Science.gov

Sample records for natural agent deguelin

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Liposomal encapsulation of deguelin: evidence for enhanced antitumor activity in tobacco carcinogen-induced and oncogenic K-ras-induced lung tumorigenesis.

    PubMed

    Woo, Jong K; Choi, Dong Soon; Tran, Hai T; Gilbert, Brian E; Hong, Waun Ki; Lee, Ho-Young

    2009-04-01

    Deguelin has shown promising chemopreventive and therapeutic activities in diverse types of cancers. However, the potential side effect of deguelin over a certain dose could be the substantial hurdle in the practical application of the drug. One of the successful strategies for the use of deguelin in clinical trials could be lung-specific delivery of the drug. The present study evaluates the efficacy of liposome-encapsulated deguelin with a dose of 0.4 mg/kg, which is 10 times less than the dose (4 mg/kg) for preventive and therapeutic activities validated in previous in vivo studies. Liposomal deguelin revealed cytotoxic activity in vitro in premalignant and malignant human bronchial epithelial cells and non-small cell lung cancer cells through the same mechanistic pathway previously reported for deguelin (i.e., suppression of the heat shock protein 90 chaperone function and induction of apoptosis). Delivery of liposomal deguelin at a dose of 0.4 mg/kg by intranasal instillation resulted in markedly increased drug partitioning to the lungs compared with that of 4 mg/kg deguelin or 0.4 mg/kg liposomal deguelin administered by oral gavage. Lung-specific delivery of deguelin (0.4 mg/kg) via nasal or intratracheal instillation in a liposomal formulation also showed significant chemopreventive and therapeutic activities in 4-(methylnitrosoamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone/benzo(a)pyrene-treated A/J mice and K-rasLAC57Bl6/129/sv F1 mice with no detectable toxicity. Our findings support the potential use of deguelin in a liposomal formulation via lung-specific delivery to improve efficacy and to reduce the potential side effects of the agent.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Synthetic and natural coumarins as cytotoxic agents.

    PubMed

    Kostova, Irena

    2005-01-01

    Coumarins, an old class of compounds, are naturally occurring benzopyrene derivatives. A lot of coumarins have been identified from natural sources, especially green plants. The pharmacological and biochemical properties and therapeutic applications of simple coumarins depend upon the pattern of substitution. Coumarins have attracted intense interest in recent years because of their diverse pharmacological properties. Among these properties, their cytotoxic effects were most extensively examined. In this review, their broad range of effects on the tumors as shown by various in vitro and in vivo experiments and clinical studies are discussed. Hence, these cytotoxic coumarins represent an exploitable source of new anticancer agents, which might also help addressing side-toxicity and resistance phenomena. These natural compounds have served as valuable leads for further design and synthesis of more active analogues. In this review, plant derived coumarins and their synthetic analogues were systematically evaluated based on their plant origin, structure-activity relationship and anticancer efficacy. Owing the their diverse effects and inconclusive results from different in vitro studies, the mechanism of their action is not yet fully understood and correlation of effects with chemical structures is not conclusive at the moment. It is the objective of this review to summarize experimental data for different coumarins, used as cytotoxic agents, because promising data have been reported for a series of these agents. Yet, the results from different coumarins with various tumor lines are contradictory in part. We therefore conclude that there is still a long way to go until we know which cytotoxic agent will clinically be suitable for what tumor entity for treatment. Their ability to bind metal ions represents an additional means of modulating their pharmacological responses.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. Fenugreek: a naturally occurring edible spice as an anticancer agent.

    PubMed

    Shabbeer, Shabana; Sobolewski, Michelle; Anchoori, Ravi Kumar; Kachhap, Sushant; Hidalgo, Manuel; Jimeno, Antonio; Davidson, Nancy; Carducci, Michael A; Khan, Saeed R

    2009-02-01

    In recent years, various dietary components that can potentially be used for the prevention and treatment of cancer have been identified. In this study, we demonstrate that extract (FE) from the seeds of the plant Trigonella foenum graecum, commonly called fenugreek, are cytotoxic in vitro to a panel of cancer but not normal cells. Treatment with 10-15 ug/mL of FE for 72 h was growth inhibitory to breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer cell lines (PCa). When tested at higher doses (15-20 ug/mL), FE continued to be growth inhibitory to PCa cell lines but not to either primary prostate or hTert-immortalized prostate cells. At least part of the growth inhibition is due to induction of cell death, as seen by incorporation of Ethidium Bromide III into cancer cells exposed to FE. Molecular changes induced in PCa cells are: in DU-145 cells: downregulation of mutant p53, and in PC-3 cells upregulation of p21 and inhibition of TGFbeta induced phosphorylation of Akt. The surprising finding of our studies is that death of cancer cells occurs despite growth stimulatory pathways being simultaneously upregulated (phosphorylated) by FE. Thus, these studies add another biologically active agent to our armamentarium of naturally occurring agents with therapeutic potential.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. '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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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."

