffraction and in DNA sequence analysis using autoradiography. Film has traditionally played the most important role, and for many applications is still the best medium for recording data, but advances in various types of detector technology has made them attractive, and in some cases essential alternatives. The requirements imposed by experiments vary a great deal and can be very demanding in terms of detector performance, e.g. in terms of count rates, particularly for synchrotron radiation, dynamic range, spatial resolution, ability to do time-resolved measurements on a millisecond time scale, differential and integral linearity and resistance to radiation damage. A brief review of detector properties will be presented and how they are matched in different cases with the experimental requirements along with a small selection of recent results and what new developments are needed to cope with the new generation of storage rings now under construction.

  16. Information theory applications for biological sequence analysis.

    PubMed

    Vinga, Susana

    2014-05-01

    Information theory (IT) addresses the analysis of communication systems and has been widely applied in molecular biology. In particular, alignment-free sequence analysis and comparison greatly benefited from concepts derived from IT, such as entropy and mutual information. This review covers several aspects of IT applications, ranging from genome global analysis and comparison, including block-entropy estimation and resolution-free metrics based on iterative maps, to local analysis, comprising the classification of motifs, prediction of transcription factor binding sites and sequence characterization based on linguistic complexity and entropic profiles. IT has also been applied to high-level correlations that combine DNA, RNA or protein features with sequence-independent properties, such as gene mapping and phenotype analysis, and has also provided models based on communication systems theory to describe information transmission channels at the cell level and also during evolutionary processes. While not exhaustive, this review attempts to categorize existing methods and to indicate their relation with broader transversal topics such as genomic signatures, data compression and complexity, time series analysis and phylogenetic classification, providing a resource for future developments in this promising area.

  17. Human papillomavirus molecular biology and disease association

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Molecular biology of somatostatin receptor subtypes.

    PubMed

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

    1996-08-01

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

  19. Human papillomavirus molecular biology and disease association.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Burgmann, H; Breyer, S

    1995-01-01

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

  1. Database Transformations for Biological Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Overton, C.; Davidson, S. B.; Buneman, P.; Tannen, V.

    2001-04-11

    The goal of this project was to develop tools to facilitate data transformations between heterogeneous data sources found throughout biomedical applications. Such transformations are necessary when sharing data between different groups working on related problems as well as when querying data spread over different databases, files and software analysis packages.

  2. Planetary Biology and Microbial Ecology: Molecular Ecology and the Global Nitrogen cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nealson, Molly Stone (Editor); Nealson, Kenneth H. (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the Planetary Biology and Molecular Ecology's summer 1991 program, which was held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The purpose of the interdisciplinary PBME program is to integrate, via lectures and laboratory work, the contributions of university and NASA scientists and student interns. The goals of the 1991 program were to examine several aspects of the biogeochemistry of the nitrogen cycle and to teach the application of modern methods of molecular genetics to field studies of organisms. Descriptions of the laboratory projects and protocols and abstracts and references of the lectures are presented.

  3. A Streamlined Molecular Biology Module for Undergraduate Biochemistry Labs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muth, Gregory W.; Chihade, Joseph W.

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Positron emission tomography provides molecular imaging of biological processes

    PubMed Central

    Phelps, Michael E.

    2000-01-01

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

  5. An Inquiry-based Introduction to Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levy, Foster

    2000-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilmsen, Tinri; Bisseling, Ton; Hartog, Rob

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

  9. Assessing Practical Laboratory Skills in Undergraduate Molecular Biology Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt, Lynne; Koenders, Annette; Gynnild, Vidar

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  11. Photoactivatable fluorophores and techniques for biological imaging applications

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Genhua

    2013-01-01

    Photoactivatable fluorophores (PAFs) are powerful imaging probes for tracking molecular and cellular dynamics with high spatiotemporal resolution in biological systems. Recent developments in biological microscopy have raised new demands for engineering new PAFs with improved properties such as high two photon excitation efficiency, reversibility, cellular delivery and targeting. Here we review the history and some of the recent developments in this area, emphasizing our efforts in developing a new class of caged coumarins and related imaging methods for studying dynamic cell-cell communication through gap junction channels, and in extending the application of these caged coumarins to new areas including spatiotemporal control of microRNA activity in vivo. PMID:22252510

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  18. Application of chemical biology in target identification and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yue; Xiao, Ting; Lei, Saifei; Zhou, Fulai; Wang, Ming-Wei

    2015-09-01

    Drug discovery and development is vital to the well-being of mankind and sustainability of the pharmaceutical industry. Using chemical biology approaches to discover drug leads has become a widely accepted path partially because of the completion of the Human Genome Project. Chemical biology mainly solves biological problems through searching previously unknown targets for pharmacologically active small molecules or finding ligands for well-defined drug targets. It is a powerful tool to study how these small molecules interact with their respective targets, as well as their roles in signal transduction, molecular recognition and cell functions. There have been an increasing number of new therapeutic targets being identified and subsequently validated as a result of advances in functional genomics, which in turn led to the discovery of numerous active small molecules via a variety of high-throughput screening initiatives. In this review, we highlight some applications of chemical biology in the context of drug discovery.

  19. Single nanoparticle detectors for biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yurt, Abdulkadir; Daaboul, George G.; Connor, John H.; Goldberg, Bennett B.; Selim Ünlü, M.

    2012-01-01

    Nanoparticle research has become increasingly important in the context of bioscience and biotechnology. Practical use of nanoparticles in biology has significantly advanced our understanding about biological processes in the nanoscale as well as led to many novel diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Besides, synthetic and natural nanoparticles are of concern for their potential adverse effect on human health. Development of novel detection and characterization tools for nanoparticles will impact a broad range of disciplines in biological research from nanomedicine to nanotoxicology. In this article, we discuss the recent progress and future directions in the area of single nanoparticle detectors with an emphasis on their biological applications. A brief critical overview of electrical and mechanical detection techniques is given and a more in-depth discussion of label-free optical detection techniques is presented.

  20. Quantum metrology and its application in biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Michael A.; Bowen, Warwick P.

    2016-02-01

    Quantum metrology provides a route to overcome practical limits in sensing devices. It holds particular relevance to biology, where sensitivity and resolution constraints restrict applications both in fundamental biophysics and in medicine. Here, we review quantum metrology from this biological context, focusing on optical techniques due to their particular relevance for biological imaging, sensing, and stimulation. Our understanding of quantum mechanics has already enabled important applications in biology, including positron emission tomography (PET) with entangled photons, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using nuclear magnetic resonance, and bio-magnetic imaging with superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs). In quantum metrology an even greater range of applications arise from the ability to not just understand, but to engineer, coherence and correlations at the quantum level. In the past few years, quite dramatic progress has been seen in applying these ideas into biological systems. Capabilities that have been demonstrated include enhanced sensitivity and resolution, immunity to imaging artefacts and technical noise, and characterization of the biological response to light at the single-photon level. New quantum measurement techniques offer even greater promise, raising the prospect for improved multi-photon microscopy and magnetic imaging, among many other possible applications. Realization of this potential will require cross-disciplinary input from researchers in both biology and quantum physics. In this review we seek to communicate the developments of quantum metrology in a way that is accessible to biologists and biophysicists, while providing sufficient details to allow the interested reader to obtain a solid understanding of the field. We further seek to introduce quantum physicists to some of the central challenges of optical measurements in biological science. We hope that this will aid in bridging the communication gap that exists

  1. Signature molecular descriptor : advanced applications.

    SciTech Connect

    Visco, Donald Patrick, Jr.

    2010-04-01

    In this work we report on the development of the Signature Molecular Descriptor (or Signature) for use in the solution of inverse design problems as well as in highthroughput screening applications. The ultimate goal of using Signature is to identify novel and non-intuitive chemical structures with optimal predicted properties for a given application. We demonstrate this in three studies: green solvent design, glucocorticoid receptor ligand design and the design of inhibitors for Factor XIa. In many areas of engineering, compounds are designed and/or modified in incremental ways which rely upon heuristics or institutional knowledge. Often multiple experiments are performed and the optimal compound is identified in this brute-force fashion. Perhaps a traditional chemical scaffold is identified and movement of a substituent group around a ring constitutes the whole of the design process. Also notably, a chemical being evaluated in one area might demonstrate properties very attractive in another area and serendipity was the mechanism for solution. In contrast to such approaches, computer-aided molecular design (CAMD) looks to encompass both experimental and heuristic-based knowledge into a strategy that will design a molecule on a computer to meet a given target. Depending on the algorithm employed, the molecule which is designed might be quite novel (re: no CAS registration number) and/or non-intuitive relative to what is known about the problem at hand. While CAMD is a fairly recent strategy (dating to the early 1980s), it contains a variety of bottlenecks and limitations which have prevented the technique from garnering more attention in the academic, governmental and industrial institutions. A main reason for this is how the molecules are described in the computer. This step can control how models are developed for the properties of interest on a given problem as well as how to go from an output of the algorithm to an actual chemical structure. This report

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worcester, D. L.

    1982-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Phair, Robert D

    2014-11-01

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

  4. Mechanistic modeling confronts the complexity of molecular cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Phair, Robert D.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Lens-Free Imaging for Biological Applications

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sang Bok; Bae, Hojae; Koo, Kyo-in; Dokmeci, Mehmet R.; Ozcan, Aydogan; Khademhosseini, Ali

    2013-01-01

    Lens-free (or lensless) imaging is emerging as a cost-effective, compact, and lightweight detection method that can serve numerous biological applications. Lens-free imaging can generate high-resolution images within a field-portable platform, which is ideal for affordable point-of-care devices aiming at resource-limited settings. In this mini-review, we first describe different modes of operation for lens-free imaging and then highlight several recent biological applications of this emerging platform technology. PMID:22357607

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Molecular biology and genetics affecting pediatric solid tumors.

    PubMed

    Lugo-Vicente, H

    2000-01-01

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

  8. Applications of Two-Photon Absorption in Medicine and Biology Enabled by Specially Designed Biological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drobizhev, M.

    2008-05-01

    We quantitatively study how the two-photon absorption (2PA) properties of biological molecules depend on their structure. 2PA is advantageous over regular one-photon absorption because of deeper penetration and more localized excitation in biological tissues. However, 2PA cross sections of biological chromophores are usually rather small to be useful in real life applications. Using quantum-mechanical few-level description of molecular electronic states, we interpret our data and predict new structures with considerably increased 2PA cross sections. These new materials either synthesized or genetically engineered make 2PA-based techniques applicable in medicine and biology. We show how our new porphyrin photosensitizers with drastically enhanced 2PA (˜1000 times compared to regular porphyrins) can be used for in vivo two-photon-induced closing of blood vessels in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. The second example describes the application of fluorescent proteins in two-photon laser microscopy of biological cells. We demonstrate how the 2PA properties of fluorescent proteins can be considerably improved by smart mutations of the environment of chromophore inside the protein.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-12-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Time scale of diffusion in molecular and cellular biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holcman, D.; Schuss, Z.

    2014-05-01

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

  12. Molecular Imaging with MRI: Potential Application in Pancreatic Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chen; Wu, Chang Qiang; Chen, Tian Wu; Tang, Meng Yue; Zhang, Xiao Ming

    2015-01-01

    Despite the variety of approaches that have been improved to achieve a good understanding of pancreatic cancer (PC), the prognosis of PC remains poor, and the survival rates are dismal. The lack of early detection and effective interventions is the main reason. Therefore, considerable ongoing efforts aimed at identifying early PC are currently being pursued using a variety of methods. In recent years, the development of molecular imaging has made the specific targeting of PC in the early stage possible. Molecular imaging seeks to directly visualize, characterize, and measure biological processes at the molecular and cellular levels. Among different imaging technologies, the magnetic resonance (MR) molecular imaging has potential in this regard because it facilitates noninvasive, target-specific imaging of PC. This topic is reviewed in terms of the contrast agents for MR molecular imaging, the biomarkers related to PC, targeted molecular probes for MRI, and the application of MRI in the diagnosis of PC. PMID:26579537

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

    PubMed

    Frick, Mareike; Dörken, Bernd; Lenz, Georg

    2011-12-01

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

  14. Molecular biology of gliomas: present and future challenges

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  16. Multifunctional Glyconanoparticles : Applications in Biology and Biomedicine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penadés, Soledad; de La Fuente, Jesus M.; Barrientos, África G.; Clavel, Caroline; Martínez-Ávila, Olga; Alcántara, David

    The design and preparation of complex bio-functional glyconanoparticles (GNPs) and their application as polyvalent tools to study and intervene in carbohydrate mediated biological interactions are highlighted. As examples, the preparation and study of GNPs as anti-adhesion agents in inhibition of metastasis, as potential microbicides for blocking HIV-1 infection, or as anti-cancer vaccines are also discussed. In addition, magnetic glyconanoparticles for application in cellular labelling and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are also reviewed.

  17. Nanodiagnostics: application of nanotechnology in molecular diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Jain, K K

    2003-03-01

    Nanotechnology extends the limits of molecular diagnostics to the nanoscale. Nanotechnology-on-a-chip is one more dimension of microfluidic/lab-on-a-chip technology. Biological tests measuring the presence or activity of selected substances become quicker, more sensitive and more flexible when certain nanoscale particles are put to work as tags or labels. Magnetic nanoparticles, bound to a suitable antibody, are used to label specific molecules, structures or microorganisms. Magnetic immunoassay techniques have been developed in which the magnetic field generated by the magnetically labeled targets is detected directly with a sensitive magnetometer. Gold nanoparticles tagged with short segments of DNA can be used for detection of genetic sequence in a sample. Multicolor optical coding for biological assays has been achieved by embedding different-sized quantum dots into polymeric microbeads. Nanopore technology for analysis of nucleic acids converts strings of nucleotides directly into electronic signatures. DNA nanomachines can function as biomolecular detectors for homogeneous assays. Nanobarcodes, submicrometer metallic barcodes with striping patterns prepared by sequential electrochemical depositon of metal, show differential reflectivity of adjacent stripes enabling identification of the striping patterns by conventional light microscopy. All this has applications in population diagnostics and in point-of-care hand-held devices.

  18. Liquid Crystalline Materials for Biological Applications

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, Aaron M.; Abbott, Nicholas L.

    2012-01-01

    Liquid crystals have a long history of use as materials that respond to external stimuli (e.g., electrical and optical fields). More recently, a series of investigations have reported the design of liquid crystalline materials that undergo ordering transitions in response to a range of biological interactions, including interactions involving proteins, nucleic acids, viruses, bacteria and mammalian cells. A central challenge underlying the design of liquid crystalline materials for such applications is the tailoring of the interface of the materials so as to couple targeted biological interactions to ordering transitions. This review describes recent progress toward design of interfaces of liquid crystalline materials that are suitable for biological applications. Approaches addressed in this review include the use of lipid assemblies, polymeric membranes containing oligopeptides, cationic surfactant-DNA complexes, peptide-amphiphiles, interfacial protein assemblies and multi-layer polymeric films. PMID:22563142

  19. A Computer Applications Course for Biology Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ralph, Charles L.

    1989-01-01

    Describes a computer applications course developed for undergraduate biology students (primarily sophomores) to teach word processing, database and spreadsheet programs, graphing programs, telecommunications, and file transfer procedures. AppleWorks software is discussed, course content is explained, and the microcomputer laboratory is described.…

  20. Grete Kellenberger-Gujer: Molecular biology research pioneer

    PubMed Central

    Citi, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Citi, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Grete Kellenberger-Gujer: Molecular biology research pioneer

    PubMed Central

    Citi, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Citi, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Aoki, Ichiro; Mori, Ikue

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yao, Xuebiao; Li, Dangsheng; Pei, Gang

    2013-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lynch, Michael

    2002-06-01

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

  9. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications

    PubMed Central

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M.; Krams, Rob

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON–OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes. PMID:25808341

  10. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications.

    PubMed

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M; Krams, Rob

    2015-05-01

    In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON-OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes.

  11. Molecular biology in studies of oceanic primary production

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-01

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

  12. Molecular biology in studies of oceanic primary production

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Genomic Signal Processing: Predicting Basic Molecular Biological Principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alter, Orly

    2005-03-01

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

  16. Porphyrin Microparticles for Biological and Biomedical Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huynh, Elizabeth

    Lipids are one of the critical building blocks of life, forming the plasma membrane of cells. In addition, porphyrins also play an equally important role in life, for example, through carrying oxygen in blood. The importance of both these components is evident through the biological and biomedical applications of supramolecular structures generated from lipids and porphyrins. This thesis investigates new porphyrin microparticles based on porphyrin-lipid architecture and their potential applications in biology and medicine. In Chapter 1, a background on lipid and porphyrin-based supramolecular structures is presented and design considerations for generating multifunctional agents. Chapter 2 describes the generation of a monolayer porphyrin microparticle as a dual-modal ultrasound and photoacoustic contrast agent and subsequently, a trimodal ultrasound, photoacoustic and fluorescence contrast agent. Chapter 3 examines the optical and morphological response of these multimodality ultrasound-based contrast agents to low frequency, high duty cycle ultrasound that causes the porphyrin microparticles to convertinto nanoparticles. Chapter 4 examines the generation of bilayer micrometer-sized porphyrin vesicles and their properties. Chapter 5 presents a brief summary and potential future directions. Although these microscale structures are similar in structure, the applications of these structures greatly differ with potential applications in biology and also imaging and therapy of disease. This thesis aims to explore and demonstrate the potential of new simplified, supramolecular structures based on one main building block, porphyrin-lipid.

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

    PubMed

    Makinodan, Manabu

    2015-01-01

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

  18. TOPICAL REVIEW: Carbon nanotubes for biological and biomedical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wenrong; Thordarson, Pall; Gooding, J. Justin; Ringer, Simon P.; Braet, Filip

    2007-10-01

    Ever since the discovery of carbon nanotubes, researchers have been exploring their potential in biological and biomedical applications. The recent expansion and availability of chemical modification and bio-functionalization methods have made it possible to generate a new class of bioactive carbon nanotubes which are conjugated with proteins, carbohydrates, or nucleic acids. The modification of a carbon nanotube on a molecular level using biological molecules is essentially an example of the 'bottom-up' fabrication principle of bionanotechnology. The availability of these biomodified carbon nanotube constructs opens up an entire new and exciting research direction in the field of chemical biology, finally aiming to target and to alter the cell's behaviour at the subcellular or molecular level. This review covers the latest advances of bio-functionalized carbon nanotubes with an emphasis on the development of functional biological nano-interfaces. Topics that are discussed herewith include methods for biomodification of carbon nanotubes, the development of hybrid systems of carbon nanotubes and biomolecules for bioelectronics, and carbon nanotubes as transporters for a specific delivery of peptides and/or genetic material to cells. All of these current research topics aim at translating these biotechnology modified nanotubes into potential novel therapeutic approaches.

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

    PubMed

    Budowle, Bruce; van Daal, Angela

    2009-04-01

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

  20. Imaging mass spectrometry with nuclear microprobes for biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakata, Y.; Yamada, H.; Honda, Y.; Ninomiya, S.; Seki, T.; Aoki, T.; Matsuo, J.

    2009-06-01

    A mass spectrometric technique using nuclear microprobes is presented in this paper for biological applications. In recent years, imaging mass spectrometry has become an increasingly important technique for visualizing the spatial distribution of molecular species in biological tissues and cells. However, due to low yields of large molecular ions, the conventional secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), that uses keV primary ion beams, is typically applied for imaging of either elements or low mass compounds. In this study, we performed imaging mass spectrometry using MeV ion beams collimated to about 10 μm, and successfully obtained molecular ion images from plant and animal cell sections. The molecular ion imaging of the pollen section showed high intensities of PO3- ions in the pollen cytoplasm, compared to the pollen wall, and indicated the heterogeneous distribution in the cytoplasm. The 3T3-L1 cell image revealed the high intensity of PO3- ions, in particular from the cell nucleus. The result showed that not only the individual cell, but also the cell nucleus could be identified with the present imaging technique.

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

    PubMed

    Hann, Stephen R

    2014-06-17

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Cowey, C. Lance; Rathmell, W. Kimryn

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Machine Learning for Biological Trajectory Classification Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sbalzarini, Ivo F.; Theriot, Julie; Koumoutsakos, Petros

    2002-01-01

    Machine-learning techniques, including clustering algorithms, support vector machines and hidden Markov models, are applied to the task of classifying trajectories of moving keratocyte cells. The different algorithms axe compared to each other as well as to expert and non-expert test persons, using concepts from signal-detection theory. The algorithms performed very well as compared to humans, suggesting a robust tool for trajectory classification in biological applications.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.

    1992-01-01

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

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Aging in Intervertebral Discs

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Margulis, L

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Margulis, L

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  9. Application of Molecular Pathology in Endocrine Pathology.

    PubMed

    Linke, Ebru Serinsoz; Tezel, Gaye Güler

    2015-01-01

    Rapid growth in knowledge of cell and molecular biology led to the increased usage of molecular techniques in anatomical pathology. This is also due to the advances achieved in the techniques introduced in the last few years which are less laborious as compared to the techniques used at the beginning of the "molecular era". The initial assays were also very expensive and were not performed except for selected centers. Moreover, the clinicians were not sure how to make use of the accumulating molecular information. That situation has also changed and molecular techniques are being performed in a wide variety of medical settings which also has a reflection on the endocrine system pathology among other organ systems. This review will provide an update of genetic changes observed in different endocrine system pathologies and their diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic values.

  10. Biological applications of rare-earth based nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Bouzigues, Cedric; Gacoin, Thierry; Alexandrou, Antigoni

    2011-11-22

    Biomedicine and cell and molecular biology require powerful imaging techniques of the single molecule scale to the whole organism, either for fundamental science or diagnosis. These applications are however often limited by the optical properties of the available probes. Moreover, in cell biology, the measurement of the cell response with spatial and temporal resolution is a central instrumental problem. This has been one of the main motivations for the development of new probes and imaging techniques either for biomolecule labeling or detection of an intracellular signaling species. The weak photostability of genetically encoded probes or organic dyes has motivated the interest for different types of nanoparticles for imaging such as quantum dots, nanodiamonds, dye-doped silica particles, or metallic nanoparticles. One of the most active fields of research in the past decade has thus been the development of rare-earth based nanoparticles, whose optical properties and low cytotoxicity are promising for biological applications. Attractive properties of rare-earth based nanoparticles include high photostability, absence of blinking, extremely narrow emission lines, large Stokes shifts, long lifetimes that can be exploited for retarded detection schemes, and facile functionalization strategies. The use of specific ions in their compositions can be moreover exploited for oxidant detection or for implementing potent contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging. In this review, we present these different applications of rare-earth nanoparticles for biomolecule detection and imaging in vitro, in living cells or in small animals. We highlight how chemical composition tuning and surface functionalization lead to specific properties, which can be used for different imaging modalities. We discuss their performances for imaging in comparison with other probes and to what extent they could constitute a central tool in the future of molecular and cell biology.

