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Sample records for natural agent deguelin

  1. A Novel Derivative of the Natural Agent Deguelin for Cancer Chemoprevention and Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Woo-Young; Chang, Dong Jo; Hennessy, Bryan; Kang, Hae-Jin; Yoo, Jakyung; Han, Seung-Ho; Kim, Yoo-Shin; Park, Hyun-Ju; Geo, Seung-Yong; Mills, Gordon; Kim, Kyu-Won; Hong, Waun Ki; Suh, Young-Ger; Lee, Ho-Young

    2009-01-01

    The natural compound deguelin has promising preventive and therapeutic activity against diverse cancers by directly binding to heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and thus suppressing its function. Potential side effects of deguelin over a certain dose, however, could be a substantial obstacle to its clinical use. To develop a derivative(s) of deguelin with reduced potential side effects, we synthesized five deguelin analogues (SH-02, SH-03, SH-09, SH-14 and SH-15) and compared them with the parent compound and each other for structural and biochemical features, solubility, and antiproliferative effects on normal, premalignant and malignant human bronchial epithelial (HBE) and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines. Four derivatives destabilized hypoxia-inducible factor-1α as potently as did deguelin. Reverse-phase protein array (RPPA) analysis in H460 NSCLC cells revealed that deguelin and the derivatives suppressed expression of a number of proteins including Hsp90 clients and proteins involved in the phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. One derivative, SH-14, showed several features of potential superiority for clinical use: the highest apoptotic activity; no detectable influence on Src/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling, which can promote cancer progression and is closely related to pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (deguelin, SH-02 and SH-03 strongly activated this signaling); better aqueous solubility; and less cytotoxicity to immortalized HBE cells (versus deguelin) at a dose (1 μM) that induced apoptotic activity in most premalignant and malignant HBE and NSCLC cell lines. These collective results suggest that the novel derivative SH-14 has strong potential for cancer chemoprevention and therapy, with equivalent efficacy and lesser toxicity (versus deguelin). PMID:19139008

  2. Deguelin, a novel anti-tumorigenic agent targeting apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and anti-angiogenesis for cancer chemoprevention

    PubMed Central

    WANG, YING; MA, WENLI; ZHENG, WENLING

    2013-01-01

    Deguelin is a natural compound of the flavonoid family products isolated from Derris trifoliata Lour. or Mundulea sericea (Leguminosae). It exhibited significant anti-tumorigenesis and anti-proliferative activity in various types of cancer both in vitro and in vivo. Deguelin induced cell apoptosis by blocking anti-apoptotic pathways, such as PI3K-Akt, IKK-IκBα-NF-κB and AMPK-mTOR-survivin, while inhibiting tumor cell propagation and malignant transformation through p27-cyclinE-pRb-E2F1 cell cycle control and HIF-1α-VEGF anti-angiogenic pathways. In pre-clinical trials, deguelin markedly decreased the tumor incidence. These biological findings identified deguelin as a novel anti-tumorigenic agent targeting apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and anti-angiogenesis for cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy. PMID:24649149

  3. Deguelins, Natural Product Modulators of NF1-Defective Astrocytoma Cell Growth Identified by High-Throughput Screening of Partially Purified Natural Product Extracts.

    PubMed

    Henrich, Curtis J; Cartner, Laura K; Wilson, Jennifer A; Fuller, Richard W; Rizzo, Anthony E; Reilly, Karlyne M; McMahon, James B; Gustafson, Kirk R

    2015-11-25

    A high-throughput screening assay for modulators of Trp53/NF1 mutant astrocytoma cell growth was adapted for use with natural product extracts and applied to a novel collection of prefractionated/partially purified extracts. Screening 68 427 samples identified active fractions from 95 unique extracts, including the terrestrial plant Millettia ichthyotona. Only three of these extracts showed activity in the crude extract form, thus demonstrating the utility of a partial purification approach for natural product screening. The NF1 screening assay was used to guide purification of active compounds from the M. ichthyotona extract, which yielded the two rotenones deguelin (1) and dehydrodeguelin (2). The deguelins have been reported to affect growth of a number of cancer cell lines. They potently inhibited growth of only one of a panel of NF1/Trp53 mutant murine astrocytoma cell lines, possibly related to epigenetic factors, but had no effect on the growth of normal astrocytes. These results suggest the potential utility of deguelins as tools for further investigating NF1 astrocytoma cell growth. These bioprobes were identified only as a result of screening partially purified natural product extracts.

  4. Antitumor effects of deguelin on H460 human lung cancer cells in vitro and in vivo: Roles of apoptotic cell death and H460 tumor xenografts model.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Yu-Chieh; Chiang, Jo-Hua; Yu, Chun-Shu; Hsia, Te-Chun; Wu, Rick Sai-Chuen; Lien, Jin-Cherng; Lai, Kuang-Chi; Yu, Fu-Shun; Chung, Jing-Gung

    2017-01-01

    Deguelin, a naturally occurring rotenoid of the flavonoid family, is known to be an Akt inhibitor, to have chemopreventive activities and anti-tumor effect on several cancers. In this study, investigation to elucidate the effect of deguelin on apoptotic pathways in human lung cancer cells and on the anti-tumor effect in lung cancer xenograft nu/nu mice was performed. In vitro studies, found that deguelin induced cell morphological changes, and decreased the percentage of viability through the induction of apoptosis in H460 lung cancer cells. Deguelin triggered apoptosis in H460 cells was also confirmed by DAPI staining, DNA gel electrophoresis, and Annexin V-FITC staining and these effects are dose-dependent manners. It was also found that deguelin promoted the Ca(2+) production and activation of caspase-3 but decreased the level of ΔΨm in H460 cells. Western blots indicated that the protein levels of cytochrome c, AIF, and pro-apoptotic Bax and Bak protein were increased, but the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 and Bcl-x were decreased that may have led to apoptosis in H460 cells after exposure to deguelin. It was also confirmed by confocal laser microscope examination that deguelin promoted the release of AIF from mitochondria to cytosol. In vivo studies, found that in immunodeficient nu/nu mice bearing H460 tumor xenografts showed that the deguelin significantly suppressed tumor growth. Deguelin might be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of lung cancer in the future. This finding might fully support a critical event for deguelin via induction of apoptotic cell death and H460 tumor xenografts model against human lung cancer. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 32: 84-98, 2017.

  5. Synergistic Activity of Deguelin and Fludarabine in Cells from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patients and in the New Zealand Black Murine Model

    PubMed Central

    Rebolleda, Nerea; Losada-Fernandez, Ignacio; Perez-Chacon, Gema; Castejon, Raquel; Rosado, Silvia; Morado, Marta; Vallejo-Cremades, Maria Teresa; Martinez, Andrea; Vargas-Nuñez, Juan A.

    2016-01-01

    B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) remains an incurable disease, and despite the improvement achieved by therapeutic regimes developed over the last years still a subset of patients face a rather poor prognosis and will eventually relapse and become refractory to therapy. The natural rotenoid deguelin has been shown to induce apoptosis in several cancer cells and cell lines, including primary human CLL cells, and to act as a chemopreventive agent in animal models of induced carcinogenesis. In this work, we show that deguelin induces apoptosis in vitro in primary human CLL cells and in CLL-like cells from the New Zealand Black (NZB) mouse strain. In both of them, deguelin dowregulates AKT, NFκB and several downstream antiapoptotic proteins (XIAP, cIAP, BCL2, BCL-XL and survivin), activating the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. Moreover, deguelin inhibits stromal cell-mediated c-Myc upregulation and resistance to fludarabine, increasing fludarabine induced DNA damage. We further show that deguelin has activity in vivo against NZB CLL-like cells in an experimental model of CLL in young NZB mice transplanted with spleen cells from aged NZB mice with lymphoproliferation. Moreover, the combination of deguelin and fludarabine in this model prolonged the survival of transplanted mice at doses of both compounds that were ineffective when administered individually. These results suggest deguelin could have potential for the treatment of human CLL. PMID:27101369

  6. Deguelin inhibits human hepatocellular carcinoma by antiangiogenesis and apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ju-Hee; Lee, Don-Haeng; Lee, Hyun-Seung; Choi, Joon-Seok; Kim, Kyu-Won; Hong, Soon-Sun

    2008-07-01

    Deguelin is a rotenoid isolated from several plant species, which has been reported to have chemopreventive effects in skin, mammary, colon and lung cancers. The effects of deguelin on the proliferation and apoptosis of hepatic cancer cells were assessed by MTT assay and flow cytometric analysis. The growth of hepatic cancer cells (HepG2, Huh7 and SK-Hep1) was inhibited by deguelin in a dose-dependent manner. HepG2 cells of all the cell lines were the most sensitive to deguelin (IC50 = 0.62 microM). The proportion of sub-G1 apoptotic cells increased from 5.19 to 41.27% by deguelin (0.01-10 microM) treatment for 3 days in the HepG2 cells. The effects of deguelin on anti-angiogenesis of the HepG2 cells were assessed by using Western blot and RT-PCR analysis. Treatment of HepG2 cells with deguelin for 16 h under hypoxia conditions reduced the expression of the hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha protein and vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA in a dose-dependent manner. In order to investigate whether deguelin shows antiangiogenic activities, we performed in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis assays. In a tube formation assay, deguelin remarkably reduced the capillary network formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) on Matrigel beds. Furthermore, deguelin markedly decreased the migration of HUVECs compared to the control and reduced angiogenesis on the CAM of chick embryos. These results suggest that deguelin is potentially useful as a chemotherapeutic agent in hepatocellular carcinoma.

  7. Deguelin inhibits the migration and invasion of U-2 OS human osteosarcoma cells via the inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-2/-9 in vitro.

    PubMed

    Shang, Hung-Sheng; Chang, Jin-Biou; Lin, Ju-Hwa; Lin, Jing-Pin; Hsu, Shu-Chun; Liu, Chi-Ming; Liu, Jia-You; Wu, Ping-Ping; Lu, Hsu-Feng; Au, Man-Kuan; Chung, Jing-Gung

    2014-10-15

    Osteosarcoma is the most common malignant primary bone tumor in children and young adults and lung metastasis is the main cause of death in those patients. Deguelin, a naturally occurring rotenoid, is known to be an Akt inhibitor and to exhibit cytotoxic effects, including antiproliferative and anticarcinogenic activities, in several cancers. In the present study, we determined if deguelin would inhibit migration and invasion in U-2 OS human osteosarcoma cells. Deguelin significantly inhibited migration and invasion of U-2 OS human osteosarcoma cells which was associated with a reduction of activities of matrix metalloproteinases-2 (MMP-2) and matrix metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-9). Furthermore, results from western blotting indicated that deguelin decreased the cell proliferation and cell growth-associated protein levels, such as SOS1, PKC, Ras, PI3K, p-AKT(Ser473), IRE-1α, MEKK3, iNOS, COX2, p-ERK1/2, p-JNK1/2, p-p38; the cell motility and focal adhesion-associated protein levels, such as Rho A, FAK, ROCK-1; the invasion-associated protein levels, such as TIMP1, uPA, MMP-2. MMP-9, MMP-13, MMP-1 and VEGF in U-2 OS cells. Confocal microscopy revealed that deguelin reduced NF-κB p65, Rho A and ROCK-1 protein levels in cytosol. MMP-7, MMP-9 and Rho A mRNA levels were suppressed by deguelin. These in vitro results provide evidence that deguelin may have potential as a novel anti-cancer agent for the treatment of osteosarcoma and provides the rationale for in vivo studies in animal models.

  8. Efficacy and mechanism of action of Deguelin in suppressing metastasis of 4T1 cells

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Rajeshwari R.; Katta, Harshadadevi; Kalra, Amit; Patel, Rutulkumar; Gupta, Akash; Alimirah, Fatouma; Murillo, Genoveva; Peng, Xinjian; Unni, Aditya; Muzzio, Miguel; Mehta, Rajendra G

    2013-01-01

    Cancer related deaths in breast cancer patients are due to metastasis of the disease. Murine 4T1 cells (Murine mammary cancer cell line developed from 6-thioguanine resistant tumor) provide an excellent research tool for metastasis related studies because these cells are highly aggressive and readily metastasize to the lungs. In this study we determined the effect of Deguelin on in vivo/vitro growth and metastasis of 4T1 cells. Deguelin inhibited the in vitro growth of 4T1 cells in a time and dose dependent manner accompanied with reduced nuclear PCNA immunostaining. In cells treated with Deguelin, reduced expression of nuclear c-Met, and its downstream targets such p-ERK and p-AKT was observed. Deguelin reduced the cell migration in 4T1 cells as determined by scratch wound assay. Combined treatment with Deguelin + ERK or PI3K/AKT inhibitor had no additional effect on cell migration. These results indicated that the action of Deguelin on cell migration may be mediated by AKT and ERK mediated signaling pathways. In vivo, Deguelin treatment significantly inhibited growth of 4T1 cells. Deguelin also reduced the occurrence of metastatic lung lesions by 33% when cells were injected intravenously into Balb/c female mice. There was no difference in the body weight as well as liver and spleen weights between vehicle treated control and Deguelin treated animals indicating that Deguelin was nontoxic at the dose used in the present study. These results provide rationale for developing Deguelin as a chemotherapeutic agent for triple negative breast cancer patients. PMID:23645347

  9. Deguelin inhibits vasculogenic function of endothelial progenitor cells in tumor progression and metastasis via suppression of focal adhesion.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Minh Phuong; Lee, Dongjin; Lee, Se-Hyung; Lee, Hye-Eun; Lee, Ho-Young; Lee, You Mie

    2015-06-30

    Deguelin is a nature-derived chemopreventive drug. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are bone-marrow (BM)-derived key components to induce new blood vessels in early tumorigenesis and metastasis. Here we determined whether deguelin inhibits EPC function in vitro and in vivo at doses not affecting cancer cell apoptosis. Deguelin significantly reduced the number of EPC colony forming units of BM-derived c-kit+/sca-1+ mononuclear cells (MNCs), proliferation, migration, and adhesion to endothelial cell monolayers, and suppressed incorporation of EPC into tube-like vessel networks when co-cultured with endothelial cells. Deguelin caused cell cycle arrest at G1 without induction of apoptosis in EPC. In a mouse tumor xenograft model, tumor growth, lung metastasis and tumor-induced circulating EPCs were supressed by deguelin treatment (2 mg/kg). In mice tranplanted with GFP-expressing BM-MNCs, deguelin reduced the co-localization of CD31 and GFP, suggesting suppression of BM-derived EPC incoporation into tumor vessels. Interestingly, focal adhesion kinase (FAK)-integrin-linked kinase (ILK) activation and actin polymerization were repressed by deguelin. Decreased number of focal adhesions and a depolarized morphology was found in deguelin-treated EPCs. Taken together, our results suggest that the deguelin inhibits tumorigenesis and metastasis via EPC suppression and that suppression of focal adhesion by FAK-integrin-ILK-dependent actin remodeling is a key underlying molecular mechanism.

  10. Deguelin Induces Both Apoptosis and Autophagy in Cultured Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Bi, Zhi-gang; Lu, Chun-cheng; Wang, Rong; Gu, Bing; Cheng, Lei

    2013-01-01

    Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) represents more than 5% of all cancers diagnosed annually in United States and around the world. Despite advances in the management of patients with this disease, the survival has not been significantly improved, and the search for potential alternative therapies is encouraging. Here we demonstrate that deguelin administration causes a significant HNSCC cell death. Deguelin induces both cell apoptosis and autophagy by modulating multiple signaling pathways in cultured HNSCC cells. Deguelin inhibits Akt signaling, and down-regulates survivin and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (Cdk4) expressions, by disrupting their association with heat shock protein-90 (Hsp-90). Deguelin induces ceramide production through de novo synthase pathway to promote HNSCC cell death. Importantly, increased ceramide level activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which then directly phosphorylates Ulk1 and eventually leads to cell autophagy. We found that a low dose of deguelin sensitized HNSCC cells to 5-FU. Finally, using a nude mice Hep-2 xenograft model, we also showed a significant anti-tumor ability of deguelin in vivo. Together, we suggest that deguelin may represent a novel and effective chemo-agent against HNSCC. PMID:23372762

  11. Anti-cancer effects of deguelin on human leukemia K562 and K562/ADM cells In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qiuling; Chen, Yan; Liu, Hongli; He, Jing

    2007-04-01

    In order to investigate the anti-cancer effects of deguelin and on K562 and K562/ADM cells in vitro and the underlying molecular mechanism and compare the cytotoxicity of deguelin on K562, K562/ADM cells and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The effects of deguelin on cell proliferation were assessed by MTT assay. Apoptosis were detected by Annexin V/PI double-labeled cytometry. The effects of deguelin on the cell cycle were studied by a propidium iodide method. Our study showed that deguelin inhibited the proliferation of K562 cell and K562/ADM cell in a time- and dose-dependent manner and had minimal effects on normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The ratio of IC(50) value of deguelin of 24 h on K562/ADM cells to K562 cells was only 1.27, which was significantly lower than the ratio of IC(50) value of ADM (higher than 20). Deguelin could induce apoptosis of K562 cells and K562/ADM cells. K562 cells were arrested at G(2)/M phase while K562/ADM cells were arrested at G(0)/G(1) phase. Our results suggested that deguelin was a novel anti-leukemia agents with high efficacy and low toxicity and it is also a promising agent for reversing drug resistance.

  12. Deguelin Induces the Apoptosis of Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells through Regulating the Expression of Galectin-1

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Bing; Zhao, Dejian; Yao, Yinan; Bao, Zhang; Lu, Guohua; Zhou, Jianying

    2016-01-01

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality around the world. Despite advances in the targeted therapy, patients with lung squamous cell carcinoma(SCC) still benefit few from it, and the search for potential effective therapies is imperative. Here, we demonstrated that deguelin induced significant apoptosis of lung SCC cells in vitro. Importantly, we found deguelin down-regulated the expression of galectin-1, which was involved in a wide range of tumorous physiologic process. Thus, we both over-expressed and down-regulated galectin-1 to perform its role in deguelin-induced apoptosis. We found that increased galectin-1 attenuated apoptosis of SCC cells exposed to deguelin, while galectin-1 knockdown sensitized lung cancer cells to deguelin treatment. Additionally, we observed that down-regulation of galectin-1 resulted in suppression of Ras/Raf/ERK pathway which was involved in deguelin-induced cell apoptosis. We also found that deguelin had a significant anti-tumor ability with decline of galectin-1 in vivo. In conclusion, these findings confirm that deguelin may act as a new chemo-preventive agent through inducing apoptosis of lung SCC cells in a galectin-1 dependent manner. PMID:27313498

  13. Deguelin Attenuates Allergic Airway Inflammation via Inhibition of NF-κb Pathway in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Zhang; Zhang, Pei; Yao, Yinan; Lu, Guohua; Tong, Zhongkai; Yan, Bing; Tu, Lingfang; Yang, Guangdie; Zhou, Jianying

    2017-01-01

    Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by airway inflammation and remodeling, resulting in a substantial economic burden on both patients and society. Deguelin, a constituent of the Leguminosae family, exhibits anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory activities in cancer mice models via inhibiting phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases and the NF-κB pathway. We demonstrated that deguelin effectively reduced OVA-induced inflammatory cell recruitment, decreased lung tissue inflammation and mucus production, suppressed airway hyperresponsiveness, and inhibited serum immunoglobulin and Th2 cytokine levels in a dose-dependent manner in asthmatic mice. In addition, we found that deguelin reduced inflammatory gene expressions both in vivo and in vitro, which were closely associated with activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Thus, we further explored the underlying mechanisms of deguelin in normal human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B). Our results suggested that deguelin inhibited NF-κB binding activity by enhancing the ability of IκBα to maintain NF-κB in an inactive form in the cytoplasm and preventing the TNF-α induced translocation of p65 to the nucleus. In conclusion, our research indicates that deguelin attenuates allergic airway inflammation via inhibition of NF-κB pathway in mice model and may act as a potential therapeutic agent for patients with allergic airway inflammation. PMID:28529457

  14. Inhibition of Autophagy by Deguelin Sensitizes Pancreatic Cancer Cells to Doxorubicin.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiao Dong; Zhao, Yan; Zhang, Min; He, Rui Zhi; Shi, Xiu Hui; Guo, Xing Jun; Shi, Cheng Jian; Peng, Feng; Wang, Min; Shen, Min; Wang, Xin; Li, Xu; Qin, Ren Yi

    2017-02-10

    Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Furthermore, patients with pancreatic cancer experience limited benefit from current chemotherapeutic approaches because of drug resistance. Therefore, an effective therapeutic strategy for patients with pancreatic cancer is urgently required. Deguelin is a natural chemopreventive drug that exerts potent antiproliferative activity in solid tumors by inducing cell death. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this activity have not been fully elucidated. Here we show that deguelin blocks autophagy and induces apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells in vitro. Autophagy induced by doxorubicin plays a protective role in pancreatic cancer cells, and suppressing autophagy by chloroquine or silencing autophagy protein 5 enhanced doxorubicin-induced cell death. Similarly, inhibition of autophagy by deguelin also chemosensitized pancreatic cancer cell lines to doxorubicin. These findings suggest that deguelin has potent anticancer effects against pancreatic cancer and potentiates the anti-cancer effects of doxorubicin. These findings provide evidence that combined treatment with deguelin and doxorubicin represents an effective strategy for treating pancreatic cancer.

  15. Inhibition of Autophagy by Deguelin Sensitizes Pancreatic Cancer Cells to Doxorubicin

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiao Dong; Zhao, Yan; Zhang, Min; He, Rui Zhi; Shi, Xiu Hui; Guo, Xing Jun; Shi, Cheng Jian; Peng, Feng; Wang, Min; Shen, Min; Wang, Xin; Li, Xu; Qin, Ren Yi

    2017-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Furthermore, patients with pancreatic cancer experience limited benefit from current chemotherapeutic approaches because of drug resistance. Therefore, an effective therapeutic strategy for patients with pancreatic cancer is urgently required. Deguelin is a natural chemopreventive drug that exerts potent antiproliferative activity in solid tumors by inducing cell death. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this activity have not been fully elucidated. Here we show that deguelin blocks autophagy and induces apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells in vitro. Autophagy induced by doxorubicin plays a protective role in pancreatic cancer cells, and suppressing autophagy by chloroquine or silencing autophagy protein 5 enhanced doxorubicin-induced cell death. Similarly, inhibition of autophagy by deguelin also chemosensitized pancreatic cancer cell lines to doxorubicin. These findings suggest that deguelin has potent anticancer effects against pancreatic cancer and potentiates the anti-cancer effects of doxorubicin. These findings provide evidence that combined treatment with deguelin and doxorubicin represents an effective strategy for treating pancreatic cancer. PMID:28208617

  16. Synthesis of deguelin-biotin conjugates and investigation into deguelin's interactions.

    PubMed

    Garcia, José; Barluenga, Sofia; Gorska, Katarzyna; Sasse, Florenz; Winssinger, Nicolas

    2012-01-15

    Deguelin, a rotenoid, has emerged as an attractive pharmacophore for chemoprevention showing in vivo activity in several xenografts. Recently, several lines of evidence have suggested its mode of action may involve inhibition of HSP90, however binding in a different mode than known pharmacophores. To further probe the target of deguelin and related rotenoids, several biotin conjugates were prepared. None of the conjugates showed significant affinity for HSP90, however two conjugates showed a strong cellular co-localization with mitochondria, consistent with binding to mitochondrial complex 1. Contrarily to rotenone, deguelin and tephrosin were not found to inhibit tubulin polymerization demonstrating a dramatic pharmacological difference between these closely related rotenoids. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Stereocontrolled semi-syntheses of deguelin and tephrosin.

    PubMed

    Russell, David A; Freudenreich, Julien J; Ciardiello, Joe J; Sore, Hannah F; Spring, David R

    2017-02-21

    We describe stereocontrolled semi-syntheses of deguelin and tephrosin, anti-cancer rotenoids isolated from Tephrosia vogelii. Firstly, we present a new two-step transformation of rotenone into rot-2'-enonic acid via a zinc-mediated ring opening of rotenone hydrobromide. Secondly, following conversion of rot-2'-enonic acid into deguelin, a chromium-mediated hydroxylation provides tephrosin as a single diastereoisomer. An Étard-like reaction mechanism is proposed to account for the stereochemical outcome. Our syntheses of deguelin and tephrosin are operationally simple, scalable and high yielding, offering considerable advantages over previous methods.

  18. Deguelin Potentiates Apoptotic Activity of an EGFR Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (AG1478) in PIK3CA-Mutated Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Baba, Yuh; Maeda, Toyonobu; Suzuki, Atsuko; Takada, Satoshi; Fujii, Masato; Kato, Yasumasa

    2017-01-01

    Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is known to be intrinsically resistant to inhibitors for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Until now, clinical outcomes for HNSCC using EGFR inhibitors as single agents have yielded disappointing results. Here, we aimed to study whether combinatorial treatment using AG1478 (EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor) and deguelin, which is a rotenoid isolated from the African plant Mundulea sericea, could enhance the anti-tumor effects of AG1478 in HNSCC. For Ca9-22 cells with EGFR, KRAS, and PIK3CA wild types, AG1478 alone suppressed both phosphorylated levels of ERK and AKT and induced apoptosis. On the contrary, for HSC-4 cells with EGFR and KRAS wild types, and a PIK3CA mutant, AG1478 alone did not suppress the phosphorylated level of AKT nor induce apoptosis, while it suppressed ERK phosphorylation. Forced expression of constitutively active PIK3CA (G1633A mutation) significantly reduced the apoptotic effect of AG1478 on the PIK3CA wild-type Ca9-22 cells. When HSC-4 cells with the PIK3CA G1633A mutation were treated with a combination of AG1478 and deguelin, combination effects on apoptosis induction were observed through the inhibition of the AKT pathway. These results suggest that the combination of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor with deguelin is a potential therapeutic approach to treat PIK3CA-mutated HNSCC. PMID:28134774

  19. Sweetening agents from natural sources.

    PubMed

    Morris, J A

    1976-01-01

    Sweetness is an important taste sensation to humans. The absence of suitable sweeteners as alternatives to cyclamates and saccharin has led to a renewed interest in sweeteners form natural sources. A brief review of the history of sweetener usage provides a basis for understanding our present heavy consumption of sweet substances. The structure of naturally-occurring compounds possessing a sweet taste range from simple sugars to complex, intensely sweet proteins. The structural types include monoterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, flavonoids, steroid saponins, dipeptides, and proteins. Some of these substances are not, strictly-speaking, natural but are derived from natural sources by relatively minor chemical modification. The properties of two non-sweet substances, miraculin and gymnemic acid, are included because of their close relationship to the subject of sweeteners. Miraculin causes sour substances to taste sweet and gymnemic acid selectively blocks sweet taste perception. The second part of the paper presents some of the work on monellin, the intensely sweet protein from "serendipity berries" (Dioscoreophyllum cumminsii). The physico-chemical studies of monellin provide convincing evidence that it is, indeed, a protein. Structural studies using denaturants and specific chemical modifications have provided a beginning of our understanding of the molecular basis of the sweet taste of monellin.

  20. Marine Natural Products as Prototype Agrochemical Agents

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Jiangnan; Shen, Xiaoyu; El Sayed, Khalid A.; Dunbar, D. C Harles; Perry, Tony L.; Wilkins, Scott P.; Hamann, Mark T.; Bobzin, Steve; Huesing, Joseph; Camp, Robin; Prinsen, Mike; Krupa, Dan; Wideman, Margaret A.

    2016-01-01

    In the interest of identifying new leads that could serve as prototype agrochemical agents, 18 structurally diverse marine-derived compounds were examined for insecticidal, herbicidal, and fungicidal activities. Several new classes of compounds have been shown to be insecticidal, herbicidal, and fungicidal, which suggests that marine natural products represent an intriguing source for the discovery of new agrochemical agents. PMID:12670165

  1. Natural compounds as anticancer agents: Experimental evidence

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiao; Jiang, Yang-Fu

    2012-01-01

    Cancer prevention research has drawn much attention worldwide. It is believed that some types of cancer can be prevented by following a healthy life style. Cancer chemoprevention by either natural or synthetic agents is a promising route towards lowering cancer incidence. In recent years, the concept of cancer chemoprevention has evolved greatly. Experimental studies in animal models demonstrate that the reversal or suppression of premalignant lesions by chemopreventive agents is achievable. Natural occurring agents such as dietary phytochemicals, tea polyphenols and resveratrol show chemopreventive activity in animal models. Moreover, clinical trials for testing the safety and efficacy of a variety of natural agents in preventing or treating human malignancy have been ongoing. Here, we summarize experimental data on the chemopreventive or tumor suppressive effects of several natural compounds including curcumin, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, resveratrol, indole-3-carbinol, and vitamin D. PMID:24520533

  2. Deguelin inhibits the migration and invasion of lung cancer A549 and H460 cells via regulating actin cytoskeleton rearrangement.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Honggang; Jiao, Yan; Zhang, Zuncheng

    2015-01-01

    Deguelin, the main components from Mundulea sericea, was reported to suppress the growth of various cancer cells. However, the effect of Deguelin on tumor cell invasion and metastasis and its mechanism still unclear so far. In this study, we investigated the effects of Deguelin on the cell invasion in human lung cancer A549 and H460 cells. Our results demonstrate that Deguelin can significantly inhibited cell proliferation, cell migration and cell invasion. Moreover, Deguelin could also affected reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and decreased filopodia and lamellipodia formation. Furthermore, deguelin-treated tumors showed decreased the tumor metastasis related genes such as CD44, MMP2 and MMP9 at protein and mRNA levels and the content of CEA, SCC, NSE, CYFAR21-1. In addition, Deguelin down-regulated protein expression of Rac1 and Rock1, which are impotent in actin cytoskeleton rearrangements and cell motility. Together, our results suggest that Deguelin inhibit tumor growth and metastasis of lung cancer cells and might be a candidate compound for curing lung cancer.

  3. Deguelin inhibits retinal neovascularization by down-regulation of HIF-1α in oxygen-induced retinopathy

    PubMed Central

    Kim, J H; Kim, J H; Yu, Y S; Shin, J Y; Lee, H-Y; Kim, K-W

    2008-01-01

    Retinal neovascularization is the most common cause of blindness; Retinopathy of pre-maturity (ROP) for children and diabetic retinopa-thy for young age group. ROP still remains as the most serious cause of vision loss in children. We provided that deguelin significantly reduces retinal neovascularization in a mouse model of ROP. Deguelin never affected the transcriptional activity of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α, however, reduced HIF-1α expression, which led to the decrease of vascular endothelial growth factor expression. Deguelin effectively suppressed endothelial cell proliferation without cytotoxic effect under therapeutic concentration range. In addition, deguelin demonstrated no reduction or retardation in normal retinal development and no retinal toxicity. These data suggest deguelin is a potent inhibitor of retinal neovascularization and may be applied in the treatment of other vasoproliferative retinopathies. PMID:18208562

  4. Deguelin inhibits retinal neovascularization by down-regulation of HIF-1alpha in oxygen-induced retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Kim, J H; Kim, J H; Yu, Y S; Shin, J Y; Lee, H-Y; Kim, K-W

    2008-12-01

    Retinal neovascularization is the most common cause of blindness; Retinopathy of pre-maturity (ROP) for children and diabetic retinopathy for young age group. ROP still remains as the most serious cause of vision loss in children. We provided that deguelin significantly reduces retinal neovascularization in a mouse model of ROP. Deguelin never affected the transcriptional activity of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1, however, reduced HIF-1 expression, which led to the decrease of vascular endothelial growth factor expression. Deguelin effectively suppressed endothelial cell proliferation without cytotoxic effect under therapeutic concentration range. In addition, deguelin demonstrated no reduction or retardation in normal retinal development and no retinal toxicity. These data suggest deguelin is a potent inhibitor of retinal neovascularization and may be applied in the treatment of other vasoproliferative retinopathies.

  5. Deguelin Suppresses Pancreatic Tumor Growth and Metastasis by Inhibiting Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in an Orthotopic Model1

    PubMed Central

    Boreddy, Srinivas Reddy; Srivastava, Sanjay K.

    2012-01-01

    Deguelin is known to suppress the growth of cancer cells; however, its anti-metastatic effects have not been studied so far in any cancer model. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the anti-metastatic potential of deguelin in vivo and in TGFβ1-stimulated cells. Our results demonstrate that tumor growth, peritoneal-dissemination and liver/lung metastasis of orthotopically implanted PanC-1-luc cells were significantly reduced in deguelin-treated mice along with the induction of apoptosis. Furthermore, deguelin-treated tumors showed increased epithelial signature such as increased expression of E-Cadherin and cytokeratin-18 and decreased expression of Snail. Similar observations were made when PanC-1, COLO-357 and L3.6pl cells were treated in vitro with deguelin. Moreover, E-cadherin was transcriptionally up-regulated and accumulated in the membrane fraction of deguelin-treated cells as indicated by increased interaction of E-Cadherin with β-catenin. TGFβ1-induced down-regulation of E-Cadherin and up-regulation of Snail were abrogated by deguelin treatment. In addition, deguelin inhibited TGFβ1-induced Smad3 phosphorylation and Smad4 nuclear translocation in PanC-1 cells. Furthermore, when TGFβ1-induced NFkB activation was inhibited, TGFβ1-induced Snail up-regulation or E-Cadherin down-regulation was blocked. Deguelin also significantly down regulated the constitutive phosphorylation and DNA binding of NFkB in a dose dependent manner. Interestingly, overexpression of either NFkB or Snail completely abrogated deguelin-mediated EMT inhibition, whereas overexpression of NFkB but not Snail rescued cells from deguelin-induced apoptosis. Hence, deguelin targets NFkB to induce reversal of EMT and apoptosis but downstream effectors might be different for both processes. Taken together, our results suggest that deguelin suppresses both pancreatic tumor growth and metastasis by inducing apoptosis and inhibiting epithelial to mesenchymal transition. PMID:22986522

  6. Natural chelating agents for radionuclide decorporation

    DOEpatents

    Premuzic, Eugene T.

    1988-01-01

    This invention relates to the preparation of new, naturally produced chelating agents as well as to the method and resulting chelates of desorbing cultures in a bioavailable form involving Pseudomonas species or other microorganisms. A preferred microorganism is Pseudomonas aeruginosa which forms multiple chelates with thorium in the range of molecular weight 100-1,000 and also forms chelates with uranium of molecular weight in the area of 100-1,000 and 1,000-2,000.

  7. Naturally derived anti-HIV agents.

    PubMed

    Asres, Kaleab; Seyoum, Ameha; Veeresham, Ciddi; Bucar, Franz; Gibbons, Simon

    2005-07-01

    The urgent need for new anti-HIV/AIDS drugs is a global concern. In addition to obvious economical and commercial hurdles, HIV/AIDS patients are faced with multifarious difficulties associated with the currently approved anti-HIV drugs. Adverse effects, the emergence of drug resistance and the narrow spectrum of activity have limited the therapeutic usefulness of the various reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitors that are currently available on the market. This has driven many scientists to look for new anti-retrovirals with better efficacy, safety and affordability. As has always been the case in the search for cures, natural sources offer great promise. Several natural products, mostly of plant origin have been shown to possess promising activities that could assist in the prevention and/or amelioration of the disease. Many of these anti-HIV agents have other medicinal values as well, which afford them further prospective as novel leads for the development of new drugs that can deal with both the virus and the various disorders that characterize HIV/AIDS. The aim of this review is to report new discoveries and updates pertaining to anti-HIV natural products. In the review anti-HIV agents have been classified according to their chemical classes rather than their target in the HIV replicative cycle, which is the most frequently encountered approach. Perusal of the literature revealed that most of these promising naturally derived anti-HIV compounds are flavonoids, coumarins, terpenoids, alkaloids, polyphenols, polysaccharides or proteins. It is our strong conviction that the results and experiences with many of the anti-HIV natural products will inspire and motivate even more researchers to look for new leads from plants and other natural sources.

  8. Targeting metabolic syndrome: candidate natural agents.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xuan; Weng, Jianping

    2010-12-01

    Following on from impressive economic development and urbanization, China is currently experiencing a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Patients with metabolic syndrome suffer from the "The Deadly Quartet" of hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypertension, and central (or upper body) obesity. Current treatment strategies directed towards metabolic syndrome tend to be limited to just one of these four conditions, so developing novel drugs to target multiple metabolic abnormalities could be preferable to current approaches. New insights suggest benefits of natural agents as treatments for metabolic syndrome. Herein, we review the evidence for using nine such agents developed on the basis of traditional medicine or herbal preparations. © 2010 Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  9. The Hunt for Natural Skin Whitening Agents

    PubMed Central

    Smit, Nico; Vicanova, Jana; Pavel, Stan

    2009-01-01

    Skin whitening products are commercially available for cosmetic purposes in order to obtain a lighter skin appearance. They are also utilized for clinical treatment of pigmentary disorders such as melasma or postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. Whitening agents act at various levels of melanin production in the skin. Many of them are known as competitive inhibitors of tyrosinase, the key enzyme in melanogenesis. Others inhibit the maturation of this enzyme or the transport of pigment granules (melanosomes) from melanocytes to surrounding keratinocytes. In this review we present an overview of (natural) whitening products that may decrease skin pigmentation by their interference with the pigmentary processes. PMID:20054473

  10. NICA: Natural Interaction with a Caring Agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Carolis, Berardina; Mazzotta, Irene; Novielli, Nicole

    Ambient Intelligence solutions may provide a great opportunity for elderly people to live longer at home. Assistance and care are delegated to the intelligence embedded in the environment. However, besides considering service-oriented response to the user needs, the assistance has to take into account the establishment of social relations. We propose the use of a robot NICA (as the name of the project Natural Interaction with a Caring Agent) acting as a caring assistant that provides a social interface with the smart home services. In this paper, we introduce the general architecture of the robot's "mind" and then we focus on the need to properly react to affective and socially oriented situations.

  11. Natural chelating agents for radionuclide decorporation

    DOEpatents

    Premuzic, E.T.

    1985-06-11

    This invention relates to the production of metal-binding compounds useful for the therapy of heavy metal poisoning, for biological mining and for decorporation of radionuclides. The present invention deals with an orderly and effective method of producing new therapeutically effective chelating agents. This method uses challenge biosynthesis for the production of chelating agents that are specific for a particular metal. In this approach, the desired chelating agents are prepared from microorganisms challenged by the metal that the chelating agent is designed to detoxify. This challenge induces the formation of specific or highly selective chelating agents. The present invention involves the use of the challenge biosynthetic method to produce new complexing/chelating agents that are therapeutically useful to detoxify uranium, plutonium, thorium and other toxic metals. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa family of organisms is the referred family of microorganisms to be used in the present invention to produce the new chelating agent because this family is known to elaborate strains resistant to toxic metals.

  12. Induction of DNA damage by deguelin is mediated through reducing DNA repair genes in human non-small cell lung cancer NCI-H460 cells.

    PubMed

    Ji, Bin-Chuan; Yu, Chien-Chih; Yang, Su-Tso; Hsia, Te-Chun; Yang, Jai-Sing; Lai, Kuang-Chi; Ko, Yang-Ching; Lin, Jen-Jyh; Lai, Tung-Yuan; Chung, Jing-Gung

    2012-04-01

    It has been shown that deguelin, one of the compounds of rotenoids from flavonoid family, induced cytotoxic effects through induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in many types of human cancer cell lines, but deguelin-affected DNA damage and repair gene expression (mRNA) are not clarified yet. We investigated the effects of deguelin on DNA damage and associated gene expression in human lung cancer NCI-H460 cells in vitro. DNA damage was assayed by using the comet assay and DNA gel electrophoresis and the results indicated that NCI-H460 cells treated with 0, 50, 250 and 500 nM deguelin led to a longer DNA migration smear based on the single cell electrophoresis and DNA fragmentation occurred based on the examination of DNA gel electrophoresis. DNA damage and repair gene expression (mRNA) were evaluated by using real-time PCR assay and the results indicated that 50 and 250 nM deguelin for a 24-h exposure in NCI-H460 cells, decreased the gene levels of breast cancer 1, early onset (BRCA1), DNA-dependent serine/threonine protein kinase (DNA-PK), O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), p53, ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and ataxia-telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) mRNA expressions. Collectively, the present study showed that deguelin caused DNA damage and inhibited DNA damage and repair gene expressions, which might be due to deguelin-inhibited cell growth in vitro.

  13. Learning by Communicating in Natural Language with Conversational Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graesser, Arthur; Li, Haiying; Forsyth, Carol

    2014-01-01

    Learning is facilitated by conversational interactions both with human tutors and with computer agents that simulate human tutoring and ideal pedagogical strategies. In this article, we describe some intelligent tutoring systems (e.g., AutoTutor) in which agents interact with students in natural language while being sensitive to their cognitive…

  14. Potential Compounds for Oral Cancer Treatment: Resveratrol, Nimbolide, Lovastatin, Bortezomib, Vorinostat, Berberine, Pterostilbene, Deguelin, Andrographolide, and Colchicine

    PubMed Central

    Bundela, Saurabh; Sharma, Anjana; Bisen, Prakash S.

    2015-01-01

    Oral cancer is one of the main causes of cancer-related deaths in South-Asian countries. There are very limited treatment options available for oral cancer. Research endeavors focused on discovery and development of novel therapies for oral cancer, is necessary to control the ever rising oral cancer related mortalities. We mined the large pool of compounds from the publicly available compound databases, to identify potential therapeutic compounds for oral cancer. Over 84 million compounds were screened for the possible anti-cancer activity by custom build SVM classifier. The molecular targets of the predicted anti-cancer compounds were mined from reliable sources like experimental bioassays studies associated with the compound, and from protein-compound interaction databases. Therapeutic compounds from DrugBank, and a list of natural anti-cancer compounds derived from literature mining of published studies, were used for building partial least squares regression model. The regression model thus built, was used for the estimation of oral cancer specific weights based on the molecular targets. These weights were used to compute scores for screening the predicted anti-cancer compounds for their potential to treat oral cancer. The list of potential compounds was annotated with corresponding physicochemical properties, cancer specific bioactivity evidences, and literature evidences. In all, 288 compounds with the potential to treat oral cancer were identified in the current study. The majority of the compounds in this list are natural products, which are well-tolerated and have minimal side-effects compared to the synthetic counterparts. Some of the potential therapeutic compounds identified in the current study are resveratrol, nimbolide, lovastatin, bortezomib, vorinostat, berberine, pterostilbene, deguelin, andrographolide, and colchicine. PMID:26536350

  15. Natural resins and bioactive natural products thereof as potential antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Termentzi, Aikaterini; Fokialakis, Nikolas; Skaltsounis, Alexios Leandros

    2011-01-01

    Natural products and their derivatives have historically been invaluable as a source of therapeutic agents and have contributed to the discovery of antimicrobial agents. However, today with the development of drug-resistant strains, new scaffolds and new sources of bioactive compounds are needed. To this end, plant derived natural resins are reviewed for their potential application as antimicrobial agents. Natural gums, extracts of the whole resins, as well as specific extracts, fractions, essential oils and isolated compounds from the above resins are discussed in terms of their antifungal, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal activity.

  16. Naturally Occurring Wound Healing Agents: An Evidence-Based Review.

    PubMed

    Karapanagioti, E G; Assimopoulou, A N

    2016-01-01

    Nature constitutes a pool of medicines for thousands of years. Nowadays, trust in nature is increasingly growing, as many effective medicines are naturally derived. Over the last decades, the potential of plants as wound healing agents is being investigated. Wounds and ulcers affect the patients' life quality and often lead to amputations. Approximately 43,000,000 patients suffer from diabetic foot ulcers worldwide. Annually, $25 billion are expended for the treatment of chronic wounds, with the number growing due to aging population and increased incidents of diabetes and obesity. Therefore a timely, orderly and effective wound management and treatment is crucial. This paper aims to systematically review natural products, mainly plants, with scientifically well documented wound healing activity, focusing on articles based on animal and clinical studies performed worldwide and approved medicinal products. Moreover, a brief description of the wound healing mechanism is presented, to provide a better understanding. Although a plethora of natural products are in vitro and in vivo evaluated for wound healing activity, only a few go through clinical trials and even fewer launch the market as approved medicines. Most of them rely on traditional medicine, indicating that ethnopharmacology is a successful strategy for drug development. Since only 6% of plants have been systematically investigated pharmacologically, more intensified efforts and emerging advancements are needed to exploit the potentials of nature for the development of novel medicines. This paper aims to provide a reliable database and matrix for thorough further investigation towards the discovery of wound healing agents.

  17. A novel natural analog in situ stabilization agent

    SciTech Connect

    Shaw, P.

    1995-12-31

    This report summarizes the laboratory-scale test results on a synthetic analog of natural hematite cement for potential as an in situ treatment and stabilization agent for buried hazardous and radioactive waste. The concept is based on the principle that the ideal waste isolation materials are synthetic analogs of those natural encapsulating materials (cements), which are in equilibrium with the environment in which they occur. If equilibrium is achieved, then such materials will remain intact as long as the natural environment remains unchanged. The specific waste application is long-term stabilization of transuranic-contaminated waste pits and trenches at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). Six properties of the natural analog agent and resulting wasteforms are discussed to access the agent`s effectiveness and implementability: hydraulic conductivity; compressive strength; mineralogy and microstructure; compatibility with possible waste materials, nitrates, machine cutting oil, and metallic iron; leachability of hazardous metals; and field application parameters. Data indicated that the iron waste encapsulation materials tested are appropriate choices for buried waste mixed with INEL soil. Iron oxide/gypsum INEL soil wasteforms have hydraulic conductivity values close to the regulatory limit. Wasteforms with soil and wastes have compressive strength greater than the regulatory minimum. Gypsum/iron oxide removes hazardous metals from solution by adsorption and would pass Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure limits for most toxic metals. It appears to be chemically and physically inert with respect to the bulk of the waste materials likely to be found at INEL, and has properties conducive to jet grouting.

  18. Natural Products as a Source for Antileishmanial and Antitrypanosomal Agents.

    PubMed

    Scotti, Marcus Tullius; Scotti, Luciana; Ishiki, Hamilton; Ribeiro, Frederico Fávaro; Cruz, Rayssa Marques Duarte da; Oliveira, Michelle Pedrosa de; Mendonça, Francisco Jaime Bezerra

    2016-01-01

    Natural products are compounds extracted from plants, marine organisms, fungi or bacteria. Many researches for new drugs are based on these natural molecules, mainly by beneficial effects on health, health, efficacy, and therapeutic safety. Leishmaniosis, Chagas disease and African sleeping sickness are neglected diseases caused by the Leishmania and Trypanosoma ssp. parasites. These infections mainly affect population of developing countries; they have different symptoms, and may often lead to death. The therapeutic drugs available to treat these diseases are either obsolete, toxic, or have questionable efficacy, possibly through encountering resistance. Discovery of new, safe, effective, and affordable molecules is urgently needed. Natural organisms, as marine metabolites, alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, terpene and coumarins provide innumerable molecules with the potential to treat these diseases. This study examines studies of natural bioactive compounds as antileishmanial and antitrypanosomal agents.

  19. Naturally occurring anti-cancer agents targeting EZH2.

    PubMed

    Shahabipour, Fahimeh; Caraglia, Michele; Majeed, Muhammed; Derosa, Giuseppe; Maffioli, Pamela; Sahebkar, Amirhossein

    2017-03-18

    Natural products are considered as promising tools for the prevention and treatment of cancer. The enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is a histone methyltransferase unit of polycomb repressor complexes such as PRC2 complex that has oncogenic roles through interference with growth and metastatic potential. Several agents targeting EZH2 has been discovered but they often induce side effects in clinical trials. Recently, EZH2 has emerged as a potential target of natural products with documented anti-cancer effects and this discloses a new scenario for the development of EZH2 inhibitory strategies with agents with low cytotoxic detrimental effects. In fact, several natural products such as curcumin, triptolide, ursolic acid, sulforaphane, davidiin, tanshindiols, gambogic acid, berberine and Alcea rosea have been shown to serve as EZH2 modulators. Mechanisms like inhibition of histone H3K4, H3K27 and H3K36 trimethylation, down-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase expression, competitive binding to the S-adenosylmethionine binding site of EZH2 and modulation of tumor-suppressive microRNAs have been demonstrated to mediate the EZH2-inhibitory activity of the mentioned natural products. This review summarizes the pathways that are regulated by various natural products resulting in the suppression of EZH2, and provides a plausible molecular mechanism for the putative anti-cancer effects of these compounds.

  20. Development of non-natural flavanones as antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Fowler, Zachary L; Shah, Karan; Panepinto, John C; Jacobs, Amy; Koffas, Mattheos A G

    2011-01-01

    With growing concerns over multidrug resistance microorganisms, particularly strains of bacteria and fungi, evolving to become resistant to the antimicrobial agents used against them, the identification of new molecular targets becomes paramount for novel treatment options. Recently, the use of new treatments containing multiple active ingredients has been shown to increase the effectiveness of existing molecules for some infections, often with these added compounds enabling the transport of a toxic molecule into the infecting species. Flavonoids are among the most abundant plant secondary metabolites and have been shown to have natural abilities as microbial deterrents and anti-infection agents in plants. Combining these ideas we first sought to investigate the potency of natural flavonoids in the presence of efflux pump inhibitors to limit Escherichia coli growth. Then we used the natural flavonoid scaffold to synthesize non-natural flavanone molecules and further evaluate their antimicrobial efficacy on Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis and the fungal pathogens Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus fumigatus. Of those screened, we identified the synthetic molecule 4-chloro-flavanone as the most potent antimicrobial compound with a MIC value of 70 µg/mL in E. coli when combined with the inhibitor Phe-Arg-ß-naphthylamide, and MICs of 30 µg/mL in S. cerevesiae and 30 µg/mL in C. neoformans when used alone. Through this study we have demonstrated that combinatorial synthesis of non-natural flavonones can identify novel antimicrobial agents with activity against bacteria and fungi but with minimal toxicity to human cells.

  1. Targeting Reactive Carbonyl Species with Natural Sequestering Agents.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Sung Won; Lee, Yoon-Mi; Aldini, Giancarlo; Yeum, Kyung-Jin

    2016-02-27

    Reactive carbonyl species generated by the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and sugars are highly reactive due to their electrophilic nature, and are able to easily react with the nucleophilic sites of proteins as well as DNA causing cellular dysfunction. Levels of reactive carbonyl species and their reaction products have been reported to be elevated in various chronic diseases, including metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. In an effort to identify sequestering agents for reactive carbonyl species, various analytical techniques such as spectrophotometry, high performance liquid chromatography, western blot, and mass spectrometry have been utilized. In particular, recent advances using a novel high resolution mass spectrometry approach allows screening of complex mixtures such as natural products for their sequestering ability of reactive carbonyl species. To overcome the limited bioavailability and bioefficacy of natural products, new techniques using nanoparticles and nanocarriers may offer a new attractive strategy for increased in vivo utilization and targeted delivery of bioactives.

  2. Intelligent agents as a basis for natural language interfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Chin, D.N.

    1987-01-01

    Typical natural-language interfaces respond passively to the users's commands and queries. They cannot volunteer information, correction user misconceptions, or reject unethical requests. In order to do these things, a system must be an intelligent agent. UC (UNIX Consultant), a natural language system that helps the user solve problems in using the UNIX operating system, is such an intelligent agent. The agent component of UC in UCEgo. UCEgo provides UC with its own goals and plans. By adopting different goals in different situations, UCEgo creates and executes different plans, enabling it to interact appropriately with the user. UCEgo adopts goals from its themes, adopts subgoals during planning, and adopts metagoals for dealing with goal interactions. It also adopts goals when it notices that the user either lacks necessary knowledge, or has incorrect beliefs. In these cases, UCEgo plans to volunteer information or correct the user's misconception as appropriate. The user's knowledge and beliefs are modeled by the KNOME (KNOwledge Model of Expertise) component of UC. KNOME is a double-stereotype system which categorizes users by expertise and categorizes UNIX facts by difficulty.

  3. Essential oils as natural food antimicrobial agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Vergis, Jess; Gokulakrishnan, P; Agarwal, R K; Kumar, Ashok

    2015-01-01

    Food-borne illnesses pose a real scourge in the present scenario as the consumerism of packaged food has increased to a great extend. Pathogens entering the packaged foods may survive longer, which needs a check. Antimicrobial agents either alone or in combination are added to the food or packaging materials for this purpose. Exploiting the antimicrobial property, essential oils are considered as a "natural" remedy to this problem other than its flavoring property instead of using synthetic agents. The essential oils are well known for its antibacterial, antiviral, antimycotic, antiparasitic, and antioxidant properties due to the presence of phenolic functional group. Gram-positive organisms are found more susceptible to the action of the essential oils. Essential oils improve the shelf-life of packaged products, control the microbial growth, and unriddle the consumer concerns regarding the use of chemical preservatives. This review is intended to provide an overview of the essential oils and their role as natural antimicrobial agents in the food industry.

  4. Natural Compounds as Therapeutic Agents in the Treatment Cystic Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Dey, Isha; Shah, Kalpit; Bradbury, Neil A

    2016-01-01

    The recent FDA approval of two drugs to treat the basic defect in cystic fibrosis has given hope to patients and their families battling this devastating disease. Over many years, with heavy financial investment from Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, pre-clinical evaluation of thousands of synthetic drugs resulted in the production of Kalydeco and Orkambi. Yet, despite the success of this endeavor, many other compounds have been proposed as therapeutic agents in the treatment of CF. Of note, several of these compounds are naturally occurring, and are present in spices from the grocery store and over the counter preparations in health food stores. In this short review, we look at three such compounds, genistein, curcumin, and resveratrol, and evaluate the scientific support for their use as therapeutic agents in the treatment of patients with CF. PMID:27081574

  5. Significance and nature of bystander responses induced by various agents.

    PubMed

    Verma, Neha; Tiku, Ashu Bhan

    2017-07-01

    Bystander effects in a biological system are the responses shown by non-targeted neighbouring cells/tissues/organisms. These responses are triggered by factors released from targeted cells when exposed to a stress inducing agent. The biological response to stress inducing agents is complex, owing to the diversity of mechanisms and pathways activated in directly targeted and bystander cells. These responses are highly variable and can be either beneficial or hazardous depending on the cell lines tested, dose of agent used, experimental end points and time course selected. Recently non-targeted cells have even been reported to rescue the directly exposed cells by releasing protective signals that might be induced by non-targeted bystander responses. The nature of bystander signal/s is not yet clear. However, there are evidences suggesting involvement of ROS, RNS, protein factors and even DNA molecules leading to the activation of a number of signaling pathways. These can act independently or in a cascade, to induce events leading to changes in gene expression patterns that could elicit detrimental or beneficial effects. Many review articles on radiation induced bystander responses have been published. However, to the best of our knowledge, a comprehensive review on bystander responses induced by other genotoxic chemicals and stress inducing agents has not been published so far. Therefore, the aim of the present review is to give an overview of the literature on different aspects of bystander responses: agents that induce these responses, factors that can modulate bystander responses and the mechanisms involved. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Discovery of Anticancer Agents of Diverse Natural Origin

    PubMed Central

    KINGHORN, A. DOUGLAS; CARCACHE DE BLANCO, ESPERANZA J.; LUCAS, DAVID M.; RAKOTONDRAIBE, H. LIVA; ORJALA, JIMMY; SOEJARTO, D. DOEL; OBERLIES, NICHOLAS H.; PEARCE, CEDRIC J.; WANI, MANSUKH C.; STOCKWELL, BRENT R.; BURDETTE, JOANNA E.; SWANSON, STEVEN M.; FUCHS, JAMES R.; PHELPS, MITCHELL A.; XU, LIHUI; ZHANG, XIAOLI; SHEN, YOUNG YONGCHUN

    2016-01-01

    Recent progress is described in an ongoing collaborative multidisciplinary research project directed towards the purification, structural characterization, chemical modification, and biological evaluation of new potential natural product anticancer agents obtained from a diverse group of organisms, comprising tropical plants, aquatic and terrestrial cyanobacteria, and filamentous fungi. Information is provided on how these organisms are collected and processed. The types of bioassays are indicated in which initial extracts, chromatographic fractions, and purified isolated compounds of these acquisitions are tested. Several promising biologically active lead compounds from each major organism major class investigated are described, and these may be seen to be representative of very wide chemical diversity. PMID:27793884

  7. Alkaloids Isolated from Natural Herbs as the Anticancer Agents

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jin-Jian; Bao, Jiao-Lin; Chen, Xiu-Ping; Huang, Min; Wang, Yi-Tao

    2012-01-01

    Alkaloids are important chemical compounds that serve as a rich reservoir for drug discovery. Several alkaloids isolated from natural herbs exhibit antiproliferation and antimetastasis effects on various types of cancers both in vitro and in vivo. Alkaloids, such as camptothecin and vinblastine, have already been successfully developed into anticancer drugs. This paper focuses on the naturally derived alkaloids with prospective anticancer properties, such as berberine, evodiamine, matrine, piperine, sanguinarine, and tetrandrine, and summarizes the mechanisms of action of these compounds. Based on the information in the literature that is summarized in this paper, the use of alkaloids as anticancer agents is very promising, but more research and clinical trials are necessary before final recommendations on specific alkaloids can be made. PMID:22988474

  8. Degradability of fluorapatite-leucite ceramics in naturally acidic agents.

    PubMed

    Kukiattrakoon, Boonlert; Hengtrakool, Chanothai; Kedjarune-Leggat, Ureporn

    2010-10-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the titratable acidity and effect of naturally acidic agents on the surface microhardness, elemental composition, and surface morphology of fluorapatite-leucite ceramics. One hundred and ten ceramic disks (IPS d.SIGN), 12.0 mm in diameter and 2.0 mm in thickness, were fabricated. Before immersion, the baseline data of Vickers microhardness and elemental composition were recorded. Four groups were immersed in acidic agents (citrate buffer solution, green mango juice, and pineapple juice) and deionized water (control) at 37ºC for 168 hours, whereas one group was immersed in 4% acetic acid at 80ºC for 168 hours. After immersion, specimens were evaluated and data were analyzed using one-way repeated ANOVA and Tukey's test (α=0.05). Microhardness values significantly decreased after immersion (p<0.05). In terms of elemental composition, the weight percentages of silicon, potassium, aluminum, and sodium also decreased after immersion (p<0.05). Results of this study showed that fluorapatite-leucite ceramics were affected by long-term immersion in acidic agents.

  9. Stereocontrolled semi-syntheses of deguelin and tephrosin† †Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: 1H and 13C NMR spectra. See DOI: 10.1039/c6ob02659a Click here for additional data file.

    PubMed Central

    Russell, David A.; Freudenreich, Julien J.; Ciardiello, Joe J.; Sore, Hannah F.

    2017-01-01

    We describe stereocontrolled semi-syntheses of deguelin and tephrosin, anti-cancer rotenoids isolated from Tephrosia vogelii. Firstly, we present a new two-step transformation of rotenone into rot-2′-enonic acid via a zinc-mediated ring opening of rotenone hydrobromide. Secondly, following conversion of rot-2′-enonic acid into deguelin, a chromium-mediated hydroxylation provides tephrosin as a single diastereoisomer. An Étard-like reaction mechanism is proposed to account for the stereochemical outcome. Our syntheses of deguelin and tephrosin are operationally simple, scalable and high yielding, offering considerable advantages over previous methods. PMID:28134391

  10. Honokiol: a novel natural agent for cancer prevention and therapy.

    PubMed

    Arora, S; Singh, S; Piazza, G A; Contreras, C M; Panyam, J; Singh, A P

    2012-12-01

    Honokiol (3',5-di-(2-propenyl)-1,1'-biphenyl-2,4'-diol) is a bioactive natural product derived from Magnolia spp. Recent studies have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic, anti-oxidative and anticancer properties of honokiol in vitro and in preclinical models. Honokiol targets multiple signaling pathways including nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), signal transducers and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and mammalian target of rapamycin (m-TOR), which have great relevance during cancer initiation and progression. Furthermore, pharmacokinetic profile of honokiol has revealed a desirable spectrum of bioavailability after intravenous administration in animal models, thus making it a suitable agent for clinical trials. In this review, we discuss recent data describing the molecular targets of honokiol and its anti-cancer activities against various malignancies in pre-clinical models. Evaluation of honokiol in clinical trials will be the next step towards its possible human applications.

  11. Evaluation of natural anthracene-derived compounds as antimitotic agents.

    PubMed

    Badria, Farid A; Ibrahim, Ahmed S

    2013-04-01

    Plants that contain anthracene-derived compounds such as anthraquinones have been reported to act as anticancer besides their use for millennia to treat constipation, but the mechanism of action is still unfolding. Therefore we pursue this study to explore a new horizon in the anticancer property of these agents with relevance to mitotic arrest. To achieve this goal, the antimitotic activity of a series of naturally occurring anthracene-derived anthraquinones including anthrone, alizarin (1,2-dihydroxyanthraquinone), quinizarin (1,4-dihydroxyanthraquinone), rhein (4,5-dihydroxyanthraquinone-2-carboxylic acid), emodin (1,6,8-trihydroxy-3-methylanthraquinone), and aloe emodin (1,8-dihydroxy-3-hydroxymethylanthraquinone) were evaluated using Allium cepa root tips. Initial results revealed that the mitosis was inhibited after 3, 6, and 24 h, respectively, of incubation with 500, 250, and 125 ppm of each compound in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, alizarin at 500 ppm was proved to be the most active compound to arrest the mitosis after 24 h followed by emodin, aloe emodin, rhein, and finally quinizarin. Interestingly, this inhibition of mitosis was irreversible in root tips incubated with each compound at concentration of 500 ppm but not with 250 ppm or 125 ppm, where the roots regained their normal mitotic activity after 96 h post-incubation in water. This re-evaluation of an old remedy suggests that several bioactive anthraquinones possess promising anti-mitotic activity that may have the potential to be lead compounds for the development of a new class of multifaceted natural anticancer/antimitotic agents.

  12. Natural products--antifungal agents derived from plants.

    PubMed

    Arif, Tasleem; Bhosale, J D; Kumar, Naresh; Mandal, T K; Bendre, R S; Lavekar, G S; Dabur, Rajesh

    2009-07-01

    A new spectrum of human fungal infections is increasing due to increased cancer, AIDS, and immunocompromised patients. The increased use of antifungal agents also resulted in the development of resistance to the present drugs. It makes necessary to discover new classes of antifungal compounds to cure fungal infections. Plants are rich source of bioactive secondary metabolites of wide variety such as tannins, terpenoids, saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, and other compounds, reported to have in vitro antifungal properties. Since the plant kingdom provides a useful source of lead compounds of novel structure, a wide-scale investigation of species from the tropics has been considered. Therefore, the research on natural products and compounds derived from natural products has accelerated in recent years due to their importance in drug discovery. A series of molecules with antifungal activity against different strains of fungus have been found in plants, which are of great importance to humans. These molecules may be used directly or considered as a precursor for developing better molecules. This review attempts to summarize the current status of important antifungal compounds from plants.

  13. Honokiol: a novel natural agent for cancer prevention and therapy

    PubMed Central

    Arora, Sumit; Singh, Seema; Piazza, Gary A.; Contreras, Carlo M.; Panyam, Jayanth; Singh, Ajay P.

    2013-01-01

    Honokiol ((3’,5-di-(2-propenyl)-1,1’-biphenyl-2,2’-diol) is a bioactive natural product derived from Magnolia spp. Recent studies have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic, anti-oxidative and anti-cancer properties of honokiol in vitro and in preclinical models. Honokiol targets multiple signaling pathways including nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), signal transducers and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and mammalian target of rapamycin (m-TOR), which have great relevance during cancer initiation and progression. Furthermore, pharmacokinetic profile of honokiol has revealed a desirable spectrum of bioavailability after intravenous administration in animal models, thus making it a suitable agent for clinical trials. In this review, we discuss recent data describing the molecular targets of honokiol and its anti-cancer activities against various malignancies in pre-clinical models. Evaluation of honokiol in clinical trials will be the next step towards its possible human applications. PMID:22834827

  14. Natural killer cells in immunodefense against infective agents.

    PubMed

    Zucchini, Nicolas; Crozat, Karine; Baranek, Thomas; Robbins, Scott H; Altfeld, Marcus; Dalod, Marc

    2008-12-01

    Following the discovery of innate immune receptors, the topics of innate immunity and its role in defense against infective agents have recently blossomed into very active research fields, after several decades of neglect. Among innate immune cells, natural killer (NK) cells are endowed with the unique ability to recognize and kill cells infected with a variety of pathogens, irrespective of prior sensitization to these microbes. NK cells have a number of other functions, including cytokine production and immunoregulatory activities. Major advances have recently been made in the understanding of the role of NK cells in the physiopathology of infectious diseases. The cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating the acquisition of effector functions by NK cells and their triggering upon pathogenic encounters are being unraveled. The possibility that the power of NK cells could be harnessed for the design of innovative treatments against infections is a major incentive for biologists to further explore NK cell subset complexity and to identify the ligands that activate NK cell receptors.