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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/.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. [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.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. [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.

  5. 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.

  6. Antibiotic Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... producing ). Examples of this type are the alcohols, chlorine, peroxides, and aldehydes. The second group consists mostly ... viruses have some kind of antibacterial agent. Alcohols, chlorine and peroxides have been used for many decades ...

  7. Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible Veterans a free Agent Orange Registry health exam for possible long-term health problems related to ...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. Delta agent (Hepatitis D)

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000216.htm Delta agent (Hepatitis D) To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Delta agent is a type of virus called hepatitis ...

  17. Animal Capture Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-01-01

    agents and delivery systems reviewed . Questionnaires were sent to 137 Air Force bases to obtain information about the chemical agents and delivery systems...used by animal control personnel. A literature review included chemical agents, delivery methods, toxicity information and emergency procedures from...34-like agent. Users should familiarize themselves with catatonia in general and particularly that its successful use as an immobilizer doesn’t necessarily

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  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. Sanguinarine: A Novel Agent Against Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    The traditional therapeutic and surgical approaches have not been successful in the management of prostate cancer (CaP). Natural plant - based...Natural plant -based products have shown promise as anticancer agents. Ideally, the anti- cancer drugs should specifically target the neoplastic cells... plant alkaloid sanguinarine against prostate cancer development in a nude mice xenograft model. Proc Amer Assoc Cancer Res 46: 1012-1013, 2005. 3

  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. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Agility: Agent - Ility Architecture

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-10-01

    Figure 2: Overview of eGents 9 Specific scientific and engineering subgoals were: • develop a lightweight agent system that uses email- based ...applets makes them hard to operate over corporate firewalls. eGents e - mail based ACL bus imposes fewer requirements on agents that use it, and firewalls...do not pose a problem for an e - mail based ACL bus. While applets limit 35 JATLites range of applications, they also make JATlite easy to deploy

  20. 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.

  1. [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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. [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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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'.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Sanguinarine: A Novel Agent Against Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-02-01

    continues. Natural plant-based products have shown promise as anticancer agents. Sanguinarine, a benzophenanthridine alkaloid derived from the root of...4,5-i]phenanthridinium), derived from the root of Sanguinaria Canadensis and other poppy-fumaria species, is a benzophenanthridine alkaloid and a...Material Command’, we proposed to test the hypothesis that a plant-derived alkaloid sanguinarine will impart antiproliferative effects against

  7. 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'…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Pathophysiology of Anticholinesterase Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-07-07

    PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF ANTICHOLINESTERASE AGENTS Annual and Final Report DTIC ! ELECTEI aohn E. Rash, Ph. D. ALCTRf Julie K. Elmund, Ph.D. July 7 , 1988...Ph.D. ..-,. July 7 , 1988 Dis t Supported by A __ U. S. ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMAND Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21701-5012...samples for electron microscopic analysis from diaphragm, soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles at J hour and 1, 7 , 14, 21, and 56 days

  14. 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.

  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, 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.

  17. 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

  18. Agent Based Computing Machine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-09

    coordinates as in cellular automata systems. But using biology as a model suggests that the most general systems must provide for partial, but constrained...17. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF 118. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF 19. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF 20. LIMITATION OF ABSTRA REPORT THIS PAGE ABSTRACT...system called an "agent based computing" machine (ABC Machine). The ABC Machine is motivated by cellular biochemistry and it is based upon a concept

  19. Surface polymerization agents

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, C.; Wilkerson, C.

    1996-12-01

    This is the final report of a 1-year, Laboratory-Directed R&D project at LANL. A joint technical demonstration was proposed between US Army Missile Command (Redstone Arsenal) and LANL. Objective was to demonstrate that an unmanned vehicle or missile could be used as a platform to deliver a surface polymerization agent in such a manner as to obstruct the filters of an air-breathing mechanism, resulting in operational failure.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. [Natural disasters].