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

    PubMed

    Jedruch, W T; Barski, M

    1990-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Singleton, P.; Sainsbury, D.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Helgesen, C; Sibbald, P R

    1993-01-01

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

  15. A complex systems approach to computational molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Lapedes, A. |

    1993-09-01

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

  16. How restriction enzymes became the workhorses of molecular biology

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Richard J.

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Biological applications of synchrotron radiation infrared spectromicroscopy.

    PubMed

    Marcelli, Augusto; Cricenti, Antonio; Kwiatek, Wojciech M; Petibois, Cyril

    2012-01-01

    Extremely brilliant infrared (IR) beams provided by synchrotron radiation sources are now routinely used in many facilities with available commercial spectrometers coupled to IR microscopes. Using these intense non-thermal sources, a brilliance two or three order of magnitude higher than a conventional source is achievable through small pinholes (<10 μm) with a high signal to-noise ratio. IR spectroscopy is a powerful technique to investigate biological systems and offers many new imaging opportunities. The field of infrared biological imaging covers a wide range of fundamental issues and applied researches such as cell imaging or tissue imaging. Molecular maps with a spatial resolution down to the diffraction limit may be now obtained with a synchrotron radiation IR source also on thick samples. Moreover, changes of the protein structure are detectable in an IR spectrum and cellular molecular markers can be identified and used to recognize a pathological status of a tissue. Molecular structure and functions are strongly correlated and this aspect is particularly relevant for imaging. We will show that the brilliance of synchrotron radiation IR sources may enhance the sensitivity of a molecular signal obtained from small biosamples, e.g., a single cell, containing extremely small amounts of organic matter. We will also show that SR IR sources allow to study chemical composition and to identify the distribution of organic molecules in cells at submicron resolution is possible with a high signal-to-noise ratio. Moreover, the recent availability of two-dimensional IR detectors promises to push forward imaging capabilities in the time domain. Indeed, with a high current synchrotron radiation facility and a Focal Plane Array the chemical imaging of individual cells can be obtained in a few minutes. Within this framework important results are expected in the next years using synchrotron radiation and Free Electron Laser (FEL) sources for spectro-microscopy and spectral

  18. Biological Properties and Therapeutic Applications of Propolis.

    PubMed

    Sforcin, José M

    2016-06-01

    Propolis is a resinous material collected by bees from bud and exudates of the plants, mixed with bee enzymes, pollen and wax. In this review, the biological properties of propolis and some therapeutic applications are discussed. The same biological activities have been investigated until today, using samples from different geographic regions. Thus, the study of the biological properties of a given sample should always be associated with its chemical composition and botanical source, representing a particular sample of a given geographic area, exploring its biological potential and the role of its constituents. Efforts have been carried out to explain propolis' mechanisms of action in vivo and in vitro, but the majority of propolis' targets and actions are still unclear. The number of formulations containing propolis and patents have increased, although propolis extracts have been used deliberately with different recommendations, not always mentioning the chemical composition, vegetal source and the methods of extraction. Clinical studies will help to obtain criterious recommendations in view of the expected outcomes. Further investigation should explore the effects of common compounds found in the samples from all over the world in an attempt to standardize the research on propolis and to obtain new drugs. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26988443

  19. Micropallets for cell and biological assay applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen-McMullin, Cynthia

    2007-12-01

    Interest in the subjects of microfluidics, nanotechnology and lab-on-a-chip is ever increasing. Several features of microanalysis and biological assays are desired, such as low reagent use and rapid results. These features can be achieved by developing a flexible, encoded technology capable of multiplexing. The work presented in this dissertation introduces microcarriers referred to as 'micropallets' which are encoded structures ranging in size from 25mum to several hundred microns. These small structures are fabricated using photoresist or other polymer materials. Micropallets may be used in static detection systems or for the transportation and manipulation of attached biological or chemical samples through a microfluidic system. Encoding options for micropallets are discussed. Encoding may be accomplished through the use of barcodes or other markings and may be engineered to optimally suit the application. This work presents the encoded micropallet microcarriers and the corresponding microfluidic and static systems used with micropallets. We discuss the importance of encoding towards the development of flexible, multiplexed assays and decoding strategies used or under development. Cell and antibody assays were selected and investigated to assess the utility of micropallets. We conclude from the results of this work, as well as ongoing interests, micropallets achieve the goals of improving biological techniques including cellular and other biological assays through the options of encoding and multiplexing.

  20. Biological Properties and Therapeutic Applications of Propolis.

    PubMed

    Sforcin, José M

    2016-06-01

    Propolis is a resinous material collected by bees from bud and exudates of the plants, mixed with bee enzymes, pollen and wax. In this review, the biological properties of propolis and some therapeutic applications are discussed. The same biological activities have been investigated until today, using samples from different geographic regions. Thus, the study of the biological properties of a given sample should always be associated with its chemical composition and botanical source, representing a particular sample of a given geographic area, exploring its biological potential and the role of its constituents. Efforts have been carried out to explain propolis' mechanisms of action in vivo and in vitro, but the majority of propolis' targets and actions are still unclear. The number of formulations containing propolis and patents have increased, although propolis extracts have been used deliberately with different recommendations, not always mentioning the chemical composition, vegetal source and the methods of extraction. Clinical studies will help to obtain criterious recommendations in view of the expected outcomes. Further investigation should explore the effects of common compounds found in the samples from all over the world in an attempt to standardize the research on propolis and to obtain new drugs. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Biological applications of energy-filtered TEM.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Martin; Shaw, Jeremy A

    2014-01-01

    The techniques of electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) and energy-filtered TEM (EFTEM) are routinely applied in the physical sciences to map the distribution of elements at the nanoscale. EELS can also provide details of the bonding/valence of elements through variations in the fine structure of elemental peaks in the spectrum. While applications of these techniques in biology are less prevalent, their ability to detect both the light elements (e.g., C, N, O, P, S) that form the building blocks of biological systems and heavier elements (e.g., metals) makes them potentially important techniques for investigating local chemical variations in tissues and cells. Successful application of EELS and EFTEM in biology requires both an understanding of the techniques themselves and expertise in specimen preparation. Care must be taken to avoid the diffusion of elements during the preparation process to avoid artifacts in the resulting element maps. The power of the techniques is demonstrated here using tissue from a marine mollusc (chiton). PMID:24357386

  2. ESR Microscopy for Biological and Biomedical Applications.

    PubMed

    Shin, C S; Dunnam, C R; Borbat, P P; Dzikovski, B; Barth, E D; Halpern, H J; Freed, J H

    2011-08-01

    We report on electron-spin resonance microscopy (ESRM) providing sub-micron resolution (~700nm) with a high spin concentration sample, i.e. lithium phthalocyanine (LiPc) crystal. For biomedical applications of our ESRM, we have imaged samples containing rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cells as well as cancerous tissue samples with a resolution of several microns using a water soluble spin probe, Trityl_OX063_d24. Phantom samples with the nitroxide spin label, (15)N PDT, were also imaged to demonstrate that nitroxides, which are commonly used as spin labels, may also be used for ESRM applications. ESRM tissue imaging would therefore be valuable for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. Also, ESRM can be used to study the motility or the metabolism of cells in various environments. With further modification and/or improvement of imaging probe and spectrometer instrumentation sub-micron biological images should be obtainable, thereby providing a useful tool for various biomedical applications.

  3. Optical fibre cantilever sensor for biological application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, J.; Zhou, Y. X.; Patterson, G.; Shu, W. M.; Maier, R. R. J.; Fowler, R.; Hand, D. P.; MacPherson, W. N.

    2014-05-01

    Micro-cantilever sensors have shown great promise in a wide range of application are as including chemical and biological sensing. However, many of these devices are based upon a sensor `chip' that requires careful alignment between the cantilever and the read-out system, which can be challenging. Furthermore, optical interrogation typically involves a bulky free-space system. Optical fibre addressed cantilevers have been reported previously in the literature and in this paper we propose techniques to design and fabricate polymer micro-cantilevers for attachment onto the end of standard single mode fibres using laser machining. Low-cost optical sources and a fibre coupled spectrometer are employed to monitor the cantilever deflection and therefore observe biological binding between a species of interest and an activated cantilever. Proof-of-concept experiments show that the sensor is capable of detecting pathogen concentration with down to a level of 105cfu/ml.

  4. Tomographic phase microscopy and its biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Wonshik

    2012-12-01

    Conventional interferometric microscopy techniques such as digital holographic microscopy and quantitative phase microscopy are often classified as 3D imaging techniques because a recorded complex field image can be numerically propagated to a different depth. In a strict sense, however, a single complex field image contains only 2D information on a specimen. The measured 2D image is only a subset of the 3D structure. For the 3D mapping of an object, multiple independent 2D images are to be taken, for example at multiple incident angles or wavelengths, and then combined by the so-called optical diffraction tomography (ODT). In this Letter, tomographic phase microscopy (TPM) is reviewed that experimentally realizes the concept of the ODT for the 3D mapping of biological cells in their native state, and some of its interesting biological and biomedical applications are introduced. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  5. Marine carotenoids: biological functions and commercial applications.

    PubMed

    Vílchez, Carlos; Forján, Eduardo; Cuaresma, María; Bédmar, Francisco; Garbayo, Inés; Vega, José M

    2011-03-03

    Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological functions of carotenoids relevant for life on earth. Biological properties of carotenoids allow for a wide range of commercial applications. Indeed, recent interest in the carotenoids has been mainly for their nutraceutical properties. A large number of scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of carotenoids to health and their use for this purpose is growing rapidly. In addition, carotenoids have traditionally been used in food and animal feed for their color properties. Carotenoids are also known to improve consumer perception of quality; an example is the addition of carotenoids to fish feed to impart color to farmed salmon.

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Talcott, Samuel

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Talcott, Samuel

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Fluorescence applications in molecular neurobiology

    PubMed Central

    Taraska, Justin W.; Zagotta, William N.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Macromolecules drive the complex behavior of neurons. For example, channels and transporters control the movements of ions across membranes, SNAREs direct the fusion of vesicles at the synapse, and motors move cargo throughout the cell. Understanding the structure, assembly, and conformational movements of these and other neuronal proteins is essential to understanding the brain. Developments in fluorescence have allowed the architecture and dynamics of proteins to be studied in real time and in a cellular context with great accuracy. In this review, we cover classic and recent methods for studying protein structure, assembly, and dynamics with fluorescence. These methods include fluorescence and luminescence resonance energy transfer, single molecule bleaching analysis, intensity measurements, co-localization microscopy, electron transfer, and bi-molecular complementation analysis. We present the principles of these methods, highlight recent work that uses the methods, and discuss a framework for interpreting results as they apply to molecular neurobiology. PMID:20434995

  10. New impedance and electrochemical image techniques for biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, N. J.

    2010-03-01

    A method to image local surface impedance and electrochemical current optically is developed for biological applications. The principle of the impedance imaging is based on sensitive dependence of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) on local surface charge density. The technique can image local surface impedance and charge while providing simultaneously a conventional surface plasmon resonance (SPR) image. By applying a potential modulation to a sensor surface, it is possible to obtain an image of the DC component, and the amplitude and phase images of the AC component. The DC image provides local molecular binding, as found in the conventional SPR imaging technique. The AC images are directly related to the local impedance of the surface. This imaging capability may be used as a new detection platform for DNA and protein microarrays, a new method for analyzing local molecular binding and interfacial processes and a new tool for imaging cells and tissues.

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

    PubMed

    Krecek, J

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Harris, J Robin

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Harris, J Robin

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Molecular Biology of Insect Sodium Channels and Pyrethroid Resistance

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Possibility of Microchip Electrophoresis for Biological Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kataoka, Masatoshi; Kido, Jun-Ichi; Shinohara, Yasuo

    Microchip electrophoresis has recently attracted much attention in the field of nuclear acid analysis due to its high efficiency, ease of operation, low consumption of samples and reagents, and relatively low costs. Nucleic acid fragments are separated by capillary electrophoresis in a chip with microfabricated channels, with automated detection as well as on-line data evaluation. Microfabricated devices are forecast to be fundamental to the postgenome era, especially in the field of genetics and medicine. However, although there are many reports of the use of these instruments to evaluate standard DNA, DNA ladders, PCR products, and commercially available plasmid digests, little information is available their use with biological material. In this report, we showed the accuracy of sizing and quantification of endonuclease-digested plasmid DNA. We also showed the feasibility of on-microchip endonuclease treatment of plasmid DNA and sequential analysis as an additional application for DNA analysis. Furthermore, to evaluate the possibility of microchip electrophoresis for biological application, the results of the examination of blood sugar in human plasma and mitochondrial membrane potential were shown.

  16. Molecular Diagnostic Applications in Colorectal Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Huth, Laura; Jäkel, Jörg; Dahl, Edgar

    2014-01-01

    Colorectal cancer, a clinically diverse disease, is a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Application of novel molecular diagnostic tests, which are summarized in this article, may lead to an improved survival of colorectal cancer patients. Distinction of these applications is based on the different molecular principles found in colorectal cancer (CRC). Strategies for molecular analysis of single genes (as KRAS or TP53) as well as microarray based techniques are discussed. Moreover, in addition to the fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) and colonoscopy some novel assays offer approaches for early detection of colorectal cancer like the multitarget stool DNA test or the blood-based Septin 9 DNA methylation test. Liquid biopsy analysis may also exhibit great diagnostic potential in CRC for monitoring developing resistance to treatment. These new diagnostic tools and the definition of molecular biomarkers in CRC will improve early detection and targeted therapy of colorectal cancer.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roecklein-Canfield, Jennifer A.; Lopilato, Jane

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Rectified Brownian movement in molecular and cell biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, Ronald F.

    1998-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Molecular biological characterization of equine surfactant protein A.

    PubMed

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-22

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

  3. Black Molecular Adsorber Coatings for Spaceflight Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abraham, Nithin Susan; Hasegawa, Mark Makoto; Straka, Sharon A.

    2014-01-01

    The molecular adsorber coating is a new technology that was developed to mitigate the risk of on-orbit molecular contamination on spaceflight missions. The application of this coating would be ideal near highly sensitive, interior surfaces and instruments that are negatively impacted by outgassed molecules from materials, such as plastics, adhesives, lubricants, epoxies, and other similar compounds. This current, sprayable paint technology is comprised of inorganic white materials made from highly porous zeolite. In addition to good adhesion performance, thermal stability, and adsorptive capability, the molecular adsorber coating offers favorable thermal control characteristics. However, low reflectivity properties, which are typically offered by black thermal control coatings, are desired for some spaceflight applications. For example, black coatings are used on interior surfaces, in particular, on instrument baffles for optical stray light control. Similarly, they are also used within light paths between optical systems, such as telescopes, to absorb light. Recent efforts have been made to transform the white molecular adsorber coating into a black coating with similar adsorptive properties. This result is achieved by optimizing the current formulation with black pigments, while still maintaining its adsorption capability for outgassing control. Different binder to pigment ratios, coating thicknesses, and spray application techniques were explored to develop a black version of the molecular adsorber coating. During the development process, coating performance and adsorption characteristics were studied. The preliminary work performed on black molecular adsorber coatings thus far is very promising. Continued development and testing is necessary for its use on future contamination sensitive spaceflight missions.

  4. Black molecular adsorber coatings for spaceflight applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abraham, Nithin S.; Hasegawa, Mark M.; Straka, Sharon A.

    2014-09-01

    The molecular adsorber coating is a new technology that was developed to mitigate the risk of on-orbit molecular contamination on spaceflight missions. The application of this coating would be ideal near highly sensitive, interior surfaces and instruments that are negatively impacted by outgassed molecules from materials, such as plastics, adhesives, lubricants, epoxies, and other similar compounds. This current, sprayable paint technology is comprised of inorganic white materials made from highly porous zeolite. In addition to good adhesion performance, thermal stability, and adsorptive capability, the molecular adsorber coating offers favorable thermal control characteristics. However, low reflectivity properties, which are typically offered by black thermal control coatings, are desired for some spaceflight applications. For example, black coatings are used on interior surfaces, in particular, on instrument baffles for optical stray light control. Similarly, they are also used within light paths between optical systems, such as telescopes, to absorb light. Recent efforts have been made to transform the white molecular adsorber coating into a black coating with similar adsorptive properties. This result is achieved by optimizing the current formulation with black pigments, while still maintaining its adsorption capability for outgassing control. Different binder to pigment ratios, coating thicknesses, and spray application techniques were explored to develop a black version of the molecular adsorber coating. During the development process, coating performance and adsorption characteristics were studied. The preliminary work performed on black molecular adsorber coatings thus far is very promising. Continued development and testing is necessary for its use on future contamination sensitive spaceflight missions.

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

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Agnes

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Agnes

    2010-09-01

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

  7. Rationally designed molecular beacons for bioanalytical and biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jing; Yang, Ronghua; Shi, Muling; Wu, Cuichen; Fang, Xiaohong; Li, Yinhui; Li, Jishan; Tan, Weihong

    2015-05-21

    Nucleic acids hold promise as biomolecules for future applications in biomedicine and biotechnology. Their well-defined structures and compositions afford unique chemical properties and biological functions. Moreover, the specificity of hydrogen-bonded Watson-Crick interactions allows the construction of nucleic acid sequences with multiple functions. In particular, the development of nucleic acid probes as essential molecular engineering tools will make a significant contribution to advancements in biosensing, bioimaging and therapy. The molecular beacon (MB), first conceptualized by Tyagi and Kramer in 1996, is an excellent example of a double-stranded nucleic acid (dsDNA) probe. Although inactive in the absence of a target, dsDNA probes can report the presence of a specific target through hybridization or a specific recognition-triggered change in conformation. MB probes are typically fluorescently labeled oligonucleotides that range from 25 to 35 nucleotides (nt) in length, and their structure can be divided into three components: stem, loop and reporter. The intrinsic merit of MBs depends on predictable design, reproducibility of synthesis, simplicity of modification, and built-in signal transduction. Using resonance energy transfer (RET) for signal transduction, MBs are further endowed with increased sensitivity, rapid response and universality, making them ideal for chemical sensing, environmental monitoring and biological imaging, in contrast to other nucleic acid probes. Furthermore, integrating MBs with targeting ligands or molecular drugs can substantially support their in vivo applications in theranositics. In this review, we survey advances in bioanalytical and biomedical applications of rationally designed MBs, as they have evolved through the collaborative efforts of many researchers. We first discuss improvements to the three components of MBs: stem, loop and reporter. The current applications of MBs in biosensing, bioimaging and therapy will then

  8. Molecular Biology and Infection of Hepatitis E Virus.

    PubMed

    Nan, Yuchen; Zhang, Yan-Jin

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Molecular Biology and Infection of Hepatitis E Virus.

    PubMed

    Nan, Yuchen; Zhang, Yan-Jin

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rivera, P; von Euler, H

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Molecular Biology and Infection of Hepatitis E Virus

    PubMed Central

    Nan, Yuchen; Zhang, Yan-Jin

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Molecular Biology and Infection of Hepatitis E Virus

    PubMed Central

    Nan, Yuchen; Zhang, Yan-Jin

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Molecular codes in biological and chemical reaction networks.

    PubMed

    Görlich, Dennis; Dittrich, Peter

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Molecular imaging of biological tissue using gas cluster ions

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Hua; Wucher, Andreas; Winograd, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Molecular Codes in Biological and Chemical Reaction Networks

    PubMed Central

    Görlich, Dennis; Dittrich, Peter

    2013-01-01

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

  16. The Role of Molecular Biology in the Biomonitoring of Human Exposure to Chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Balam; Albores, Arnulfo

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to different substances in an occupational environment is of utmost concern to global agencies such as the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization. Interest in improving work health conditions, particularly of those employees exposed to noxious chemicals, has increased considerably and has stimulated the search for new, more specific and selective tests. Recently, the field of molecular biology has been indicated as an alternative technique for monitoring personnel while evaluating work-related pathologies. Originally, occupational exposure to environmental toxicants was assessed using biochemical techniques to determine the presence of higher concentrations of toxic compounds in blood, urine, or other fluids or tissues; results were used to evaluate potential health risk. However, this approach only estimates the presence of a noxious chemical and its effects, but does not prevent or diminish the risk. Molecular biology methods have become very useful in occupational medicine to provide more accurate and opportune diagnostics. In this review, we discuss the role of the following common techniques: (1) Use of cell cultures; (2) evaluation of gene expression; (3) the “omic” sciences (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) and (4) bioinformatics. We suggest that molecular biology has many applications in occupational health where the data can be applied to general environmental conditions. PMID:21151453

  17. The role of molecular biology in the biomonitoring of human exposure to chemicals.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Balam; Albores, Arnulfo

    2010-11-12

    Exposure to different substances in an occupational environment is of utmost concern to global agencies such as the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization. Interest in improving work health conditions, particularly of those employees exposed to noxious chemicals, has increased considerably and has stimulated the search for new, more specific and selective tests. Recently, the field of molecular biology has been indicated as an alternative technique for monitoring personnel while evaluating work-related pathologies. Originally, occupational exposure to environmental toxicants was assessed using biochemical techniques to determine the presence of higher concentrations of toxic compounds in blood, urine, or other fluids or tissues; results were used to evaluate potential health risk. However, this approach only estimates the presence of a noxious chemical and its effects, but does not prevent or diminish the risk. Molecular biology methods have become very useful in occupational medicine to provide more accurate and opportune diagnostics. In this review, we discuss the role of the following common techniques: (1) Use of cell cultures; (2) evaluation of gene expression; (3) the "omic" sciences (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) and (4) bioinformatics. We suggest that molecular biology has many applications in occupational health where the data can be applied to general environmental conditions.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hocquette, Jean François; Brandstetter, Anna M.