  15. Natural killer cells in immunodefense against infective agents

    PubMed Central

    Zucchini, Nicolas; Crozat, Karine; Baranek, Thomas; Robbins, Scott H; Altfeld, Marcus; Dalod, Marc

    2009-01-01

    Following the discovery of innate immune receptors, the topics of innate immunity and its role in defense against infective agents have recently blossomed into very active research fields, after several decades of neglect. Among innate immune cells, natural killer (NK) cells are endowed with the unique ability to recognize and kill cells infected with a variety of pathogens, irrespective of prior sensitization to these microbes. NK cells have a number of other functions, including cytokine production and immunoregulatory activities. Major advances have recently been made in the understanding of the role of NK cells in the physiopathology of infectious diseases. The cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating the acquisition of effector functions by NK cells and their triggering upon pathogenic encounters are being unraveled. The possibility that the power of NK cells could be harnessed for the design of innovative treatments against infections is a major incentive for biologists to further explore NK cell subset complexity and to identify the ligands that activate NK cell receptors. PMID:19053900

  16. THE PROBABLE NATURE OF THE INFECTIOUS AGENT OF TRACHOMA.

    PubMed

    Julianelle, L A; Harrison, R W; Morris, M C

    1937-04-30

    1. The infectious agent of trachoma can be freed from extraneous bacteria by passage through rabbit testicle. 2. The infectious agent multiplies little, if at all, during such passage, but in many instances retains its infectivity undiminished. 3. No specific changes occur in the rabbit testicle incidentally to the passage. 4. On rare occasion the trachoma agent may be freed from bacteria by intracerebral passage. The brain tissues show no specific reaction. 5. Filtration experiments with Seitz, Kramer, Berkefeld, and Elford filters confirm the general observation that the infectious agent is filterable with difficulty. 6. Tissue culture experiments, with tissues containing the infectious agent (conjunctiva, rabbit testicle, brain, etc.), conducted under a wide variety of conditions, proved uniformly unsuccessful in the cultivation of the agent. 7. The agent is inactivated by bile, AgNO(3), phenol, cocaine, tartar emetic, and gentian violet. Its heat inactivation temperature is between 45 degrees and 50 degrees C., at a time interval of 15 minutes. 8. Attempts to preserve the infectious agent in glycerine were unsuccessful. 9. The accumulated evidence suggests that the infectious agent of trachoma is a virus.

  17. Evolutionary autonomous agents and the nature of apraxia

    PubMed Central

    Borrett, Donald S; Jin, Frank; Kwan, Hon C

    2005-01-01

    Background Evolutionary autonomous agents are robots or robot simulations whose controller is a dynamical neural network and whose evolution occurs autonomously under the guidance of a fitness function without the detailed or explicit direction of an external programmer. They are embodied agents with a simple neural network controller and as such they provide the optimal forum by which sensorimotor interactions in a specified environment can be studied without the computational assumptions inherent in standard neuroscience. Methods Evolutionary autonomous agents were evolved that were able to perform identical movements under two different contexts, one which represented an automatic movement and one which had a symbolic context. In an attempt to model the automatic-voluntary dissociation frequently seen in ideomotor apraxia, lesions were introduced into the neural network controllers resulting in a behavioral dissociation with loss of the ability to perform the movement which had a symbolic context and preservation of the simpler, automatic movement. Results Analysis of the changes in the hierarchical organization of the networks in the apractic EAAs demonstrated consistent changes in the network dynamics across all agents with loss of longer duration time scales in the network dynamics. Conclusion The concepts of determinate motor programs and perceptual representations that are implicit in the present day understanding of ideomotor apraxia are assumptions inherent in the computational understanding of brain function. The strength of the present study using EAAs to model one aspect of ideomotor apraxia is the absence of these assumptions and a grounding of all sensorimotor interactions in an embodied, autonomous agent. The consistency of the hierarchical changes in the network dynamics across all apractic agents demonstrates that this technique is tenable and will be a valuable adjunct to a computational formalism in the understanding of the physical basis of

  18. Natural Organohalogens: A New Frontier for Medicinal Agents?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gribble, Gordon W.

    2004-10-01

    More than 4000 naturally occurring organohalogen compounds are known. These include a relatively small number of abiogenic organohalogens from volcanoes, forest fires, geothermal processes, and meteorites, and a very large number of biogenic organohalogens produced by myriad living organisms as part of their chemical makeup that serve as hormones, pheromones, repellents, and natural pesticides. From the chemically simple methyl chloride, methyl bromide, and chloroform to the structurally complex vancomycin, pyrroindomycin, and bastadins, the diversity of these organohalogens is unsurpassed among natural products. Most natural organohalogens contain chlorine (2300) or bromine (2100), but a significant number contain iodine (120) or fluorine (30). Several hundred marine natural products contain both chlorine and bromine. The present article focuses on newly discovered biogenic organohalogens, with an emphasis on those biologically active examples from marine organisms, bacteria, terrestrial plants, and higher life forms including humans.

  19. Natural Attenuation of the Persistent Chemical Warfare Agent ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Report This project studied the influence of temperature on the natural attenuation of VX from five types of porous/permeable materials: unsealed concrete, plywood, rubber escalator handrail, high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, and acoustic ceiling tile.

  20. Natural Compounds as Anticancer Agents Targeting DNA Topoisomerases

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Chetan Kumar; Majumder, Hemanta Kumar; Roychoudhury, Susanta

    2017-01-01

    DNA topoisomerases are important cellular enzymes found in almost all types of living cells (eukaryotic and prokaryotic). These enzymes are essential for various DNA metabolic processes e.g. replication, transcription, recombination, chromosomal decatenation etc. These enzymes are important molecular drug targets and inhibitors of these enzymes are widely used as effective anticancer and antibacterial drugs. However, topoisomerase inhibitors have some therapeutic limitations and they exert serious side effects during cancer chemotherapy. Thus, development of novel anticancer topoisomerase inhibitors is necessary for improving cancer chemotherapy. Nature serves as a repertoire of structurally and chemically diverse molecules and in the recent years many DNA topoisomerase inhibitors have been identified from natural sources. The present review discusses anticancer properties and therapeutic importance of eighteen recently identified natural topoisomerase inhibitors (from the year 2009 to 2015). Structural characteristics of these novel inhibitors provide backbones for designing and developing new anticancer drugs. PMID:28503091

  1. Natural Attenuation of Persistent Chemical Warfare Agent VX ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Report Natural attenuation of persistent CWAs such as VX was investigated and occurs, given sufficient time (days to weeks). Natural attenuation was found to be faster at warmer temperatures (i.e., 35 °C and 25 °C) than cooler temperatures (i.e., 10 °C). Attenuation of VX was material dependent with a general trend of faster to slower attenuation in the order ceramic tile - galvanized metal - silanized glass - painted drywall. Trace amounts of VX may still be present weeks to months after a contamination event.

  2. Natural anti-cancer agents: Implications in gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer treatment.

    PubMed

    Marasini, Bishal; Sahu, Ravi P

    2017-03-15

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal malignancy accounting for the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Among several explored anti-cancer agents, Gemcitabine, a nucleoside analogue remained a front line chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. However, gemcitabine exerts a low response rate with limited progression free survival in cancer patients due to cellular resistance of pancreatic tumors to this therapy. Several chemotherapeutic agents have been explored in combination with gemcitabine against pancreatic cancer with overall mixed responses and survival rates. Naturally occurring dietary agents possess promising anti-cancer properties and have been shown to target various oncogenic signaling pathways in in-vitro and in-vivo pancreatic cancer models. Multiple studies using natural compounds have shown increased therapeutic efficacy of gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer models. This review is focused on recent updates on preclinical and clinical studies utilizing natural anti-cancer agents with gemcitabine against pancreatic cancer.

  3. Natural Organohalogens: A New Frontier for Medicinal Agents?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gribble, Gordon W.

    2004-01-01

    Newly discovered biogenic organo halogens with an emphasis on the biologically active examples from marine organisms, bacteria, terrestrial plants and higher life forms, including humans, are focused. Organohalogen compounds represent a valuable and expanding class of natural products, in many cases boasting exceptional biological activity.

  4. Natural Organohalogens: A New Frontier for Medicinal Agents?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gribble, Gordon W.

    2004-01-01

    Newly discovered biogenic organo halogens with an emphasis on the biologically active examples from marine organisms, bacteria, terrestrial plants and higher life forms, including humans, are focused. Organohalogen compounds represent a valuable and expanding class of natural products, in many cases boasting exceptional biological activity.

  5. 'Nature Concocts & Expels': The Agents and Processes of Recovery from Disease in Early Modern England.

    PubMed

    Newton, Hannah

    2015-08-01

    The 'golden saying' in early modern medicine was 'Nature is the healer of disease'. This article uncovers the meaning and significance of this forgotten axiom by investigating perceptions of the agents and physiological processes of recovery from illness in England, c.1580-1720. Drawing on sources such as medical texts and diaries, it shows that doctors and laypeople attributed recovery to three agents-God, Nature and the practitioner. While scholars are familiar with the roles of providence and medicine, the vital agency of Nature has been overlooked. In theory, the agents operated in a hierarchy: Nature was 'God's instrument', and the physician, 'Nature's servant'; but in practice the power balance was more ambivalent. Nature was depicted both as a housewife who cooked and cleaned the humours, and as a warrior who defeated the disease. Through exploring these complex dynamics, the article sheds fresh light on concepts of gender, disease and bodies.

  6. Naturally occurring antifungal agents against Zygosaccharomyces bailii and their synergism.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Ken-Ichi; Kubo, Isao

    2005-06-29

    Polygodial was found to exhibit a fungicidal activity against a food spoilage yeast, Zygosaccharomyces bailii, with the minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) of 50 microg/mL (0.17 mM). The time-kill curve study showed that polygodial was fungicidal at any growth stage. The primary action of polygodial comes from its ability to disrupt the native membrane-associated function of integral proteins as nonionic surface active agents (surfactants) followed by a decrease in plasma membrane fluidity. The fungicidal activity of polygodial was increased 128-fold in combination with a sublethal amount (equivalent of 1/2 MFC) of anethole and vice versa relative to the fungicidal activity of anethole. The fungicidal activity of sorbic acid was enhanced 512-fold in combination with 1/2 MFC of polygodial. Conversely, the fungicidal activity of polygodial was enhanced 128-fold in combination with 1/2 MFC of sorbic acid.

  7. Quercetin as natural stabilizing agent for bio-polymer

    SciTech Connect

    Morici, Elisabetta; Arrigo, Rossella; Dintcheva, Nadka Tzankova

    2014-05-15

    The introduction of antioxidants in polymers is the main way to prevent or delay the degradation process. In particular natural antioxidants receive attention in the food industry also because of their presumed safety. In this work bio-polymers, i.e. a commercial starch-based polymer (Mater-Bi®) and a bio-polyester (PLA), and a bio-polyether (PEO) were additivated with quercetin, a natural flavonoid antioxidants, in order to formulate bio-based films for ecosustainable packaging and outdoor applications. The photo-oxidation behavior of unstabilized and quercetin stabilized films was analyzed and compared with the behavior of films additivated with a commercial synthetic light stabilizer. The quercetin is able to slow down the photo-degradation rate of all bio-polymeric films investigated in similar way to the synthetic stabilizer.

  8. Quercetin as natural stabilizing agent for bio-polymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morici, Elisabetta; Arrigo, Rossella; Dintcheva, Nadka Tzankova

    2014-05-01

    The introduction of antioxidants in polymers is the main way to prevent or delay the degradation process. In particular natural antioxidants receive attention in the food industry also because of their presumed safety. In this work bio-polymers, i.e. a commercial starch-based polymer (Mater-Bi®) and a bio-polyester (PLA), and a bio-polyether (PEO) were additivated with quercetin, a natural flavonoid antioxidants, in order to formulate bio-based films for ecosustainable packaging and outdoor applications. The photo-oxidation behavior of unstabilized and quercetin stabilized films was analyzed and compared with the behavior of films additivated with a commercial synthetic light stabilizer. The quercetin is able to slow down the photo-degradation rate of all bio-polymeric films investigated in similar way to the synthetic stabilizer.

  9. Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief

    PubMed Central

    Maroon, Joseph C.; Bost, Jeffrey W.; Maroon, Adara

    2010-01-01

    The use of both over-the-counter and prescription nonsteroidal medications is frequently recommended in a typical neurosurgical practice. But persistent long-term use safety concerns must be considered when prescribing these medications for chronic and degenerative pain conditions. This article is a literature review of the biochemical pathways of inflammatory pain, the potentially serious side effects of nonsteroidal drugs and commonly used and clinically studied natural alternative anti-inflammatory supplements. Although nonsteroidal medications can be effective, herbs and dietary supplements may offer a safer, and often an effective, alternative treatment for pain relief, especially for long-term use. PMID:21206541

  10. Natural Forces as Agents: Reconceptualizing the Animate-Inanimate Distinction

    PubMed Central

    Lowder, Matthew W.; Gordon, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Research spanning multiple domains of psychology has demonstrated preferential processing of animate as compared to inanimate entities—a pattern that is commonly explained as due to evolutionarily adaptive behavior. Forces of nature represent a class of entities that are semantically inanimate but which behave as if they are animate in that they possess the ability to initiate movement and cause actions. We report an eye-tracking experiment demonstrating that natural forces are processed like animate entities during online sentence processing: they are easier to integrate with action verbs than instruments, and this effect is mediated by sentence structure. The results suggest that many cognitive and linguistic phenomena that have previously been attributed to animacy may be more appropriately attributed to perceived agency. To the extent that this is so, the cognitive potency of animate entities may not be due to vigilant monitoring of the environment for unpredictable events as argued by evolutionary psychologists but instead may be more adequately explained as reflecting a cognitive and linguistic focus on causal explanations that is adaptive because it increases the predictability of events. PMID:25497518

  11. Synthesis and biological evaluation of C-ring truncated deguelin derivatives as heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ho Shin; Hong, Mannkyu; Ann, Jihyae; Yoon, Suyoung; Nguyen, Cong-Truong; Lee, Su-Chan; Lee, Ho-Young; Suh, Young-Ger; Seo, Ji Hae; Choi, Hoon; Kim, Jun Yong; Kim, Kyu-Won; Kim, Joohwan; Kim, Young-Myeong; Park, So-Jung; Park, Hyun-Ju; Lee, Jeewoo

    2016-11-15

    Based on the lead compound L-80 (compound 2), a potent heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitor, a series of C-ring truncated deguelin analogs were designed, synthesized and evaluated for Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1α (HIF-1α) inhibition as a primary screening method. Their structure-activity relationship was investigated in a systematic manner by varying the A/B ring, linker and D/E ring, respectively. Among the synthesized inhibitors, compound 5 exhibited potent HIF-1α inhibition in a dose-dependent manner and significant antitumor activity in human non-small cell lung carcinoma (H1299), with better activities than L-80. It also inhibited in vitro hypoxia-mediated angiogenic processes in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMEC). The docking study of 5 showed a similar binding mode as L-80: it occupied the C-terminal ATP-binding pocket of HSP90, indicating that the anticancer and antiangiogenic activities of 5 were derived from HIF-1α destabilization by inhibiting the C-terminal ATP-binding site of hHSP90. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Natural products as a source of potential cancer chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents.

    PubMed

    Cassady, J M; Baird, W M; Chang, C J

    1990-01-01

    Recent advances in the chemistry of novel bioactive natural products are reported. This research is directed to the exploration of plants with confirmed activity in bioassays designed to detect potential cancer chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents. Structural work and chemical studies are reported for several cytotoxic agents from the plants Annona densicoma, Annona reticulata, Claopodium crispifolium, Polytrichum obioense, and Psorospermum febrifugum. Studies are also reported based on development of a mammalian cell culture benzo[a]pyrene metabolism assay for the detection of potential anticarcinogenic agents from natural products. In this study a number of isoflavonoids and flavonoids with antimutagenic activity have been discovered.

  13. Hallucinogens and dissociative agents naturally growing in the United States.

    PubMed

    Halpern, John H

    2004-05-01

    It is usually believed that drugs of abuse are smuggled into the United States or are clandestinely produced for illicit distribution. Less well known is that many hallucinogens and dissociative agents can be obtained from plants and fungi growing wild or in gardens. Some of these botanical sources can be located throughout the United States; others have a more narrow distribution. This article reviews plants containing N,N-dimethyltryptamine, reversible type A monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI), lysergic acid amide, the anticholinergic drugs atropine and scopolamine, or the diterpene salvinorin-A (Salvia divinorum). Also reviewed are mescaline-containing cacti, psilocybin/psilocin-containing mushrooms, and the Amanita muscaria and Amanita pantherina mushrooms that contain muscimol and ibotenic acid. Dangerous misidentification is most common with the mushrooms, but even a novice forager can quickly learn how to properly identify and prepare for ingestion many of these plants. Moreover, through the ever-expanding dissemination of information via the Internet, this knowledge is being obtained and acted upon by more and more individuals. This general overview includes information on the geographical range, drug content, preparation, intoxication, and the special health risks associated with some of these plants. Information is also offered on the unique issue of when bona fide religions use such plants as sacraments in the United States. In addition to the Native American Church's (NAC) longstanding right to peyote, two religions of Brazilian origin, the Santo Daime and the Uniao do Vegetal (UDV), are seeking legal protection in the United States for their use of sacramental dimethyltryptamine-containing "ayahuasca."

  14. Cyclodepsipeptides from Marine Sponges: Natural Agents for Drug Research

    PubMed Central

    Andavan, Gowri Shankar Bagavananthem; Lemmens-Gruber, Rosa

    2010-01-01

    A number of natural products from marine sponges, such as cyclodepsipeptides, have been identified. The structural characteristics of this family of cyclic peptides include various unusual amino acid residues and unique N-terminal polyketide-derived moieties. Papuamides are representatives of a class of marine sponge derived cyclic depsipeptides, including callipeltin A, celebesides A and B, homophymine A, mirabamides, microspinosamide, neamphamide A and theopapuamides. They are thought to have cytoprotective activity against HIV-1 in vitro by inhibiting viral entry. Jasplakinolide, a representative member of marine sponge-derived cyclodepsipeptides that include arenastatin A, geodiamolides, homophymines, spongidepsin and theopapuamides, is a potent inducer of actin polymerization in vitro. Although actin dynamics is essential for tumor metasasis, no actin targeting drugs have been used in clinical trials due to their severe cytotoxicity. Nonetheless, the actin cytoskeleton remains a potential target for anti-cancer drug development. These features imply the use of cyclodepsipeptides as molecular models in drug research. PMID:20411126

  15. Pectin functionalized with natural fatty acids as antimicrobial agent.

    PubMed

    Calce, Enrica; Mignogna, Eleonora; Bugatti, Valeria; Galdiero, Massimiliano; Vittoria, Vittoria; De Luca, Stefania

    2014-07-01

    Several pectin derivatives were prepared by chemical modifications of the polysaccharide with natural fatty acids. The obtained biodegradable pectin-based materials, pectin-linoleate, pectin-oleate and pectin-palmitate, were investigated for their antimicrobial activity against several bacterial strains, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Good results were obtained for pectin-oleate and pectin-linoleate, which inhibit the growth of the selected microorganisms by 50-70%. They exert the better antimicrobial activity against S. aureus. Subsequently, the pectin-oleate and the pectin-linoleate samples were coated on polyethylene films and were assessed for their capacity to capture the oxygen molecules, reducing its penetration into the polymeric support. These results confirmed a possible application of the new materials in the field of active food packaging.

  16. SMART II+ : the spot market agent research tool version 2.0 plus natural gas.

    SciTech Connect

    North, M. J. N.

    2000-12-14

    Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) can be applied to investigate complex infrastructure interdependencies including those between the electric power and natural gas markets. The electric power and natural gas markets are undergoing fundamental transformations. These transformations include major changes in electric generator fuel sources. Electric generators that use natural gas as a fuel source are rapidly gaining market share. Electric generators using natural gas introduce direct interdependency between the electric power and natural gas markets. The interdependencies between the electric power and natural gas markets introduced by these generators can be investigated using the emergent behavior of CAS model agents.

  17. Nature as a network of morphological infocomputational processes for cognitive agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dodig-Crnkovic, Gordana

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a view of nature as a network of infocomputational agents organized in a dynamical hierarchy of levels. It provides a framework for unification of currently disparate understandings of natural, formal, technical, behavioral and social phenomena based on information as a structure, differences in one system that cause the differences in another system, and computation as its dynamics, i.e. physical process of morphological change in the informational structure. We address some of the frequent misunderstandings regarding the natural/morphological computational models and their relationships to physical systems, especially cognitive systems such as living beings. Natural morphological infocomputation as a conceptual framework necessitates generalization of models of computation beyond the traditional Turing machine model presenting symbol manipulation, and requires agent-based concurrent resource-sensitive models of computation in order to be able to cover the whole range of phenomena from physics to cognition. The central role of agency, particularly material vs. cognitive agency is highlighted.

  18. Natural Products as a Vital Source for the Discovery of Cancer Chemotherapeutic and Chemopreventive Agents.

    PubMed

    Cragg, Gordon M; Pezzuto, John M

    2016-01-01

    Throughout history, natural products have played a dominant role in the treatment of human ailments. For example, the legendary discovery of penicillin transformed global existence. Presently, natural products comprise a large portion of current-day pharmaceutical agents, most notably in the area of cancer therapy. Examples include Taxol, vinblastine, and camptothecin. These structurally unique agents function by novel mechanisms of action; isolation from natural sources is the only plausible method that could have led to their discovery. In addition to terrestrial plants as sources for starting materials, the marine environment (e.g., ecteinascidin 743, halichondrin B, and dolastatins), microbes (e.g., bleomycin, doxorubicin, and staurosporin), and slime molds (e.g., epothilone B) have yielded remarkable cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Irrespective of these advances, cancer remains a leading cause of death worldwide. Undoubtedly, the prevention of human cancer is highly preferable to treatment. Cancer chemoprevention, the use of vaccines or pharmaceutical agents to inhibit, retard, or reverse the process of carcinogenesis, is another important approach for easing this formidable public health burden. Similar to cancer chemotherapeutic agents, natural products play an important role in this field. There are many examples, including dietary phytochemicals such as sulforaphane and phenethyl isothiocyanate (cruciferous vegetables) and resveratrol (grapes and grape products). Overall, natural product research is a powerful approach for discovering biologically active compounds with unique structures and mechanisms of action. Given the unfathomable diversity of nature, it is reasonable to suggest that chemical leads can be generated that are capable of interacting with most or possibly all therapeutic targets. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. Self-Regulated Learning in Learning Environments with Pedagogical Agents that Interact in Natural Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graesser, Arthur; McNamara, Danielle

    2010-01-01

    This article discusses the occurrence and measurement of self-regulated learning (SRL) both in human tutoring and in computer tutors with agents that hold conversations with students in natural language and help them learn at deeper levels. One challenge in building these computer tutors is to accommodate, encourage, and scaffold SRL because these…

  20. Natural Products as Tools for Neuroscience: Discovery and Development of Novel Agents to Treat Drug Abuse⊥

    PubMed Central

    Prisinzano, Thomas E.

    2009-01-01

    Much of what we know about the neurosciences is the direct result of studying psychoactive natural products. Unfortunately, there are many gaps in our understanding of the basic biological processes that contribute to the etiology of many CNS disorders. The investigation of psychoactive natural products offers an excellent approach to identify novel agents to treat CNS disorders and to find new chemical tools to better elucidate their biological mechanisms. This review will detail recent progress in a program directed towards investigating psychoactive natural products with the goal of treating drug abuse by targeting κ opioid receptors. PMID:19099466

  1. Natural product inhibitors of ocular angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sulaiman, Rania S.; Basavarajappa, Halesha D.; Corson, Timothy W.

    2014-01-01

    Natural products are characterized by high chemical diversity and biochemical specificity; therefore, they are appealing as lead compounds for drug discovery. Given the importance of angiogenesis to many pathologies, numerous natural products have been explored as potential anti-angiogenic drugs. Ocular angiogenesis underlies blinding eye diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in children, proliferative diabetic retinopathy (DR) in adults of working age, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the elderly. Despite the presence of effective therapy in many cases, these diseases are still a significant health burden. Anti-VEGF biologics are the standard of care, but may cause ocular or systemic side effects after intraocular administration and patients may be refractory. Many anti-angiogenic compounds inhibit tumor growth and metastasis alone or in combination therapy, but a more select subset of them has been tested in the context of ocular neovascular diseases. Here, we review the promise of natural products as anti-angiogenic agents, with a specific focus on retinal and choroidal neovascularization. The multifunctional curcumin and the chalcone isoliquiritigenin have demonstrated promising anti-angiogenic effects in mouse models of DR and choroidal neovascularization (CNV) respectively. The homoisoflavanone cremastranone and the flavonoid deguelin have been shown to inhibit ocular neovascularization in more than one disease model. The isoflavone genistein and the flavone apigenin on the other hand are showing potential in the prevention of retinal and choroidal angiogenesis with long-term administration. Many other products with antiangiogenic potential in vitro such as the lactone withaferin A, the flavonol quercetin, and the stilbenoid combretastatin A4 are awaiting investigation in different ocular disease relevant animal models. These natural products may serve as lead compounds for the design of more specific, efficacious, and affordable

  2. The potential role of natural agents in treatment of airway inflammation.

    PubMed

    Sharafkhaneh, Amir; Velamuri, Suryakanta; Badmaev, Vladimir; Lan, Charlie; Hanania, Nicola

    2007-12-01

    Obstructive airway diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis present with dyspnea and variety of other symptoms. Physiologically, they are characterized by maximal expiratory flow limitation and pathologically, by inflammation of the airways and the lung parenchyma. Inflammation plays a major role in the gradual worsening of the lung function resulting in worsening symptoms. For many years, scientists focused their efforts in identifying various pathways involved in the chronic inflammation present in these diseases. Further, studies are underway to identify various molecular targets in these pathways for the purpose of developing novel therapeutic agents. Natural agents have been used for thousands of years in various cultures for the treatment of several medical conditions and have mostly proven to be safe. Recent in vivo and in vitro studies show potential anti-inflammatory role for some of the existing natural agents. This review provides an overview of the literature related to the anti-inflammatory effects of some of the natural agents which have potential value in the treatment of inflammatory lung diseases.

  3. All Natural and Clean-Label Preservatives and Antimicrobial Agents Used during Poultry Processing and Packaging.

    PubMed

    Grant, Ar'quette; Parveen, Salina

    2017-04-01

    The poultry industry is faced with compounding pressures of maintaining product safety and wholesomeness while keeping up with consumer trends of all-natural foods and label accuracy. Consumers are increasingly demanding that their foods be minimally processed and contain compounds that are easily read and recognized, i.e., products must be clean labeled. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe several natural antimicrobial agents that can be incorporated into poultry processing. These compounds and their essential oils were included in this mini-review because they are generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are considered clean label: thyme extract, rosemary extract, garlic, and oregano. This list of natural antimicrobial agents by no means includes all of the options available to poultry processors. Rather, this review provides a brief glance at the potential these natural antimicrobial agents have in terms of reduced pathogenicity, increased shelf stability, and sensory acceptability through direct product application or as part of the product packaging.

  4. Discovery and development of natural product oridonin-inspired anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Ding, Ye; Ding, Chunyong; Ye, Na; Liu, Zhiqing; Wold, Eric A; Chen, Haiying; Wild, Christopher; Shen, Qiang; Zhou, Jia

    2016-10-21

    Natural products have historically been, and continue to be, an invaluable source for the discovery of various therapeutic agents. Oridonin, a natural diterpenoid widely applied in traditional Chinese medicines, exhibits a broad range of biological effects including anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. To further improve its potency, aqueous solubility and bioavailability, the oridonin template serves as an exciting platform for drug discovery to yield better candidates with unique targets and enhanced drug properties. A number of oridonin derivatives (e.g. HAO472) have been designed and synthesized, and have contributed to substantial progress in the identification of new agents and relevant molecular mechanistic studies toward the treatment of human cancers and other diseases. This review summarizes the recent advances in medicinal chemistry on the explorations of novel oridonin analogues as potential anticancer therapeutics, and provides a detailed discussion of future directions for the development and progression of this class of molecules into the clinic.

  5. Multi-agent social and organizational modeling of the electric power and natural gas markets.

    SciTech Connect

    North, M. J.; Decision and Information Sciences

    2001-12-01

    Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) can be applied to investigate large-scale socio-cognitive-technical systems. Viewing such systems from a multi-agent social and organizational perspective allows innovative computational policy analysis. Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) has taken such a perspective to produce an integrated model of the electric power and natural gas markets. This model focuses on the organizational interdependencies between these markets. These organizational interdependencies are being strained by fundamental market transformations.

  6. Evolution of natural agents: preservation, advance, and emergence of functional information.

    PubMed

    Sharov, Alexei A

    2016-04-01

    Biological evolution is often viewed narrowly as a change of morphology or allele frequency in a sequence of generations. Here I pursue an alternative informational concept of evolution, as preservation, advance, and emergence of functional information in natural agents. Functional information is a network of signs (e.g., memory, transient messengers, and external signs) that are used by agents to preserve and regulate their functions. Functional information is preserved in evolution via complex interplay of copying and construction processes: the digital components are copied, whereas interpreting subagents together with scaffolds, tools, and resources, are constructed. Some of these processes are simple and invariant, whereas others are complex and contextual. Advance of functional information includes improvement and modification of already existing functions. Although the genome information may change passively and randomly, the interpretation is active and guided by the logic of agent behavior and embryonic development. Emergence of new functions is based on the reinterpretation of already existing information, when old tools, resources, and control algorithms are adopted for novel functions. Evolution of functional information progressed from protosemiosis, where signs correspond directly to actions, to eusemiosis, where agents associate signs with objects. Language is the most advanced form of eusemiosis, where the knowledge of objects and models is communicated between agents.

  7. Evolution of natural agents: preservation, advance, and emergence of functional information

    PubMed Central

    Sharov, Alexei A.

    2016-01-01

    Biological evolution is often viewed narrowly as a change of morphology or allele frequency in a sequence of generations. Here I pursue an alternative informational concept of evolution, as preservation, advance, and emergence of functional information in natural agents. Functional information is a network of signs (e.g., memory, transient messengers, and external signs) that are used by agents to preserve and regulate their functions. Functional information is preserved in evolution via complex interplay of copying and construction processes: the digital components are copied, whereas interpreting subagents together with scaffolds, tools, and resources, are constructed. Some of these processes are simple and invariant, whereas others are complex and contextual. Advance of functional information includes improvement and modification of already existing functions. Although the genome information may change passively and randomly, the interpretation is active and guided by the logic of agent behavior and embryonic development. Emergence of new functions is based on the reinterpretation of already existing information, when old tools, resources, and control algorithms are adopted for novel functions. Evolution of functional information progressed from protosemiosis, where signs correspond directly to actions, to eusemiosis, where agents associate signs with objects. Language is the most advanced form of eusemiosis, where the knowledge of objects and models is communicated between agents. PMID:27525048

  8. The Damage Pattern to the Gastrointestinal Tract Depends on the Nature of the Ingested Caustic Agent.

    PubMed

    Ducoudray, Romain; Mariani, Antoine; Corte, Helene; Kraemer, Aurore; Munoz-Bongrand, Nicolas; Sarfati, Emile; Cattan, Pierre; Chirica, Mircea

    2016-07-01

    The mechanisms of damage to the gastrointestinal tract after caustic ingestion are conditioned by the nature of the ingested agent. Whether the nature of the ingested agent has a direct influence on patient outcomes is unknown. From January 2013 to April 2015, 144 patients underwent emergency management for caustic injuries at the Saint Louis Hospital in Paris. There were 51 men (51 %) and the median age was 44 years [39, 48]. The ingested agents were soda-based strong alkali in 85 patients (59 %), strong acids in 36 patients (25 %), and bleach in 23 patients (16 %). Emergency and long-term outcomes were compared according to the nature of the ingested agent. Four patients died (3 %) and 40 patients (28 %) experienced complications. After bleach ingestion, emergency morbidity and mortality were nil, no patient required esophageal reconstruction, and functional outcome was successful in all patients. Acids were more likely to induce transmural gastric (31 vs. 13 %, p =0.042) and duodenal (9 vs. 0 %, p = 0.04) necrosis than strong alkalis, but rates of transmural esophageal necrosis were similar (14 vs. 12 %, p = 0.98). No significant differences were recorded between emergency mortality (9 vs. 1 %, p = 0.15), morbidity (33 vs. 33 %, p = 0.92), the need for esophageal reconstruction (25 vs. 20 %, p = 0.88), and functional success rates (76 vs. 84 %, p = 0.31) after acid and alkali ingestion, respectively. Bleach causes mild gastrointestinal injuries, while the ingestion of strong acids and alkalis may result in severe complications and death. Acids cause more severe damage to the stomach but similar damage to the esophagus when compared to alkalis.

  9. Learning Natural Selection in 4th Grade with Multi-Agent-Based Computational Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickes, Amanda Catherine; Sengupta, Pratim

    2013-06-01

    In this paper, we investigate how elementary school students develop multi-level explanations of population dynamics in a simple predator-prey ecosystem, through scaffolded interactions with a multi-agent-based computational model (MABM). The term "agent" in an MABM indicates individual computational objects or actors (e.g., cars), and these agents obey simple rules assigned or manipulated by the user (e.g., speeding up, slowing down, etc.). It is the interactions between these agents, based on the rules assigned by the user, that give rise to emergent, aggregate-level behavior (e.g., formation and movement of the traffic jam). Natural selection is such an emergent phenomenon, which has been shown to be challenging for novices (K16 students) to understand. Whereas prior research on learning evolutionary phenomena with MABMs has typically focused on high school students and beyond, we investigate how elementary students (4th graders) develop multi-level explanations of some introductory aspects of natural selection—species differentiation and population change—through scaffolded interactions with an MABM that simulates predator-prey dynamics in a simple birds-butterflies ecosystem. We conducted a semi-clinical interview based study with ten participants, in which we focused on the following: a) identifying the nature of learners' initial interpretations of salient events or elements of the represented phenomena, b) identifying the roles these interpretations play in the development of their multi-level explanations, and c) how attending to different levels of the relevant phenomena can make explicit different mechanisms to the learners. In addition, our analysis also shows that although there were differences between high- and low-performing students (in terms of being able to explain population-level behaviors) in the pre-test, these differences disappeared in the post-test.

  10. The effect of two remineralizing agents and natural saliva on bleached enamel hardness

    PubMed Central

    Heshmat, Haleh; Ganjkar, Maryam Hoorizad; Miri, Yasaman; Fard, Mohamad Javad Kharrazi

    2016-01-01

    Background: In order to compensate the adverse consequences of bleaching agents, the use of fluoride-containing remineralizing agents has been suggested by many researchers. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of applying two remineralizing materials on bleached enamel hardness and in comparison to natural saliva. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, 30 enamel samples of sound human permanent molars were prepared for this study. Microhardness (MH) of all specimens was measured and 35% hydrogen peroxide was applied 3 times to the specimens. After completion of the bleaching process, MH of samples was measured and then enamel specimens were divided into three groups each of 10, specimens of groups 1 and 2 were subjected to daily application of hydroxyl apatite (Remin Pro) and casein phosphopeptide amorphous calcium phosphate fluoride (CPP-ACPF) (MI Paste Plus) pastes, respectively, for 15 days. In group 3, the specimens were stored in the operators' natural saliva at room temperature in this period of time. Final MH of all groups was measured. The data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA (α = 0.05). Results: The hardness significantly decreased in all groups following bleaching. Application of either Remin Pro, CPP-ACPF or natural saliva increased the hardness significantly. The hardness of the three test groups after 15 days were statistically similar to each other. Conclusion: The hardness of enamel increases eventually after exposure to either MI Paste Plus, Remin Pro or natural saliva. PMID:26962316

  11. Recent Advances in the Development of Antineoplastic Agents Derived from Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Trendowski, Matthew

    2015-11-01

    Through years of evolutionary selection pressures, organisms have developed potent toxins that coincidentally have marked antineoplastic activity. These natural products have been vital for the development of multiagent treatment regimens currently employed in cancer chemotherapy, and are used in the treatment of a variety of malignancies. Therefore, this review catalogs recent advances in natural product-based drug discovery via the examination of mechanisms of action and available clinical data to highlight the utility of these novel compounds in the burgeoning age of precision medicine. The review also highlights the recent development of antibody-drug conjugates and other immunotoxins, which are capable of delivering highly cytotoxic agents previously deemed too toxic to elicit therapeutic benefit preferentially to neoplastic cells. Finally, the review examines natural products not currently used in the clinic that have novel mechanisms of action, and may serve to supplement current chemotherapeutic protocols.

  12. Towards identifying novel anti-Eimeria agents: trace elements, vitamins, and plant-based natural products.

    PubMed

    Wunderlich, Frank; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Steinbrenner, Holger; Sies, Helmut; Dkhil, Mohamed A

    2014-10-01

    Eimeriosis, a widespread infectious disease of livestock, is caused by coccidian protozoans of the genus Eimeria. These obligate intracellular parasites strike the digestive tract of their hosts and give rise to enormous economic losses, particularly in poultry, ruminants including cattle, and rabbit farming. Vaccination, though a rational prophylactic measure, has not yet been as successful as initially thought. Numerous broad-spectrum anti-coccidial drugs are currently in use for treatment and prophylactic control of eimeriosis. However, increasing concerns about parasite resistance, consumer health, and environmental safety of the commercial drugs warrant efforts to search for novel agents with anti-Eimeria activity. This review summarizes current approaches to prevent and treat eimeriosis such as vaccination and commercial drugs, as well as recent attempts to use dietary antioxidants as novel anti-Eimeria agents. In particular, the trace elements selenium and zinc, the vitamins A and E, and natural products extracted from garlic, barberry, pomegranate, sweet wormwood, and other plants are discussed. Several of these novel anti-Eimeria agents exhibit a protective role against oxidative stress that occurs not only in the intestine of Eimeria-infected animals, but also in their non-parasitized tissues, in particular, in the first-pass organ liver. Currently, it appears to be promising to identify safe combinations of low-cost natural products with high anti-Eimeria efficacy for a potential use as feed supplementation in animal farming.

  13. Discovery and development of natural product-derived chemotherapeutic agents based on a medicinal chemistry approach.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kuo-Hsiung

    2010-03-26

    Medicinal plants have long been an excellent source of pharmaceutical agents. Accordingly, the long-term objectives of the author's research program are to discover and design new chemotherapeutic agents based on plant-derived compound leads by using a medicinal chemistry approach, which is a combination of chemistry and biology. Different examples of promising bioactive natural products and their synthetic analogues, including sesquiterpene lactones, quassinoids, naphthoquinones, phenylquinolones, dithiophenediones, neo-tanshinlactone, tylophorine, suksdorfin, DCK, and DCP, will be presented with respect to their discovery and preclinical development as potential clinical trial candidates. Research approaches include bioactivity- or mechanism of action-directed isolation and characterization of active compounds, rational drug design-based modification and analogue synthesis, and structure-activity relationship and mechanism of action studies. Current clinical trial agents discovered by the Natural Products Research Laboratories, University of North Carolina, include bevirimat (dimethyl succinyl betulinic acid), which is now in phase IIb trials for treating AIDS. Bevirimat is also the first in a new class of HIV drug candidates called "maturation inhibitors". In addition, an etoposide analogue, GL-331, progressed to anticancer phase II clinical trials, and the curcumin analogue JC-9 is in phase II clinical trials for treating acne and in development for trials against prostate cancer. The discovery and development of these clinical trial candidates will also be discussed.

  14. A Review of Natural Stimulant and Non‐stimulant Thermogenic Agents

    PubMed Central

    Badmaev, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Obesity and overweight are major health issues. Exercise and calorie intake control are recognized as the primary mechanisms for addressing excess body weight. Naturally occurring thermogenic plant constituents offer adjunct means for assisting in weight management. The controlling mechanisms for thermogenesis offer many intervention points. Thermogenic agents can act through stimulation of the central nervous system with associated adverse cardiovascular effects and through metabolic mechanisms that are non‐stimulatory or a combination thereof. Examples of stimulatory thermogenic agents that will be discussed include ephedrine and caffeine. Examples of non‐stimulatory thermogenic agents include p‐synephrine (bitter orange extract), capsaicin, forskolin (Coleus root extract), and chlorogenic acid (green coffee bean extract). Green tea is an example of a thermogenic with the potential to produce mild but clinically insignificant undesirable stimulatory effects. The use of the aforementioned thermogenic agents in combination with other extracts such as those derived from Salacia reticulata, Sesamum indicum, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Cissus quadrangularis, and Moringa olifera, as well as the use of the carotenoids as lutein and fucoxanthin, and flavonoids as naringin and hesperidin can further facilitate energy metabolism and weight management as well as sports performance without adverse side effects. © 2016 The Authors Phytotherapy Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID:26856274

  15. A Review of Natural Stimulant and Non-stimulant Thermogenic Agents.

    PubMed

    Stohs, Sidney J; Badmaev, Vladimir

    2016-05-01

    Obesity and overweight are major health issues. Exercise and calorie intake control are recognized as the primary mechanisms for addressing excess body weight. Naturally occurring thermogenic plant constituents offer adjunct means for assisting in weight management. The controlling mechanisms for thermogenesis offer many intervention points. Thermogenic agents can act through stimulation of the central nervous system with associated adverse cardiovascular effects and through metabolic mechanisms that are non-stimulatory or a combination thereof. Examples of stimulatory thermogenic agents that will be discussed include ephedrine and caffeine. Examples of non-stimulatory thermogenic agents include p-synephrine (bitter orange extract), capsaicin, forskolin (Coleus root extract), and chlorogenic acid (green coffee bean extract). Green tea is an example of a thermogenic with the potential to produce mild but clinically insignificant undesirable stimulatory effects. The use of the aforementioned thermogenic agents in combination with other extracts such as those derived from Salacia reticulata, Sesamum indicum, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Cissus quadrangularis, and Moringa olifera, as well as the use of the carotenoids as lutein and fucoxanthin, and flavonoids as naringin and hesperidin can further facilitate energy metabolism and weight management as well as sports performance without adverse side effects. © 2016 The Authors Phytotherapy Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Naturally derived anti-hepatitis B virus agents and their mechanism of action.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yi-Hang

    2016-01-07

    Despite that some approved drugs and genetically engineered vaccines against hepatitis B virus (HBV) are available for HBV patients, HBV infection is still a severe public health problem in the world. All the approved therapeutic drugs (including interferon-alpha and nucleoside analogues) have their limitations. No drugs or therapeutic methods can cure hepatitis B so far. Therefore, it is urgently needed to discover and develop new anti-HBV drugs, especially non-nucleoside agents. Naturally originated compounds with enormous molecular complexity and diversity offer a great opportunity to find novel anti-HBV lead compounds with specific antiviral mechanisms. In this review, the natural products against HBV are discussed according to their chemical classes such as terpenes, lignans, phenolic acids, polyphenols, lactones, alkaloids and flavonoids. Furthermore, novel mode of action or new targets of some representative anti-HBV natural products are also discussed. The aim of this review is to report new discoveries and updates pertaining to anti-HBV natural products in the last 20 years, especially novel skeletons and mode of action. Although many natural products with various skeletons have been reported to exhibit potent anti-HBV effects to date, scarcely any of them are found in the list of conventional anti-HBV drugs worldwide. Additionly, in anti-HBV mechanism of action, only a few references reported new targets or novel mode of action of anti-HBV natural products.

  17. Natural Product-Derived Spirooxindole Fragments Serve as Privileged Substructures for Discovery of New Anticancer Agents.

    PubMed

    Yu, Bin; Zheng, Yi-Chao; Shi, Xiao-Jing; Qi, Ping-Ping; Liu, Hong-Min

    2016-01-01

    The utility of natural products for identifying anticancer agents has been highly pursued in the last decades and over 100 drug molecules in clinic are natural products or natural product-derived compounds. Natural products are believed to be able to cover unexplored chemical space that is normally not occupied by commercially available molecule libraries. However, the low abundance and synthetic intractability of natural products have limited their applications in drug discovery. Recently, the identification of biologically relevant fragments derived from biologically validated natural products has been recognized as a powerful strategy in searching new biological probes and drugs. The spirocyclic oxindoles, as privileged structural scaffolds, have shown their potential in designing new drugs. Several anticancer drug candidates such as SAR405838, RO8994, CFI-400945 and their bioisosteres are undergoing clinical trials or preclinical studies. To highlight the significant progress, we focus on illustrating the discovery of SAR405838, RO8994, CFI-400945 and their bioisosteres for cancer therapy using substructure-based strategies and discussing modes of action, binding models and preclinical data.

  18. Naturally derived anti-hepatitis B virus agents and their mechanism of action

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yi-Hang

    2016-01-01

    Despite that some approved drugs and genetically engineered vaccines against hepatitis B virus (HBV) are available for HBV patients, HBV infection is still a severe public health problem in the world. All the approved therapeutic drugs (including interferon-alpha and nucleoside analogues) have their limitations. No drugs or therapeutic methods can cure hepatitis B so far. Therefore, it is urgently needed to discover and develop new anti-HBV drugs, especially non-nucleoside agents. Naturally originated compounds with enormous molecular complexity and diversity offer a great opportunity to find novel anti-HBV lead compounds with specific antiviral mechanisms. In this review, the natural products against HBV are discussed according to their chemical classes such as terpenes, lignans, phenolic acids, polyphenols, lactones, alkaloids and flavonoids. Furthermore, novel mode of action or new targets of some representative anti-HBV natural products are also discussed. The aim of this review is to report new discoveries and updates pertaining to anti-HBV natural products in the last 20 years, especially novel skeletons and mode of action. Although many natural products with various skeletons have been reported to exhibit potent anti-HBV effects to date, scarcely any of them are found in the list of conventional anti-HBV drugs worldwide. Additionly, in anti-HBV mechanism of action, only a few references reported new targets or novel mode of action of anti-HBV natural products. PMID:26755870

  19. Natural fatty acid synthase inhibitors as potent therapeutic agents for cancers: A review.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jia-Sui; Lei, Jie-Ping; Wei, Guo-Qing; Chen, Hui; Ma, Chao-Ying; Jiang, He-Zhong

    2016-09-01

    Context Fatty acid synthase (FAS) is the only mammalian enzyme to catalyse the synthesis of fatty acid. The expression level of FAS is related to cancer progression, aggressiveness and metastasis. In recent years, research on natural FAS inhibitors with significant bioactivities and low side effects has increasingly become a new trend. Herein, we present recent research progress on natural fatty acid synthase inhibitors as potent therapeutic agents. Objective This paper is a mini overview of the typical natural FAS inhibitors and their possible mechanism of action in the past 10 years (2004-2014). Method The information was collected and compiled through major databases including Web of Science, PubMed, and CNKI. Results Many natural products induce cancer cells apoptosis by inhibiting FAS expression, with fewer side effects than synthetic inhibitors. Conclusion Natural FAS inhibitors are widely distributed in plants (especially in herbs and foods). Some natural products (mainly phenolics) possessing potent biological activities and stable structures are available as lead compounds to synthesise promising FAS inhibitors.

  20. Phylogenetic Analysis of Entomoparasitic Nematodes, Potential Control Agents of Flea Populations in Natural Foci of Plague

    PubMed Central

    Koshel, E. I.; Aleshin, V. V.; Eroshenko, G. A.; Kutyrev, V. V.

    2014-01-01

    Entomoparasitic nematodes are natural control agents for many insect pests, including fleas that transmit Yersinia pestis, a causative agent of plague, in the natural foci of this extremely dangerous zoonosis. We examined the flea samples from the Volga-Ural natural focus of plague for their infestation with nematodes. Among the six flea species feeding on different rodent hosts (Citellus pygmaeus, Microtus socialis, and Allactaga major), the rate of infestation varied from 0 to 21%. The propagation rate of parasitic nematodes in the haemocoel of infected fleas was very high; in some cases, we observed up to 1,000 juveniles per flea specimen. Our study of morphology, life cycle, and rDNA sequences of these parasites revealed that they belong to three distinct species differing in the host specificity. On SSU and LSU rRNA phylogenies, these species representing three genera (Rubzovinema, Psyllotylenchus, and Spilotylenchus), constitute a monophyletic group close to Allantonema and Parasitylenchus, the type genera of the families Allantonematidae and Parasitylenchidae (Nematoda: Tylenchida). We discuss the SSU-ITS1-5.8S-LSU rDNA phylogeny of the Tylenchida with a special emphasis on the suborder Hexatylina. PMID:24804197

  1. Phylogenetic analysis of entomoparasitic nematodes, potential control agents of flea populations in natural foci of plague.

    PubMed

    Koshel, E I; Aleshin, V V; Eroshenko, G A; Kutyrev, V V

    2014-01-01

    Entomoparasitic nematodes are natural control agents for many insect pests, including fleas that transmit Yersinia pestis, a causative agent of plague, in the natural foci of this extremely dangerous zoonosis. We examined the flea samples from the Volga-Ural natural focus of plague for their infestation with nematodes. Among the six flea species feeding on different rodent hosts (Citellus pygmaeus, Microtus socialis, and Allactaga major), the rate of infestation varied from 0 to 21%. The propagation rate of parasitic nematodes in the haemocoel of infected fleas was very high; in some cases, we observed up to 1,000 juveniles per flea specimen. Our study of morphology, life cycle, and rDNA sequences of these parasites revealed that they belong to three distinct species differing in the host specificity. On SSU and LSU rRNA phylogenies, these species representing three genera (Rubzovinema, Psyllotylenchus, and Spilotylenchus), constitute a monophyletic group close to Allantonema and Parasitylenchus, the type genera of the families Allantonematidae and Parasitylenchidae (Nematoda: Tylenchida). We discuss the SSU-ITS1-5.8S-LSU rDNA phylogeny of the Tylenchida with a special emphasis on the suborder Hexatylina.

  2. Natural Phenolic Compounds as Therapeutic and Preventive Agents for Cerebral Amyloidosis.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Masahito; Ono, Kenjiro; Hamaguchi, Tsuyoshi; Noguchi-Shinohara, Moeko

    2015-01-01

    Epidemiological studies have suggested that diets rich in phenolic compounds may have preventive effects on the development of dementia or Alzheimer's disease (AD). We investigated the effects of natural phenolic compounds, such as myricetin (Myr), rosmarinic acid (RA), ferulic acid (FA), curcumin (Cur) and nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) on the aggregation of amyloid β-protein (Aβ), using in vitro and in vivo models of cerebral Aβ amyloidosis. The in vitro studies revealed that these phenolic compounds efficiently inhibit oligomerization as well as fibril formation of Aβ through differential binding, whilst reducing Aβ oligomer-induced synaptic and neuronal toxicity. Furthermore, a transgenic mouse model fed orally with such phenolic compounds showed significant reduction of soluble Aβ oligomers as well as of insoluble Aβ deposition in the brain. These data, together with an updated review of the literature, indicate that natural phenolic compounds have anti-amyloidogenic effects on Aβ in addition to well-known anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects, hence suggesting their potential as therapeutic and/or preventive agents for cerebral Aβ amyloidosis, including AD and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). Well-designed clinical trials or preventive interventions with natural phenolic compounds are necessary to establish their efficacy as disease-modifying agents.

  3. The Natural Frequency of Nonlinear Oscillation of Ultrasound Contrast Agents in Microvessels

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Shengping; Ferrara, Katherine W.

    2009-01-01

    Ultrasound Contrast Agent (UCAs) are under intensive investigation for their applications in physiological and molecular imaging and drug delivery. Prediction of the natural frequency of the oscillation of UCAs in microvessels has drawn increasing attention. To our knowledge, the existing models to predict the natural frequency of oscillation of UCAs in microvessels all apply the linear approximation and treat the blood vessel wall as a rigid boundary. In the potential applications of ultrasound imaging drug and gene delivery, the compliance of small vessels may play an important role in the bubble’s oscillation. The goal of this work is to provide a lumped-parameter model to study the natural frequency of nonlinear oscillation of UCAs in microvessels. Three types of the blood vessel conditions have been considered. i.e. rigid vessels, normal compliable vessels and vessels with increasing stiffness that could correspond to tumor vasculature. The corresponding bubble oscillation frequencies in the vessels with radius less than 100 μm are examined in detail. When a bubble with a radius of 4 μm is confined in a compliable vessel (inner radius 5 μm and length 100μm), the natural frequency of bubble oscillation increases by a factor of 1.7 as compared with a bubble in an unbounded field. The natural frequency of oscillation of a bubble in a compliable vessel increases with decreasing vessel size while decreasing with increasing values of vessel rigidity. This model suggests that contrast agent size, blood vessel size distribution and the type of vasculature should be comprehensively considered for choosing the transmitted frequency in ultrasound contrast imaging and drug delivery. PMID:17478030

  4. Naturally occurring and synthetic agents as potential anti-inflammatory and immunomodulants.

    PubMed

    Sultana, Nighat; Saify, Zafar Saeed

    2012-01-01

    Terpenes in general and triterpenes in particular showed anti-inflammatory activity and act as immunomodulators in nutraceutical agents. Antiinflammation, a useful and attractive approach in experimental oncology, helps to investigate the inflammation preventive potential of natural products and synthetic entities. During the course of our research work in natural product chemistry and synthesis of novel structures in the field of heterocyclic chemistry, we found interesting results. In natural product betulinic acid, α-amyrin acetate, lupeol acetate, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid and their derivatives showed interesting potential analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity. In this review specific reference has been made to novel classes and newly discovered compounds in the literature, which exhibited required activities. Indomethacine is a potent synthetic compound, which becomes the basis of novel anti-inflammatory agents. Shen postulated a receptor theory which indicates the physical parameters responsible for anti-inflammatory activity. Attempt has been made to cover almost all the anti-inflammatory agents which fall under the various chemical structural classes of compounds showing required activity. The objective of this review is to compile relevant data on the mechanism of action of terpenes isolated from active ethnomedicinal plants to examine the role terpenoids have in medicinal plants used against inflammatory diseases, especially those in which an immune response is implicated. In addition, a selection of several structurally related compounds has been compiled in order to analyze the possible structural characteristics and relationships between the different types of structures found in triterpenoids. The selection of active species was made on the basis of their immunomodulatory activity, and their role in the resolution of diseases in which the immune system is implicated to examine the mechanism by which they are useful as ethnopharmacological

  5. Sensitization of squamous cell carcinoma to cisplatin induced killing by natural agents

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Shadan; Varghese, Lalee; Pereira, Lucio; Tulunay-Ugur, Ozlem E.; Kucuk, Omer; Carey, Thomas E.; Wolf, Gregory T.; Sarkar, Fazlul H.

    2012-01-01

    Cisplatin resistance is a major problem in the successful treatment of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). In the present study we showed, for the first time, that the constitutive activation of NF-κB partly contributes to cisplatin resistance and that the inactivation of NF-κB by natural agents [G2535 (isoflavone mixture containing genistein and diadzein), 3,3′-diindolylmethane (Bioresponse BR-DIM referred to as B-DIM)] could overcome this resistance, resulting in the inhibition of cell growth and induction of apoptosis, which might be an useful strategy for achieving better treatment outcome in patients diagnosed with cisplatin-resistant tumors of SCC. PMID:19231069

  6. Adsorption of histones on natural polysaccharides: The potential as agent for multiple organ failure in sepsis.

    PubMed

    Isobe, Takashi; Kofuji, Kyoko; Okada, Kenji; Fujimori, Junya; Murata, Mikio; Shigeyama, Masato; Hanioka, Nobumitsu; Murata, Yoshifumi

    2016-03-01

    Histones are intracellular proteins that are structural elements of nuclear chromatin and regulate gene transcription. However, the extracellular histones released in response to bacterial challenges have been identified as mediators contributing to endothelial dysfunction, organ failure, and death during sepsis. In the present study, the adsorption of histones as well as plasma proteins (α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), albumin, and γ-globulin) on alginic acid, pectin, dextran, and chitosan was examined in order to evaluate the potential of natural polysaccharides as therapeutic agents for multiple organ failure in sepsis. Alginic acid and pectin strongly adsorbed histones, whereas the adsorption abilities of dextran and chitosan toward histones were very low or negligible. Among the natural polysaccharides examined, only alginic acid did not adsorb any of the plasma proteins. These results demonstrated that alginic acid strongly adsorbed histones, but not plasma proteins; therefore, it has potential as a candidate drug for the treatment of multiple organ failure in sepsis.

  7. Agents.

    PubMed

    Chambers, David W

    2002-01-01

    Although health care is inherently an economic activity, it is inadequately described as a market process. An alternative, grounded in organizational economic theory, is to view professionals and many others as agents, contracted to advance the best interests of their principals (patients). This view untangles some of the ethical conflicts in dentistry. It also helps identify major controllable costs in dentistry and suggests that dentists can act as a group to increase or decrease agency costs, primarily by controlling the bad actors who damage the value of all dentists.

  8. Xanthones from Mangosteen Extracts as Natural Chemopreventive Agents: Potential Anticancer Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Shan, T.; Ma, Q.; Guo, K.; Liu, J.; Li, W.; Wang, F.; Wu, E.

    2011-01-01

    Despite decades of research, the treatment and management of malignant tumors still remain a formidable challenge for public health. New strategies for cancer treatment are being developed, and one of the most promising treatment strategies involves the application of chemopreventive agents. The search for novel and effective cancer chemopreventive agents has led to the identification of various naturally occurring compounds. Xanthones, from the pericarp, whole fruit, heartwood, and leaf of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana Linn., GML), are known to possess a wide spectrum of pharmacologic properties, including anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral activities. The potential chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activities of xanthones have been demonstrated in different stages of carcinogenesis (initiation, promotion, and progression) and are known to control cell division and growth, apoptosis, inflammation, and metastasis. Multiple lines of evidence from numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have confirmed that xanthones inhibit proliferation of a wide range of human tumor cell types by modulating various targets and signaling transduction pathways. Here we provide a concise and comprehensive review of preclinical data and assess the observed anticancer effects of xanthones, supporting its remarkable potential as an anticancer agent. PMID:21902651

  9. A naturally occurring contrast agent for OCT imaging of smokers' lung

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Ying; Bagnaninchi, Pierre O.; Whiteman, Suzanne C.; Gey van Pittius, Daniel; El Haj, Alicia J.; Spiteri, Monica A.; Wang, Ruikang K.

    2005-08-01

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) offers great potential for clinical applications in terms of its cost, safety and real-time imaging capability. Improvement of its resolution for revealing sub-layers or sub-cellular components within a tissue will further widen its application. In this study we report that carbon pigment, which is frequently present in the lungs of smokers, could be used as a contrast agent to improve the OCT imaging of lung tissue. Carbon produced an intense bright OCT image at a relatively deep location. The parallel histopathological section analysis confirmed the presence of carbon pigment in such tissues. The underlying mechanism of the OCT image formation has been discussed based on a model system in which carbon particles were dispersed in agar gel. Calculations and in-depth intensity profiles of OCT revealed that higher refractive index particles with a size close to or smaller than the wavelength would greatly increase backscattering and generate a sharp contrast, while a particle size several times larger than the wavelength would absorb or obstruct the light path. The naturally occurring contrast agent could provide a diagnostic biomarker of lung tissue in smokers. Furthermore, carbon under such circumstances, can be used as an effective exogenous contrast agent, with which specific components or tissues exhibiting early tumour formation can be optically labelled to delineate the location and boundary, providing potential for early cancer detection and its treatment.

  10. Assay development for the discovery of semaphorin 3B inducing agents from natural product sources.

    PubMed

    Yong, Yeonjoong; Pan, Li; Ren, Yulin; Fatima, Nighat; Ahmed, Safia; Chang, Leng Chee; Zhang, Xiaoli; Kinghorn, A Douglas; Swanson, Steven M; Carcache de Blanco, Esperanza J

    2014-10-01

    Semaphorins are a class of membrane-bound and secreted proteins. They have been found to regulate basic cell functions such as axonal growth cone guidance and recent studies have focused on their effect on tumor progression. Semaphorin 3B (Sema3B) particularly is a secreted protein that has been known to modulate proliferation and apoptosis, processes that are critical for tumor progression and development. In spite of its importance, there is yet no high-throughput screening assay available to detect or quantify the expression of Sema3B for natural product anticancer drug discovery purposes. Therefore, the development of a new high-throughput bioassay for the discovery of Sema3B inducing agents from natural product sources is described herein. A wide variety of pure compounds and extracts from plants and microorganisms has been found suitable for screening using this Sema3B assay to detect and quantify the effect of Sema3B inducing agents and thereby identify new selective bioactive Sema3B lead compounds for anticancer drug discovery and development. Also, this new bioassay procedure is based on a high-throughput platform using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that involves the optimization of sensitivity and selectivity levels as well as accuracy, reproducibility, robustness, and cost effectiveness. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Regulation of MicroRNAs by Natural Agents: New Strategies in Cancer Therapies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNA which regulate gene expression by messenger RNA (mRNA) degradation or translation repression. The plethora of published reports in recent years demonstrated that they play fundamental roles in many biological processes, such as carcinogenesis, angiogenesis, programmed cell death, cell proliferation, invasion, migration, and differentiation by acting as tumour suppressor or oncogene, and aberrations in their expressions have been linked to onset and progression of various cancers. Furthermore, each miRNA is capable of regulating the expression of many genes, allowing them to simultaneously regulate multiple cellular signalling pathways. Hence, miRNAs have the potential to be used as biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis as well as therapeutic targets. Recent studies have shown that natural agents such as curcumin, resveratrol, genistein, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, indole-3-carbinol, and 3,3′-diindolylmethane exert their antiproliferative and/or proapoptotic effects through the regulation of one or more miRNAs. Therefore, this review will look at the regulation of miRNAs by natural agents as a means to potentially enhance the efficacy of conventional chemotherapy through combinatorial therapies. It is hoped that this would provide new strategies in cancer therapies to improve overall response and survival outcome in cancer patients. PMID:25254214

  12. Assay Development for the Discovery of Semaphorin 3B Inducing Agents from Natural Product Sources

    PubMed Central

    Yong, Yeonjoong; Pan, Li; Ren, Yulin; Fatima, Nighat; Ahmed, Safia; Chang, Leng Chee; Zhang, Xiaoli; Kinghorn, A. Douglas; Swanson, Steven M.; Carcache de Blanco, Esperanza J.

    2014-01-01

    Semaphorins are a class of membrane-bound and secreted proteins. They have been found to regulate basic cell functions such as axonal growth cone guidance and recent studies have focused on their effect on tumor progression. Semaphorin 3B (Sema 3B) particularly is a secreted protein that has been known to modulate proliferation and apoptosis, processes that are critical for tumor progression and development. In spite of its importance, there is yet no high-throughput screening assay available to detect or quantify the expression of Sema 3B for natural product anticancer drug discovery purposes. Therefore, the development of a new high-throughput bioassay for the discovery of Sema 3B inducing agents from natural product sources is described herein. A wide variety of pure compounds and extracts from plants and microorganisms has been found suitable for screening using this Sema 3B assay to detect and quantify the effect of Sema 3B inducing agents and thereby identify new selective bioactive Sema 3B lead compounds for anticancer drug discovery and development. Also, this new bioassay procedure is based on a high-throughput platform using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that involves the optimization of sensitivity and selectivity levels as well as accuracy, reproducibility, robustness, and cost effectiveness. PMID:25016954

  13. Genetic and epigenetic studies for determining molecular targets of natural product anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yujiong; Li, Yong; Liu, Xiaoming; Cho, William C S

    2013-06-01

    Cancer is a disease caused by a series of genetic and epigenetic alterations. Therefore, agents targeting the genetic and/or epigenetic machinery offer potential for the development of anticancer drugs. Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that some common natural products [such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), curcumin, genistein, sulforaphane (SFN) and resveratrol] have anticancer properties through the mechanisms of altering epigenetic processes [including DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, microRNA (miRNA) regulation] and targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs). These bioactive compounds are able to revert epigenetic alterations in a variety of cancers in vitro and in vivo. They exert anticancer effects by targeting various signaling pathways related to the initiation, progression and metastasis of cancer. It appears that natural products hold great promise for cancer prevention and treatment by altering various epigenetic modifications. This review aims to discuss our current understanding of genetic and epigenetic targets of natural products and the effects of some common natural products on cancer chemoprevention and treatment.

  14. Antitumoral, antioxidant, and antimelanogenesis potencies of Hawthorn, a potential natural agent in the treatment of melanoma.