    PubMed

    Smolka, A

    1988-07-01

    The attempt is made to illustrate the role played by natural disasters in the history of the earth and mankind by examples of past catastrophes. Subsequently, the earthquake of Tangshan/China in 1976 and the hypothetical scenario of a repeat of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake in a modern setting serve as a basis for discussion of the significance of natural disasters in modern times.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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?'

  3. 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".

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. [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.

  9. 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…

  10. Agent-Based Automated Algorithm Generator

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-12

    Detection and Isolation Agent (FDIA), Prognostic Agent (PA), Fusion Agent (FA), and Maintenance Mining Agent (MMA). FDI agents perform diagnostics...manner and loosely coupled). The library of D/P algorithms will be hosted in server-side agents, consisting of four types of major agents: Fault

  11. 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.

  12. Flexible, secure agent development framework

    DOEpatents

    Goldsmith; Steven Y.

    2009-04-07

    While an agent generator is generating an intelligent agent, it can also evaluate the data processing platform on which it is executing, in order to assess a risk factor associated with operation of the agent generator on the data processing platform. The agent generator can retrieve from a location external to the data processing platform an open site that is configurable by the user, and load the open site into an agent substrate, thereby creating a development agent with code development capabilities. While an intelligent agent is executing a functional program on a data processing platform, it can also evaluate the data processing platform to assess a risk factor associated with performing the data processing function on the data processing platform.

  13. Learning models of intelligent agents

    SciTech Connect

    Carmel, D.; Markovitch, S.

    1996-12-31

    Agents that operate in a multi-agent system need an efficient strategy to handle their encounters with other agents involved. Searching for an optimal interactive strategy is a hard problem because it depends mostly on the behavior of the others. In this work, interaction among agents is represented as a repeated two-player game, where the agents` objective is to look for a strategy that maximizes their expected sum of rewards in the game. We assume that agents` strategies can be modeled as finite automata. A model-based approach is presented as a possible method for learning an effective interactive strategy. First, we describe how an agent should find an optimal strategy against a given model. Second, we present an unsupervised algorithm that infers a model of the opponent`s automaton from its input/output behavior. A set of experiments that show the potential merit of the algorithm is reported as well.

  14. Scalable, distributed data mining using an agent based architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Kargupta, H.; Hamzaoglu, I.; Stafford, B.

    1997-05-01

    Algorithm scalability and the distributed nature of both data and computation deserve serious attention in the context of data mining. This paper presents PADMA (PArallel Data Mining Agents), a parallel agent based system, that makes an effort to address these issues. PADMA contains modules for (1) parallel data accessing operations, (2) parallel hierarchical clustering, and (3) web-based data visualization. This paper describes the general architecture of PADMA and experimental results.

  15. Fluoroquinolone antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed Central

    Wolfson, J S; Hooper, D C

    1989-01-01

    The fluoroquinolones, a new class of potent orally absorbed antimicrobial agents, are reviewed, considering structure, mechanisms of action and resistance, spectrum, variables affecting activity in vitro, pharmacokinetic properties, clinical efficacy, emergence of resistance, and tolerability. The primary bacterial target is the enzyme deoxyribonucleic acid gyrase. Bacterial resistance occurs by chromosomal mutations altering deoxyribonucleic acid gyrase and decreasing drug permeation. The drugs are bactericidal and potent in vitro against members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, Haemophilus spp., and Neisseria spp., have good activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococci, and (with several exceptions) are less potent against streptococci and have fair to poor activity against anaerobic species. Potency in vitro decreases in the presence of low pH, magnesium ions, or urine but is little affected by different media, increased inoculum, or serum. The effects of the drugs in combination with a beta-lactam or aminoglycoside are often additive, occasionally synergistic, and rarely antagonistic. The agents are orally absorbed, require at most twice-daily dosing, and achieve high concentrations in urine, feces, and kidney and good concentrations in lung, bone, prostate, and other tissues. The drugs are efficacious in treatment of a variety of bacterial infections, including uncomplicated and complicated urinary tract infections, bacterial gastroenteritis, and gonorrhea, and show promise for therapy of prostatitis, respiratory tract infections, osteomyelitis, and cutaneous infections, particularly when caused by aerobic gram-negative bacilli. Fluoroquinolones have also proved to be efficacious for prophylaxis against travelers' diarrhea and infection with gram-negative bacilli in neutropenic patients. The drugs are effective in eliminating carriage of Neisseria meningitidis. Patient tolerability appears acceptable, with gastrointestinal or central nervous

  16. Killer clays! Natural antibacterial clay minerals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, L.B.; Holland, M.; Eberl, D.D.; Brunet, T.; De Courrsou, L. B.