    2002-06-01

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

  20. Hybrid molecular probe for nucleic acid analysis in biological samples.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chaoyong James; Martinez, Karen; Lin, Hui; Tan, Weihong

    2006-08-01

    The ability to detect changes in gene expression, especially in real-time and with sensitivity sufficient enough to monitor small variations in a single-cell, will have considerable value in biomedical research and applications. Out of the many available molecular probes for intracellular monitoring of nucleic acids, molecular beacon (MB) is the most frequently used probe with the advantages of high sensitivity and selectivity. However, any processes in which the MB stem-loop structure is broken will result in a restoration of the fluorescence in MB. This brings in a few possibilities for false positive signal such as nuclease degradation, protein binding, thermodynamic fluctuation, solution composition variations (such as pH, salt concentration) and sticky-end pairing. These unwanted processes do exist inside living cells, making nucleic acid monitoring inside living cells difficult. We have designed and synthesized a hybrid molecular probe (HMP) for intracellular nucleic acid monitoring to overcome these problems. HMP has two DNA probes, one labeled with a donor and the other an acceptor. The two DNA probes are linked by a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) linker, with each DNA being complementary to adjacent areas of a target sequence. Target binding event brings the donor and acceptor in proximity, resulting in quenching of the donor fluorescence and enhancement of the acceptor emission. The newly designed HMP has high sensitivity, selectivity, and fast hybridization kinetics. The probe is easy to design and synthesize. HMP does not generate any false positive signal upon digestion by nuclease, binding by proteins, forming complexes by sticky-end pairing, or by other molecular interaction processes. HMP is capable of selectively detecting nucleic acid targets from cellular samples.

  1. HIGHLY SELECTIVE SENSORS FOR CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS, INSECTICIDES AND VOCS BASED ON A MOLECULAR SURFACE IMPRINTING TECHNIQUE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract was given as an oral platform presentation at the Pittsburgh Conference, Orlando FL (March 5-9, 2006). Research described is the development of sensors based on molecular surface imprinting. Applications include the monitoring of chemical and biological agents and inse...

  2. Single-molecule experiments in biological physics: methods and applications.

    PubMed

    Ritort, F

    2006-08-16

    I review single-molecule experiments (SMEs) in biological physics. Recent technological developments have provided the tools to design and build scientific instruments of high enough sensitivity and precision to manipulate and visualize individual molecules and measure microscopic forces. Using SMEs it is possible to manipulate molecules one at a time and measure distributions describing molecular properties, characterize the kinetics of biomolecular reactions and detect molecular intermediates. SMEs provide additional information about thermodynamics and kinetics of biomolecular processes. This complements information obtained in traditional bulk assays. In SMEs it is also possible to measure small energies and detect large Brownian deviations in biomolecular reactions, thereby offering new methods and systems to scrutinize the basic foundations of statistical mechanics. This review is written at a very introductory level, emphasizing the importance of SMEs to scientists interested in knowing the common playground of ideas and the interdisciplinary topics accessible by these techniques. The review discusses SMEs from an experimental perspective, first exposing the most common experimental methodologies and later presenting various molecular systems where such techniques have been applied. I briefly discuss experimental techniques such as atomic-force microscopy (AFM), laser optical tweezers (LOTs), magnetic tweezers (MTs), biomembrane force probes (BFPs) and single-molecule fluorescence (SMF). I then present several applications of SME to the study of nucleic acids (DNA, RNA and DNA condensation) and proteins (protein-protein interactions, protein folding and molecular motors). Finally, I discuss applications of SMEs to the study of the nonequilibrium thermodynamics of small systems and the experimental verification of fluctuation theorems. I conclude with a discussion of open questions and future perspectives.

  3. Graphene for Environmental and Biological Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sreeprasad, T. S.; Pradeep, T.

    2012-08-01

    The latest addition to the nanocarbon family, graphene, has been proclaimed to be the material of the century. Its peculiar band structure, extraordinary thermal and electronic conductance and room temperature quantum Hall effect have all been used for various applications in diverse fields ranging from catalysis to electronics. The difficulty to synthesize graphene in bulk quantities was a limiting factor of it being utilized in several fields. Advent of chemical processes and self-assembly approaches for the synthesis of graphene analogues have opened-up new avenues for graphene based materials. The high surface area and rich abundance of functional groups present make chemically synthesized graphene (generally known as graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) or chemically converted graphene) an attracting candidate in biotechnology and environmental remediation. By functionalizing graphene with specific molecules, the properties of graphene can be tuned to suite applications such as sensing, drug delivery or cellular imaging. Graphene with its high surface area can act as a good adsorbent for pollutant removal. Graphene either alone or in combination with other materials can be used for the degradation or removal of a large variety of contaminants through several methods. In this review some of the relevant efforts undertaken to utilize graphene in biology, sensing and water purification are described. Most recent efforts have been given precedence over older works, although certain specific important examples of the past are also mentioned.

  4. [Stem cells - biology and therapeutic application].

    PubMed

    Sikora, Magdalena A; Olszewski, Waldemar L

    2004-04-01

    Enormous hope is connected with stem cells with regard to cell therapy, and this has become one of the most dynamically developing areas of science at the moment. A stem cell has unlimited potential for self-renewal. It appears that it can be a source of in vitro differentiated progeny cells capable of repairing damaged tissue. These review provides information about the biological properties of embryonic stem cells, i.e. ESs (embryonic stem cells), EGs (embryonic germ cells), and ECs (embryonic carcinoma cells). Possible human embryonic stem cell applications are described, with consideration of the desired cell line and the signals involved in their differentiation. The information about adult stem cells present - hemopoietic stem cells and the cells residing in selected tissues and organs: endothelium, pancreas, liver, epithelium, and gastrointestinal tract. Methods of their identification using the cell surfaces are also presented: the possibilities of in vitro transdifferentation, the phenomenon of in vivo plasticity, as well as morphological and genetic properties. Some topics of cell therapy and its clinical application in diabetics amplification are included. PMID:15114255

  5. Emerging applications of small angle solution scattering in structural biology

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhuri, Barnali N

    2015-01-01

    Small angle solution X-ray and neutron scattering recently resurfaced as powerful tools to address an array of biological problems including folding, intrinsic disorder, conformational transitions, macromolecular crowding, and self or hetero-assembling of biomacromolecules. In addition, small angle solution scattering complements crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and other structural methods to aid in the structure determinations of multidomain or multicomponent proteins or nucleoprotein assemblies. Neutron scattering with hydrogen/deuterium contrast variation, or X-ray scattering with sucrose contrast variation to a certain extent, is a convenient tool for characterizing the organizations of two-component systems such as a nucleoprotein or a lipid-protein assembly. Time-resolved small and wide-angle solution scattering to study biological processes in real time, and the use of localized heavy-atom labeling and anomalous solution scattering for applications as FRET-like molecular rulers, are amongst promising newer developments. Despite the challenges in data analysis and interpretation, these X-ray/neutron solution scattering based approaches hold great promise for understanding a wide variety of complex processes prevalent in the biological milieu. PMID:25516491

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheunkar, Sarawut

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Eisenberg, David S.

    2008-07-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Stephen Miller

    2010-06-10

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

  9. Towards Microsecond Biological Molecular Dynamics Simulations on Hybrid Processors

    SciTech Connect

    Hampton, Scott S; Agarwal, Pratul K

    2010-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, J.D.; Siniscalco, M.

    1986-01-01

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

  11. Quantum chemical methods for the investigation of photoinitiated processes in biological systems: theory and applications.

    PubMed

    Dreuw, Andreas

    2006-11-13

    With the advent of modern computers and advances in the development of efficient quantum chemical computer codes, the meaningful computation of large molecular systems at a quantum mechanical level became feasible. Recent experimental effort to understand photoinitiated processes in biological systems, for instance photosynthesis or vision, at a molecular level also triggered theoretical investigations in this field. In this Minireview, standard quantum chemical methods are presented that are applicable and recently used for the calculation of excited states of photoinitiated processes in biological molecular systems. These methods comprise configuration interaction singles, the complete active space self-consistent field method, and time-dependent density functional theory and its variants. Semiempirical approaches are also covered. Their basic theoretical concepts and mathematical equations are briefly outlined, and their properties and limitations are discussed. Recent successful applications of the methods to photoinitiated processes in biological systems are described and theoretical tools for the analysis of excited states are presented.

  12. Molecular dynamics simulations of biological membranes and membrane proteins using enhanced conformational sampling algorithms.

    PubMed

    Mori, Takaharu; Miyashita, Naoyuki; Im, Wonpil; Feig, Michael; Sugita, Yuji

    2016-07-01

    This paper reviews various enhanced conformational sampling methods and explicit/implicit solvent/membrane models, as well as their recent applications to the exploration of the structure and dynamics of membranes and membrane proteins. Molecular dynamics simulations have become an essential tool to investigate biological problems, and their success relies on proper molecular models together with efficient conformational sampling methods. The implicit representation of solvent/membrane environments is reasonable approximation to the explicit all-atom models, considering the balance between computational cost and simulation accuracy. Implicit models can be easily combined with replica-exchange molecular dynamics methods to explore a wider conformational space of a protein. Other molecular models and enhanced conformational sampling methods are also briefly discussed. As application examples, we introduce recent simulation studies of glycophorin A, phospholamban, amyloid precursor protein, and mixed lipid bilayers and discuss the accuracy and efficiency of each simulation model and method. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Proteins edited by J.C. Gumbart and Sergei Noskov.

  13. mRNA capping: biological functions and applications.

    PubMed

    Ramanathan, Anand; Robb, G Brett; Chan, Siu-Hong

    2016-09-19

    The 5' m7G cap is an evolutionarily conserved modification of eukaryotic mRNA. Decades of research have established that the m7G cap serves as a unique molecular module that recruits cellular proteins and mediates cap-related biological functions such as pre-mRNA processing, nuclear export and cap-dependent protein synthesis. Only recently has the role of the cap 2'O methylation as an identifier of self RNA in the innate immune system against foreign RNA has become clear. The discovery of the cytoplasmic capping machinery suggests a novel level of control network. These new findings underscore the importance of a proper cap structure in the synthesis of functional messenger RNA. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of the biological roles of mRNA caps in eukaryotic cells. We will also discuss different means that viruses and their host cells use to cap their RNA and the application of these capping machineries to synthesize functional mRNA. Novel applications of RNA capping enzymes in the discovery of new RNA species and sequencing the microbiome transcriptome will also be discussed. We will end with a summary of novel findings in RNA capping and the questions these findings pose. PMID:27317694

  14. mRNA capping: biological functions and applications.

    PubMed

    Ramanathan, Anand; Robb, G Brett; Chan, Siu-Hong

    2016-09-19

    The 5' m7G cap is an evolutionarily conserved modification of eukaryotic mRNA. Decades of research have established that the m7G cap serves as a unique molecular module that recruits cellular proteins and mediates cap-related biological functions such as pre-mRNA processing, nuclear export and cap-dependent protein synthesis. Only recently has the role of the cap 2'O methylation as an identifier of self RNA in the innate immune system against foreign RNA has become clear. The discovery of the cytoplasmic capping machinery suggests a novel level of control network. These new findings underscore the importance of a proper cap structure in the synthesis of functional messenger RNA. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of the biological roles of mRNA caps in eukaryotic cells. We will also discuss different means that viruses and their host cells use to cap their RNA and the application of these capping machineries to synthesize functional mRNA. Novel applications of RNA capping enzymes in the discovery of new RNA species and sequencing the microbiome transcriptome will also be discussed. We will end with a summary of novel findings in RNA capping and the questions these findings pose.

  15. mRNA capping: biological functions and applications

    PubMed Central

    Ramanathan, Anand; Robb, G. Brett; Chan, Siu-Hong

    2016-01-01

    The 5′ m7G cap is an evolutionarily conserved modification of eukaryotic mRNA. Decades of research have established that the m7G cap serves as a unique molecular module that recruits cellular proteins and mediates cap-related biological functions such as pre-mRNA processing, nuclear export and cap-dependent protein synthesis. Only recently has the role of the cap 2′O methylation as an identifier of self RNA in the innate immune system against foreign RNA has become clear. The discovery of the cytoplasmic capping machinery suggests a novel level of control network. These new findings underscore the importance of a proper cap structure in the synthesis of functional messenger RNA. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of the biological roles of mRNA caps in eukaryotic cells. We will also discuss different means that viruses and their host cells use to cap their RNA and the application of these capping machineries to synthesize functional mRNA. Novel applications of RNA capping enzymes in the discovery of new RNA species and sequencing the microbiome transcriptome will also be discussed. We will end with a summary of novel findings in RNA capping and the questions these findings pose. PMID:27317694

  16. Molecular biology of maize Ac/Ds elements: an overview.

    PubMed

    Lazarow, Katina; Doll, My-Linh; Kunze, Reinhard

    2013-01-01

    Maize Activator (Ac) is one of the prototype transposable elements of the hAT transposon superfamily, members of which were identified in plants, fungi, and animals. The autonomous Ac and nonautonomous Dissociation (Ds) elements are mobilized by the single transposase protein encoded by Ac. To date Ac/Ds transposons were shown to be functional in approximately 20 plant species and have become the most widely used transposable elements for gene tagging and functional genomics approaches in plants. In this chapter we review the biology, regulation, and transposition mechanism of Ac/Ds elements in maize and heterologous plants. We discuss the parameters that are known to influence the functionality and transposition efficiency of Ac/Ds transposons and need to be considered when designing Ac transposase expression constructs and Ds elements for application in heterologous plant species.

  17. The emergence of molecular profiling and omics techniques in seagrass biology; furthering our understanding of seagrasses.

    PubMed

    Davey, Peter A; Pernice, Mathieu; Sablok, Gaurav; Larkum, Anthony; Lee, Huey Tyng; Golicz, Agnieszka; Edwards, David; Dolferus, Rudy; Ralph, Peter

    2016-09-01

    Seagrass meadows are disappearing at alarming rates as a result of increasing coastal development and climate change. The emergence of omics and molecular profiling techniques in seagrass research is timely, providing a new opportunity to address such global issues. Whilst these applications have transformed terrestrial plant research, they have only emerged in seagrass research within the past decade; In this time frame we have observed a significant increase in the number of publications in this nascent field, and as of this year the first genome of a seagrass species has been sequenced. In this review, we focus on the development of omics and molecular profiling and the utilization of molecular markers in the field of seagrass biology. We highlight the advances, merits and pitfalls associated with such technology, and importantly we identify and address the knowledge gaps, which to this day prevent us from understanding seagrasses in a holistic manner. By utilizing the powers of omics and molecular profiling technologies in integrated strategies, we will gain a better understanding of how these unique plants function at the molecular level and how they respond to on-going disturbance and climate change events. PMID:27443314

  18. The emergence of molecular profiling and omics techniques in seagrass biology; furthering our understanding of seagrasses.

    PubMed

    Davey, Peter A; Pernice, Mathieu; Sablok, Gaurav; Larkum, Anthony; Lee, Huey Tyng; Golicz, Agnieszka; Edwards, David; Dolferus, Rudy; Ralph, Peter

    2016-09-01

    Seagrass meadows are disappearing at alarming rates as a result of increasing coastal development and climate change. The emergence of omics and molecular profiling techniques in seagrass research is timely, providing a new opportunity to address such global issues. Whilst these applications have transformed terrestrial plant research, they have only emerged in seagrass research within the past decade; In this time frame we have observed a significant increase in the number of publications in this nascent field, and as of this year the first genome of a seagrass species has been sequenced. In this review, we focus on the development of omics and molecular profiling and the utilization of molecular markers in the field of seagrass biology. We highlight the advances, merits and pitfalls associated with such technology, and importantly we identify and address the knowledge gaps, which to this day prevent us from understanding seagrasses in a holistic manner. By utilizing the powers of omics and molecular profiling technologies in integrated strategies, we will gain a better understanding of how these unique plants function at the molecular level and how they respond to on-going disturbance and climate change events.

  19. Translating clinical research of Molecular Biology into a personalized, multidisciplinary approach of colorectal cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Strambu, V; Garofil, D; Pop, F; Radu, P; Bratucu, M; Popa, F

    2014-03-15

    Although multimodal treatment has brought important benefit, there is still great heterogeneity regarding the indication and response to chemotherapy in Stage II and III, and individual variations related to both overall survival and toxicity of new therapies in metastatic disease or tumor relapse. Recent research in molecular biology led to the development of a large scale of genetic biomarkers, but their clinical use is not concordant with the high expectations. The Aim of this review is to identify and discuss the molecular markers with proven clinical applicability as prognostic and/or predictive factors in CRC and also to establish a feasible algorithm of molecular testing, as routine practice, in the personalized, multidisciplinary approach of colorectal cancer patients in our country. Despite the revolution that occurred in the field of molecular marker research, only Serum CEA, Immunohistochemical analysis of mismatch repair proteins and PCR testing for KRAS and BRAF mutations have confirmed their clinical utility in the management of colorectal cancer. Their implementation in the current practice should partially resolve some of the controversies related to this heterogenic pathology, in matters of prognosis in different TNM stages, stage II patient risk stratification, diagnosis of hereditary CRC and likelihood of benefit from anti EGFR therapy in metastatic disease. The proposed algorithms of molecular testing are very useful but still imperfect and require further validation and constant optimization.

  20. Oral flora in the age of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Perea, Evelio J

    2004-01-01

    The present work describes the fundamental aspects of the molecular methods that are applied to oral microbiology: probes, PCR, multiple real time PCR, 16S rDNA, and proteomics. Likewise, it presents the results obtained by applying these methods to the study of the bacterial flora encountered inside the mouth. By identifying 16S rDNA, up to 132 known species and 215 new, unknown phylotypes have been detected inside patients s periodontal pockets. We are currently using a commercial system based on multiple PCR (genomic amplification), followed by reverse hybridization to detect the five species known to cause periodontal disease. We also summarize the findings derived from the application of proteomic techniques to the study of odontologic infections pathogenesis and from the use of molecular methods in the study of resistance to antimicrobial agents. Finally, it puts forth the problems that remain unsolved with respect to oral flora and the treatment of odontogenic infections. Traditional culture methods continue to be indispensable, as they make it possible to later work with the cultured microorganisms.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Walter, Cheryl T; Barr, John N

    2011-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

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

  4. The roles of integration in molecular systems biology.

    PubMed

    O'Malley, Maureen A; Soyer, Orkun S

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Biologically relevant molecular transducer with increased computing power and iterative abilities.

    PubMed

    Ratner, Tamar; Piran, Ron; Jonoska, Natasha; Keinan, Ehud

    2013-05-23

    As computing devices, which process data and interconvert information, transducers can encode new information and use their output for subsequent computing, offering high computational power that may be equivalent to a universal Turing machine. We report on an experimental DNA-based molecular transducer that computes iteratively and produces biologically relevant outputs. As a proof of concept, the transducer accomplished division of numbers by 3. The iterative power was demonstrated by a recursive application on an obtained output. This device reads plasmids as input and processes the information according to a predetermined algorithm, which is represented by molecular software. The device writes new information on the plasmid using hardware that comprises DNA-manipulating enzymes. The computation produces dual output: a quotient, represented by newly encoded DNA, and a remainder, represented by E. coli phenotypes. This device algorithmically manipulates genetic codes. PMID:23706637

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connor, Kim C.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Monovalent plasmonic nanoparticles for biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, Daeha; Lee, Hyunjung; Lee, Jung-uk; Haas, Thomas J.; Jun, Young-wook

    2016-03-01

    The multivalent nature of commercial nanoparticle imaging agents and the difficulties associated with producing monovalent nanoparticles challenge their use in biology, where clustering of target biomolecules can perturb dynamics of biomolecular targets. Here, we report production and purification of monovalent gold and silver nanoparticles for their single molecule imaging application. We first synthesized DNA-conjugated 20 nm and 40 nm gold and silver nanoparticles via conventional metal-thiol chemistry, yielding nanoparticles with mixed valency. By employing an anion-exchange high performance liquid chromatography (AE-HPLC) method, we purified monovalent nanoparticles from the mixtures. To allow efficient peak-separation resolution while keeping the excellent colloidal stability of nanoparticles against harsh purification condition (e.g. high NaCl), we optimized surface properties of nanoparticles by modulating surface functional groups. We characterized the monovalent character of the purified nanoparticles by hybridizing two complementary conjugates, forming dimers. Finally, we demonstrate the use of the monovalent plasmonic nanoprobes as single molecule imaging probes by tracking single TrkA receptors diffusing on the cell membrane and compare to monovalent quantum dot probes.

  11. Biological Applications of Extraordinary Electroconductance (EEC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tran, L. C.; Werner, F. M.; Solin, S. A.

    2014-03-01

    Rapid detection of biomolecular concentration is a fundamental goal for lab on a chip diagnostic systems. The Extraordinary Electroconductance (EEC) sensor, a stacked, AuTi-GaAs metal semiconductor hybrid structure (MSH), has been previously demonstrated to have an electric field sensitivity of 3.05V/cm in a mesoscopic-scale structure fabricated at the center of a parallel plate capacitor. In this work, we demonstrate the first successful application of EEC sensors as electrochemical detectors of molecular binding to the sensor surface. The negatively charged avidin derivative, captavidin, was applied with varying captavidin concentrations in phosphate buffered saline (PBS). The four-point measured resistance of bare EEC sensors was shown to increase by a factor of four due to captavidin binding at the sensor surface, as compared to a baseline binding assay in which the captavidin binding sites were blocked. Calculations for approximate electric field strengths introduced by a bound captavidin molecule will also presented. EEC sensors' four point measurements showed robustness and stability in spite of variations in the functional, linking layer. S.A.S. is a co-founder of and has a financial interest in PixelEXX, a start-up company whose mission is to market imaging arrays.

  12. Molecular Modeling of Lipid Aggregates: Theory and Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenner, Joel Stewart

    The ability of cell membranes to perform a wide variety of biological functions stems from the organization and composition of its molecular constituents. There are many engineering applications, such as liposome drug delivery carriers, whose functionality takes advantage of the structure to function relationship of lipid membranes. The fundamental understanding of the relationship between the thermodynamic behavior and structure of lipid membranes and the molecular properties of their lipid constituents is crucial to the successful design of lipid related applications. However, information about how the local microscopic composition of lipid membranes responds to the presence of proteins and nanomaterials is challenging given the intrinsic experimental and theoretical difficulties of studying such small-scale systems. The present work generalizes a self consistent mean field theory for the study of the thermodynamic and structural behavior of lipid bilayers as a function of its molecular composition and physicochemical environments. This novel molecular theory provides with the ability of performing systematic thermodynamic calculations at relatively low computational costs while considering a detailed molecular description of the system under study. The competition of all relevant molecular interactions, such as electrostatics, vdW and chemical equilibria, in the membrane system is described. The developed molecular theory is applied to study how the protonation state of pH-sensitive amphiphiles in a membrane system affects the membrane's morphology. The molecular theory results demonstrate that the protonation state of ionizable groups within amphiphilic membranes shows a highly complex non-monotonic dependence on bulk salt concentration and pH strength. This result suggests that information about the pKa of the molecules is not sufficient to predict the protonation state of the ionizable groups in the membrane system. The molecular theory is also applied to

  13. Strontium: Part II. Chemistry, Biological Aspects and Applications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Britton, G. C.; Johnson, C. H.