    PubMed

    Mustapha, Nadia; Mokdad-Bzéouich, Imèn; Maatouk, Mouna; Ghedira, Kamel; Hennebelle, Thierry; Chekir-Ghedira, Leila

    2016-06-01

    The lack of an efficient agent that does not have the disadvantage of low activity (kojic acid), high cytotoxicity, and mutagenicity (hydroquinone), poor skin penetration (arbutin), or low stability in formulation (glabridin) led us to continue our research on new antipigmentation/skin-lightening agents. Therefore, research of natural products that can modulate the metabolism of pigmentation is of great interest. Otherwise, malignant melanoma is one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer, with high metastatic potential, and currently, there is no effective chemotherapy against invasive melanoma. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new drugs with potent activity and weak side effects against melanoma. The in-vitro anticancer effect of hawthorn was analyzed against B16F10 melanoma cells using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. The effect of isolated compounds from hawthorn on melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells was investigated by measuring the amounts of melanin and tyrosinase spectrophotometrically at 475 nm. Balb/c mice models inoculated with B16F10 mouse tumor cells were used to evaluate the in-vivo antitumoral potential of hawthorn by assessing its effect on the growth of transplanted tumors. The antioxidant potential of tested samples was evaluated in B16F10 and primary human keratinocyte cells using a cellular antioxidant activity assay. Hawthorn tested samples inhibited effectively the growth of melanoma cells in vitro. Furthermore, it appears that tested samples from hawthorn reduced melanogenesis by inhibiting the tyrosinase activity of B16F10 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In-vivo studies showed that hawthorn total oligomer flavonoids extract treatment at a dose of 150 mg/kg body weight for 21 days in implanted tumor mice resulted in significant inhibition of the tumor growth volume and weight. In addition, tested samples showed significant cellular antioxidant capacity against the reactive oxygen species

  15. Marine Peptides as Anticancer Agents: A Remedy to Mankind by Nature.

    PubMed

    Negi, Beena; Kumar, Deepak; Rawat, Diwan S

    2017-01-01

    In the search of bioactive molecules, nature has always been an important source and most of the drugs in clinic are either natural products or derived from natural products. The ocean has played significant role as thousands of molecules and their metabolites with different types of biological activity such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-malarial, antioxidant, anti HIV and anticancer activity have been isolated from marine organisms. In particular, marine peptides have attracted much attention due to their high specificity against cancer cell lines that may be attributed to the various unusual amino acid residues and their sequences in the peptide chain. This review aims to identify the various anticancer agents isolated from the marine system and their anticancer potential. We did literature search for the anticancer peptides isolated from the different types of microorganism found in the marine system. Total one eighty eight papers were reviewed concisely and most of the important information from these papers were extracted and kept in the present manuscript. This review gives details about the isolation, anticancer potential and mechanism of action of the anticancer peptides of the marine origin. Many of these molecules such as aplidine, dolastatin 10, didemnin B, kahalalide F, elisidepsin (PM02734) are in clinical trials for the treatment of various cancers. With the interdisciplinary and collaborative research and technical advancements we can search more promising and affordable anticancer drugs in future. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  16. Actinonin, a naturally occurring antibacterial agent, is a potent deformylase inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Chen, D Z; Patel, D V; Hackbarth, C J; Wang, W; Dreyer, G; Young, D C; Margolis, P S; Wu, C; Ni, Z J; Trias, J; White, R J; Yuan, Z

    2000-02-15

    Peptide deformylase (PDF) is essential in prokaryotes and absent in mammalian cells, thus making it an attractive target for the discovery of novel antibiotics. We have identified actinonin, a naturally occurring antibacterial agent, as a potent PDF inhibitor. The dissociation constant for this compound was 0.3 x 10(-)(9) M against Ni-PDF from Escherichia coli; the PDF from Staphylococcus aureus gave a similar value. Microbiological evaluation revealed that actinonin is a bacteriostatic agent with activity against Gram-positive and fastidious Gram-negative microorganisms. The PDF gene, def, was placed under control of P(BAD) in E. coli tolC, permitting regulation of PDF expression levels in the cell by varying the external arabinose concentration. The susceptibility of this strain to actinonin increases with decreased levels of PDF expression, indicating that actinonin inhibits bacterial growth by targeting this enzyme. Actinonin provides an excellent starting point from which to derive a more potent PDF inhibitor that has a broader spectrum of antibacterial activity.

  17. Synergy between antibiotics and natural agents results in increased antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis.

    PubMed

    Abidi, Syed Hani; Ahmed, Khalid; Sherwani, Sikander Khan; Kazmi, Shahana Urooj

    2015-09-27

    Staphylococcus epidermidis is one of the most frequent causes of biofilm-associated infections on indwelling medical devices. With the emergence of methicillin-resistant S. epidermidis (MRSE), there is an urgent need to discover novel active agents against a range of Gram-positive pathogens. We screened the clinical isolates of S. epidermidis for susceptibility/resistance against commonly prescribed antibiotics. Furthermore, we tested some natural agents alone and in combination with antibiotics to find possible synergistic antimicrobial effects. S. epidermidis clinical isolates were screened for susceptibility/resistance against vancomycin, erythromycin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, ampicillin, ofloxacin, cephalexin, and gentamicin using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method. The antimicrobial potential of Camellia sinensis, Juglans regia, and Hippophae rhamnoides alone and in combination with antibiotics were examined using the disk diffusion method, where the antimicrobial potential activity was measured in terms of formation of zones of inhibition. Most S. epidermidis isolates were found to be resistant to one or more antibiotics. Gentamycin and ofloxacin were found to be the most effective antibiotics against S. epidermidis isolates. Extracts of Hippophae rhamnoides, Juglans regia, and Camellia sinensis were found to be equally effective against S. epidermidis isolates. In combination with antibiotics, these extracts exhibited appreciable synergistic activity; the highest synergistic activity was observed with erythromycin and cephalexin. In the case of cephalexin, a reversion in resistance was observed. The plant extracts used in the study exhibited additive and synergistic antibacterial activity against S. epidermidis, hence providing an effective alternative to deal with the problem of multidrug resistance.

  18. HIV Latency-Reversing Agents Have Diverse Effects on Natural Killer Cell Function

    PubMed Central

    Garrido, Carolina; Spivak, Adam M.; Soriano-Sarabia, Natalia; Checkley, Mary Ann; Barker, Edward; Karn, Jonathan; Planelles, Vicente; Margolis, David M.

    2016-01-01

    In an effort to clear persistent HIV infection and achieve a durable therapy-free remission of HIV disease, extensive pre-clinical studies and early pilot clinical trials are underway to develop and test agents that can reverse latent HIV infection and present viral antigen to the immune system for clearance. It is, therefore, critical to understand the impact of latency-reversing agents (LRAs) on the function of immune effectors needed to clear infected cells. We assessed the impact of LRAs on the function of natural killer (NK) cells, the main effector cells of the innate immune system. We studied the effects of three histone deacetylase inhibitors [SAHA or vorinostat (VOR), romidepsin, and panobinostat (PNB)] and two protein kinase C agonists [prostratin (PROST) and ingenol] on the antiviral activity, cytotoxicity, cytokine secretion, phenotype, and viability of primary NK cells. We found that ex vivo exposure to VOR had minimal impact on all parameters assessed, while PNB caused a decrease in NK cell viability, antiviral activity, and cytotoxicity. PROST caused non-specific NK cell activation and, interestingly, improved antiviral activity. Overall, we found that LRAs can alter the function and fate of NK cells, and these effects must be carefully considered as strategies are developed to clear persistent HIV infection. PMID:27708642

  19. HIV Latency-Reversing Agents Have Diverse Effects on Natural Killer Cell Function.

    PubMed

    Garrido, Carolina; Spivak, Adam M; Soriano-Sarabia, Natalia; Checkley, Mary Ann; Barker, Edward; Karn, Jonathan; Planelles, Vicente; Margolis, David M

    2016-01-01

    In an effort to clear persistent HIV infection and achieve a durable therapy-free remission of HIV disease, extensive pre-clinical studies and early pilot clinical trials are underway to develop and test agents that can reverse latent HIV infection and present viral antigen to the immune system for clearance. It is, therefore, critical to understand the impact of latency-reversing agents (LRAs) on the function of immune effectors needed to clear infected cells. We assessed the impact of LRAs on the function of natural killer (NK) cells, the main effector cells of the innate immune system. We studied the effects of three histone deacetylase inhibitors [SAHA or vorinostat (VOR), romidepsin, and panobinostat (PNB)] and two protein kinase C agonists [prostratin (PROST) and ingenol] on the antiviral activity, cytotoxicity, cytokine secretion, phenotype, and viability of primary NK cells. We found that ex vivo exposure to VOR had minimal impact on all parameters assessed, while PNB caused a decrease in NK cell viability, antiviral activity, and cytotoxicity. PROST caused non-specific NK cell activation and, interestingly, improved antiviral activity. Overall, we found that LRAs can alter the function and fate of NK cells, and these effects must be carefully considered as strategies are developed to clear persistent HIV infection.

  20. Antimicrobial peptides incorporating non-natural amino acids as agents for plant protection.

    PubMed

    Ng-Choi, Iteng; Soler, Marta; Güell, Imma; Badosa, Esther; Cabrefiga, Jordi; Bardaji, Eduard; Montesinos, Emilio; Planas, Marta; Feliu, Lidia

    2014-04-01

    The control of plant pathogens is mainly based on copper compounds and antibiotics. However, the use of these compounds has some limitations. They have a high environmental impact and the use of antibiotics is not allowed in several countries. Moreover, resistance has been developed to these pathogens. The identification of new agents able to fight plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi will represent an alternative to currently used antibiotics or pesticides. Antimicrobial peptides are widely recognized as promising candidates, however naturally occurring sequences present drawbacks that limit their development. These include susceptibility to protease degradation and low bioavailability. To overcome these problems, research has focused on the introduction of unnatural amino acids into lead peptide sequences. In particular, we have improved the biological profile of antimicrobial peptides active against plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi by incorporating triazolyl, biaryl and D-amino acids into their sequence. These modifications and their influence on the biological activity are summarized.

  1. A Naturally Occurring Antibody Fragment Neutralizes Infectivity of Diverse Infectious Agents

    PubMed Central

    Polonelli, Luciano; Ciociola, Tecla; Elviri, Lisa; Zanello, Pier Paolo; Giovati, Laura; Arruda, Denise C.; Muñoz, Julián E.; Mortara, Renato A.; Morace, Giulia; Borghi, Elisa; Galati, Serena; Marin, Oriano; Casoli, Claudio; Pilotti, Elisabetta; Ronzi, Paola; Travassos, Luiz R.; Magliani, Walter; Conti, Stefania

    2016-01-01

    A phosphorylated peptide, named K40H, derived from the constant region of IgMs was detected in human serum by liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry. Synthetic K40H proved to exert a potent in vitro activity against fungal pathogens, and to inhibit HIV-1 replication in vitro and ex vivo. It also showed a therapeutic effect against an experimental infection by Candida albicans in the invertebrate model Galleria mellonella. K40H represents the proof of concept of the innate role that naturally occurring antibody fragments may exert against infectious agents, shedding a new light upon the posthumous role of antibodies and opening a new scenario on the multifaceted functionality of humoral immunity. PMID:27725769

  2. Immunomodulation in Plasmodium falciparum malaria: experiments in nature and their conflicting implications for potential therapeutic agents

    PubMed Central

    Frosch, Anne EP; John, Chandy C

    2013-01-01

    Effective Plasmodium falciparum immunity requires a precisely timed and balanced response of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory immune regulators. These responses begin with innate immune effectors and are modulated over the course of an infection and between episodes to limit inflammation. To date, there are no effective immunomodulatory therapies for severe malaria. Some of the most potent immunomodulators are naturally occurring infections, including helminthic and chronic viral infections. This review examines malaria coinfection with these organisms, and their impact on malaria morbidity and immune responses. Overall, there is compelling evidence to suggest that chronic coinfections can modulate deleterious malaria-specific immune responses, suggesting that therapeutic agents may be effective if utilized early in infection. Examination of the mechanisms of these effects may serve as a platform to identify more targeted and effective malaria immunomodulatory therapeutics. PMID:23241191

  3. Natural and genetically engineered viral agents for oncolysis and gene therapy of human cancers.

    PubMed

    Sinkovics, Joseph G; Horvath, Joseph C

    2008-12-01

    combination of naturally oncolytic viruses and wild-type viruses rendered oncolytic and harmless by genetic engineering, that will induce complete remissions of human tumors. It may be necessary to co-administer certain chemotherapeutic agents, advanced cancer vaccines, or even immune lymphocytes, and targeted therapeuticals, to ascertain, that remissions induced by the viral agents will remain complete and durable; will co-operate with anti-tumor host immune reactions, and eventually will result in cures of advanced metastatic human cancers.

  4. Nature Concocts & Expels’: The Agents and Processes of Recovery from Disease in Early Modern England

    PubMed Central

    Newton, Hannah

    2015-01-01

    The ‘golden saying’ in early modern medicine was ‘Nature is the healer of disease’. This article uncovers the meaning and significance of this forgotten axiom by investigating perceptions of the agents and physiological processes of recovery from illness in England, c.1580–1720. Drawing on sources such as medical texts and diaries, it shows that doctors and laypeople attributed recovery to three agents—God, Nature and the practitioner. While scholars are familiar with the roles of providence and medicine, the vital agency of Nature has been overlooked. In theory, the agents operated in a hierarchy: Nature was ‘God's instrument’, and the physician, ‘Nature's servant’; but in practice the power balance was more ambivalent. Nature was depicted both as a housewife who cooked and cleaned the humours, and as a warrior who defeated the disease. Through exploring these complex dynamics, the article sheds fresh light on concepts of gender, disease and bodies. PMID:26217069

  5. New drugs from old natural compounds: scarcely investigated sesquiterpenes as new possible therapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Suta, Stefania; Maggi, Filippo; Nicoletti, Marcello; Baldan, Valeria; Dall Acqua, Stefano

    2017-04-04

    Sesquiterpene are natural products that have been extensively studied for their bioactivities, evidencing their potentiality as useful scaffolds for the development of drugs. Considering the different derivatives, the sesquiterpene lactones have been evaluated, especially on cancer cell and antineoplastic efficacy in in vivo studies. Their bioactivity is strictly related to the presence of the reactive α-methylene-γ-lactone group (αMγL). Nevertheless, several other sesquiterpene lacking of the αMγL are known and have been studied for their biological effects and potential usefulness in the development of new drugs. In this review, we focused on several sesquiterpenes that are not presenting the αMγL moiety and may have future potential as scaffold for the development of new drugs, namely the bicyclic compounds belonging to the carotane type (daucanes) that present significant effect as antiproliferative and estrogenic agents. The monocyclic humulane derivatives correlated to zerumbone, and the bicyclic compound beta-caryophyllene and its derivatives that have been considered in the field of cancer and inflammation. It is noteworthy that published studies on sesquiterpenes, reported in this review, concern on pathologies of increasing importance, like estrogen, anti-proliferative, bone loos, immunity deficiency and anti-tumour activities. Some of the natural "old" sesquiterpenes can be considered for their possible role in drug discovery and in counteracting these "new" challenges.

  6. Saffron as an antidote or a protective agent against natural or chemical toxicities.

    PubMed

    Razavi, Bibi Marjan; Hosseinzadeh, Hossein

    2015-05-01

    Saffron (Crocus sativus) is an extensively used food additive for its color and taste. Since ancient times this plant has been introduced as a marvelous medicine throughout the world. The wide spectrum of saffron pharmacological activities is related to its major constituents including crocin, crocetin and safranal. Based on several studies, saffron and its active ingredients have been used as an antioxidant, antiinflammatory and antinociceptive, antidepressant, antitussive, anticonvulsant, memory enhancer, hypotensive and anticancer. According to the literatures, saffron has remarkable therapeutic effects. The protective effects of saffron and its main constituents in different tissues including brain, heart, liver, kidney and lung have been reported against some toxic materials either natural or chemical toxins in animal studies.In this review article, we have summarized different in vitro and animal studies in scientific databases which investigate the antidotal and protective effects of saffron and its major components against natural toxins and chemical-induced toxicities. Due to the lake of human studies, further investigations are required to ascertain the efficacy of saffron as an antidote or a protective agent in human intoxication.

  7. A Quantitative Ethnopharmacological Documentation of Natural Pharmacological Agents Used by Pediatric Patients in Mauritius

    PubMed Central

    Mahomoodally, M. Fawzi; Sreekeesoon, D. Priyamka

    2014-01-01

    The pediatric population constitutes the most vulnerable patients due to a dearth of approved drugs. Consequently, there is a pressing need to probe novel natural pharmacological agents in an endeavour to develop new drugs to address pediatric illnesses. To date, no studies have explored the use of natural therapies for pediatric health care in Mauritius. Parents (n = 325) from different regions of the island were interviewed. Quantitative indexes such as fidelity level (FL), informant consensus factor (FIC), and use-value (UV) were calculated. Thirty-two plants were reported to be used by pediatric patients. Gastrointestinal disorders (FIC = 0.97) encompassing regurgitation, infantile colic, and stomach aches were the most common ailments managed with herbs. Matricaria chamomilla used for infantile colic and its pharmacological properties has previously been documented for pediatric patients. Product from A. mellifera (UV = 0.75) was the most utilized zootherapy for managing cough. Most plants and animal products reported in this study have bioactive constituents supported by existing scientific literature but their use for the pediatric population is scant. The present ethnopharmacological study has opened new perspectives for further research into their pharmacology, which can subsequently support and facilitate timely pediatric medicinal product development. PMID:24949418

  8. A quantitative ethnopharmacological documentation of natural pharmacological agents used by pediatric patients in Mauritius.

    PubMed

    Mahomoodally, M Fawzi; Sreekeesoon, D Priyamka

    2014-01-01

    The pediatric population constitutes the most vulnerable patients due to a dearth of approved drugs. Consequently, there is a pressing need to probe novel natural pharmacological agents in an endeavour to develop new drugs to address pediatric illnesses. To date, no studies have explored the use of natural therapies for pediatric health care in Mauritius. Parents (n = 325) from different regions of the island were interviewed. Quantitative indexes such as fidelity level (FL), informant consensus factor (F IC), and use-value (UV) were calculated. Thirty-two plants were reported to be used by pediatric patients. Gastrointestinal disorders (F IC = 0.97) encompassing regurgitation, infantile colic, and stomach aches were the most common ailments managed with herbs. Matricaria chamomilla used for infantile colic and its pharmacological properties has previously been documented for pediatric patients. Product from A. mellifera (UV = 0.75) was the most utilized zootherapy for managing cough. Most plants and animal products reported in this study have bioactive constituents supported by existing scientific literature but their use for the pediatric population is scant. The present ethnopharmacological study has opened new perspectives for further research into their pharmacology, which can subsequently support and facilitate timely pediatric medicinal product development.

  9. Natural chromenes and chromene derivatives as potential anti-trypanosomal agents.

    PubMed

    Batista, João Marcos; Lopes, Adriana Aparecida; Ambrósio, Daniela Luz; Regasini, Luis Octávio; Kato, Massuo Jorge; Bolzani, Vanderlan da Silva; Cicarelli, Regina Maria Barretto; Furlan, Maysa

    2008-03-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the anti-trypanocidal activities of natural chromene and chromene derivatives. Five chromenes were isolated from Piper gaudichaudianum and P. aduncum, and a further seven derivatives were prepared using standard reduction, methylation and acetylation procedures. These compounds were assayed in vitro against epimastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease. The results showed that the most of the compounds, especially those possessing electron-donating groups as substituents on the aromatic ring, showed potent trypanocidal activity. The most active compound, [(2S)-methyl-2-methyl-8-(3''-methylbut-2''-enyl)-2-(4'-methylpent-3'-enyl)-2H-chromene-6-carboxylate], was almost four times more potent than benznidazole (the positive control) and showed an IC50 of 2.82 microM. The results reveal that chromenes exhibit significant anti-trypanocidal activities and indicate that this class of natural product should be considered further in the development of new and more potent drugs for use in the treatment of Chagas disease.

  10. Natural flavonoids as potential multifunctional agents in prevention of diabetic cataract

    PubMed Central

    Stefek, Milan

    2011-01-01

    Cataract is one of the earliest secondary complications of diabetes mellitus. The lens is a closed system with limited capability to repair or regenerate itself. Current evidence supports the view that cataractogenesis is a multifactorial process. Mechanisms related to glucose toxicity, namely oxidative stress, processes of non-enzymatic glycation and enhanced polyol pathway significantly contribute to the development of eye lens opacity under conditions of diabetes. There is an urgent need for inexpensive, non-surgical approaches to the treatment of cataract. Recently, considerable attention has been devoted to the search for phytochemical therapeutics. Several pharmacological actions of natural flavonoids may operate in the prevention of cataract since flavonoids are capable of affecting multiple mechanisms or etiological factors responsible for the development of diabetic cataract. In the present paper, natural flavonoids are reviewed as potential agents that could reduce the risk of cataract formation via affecting multiple pathways pertinent to eye lens opacification. In addition, the bioavailability of flavonoids for the lens is considered. PMID:21753902

  11. Natural potential therapeutic agents of neurodegenerative diseases from the traditional herbal medicine Chinese dragon's blood.

    PubMed

    Li, Ning; Ma, Zhongjun; Li, Mujie; Xing, Yachao; Hou, Yue

    2014-03-28

    Dragon's blood has been used as a famous traditional medicine since ancient times by many cultures. It is a deep red resin, obtained from more than 20 different species of four distinct genera. Red resin of Dracaena cochinchinensis S.C. Chen, known as Chinese dragon's blood or Yunnan dragon's blood, has been shown to promote blood circulation, alleviate inflammation, and to treat stomach ulcers, diarrhea, diabetes, and bleeding. This study investigated an effective approach to identify natural therapeutic agents for neurodegeneration from herbal medicine. The dichloride extract and isolated effective constituents of Chinese dragon's blood showed quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) inducing activity and anti-inflammatory effect significantly, which are therapy targets of various neurodegenerative diseases. Multiple chromatography and spectra analysis were utilized to afford effective constituents. Then Hepa 1c1c7 and BV-2 cells were employed to assay their NQO1 inducing and anti-inflammatory activities, respectively. Bioactivities guided isolation afforded 21 effective constituents, including two new polymers cochinchinenene E (1), cochinchinenene F (2) and a new steroid dracaenol C (16). The main constituent 3 (weight percent 0.2%), 5 (weight percent 0.017%), 4 (weight percent 0.009%), 9 (weight percent 0.094%), 10 (weight percent 0.017%) and 8 (weight percent 0.006%) are responsible for the anti-inflammatory activities of Chinese dragon's blood. While, new compounds 1, 2 and known compounds 5, 11 showed good NQO1 inducing activities. The brief feature of the activities and structures was discussed accordingly. Overviewing the bioactivities and phytochemical study result, 4'-hydroxy-2,4-dimethoxydihydrochalcone (3) and pterostilbene (5) as effective constituents of Chinese dragon's blood, were found to be potential candidate therapeutic agents for neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Regulation of anti-HLA antibody-dependent natural killer cell activation by immunosuppressive agents.

    PubMed

    Shin, Bong-Ha; Ge, Shili; Mirocha, James; Karasyov, Artur; Vo, Ashley; Jordan, Stanley C; Toyoda, Mieko

    2014-02-15

    It was demonstrated that human natural killer (NK) cells, via antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC)-like mechanism, increase IFNγ production after exposure to alloantigens. This finding was associated with an increased risk for antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR). Although the effects of various immunosuppressive drugs on T cells and B cells have been extensively studied, their effects on NK cells are less clear. This study reports the effect of immunosuppressive agents on antibody-mediated NK cell activation in vitro. Whole blood from normal individuals was incubated with irradiated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) pretreated with anti-HLA antibody+ sera (in vitro ADCC), with or without immunosuppressive agents. The %IFNγ+ and CD107a+ (degranulation marker) in CD56+ NK cells were enumerated by flow cytometry. Cyclosporine A and tacrolimus significantly reduced IFNγ production in a dose-dependent manner (53%-83%), but showed minimal effect on degranulation (20%). Prednisone significantly reduced both IFNγ production and degranulation (50%-66% reduction at maximum therapeutic levels). Calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) in combination with prednisone additively suppressed IFNγ production and degranulation. The effect of sirolimus or mycophenolate mofetil on NK cells was minimal. These results suggest that potent suppressive effects of CNIs and prednisone on antibody-mediated NK cell activation may contribute to the reduction of ADCC in sensitized patients and possibly reduce the risk for ADCC-mediated ABMR. These further underscore the importance of medication compliance in prevention of ABMR and possibly chronic rejection, and suggest that ADCC-mediated injury may increase in strategies aimed at CNI or steroid minimization or avoidance.

  13. Targeting CSC-Related miRNAs for Cancer Therapy by Natural Agents

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Bin; Li, Yiwei; Ahmad, Aamir; Azmi, Asfar S.; Bao, Ginny; Ali, Shadan; Banerjee, Sanjeev; Kong, Dejuan; Sarkar, Fazlul H.

    2013-01-01

    The theory of cancer stem cells (CSCs) has provided evidence on fundamental clinical implications because of the involvement of CSCs in cell migration, invasion, metastasis, and treatment resistance, which leads to the poor clinical outcome of cancer patients. Therefore, targeting CSCs will provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment and/or prevention of tumors. However, the regulation of CSCs and its signaling pathways during tumorigenesis are not well understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been proved to act as key regulators of the post-transcriptional regulation of genes, which involve in a wide array of biological processes including tumorigenesis. The altered expressions of miRNAs are associated with poor clinical outcome of patients diagnosed with a variety of tumors. Therefore, emerging evidence strongly suggest that miRMAs play critical roles in tumor development and progression. Emerging evidence also suggest that miRNAs participate in the regulation of tumor cell growth, migration, invasion, angiogenesis, drug resistance, and metastasis. Moreover, miRNAs such as let-7, miR-21, miR-22, miR-34, miR-101, miR-146a, and miR-200 have been found to be associated with CSC phenotype and function mediated through targeting oncogenic signaling pathways. In this article, we will discuss the role of miRNAs in the regulation of CSC phenotype and function during tumor development and progression. We will also discuss the potential role of naturally occurring agents (nutraceuticals) as potent anti-tumor agents that are believed to function by targeting CSC-related miRNAs. PMID:23140295

  14. Ginkgo biloba: a natural reducing agent for the synthesis of cytocompatible graphene

    PubMed Central

    Gurunathan, Sangiliyandi; Han, Jae Woong; Park, Jung Hyun; Eppakayala, Vasuki; Kim, Jin-Hoi

    2014-01-01

    Background Graphene is a novel two-dimensional planar nanocomposite material consisting of rings of carbon atoms with a hexagonal lattice structure. Graphene exhibits unique physical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, elasticity, and cytocompatible properties that lead to many potential biomedical applications. Nevertheless, the water-insoluble property of graphene restricts its application in various aspects of biomedical fields. Therefore, the objective of this work was to find a novel biological approach for an efficient method to synthesize water-soluble and cytocompatible graphene using Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) as a reducing and stabilizing agent. In addition, we investigated the biocompatibility effects of graphene in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Materials and methods Synthesized graphene oxide (GO) and GbE-reduced GO (Gb-rGO) were characterized using various sequences of techniques: ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Raman spectroscopy. Biocompatibility of GO and Gb-rGO was assessed in human breast cancer cells using a series of assays, including cell viability, apoptosis, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Results The successful synthesis of graphene was confirmed by UV-vis spectroscopy and FTIR. DLS analysis was performed to determine the average size of GO and Gb-rGO. X-ray diffraction studies confirmed the crystalline nature of graphene. SEM was used to investigate the surface morphologies of GO and Gb-rGO. AFM was employed to investigate the morphologies of prepared graphene and the height profile of GO and Gb-rGO. The formation of defects in Gb-rGO was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. The biocompatibility of the prepared GO and Gb-rGO was investigated using a water-soluble tetrazolium 8 assay on human breast cancer cells. GO exhibited a dose-dependent toxicity, whereas Gb

  15. Ginkgo biloba: a natural reducing agent for the synthesis of cytocompatible graphene.

    PubMed

    Gurunathan, Sangiliyandi; Han, Jae Woong; Park, Jung Hyun; Eppakayala, Vasuki; Kim, Jin-Hoi

    2014-01-01

    Graphene is a novel two-dimensional planar nanocomposite material consisting of rings of carbon atoms with a hexagonal lattice structure. Graphene exhibits unique physical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, elasticity, and cytocompatible properties that lead to many potential biomedical applications. Nevertheless, the water-insoluble property of graphene restricts its application in various aspects of biomedical fields. Therefore, the objective of this work was to find a novel biological approach for an efficient method to synthesize water-soluble and cytocompatible graphene using Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) as a reducing and stabilizing agent. In addition, we investigated the biocompatibility effects of graphene in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Synthesized graphene oxide (GO) and GbE-reduced GO (Gb-rGO) were characterized using various sequences of techniques: ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Raman spectroscopy. Biocompatibility of GO and Gb-rGO was assessed in human breast cancer cells using a series of assays, including cell viability, apoptosis, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. The successful synthesis of graphene was confirmed by UV-vis spectroscopy and FTIR. DLS analysis was performed to determine the average size of GO and Gb-rGO. X-ray diffraction studies confirmed the crystalline nature of graphene. SEM was used to investigate the surface morphologies of GO and Gb-rGO. AFM was employed to investigate the morphologies of prepared graphene and the height profile of GO and Gb-rGO. The formation of defects in Gb-rGO was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. The biocompatibility of the prepared GO and Gb-rGO was investigated using a water-soluble tetrazolium 8 assay on human breast cancer cells. GO exhibited a dose-dependent toxicity, whereas Gb-rGO-treated cells showed significant

  16. Nature's agents or agents of empire? Entomological workers and environmental change during the construction of the Panama Canal.

    PubMed

    Sutter, Paul S

    2007-12-01

    This essay examines the role that entomological workers played in U.S. public health efforts during the construction of the Panama Canal (1904-1914). Entomological workers were critical to mosquito control efforts aimed at the reduction of tropical fevers such as malaria. But in the process of studying vector mosquitoes, they discovered that many of the conditions that produced mosquitoes were not intrinsic to tropical nature per se but resulted from the human-caused environmental disturbances that accompanied canal building. This realization did not mesh well with an American ideology of tropical triumphalism premised on the notion that the Americans had conquered unalloyed tropical nature in Panama. The result, however, was not a coherent counternarrative but a set of intra-administrative tensions over what controlling nature meant in Panama. Ultimately, entomological workers were loyal not just to the U.S. imperial mission in Panama but also to a modernist culture of science and to the workings of mosquito ecology as they understood them.

  17. Withaferin-A--A Natural Anticancer Agent with Pleitropic Mechanisms of Action.

    PubMed

    Lee, In-Chul; Choi, Bu Young

    2016-03-04

    Cancer, being the second leading cause of mortality, exists as a formidable health challenge. In spite of our enormous efforts, the emerging complexities in the molecular nature of disease progression limit the real success in finding an effective cancer cure. It is now conceivable that cancer is, in fact, a progressive illness, and the morbidity and mortality from cancer can be reduced by interfering with various oncogenic signaling pathways. A wide variety of structurally diverse classes of bioactive phytochemicals have been shown to exert anticancer effects in a large number of preclinical studies. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that withaferin-A can prevent the development of cancers of various histotypes. Accumulating data from different rodent models and cell culture experiments have revealed that withaferin-A suppresses experimentally induced carcinogenesis, largely by virtue of its potent anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing properties. Moreover, withaferin-A sensitizes resistant cancer cells to existing chemotherapeutic agents. The purpose of this review is to highlight the mechanistic aspects underlying anticancer effects of withaferin-A.

  18. An evaluation of pretreatment agents for the stimulation of secondary biogenic coalbed natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Zaixing

    Coalbed methane is considered to be an underexploited source of clean energy and, with the realization of its biogenic nature, it has attracted increasing interest in recent decades. Most of the published studies on biogenic coal bed natural gas (CBNG) have focused either on biostimulation (the addition of nutrients to stimulate the native microbial populations) or bioaugmentation (the addition of both nutrients and non-native microbial consortia of microorganisms). Although these approaches have shown promise, they are predicated on the assumption that the coal seam is nutrient-limited or that the existing microbial communities are not optimized to convert coal to natural gas. The premise of this research is that the organic matter present within the coal matrix is, for the most part, environmentally inert and not readily available to the microorganisms living within the coal seam. The goal of this research has been to focus on treatments that will increase the solubility, and hence the bioavailability, of coal to the indigenous microbial community. Initially, treatment agents representing acids, bases and oxidants were selected to evaluate the potential for the in situ solubilization and depolymerization of subbituminous coal. The bioavailability of the coal-derived constituents was then evaluated aerobically using biometer assays and anaerobic bioassays. The experiments have shown that the acid (nitric acid) and base (sodium hydroxide) treatments are more efficient than the oxidants (potassium permanganate and catalyzed hydrogen peroxide) with respect to total organic carbon (TOC). The carbon contained in the solubilized/depolymerized product of nitric acid treatments accounted for approximately 14% of the carbon from the Powder River Basin (PRB) coal evaluated in the study; however, the biometer assays revealed that the bioavailability of the solubilized/depolymerized products was not directly correlated to the amount of dissolved organic carbon (TOC). The

  19. Nature of the Elimination of the Penicillinase Plasmid from Staphylococcus aureus by Surface-Active Agents

    PubMed Central

    Sonstein, Stephen A.; Baldwin, J. N.

    1972-01-01

    Growth of Stapylococcus aureus in various ionic surface-active agents resulted in loss of the ability to produce penicillinase, whereas growth in nonionic surface-active agents had no effect on penicillinase production. The curing effect of various alkyl sulfates was found to be dependent upon the chain length. Curing by surface-active agents could be inhibited by magnesium. Reciprocal transduction experiments showed that curing by a surface-active agent was a property of the plasmid, not of the bacterial strain in which the plasmic resides. PMID:4204903

  20. Learning Natural Selection in 4th Grade with Multi-Agent-Based Computational Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dickes, Amanda Catherine; Sengupta, Pratim

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate how elementary school students develop multi-level explanations of population dynamics in a simple predator-prey ecosystem, through scaffolded interactions with a multi-agent-based computational model (MABM). The term "agent" in an MABM indicates individual computational objects or actors (e.g., cars), and these…

  1. Learning Natural Selection in 4th Grade with Multi-Agent-Based Computational Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dickes, Amanda Catherine; Sengupta, Pratim

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate how elementary school students develop multi-level explanations of population dynamics in a simple predator-prey ecosystem, through scaffolded interactions with a multi-agent-based computational model (MABM). The term "agent" in an MABM indicates individual computational objects or actors (e.g., cars), and these…

  2. [Comparison of the thermostability of natural (sulfoprolamine and sodium usnate) and synthetic (climbazole and piroctone olamine) antidandruff agents].

    PubMed

    Coiffard, C; Coiffard, L; de Roeck-Holtzhauer, Y

    1999-09-01

    We compared thermostability of various natural (sulfoprolamine and sodium usnate) or synthetic (climbazol and piroctone olamine) antidandruff agents in aqueous diluted solution at pH around 7. Thermodegradation of these solutions was studied by an isothermal method in thermostatically controlled ovens, at three temperatures (50, 70 and 90 degrees C). For each molecule, we determined at 20 degrees C t90% (time necessary to obtain a decrease of 10% of the initial concentration, value which shows the stability of the product). The present study shows that piroctone olamine is the most stable antidandruff agent among those studied.

  3. STUDIES ON THE NATURE OF THE AGENT TRANSMITTING LEUCOSIS OF FOWLS

    PubMed Central

    Furth, J.

    1932-01-01

    The filterable agent transmitting leucosis resists drying, retaining its activity for at least 54 days. The conditions of successful desiccation have not been precisely ascertained. By the addition of glycerin the agent can be preserved for at least 104 days. It is not inactivated by freezing in liquid air. At 37.5°C. it loses its activity within 14 days, but retains some of its activity for at least 14 days when kept at 4°C. PMID:19870007

  4. Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using reducing agents obtained from natural sources ( Rumex hymenosepalus extracts)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-León, Ericka; Iñiguez-Palomares, Ramón; Navarro, Rosa Elena; Herrera-Urbina, Ronaldo; Tánori, Judith; Iñiguez-Palomares, Claudia; Maldonado, Amir

    2013-07-01

    We have synthesized silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate solutions using extracts of Rumex hymenosepalus, a plant widely found in a large region in North America, as reducing agent. This plant is known to be rich in antioxidant molecules which we use as reducing agents. Silver nanoparticles grow in a single-step method, at room temperature, and with no addition of external energy. The nanoparticles have been characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy, as a function of the ratio of silver ions to reducing agent molecules. The nanoparticle diameters are in the range of 2 to 40 nm. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and fast Fourier transform analysis show that two kinds of crystal structures are obtained: face-centered cubic and hexagonal.

  5. Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using reducing agents obtained from natural sources (Rumex hymenosepalus extracts).

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-León, Ericka; Iñiguez-Palomares, Ramón; Navarro, Rosa Elena; Herrera-Urbina, Ronaldo; Tánori, Judith; Iñiguez-Palomares, Claudia; Maldonado, Amir

    2013-01-01

    We have synthesized silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate solutions using extracts of Rumex hymenosepalus, a plant widely found in a large region in North America, as reducing agent. This plant is known to be rich in antioxidant molecules which we use as reducing agents. Silver nanoparticles grow in a single-step method, at room temperature, and with no addition of external energy. The nanoparticles have been characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy, as a function of the ratio of silver ions to reducing agent molecules. The nanoparticle diameters are in the range of 2 to 40 nm. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and fast Fourier transform analysis show that two kinds of crystal structures are obtained: face-centered cubic and hexagonal.

  6. Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using reducing agents obtained from natural sources (Rumex hymenosepalus extracts)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    We have synthesized silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate solutions using extracts of Rumex hymenosepalus, a plant widely found in a large region in North America, as reducing agent. This plant is known to be rich in antioxidant molecules which we use as reducing agents. Silver nanoparticles grow in a single-step method, at room temperature, and with no addition of external energy. The nanoparticles have been characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy, as a function of the ratio of silver ions to reducing agent molecules. The nanoparticle diameters are in the range of 2 to 40 nm. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and fast Fourier transform analysis show that two kinds of crystal structures are obtained: face-centered cubic and hexagonal. PMID:23841946

  7. Adaptive response to DNA-damaging agents in natural Saccharomyces cerevisiae populations from "Evolution Canyon", Mt. Carmel, Israel.

    PubMed

    Lidzbarsky, Gabriel A; Shkolnik, Tamar; Nevo, Eviatar

    2009-06-15

    Natural populations of most organisms, especially unicellular microorganisms, are constantly exposed to harsh environmental factors which affect their growth. UV radiation is one of the most important physical parameters which influences yeast growth in nature. Here we used 46 natural strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolated from several natural populations at the "Evolution Canyon" microsite (Nahal Oren, Mt. Carmel, Israel). The opposing slopes of this canyon share the same geology, soil, and macroclimate, but they differ in microclimatic conditions. The interslope differences in solar radiation (200%-800% more on the "African" slope) caused the development of two distinct biomes. The south-facing slope is sunnier and has xeric, savannoid "African" environment while the north-facing slope is represented by temperate, "European" forested environment. Here we studied the phenotypic response of the S. cerevisiae strains to UVA and UVC radiations and to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) in order to evaluate the interslope effect on the strains' ability to withstand DNA-damaging agents. We exposed our strains to the different DNA-damaging agents and measured survival by counting colony forming units. The strains from the "African" slope were more resilient to both UVA and MMS than the strains from the "European" slope. In contrast, we found that there was almost no difference between strains (with similar ploidy) from the opposite slopes, in their sensitivity to UVC radiation. These results suggest that the "African" strains are more adapted to higher solar radiation than the "European" strains. We also found that the tetraploids strains were more tolerant to all DNA-damaging agents than their neighboring diploid strains, which suggest that high ploidy level might be a mechanism of adaptation to high solar radiation. Our results and the results of parallel studies with several other organisms, suggest that natural selection appears to select, at a microscale, for

  8. Functional and structural microbial diversity in organic and conventional viticulture: organic farming benefits natural biocontrol agents.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Florian; Moser, Gerit; Müller, Henry; Berg, Gabriele

    2011-03-01

    Statistically significant differences in the structure and function of above-ground grapevine-associated microorganisms from organically and conventionally managed vineyards were found. Aureobasidium pullulans, a copper-detoxifying fungus and biocontrol agent, plays a key role in explaining these differences. The black fungus was strongly enriched in the communities of organically managed plants and yielded a higher indigenous antiphytopathogenic potential.

  9. Transcrystalline interphases in natural fiber-PP composites: effect of coupling agent

    Treesearch

    A.R. Sanadi; D.F. Caulfield

    2000-01-01

    The interest in lignocellulosic fiber composites has been growing in recent years because of their high specific properties. In this work, a new technique was used to prepare specimen to observe the transcrystalline zones in kenaf fiber-polypropylene composites. A maleated polypropylene (MAPP) coupling agent was used to improve the stress-transfer efficiency in the...

  10. The Nature and Implications of a Resource Network as a Support System for Linking Agents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reisinger, Carol

    A resource network can serve as a strategy for personnel-multiplying by performing many activities and functions that the linking agent would otherwise have to perform; e.g., such a network can provide an organized method for identifying and collecting resources, as well surveying the kinds of resources available. The Illinois Resource and…

  11. Mycalamides, pederin and psymberin as natural carbohydrates and potential antitumor agents: past and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Witczak, Zbigniew J; Rampulla, Ricky M; Bommareddy, Ajay

    2012-12-01

    The mycalamide class of potent antiviral and antitumor natural compounds originally isolated from marine sponges in 1988 is a new interdisciplinary approach to molecular recognition. We review new synthetic approaches to this new family of natural products with remarkable biological activity. Some biological evaluation data are compiled and compared to other structurally similar molecular targets.

  12. Discovery and Development of Natural Product-derived Chemotherapeutic Agents Based on a Medicinal Chemistry Approach⊥†

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kuo-Hsiung

    2010-01-01

    Medicinal plants have long been an excellent source of pharmaceutical agents. Accordingly, the long term objectives of the author's research program are to discover and design new chemotherapeutic agents based on plant-derived compound leads by using a medicinal chemistry approach, which is a combination of chemistry and biology. Different examples of promising bioactive natural products and their synthetic analogs, including sesquiterpene lactones, quassinoids, naphthoquinones, phenylquinolones, dithiophenediones, neo-tanshinlactone, tylophorine, suksdorfin, DCK, and DCP, will be presented with respect to their discovery and preclinical development as potential clinical trial candidates. Research approaches include bioactivity- or mechanism of action-directed isolation and characterization of active compounds, rational drug design-based modification and analog synthesis, as well as structure-activity relationship and mechanism of action studies. Current clinical trials agents discovered by the Natural Products Research Laboratories, University of North Carolina, include bevirimat (dimethyl succinyl betulinic acid), which is now in Phase IIb trials for treating AIDS. Bevirimat is also the first in a new class of HIV drug candidates called “maturation inhibitors”. In addition, an etoposide analog, GL-331, progressed to anticancer Phase II clinical trials, and the curcumin analog JC-9 is in Phase II clinical trials for treating acne and in development for trials against prostate cancer. The discovery and development of these clinical trials candidates will also be discussed. PMID:20187635

  13. Determination of the infectious nature of the agent of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis syndrome affecting penaeid shrimp.

    PubMed

    Tran, Loc; Nunan, Linda; Redman, Rita M; Mohney, Leone L; Pantoja, Carlos R; Fitzsimmons, Kevin; Lightner, Donald V

    2013-07-09

    A new emerging disease in shrimp, first reported in 2009, was initially named early mortality syndrome (EMS). In 2011, a more descriptive name for the acute phase of the disease was proposed as acute hepatopancreatic necrosis syndrome (AHPNS). Affecting both Pacific white shrimp Penaeus vannamei and black tiger shrimp P. monodon, the disease has caused significant losses in Southeast Asian shrimp farms. AHPNS was first classified as idiopathic because no specific causative agent had been identified. However, in early 2013, the Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory at the University of Arizona was able to isolate the causative agent of AHPNS in pure culture. Immersion challenge tests were employed for infectivity studies, which induced 100% mortality with typical AHPNS pathology to experimental shrimp exposed to the pathogenic agent. Subsequent histological analyses showed that AHPNS lesions were experimentally induced in the laboratory and were identical to those found in AHPNS-infected shrimp samples collected from the endemic areas. Bacterial isolation from the experimentally infected shrimp enabled recovery of the same bacterial colony type found in field samples. In 3 separate immersion tests, using the recovered isolate from the AHPNS-positive shrimp, the same AHPNS pathology was reproduced in experimental shrimp with consistent results. Hence, AHPNS has a bacterial etiology and Koch's Postulates have been satisfied in laboratory challenge studies with the isolate, which has been identified as a member of the Vibrio harveyi clade, most closely related to V. parahemolyticus.

  14. Natural antimicrobial/antioxidant agents in meat and poultry products as well as fruits and vegetables: A review.

    PubMed

    Aziz, Marya; Karboune, Salwa

    2016-07-20

    Synthetic preservatives are widely used by the food industry to control the growth of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms and to inhibit the process of lipid oxidation extending the shelf-life, quality and safety of food products. However, consumer's preference for natural food additives and concern regarding the safety of synthetic preservatives prompted the food industry to look for natural alternatives. Natural antimicrobials, including plant extracts and their essential oils, enzymes, peptides, bacteriocins, bacteriophages, and fermented ingredients have all been shown to have the potential for use as alternatives to chemical antimicrobials. Some spices, herbs and other plant extracts were also reported to be strong antioxidants. The antimicrobial/antioxidant activities of some plant extracts and/or their essential oils are mainly due to the presence of some major bioactive compounds, including phenolic acids, terpenes, aldehydes, and flavonoids. The proposed mechanisms of action of these natural preservatives are reported. An overview of the research done on the direct incorporation of natural preservatives agents into meat and poultry products as well as fruit and vegetables to extend their shelf-life is presented. The development of edible packaging materials containing natural preservatives is growing and their applications in selected food products are also presented in this review.

  15. Scaffold Diversity Inspired by the Natural Product Evodiamine: Discovery of Highly Potent and Multitargeting Antitumor Agents.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shengzheng; Fang, Kun; Dong, Guoqiang; Chen, Shuqiang; Liu, Na; Miao, Zhenyuan; Yao, Jianzhong; Li, Jian; Zhang, Wannian; Sheng, Chunquan

    2015-08-27

    A critical question in natural product-based drug discovery is how to translate the product into drug-like molecules with optimal pharmacological properties. The generation of natural product-inspired scaffold diversity is an effective but challenging strategy to investigate the broader chemical space and identify promising drug leads. Extending our efforts to the natural product evodiamine, a diverse library containing 11 evodiamine-inspired novel scaffolds and their derivatives were designed and synthesized. Most of them showed good to excellent antitumor activity against various human cancer cell lines. In particular, 3-chloro-10-hydroxyl thio-evodiamine (66c) showed excellent in vitro and in vivo antitumor efficacy with good tolerability and low toxicity. Antitumor mechanism and target profiling studies indicate that compound 66c is the first-in-class triple topoisomerase I/topoisomerase II/tubulin inhibitor. Overall, this study provided an effective strategy for natural product-based drug discovery.

  16. Apoptosis and autophagy induction as mechanism of cancer prevention by naturally occurring dietary agents

    PubMed Central

    Mukhtar, Eiman; Adhami, Vaqar Mustafa; Khan, Naghma; Mukhtar, Hasan

    2013-01-01

    Nontoxic naturally occurring compounds, especially those from dietary sources, are receiving increasing consideration for prevention and treatment of diseases including cancer. There is a growing need for innovative anticancer therapies and therefore search for natural compounds with novel biological activities or antineoplastic potential is currently an important area in drug discovery. Support for this interest also comes from increasing concern over the efficacy and safety of many conventional therapies, especially those that run over a long course of time. Laboratory studies in different in vitro and in vivo systems have shown that many natural compounds possess the capacity to regulate response to oxidative stress and DNA damage, suppress angiogenesis, inhibit cell proliferation and induce autophagy and apoptosis. This review discusses the induction of apoptosis and autophagy as a mechanism of cancer prevention by some of the most studied naturally occurring dietary compounds. PMID:23140293

  17. Combination of synthetic and natural products as pesticides (CSYNAP): a new class of antifungal agents.

    PubMed

    Rani, Archna; Jain, Sapna; Dureja, Prem; Tripathi, Praveen K; Singh, Kamalendra

    In the present communication some dehydrated dialdol products such as 1, 5 - Diphenyl pent - 1, 4 - diene - 3 - one (A1); 1, 9 - Diphenylnon - 1, 3, 6, 8 - tetraene - 5 - one (A2); 1, 5 - di (2 - hydroxyphenyl) pent - 1, 4 - diene - 3 - one (A3); 1, 5 - difuran pent - 1, 4 - diene - 3 - one (A4); 1, 5 - di [4 - bis (N, Ndimethyl) phenyl] pent - 1, 4 - diene - 3 - one (A5) were screened for their antifungal activity. To reduce their adverse effect on the environment, for the first time, we have attempted to screen the antifungal activity of these synthetic compounds in conjunction with selected natural products. The natural products that were used in our study include Nicotine tobaccum and Neem oil (Azadirachta indica). A set of 15 samples was tested against highly pathogenic and of extensive host range fungi Sclerotium rolfsii, Rhizactonia bataticola, Fusarium udum. The filter paper disc assay to monitor antifungal effect revealed significant and interesting results. We found that the use of the combination of natural and synthetic pesticides is more effective and environmentally healthy compared to just synthetic chemicals and/or less available natural products. These results obtained from the combined use of natural and synthetic chemicals lead us to suggest to a new class of less toxic but more effective pesticides. We call it group as CSYNAP, i. e. Combination of SYnthetic and NAtural products as Pesticides.

  18. Lab scale testing of novel natural analog in situ stabilization agents

    SciTech Connect

    Shaw, P.

    1997-12-31

    This report summarizes the laboratory-scale test results on several novel in situ treatment and stabilization agents for buried hazardous and radioactive waste. Paraffin, hematite and phosphate materials were examined when combined with soil and other wastes representative of what might be present at buried waste DOE sites. Hematite was made from the reaction of agricultural iron and lime slurries to form gypsum and iron oxide/hydroxide. Common household paraffin was melted, both with and without a zeolitic additive, waste added and then cooled. Magnesium phosphate was made from the reaction of magnesium oxide and phosphoric acid or potassium biphosphate to form, magnesium phosphate. All were tested with soil and some with additional waste sumulants such as ash, machine oil and nitrate salts. The following laboratory-generated data indicate that all waste encapsulation materials tested are appropriate materials, for field in situ testing. Compressive strengths of treated Idaho National Engineering and Environment Laboratory (INEEL) soil and the waste encapsulation material were sufficient to prevent collapse of the void space in waste, i.e., greater than the NRC 60 psi minimum. The mineralogy and microstructure of hematite was amorphous but should progress to an interlocking crystalline solid. Phosphate was crystalline with characteristics of higher temperature ceramics. Paraffin is non crystalline but encapsulates even very fine grained INEEL soils. Each agent appears to be chemically and physically inert to possible waste materials such as, nitrates and machine cutting oil. Two of the agents hematite and phosphate react favorably with ash increasing the metals retention at higher waste loadings than Portland cement. Hematite, phosphate and zeolite decrease leaching of most hazardous metals from waste when compared to untreated waste and soil. Solution pH, time for reaction initiation, and viscosity values are conducive to jet-grouting application.

  19. Efficacy of new natural biomodification agents from Anacardiaceae extracts on dentin collagen cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Moreira, M A; Souza, N O; Sousa, R S; Freitas, D Q; Lemos, M V; De Paula, D M; Maia, F J N; Lomonaco, D; Mazzetto, S E; Feitosa, V P

    2017-10-01

    Several polyphenols from renewable sources were surveyed for dentin biomodification. However, phenols from cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL, Anacardium occidentale) and from Aroeira (Myracrodruon urundeuva) extract have never been evaluated. The present investigation aimed to compare the dentin collagen crosslinking (biomodification) effectiveness of polyphenols from Aroeira stem bark extract, proanthocyanidins (PACs) from grape-seed extract (Vitis vinifera), cardol and cardanol from CNSL after clinically relevant treatment for one minute. Three-point bending test was used to obtain the elastic modulus of fully demineralized dentin beams before and after biomodification, whilst color change and mass variation were evaluated after four weeks water biodegradation. Color aspect was assessed by optical images after biodegradation whereas collagen cross-linking was investigated by micro-Raman spectroscopy. Statistical analysis was performed with repeated-measures two way ANOVA and Tukey's test (p<0.05). The increase in elastic modulus after biomodification was in the order cardol>cardanol>aroeira=PACs with cardol solution achieving mean 338.2% increase. The mass increase after biomodification followed the same order aforementioned. Nevertheless, after four weeks aging, more hydrophobic agent (cardanol) induced the highest resistance against water biodegradation. Aroeira and cardol attained intermediate outcomes whereas PACs provided the lower resistance. Tannin-based agents (Aroeira and PACs) stained the specimens in dark brown color. No color alteration was observed with cardol and cardanol treatments. All four agents achieved crosslinking in micro-Raman after one minute application. In conclusion, major components of CNSL yield overall best dentin biomodification outcomes when applied for one minute without staining the dentin collagen. Copyright © 2017 The Academy of Dental Materials. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Natural product modulators of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels as potential anti-cancer agents.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Tiago; Sieglitz, Florian; Bernardes, Gonçalo J L

    2016-11-07

    Treatment of cancer is a significant challenge in clinical medicine, and its research is a top priority in chemical biology and drug discovery. Consequently, there is an urgent need for identifying innovative chemotypes capable of modulating unexploited drug targets. The transient receptor potential (TRPs) channels persist scarcely explored as targets, despite intervening in a plethora of pathophysiological events in numerous diseases, including cancer. Both agonists and antagonists have proven capable of evoking phenotype changes leading to either cell death or reduced cell migration. Among these, natural products entail biologically pre-validated and privileged architectures for TRP recognition. Furthermore, several natural products have significantly contributed to our current knowledge on TRP biology. In this Tutorial Review we focus on selected natural products, e.g. capsaicinoids, cannabinoids and terpenes, by highlighting challenges and opportunities in their use as starting points for designing natural product-inspired TRP channel modulators. Importantly, the de-orphanization of natural products as TRP channel ligands may leverage their exploration as viable strategy for developing anticancer therapies. Finally, we foresee that TRP channels may be explored for the selective pharmacodelivery of cytotoxic payloads to diseased tissues, providing an innovative platform in chemical biology and molecular medicine.

  1. A natural and readily available crowding agent: NMR studies of proteins in hen egg white.

    PubMed

    Martorell, Gabriel; Adrover, Miquel; Kelly, Geoff; Temussi, Piero Andrea; Pastore, Annalisa

    2011-05-01

    In vitro studies of biological macromolecules are usually performed in dilute, buffered solutions containing one or just a few different biological macromolecules. Under these conditions, the interactions among molecules are diffusion limited. On the contrary, in living systems, macromolecules of a given type are surrounded by many others, at very high total concentrations. In the last few years, there has been an increasing effort to study biological macromolecules directly in natural crowded environments, as in intact bacterial cells or by mimicking natural crowding by adding proteins, polysaccharides, or even synthetic polymers. Here, we propose the use of hen egg white (HEW) as a simple natural medium, with all features of the media of crowded cells, that could be used by any researcher without difficulty and inexpensively. We present a study of the stability and dynamics behavior of model proteins in HEW, chosen as a prototypical, readily accessible natural medium that can mimic cytosol. We show that two typical globular proteins, dissolved in HEW, give NMR spectra very similar to those obtained in dilute buffers, although dynamic parameters are clearly affected by the crowded medium. The thermal stability of one of these proteins, measured in a range comprising both heat and cold denaturation, is also similar to that in buffer. Our data open new possibilities to the study of proteins in natural crowded media. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Current Perspective in the Discovery of Anti-aging Agents from Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Ding, Ai-Jun; Zheng, Shan-Qing; Huang, Xiao-Bing; Xing, Ti-Kun; Wu, Gui-Sheng; Sun, Hua-Ying; Qi, Shu-Hua; Luo, Huai-Rong

    2017-05-31

    Aging is a process characterized by accumulating degenerative damages, resulting in the death of an organism ultimately. The main goal of aging research is to develop therapies that delay age-related diseases in human. Since signaling pathways in aging of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), fruit flies and mice are evolutionarily conserved, compounds extending lifespan of them by intervening pathways of aging may be useful in treating age-related diseases in human. Natural products have special resource advantage and with few side effect. Recently, many compounds or extracts from natural products slowing aging and extending lifespan have been reported. Here we summarized these compounds or extracts and their mechanisms in increasing longevity of C. elegans or other species, and the prospect in developing anti-aging medicine from natural products.

  3. The adsorption of anionic and cationic surface-active agents by natural coals

    SciTech Connect

    Butuzova, L.F.; Isaeva, L.N.; Saranchuk, V.I.

    1983-01-01

    Isotherms of the adsorption of isopropylamine, butylamine, and pentylamine and of isopropyl alcohol by coals of types G and A have been measured. It has been shown that the adsorption depends on the type of coal and the structure of the adsorbate molecules; cationic SAAs are adsorbed better than anionic ones. The standard decrease in free energy on the adsorption of the amine by natural coals has been calculated. It has been established that the adsorption of amines by natural coals is accompanied by a rise in the pH of solutions of the adsorbate.

  4. Seeking new anti-cancer agents from autophagy-regulating natural products.

    PubMed

    Hua, Fang; Shang, Shuang; Hu, Zhuo-Wei

    2017-04-01

    Natural products are an important original source of many widely used drugs, including anti-cancer drugs. Early research efforts for seeking anti-cancer therapy from the natural products are mainly focused on the compounds with cytotoxicity capability. The good examples include vinblastine, vincristine, the camptothecin derivatives; topotecan, irinotecan, epipodophyllotoxin derivatives and paclitaxel. In a recent decade, the fundamental progression has been made in the understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms regarding tumor initiation, metastasis, therapeutic resistance, immune escape, and relapse, which provide a great opportunity for the development of new mechanism-based anticancer drugs, especially drugs against new molecular and cellular targets. Autophagy, a critical cell homeostasis mechanism and promising drug target involved in a verity of human diseases including cancer, can be modulated by many compounds derived from natural products. In this review, we'll give a short introduction of autophagy and discuss the roles of autophagy in the tumorigenesis and progression. And then, we summarize the accumulated evidences to show the anti-tumor effects of several compounds derived from natural products through modulation of autophagy activity.

  5. Synthesis and characterization of novel benzohydrazide as potential antibacterial agents from natural product vanillin and wintergreen oil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Setyawati, Amri; Wahyuningsih, Tutik Dwi; Purwono, Bambang

    2017-03-01

    A chalcone-like benzohydrazide derivatives (3) has been synthesis from natural resources vanillin (1a) and wintergreen oil (1b). This compound was synthesis as modified natural resource antibacterial agent. Some modification was done to increase the biological activity. Bromide was introduced to the vanillin structure to increase the activity (2a), whereas Hydrazine monohydrate was reacted with wintergreen oil to make new nucleophile (2b). Furthermore, chalcone like benzohydrazide compound was synthesized by stirring 5-bromovanillin (2a) with salicyl hydrazine (2b) at room temperature for 2-3 hours. The product was analyzed by FTIR, GCMS, 1H- and 13C-NMR to confirm its structure. The result showed that 5-bromovanillin, salicyl hydrazine, and benzohydrazide were successfully synthesized with 98, 78, and 33% of yield respectively. The target molecule 3 achieved with yellowish color with m.p. 106-111 °C, 97% purity.

  6. An in vitro evaluation of various Rosa damascena flower extracts as a natural antisolar agent.

    PubMed

    Tabrizi, H; Mortazavi, S A; Kamalinejad, M

    2003-12-01

    The aim of this work was to evaluate ultraviolet (UV) absorption ability of various extracts of Rosa damascena flowers as an antisolar agent. Extracts were prepared using the following solvent mixtures: water:ethanol (50 : 50), ethyl acetate:ethanol (80 : 20) and ether. The hydroalcoholic and ethyl acetate:ethanol extracts were prepared by maceration, and ether extract was prepared by soxhletion. Preliminary studies on the extracts prepared confirmed the presence of flavonoids as the major components of all extracts. Next, the UV absorption spectra (in the range of 200-400 nm) of all extracts were obtained. Results show that all three extracts can effectively absorb UV radiation in the range of 200-400 nm. However, the range giving maximum absorption for the hydroalcoholic, ethyl acetate:ethanol and ether extracts were 200-320, 250-360 and 230-370 nm, respectively. In the next stage, extracts prepared were incorporated into an oil in water cream base (prepared based on preliminary studies), at two concentrations of 5 and 8%. The sun protection factor (SPF) of these creams were determined. Based on the findings, the hydroalcoholic extract seems to give the highest SPF among the three extracts evaluated, when incorporated to the cream base. On the other hand, by performing a few physicochemical tests on the prepared creams, cream containing 5% ether extract showed the most desirable appearance and stability among the creams investigated. The UV absorption ability of these extracts is suggested to be because of the presence of flavonoid compounds within the extracts. However, it should be noted that in order to obtain an effective suncare product with high SPF values, these extracts could be used along with other synthetic antisolar agents.

  7. Parasitoids attacking larvae of a recently introduced weed biological control agent, Neomusotima conspurcatalis Warren (Lepidoptera: Crambidae): key to species, natural history, and integrative taxonomy

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The extent to which introduced weed biocontrol agents are subject to attack by generalist natural enemies within the area of introduction is believed to be an important determinant of program success. We monitored larval populations of a recently introduced weed biocontrol agent, Neomusotima conspur...

  8. The evidence for natural therapeutics as potential anti-scarring agents in burn-related scarring.

    PubMed

    Mehta, M; Branford, O A; Rolfe, K J

    2016-01-01

    Though survival rate following severe thermal injuries has improved, the incidence and treatment of scarring have not improved at the same speed. This review discusses the formation of scars and in particular the formation of hypertrophic scars. Further, though there is as yet no gold standard treatment for the prevention or treatment of scarring, a brief overview is included. A number of natural therapeutics have shown beneficial effects both in vivo and in vitro with the potential of becoming clinical therapeutics in the future. These natural therapeutics include both plant-based products such as resveratrol, quercetin and epigallocatechin gallate as examples and includes the non-plant-based therapeutic honey. The review also includes potential mechanism of action for the therapeutics, any recorded adverse events and current administration of the therapeutics used. This review discusses a number of potential 'treatments' that may reduce or even prevent scarring particularly hypertrophic scarring, which is associated with thermal injuries without compromising wound repair.

  9. Natural sulforaphane as a functional chemopreventive agent: including a review of isolation, purification and analysis methods.

    PubMed

    Liang, Hao; Yuan, Qipeng

    2012-09-01

    Epidemiological data show that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk from a number of cancers and chronic diseases. Sulforaphane (SF), a phytochemical constituent of cruciferous vegetables, has been widely researched in recent decades as a potential chemopreventive compound. Nonexistent in intact vegetables, natural SF, is formed from glucoraphanin hydrolyzed by myrosinase. This review summarizes and compares different analysis, isolation and purification methods engaged in SF research. Major important chemopreventive properties of SF investigated in existing research are reviewed and discussed, including antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory functions. Considering the potential applications of SF in the future, metabolism, stability and formulation developments of SF are also discussed. Research opportunities are identified based on the review of existing studies to facilitate future explorations on SF, a promising natural compound in chemopreventive therapy.

  10. Enteric-coated tablet of risedronate sodium in combination with phytic acid, a natural chelating agent, for improved oral bioavailability.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jeong S; Jang, Sun W; Son, Miwon; Kim, Byoung M; Kang, Myung J

    2016-01-20

    The oral bioavailability (BA) of risedronate sodium (RS), an antiresorptive agent, is less than 1% due to its low membrane permeability as well as the formation of non-absorbable complexes with multivalent cations such as calcium ion (Ca(2+)) in the gastrointestinal tract. In the present study, to increase oral BA of the bisphosphonate, a novel enteric-coated tablet (ECT) dosage form of RS in combination with phytic acid (IP6), a natural chelating agent recognized as safe, was formulated. The chelating behavior of IP6 against Ca(2+), including a stability constant for complex formulation was characterized using the continuous variation method. Subsequently, in vitro dissolution profile and in vivo pharmacokinetic profile of the novel ECT were evaluated comparatively with that of the marketed product (Altevia, Sanofi, US), an ECT containing ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) as a chelating agent, in beagle dogs. The logarithm of stability constant for Ca(2+)-IP6 complex, an equilibrium constant approximating the strength of the interaction between two chemicals to form complex, was 19.05, which was 3.9-fold (p<0.05) and 1.7-fold (p<0.05) higher than those of Ca(2+)-RS and Ca(2+)-EDTA complexes. The release profile of RS from both enteric-coated dosage forms was equivalent, regardless of the type of chelating agent. An in vivo absorption study in beagle dogs revealed that the maximum plasma concentration and area under the curve of RS after oral administration of IP6-containing ECT were approximately 7.9- (p<0.05) and 5.0-fold (p<0.05) higher than those of the marketed product at the same dose (35mg as RS). Therefore, our study demonstrates the potential usefulness of the ECT system in combination with IP6 for an oral therapy with the bisphosphonate for improved BA.

  11. Socio-Ecohydrologic Agents And Services: Integrating Human And Natural Components To Address Coupled System Resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavao-zuckerman, M.; Pope, A.; Chan, D.; Curl, K.; Gimblett, H. R.; Hough, M.; House-Peters, L.; Lee, R.; Scott, C. A.