    2004-01-01

    The clay chemical properties that may be important in medicine were investigated. It was found that natural clay minerals can have striking and very specific effects on microbial populations. The effects can range from potentially enhanced microbial growth to complete sterilization. This paper presents evidence that natural clay minerals can be effective antimicrobial agents.

  17. The Development of Sugar-Based Anti-Melanogenic Agents

    PubMed Central

    Bin, Bum-Ho; Kim, Sung Tae; Bhin, Jinhyuk; Lee, Tae Ryong; Cho, Eun-Gyung

    2016-01-01

    The regulation of melanin production is important for managing skin darkness and hyperpigmentary disorders. Numerous anti-melanogenic agents that target tyrosinase activity/stability, melanosome maturation/transfer, or melanogenesis-related signaling pathways have been developed. As a rate-limiting enzyme in melanogenesis, tyrosinase has been the most attractive target, but tyrosinase-targeted treatments still pose serious potential risks, indicating the necessity of developing lower-risk anti-melanogenic agents. Sugars are ubiquitous natural compounds found in humans and other organisms. Here, we review the recent advances in research on the roles of sugars and sugar-related agents in melanogenesis and in the development of sugar-based anti-melanogenic agents. The proposed mechanisms of action of these agents include: (a) (natural sugars) disturbing proper melanosome maturation by inducing osmotic stress and inhibiting the PI3 kinase pathway and (b) (sugar derivatives) inhibiting tyrosinase maturation by blocking N-glycosylation. Finally, we propose an alternative strategy for developing anti-melanogenic sugars that theoretically reduce melanosomal pH by inhibiting a sucrose transporter and reduce tyrosinase activity by inhibiting copper incorporation into an active site. These studies provide evidence of the utility of sugar-based anti-melanogenic agents in managing skin darkness and curing pigmentary disorders and suggest a future direction for the development of physiologically favorable anti-melanogenic agents. PMID:27092497

  18. The Development of Sugar-Based Anti-Melanogenic Agents.

    PubMed

    Bin, Bum-Ho; Kim, Sung Tae; Bhin, Jinhyuk; Lee, Tae Ryong; Cho, Eun-Gyung

    2016-04-16

    The regulation of melanin production is important for managing skin darkness and hyperpigmentary disorders. Numerous anti-melanogenic agents that target tyrosinase activity/stability, melanosome maturation/transfer, or melanogenesis-related signaling pathways have been developed. As a rate-limiting enzyme in melanogenesis, tyrosinase has been the most attractive target, but tyrosinase-targeted treatments still pose serious potential risks, indicating the necessity of developing lower-risk anti-melanogenic agents. Sugars are ubiquitous natural compounds found in humans and other organisms. Here, we review the recent advances in research on the roles of sugars and sugar-related agents in melanogenesis and in the development of sugar-based anti-melanogenic agents. The proposed mechanisms of action of these agents include: (a) (natural sugars) disturbing proper melanosome maturation by inducing osmotic stress and inhibiting the PI3 kinase pathway and (b) (sugar derivatives) inhibiting tyrosinase maturation by blocking N-glycosylation. Finally, we propose an alternative strategy for developing anti-melanogenic sugars that theoretically reduce melanosomal pH by inhibiting a sucrose transporter and reduce tyrosinase activity by inhibiting copper incorporation into an active site. These studies provide evidence of the utility of sugar-based anti-melanogenic agents in managing skin darkness and curing pigmentary disorders and suggest a future direction for the development of physiologically favorable anti-melanogenic agents.

  19. Peptide Antimicrobial Agents

    PubMed Central

    Jenssen, Håvard; Hamill, Pamela; Hancock, Robert E. W.