    1987-01-01

    Reviews basic information on the Chemistry of strontium and its compounds. Explains biological aspects of strontium and its pharmaceutical applications. Highlights industrial application of strontium and its components. (ML)

  14. Review of biological network data and its applications.

    PubMed

    Yu, Donghyeon; Kim, Minsoo; Xiao, Guanghua; Hwang, Tae Hyun

    2013-12-01

    Studying biological networks, such as protein-protein interactions, is key to understanding complex biological activities. Various types of large-scale biological datasets have been collected and analyzed with high-throughput technologies, including DNA microarray, next-generation sequencing, and the two-hybrid screening system, for this purpose. In this review, we focus on network-based approaches that help in understanding biological systems and identifying biological functions. Accordingly, this paper covers two major topics in network biology: reconstruction of gene regulatory networks and network-based applications, including protein function prediction, disease gene prioritization, and network-based genome-wide association study.

  15. Light microscopy applications in systems biology: opportunities and challenges

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Biological systems present multiple scales of complexity, ranging from molecules to entire populations. Light microscopy is one of the least invasive techniques used to access information from various biological scales in living cells. The combination of molecular biology and imaging provides a bottom-up tool for direct insight into how molecular processes work on a cellular scale. However, imaging can also be used as a top-down approach to study the behavior of a system without detailed prior knowledge about its underlying molecular mechanisms. In this review, we highlight the recent developments on microscopy-based systems analyses and discuss the complementary opportunities and different challenges with high-content screening and high-throughput imaging. Furthermore, we provide a comprehensive overview of the available platforms that can be used for image analysis, which enable community-driven efforts in the development of image-based systems biology. PMID:23578051

  16. Escherichia coli and the Emergence of Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Agnes

    2011-12-01

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

  17. Escherichia coli and the Emergence of Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Agnes

    2011-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-10-08

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

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

  20. Nuclear molecular imaging with nanoparticles: radiochemistry, applications and translation

    PubMed Central

    Abou, D S; Pickett, J E

    2015-01-01

    Molecular imaging provides considerable insight into biological processes for greater understanding of health and disease. Numerous advances in medical physics, chemistry and biology have driven the growth of this field in the past two decades. With exquisite sensitivity, depth of detection and potential for theranostics, radioactive imaging approaches have played a major role in the emergence of molecular imaging. At the same time, developments in materials science, characterization and synthesis have led to explosive progress in the nanoparticle (NP) sciences. NPs are generally defined as particles with a diameter in the nanometre size range. Unique physical, chemical and biological properties arise at this scale, stimulating interest for applications as diverse as energy production and storage, chemical catalysis and electronics. In biomedicine, NPs have generated perhaps the greatest attention. These materials directly interface with life at the subcellular scale of nucleic acids, membranes and proteins. In this review, we will detail the advances made in combining radioactive imaging and NPs. First, we provide an overview of the NP platforms and their properties. This is followed by a look at methods for radiolabelling NPs with gamma-emitting radionuclides for use in single photon emission CT and planar scintigraphy. Next, utilization of positron-emitting radionuclides for positron emission tomography is considered. Finally, recent advances for multimodal nuclear imaging with NPs and efforts for clinical translation and ongoing trials are discussed. PMID:26133075

  1. Biological Applications in the Mathematics Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marland, Eric; Palmer, Katrina M.; Salinas, Rene A.

    2008-01-01

    In this article we provide two detailed examples of how we incorporate biological examples into two mathematics courses: Linear Algebra and Ordinary Differential Equations. We use Leslie matrix models to demonstrate the biological properties of eigenvalues and eigenvectors. For Ordinary Differential Equations, we show how using a logistic growth…

  2. Development of Functional Fluorescent Molecular Probes for the Detection of Biological Substances

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Yoshio; Yokoyama, Kenji

    2015-01-01

    This review is confined to sensors that use fluorescence to transmit biochemical information. Fluorescence is, by far, the most frequently exploited phenomenon for chemical sensors and biosensors. Parameters that define the application of such sensors include intensity, decay time, anisotropy, quenching efficiency, and luminescence energy transfer. To achieve selective (bio)molecular recognition based on these fluorescence phenomena, various fluorescent elements such as small organic molecules, enzymes, antibodies, and oligonucleotides have been designed and synthesized over the past decades. This review describes the immense variety of fluorescent probes that have been designed for the recognitions of ions, small and large molecules, and their biological applications in terms of intracellular fluorescent imaging techniques. PMID:26095660

  3. DNA confinement in nanochannels: physics and biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reisner, Walter; Pedersen, Jonas N.; Austin, Robert H.

    2012-10-01

    DNA is the central storage molecule of genetic information in the cell, and reading that information is a central problem in biology. While sequencing technology has made enormous advances over the past decade, there is growing interest in platforms that can readout genetic information directly from long single DNA molecules, with the ultimate goal of single-cell, single-genome analysis. Such a capability would obviate the need for ensemble averaging over heterogeneous cellular populations and eliminate uncertainties introduced by cloning and molecular amplification steps (thus enabling direct assessment of the genome in its native state). In this review, we will discuss how the information contained in genomic-length single DNA molecules can be accessed via physical confinement in nanochannels. Due to self-avoidance interactions, DNA molecules will stretch out when confined in nanochannels, creating a linear unscrolling of the genome along the channel for analysis. We will first review the fundamental physics of DNA nanochannel confinement—including the effect of varying ionic strength—and then discuss recent applications of these systems to genomic mapping. Apart from the intense biological interest in extracting linear sequence information from elongated DNA molecules, from a physics view these systems are fascinating as they enable probing of single-molecule conformation in environments with dimensions that intersect key physical length-scales in the 1 nm to 100 µm range.

  4. Molecular motor traffic: From biological nanomachines to macroscopic transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipowsky, Reinhard; Chai, Yan; Klumpp, Stefan; Liepelt, Steffen; Müller, Melanie J. I.

    2006-12-01

    All cells of animals and plants contain complex transport systems based on molecular motors which walk along cytoskeletal filaments. These motors are rather small and have a size of 20-100 nm but are able to pull vesicles, organelles and other types of cargo over large distances, from micrometers up to meters. There are several families of motors: kinesins, dyneins, and myosins. Most of these motors have two heads which are used as legs and perform discrete steps along the filaments. Several aspects of the motor behavior will be discussed: motor cycles of two-headed motors; walks of single motors or cargo particles which consist of directed movements interrupted by random, diffusive motion; cargo transport through tube-like compartments; active diffusion of cargo particles in slab-like compartments; cooperative transport of cargo by several motors which may be uni- or bi-directional; and systems with many interacting motors that exhibit traffic jams, self-organized density and flux patterns, and traffic phase transitions far from equilibrium. It is necessary to understand these traffic phenomena in a quantitative manner in order to construct and optimize biomimetic transport systems based on motors and filaments with many possible applications in bioengineering, pharmacology, and medicine.

  5. Molecular bioelectricity in developmental biology: New tools and recent discoveries

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Significant progress in the molecular investigation of endogenous bioelectric signals during pattern formation in growing tissues have been enabled by recently-developed techniques. Ion flows and transmembrane gradients produced by ion channels and pumps are key regulators of cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Now, instructive roles for bioelectrical gradients in embryogenesis, regeneration, and neoplasm are being revealed through the use of fluorescent voltage reporters and functional experiments using well-characterized channel mutants. Transmembrane voltage gradients (Vmem) determine anatomical polarity and function as master regulators during appendage regeneration and embryonic left-right patterning. A state-of-the-art recent study reveals that they can also serve as prepatterns for gene expression domains during craniofacial patterning. Continued development of novel tools and better ways to think about physical controls of cell:cell interactions will lead to mastery of the morphogenetic information stored in physiological networks. This will enable fundamental advances in basic understanding of growth and form, as well as transformative biomedical applications in regenerative medicine. PMID:22237730

  6. Applicability of computational systems biology in toxicology.

    PubMed

    Kongsbak, Kristine; Hadrup, Niels; Audouze, Karine; Vinggaard, Anne Marie

    2014-07-01

    Systems biology as a research field has emerged within the last few decades. Systems biology, often defined as the antithesis of the reductionist approach, integrates information about individual components of a biological system. In integrative systems biology, large data sets from various sources and databases are used to model and predict effects of chemicals on, for instance, human health. In toxicology, computational systems biology enables identification of important pathways and molecules from large data sets; tasks that can be extremely laborious when performed by a classical literature search. However, computational systems biology offers more advantages than providing a high-throughput literature search; it may form the basis for establishment of hypotheses on potential links between environmental chemicals and human diseases, which would be very difficult to establish experimentally. This is possible due to the existence of comprehensive databases containing information on networks of human protein-protein interactions and protein-disease associations. Experimentally determined targets of the specific chemical of interest can be fed into these networks to obtain additional information that can be used to establish hypotheses on links between the chemical and human diseases. Such information can also be applied for designing more intelligent animal/cell experiments that can test the established hypotheses. Here, we describe how and why to apply an integrative systems biology method in the hypothesis-generating phase of toxicological research.

  7. MOLECULAR IMAGING OF PROSTATE CANCER: translating molecular biology approaches into the clinical realm

    PubMed Central

    Vargas, Hebert Alberto; Grimm, Jan; Donati, Olivio F.; Sala, Evis; Hricak, Hedvig

    2016-01-01

    The epidemiology of prostate cancer has dramatically changed since the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in the 1980’s. Most prostate cancers today are detected at early stages of the disease and are considered “indolent”, however some patients’ prostate cancers demonstrate a more aggressive behavior which leads to rapid progression and death. Increasing understanding of the biology underlying the heterogeneity that characterizes this disease has lead to a continuously evolving role of imaging in the management of prostate cancer. Functional and metabolic imaging techniques are gaining importance as the impact on the therapeutic paradigm has shifted from structural tumor detection alone to distinguishing patients with indolent tumors that can be managed conservatively (e.g., by active surveillance) from patients with more aggressive tumors that may require definitive treatment with surgery or radiation. In this review, we discuss advanced imaging techniques that allow direct visualization of molecular interactions relevant to prostate cancer and their potential for translation to the clinical setting in the near future. The potential use of imaging to follow molecular events during drug therapy as well as the use of imaging agents for therapeutic purposes will also be discussed. PMID:25693661

  8. [Fifty years ago, the double helix gave birth to molecular biology].

    PubMed

    Lunardi, J

    2003-01-01

    Fifty years ago, a paper signed by two young scientists, James Watson and Francis Crick, and reporting a model for DNA based on a double helix structure was published in the scientific review Nature in date of april 25, 1953. Although this model of striking simplicity and rare elegance was actually worked out in a few months by the two men, it was the result of quite 100 years of research aimed at the definition of the structure of the genetic material present in living organisms. The double helix was the outcome of a multidisciplinary approach initiated in the mid 19th century by the genetic laws of Gregor Mendel and the discovery of the chemical nature of the desoxyribonucleic acid by Johann Friedrich Miesher. The discovery of the DNA structure had been at the origin of major scientific progress regarding mechanisms that rule the replication and the expression of the genetic information. Theses researches have given birth to a new scientific field, molecular biology, which everyone will see very soon is actually part in a quasi symbiotic manner of all other biological fields dealing with life. The spectacular development of molecular biology during the last fifty years was in great part possible thanks to a concomitant enormous development of the different methods of investigation of the biological molecules and structure. The present rising of biotechnology applications is the direct consequence of the tremendous amount of fundamental knowledge gained during the last few decennia. They open very important and attractive perspectives both on medical or on socio-economic point of views. There is no doubt that the next fifty years will be as fruitful as the last ones.

  9. 2012 PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JULY 15-20, 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Sussman, Michael

    2013-07-20

    The 2012 Gordon Conference on Plant Molecular Biology will present cutting-edge research on molecular aspects of plant growth and development, with particular emphasis on recent discoveries in molecular mechanisms involved with plant signaling systems. The Conference will feature a wide range of topics in plant molecular biology including hormone receptors and early events in hormone signaling, plant perception of and response to plant pathogen and symbionts, as well as technological and biological aspects of epigenomics particularly as it relates to signaling systems that regulate plant growth and development. Genomic approaches to plant signaling will be emphasized, including genomic profiling technologies for quantifying various biological subsystems, such as the epigenome, transcriptome, phosphorylome, and metabolome. The meeting will include an important session devoted to answering the question, "What are the biological and technological limits of plant breeding/genetics, and how can they be solved"?

  10. An outlook review: mechanochromic materials and their potential for biological and healthcare applications.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ying

    2014-12-01

    Macroscopic mechanical perturbations have been observed to result in optical changes for certain compounds and composite materials. This phenomenon could originate from chemical and physical changes across various length scales, from the rearrangement of chemical bonds to alteration of molecular domains on the order of several hundred nanometers. This review classifies the mechanisms and surveys of how each class of mechanochromic materials has been, and can potentially be applied in biological and healthcare innovations. The study of cellular and molecular responses to mechanical forces in biological systems is an emerging field; there is potential in applying mechanochromic principles and material systems for probing biological systems. On the other hand, application of mechanochromic materials for medical and healthcare consumer products has been described in a wide variety of concepts and inventions. It is hopeful that further understanding of mechanochromism and material innovations would initiate concrete, impactful studies in biological systems soon.

  11. Rationally designed molecular beacons for bioanalytical and biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jing; Yang, Ronghua; Shi, Muling; Wu, Cuichen; Fang, Xiaohong; Li, Yinhui; Li, Jishan; Tan, Weihong

    2015-05-21

    Nucleic acids hold promise as biomolecules for future applications in biomedicine and biotechnology. Their well-defined structures and compositions afford unique chemical properties and biological functions. Moreover, the specificity of hydrogen-bonded Watson-Crick interactions allows the construction of nucleic acid sequences with multiple functions. In particular, the development of nucleic acid probes as essential molecular engineering tools will make a significant contribution to advancements in biosensing, bioimaging and therapy. The molecular beacon (MB), first conceptualized by Tyagi and Kramer in 1996, is an excellent example of a double-stranded nucleic acid (dsDNA) probe. Although inactive in the absence of a target, dsDNA probes can report the presence of a specific target through hybridization or a specific recognition-triggered change in conformation. MB probes are typically fluorescently labeled oligonucleotides that range from 25 to 35 nucleotides (nt) in length, and their structure can be divided into three components: stem, loop and reporter. The intrinsic merit of MBs depends on predictable design, reproducibility of synthesis, simplicity of modification, and built-in signal transduction. Using resonance energy transfer (RET) for signal transduction, MBs are further endowed with increased sensitivity, rapid response and universality, making them ideal for chemical sensing, environmental monitoring and biological imaging, in contrast to other nucleic acid probes. Furthermore, integrating MBs with targeting ligands or molecular drugs can substantially support their in vivo applications in theranositics. In this review, we survey advances in bioanalytical and biomedical applications of rationally designed MBs, as they have evolved through the collaborative efforts of many researchers. We first discuss improvements to the three components of MBs: stem, loop and reporter. The current applications of MBs in biosensing, bioimaging and therapy will then

  12. Aptamers: molecular tools for analytical applications.

    PubMed

    Mairal, Teresa; Ozalp, Veli Cengiz; Lozano Sánchez, Pablo; Mir, Mònica; Katakis, Ioanis; O'Sullivan, Ciara K

    2008-02-01

    Aptamers are artificial nucleic acid ligands, specifically generated against certain targets, such as amino acids, drugs, proteins or other molecules. In nature they exist as a nucleic acid based genetic regulatory element called a riboswitch. For generation of artificial ligands, they are isolated from combinatorial libraries of synthetic nucleic acid by exponential enrichment, via an in vitro iterative process of adsorption, recovery and reamplification known as systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX). Thanks to their unique characteristics and chemical structure, aptamers offer themselves as ideal candidates for use in analytical devices and techniques. Recent progress in the aptamer selection and incorporation of aptamers into molecular beacon structures will ensure the application of aptamers for functional and quantitative proteomics and high-throughput screening for drug discovery, as well as in various analytical applications. The properties of aptamers as well as recent developments in improved, time-efficient methods for their selection and stabilization are outlined. The use of these powerful molecular tools for analysis and the advantages they offer over existing affinity biocomponents are discussed. Finally the evolving use of aptamers in specific analytical applications such as chromatography, ELISA-type assays, biosensors and affinity PCR as well as current avenues of research and future perspectives conclude this review.

  13. Aptamers: molecular tools for analytical applications.

    PubMed

    Mairal, Teresa; Ozalp, Veli Cengiz; Lozano Sánchez, Pablo; Mir, Mònica; Katakis, Ioanis; O'Sullivan, Ciara K

    2008-02-01

    Aptamers are artificial nucleic acid ligands, specifically generated against certain targets, such as amino acids, drugs, proteins or other molecules. In nature they exist as a nucleic acid based genetic regulatory element called a riboswitch. For generation of artificial ligands, they are isolated from combinatorial libraries of synthetic nucleic acid by exponential enrichment, via an in vitro iterative process of adsorption, recovery and reamplification known as systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX). Thanks to their unique characteristics and chemical structure, aptamers offer themselves as ideal candidates for use in analytical devices and techniques. Recent progress in the aptamer selection and incorporation of aptamers into molecular beacon structures will ensure the application of aptamers for functional and quantitative proteomics and high-throughput screening for drug discovery, as well as in various analytical applications. The properties of aptamers as well as recent developments in improved, time-efficient methods for their selection and stabilization are outlined. The use of these powerful molecular tools for analysis and the advantages they offer over existing affinity biocomponents are discussed. Finally the evolving use of aptamers in specific analytical applications such as chromatography, ELISA-type assays, biosensors and affinity PCR as well as current avenues of research and future perspectives conclude this review. PMID:17581746

  14. A perfect time to harness advanced molecular technologies to explore the fundamental biology of Toxocara species.

    PubMed

    Gasser, Robin B

    2013-04-15

    Toxocarosis is of major canine health and socioeconomic importance worldwide. Although many studies have given insights into toxocarosis, to date, there has been limited exploration of the molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, epidemiology and ecology of Toxocara species as well as parasite-host interactions using '-omic' technologies. The present article gives a background on Toxocara species and toxocarosis, describes molecular tools for specific identification and genetic analysis, and provides a prospective view of the benefits that advanced molecular technologies will have towards better understanding the parasites and disease. Tackling key biological questions employing a 'systems biology' approach should lead to new and improved strategies for the treatment, diagnosis and control of toxocarosis.

  15. Scaling of Multimillion-Atom Biological Molecular Dynamics Simulation on a Petascale Supercomputer

    SciTech Connect

    Schulz, Roland; Lindner, Benjamin; Petridis, Loukas; Smith, Jeremy C

    2009-01-01

    A strategy is described for a fast all-atom molecular dynamics simulation of multimillion-atom biological systems on massively parallel supercomputers. The strategy is developed using benchmark systems of particular interest to bioenergy research, comprising models of cellulose and lignocellulosic biomass in an aqueous solution. The approach involves using the reaction field (RF) method for the computation of long-range electrostatic interactions, which permits efficient scaling on many thousands of cores. Although the range of applicability of the RF method for biomolecular systems remains to be demonstrated, for the benchmark systems the use of the RF produces molecular dipole moments, Kirkwood G factors, other structural properties, and mean-square fluctuations in excellent agreement with those obtained with the commonly used Particle Mesh Ewald method. With RF, three million- and five million atom biological systems scale well up to 30k cores, producing 30 ns/day. Atomistic simulations of very large systems for time scales approaching the microsecond would, therefore, appear now to be within reach.

  16. Molecular Biology of Learning: Modulation of Transmitter Release.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kandel, Eric R.; Schwartz, James H.

    1982-01-01

    Describes how a behavioral system in Aplysia (marine snail) can be used to examine mechanisms of several forms of learning at different levels of analysis: behavioral, cell-physiological, ultrastructural, and molecular. Focusing on short-term sensitization, suggests how molecular mechanisms can be extended to explain long-term memory and classical…

  17. Synthetic Biology: Applications in the Food Sector.

    PubMed

    Tyagi, Ashish; Kumar, Ashwani; Aparna, S V; Mallappa, Rashmi H; Grover, Sunita; Batish, Virender Kumar

    2016-08-17

    Synthetic biology also termed as "genomic alchemy" represents a powerful area of science that is based on the convergence of biological sciences with systems engineering. It has been fittingly described as "moving from reading the genetic code to writing it" as it focuses on building, modeling, designing and fabricating novel biological systems using customized gene components that result in artificially created genetic circuitry. The scientifically compelling idea of the technological manipulation of life has been advocated since long time. Realization of this idea has gained momentum with development of high speed automation and the falling cost of gene sequencing and synthesis following the completion of the human genome project. Synthetic biology will certainly be instrumental in shaping the development of varying areas ranging from biomedicine, biopharmaceuticals, chemical production, food and dairy quality monitoring, packaging, and storage of food and dairy products, bioremediation and bioenergy production, etc. However, potential dangers of using synthetic life forms have to be acknowledged and adoption of policies by the scientific community to ensure safe practice while making important advancements in the ever expanding field of synthetic biology is to be fully supported and implemented.

  18. Synthetic Biology: Applications in the Food Sector.

    PubMed

    Tyagi, Ashish; Kumar, Ashwani; Aparna, S V; Mallappa, Rashmi H; Grover, Sunita; Batish, Virender Kumar

    2016-08-17

    Synthetic biology also termed as "genomic alchemy" represents a powerful area of science that is based on the convergence of biological sciences with systems engineering. It has been fittingly described as "moving from reading the genetic code to writing it" as it focuses on building, modeling, designing and fabricating novel biological systems using customized gene components that result in artificially created genetic circuitry. The scientifically compelling idea of the technological manipulation of life has been advocated since long time. Realization of this idea has gained momentum with development of high speed automation and the falling cost of gene sequencing and synthesis following the completion of the human genome project. Synthetic biology will certainly be instrumental in shaping the development of varying areas ranging from biomedicine, biopharmaceuticals, chemical production, food and dairy quality monitoring, packaging, and storage of food and dairy products, bioremediation and bioenergy production, etc. However, potential dangers of using synthetic life forms have to be acknowledged and adoption of policies by the scientific community to ensure safe practice while making important advancements in the ever expanding field of synthetic biology is to be fully supported and implemented. PMID:25365334

  19. Exploiting for medical and biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giano, Michael C.

    Biotherapeutics are an emerging class of drug composed of molecules ranging in sizes from peptides to large proteins. Due to their poor stability and mucosal membrane permeability, biotherapeutics are administered by a parenteral method (i.e., syringe, intravenous or intramuscular). Therapeutics delivered systemically often experience short half-lives. While, local administration may involve invasive surgical procedures and suffer from poor retention at the site of application. To compensate, the patient receives frequent doses of highly concentrated therapeutic. Unfortunately, the off-target side effects and discomfort associated with multiple injections results in poor patient compliance. Therefore, new delivery methods which can improve therapeutic retention, reduce the frequency of administration and may aid in decreasing the off-target side effects is a necessity. Hydrogels are a class of biomaterials that are gaining interests for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. Hydrogel materials are defined as porous, 3-dimensional networks that are primarily composed of water. Generally, they are mechanically rigid, cytocompatible and easily chemically functionalized. Collectively, these properties make hydrogels fantastic candidates to perform as drug delivery depots. Current hydrogel delivery systems physically entrap the target therapeutic which is then subsequently released over time at the site of administration. The swelling and degradation of the material effect the diffusion of the therapy from the hydrogel, and therefore should be controlled. Although these strategies provide some regulation over therapeutic release, full control of the delivery is not achieved. Newer approaches are focused on designing hydrogels that exploit known interactions, covalently attach the therapy or respond to an external stimulus in an effort to gain improved control over the therapy's release. Unfortunately, the biotherapeutic is typically required to be chemically

  20. [Application of systems biology and synthetic biology in strain improvement for biofuel production].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xinqing; Bai, Fengwu; Li, Yin

    2010-07-01

    Biofuels are renewable and environmentally friendly, but high production cost makes them economically not competitive, and the development of robust strains is thus one of the prerequisites. In this article, strain improvement studies based on the information from systems biology studies are reviewed, with a focus on their applications on stress tolerance improvement. Furthermore, the contribution of systems biology, synthetic biology and metabolic engineering in strain development for biofuel production is discussed, with an expectation for developing more robust strains for biofuel production.