    2012-12-01

    Riparian corridors in arid regions are highly valued for their relative scarcity, and because healthy riparian systems support high levels of biodiversity, can meet human demand for water and water-related resources and functions. Our team is taking a transdiciplinary social-ecological systems approach to assessing riparian corridor resilience in two watersheds (the San Pedro River in USA and Mexico, and the Rio San Miguel in Mexico) through a project funded by the NSF CNH program ("Strengthening Resilience of Arid Region Riparian Corridors"). Multiple perspectives are integrated in the project, including hydrology, ecology, institutional dynamics, and decision making (at the level of both policy and individual choice), as well as the perspectives of various stakeholder groups and individuals in the watersheds. Here we discuss initial findings that center around linking changes in ecohydrology and livelihoods related to decisions in response to climatic, ecological, and social change. The research team is implementing two approaches to integrate the disparate disciplines participating in the research (and the varied perspectives among the stakeholders in this binational riparian context): (1) ecosystem service assessment, and (2) agent based model simulation. We are developing an ecosystem service perspective that provides a bridge between ecological dynamics in the landscape and varied stakeholder perspectives on the implications of ecohydrology for well-being (economic, cultural, ecological). Services are linked on one hand to the spatial patterns of traits of individuals within species (allowing a more predictive application of ecosystem services as they vary with community change in time), and to stakeholder perspectives (facilitating integration of ecosystem services into our understanding of decision making processes) in a case study in the San Pedro River National Conservation Area. The agent- based model (ABM) approach incorporates the influence of human

  12. Medicinal and edible lignicolous fungi as natural sources of antioxidative and antibacterial agents.

    PubMed

    Karaman, M; Jovin, E; Malbasa, R; Matavuly, M; Popović, M

    2010-10-01

    The antioxidant activity of organic extracts of eight fungal species, Ganoderma lucidum, Ganoderma applanatum, Meripilus giganteus, Laetiporus sulphureus, Flammulina velutipes, Coriolus versicolor, Pleurotus ostreatus and Panus tigrinus, was evaluated for free radical (DPPH· and OH·) scavenging capacity and an effect on lipid peroxidation, and the antibacterial activity was tested by the agar well diffusion method. The highest DPPH· scavenging activity was found in the methanol extract of G. applanatum (12.5 μg/mL, 82.80%) and the chloroform extract of G. lucidum (510.2 μg/mL, 69.12%). The same extracts also showed the highest LP inhibition (91.83%, 85.09%) at 500 μg/mL, while the methanol extracts of G. applanatum and L. sulphureus showed the highest scavenging effect on OH· radicals (68.47%, 57.06%, respectively) at 400 μg/mL. A strong antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria was also manifested. The antioxidative potencies correlated generally with the total phenol content (0.19-9.98 mg/g). The HPLC determination showed that the majority of analysed species contained gallic and protocatechic acids. Consequently, these fungi are shown to be potential sources of antioxidative and antibacterial agents.

  13. Discovery and biological evaluation of the novel naturally occurring diterpene pepluanone as antiinflammatory agent.

    PubMed

    Corea, Gabriella; Fattorusso, Ernesto; Lanzotti, Virginia; Di Meglio, Paola; Maffia, Pasquale; Grassia, Gianluca; Ialenti, Armando; Ianaro, Angela

    2005-11-03

    From the whole plant of Euphorbia peplus L., a new diterpene based on a rare pepluane skeleton, named pepluanone (1), was isolated together with a known pepluane diterpene (2). The stereostructure of pepluanone was determined on the basis of an extensive NMR study, MS data, and chemical reaction. The ability of these compounds to act as antiinflammatory agents has been evaluated for the first time by in vivo tests on carrageenin-induced rat paw edema, an experimental model of acute inflammation. Comparison of the bioactivity of pepluanone and compound 2 in terms of chemical structure, evidenced the high efficiency of pepluanone and the absence of appreciable activity for compound 2, thus giving a first insight into the structure-activity relationship. Further in vitro experiments performed on pepluanone let us hypothesize that its activity could be explained in reducing the production of nitric oxide, prostaglandin E(2), and TNF-alpha by inhibiting the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2, and TNF-alpha mRNA through the down-regulation of NF-kappaB binding activity.

  14. SuperSweet--a resource on natural and artificial sweetening agents.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Jessica; Preissner, Saskia; Dunkel, Mathias; Worth, Catherine L; Eckert, Andreas; Preissner, Robert

    2011-01-01

    A vast number of sweet tasting molecules are known, encompassing small compounds, carbohydrates, d-amino acids and large proteins. Carbohydrates play a particularly big role in human diet. The replacement of sugars in food with artificial sweeteners is common and is a general approach to prevent cavities, obesity and associated diseases such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Knowledge about the molecular basis of taste may reveal new strategies to overcome diet-induced diseases. In this context, the design of safe, low-calorie sweeteners is particularly important. Here, we provide a comprehensive collection of carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners and other sweet tasting agents like proteins and peptides. Additionally, structural information and properties such as number of calories, therapeutic annotations and a sweetness-index are stored in SuperSweet. Currently, the database consists of more than 8000 sweet molecules. Moreover, the database provides a modeled 3D structure of the sweet taste receptor and binding poses of the small sweet molecules. These binding poses provide hints for the design of new sweeteners. A user-friendly graphical interface allows similarity searching, visualization of docked sweeteners into the receptor etc. A sweetener classification tree and browsing features allow quick requests to be made to the database. The database is freely available at: http://bioinformatics.charite.de/sweet/.

  15. SuperSweet—a resource on natural and artificial sweetening agents

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Jessica; Preissner, Saskia; Dunkel, Mathias; Worth, Catherine L.; Eckert, Andreas; Preissner, Robert

    2011-01-01

    A vast number of sweet tasting molecules are known, encompassing small compounds, carbohydrates, d-amino acids and large proteins. Carbohydrates play a particularly big role in human diet. The replacement of sugars in food with artificial sweeteners is common and is a general approach to prevent cavities, obesity and associated diseases such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Knowledge about the molecular basis of taste may reveal new strategies to overcome diet-induced diseases. In this context, the design of safe, low-calorie sweeteners is particularly important. Here, we provide a comprehensive collection of carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners and other sweet tasting agents like proteins and peptides. Additionally, structural information and properties such as number of calories, therapeutic annotations and a sweetness-index are stored in SuperSweet. Currently, the database consists of more than 8000 sweet molecules. Moreover, the database provides a modeled 3D structure of the sweet taste receptor and binding poses of the small sweet molecules. These binding poses provide hints for the design of new sweeteners. A user-friendly graphical interface allows similarity searching, visualization of docked sweeteners into the receptor etc. A sweetener classification tree and browsing features allow quick requests to be made to the database. The database is freely available at: http://bioinformatics.charite.de/sweet/. PMID:20952410

  16. Palmitoylethanolamide, a naturally occurring disease-modifying agent in neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Skaper, Stephen D; Facci, Laura; Fusco, Mariella; Della Valle, Maria Federica; Zusso, Morena; Costa, Barbara; Giusti, Pietro

    2014-04-01

    Persistent pain affects nearly half of all people seeking medical care in the US alone, and accounts for at least $80 billion worth of lost productivity each year. Among all types of chronic pain, neuropathic pain stands out: this is pain resulting from damage or disease of the somatosensory nervous system, and remains largely untreatable. With few available treatment options, neuropathic pain represents an area of significant and growing unmet medical need. Current treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain involves several drug classes, including opioids, gabapentinoids, antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs, local anesthetics and capsaicin. Even so, less than half of patients achieve partial relief. This review discusses a novel approach to neuropathic pain management, based on knowledge of: the role of glia and mast cells in pain and neuroinflammation; the body's innate mechanisms to maintain cellular homeostasis when faced with external stressors provoking, for example, inflammation. The discovery that palmitoylethanolamide, a member of the N-acylethanolamine family which is produced from the lipid bilayer on-demand, is capable of exerting anti-allodynic and anti-hyperalgesic effects by down-modulating both microglial and mast cell activity has led to the application of this fatty acid amide in several clinical studies of neuropathic pain, with beneficial outcome and no indication of adverse effects at pharmacological doses. Collectively, the findings presented here propose that palmitoylethanolamide merits further consideration as a disease-modifying agent for controlling inflammatory responses and related chronic and neuropathic pain.

  17. Phyllanthus wightianus Müll. Arg.: A Potential Source for Natural Antimicrobial Agents

    PubMed Central

    Natarajan, D.; Srinivasan, R.; Shivakumar, M. S.

    2014-01-01

    Phyllanthus wightianus belongs to Euphorbiaceae family having ethnobotanical importance. The present study deals with validating the antimicrobial potential of solvent leaf extracts of P. wightianus. 11 human bacterial pathogens (Bacillus subtilis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, Shigella flexneri, Proteus vulgaris, and Serratia marcescens) and 4 fungal pathogens (Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Mucor racemosus, and Aspergillus niger) were also challenged with solvent leaf extracts usingagar well and disc diffusion methods. Further, identification of the active component present in the bioactive extract was done using GC-MS analysis. Results show that all extracts exhibited broad spectrum (6–29 mm) of antibacterial activity on most of the tested organisms. The results highlight the fact that the well in agar method was more effective than disc diffusion method. Significant antimicrobial activity was detected in methanol extract against S. pneumoniae (29 mm) with MIC and MBC values of 15.62 μg/mL. GC-MS analysis revealed that 29 bioactive constituents were present in methanolic extract of P. wightianus, of which 9,12-octadecaenioic acid (peak area 22.82%; RT-23.97) and N-hexadecanoic acid (peak area 21.55% RT-21.796) are the major compounds. The findings of this study show that P. wightianus extracts may be used as an anti-infective agent in folklore medicine. PMID:24883301

  18. Microbial Content of Nonsterile Therapeutic Agents Containing Natural or Seminatural Active Ingredients

    PubMed Central

    Schiller, I.; Kuntscher, H.; Wolff, A.; Nekola, M.

    1968-01-01

    The relationship was investigated between various chemical or pharmaceutical production processes and the extent of microbial contamination, of natural origin, of the resulting products. The products contained active ingredients of vegetable, enzymatic, or animal origin. It was concluded that (i) vegetable products practically free from microbes can be produced if the proper manufacturing steps are taken; (ii) sterilization of the media used to manufacture antibiotics, etc., produces products with little contamination; and (iii) products containing extracts of animal organs require careful refrigeration and addition of preservatives to produce acceptable levels of microbial contamination. PMID:5726165

  19. Natural populations of Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, have a complex multiclonal structure

    SciTech Connect

    Tibayrenc, M.; Ward, P.; Moya, A.; Ayala, F.J.

    1986-01-01

    The authors have studied 15 gene loci coding for enzymes in 121 Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from a wide geographic range - from the US and Mexico to Chile and southern Brazil. T.cruzi is diploid but reproduction is basically clonal, with very little if any sexuality remaining at present. They have identified 43 different clones by their genetic composition; the same genetic clone is often found in very distant places and in diverse hosts. There is much genetic heterogeneity among the different clones, and they cannot be readily classified into a few discrete groups that might represent natural taxa. These findings imply that the biological and medical characteristics need to be ascertained separately for each natural clone. The evidence indicates that clonal evolution is very ancient in T.cruzi. The authors propose two alternative hypotheses concerning the relationship between the biochemical diversity and the heterogeneity in other biological and medical characteristics of T. cruzi. One hypothesis is that the degree of diversity between strains simply reflects the time elapsed since their last common ancestor. The second hypothesis is that biological and medical heterogeneity is recent and reflects adaptation to different transmission cycles. A decision between the two hypotheses can be reached with appropriate studies, with important medical consequences.

  20. Natural populations of Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, have a complex multiclonal structure.

    PubMed Central

    Tibayrenc, M; Ward, P; Moya, A; Ayala, F J

    1986-01-01

    We have studied 15 gene loci coding for enzymes in 121 Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from a wide geographic range--from the United States and Mexico to Chile and southern Brazil. T. cruzi is diploid but reproduction is basically clonal, with very little if any sexuality remaining at present. We have identified 43 different clones by their genetic composition; the same genetic clone is often found in very distant places and in diverse hosts. There is much genetic heterogeneity among the different clones, and they cannot be readily classified into a few discrete groups that might represent natural taxa. These findings imply that the biological and medical characteristics need to be ascertained separately for each natural clone. The evidence indicates that clonal evolution is very ancient in T. cruzi. We propose two alternative hypotheses concerning the relationship between the biochemical diversity and the heterogeneity in other biological and medical characteristics of T. cruzi. One hypothesis is that the degree of diversity between strains simply reflects the time elapsed since their last common ancestor. The second hypothesis is that biological and medical heterogeneity is recent and reflects adaptation to different transmission cycles. A decision between the two hypotheses can be reached with appropriate studies, with important medical consequences. PMID:3510428

  1. From naturally-occurring neurotoxic agents to CNS shuttles for drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Soddu, Elena; Rassu, Giovanna; Giunchedi, Paolo; Sarmento, Bruno; Gavini, Elisabetta

    2015-07-10

    Central nervous system (CNS) diseases are hard to diagnose and therapeutically target due to the blood brain barrier (BBB), which prevents most drugs from reaching their sites of action within the CNS. Brain drug delivery systems were conceived to bypass the BBB and were derived from anatomical and functional analysis of the BBB; this analysis led researchers to take advantage of brain endothelial membrane physiology to allow drug access across the BBB. Both receptors and carriers can be used to transport endogenous and exogenous substances into the CNS. Combining a drug with substances that take advantage of these internalization mechanisms is a widely exploited strategy for drug delivery because it is an indirect method that overcomes the BBB in a non-invasive way and is therefore less dangerous and costly than invasive methods. Neurotoxins, among other naturally-occurring substances, may be used as drug carriers to specifically target the CNS. This review covers the current delivery systems that take advantage of the non-toxic components of neurotoxins to overcome the BBB and reach the CNS. We hope to give insights to researchers toward developing new delivery systems that exploit the positive features of substances usually regarded as natural hazards.

  2. Is quercetin an alternative natural crosslinking agent to genipin for long-term dermal scaffolds implantation?

    PubMed

    Greco, Karin V; Francis, Lydia; Huang, Honglei; Ploeg, Rutger; Boccaccini, Aldo R; Ansari, Tahera

    2016-10-07

    As biocompatible matrices, porcine dermal scaffolds have limited application in tissue engineering due to rapid degradation following implantation. This study compared the physical, chemical and biomechanical changes that occurred when genipin and quercetin were used to crosslink dermal scaffolds and to determine whether quercetin could be used as an alternative to genipin. Physicochemical changes in the collagen were assessed using spectroscopic methods [X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis]. The crosslinking reaction was evaluated by quantification of amino acids and the degree of this reaction by ninhydrin assay. Because the mechanical behaviour of the collagen matrices is highly influenced by crosslinking, the tensile strength of both sets of scaffolds was evaluated. The highest mechanical strength, stiffness, degree of crosslinking and changes in the packing features of collagen (measured by XRD) were achieved using genipin. Some of the results found in the quercetin-crosslinked scaffolds were possibly due to hydration and dehydration effects elicited by the solvents (phosphate-buffered saline or ethanol), as seen in the NMR results. In the quercetin-ethanol-crosslinked scaffolds, possible reorientation of the amino groups of the collagen molecule may have taken place. Therefore, depending on their proximity to the crosslinking reagent, different types and numbers of interactions may have occurred, inducing a higher crosslinking degree (as evidenced by the ninhydrin assay) and reduction in the free amino acids after reaction. Both crosslinking agents and solvents interfere in the physicochemical properties of collagen thereby inducing variations in the matrix structure. Quercetin-crosslinked scaffolds may have broader clinical application where a lower degree of crosslinking and stiffness is required. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. Natural lignans from Arctium lappa as antiaging agents in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Su, Shan; Wink, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Arctium lappa is a well-known traditional medicinal plant in China (TCM) and Europe that has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, baldness or cancer. The plant produces lignans as secondary metabolites, which have a wide range of bioactivities. Yet, their antiaging potential has not been explored. In this study, we isolated six lignans from A. lappa seeds, namely arctigenin, matairesinol, arctiin, (iso)lappaol A, lappaol C, and lappaol F. The antioxidant and antiaging properties of the isolated lignans were studied using Caenorhabditis elegans as a relevant animal model. All lignans at concentrations of 10 and 100 μM significantly extended the mean life span of C. elegans. The strongest effect was observed with matairesinol, which at a concentration of 100 μM extended the life span of worms by 25%. Additionally, we observed that five lignans are strong free radical-scavengers in vitro and in vivo and all lignans can improve survival of C. elegans under oxidative stress. Furthermore, the lignans can induce the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor DAF-16 and up-regulate its expression, suggesting that a possible underlying mechanism of the observed longevity-promoting activity of lignans depends on DAF-16 mediated signaling pathway. All lignans up-regulated the expression of jnk-1, indicating that lignans may promote the C. elegans longevity and stress resistance through a JNK-1-DAF-16 cascade. Our study reports new antiaging activities of lignans, which might be candidates for developing antiaging agents. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The use of ozone as an oxidizing agent to evaluate antioxidant activities of natural substrates.

    PubMed

    He, Q C; Krone, K; Scherl, D; Kotler, M; Tavakkol, A

    2004-01-01

    Ozone, the main component of photochemical smog and air pollution, can damage the skin by oxidizing stratum corneum enzymes, lipids and structural proteins. We have developed a rapid screening assay to determine free radical scavenging capacity of various active ingredients that are frequently used in personal care products. Several known antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E analog Trolox, walnut seed extract, lipoic acid and ergothioneine inner salt were assayed for their ability to neutralize ozone-induced oxidation of beta-phycoerythrin, a fluorescent reporter protein derived from algae. The free radical scavenging capacities of these antioxidants were quantified and compared. The results demonstrate that this assay is a valuable primary screening tool for identifying antioxidant activity of natural or synthetic substrates that can be used in personal care products to protect the uppermost layer of our skin from oxidizing damage induced by O3.

  5. Natural nanocontainer for the controlled delivery of glycerol as a moisturizing agent.

    PubMed

    Suh, Y J; Kil, D S; Chung, K S; Abdullayev, E; Lvov, Y M; Mongayt, D

    2011-01-01

    Natural halloysite nanotubes with a 15-nm internal lumen and a 50 nm outer diameter were investigated as a nanocontainer for the loading and extended release of glycerol for cosmetic applications. Cytotoxicity testing of the halloysite was conducted on 3T3 and MCF-7 cells, and the tubules showed no toxic effect on the cells for over 48 h. The capability of halloysite for loading glycerol was higher with the USA halloysite than with the New Zealand's, being approximately 20% and 2.3% by weight, respectively. The total elapsed time for releasing glycerol from the nanotubes exceeded 20 h. To further retard the glycerol release rate, the halloysite samples filled with glycerol were coated with several alternate layers of polyethyleneimine and polyacrylic acid. The release rate remained at the same level, however, probably due to the low molecular weight of the polyelectrolytes and the high solubility of glycerol in water.

  6. Phytosterols as a natural anticancer agent: Current status and future perspective.

    PubMed

    Shahzad, Naiyer; Khan, Wajahatullah; Md, Shadab; Ali, Asgar; Saluja, Sundeep Singh; Sharma, Sadhana; Al-Allaf, Faisal A; Abduljaleel, Zainularifeen; Ibrahim, Ibrahim Abdel Aziz; Abdel-Wahab, Ali Fathi; Afify, Mohamed Abdelaziz; Al-Ghamdi, Saeed Saeed

    2017-04-01

    Phytosterols are naturally occurring compounds in plants, structurally similar to cholesterol. The human diet is quite abundant in sitosterol and campesterol. Phytosterols are known to have various bioactive properties including reducing intestinal cholesterol absorption which alleviates blood LDL-cholesterol and cardiovascular problems. It is indicated that phytosterol rich diets may reduce cancer risk by 20%. Phytosterols may also affect host systems, enabling antitumor responses by improving immune response recognition of cancer, affecting the hormone dependent endocrine tumor growth, and by sterol biosynthesis modulation. Moreover, phytosterols have also exhibited properties that directly inhibit tumor growth, including reduced cell cycle progression, apoptosis induction, and tumor metastasis inhibition. The objective of this review is to summarize the current knowledge on occurrences, chemistry, pharmacokinetics and potential anticancer properties of phytosterols in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, anticancer effects of phytosterols have strongly been suggested and support their dietary inclusion to prevent and treat cancers.

  7. Seagrass as a potential source of natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.

    PubMed

    Yuvaraj, N; Kanmani, P; Satishkumar, R; Paari, A; Pattukumar, V; Arul, V

    2012-04-01

    Halophila spp. is a strong medicine against malaria and skin diseases and is found to be very effective in early stages of leprosy. Seagrasses are nutraceutical in nature and therefore of importance as food supplements. The antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities of Halophila ovalis R. Br. Hooke (Hydrocharitaceae) methanol extract were investigated and the chemical constituents of purified fractions were analyzed. Plant materials were collected from Pondicherry coastal line, and antimicrobial screening of crude extract, and purified fractions was carried out by the disc diffusion method and the minimum inhibitory concentration (MICs) of the purified fractions and reference antibiotics were determined by microdilution method. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities were investigated in vitro. Chemical constituents of purified fractions V and VI were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and the phytochemicals were quantitatively determined. Methanol extract inhibited the growth of Bacillus cereus at a minimum inhibitory concentration of 50 µg/mL and other Gram-negative pathogens at 75 µg/ml, except Vibrio vulnificus. Reducing power and total antioxidant level increased with increasing extract concentration. H. ovalis exhibited strong scavenging activity on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and superoxide radicals at IC(50) of 0.13 and 0.65 mg/mL, respectively. Methanol extract of H. ovalis showed noticeable anti-inflammatory activity at IC(50) of 78.72 µg/mL. The GC-MS analysis of H. ovalis revealed the presence of triacylglycerols as major components in purified fractions. Quantitative analysis of phytochemicals revealed that phenols are rich in seagrass H. ovalis. These findings demonstrated that the methanol extract of H. ovalis exhibited appreciable antibacterial, noticeable antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities, and thus could be use as a potential source for natural health products.

  8. Natural Products as Promising Antitumoral Agents in Breast Cancer: Mechanisms of Action and Molecular Targets.

    PubMed

    Bonofiglio, Daniela; Giordano, Cinzia; De Amicis, Francesca; Lanzino, Marilena; Andò, Sebastiano

    2016-01-01

    Extensive research over the past several decades has identified numerous dietary and phytochemical compounds that have chemopreventive potential and could represent an important source of anti-cancer lead molecules. In this scenario several nutritional factors have attracted considerable attention as modifiable risk factor in the prevention of breast cancer, the most frequently diagnosed cancer and a major cause of death among women worldwide. There is an immediate need for more effective and less toxic therapeutic and preventive strategies for breast cancers able also to counteract the recurrent phenomenon of resistance to hormonal and targeted therapy that represent the first-line treatment in the management of breast cancer patients. The present review focuses on chemopreventive and anti-cancer activities of different bioactive compounds obtained from dietary sources such as Omega-3 fatty acids, naturally present in fish, Resveratrol (3,5,40-trihydroxy-transstilbene), a phytoalexin found in grapes and Epigallocatechin Gallate, a polyphenolic compound found in green tea, or purified from medicinal plant (Oldenlandia Diffusa) and fruits (Ziziphus Jujube) highlighting their potential use in breast cancer treatment. Herein, we discuss the molecular mechanisms by which the bioactive compounds can inhibit carcinogenesis by regulating antioxidant enzyme activities, and inducing antiproliferative and apoptotic effects in different breast cancer cell lines. Understanding the mechanism of action of dietary compounds or traditionally used herbs having potential preventive and therapeutic effects on cancer may provide a rationale for further translational studies. This review emphasizes the importance, in the next future, of a proper scientific validation of these natural bioactive compounds for clinical use in the therapeutic portfolio for breast cancer.

  9. Antimicrobial activity of Olea europaea Linné extracts and their applicability as natural food preservative agents.

    PubMed

    Thielmann, J; Kohnen, S; Hauser, C

    2017-06-19

    The antimicrobial activity of phenolic compounds from Olea (O.) europaea Linné (L.) is part of the scientific discussion regarding the use of natural plant extracts as alternative food preservative agents. Although, the basic knowledge on the antimicrobial potential of certain molecules such as oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol or elenolic acid derivatives is given, there is still little information regarding their applicability for food preservation. This might be primarily due to the lack of information regarding the full antimicrobial spectrum of the compounds, their synergisms in natural or artificial combinations and their interaction with food ingredients. The present review accumulates available literature from the past 40 years, investigating the antimicrobial activity of O. europaea L. derived extracts and compounds in vitro and in food matrices, in order to evaluate their food applicability. In summary, defined extracts from olive fruit or leaves, containing the strongest antimicrobial compounds hydroxytyrosol, oleacein or oleacanthal in considerable concentrations, appear to be suitable for food preservation. Nonetheless there is still need for consequent research on the compounds activity in food matrices, their effect on the natural microbiota of certain foods and their influence on the sensorial properties of the targeted products. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors from Natural Products: Discovery of Next-Generation Antihyperglycemic Agents.

    PubMed

    Choi, Chang-Ik

    2016-08-27

    Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition associated with the metabolic impairment of insulin actions, leading to the development of life-threatening complications. Although many kinds of oral antihyperglycemic agents with different therapeutic mechanisms have been marketed, their undesirable adverse effects, such as hypoglycemia, weight gain, and hepato-renal toxicity, have increased demand for the discovery of novel, safer antidiabetic drugs. Since the important roles of the sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) for glucose homeostasis in the kidney were recently elucidated, pharmacological inhibition of SGLT2 has been considered a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Since the discovery of the first natural SGLT2 inhibitor, phlorizin, several synthetic glucoside analogs have been developed and introduced into the market. Furthermore, many efforts to find new active constituents with SGLT2 inhibition from natural products are still ongoing. This review introduces the history of research on the development of early-generation SGLT2 inhibitors, and recent progress on the discovery of novel candidates for SGLT2 inhibitor from several natural products that are widely used in traditional herbal medicine.

  11. Mobile measurements of climate forcing agents: Application to methane emissions from landfill and natural gas compression.

    PubMed

    Jakober, Chris A; Mara, Steve L; Hsu, Ying-Kuang; Herner, Jorn D

    2015-04-01

    Measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) source emissions provides data for validation of GHG inventories, which provide the foundation for climate change mitigation. Two Toyota RAV4 electric vehicles were outfitted with high-precision instrumentation to determine spatial and temporal resolution of GHGs (e.g., nitrous oxide, methane [CH4], and carbon dioxide [CO2]), and other gaseous species and particulate metrics found near emission sources. Mobile measurement platform (MMP) analytical performance was determined over relevant measurement time scales. Pollutant residence times through the sampling configuration were measured, ranging from 3 to 11 sec, enabling proper time alignment for spatial measurement of each respective analyte. Linear response range for GHG analytes was assessed across expected mixing ratio ranges, showing minimal regression and standard error differences between 5, 10, 30, and 60 sec sampling intervals and negligible differences between the two MMPs. GHG instrument drift shows deviation of less than 0.8% over a 24-hr measurement period. These MMPs were utilized in tracer-dilution experiments at a California landfill and natural gas compressor station (NGCS) to quantify CH4 emissions. Replicate landfill measurements during October 2009 yielded annual CH4 emissions estimates of 0.10±0.01, 0.11±0.01, and 0.12±0.02 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MTCO2E). These values compare favorably to California GHG Emissions Inventory figures for 2007, 2008, and 2009 of 0.123, 0.125, and 0.126 MTCO2E/yr, respectively, for this facility. Measurements to quantify NGCS boosting facility-wide emissions, during June 2010 yielded an equivalent of 5400±100 TCO2E/yr under steady-state operation. However, measurements during condensate transfer without operational vapor recovery yield an instantaneous emission rate of 2-4 times greater, but was estimated to only add 12 TCO2E/yr overall. This work displays the utility for mobile GHG measurements to validate existing

  12. [Impact of effect of natural disasters on the circulation of causative agents of parasitic diseases].

    PubMed

    Vaserin, Iu I; Khromenkova, E P; Dimidova, L L; Tverdokhlebova, T I; Nagornyĭ, S A; Prokopova, L V; Dumbadze, O S; Murashov, N E; Butaev, T M; Agirov, A Kh; Osmolovskiĭ, S V; Papatsenko, L B; Soldatova, M V

    2005-01-01

    The southern region is marked by a high incidence of parasitic diseases and a significant contamination of environmental objects with the eggs and cysts of their pathogens. Background examinations revealed the greatest soil contamination with helminthic eggs in the Temryuksky District of the Krasnodar Territory and in the towns of Vladikavkaz and Digora of the Republic of North Ossetia (Alania). The least contamination was found in Rostov-on-Don and the towns of the south-western area of the Krasnodar Territory. The eggs of Toxocara and astamination. There is an increase in the proportion of soil positive tests from 26.6 to 50.0, with the high (up to 82.0-100.0%) viability of eggs and a rise in the intensive index of their content per kg of soil (from 2.7 to 4.7-11.0). Toxocara eggs were mainly detected. The established high proportion of seropositive persons (10.7-18.0%) among the local population is an additional verification of the wide circulation of Toxocara eggs in nature. By the helminthic egg contamination index, the soils of localities of the south of Russia are qualified as those of moderate epidemic hazard. The floods accompanied by the increased helminthological contamination of the upper soil layer may lead to a higher human risk for contamination with helminthic diseases.

  13. Creation of catalytically active particles from enzymes crosslinked with a natural bifunctional agent--homocysteine thiolactone.

    PubMed

    Stroylova, Yulia Y; Semenyuk, Pavel I; Asriyantz, Regina A; Gaillard, Cedric; Haertlé, Thomas; Muronetz, Vladimir I

    2014-09-01

    The current study describes an approach to creation of catalytically active particles with increased stability from enzymes by N-homocysteinylation, a naturally presented protein modification. Enzymatic activities and properties of two globular tetrameric enzymes glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were studied before and after N-homocysteinylation. Modification of these proteins concerns the accessible lysine residues and introduces an average of 2-2,5 homocysteine residues per protein monomer. Formation of a range of aggregates was observed for both enzymes, which assemble via formation of intermolecular noncovalent bonds and by disulfide bonds. It was demonstrated that both studied enzymes retain their catalytic activities on modification and the subsequent formation of oligomeric forms. At low concentrations of homocysteine thiolactone, modification of GAPDH leads not only to prevention of spontaneous inactivation but also increases thermal stability of this enzyme on heating to 80°C. A moderate reduction of the activity of GAPDH observed in case of its crosslinking with 50-fold excess of homocysteine thiolactone per lysine is probably caused by hindered substrate diffusion. Spherical particles of 100 nm and larger diameters were observed by transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscope techniques after modification of GAPDH with different homocysteine thiolactone concentrations. In case of LDH, branched fibril-like aggregates were observed under the same conditions. Interestingly, crosslinked samples of both proteins were found to have reversible thermal denaturation profiles, indicating that modification with homocysteine thiolactone stabilizes the spatial structure of these enzymes.

  14. New Biofunctional Loading of Natural Antimicrobial Agent in Biodegradable Polymeric Films for Biomedical Applications

    PubMed Central

    Ghafoor, Bakhtawar; Ansari, Umar; Bhatti, Muhammad Faraz; Akhtar, Hafsah; Darakhshan, Fatima

    2016-01-01

    The study focuses on the development of novel Aloe vera based polymeric composite films and antimicrobial suture coatings. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), a synthetic biocompatible and biodegradable polymer, was combined with Aloe vera, a natural herb used for soothing burning effects and cosmetic purposes. The properties of these two materials were combined together to get additional benefits such as wound healing and prevention of surgical site infections. PVA and Aloe vera were mixed in a fixed quantity to produce polymer based films. The films were screened for antibacterial and antifungal activity against bacterial (E. coli, P. aeruginosa) and fungal strains (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus tubingensis) screened. Aloe vera based PVA films showed antimicrobial activity against all the strains; the lowest Aloe vera concentration (5%) showed the highest activity against all the strains. In vitro degradation and release profile of these films was also evaluated. The coating for sutures was prepared, in vitro antibacterial tests of these coated sutures were carried out, and later on in vivo studies of these coated sutures were also performed. The results showed that sutures coated with Aloe vera/PVA coating solution have antibacterial effects and thus have the potential to be used in the prevention of surgical site infections and Aloe vera/PVA based films have the potential to be used for wound healing purposes. PMID:27965710

  15. Light-responsive polymer microcapsules as delivery systems for natural active agents

    SciTech Connect

    Bizzarro, Valentina; Carfagna, Cosimo; Cerruti, Pierfrancesco; Marturano, Valentina; Ambrogi, Veronica

    2016-05-18

    In this work we report the preparation and the release behavior of UV-responsive polymeric microcapsules containing essential oils as a core. The oil acted also as a monomer solvent during polymerization. Accordingly, the potentially toxic organic solvent traditionally used was replaced with a natural active substance, resulting in a more sustainable functional system. Polymer shell was based on a lightly cross-linked polyamide containing UV-sensitive azobenzene moieties in the main chain. The micro-sized capsules were obtained via interfacial polycondensation in o/w emulsion, and their mean size was measured via Dynamic Light Scattering. Shape and morphology were analyzed through Scanning Electron and Optical Microscopy. UV-responsive behavior was evaluated via spectrofluorimetry, by assessing the release kinetics of a fluorescent probe molecule upon UV light irradiation (λ{sub max}=360 nm). The irradiated samples showed an increase in fluorescence intensity, in accordance with the increase of the probe molecule concentration in the release medium. As for the un-irradiated sample, no changes could be detected demonstrating the effectiveness of the obtained releasing system.

  16. Light-responsive polymer microcapsules as delivery systems for natural active agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bizzarro, Valentina; Carfagna, Cosimo; Cerruti, Pierfrancesco; Marturano, Valentina; Ambrogi, Veronica

    2016-05-01

    In this work we report the preparation and the release behavior of UV-responsive polymeric microcapsules containing essential oils as a core. The oil acted also as a monomer solvent during polymerization. Accordingly, the potentially toxic organic solvent traditionally used was replaced with a natural active substance, resulting in a more sustainable functional system. Polymer shell was based on a lightly cross-linked polyamide containing UV-sensitive azobenzene moieties in the main chain. The micro-sized capsules were obtained via interfacial polycondensation in o/w emulsion, and their mean size was measured via Dynamic Light Scattering. Shape and morphology were analyzed through Scanning Electron and Optical Microscopy. UV-responsive behavior was evaluated via spectrofluorimetry, by assessing the release kinetics of a fluorescent probe molecule upon UV light irradiation (λmax=360 nm). The irradiated samples showed an increase in fluorescence intensity, in accordance with the increase of the probe molecule concentration in the release medium. As for the un-irradiated sample, no changes could be detected demonstrating the effectiveness of the obtained releasing system.

  17. Identification of a new degradation product of the antifouling agent Irgarol 1051 in natural samples

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ferrer, I.; Barcelo, D.

    2001-01-01

    A main degradation product of Irgarol [2-(methylthio)-4-(tert-butylamino)-6-(cyclopropylamino)-s-triazine], one of the most widely used compounds in antifouling paints, was detected at trace levels in seawater and sediment samples collected from several marinas on the Mediterranean coast. This degradation product was identified as 2-methylthio-4-tert-butylamino-s-triazine. The unequivocal identification of this compound in seawater samples was carried out by solid-phase extraction (SPE) coupled on-line with liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-APCI-MS). SPE was carried out by passing 150 ml of seawater sample through a cartridge containing a polymeric phase (PLRP-s), with recoveries ranging from 92 to 108% (n=5). Using LC-MS detection in positive ion mode, useful structural information was obtained by increasing the fragmentor voltage, thus permitting the unequivocal identification of this compound in natural samples. Method detection limits were in the range of 0.002 to 0.005 ??g/l. Overall, the combination of on-line SPE and LC-APCI-MS represents an important advance in environmental analysis of herbicide degradation products in seawater, since it demonstrates that trace amounts of new polar metabolites may be determined rapidly. This paper reports the LC-MS identification of the main degradation product of Irgarol in seawater and sediment samples. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. New Biofunctional Loading of Natural Antimicrobial Agent in Biodegradable Polymeric Films for Biomedical Applications.

    PubMed

    Ghafoor, Bakhtawar; Ali, Murtaza Najabat; Ansari, Umar; Bhatti, Muhammad Faraz; Mir, Mariam; Akhtar, Hafsah; Darakhshan, Fatima

    2016-01-01

    The study focuses on the development of novel Aloe vera based polymeric composite films and antimicrobial suture coatings. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), a synthetic biocompatible and biodegradable polymer, was combined with Aloe vera, a natural herb used for soothing burning effects and cosmetic purposes. The properties of these two materials were combined together to get additional benefits such as wound healing and prevention of surgical site infections. PVA and Aloe vera were mixed in a fixed quantity to produce polymer based films. The films were screened for antibacterial and antifungal activity against bacterial (E. coli, P. aeruginosa) and fungal strains (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus tubingensis) screened. Aloe vera based PVA films showed antimicrobial activity against all the strains; the lowest Aloe vera concentration (5%) showed the highest activity against all the strains. In vitro degradation and release profile of these films was also evaluated. The coating for sutures was prepared, in vitro antibacterial tests of these coated sutures were carried out, and later on in vivo studies of these coated sutures were also performed. The results showed that sutures coated with Aloe vera/PVA coating solution have antibacterial effects and thus have the potential to be used in the prevention of surgical site infections and Aloe vera/PVA based films have the potential to be used for wound healing purposes.

  19. Human Hair as a Natural Sun Protection Agent: A Quantitative Study.

    PubMed

    de Gálvez, María Victoria; Aguilera, José; Bernabó, Jean-Luc; Sánchez-Roldán, Cristina; Herrera-Ceballos, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    The rising incidence of skin cancers attributable to excessive sun exposure has become a major health concern worldwide. While numerous studies have analyzed the sun protective effect of sunscreens, clothing and antioxidants, none to date have measured the photoprotective effect of hair, despite clinical evidence that individuals with balding or thinning hair are at greater risk of skin lesions that can progress to cancer, hence the recommendation to use hats or umbrellas. We analyzed the level of protection offered by hair according to hair density, thickness and color using the spectral transmittance and corrected for relative erythema effectiveness. Our results show that hair provides a barrier against both UVB and UVA radiation which is significantly increased with respect to the hair density, thickness and the presence of melanins. This is the first study to quantify sun protection factor offered by hair, namely hair ultraviolet protection factor (HUPF). We believe that hair should be recognized as an important natural sun barrier in the prevention of UV-induced skin cancers.

  20. Synthetic glycolipid activators of natural killer T cells as immunotherapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Carreño, Leandro J; Saavedra-Ávila, Noemí A; Porcelli, Steven A

    2016-04-01

    Certain types of glycolipids have been found to have remarkable immunomodulatory properties as a result of their ability to activate specific T lymphocyte populations with an extremely wide range of immune effector properties. The most extensively studied glycolipid reactive T cells are known as invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells. The antigen receptors of these cells specifically recognize certain glycolipids, most notably glycosphingolipids with α-anomeric monosaccharides, presented by the major histocompatibility complex class I-like molecule CD1d. Once activated, iNKT cells can secrete a very diverse array of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines to modulate innate and adaptive immune responses. Thus, glycolipid-mediated activation of iNKT cells has been explored for immunotherapy in a variety of disease states, including cancer and a range of infections. In this review, we discuss the design of synthetic glycolipid activators for iNKT cells, their impact on adaptive immune responses and their use to modulate iNKT cell responses to improve immunity against infections and cancer. Current challenges in translating results from preclinical animal studies to humans are also discussed.

  1. Effect of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil as a natural antimicrobial agent in lipophilic formulations.

    PubMed

    Mantil, Elisabeth; Daly, Grace; Avis, Tyler J

    2015-01-01

    There has been increased interest surrounding the use of tea tree oil (TTO) as a natural antimicrobial. In this study, the antimicrobial activity of TTO and its components were investigated in vitro and in a predominantly lipid-based personal care formulation. In vitro, TTO showed minimal inhibitory concentrations of 0.2% (for Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pythium sulcatum), 0.4% (for Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, and Rhizopus stolonifer), and 0.8% (for Botrytis cinerea). TTO at 0.08%-0.8% was often as efficient as parabens. Comparison of the antimicrobial activities of TTO components showed that terpinen-4-ol and γ-terpinene were generally most effective in inhibiting microbial growth. TTO activity in a personal care product was evaluated through air and water exposure, artificial inoculation, and shelf life studies. While TTO did not increase shelf life of unopened products, it decreased microbial load in products exposed to water and air. Results from this study support that antimicrobial activity of TTO can be attributed to varying levels of its components and that low levels of TTO were effective in reducing microbial growth during the use of the product. This study showed that TTO can act as a suitable preservative system within an oil-based formulation.

  2. CFTR chloride channel is a molecular target of the natural cancer preventive agent resveratrol.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shuang; Yu, B O; Sui, Yujie; Zhang, Yaofang; Wang, Xue; Hou, Shuguang; Ma, Tonghui; Yang, Hong

    2013-09-01

    The naturally occurring polyphenol compound resveratrol (RES) has been receiving wide attention because of its variety of health benefits and favourable biological activities. Previous studies have shown that RES could induce intestinal chloride secretion in mouse jejunum and stimulate cAMP-dependent Cl- secretion in T84, primary cultured murine nasal septal and human sinonasal epithelial cells, but the precise molecular target is not clear. We therefore tested the hypothesis that RES may stimulate the activity of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel. Using cell-based fluorescent assays, transepithelial short-circuit current measurements and excised inside-out patch-clamp analysis; we found that RES dose-dependently potentiate CFTR Cl- channel activities, which was reversed by CFTR inhibitors CFTR(inh)-172 and GlyH101. Transepithelial Cl- secretion by CFTR-expressing FRT cells was stimulated by RES with half maximal concentration -80 microM. Intracellular cAMP content was not elevated by RES in FRT cells. Excised inside-out patch-clamp analysis indicated that RES significantly increased the chloride currents of CFTR. In ex vivo studies, RES stimulated the transmucosal chloride current of rat colon by short-circuit current assay. These data suggested that CFTR is a molecular target of RES. Our findings add a new molecular target to RES, and RES may represent a novel class of therapeutic lead compounds in treating CFTR-related diseases including CF and habitual constipation.

  3. Natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis: a potential source for investigational new agents to treat cancer—Part 2

    PubMed Central

    Sagar, S.M.; Yance, D.; Wong, R.K.

    2006-01-01

    The herbalist has access to hundreds of years of observational data on the anticancer activity of many herbs. Laboratory studies are expanding the clinical knowledge that is already documented in traditional texts. The herbs that are traditionally used for anti-cancer treatment and that are anti-angiogenic through multiple interdependent processes (including effects on gene expression, signal processing, and enzyme activities) include Artemisia annua (Chinese wormwood), Viscum album (European mistletoe), Curcuma longa (curcumin), Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap), resveratrol and proanthocyanidin (grape seed extract), Magnolia officinalis (Chinese magnolia tree), Camellia sinensis (green tea), Ginkgo biloba, quercetin, Poria cocos, Zingiber officinalis (ginger), Panax ginseng, Rabdosia rubescens hora (Rabdosia), and Chinese destagnation herbs. Natural health products target molecular pathways other than angiogenesis, including epidermal growth factor receptor, the HER2/neu gene, the cyclo-oxygenase-2 enzyme, the nuclear factor kappa-B transcription factor, the protein kinases, the Bcl-2 protein, and coagulation pathways. Quality assurance of appropriate extracts is essential prior to embarking upon clinical trials. More data are required on dose–response, appropriate combinations, and potential toxicities. Given the multiple effects of these agents, their future use for cancer therapy probably lies in synergistic combinations. During active cancer therapy they should generally be evaluated in combination with chemotherapy and radiation. In this role, they act as modifiers of biologic response or as adaptogens, potentially enhancing the efficacy of the conventional therapies or reducing toxicity. Their effectiveness may be increased when multiple agents are used in optimal combinations. New designs for trials to demonstrate activity in human subjects are required. Although controlled trials may be preferable, smaller studies with appropriate endpoints and

  4. Natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis: a potential source for investigational new agents to treat cancer-Part 2.

    PubMed

    Sagar, S M; Yance, D; Wong, R K

    2006-06-01

    The herbalist has access to hundreds of years of observational data on the anticancer activity of many herbs. Laboratory studies are expanding the clinical knowledge that is already documented in traditional texts. The herbs that are traditionally used for anti-cancer treatment and that are anti-angiogenic through multiple interdependent processes (including effects on gene expression, signal processing, and enzyme activities) include Artemisia annua (Chinese wormwood), Viscum album (European mistletoe), Curcuma longa (curcumin), Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap), resveratrol and proanthocyanidin (grape seed extract), Magnolia officinalis (Chinese magnolia tree), Camellia sinensis (green tea), Ginkgo biloba, quercetin, Poria cocos, Zingiber officinalis (ginger), Panax ginseng, Rabdosia rubescens hora (Rabdosia), and Chinese destagnation herbs. Natural health products target molecular pathways other than angiogenesis, including epidermal growth factor receptor, the HER2/neu gene, the cyclo-oxygenase-2 enzyme, the nuclear factor kappa-B transcription factor, the protein kinases, the Bcl-2 protein, and coagulation pathways. Quality assurance of appropriate extracts is essential prior to embarking upon clinical trials. More data are required on dose-response, appropriate combinations, and potential toxicities. Given the multiple effects of these agents, their future use for cancer therapy probably lies in synergistic combinations. During active cancer therapy they should generally be evaluated in combination with chemotherapy and radiation. In this role, they act as modifiers of biologic response or as adaptogens, potentially enhancing the efficacy of the conventional therapies or reducing toxicity. Their effectiveness may be increased when multiple agents are used in optimal combinations. New designs for trials to demonstrate activity in human subjects are required. Although controlled trials may be preferable, smaller studies with appropriate endpoints and

  5. Preliminary investigation of topical nitroglycerin formulations containing natural wound healing agent in diabetes-induced foot ulcer.

    PubMed

    Hotkar, Mukesh S; Avachat, Amelia M; Bhosale, Sagar S; Oswal, Yogesh M

    2015-04-01

    Nitroglycerin (NTG) is an organic nitrate rapidly denitrated by enzymes to release free radical nitric oxide and shows improved wound healing and tissue protection from oxidative damage. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether topical application of NTG in the form of gel/ointment along with a natural wound healing agent, aloe vera, would bring about wound healing by using diabetes-induced foot ulcer model and rat excision wound model. All these formulations were evaluated for pH, viscosity, drug content and ex vivo diffusion studies using rat skin. Based on ex vivo permeation studies, the formulation consisting of carbopol 974p as a gelling agent and aloe vera was found to be suitable. The in vivo study used streptozotocin-induced diabetic foot ulcer and rat excision wound models to analyse wound healing activity. The wound size in animals of all treated groups was significantly reduced compared with that of the diabetic control and marketed treated animals. This study showed that the gel formed with carbopol 974p (1%) and aloe vera promotes significant wound healing and closure in diabetic rats compared with the commercial product and provides a promising product to be used in diabetes-induced foot ulcer.

  6. Zinc-Substituted Myoglobin Is a Naturally Occurring Photo-antimicrobial Agent with Potential Applications in Food Decontamination.

    PubMed

    Delcanale, Pietro; Montali, Chiara; Rodríguez-Amigo, Beatriz; Abbruzzetti, Stefania; Bruno, Stefano; Bianchini, Paolo; Diaspro, Alberto; Agut, Montserrat; Nonell, Santi; Viappiani, Cristiano

    2016-11-16

    Zinc-substituted myoglobin (ZnMb) is a naturally occurring photosensitizer that generates singlet oxygen with a high quantum yield. Using a combination of photophysical and fluorescence imaging techniques, we demonstrate the interaction of ZnMb with Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative Escherichia coli. An efficient antibacterial action against S. aureus was observed, with a reduction up to 99.9999% in the number of colony-forming units, whereas no sizable effect was detected against E. coli. Because ZnMb is known to form during the maturation of additive-free not-cooked cured ham, the use of this protein as a built-in photodynamic agent may constitute a viable method for the decontamination of these food products from Gram-positive bacteria.

  7. Co-composting of sugarbeet vinasse: influence of the organic matter nature of the bulking agents used.

    PubMed

    Madejón, E; Díaz, M J; López, R; Cabrera, F

    2001-02-01

    Two composts were obtained by co-composting of a concentrated depotassified beet vinasse and two agricultural solid residues with different organic matter nature: grape marc (GM; lignin waste) and cotton gin trash (C; cellulosic waste). Composting was carried out in aerated piles with mechanical turning, in controlled conditions during 4 months. After 71 days of composting, a new addition of vinasse similar to the initial addition was made. Changes in temperature, pH and inorganic nitrogen followed a similar path for both mixtures. However, organic matter fractions showed different behaviour depending on the material co-composted with vinasse. Lower organic matter degradation was observed when GM was used as bulking agent due to its high lignin content. No phytotoxicity was detected in the end products. The chemical and physical properties of both vinasse composts suggest their possible use as fertiliser.

  8. Application of proanthocyanidins from peanut skins as a natural yeast inhibitory agent.

    PubMed

    Sarnoski, Paul J; Boyer, Renee R; O'Keefe, Sean F

    2012-04-01

    Proanthocyanidins were extracted from peanut skins and investigated for their antimicrobial activity against Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Zygosaccharomyces bailii, and Zygosaccharomyces bisporus in traditional growth media (Sabouraud Dextrose and Maltose broth) and a simulated apple juice beverage. Peanut skins extracts (PSE) were prepared through a multisolvent extraction procedure. The PSE extended the lag phase growth of the 3 yeasts studied at a concentration of 1 mg/mL and at 10 mg/mL yeast growth was totally inhibited for 120 h. PSE was fractionated by normal phase high performance liquid chromatography and the active components/fractions were determined. Compounds present in the fractions were identified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to determine the compounds responsible for inhibition. Fractions consisting mostly of A-type proanthocyanidin dimers, trimers, and tetramers showed the highest percent inhibition toward the yeasts tested in this study. Both optical density (OD) and standard enumeration plating methods were performed in this study. The OD method led to an overestimation of the inhibitory effects of PSE, the 2 methods agreed in respect to treatment effects but not the severity of the inhibition. There is a growing consumer demand for "fresh like" products containing reduced amounts of chemical preservatives without compromising food safety and quality. Therefore, the goal of this study was to determine if an extract of peanut skins containing flavonoid rich compounds could function as a natural antimicrobial in a model beverage system. Proteins were removed through the process of producing the peanut skin extract, thus it is unlikely to contain peanut allergens. The antimicrobial compounds mentioned in this study were successfully integrated into a model beverage system, and were found to have antimicrobial effect. However, the incorporation of these compounds would likely lead to negative sensory attributes at the concentration needed

  9. Strategies for transformation of naturally-occurring amphibian antimicrobial peptides into therapeutically valuable anti-infective agents.

    PubMed

    Conlon, J Michael; Al-Ghaferi, Nadia; Abraham, Bency; Leprince, Jérôme

    2007-08-01

    The emergence of strains of pathogenic microorganisms with resistance to commonly used antibiotics has necessitated a search for novel types of antimicrobial agents. Many frog species produce amphipathic alpha-helical peptides with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity in the skin but their therapeutic potential is limited by varying degrees of cytolytic activity towards eukaryotic cells. Methods for development of such peptides into anti-infective drugs are illustrated by the example of temporin-1DRa (HFLGTLVNLAK KIL.NH(2)). Studies with model alpha-helical peptides have shown that increase in cationicity promotes antimicrobial activity whereas increases in hydrophobicity, helicity and amphipathicity promote hemolytic activity and loss of selectivity for microorganisms. Analogs of temporin-1DRa in which each amino acid is replaced by L-lysine and D-lysine were synthesized and their cytolytic activities tested against a range of microorganisms and human erythrocytes. Small changes in structure produced marked changes in conformation, as determined by retention time on reversed-phase HPLC, and in biological activity. However, peptides containing the substitutions (Val(7) -->L-Lys), (Thr(5)-->D-Lys) and (Asn(8)-->D-Lys) retained the high solubility and potent, broad spectrum antimicrobial activity of the naturally occurring peptide but were appreciably (up to 10-fold) less hemolytic. In contrast, analogs in which Leu(9) and Ile(13) were replaced by the more hydrophobic cyclohexylglycine residue showed slightly increased antimicrobial potencies (up to 2-fold) but a 4-fold increase in hemolytic activity. The data suggest a strategy of selective increases in cationicity concomitant with decreases in helicity and hydrophobicity in the transformation of naturally-occurring antimicrobial peptides into non-toxic therapeutic agents.

  10. Natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis: a potential source for investigational new agents to treat cancer-Part 1.

    PubMed

    Sagar, S M; Yance, D; Wong, R K

    2006-02-01

    An integrative approach for managing a patient with cancer should target the multiple biochemical and physiologic pathways that support tumour development and minimize normal-tissue toxicity. Angiogenesis is a key process in the promotion of cancer. Many natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis also manifest other anticancer activities. The present article focuses on products that have a high degree of anti-angiogenic activity, but it also describes some of the many other actions of these agents that can inhibit tumour progression and reduce the risk of metastasis. Natural health products target molecular pathways other than angiogenesis, including epidermal growth factor receptor, the HER2/neu gene, the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme, the nuclear factor kappa-B transcription factor, the protein kinases, the Bcl-2 protein, and coagulation pathways. The herbs that are traditionally used for anticancer treatment and that are anti-angiogenic through multiple interdependent processes (including effects on gene expression, signal processing, and enzyme activities) include Artemisia annua (Chinese wormwood), Viscum album (European mistletoe), Curcuma longa (curcumin), Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap), resveratrol and proanthocyanidin (grape seed extract), Magnolia officinalis (Chinese magnolia tree), Camellia sinensis (green tea), Ginkgo biloba, quercetin, Poria cocos, Zingiber officinalis (ginger), Panax ginseng, Rabdosia rubescens hora (Rabdosia), and Chinese destagnation herbs. Quality assurance of appropriate extracts is essential prior to embarking upon clinical trials. More data are required on dose-response, appropriate combinations, and potential toxicities. Given the multiple effects of these agents, their future use for cancer therapy probably lies in synergistic combinations. During active cancer therapy, they should generally be evaluated in combination with chemotherapy and radiation. In this role, they act as modifiers of biologic response or as

  11. Natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis: a potential source for investigational new agents to treat cancer—Part 1

    PubMed Central

    Sagar, S.M.; Yance, D.; Wong, R.K.

    2006-01-01

    An integrative approach for managing a patient with cancer should target the multiple biochemical and physiologic pathways that support tumour development and minimize normal-tissue toxicity. Angiogenesis is a key process in the promotion of cancer. Many natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis also manifest other anticancer activities. The present article focuses on products that have a high degree of anti-angiogenic activity, but it also describes some of the many other actions of these agents that can inhibit tumour progression and reduce the risk of metastasis. Natural health products target molecular pathways other than angiogenesis, including epidermal growth factor receptor, the HER2/neu gene, the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme, the nuclear factor kappa-B transcription factor, the protein kinases, the Bcl-2 protein, and coagulation pathways. The herbs that are traditionally used for anticancer treatment and that are anti-angiogenic through multiple interdependent processes (including effects on gene expression, signal processing, and enzyme activities) include Artemisia annua (Chinese wormwood), Viscum album (European mistletoe), Curcuma longa (curcumin), Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap), resveratrol and proanthocyanidin (grape seed extract), Magnolia officinalis (Chinese magnolia tree), Camellia sinensis (green tea), Ginkgo biloba, quercetin, Poria cocos, Zingiber officinalis (ginger), Panax ginseng, Rabdosia rubescens hora (Rabdosia), and Chinese destagnation herbs. Quality assurance of appropriate extracts is essential prior to embarking upon clinical trials. More data are required on dose–response, appropriate combinations, and potential toxicities. Given the multiple effects of these agents, their future use for cancer therapy probably lies in synergistic combinations. During active cancer therapy, they should generally be evaluated in combination with chemotherapy and radiation. In this role, they act as modifiers of biologic response or

  12. Lesson Learned from Nature for the Development of Novel Anti-Cancer Agents: Implication of Isoflavone, Curcumin, and their Synthetic Analogs

    PubMed Central

    Sarkar, Fazlul H.; Li, Yiwei; Wang, Zhiwei; Padhye, Subhash

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, naturally occurring dietary compounds have received greater attention in the field of cancer prevention and treatment research. Among them, isoflavone genistein and curcumin are very promising anti-cancer agents because of their non-toxic and potent anti-cancer properties. However, it is important to note that the low water solubility, poor in vivo bioavailability and unacceptable pharmacokinetic profile of these natural compounds limit their efficacy as anti-cancer agents for solid tumors. Therefore, the development of synthetic analogs of isoflavone and curcumin based on the structure-activity assay, and the encapsulation of isoflavone and curcumin with liposome or nanoparticle for enhancing the anti-tumor activity of these natural agents, is an exciting area of research. Emerging in vitro and in vivo studies clearly suggest that these analogs and formulations of natural compounds could be much more potent for the prevention and/or treatment of various cancers. In this review article, we will summarize the current knowledge regarding the anti-cancer effect of natural compounds and their analogs, the regulation of cell signaling by these agents, and the structure-activity relationship for better design of novel anti-cancer agents, which could open newer avenues for the prevention of tumor progression and/or treatment of human malignancies. PMID:20345353

  13. FishMORPH - An agent-based model to predict salmonid growth and distribution responses under natural and low flows

    PubMed Central

    Phang, S. C.; Stillman, R. A.; Cucherousset, J.; Britton, J. R.; Roberts, D.; Beaumont, W. R. C.; Gozlan, R. E.

    2016-01-01

    Predicting fish responses to modified flow regimes is becoming central to fisheries management. In this study we present an agent-based model (ABM) to predict the growth and distribution of young-of-the-year (YOY) and one-year-old (1+) Atlantic salmon and brown trout in response to flow change during summer. A field study of a real population during both natural and low flow conditions provided the simulation environment and validation patterns. Virtual fish were realistic both in terms of bioenergetics and feeding. We tested alternative movement rules to replicate observed patterns of body mass, growth rates, stretch distribution and patch occupancy patterns. Notably, there was no calibration of the model. Virtual fish prioritising consumption rates before predator avoidance replicated observed growth and distribution patterns better than a purely maximising consumption rule. Stream conditions of low predation and harsh winters provide ecological justification for the selection of this behaviour during summer months. Overall, the model was able to predict distribution and growth patterns well across both natural and low flow regimes. The model can be used to support management of salmonids by predicting population responses to predicted flow impacts and associated habitat change. PMID:27431787

  14. Screening of commercial and pecan shell-extracted liquid smoke agents as natural antimicrobials against foodborne pathogens.

    PubMed

    Van Loo, Ellen J; Babu, D; Crandall, Philip G; Ricke, Steven C

    2012-06-01

    Liquid smoke extracts have traditionally been used as flavoring agents, are known to possess antioxidant properties, and serve as natural alternatives to conventional antimicrobials. The antimicrobial efficacies of commercial liquid smoke samples may vary depending on their source and composition and the methods used to extract and concentrate the smoke. We investigated the MICs of eight commercial liquid smoke samples against Salmonella Enteritidis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli . The commercial liquid smoke samples purchased were supplied by the manufacturer as water-based or concentrated extracts of smoke from different wood sources. The MICs of the commercial smokes to inhibit the growth of foodborne pathogens ranged from 0.5 to 6.0% for E. coli, 0.5 to 8.0% for Salmonella, and 0.38 to 6% for S. aureus. The MIC for each liquid smoke sample was similar in its effect on both E. coli and Salmonella. Solvent-extracted antimicrobials prepared using pecan shells displayed significant differences between their inhibitory concentrations depending on the type of solvent used for extraction. The results indicated that the liquid smoke samples tested in this study could serve as effective natural antimicrobials and that their inhibitory effects depended more on the solvents used for extraction than the wood source.

  15. FishMORPH - An agent-based model to predict salmonid growth and distribution responses under natural and low flows.

    PubMed

    Phang, S C; Stillman, R A; Cucherousset, J; Britton, J R; Roberts, D; Beaumont, W R C; Gozlan, R E

    2016-07-19

    Predicting fish responses to modified flow regimes is becoming central to fisheries management. In this study we present an agent-based model (ABM) to predict the growth and distribution of young-of-the-year (YOY) and one-year-old (1+) Atlantic salmon and brown trout in response to flow change during summer. A field study of a real population during both natural and low flow conditions provided the simulation environment and validation patterns. Virtual fish were realistic both in terms of bioenergetics and feeding. We tested alternative movement rules to replicate observed patterns of body mass, growth rates, stretch distribution and patch occupancy patterns. Notably, there was no calibration of the model. Virtual fish prioritising consumption rates before predator avoidance replicated observed growth and distribution patterns better than a purely maximising consumption rule. Stream conditions of low predation and harsh winters provide ecological justification for the selection of this behaviour during summer months. Overall, the model was able to predict distribution and growth patterns well across both natural and low flow regimes. The model can be used to support management of salmonids by predicting population responses to predicted flow impacts and associated habitat change.

  16. Understanding coupled natural and human systems on fire prone landscapes: integrating wildfire simulation into an agent based planning system.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barros, Ana; Ager, Alan; Preisler, Haiganoush; Day, Michelle; Spies, Tom; Bolte, John

    2015-04-01

    Agent-based models (ABM) allow users to examine the long-term effects of agent decisions in complex systems where multiple agents and processes interact. This framework has potential application to study the dynamics of coupled natural and human systems where multiple stimuli determine trajectories over both space and time. We used Envision, a landscape based ABM, to analyze long-term wildfire dynamics in a heterogeneous, multi-owner landscape in Oregon, USA. Landscape dynamics are affected by land management policies, actors decisions, and autonomous processes such as vegetation succession, wildfire, or at a broader scale, climate change. Key questions include: 1) How are landscape dynamics influenced by policies and institutions, and 2) How do land management policies and actor decisions interact to produce intended and unintended consequences with respect to wildfire on fire-prone landscapes. Applying Envision to address these questions required the development of a wildfire module that could accurately simulate wildfires on the heterogeneous landscapes within the study area in terms of replicating historical fire size distribution, spatial distribution and fire intensity. In this paper we describe the development and testing of a mechanistic fire simulation system within Envision and application of the model on a 3.2 million fire prone landscape in central Oregon USA. The core fire spread equations use the Minimum Travel Time algorithm developed by M Finney. The model operates on a daily time step and uses a fire prediction system based on the relationship between energy release component and historical fires. Specifically, daily wildfire probabilities and sizes are generated from statistical analyses of historical fires in relation to daily ERC values. The MTT was coupled with the vegetation dynamics module in Envision to allow communication between the respective subsystem and effectively model fire effects and vegetation dynamics after a wildfire. Canopy and

  17. Natural antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of Kluyvera ascorbata and Kluyvera cryocrescens strains and review of the clinical efficacy of antimicrobial agents used for the treatment of Kluyvera infections.

    PubMed

    Stock, I

    2005-04-01

    The natural susceptibility of 58 K. ascorbata and 24 K. cryocrescens strains to 71 antimicrobial agents was investigated. MIC values were determined with a microdilution procedure in cation-adjusted Mueller Hinton broth (for all strains) and IsoSensitest broth (for some strains). Both species were naturally sensitive or of intermediate susceptibility to tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, quinolones, antifolates, chloramphenicol, nitrofurantoin, fosfomycin, aminopenicillins plus beta-lactamase inhibitors, acylureidopenicillins, carbapenems, aztreonam and some cephalosporins. Uniform natural resistance was found with several macrolides, lincosamides, streptogramins, glycopeptides, rifampicin, fusidic acid, linezolid, penicillin G, oxacillin, and amoxicillin. To the latter agent, some strains of both species were also of intermediate susceptibility. Species-related differences in natural susceptibility affecting clinical assessment criteria were seen with azithromycin, cethromycin, telithromycin, ticarcillin and some cephalosporins, to which K. ascorbata was less susceptible than K. cryocrescens. Medium-related differences in susceptibility were restricted to a few antibiotics. A data base about the natural susceptibility of the two most common Kluyvera spp. to a wide range of antimicrobial agents is presented. It can be used for the validation of forthcoming susceptibility trials of these microorganisms. Although some susceptibilty patterns might be helpful for the phenotypical separation of K. ascorbata from K. cryocrescens, they do not allow a separation of these species. The literature dealing with the clinical efficacy of antimicrobial agents used for the treatment of Kluyvera infections is discussed.

  18. Hemoglobin polymerized with a naturally occurring crosslinking agent as a blood substitute: in vitro and in vivo studies.

    PubMed

    Chang, Wen-Hsiang; Chang, Yen; Chen, Yi-Chien; Sung, Hsing-Wen

    2004-05-01

    A naturally occurring crosslinking agent, genipin, extracted from the fruits of Gardenia jasminoides ELLIS was used by our group to chemically modified biomolecules. Genipin and its related iridoid glucosides have been widely used as an antiphlogistic and cholagogue in herbal medicine. Our previous study showed that the cytotoxicity of genipin is significantly lower than glutaraldehyde. The study was to investigate the feasibility of using genipin to polymerize hemoglobin as a blood substitute. The results indicated that the rate of hemoglobin polymerization by glutaraldehyde was significantly faster than that by genipin and it readily produced polymers with molecular masses greater than 500,000 Da. It was found that the maximum degree of hemoglobin polymerization by genipin was approximately 40% if over-polymerization is to be prevented. With increasing the reaction temperature, hemoglobin concentration, and genipin-to-hemoglobin molar ratio, the duration taken to achieve the maximum degree of hemoglobin polymerization by genipin became significantly shorter. The P50 value of the unmodified hemoglobin was 9 mmHg, while that of the genipin-polymerized PLP-hemoglobin increased to 21 mmHg. It was found in a rat model that the genipin-polymerized PLP-hemoglobin resulted in a longer circulation time than the unmodified hemoglobin. In conclusion, the results of the study indicated that the genipin-polymerized hemoglobin solution has a lower oxygen affinity and a longer vascular retention time than the unmodified hemoglobin solution.