    2006-01-01

    Antimicrobial host defense peptides are produced by all complex organisms as well as some microbes and have diverse and complex antimicrobial activities. Collectively these peptides demonstrate a broad range of antiviral and antibacterial activities and modes of action, and it is important to distinguish between direct microbicidal and indirect activities against such pathogens. The structural requirements of peptides for antiviral and antibacterial activities are evaluated in light of the diverse set of primary and secondary structures described for host defense peptides. Peptides with antifungal and antiparasitic activities are discussed in less detail, although the broad-spectrum activities of such peptides indicate that they are important host defense molecules. Knowledge regarding the relationship between peptide structure and function as well as their mechanism of action is being applied in the design of antimicrobial peptide variants as potential novel therapeutic agents. PMID:16847082

  20. [Chemotherapeutic agents under study].

    PubMed

    Kawahara, S

    1998-12-01

    The development of new drugs with strong antituberculous activity and fewer side effects which are not cross-resistant to conventional antituberculosis drugs is urgently desired now. The chemotherapeutic agents under study which are considered a candidate for a new antituberculosis drug are listed below. 1) Rifamycin derivatives: rifabutin, rifapentin, KRM-1648, FCE-22250, 22807, CGP-7040, 27557, 29035, 29861, P-DEA, SPA-S-565, R-76-1. 2) New quinolones: ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, sparfloxacin, gatifloxacin, CS-940, Du-6859a. 3) Phenazines: clofazimine, B746, B4101, B4154, B4157. 4) Pyrazinamide derivatives: N-hydroxy pyrazinamide, N-hydroxy pyrazinamide-4-oxide. 5) Nitroimidazole derivatives: metronidazole et al.

  1. Ultrasound contrast agents

    PubMed Central

    Ignee, Andre; Atkinson, Nathan S. S.; Schuessler, Gudrun; Dietrich, Christoph F.

    2016-01-01

    Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) plays an important role in imaging of the mediastinum and abdominal organs. Since the introduction of US contrast agents (UCA) for transabdominal US, attempts have been made to apply contrast-enhanced US techniques also to EUS. Since 2003, specific contrast-enhanced imaging was possible using EUS. Important studies have been published regarding contrast-enhanced EUS and the characterization of focal pancreatic lesions, lymph nodes, and subepithelial tumors. In this manuscript, we describe the relevant UCA, their application, and specific image acquisition as well as the principles of image tissue characterization using contrast-enhanced EUS. Safety issues, potential future developments, and EUS-specific issues are reviewed. PMID:27824024

  2. Coumarin and Derivates as Lipid Lowering Agents.

    PubMed

    Tejada, Silvia; Martorell, Miquel; Capo, Xavier; Tur, Josep A; Pons, Antoni; Sureda, Antoni

    2017-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death in the developed countries. Dyslipidaemia is one of the risk factors associated to cardiovascular disease and it is characterised by abnormal amounts of lipids (i.e. cholesterol and fatty acids) and/or circulating lipoproteins in the blood. Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various illnesses including cardiovascular disease. In this way, the potential therapeutic or preventive effects of antioxidant mediators have recently drawn much attention. Coumarin (1,2-benzopyrone) is a natural phenolic compound found in many plants such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, vegetables and green tea. Coumarin and derivates are proposed as lipid lowering agents due to its broad pharmacological activities, mainly the implicated in vasodilator and antioxidant effect. Several studies have evidenced a promising role of coumarin and several of its derivates as lipid lowering agents. In the current work, the available reports related to the promising function of these compounds are reviewed.

  3. Tetrazole Derivatives as Promising Anticancer Agents.

    PubMed

    Popova, Elena A; Protas, Aleksandra V; Trifonov, Rostislav E

    2017-03-27

    Tetrazole cycle is a promising pharmacophore fragment frequently used in the development of novel drugs. This moiety is a stable, practically non-metabolized bioisosteric analog of carboxylic, cis-amide, and other functional groups. Over recent 10-15 years, various isomeric forms of tetrazole (NH-unsubstituted, 1H-1-substituted, and 2H-2-substituted tetrazoles) have been successfully used in the design of promising anticancer drugs. Coordination compounds of transition metals containing tetrazoles as ligands, semisynthetic tetrazolyl derivatives of natural compounds (biogenic acids, peptides, steroids, combretastatin, etc.), 5-oxo and 5-thiotetrazoles, and some other related compounds have been recognized as promising antineoplastic agents. This review presents a comprehensive analysis of modern approaches to synthesis of these tetrazole derivatives as well as their biological (anticancer) properties. The most promising structure types of tetrazoles to be used as anticancer agents have been picked out.