  1. Who wrote the book of life? Information and the transformation of molecular biology, 1945-55.

    PubMed

    Kay, L E

    1995-01-01

    This paper focuses on the opening of a discursive space: the emergence of informational and scriptural representations of life and hereditiy and their self-negating consequences for the construction of biological meaning. It probes the notion of writing and the book of life and shows how molecular biology's claims to a status of language and texuality undermines its own objective of control. These textual significations were historically contingent. The informational representations of heredity and life were not an outcome of the internal cognitive momentum of molecular biology; they were not a logical necessity of the unravelling of the base-pairing of the DNA double-helix. They were transported into molecular biology still within the protein paradigm of the gene in the 1940s and permeated nearly every discipline in the life and social sciences. These information-based models, metaphors, linguistic, and semiotic tools which were central to the formulation of the genetic code were transported into molecular biology from cybernetics, information theory, electronic computing, and control and communication systems--technosciences that were deeply embedded with the military experiences of World War II and the Cold War. The information discourse thus became fixed in molecular biology not because it worked in the narrow epistemic sense (it did not), but because it positioned molecular biology within postwar discourse and culture, perhaps within the transition to a post-modern information-based society. PMID:11613275

  2. Bioinformatics and its applications in plant biology.

    PubMed

    Rhee, Seung Yon; Dickerson, Julie; Xu, Dong

    2006-01-01

    Bioinformatics plays an essential role in today's plant science. As the amount of data grows exponentially, there is a parallel growth in the demand for tools and methods in data management, visualization, integration, analysis, modeling, and prediction. At the same time, many researchers in biology are unfamiliar with available bioinformatics methods, tools, and databases, which could lead to missed opportunities or misinterpretation of the information. In this review, we describe some of the key concepts, methods, software packages, and databases used in bioinformatics, with an emphasis on those relevant to plant science. We also cover some fundamental issues related to biological sequence analyses, transcriptome analyses, computational proteomics, computational metabolomics, bio-ontologies, and biological databases. Finally, we explore a few emerging research topics in bioinformatics.

  3. Molecular biology in the diagnosis and prognosis of solid and lymphoid tumors.

    PubMed

    Lebovitz, R M; Albrecht, S

    1992-01-01

    The application of molecular biology to the study of human malignancies has led to tremendous gains in our understanding of their pathogenesis. Although their practical applications are still somewhat limited at this point, the use of molecular diagnostic tools is likely to grow at a very rapid rate as newer and more accurate prognostic markers are identified. The availability of reliable prognostic markers should allow earlier intervention in patients with aggressive disease but exhibiting only limited extent of disease at the time of initial diagnosis. Early intervention in such cases could realistically increase the probability of cure, since highly aggressive tumor cells are more likely to be eliminated by early institution of cytotoxic chemotherapy (4). The p53 tumor suppressor gene clearly represents the most promising potential prognostic marker at present, because of both the multiple phenotypic alterations caused by different p53 mutations and the high frequency of p53 mutations which have been observed in a variety of human cancers. Other prognostic markers related to oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are almost certain to follow. Validation of new prognostic markers requires a knowledge of both histopathologic diagnostic criteria as well as the consequences for the patient of each diagnosis. There is bound to be some "shake-out" in the field of molecular diagnostics just as there was with other recently introduced techniques such as immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry which were found to provide additional useful information for some tumors and not for others. Since the clinical-pathologic studies needed for verification of putative prognostic markers require relatively long periods of follow up, progress in this area will almost certainly lag behind the ability of molecular biologists to identify new and potentially useful prognostic markers. Our collective ability to reap tangible gains in the clinical arena from our heavy investments in

  4. Systems biology for molecular life sciences and its impact in biomedicine.

    PubMed

    Medina, Miguel Ángel

    2013-03-01

    Modern systems biology is already contributing to a radical transformation of molecular life sciences and biomedicine, and it is expected to have a real impact in the clinical setting in the next years. In this review, the emergence of systems biology is contextualized with a historic overview, and its present state is depicted. The present and expected future contribution of systems biology to the development of molecular medicine is underscored. Concerning the present situation, this review includes a reflection on the "inflation" of biological data and the urgent need for tools and procedures to make hidden information emerge. Descriptions of the impact of networks and models and the available resources and tools for applying them in systems biology approaches to molecular medicine are provided as well. The actual current impact of systems biology in molecular medicine is illustrated, reviewing two cases, namely, those of systems pharmacology and cancer systems biology. Finally, some of the expected contributions of systems biology to the immediate future of molecular medicine are commented.

  5. NASA Applications of Molecular Adsorber Coatings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abraham, Nithin S.

    2015-01-01

    The Molecular Adsorber Coating (MAC) is a new, innovative technology that was developed to reduce the risk of molecular contamination on spaceflight applications. Outgassing from materials, such as plastics, adhesives, lubricants, silicones, epoxies, and potting compounds, pose a significant threat to the spacecraft and the lifetime of missions. As a coating made of highly porous inorganic materials, MAC offers impressive adsorptive capabilities that help capture and trap contaminants. Past research efforts have demonstrated the coating's promising adhesion performance, optical properties, acoustic durability, and thermal stability. These results advocate its use near or on surfaces that are targeted by outgassed materials, such as internal optics, electronics, detectors, baffles, sensitive instruments, thermal control coatings, and vacuum chamber test environments. The MAC technology has significantly progressed in development over the recent years. This presentation summarizes the many NASA spaceflight applications of MAC and how the coatings technology has been integrated as a mitigation tool for outgassed contaminants. For example, this sprayable paint technology has been beneficial for use in various vacuum chambers for contamination control and hardware bake-outs. The coating has also been used in small instrument cavities within spaceflight instrument for NASA missions.

  6. Applications of Statistical Physics in Cell Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nossal, Ralph

    2005-04-01

    The use of statistical physics and thermodynamics in cell biology is illustrated with examples relating to 1) membrane-embedded, switchable ion transport channels and 2) clathrin coats, which play a central role in receptor-mediated endocytosis and other cellular transport processes.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oerther, Daniel B.

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Synthesis of Charge Transfer Dyes for Use as Molecular Sensors in Biological Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christie, Joseph J.

    2003-01-01

    This is a continuation of last year's project to synthesize tetraaryl substituted benzodifurans for use as molecular probes in biological systems. The project will involve the synthesis and chemical characterization of dyes and precursor molecules.

  9. Foundational concepts and underlying theories for majors in "biochemistry and molecular biology".

    PubMed

    Tansey, John T; Baird, Teaster; Cox, Michael M; Fox, Kristin M; Knight, Jennifer; Sears, Duane; Bell, Ellis

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members and science educators from around the country that focused on identifying: 1) core principles of biochemistry and molecular biology, 2) essential concepts and underlying theories from physics, chemistry, and mathematics, and 3) foundational skills that undergraduate majors in biochemistry and molecular biology must understand to complete their major coursework. Using information gained from these workshops, as well as from the ASBMB accreditation working group and the NSF Vision and Change report, the Core Concepts working group has developed a consensus list of learning outcomes and objectives based on five foundational concepts (evolution, matter and energy transformation, homeostasis, information flow, and macromolecular structure and function) that represent the expected conceptual knowledge base for undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology. This consensus will aid biochemistry and molecular biology educators in the development of assessment tools for the new ASBMB recommended curriculum.

  10. Practicing Real Science in the Laboratory: A Project-Based Approach to Teaching Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wimmers, Larry E.

    2001-01-01

    Describes a molecular biology laboratory in which students study the role of the enzyme polygalacturonase in the softening of tomatoes during ripening by developing their own hypotheses and designing their own experiments. (MM)

  11. 2012 CELLULAR & MOLECULAR FUNGAL BIOLOGY GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JUNE 17 - 22, 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Judith Berman

    2012-06-22

    The Gordon Research Conference on CELLULAR & MOLECULAR FUNGAL BIOLOGY was held at Holderness School, Holderness New Hampshire, June 17 - 22, 2012. The 2012 Gordon Conference on Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology (CMFB) will present the latest, cutting-edge research on the exciting and growing field of molecular and cellular aspects of fungal biology. Topics will range from yeast to filamentous fungi, from model systems to economically important organisms, and from saprophytes and commensals to pathogens of plants and animals. The CMFB conference will feature a wide range of topics including systems biology, cell biology and morphogenesis, organismal interactions, genome organisation and regulation, pathogenesis, energy metabolism, biomass production and population genomics. The Conference was well-attended with 136 participants. Gordon Research Conferences does not permit publication of meeting proceedings.

  12. Progress in nucleic acid research and molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-01-01

    This book is organized under the following headings: Transposable elements in Drosophilia; Regulation of gene expression; Structure and function of repetitive and unusual sequences; Retroviruses; Molecular analysis of chromosomal translocation and gene insertion.

  13. Workshop in computational molecular biology, April 15, 1991--April 14, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Tavare, S.

    1995-04-12

    Funds from this award were used to the Workshop in Computational Molecular Biology, `91 Symposium entitled Interface: Computing Science and Statistics, Seattle, Washington, April 21, 1991; the Workshop in Statistical Issues in Molecular Biology held at Stanford, California, August 8, 1993; and the Session on Population Genetics a part of the 56th Annual Meeting, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, San Francisco, California, August 9, 1993.

  14. The growing contributions of molecular biology and immunology to protistan ecology: molecular signatures as ecological tools.

    PubMed

    Caron, David A; Countway, Peter D; Brown, Mark V

    2004-01-01

    Modern genetic and immunological techniques have become important tools for assessing protistan species diversity for both the identification and quantification of specific taxa in natural microbial communities. Although these methods are still gaining use among ecologists, the new approaches have already had a significant impact on our understanding of protistan diversity and biogeography. For example, genetic studies of environmental samples have uncovered many protistan phylotypes that do not match the DNA sequences of any cultured organisms, and whose morphological identities are unknown at the present time. Additionally, rapid and sensitive methods for detecting and enumerating taxa of special importance (e.g. bloom-forming algae, parasitic protists) have enabled much more detailed distributional and experimental studies than have been possible using traditional methods. Nevertheless, while the application of molecular approaches has advanced some aspects of aquatic protistan ecology, significant issues still thwart the widespread adoption of these approaches. These issues include the highly technical nature of some of the molecular methods, the reconciliation of morphology-based and sequence-based species identifications, and the species concept itself.

  15. Some Experiments with Biological Applications for the Elementary Laboratory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kammer, D. W.; Williams, J. A.

    1975-01-01

    Summarizes physics laboratory experiments with applications in the biological sciences. Includes the following topics: mechanics of the human arm, fluid flow in tubes, physics of learning, the electrocardiograph, nerve impulse conduction, and corrective lenses for eye defects. (Author/MLH)

  16. Laser micromanipulation systems as universal tools in cellular and molecular biology and in medicine.

    PubMed

    Schütze, K; Pösl, H; Lahr, G

    1998-07-01

    The UV-laser microbeam has been established as a valuable tool in a wide area of molecular biology as well as in medical research and applications. This system allows to cut or fuse microscopically small specimen. An important application of the cutting laser is laser microbeam microdissection (LMM) combined with laser pressure catapulting (LPC), which allows to procure single cells or small homogeneous cell areas for subsequent molecular analysis in an entirely "non-contact" manner. With LMM minute tissue areas, single cells or chromosomes are microdissected and separated from their surroundings. Subsequently, LPC ejects the dissectates directly into the cap of a sample tube without any mechanical contact. This enables the rapid procurement of homogeneous specimen from less than one up to several hundreds of micrometers in diameter without encroachment of the adjacent region. The mRNA information of the selected specimen as well as of the remaining probe are well preserved, as demonstrated with laser isolated samples from a routinely prepared tissue section of a differentiated colorectal adenocarcinoma. Reverse transcription of specific mRNA coding for cytoplasmic beta-actin and subsequent hemi-nested PCR amplification was not impaired. Any kind of tissue, as well as single cells from different sources and even subcellular structures can be captured using this laser method. Wherever homogeneous samples are required to analyze cell or chromosome-specific genetic alterations such as in cancer research or prenatal diagnosis this unique and rapid laser micropreparation method will become a key technology of great value.

  17. [Which molecular biology techniques must conform to the armamentarium for basic research in uro-oncology?].

    PubMed

    Oriola, Josep

    2013-06-01

    Molecular biology has been one of the scientific disciplines in which there has been more advances in the last years. The first impulse in the study of genetic alterations came from the discovery of DNA structure, followed by elucidation of the genetic code, the discovery of restriction enzymes and subsequently the invention of PCR, not forgetting the exponential development of computer science. All of them have allowed us to know much more about our genome and its regulation than we could imagine. The impulse in proteomics has been especially in tune up of soft methods of ionization coupled with mass spectrometry. Nevertheless, this seems to be only the beginning since today there are continuous methodological advances that will increase more, without doubt, the knowledge and applications in this discipline. PMID:23793758

  18. Molecular biology of coal bio-desulfurization; Quarterly technical progress report, October 1--December 31, 1990

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-01-25

    The aim of this project is to use the techniques of molecular genetics to identify, clone, sequence, and enhance the expression of proteins which remove sulfur covalently bound to coal. This includes the movement and expression of these proteins into bacterial species which may be more useful in the industrial application of a biological desulfurization process. This quarter we finalized the initial cloning and sequencing of the dibenzothiophene (DBT) metabolic (``dox``) genes from strain C18. In addition, we constructed several mutations in single dox genes and have begun to dissect the contribution of each gene product in the DBT degradation pathway. Using a probe derived from DNA adjacent to a transposon which inactivated DBT metabolism, the DBT active genes from A15 have been cloned and identified on cosmids. We have also electroporated Thiobacillus ferrooxidans with a plasmid containing a chloramphenicol resistant transposon. Colonies of T. ferrooxidans resistant to chloramphenicol were obtained.

  19. A Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Experiment and Evaluation System for Biotechnology Specialty Students: An Effective Evaluation System to Improve the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Experiment Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Suxia; Wu, Haizhen; Zhao, Jian; Ou, Ling; Zhang, Yuanxing

    2010-01-01

    In an effort to achieve high success in knowledge and technique acquisition as a whole, a biochemistry and molecular biology experiment was established for high-grade biotechnology specialty students after they had studied essential theory and received proper technique training. The experiment was based on cloning and expression of alkaline…

  20. PIXE at rutgers university: Biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, G. S.; Roach, N.; Naumann, M.; Simmons, U.; Cong, H.

    1984-04-01

    We have constructed an external beam PIXE system for trace element analysis of biological and environmental samples. Analytical procedures that include sample preparation and PIXE setup are described for analysis of maternal scalp hair, amniotic fluid, human placenta, and colostrum samples. The study was conducted to obtain trace element data on important biological tissues for incorporation into a large data base that will be used to assess fetal and infant well-being. A 3.5 MeV external proton beam was used to produce X rays in the samples after they were low-temperature ashed. Detection limits for essential and toxic elements are less than 0.4 μg/g for a 6 min irradiation time.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nadeau, Jay L.

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Size Matters: Molecular Weight Specificity of Hyaluronan Effects in Cell Biology

    PubMed Central

    Cyphert, Jaime M.; Trempus, Carol S.; Garantziotis, Stavros

    2015-01-01

    Hyaluronan signaling properties are unique among other biologically active molecules, that they are apparently not influenced by postsynthetic molecular modification, but by hyaluronan fragment size. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the generation of hyaluronan fragments of different size and size-dependent differences in hyaluronan signaling as well as their downstream biological effects. PMID:26448754

  3. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  4. Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of potent discodermolide fluorescent and photoaffinity molecular probes.

    PubMed

    Smith, Amos B; Rucker, Paul V; Brouard, Ignacio; Freeze, B Scott; Xia, Shujun; Horwitz, Susan Band

    2005-11-10

    [structure: see text] The design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of a series of (+)-discodermolide molecular probes possessing photoaffinity and fluorescent appendages has been achieved. Stereoselective olefin cross-metathesis comprised a key tactic for construction of two of the molecular probes. Three photoaffinity probes were radiolabeled with tritium.

  5. Cloning Yeast Actin cDNA Leads to an Investigative Approach for the Molecular Biology Laboratory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Black, Michael W.; Tuan, Alice; Jonasson, Erin

    2008-01-01

    The emergence of molecular tools in multiple disciplines has elevated the importance of undergraduate laboratory courses that train students in molecular biology techniques. Although it would also be desirable to provide students with opportunities to apply these techniques in an investigative manner, this is generally not possible in the…

  6. Tangible Models and Haptic Representations Aid Learning of Molecular Biology Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johannes, Kristen; Powers, Jacklyn; Couper, Lisa; Silberglitt, Matt; Davenport, Jodi

    2016-01-01

    Can novel 3D models help students develop a deeper understanding of core concepts in molecular biology? We adapted 3D molecular models, developed by scientists, for use in high school science classrooms. The models accurately represent the structural and functional properties of complex DNA and Virus molecules, and provide visual and haptic…

  7. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students' Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections…

  8. DAMBE: software package for data analysis in molecular biology and evolution.

    PubMed

    Xia, X; Xie, Z

    2001-01-01

    DAMBE (data analysis in molecular biology and evolution) is an integrated software package for converting, manipulating, statistically and graphically describing, and analyzing molecular sequence data with a user-friendly Windows 95/98/2000/NT interface. DAMBE is free and can be downloaded from http://web.hku.hk/~xxia/software/software.htm. The current version is 4.0.36.

  9. Enzymes used in molecular biology: a useful guide

    PubMed Central

    Rittié, Laure

    2008-01-01

    Since molecular cloning has become routine laboratory technique, manufacturers offer countless sources of enzymes to generate and manipulate nucleic acids. Thus, selecting the appropriate enzyme for a specific task may seem difficult to the novice. This review aims at providing the readers with some cues for understanding the function and specificities of the different sources of polymerases, ligases, nucleases, phosphatases, methylases, and topoisomerases used for molecular cloning. We provide a description of the most commonly used enzymes of each group, and explain their properties and mechanism of action. By pointing out key requirements for each enzymatic activity and clarifying their limitations, we aim at guiding the reader in selecting appropriate enzymatic source and optimal experimental conditions for molecular cloning experiments. PMID:18766469

  10. Fibroblast Growth Factors: Biology, Function, and Application for Tissue Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Yun, Ye-Rang; Won, Jong Eun; Jeon, Eunyi; Lee, Sujin; Kang, Wonmo; Jo, Hyejin; Jang, Jun-Hyeog; Shin, Ueon Sang; Kim, Hae-Won

    2010-01-01

    Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) that signal through FGF receptors (FGFRs) regulate a broad spectrum of biological functions, including cellular proliferation, survival, migration, and differentiation. The FGF signal pathways are the RAS/MAP kinase pathway, PI3 kinase/AKT pathway, and PLCγ pathway, among which the RAS/MAP kinase pathway is known to be predominant. Several studies have recently implicated the in vitro biological functions of FGFs for tissue regeneration. However, to obtain optimal outcomes in vivo, it is important to enhance the half-life of FGFs and their biological stability. Future applications of FGFs are expected when the biological functions of FGFs are potentiated through the appropriate use of delivery systems and scaffolds. This review will introduce the biology and cellular functions of FGFs and deal with the biomaterials based delivery systems and their current applications for the regeneration of tissues, including skin, blood vessel, muscle, adipose, tendon/ligament, cartilage, bone, tooth, and nerve tissues. PMID:21350642

  11. Development and application of biological technologies in fish genetic breeding.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kang; Duan, Wei; Xiao, Jun; Tao, Min; Zhang, Chun; Liu, Yun; Liu, ShaoJun

    2015-02-01

    Fish genetic breeding is a process that remolds heritable traits to obtain neotype and improved varieties. For the purpose of genetic improvement, researchers can select for desirable genetic traits, integrate a suite of traits from different donors, or alter the innate genetic traits of a species. These improved varieties have, in many cases, facilitated the development of the aquaculture industry by lowering costs and increasing both quality and yield. In this review, we present the pertinent literatures and summarize the biological bases and application of selection breeding technologies (containing traditional selective breeding, molecular marker-assisted breeding, genome-wide selective breeding and breeding by controlling single-sex groups), integration breeding technologies (containing cross breeding, nuclear transplantation, germline stem cells and germ cells transplantation, artificial gynogenesis, artificial androgenesis and polyploid breeding) and modification breeding technologies (represented by transgenic breeding) in fish genetic breeding. Additionally, we discuss the progress our laboratory has made in the field of chromosomal ploidy breeding of fish, including distant hybridization, gynogenesis, and androgenesis. Finally, we systematically summarize the research status and known problems associated with each technology. PMID:25595050

  12. Development and application of biological technologies in fish genetic breeding.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kang; Duan, Wei; Xiao, Jun; Tao, Min; Zhang, Chun; Liu, Yun; Liu, ShaoJun

    2015-02-01

    Fish genetic breeding is a process that remolds heritable traits to obtain neotype and improved varieties. For the purpose of genetic improvement, researchers can select for desirable genetic traits, integrate a suite of traits from different donors, or alter the innate genetic traits of a species. These improved varieties have, in many cases, facilitated the development of the aquaculture industry by lowering costs and increasing both quality and yield. In this review, we present the pertinent literatures and summarize the biological bases and application of selection breeding technologies (containing traditional selective breeding, molecular marker-assisted breeding, genome-wide selective breeding and breeding by controlling single-sex groups), integration breeding technologies (containing cross breeding, nuclear transplantation, germline stem cells and germ cells transplantation, artificial gynogenesis, artificial androgenesis and polyploid breeding) and modification breeding technologies (represented by transgenic breeding) in fish genetic breeding. Additionally, we discuss the progress our laboratory has made in the field of chromosomal ploidy breeding of fish, including distant hybridization, gynogenesis, and androgenesis. Finally, we systematically summarize the research status and known problems associated with each technology.