  19. Impact of natural control agents of the citrus leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella on lemon trees varies among seasons.

    PubMed

    Goane, L; Casmuz, A; Salas, H; Willink, E; Mangeaud, A; Valladares, G

    2015-12-01

    Studies on insect natural enemies and their effects on host populations are of immense practical value in pest management. Predation and parasitism on a citrus pest, the leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton, were evaluated by sampling over 3 years in four locations within a world leading lemon producing area in Northwest Argentina. Both mortality factors showed seasonal trends consistent across locations, with predation exerting earlier and more sustained pressure than parasitism, which showed wider seasonal variations. The dominant parasitoids, native Cirrospilus neotropicus and introduced Ageniaspis citricola, showed different seasonal trends: C. neotropicus was dominant in spring whereas A. citricola superseded it in autumn and winter. Although parasitism rates were relatively low, the native C. neotropicus revealed favourable features as potential control agent, by showing density-dependence, parasitism rates comparable with those of the specific A. citricola during part of the cycle, and earlier synchronization with the host. The study provides highly relevant information for a sustainable management of this worldwide pest, for which biological control is considered the best long-term option.

  20. Natural enemies of balloon vine, Cardiospermum grandiflorum Swartz (Sapindaceae), in Argentina and their potential use as biological control agents in South Africa

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Exploratory field surveys of the natural enemies associated with balloon vine, Cardiospermum grandiflorum (Sapindaceae), an environmental weed in South Africa, Australia and other countries, were conducted in northern Argentina from 2005 to 2009, to search for suitable biological control agents. The...

  1. Double-blind randomized phase III study comparing a mixture of natural agents versus placebo in the prevention of acute mucositis during chemoradiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

    PubMed

    Marucci, Laura; Farneti, Alessia; Di Ridolfi, Paolo; Pinnaro, Paola; Pellini, Raul; Giannarelli, Diana; Vici, Patrizia; Conte, Mario; Landoni, Valeria; Sanguineti, Giuseppe

    2017-09-01

    There is no widely accepted intervention in the prevention of acute mucositis during chemoradiotherapy for head and neck carcinoma. In the present double-blind study, we tested 4 natural agents, propolis, aloe vera, calendula, and chamomile versus placebo. Patients undergoing concomitant chemo-intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) were given natural agent or matched placebo; grade 3 mucositis on physical examination according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) version 3.0 was the primary endpoint. Various covariates were tested at logistic regression, including the individual amount of mucosa receiving at least 9.5 Gy per week (V9.5w). One hundred seven patients were randomized from January 2011 to July 2014, and 104 were assessable (51%-49% were assigned to the placebo group and 53%-51% were assigned to the natural agent). Overall, 61 patients developed peak grade 3 mucositis with no difference between arms (P = .65). Conversely, V9.5w (P = .007) and primary site (P = .037) were independent predictors. The selected natural agents do not prevent mucositis, whereas the role of V9.5w is confirmed. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. The Inactivation of Human CYP2E1 by Phenethyl Isothiocyanate, a Naturally Occurring Chemopreventive Agent, and Its Oxidative Bioactivation

    PubMed Central

    Yoshigae, Yasushi; Sridar, Chitra; Kent, Ute M.

    2013-01-01

    Phenethylisothiocyanate (PEITC), a naturally occurring isothiocyanate and potent cancer chemopreventive agent, works by multiple mechanisms, including the inhibition of cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes, such as CYP2E1, that are involved in the bioactivation of carcinogens. PEITC has been reported to be a mechanism-based inactivator of some P450s. We describe here the possible mechanism for the inactivation of human CYP2E1 by PEITC, as well as the putative intermediate that might be involved in the bioactivation of PEITC. PEITC inactivated recombinant CYP2E1 with a partition ratio of 12, and the inactivation was not inhibited in the presence of glutathione (GSH) and not fully recovered by dialysis. The inactivation of CYP2E1 by PEITC is due to both heme destruction and protein modification, with the latter being the major pathway for inactivation. GSH-adducts of phenethyl isocyanate (PIC) and phenethylamine were detected during the metabolism by CYP2E1, indicating formation of PIC as a reactive intermediate following P450-catalyzed desulfurization of PEITC. Surprisingly, PIC bound covalently to CYP2E1 to form protein adducts but did not inactivate the enzyme. Liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy analysis of the inactivated CYP2E1 apo-protein suggests that a reactive sulfur atom generated during desulfurization of PEITC is involved in the inactivation of CYP2E1. Our data suggest that the metabolism of PEITC by CYP2E1 that results in the inactivation of CYP2E1 may occur by a mechanism similar to that observed with other sulfur-containing compounds, such as parathion. Digestion of the inactivated enzyme and analysis by SEQUEST showed that Cys 268 may be the residue modified by PIC. PMID:23371965

  3. Natural Products as Anti-HIV Agents and Role in HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND): A Brief Overview

    PubMed Central

    Kurapati, Kesava Rao V.; Atluri, Venkata S.; Samikkannu, Thangavel; Garcia, Gabriella; Nair, Madhavan P. N.

    2016-01-01

    As the threat of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) persists to rise, effective drug treatments are required to treat the infected people. Even though combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) provides stable viral suppression, it is not devoid of undesirable side effects, especially in persons undergoing long-term treatment. The present therapy finds its limitations in the emergence of multidrug resistance and accordingly finding new drugs and novel targets is the need of the hour to treat the infected persons and further to attack HIV reservoirs in the body like brain, lymph nodes to achieve the ultimate goal of complete eradication of HIV and AIDS. Natural products such as plant-originated compounds and plant extracts have enormous potential to become drug leads with anti-HIV and neuroprotective activity. Accordingly, many research groups are exploring the biodiversity of the plant kingdom to find new and better anti-HIV drugs with novel mechanisms of action and for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). The basic challenge that still persists is to develop viral replication-targeted therapy using novel anti-HIV compounds with new mode of action, accepted toxicity and less resistance profile. Against this backdrop, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested the need to evaluate ethno-medicines for the management of HIV/AIDS. Consequently, there is need to evaluate traditional medicine, particularly medicinal plants and other natural products that may yield effective and affordable therapeutic agents. Although there are a good number of reports on traditional uses of plants to treat various diseases, knowledge of herbal remedies used to manage HIV/AIDS and HAND are scanty, vague and not well documented. In this review, plant substances showing a promising action that is anti-HIV and HAND will be explored along with what they interact. Since some plant substances are also known to modulate several cellular

  4. The therapeutic value of natural agents to treat miRNA targeted breast cancer in African-American and Caucasian-American women.

    PubMed

    Rahman, K M Wahidur; Sakr, Wael A

    2012-12-01

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, with African-American (AA) women showing significantly higher rates than Caucasian-American (CA) women do. The reason for this racial disparity remains unknown, and factors that might be responsible for the differences in incidence and mortality have not been identified. One possible factor could be microRNAs (miRs), which are small noncoding regulatory RNAs involved intimately in cancer, and the expression of certain miRs may be decreased or increased in the breast tumors of AA and CA women. Therefore, modulation of miRs using natural agents could lead to the development of a novel therapeutic strategy to treat aggressive forms of breast cancer in women of different racial backgrounds. The function of natural agents in the regulation of miRs has not been investigated extensively. In this review, we will discuss the potential role of naturally occurring agents as potent antitumor agents thought to function by targeting miRs as contributing factors to the disparity in breast cancer between AA and CA women.

  5. Analysis of the heavy oil production technology effectiveness using natural thermal convection with heat agent recirculation method in reservoirs with varying initial water saturation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osnos, V. B.; Kuneevsky, V. V.; Larionov, V. M.; Saifullin, E. R.; Gainetdinov, A. V.; Vankov, Yu V.; Larionova, I. V.

    2017-01-01

    The method of natural thermal convection with heat agent recirculation (NTC HAR) in oil reservoirs is described. The analysis of the effectiveness of this method for oil reservoir heating with the values of water saturation from 0 to 0.5 units is conducted. As the test element Ashalchinskoye oil field is taken. CMG STARS software was used for calculations. Dynamics of cumulative production, recovery factor and specific energy consumption per 1 m3 of crude oil produced in the application of the heat exchanger with heat agent in cases of different initial water saturation are defined and presented as graphs.

  6. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 is a natural chemopreventive agent against carcinogen induced precancerous lesions in mouse mammary gland organ culture

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Xinjian; Hawthorne, Michael; Vaishnav, Avani; St-Arnaud, René

    2009-01-01

    Despite the role of vitamin D3 endocrine system in prevention of mammary gland transformation in animal models, use of 1,25(OH)2D3 in clinical settings is precluded due to its toxicity in vivo. Therefore much effort has been placed in developing relatively non-toxic vitamin D analogs. Recently, with the discovery of the expression of 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 1α-hydroxylase (CYP27B1) in multiple extrarenal organs, the functional role of prohormone, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3], has been redefined. Since 25(OH)D3 does not cause hypercalcemia and maintains relative high concentration in serum, it is possible that the prohormone can be converted to active hormone in mammary epithelial cells to provide chemopreventive effects. In the present study, we evaluated its functional significance using mouse mammary organ culture (MMOC) system. We first showed that 25(OH)D3 1α-hydroxylase is extensively expressed in mammary ductal epithelial cells at both protein and mRNA levels, which is a prerequisite for 25(OH)D3 to function in an autocrine/paracrine manner. However, we also observed that clotrimazol (1α-hydroxylase inhibitor) enhanced 25(OH)D3 -induced CYP24 expression in breast cancer cells. In mammary glands derived from 1α-hydroxylase knockout mice, 25(OH)D3 treatment in organ culture significantly induced CYP24 expression, indicating a potential direct effect of 25(OH)D3. In MMOC, 100–250 nM 25(OH)D3 suppressed both ovarian hormone-dependent and -independent mammary precancerous lesions (induced by DMBA) by more than 50%, while the active hormone 1,25(OH)2D3 (positive control) at 100 nM suppressed alveolar lesions by more than 80%. The inactive vitamin D3 (negative control) at 100 nM suppressed alveolar lesions by only 20% (P > 0.05). We found that 25(OH)D3 inhibits DMBA-induced mammary alveolar lesions (MAL) in a stage-specific manner: 25(OH)D3 mainly inhibits the promotion stage of lesion formation. We conclude that 25(OH)D3 could serve as a non-toxic natural

  7. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 is a natural chemopreventive agent against carcinogen induced precancerous lesions in mouse mammary gland organ culture.

    PubMed

    Peng, Xinjian; Hawthorne, Michael; Vaishnav, Avani; St-Arnaud, René; Mehta, Rajendra G

    2009-01-01

    (OH)D(3) could serve as a non-toxic natural chemopreventive agent for further development for breast cancer prevention.

  8. The effect of nitrate, bicarbonate and natural organic matter on the degradation of sunscreen agent p-aminobenzoic acid by simulated solar irradiation.

    PubMed

    Mao, Liang; Meng, Cui; Zeng, Chao; Ji, Yuefei; Yang, Xi; Gao, Shixiang

    2011-11-15

    Our experiments revealed that a model sunscreen agent, p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), can be effectively transformed through reactions that are mediated by simulated solar irradiation. We systematically explored the effects of nitrate ions, bicarbonate and different types of natural organic matter (NOM) on the degradation of PABA by simulated solar irradiation. Experimental data suggest that these components ubiquitous in nature water have different influence on the rates of the photoinduced removal of PABA. Products were extracted and analyzed using LC/MS and a total of four products probably resulting from OH and NO2 radicals attack were identified and the possible reaction pathways were proposed. The findings in this study provide useful information for understanding the environmental transformation of sunscreen agent in aquatic system.

  9. Analysis of the effect of a sunscreen agent on the suppression of natural killer cell activity induced in human subjects by radiation from solarium lamps

    SciTech Connect

    Hersey, P.; MacDonald, M.; Burns, C.; Schibeci, S.; Matthews, H.; Wilkinson, F.J.

    1987-03-01

    Previous studies in rodents have shown that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) may have direct effects on the immune system in the skin and at higher doses may induce systemic suppression of immune responses. We have previously shown that UVR from sun or solarium beds may induce systemic effects in human subjects. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether these systemic effects in human subjects could be prevented by use of commercially available sunscreen agents. Groups of 12 normal subjects were exposed to radiation from solarium lamps after application of a sunscreen agent or the base used in its preparation. Twelve half-hourly exposures induced a depression of natural killer (NK) cell activity against a melanoma and the K562 target cell which was not prevented by use of the sunscreen agent. Changes in functional activity were accompanied by a reduction in NK cell numbers assessed by Leu-11 monoclonal antibodies against the labile Fc receptor. Application of the sunscreen agent also did not protect against effects of solarium exposure on recall antigen skin tests and immunoglobulin production in vitro in pokeweed mitogen-stimulated cultures of B and T cells. These results suggest that further evaluation of the wave-length spectrum of UVR and the effectiveness of sunscreen agents in prevention of UVR-induced effects on the immune system is needed.

  10. Partnerships for Natural Resource Education: Differing Program Needs and Perspectives of Extension Agents and State Agency Staff.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monroe, Martha C.; Jacobson, Susan K.; Bowers, Alison

    2003-01-01

    A survey of 45 extension agents and 59 state forestry agency staff 1 year after inservice training on developing public education programs on wildland fire received 71 responses. Three primary barriers to program implementation were identified: educational, logistical, and attitudinal. Providing a toolkit of materials and resources reduced…

  11. Partnerships for Natural Resource Education: Differing Program Needs and Perspectives of Extension Agents and State Agency Staff.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monroe, Martha C.; Jacobson, Susan K.; Bowers, Alison

    2003-01-01

    A survey of 45 extension agents and 59 state forestry agency staff 1 year after inservice training on developing public education programs on wildland fire received 71 responses. Three primary barriers to program implementation were identified: educational, logistical, and attitudinal. Providing a toolkit of materials and resources reduced…

  12. Functional and Structural Microbial Diversity in Organic and Conventional Viticulture: Organic Farming Benefits Natural Biocontrol Agents ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Schmid, Florian; Moser, Gerit; Müller, Henry; Berg, Gabriele

    2011-01-01

    Statistically significant differences in the structure and function of above-ground grapevine-associated microorganisms from organically and conventionally managed vineyards were found. Aureobasidium pullulans, a copper-detoxifying fungus and biocontrol agent, plays a key role in explaining these differences. The black fungus was strongly enriched in the communities of organically managed plants and yielded a higher indigenous antiphytopathogenic potential. PMID:21278278

  13. Screening of a small, well-curated natural product-based library identifies two rotenoids with potent nematocidal activity against Haemonchus contortus.

    PubMed

    Dilrukshi Herath, H M P; Preston, Sarah; Hofmann, Andreas; Davis, Rohan A; Koehler, Anson V; Chang, Bill C H; Jabbar, Abdul; Gasser, Robin B

    2017-09-15

    The control of parasitic roundworms (nematodes) is heavily reliant on the use of a limited number of anthelmintic drugs. However, drug resistance is now very widespread and no vaccines are available, such that the discovery of new chemical entities is crucial. Within this context, we screened a library of pure natural products (n=400) against exsheathed third-stage (xL3) larvae of the parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus using a whole-organism screening method. We identified two plant-derived rotenoids, deguelin and rotenone, with inhibitory activity on xL3 motility. Rotenone was not investigated further, because of its toxicity to some vertebrates. The dose response and cytotoxicity studies showed potent and selective inhibitory activity of deguelin on motility of xL3 larvae of H. contortus. Detailed future work needs to be conducted to explore the mode of action of this compound on H. contortus and related nematodes, and to assess its potential as an anthelmintic candidate. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug activated gene-1 (NAG-1) modulators from natural products as anti-cancer agents

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Natural products are rich source of gene modulators for prevention and treatment of cancer. In recent days, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) activated gene-1 (NAG-1) has been focused as a new target of diverse cancers like colorectal, pancreatic, prostate, and breast. A variety of natural...

  15. In Vitro and In Vivo Studies of Non-Platinum-Based Halogenated Compounds as Potent Antitumor Agents for Natural Targeted Chemotherapy of Cancers

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Qing-Bin; Zhang, Qin-Rong; Ou, Ning; Wang, Chun-Rong; Warrington, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Based on a molecular-mechanism-based anticancer drug discovery program enabled by an innovative femtomedicine approach, we have found a previously unknown class of non-platinum-based halogenated molecules (called FMD compounds) as potent antitumor agents for effective treatment of cancers. Here, we present in vitro and in vivo studies of the compounds for targeted chemotherapy of cervical, breast, ovarian, and lung cancers. Our results show that these FMD agents led to DNA damage, cell cycle arrest in the S phase, and apoptosis in cancer cells. We also observed that such a FMD compound caused an increase of reduced glutathione (GSH, an endogenous antioxidant) levels in human normal cells, while it largely depleted GSH in cancer cells. We correspondingly found that these FMD agents exhibited no or little toxicity toward normal cells/tissues, while causing significant cytotoxicity against cancer cells, as well as suppression and delay in tumor growth in mouse xenograft models of cervical, ovarian, breast and lung cancers. These compounds are therefore a previously undiscovered class of potent antitumor agents that can be translated into clinical trials for natural targeted chemotherapy of multiple cancers. PMID:26351651

  16. Efficacy of Natural and Allopathic Antimicrobial Agents Incorporated onto Guided Tissue Regeneration Membrane Against Periodontal Pathogens: An in vitro Study

    PubMed Central

    Reddy Palle, Ajay; Kumar Gedela, Rajani; Vasudevan, Sanjay

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent afflictions worldwide. It is an infection of the periodontium as a result of subgingival colonization of the specific microbiota, leading to loss of attachment, which requires optimal care for regeneration to its pre-disease state. Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) is one of the successful treatment modalities in Periodontal Regenerative Therapy, but is vulnerable to bacterial colonization. The conflict between usage of classical antibiotics and plant origin antimicrobial agents has recently been in the limelight. Aim The aim of this study was to assess the in vitro antimicrobial activity of amoxicillin, metronidazole and green coffee extract loaded onto GTR membrane against periodonto-pathogens. Materials and Methods Pure form of amoxicillin, metronidazole and green coffee extract were obtained. One percent concentration of each antimicrobial agent was prepared by appropriate dilution with distilled water. GTR membrane was cut into a size of 1x0.5 cm under sterile conditions and was coated with the antimicrobial agents respectively and with distilled water as the negative control. Antimicrobial activity was checked against Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (A. actinomycetemcomitans) and Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) using agar disc diffusion method. The statistical analysis was done using Kruskal Wallis ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U test. Results One percent amoxicillin showed level of significance (p>0.05) against both A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis. Green coffee extract showed no zone of inhibition against both the bacterial species. Conclusion Loading of commercially available antimicrobial agents onto GTR membrane can prevent its bacterial colonization leading to better treatment outcomes for periodontal regeneration. PMID:28274052

  17. Marine and soil derived natural products: a new source of novel cardiovascular protective agents targeting the endothelin system.

    PubMed

    Planes, Nadir; Caballero-George, Catherina

    2015-06-01

    Inhibition of the endothelin system is a recognized therapeutic approach for treating complex cardiovascular diseases. The search for natural inhibitors of the endothelin system has focused mainly on land, with recent, emerging data suggesting the underestimated potential of marine microorganisms for producing leads with cardioprotective potential. The present work reviews natural products identified as inhibitors of the endothelin system, their origin, their mechanism of action, and their ecological significance. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  18. Molecular analysis of faecal samples from birds to identify potential crop pests and useful biocontrol agents in natural areas.

    PubMed

    King, R A; Symondson, W O C; Thomas, R J

    2015-06-01

    Wild habitats adjoining farmland are potentially valuable sources of natural enemies, but also of pests. Here we tested the utility of birds as 'sampling devices', to identify the diversity of prey available to predators and particularly to screen for pests and natural enemies using natural ecosystems as refugia. Here we used PCR to amplify prey DNA from three sympatric songbirds foraging on small invertebrates in Phragmites reedbed ecosystems, namely the Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) and Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti). A recently described general invertebrate primer pair was used for the first time to analyse diets. Amplicons were cloned and sequenced, then identified by reference to the Barcoding of Life Database and to our own sequences obtained from fresh invertebrates. Forty-five distinct prey DNA sequences were obtained from 11 faecal samples, of which 39 could be identified to species or genus. Targeting three warbler species ensured that species-specific differences in prey choice broadened the range of prey taken. Amongst the prey found in reedbeds were major pests (including the tomato moth Lacanobia oleracea) as well as many potentially valuable natural enemies including aphidophagous hoverflies and braconid wasps. Given the mobility of birds, this approach provides a practical way of sampling a whole habitat at once, providing growers with information on possible invasion by locally resident pests and the colonization potential of natural enemies from local natural habitats.

  19. Broader investigation into the external environment of the specific antigen of the infectious agent in epizootiological observation and study of the structure of natural foci of plague.

    PubMed

    Cherchenko, I I; Dyatlov, A I

    1976-01-01

    The possibilities of detection of the infectious agent in natural foci of plague can be expanded to some extent by using the method of search for the specific FI capsular antigen of the plague microbe in such objects of the external environment which have not yet been subjected to laboratory analysis and serological analysis in particular. Such objects include soil from the burrow and the substrate of the nest of the rodent as well as the fleas of rodents and regurgitations of birds of prey. The effectivity and suitability of examination of these objects using immuno-adsorption reactions with standard erythrocyte diagnostics (passive haemagglutination reaction, antibody neutralization reaction) were demonstrated experimentally and confirmed under field conditions in various geographical and ecological zones of the Caucasus. Thus in 1971, an earlier unknown natural focus of plague was found in the Mount Elbrus massif by means of serological analysis of the substrate of the nest and of the soil from the burrows of rodents. It can be expected that broadened serological search for the FI antigen of plague will prove useful in the study of the structure of natural foci of plague, in the reconnaissance or retrospective investigation of poorly explored territories and in the solution of some questions concerning the epizootiology of plague, such as the survival of the infectious agent in the inter-epizootic period, telluric plague, etc.

  20. Muraymycin nucleoside-peptide antibiotics: uridine-derived natural products as lead structures for the development of novel antibacterial agents.

    PubMed

    Wiegmann, Daniel; Koppermann, Stefan; Wirth, Marius; Niro, Giuliana; Leyerer, Kristin; Ducho, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Muraymycins are a promising class of antimicrobial natural products. These uridine-derived nucleoside-peptide antibiotics inhibit the bacterial membrane protein translocase I (MraY), a key enzyme in the intracellular part of peptidoglycan biosynthesis. This review describes the structures of naturally occurring muraymycins, their mode of action, synthetic access to muraymycins and their analogues, some structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies and first insights into muraymycin biosynthesis. It therefore provides an overview on the current state of research, as well as an outlook on possible future developments in this field.

  1. Muraymycin nucleoside-peptide antibiotics: uridine-derived natural products as lead structures for the development of novel antibacterial agents

    PubMed Central

    Wirth, Marius; Niro, Giuliana; Leyerer, Kristin

    2016-01-01

    Summary Muraymycins are a promising class of antimicrobial natural products. These uridine-derived nucleoside-peptide antibiotics inhibit the bacterial membrane protein translocase I (MraY), a key enzyme in the intracellular part of peptidoglycan biosynthesis. This review describes the structures of naturally occurring muraymycins, their mode of action, synthetic access to muraymycins and their analogues, some structure–activity relationship (SAR) studies and first insights into muraymycin biosynthesis. It therefore provides an overview on the current state of research, as well as an outlook on possible future developments in this field. PMID:27340469

  2. Nature's Chiral Catalyst and Anti-Malarial Agent: Isolation and Structure Elucidation of Cinchonine and Quinine from "Cinchona calisaya"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Anne-Marie; Kavanagh, David J.; McGovern, Fiona P.; Reilly, Joe W.; Walsh, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Nature is a well-recognized source of compounds of interest, but access is often an issue. One pertinent example is the cinchona alkaloids from the bark of "Cinchona calisaya." In this experiment, students at the third-year undergraduate level undertake the selective isolation and characterization of two of the four main alkaloids present in the…

  3. Nature's Chiral Catalyst and Anti-Malarial Agent: Isolation and Structure Elucidation of Cinchonine and Quinine from "Cinchona calisaya"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Anne-Marie; Kavanagh, David J.; McGovern, Fiona P.; Reilly, Joe W.; Walsh, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Nature is a well-recognized source of compounds of interest, but access is often an issue. One pertinent example is the cinchona alkaloids from the bark of "Cinchona calisaya." In this experiment, students at the third-year undergraduate level undertake the selective isolation and characterization of two of the four main alkaloids present in the…

  4. Naturally occurring compounds acting as potent anti-metastatic agents and their suppressing effects on Hedgehog and WNT/β-catenin signalling pathways.

    PubMed

    Farahmand, L; Darvishi, B; Majidzadeh-A, K; Madjid Ansari, A

    2017-02-01

    Despite numerous remarkable achievements in the field of anti-cancer therapy, tumour relapse and metastasis still remain major obstacles in improvement of overall cancer survival, which may be at least partially owing to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Multiple signalling pathways have been identified in EMT; however, it appears that the role of the Hedgehog and WNT/β-catenin pathways are more prominent than others. These are well-known preserved intracellular regulatory pathways of different cellular functions including proliferation, survival, adhesion and differentiation. Over the last few decades, several naturally occurring compounds have been identified to significantly obstruct several intermediates in Hedgehog and WNT/β-catenin signalling, eventually resulting in suppression of signal transduction. This article highlights the current state of knowledge associated with Hedgehog and WNT/β-catenin, their involvement in metastasis through EMT processes and introduction of the most potent naturally occurring agents with capability of suppressing them, eventually overcoming tumour relapse, invasion and metastasis.

  5. Natural products-based insecticidal agents 9. Design, semisynthesis and insecticidal activity of 28-acyloxy derivatives of toosendanin against Mythimna separata Walker in vivo.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hui; Zhang, Jun-Liang

    2011-04-01

    In continuation of our program aimed at the discovery and development of natural products-based insecticidal agents, twelve 28-acyloxy derivatives of toosendanin (2a-l) were semisynthesized and preliminarily evaluated their activity against the pre-third-instar larvae of Mythimna separata Walker in vivo at the concentration of 1mg/mL. Some compounds exhibited the potent insecticidal activity. Especially compounds 2c and 2j displayed the more promising insecticidal activity than their natural precursor, toosendanin, a commercial insecticide derived from Melia azedarach at 1mg/mL. In general, it indicated that the butanoyloxy or phenylacryloyloxy moiety at the 28-position of toosendanin was essential for the insecticidal activity.

  6. Preliminary in vitro insights into the use of natural fungal pathogens of leaf-cutting ants as biocontrol agents.

    PubMed

    Folgarait, Patricia; Gorosito, Norma; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2011-09-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are one of the main herbivores of the Neotropics, where they represent an important agricultural pest. These ants are particularly difficult to control because of the complex network of microbial symbionts. Leaf-cutting ants have traditionally been controlled through pesticide application, but there is a need for alternative, more environmentally friendly, control methods such as biological control. Potential promising biocontrol candidates include the microfungi Escovopsis spp. (anamorphic Hypocreales), which are specialized pathogens of the fungi the ants cultivate for food. These pathogens are suppressed through ant behaviors and ant-associated antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria. In order to be an effective biocontrol agent, Escovopsis has to overcome these defenses. Here, we evaluate, using microbial in vitro assays, whether defenses in the ant-cultivated fungus strain (Leucoagaricus sp.) and Actinobacteria from the ant pest Acromyrmex lundii have the potential to limit the use of Escovopsis in biocontrol. We also explore, for the first time, possible synergistic biocontrol between Escovopsis and the entomopathogenic fungus Lecanicillium lecanii. All strains of Escovopsis proved to overgrow A. lundii cultivar in less than 7 days, with the Escovopsis strain isolated from a different leaf-cutting ant species being the most efficient. Escovopsis challenged with a Streptomyces strain isolated from A. lundii did not exhibit significant growth inhibition. Both results are encouraging for the use of Escovopsis as a biocontrol agent. Although we found that L. lecanii can suppress the growth of the cultivar, it also had a negative impact on Escovopsis, making the success of simultaneous use of these two fungi for biocontrol of A. lundii questionable.

  7. Deformation behavior of open-cell dry natural rubber foam: Effect of different concentration of blowing agent and compression strain rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samsudin, M. S. F.; Ariff, Z. M.; Ariffin, A.

    2017-04-01

    Compression and deformation behavior of partially open cell natural rubber (NR) foam produced from dry natural rubber (DNR), were investigated by performing compressive deformation at different strains and strain rates. Different concentrations of sodium bicarbonate as a blowing agent (BA) were utilized, from 4 to 16 phr in order to produce foams with range of cell size and morphology. Overall, increasing of blowing agent concentration had significantly changed relative foam density. Compression stress-strain curves of the foams exhibited that the compression behavior was directly correlated to the foam cells morphology and physical density. Pronounced changes were noticed for foams with bigger cells particularly at 4 phr concentration of BA where the compression stress at plateau region was greater compared to those with higher concentration of BA. Cell deformation progressive images confirmed that the foams demonstrated small degree of struts bending at 15% of strain and followed by continuous severe struts bending and elastic buckling up to 50% of strain. Compression test at different strain rates revealed that the strain rate factor only affected the foams with 4 phr of BA by causing immediate increment in the compression stress value when higher strain rate was applied.

  8. A New Approach to Predict the Fish Fillet Shelf-Life in Presence of Natural Preservative Agents.

    PubMed

    Giuffrida, Alessandro; Giarratana, Filippo; Valenti, Davide; Muscolino, Daniele; Parisi, Roberta; Parco, Alessio; Marotta, Stefania; Ziino, Graziella; Panebianco, Antonio

    2017-04-13

    Three data sets concerning the behaviour of spoilage flora of fillets treated with natural preservative substances (NPS) were used to construct a new kind of mathematical predictive model. This model, unlike other ones, allows expressing the antibacterial effect of the NPS separately from the prediction of the growth rate. This approach, based on the introduction of a parameter into the predictive primary model, produced a good fitting of observed data and allowed characterising quantitatively the increase of shelf-life of fillets.

  9. Derivatives of caffeic acid, a natural antioxidant, as the basis for the discovery of novel nonpeptidic neurotrophic agents.

    PubMed

    Moosavi, Fatemeh; Hosseini, Razieh; Rajaian, Hamid; Silva, Tiago; Magalhães E Silva, Diogo; Saso, Luciano; Edraki, Najmeh; Miri, Ramin; Borges, Fernanda; Firuzi, Omidreza

    2017-06-15

    Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, threaten the lives of millions of people and the number of affected patients is constantly growing with the increase of the aging population. Small molecule neurotrophic agents represent promising therapeutics for the pharmacological management of neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, a series of caffeic acid amide analogues with variable alkyl chain lengths, including ACAF3 (C3), ACAF4 (C4), ACAF6 (C6), ACAF8 (C8) and ACAF12 (C12) were synthesized and their neurotrophic activity was examined by different methods in PC12 neuronal cells. We found that all caffeic acid amide derivatives significantly increased survival in PC12 neuronal cells in serum-deprived conditions at 25μM, as measured by the MTT assay. ACAF4, ACAF6 and ACAF8 at 5µM also significantly enhanced the effect of nerve growth factor (NGF) in inducing neurite outgrowth, a sign of neuronal differentiation. The neurotrophic effects of amide derivatives did not seem to be mediated by direct activation of tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA) receptor, since K252a, a potent TrkA antagonist, did not block the neuronal survival enhancement effect. Similarly, the active compounds did not activate TrkA as measured by immunoblotting with anti-phosphoTrkA antibody. We also examined the effect of amide derivatives on signaling pathways involved in survival and differentiation by immunoblotting. ACAF4 and ACAF12 induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation in PC12 cells at 5 and 25µM, while ACAF12 was also able to significantly increase AKT phosphorylation at 5 and 25µM. Molecular docking studies indicated that compared to the parental compound caffeic acid, ACAF12 exhibited higher binding energy with phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) as a putative molecular target. Based on Lipinski's rule of five, all of the compounds obeyed three molecular descriptors (HBD, HBA and MM) in drug-likeness test. Taken together, these findings show for the

  10. Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus) waste as a natural source of carbonyl trapping and antiglycative agents.

    PubMed

    Maietta, Mariarosa; Colombo, Raffaella; Lavecchia, Roberto; Sorrenti, Milena; Zuorro, Antonio; Papetti, Adele

    2017-10-01

    The role of polyphenolic compounds extractable from artichoke solid wastes in the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) was studied. Outer bracts and stems were extracted using different water-ethanol mixtures and HPLC-DAD analyses indicated aqueous and hydro-alcoholic 20:80 stem extracts as the richest in polyphenols. The samples were characterized in their phenolic composition (using mass spectrometry) and antioxidant capacity. Antiglycative capacity was evaluated by in vitro BSA-sugars (glucose, fructose, and ribose) and BSA-methylglyoxal (MGO) tests, formation of Amadori products assay, direct glyoxal (GO) and MGO trapping capacity. Results indicated both extracts as effective inhibitors of fructosamine formation and antiglycative agents. In particular, aqueous extract showed the best activity in the systems containing glucose and fructose, differently from ethanolic extract, that was demonstrated able to better inhibit AGEs formation when ribose or MGO act as precursors. Ethanolic extract was also shown to be able to trap MGO and GO, with efficiency increasing after 24hours of incubation time. These activities are partially correlated with the antioxidant effect of the extract, as demonstrated by the scavenger capacity against ABTS cation and DPPH stable radicals; this relationship is evident when the model system, containing protein incubated with ribose or MGO, is considered. The different activities of the tested extracts could probably be ascribed to the different composition in chlorogenic acids (CQAs), being aqueous extract richer in 1-CQA, 3-CQA, and 1,3-di-CQA, and ethanolic extract in 5-CQA, caffeic acid, 1,5-di-CQA. These findings support further investigations to study the stability of the different CQAs in simil-physiological conditions and the feasibility of artichoke waste as antiglycative agents in food or pharmacological preparations. 5-caffeoylquinic acid (PubChem CID 5280633); 3-caffeoylquinic acid (PubChem CID 1794427); 1

  11. The contagious nature of imprisonment: an agent-based model to explain racial disparities in incarceration rates.

    PubMed

    Lum, Kristian; Swarup, Samarth; Eubank, Stephen; Hawdon, James

    2014-09-06

    We build an agent-based model of incarceration based on the susceptible-infected-suspectible (SIS) model of infectious disease propagation. Our central hypothesis is that the observed racial disparities in incarceration rates between Black and White Americans can be explained as the result of differential sentencing between the two demographic groups. We demonstrate that if incarceration can be spread through a social influence network, then even relatively small differences in sentencing can result in large disparities in incarceration rates. Controlling for effects of transmissibility, susceptibility and influence network structure, our model reproduces the observed large disparities in incarceration rates given the differences in sentence lengths for White and Black drug offenders in the USA without extensive parameter tuning. We further establish the suitability of the SIS model as applied to incarceration by demonstrating that the observed structural patterns of recidivism are an emergent property of the model. In fact, our model shows a remarkably close correspondence with California incarceration data. This work advances efforts to combine the theories and methods of epidemiology and criminology.

  12. Detection and molecular characterization of canine babesiosis causative agent Babesia canis in the naturally infected dog in Lithuania.

    PubMed

    Paulauskas, Algimantas; Radzijevskaja, Jana; Karvelienė, Birutė; Grigonis, Aidas; Aleksandravičienė, Asta; Zamokas, Gintaras; Babickaitė, Lina; Sabūnas, Vytautas; Petkevičius, Saulius

    2014-10-15

    Canine babesiosis caused by Babesia canis is an emerging infectious disease in Europe. Although previously uncommon, canine babesiosis has become quite frequent in Lithuania during the past decade. In the last few years an increasing number of cases with a wide variety of clinical signs have been recorded throughout the country. In Lithuania the identification of the disease agent in veterinarian clinics is based on a microscopic analysis of size and morphology. To date, no data on the genetic characterization of Babesia species in dogs have been documented for Lithuania. A total of 123 blood samples from dogs showing clinical signs of babesiosis on the basis of veterinary examination were tested for the presence of babesial parasites. Babesia isolated from dogs were detected and characterized by nested-PCR and sequence analysis of a fragment of the 18S rRNA gene. Babesia parasites were detected in blood smears of 94 dogs (76.4%). The molecular analysis revealed the presence of B. canis in 108 dogs (87.8%). Two genotypes of B. canis were distinguished on the basis on two nucleotide (GA → AG) substitutions observed in 18S rRNA gene sequences. The results of the present study provide knowledge of the distribution of B. canis genotypes in dogs in Lithuania, and show the necessity to use a molecular analysis for an accurate diagnosis of canine babesiosis.

  13. The contagious nature of imprisonment: an agent-based model to explain racial disparities in incarceration rates

    PubMed Central

    Lum, Kristian; Swarup, Samarth; Eubank, Stephen; Hawdon, James

    2014-01-01

    We build an agent-based model of incarceration based on the susceptible–infected–suspectible (SIS) model of infectious disease propagation. Our central hypothesis is that the observed racial disparities in incarceration rates between Black and White Americans can be explained as the result of differential sentencing between the two demographic groups. We demonstrate that if incarceration can be spread through a social influence network, then even relatively small differences in sentencing can result in large disparities in incarceration rates. Controlling for effects of transmissibility, susceptibility and influence network structure, our model reproduces the observed large disparities in incarceration rates given the differences in sentence lengths for White and Black drug offenders in the USA without extensive parameter tuning. We further establish the suitability of the SIS model as applied to incarceration by demonstrating that the observed structural patterns of recidivism are an emergent property of the model. In fact, our model shows a remarkably close correspondence with California incarceration data. This work advances efforts to combine the theories and methods of epidemiology and criminology. PMID:24966237

  14. Palmitoylethanolamide: A Natural Body-Own Anti-Inflammatory Agent, Effective and Safe against Influenza and Common Cold.

    PubMed

    Keppel Hesselink, J M; de Boer, Tineke; Witkamp, Renger F

    2013-01-01

    Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a food component known since 1957. PEA is synthesized and metabolized in animal cells via a number of enzymes and exerts a multitude of physiological functions related to metabolic homeostasis. Research on PEA has been conducted for more than 50 years, and over 350 papers are referenced in PubMed describing the physiological properties of this endogenous modulator and its pharmacological and therapeutical profile. The major focus of PEA research, since the work of the Nobel laureate Levi-Montalcini in 1993, has been neuropathic pain states and mast cell related disorders. However, it is less known that 6 clinical trials in a total of nearly 4000 people were performed and published last century, specifically studying PEA as a therapy for influenza and the common cold. This was done before Levi-Montalcini's clarification of PEA's mechanism of action, analyzing the role of PEA as an anti-inflammatory agent. We will review in depth these studies, as the results support the effectiveness and safety of PEA in flu and respiratory infections.

  15. Protein Abundances can Distinguish Between Naturally-occurring and Laboratory Strains of Yersinia pestis, the Causative Agent of Plague

    DOE PAGES

    Merkley, Eric D.; Sego, Landon H.; Lin, Andy; ...

    2017-08-30

    Adaptive processes in bacterial species can occur rapidly in laboratory culture, leading to genetic divergence between naturally occurring and laboratory-adapted strains. Differentiating wild and closely-related laboratory strains is clearly important for biodefense and bioforensics; however, DNA sequence data alone has thus far not provided a clear signature, perhaps due to lack of understanding of how diverse genome changes lead to adapted phenotypes. Protein abundance profiles from mass spectrometry-based proteomics analyses are a molecular measure of phenotype. Proteomics data contains sufficient information that powerful statistical methods can uncover signatures that distinguish wild strains of Yersinia pestis from laboratory-adapted strains.

  16. Targeting activator protein 1 signaling pathway by bioactive natural agents: Possible therapeutic strategy for cancer prevention and intervention.

    PubMed

    Tewari, Devesh; Nabavi, Seyed Fazel; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad; Sureda, Antoni; Farooqi, Ammad Ahmad; Atanasov, Atanas G; Vacca, Rosa Anna; Sethi, Gautam; Bishayee, Anupam

    2017-09-23

    Activator protein 1 (AP-1) is a key transcription factor in the control of several cellular processes responsible for cell survival proliferation and differentiation. Dysfunctional AP-1 expression and activity are involved in several severe diseases, especially inflammatory disorders and cancer. Therefore, targeting AP-1 has recently emerged as an attractive therapeutic strategy for cancer prevention and therapy. This review summarizes our current understanding of AP-1 biology and function as well as explores and discusses several natural bioactive compounds modulating AP-1-associated signaling pathways for cancer prevention and intervention. Current limitations, challenges, and future directions of research are also critically discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. A New Approach to Predict the Fish Fillet Shelf-Life in Presence of Natural Preservative Agents

    PubMed Central

    Giuffrida, Alessandro; Giarratana, Filippo; Valenti, Davide; Muscolino, Daniele; Parisi, Roberta; Parco, Alessio; Marotta, Stefania; Ziino, Graziella; Panebianco, Antonio

    2017-01-01

    Three data sets concerning the behaviour of spoilage flora of fillets treated with natural preservative substances (NPS) were used to construct a new kind of mathematical predictive model. This model, unlike other ones, allows expressing the antibacterial effect of the NPS separately from the prediction of the growth rate. This approach, based on the introduction of a parameter into the predictive primary model, produced a good fitting of observed data and allowed characterising quantitatively the increase of shelf-life of fillets. PMID:28713795

  18. Iron speciation in natural waters by sequential injection analysis with a hexadentate 3-hydroxy-4-pyridinone chelator as chromogenic agent.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Joana L A; Mesquita, Raquel B R; Nunes, Ana; Rangel, Maria; Rangel, António O S S

    2016-02-01

    A sequential injection method for iron speciation in various types of natural waters was developed using a synthesised hexadentate 3-hydroxy-4-pyridinone chelator (CP256). The denticity of the ligand that allow formation of the corresponding iron(III) complex in a 1:1 stoichiometry proved to be highly advantageous, in comparison with parent bidentate, hydroxy-4-piridinone chelators, with a two fold increase of reaction sensitivity and over 65% decrease of the LOD. A solid phase extraction approach was employed to attain matrix elimination, facilitating iron(III) determination and application to high salinity waters. The combination with the total iron determination obtained by the direct reaction of the ligand resulted in iron speciation. Two detection spectrophotometric cells were tested, a conventional flow cell (CFC) and a liquid waveguide capillary cell (LWCC). The dynamic concentration ranges were 0.1-2 mg/L with the CFC detection and 0.005-0.1 mg/L with the LWCC, with limit of detection of 30 µg/L and 6 µg/L, respectively. The developed method was successfully applied to a variety of natural waters. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Natural Products as Chemopreventive Agents by Potential Inhibition of the Kinase Domain in ErbB Receptors.

    PubMed

    Olivero-Acosta, Maria; Maldonado-Rojas, Wilson; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus

    2017-02-17

    Small molecules found in natural products provide therapeutic benefits due to their pharmacological or biological activity, which may increase or decrease the expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER), a promising target in the modification of signaling cascades involved in excessive cellular growth. In this study, in silico molecular protein-ligand docking protocols were performed with AutoDock Vina in order to evaluate the interaction of 800 natural compounds (NPs) from the NatProd Collection (http://www.msdiscovery.com/natprod.html), with four human HER family members: HER1 (PDB: 2ITW), HER2 (PDB: 3PP0), HER3 (PDB: 3LMG) and HER4 (PDB: 2R4B). The best binding affinity values (kcal/mol) for docking pairs were obtained for HER1-podototarin (-10.7), HER2-hecogenin acetate (-11.2), HER3-hesperidin (-11.5) and HER4-theaflavin (-10.7). The reliability of the theoretical calculations was evaluated employing published data on HER inhibition correlated with in silico binding calculations. IC50 values followed a significant linear relationship with the theoretical binding Affinity data for HER1 (R = 0.656, p < 0.0001) and HER2 (R = 0.543, p < 0.0001), but not for HER4 (R = 0.364, p > 0.05). In short, this methodology allowed the identification of several NPs as HER inhibitors, being useful in the discovery and design of more potent and selective anticancer drugs.

  20. Physical and Antimicrobial Properties of Starch-PVA Blend Films as Affected by the Incorporation of Natural Antimicrobial Agents

    PubMed Central

    Cano, Amalia; Cháfer, Maite; Chiralt, Amparo; González-Martínez, Chelo

    2015-01-01

    In this work, active films based on starch and PVA (S:PVA ratio of 2:1) were developed by incorporating neem (NO) and oregano essential oils (OEO). First, a screening of the antifungal effectiveness of different natural extracts (echinacea, horsetail extract, liquid smoke and neem seed oil) against two fungus (P. expansum and A. niger) was carried out. The effect of NO and OEO incorporation on the films’ physical and antimicrobial properties was analyzed. Only composite films containing OEO exhibited antibacterial and antifungal activity. Antibacterial activity occurred at low OEO concentration (6.7%), while antifungal effect required higher doses of OEO in the films. Incorporation of oils did not notably affect the water sorption capacity and water vapor barrier properties of S-PVA films, but reduced their transparency and gloss, especially at the highest concentrations. The mechanical response of the S-PVA films was also negatively affected by oil incorporation but this was only relevant at the highest oil ratio (22%). S-PVA films with 6.7% of OEO exhibited the best physical properties, without significant differences with respect to the S-PVA matrix, while exhibiting antibacterial activity. Thus, the use of OEO as a natural antimicrobial incorporated into starch-PVA films represents a good and novel alternative in food packaging applications. PMID:28231098

  1. Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinhorst, Sabine; Cannon, Gordon

    1997-01-01

    The fact that two of the original articles by this year's Nobel laureates were published in Nature bears witness to the pivotal role of this journal in documenting pioneering discoveries in all areas of science. The prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to immunologists Peter C. Doherty (University of Tennessee) and Rolf M. Zinkernagel (University of Zurich, Switzerland), honoring work that, in the 1970s, laid the foundation for our current understanding of the way in which our immune system differentiates between healthy cells and virus-infected ones that are targeted for destruction (p 465 in the October 10 issue of vol. 383). Three researchers share the Chemistry award for their discovery of C60 buckminsterfullerenes. The work by Robert Curl, Richard Smalley (both at Rice University), and Harry Kroto (University of Sussex, UK) has led to a burst of new approaches to materials development and in carbon chemistry (p 561 of the October 17 issue of vol. 383). This year's Nobel prize in physics went to three U.S. researchers, Douglas Osheroff (Stanford University) and David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson (Cornell University), who were honored for their work on superfluidity, a frictionless liquid state, of supercooled 3He (p 562 of the October 17 issue of vol. 383).

  2. Melatonin, a potent agent in antioxidative defense: Actions as a natural food constituent, gastrointestinal factor, drug and prodrug

    PubMed Central

    Hardeland, Rüdiger; Pandi-Perumal, SR

    2005-01-01

    Melatonin, originally discovered as a hormone of the pineal gland, is also produced in other organs and represents, additionally, a normal food constituent found in yeast and plant material, which can influence the level in the circulation. Compared to the pineal, the gastrointestinal tract contains several hundred times more melatonin, which can be released into the blood in response to food intake and stimuli by nutrients, especially tryptophan. Apart from its use as a commercial food additive, supraphysiological doses have been applied in medical trials and pure preparations are well tolerated by patients. Owing to its amphiphilicity, melatonin can enter any body fluid, cell or cell compartment. Its properties as an antioxidant agent are based on several, highly diverse effects. Apart from direct radical scavenging, it plays a role in upregulation of antioxidant and downregulation of prooxidant enzymes, and damage by free radicals can be reduced by its antiexcitatory actions, and presumably by contributions to appropriate internal circadian phasing, and by its improvement of mitochondrial metabolism, in terms of avoiding electron leakage and enhancing complex I and complex IV activities. Melatonin was shown to potentiate effects of other antioxidants, such as ascorbate and Trolox. Under physiological conditions, direct radical scavenging may only contribute to a minor extent to overall radical detoxification, although melatonin can eliminate several of them in scavenger cascades and potentiates the efficacy of antioxidant vitamins. Melatonin oxidation seems rather important for the production of other biologically active metabolites such as N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AFMK) and N1-acetyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AMK), which have been shown to also dispose of protective properties. Thus, melatonin may be regarded as a prodrug, too. AMK interacts with reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, conveys protection to mitochondria, inhibits and downregulates

  3. Artificial biomembranes stabilized over spin coated hydrogel scaffolds. Crosslinking agent nature induces wrinkled or flat surfaces on the hydrogel.

    PubMed

    González-Henríquez, C M; Pizarro-Guerra, G C; Córdova-Alarcón, E N; Sarabia-Vallejos, M A; Terraza-Inostroza, C A

    2016-03-01

    Hydrogel films possess the ability of retain water and deliver it to a phospholipid bilayer mainly composed by DPPC (1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine); moisture of the medium favors the stability of an artificial biomembrane when it is subjected to repetitive heating cycles. This hypothesis is valid when the hydrogel film, used as scaffold, present a flat surface morphology and a high ability for water releasing. On the other hand, when the sample presents a wrinkle topography (periodic undulations), free lateral molecular movement of the bilayer becomes lower, disfavoring the occurrence of clear phases/phase transitions according to applied temperature. Hydrogel films were prepared using HEMA (hydroxyethylmetacrylate), different crosslinking agents and initiators. This reaction mixture was spread over hydrophilic silicon wafers using spin coating technique. Resultant films were then exposed to UV light favoring polymeric chain crosslinking and interactions between hydrogel and substrate; this process is also known to generate tensile stress mismatch between different hydrogel strata, producing out-of-plane net force that generate ordered undulations or collapsed crystals at surface level. DPPC bilayers were then placed over hydrogel using Langmuir-Blodgett technique. Surface morphology was detected in order to clarify the behavior of these films. Obtained data corroborate DPPC membrane stability making possible to detect phases/phase transitions by ellipsometric methods and Atomic Force Microscopy due to their high hydration level. This system is intended to be used as biosensor through the insertion of transmembrane proteins or peptides that detect minimal variations of some analyte in the environment; artificial biomembrane stability and behavior is fundamental for this purpose. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Chestnut and lemon balm based ingredients as natural preserving agents of the nutritional profile in matured "Serra da Estrela" cheese.

    PubMed

    Carocho, Márcio; Barreira, João C M; Bento, Albino; Fernández-Ruiz, Virginia; Morales, Patricia; Ferreira, Isabel C F R

    2016-08-01

    Chestnut flowers, lemon balm plants and their decoctions were incorporated into "Serra da Estrela" cheese, to assess their potential to preserve its nutritional properties and provide new foodstuffs. The analyses were carried out after the normal ripening period of 1month and after 6months of storage. The most abundant nutrients were proteins and fats. The most abundant minerals were Ca and Na, while C16:0 and C18:1 were the main fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids were the most abundant, followed by the monounsaturated. Moisture seemed to be lower in the samples with the plants incorporated. The dried plants, when incorporated, seemed to be more efficient as preservers then the decoctions, although these better preserved the proteins. These plants can be regarded as promising natural preservers in foodstuffs cheese, given the preservation of key parameters and the slight impact on the nutritional value. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Myricetin, a potent natural agent for treatment of diabetic skin damage by modulating TIMP/MMPs balance and oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Foot ulceration is a major cause of morbidity in patients with diabetes, and abnormal peripheral neuropathy often results in hospitalization. Up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinases and down-regulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 are noted to be distinctive biological functions of diabetic dermal fibroblasts. The aim of this study was to evaluate the biological effects of modified retinoids on diabetic fibroblasts. Myricetin, a natural compound, balances the TIMP1/MMP ratio and oxidative stress in diabetic fibroblasts. Our results indicate that myricetin significantly ameliorates the effects of diabetes on dermal fibroblasts. In addition, we found that the oxidative stress imbalance induced by a high glucose concentration plays an important role in the changes to dermal fibroblasts that occur in diabetes. Our findings support the hypothesis that myricetin has the potential to repair faulty skin function arising from diabetes. PMID:27765936

  6. Synthesis of ent-BE-43547A1 reveals a potent hypoxia-selective anticancer agent and uncovers the biosynthetic origin of the APD-CLD natural products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villadsen, Nikolaj L.; Jacobsen, Kristian M.; Keiding, Ulrik B.; Weibel, Esben T.; Christiansen, Bjørn; Vosegaard, Thomas; Bjerring, Morten; Jensen, Frank; Johannsen, Mogens; Tørring, Thomas; Poulsen, Thomas B.

    2017-03-01

    Tumour hypoxia is speculated to be a key driver of therapeutic resistance and metastatic dissemination. Consequently, the discovery of new potent agents that selectively target the hypoxic cell population may reveal new and untapped antitumour mechanisms. Here we demonstrate that the BE-43547 subclass of the APD-CLD (amidopentadienoate-containing cyclolipodepsipeptides) natural products possesses highly hypoxia-selective growth-inhibitory activity against pancreatic cancer cells. To enable this discovery, we have developed the first synthesis of the BE-43547-macrocyclic scaffold in 16 steps (longest linear sequence), which also allowed access to the full panel of relative stereoisomers and ultimately to the assignment of stereochemical configuration. Discrepancies between the spectroscopic signatures of the synthetic compounds with that originally reported for the BE-43547 members stimulated us to re-isolate the natural product from a BE-43547-producing microorganism during which we elucidated the biosynthetic gene clusters for the BE-43547 family as well as for all other known APD-CLDs. Our studies underline the exciting possibilities for the further development of the anticancer activities of these natural products.

  7. Synthesis of ent-BE-43547A1 reveals a potent hypoxia-selective anticancer agent and uncovers the biosynthetic origin of the APD-CLD natural products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villadsen, Nikolaj L.; Jacobsen, Kristian M.; Keiding, Ulrik B.; Weibel, Esben T.; Christiansen, Bjørn; Vosegaard, Thomas; Bjerring, Morten; Jensen, Frank; Johannsen, Mogens; Tørring, Thomas; Poulsen, Thomas B.

    2016-11-01

    Tumour hypoxia is speculated to be a key driver of therapeutic resistance and metastatic dissemination. Consequently, the discovery of new potent agents that selectively target the hypoxic cell population may reveal new and untapped antitumour mechanisms. Here we demonstrate that the BE-43547 subclass of the APD-CLD (amidopentadienoate-containing cyclolipodepsipeptides) natural products possesses highly hypoxia-selective growth-inhibitory activity against pancreatic cancer cells. To enable this discovery, we have developed the first synthesis of the BE-43547-macrocyclic scaffold in 16 steps (longest linear sequence), which also allowed access to the full panel of relative stereoisomers and ultimately to the assignment of stereochemical configuration. Discrepancies between the spectroscopic signatures of the synthetic compounds with that originally reported for the BE-43547 members stimulated us to re-isolate the natural product from a BE-43547-producing microorganism during which we elucidated the biosynthetic gene clusters for the BE-43547 family as well as for all other known APD-CLDs. Our studies underline the exciting possibilities for the further development of the anticancer activities of these natural products.

  8. Aglycone geniposidic acid, a naturally occurring crosslinking agent, and its application for the fixation of collagenous tissues.

    PubMed

    Mi, Fwu-Long; Huang, Chin-Tsung; Chiu, Ya-Ling; Chen, Mei-Chin; Liang, Hsiang-Fa; Sung, Hsing-Wen

    2007-12-01

    A natural compound, aglycone geniposidic acid (aGSA), originated from the fruits of Gardenia jasminoides ELLIS was used for the fixation of collagenous tissues. The presumed crosslinking reaction mechanism of collagenous tissues with aGSA was inferred by reacting aGSA with a bifunctional amine, 1,6-hexanediamine, using a series of (1)H NMR, FT-IR, and UV/Vis spectra analyses. aGSA reacted with 1,6-hexanediamine by a nucleophilic attack on the olefinic carbon atom at C-2 of deoxyloganin aglycone, followed by opening the dihydropyran ring to form heterocyclic amine compounds. It is inferred that aGSA may form intramolecular and intermolecular crosslinks with a heterocyclic structure within collagen fibers in tissues. The degrees of tissue fixation by aGSA at different pH values were investigated by examining the fixation indices and denaturation temperatures of test samples. It was found that the fixation indices and denaturation temperatures of test samples fixed at neutral or basic pH (pH 7.4 or pH 8.5) were significantly greater than at acidic pH (pH 4.0). The results obtained in this study may be used to elucidate the crosslinking mechanism and optimize the fixation process for developing bioprostheses fixed by aGSA. Copyright 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Brevibacillus laterosporus strain BPM3, a potential biocontrol agent isolated from a natural hot water spring of Assam, India.

    PubMed

    Saikia, R; Gogoi, D K; Mazumder, S; Yadav, A; Sarma, R K; Bora, T C; Gogoi, B K

    2011-03-20

    A bacterial strain designated as BPM3 isolated from mud of a natural hot water spring of Nambar Wild Life Sanctuary, Assam, India, strongly inhibited growth of phytopathogenic fungi (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri, F. semitectum, Magnaporthe grisea and Rhizoctonia oryzae) and gram-positive bacterium (Staphylococcus aureus). The maximum growth and antagonistic activity was recorded at 30°C, pH 8.5 when starch and peptone were amended as carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively. In greenhouse experiment, this bacterium (BPM3) suppressed blast disease of rice by 30-67% and protected the weight loss by 35-56.5%. The maximum disease protection (67%) and weight loss protection (56.5%) were recorded when the bacterium was applied before 2 days of the pathogen inoculation. Antifungal and antibacterial compounds were isolated from the bacterium which also inhibited the growth of these targeted pathogens. The compounds were purified and on spectroscopic analysis of a purified fraction having R(f) 0.22 which showed strong antifungal and antibacterial activity indicated the presence of C-H, carbonyl group, dimethyl group, -CH(2) and methyl group. The bacterium was characterized by morphological, biochemical and molecular approaches and confirmed that the strain BPM3 is Brevibacillus laterosporus.

  10. Structure of daidzin, a naturally occurring anti-alcohol-addiction agent, in complex with human mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Edward D; Gao, Guang-Yao; Johnson, Louise N; Keung, Wing Ming

    2008-08-14

    The ALDH2*2 gene encoding the inactive variant form of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) protects nearly all carriers of this gene from alcoholism. Inhibition of ALDH2 has hence become a possible strategy to treat alcoholism. The natural product 7-O-glucosyl-4'-hydroxyisoflavone (daidzin), isolated from the kudzu vine ( Peruraria lobata), is a specific inhibitor of ALDH2 and suppresses ethanol consumption. Daidzin is the active principle in a herbal remedy for "alcohol addiction" and provides a lead for the design of improved ALDH2. The structure of daidzin/ALDH2 in complex at 2.4 A resolution shows the isoflavone moiety of daidzin binding close to the aldehyde substrate-binding site in a hydrophobic cleft and the glucosyl function binding to a hydrophobic patch immediately outside the isoflavone-binding pocket. These observations provide an explanation for both the specificity and affinity of daidzin (IC50 =80 nM) and the affinity of analogues with different substituents at the glucosyl position.

  11. Dopaminergic pharmacology and antioxidant properties of pukateine, a natural product lead for the design of agents increasing dopamine neurotransmission.

    PubMed

    Dajas-Bailador, F A; Asencio, M; Bonilla, C; Scorza, M C; Echeverry, C; Reyes-Parada, M; Silveira, R; Protais, P; Russell, G; Cassels, B K; Dajas, F

    1999-03-01

    The dopaminergic and antioxidant properties of pukateine [(R)-11-hydroxy-1,2-methylenedioxyaporphine, PUK], a natural aporphine derivative, were analyzed in the rat central nervous system. At dopamine (DA) D1 ([3H]-SCH 23390) and D2 ([3H]-raclopride) binding sites, PUK showed IC50 values in the submicromolar range (0.4 and 0.6 microM, respectively). When the uptake of tritiated dopamine was assayed by using a synaptosomal preparation, PUK showed an IC50 = 46 microM. In 6-hydroxydopamine unilaterally denervated rats, PUK (8 mg/kg but not 4 mg/kg) elicited a significant contralateral circling, a behavior classically associated with a dopaminergic agonist action. When perfused through a microdialysis probe inserted into the striatum, PUK (340 microM) induced a significant increase in dopamine levels. In vitro experiments with a crude rat brain mitochondrial suspension showed that PUK did not affect monoamine oxidase activities, at concentrations as high as 100 microM. PUK potently (IC50 = 15 microM) and dose-dependently inhibited the basal lipid peroxidation of a rat brain membrane preparation. As a whole, PUK showed a unique profile of action, comprising an increase in extracellular DA, an agonist-like interaction with DA receptors, and antioxidant activity. Thus, PUK may be taken as a lead compound for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for Parkinson disease.

  12. Harnessing the multifunctionality in nature: a bioactive agent release system with self-antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties.

    PubMed

    Özçelik, Hayriye; Vrana, Nihal Engin; Gudima, Alexandru; Riabov, Vladimir; Gratchev, Alexei; Haikel, Youssef; Metz-Boutigue, Marie-Hélène; Carradò, Adele; Faerber, Jacques; Roland, Thierry; Klüter, Harald; Kzhyshkowska, Julia; Schaaf, Pierre; Lavalle, Philippe

    2015-09-16

    Major problems with biomedical devices in particular implants located in nonsterile environments concern: (i) excessive immune response to the implant, (ii) development of bacterial biofilms, and (iii) yeast and fungi infections. An original multifunctional coating that addresses all these issues concomitantly is developed. A new exponentially growing polyelectrolyte multilayer film based on polyarginine (PAR) and hyaluronic acid (HA) is designed. The films have a strong inhibitory effect on the production of inflammatory cytokines released by human primary macrophage subpopulations. This could reduce potential chronic inflammatory reaction following implantation. Next, it is shown that PAR, due to its positive charges, has an antimicrobial activity in film format against Staphylococcus aureus for 24 h. In order to have a long-term antimicrobial activity, a precursor nanoscale silver coating is deposited on the surface before adding the PAR/HA films. Moreover, the PAR/HA films can be easily further functionalized by embedding antimicrobial peptides, like catestatin (CAT), a natural host defense peptide. This PAR/HA+CAT film proves to be effective as an antimicrobial coating against yeast and fungi and its cytocompatibility is also assessed. Finally, this all-in-one system constitutes an original strategy to limit inflammation and prevents bacteria, yeast, and fungi infections.

  13. The preparation of poly(γ-glutamic acid)-NHS ester as a natural cross-linking agent of collagen.

    PubMed

    Yang, Junhui; Ding, Cuicui; Huang, Liulian; Zhang, Min; Chen, Lihui

    2017-04-01

    γ-PGA-NHS ester, which was prepared using poly(γ-glutamic acid) (γ-PGA) and N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) as the raw materials, was synthesized to be a novel cross-linker of collagen. Fourier transform infrared spectra analysis suggested that the products displayed the characteristic absorption peak of ester. Results from nuclear magnetic resonance analysis indicated that the esterification degree of γ-PGA-NHS ester was increased with the increase of NHS. Modified collagen was prepared and characterized. The results of circular dichroism analysis indicated modified collagen retained the triple helix structure of natural collagen. Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed that the molecular weight of collagen was increased after cross-linking. Peptide mapping of collagen suggested that cross-linked collagen possessed an enhanced resistance to trypsin degradation. Differential scanning calorimeter results showed that the denaturation temperature of collagen was improved from 68.1±0.4 to 91.2±0.5°C (p<0.05). Dynamic viscoelastic measurements demonstrated the improvement of thermal stability and reflected the exponential increase in η*. The cross-linked collagen retained porous structure and the pore size became larger as observed by scanning electron microscopy. The investigation results provided useful information to produce collagen with improved physicochemical properties, particularly the thermal stability via the use of γ-PGA-NHS ester as a biomacromolecule-based cross-linker. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Exploring the use of natural antimicrobial agents and pulsed electric fields to control spoilage bacteria during a beer production process.

    PubMed

    Galvagno, M A; Gil, G R; Iannone, L J; Cerrutti, P

    2007-01-01

    Different natural antimicrobials affected viability of bacterial contaminants isolated at critical steps during a beer production process. In the presence of 1 mg/ml chitosan and 0.3 mg/ml hops, the viability of Escherichia coli in an all malt barley extract wort could be reduced to 0.7 and 0.1% respectively after 2 hour- incubation at 4 degrees C. The addition of 0.0002 mg/ml nisin, 0.1 mg/ml chitosan or 0.3 mg/ml hops, selectively inhibited growth of Pediococcus sp. in more than 10,000 times with respect to brewing yeast in a mixed culture. In the presence of 0.1 mg ml chitosan in beer, no viable cells of the thermoresistant strain Bacillus megaterium were detected. Nisin, chitosan and hops increased microbiological stability during storage of a local commercial beer inoculated with Lactobacillus plantarum or Pediococcus sp. isolated from wort. Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) (8 kV/cm, 3 pulses) application enhanced antibacterial activity of nisin and hops but not that of chitosan. The results herein obtained suggest that the use of these antimicrobial compounds in isolation or in combination with PEF would be effective to control bacterial contamination during beer production and storage.