  4. Agent-based modelling in synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Biological systems exhibit complex behaviours that emerge at many different levels of organization. These span the regulation of gene expression within single cells to the use of quorum sensing to co-ordinate the action of entire bacterial colonies. Synthetic biology aims to make the engineering of biology easier, offering an opportunity to control natural systems and develop new synthetic systems with useful prescribed behaviours. However, in many cases, it is not understood how individual cells should be programmed to ensure the emergence of a required collective behaviour. Agent-based modelling aims to tackle this problem, offering a framework in which to simulate such systems and explore cellular design rules. In this article, I review the use of agent-based models in synthetic biology, outline the available computational tools, and provide details on recently engineered biological systems that are amenable to this approach. I further highlight the challenges facing this methodology and some of the potential future directions. PMID:27903820

  5. Chitin synthase inhibitors as antifungal agents.

    PubMed

    Chaudhary, Preeti M; Tupe, Santosh G; Deshpande, Mukund V

    2013-02-01

    Increased risk of fungal diseases in immunocompromised patients, emerging fungal pathogens, limited repertoire of antifungal drugs and resistance development against the drugs demands for development of new and effective antifungal agents. With greater knowledge of fungal metabolism efforts are being made to inhibit specific enzymes involved in different biochemical pathways for the development of antifungal drugs. Chitin synthase is one such promising target as it is absent in plants and mammals. Nikkomycin Z, a chitin synthase inhibitor is under clinical development. Chitin synthesis in fungi, chitin synthase as a target for antifungal agent development, different chitin synthase inhibitors isolated from natural sources, randomly synthesized and modified from nikkomycin and polyoxin are discussed in this review.

  6. Radioiodine: the classic theranostic agent.

    PubMed

    Silberstein, Edward B

    2012-05-01

    Radioiodine has the distinction of being the first theranostic agent in our armamentarium. Millennia were required to discover that the agent in orally administered seaweed and its extracts, which had been shown to cure neck swelling due to thyromegaly, was iodine, first demonstrated to be a new element in 1813. Treatment of goiter with iodine began at once, but its prophylactic value to prevent a common form of goiter took another century. After Enrico Fermi produced the first radioiodine, (128)I, in 1934, active experimentation in the United States and France delineated the crucial role of iodine in thyroid metabolism and disease. (130)I and (131)I were first employed to treat thyrotoxicosis by 1941, and thyroid cancer in 1943. After World War II, (131)I became widely available at a reasonable price for diagnostic testing and therapy. The rectilinear scanner of Cassen and Curtis (Science 1949;110:94-95), and a dedicated gamma camera invented by Anger (Nature 1952;170:200-201), finally permitted the diagnostic imaging of thyroid disease, with (131)I again the radioisotope of choice, although there were short-lived attempts to employ (125)I and (132)I for this purpose. (123)I was first produced in 1949 but did not become widely available until about 1982, 10 years after a production technique eliminated high-energy (124)I contamination. I continues to be the radioiodine of choice for the diagnosis of benign thyroid disease, whereas (123)I and (131)I are employed in the staging and detection of functioning thyroid cancer. (124)I, a positron emitter, can produce excellent anatomically correlated images employing positron emission tomography/computed tomography equipment and has the potential to enhance heretofore imperfect dosimetric studies in determining the appropriate administered activity to ablate/treat thyroid cancer. Issues of acceptable measuring error in thyroid cancer dosimetry and the role in (131)I therapy of tumor heterogeneity, tumor hypoxia, and

  7. Nature's Palette

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McBride, Brooke B.; Brewer, Carol A.

    2010-01-01

    Flower petals, acorn hats, exoskeletons of beetles, and lichens are just a few of the objects students may find in a surprising array of vivid colors. These tiny examples from nature's palette can be discovered in a school yard, a park, or even along the edges of a paved sidewalk...it simply takes careful observation! This article describes a…

  8. Natural restoration

    SciTech Connect

    Kamlet, K.S.

    1993-02-01

    After a company pays millions of dollars to clean up contaminated site, its liability may not be over. It may have to spend tens of millions more to restore damaged natural resources under an oft-overlooked Superfund program. Examples of liability are cited in this report from the Exxon Valdez oil spill and a pcb leak which contaminated a harbor.