  13. Development and applications of infrared structural biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Zhouyang

    Aspartic acid (Asp), Glutamic acid (Glu) and Tyrosine (Tyr) often play critical roles at the active sites of proteins. Probing the structural dynamics of functionally important Asp/Glu and Tyr provides crucial information for protein functionality. Time-resolved infrared structural biology offers strong advantages for its high structural sensitivity and broad dynamic range (picosecond to kilosecond). In order to connect the vibrational frequencies to specific structures of COO- groups and phenolic --OH groups, such as the number, type, and geometry of hydrogen bond interactions, we develop two sets of vibrational structural markers (VSM), built on the symmetric and asymmetric stretching frequencies for COO- and C-O stretching and C-O-H bending frequencies for phenolic --OH. Extensive quantum physics (density functional theory) based computational studies, combined with site-specific isotope labeling as well as site-directed mutagenesis, and experimental FTIR data on Asp/Glu in proteins, are used to establish a unique correlation between the vibrations and multiple types of hydrogen bonding interactions. Development of those vibrational structural markers significantly enhances the power of time-resolved infrared structural biology for the study of functionally important structural dynamics of COO- from Asp/Glu and phenolic --OH from Tyr residues in proteins, including rhodopsin for biological signaling, bacteriorhodopsin and PYP for proton transfer, photosystem II for energy transformation, and HIV protease for enzymatic catalysis. Furthermore, this approach can be adopted in the future development of vibrational structural markers for other functionally important amino acid residues in proteins, such as arginine (Arg), histidine (His), and serine (Ser).

  14. Physics and applications of microfluidics in biology.

    PubMed

    Beebe, David J; Mensing, Glennys A; Walker, Glenn M

    2002-01-01

    Fluid flow at the microscale exhibits unique phenomena that can be leveraged to fabricate devices and components capable of performing functions useful for biological studies. The physics of importance to microfluidics are reviewed. Common methods of fabricating microfluidic devices and systems are described. Components, including valves, mixers, and pumps, capable of controlling fluid flow by utilizing the physics of the microscale are presented. Techniques for sensing flow characteristics are described and examples of devices and systems that perform bioanalysis are presented. The focus of this review is microscale phenomena and the use of the physics of the scale to create devices and systems that provide functionality useful to the life sciences.

  15. Gammaretroviral vectors: biology, technology and application.

    PubMed

    Maetzig, Tobias; Galla, Melanie; Baum, Christopher; Schambach, Axel

    2011-06-01

    Retroviruses are evolutionary optimized gene carriers that have naturally adapted to their hosts to efficiently deliver their nucleic acids into the target cell chromatin, thereby overcoming natural cellular barriers. Here we will review-starting with a deeper look into retroviral biology-how Murine Leukemia Virus (MLV), a simple gammaretrovirus, can be converted into an efficient vehicle of genetic therapeutics. Furthermore, we will describe how more rational vector backbones can be designed and how these so-called self-inactivating vectors can be pseudotyped and produced. Finally, we will provide an overview on existing clinical trials and how biosafety can be improved. PMID:21994751

  16. How was teleology eliminated in early molecular biology?

    PubMed

    Sloan, Phillip R

    2012-03-01

    This paper approaches the issue of the status of teleological reasoning in contemporary biology through a historical examination of events of the 1930s that surrounded Niels Bohr's efforts to introduce 'complementarity' into biological discussions. The paper examines responses of three theoretical physicists who engaged boundary questions between the biological and physical sciences in this period in response to Bohr-Ernst Pascual Jordan (1902-80), Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), and Max Delbrück (1906-81). It is claimed that none of these physicists sufficiently understood Bohr's 'critical' teleological arguments, which are traced to the lineage of Kant and Harald Høffding and their respective resolutions of the Antinomy of Teleological Judgment. The positions of these four historical actors are discussed in terms of Ernst Mayr's distinction of 'teleological,' 'teleomatic,' and 'teleonomic' explanations. A return to some of the views articulated by Bohr, and behind him, to Høffding and Kant, is claimed to provide a framework for reintroducing a 'critical' teleology into biological discussions.

  17. Teaching Cell and Molecular Biology for Gender Equity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

  18. How was teleology eliminated in early molecular biology?

    PubMed

    Sloan, Phillip R

    2012-03-01

    This paper approaches the issue of the status of teleological reasoning in contemporary biology through a historical examination of events of the 1930s that surrounded Niels Bohr's efforts to introduce 'complementarity' into biological discussions. The paper examines responses of three theoretical physicists who engaged boundary questions between the biological and physical sciences in this period in response to Bohr-Ernst Pascual Jordan (1902-80), Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), and Max Delbrück (1906-81). It is claimed that none of these physicists sufficiently understood Bohr's 'critical' teleological arguments, which are traced to the lineage of Kant and Harald Høffding and their respective resolutions of the Antinomy of Teleological Judgment. The positions of these four historical actors are discussed in terms of Ernst Mayr's distinction of 'teleological,' 'teleomatic,' and 'teleonomic' explanations. A return to some of the views articulated by Bohr, and behind him, to Høffding and Kant, is claimed to provide a framework for reintroducing a 'critical' teleology into biological discussions. PMID:22326083

  19. Towards molecular medicine: a case for a biological periodic table.

    PubMed

    Gawad, Charles

    2005-01-01

    The recently amplified pace of development in the technologies to study both normal and aberrant cellular physiology has allowed for a transition from the traditional reductionist approaches to global interrogations of human biology. This transformation has created the anticipation that we will soon more effectively treat or contain most types of diseases through a 'systems-based' approach to understanding and correcting the underlying etiology of these processes. However, to accomplish these goals, we must first have a more comprehensive understanding of all the elements involved in human cellular physiology, as well as why and how they interact. With the vast number of biological components that have and are being discovered, creating methods with modern computational techniques to better organize biological elements is the next requisite step in this process. This article aims to articulate the importance of the organization of chemical elements into a periodic table had on the conversion of chemistry into a quantitative, translatable science, as well as how we can apply the lessons learned in that transition to the current transformation taking place in biology.

  20. The Use of MERLOT in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Scott

    2005-01-01

    The referatory, Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT), contains links to 1300 electronic teaching resources in biology and chemistry. Approximately 20% have been peer reviewed, and most have user comments or assignments attached. In addition to being a source of educational resources, the MERLOT project seeks…

  1. Molecular probes for nonlinear optical imaging of biological membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanchard-Desce, Mireille H.; Ventelon, Lionel; Charier, Sandrine; Moreaux, Laurent; Mertz, Jerome

    2001-12-01

    Second-harmonic generation (SHG) and two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) are nonlinear optical (NLO) phenomena that scale with excitation intensity squared, and hence give rise to an intrinsic 3-dimensional resolution when used in microscopic imaging. TPEF microscopy has gained widespread popularity in the biology community whereas SHG microscopy promises to be a powerful tool because of its sensitivity to local asymmetry. We have implemented an approach toward the design of NLO-probes specifically adapted for SHG and/or TPEF imaging of biological membranes. Our strategy is based on the design of nanoscale amphiphilic NLO-phores. We have prepared symmetrical bolaamphiphilic fluorophores combining very high two-photon absorption (TPA) cross-sections in the visible red region and affinity for cellular membranes. Their incorporation and orientation in lipid membranes can be monitored via TPEF anisotropy. We have also prepared amphiphilic push-pull chromophores exhibiting both large TPA cross-sections and very large first hyperpolarizabilities in the near-IR region. These NLO-probes have proved to be particularly useful for imaging of biological membranes by simultaneous SHG and TPEF microscopy and offer attractive prospects for real-time imaging of fundamental biological processes such as adhesion, fusion or reporting of membrane potentials.

  2. Biomedical applications and potential health risks of nanomaterials: molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Lanone, Sophie; Boczkowski, Jorge

    2006-09-01

    Nanotechnologies, defined as techniques aimed to conceive, characterize and produce material at the nanometer scale, represent a fully expanding domain, and one can predict without risk that production and utilization of nanomaterials will increase exponentially in the coming years. Applications of nanotechnologies are numerous, in constant development, and their potential use in the medical field as diagnosis and therapeutics tools is very attractive. The size particularity of these nanomaterials gives them novel properties, allowing them to adopt new comportments because of the laws of quantum physics that exist at this scale. However, worries are expressed regarding the exact properties that make these nanomaterials attractive, and questions are raised regarding their potential toxicity, their long-term secondary effects or their biodegradability, particularly when thinking of their use in the (nano)medical field. These questions are justified by the knowledge of the toxic effects of atmospheric pollution micrometric particles on health, and the fear to get an amplification of these effects because of the size of the materials blamed. In this paper, we first expose the sensed medical applications of nanomaterials, and the physicochemical and molecular determinants potentially responsible for nanomaterials biological effects. Finally, we present a synthesis of the actual knowledge regarding toxicological effects of nanomaterials. It is clear that, in regard to the almost empty field of what is known on the subject, there's an urge to better understand biological effects of nanomaterials, which will allow their safe use, in particular in the nanomedicine field.

  3. Plasmonic Nanostructures for Solar and Biological Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, Oara

    The electromagnetic absorption properties of plasmonic nanostructures were utilized to develop mesoscopic sites for highly efficient photothermal generation steam, SERS biosensing, and light-triggered cellular delivery uptake. Plasmonic nanostructures embedded in common thermal solutions produces vapor without the requirement of heating the fluid volume. When particles are dispersed in water at ambient temperature, energy is directed primarily to vaporization of water into steam, with a much smaller fraction resulting in heating of the fluid. Solar illuminated aqueous nanoparticle solution can drive water-ethanol distillation, yielding fractions significantly richer in ethanol content than simple thermal distillation and also produced saturated steam destroying Geobacillus stearothermophilus bacteria in a compact solar powered autoclave. Subwavelength biosensing sites were developed using the plasmonic properties of gold nanoshells to investigate the properties of aptamer (DNA) target complexes. Nanoshells are tunable core-shell nanoparticles whose resonant absorption and scattering properties are dependent on core/shell thickness ratio. Nanoshells were used to develop a label free detection method using SERS to monitor conformational change induced by aptamer target binding. The conformational changes to the aptamers induced by target binding were probed by monitoring the aptamer SERS spectra reproducibility. Furthermore, nanoshells can serve as a nonviral light-controlled delivery vector for the precise temporal and spatial control of molecular delivery in vitro. The drug delivery concept using plasmonic vectors was shown using a monolayer of ds-DNA attached to the nanoshell surface and the small molecular "parcel" intercalated inside ds-DNA loops. DAPI, a fluorescent dye, was used as the molecular parcel to visualize the release process in living cells. Upon laser illumination at the absorption resonance the nanoshell converts photon energy into heat producing a

  4. WWW Entrez: A Hypertext Retrieval Tool for Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Epstein, Jonathan A.; Kans, Jonathan A.; Schuler, Gregory D.

    This article describes the World Wide Web (WWW) Entrez server which is based upon the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI) Entrez retrieval database and software. Entrez is a molecular sequence retrieval system that contains an integrated view of portions of Medline and all publicly available nucleotide and protein databases,…

  5. Recent advances in yeast molecular biology: recombinant DNA. [Lead abstract

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-09-01

    Separate abstracts were prepared for the 25 papers presented at a workshop focusing on chromosomal structure, gene regulation, recombination, DNA repair, and cell type control, that have been obtained by experimental approaches incorporating the new technologies of yeast DNA transformation, molecular cloning, and DNA sequence analysis. (KRM)

  6. Roles of cell volume in molecular and cellular biology.

    PubMed

    Dubois, Jean-Marc; Rouzaire-Dubois, Béatrice

    2012-04-01

    Extracellular tonicity and volume regulation control a great number of molecular and cellular functions including: cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, hormone and neuromediator release, gene expression, ion channel and transporter activity and metabolism. The aim of this review is to describe these effects and to determine if they are direct or are secondarily the result of the activity of second messengers. PMID:22192789

  7. Laser-induced stress transients: applications for molecular delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flotte, Thomas J.; Lee, Shun; Zhang, Hong; McAuliffe, Daniel J.; Douki, Tina; Doukas, Apostolos G.

    1995-05-01

    Lasers can be used to enhance the delivery of a number of molecules. Other investigators have demonstrated local release of molecules from liposomes following laser irradiation, microbeam disruption of the cell membrane to increase cell transport, microbeam ablation of the zona pellucida surrounding the ovum to increase the chances of fertilization, and increased transcutaneous transport following ablation of the stratum corneum. Our experiments have shown that laser-induced stress transients can be utilized as a vector for intracellular delivery of molecules that may or may not normally cross the cell membrane. These two conditions have been tested with Photofrin and DNA. This technology may have applications in cell and molecular biology, cancer therapy, gene therapy, and others.

  8. Chemical and Biological Applications of Turing Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Méndez, Vicenç; Fedotov, Sergei; Horsthemke, Werner

    Turing's paper on diffusion-driven instabilities in nonequilibrium reaction-diffusion systems as a means of biological pattern formation [440] attracted little attention for about two decades, as shown by the citation histogram in Fig. 12.1. One of the first scientists to be intrigued by Turing's ideas was Wardlaw, a botanist who thought about ways to test the mechanism experimentally [468, 470, 469]. By the early 1970s theoretical biologists and biomathematicians began to explore in earnest if Turing instabilities could explain spatial pattern formation in a variety of living systems and a considerable body of theoretical work was produced, see for example [157, 279, 231, 239, 182, 183, 264, 261, 308]. Morphogen-based pattern formation, where the long-range influence of signaling molecules induces structure, is a well-established phenomenon in developmental biology [26]. However, definitive evidence for a Turing mechanism of pattern formation within a morphogen system is still lacking. Several promising candidate systems exist and are discussed in Sect. 12.2.

  9. Molecular biology of mycoplasmas: from the minimum cell concept to the artificial cell.

    PubMed

    Cordova, Caio M M; Hoeltgebaum, Daniela L; Machado, Laís D P N; Santos, Larissa Dos

    2016-01-01

    Mycoplasmas are a large group of bacteria, sorted into different genera in the Mollicutes class, whose main characteristic in common, besides the small genome, is the absence of cell wall. They are considered cellular and molecular biology study models. We present an updated review of the molecular biology of these model microorganisms and the development of replicative vectors for the transformation of mycoplasmas. Synthetic biology studies inspired by these pioneering works became possible and won the attention of the mainstream media. For the first time, an artificial genome was synthesized (a minimal genome produced from consensus sequences obtained from mycoplasmas). For the first time, a functional artificial cell has been constructed by introducing a genome completely synthesized within a cell envelope of a mycoplasma obtained by transformation techniques. Therefore, this article offers an updated insight to the state of the art of these peculiar organisms' molecular biology.

  10. Case study: Using microbe molecular biology for Gulf oil spill clean up.

    PubMed

    Jones, Daniel R

    2011-01-01

    This case has the student actively investigate the regulation of expression of a novel bacterial gene in the context of attempts to solve a real world problem, clean up of the April 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Although the case is fictitious, it is based on factual gene regulatory characteristics of oil-degrading microbes. The case is written for a sophomore Cell Biology lecture course at Indiana Wesleyan University that is taught to Biology/Pre-Med majors. This study is also appropriate for use in undergraduate microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and molecular genetics courses. The case is intended to enhance coverage of transcription, translation, control of gene expression, and selected molecular biology techniques. Opportunities to practice critical thinking skills and to a lesser extent an introduction to the paradigm of life science research at the industry level are provided.

  11. Molecular biology of mycoplasmas: from the minimum cell concept to the artificial cell.

    PubMed

    Cordova, Caio M M; Hoeltgebaum, Daniela L; Machado, Laís D P N; Santos, Larissa Dos

    2016-01-01

    Mycoplasmas are a large group of bacteria, sorted into different genera in the Mollicutes class, whose main characteristic in common, besides the small genome, is the absence of cell wall. They are considered cellular and molecular biology study models. We present an updated review of the molecular biology of these model microorganisms and the development of replicative vectors for the transformation of mycoplasmas. Synthetic biology studies inspired by these pioneering works became possible and won the attention of the mainstream media. For the first time, an artificial genome was synthesized (a minimal genome produced from consensus sequences obtained from mycoplasmas). For the first time, a functional artificial cell has been constructed by introducing a genome completely synthesized within a cell envelope of a mycoplasma obtained by transformation techniques. Therefore, this article offers an updated insight to the state of the art of these peculiar organisms' molecular biology. PMID:27142538

  12. Systems theoretic analysis of the central dogma of molecular biology: some recent results.

    PubMed

    Gao, Rui; Yu, Juanyi; Zhang, Mingjun; Tarn, Tzyh-Jong; Li, Jr-Shin

    2010-03-01

    This paper extends our early study on a mathematical formulation of the central dogma of molecular biology, and focuses discussions on recent insights obtained by employing advanced systems theoretic analysis. The goal of this paper is to mathematically represent and interpret the genetic information flow at the molecular level, and explore the fundamental principle of molecular biology at the system level. Specifically, group theory was employed to interpret concepts and properties of gene mutation, and predict backbone torsion angle along the peptide chain. Finite state machine theory was extensively applied to interpret key concepts and analyze the processes related to DNA hybridization. Using the proposed model, we have transferred the character-based model in molecular biology to a sophisticated mathematical model for calculation and interpretation.

  13. Recent Advances in Molecular Biology of Thyroid Cancer and Their Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Mingzhao

    2009-01-01

    Synopsis Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy with a rapid rising incidence in recent years. Novel efficient management strategies are increasingly needed for this cancer. Remarkable advances have occurred in recent years in understanding the molecular biology of thyroid cancer. This is reflected in several major biological areas of thyroid cancer, including the molecular alterations for the loss of radioiodine avidity of thyroid cancer, the pathogenic role of the MAP kinase and PI3K/Akt pathways and their related genetic alterations, and the aberrant methylation of functionally important genes in thyroid tumorigenesis and pathogenesis. These exciting advances in molecular biology of thyroid cancer provide unprecedented opportunities for the development of molecular-based novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies for this cancer. PMID:19040974

  14. Introduction to the special issue on molecular imaging in radiation biology.

    PubMed

    Humm, John L; Dewhirst, Mark W; Bhujwalla, Zaver M

    2012-04-01

    Molecular imaging is an evolving science that is concerned with the development of novel imaging probes and biomarkers that can be used to non-invasively image molecular and cellular processes. This special issue approaches molecular imaging in the context of radiation research, focusing on biomarkers and imaging methods that provide measurable signals that can assist in the quantification of radiation-induced effects of living systems at the physical, chemical and biological levels. The potential to image molecular changes in response to a radiation insult opens new and exciting opportunities for a more profound understanding of radiation biology, with the possibility of translation of these techniques to radiotherapy practice. This special issue brings together 14 reviews dedicated to the use of molecular imaging in the field of radiation research. The initial three reviews are introductory overviews of the key molecular imaging modalities: magnetic resonance, nuclear and optical. This is followed by 11 reviews each focusing on a specialist area within the field of radiation research. These include: hypoxia and perfusion, tissue metabolism, normal tissue injury, cell death and viability, receptor targeting and nanotechnology, reporter genes, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and biological dosimetry. Over the preceding decade, molecular imaging brought significant new advances to our understanding of every area of radiation biology. This special issue shows us these advances and points to the vibrant future of our field armed with these new capabilities.

  15. Biologically Relevant Glycopeptides: Synthesis and Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, Clay S.; Payne, Richard J.; Koeller, Kathryn M.; Wong, Chi-Huey

    Over the past two decades interest in glycopeptides and glycoproteins has intensified, due in part to the development of new and efficient methods for the synthesis of these compounds. This includes a number of chemical and enzymatic techniques for incorporating glycosylation onto the peptide backbone as well as the introduction of powerful peptide ligation methods for the construction of glycoproteins. This review discusses these methods with a special emphasis on biologically relevant glycopeptides and glycoproteins. This includes the development of a number of antigens which hold promise as potential vaccines for HIV, cancer, or a host of other clinically important diseases. In addition the development of new antibiotics aimed at overcoming the problem of resistance will be discussed. Finally, chemical and enzymatic methods for the construction of glycopeptide mimetics will be described.

  16. Streptococcal M protein: molecular design and biological behavior.

    PubMed Central

    Fischetti, V A

    1989-01-01

    M protein is a major virulence determinant for the group A streptococcus by virtue of its ability to allow the organism to resist phagocytosis. Common in eucaryotes, the fibrillar coiled-coil design for the M molecule may prove to be a common motif for surface proteins in gram-positive organisms. This type of structure offers the organism several distinct advantages, ranging from antigenic variation to multiple functional domains. The close resemblance of this molecular design to that of certain mammalian proteins could help explain on a molecular level the formation of epitopes responsible for serological cross-reactions between microbial and mammalian proteins. Many of the approaches described in the elucidation of the M-protein structure may be applied for characterizing similar molecules in other microbial systems. Images PMID:2670192

  17. Molecular microbiology: new dimensions for cutaneous biology and wound healing.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jo M; Zenilman, Jonathan M; Lazarus, Gerald S

    2010-01-01

    The role of bacteria in the pathogenesis of chronic, nonhealing wounds is unclear. All wounds are colonized with bacteria, but differentiating colonizers from invading organisms is difficult, if not impossible, at the present time. Furthermore, robust new molecular genomic techniques have shown that only 1% of bacteria can be grown in culture; anaerobes are especially difficult to identify using standard culture methods. Recent studies utilizing microbial genomic methods have demonstrated that chronic wounds are host to a wide range of microorganisms. New techniques also show that microorganisms are capable of forming highly organized biofilms within the wound that differ dramatically in gene expression and phenotype from bacteria that are typically seen in planktonic conditions. The aim of this review is to present a concise description of infectious agents as defined by new molecular techniques and to summarize what is known about the microbiology of chronic wounds in order to relate them to the pathophysiology and therapy of chronic wounds.

  18. [Molecular biology of familial cases of human melanoma].

    PubMed

    Kit, O I; Vodolazhsky, D L; Timoshkina, N N; Przhedetsky, Yu V; Khokhlova, O V

    2015-01-01

    Skin melanoma is an etiologically heterogeneous disease, the development of which is related to a complex interaction of environmental factors and individual genetic characteristics. This article provides current molecular-genetic aspects of familial cases of melanoma and polymorphism of genes directly related to the risk of developing this hereditary disease. The studies of hereditary cancer cases add our knowledge of mechanisms oncotransformation, genetic changes in signaling pathways, which are responsible for invasiveness, metastasis and drug resistance of melanoma cells of the skin.