  15. Comparison of natural humic substances and synthetic ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and nitrilotriacetic acid as washing agents of a heavy metal-polluted soil.

    PubMed

    Soleimani, Mohsen; Hajabbasi, Mohammad A; Afyuni, Majid; Akbar, Samira; Jensen, Julie K; Holm, Peter E; Borggaard, Ole K

    2010-01-01

    Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), and other synthetic polycarboxylic acids have been shown to possess substantial capacity as washing agents of heavy metal-polluted soils, but they are environmentally problematic. Therefore, a sample of natural soluble humic substances (HS) was tested as a possible substitute. The efficiency of HS to extract cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), and lead (Pb) from a strongly polluted calcareous urban soil was compared with that of EDTA and NTA. The influence of extractant concentration (25-100 mmol L(-1) C), solution/soil ratio (5-100 L kg(-1)), and single-step vs. multistep extraction on heavy metal removal from the soil was investigated. The extracted pools were assessed by sequential extraction. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and NTA extracted up to 86, 77, and 30% of total soil Cd, Cu, and Pb, respectively, whereas HS extracted 44, 53, and 4%. Extracted amounts of Cd, Cu, and Pb increased with increasing extractant concentration and solution/soil ratio in the range 5 to 100 L kg(-1). Single-step extraction removed about the same amounts of the three metals as multiple-step extraction. The metal-extracted pools of the soil depended on the metal and on the extractant. The overall conclusion is that soluble HS can replace synthetic EDTA and NTA as washing agents for Cd- and Cu-polluted soils, whereas HS is not a promising substitute of EDTA or NTA for cleaning Pb-polluted, calcareous soils.

  16. A Substrate Fed-Batch Biphasic Catalysis Process for the Production of Natural Crosslinking Agent Genipin with Fusarium solani ACCC 36223.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yuyao; Zhao, Botao; Huang, Xiaode; Chen, Bin; Qian, Hua

    2015-06-01

    The natural crosslinking agent genipin has been applied widely in biomedicines and foods nowadays. Because of the special hemiacetal ring structure in its molecule, it can only be prepared by hydrolysis of geniposide according to biocatalysis. In this research, strategies including aqueous-organic biphasic catalysis and substrate fed-batch mode were adopted to improve the biocatalysis process of genipin. A 10 L ethyl acetate-aqueous biphasic system with geniposide fed-batch led to a satisfying genipin yield. With Fusarium solani ACCC 36223, 15.7 g/l genipin in the ethyl acetate phase was obtained, corresponding to space-time yields of 0.654 g l(-1) h(-1).

  17. Effect of the salting-out agent anion nature on the phase separation of a potassium salt-potassium bis(alkyl polyoxyethylene)phosphate-water systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elokhov, A. M.; Lesnov, A. E.; Kudryashova, O. S.

    2016-10-01

    The effect the salting-out agent anion nature has on the temperature and concentration intervals of the existence of the separation area is established by analyzing the phase diagrams of pseudoternary KCl (KBr, KI, KNO3, K2SO4, K4P2O7)-potassium bis(alkyl polyoxyethylene)phosphate (oxyphos B)-water systems. It is concluded that the anionic salting-out capability is reduced in the order P2O 7 4- > SO 4 2- > Cl- > Br‒> NO 7 4- > SO 3 - > I-. The thermodynamic parameters of phase separation used to interpret the results are calculated. The observed pattern of a change in the salting-out ability of the investigated salts relative to aqueous solutions of the surfactants is in good agreement with the lyotropic (Hofmeister) series.

  18. Natural products-based insecticidal agents 7. Semisynthesis and insecticidal activity of novel 4alpha-alkyloxy-2-chloropodophyllotoxin derivatives against Mythimna separata Walker in vivo.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hui; Xiao, Xiao; Wang, Qing-tian

    2010-09-01

    In continuation of our program aimed at the discovery and development of natural products-based insecticidal agents, 16 novel 4alpha-alkyloxy-2-chloropodophyllotoxin derivatives were semisynthesized from podophyllotoxin, and preliminarily evaluated for their insecticidal activity against the pre-third-instar larvae of Mythimna separata Walker in vivo. Among all the tested derivatives, especially compounds 4b, 4e, 4g, and 4p exhibited more promising and pronounced insecticidal activity than toosendanin, a commercial insecticide derived from Melia azedarach. Generally, it was obviously demonstrated that the length of straight-chain or branched-chain alkyloxy, and heteroatom-containing cycloalkyloxy at the C-4 position of 2-chloropodophyllotoxin were very important for the insecticidal activity.

  19. Natural products-based insecticidal agents 11. Synthesis and insecticidal activity of novel 4α-arylsulfonyloxybenzyloxy-2β-chloropodophyllotoxin derivatives against Mythimna separata Walker in vivo.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hui; Zhang, Jun-Liang

    2011-09-15

    In continuation of our program aimed at the discovery and development of natural products-based insecticidal agents, 14 novel 4α-arylsulfonyloxybenzyloxy-2β-chloropodophyllotoxin derivatives were stereoselectively semisynthesized from podophyllotoxin, and preliminarily evaluated for their insecticidal activity against the pre-third-instar larvae of Mythimna separata Walker in vivo. Especially compounds 9c' and 9g' exhibited the most promising and pronounced insecticidal activity than toosendanin, a commercial insecticide derived from Melia azedarach at 1mg/mL. Generally, it was preliminarily demonstrated that arylsulfonyloxy groups at the C-2 position of benzyloxy moiety and the length of the side chain on the benzenesulfonyloxy group of 4α-arylsulfonyloxybenzyloxy-2β-chloropodophyllotoxins might be important for the insecticidal activity.

  20. Host's innate immune response to fungal and bacterial agents in vitro: up-regulation of interleukin-15 gene expression resulting in enhanced natural killer cell activity

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Phay; Ahmad, Rasheed; Xu, Jingwu; Ahmad, Ali; Menezes, José

    2003-01-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells play an important role in the first line of defence against viral infections. We have shown earlier that exposure of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to viruses results in rapid up-regulation of NK cell activity via interleukin-15 (IL-15) induction, and that this mechanism curtails viral infection in vitro. By using Candida albicans, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, we now show here that exposure of PBMC to fungi and bacteria also results in an immediate increase of NK cytotoxicity. Reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analyses as well as the use of antibodies against different cytokines revealed that IL-15 induction played a predominant role in this NK activation. These results indicate that IL-15 is also involved in the innate immune response against fungal and bacterial agents. PMID:12757622

  1. Design and synthesis of 3,4-methylenedioxy-6-nitrophenoxyacetylhydrazone derivatives obtained from natural safrole: new lead-agents with analgesic and antipyretic properties.

    PubMed

    Bezerra-Netto, Heleno J C; Lacerda, Daniel I; Miranda, Ana Luisa P; Alves, Hélio M; Barreiro, Eliezer J; Fraga, Carlos A M

    2006-12-01

    In this work, we reported the synthesis and evaluation of the analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties of new 2-(6-nitro-benzo[1,3]dioxol-5-yloxy)-acetylhydrazone derivatives (3), designed exploring molecular hybridization and isosteric replacement approaches between nimesulide (1) and carbanalogue NAH series (2) developed at LASSBio. Target compounds were synthesized in very good yields exploiting abundant Brazilian natural product safrole (4) as starting material. The evaluation of the antinociceptive properties of this series led us to discover a new potent prototype of analgesic and antipyretic agent, that is, NAH derivative 3c, named LASSBio-891, which showed to be more potent than dipyrone used as standard.

  2. Amaranthus oleracea and Euphorbia hirta: natural potential larvicidal agents against the urban Indian malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi Liston (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Sharma, Preeti; Mohan, Lalit; Srivastava, C N

    2009-12-01

    Malaria control in developing countries is based largely on vector eradication by the use of mosquito larvicides which is an ideal method for controlling mosquito and the related epidemics. On account of ecohazardous nature, nontarget specificity of chemical insecticides and evidences of developing resistance against them in the exposed species, currently, importance of secondary plant metabolites has been acknowledged. Insecticides of plant origin are environmentally safe, degradable, and target specific. In view of this fact, the present work highlights the larvicidal property of extracts of Amaranthus oleracea and Euphorbia hirta against the third instar larvae of Anopheles stephensi, the urban malaria vector. LC(50) values for the carbon tetrachloride fraction of A. oleracea against larvae are 17,768.00 and 13,780.00 ppm after 24 and 48 h of exposure accordingly. For the methanol extract of the same, LC(50) values are 15,541.00 and 10,174.00 ppm after 24 and 48 h of exposure. In the case of petroleum ether extract, LC(50) values after 24 and 48 h of exposure are 848.75 and 311.50 ppm. LC(50) values for carbon tetrachloride extracts of E. hirta against the larvae are 11,063.00 and 10,922.00 ppm after 24 and 48 h of exposure, respectively. For methanol extract of the same extract, the LC(50) values are 19,280.00 and 18,476.00 ppm after 24 and 48 h of exposure. In the case of petroleum ether extract, LC(50) values after a 24- and 48-h exposure period are 9,693.90 and 7,752.80 ppm. The results obtained for petroleum extracts of A. oleracea are encouraging and there are probabilities that the active principle contained in this extract may be more effective than its crude form and may serve as ecofriendly mosquito larvicide.

  3. Monoalkyl sulfates as alkylating agents in water, alkylsulfatase rate enhancements, and the “energy-rich” nature of sulfate half-esters

    PubMed Central

    Wolfenden, Richard; Yuan, Yang

    2007-01-01

    Alkyl sulfate monoesters are involved in cell signaling and structure. Alkyl sulfates are also present in many commercial detergents. Here, we show that monomethyl sulfate acts as an efficient alkylating agent in water, reacting spontaneously with oxygen nucleophiles >100-fold more rapidly than do alkylsulfonium ions, the usual methyl donors in living organisms. These reactions of methyl sulfate, which are much more rapid than its hydrolysis, are insensitive to the nature of the attacking nucleophile, with a Brønsted βnuc value of −0.01. Experiments at elevated temperatures indicate a rate constant of 2 × 10−11 s−1 for the uncatalyzed hydrolysis of methyl sulfate at 25°C (t1/2 = 1,100 y), corresponding to a rate enhancement of ≈1011-fold by a human alkylsulfatase. Equilibria of formation of methyl sulfate from methanol and sodium hydrogen sulfate indicate a group transfer potential (ΔG′pH7) of −8.9 kcal/mol for sulfate ester hydrolysis. The magnitude of that value, involving release of the strong acid HSO4−, helps to explain the need for harnessing the free energy of hydrolysis of two ATP molecules in activating sulfate for the biosynthesis of sulfate monoesters. The “energy-rich” nature of monoalkyl sulfate esters, coupled with their marked resistance to hydrolysis, renders them capable of acting as sulfating or alkylating agents under relatively mild conditions. These findings raise the possibility that, under appropriate circumstances, alkyl groups may undergo transfer from alkyl sulfate monoesters to biological target molecules. PMID:17182738

  4. A Collective Case Study of Secondary Students' Model-Based Inquiry on Natural Selection through Programming in an Agent-Based Modeling Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, Lin

    This is a collective case study seeking to develop detailed descriptions of how programming an agent-based simulation influences a group of 8 th grade students' model-based inquiry (MBI) by examining students' agent-based programmable modeling (ABPM) processes and the learning outcomes. The context of the present study was a biology unit on natural selection implemented in a charter school of a major California city during spring semester of 2009. Eight 8th grade students, two boys and six girls, participated in this study. All of them were low socioeconomic status (SES). English was a second language for all of them, but they had been identified as fluent English speakers at least a year before the study. None of them had learned either natural selection or programming before the study. The study spanned over 7 weeks and was comprised of two study phases. In phase one the subject students learned natural selection in science classroom and how to do programming in NetLogo, an ABPM tool, in a computer lab; in phase two, the subject students were asked to program a simulation of adaptation based on the natural selection model in NetLogo. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in this study. The data resources included (1) pre and post test questionnaire, (2) student in-class worksheet, (3) programming planning sheet, (4) code-conception matching sheet, (5) student NetLogo projects, (6) videotaped programming processes, (7) final interview, and (8) investigator's field notes. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were applied to analyze the gathered data. The findings suggested that students made progress on understanding adaptation phenomena and natural selection at the end of ABPM-supported MBI learning but the progress was limited. These students still held some misconceptions in their conceptual models, such as the idea that animals need to "learn" to adapt into the environment. Besides, their models of natural selection appeared to be

  5. Identification of natural antimicrobial agents to treat dengue infection: In vitro analysis of latarcin peptide activity against dengue virus.

    PubMed

    Rothan, Hussin A; Bahrani, Hirbod; Rahman, Noorsaadah Abd; Yusof, Rohana

    2014-05-31

    Although there have been considerable advances in the study of dengue virus, no vaccines or anti-dengue drugs are currently available for humans. Therefore, new approaches are necessary for the development of potent anti-dengue drugs. Natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with potent antiviral activities are potential hits-to-leads for antiviral drug discovery. We performed this study to identify and characterise the inhibitory potential of the latarcin peptide (Ltc 1, SMWSGMWRRKLKKLRNALKKKLKGE) against dengue virus replication in infected cells. The Ltc 1 peptide showed a significantly inhibitory effect against the dengue protease NS2B-NS3pro at 37°C, a physiological human temperature, (IC50, 12.68 ± 3.2 μM), and greater inhibitory effect was observed at 40°C, a temperature similar to a high fever (IC50, 6.58 ± 4.1 μM). A greater reduction in viral load (p.f.u./ml) was observed at simultaneous (0.7 ± 0.3 vs. 7.2 ± 0.5 control) and post-treatment (1.8 ± 0.7 vs. 6.8 ± 0.6 control) compared to the pre-treatment (4.5 ± 0.6 vs. 6.9 ± 0.5 control). Treatment with the Ltc 1 peptide reduced the viral RNA in a dose-dependent manner with EC50 values of 8.3 ± 1.2, 7.6 ± 2.7 and 6.8 ± 2.5 μM at 24, 48 and 72 h, respectively. The Ltc 1 peptide exhibited significant inhibitory effects against dengue NS2B-NS3pro and virus replication in the infected cells. Therefore, further investigation is necessary to develop the Ltc 1 peptide as a new anti-dengue therapeutic.

  6. Naturally occurring sulfonium-ion glucosidase inhibitors and their derivatives: a promising class of potential antidiabetic agents.

    PubMed

    Mohan, Sankar; Eskandari, Razieh; Pinto, B Mario

    2014-01-21

    against the intestinal glucosidases. Through structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies, we have modified the natural compounds to derive more potent, nanomolar inhibitors of human MGAM and SI. This structural optimization also yielded the most potent inhibitors known to date for each subunit. Furthermore, we observed that some of our synthetic inhibitors selectively blocked the activity of some mucosal α-glucosidases. Those results led to our current working hypothesis that selective inhibitors can dampen the action of a fast digesting subunit or subunits which places the burden of digestion on slower digesting subunits. That strategy can control the rate of starch digestion and glucose release to the body. Decreasing the initial glucose spike after a carbohydrate-rich meal and extending postprandial blood glucose delivery to the body can be desirable for diabetics and patients with other metabolic syndrome-associated diseases.

  7. Detection of Natural Resistance-Associated Substitutions by Ion Semiconductor Technology in HCV1b Positive, Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents-Naïve Patients.

    PubMed

    Marascio, Nadia; Pavia, Grazia; Strazzulla, Alessio; Dierckx, Tim; Cuypers, Lize; Vrancken, Bram; Barreca, Giorgio Settimo; Mirante, Teresa; Malanga, Donatella; Oliveira, Duarte Mendes; Vandamme, Anne-Mieke; Torti, Carlo; Liberto, Maria Carla; Focà, Alfredo; The Sinergie-Umg Study Group

    2016-08-27

    Naturally occurring resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) can negatively impact the response to direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) agents-based therapies for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Herein, we set out to characterize the RASs in the HCV1b genome from serum samples of DAA-naïve patients in the context of the SINERGIE (South Italian Network for Rational Guidelines and International Epidemiology, 2014) project. We deep-sequenced the NS3/4A protease region of the viral population using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine, and patient-specific majority rule consensus sequence summaries were constructed with a combination of freely available next generation sequencing data analysis software. We detected NS3/4A protease major and minor variants associated with resistance to boceprevir (V36L), telaprevir (V36L, I132V), simeprevir (V36L), and grazoprevir (V36L, V170I). Furthermore, we sequenced part of HCV NS5B polymerase using Sanger-sequencing and detected a natural RAS for dasabuvir (C316N). This mutation could be important for treatment strategies in cases of previous therapy failure.

  8. An eudesman derivative from Verbesina persicifolia D.C. as a natural mild uncoupler in liver mitochondria. A new potential anti-obesity agent?

    PubMed

    Dalla Via, Lisa; García-Argáez, Aída N; Braga, Alessandra; Martínez-Vázquez, Mariano; Grancara, Silvia; Martinis, Pamela; Agostinelli, Enzo; Toninello, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    4β-cinnamoyloxy,1β,3α-dihydroxyeudesm-7,8-ene (CDE) extracted from Verbesina persicifolia induces bioenergetic collapse in rat liver mitochondria (RLM), monitored as a fall in the respiratory control index and ADP/O values. This fall in energy is accompanied by a protonophore effect and membrane potential (Δψ) collapse, demonstrating that CDE behaves as a typical uncoupling agent. However, when examining the effect of CDE in detail, we found that it acts as a "mild" uncoupler because it drops Δψ and increases respiratory state 4. The proposed mechanism is based on the interaction of CDE with membrane protein cytochrome C oxidase, which is implicated in proton permeability, and with the respiratory chain for the generation of reactive oxygen species which mediate and regulate the activity of the above membrane protein. Considering the energy collapse, "mild" uncoupling, and the fact that CDE is largely used in folk medicines, this extract may be viewed as a potentially effective anti-obesity drug and a natural lead compound for developing new natural uncouplers against obesity.

  9. Detection of Natural Resistance-Associated Substitutions by Ion Semiconductor Technology in HCV1b Positive, Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents-Naïve Patients

    PubMed Central

    Marascio, Nadia; Pavia, Grazia; Strazzulla, Alessio; Dierckx, Tim; Cuypers, Lize; Vrancken, Bram; Barreca, Giorgio Settimo; Mirante, Teresa; Malanga, Donatella; Oliveira, Duarte Mendes; Vandamme, Anne-Mieke; Torti, Carlo; Liberto, Maria Carla; Focà, Alfredo

    2016-01-01

    Naturally occurring resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) can negatively impact the response to direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) agents-based therapies for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Herein, we set out to characterize the RASs in the HCV1b genome from serum samples of DAA-naïve patients in the context of the SINERGIE (South Italian Network for Rational Guidelines and International Epidemiology, 2014) project. We deep-sequenced the NS3/4A protease region of the viral population using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine, and patient-specific majority rule consensus sequence summaries were constructed with a combination of freely available next generation sequencing data analysis software. We detected NS3/4A protease major and minor variants associated with resistance to boceprevir (V36L), telaprevir (V36L, I132V), simeprevir (V36L), and grazoprevir (V36L, V170I). Furthermore, we sequenced part of HCV NS5B polymerase using Sanger-sequencing and detected a natural RAS for dasabuvir (C316N). This mutation could be important for treatment strategies in cases of previous therapy failure. PMID:27618896

  10. Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using aqueous extracts of Heterotheca inuloides as reducing agent and natural fibers as templates: Agave lechuguilla and silk.

    PubMed

    Morales-Luckie, Raúl A; Lopezfuentes-Ruiz, Aldo Adrián; Olea-Mejía, Oscar F; Liliana, Argueta-Figueroa; Sanchez-Mendieta, Víctor; Brostow, Witold; Hinestroza, Juan P

    2016-12-01

    Silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) were synthesized using a one-pot green methodology with aqueous extract of Heterotheca inuloides as a reducing agent, and the support of natural fibers: Agave lechuguilla and silk. UV-Vis spectroscopy, X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy XPS and transmission electron microscopy TEM were used to characterize the resulting bionanocomposite fibers. The average size of the Ag NPs was 16nm and they exhibited low polydispersity. XPS studies revealed the presence of only metallic Ag in the nanoparticles embedded in Agave. lechuguilla fibers. Significant antibacterial activities against gram-negative Escherichia coli and gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus were determined. AgO as well as metallic Ag phases were detected when silk threads were used as a substrates hinting at the active role of substrate during the nucleation and growth of Ag NPs. These bionanocomposites have excellent mechanical properties in tension which in addition to the antibacterial properties indicate the potential use of these modified natural fibers in surgical and biomedical applications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Biodistribution of X-ray iodinated contrast agent in nano-emulsions is controlled by the chemical nature of the oily core.

    PubMed

    Attia, Mohamed F; Anton, Nicolas; Chiper, Manuela; Akasov, Roman; Anton, Halina; Messaddeq, Nadia; Fournel, Sylvie; Klymchenko, Andrey S; Mély, Yves; Vandamme, Thierry F

    2014-10-28

    In this study, we investigated the role of the chemical nature of the oil droplet core of nano-emulsions used as contrast agents for X-ray imaging on their pharmacokinetics and biodistribution. To this end, we formulated PEGylated nano-emulsions with two iodinated oils (i.e., iodinated monoglyceride and iodinated castor oil) and compared them with another iodinated nano-emulsion based on iodinated vitamin E. By using dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy, the three iodinated nano-emulsions were found to exhibit comparable morphologies, size, and surface composition. Furthermore, they were shown to be endowed with very high iodine concentration, which leads to stronger X-ray attenuation properties as compared to the commercial iodinated nano-emulsion Fenestra VC. The three nano-emulsions were i.v. administered in mice and monitored by microcomputed tomography (micro-CT). They showed high contrast enhancement in blood with similar half-life around 6 h but very different accumulation sites. While iodinated monoglycerides exhibited low accumulation in liver and spleen, high accumulation in spleen was observed for iodinated castor oil and in liver for vitamin E. These data clearly highlighted the important role of the oil composition of the nano-emulsion core to obtain strong X-ray contrast enhancement in specific targets such as liver, spleen, or only blood. These differences in biodistribution were partly attributed to differences in the uptake of the nanodroplets by the macrophages in vitro. Another key feature of these nano-emulsions is their long half-elimination time (several weeks), which offers sufficient retention for micro-CT imaging. This work paves the way for the design of nanoparticulate contrast agents for X-ray imaging of selected organs.

  12. Bryostatin-1, a naturally occurring antineoplastic agent, acts as a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) ligand and induces unique cytokines and chemokines in dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Ariza, Maria Eugenia; Ramakrishnan, Rupal; Singh, Narendra P; Chauhan, Ashok; Nagarkatti, Prakash S; Nagarkatti, Mitzi

    2011-01-07

    Bryostatin-1 (Bryo-1), a natural macrocyclic lactone, is clinically used as an anti-cancer agent. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that Bryo-1 acts as a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) ligand. Interestingly, activation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (in vitro with Bryo-1) led to a TLR4-dependent biphasic activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and the unique induction of cytokines (IL-5, IL-6, and IL-10) and chemokines, including RANTES (regulated on activation normal T cell expressed and secreted) and macrophage inflammatory protein 1α (MIP1-α). In addition, EMSA demonstrated that Bryo-1-mediated induction of RANTES was regulated by NF-κB and the interferon regulatory factors (IRF)-1, IRF-3, and IRF-7 to the RANTES independently of myeloid differentiation primary response gene-88 (MyD88). Bryo-1 was able to induce the transcriptional activation of IRF-3 through the TLR4/MD2-dependent pathway. In vivo administration of Bryo-1 triggered a TLR-4-dependent T helper cell 2 (Th2) cytokine response and expanded a subset of myeloid dendritic cells that expressed a CD11c(high)CD8α(-) CD11b(+)CD4(+) phenotype. This study demonstrates that Bryo-1 can act as a TLR4 ligand and activate innate immunity. Moreover, the ability of Bryo-1 to trigger RANTES and MIP1-α suggests that Bryo-1 could potentially be used to prevent HIV-1 infection. Finally, induction of a Th2 response by Bryo-1 may help treat inflammatory diseases mediated by Th1 cells. Together, our studies have a major impact on the clinical use of Bryo-1 as an anti-cancer and immunopotentiating agent.

  13. [New promising natural immunocorrective agents].

    PubMed

    Borsuk, O S; Masnaia, N V; Sherstoboev, E Iu; Isaĭkina, N V; Kalinkina, G I

    2009-01-01

    The influence of Sorbus sibirica, Calendula officinalis and Althaea officinalis extracts on the humoral immune response and nonspecific resistance of mice to immunosuppression by cyclophosphan was studied. It was shown that these extracts are not inferior to Echinacea purpurea tincture in terms of stimulation of humoral immune response, phagocytic and bactericidal activity of peritoneal macrophages but exceed effect of E. purpurea on phagocytic activity of peripheral blood neutrophils.

  14. Natural Negotiation for Believable Agents.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1995-06-01

    card. Melvin is wearing his eye glasses. You are holding a Babe Ruth trading card, a Ted Williams trading card and a Henry Aaron trading card...to you: ’’The Klingon Empörer »ants to know if you would be willing to part with Babe Ruth for Reggie Jackson?". [Melvin wants to become the...8217’Are there any cards we (the Klingon high command and I) can offer you in return for Babe Ruth ?’’. PLAYER> Say to Melvin: Do you have anything

  15. Electron beam induced water-soluble silk fibroin nanoparticles as a natural antioxidant and reducing agent for a green synthesis of gold nanocolloid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wongkrongsak, Soraya; Tangthong, Theeranan; Pasanphan, Wanvimol

    2016-01-01

    The research proposes a novel water-soluble silk fibroin nanoparticles (WSSF-NPs) created by electron beam irradiation. In this report, we demonstrate the effects of electron beam irradiation doses ranging from 1 to 30 kGy on the molecular weight (MW), nanostructure formation, antioxidant activity and reducing power of the WSSF-NPs. Electron beam-induced degradation of SF causing MW reduction from 250 to 37 kDa. Chemical characteristic functions of SF still remained after exposing to electron beam. The WSSF-NPs with the MW of 37 kDa exhibited spherical morphology with a nanoscaled size of 40 nm. Antioxidant activities and reducing powers were investigated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhryl free radical (DPPH•) scavenging activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays, respectively. The WSSF-NPs showed greater antioxidant activity and reducing power than non-irradiated SF. By increasing their antioxidant and reducing power efficiencies, WSSF-NPs potentially created gold nanocolloid. WSSF-NPs produced by electron beam irradiation would be a great merit for the uses as a natural antioxidant additive and a green reducing agent in biomedical, cosmetic and food applications.

  16. Biocomposites from Natural Rubber: Synergistic Effects of Functionalized Cellulose Nanocrystals as Both Reinforcing and Cross-Linking Agents via Free-Radical Thiol-ene Chemistry.

    PubMed

    Parambath Kanoth, Bipinbal; Claudino, Mauro; Johansson, Mats; Berglund, Lars A; Zhou, Qi

    2015-08-05

    Natural rubber/cellulose nanocrystals (NR/CNCs) form true biocomposites from renewable resources and are demonstrated to show significantly improved thermo-mechanical properties and reduced stress-softening. The nanocomposites were prepared from chemically functionalized CNCs bearing thiols. CNCs served as both reinforcing and cross-linking agents in the NR matrix, and the study was designed to prove the cross-linking function of modified CNCs. CNCs were prepared from cotton, and the cross-linkable mercapto-groups were introduced onto the surface of CNCs by esterification. Nanocomposite films were prepared by dispersing the modified CNCs (m-CNCs) in NR matrix by solution casting. The cross-links at the filler-matrix (m-CNCs-NR) interface were generated by photochemically initiated thiol-ene reactions as monitored by real-time FTIR analysis. The synergistic effects of reinforcement and chemical cross-linking at the m-CNCs-NR interface on structure, thermo-mechanical, and stress-softening behavior were investigated. Methods included field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), swelling tests, dynamic mechanical analysis, and tensile tests. Compared to biocomposites from NR with unmodified CNCs, the NR/m-CNCs nanocomposites showed 2.4-fold increase in tensile strength, 1.6-fold increase in strain-to-failure, and 2.9-fold increase in work-of-fracture at 10 wt % of m-CNCs in NR.

  17. Natural-product-based insecticidal agents 14. Semisynthesis and insecticidal activity of new piperine-based hydrazone derivatives against Mythimna separata Walker in vivo.

    PubMed

    Qu, Huan; Yu, Xiang; Zhi, Xiaoyan; Lv, Min; Xu, Hui

    2013-10-15

    In continuation of our program aimed at the discovery and development of natural-product-based insecticidal agents, twenty-six new piperine-based hydrazone derivatives were synthesized from piperine, an alkaloid isolated from Piper nigrum Linn. The single-crystal structures of 6c, 6q and 6w were unambiguously confirmed by X-ray crystallography. Their insecticidal activity was evaluated against the pre-third-instar larvae of Mythimna separata Walker in vivo. Especially compounds 6b, 6i and 6r, the final mortality rates of which, at the concentration of 1 mg/mL, were 62.1%, 65.5% and 65.5%, respectively, exhibited more pronounced insecticidal activity compared to toosendanin at 1 mg/mL, a commercial botanical insecticide isolated from Melia azedarach. It suggested that introduction of the substituents at the C-2 position on the phenyl ring of the hydrazone derivatives was important for their insecticidal activity. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Natural history studies for the preliminary evaluation of Larinus filiformis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) as a prospective biological control agent of yellow starthistle.

    PubMed

    Gültekin, L; Cristofaro, M; Tronci, C; Smith, L

    2008-10-01

    We studied the life history, geographic distribution, behavior, and ecology of Larinus filiformis Petri (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in its native range to determine whether it is worthy of further evaluation as a classical biological control agent of yellow starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis (Asteraceae: Cardueae). Larinus filiformis occurs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Bulgaria and has been reared only from C. solstitialis. At field sites in central and eastern Turkey, adults were well synchronized with the plant, being active from mid-May to late July and ovipositing in capitula (flowerheads) of C. solstitialis from mid-June to mid-July. Larvae destroy all the seeds in a capitulum. The insect is univoltine in Turkey, and adults hibernate from mid-September to mid-May. In the spring, before adults begin ovipositing, they feed on the immature flower buds of C. solstitialis, causing them to die. The weevil destroyed 25-75% of capitula at natural field sites, depending on the sample date. Preliminary host specificity experiments on adult feeding indicate that the weevil seems to be restricted to a relatively small number of plants within the Cardueae. Approximately 57% of larvae or pupae collected late in the summer were parasitized by hymenopterans [Bracon urinator, B. tshitsherini (Braconidae) and Exeristes roborator (Ichneumonidae), Aprostocetus sp. (Eulophidae), and unidentified species of Eurytomidae and Ormyridae]. This weevil may be a better choice than the other capitula insects already established in the United States, particularly in colder parts of the plant's range.

  19. Influenza-like illness in residential care homes: a study of the incidence, aetiological agents, natural history and health resource utilisation.

    PubMed

    Hui, D S; Woo, J; Hui, E; Foo, A; Ip, M; To, K-W; Cheuk, E S C; Lam, W-Y; Sham, A; Chan, P K S

    2008-08-01

    Influenza-like illness (ILI) among elderly people living in residential care homes (RCHEs) is a common cause for hospitalisation. A study was undertaken to examine the incidence, underlying aetiology, natural history and associated healthcare resource utilisation related to ILI in the RCHE population. A prospective study of ILI in four RCHEs in Shatin, Hong Kong was conducted from April 2006 to March 2007. Each RCHE was monitored daily for the occurrence of ILI and followed up until resolution of illness or death. Clinical features were recorded and sputum, nasopharyngeal aspirate, blood and urine specimens were examined for underlying aetiology. 259 episodes of ILI occurred in 194 subjects, with mild peaks in winter and summer, over a sustained level throughout the year. The infectious agent was identified in 61.4% of all episodes, comprising bacterial infection in 53.3% and viral in 46.7%. Multiple infections occurred in 16.2% of subjects. The most frequent organism was Streptococcus pneumoniae, followed by respiratory syncytial virus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, metapneumovirus and parainfluenza virus types 1 and 3. Clinical features did not vary according to the underlying aetiology, the common presenting features being a decrease in general condition, cognitive and functional deterioration, and withholding of food in addition to fever and respiratory symptoms. Overall, mortality at 1 month/discharge was 9.7%. Infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, low body mass index and poor function predisposed to mortality. No association was observed between influenza vaccination status and underlying aetiology, clinical features or outcome. The clinical presentation of ILI is non-specific and is mainly due to bacterial and viral infections other than influenza in the RCHE population.

  20. Ultrasound Contrast Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cachard, Christian; Basset, Olivier

    While the use of contrast agents in other imaging modalities (X ray, MRI, PET, …) has been routinely accepted for many years, the development and commercialization of contrast agents designed specifically for ultrasound imaging has occurred only very recently. As in the other imaging modalities, the injection of contrast agents during an ultrasound examination is intended to facilitate the detection and diagnosis of specific pathologies. Contrast agents efficiency is based on the backscattering of ultrasound by microbubbles. These microparticules are intravenously injected in the blood flow. After an introduction and generalities on ultrasound contrast agents (UCA) the microbubble physics in an acoustic field will be developed. Second, physics characteristics of contrast agents will be compared (bubbles with or without shell, gas nature, size distribution). Influence of acoustic pressure on the behaviour of the microparticules (linear, non linear and destruction) will be discussed. Finally, a review of specific imaging adapted to contrast agent properties as harmonic imaging, pulse inversion imaging will be presented.

  1. A Collective Case Study of Secondary Students' Model-Based Inquiry on Natural Selection through Programming in an Agent-Based Modeling Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xiang, Lin

    2011-01-01

    This is a collective case study seeking to develop detailed descriptions of how programming an agent-based simulation influences a group of 8th grade students' model-based inquiry (MBI) by examining students' agent-based programmable modeling (ABPM) processes and the learning outcomes. The context of the present study was a biology unit on…

  2. A Collective Case Study of Secondary Students' Model-Based Inquiry on Natural Selection through Programming in an Agent-Based Modeling Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xiang, Lin

    2011-01-01

    This is a collective case study seeking to develop detailed descriptions of how programming an agent-based simulation influences a group of 8th grade students' model-based inquiry (MBI) by examining students' agent-based programmable modeling (ABPM) processes and the learning outcomes. The context of the present study was a biology unit on…

  3. Adsorption Study on Moringa Oleifera Seeds and Musa Cavendish as Natural Water Purification Agents for Removal of Lead, Nickel and Cadmium from Drinking Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aziz, N. A. A.; Jayasuriya, N.; Fan, L.

    2016-07-01

    The effectiveness of plant based materials Moringa oleifera (Moringa) seeds and Musa cavendish (banana peel) for removing heavy metals namely lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Cd) from contaminated groundwater was studied. Tests were carried out with individual and combined biomass at neutral pH condition on synthetic groundwater samples. The optimum biomass doses were determined as 200 mg/L for single biomass and 400 mg/L (in the ratio of 200 mg/L: 200 mg/L) for combined biomasses and used for adsorption isotherm studies with contact time of 30 minutes. Results showed that combined biomasses was able to met the Pb, Ni and Cd WHO standards from higher Pb, Ni and Cd initial concentrations which were up to 40 µg/L, 50 µg/L 9 µg/L, respectively compared to individual biomass of Moringa seed and banana peel. Moringa seeds exhibited the highest removal of Pb (81%) while the combined biomasses was most effective in removing Ni (74%) and Cd (97%) over wider their initial concentration ranges. The experimental data were linearized with Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherm models. Freundlich model described the Pb adsorption better than the Langmuir model for all the tested biomasses. However, the Langmuir model fit better with the experimental data of Ni adsorption by Moringa seeds. Both models showed negligible differences in the coefficient of determination (R2) when applied for Ni and Cd adsorption on banana peel and combined biomasses, suggesting that there were multiple layers on the biomass interacting with the metals. Chemisorption is suggested to be involved in Pb adsorption for all tested biomasses as the value of nF calculated was lower than one. This type of adsorption could explain the phenomenon of different behavior of Pb removal and the higher Pb adsorption capacity (represented by KF values) compared to Ni and Cd. The study demonstrates that Moringa seeds, banana peel and their combination have the potential to be used as a natural alternative

  4. Target/signalling pathways of natural plant-derived radioprotective agents from treatment to potential candidates: A reverse thought on anti-tumour drugs.

    PubMed

    Yun, Ke-Li; Wang, Zhen Yu

    2017-07-01

    Radiation damage can occur in nuclear power plant workers when physical protections fail, which results in nuclear leakage through the protective layers. Alternatively, workers may be unable to use physical protection in time (in the case of a sudden nuclear weapons attack). In addition, patients who receive local radiotherapy and are not allowed to adopt local physical protection may experience radiation damage. Thus, protection against chemical radiation has become indispensable. In view of the side effects caused by synthetic radioprotective agents (such as amisfostine), searching for radioprotective agents from plant sources is an alternative strategy. Radiation damage can cause multiple signalling pathway disturbances, leading to multiple organ injuries. Changes in these signalling pathways can lead to apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy, as well as organ fibrosis, atrophy, and inflammation. Through literature searches, we determined that most targets for treating radiation injury are mechanistically opposite those of anti-tumour agents. This is likely attributable to the idea that anti-tumour agents promote cell necrosis or apoptosis, whereas the goal of anti-radiation agents is to promote cell survival or autophagy. This observation has important theoretical and practical significance when searching and developing new radioprotective agents derived from plant extracts. Further, it has important guiding value for meeting military needs and serving the public. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  5. Moral actor, selfish agent.

    PubMed

    Frimer, Jeremy A; Schaefer, Nicola K; Oakes, Harrison

    2014-05-01

    People are motivated to behave selfishly while appearing moral. This tension gives rise to 2 divergently motivated selves. The actor-the watched self-tends to be moral; the agent-the self as executor-tends to be selfish. Three studies present direct evidence of the actor's and agent's distinct motives. To recruit the self-as-actor, we asked people to rate the importance of various goals. To recruit the self-as-agent, we asked people to describe their goals verbally. In Study 1, actors claimed their goals were equally about helping the self and others (viz., moral); agents claimed their goals were primarily about helping the self (viz., selfish). This disparity was evident in both individualist and collectivist cultures, attesting to the universality of the selfish agent. Study 2 compared actors' and agents' motives to those of people role-playing highly prosocial or selfish exemplars. In content (Study 2a) and in the impressions they made on an outside observer (Study 2b), actors' motives were similar to those of the prosocial role-players, whereas agents' motives were similar to those of the selfish role-players. Study 3 accounted for the difference between the actor and agent: Participants claimed that their agent's motives were the more realistic and that their actor's motives were the more idealistic. The selfish agent/moral actor duality may account for why implicit and explicit measures of the same construct diverge, and why feeling watched brings out the better angels of human nature.

  6. Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Index Agent Orange Agent Orange Home Facts about Herbicides Veterans' Diseases Birth Defects Benefits Exposure Locations Provider ... Orange Parkinson’s Awareness Month Were you exposed to herbicides during service and have Parkinson’s disease? You may ...

  7. A procedure for differentiating between the intentional release of biological warfare agents and natural outbreaks of disease: its use in analyzing the tularemia outbreak in Kosovo in 1999 and 2000.

    PubMed

    Grunow, R; Finke, E-J

    2002-08-01

    The events of 11 September and the subsequent anthrax outbreaks in the USA have opened the world's eyes to the threat posed by terrorist groups, criminal organizations and lone operators who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. The open or covert use of pathogens and toxins as biological warfare agents can no longer be ruled out. Against this background, the appearance of an unusual disease must be studied in order to clarify whether it is a natural or artificially caused occurrence. This issue was recently raised in discussions with local representatives and relief organizations during a tularemia epidemic in Kosovo from October 1999 to May 2000. This paper will present a procedure which attempts to use certain criteria to identify or rule out the use of biological warfare agents in the event of an unusual outbreak of disease. Data and findings gathered by routine epidemiologic and microbiological studies often provide only an indirect answer to this problem. For this reason, various criteria were formulated and points allocated to represent their importance, allowing us to deduce in a semiquantitative manner the degree of possibility of an artificial genesis of outbreaks. The significance and characterization of each criterion are discussed. An analysis of the tularemia epidemic in Kosovo based on the procedure described here indicates that a deliberate release of the causative agent of tularemia, Francisella tularensis, as a biological warfare agent is doubtful. In this paper, an approach is described to discriminate between the intentional use of biological warfare agents and natural outbreaks of infectious diseases. The developed model is flexible and considers the political, military and social analysis of the crisis-afflicted region, the specific features of the pathogen, and the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of the epidemic.

  8. Toward a Theory-Based Natural Language Capability in Robots and Other Embodied Agents: Evaluating Hausser's SLIM Theory and Database Semantics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burk, Robin K.

    2010-01-01

    Computational natural language understanding and generation have been a goal of artificial intelligence since McCarthy, Minsky, Rochester and Shannon first proposed to spend the summer of 1956 studying this and related problems. Although statistical approaches dominate current natural language applications, two current research trends bring…

  9. Toward a Theory-Based Natural Language Capability in Robots and Other Embodied Agents: Evaluating Hausser's SLIM Theory and Database Semantics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burk, Robin K.

    2010-01-01

    Computational natural language understanding and generation have been a goal of artificial intelligence since McCarthy, Minsky, Rochester and Shannon first proposed to spend the summer of 1956 studying this and related problems. Although statistical approaches dominate current natural language applications, two current research trends bring…

  10. Detecting agents.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Susan C

    2003-01-01

    This paper reviews a recent set of behavioural studies that examine the scope and nature of the representational system underlying theory-of-mind development. Studies with typically developing infants, adults and children with autism all converge on the claim that there is a specialized input system that uses not only morphological cues, but also behavioural cues to categorize novel objects as agents. Evidence is reviewed in which 12- to 15-month-old infants treat certain non-human objects as if they have perceptual/attentional abilities, communicative abilities and goal-directed behaviour. They will follow the attentional orientation of an amorphously shaped novel object if it interacts contingently with them or with another person. They also seem to use a novel object's environmentally directed behaviour to determine its perceptual/attentional orientation and object-oriented goals. Results from adults and children with autism are strikingly similar, despite adults' contradictory beliefs about the objects in question and the failure of children with autism to ultimately develop more advanced theory-of-mind reasoning. The implications for a general theory-of-mind development are discussed. PMID:12689380

  11. Gluten-free pasta incorporating chia (Salvia hispanica L.) as thickening agent: An approach to naturally improve the nutritional profile and the in vitro carbohydrate digestibility.

    PubMed

    Menga, Valeria; Amato, Mariana; Phillips, Tim D; Angelino, Donato; Morreale, Federico; Fares, Clara

    2017-04-15

    A gluten-free pasta was prepared adding chia at rice flour for testing the thickening and nutritional properties of this specie. Chemical analysis showed chia is a source of protein (19.52% and 15.81%, seeds and mucilage respectively), insoluble/soluble dietary fiber ratio (4.3 and 1.79 seeds and mucilage respectively), fat and ash content. The total phenolic acids content ranged from 734.5μg/g to 923.9μg/g for seeds and mucilage respectively. Chia was a good thickening agent and, improved the nutritional profile of enriched samples compared to CGF. After cooking TPAs increased in all samples, ranging from 5.3% in DW to 52.8% in CM5. The addition of chia seeds also increased the slowly digestible starch fraction of rice flour, commonly known to have a high glycemic index. Results suggest that chia should be added as thickening agent in the formulation of GF pasta for conferring healthier characteristics. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. [Culture properties of the causative agent of tularemia isolated in natural foci in Stavropol Territory, the Kalmyk ASSR and the Armenian SSR].

    PubMed

    Basilova, G I; Nekrasov, A A; Pilipenko, V G

    1983-01-01

    The strains isolated in natural foci of the Stavropol Territory and the Armenian SSR have been found to belong to the holarctic race of Francisella tularensis, biovar II. In natural foci of the Kalmyk ASSR the strains belonging to biovars I and II have been isolated. The study of the tularecinogenicity of the cultures has revealed the existence of strains which are not sensitive to their own tularecins. The phenomenon of tularecinogenicity in F. novocida has been established. Avirulent strain 319/38 belonging to the non-arctic race is recommended as an indicator strain for the determination of tularecinogenicity.

  13. Natural enemies of Saperda spp. (Col.: Cerambycidae, Lamiinae) in Europe, envisioned as potential agents in biological control of Anoplophora spp. in Europe and the U.S.A.

    Treesearch

    Franck Herard; Christian Cocquempot; Olivier Simonot

    2003-01-01

    Project Objectives/Approach. Our rationale is founded on the evaluation of possible new associations between the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and natural enemies of European cerambycids that have similarities with ALB in terms of taxonomy, host-plants, and behavior. Our first objective is to search, among the biocoenoses associated with selected European cerambycids,...

  14. Incorporation of dithiooxamide as a complexing agent into cellulose for the removal and pre-concentration of Cu(II) and Cd(II) ions from natural water samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jorgetto, A. O.; Silva, R. I. V.; Longo, M. M.; Saeki, M. J.; Padilha, P. M.; Martines, M. A. U.; Rocha, B. P.; Castro, G. R.

    2013-01-01

    The present study describes the incorporation of a complexing agent, dithiooxamide, into microcrystalline cellulose for use in the pre-concentration of Cu(II) and Cd(II) ions from aqueous samples. The FTIR spectrum of the adsorbent exhibited an absorption band in the region of 800 cm-1, which confirmed the binding of the silylating agent to the matrix. Elemental analysis indicated the amount of 0.150 mmol g-1 of the complexing agent. The adsorption data were fit to the modified Langmuir equation, and the maximum amount of metal species extracted from the solution, Ns, was determined to be 0.058 and 0.072 mmol g-1 for Cu(II) and Cd(II), respectively. The covering fraction ϕ, which was 0.39 and 0.48 for Cu(II) and Cd(II), respectively, was used to estimate a 1:2 (metal:ligand) ratio in the formed complex, and a binding model was proposed based on this information. The adsorbent was applied in the pre-concentration of natural water samples and exhibited an enrichment factor of approximately 50-fold for the species studied, which enabled its use in the analysis of trace metals in aqueous samples. The system was validated by the analysis of certified standard (1643e), and the adsorbent was stable for more than 20 cycles, thus enabling its safe reutilization.

  15. Prevalence and natural history of hepatitis B and C infections in a large population of IBD patients treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor-α agents.

    PubMed

    Papa, Alfredo; Felice, Carla; Marzo, Manuela; Andrisani, Gianluca; Armuzzi, Alessandro; Covino, Marcello; Mocci, Giammarco; Pugliese, Daniela; De Vitis, Italo; Gasbarrini, Antonio; Rapaccini, Gian Lodovico; Guidi, Luisa

    2013-03-01

    The prevalence rates of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have been reported to be higher than rates of infection among the general population. Although several cases of HBV infection reactivation in IBD patients treated with anti-TNF-α agents have been described, no evidence exists that anti-TNF-α therapy exacerbates the course of HCV. The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of HBV and HCV and the rate of HBV vaccination in a population of IBD patients; and to investigate the long-term effects of anti-TNF-α therapy in the subgroup with HBV or HCV infections. 301 patients were studied. Prior to the initiation of anti-TNF-α therapy, serum samples were tested for HBsAg and anti-HBc, anti-HBs and anti-HCV antibodies. During the follow-up, HBsAg and anti-HBc positive patients underwent periodic blood testing for viral markers, HBV-DNA and liver function; anti-HCV positive patients were assessed for liver function and HCV-RNA. One patient was HBsAg positive (0.3%), and 22 (7.3%) tested positive for anti-HBc. Seventy-two patients (23.9%) had been vaccinated for HBV. Four patients tested positive for anti-HCV (1.3%). During anti-TNF-α therapy, none of the patients experienced HBV or HCV reactivation. HBV and HCV infection rates were similar to infection rates among the general population. Less than one quarter of the patients had been vaccinated against HBV. Anti-TNF-α agents appear to be safe for patients with HBV infection; more data are needed for patients with HCV infection. Copyright © 2012 European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Biological Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... is required. Biological Agents Menu Overview In Focus: Ebola Frederick A. Murphy/CDC OSHA's Ebola webpage provides ... OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page. In Focus: Ebola Frederick A. Murphy/CDC OSHA's Ebola webpage provides ...

  17. Differential effects of natural product microtubule stabilizers on microtubule assembly: single agent and combination studies with taxol, epothilone B, and discodermolide.

    PubMed

    Gertsch, Jürg; Meier, Sarah; Müller, Martin; Altmann, Karl-Heinz

    2009-01-05

    A systematic comparison has been performed of the morphology and stability of microtubules (MTs) induced by the potent microtubule-stabilizing agents (MSAs) taxol, epothilone B (Epo B), and discodermolide (DDM) under GTP-free conditions. DDM-induced tubulin polymerization occurred significantly faster than that induced by taxol and Epo B. At the same time, tubulin polymers assembled from soluble tubulin by DDM were morphologically distinct (shorter and less ordered) from those induced by either taxol or Epo B, as demonstrated by electron microscopy. Exposure of MSA-induced tubulin polymers to ultrasound revealed the DDM-based polymers to be less stable to this type of physical stress than those formed with either Epo B or taxol. Interestingly, MT assembly in the presence of both DDM and taxol appeared to produce a distinct new type of MT polymer with a mixed morphology between those of DDM- and taxol-induced structures. The observed differences in MT morphology and stability might be related, at least partly, to differences in intramicrotubular tubulin isotype distribution, as DDM showed a different pattern of beta-tubulin isotype usage in the assembly process.

  18. Statistical analysis of the dynamics of antibody loss to a disease-causing agent: plague in natural populations of great gerbils as an example.

    PubMed

    Park, Siyun; Chan, Kung-Sik; Viljugrein, Hildegunn; Nekrassova, Larissa; Suleimenov, Bakhtiyar; Ageyev, Vladimir S; Klassovskiy, Nikolay L; Pole, Sergey B; Chr Stenseth, Nils

    2007-02-22

    We propose a new stochastic framework for analysing the dynamics of the immunity response of wildlife hosts against a disease-causing agent. Our study is motivated by the need to analyse the monitoring time-series data covering the period from 1975 to 1995 on bacteriological and serological tests-samples from great gerbils being the main host of Yersinia pestis in Kazakhstan. Based on a four-state continuous-time Markov chain, we derive a generalized nonlinear mixed-effect model for analysing the serological test data. The immune response of a host involves the production of antibodies in response to an antigen. Our analysis shows that great gerbils recovered from a plague infection are more likely to keep their antibodies to plague and survive throughout the summer-to-winter season than throughout the winter-to-summer season. Provided the seasonal mortality rates are similar (which seems to be the case based on a mortality analysis with abundance data), our finding indicates that the immune function of the sampled great gerbils is seasonal.

  19. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  20. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  1. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  2. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  3. Natural Products Discovered in a High-Throughput Screen Identified as Inhibitors of RGS17 and as Cytostatic and Cytotoxic Agents for Lung and Prostate Cancer Cell Lines.

    PubMed

    Bodle, Christopher R; Mackie, Duncan I; Hayes, Michael P; Schamp, Josephine H; Miller, Michael R; Henry, Michael D; Doorn, Jonathan A; Houtman, Jon C D; James, Michael A; Roman, David L

    2017-07-28

    Regulator of G Protein Signaling (RGS) 17 is an overexpressed promoter of cancer survival in lung and prostate tumors, the knockdown of which results in decreased tumor cell proliferation in vitro. Identification of drug-like molecules inhibiting this protein could ameliorate the RGS17's pro-tumorigenic effect. Using high-throughput screening, a chemical library containing natural products was interrogated for inhibition of the RGS17-Gαo interaction. Initial hits were verified in control and counter screens. Leads were characterized via biochemical, mass spectrometric, Western blot, microscopic, and cytotoxicity measures. Four known compounds (1-4) were identified with IC50 values ranging from high nanomolar to low micromolar. Three compounds were extensively characterized biologically, demonstrating cellular activity determined by confocal microscopy, and two compounds were assessed via ITC exhibiting high nanomolar to low micromolar dissociation constants. The compounds were found to have a cysteine-dependent mechanism of binding, verified through site-directed mutagenesis and cysteine reactivity assessment. Two compounds, sanguinarine (1) and celastrol (2), were found to be cytostatic against lung and prostate cancer cell lines and cytotoxic against prostate cancer cell lines in vitro, although the dependence of RGS17 on these phenomena remains elusive, a result that is perhaps not surprising given the multimodal cytostatic and cytotoxic activities of many natural products.

  4. Delivering instilled hydrophobic drug to the bladder by a cationic nanoparticle and thermo-sensitive hydrogel composite system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Men, Ke; Liu, Wei; Li, Lin; Duan, Xingmei; Wang, Pan; Gou, Maling; Wei, Xiawei; Gao, Xiang; Wang, Bilan; Du, Yanan; Huang, Meijuan; Chen, Lijuan; Qian, Zhiyong; Wei, Yuquan

    2012-09-01

    Some bladder disease therapies can benefit from intravesical drug delivery, which involves direct instillation of drug into the bladder via a catheter, to attain high local concentrations of the drug with minimal systemic effects. Deguelin is a potential anticancer agent, however, its poor water solubility and neurotoxicity restrict its clinical application. To address these challenges, we investigated the promising application of deguelin in the intravesical therapy of bladder cancer by designing a novel intravesical drug delivery system for deguelin. It was found that deguelin could efficiently kill bladder cancer cells and inhibit angiogenesis. Intravesically administrated deguelin had better tolerance than systemically applied deguelin. Encapsulation of deguelin in cationic DOTAP and monomethoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ε-caprolactone) (MPEG-PCL) hybrid nanoparticles (DMP) created the deguelin loaded DMP nanoparticles (D/DMP). They had a mean particle size of 35 nm and zeta potential of 21 mV, rendering deguelin completely dispersible in aqueous media. Encapsulation of deguelin in cationic DMP nanoparticles enhanced the anticancer activity of deguelin in vitro. In addition, D/DMP nanoparticles were incorporated into a thermo-sensitive Pluronic F127 hydrogel, forming a novel D/DMP-F system, which remained in a flowing liquid state at lower than 25 °C, but underwent gelation at higher temperatures. The DMP nanoparticles in the F127 hydrogel system (DMP-F) could significantly extend the hydrophobic drug residence time and increase the drug concentration within the bladder. These results suggested that DMP-F was a good intravesical drug delivery system and D/DMP-F may have promising applications in intravesical therapy of bladder cancer.

  5. Characterization of Naturally Occurring NS5A and NS5B Polymorphisms in Patients Infected with HCV Genotype 3a Treated with Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents.

    PubMed

    Bartolini, Barbara; Giombini, Emanuela; Taibi, Chiara; Lionetti, Raffaella; Montalbano, Marzia; Visco-Comandini, Ubaldo; D'Offizi, Gianpiero; Capobianchi, Maria Rosaria; McPhee, Fiona; Garbuglia, Anna Rosa

    2017-08-07

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype (GT)3 is associated with increased risk of steatosis, development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Limited data are available regarding genetic variability and use of direct-acting antiviral agents in these patients. non-structural protein 5A (NS5A) and non-structural protein 5B (NS5B) sequencing was performed on 45 HCV GT3-infected Italian patients subsequently treated with sofosbuvir ± daclatasvir (SOF ± DCV). Novel GT3a polymorphisms were observed by Sanger sequencing in three NS5A (T79S, T107K, and T107S) and three NS5B (G166R, Q180K, and C274W) baseline sequences in patients who achieved sustained virological response (SVR). Baseline NS5A resistance-associated substitutions A30K and Y93H were detected in 9.5% of patients; one patient with A30K did not achieve SVR. Phylogenetic analyses of sequences showed no distinct clustering. Genetic heterogeneity of NS5A and NS5B was evaluated using ultra-deep pyrosequencing (UDPS) in samples longitudinally collected in patients not achieving SVR. Some novel NS5A and NS5B polymorphisms detected at baseline may not impact treatment outcome, as they were not enriched in post-failure samples. In contrast, the novel L31F NS5A variant emerged in one treatment failure, and I184T, G188D and N310S, located on the same NS5B haplotype, became predominant after failure. These findings suggest a potential impact of these novel substitutions on the treatment outcome; however, their significance requires further investigation.

  6. The use of Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm. (Myrtaceae) oil (leaf extract) as a natural larvicidal agent against the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi Liston (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Senthil Nathan, Sengottayan

    2007-07-01

    Secondary metabolites obtained from the indigenous plants with proven mosquito control potential can be used as an alternative to synthetic insecticides under the integrated vector control. The essential oil extract from the forest redgum, Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm. (Myrtaceae) was tested against mature and immature mosquito vector Anopheles stephensi Liston (Diptera) under laboratory condition. The extract showed strong larvicidal, pupicidal and adulticidal activity. The leaf oil extracts showed high bioactivity at high doses. Results obtained from the laboratory experiment showed that the leaf extracts suppressed the pupal and adult activity of Anopheles stephensi at higher doses. In general, first and second instar larvae were more susceptible to all treatments. Clear dose -response relationships were established with the highest dose of 160ppm plant extract evoking almost 100% mortality. The results obtained suggest that, in addition to their medicinal activities, E. tereticornis can also serve as a natural mosquitocide.

  7. Black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) are natural hosts of Babesia rossi, the virulent causative agent of canine babesiosis in sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Penzhorn, Barend L; Vorster, Ilse; Harrison-White, Robert F; Oosthuizen, Marinda C

    2017-03-13

    Babesia rossi, which is transmitted by Haemaphysalis spp. and is highly virulent to domestic dogs, occurs only in sub-Saharan Africa. Since dogs are not native to the region, it has been postulated that the natural host of B. rossi is an indigenous African canid. Although various attempts at artificial infection indicated that black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) could become subclinically infected with B. rossi, data on occurrence of B. rossi in free-ranging jackals was lacking. A long-term behaviour study in which free-ranging black-backed jackals were radio-collared offered the opportunity of collecting blood specimens from a large number of free-ranging jackals. Genomic DNA was extracted from the EDTA blood samples (n = 107). PCR products were subjected to Reverse Line Blot hybridization using Theileria and Babesia genera-specific as well as 28 species-specific oligonucleotide probes, including Babesia canis, Babesia rossi, Babesia vogeli and Babesia gibsoni. The near full-length parasite 18S rRNA gene was amplified from two selected samples (free-ranging jackals), cloned and a total of six recombinants were sequenced. Of 91 free-ranging jackals, 77 (84.6%) reacted with the Babesia genus-specific probe; 27 (29.7%) also reacted with the B. rossi probe. Of 16 captive jackals, 6 (37.5%) reacted with the B. rossi probe, while one further sample reacted with the Babesia genus-specific probe only. After cloning, 6 recombinants yielded identical sequences identical to that of B. rossi (L19079) and differing by 2 base pairs from B. rossi (DQ111760) in GenBank. The observed sequence similarities were confirmed by phylogenetic analyses using neighbour joining and maximum parsimony. Black-backed jackals are natural hosts of B. rossi.

  8. Sunscreening Agents

    PubMed Central

    Martis, Jacintha; Shobha, V; Sham Shinde, Rutuja; Bangera, Sudhakar; Krishnankutty, Binny; Bellary, Shantala; Varughese, Sunoj; Rao, Prabhakar; Naveen Kumar, B.R.

    2013-01-01

    The increasing incidence of skin cancers and photodamaging effects caused by ultraviolet radiation has increased the use of sunscreening agents, which have shown beneficial effects in reducing the symptoms and reoccurrence of these problems. Many sunscreen compounds are in use, but their safety and efficacy are still in question. Efficacy is measured through indices, such as sun protection factor, persistent pigment darkening protection factor, and COLIPA guidelines. The United States Food and Drug Administration and European Union have incorporated changes in their guidelines to help consumers select products based on their sun protection factor and protection against ultraviolet radiation, whereas the Indian regulatory agency has not yet issued any special guidance on sunscreening agents, as they are classified under cosmetics. In this article, the authors discuss the pharmacological actions of sunscreening agents as well as the available formulations, their benefits, possible health hazards, safety, challenges, and proper application technique. New technologies and scope for the development of sunscreening agents are also discussed as well as the role of the physician in patient education about the use of these agents. PMID:23320122

  9. Ethanol Extracts from Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) Act as Natural Antioxidants and Antimicrobial Agents in Uncooked Pork Patties during Refrigerated Storage

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Suk-Nam

    2016-01-01

    The antioxidant potential of mistletoe (Viscum album L. var. coloratum Ohwi; VAL) extract in uncooked pork patties was evaluated. Three concentrations of VAL extract (0.1 [T1], 0.5% [T2] and 1.0% [T3]) along with 0.02% ascorbic acid as a positive control (V) were added to ground pork and pork patties were prepared. Incorporation of VAL extract decreased (p<0.05) the pH of the pork patties throughout the storage time and reduced (p<0.01) the thiobarbituric acid reactive substance values after day 14 of storage. Total plate counts of the VAL extract-treated samples and V-treated samples were also significantly lower (p<0.01) than that of the control (C) throughout the storage period. In addition, odor scores of the VAL extract-treated patties were lower than those of the C- or V-treated samples on 3rd day of the storage period. These results demonstrated that the VAL extract acts as a natural antioxidant in uncooked pork products. PMID:26732334

  10. Physicochemical, antimicrobial, and cytotoxic characteristics of a chitosan film cross-linked by a naturally occurring cross-linking agent, aglycone geniposidic acid.

    PubMed

    Mi, Fwu-Long; Huang, Chin-Tsung; Liang, Hsiang-Fa; Chen, Mei-Chin; Chiu, Ya-Ling; Chen, Chun-Hung; Sung, Hsing-Wen

    2006-05-03

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the characteristics of a chitosan film cross-linked by a naturally occurring compound, aglycone geniposidic acid (aGSA). This newly developed aGSA-cross-linked chitosan film may be used as an edible film. The chitosan film without cross-linking (fresh) and the glutaraldehyde-cross-linked chitosan film were used as controls. The characteristics of test chitosan films evaluated were their degree of cross-linking, swelling ratio, mechanical properties, water vapor permeability, antimicrobial capability, cytotoxicity, and enzymatic degradability. It was found that cross-linking of chitosan films by aGSA (at a concentration up to 0.8 mM) significantly increased its ultimate tensile strength but reduced its strain at fracture and swelling ratio. There was no significant difference in the antimicrobial capability between the cross-linked chitosan films and their fresh counterpart. However, the aGSA-cross-linked chitosan film had a lower cytotoxicity, a slower degradation rate, and a relatively lower water vapor permeability as compared to the glutaraldehyde-cross-linked film. These results suggested that the aGSA-cross-linked chitosan film may be a promising material as an edible film.

  11. Natural Prenylchalconaringenins and Prenylnaringenins as Antidiabetic Agents: α-Glucosidase and α-Amylase Inhibition and in Vivo Antihyperglycemic and Antihyperlipidemic Effects.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hua; Wang, Dong; Song, Xiaotong; Zhang, Yazhou; Ding, Weina; Peng, Xiaolin; Zhang, Xiaoting; Li, Yashan; Ma, Ying; Wang, Runling; Yu, Peng

    2017-03-01

    Inhibition of α-glucosidase and α-amylase decreases postprandial blood glucose levels and delays glucose absorption, making it a treatment strategy for type 2 diabetes. This study examined in vivo and in vitro antidiabetic activities of natural prenylchalconaringenins 1 and 2 and prenylnaringenins 3 and 4, found in hops and beer. 3'-Geranylchalconaringenin (2) competitively and irreversibly inhibited α-glucosidase (IC50 = 1.08 μM) with activity 50-fold higher than that of acarbose (IC50 = 51.30 μM) and showed moderate inhibitory activity against α-amylase (IC50 = 20.46 μM). Docking analysis substantiated these findings. In addition, compound 2 suppressed the increase in postprandial blood glucose levels and serum levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Taken together, these results suggest that 2 has dual inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase and α-amylase and alleviates diabetic hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, making it a potential functional food ingredient and drug candidate for management of type 2 diabetes.

  12. Aqueous two-phase system cold-set gelation using natural and recombinant probiotic lactic acid bacteria as a gelling agent.