  9. Uranium, natural

    Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

    Uranium , natural ; CASRN 7440 - 61 - 1 Human health assessment information on a chemical substance is included in the IRIS database only after a comprehensive review of toxicity data , as outlined in the IRIS assessment development process . Sections I ( Health Hazard Assessments for Noncarcinogeni

  10. Natural ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fleishman, Erica; Belnap, Jayne; Cobb, Neil; Enquist, Carolyn A.F.; Ford, Karl; MacDonald, Glen; Pellant, Mike; Schoennagel, Tania; Schmit, Lara M.; Schwartz, Mark; van Drunick, Suzanne; Westerling, Anthony LeRoy; Keyser, Alisa; Lucas, Ryan

    2013-01-01

    Natural Ecosystems analyzes the association of observed changes in climate with changes in the geographic distributions and phenology (the timing of blossoms or migrations of birds) for Southwestern ecosystems and their species, portraying ecosystem disturbances—such as wildfires and outbreaks of forest pathogens—and carbon storage and release, in relation to climate change.

  11. Nature Watch

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sterling, Donna R.

    2010-01-01

    Children are naturally curious about the world in which they live. To focus this sense of wonder, have your students investigate their local habitat as it changes over the year. This multiseason study will build connections and add relevance to the habitats that children learn about. This series of activities for grades 4-6 explores the changing…

  12. Collaborating Fuzzy Reinforcement Learning Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berenji, Hamid R.

    1997-01-01

    Earlier, we introduced GARIC-Q, a new method for doing incremental Dynamic Programming using a society of intelligent agents which are controlled at the top level by Fuzzy Relearning and at the local level, each agent learns and operates based on ANTARCTIC, a technique for fuzzy reinforcement learning. In this paper, we show that it is possible for these agents to compete in order to affect the selected control policy but at the same time, they can collaborate while investigating the state space. In this model, the evaluator or the critic learns by observing all the agents behaviors but the control policy changes only based on the behavior of the winning agent also known as the super agent.

  13. Agent-based enterprise integration

    SciTech Connect

    N. M. Berry; C. M. Pancerella

    1998-12-01

    The authors are developing and deploying software agents in an enterprise information architecture such that the agents manage enterprise resources and facilitate user interaction with these resources. The enterprise agents are built on top of a robust software architecture for data exchange and tool integration across heterogeneous hardware and software. The resulting distributed multi-agent system serves as a method of enhancing enterprises in the following ways: providing users with knowledge about enterprise resources and applications; accessing the dynamically changing enterprise; locating enterprise applications and services; and improving search capabilities for applications and data. Furthermore, agents can access non-agents (i.e., databases and tools) through the enterprise framework. The ultimate target of the effort is the user; they are attempting to increase user productivity in the enterprise. This paper describes their design and early implementation and discusses the planned future work.

  14. Agent-based enterprise integration

    SciTech Connect

    N. M. Berry; C. M. Pancerella

    1999-05-01

    The authors are developing and deploying software agents in an enterprise information architecture such that the agents manage enterprise resources and facilitate user interaction with these resources. Their enterprise agents are built on top of a robust software architecture for data exchange and tool integration across heterogeneous hardware and software. The resulting distributed multi-agent system serves as a method of enhancing enterprises in the following ways: providing users with knowledge about enterprise resources and applications; accessing the dynamically changing enterprise; intelligently locating enterprise applications and services; and improving search capabilities for applications and data. Furthermore, agents can access non-agents (i.e., databases and tools) through the enterprise framework. The ultimate target of their effort is the user; they are attempting to increase user productivity in the enterprise. This paper describes their design and early implementation and discusses their planned future work.

  15. Search for antisickling agents from plants.

    PubMed

    Dash, Bisnu Prasad; Archana, Y; Satapathy, Nibarana; Naik, Soumendra Kumar

    2013-01-01

    The sickle cell disease is fatal in nature. Thousands of children are dying off due to this health problem throughout the globe. Due to the rapid development of diagnosis and clinical managements such patients are living up to a respectable age. But as there is no permanent cure the patients are suffering from bone and joint pain, jaundice, hepato-splenomegaly, chronic infections etc. The main physiological complicacy is due to the polymerization of sickle hemoglobin (HbS), (sickling process) inside the red blood cell (RBC) of these patients during deoxygenating state. The change of RBC from spherical to sickle shape is due to the polymerization of mutant hemoglobin (HbS) inside the RBC and membrane distortion during anoxic condition. The mechanism and the process of sickling are very complex and multifactor in nature. To get rid from such complicacies it is necessary to suitably and accurately stop the sickling of RBC of the patients. The potential anti-sickling agents either from natural sources and/or synthetic molecules may be helpful for reducing the clinical morbidity of the patients. A lot of natural compounds from plant extracts have been tried by several workers in recent past. Most of the studies are based on in vitro red cell sickling studies and their mode of action has not been properly understood. Although, few studies have been in vivo in nature pertaining to transgenic sickle animal model, there is paucity of data on the human studies. The result of such studies although has shown some degree of success, a promising anti-sickling agent is yet to be established.