  19. [Molecular biology of castration-resistant prostate cancer].

    PubMed

    Doucet, Ludovic; Terrisse, Safae; Gauthier, Hélène; Pouessel, Damien; Le Maignan, Christine; Teixeira, Luis; Culine, Stéphane

    2015-06-01

    Castration-resistant prostate cancer was subjected to a paradigm switch from hormone resistance to androgen deprivation therapy resistance during the last decade. Indeed, new therapeutics targeting the androgen receptor showed clinical efficacy in patients with progressive disease under castration. Thus, it is a proof that the AR remains a dominant driver of oncogenesis in earlier-called hormone resistant prostate cancer. This review summarizes the molecular mechanisms involved in castration-resistant prostate cancer.

  20. Animal models of osteoarthritis in an era of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Bendele, A M

    2002-12-01

    Animal models of osteoarthritis (OA) are used to study the pathogenesis of cartilage degeneration and to evaluate potential anti-arthritic drugs for clinical use. In general, these models fall into 2 categories, spontaneous and induced (surgical instability or genetic manipulation). Animal models of naturally occurring OA occur in knee joints of guinea pigs, mice and Syrian hamsters. Commonly utilized surgical instability models include medial meniscal tear in guinea pigs and rats, medial or lateral partial meniscectomy in rabbits, medial partial or total meniscectomy or anterior cruciate transection in dogs. Transgenic models have been developed in mice. These models all have potential use in the study of molecular mechanisms associated with OA development via use of immunohistochemistry, biochemistry and molecular probes to identify altered matrix molecules at different stages in disease progression. Testing of specific types of inhibitors developed through evaluation of matrix changes in the disease process will ultimately help identify key processes which initiate and perpetuate the disease and will lead to discovery of new disease modifying pharmaceutical agents for OA patients. This paper will focus on the discussion of several models which are likely to be useful in the molecular dissection of processes involved in cartilage degeneration. PMID:15758375

  1. REVIEW ARTICLE: The physics of biological molecular motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, N.; Thornhill, R. A.

    1998-02-01

    Molecular motors are the fundamental agents of movement in living organisms. A prime example is the actomyosin motor that powers muscle contraction. We illustrate the remarkable physics of this motor using a simplified three-state model, in which a myosin cross-bridge attaches to an actin filament, tilts over and then detaches. This `cross-bridge cycle', driven by ATP hydrolysis, is similar to a thermodynamic cycle, except that the molecular system is stochastic. Random transitions in the cycle therefore produce tension fluctuations, which have recently been observed in single-molecule experiments. Furthermore, since the rate constants for attachment and tilting depend on the elastic energy in the cross-bridge spring, the molecular motor is a highly nonlinear mechanical system. A bias tension `stretch activates' the motor, and it then develops the remarkable property of `negative viscosity', which allows it to perform as a self-sustained mechanical oscillator. However, when a series of attachment sites is available, the motor operates instead as a ratchet, pulling the actin filament rapidly forwards against a light load, whilst a heavy load pulls the filament only very slowly in the opposite direction. Similar ideas may apply to the dynein-tubulin motor that powers cilia and flagella and the kinesin-tubulin motor used in intracellular transport.

  2. Milk proteins-derived bioactive peptides in dairy products: molecular, biological and methodological aspects.

    PubMed

    Dziuba, Bartłomiej; Dziuba, Marta

    2014-01-01

    Proteins are one of the primary components of the food, both in terms of nutrition and function. They are main source of amino acids, essential for synthesis of proteins, and also source of energy. Additionally, many proteins exhibit specific biological activities, which may have effect on functional or pro-health properties of food products. These proteins and their hydrolysis products, peptides, may influence the properties of food and human organism. The number of commercially available food products containing bioactive peptides is very low, apart from that milk proteins are their rich source. It could be supposed that number of available products with declared activity will rise in near future because of observed strong uptrend on interest in such products. Molecular and biological properties of milk proteins, as precursors of bioactive peptides was characterised in the work. Therefore, the strategy of research and obtaining of such peptides both in laboratory and industrial scale, as well as the range of their commercial application, was presented. Several examples of research efforts presenting high potential to develop new products containing bioactive peptides from milk proteins and predetermined as nutraceuticals was described.

  3. Combining Radiation Epidemiology With Molecular Biology-Changing From Health Risk Estimates to Therapeutic Intervention.

    PubMed

    Abend, Michael; Port, Matthias

    2016-08-01

    The authors herein summarize six presentations dedicated to the key session "molecular radiation epidemiology" of the ConRad meeting 2015. These presentations were chosen in order to highlight the promise when combining conventional radiation epidemiology with molecular biology. Conventional radiation epidemiology uses dose estimates for risk predictions on health. However, combined with molecular biology, dose-dependent bioindicators of effect hold the promise to improve clinical diagnostics and to provide target molecules for potential therapeutic intervention. One out of the six presentations exemplified the use of radiation-induced molecular changes as biomarkers of exposure by measuring stabile chromosomal translocations. The remaining five presentations focused on molecular changes used as bioindicators of the effect. These bioindicators of the effect could be used for diagnostic purposes on colon cancers (genomic instability), thyroid cancer (CLIP2), or head and neck squamous cell cancers. Therapeutic implications of gene expression changes were examined in Chernobyl thyroid cancer victims and Mayak workers. PMID:27356062

  4. Combining Radiation Epidemiology With Molecular Biology-Changing From Health Risk Estimates to Therapeutic Intervention.

    PubMed

    Abend, Michael; Port, Matthias

    2016-08-01

    The authors herein summarize six presentations dedicated to the key session "molecular radiation epidemiology" of the ConRad meeting 2015. These presentations were chosen in order to highlight the promise when combining conventional radiation epidemiology with molecular biology. Conventional radiation epidemiology uses dose estimates for risk predictions on health. However, combined with molecular biology, dose-dependent bioindicators of effect hold the promise to improve clinical diagnostics and to provide target molecules for potential therapeutic intervention. One out of the six presentations exemplified the use of radiation-induced molecular changes as biomarkers of exposure by measuring stabile chromosomal translocations. The remaining five presentations focused on molecular changes used as bioindicators of the effect. These bioindicators of the effect could be used for diagnostic purposes on colon cancers (genomic instability), thyroid cancer (CLIP2), or head and neck squamous cell cancers. Therapeutic implications of gene expression changes were examined in Chernobyl thyroid cancer victims and Mayak workers.

  5. Applications of optical manipulation in plant biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buer, Charles S.

    Measuring small forces in biology is important for determining basic physiological parameters of a cell. The plant cell wall provides a primary defense and presents a barrier to research. Magnitudes of small forces are impossible to measure with mechanical transducers, glass needles, atomic force microscopy, or micropipet-based force transduction due to the cell wall. Therefore, a noninvasive method of breaching the plant cell wall to access the symplastic region of the cell is required. Laser light provides sub-micrometer positioning, particle manipulation without mechanical contact, and piconewton force determination. Consequently, the extension of laser microsurgery to expand an experimental tool for plant biology encompassed the overall objective. A protocol was developed for precisely inserting microscopic objects into the periplasmic region of plant callus cells using laser microsurgery. Ginkgo biloba and Agrobacterium rhizogenes were used as the model system for developing the optical tweezers and scalpel techniques. Better than 95% survival was achieved after plasmolyzing G. biloba cells, ablating a 2-4 μm hole through the cell wall using a pulsed UV laser beam, trapping and manipulating bacteria into the periplasmic region, and deplasmolyzing the cells. Optical trapping experiments implied a difference existed between the bacteria models. Determining the optical trapping efficiency of Agrobacterium rhizogenes and A. tumefaciens strains indicated the A. rhizogenes strain, ATCC 11325, was significantly less efficiently trapped than strains A4 and ATCC 15834 and the A. tumefaciens strain LBA4404. Differences were also found in capsule generation, growth media viscosity, and transmission electron microscopy negative staining implying that a difference in surface structure exists. Calcofluor fluorescence suggests the difference involves an exopolysaccharide. Callus cell plasmolysis revealed Hechtian strands interconnecting the plasma membrane and the cell wall

  6. Modeling human risk: Cell & molecular biology in context

    SciTech Connect

    1997-06-01

    It is anticipated that early in the next century manned missions into outer space will occur, with a mission to Mars scheduled between 2015 and 2020. However, before such missions can be undertaken, a realistic estimation of the potential risks to the flight crews is required. One of the uncertainties remaining in this risk estimation is that posed by the effects of exposure to the radiation environment of outer space. Although the composition of this environment is fairly well understood, the biological effects arising from exposure to it are not. The reasons for this are three-fold: (1) A small but highly significant component of the radiation spectrum in outer space consists of highly charged, high energy (HZE) particles which are not routinely experienced on earth, and for which there are insufficient data on biological effects; (2) Most studies on the biological effects of radiation to date have been high-dose, high dose-rate, whereas in space, with the exception of solar particle events, radiation exposures will be low-dose, low dose-rate; (3) Although it has been established that the virtual absence of gravity in space has a profound effect on human physiology, it is not clear whether these effects will act synergistically with those of radiation exposure. A select panel will evaluate the utilizing experiments and models to accurately predict the risks associated with exposure to HZE particles. Topics of research include cellular and tissue response, health effects associated with radiation damage, model animal systems, and critical markers of Radiation response.

  7. Applications of quantum dots in cell biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barroso, Margarida; Mehdibeigi, Roshanak; Brogan, Louise

    2006-02-01

    Quantum dots promise to revolutionize the way fluorescence imaging is used in the Cell Biology field. The unique fluorescent spectral characteristics, high photostability, low photobleaching and tight emission spectra of quantum dots, position them above traditional dyes. Here we will address the ability of EviTags, which are water stabilized quantum dot products from Evident Technologies, to behave as effective FRET donors in cells. EviTag-Hops Yellow (HY; Emission 566nm; Donor) conjugated to biotin were bound to stretapvidin-Alexa568 (Acceptor) conjugates. These HYbiotin-streptavidin-Alexa568 FRET EviTag conjugates were then internalized by fluid-phase into non-polarized MDCK cells. Confocal microscopy detects these FRET EviTag conjugates in endocytic compartments, suggesting that EviTags can be used to track fluid-phase internalization and trafficking. EviTags are shown here to be effective FRET donors when internalized into cells. Upon pairing with the appropriate acceptor dyes, quantum dots will reduce the laborious data processing that is required to compensate for bleed through contamination between organic dye donor and acceptor pair signals. The EviTag technology will simplify and expand the use of FRET in the analysis of cellular processes that may involve protein-protein interactions and other complex cellular processes.

  8. Basal cell carcinoma — molecular biology and potential new therapies

    PubMed Central

    Kasper, Maria; Jaks, Viljar; Hohl, Daniel; Toftgård, Rune

    2012-01-01

    Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin, the most common malignancy in individuals of mixed European descent, is increasing in incidence due to an aging population and sun exposure habits. The realization that aberrant activation of Hedgehog signaling is a pathognomonic feature of BCC development has opened the way for exciting progress toward understanding BCC biology and translation of this knowledge to the clinic. Genetic mouse models closely mimicking human BCCs have provided answers about the tumor cell of origin, and inhibition of Hedgehog signaling is emerging as a potentially useful targeted therapy for patients with advanced or multiple BCCs that have hitherto lacked effective treatment. PMID:22293184

  9. Directed evolution and synthetic biology applications to microbial systems.

    PubMed

    Bassalo, Marcelo C; Liu, Rongming; Gill, Ryan T

    2016-06-01

    Biotechnology applications require engineering complex multi-genic traits. The lack of knowledge on the genetic basis of complex phenotypes restricts our ability to rationally engineer them. However, complex phenotypes can be engineered at the systems level, utilizing directed evolution strategies that drive whole biological systems toward desired phenotypes without requiring prior knowledge of the genetic basis of the targeted trait. Recent developments in the synthetic biology field accelerates the directed evolution cycle, facilitating engineering of increasingly complex traits in biological systems. In this review, we summarize some of the most recent advances in directed evolution and synthetic biology that allows engineering of complex traits in microbial systems. Then, we discuss applications that can be achieved through engineering at the systems level. PMID:27054950

  10. [Metastasis tumors of the central nervous system: molecular biology].

    PubMed

    Bello, M Josefa; González-Gómez, P; Rey, J A

    2004-12-01

    Metastases in the nervous system represent an important and growing problem in the clinical practice, being the cause of a great mortality in the developed countries. This article reviews the few data available on the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of these tumours, leading to oncogene activation, inactivation of tumour suppressor genes, not only by the classical mechanisms, but also by the tumour cell epigenetic balance alteration. We conclude that all this knowledge will lead in the future to a better diagnosis, treatment and clinic evolution of these patients.

  11. Biological and molecular characterizations of Toxoplasma gondii strains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cole, R.A.; Lindsay, D.S.; Howe, D.K.; Roderick, Constance L.; Dubey, J.P.; Thomas, N.J.; Baeten, L.A.

    2000-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from brain or heart tissue from 15 southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) in cell cultures. These strains were used to infect mice that developed antibodies to T. gondii as detected in the modified direct agglutination test and had T. gondii tissue cysts in their brains at necropsy. Mouse brains containing tissue cysts from 4 of the strains were fed to 4 cats. Two of the cats excreted T. gondii oocysts in their feces that were infectious for mice. Molecular analyses of 13 strains indicated that they were all type II strains, but that they were genetically distinct from one another.

  12. Molecular Biology and Immunology of Head & Neck Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Theresa; Califano, Joseph A.

    2015-01-01

    Synopsis In recent years our knowledge and understanding of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) has expanded dramatically. New high-throughput sequencing technologies have accelerated these discoveries since the first reports of whole exome sequencing of HNSCC tumors in 2011. In addition, the discovery of human papillomavirus (HPV) in relationship with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma has shifted our molecular understanding of the disease. New investigation into the role of immune evasion in HNSCC has also led to potential novel therapies based on immune specific systemic therapies. PMID:25979390

  13. [Molecular biology of familial cases of human melanoma].

    PubMed

    Kit, O I; Vodolazhsky, D L; Timoshkina, N N; Przhedetsky, Yu V; Khokhlova, O V

    2015-01-01

    Skin melanoma is an etiologically heterogeneous disease, the development of which is related to a complex interaction of environmental factors and individual genetic characteristics. This article provides current molecular-genetic aspects of familial cases of melanoma and polymorphism of genes directly related to the risk of developing this hereditary disease. The studies of hereditary cancer cases add our knowledge of mechanisms oncotransformation, genetic changes in signaling pathways, which are responsible for invasiveness, metastasis and drug resistance of melanoma cells of the skin. PMID:26995975

  14. Molecular biology and immunology of head and neck cancer.

    PubMed

    Guo, Theresa; Califano, Joseph A

    2015-07-01

    In recent years, our knowledge and understanding of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) has expanded dramatically. New high-throughput sequencing technologies have accelerated these discoveries since the first reports of whole-exome sequencing of HNSCC tumors in 2011. In addition, the discovery of human papillomavirus in relationship with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma has shifted our molecular understanding of the disease. New investigation into the role of immune evasion in HNSCC has also led to potential novel therapies based on immune-specific systemic therapies.

  15. Biology and applications of mycorrhizal fungi.

    PubMed

    Sharma, S; Madan, M; Vasudevan, P

    1997-12-01

    Mycorrhizae have been shown to increase growth and yield of plants. They have been identified with both nutrient mobilization and nutrient cycling. Arbuscular (or endo-) mycorrhizae play a significant role in agriculture and most natural ecosystems, whereas ectomycorrhizae have a great potential in forestry and wasteland regeneration. The use of mycorrhizal fungi would reduce dependence on chemical fertilizers besides minimizing environmental pollution. The present review addresses the progress that there has been in the area of the ecto- and endomycorrhizae. It also examines the potential of field applications of mycorrhizal biotechnology in agriculture and forestry.

  16. Protozoan HSP90-heterocomplex: molecular interaction network and biological significance.

    PubMed

    Figueras, Maria J; Echeverria, Pablo C; Angel, Sergio O

    2014-05-01

    The HSP90 chaperone is a highly conserved protein from bacteria to higher eukaryotes. In eukaryotes, this chaperone participates in different large complexes, such as the HSP90 heterocomplex, which has important biological roles in cell homeostasis and differentiation. The HSP90-heterocomplex is also named the HSP90/HSP70 cycle because different co-chaperones (HIP, HSP40, HOP, p23, AHA1, immunophilins, PP5) participate in this complex by assembling sequentially, from the early to the mature complex. In this review, we analyze the conservation and relevance of HSP90 and the HSP90-heterocomplex in several protozoan parasites, with emphasis in Plasmodium spp., Toxoplasma spp., Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma spp. In the last years, there has been an outburst of studies based on yeast two-hybrid methodology, co-immunoprecipitation-mass spectrometry and bioinformatics, which have generated a most comprehensive protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of HSP90 and its co-chaperones. This review analyzes the existing PPI networks of HSP90 and its co-chaperones of some protozoan parasites and discusses the usefulness of these powerful tools to analyze the biological role of the HSP90-heterocomplex in these parasites. The generation of a T. gondii HSP90 heterocomplex PPI network based on experimental data and a recent Plasmodium HSP90 heterocomplex PPI network are also included and discussed. As an example, the putative implication of nuclear transport and chromatin (histones and Sir2) as HSP90-heterocomplex interactors is here discussed.

  17. Protozoan HSP90-heterocomplex: molecular interaction network and biological significance.

    PubMed

    Figueras, Maria J; Echeverria, Pablo C; Angel, Sergio O

    2014-05-01

    The HSP90 chaperone is a highly conserved protein from bacteria to higher eukaryotes. In eukaryotes, this chaperone participates in different large complexes, such as the HSP90 heterocomplex, which has important biological roles in cell homeostasis and differentiation. The HSP90-heterocomplex is also named the HSP90/HSP70 cycle because different co-chaperones (HIP, HSP40, HOP, p23, AHA1, immunophilins, PP5) participate in this complex by assembling sequentially, from the early to the mature complex. In this review, we analyze the conservation and relevance of HSP90 and the HSP90-heterocomplex in several protozoan parasites, with emphasis in Plasmodium spp., Toxoplasma spp., Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma spp. In the last years, there has been an outburst of studies based on yeast two-hybrid methodology, co-immunoprecipitation-mass spectrometry and bioinformatics, which have generated a most comprehensive protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of HSP90 and its co-chaperones. This review analyzes the existing PPI networks of HSP90 and its co-chaperones of some protozoan parasites and discusses the usefulness of these powerful tools to analyze the biological role of the HSP90-heterocomplex in these parasites. The generation of a T. gondii HSP90 heterocomplex PPI network based on experimental data and a recent Plasmodium HSP90 heterocomplex PPI network are also included and discussed. As an example, the putative implication of nuclear transport and chromatin (histones and Sir2) as HSP90-heterocomplex interactors is here discussed. PMID:24694366

  18. Graphene nanonet for biological sensing applications.

    PubMed

    Kim, Taekyeong; Park, Jaesung; Jin, Hye Jun; Lee, Hyungwoo; Byun, Kyung-Eun; Lee, Chang-Seuk; Kim, Kwang S; Hong, Byung Hee; Kim, Tae Hyun; Hong, Seunghun

    2013-09-20

    We report a simple but efficient method to fabricate versatile graphene nanonet (GNN)-devices. In this method, networks of V2O5 nanowires (NWs) were prepared in specific regions of single-layer graphene, and the graphene layer was selectively etched via a reactive ion etching method using the V2O5 NWs as a shadow mask. The process allowed us to prepare large scale patterns of GNN structures which were comprised of continuous networks of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with chemical functional groups on their edges. The GNN can be easily functionalized with biomolecules for fluorescent biochip applications. Furthermore, electrical channels based on GNN exhibited a rather high mobility and low noise compared with other network structures based on nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes, which was attributed to the continuous connection of nanoribbons in GNN structures. As a proof of concept, we built DNA sensors based on GNN channels and demonstrated the selective detection of DNA. Since our method allows us to prepare high-performance networks of GNRs over a large surface area, it should open up various practical biosensing applications.

  19. Structural biology applications of solid state MAS DNP NMR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbey, Ümit; Oschkinat, Hartmut

    2016-08-01

    Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) has long been an aim for increasing sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, delivering spectra in shorter experiment times or of smaller sample amounts. In recent years, it has been applied in magic angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR to a large range of samples, including biological macromolecules and functional materials. New research directions in structural biology can be envisaged by DNP, facilitating investigations on very large complexes or very heterogeneous samples. Here we present a summary of state of the art DNP MAS NMR spectroscopy and its applications to structural biology, discussing the technical challenges and factors affecting DNP performance.

  20. Biological applications of ultraviolet free-electron lasers

    SciTech Connect

    Sutherland, J.C.

    1997-10-01

    This review examines the possibilities for biological research using the three ultraviolet free-electron lasers that are nearing operational status in the US. The projected operating characteristics of major interest in biological research of the free-electron lasers at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, and Duke University are presented. Experimental applications in the areas of far- and vacuum ultraviolet photophysics and photochemistry, structural biology, environmental photobiology, and medical research are discussed and the prospects for advances in these areas, based upon the characteristics of the new ultraviolet free-electron lasers, are evaluated.