    PubMed

    Léonard, Lucie; Husson, Florence; Langella, Philippe; Châtel, Jean-Marc; Saurel, Rémi

    2016-05-01

    The present study aimed to entrap probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in a sodium alginate and sodium caseinate aqueous two-phase gel system. The natural acidifying properties of two therapeutic probiotic LAB were exploited to liberate calcium ions progressively from calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which caused the gelation of the co-existing phases. Bi-biopolymeric matrix gelation of GDL/CaCO3 or LAB/CaCO3 was monitored by dynamic rheological measurements, and the final gels were characterized by frequency dependence measurements and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Weak to strong gels were formed with an elastic modulus G' from 10 to 1.000Pa, respectively. After cold-set gelation of our system, confocal laser scanning microscopy showed spherical protein microdomains trapped within a calcium alginate network. LAB cells were stained to study their partition in the self-gelling matrices. Our LAB strains showed two different behaviors, which may relate to the exopolysaccharide production: (i) Lactobacillus plantarum CNRZ1997 cells were found mainly in continuous alginate networks, whereas (ii) Lactococcus lactis cells were localized in protein microdomains. This alginate-caseinate phase-separated system that was self-gelled by LAB cells may be an innovative approach for immobilizing and protecting LAB cells. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Detection of Naturally Infected Vector Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) by Different Species of Babesia and Theileria Agents from Three Different Enzootic Parts of Iran

    PubMed Central

    Abdigoudarzi, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    Background: Diagnostic study of vector ticks for different pathogens transmitted specifically have been done by Iranian old scientists working on the basis of biological transmission of pathogens. In this study we decided to confirm natural infection of different collected ticks from three different provinces of Iran. Methods: Ticks were collected from livestock (sheep, goats and cattle) during favorable seasons (April to September 2007 and 2008). Slide preparations were stained by Giemsa and Feulgen and were studied searching for any trace of infection. Positive DNA from infected blood or tissue samples was provided and was used as positive control. First, PCR optimization for positive DNA was done, and then tick samples were subjected to specific PCR. Results: Eleven pairs of primers were designed for detection of Theileria, Babesia and Anaplasma spp. Totally 21 tick samples were detected to be infected with protozoa. Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum and Rhipicephalus turanicus from Fars Province were infected with T. lestoquardi at two different places. Hyalomma detritum was infected with T. lestoquardi in Lorestan Province and Rh. turanicus was infected to Ba. ovis from Fars Province. Conclusion: Totally 21 tick samples were detected to be infected with protozoa. Every sample is regarded with host-environment related factors. Since there are complex relations of vectors and their relevant protozoa, different procedures are presented for future studies. PMID:24409442

  14. The influence of oscillating electromagnetic fields on membrane structure and function: Synthetic liposome and natural membrane bilayer systems with direct application to the controlled delivery of chemical agents

    SciTech Connect

    Liburdy, R.P.; de Manincor, D.; Fingado, B.

    1989-09-01

    Investigations have been conducted to determine if an imposed electromagnetic field can influence membrane transport, and ion and drug permeability in both synthetic and natural cell membrane systems. Microwave fields enhance accumulation of sodium in the lymphocyte and induce protein shedding at Tc. Microwaves also trigger membrane permeability of liposome systems under specific field exposure conditions. Sensitivity varies in a defined way in bilayers displaying a membrane structural phase transition temperature, Tc; maximal release was observed at or near Tc. Significantly, liposome systems without a membrane phase transition were also found to experience permeability increases but, in contrast, this response was temperature independent. The above results indicate that field-enhanced drug release occurs in liposome vesicles that possess a Tc as well as non-Tc liposomes. Additional studies extend non-Tc liposome responses to the in vivo case in which microwaves trigger Gentamicin release from a liposome depot'' placed subcutaneously in the rat hind leg. In addition, evidence is provided that cell surface sequestered liposomes can be triggered by microwave fields to release drugs directly into target cells. 24 refs., 6 figs.

  15. Exploration on natural product anibamine side chain modification toward development of novel CCR5 antagonists and potential anti-prostate cancer agents.

    PubMed

    Xu, Guoyan G; Zaidi, Saheem A; Zhang, Feng; Singh, Shilpa; Raborg, Thomas J; Yuan, Yunyun; Zhang, Yan

    2015-09-01

    Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among males in the world. Prostate cancer cells have been shown to express upregulated chemokine receptor CCR5, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that relates to the inflammation process. Anibamine, a natural product containing a pyridine ring and two aliphatic side chains, was shown to carry a binding affinity of 1 μM at CCR5 as an antagonist with potential anti-cancer activity. However, it is not drug-like according to the Lipinski's rule of five mainly due to its two long aliphatic side chains. In our effort to improve its drug-like property, a series of anibamine derivatives were designed and synthesized by placement of aromatic side chains through an amide linkage to the pyridine ring. The newly synthesized compounds were tested for their CCR5 affinity and antagonism, and potential anti-proliferation activity against prostate cancer cell lines. Basal cytotoxicity was finally studied for compounds showing potent anti-proliferation activity. It was found that compounds with hydrophobic substitutions on the aromatic systems seemed to carry more promising CCR5 binding and prostate cancer cell proliferation inhibition activities.

  16. Discovery of Thalicthuberine as a Novel Antimitotic Agent from Nature that Disrupts Microtubule Dynamics and Induces Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Levrier, Claire; Rockstroh, Anja; Gabrielli, Brian; Kavallaris, Maria; Lehman, Melanie; Davis, Rohan A; Sadowski, Martin C; Nelson, Colleen C

    2017-07-27

    We report for the first time the mechanism of action of the natural product thalicthuberine (TH) in prostate and cervical cancer cells. TH induced a strong accumulation of LNCaP cells in mitosis, severe mitotic spindle defects and asymmetric cell divisions, ultimately leading to mitotic catastrophe accompanied by cell death through apoptosis. However, unlike microtubule-binding drugs (vinblastine and paclitaxel), TH did not directly inhibit tubulin polymerization when tested in a cell-free system, whereas it reduced cellular microtubule polymer mass in LNCaP cells. This suggests that TH indirectly targets microtubule dynamics through inhibition of a critical regulator or tubulin-associated protein. Furthermore, TH is not a major substrate for P-glycoprotein (Pgp), which is responsible for multidrug resistance in numerous cancers, providing a rationale to further study TH in cancers with Pgp-mediated treatment resistance. The identification of TH's molecular target in future studies will be of great value to the development of TH as potential treatment of multidrug resistant tumors.

  17. Design and synthesis of marine natural product-based 1H-indole-2,3-dione scaffold as a new antifouling/antibacterial agent against fouling bacteria.

    PubMed

    Majik, Mahesh S; Rodrigues, Cheryl; Mascarenhas, Stacey; D'Souza, Lisette

    2014-06-01

    Marine organisms such as seaweeds, sponges and corals protect their own surfaces from fouling by their high anesthetic, repellant, and settlement inhibition properties. Within the marine ecosystem, evolution has allowed for the development of certain antifouling properties. Isatin is a biologically active chemical produced by an Alteromonas sp. strain inhibiting the surface of embryos of the cardiean shrimp Palaemon macrodectylus, which protect them from the pathogenic fungus Lagenidium callinectes. In present study, an antibacterial activity of isatin and its synthetic analogues were evaluated against different fouling bacteria in order to explore the structure activity relationships for the first time. The synthesized compounds along with parent isatin were tested against different ecologically relevant marine microorganisms by using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. Few synthetically modified isatin exhibited potent inhibitory activity at concentration of 2 μg/disc against Planococcus donghaensis, Erythrobacter litoralis, Alivibrio salmonicida, Vibrio furnisii. Overall, the modified analogues showed stronger activity than the parent marine natural product (isatin) and hence 1H-indole-2,3-dione scaffold has immense potential as future antibacterial/antifouling candidate. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Density functional theory based studies on the nature of Raman and resonance Raman scattering of nerve agent bound to gold and oxide-supported gold clusters: a plausible way of detection.

    PubMed

    Majumdar, D; Roszak, Szczepan; Leszczynski, Jerzy

    2010-04-01

    A detailed theoretical investigation has been carried out at the density functional level of theories to investigate the nature of Raman intensities of the -P=O stretching mode of a model nerve agent DFP (diisopropylfluorophosphate) when bound to different gold (Au(8), Au(20)) and oxide-supported gold (MgO...Au(4), CaO...Au(4), TiO(2)...Au(4), Al(2)O(3)...Au(4), M(16)O(16)...Au(8), and [M(16)O(15)...Au(8)](2+), M = Ca, Mg) clusters. All of these clusters and the DFP-bound clusters are fully optimized, and the computed energetics shows that DFP attaches itself weakly to these clusters. The normal Raman spectra calculations on these clusters show that there is substantial enhancement of the -P=O stretching mode of DFP compared to the isolated species. This enhancement has been found to be due to the polarization of the -P=O bond of DFP when bound to the clusters. Significant enhancement in intensity has been observed in the case of Au(n)...DFP (n = 8, 20), M(16)O(16)...Au(8)...DFP, and [M(16)O(15)...Au(8)](2+)...DFP (M = Ca, Mg) clusters. The resonance Raman calculations on the Au(n)...DFP (n = 8, 20) reveals that this enhancement could be made quite large and selective, which is a feature that is unique to the nerve agents and could be used as a property for detecting them.

  19. Influence of heat on biological activity and concentration of oleocanthal--a natural anti-inflammatory agent in virgin olive oil.

    PubMed

    Cicerale, Sara; Conlan, Xavier A; Barnett, Neil W; Sinclair, Andrew J; Keast, Russell S J

    2009-02-25

    The olive oil phenolic oleocanthal is a natural nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory compound that irritates the oral pharynx in a dose-dependent manner. It has been proposed that the biological activity of oleocanthal is partially responsible for the beneficial health effects of the Mediterranean diet. Virgin olive oil containing oleocanthal is often added as an ingredient in a number of cooked dishes, and therefore it is of great importance to understand how best to preserve the putative health-promoting benefits of this compound, as olive oil phenolics are subject to degradation upon heating in general. One extra virgin olive oil containing 53.9 mg/kg oleocanthal was heated at various temperatures (100, 170, and 240 degrees C) for set time periods (0, 1, 5, 20, 60, and 90 min). Oleocanthal concentrations were quantified using HPLC, and its biological activity was determined with a taste bioassay measuring the intensity of throat irritation. Results demonstrated that oleocanthal was heat stable compared with other olive oil phenolics, with a maximum loss of 16% as determined by HPLC analysis. However, there was a significant decrease of up to 31% (p < 0.05) in the biological activity of oleocanthal as determined by the taste bioassay. Although there was minimal degradation of oleocanthal concentration, there was a significant decrease in the biological activity of oleocanthal upon extended heating time, indicating a possible loss of the putative health -benefiting properties of oleocanthal. Alternatively, the difference in the concentration and biological activity of oleocanthal after heat treatment could be a result of an oleocanthal antagonist forming, decreasing or masking the biological activity of oleocanthal.

  20. Cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases: Important roles in the metabolism of naturally occurring sulfur and selenium-containing compounds, xenobiotics and anticancer agents

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Arthur J. L.; Krasnikov, Boris F.; Niatsetskaya, Zoya V.; Pinto, John T.; Callery, Patrick S.; Villar, Maria T.; Artigues, Antonio; Bruschi, Sam A.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases are pyridoxal 5′-phosphate-containing enzymes that catalyze β-elimination reactions with cysteine S-conjugates that possess a good leaving group in the β-position. The end products are aminoacrylate and a sulfur-containing fragment. The aminoacrylate tautomerizes and hydrolyzes to pyruvate and ammonia. The mammalian cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases thus far identified are enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism that catalyze β-lyase reactions as non-physiological side reactions. Most are aminotransferases. In some cases the lyase is inactivated by reaction products. The cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases are of much interest to toxicologists because they play an important key role in the bioactivation (toxication) of halogenated alkenes, some of which are produced on an industrial scale and are environmental contaminants. The cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases have been reviewed in this journal previously [Cooper and Pinto, 2006]. Here we focus on more recent findings regarding: 1) the identification of enzymes associated with high-Mr cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases in the cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions of rat liver and kidney; 2) the mechanism of syncatalytic inactivation of rat liver mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase by the nephrotoxic β-lyase substrate S-(1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethyl)-L-cysteine (the cysteine S-conjugate of tetrafluoroethylene); 3) toxicant channeling of reactive fragments from the active site of mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase to susceptible proteins in the mitochondria; 4) the involvement of cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases in the metabolism/bioactivation of drugs and natural products; and 5) the role of cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases in the metabolism of selenocysteine Se-conjugates. This review emphasizes the fact that the cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases are biologically more important than hitherto appreciated. PMID:20306345

  1. Targeted NF1 cancer therapeutics with multiple modes of action: small molecule hormone-like agents resembling the natural anticancer metabolite, 2-methoxyoestradiol.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yu-chi; Upadhyayula, Ravi; Cevallos, Stephanie; Messick, Ryan J; Hsia, Tammy; Leese, Mathew P; Jewett, Douglas M; Ferrer-Torres, Daysha; Roth, Therese M; Dohle, Wolfgang; Potter, Barry V L; Barald, Kate F

    2015-10-20

    Both the number and size of tumours in NF1 patients increase in response to the rise in steroid hormones seen at puberty and during pregnancy. The size of tumours decreases after delivery, suggesting that hormone-targeting therapy might provide a viable new NF1 treatment approach. Our earlier studies demonstrated that human NF1 tumour cell lines either went through apoptosis or ceased growth in the presence of 2-methoxyoestradiol (2ME2), a naturally occurring anticancer metabolite of 17-β estradiol. Previous reports of treatment with sulfamoylated steroidal and non-steroidal derivatives of 2ME2 showed promising reductions in tumour burden in hormone-responsive cancers other than NF1. Here we present the first studies indicating that 2ME2 derivatives could also provide an avenue for treating NF1, for which few treatment options are available. STX3451, (2-(3-Bromo-4,5-dimethoxybenzyl)-7-methoxy-6-sulfamoyloxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline), a non-steroidal sulphamate analogue of 2ME2, was tested in dose-dependent studies of malignant and benign NF1 human tumour cell lines and cell lines with variable controlled neurofibromin expression. The mechanisms of action of STX3451 were also analysed. We found that STX3451-induced apoptosis in human malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST) cell lines, even in the presence of elevated oestrogen and progesterone. It inhibits both PI3 kinase and mTOR signalling pathways. It disrupts actin- and microtubule-based cytoskeletal structures in cell lines derived from human MPNSTs and in cells derived from benign plexiform neurofibromas. STX3451 selectively kills MPNST-derived cells, but also halts growth of other tumour-derived NF1 cell lines. STX3451 provides a new approach for inducing cell death and lowering tumour burden in NF1 and other hormone-responsive cancers with limited treatment options.

  2. Use of eugenol-lean clove extract as a flavoring agent and natural antioxidant in mayonnaise: product characterization and storage study.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Dipan; Bhattacharjee, Paramita

    2015-08-01

    Eugenol-lean fraction (98 % lower eugenol content than eugenol-rich fraction) having appreciable phytochemical properties was selectively isolated from clove buds (Syzygium aromaticum Linn) using supercritical carbon dioxide extraction at 40 °C and pressure of 25 MPa with static and dynamic time of 120 and 30 min respectively using ground clove powder which was previously subjected to steam distillation. The extract was used as a flavor ingredient (replacing mustard in classical formulation) and also as a source of natural antioxidant in formulating a new mayonnaise product to improve its nutraceutical value and shelf-life. This product was found to be comparable to the mustard formulated sample (experimental control) organoleptically. The sample did not have typical pungency of clove and had improved physical properties such as increased color tonality with higher chroma values, lower thermal and non-thermal creaming, homogenous and compact microstructure and higher consistency index vis-à-vis the control and standard market samples, even at the end of the storage period of 6 months. Mayonnaise formulated with eugenol-lean clove extract had significantly higher antioxidant activity (IC50 = 10.85 mg/mL), phenolic content (1.89 mg gallic acid equivalent/g mayonnaise) and reducing power (11.29 mg BHT equivalent/g mayonnaise) than mustard-formulated mayonnaise and the market sample. While, the antioxidant activity and phytochemical properties tend to decrease after 30 days for the reference market sample and after 90 days for the experimental control sample, the mayonnaise formulated with eugenol-lean clove extract was found to be stable beyond 6 months.

  3. Antidiabetic Agents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Nancy; Michael, Nancy, Ed.

    This module on antidiabetic agents is intended for use in inservice or continuing education programs for persons who administer medications in long-term care facilities. Instructor information, including teaching suggestions, and a listing of recommended audiovisual materials and their sources appear first. The module goal and objectives are then…

  4. Antidiabetic Agents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Nancy; Michael, Nancy, Ed.

    This module on antidiabetic agents is intended for use in inservice or continuing education programs for persons who administer medications in long-term care facilities. Instructor information, including teaching suggestions, and a listing of recommended audiovisual materials and their sources appear first. The module goal and objectives are then…

  5. Agent-based modeling of complex infrastructures

    SciTech Connect

    North, M. J.

    2001-06-01

    Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) can be applied to investigate complex infrastructures and infrastructure interdependencies. The CAS model agents within the Spot Market Agent Research Tool (SMART) and Flexible Agent Simulation Toolkit (FAST) allow investigation of the electric power infrastructure, the natural gas infrastructure and their interdependencies.

  6. Beyond Butlers: Intelligent Agents as Mentors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baylor, Amy

    2000-01-01

    Discusses pedagogical issues for intelligent agents to successfully serve as mentors for educational purposes. Examines broader issues about the nature or persona necessary for an intelligent agent as mentor, incorporating usability and human-computer interaction issues such as the anthropomorphic qualities of the agent and the social relationship…

  7. KGB agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Alex

    A short story is reported in which the activity of Communist Party of the USSR and secret KGB agents, which were payed by the State, in view of controlling of the conscience of population. The story reffers to the Physics Department of the Moscow University, Planing Institute of the Gosplan of Moldavian S.S.R. and Chishinau Technical University (actually: Technical University of Moldova), where the author has worked during Soviet times. Almost every 6-th citizen in the USSR was engaged in this activity, while actually the former communists rule in the Republic of Moldova.

  8. Actinopyga lecanora Hydrolysates as Natural Antibacterial Agents

    PubMed Central

    Ghanbari, Raheleh; Ebrahimpour, Afshin; Abdul-Hamid, Azizah; Ismail, Amin; Saari, Nazamid

    2012-01-01

    Actinopyga lecanora, a type of sea cucumber commonly known as stone fish with relatively high protein content, was explored as raw material for bioactive peptides production. Six proteolytic enzymes, namely alcalase, papain, pepsin, trypsin, bromelain and flavourzyme were used to hydrolyze A. lecanora at different times and their respective degrees of hydrolysis (DH) were calculated. Subsequently, antibacterial activity of the A. lecanora hydrolysates, against some common pathogenic Gram positive bacteria (Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Pseudomonas sp.) were evaluated. Papain hydrolysis showed the highest DH value (89.44%), followed by alcalase hydrolysis (83.35%). Bromelain hydrolysate after one and seven hours of hydrolysis exhibited the highest antibacterial activities against Pseudomonas sp., P. aeruginosa and E. coli at 51.85%, 30.07% and 30.45%, respectively compared to the other hydrolysates. Protein hydrolysate generated by papain after 8 h hydrolysis showed maximum antibacterial activity against S. aureus at 20.19%. The potent hydrolysates were further fractionated using RP-HPLC and antibacterial activity of the collected fractions from each hydrolysate were evaluated, wherein among them only three fractions from the bromelain hydrolysates exhibited inhibitory activities against Pseudomonas sp., P. aeruginosa and E. coli at 24%, 25.5% and 27.1%, respectively and one fraction of papain hydrolysate showed antibacterial activity of 33.1% against S. aureus. The evaluation of the relationship between DH and antibacterial activities of papain and bromelain hydrolysates revealed a meaningful correlation of four and six order functions. PMID:23222684

  9. Health care agents

    MedlinePlus

    Durable power of attorney for health care; Health care proxy; End-of-life - health care agent; Life support treatment - ... Respirator - health care agent; Ventilator - health care agent; Power of attorney - health care agent; POA - health care ...

  10. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is associated with a low level of the natural ocular anti-angiogenic agent pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) in aqueous humor. a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Boehm, B O; Lang, G; Feldmann, B; Kurkhaus, A; Rosinger, S; Volpert, O; Lang, G K; Bouck, N

    2003-06-01

    Retinopathy is the most common microvascular diabetes complication and represents a major threat to the eyesight. The aim of this study was to address the role of pro- and anti-angiogenic molecules in diabetic retinopathy in the aqueous humor of the eye. Aqueous humor was collected at cataract surgery from 19 diabetic patients and from 13 age- and sex-matched normoglycemic controls. Levels of pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiogenic inhibitor pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) were determined. Angiogenic activity of the aqueous humor was quantified by measuring its effect on the migration of capillary endothelial cells. In the aqueous fluid, VEGF levels were increased in diabetics (mean values: 501 vs. 367 pg/ml; p = 0.05), compared to controls. PEDF was found to be decreased in diabetics (mean values: 2080 vs. 5780 ng/ml; p = 0.04) compared to controls. In seven diabetic patients with proliferative retinopathy, the most profound finding was a significant decrease of the PEDF level (mean value: 237 ng/ml), whereas VEGF levels were comparable to diabetic patients without proliferation (mean value: 3153; p = 0.003). Angiogenic activity in samples of patients from the control group was generally inhibitory due to PEDF, and inhibition was blocked by neutralizing antibodies to PEDF. Likewise, in diabetics without proliferation, angiogenic activity was also blocked by antibodies to PEDF. We will demonstrate here that the level of the natural ocular anti-angiogenic agent PEDF is inversely associated with proliferative retinopathy. PEDF is an important negative regulator of angiogenic activity of aqueous humor. Our data may have implications for the development of novel regimens for diabetic retinopathy.

  11. Intelligent Agent Architectures: Reactive Planning Testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenschein, Stanley J.; Kahn, Philip

    1993-01-01

    An Integrated Agent Architecture (IAA) is a framework or paradigm for constructing intelligent agents. Intelligent agents are collections of sensors, computers, and effectors that interact with their environments in real time in goal-directed ways. Because of the complexity involved in designing intelligent agents, it has been found useful to approach the construction of agents with some organizing principle, theory, or paradigm that gives shape to the agent's components and structures their relationships. Given the wide variety of approaches being taken in the field, the question naturally arises: Is there a way to compare and evaluate these approaches? The purpose of the present work is to develop common benchmark tasks and evaluation metrics to which intelligent agents, including complex robotic agents, constructed using various architectural approaches can be subjected.

  12. Superintendents: The Key Influence Agents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Randy

    1990-01-01

    By the nature of their positions in schools, administrators are either influence agents or targets. Based on personal interviews with 140 Oregon administrators and a survey of 319 administrators around the state, this article highlights administrators' comments about their administrative influence and about constraints on their influence.…

  13. Preparing Change Agents for Change Agent Roles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sedlacek, James R.

    Seventy-seven Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking agricultural change agents from developing Central and South American countries responded to a questionnaire which sought perceptions of the roles in which the change agents felt they were involved and the roles for which they felt they were being trained. The agents were participating in training…

  14. Preparing Change Agents for Change Agent Roles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sedlacek, James R.

    Seventy-seven Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking agricultural change agents from developing Central and South American countries responded to a questionnaire which sought perceptions of the roles in which the change agents felt they were involved and the roles for which they felt they were being trained. The agents were participating in training…

  15. Modulation of multidrug resistance p-glycoprotein activity by flavonoids and honokiol in human doxorubicin- resistant sarcoma cells (MES-SA/DX-5): implications for natural sedatives as chemosensitizing agents in cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Angelini, Aantonio; Di Ilio, C; Castellani, M L; Conti, P; Cuccurullo, F

    2010-01-01

    Multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer cells is often caused by the high expression of the plasma membrane drug transporter P-glycoprotein (Pgp) associated with an elevated intracellular glutathione (GSH) content in various human tumors. Several chemosensitizers reverse MDR but have significant toxicities. Sedatives are often used to control anxiety and depression in cancer patients. In this in vitro study we investigated the effects of three plant derived sedatives such as apigenin (Api), fisetin (Fis), flavonoids and honokiol (Hnk) on Pgp activity and cellular GSH content in order to evaluate their potential use as chemosensitizing agents in anticancer chemotherapy. Human doxorubicin (doxo) resistant uterine sarcoma cells (MES-SA/Dx5) that overexpress Pgp, were treated with each sedative alone (10 microM) or in combination with different doxo concentrations (2-8 microM). We measured the intracellular accumulation and cytotoxicity of doxo (MTT assay), the cellular GSH content (GSH assay) and ROS production (DFC-DA assay), in comparison with verapamil (Ver), a specific inhibitor for Pgp, used as reference molecule. We found that exposure at 2 and 8 microM doxo concentrations in the presence of Api, Fis and Hnk enhanced significantly doxo accumulation by 29+/-3.3, 20+/-4.8, 24+/-6.6 percent and 14+/-1.7, 8.3+/-4.2, 10.7+/-3.1 percent, respectively, when compared with doxo alone. These results were consistent with the increase of sensitivity towards doxo in MES-SA/Dx5, resulting in 1.7, 1.2, 1.4-fold and 1.2, 1.0 and 1.1-fold increases, respectively. Moreover, treatment with Api decreased markedly cellular GSH content (18 percent) and increased ROS production (greater than 20 percent) on MES-SA/Dx5 cells, while a significant reduction in ROS levels was observed in Hnk and Fis treated cells, when compared to untreated control. Our in vitro findings provide a rationale for innovative clinical trials to assess the use of natural sedatives or their derivatives as potential

  16. Bioactive peroxides as potential therapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Dembitsky, Valery M

    2008-02-01

    Present review describes research on more than 280 natural anticancer agents isolated from terrestrial and marine sources and synthetic biologically active peroxides. Intensive searches for new classes of pharmacologically potent agents produced by terrestrial and marine organisms have resulted in the discovery of dozens of compounds possessing high cytotoxic, antibacterial, antimalarial, and other activities as an important source of leads for drug discovery.

  17. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 AND THE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT (CONTINUED) GRADING AND INSPECTION, GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR APPROVED PLANTS AND STANDARDS FOR GRADES OF DAIRY PRODUCTS 1 General... Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  18. Collaborating with Autonomous Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trujillo, Anna C.; Cross, Charles D.; Fan, Henry; Hempley, Lucas E.; Motter, Mark A.; Neilan, James H.; Qualls, Garry D.; Rothhaar, Paul M.; Tran, Loc D.; Allen, B. Danette

    2015-01-01

    With the anticipated increase of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) entering into the National Airspace System, it is highly likely that vehicle operators will be teaming with fleets of small autonomous vehicles. The small vehicles may consist of sUAS, which are 55 pounds or less that typically will y at altitudes 400 feet and below, and small ground vehicles typically operating in buildings or defined small campuses. Typically, the vehicle operators are not concerned with manual control of the vehicle; instead they are concerned with the overall mission. In order for this vision of high-level mission operators working with fleets of vehicles to come to fruition, many human factors related challenges must be investigated and solved. First, the interface between the human operator and the autonomous agent must be at a level that the operator needs and the agents can understand. This paper details the natural language human factors e orts that NASA Langley's Autonomy Incubator is focusing on. In particular these e orts focus on allowing the operator to interact with the system using speech and gestures rather than a mouse and keyboard. With this ability of the system to understand both speech and gestures, operators not familiar with the vehicle dynamics will be able to easily plan, initiate, and change missions using a language familiar to them rather than having to learn and converse in the vehicle's language. This will foster better teaming between the operator and the autonomous agent which will help lower workload, increase situation awareness, and improve performance of the system as a whole.

  19. Pyranone natural products as inspirations for catalytic reaction discovery and development.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Benjamin R; Scheidt, Karl A

    2015-04-21

    bifunctional hydrogen bonding/Brønstead base catalyst was ultimately found to enable this transformation in analogous manner to the biosynthesis via the enzyme chalcone isomerase. Employing thiourea catalysts derived from the pseudoenantiomeric quinine and quinidine, alkylidene β-ketoesters can be isomerized to 3-carboxy flavanones and decarboxylated in a single pot operation to stereodivergently provide highly enantioenriched flavanones in excellent yield. This method was applied to the synthesis of the abyssinone family of natural products, as well as the rotenoid, deguelin. An analogous method to isomerize chalcones was developed and applied to the synthesis of isosilybin A. In both of these related endeavors, the need for novel enabling methodologies toward the efficient creation of targeted molecular complexity drove the discovery, development and deployment of these stereoselective catalytic transformations.

  20. Conversational Agents in E-Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerry, Alice; Ellis, Richard; Bull, Susan

    This paper discusses the use of natural language or 'conversational' agents in e-learning environments. We describe and contrast the various applications of conversational agent technology represented in the e-learning literature, including tutors, learning companions, language practice and systems to encourage reflection. We offer two more detailed examples of conversational agents, one which provides learning support, and the other support for self-assessment. Issues and challenges for developers of conversational agent systems for e-learning are identified and discussed.

  1. Biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Pohanka, Miroslav; Kuca, Kamil

    2010-01-01

    Biological warfare agents are a group of pathogens and toxins of biological origin that can be potentially misused for military or criminal purposes. The present review attempts to summarize necessary knowledge about biological warfare agents. The historical aspects, examples of applications of these agents such as anthrax letters, biological weapons impact, a summary of biological warfare agents and epidemiology of infections are described. The last section tries to estimate future trends in research on biological warfare agents.

  2. Spacecraft sanitation agent development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The development of an effective sanitizing agent that is compatible with the spacecraft environment and the human occupant is discussed. Experimental results show that two sanitation agents must be used to satisfy mission requirements: one agent for personal hygiene and one for equipment maintenance. It was also recommended that a water rinse be used with the agents for best results, and that consideration be given to using the agents pressure packed or in aerosol formulations.

  3. An Agent-Based Data Mining System for Ontology Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadzic, Maja; Dillon, Darshan

    We have developed an evidence-based mental health ontological model that represents mental health in multiple dimensions. The ongoing addition of new mental health knowledge requires a continual update of the Mental Health Ontology. In this paper, we describe how the ontology evolution can be realized using a multi-agent system in combination with data mining algorithms. We use the TICSA methodology to design this multi-agent system which is composed of four different types of agents: Information agent, Data Warehouse agent, Data Mining agents and Ontology agent. We use UML 2.1 sequence diagrams to model the collaborative nature of the agents and a UML 2.1 composite structure diagram to model the structure of individual agents. The Mental Heath Ontology has the potential to underpin various mental health research experiments of a collaborative nature which are greatly needed in times of increasing mental distress and illness.

  4. Chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Kuca, Kamil; Pohanka, Miroslav

    2010-01-01

    Chemical warfare agents are compounds of different chemical structures. Simple molecules such as chlorine as well as complex structures such as ricin belong to this group. Nerve agents, vesicants, incapacitating agents, blood agents, lung-damaging agents, riot-control agents and several toxins are among chemical warfare agents. Although the use of these compounds is strictly prohibited, the possible misuse by terrorist groups is a reality nowadays. Owing to this fact, knowledge of the basic properties of these substances is of a high importance. This chapter briefly introduces the separate groups of chemical warfare agents together with their members and the potential therapy that should be applied in case someone is intoxicated by these agents.

  5. Environmental mimics of chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Claborn, David M

    2004-12-01

    There are several natural and artificial factors that mimic the effects of chemical warfare agents, thereby causing unwarranted alarm and confusion on the battlefield. Symptoms associated with chemical warfare include paralysis, muscle tremors, heavy salivation, severe burns, blistering, and corrosive skin injuries among others. Similar symptoms can be produced from a variety of environmental sources, artificial and natural. This article reviews several published and unpublished examples of environmental factors that produce syndromes similar to those caused by these agents. Examples of such mimics include pesticides, blistering exudates from insects and plants, various types of bites, and naturally occurring diseases. The potential for confusion caused by these factors is discussed and means of discriminating between warfare agents and naturally occurring events are identified. Recommendations for the use of this information and for needed research are also discussed.

  6. An Immune Agent for Web-Based AI Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gong, Tao; Cai, Zixing

    2006-01-01

    To overcome weakness and faults of a web-based e-learning course such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), an immune agent was proposed, simulating a natural immune mechanism against a virus. The immune agent was built on the multi-dimension education agent model and immune algorithm. The web-based AI course was comprised of many files, such as HTML…

  7. An Immune Agent for Web-Based AI Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gong, Tao; Cai, Zixing

    2006-01-01

    To overcome weakness and faults of a web-based e-learning course such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), an immune agent was proposed, simulating a natural immune mechanism against a virus. The immune agent was built on the multi-dimension education agent model and immune algorithm. The web-based AI course was comprised of many files, such as HTML…

  8. Hydroxypyridonate chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Raymond, Kenneth N.; Scarrow, Robert C.; White, David L.

    1987-01-01

    Chelating agents having 1-hydroxy-2-pyridinone (HOPO) and related moieties incorporated within their structures, including polydentate HOPO-substituted polyamines such as spermidine and spermine, and HOPO-substituted desferrioxamine. The chelating agents are useful in selectively removing certain cations from solution, and are particularly useful as ferric ion and actinide chelators. Novel syntheses of the chelating agents are provided.

  9. Intelligent Agents: A Primer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, Edmund; Feldman, Susan

    1999-01-01

    Provides an in-depth introduction to the various technologies that are bringing intelligent agents into the forefront of information technology, explaining how such agents work, the standards involved, and how agent-based applications can be developed. (Author/AEF)

  10. Petri Nets as Modeling Tool for Emergent Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bergman, Marto

    2004-01-01

    Emergent agents, those agents whose local interactions can cause unexpected global results, require a method of modeling that is both dynamic and structured Petri Nets, a modeling tool developed for dynamic discrete event system of mainly functional agents, provide this, and have the benefit of being an established tool. We present here the details of the modeling method here and discuss how to implement its use for modeling agent-based systems. Petri Nets have been used extensively in the modeling of functional agents, those agents who have defined purposes and whose actions should result in a know outcome. However, emergent agents, those agents who have a defined structure but whose interaction causes outcomes that are unpredictable, have not yet found a modeling style that suits them. A problem with formally modeling emergent agents that any formal modeling style usually expects to show the results of a problem and the results of problems studied using emergent agents are not apparent from the initial construction. However, the study of emergent agents still requires a method to analyze the agents themselves, and have sensible conversation about the differences and similarities between types of emergent agents. We attempt to correct this problem by applying Petri Nets to the characterization of emergent agents. In doing so, the emergent properties of these agents can be highlighted, and conversation about the nature and compatibility of the differing methods of agent creation can begin.

  11. Standard Agent Framework 1

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, Steven Y.

    1999-04-06

    The Standard Agent framework provides an extensible object-oriented development environment suitable for use in both research and applications projects. The SAF provides a means for constructing and customizing multi-agent systems through specialization of standard base classes (architecture-driven framework) and by composition of component classes (data driven framework). The standard agent system is implemented as an extensible object-centerd framework. Four concrete base classes are developed: (1) Standard Agency; (2) Standard Agent; (3) Human Factor, and (4) Resources. The object-centered framework developed and utilized provides the best comprimise between generality and flexibility available in agent development systems today.

  12. Phytonutrients as therapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Charu; Prakash, Dhan

    2014-09-01

    Nutrients present in various foods plays an important role in maintaining the normal functions of the human body. The major nutrients present in foods include carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. Besides these, there are some bioactive food components known as "phytonutrients" that play an important role in human health. They have tremendous impact on the health care system and may provide medical health benefits including the prevention and/or treatment of disease and various physiological disorders. Phytonutrients play a positive role by maintaining and modulating immune function to prevent specific diseases. Being natural products, they hold a great promise in clinical therapy as they possess no side effects that are usually associated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. They are also comparatively cheap and thus significantly reduce health care cost. Phytonutrients are the plant nutrients with specific biological activities that support human health. Some of the important bioactive phytonutrients include polyphenols, terpenoids, resveratrol, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, carotenoids, limonoids, glucosinolates, phytoestrogens, phytosterols, anthocyanins, ω-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. They play specific pharmacological effects in human health such as anti-microbial, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, anti-spasmodic, anti-cancer, anti-aging, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, neuroprotective, hypotensive, diabetes, osteoporosis, CNS stimulant, analgesic, protection from UVB-induced carcinogenesis, immuno-modulator, and carminative. This mini-review attempts to summarize the major important types of phytonutrients and their role in promoting human health and as therapeutic agents along with the current market trend and commercialization.

  13. Sanguinarine: A Novel Agent Against Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    Natural plant-based products have shown promise as anticancer agents. Ideally, the anti-cancer drugs should specifically target the neoplastic cells ...with minimal ’’collateral damage’’ to normal cells . Thus, the agents, which can eliminate the cancerous cells without affecting the normal cells ...may have therapeutic advantage for the elimination of cancer cells . Sanguinarine (13-methyl[1,3]benzodioxolo[5,6-c]-1,3-dioxolo[4,5-i]phenanthridinium

  14. Other mucoactive agents for cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Bye, Peter T P; Elkins, Mark R

    2007-03-01

    This review examines specific mucoactive agents from three classes: expectorants, which add water to the airway; ion-transport modifiers, which promote ion and water transport across the epithelium of the airway; and mucokinetics, which improve cough-mediated clearance by increasing airflow or reducing sputum adhesivity. The agents are isotonic and hypertonic saline, mannitol, denufosol and beta-agonists. Our understanding of these agents has recently improved through pre-clinical research, clinical trials and, in particular, extensive research into the nature of the liquid lining the surface of the airway, both in health and in cystic fibrosis (CF). For each agent, recent research is reviewed, highlighting the evidence for possible mechanisms of action and for clinical efficacy in CF, as well as the implications for the optimal clinical application of the agent.

  15. Targeted magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Caruthers, Shelton D; Winter, Patrick M; Wickline, Samuel A; Lanza, Gregory M

    2006-01-01

    The era of personalized medicine is emerging as physicians attempt to diagnose disease in asymptomatic individuals and treat pathology early in its natural history. A novel tool in an emerging armamentarium, molecular imaging will allow noninvasive characterization and segmentation of patients for delivering custom-tailored therapy. Nanoparticulate agents, such as superparamagnetic agents, liposomes, perfluorocarbon nanoparticle emulsions, and dendrimers, are being intensively researched as formulation platforms for various targeted clinical applications. As exemplified by perfluorocarbon nanoparticles, these new agents, in combination with the rapid innovations in imaging hardware and software, will allow the emergence of new medical diagnostic and therapeutic paradigms.

  16. [Naturalizing empathy].

    PubMed

    Decety, J

    2002-01-01

    Empathy is the ability to share emotions with others. It is acknowledged to be a powerful means of tacit communication, a key ingredient in any therapeutic relationship as well as in psychotherapy. Empathy is the cornerstone in the humanist perspective (Ego-psychology) in clinical psychology. This approach is often considered as poorly grounded on scientific and objective evidence. It is however acknowledged that empathetic therapists are more effective than less empathetic therapists. I shall argue that this paradox, i.e. it is the least scientific and the less validated psychotherapeutic approach that is the most efficient, can be eliminated if one considers the nature of empathy, its biological foundation, its evolutionary origin and its cognitive architecture. In this paper I will suggest that empathy is based on specific information processing modules which have been designed by natural selection to cope with social regularities in expressing and reading emotional states. This has provided adaptive benefits to individuals living in large groups bestowing them with mechanisms for cooperativity, altruism and more generally various aspects of prosocial behaviour. The capacity to express emotions, and to read and understand emotions of others also ensures implicit communication with others and may be at the root of intersubjectivity. This perspective on empathy is then articulated with two concurrent hypotheses regarding theory of mind (the simulation and the theory-theory) which aim to explain the human capacity to understand that the behaviors of other intelligent agents are caused by intentions, desires and beliefs. In this context, empathy can be considered as a simulation (or analogical) process that is necessary to understand but not sufficient to interpret other people. This last issue is relevant to clinical practice.

  17. Chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Chauhan, S; Chauhan, S; D'Cruz, R; Faruqi, S; Singh, K K; Varma, S; Singh, M; Karthik, V

    2008-09-01

    Chemical warfare agents (CWA's) are defined as any chemical substance whose toxic properties are utilised to kill, injure or incapacitate an enemy in warfare and associated military operations. Chemical agents have been used in war since times immemorial, but their use reached a peak during World War I. During World War II only the Germans used them in the infamous gas chambers. Since then these have been intermittently used both in war and acts of terrorisms. Many countries have stockpiles of these agents. There has been a legislative effort worldwide to ban the use of CWA's under the chemical weapons convention which came into force in 1997. However the manufacture of these agents cannot be completely prohibited as some of them have potential industrial uses. Moreover despite the remedial measures taken so far and worldwide condemnation, the ease of manufacturing these agents and effectiveness during combat or small scale terrorist operations still make them a powerful weapon to reckon with. These agents are classified according to mechanism of toxicity in humans into blister agents, nerve agents, asphyxiants, choking agents and incapacitating/behavior altering agents. Some of these agents can be as devastating as a nuclear bomb. In addition to immediate injuries caused by chemical agents, some of them are associated with long term morbidities and psychological problems. In this review we will discuss briefly about the historical background, properties, manufacture techniques and industrial uses, mechanism of toxicity, clinical features of exposure and pharmacological management of casualties caused by chemical agents. Copyright © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Agent Architectures for Compliance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgemeestre, Brigitte; Hulstijn, Joris; Tan, Yao-Hua

    A Normative Multi-Agent System consists of autonomous agents who must comply with social norms. Different kinds of norms make different assumptions about the cognitive architecture of the agents. For example, a principle-based norm assumes that agents can reflect upon the consequences of their actions; a rule-based formulation only assumes that agents can avoid violations. In this paper we present several cognitive agent architectures for self-monitoring and compliance. We show how different assumptions about the cognitive architecture lead to different information needs when assessing compliance. The approach is validated with a case study of horizontal monitoring, an approach to corporate tax auditing recently introduced by the Dutch Customs and Tax Authority.

  19. Decontamination Data - Blister Agents

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Decontamination efficacy data for blister agents on various building materials using various decontamination solutionsThis dataset is associated with the following publication:Stone, H., D. See, A. Smiley, A. Ellingson, J. Schimmoeller, and L. Oudejans. Surface Decontamination of Blister Agents Lewisite, Sulfur Mustard and Agent Yellow, a Lewisite and Sulfur Mustard Mixture. JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, USA, 1-5, (2015).

  20. Embodiment of evolutionary computation in general agents.

    PubMed

    Smith, R E; Bonacina, C; Kearney, P; Merlat, W

    2000-01-01

    Holland's Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems largely dealt with how systems, comprised of many self-interested entities, can and should adapt as a whole. This seminal book led to the last 25 years of work in genetic algorithms (GAs) and related forms of evolutionary computation (EC). In recent years, the expansion of the Internet, other telecommunications technologies, and other large scale networks have led to a world where large numbers of semi-autonomous software entities (i.e., agents) will be interacting in an open, universal system. This development cast the importance of Holland's legacy in a new light. This paper argues that Holland's fundamental arguments, and the years of developments that have followed, have a direct impact on systems of general network agents, regardless of whether they explicitly exploit EC. However, it also argues that the techniques and theories of EC cannot be directly transferred to the world of general agents (rather than EC-specific) without examination of effects that are embodied in general software agents. This paper introduces a framework for EC interchanges between general-purpose software agents. Preliminary results are shown that illustrate the EC effects of asynchronous actions of agents within this framework. Building on this framework, coevolutionary agents that interact in a simulated producer/consumer economy are introduced. Using these preliminary results as illustrations, areas for future investigation of embodied EC software agents are discussed.

  1. A user-system interface agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wakim, Nagi T.; Srivastava, Sadanand; Bousaidi, Mehdi; Goh, Gin-Hua

    1995-01-01

    Agent-based technologies answer to several challenges posed by additional information processing requirements in today's computing environments. In particular, (1) users desire interaction with computing devices in a mode which is similar to that used between people, (2) the efficiency and successful completion of information processing tasks often require a high-level of expertise in complex and multiple domains, (3) information processing tasks often require handling of large volumes of data and, therefore, continuous and endless processing activities. The concept of an agent is an attempt to address these new challenges by introducing information processing environments in which (1) users can communicate with a system in a natural way, (2) an agent is a specialist and a self-learner and, therefore, it qualifies to be trusted to perform tasks independent of the human user, and (3) an agent is an entity that is continuously active performing tasks that are either delegated to it or self-imposed. The work described in this paper focuses on the development of an interface agent for users of a complex information processing environment (IPE). This activity is part of an on-going effort to build a model for developing agent-based information systems. Such systems will be highly applicable to environments which require a high degree of automation, such as, flight control operations and/or processing of large volumes of data in complex domains, such as the EOSDIS environment and other multidisciplinary, scientific data systems. The concept of an agent as an information processing entity is fully described with emphasis on characteristics of special interest to the User-System Interface Agent (USIA). Issues such as agent 'existence' and 'qualification' are discussed in this paper. Based on a definition of an agent and its main characteristics, we propose an architecture for the development of interface agents for users of an IPE that is agent-oriented and whose resources

  2. Change Agent Survival Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunbar, Folwell L.

    2011-01-01

    Consulting is a rough racket. Only a tarantula hair above IRS agents, meter maids and used car sales people, the profession is a prickly burr for slings and arrows. Throw in education, focus on dysfunctional schools and call oneself a "change agent," and this bad rap all but disappears. Unfortunately, though, consulting/coaching/mentoring in…

  3. Etiological agents of diarrhoea.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, A R; Paul, M; Pal, S C; Sen, D

    1990-01-01

    Two decades of research have established newer pathogens and techniques in establishing several organisms of diarrhoeal diseases as aetiological agents. It is now possible to detect an agent in 80% of the situation of diarrhoea in a standard laboratory. The brief review describes the list of pathogens, their diagnostic techniques with short description on clinical and epidemiological status.

  4. Detecting biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Song, Linan; Ahn, Soohyoun; Walt, David R

    2005-10-01

    We developed a fiber-optic, microsphere-based, high-density array composed of 18 species-specific probe microsensors to identify biological warfare agents. We simultaneously identified multiple biological warfare agents in environmental samples by looking at specific probe responses after hybridization and response patterns of the multiplexed array.

  5. Change Agent Survival Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunbar, Folwell L.

    2011-01-01

    Consulting is a rough racket. Only a tarantula hair above IRS agents, meter maids and used car sales people, the profession is a prickly burr for slings and arrows. Throw in education, focus on dysfunctional schools and call oneself a "change agent," and this bad rap all but disappears. Unfortunately, though, consulting/coaching/mentoring in…

  6. Travel Agent Course Outline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    British Columbia Dept. of Education, Victoria.

    Written for college entry-level travel agent training courses, this course outline can also be used for inservice training programs offered by travel agencies. The outline provides information on the work of a travel agent and gives clear statements on what learners must be able to do by the end of their training. Material is divided into eight…

  7. Differences among immunosuppressive agents.

    PubMed Central

    Hitchings, G H

    1982-01-01

    Immunosuppressive agents have diverse (although often multiple) sites of action in the cell sequences that are involved in immune responses. New routes to selectivity are apparent at both the cellular and the biochemical level. Meanwhile, clinical work is finding new uses and more selective employment of the currently available agents. PMID:6802083

  8. Detecting Biological Warfare Agents

    PubMed Central

    Song, Linan; Ahn, Soohyoun

    2005-01-01

    We developed a fiber-optic, microsphere-based, high-density array composed of 18 species-specific probe microsensors to identify biological warfare agents. We simultaneously identified multiple biological warfare agents in environmental samples by looking at specific probe responses after hybridization and response patterns of the multiplexed array. PMID:16318712

  9. Ferrimagnetic susceptibility contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Bach-Gansmo, T

    1993-01-01

    Contrast agents based on superparamagnetic particles have been in clinical development for more than 5 years, and the complexity of their effects is still not elucidated. The relaxivities are frequently used to give an idea of their efficacy, but these parameters can only be used if they are concentration independent. For large superparamagnetic systems, the evolution of the transverse magnetization is biexponential, after an initial loss of magnetization. Both these characteristics of large superparamagnetic systems should lead to prudence in using the relaxivities as indicators of contrast medium efficacy. Susceptibility induced artefacts have been associated with the use of superparamagnetic contrast agents since the first imaging evaluation took place. The range of concentrations where good contrast effect was achieved without inducing artefacts, as well as blurring and metal artefacts were evaluated. The influence of motion on the induction of artefacts was studied, and compared to the artefacts induced by a paramagnetic agent subject to motion. With a suitable concentration of a negative contrast agent, a signal void could be achieved in the region prone to motion, and no artefacts were induced. If the concentration was too high, a displacement of the region close to the contrast agent was observed. The artefacts occurred in a volume surrounding the contrast agent, i.e., also outside the imaging plane. In comparison a positive, paramagnetic contrast agent induced heavy artefacts in the phase encoding direction, appearing as both high intensity regions and black holes, in a mosaic pattern. Clinical trials of the oral contrast agent OMP for abdominal MR imaging showed this agent to be safe and efficacious. OMP increased the diagnostic efficacy of abdominal MR imaging in 2 of 3 cases examined, with a significant decrease in motion artefacts. Susceptibility contrast agents may also be of use in the evaluation of small lesions in the liver. Particulate material

  10. How do agents represent?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Alex

    Representation is inherent to the concept of an agent, but its importance in complex systems has not yet been widely recognised. In this paper I introduce Peirce's theory of signs, which facilitates a definition of representation in general. In summary, representation means that for some agent, a model is used to stand in for another entity in a way that shapes the behaviour of the agent with respect to that entity. Representation in general is then related to the theories of representation that have developed within different disciplines. I compare theories of representation from metaphysics, military theory and systems theory. Additional complications arise in explaining the special case of mental representations, which is the focus of cognitive science. I consider the dominant theory of cognition — that the brain is a representational device — as well as the sceptical anti-representational response. Finally, I argue that representation distinguishes agents from non-representational objects: agents are objects capable of representation.

  11. Animal venoms as antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Perumal Samy, Ramar; Stiles, Bradley G; Franco, Octavio L; Sethi, Gautam; Lim, Lina H K

    2017-06-15

    Hospitals are breeding grounds for many life-threatening bacteria worldwide. Clinically associated gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus/methicillin-resistant S. aureus and many others increase the risk of severe mortality and morbidity. The failure of antibiotics to kill various pathogens due to bacterial resistance highlights the urgent need to develop novel, potent, and less toxic agents from natural sources against various infectious agents. Currently, several promising classes of natural molecules from snake (terrestrial and sea), scorpion, spider, honey bee and wasp venoms hold promise as rich sources of chemotherapeutics against infectious pathogens. Interestingly, snake venom-derived synthetic peptide/snake cathelicidin not only has potent antimicrobial and wound-repair activity but is highly stable and safe. Such molecules are promising candidates for novel venom-based drugs against S. aureus infections. The structure of animal venom proteins/peptides (cysteine rich) consists of hydrophobic α-helices or β-sheets that produce lethal pores and membrane-damaging effects on bacteria. All these antimicrobial peptides are under early experimental or pre-clinical stages of development. It is therefore important to employ novel tools for the design and the development of new antibiotics from the untapped animal venoms of snake, scorpion, and spider for treating resistant pathogens. To date, snail venom toxins have shown little antibiotic potency against human pathogens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus : A future antimicrobial agent?

    PubMed

    Harini, K; Ajila, Vidya; Hegde, Shruthi

    2013-11-01

    Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALOs) are small, predatory, Deltaproteobacteria that prey on other Gram-negative pathogens. Many authors have unfolded the possible use of BALOs as biological control agents in environmental as well as medical microbiological settings. They are found strongly associated with natural biofilms and recent studies have shown that effective predation occurs in these naturally occurring bacterial communities. Periodontal infections could also be an interesting target for the application of BALOs as biological Gram-negative bacteria and therefore potentially susceptible to BALOs antimicrobial agents. This proposition is based on the fact that almost all periodontal pathogens are predation. Accordingly, this review aims to present the evolution toward applying Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus as an antibacterial agent to deal with oral infections, general medical conditions, environmental and industrial issues.

  13. Bipartite flocking for multi-agent systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Ming-Can; Zhang, Hai-Tao; Wang, Miaomiao

    2014-09-01

    This paper addresses the bipartite flock control problem where a multi-agent system splits into two clusters upon internal or external excitations. Using structurally balanced signed graph theory, LaSalle's invariance principle and Barbalat's Lemma, we prove that the proposed algorithm guarantees a bipartite flocking behavior. In each of the two disjoint clusters, all individuals move with the same direction. Meanwhile, every pair of agents in different clusters moves with opposite directions. Moreover, all agents in the two separated clusters approach a common velocity magnitude, and collision avoidance among all agents is ensured as well. Finally, the proposed bipartite flock control method is examined by numerical simulations. The bipartite flocking motion addressed by this paper has its references in both natural collective motions and human group behaviors such as predator-prey and panic escaping scenarios.

  14. Innovative agents in cancer prevention.

    PubMed

    Manson, Margaret M; Farmer, Peter B; Gescher, Andreas; Steward, William P

    2005-01-01

    There are many facets to cancer prevention: a good diet, weight control and physical activity, a healthy environment, avoidance of carcinogens such as those in tobacco smoke, and screening of populations at risk to allow early detection. But there is also the possibility of using drugs or naturally occurring compounds to prevent initiation of, or to suppress, tumour growth. Only a few such agents have been used to date in the clinic with any success, and these include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for colon, finasteride for prostate and tamoxifen or raloxifene for breast tumours. An ideal chemopreventive agent would restore normal growth control to a preneoplastic or cancerous cell population by modifying aberrant signalling pathways or inducing apoptosis (or both) in cells beyond repair. Characteristics for such an agent include selectivity for damaged or transformed cells, good bioavailability and more than one mechanism of action to foil redundancy or crosstalk in signalling pathways. As more research effort is being targeted towards this area, the distinction between chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents is blurring. Chemotherapeutic drugs are now being designed to target over- or under-active signalling molecules within cancer cells, a philosophy which is just as relevant in chemoprevention. Development of dietary agents is particularly attractive because of our long-standing exposure to them, their relative lack of toxicity, and encouraging indications from epidemiology. The carcinogenic process relies on the cell's ability to proliferate abnormally, evade apoptosis, induce angiogenesis and metastasise to distant sites. In vitro studies with a number of different diet-derived compounds suggest that there are molecules capable of modulating each of these aspects of tumour growth. However, on the negative side many of them have rather poor bioavailability. The challenge is to uncover their multiple mechanisms of action in order to predict their

  15. The Respiratory Toxicity of Chemical Warefare Agents

    EPA Science Inventory

    Inhalation is one of the most important routes of exposure for chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and thus, the lung remains a critical target of injury. Depending on the mode of action by which the CWAs cause injury, the nature of injury, the location being impacted within the respi...

  16. The Respiratory Toxicity of Chemical Warefare Agents

    EPA Science Inventory

    Inhalation is one of the most important routes of exposure for chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and thus, the lung remains a critical target of injury. Depending on the mode of action by which the CWAs cause injury, the nature of injury, the location being impacted within the respi...

  17. Biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-07-01

    The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies.

  18. Biological warfare agents

    PubMed Central

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-01-01

    The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies. PMID:21829313

  19. Social Dynamics in Web Page through Inter-Agent Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeuchi, Yugo; Katagiri, Yasuhiro

    Social persuasion abounds in human-human interactions. Attitudes and behaviors of people are invariably influenced by the attitudes and behaviors of other people as well as our social roles/relationships toward them. In the pedagogic scene, the relationship between teacher and learner produces one of the most typical interactions, in which the teacher makes the learner spontaneously study what he/she teaches. This study is an attempt to elucidate the nature and effectiveness of social persuasion in human-computer interaction environments. We focus on the social dynamics of multi-party interactions that involve both human-agent and inter-agent interactions. An experiment is conducted in a virtual web-instruction setting employing two types of agents: conductor agents who accompany and guide each learner throughout his/her learning sessions, and domain-expert agents who provide explanations and instructions for each stage of the instructional materials. In this experiment, subjects are assigned two experimental conditions: the authorized condition, in which an agent respectfully interacts with another agent, and the non-authorized condition, in which an agent carelessly interacts with another agent. The results indicate performance improvements in the authorized condition of inter-agent interactions. An analysis is given from the perspective of the transfer of authority from inter-agent to human-agent interactions based on social conformity. We argue for pedagogic advantages of social dynamics created by multiple animated character agents.

  20. Screening of anti-hypoxia/reoxygenation agents by an in vitro model. Part 1: Natural inhibitors for protein tyrosine kinase activated by hypoxia/reoxygenation in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y W; Morita, I; Shao, G; Yao, X S; Murota, S

    2000-03-01

    Protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) signaling pathways play important roles in ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) or hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) injuries. Inhibition of PTK activation can protect against I/R- or H/R-induced damages. As one part of our work for seeking bioactive compounds from natural sources against I/R or H/R, in the present study we examined the effects of 54 compounds purified from various traditional Chinese herbs on H/R-induced PTK activation by means of an in vitro H/R model in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). The results demonstrated that an increase in PTK activation was induced after 2 h of reoxygenation. Compounds 2 (macrostemososide A), 3 (laxogenin-3-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->4)-alpha-L-arabinopyra nosyl- (1-->6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside), 4 (chinenoside II), 7 (ginsenoside-Rd), 52 (icariin), 53 (icariside), and 54 (icaritin) showed relatively obvious inhibition on this H/R-induced PTK activation. Compounds 5 (beta-sitosterol) and 6 (daucosterine), especially 5, completely blocked such an increased activation of PTK induced by H/R. On the contrary, compound 29 (isocumarine) significantly promoted PTK activation further. Moreover, the effects of these compounds on PTK activation were dose-dependent.

  1. Topical hemostatic agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Palm, Melanie D; Altman, Jeffrey S

    2008-04-01

    Topical hemostatic agents play an important role in both common and specialized dermatologic procedures. These agents can be classified based on their mechanism of action and include physical or mechanical agents, caustic agents, biologic physical agents, and physiologic agents. Some agents induce protein coagulation and precipitation resulting in occlusion of small cutaneous vessels, while others take advantage of latter stages in the coagulation cascade, activating biologic responses to bleeding. Traditional and newer topical hemostatic agents are discussed in this review, and the benefits and costs of each agent will be provided.

  2. Drug Hepatotoxicity: Newer Agents.

    PubMed

    Bunchorntavakul, Chalermrat; Reddy, K Rajender

    2017-02-01

    Idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity is one of the most common reasons for an approved drug being restricted. This article focuses on hepatotoxicity of selected and recently introduced agents, such as, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, novel oral anticoagulants, newer antiplatelets, antibiotics, anti-diabetics, anti-epileptics, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and anti-retrovirals. Overall, the incidence of clinically relevant hepatotoxicity from newer agents seems to be lower than that of the older agents. Nevertheless, cases of severe hepatotoxicity have been reported due to some of these newer agents, including, trastuzumab, ipilimumab, infliximab, imatinib, bosutinib, dasatinib, gefitinib, erlotinib, sunitinib, ponatinib, lapatinib, vemurafenib, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, felbamate, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, venlafaxine, duloxetine, darunavir, and maraviroc. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Radioactive diagnostic agent

    SciTech Connect

    Shigematsu, A.; Aihara, M.; Matsuda, M.; Suzuki, A.; Tsuya, A.

    1984-02-07

    A radioactive diagnostic agent for renal cortex, adrenal cortex, myocardium, brain stem, spinal nerve, etc., which comprises as an essential component monoiodoacetic acid wherein the iodine atom is radioactive.

  4. Delta agent (Hepatitis D)

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000216.htm Hepatitis D (Delta agent) To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Hepatitis D is a viral infection caused by the ...

  5. Agent oriented programming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoham, Yoav

    1994-01-01

    The goal of our research is a methodology for creating robust software in distributed and dynamic environments. The approach taken is to endow software objects with explicit information about one another, to have them interact through a commitment mechanism, and to equip them with a speech-acty communication language. System-level applications include software interoperation and compositionality. A government application of specific interest is an infrastructure for coordination among multiple planners. Daily activity applications include personal software assistants, such as programmable email, scheduling, and new group agents. Research topics include definition of mental state of agents, design of agent languages as well as interpreters for those languages, and mechanisms for coordination within agent societies such as artificial social laws and conventions.

  6. Agent oriented programming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoham, Yoav

    1994-01-01

    The goal of our research is a methodology for creating robust software in distributed and dynamic environments. The approach taken is to endow software objects with explicit information about one another, to have them interact through a commitment mechanism, and to equip them with a speech-acty communication language. System-level applications include software interoperation and compositionality. A government application of specific interest is an infrastructure for coordination among multiple planners. Daily activity applications include personal software assistants, such as programmable email, scheduling, and new group agents. Research topics include definition of mental state of agents, design of agent languages as well as interpreters for those languages, and mechanisms for coordination within agent societies such as artificial social laws and conventions.

  7. Natural product HTP screening for antibacterial (E.coli 0157:H7) and anti-inflammatory agents in (LPS from E. coli O111:B4) activated macrophages and microglial cells; focus on sepsis.

    PubMed

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A; Li, Nan; Bauer, David; Mendonca, Patricia; Taka, Equar; Darb, Mohammed; Thomas, Leeshawn; Williams, Henry; Soliman, Karam F A

    2016-11-15

    Acute systemic inflammatory response syndrome arising from infection can lead to multiple organ failure and death, with greater susceptibility occurring in immunocompromised individuals. Moreover, sub-acute chronic inflammation is a contributor to the pathology of diverse degenerative diseases (Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and arthritis). Given the known limitations in Western medicine to treat a broad range of inflammatory related illness as well as the emergence of antibiotic resistance, there is a renewed interest in complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) to achieve these means. A high throughput (HTP) screening of >1400 commonly sold natural products (bulk herbs, cooking spices, teas, leaves, supplement components, nutraceutical food components, fruit and vegetables, rinds, seeds, polyphenolics etc.) was conducted to elucidate anti-inflammatory substances in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (E. coli serotype O111:B4) monocytes: RAW 264.7 macrophages [peripheral], BV-2 microglia [brain]) relative to hydrocortisone, dexamethasone and L-N6-(1Iminoethyl)lysine (L-NIL). HTP evaluation was also carried out for lethal kill curves against E.coli 0157:H7 1x10(6) CFU/mL relative to penicillin. Validation studies were performed to assess cytokine profiling using antibody arrays. Findings were corroborated by independent ELISAs and NO2-/iNOS expression quantified using the Griess Reagent and immunocytochemistry, respectively. For robust screening, we developed an in-vitro efficacy paradigm to ensure anti-inflammatory parameters were observed independent of cytotoxicity. This caution was taken given that many plants exert tumoricidal and anti-inflammatory effects at close range through similar signaling pathways, which could lead to false positives. The data show that activated BV-2 microglia cells (+ LPS 1μg/ml) release >10-fold greater IL-6, MIP1/2, RANTES and nitric oxide (NO2-), where RAW 264.7 macrophages (+ LPS 1μg/ml) produced > 10-fold rise in sTNFR2

  8. Heterogeneous nature of the pre-subduction mantle wedge and their transformation to pyroxene-rich lithologies by slab-derived chemical agents: Tepic-Zacoalco rift, western Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Díaz Bravo, B. A.; Gomez-Tuena, A.; Ortega-Obregón, C.; Perez-Arvizu, O.

    2013-12-01

    Alkaline basalts with geochemical features similar to those of intraplate Ocean Islands have been emplaced along the main trace of the Tepic-Zacoalco rift (TZR) in western Mexico. Comprehensive geochemical and petrologic data on volcanic rocks along the rift indicates that the pre-subduction background mantle wedge in western Mexico is as heterogeneous as that below the Pacific basin, and includes a recycled, high-μ component (HIMU; μ =238U/204Pb) in their mantle source. Olivines contained within these samples have NiO and CaO contents similar to olivines from MORB, suggesting that the source of enrichment must be entirely hosted in peridotite. More evolved rocks within the TZR have a stronger subduction signatures and water contents, and display a distinctive Pb isotopic array that suggest slab additions. Olivine phenocrysts from these rocks have lower Fo but extend higher NiO and lower CaO contents than those from more mafic magmas, suggesting derivation from a secondary pyroxenite source. It thus appears that the heterogeneous nature of the pristine pre-subduction mantle wedge in western Mexico can only be sampled when extension-driven mantle upwelling induces low extents of melting of a dry peridotitic mantle that preferentially sample its most enriched and easily fusible components. Yet even a small amount of slab-derived silica promotes a secondary petrologic transformation to pyroxene-rich lithologies that upon remelting create magmas with compositions that are similar to arc volcanoes. Metasomatic silica addition is ultimately related to the convergent margin, but deep subduction of Rivera plate below the TZR preclude a direct derivation from the slab surface. The participation of hybrid subduction mélanges that detach from the downgoing slab and melt in the hot core of the mantle wedge can provide a viable alternative explanation.

  9. High-Threat Chemical Agents: Characteristics, Effects, and Policy Implications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-09-09

    odor of mustard, onion or garlic.12 These liquids evaporate quickly, and their vapors are also injurious. Blister agents are not naturally occurring...impregnated with special dyes. When a drop of chemical agent is absorbed by the paper, it dissolves one of the pigments , causing the paper to change color...these pigments , causing false positives.40 The pigments involved can be specific to a type of agent, so an array of papers, tickets, or tubes may be

  10. [Decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents].

    PubMed

    Seto, Yasuo

    2009-01-01

    Chemical and biological warfare agents (CBWA's) are diverse in nature; volatile acute low-molecular-weight toxic compounds, chemical warfare agents (CWA's, gaseous choking and blood agents, volatile nerve gases and blister agents, nonvolatile vomit agents and lacrymators), biological toxins (nonvolatile low-molecular-weight toxins, proteinous toxins) and microbes (bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae). In the consequence management against chemical and biological terrorism, speedy decontamination of victims, facilities and equipment is required for the minimization of the damage. In the present situation, washing victims and contaminated materials with large volumes of water is the basic way, and additionally hypochlorite salt solution is used for decomposition of CWA's. However, it still remains unsolved how to dispose large volumes of waste water, and the decontamination reagents have serious limitation of high toxicity, despoiling nature against the environments, long finishing time and non-durability in effective decontamination. Namely, the existing decontamination system is not effective, nonspecifically affecting the surrounding non-target materials. Therefore, it is the urgent matter to build up the usable decontamination system surpassing the present technologies. The symposiast presents the on-going joint project of research and development of the novel decontamination system against CBWA's, in the purpose of realizing nontoxic, fast, specific, effective and economical terrorism on-site decontamination. The projects consists of (1) establishment of the decontamination evaluation methods and verification of the existing technologies and adaptation of bacterial organophosphorus hydrolase, (2) development of adsorptive elimination technologies using molecular recognition tools, and (4) development of deactivation technologies using photocatalysis.

  11. A Team of Pedagogical Agents in Multimedia Environment for Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morozov, Mikhail; Tanakov, Andrey; Bystrov, Dmitriy

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents the multimedia product for teaching Natural Sciences to 10-12 years old children. In this product three pedagogical agents, Teacher and two pupils guide the learner through the virtual environment. The inclusion of a team of pedagogical agents permits us to create a micro-model of lesson activity and gives a reliable support of…

  12. Agent-Based Modeling of Growth Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abraham, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Growth processes abound in nature, and are frequently the target of modeling exercises in the sciences. In this article we illustrate an agent-based approach to modeling, in the case of a single example from the social sciences: bullying.

  13. Agent-Based Modeling of Growth Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abraham, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Growth processes abound in nature, and are frequently the target of modeling exercises in the sciences. In this article we illustrate an agent-based approach to modeling, in the case of a single example from the social sciences: bullying.

  14. Patterns of agent interaction scenarios as use case maps.

    PubMed

    Billard, Edward A

    2004-08-01

    A use case map (UCM) presents, in general, an abstract description of a complex system and, as such, is a good candidate for representing scenarios of autonomous agents interacting with other autonomous agents. The "gang of four" design patterns are intended for object-oriented software development but at least eight of the patterns illustrate structure, or architecture, that is appropriate for interacting agents, independent of software development. This study presents these particular patterns in the form of UCMs to describe abstract scenarios of agent interaction. Seven of the patterns attempt to balance the decentralized nature of interacting agents with an organized structure that makes for better, cleaner interactions. An example performance analysis is provided for one of the patterns, illustrating the benefit of an early abstraction of complex agent behavior. The original contribution here is a UCM presentation of the causal paths in agent behavior as suggested by software design patterns.

  15. Natural products as photoprotection.

    PubMed

    Saewan, Nisakorn; Jimtaisong, Ampa

    2015-03-01

    The rise in solar ultraviolet radiation on the earth's surface has led to a depletion of stratospheric ozone over recent decades, thus accelerating the need to protect human skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation such as erythema, edema, hyperpigmentation, photoaging, and skin cancer. There are many different ways to protect skin against UV radiation's harmful effects. The most popular way to reduce the amount of UV radiation penetrating the skin is topical application of sunscreen products that contain UV absorbing or reflecting active molecules. Based on their protection mechanism, the active molecules in sunscreens are broadly divided into inorganic and organic agents. Inorganic sunscreens reflect and scatter UV and visible radiation, while organic sunscreens absorb UV radiation and then re-emit energy as heat or light. These synthetic molecules have limited concentration according to regulation concern. Several natural compounds with UV absorption property have been used to substitute for or to reduce the quantity of synthetic sunscreen agents. In addition to UV absorption property, most natural compounds were found to act as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory agents, which provide further protection against the damaging effects of UV radiation exposure. Compounds derived from natural sources have gained considerable attention for use in sunscreen products and have bolstered the market trend toward natural cosmetics. This adds to the importance of there being a wide selection of active molecules in sunscreen formulations. This paper summarizes a number of natural products derived from propolis, plants, algae, and lichens that have shown potential photoprotection properties against UV radiation exposure-induced skin damage. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Intelligent agents for e-commerce applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vuppala, Krishna

    1999-12-01

    This thesis focuses on development of intelligent agent solutions for e-commerce applications. E-Commerce has several complexities like: lack of information about the players, learning the nature of one's business partners/competitors, finding the right business partner to do business with, using the right strategy to get best profit out of the negotiations etc. The agent models developed can be used in any agent solution for e-commerce. Concepts and techniques from Game Theory and Artificial Intelligence are used. The developed models have several advantages over the existing ones as: the models assume the non-availability of information about other players in the market, the models of players get updated over the time as and when new information comes about the players, the negotiation model incorporates the patience levels of the players and expectations from other players in the market. Power industry has been chosen as the application area for the demonstration of the capabilities and usage of the developed agent models. Two e-commerce scenarios where sellers and buyers can go through the power exchanges to bid in auctions, or make bilateral deals outside of the exchange are addressed. In the first scenario agent helps market participants in coordinating strategies with other participants, bidding in auctions by analyzing and understanding the behavior of other participants. In the second scenario, called "Power Traders Assistant" agent helps power trader, who buys and sells power through bilateral negotiations, in negotiating deals with his customers.

  17. An agent-based tool for infrastructure interdependency policy analysis.

    SciTech Connect

    North, M. J.

    2000-12-14

    Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) can be applied to investigate complex infrastructure interdependencies such as those between the electric power and natural gas markets. These markets are undergoing fundamental transformations including major changes in electric generator fuel sources. Electric generators that use natural gas as a fuel source are rapidly gaining market share. These generators introduce direct interdependency between the electric power and natural gas markets. These interdependencies have been investigated using the emergent behavior of CAS model agents within the Spot Market Agent Research Tool Version 2.0 Plus Natural Gas (SMART II+).

  18. Agent independent task planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, William S.

    1990-01-01

    Agent-Independent Planning is a technique that allows the construction of activity plans without regard to the agent that will perform them. Once generated, a plan is then validated and translated into instructions for a particular agent, whether a robot, crewmember, or software-based control system. Because Space Station Freedom (SSF) is planned for orbital operations for approximately thirty years, it will almost certainly experience numerous enhancements and upgrades, including upgrades in robotic manipulators. Agent-Independent Planning provides the capability to construct plans for SSF operations, independent of specific robotic systems, by combining techniques of object oriented modeling, nonlinear planning and temporal logic. Since a plan is validated using the physical and functional models of a particular agent, new robotic systems can be developed and integrated with existing operations in a robust manner. This technique also provides the capability to generate plans for crewmembers with varying skill levels, and later apply these same plans to more sophisticated robotic manipulators made available by evolutions in technology.

  19. Sunscreening agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Latha, M S; Martis, Jacintha; Shobha, V; Sham Shinde, Rutuja; Bangera, Sudhakar; Krishnankutty, Binny; Bellary, Shantala; Varughese, Sunoj; Rao, Prabhakar; Naveen Kumar, B R

    2013-01-01

    The increasing incidence of skin cancers and photodamaging effects caused by ultraviolet radiation has increased the use of sunscreening agents, which have shown beneficial effects in reducing the symptoms and reoccurrence of these problems. Many sunscreen compounds are in use, but their safety and efficacy are still in question. Efficacy is measured through indices, such as sun protection factor, persistent pigment darkening protection factor, and COLIPA guidelines. The United States Food and Drug Administration and European Union have incorporated changes in their guidelines to help consumers select products based on their sun protection factor and protection against ultraviolet radiation, whereas the Indian regulatory agency has not yet issued any special guidance on sunscreening agents, as they are classified under cosmetics. In this article, the authors discuss the pharmacological actions of sunscreening agents as well as the available formulations, their benefits, possible health hazards, safety, challenges, and proper application technique. New technologies and scope for the development of sunscreening agents are also discussed as well as the role of the physician in patient education about the use of these agents.

  20. Honey - A Novel Antidiabetic Agent

    PubMed Central

    Erejuwa, Omotayo O.; Sulaiman, Siti A.; Wahab, Mohd S. Ab

    2012-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus remains a burden worldwide in spite of the availability of numerous antidiabetic drugs. Honey is a natural substance produced by bees from nectar. Several evidence-based health benefits have been ascribed to honey in the recent years. In this review article, we highlight findings which demonstrate the beneficial or potential effects of honey in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), on the gut microbiota, in the liver, in the pancreas and how these effects could improve glycemic control and metabolic derangements. In healthy subjects or patients with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus, various studies revealed that honey reduced blood glucose or was more tolerable than most common sugars or sweeteners. Pre-clinical studies provided more convincing evidence in support of honey as a potential antidiabetic agent than clinical studies did. The not-too-impressive clinical data could mainly be attributed to poor study designs or due to the fact that the clinical studies were preliminary. Based on the key constituents of honey, the possible mechanisms of action of antidiabetic effect of honey are proposed. The paper also highlights the potential impacts and future perspectives on the use of honey as an antidiabetic agent. It makes recommendations for further clinical studies on the potential antidiabetic effect of honey. This review provides insight on the potential use of honey, especially as a complementary agent, in the management of diabetes mellitus. Hence, it is very important to have well-designed, randomized controlled clinical trials that investigate the reproducibility (or otherwise) of these experimental data in diabetic human subjects. PMID:22811614

  1. [Preparation of antineoplastic agents].

    PubMed

    Descoutures, J-M

    2006-01-01

    In the last fifteen years, the preparation of antineoplastic agents has tended to be centralized in the hospital pharmacy for two main reasons: to enable better protection for the staff, to enable better safety for the patient. The consequences of this organization have led to standardization of techniques, implementation of a quality system and also a better use of antineoplastic agents. After protocols have been standardized by the physician and validated by the pharmacist, four main steps are necessary: phamaceutical validation of the prescription, preparation of IV admixtures according to a production file, control of the final product, dispatching of the preparation to the patient. Computer-controlled processes guarantee the safety of these different steps. The centralized preparations are made either with a vertical laminar flow hood or with an isolator. With the implementation of the National Cancer Plan, antineoplastic agents for patients on home treatments will also be prepared in centralized hospital pharmacies.

  2. Polyphenols as antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Daglia, Maria

    2012-04-01

    Polyphenols are secondary metabolites produced by higher plants, which play multiple essential roles in plant physiology and have potential healthy properties on human organism, mainly as antioxidants, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antihypertensive, and antimicrobial agents. In the present review the antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activities of the most active polyphenol classes are reported, highlighting, where investigated, the mechanisms of action and the structure-activity relationship. Moreover, considering that the microbial resistance has become an increasing global problem, and there is a compulsory need to find out new potent antimicrobial agents as accessories to antibiotic therapy, the synergistic effect of polyphenols in combination with conventional antimicrobial agents against clinical multidrug-resistant microorganisms is discussed.

  3. New selenosteroids as antiproliferative agents.

    PubMed

    Fuentes-Aguilar, Alma; Romero-Hernández, Laura L; Arenas-González, Ailed; Merino-Montiel, Penélope; Montiel-Smith, Sara; Meza-Reyes, Socorro; Vega-Báez, José Luis; Plata, Gabriela B; Padrón, José M; López, Óscar; Fernández-Bolaños, José G

    2017-06-14

    Starting from natural steroids (diosgenin, hecogenin, smilagenin, estrone), we have prepared a wide panel of selenoderivatives, including benzoselenazolones, selenosemicarbazones, isoselenocyanates, selenoureas, selenocyanates and diselenides, with the aim of developing new families of potential chemotherapeutic agents. The modification of the organoselenium moieties, and their position on the steroid provided valuable information concerning the antiproliferative activities. Among all the families accessed herein, the best profile was achieved for selenoureas on the A ring of estrone, which exhibited GI50 values in the range 2.0-4.1 μM for all the tested tumor cell lines, with increased potency compared with commonly used chemotherapeutic agents, like 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin. Cell cycle analysis revealed that selenoureas induced accumulation of cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle in the breast cancer cell lines HBL-100 and T-47D; therefore, a different mechanism than cisplatin, that induces cell cycle accumulation in the S phase as a result of DNA damage, must be involved. In the rest of the tumor cells, a slight increase of the S compartment was observed. Moreover, selenosteoids turned out to be excellent glutathione peroxidase (GPx) mimics for the catalytic removal of deleterious H2O2 (t1/2 8.0-22.5 min) and alkyl peroxides (t1/2 23.0-38.9 min) when used in substoichiometric amounts (1% molar ratio), thus providing a valuable tool for reducing the intrinsic oxidative stress in tumor progression.

  4. Natural Xanthones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denisova-Dyatlova, O. A.; Glyzin, V. I.

    1982-10-01

    The available information on the abundance of natural xanthones in nature and the methods for the determination of their structure, biogenesis, and pharmacological properties is surveyed and described systematically. The bibliography includes 151 references.

  5. MpcAgent

    SciTech Connect

    Nutaro, James

    2013-11-29

    MpcAgent software is a module for the VolltronLite platform from PNNL that regulates the operation of rooftop air conditioning units in small to medium commercial buildings for the purpose of reducing peak power consumption. The MpcAgent accomplishes this by restricting the number of units that may operate simultaneously and using a model predictive control strategy to select which units to operate in each control period. The outcome of this control is effective control of the building air temperature at the user specified set point while avoiding expensive peak demand charges that result from running all HVAC units simultaneously.

  6. Towards an agent-oriented programming language based on Scala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitrović, Dejan; Ivanović, Mirjana; Budimac, Zoran

    2012-09-01

    Scala and its multi-threaded model based on actors represent an excellent framework for developing purely reactive agents. This paper presents an early research on extending Scala with declarative programming constructs, which would result in a new agent-oriented programming language suitable for developing more advanced, BDI agent architectures. The main advantage the new language over many other existing solutions for programming BDI agents is a natural and straightforward integration of imperative and declarative programming constructs, fitted under a single development framework.

  7. Agent Persuasion Mechanism of Acquaintance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jinghua, Wu; Wenguang, Lu; Hailiang, Meng

    Agent persuasion can improve negotiation efficiency in dynamic environment based on its initiative and autonomy, and etc., which is being affected much more by acquaintance. Classification of acquaintance on agent persuasion is illustrated, and the agent persuasion model of acquaintance is also illustrated. Then the concept of agent persuasion degree of acquaintance is given. Finally, relative interactive mechanism is elaborated.

  8. Forest Service special agents, assistant special agents in charge, senior special agents, and supervisory special agents report: nationwide study

    Treesearch

    Deborah J. Chavez; Joanne F. Tynon

    2007-01-01

    This is the fourth in a series of studies to evaluate perceptions of U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service law enforcement personnel of the roles, responsibilities, and issues related to their jobs. An e-mail survey was administered to the 89 Forest Service special agents, assistant special agents in charge, senior special agents, and supervisory special agents...

  9. Model Checking Normative Agent Organisations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dennis, Louise; Tinnemeier, Nick; Meyer, John-Jules

    We present the integration of a normative programming language in the MCAPL framework for model checking multi-agent systems. The result is a framework facilitating the implementation and verification of multi-agent systems coordinated via a normative organisation. The organisation can be programmed in the normative language while the constituent agents may be implemented in a number of (BDI) agent programming languages.

  10. Learning Sequences of Actions in Collectives of Autonomous Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turner, Kagan; Agogino, Adrian K.; Wolpert, David H.; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    In this paper we focus on the problem of designing a collective of autonomous agents that individually learn sequences of actions such that the resultant sequence of joint actions achieves a predetermined global objective. We are particularly interested in instances of this problem where centralized control is either impossible or impractical. For single agent systems in similar domains, machine learning methods (e.g., reinforcement learners) have been successfully used. However, applying such solutions directly to multi-agent systems often proves problematic, as agents may work at cross-purposes, or have difficulty in evaluating their contribution to achievement of the global objective, or both. Accordingly, the crucial design step in multiagent systems centers on determining the private objectives of each agent so that as the agents strive for those objectives, the system reaches a good global solution. In this work we consider a version of this problem involving multiple autonomous agents in a grid world. We use concepts from collective intelligence to design goals for the agents that are 'aligned' with the global goal, and are 'learnable' in that agents can readily see how their behavior affects their utility. We show that reinforcement learning agents using those goals outperform both 'natural' extensions of single agent algorithms and global reinforcement, learning solutions based on 'team games'.

  11. Smell Detection Agent Based Optimization Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinod Chandra, S. S.

    2016-09-01

    In this paper, a novel nature-inspired optimization algorithm has been employed and the trained behaviour of dogs in detecting smell trails is adapted into computational agents for problem solving. The algorithm involves creation of a surface with smell trails and subsequent iteration of the agents in resolving a path. This algorithm can be applied in different computational constraints that incorporate path-based problems. Implementation of the algorithm can be treated as a shortest path problem for a variety of datasets. The simulated agents have been used to evolve the shortest path between two nodes in a graph. This algorithm is useful to solve NP-hard problems that are related to path discovery. This algorithm is also useful to solve many practical optimization problems. The extensive derivation of the algorithm can be enabled to solve shortest path problems.

  12. Thrombolytic agents in development.

    PubMed

    Verstraete, M; Lijnen, H R; Collen, D

    1995-07-01

    The quest continues for thrombolytic agents with a higher thrombolytic potency, specific thrombolytic activity and/or a better fibrin selectivity. Several lines of research towards improvement of thrombolytic agents are being explored, including the construction of mutants and variants of plasminogen activators (PAs), chimaeric PAs, conjugates of PAs with monoclonal antibodies, and PAs from animal or bacterial origin. Some of these new thrombolytic agents have shown promise in animal models of venous or arterial thrombosis and in pilot clinical studies. Such molecules include numerous mutants of tissue-type PA (t-PA) with prolonged in vivo half-life and/or resistance to protease inhibitors, and chimaeric PAs consisting of different regions of t-PA and of urokinase-type PA (u-PA). Several molecular forms of the thrombolytic substance in the saliva of the vampire bat have been characterised and cloned. Vampire bat PA exhibits 85% homology to human t-PA but lacks kringle 2 and the plasmin-sensitive cleavage site. A thrombolytic enzyme of 203 amino acids is present in the venom of a southern copperhead snake. This polypeptide, termed fibrolase, is now produced by recombinant technology. Fibrolase does not activate plasminogen or protein C, but directly degrades the alpha and beta chains of fibrin and fibrinogen. Recombinant staphylokinase is not an enzyme, but it forms a 1:1 stoichiometric complex with plasminogen, which becomes active after conversion of plasminogen to plasmin. It is a potent and highly fibrin specific thrombolytic agent in animals and patients.

  13. Hair regrowth. Therapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, J; Price, V H

    1998-04-01

    Today there are new classes of hair growth promotors with proven efficacy. This article reviews the current state of the art agents for treatment of two of the most common forms of hair loss encountered in clinical practice, androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata. Current therapeutic strategies are based on recent advances in the understanding of disordered hair growth. Practical treatment protocols are presented.

  14. E-Learning Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gregg, Dawn G.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the advantages of using intelligent agents to facilitate the location and customization of appropriate e-learning resources and to foster collaboration in e-learning environments. Design/methodology/approach: This paper proposes an e-learning environment that can be used to provide customized…

  15. Can Subscription Agents Survive?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tuttle, Marcia

    1985-01-01

    With the saturation of traditional markets for their services, subscription agents have evolved from orders and invoices to serving customers by communicating with librarians and publishers and making automated and paper products available. Magazine fulfillment centers, publisher discounts, and electronic publishing will influence the subscription…

  16. Remote Agent Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benard, Doug; Dorais, Gregory A.; Gamble, Ed; Kanefsky, Bob; Kurien, James; Millar, William; Muscettola, Nicola; Nayak, Pandu; Rouquette, Nicolas; Rajan, Kanna; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Remote Agent (RA) is a model-based, reusable artificial intelligence (At) software system that enables goal-based spacecraft commanding and robust fault recovery. RA was flight validated during an experiment on board of DS1 between May 17th and May 21th, 1999.

  17. Measure Landscape Diversity with Logical Scout Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wirth, E.; Szabó, G.; Czinkóczky, A.

    2016-06-01

    The Common Agricultural Policy reform of the EU focuses on three long-term objectives: viable food production, sustainable management of natural resources and climate action with balanced territorial development. To achieve these goals, the EU farming and subsidizing policies (EEA, 2014) support landscape heterogeneity and diversity. Current paper introduces an agent-based method to calculate the potential of landscape diversity. The method tries to catch the nature of heterogeneity using logic and modelling as opposed to the traditional statistical reasoning. The outlined Random Walk Scouting algorithm registers the land cover crossings of the scout agents to a Monte Carlo integral. The potential is proportional with the composition and the configuration (spatial character) of the landscape. Based on the measured points a potential map is derived to give an objective and quantitative basis to the stakeholders (policy makers, farmers).

  18. Naturally Inspired Molecules as Multifunctional Agents for Alzheimer's Disease Treatment.

    PubMed

    Rampa, Angela; Tarozzi, Andrea; Mancini, Francesca; Pruccoli, Letizia; Di Martino, Rita Maria Concetta; Gobbi, Silvia; Bisi, Alessandra; De Simone, Angela; Palomba, Francesco; Zaccheroni, Nelsi; Belluti, Federica

    2016-05-16

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been defined as a multi-factorial disorder resulting from a complex array of networked cellular and molecular mechanisms. In particular, elevated levels of Aβ protein and its aggregation products in the presence of metal ions proved to be highly neurotoxic and therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing Aβ generation and oxidative stress may represent an effective approach for AD treatment. A recent paradigm for the treatment of complex diseases such as AD suggests the employment of multifunctional compounds, single chemical entities capable of simultaneously modulating different targets involved in the pathology. In this paper, the "pharmacophores combination" strategy was applied, connecting the main scaffold of the BACE-1 ligand 1 to that of the chalcone 2, as metal chelating pharmacophore, to obtain a small library of compounds. Conjugate 5 emerged as the most interesting derivative, proving to inhibit BACE-1 with low-micromolar potency, and showing neuroprotective effects. In particular, 5 proved to be able to protect from metal-associated oxidative stress by hampering intracellular Cu(2+)-induced ROS formation without any direct neurotoxic effect.

  19. Intelligent Agents as a Basis for Natural Language Interfaces

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-01-01

    the meaning of the user’s utter- ances . The KODIAK representation system used in UC is described in Appendix A. The above linearized form of KODIAK...is equivalent to the problem of detecting new goals, since pushing a backgroun d goal to the foreground can be thought of as having a new goal to

  20. Relaxin as a natural agent for vascular health

    PubMed Central

    Bani, Daniele

    2008-01-01

    Hypertension, atherothrombosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and renal failure are the main manifestations of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death and disability in developed countries. Continuing insight into the pathophysiology of CVD can allow identification of effective therapeutic strategies to reduce the occurrence of death and/or severe disabilities. In this context, a healthy endothelium is deemed crucial to proper functioning and maintenance of anatomical integrity of the vascular system in many organs. Of note, epidemiologic studies indicate that the incidence of CVD in women is very low until menopause and increases sharply thereafter. The loss of protection against CVD in post-menopausal women has been chiefly attributed to ovarian steroid deficiency. However, besides steroids, the ovary also produces the peptide hormone relaxin (RLX), which provides potent vasoactive effects which render it the most likely candidate as the elusive physiological shield against CVD in fertile women. In particular, RLX has a specific relaxant effect on peripheral and coronary vasculature, exerted by the stimulation of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) generation by cells of the vascular wall, and can induce angiogenesis. Moreover, RLX inhibits the activation of inflammatory leukocytes and platelets, which play a key role in CVD. Experimental studies performed in vascular and blood cell in vitro and in animal models of vascular dysfunction, as well as pioneer clinical observations, have provided evidence that RLX can prevent and/or improve CVD, thus offering background to clinical trials aimed at exploring the broad therapeutic potential of human recombinant RLX as a new cardiovascular drug. PMID:18827902

  1. Attenuation of cytotoxic natural product DNA intercalating agents by caffeine.

    PubMed

    Hill, Gabrielle M; Moriarity, Debra M; Setzer, William N

    2011-01-01

    Many anti-tumor drugs function by intercalating into DNA. The xanthine alkaloid caffeine can also intercalate into DNA as well as form π-π molecular complexes with other planar alkaloids and anti-tumor drugs. The presence of caffeine could interfere with the intercalating anti-tumor drug by forming π-π molecular complexes with the drug, thereby blocking the planar aromatic drugs from intercalating into the DNA and ultimately lowering the toxicity of the drug to the cancer cells. The cytotoxic activities of several known DNA intercalators (berberine, camptothecin, chelerythrine, doxorubicin, ellipticine, and sanguinarine) on MCF-7 breast cancer cells, both with and without caffeine present (200 μg/mL) were determined. Significant attenuation of the cytotoxicities by caffeine was found. Computational molecular modeling studies involving the intercalating anti-tumor drugs with caffeine were also carried out using density functional theory (DFT) and the recently developed M06 functional. Relatively strong π-π interaction energies between caffeine and the intercalators were found, suggesting an "interceptor" role of caffeine protecting the DNA from intercalation.

  2. Anthocyanins as antimicrobial agents of natural plant origin.

    PubMed

    Cisowska, Agnieszka; Wojnicz, Dorota; Hendrich, Andrzej B

    2011-01-01

    Anthocyanins are particularly abundant in different fruits, especially in berries. The beneficial effects of these compounds for human health have been known from at least the 16th century. Despite the great number of papers devoted to the different biological effects exerted by anthocyanins only a limited number of studies is focused on the antimicrobial activity of these compounds. Anthocyanin content of berry fruits varies from 7.5 mg/100 mg fresh fruit in redcurrant (Ribes rubum) up to 460 mg/100 g fresh fruit in chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa). After consumption, anthocyanins are intensively metabolized, mainly in the intestines and liver. Glucorination, methylation and sulfation are the most typical metabolic reactions. Antimicrobial activity of crude extracts of plant phenolic compounds against human pathogens has been intensively studied to characterize and develop new healthy food ingredients as well as medical and pharmaceutical products. However, there is very little information available about the antimicrobial activity of the pure anthocyanins. In the last part of this review we present the collection of papers describing the anthocyanin profiles of different fruits (mainly berries) and the antimicrobial properties of the identified compounds. Generally, anthocyanins are active against different microbes, however Gram-positive bacteria usually are more susceptible to the anthocyanin action than Gram-negative ones. Mechanisms underlying anthocyanin activity include both membrane and intracellular interactions of these compounds. Antimicrobial activity of berries and other anthocyanin-containing fruits is likely to be caused by multiple mechanisms and synergies because they contain various compounds including anthocyanins, weak organic acids, phenolic acids, and their mixtures of different chemical forms. Therefore, the antimicrobial effect of chemically complex compounds has to be critically analyzed.

  3. An Extension Dynamic Model Based on BDI Agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Wang; Feng, Zhu; Hua, Geng; WangJing, Zhu

    this paper's researching is based on the model of BDI Agent. Firstly, This paper analyze the deficiencies of the traditional BDI Agent model, Then propose an extension dynamic model of BDI Agent based on the traditional ones. It can quickly achieve the internal interaction of the tradition model of BDI Agent, deal with complex issues under dynamic and open environment and achieve quick reaction of the model. The new model is a natural and reasonable model by verifying the origin of civilization using the model of monkeys to eat sweet potato based on the design of the extension dynamic model. It is verified to be feasible by comparing the extended dynamic BDI Agent model with the traditional BDI Agent Model uses the SWARM, it has important theoretical significance.

  4. Validating the Autonomous Science Agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chien, Steve; Cichy, Benjamin; Schaffer, Steve; Tran, Danny; Rabideau, Gregg; Sherwood, Rob; Bote, Robert; Mandl, Dan; Frye, Stu; Shulman, Seth; hide

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes the validation process for the Autonomous Science Agent, a software agent that will fly onboard the EO-1 spacecraft from 2003-2004. This agent will recognize science events, retarget the spacecraft to respond to the science events, and reduce data downlink to only the highest value science data. The autonomous science agent has been designed using a layered architectural approach with specific redundant safeguards to reduce the risk of an agent malfunction to the EO-1 spacecraft. This 'safe' design is also in the process of being thoroughly validated by informal validation methods and extensive testing. This paper describes the analysis used to define agent safety, elements of the design that increase the safety of the agent, and the process being used to validate agent safety prior to the agent software controlling the spacecraft.

  5. Pharmacology of antiplatelet agents.

    PubMed

    Kalra, Kiran; Franzese, Christopher J; Gesheff, Martin G; Lev, Eli I; Pandya, Shachi; Bliden, Kevin P; Tantry, Udaya S; Gurbel, Paul A

    2013-12-01

    Pharmacotherapies with agents that inhibit platelet function have proven to be effective in the treatment of acute coronary syndromes, and in the prevention of complications during and after percutaneous coronary intervention. Because of multiple synergetic pathways of platelet activation and their close interplay with coagulation, current treatment strategies are based not only on platelet inhibition, but also on the attenuation of procoagulant activity, inhibition of thrombin generation, and enhancement of clot dissolution. Current strategies can be broadly categorized as anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents, and fibrinolytics. This review focuses on the pharmacology of current antiplatelet therapy primarily targeting the inhibition of the enzyme cyclooxygenase 1, the P2Y12 receptor, the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor, and protease-activated receptor 1.

  6. [The antiretroviral agent Fullevir].

    PubMed

    Nosik, D N; Lialina, I K; Kalnina, L B; Lobach, O A; Chataeva, M S; Rasnetsov, L D

    2009-01-01

    The antiretroviral properties of Fullevir (sodium salt of fullerenepolyhydropolyaminocaproic acid) manufactured by IntelFarm Co.) were studied in the human cell culture infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The agent was ascertained to be able to protect the cell from the cytopathic action of HIV. The 90% effective concentration (EF90) was 5 microg/ml. The 50% average toxic concentration was 400 microg/ml. Testing of different (preventive and therapeutic) Fullevir dosage regimens has shown that the drug is effective when used both an hour before and an hour after infection and when administered simultaneously with cell infection. The longer contact time for the agent with the cells increased the degree of antiviral defense. Co-administration of Fullevir and the HIV reverse transcriptase inhibitor Retrovir (azidothymidine) showed a synergistic antiretroviral effect. Thus, Fullevir may be regarded as a new promising antiretroviral drug for the treatment of HIV infection.

  7. Natural products: DNA double whammy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gates, Kent S.

    2014-06-01

    The lomaiviticins are exceedingly potent antibiotic agents, but the mechanism responsible for this activity has so far been unclear. Now, efficient generation of double-strand breaks in DNA by lomaiviticin A has been linked to the remarkable cytotoxicity of these diazobenzofluorene-containg natural products.

  8. FEIBA: a prohemostatic agent.

    PubMed

    Cromwell, Caroline; Aledort, Louis M

    2012-04-01

    Factor eight inhibitor bypassing activity (FEIBA), Anti-Inhibitor Coagulation Complex has been used for over 30 years in hemophiliac patients with inhibitors. The history of its use is reviewed here, including issues related to thrombosis, efficacy, and comparison to alternative bypassing agents. The need for surrogate assays to monitor effective hemostasis with the use of FEIBA remains. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  9. Intelligent Agent Integration Technology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-04-01

    and Manipulation Language (KQML) specification under the DARPA-sponsored Knowledge Sharing Initiative and the developing of a scaleable and an... Shared Communication Ontology ’$" 10.3 IMPLEMENTATION 151 10.3.1 Intelligent Resource Agent Architecture ^ 10.3.2 Application to K-12 Education 153...DARPA-sponsored Knowledge Sharing Initiative, the developing a scaleable and an efficient implementation of information system components for

  10. Agents Technology Research

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-01

    62702F 6. AUTHOR(S) Robert Wright, Jeffrey Hudack, Nathaniel Gemelli, Steven Loscalzo, and Tsu Kong Lue 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 558S 5e. TASK...NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON Robert Wright a. REPORT U b. ABSTRACT U c. THIS PAGE U 19b. TELEPHONE NUMBER (Include area code) N/A...avoided by the other agents removing the incentive to lie or free-load. This phenomenon is termed as the shadow of the future and was shown in Robert

  11. Vaporizing Fire Extinguishing Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1950-08-18

    the pro- ject under contract included: Dr. Earl T. McBee, Head, Chemistry Department; Dr. Zara D. Welch, Researbh Supervisor; and Dr’s T. R. Santelli...Aeronautics Authority kxperimental Station, Indianapolis, Indiana, which has supplied test data for inclusion in this report. The Medical Division of the...Development of sources of supply for agent anAL con- tainers. f. Service testing. This report oovers technical phases a, b, and a to 1 April 1950, and

  12. Deals Among Rational Agents,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-03-01

    8217.--..- .--. ..... .. ......-..- . .-- .. : .. ., . . . - .. .. ....-. . . . Theorem 2 will not hold under minimal deal rationality. Imagine that a perverse opponent chooses his offer group as follows: 1. If you include in your...agents’ behavior (citing the similarity with [25]): (A3). If a game has a single Pareto equilibrium, the players will choose the strategy which...prominent solution. [A Taxonomy of 2 x 2 Games] In short, game theory has been willing to take for granted certain types of behavior without

  13. Animal Capture Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-01-01

    Vetalartm) a. Composition: Ketamine hydrochloride is a rapid-acting non-narcotic, nonbarbiturate agent for anesthetic use in cats and for restraint in...mean that the animal cannot feel pain. Ketamine has been aduinistered principally to cats and man, although its use in mice, rats, dogs, primates...minutes after administration to cats . Can cause convulsions and barking fits in dogs, which do not occur when it is added to other psychotropic drugs

  14. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, Mark P.; Mease, Ronnie C.; Srivastava, Suresh C.

    2000-02-08

    Bicyclo[2.2.2]octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo[2.2.1]heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  15. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, Mark P.; Mease, Ronnie C.; Srivastava, Suresh C.

    1998-07-21

    Bicyclo›2.2.2! octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo›2.2.1! heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  16. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, M.P.; Mease, R.C.; Srivastava, S.C.

    1998-07-21

    Bicyclo[2.2.2] octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N`,N`-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo[2.2.1] heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N`,N`-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  17. A STUDY OF NORTH CAROLINA AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AGENTS' PERCEPTION OF THE ROLE OF FERTILIZER DEALERS IN EXTENSION PROGRAMMING.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    WOODARD, BRUCE H.

    A QUESTIONNAIRE MAILED TO 98 AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AGENTS IN NORTH CAROLINA WITH PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY IN AGRONOMY IN THEIR COUNTIES WAS USED TO COLLECT DATA ON THE AGENTS' PERCEPTION OF THE NATURE AND FREQUENCY OF PERFORMANCE BY DEALERS IN SOIL FERTILITY PROGRAMS, AGENTS' FEELINGS ABOUT DEALER PARTICIPATION, AND THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN AGENTS'…

  18. [Antimicrobial agents in eyedrops].

    PubMed

    Sklubalová, Z

    2004-05-01

    Microbial contamination of ophthalmic drops means a risk of serious injury to the eye. Ophthalmic drops must therefore comply with sterility requirements. Protection of multiple-dose drops against secondary contamination is ensured by an addition of an antimicrobial agent. Selection of a suitable antimicrobial agent is conditioned by many factors, such as the spectrum of effect, properties of the preparation, compatibility with the components of the preparation and the container, and the technology of manufacture. Although the added antimicrobial substance ensures the safety of the preparation, on the other hand it can produce a number of negative effects in the eye tissue. The present paper summarizes pharmacopoeial requirements for microbial quality of ophthalmic drops, outlining the properties and efficacy of antimicrobial substances commonly used in ophthalmic drops (benzalkonium chloride BAC, cetrimide CTM, phenyl mercuric salts PHg, thiomersal TM, chlorobutanol ChB, benzyl alcohol BA, phenyl ethyl alcohol PEA, chlorohexidin ChX, parabens PB), their typical concentrations and combinations, including the parameters of formulation and the interactions which affect their activity. It deals with the toxicity of these antimicrobial substances, side effects on the eye tissue, and alternatives to the use of antimicrobial agents.

  19. Advanced scale conditioning agents

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Jeff; Battaglia, Philip J.

    2004-06-01

    A technical description of Advanced Scale Conditioning Agents (ASCA) technology was published in the May-June 2003 edition of the Nuclear Plant Journal. That article described the development of programs of advanced scale conditioning agents and specific types to maintain the secondary side of steam generators within a pressurized water reactor free of deposited corrosion products and corrosion-inducing contaminants to ensure their long-term operation. This article describes the first two plant applications of advanced scale conditioning agents implemented at Southern Nuclear Operating Company's Vogtle Units 1 and 2 during their 2002 scheduled outages to minimize tube degradation and maintain full power operation using the most effective techniques while minimizing outage costs. The goal was to remove three to four fuel cycles of deposits from each steam generator so that after future chemical cleaning activities, ASCAs could be used to maintain the cleanliness of the steam generators without the need for additional chemical cleaning efforts. The goal was achieved as well as several other benefits that resulted in cost savings to the plant.

  20. Newer antifungal agents.

    PubMed

    Türel, Ozden

    2011-03-01

    The frequency and spectrum of fungal infections have been increasing steadily over the last several decades. The reason for this increase may be explained by the increase in the number of immunocompromised patients due to malignancies, AIDS, invasive surgical procedures and transplantation. In parallel with this increase, several therapeutic options have become available but problems such as intrinsic or acquired antifungal resistance have led researchers to develop new antifungal drugs with expanded effectiveness. Reduced toxicity, enhancement of bioavailability and counteraction of resistance are features desired by clinicians. The aim of this article is to summarize the studies involving isavuconazole, ravuconazole, albaconazole, aminocandin and some other investigational antifungal agents. Most data on the clinical use of ravuconazole, isavuconazole and albaconazole are mainly available as meeting abstracts or limited to animal studies or Phase I/II studies in humans. These new antifungal agents in development offer extended half-lives, possibly reduced drug interaction profiles and good tolerance. In addition to activity against Candida and Aspergillus spp., they have a broad spectrum of activity including activity against resistant and emerging pathogens. The real possibilities of these agents will only be fully understood after adequate randomized clinical trials.

  1. New and emerging antifungal agents: impact on respiratory infections.

    PubMed

    Feldmesser, Marta

    2003-01-01

    Fungal pathogens are increasingly important causes of respiratory disease, yet the number of antifungal agents available for clinical use is limited. Use of amphotericin B deoxycholate is hampered by severe toxicity. Triazole agents currently available have significant drug interactions; fluconazole has a limited spectrum of activity and itraconazole was, until recently, available only in oral formulations with limited bioavailability. The development of resistance to all three agents is increasingly being recognized and some filamentous fungi are resistant to the action of all of these agents. In the past few years, new antifungal agents and new formulations of existing agents have become available.The use of liposomal amphotericin B preparations is associated with reduced, but still substantial, rates of nephrotoxicity and infusion-related reactions. An intravenous formulation of itraconazole has been introduced, and several new triazole agents have been developed, with the view of identifying agents that have enhanced potency, broader spectra of action and improved pharmacodynamic properties. One of these, voriconazole, has completed large-scale clinical trials. In addition, caspofungin, the first of a new class of agents, the echinocandins, which inhibit cell wall glucan synthesis, was approved for use in the US in 2001 as salvage therapy for invasive aspergillosis. It is hoped that the availability of these agents will have a significant impact on the morbidity and mortality of fungal respiratory infections. However, at the present time, our ability to assess their impact is limited by the problematic nature of conducting trials for antifungal therapy.

  2. Firsthand Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gostev, Moses; Weiss, Francesca Michaelides

    2007-01-01

    It's no secret that many school programs don't give children enough opportunity to explore the natural world--i.e., to "mess about" and to have firsthand experience with nature and animals. Not so at the Muscota New School in New York City! This innovative public elementary school actively promotes inquiry-based learning and encourages…

  3. Nature plants.

    PubMed

    2014-06-01

    We welcome our new sister journal Nature Plants and the increased commitment to the plant science community that it represents. This is an opportunity for Nature Genetics to emphasize the use of genetic and genomic tools and resources in discovering new plant biology and solving major agricultural challenges.

  4. Natural death.

    PubMed

    Oehmichen, M; Meissner, C

    2000-01-01

    The increasing age of every human being is the beginning of the end of life, an obviously natural process, but any attempt to define the term 'natural death' soon encounters difficulties in defining what is meant by 'natural'. In the industrialized countries of the West, for example 'natural death' is thought of as the opposite of non-natural types of death such as accidental death, suicide, and homicide. The aim of our present survey is to discuss the meaning of the term 'natural death' under a clinical, a forensic and a scientific point of view with regard to recent developments especially in molecular biology. If there are 'external' physical influences, a medical-technical manipulation, a therapeutic or molecular biological intervention cannot be definitely ruled out as the cause of death, then use of the term 'natural death' in general is open to question. It will only remain meaningful if it can be applied with a specific meaning in definite practical situations. Current research and medical technology, however, do not allow use of the term 'natural death' in its conventional sense: it can thus be stricken from the medical vocabulary. Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

  5. Firsthand Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gostev, Moses; Weiss, Francesca Michaelides

    2007-01-01

    It's no secret that many school programs don't give children enough opportunity to explore the natural world--i.e., to "mess about" and to have firsthand experience with nature and animals. Not so at the Muscota New School in New York City! This innovative public elementary school actively promotes inquiry-based learning and encourages…

  6. Nature Detectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harr, Natalie; Lee, Richard E.; Jr.

    2010-01-01

    Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods" (2008) added to a growing consensus to get children outside and experiencing nature. Using ideas from place-based education, the authors present a simple year-long project that brings science, nature, and other curriculum standards to life right in your school yard. With a focus on journaling, this project…

  7. Matematica Natural.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lozano, Patricia; Medearis, Linda

    Matematica Natural (Natural Mathematics) is a mathematics curriculum for young children based on the assumption that they learn mathematics through concrete, real life, relevant experiences and that educational differences rather than cultural differences influence math achievement. The curriculum uses hands-on materials and activities to teach…

  8. Natural Beauty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coy, Mary

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the author describes how her art class students were able to create, in just four class periods, clay relief plaques depicting nature. A lesson on texture speeds up the completion of such a project. Seeing that clay is a natural material with its own unique texture, it seemed fitting that the final product should depict a variety…

  9. Natural Beauty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coy, Mary

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the author describes how her art class students were able to create, in just four class periods, clay relief plaques depicting nature. A lesson on texture speeds up the completion of such a project. Seeing that clay is a natural material with its own unique texture, it seemed fitting that the final product should depict a variety…

  10. Matematica Natural.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lozano, Patricia; Medearis, Linda

    Matematica Natural (Natural Mathematics) is a mathematics curriculum for young children based on the assumption that they learn mathematics through concrete, real life, relevant experiences and that educational differences rather than cultural differences influence math achievement. The curriculum uses hands-on materials and activities to teach…

  11. Nature Detectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harr, Natalie; Lee, Richard E.; Jr.

    2010-01-01

    Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods" (2008) added to a growing consensus to get children outside and experiencing nature. Using ideas from place-based education, the authors present a simple year-long project that brings science, nature, and other curriculum standards to life right in your school yard. With a focus on journaling, this project…

  12. Drinking Peroxide as 'Natural' Cure Leads to Dangerous Blood Clots

    MedlinePlus

    ... https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_163513.html Drinking Peroxide as 'Natural' Cure Leads to Dangerous Blood Clots ... 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Ingesting high-concentration hydrogen peroxide as a "natural cure" or cleansing agent may ...

  13. Medicinal agents in the metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Baños, G; Pérez-Torres, I; El Hafidi, M

    2008-10-01

    The metabolic syndrome (MS) has become a worldwide health problem. It is difficult for patients to follow a diet/exercise regime that would improve their symptoms, therefore the investigation of agents that may deal with its more serious aspects is an important medical field for research. The cardiovascular consequences associated with the syndrome and some of the therapeutic approaches are discussed. The different agents can be divided into several groups: Inorganic/ organic: Zinc complexes with garlic components as insulino-mimetics; Selenium as antioxidant; Copper, Zinc and Manganese as microcomponents of antioxidant enzymes. Organic: Natural or Synthetic: Glycine is effective in lowering blood pressure, TBARS, intra-abdominal fat tissue and triglycerides in sucrose-fed rats. Pharmaceutical products: Fibrates, Lipid-lowering drugs. Antidiabetics. Anti-gout agents. On the other hand there are natural products such as those of animal origin: Sex hormones (also synthetic) used in the problems of menopause and hypoandrogenism frequently found in the MS, antioxidant Omega-3-oils (fish oils) or Vegetal: for example Digitalis pupurea, century-old cardiovascular medication as well as Magnolia officinalis; Spirulina maxima with beneficial effects as antioxidant and lipid-lowering agent, among others. Prickly Pear Cacti. (Opuntia Ficus- Indica Cochlospermum vitifolium (Willd.) Spreng) whose many properties against diabetes and hypercholesterolemia have been empirically known for many years. Perezone (from Perezia plants, a.k.a. Peonia) described as an antiplatelet aggregating agent. The mixed elements in the Mediterranean diet: Fish, salads (peppers, tomatoes), olive oil, garlic, red wine which combines fish oils, garlic and avocado as well as antioxidants from the rest of its components.

  14. Liposome encapsulation of chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Rahman, Yueh Erh

    1976-01-13

    A method for transferring a chelating agent across a cellular membrane by encapsulating the charged chelating agent within liposomes and carrying the liposome-encapsulated chelating agent to the cellular membrane where the liposomes containing the chelating agent will be taken up by the cells, thereby transferring the chelating agent across the cellular membrane. A chelating agent can be introduced into the interior of a cell of a living organism wherein the liposomes will be decomposed, releasing the chelating agent to the interior of the cell. The released chelating agent will complex intracellularly deposited toxic heavy metals, permitting the more soluble metal complex to transfer across the cellular membrane from the cell and subsequently be removed from the living organism.

  15. Agent Based Modeling Applications for Geosciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, J. S.

    2004-12-01

    Agent-based modeling techniques have successfully been applied to systems in which complex behaviors or outcomes arise from varied interactions between individuals in the system. Each individual interacts with its environment, as well as with other individuals, by following a set of relatively simple rules. Traditionally this "bottom-up" modeling approach has been applied to problems in the fields of economics and sociology, but more recently has been introduced to various disciplines in the geosciences. This technique can help explain the origin of complex processes from a relatively simple set of rules, incorporate large and detailed datasets when they exist, and simulate the effects of extreme events on system-wide behavior. Some of the challenges associated with this modeling method include: significant computational requirements in order to keep track of thousands to millions of agents, methods and strategies of model validation are lacking, as is a formal methodology for evaluating model uncertainty. Challenges specific to the geosciences, include how to define agents that control water, contaminant fluxes, climate forcing and other physical processes and how to link these "geo-agents" into larger agent-based simulations that include social systems such as demographics economics and regulations. Effective management of limited natural resources (such as water, hydrocarbons, or land) requires an understanding of what factors influence the demand for these resources on a regional and temporal scale. Agent-based models can be used to simulate this demand across a variety of sectors under a range of conditions and determine effective and robust management policies and monitoring strategies. The recent focus on the role of biological processes in the geosciences is another example of an area that could benefit from agent-based applications. A typical approach to modeling the effect of biological processes in geologic media has been to represent these processes in

  16. The Nature of Natural Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Joe E.

    A variety of types of evidence are examined to help determine the true nature of "deep structure" and what, if any, implications this has for linguistic theory as well as culture theory generally. The evidence accumulated over the past century on the nature of phonetic and phonemic systems is briefly discussed, and the following areas of…

  17. Chemical warfare agents

    PubMed Central

    Ganesan, K.; Raza, S. K.; Vijayaraghavan, R.

    2010-01-01

    Among the Weapons of Mass Destruction, chemical warfare (CW) is probably one of the most brutal created by mankind in comparison with biological and nuclear warfare. Chemical weapons are inexpensive and are relatively easy to produce, even by small terrorist groups, to create mass casualties with small quantities. The characteristics of various CW agents, general information relevant to current physical as well as medical protection methods, detection equipment available and decontamination techniques are discussed in this review article. A brief note on Chemical Weapons Convention is also provided. PMID:21829312

  18. Pharmacologic agents targeting autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Vakifahmetoglu-Norberg, Helin; Xia, Hong-guang; Yuan, Junying

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is an important intracellular catabolic mechanism critically involved in regulating tissue homeostasis. The implication of autophagy in human diseases and the need to understand its regulatory mechanisms in mammalian cells have stimulated research efforts that led to the development of high-throughput screening protocols and small-molecule modulators that can activate or inhibit autophagy. Herein we review the current landscape in the development of screening technology as well as the molecules and pharmacologic agents targeting the regulatory mechanisms of autophagy. We also evaluate the potential therapeutic application of these compounds in different human pathologies. PMID:25654545

  19. Chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Ganesan, K; Raza, S K; Vijayaraghavan, R

    2010-07-01

    Among the Weapons of Mass Destruction, chemical warfare (CW) is probably one of the most brutal created by mankind in comparison with biological and nuclear warfare. Chemical weapons are inexpensive and are relatively easy to produce, even by small terrorist groups, to create mass casualties with small quantities. The characteristics of various CW agents, general information relevant to current physical as well as medical protection methods, detection equipment available and decontamination techniques are discussed in this review article. A brief note on Chemical Weapons Convention is also provided.

  20. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for... will appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  1. 13 CFR 108.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION NEW MARKETS VENTURE CAPITAL (âNMVCâ) PROGRAM SBA Financial... financial markets to determine those factors that will minimize or reduce the cost of funding Debentures...) Agents. SBA may appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market...

  2. 13 CFR 108.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION NEW MARKETS VENTURE CAPITAL (âNMVCâ) PROGRAM SBA Financial... financial markets to determine those factors that will minimize or reduce the cost of funding Debentures...) Agents. SBA may appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market...

  3. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for... will appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  4. Hydroxypyridonate and hydroxypyrimidinone chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Raymond, Kenneth N.; Doble, Daniel M.; Sunderland, Christopher J.; Thompson, Marlon

    2005-01-25

    The present invention provides hydroxypyridinone and hydroxypyrimidone chelating agents. Also provides are Gd(III) complexes of these agents, which are useful as contrast enhancing agents for magnetic resonance imaging. The invention also provides methods of preparing the compounds of the invention, as well as methods of using the compounds in magnetic resonance imaging applications.

  5. Antineoplastic agents and thrombotic microangiopathy.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Gwenalyn; Atallah, Jean Paul

    2017-03-01

    Thrombotic microangiopathy is an uncommon but reported adverse effect of a variety of antineoplastic drugs, including chemotherapy agents such as mitomycin C and gemcitabine, and newer targeted agents such as the vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors. We present a review of thrombotic microangiopathy associated with antineoplastic agents and its implications in current cancer therapy.

  6. Natural disasters.

    PubMed

    Cullen, J M

    1980-09-01

    This presentation covers the various types of natural disasters which are faced by investigators throughout the world. Each geophysical substance is discussed, including earth, air and water, and secondary effects including fire. Additionally, four myths associated with disasters are reviewed.

  7. Natural aphrodisiacs.

    PubMed

    Shamloul, Rany

    2010-01-01

    The search for a remedy or a prescription that can enhance sexual function and/or treat male erectile dysfunction has been an obsession throughout known history. Whether it was an Eastern civilization or a Western one, religious or atheist, man's aspiration for a better or best "manhood" has been a history-time goal. This review will discuss the current research done on the most popular natural aphrodisiacs and examine the weight of evidence to support or discourage the use of any of these substances to enhance sexual desire and/or function. Review of the current evidence on the use of natural substances as aphrodisiacs. Efficacy of natural aphrodisiacs in enhancing sexual function in men and women. There is little evidence from literature to recommend the usage of natural aphrodisiacs for the enhancement of sexual desire and/or performance. Data on yohimbine's efficacy does not support the wide use of the drug, which has only mild effects in the treatment of psychogenic ED. Although there's a positive trend towards recommending ginseng as an effective aphrodisiac, however, more in depth studies involving large number of subjects and its mechanism of action are needed before definite conclusions could be reached. Data on the use of natural aphrodisiacs in women is limited. The current body of objective evidence does not support the use of any natural aphrodisiac as an effective treatment for male or female sexual dysfunctions. Potent men and men with ED will continue the search for natural aphrodisiacs despite the current disappointing data on their effectiveness. Care should be taken regarding the fraud addition of sildenafil analogues to natural aphrodisiacs.

  8. Holograms as Teaching Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Robin A.

    2013-02-01

    Hungarian physicist Dennis Gabor won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1947 introduction of basic holographic principles, but it was not until the invention of the laser in 1960 that research scientists, physicians, technologists and the general public began to seriously consider the interdisciplinary potentiality of holography. Questions around whether and when Three-Dimensional (3-D) images and systems would impact American entertainment and the arts would be answered before educators, instructional designers and students would discover how much Three-Dimensional Hologram Technology (3DHT) would affect teaching practices and learning environments. In the following International Symposium on Display Holograms (ISDH) poster presentation, the author features a traditional board game as well as a reflection hologram to illustrate conventional and evolving Three-Dimensional representations and technology for education. Using elements from the American children's toy Operation® (Hasbro, 2005) as well as a reflection hologram of a human brain (Ko, 1998), this poster design highlights the pedagogical effects of 3-D images, games and systems on learning science. As teaching agents, holograms can be considered substitutes for real objects, (human beings, organs, and animated characters) as well as agents (pedagogical, avatars, reflective) in various learning environments using many systems (direct, emergent, augmented reality) and electronic tools (cellphones, computers, tablets, television). In order to understand the particular importance of utilizing holography in school, clinical and public settings, the author identifies advantages and benefits of using 3-D images and technology as instructional tools.

  9. Model Checking Agent Communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bentahar, J.; Meyer, J.-J. Ch.; Wan, W.

    Model checking is a formal and automatic technique used to verify computational systems (e.g. communication protocols) against given properties. The purpose of this chapter is to describe a model checking algorithm to verify communication protocols used by autonomous agents interacting using dialogue games, which are governed by a set of logical rules. We use a variant of Extended Computation Tree Logic CTL* for specifying these dialogue games and the properties to be checked. This logic, called ACTL*, extends CTL* by allowing formulae to constrain actions as well as states. The verification method uses an on-the-fly efficient algorithm. It is based on translating formulae into a variant of alternating tree automata called Alternating Büchi Tableau Automata (ABTA). We present a tableau-based version of this algorithm and provide the soundness, completeness, termination and complexity results. Two case studies are discussed along with their respective implementations to illustrate the proposed approach. The first one is about an agent-based negotiation protocol and the second one considers a modified version of the NetBill protocol.

  10. [Bacteriophages as antibacterial agents].

    PubMed

    Shasha, Shaul M; Sharon, Nehama; Inbar, Michael

    2004-02-01

    Bacteriophages are viruses that only infect bacteria. They have played an important role in the development of molecular biology and have been used as anti-bacterial agents. Since their independent discovery by Twort and d'Herelle, they have been extensively used to prevent and treat bacterial infections, mainly in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In western countries this method has been sporadically employed on humans and domesticated animals. However, the discovery and widespread use of antibiotics, coupled with doubts about the efficacy of phage therapy, led to an eclipse in the use of phage in medicine. The emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, especially strains that are multiply resistant, has resulted in a renewed interest in alternatives to conventional drugs. One of the possible replacements for antibiotics is the use of bacteriophages as antimicrobial agents. This brief review aims to describe the history of bacteriophage and early clinical studies on their use in bacterial disease prophylaxis and therapy, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of bacteriophage in this regard.

  11. [New agents for hypercholesterolemia].

    PubMed

    Pintó, Xavier; García Gómez, María Carmen

    2016-02-19

    An elevated proportion of high cardiovascular risk patients do not achieve the therapeutic c-LDL goals. This owes to physicians' inappropriate or insufficient use of cholesterol lowering medications or to patients' bad tolerance or therapeutic compliance. Another cause is an insufficient efficacy of current cholesterol lowering drugs including statins and ezetimibe. In addition, proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 inhibitors are a new cholesterol lowering medications showing safety and high efficacy to reduce c-LDL in numerous already performed or underway clinical trials, potentially allowing an optimal control of hypercholesterolemia in most patients. Agents inhibiting apolipoprotein B synthesis and microsomal transfer protein are also providing a new potential to decrease cholesterol in patients with severe hypercholesterolemia and in particular in homozygote familial hypercholesterolemia. Last, cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors have shown powerful effects on c-HDL and c-LDL, although their efficacy in cardiovascular prevention and safety has not been demonstrated yet. We provide in this article an overview of the main characteristics of therapeutic agents for hypercholesterolemia, which have been recently approved or in an advanced research stage. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  12. Cleaning agents and asthma.

    PubMed

    Quirce, S; Barranco, P

    2010-01-01

    Although cleaners represent a significant part of the working population worldwide, they remain a relatively understudied occupational group. Epidemiological studies have shown an association between cleaning work and asthma, but the risk factors are uncertain. Cleaning workers are exposed to a large variety of cleaning products containing both irritants and sensitizers, as well as to common indoor allergens and pollutants. Thus, the onset or aggravation of asthma in this group could be related to an irritant-induced mechanism or to specific sensitization. The main sensitizers contained in cleaning products are disinfectants, quaternary ammonium compounds (such as benzalkonium chloride), amine compounds, and fragrances.The strongest airway irritants in cleaning products are bleach (sodium hypochlorite), hydrochloric acid, and alkaline agents (ammonia and sodium hydroxide), which are commonly mixed together. Exposure to the ingredients of cleaning products may give rise to both new-onset asthma, with or without a latency period, and work-exacerbated asthma. High-level exposure to irritants may induce reactive airways dysfunction syndrome. Cleaning workers may also have a greater relative risk of developing asthma due to prolonged low-to-moderate exposure to respiratory irritants. In addition, asthma-like symptoms without confirmed asthma are also common after exposure to cleaning agents. In many cleaners, airway symptoms induced by chemicals and odors cannot be explained by allergic or asthmatic reactions. These patients may have increased sensitivity to inhaled capsaicin, which is known to reflect sensory reactivity, and this condition is termed airway sensory hyperreactivity.

  13. Embodied artificial agents for understanding human social cognition.

    PubMed

    Wykowska, Agnieszka; Chaminade, Thierry; Cheng, Gordon

    2016-05-05

    In this paper, we propose that experimental protocols involving artificial agents, in particular the embodied humanoid robots, provide insightful information regarding social cognitive mechanisms in the human brain. Using artificial agents allows for manipulation and control of various parameters of behaviour, appearance and expressiveness in one of the interaction partners (the artificial agent), and for examining effect of these parameters on the other interaction partner (the human). At the same time, using artificial agents means introducing the presence of artificial, yet human-like, systems into the human social sphere. This allows for testing in a controlled, but ecologically valid, manner human fundamental mechanisms of social cognition both at the behavioural and at the neural level. This paper will review existing literature that reports studies in which artificial embodied agents have been used to study social cognition and will address the question of whether various mechanisms of social cognition (ranging from lower- to higher-order cognitive processes) are evoked by artificial agents to the same extent as by natural agents, humans in particular. Increasing the understanding of how behavioural and neural mechanisms of social cognition respond to artificial anthropomorphic agents provides empirical answers to the conundrum 'What is a social agent?'

  14. Time-Extended Payoffs for Collectives of Autonomous Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tumer, Kagan; Agogino, Adrian K.

    2002-01-01

    A collective is a set of self-interested agents which try to maximize their own utilities, along with a a well-defined, time-extended world utility function which rates the performance of the entire system. In this paper, we use theory of collectives to design time-extended payoff utilities for agents that are both aligned with the world utility, and are "learnable", i.e., the agents can readily see how their behavior affects their utility. We show that in systems where each agent aims to optimize such payoff functions, coordination arises as a byproduct of the agents selfishly pursuing their own goals. A game theoretic analysis shows that such payoff functions have the net effect of aligning the Nash equilibrium, Pareto optimal solution and world utility optimum, thus eliminating undesirable behavior such as agents working at cross-purposes. We then apply collective-based payoff functions to the token collection in a gridworld problem where agents need to optimize the aggregate value of tokens collected across an episode of finite duration (i.e., an abstracted version of rovers on Mars collecting scientifically interesting rock samples, subject to power limitations). We show that, regardless of the initial token distribution, reinforcement learning agents using collective-based payoff functions significantly outperform both natural extensions of single agent algorithms and global reinforcement learning solutions based on "team games".

  15. MASDynamics: Toward Systemic Modeling of Decentralized Agent Coordination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudeikat, Jan; Renz, Wolfgang

    Enabling distributed software systems to purposefully self-organize, i.e. to adapt to dynamically changing execution contexts by the collective adjustment of individual components, challenges current development practices. Since the dynamics of self-organizing systems arise from agent coaction, developers cannot directly infer the macroscopic system behavior from established agent design models. This paper plays a part in an ongoing research effort that addresses the provision of self-organizing processes as design elements, i.e. reusable patterns of agent interrelations. We propose a systemic modeling approach and support the application independent description of (inter-) agent coordination patterns by a domain specific language that allows to map interrelations of agent activity to detailed agent design models. This facilitates the separation of decentralized coordination strategies from domain specific agent implementations and enables development teams to treat nature-inspired coordination strategies, which steer self-organizing dynamics, as design concepts. In addition, we show how this modeling conception provides a declarative programming approach by the automated supplementation of conventional developed agent models with non-linear, inter-agent coordination mechanisms.

  16. Embodied artificial agents for understanding human social cognition

    PubMed Central

    Wykowska, Agnieszka; Chaminade, Thierry; Cheng, Gordon

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose that experimental protocols involving artificial agents, in particular the embodied humanoid robots, provide insightful information regarding social cognitive mechanisms in the human brain. Using artificial agents allows for manipulation and control of various parameters of behaviour, appearance and expressiveness in one of the interaction partners (the artificial agent), and for examining effect of these parameters on the other interaction partner (the human). At the same time, using artificial agents means introducing the presence of artificial, yet human-like, systems into the human social sphere. This allows for testing in a controlled, but ecologically valid, manner human fundamental mechanisms of social cognition both at the behavioural and at the neural level. This paper will review existing literature that reports studies in which artificial embodied agents have been used to study social cognition and will address the question of whether various mechanisms of social cognition (ranging from lower- to higher-order cognitive processes) are evoked by artificial agents to the same extent as by natural agents, humans in particular. Increasing the understanding of how behavioural and neural mechanisms of social cognition respond to artificial anthropomorphic agents provides empirical answers to the conundrum ‘What is a social agent?’ PMID:27069052

  17. Protective Effects of Chrysin Against Drugs and Toxic Agents.

    PubMed

    Samarghandian, Saeed; Farkhondeh, Tahereh; Azimi-Nezhad, Mohsen

    2017-01-01

    Polyphenolic compounds, especially flavonoids, are known as the most common chemical class of phytochemicals, which possess a multiple range of health-promoting effects. Flavonoids are ubiquitous in nature. They are also present in food, providing an essential link between diet and prevention of several diseases. Chrysin (CH), a natural flavonoid, was commonly found in propolis and honey and traditionally used in herbal medicine. A growing body of scientific evidence has shown that CH possesses protective effects against toxic agents in various animal tissues, including brain, heart, liver, kidney, and lung. This study found that CH may be effective in disease management induced by toxic agents. However, due to the lack of information on human, further studies are needed to determine the efficacy of CH as an antidote agent in human. The present article aimed to critically review the available literature data regarding the protective effects of CH against toxic agent-induced toxicities as well as its possible mechanisms.

  18. Microbial Resistance to Triclosan: A Case Study in Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Amanda; Matthews, Dorothy M.

    2009-01-01

    Natural selection is the mechanism of evolution caused by the environmental selection of organisms most fit to reproduce, sometimes explained as "survival of the fittest." An example of evolution by natural selection is the development of bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial agents as a result of exposure to these agents. Triclosan, which…

  19. Microbial Resistance to Triclosan: A Case Study in Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Amanda; Matthews, Dorothy M.

    2009-01-01

    Natural selection is the mechanism of evolution caused by the environmental selection of organisms most fit to reproduce, sometimes explained as "survival of the fittest." An example of evolution by natural selection is the development of bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial agents as a result of exposure to these agents. Triclosan, which…

  20. Chemical Warfare Agent Degradation and Decontamination

    SciTech Connect

    Talmage, Sylvia Smith; Watson, Annetta Paule; Hauschild, Veronique; Munro, Nancy B; King, J.

    2007-02-01

    The decontamination of chemical warfare agents (CWA) from structures, environmental media, and even personnel has become an area of particular interest in recent years due to increased homeland security concerns. In addition to terrorist attacks, scenarios such as accidental releases of CWA from U.S. stockpile sites or from historic, buried munitions are also subjects for response planning. To facilitate rapid identification of practical and effective decontamination approaches, this paper reviews pathways of CWA degradation by natural means as well as those resulting from deliberately applied solutions and technologies; these pathways and technologies are compared and contrasted. We then review various technologies, both traditional and recent, with some emphasis on decontamination materials used for surfaces that are difficult to clean. Discussion is limited to the major threat CWA, namely sulfur mustard (HD, bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide), VX (O-ethyl S-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl) methylphosphonothioate), and the G-series nerve agents. The principal G-agents are GA (tabun, ethyl N,N-dimethylphosphoramidocyanidate), GB (sarin, isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate), and GD (soman, pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate). The chemical decontamination pathways of each agent are outlined, with some discussion of intermediate and final degradation product toxicity. In all cases, and regardless of the CWA degradation pathway chosen for decontamination, it will be necessary to collect and analyze pertinent environmental samples during the treatment phase to confirm attainment of clearance levels.