  1. Synthetic Genomics and Synthetic Biology Applications Between Hopes and Concerns

    PubMed Central

    König, Harald; Frank, Daniel; Heil, Reinhard; Coenen, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    New organisms and biological systems designed to satisfy human needs are among the aims of synthetic genomics and synthetic biology. Synthetic biology seeks to model and construct biological components, functions and organisms that do not exist in nature or to redesign existing biological systems to perform new functions. Synthetic genomics, on the other hand, encompasses technologies for the generation of chemically-synthesized whole genomes or larger parts of genomes, allowing to simultaneously engineer a myriad of changes to the genetic material of organisms. Engineering complex functions or new organisms in synthetic biology are thus progressively becoming dependent on and converging with synthetic genomics. While applications from both areas have been predicted to offer great benefits by making possible new drugs, renewable chemicals or clean energy, they have also given rise to concerns about new safety, environmental and socio-economic risks – stirring an increasingly polarizing debate. Here we intend to provide an overview on recent progress in biomedical and biotechnological applications of synthetic genomics and synthetic biology as well as on arguments and evidence related to their possible benefits, risks and governance implications. PMID:23997647

  2. Challenges in determining causation in structure-function studies using molecular biological techniques.

    PubMed

    de los Reyes, Francis L

    2010-09-01

    The use of molecular biological techniques for determining the levels and types of different microbial populations in bioreactors has led to the emergence of the microbial community 'structure-function' paradigm that is often used in research. Typically, lab- or full-scale systems are monitored for the relevant parameters, and these parameters are related to the changes in microbial populations. Research in activated sludge phenomena, such as filamentous bulking, filamentous foaming, nitrogen removal, and phosphorus removal, are replete with many examples of this 'structure-function' paradigm, most commonly those that involve 16S rRNA gene-based analysis of the microbial populations. In many cases, such studies assume a causal microbial population (e.g., a species that causes bulking or foaming), or conclude in identifying a causal population. However, assigning cause to specific organisms and populations is problematic in a complex environment such as wastewater bioreactors. The Koch-Henle postulates, the gold standard in evaluating causation of disease, have limitations when applied to systems with mixed microbial communities with complex interactions, particularly if pure cultures are not available. Molecular techniques that allow specific identification and quantification of organisms have been used by researchers to overcome the limitations of culture-based techniques, and at the same time, raised new questions on the applicability of causation postulates in environmental systems. In this paper, various causation criteria improving on the Koch-Henle postulates are presented. Complicating issues in assigning cause in wastewater bioreactors are identified. Approaches for determining cause-effect relationships are illustrated using 16S rDNA-based investigations of filaments that cause bulking and foaming in activated sludge. The hope is that a causation framework that accounts for the assumptions in molecular studies, as applied to wastewater treatment research

  3. Silicon quantum dots for biological applications.

    PubMed

    Chinnathambi, Shanmugavel; Chen, Song; Ganesan, Singaravelu; Hanagata, Nobutaka

    2014-01-01

    Semiconductor nanoparticles (or quantum dots, QDs) exhibit unique optical and electronic properties such as size-controlled fluorescence, high quantum yields, and stability against photobleaching. These properties allow QDs to be used as optical labels for multiplexed imaging and in drug delivery detection systems. Luminescent silicon QDs and surface-modified silicon QDs have also been developed as potential minimally toxic fluorescent probes for bioapplications. Silicon, a well-known power electronic semiconductor material, is considered an extremely biocompatible material, in particular with respect to blood. This review article summarizes existing knowledge related to and recent research progress made in the methods for synthesizing silicon QDs, as well as their optical properties and surface-modification processes. In addition, drug delivery systems and in vitro and in vivo imaging applications that use silicon QDs are also discussed.

  4. Mesoporous silicates: Materials science and biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roggers, Robert Anthony

    This thesis dissertation presents the collective research into the advancement of mesoporous silicate particles as biointerface devices, the development of new materials and the application of these particles as solid supports for heterogeneous catalysis. Mesoporous silica has been utilized in the aforementioned applications due to several reasons; the first being the ability to achieve high surface areas (500 - 1000 m2 g-1) with controlled pore sizes and particle morphology. Another reason for their popularity is their robustness in applications of heterogeneous catalysis and the ability to functionalize the surface with a wide variety of organic functional groups. In the field of biointerface devices, mesoporous silica nanoparticles represent a class of materials that exhibit high biocompatibility. In addition, the ability to functionalize the surfaces (outer surface and pore interiors) allows the particles to be targeted to specific cell types as well as the ability to release many different therapeutic molecules under specific stimuli. A unique particle coating consisting of a chemically cleavable lipid bilayer that allows for the encapsulation of a fluorescent molecule and increases the biocompatibility of the particle has been developed. The lipid bilayer coated mesoporous silica nanoparticle (LB-MSN) was characterized using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and nitrogen `sorption isotherms. The finished LB-MSN was then incubated with mammalian cells in order to prove their biocompatibility. Confocal micrographs demonstrate the endocytosis of the particles into the cells. In addition the micrographs also show that the LB-MSNs are separate from the endosomal compartments, however due to the lipophilic nature of the dye used to label the endosome there is some debate regarding this conclusion. The lipid bilayer coating was then applied to a large pore MSN (l-MSN) which had been previously shown to cause lysis of red blood cells (RBCs) at low

  5. Biologically active extracts with kidney affections applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascu (Neagu), Mihaela; Pascu, Daniela-Elena; Cozea, Andreea; Bunaciu, Andrei A.; Miron, Alexandra Raluca; Nechifor, Cristina Aurelia

    2015-12-01

    This paper is aimed to select plant materials rich in bioflavonoid compounds, made from herbs known for their application performances in the prevention and therapy of renal diseases, namely kidney stones and urinary infections (renal lithiasis, nephritis, urethritis, cystitis, etc.). This paper presents a comparative study of the medicinal plant extracts composition belonging to Ericaceae-Cranberry (fruit and leaves) - Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. and Bilberry (fruit) - Vaccinium myrtillus L. Concentrated extracts obtained from medicinal plants used in this work were analyzed from structural, morphological and compositional points of view using different techniques: chromatographic methods (HPLC), scanning electronic microscopy, infrared, and UV spectrophotometry, also by using kinetic model. Liquid chromatography was able to identify the specific compounds of the Ericaceae family, present in all three extracts, arbutosid, as well as specific components of each species, mostly from the class of polyphenols. The identification and quantitative determination of the active ingredients from these extracts can give information related to their therapeutic effects.

  6. Miniature spectroscopic instrumentation: Applications to biology and chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bacon, Christina P.; Mattley, Yvette; DeFrece, Ronald

    2004-01-01

    Spectroscopy is a fundamental analytical tool utilized throughout all of the sciences. For chemistry and biology alone, there are thousands of applications. In the past two decades there have been monumental advances in the miniaturization of components used in spectrophotometric systems. The key components include detector arrays, laser diodes, and fiber optics. Currently, there are numerous commercially available miniature spectrometer systems as well as discrete components that are used by researchers in designing their own systems. A comprehensive summary of current instrumentation available for the design and development of miniaturized spectroscopy applications is described, including detectors, wavelength discriminating components, light sources, and sampling assemblies. Recommendations are made for designing spectrometer systems for specific applications. Current literature is reviewed for chemical and biological applications specifically using miniaturized spectrometer systems with the focus being on ultraviolet-visible-near-infrared spectrometers. The applications include laboratory applications, environmental sensing, on-site industrial analyses, botany and ecology applications, and finally clinical and biochemical studies. Additionally, microspectrometers, two-dimensional arrays, and photonics crystals are discussed in regards to their future role in chemistry and biology applications.

  7. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Techniques for Person Characterization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herrero, Salvador; Ivorra, Jose Luis; Garcia-Sogo, Magdalena; Martinez-Cortina, Carmen

    2008-01-01

    Using the traditional serological tests and the most novel techniques for DNA fingerprinting, forensic scientists scan different traits that vary from person to person and use the data to include or exclude suspects based on matching with the evidence obtained in a criminal case. Although the forensic application of these methods is well known,…

  8. Direct evidence of the molecular basis for biological silicon transport.

    PubMed

    Knight, Michael J; Senior, Laura; Nancolas, Bethany; Ratcliffe, Sarah; Curnow, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Diatoms are an important group of eukaryotic algae with a curious evolutionary innovation: they sheath themselves in a cell wall made largely of silica. The cellular machinery responsible for silicification includes a family of membrane permeases that recognize and actively transport the soluble precursor of biosilica, silicic acid. However, the molecular basis of silicic acid transport remains obscure. Here, we identify experimentally tractable diatom silicic acid transporter (SIT) homologues and study their structure and function in vitro, enabled by the development of a new fluorescence method for studying substrate transport kinetics. We show that recombinant SITs are Na(+)/silicic acid symporters with a 1:1 protein: substrate stoichiometry and KM for silicic acid of 20 μM. Protein mutagenesis supports the long-standing hypothesis that four conserved GXQ amino acid motifs are important in SIT function. This marks a step towards a detailed understanding of silicon transport with implications for biogeochemistry and bioinspired materials.

  9. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization. [Rhodococcus rhodochrous

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-07-01

    The overall objective of this project is to sue molecular genetics to develop strains of bacteria with enhanced ability to remove sulfur from coal and to obtain data that will allow the performance and economics of a coal biodesulfurization process to be predicted. The work planned for the current quarter (May 1990 to July 1990) includes the following activities: (1) Construct a cloning vector that can be used in Rhodococcus rhodochrous IGTS8 from the small cryptic plasmid found in Rhodococcus rhodochrous ATCC 190607; (2) Develop techniques for the genetic analysis of IGTS8; (3) Continue biochemical experiments, particularly those that may allow the identification of desulfurization-related enzymes; (4) Continue experiments with coal to determine the kinetics of organic sulfur removal.

  10. Direct evidence of the molecular basis for biological silicon transport

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Michael J.; Senior, Laura; Nancolas, Bethany; Ratcliffe, Sarah; Curnow, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Diatoms are an important group of eukaryotic algae with a curious evolutionary innovation: they sheath themselves in a cell wall made largely of silica. The cellular machinery responsible for silicification includes a family of membrane permeases that recognize and actively transport the soluble precursor of biosilica, silicic acid. However, the molecular basis of silicic acid transport remains obscure. Here, we identify experimentally tractable diatom silicic acid transporter (SIT) homologues and study their structure and function in vitro, enabled by the development of a new fluorescence method for studying substrate transport kinetics. We show that recombinant SITs are Na+/silicic acid symporters with a 1:1 protein: substrate stoichiometry and KM for silicic acid of 20 μM. Protein mutagenesis supports the long-standing hypothesis that four conserved GXQ amino acid motifs are important in SIT function. This marks a step towards a detailed understanding of silicon transport with implications for biogeochemistry and bioinspired materials. PMID:27305972

  11. Enzymology and molecular biology of cell wall biosynthesis. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Ray, P.M.

    1993-03-20

    In order to be able to explore the control of cell wall polysaccharide synthesis at the molecular level, which inter alia might eventually lead to means for useful modification of plant biomass polysaccharide production, the immediate goals of this project are to identify polypeptides responsible for wall polysaccharide synthase activities and to obtain clones of the genes that encode them. We are concentrating on plasma membraneassociated (1,3)-{beta}-glucan synthase (glucan synthase-II or GS-II) and Golgi-associated (1,4)-{beta}-glucan synthase (glucan synthase-I or GS-I), of growing pea stem tissue. Our progress has been much more rapid with respect to GS-II than regarding GS-I.

  12. A role for molecular genetics in biological conservation.

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, S J

    1994-01-01

    The recognition of recent accelerated depletion of species as a consequence of human industrial development has spawned a wide interest in identifying threats to endangered species. In addition to ecological and demographic perils, it has become clear that small populations that narrowly survive demographic contraction may undergo close inbreeding, genetic drift, and loss of overall genomic variation due to allelic loss or reduction to homozygosity. I review here the consequences of such genetic depletion revealed by applying molecular population genetic analysis to four endangered mammals: African cheetah, lion, Florida panther, and humpback whale. The accumulated genetic results, combined with physiological, ecological, and ethological data, provide a multifaceted perspective of the process of species diminution. An emerging role of population genetics, phylogenetics, and phylogeography as indicators of a population's natural history and its future prognosis provides valuable data of use in the development of conservation management plans for endangered species. PMID:7912434

  13. Direct evidence of the molecular basis for biological silicon transport.

    PubMed

    Knight, Michael J; Senior, Laura; Nancolas, Bethany; Ratcliffe, Sarah; Curnow, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Diatoms are an important group of eukaryotic algae with a curious evolutionary innovation: they sheath themselves in a cell wall made largely of silica. The cellular machinery responsible for silicification includes a family of membrane permeases that recognize and actively transport the soluble precursor of biosilica, silicic acid. However, the molecular basis of silicic acid transport remains obscure. Here, we identify experimentally tractable diatom silicic acid transporter (SIT) homologues and study their structure and function in vitro, enabled by the development of a new fluorescence method for studying substrate transport kinetics. We show that recombinant SITs are Na(+)/silicic acid symporters with a 1:1 protein: substrate stoichiometry and KM for silicic acid of 20 μM. Protein mutagenesis supports the long-standing hypothesis that four conserved GXQ amino acid motifs are important in SIT function. This marks a step towards a detailed understanding of silicon transport with implications for biogeochemistry and bioinspired materials. PMID:27305972

  14. Cell and molecular biology for diagnostic and therapeutic technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, M. I.

    2016-03-01

    Our body contains 100 trillion cells. However, each cell has certain function and structure. For maintaining their integrity, cells will be collaborating with each other and with extracellular matrix surround them to form a tissue. These interactions effect internally on many networks or pathway such as signalling pathway, metabolic pathway and transport network in the cell. These networks interact with each other to maintain cell survival, cell structure and function and moreover the tissue as well as the organ which the cells built. Therefore, as part of a tissue, genetic and epigenetic abnormality of a cell can also alter these networks, and moreover disturb the function of the tissue itself. Hence, condition of genetic and epigenetic of the cell may affect other conditions in omics level such as transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomics characteristics which can be differentiated by a particular unique molecular profile from each level, which can be used for diagnostic as well as for targeted therapy.

  15. The molecular biology and biochemistry of rice endosperm. alpha. -globulin

    SciTech Connect

    Shorrosh, B.S.

    1989-01-01

    The author's first objective was to isolate a cDNA clone that encodes the rice endosperm {alpha}-globulin. Purified antibodies against a rice storage protein, {alpha}-globulin, were used to screen a {lambda}gt11 cDNA expression library constructed from immature rice seed endosperm. The cDNA insert of clone 4A1 (identified by antibody screening) was used as a probe to identify long cDNA inserts in the library. The deduced amino acid sequence of clone A3-12 cDNA insert (identified by cDNA screening) contained the amino acid sequences of three cyanogen bromide peptides fragment of {alpha}-globulin. The calculated molecular weight and amino acid composition of the deduced amino acid sequence were similar to the {alpha}-globulin protein. Northern blot analysis indicated that mRNA of one size, approximately 1.0 kb, is expressed. Southern genomic blot analysis revealed one band with EcoRI or Hind III digestion. Cell-free translation and immunoprecipitation showed that the initial translation product is approximately 2,000 daltons larger than the mature protein. The amino acid sequence of {alpha}-globulin revealed limited regions of similarities with wheat storage proteins. The author concludes that the cDNA insert in clone A3-12 contained the entire coding region of {alpha}-globulin protein and that {alpha}-globulin is encoded by a single gene. My second objective was to inhibit the degradation of {alpha}-globulin in the salt extract of rice flour. The salt extract of rice flour contained an acid protease whose optimal pH was 3 for {sup 3}H-casein hydrolysis. A polypeptide with molecular weight of 20,000 was immunologically reactive with {alpha}-globulin antibodies and is produced by limited proteolysis in the extract. Pepstatin inhibited the proteolysis of 3H-casein and slowed the proteolysis of {alpha}-globulin.

  16. Mesoporous silicates: Materials science and biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roggers, Robert Anthony

    This thesis dissertation presents the collective research into the advancement of mesoporous silicate particles as biointerface devices, the development of new materials and the application of these particles as solid supports for heterogeneous catalysis. Mesoporous silica has been utilized in the aforementioned applications due to several reasons; the first being the ability to achieve high surface areas (500 - 1000 m2 g-1) with controlled pore sizes and particle morphology. Another reason for their popularity is their robustness in applications of heterogeneous catalysis and the ability to functionalize the surface with a wide variety of organic functional groups. In the field of biointerface devices, mesoporous silica nanoparticles represent a class of materials that exhibit high biocompatibility. In addition, the ability to functionalize the surfaces (outer surface and pore interiors) allows the particles to be targeted to specific cell types as well as the ability to release many different therapeutic molecules under specific stimuli. A unique particle coating consisting of a chemically cleavable lipid bilayer that allows for the encapsulation of a fluorescent molecule and increases the biocompatibility of the particle has been developed. The lipid bilayer coated mesoporous silica nanoparticle (LB-MSN) was characterized using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and nitrogen `sorption isotherms. The finished LB-MSN was then incubated with mammalian cells in order to prove their biocompatibility. Confocal micrographs demonstrate the endocytosis of the particles into the cells. In addition the micrographs also show that the LB-MSNs are separate from the endosomal compartments, however due to the lipophilic nature of the dye used to label the endosome there is some debate regarding this conclusion. The lipid bilayer coating was then applied to a large pore MSN (l-MSN) which had been previously shown to cause lysis of red blood cells (RBCs) at low

  17. Synthesis, characterization and biological application of four novel metal-Schiff base complexes derived from allylamine and their interactions with human serum albumin: Experimental, molecular docking and ONIOM computational study.

    PubMed

    Kazemi, Zahra; Rudbari, Hadi Amiri; Sahihi, Mehdi; Mirkhani, Valiollah; Moghadam, Majid; Tangestaninejad, Shahram; Mohammadpoor-Baltork, Iraj; Gharaghani, Sajjad

    2016-09-01

    Novel metal-based drug candidate including VOL2, NiL2, CuL2 and PdL2 have been synthesized from 2-hydroxy-1-allyliminomethyl-naphthalen ligand and have been characterized by means of elemental analysis (CHN), FT-IR and UV-vis spectroscopies. In addition, (1)H and (13)C NMR techniques were employed for characterization of the PdL2 complex. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction technique was utilized to characterise the structure of the complexes. The Cu(II), Ni(II) and Pd(II) complexes show a square planar trans-coordination geometry, while in the VOL2, the vanadium center has a distorted tetragonal pyramidal N2O3 coordination sphere. The HSA-binding was also determined, using fluorescence quenching, UV-vis spectroscopy, and circular dichroism (CD) titration method. The obtained results revealed that the HSA affinity for binding the synthesized compounds follows as PdL2>CuL2>VOL2>NiL2, indicating the effect of metal ion on binding constant. The distance between these compounds and HSA was obtained based on the Förster's theory of non-radiative energy transfer. Furthermore, computational methods including molecular docking and our Own N-layered Integrated molecular Orbital and molecular Mechanics (ONIOM) were carried out to investigate the HSA-binding of the compounds. Molecular docking calculation indicated the existence of hydrogen bond between amino acid residues of HSA and all synthesized compounds. The formation of the hydrogen bond in the HSA-compound systems leads to their stabilization. The ONIOM method was utilized in order to investigate HSA binding of compounds more precisely in which molecular mechanics method (UFF) and semi empirical method (PM6) were selected for the low layer and the high layer, respectively. The results show that the structural parameters of the compounds changed along with binding to HSA, indicating the strong interaction between the compounds and HSA. The value of binding constant depends on the extent of the resultant changes. This

  18. Synthesis, characterization and biological application of four novel metal-Schiff base complexes derived from allylamine and their interactions with human serum albumin: Experimental, molecular docking and ONIOM computational study.

    PubMed

    Kazemi, Zahra; Rudbari, Hadi Amiri; Sahihi, Mehdi; Mirkhani, Valiollah; Moghadam, Majid; Tangestaninejad, Shahram; Mohammadpoor-Baltork, Iraj; Gharaghani, Sajjad

    2016-09-01

    Novel metal-based drug candidate including VOL2, NiL2, CuL2 and PdL2 have been synthesized from 2-hydroxy-1-allyliminomethyl-naphthalen ligand and have been characterized by means of elemental analysis (CHN), FT-IR and UV-vis spectroscopies. In addition, (1)H and (13)C NMR techniques were employed for characterization of the PdL2 complex. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction technique was utilized to characterise the structure of the complexes. The Cu(II), Ni(II) and Pd(II) complexes show a square planar trans-coordination geometry, while in the VOL2, the vanadium center has a distorted tetragonal pyramidal N2O3 coordination sphere. The HSA-binding was also determined, using fluorescence quenching, UV-vis spectroscopy, and circular dichroism (CD) titration method. The obtained results revealed that the HSA affinity for binding the synthesized compounds follows as PdL2>CuL2>VOL2>NiL2, indicating the effect of metal ion on binding constant. The distance between these compounds and HSA was obtained based on the Förster's theory of non-radiative energy transfer. Furthermore, computational methods including molecular docking and our Own N-layered Integrated molecular Orbital and molecular Mechanics (ONIOM) were carried out to investigate the HSA-binding of the compounds. Molecular docking calculation indicated the existence of hydrogen bond between amino acid residues of HSA and all synthesized compounds. The formation of the hydrogen bond in the HSA-compound systems leads to their stabilization. The ONIOM method was utilized in order to investigate HSA binding of compounds more precisely in which molecular mechanics method (UFF) and semi empirical method (PM6) were selected for the low layer and the high layer, respectively. The results show that the structural parameters of the compounds changed along with binding to HSA, indicating the strong interaction between the compounds and HSA. The value of binding constant depends on the extent of the resultant changes. This

  19. Nucleic Acids Research annual Database Issue and the NAR online Molecular Biology Database Collection in 2009

    PubMed Central

    Galperin, Michael Y.; Cochrane, Guy R.

    2009-01-01

    The current issue of Nucleic Acids Research includes descriptions of 179 databases, of which 95 are new. These databases (along with several molecular biology databases described in other journals) have been included in the Nucleic Acids Research online Molecular Biology Database Collection, bringing the total number of databases in the collection to 1170. In this introductory comment, we briefly describe some of these new databases and review the principles guiding the selection of databases for inclusion in the Nucleic Acids Research annual Database Issue and the Nucleic Acids Research online Molecular Biology Database Collection. The complete database list and summaries are available online at the Nucleic Acids Research web site (http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/). PMID:19033364

  20. Workable male sterility systems for hybrid rice: Genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and utilization.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jian-Zhong; E, Zhi-Guo; Zhang, Hua-Li; Shu, Qing-Yao

    2014-12-01

    The exploitation of male sterility systems has enabled the commercialization of heterosis in rice, with greatly increased yield and total production of this major staple food crop. Hybrid rice, which was adopted in the 1970s, now covers nearly 13.6 million hectares each year in China alone. Various types of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) and environment-conditioned genic male sterility (EGMS) systems have been applied in hybrid rice production. In this paper, recent advances in genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology are reviewed with an emphasis on major male sterility systems in rice: five CMS systems, i.e., BT-, HL-, WA-, LD- and CW- CMS, and two EGMS systems, i.e., photoperiod- and temperature-sensitive genic male sterility (P/TGMS). The interaction of chimeric mitochondrial genes with nuclear genes causes CMS, which may be restored by restorer of fertility (Rf) genes. The PGMS, on the other hand, is conditioned by a non-coding RNA gene. A survey of the various CMS and EGMS lines used in hybrid rice production over the past three decades shows that the two-line system utilizing EGMS lines is playing a steadily larger role and TGMS lines predominate the current two-line system for hybrid rice production. The findings and experience gained during development and application of, and research on male sterility in rice not only advanced our understanding but also shed light on applications to other crops.