  16. Polymeric gastrointestinal MR contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Tilcock, C; Unger, E C; Ahkong, Q F; Fritz, T; Koenig, S H; Brown, R D

    1991-01-01

    Combining either paramagnetic (gadolinium chelates) or superparamagnetic (ferrite) contrast agents with polymers such as polyethylene glycol or cellulose, or with simple sugars such as dextrose, results in mixtures that exhibit improved T1 and/or T2 relaxivity compared with that of the contrast agent alone. It is suggested that the addition of such inexpensive and nontoxic polymers or saccharides may improve the effectiveness and decrease the cost of enteric contrast agents.

  17. Antithrombotic agents: implications in dentistry.

    PubMed

    Little, James W; Miller, Craig S; Henry, Robert G; McIntosh, Bruce A

    2002-05-01

    Thrombosis and the complicating emboli that can result are important causes of illness and death. Thrombosis is of greater overall clinical importance in terms of morbidity and mortality than all of the hemorrhagic disorders combined. Agents such as heparin, low-molecular weight heparin, warfarin, aspirin, ticlopidine, clopidogrel, and tirofiban are used to prevent venous or arterial thrombosis. Patients taking these antithrombotic agents may be at risk for excessive bleeding after invasive dental procedures. The current antithrombotic agents used in medicine are reviewed, and the dental management of patients taking these agents is discussed.

  18. Broad-spectrum antiviral agents

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jun-Da; Meng, Wen; Wang, Xiao-Jia; Wang, Hwa-Chain R.

    2015-01-01

    Development of highly effective, broad-spectrum antiviral agents is the major objective shared by the fields of virology and pharmaceutics. Antiviral drug development has focused on targeting viral entry and replication, as well as modulating cellular defense system. High throughput screening of molecules, genetic engineering of peptides, and functional screening of agents have identified promising candidates for development of optimal broad-spectrum antiviral agents to intervene in viral infection and control viral epidemics. This review discusses current knowledge, prospective applications, opportunities, and challenges in the development of broad-spectrum antiviral agents. PMID:26052325

  19. Instructable autonomous agents. Ph.D. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huffman, Scott Bradley

    1994-01-01

    In contrast to current intelligent systems, which must be laboriously programmed for each task they are meant to perform, instructable agents can be taught new tasks and associated knowledge. This thesis presents a general theory of learning from tutorial instruction and its use to produce an instructable agent. Tutorial instruction is a particularly powerful form of instruction, because it allows the instructor to communicate whatever kind of knowledge a student needs at whatever point it is needed. To exploit this broad flexibility, however, a tutorable agent must support a full range of interaction with its instructor to learn a full range of knowledge. Thus, unlike most machine learning tasks, which target deep learning of a single kind of knowledge from a single kind of input, tutorability requires a breadth of learning from a broad range of instructional interactions. The theory of learning from tutorial instruction presented here has two parts. First, a computational model of an intelligent agent, the problem space computational model, indicates the types of knowledge that determine an agent's performance, and thus, that should be acquirable via instruction. Second, a learning technique, called situated explanation specifies how the agent learns general knowledge from instruction. The theory is embodied by an implemented agent, Instructo-Soar, built within the Soar architecture. Instructo-Soar is able to learn hierarchies of completely new tasks, to extend task knowledge to apply in new situations, and in fact to acquire every type of knowledge it uses during task performance - control knowledge, knowledge of operators' effects, state inferences, etc. - from interactive natural language instructions. This variety of learning occurs by applying the situated explanation technique to a variety of instructional interactions involving a variety of types of instructions (commands, statements, conditionals, etc.). By taking seriously the requirements of flexible

  20. Ectromelia virus: the causative agent of mousepox.

    PubMed

    Esteban, David J; Buller, R Mark L

    2005-10-01

    Ectromelia virus (ECTV) is an orthopoxvirus whose natural host is the mouse; it is related closely to Variola virus, the causative agent of smallpox, and Monkeypox virus, the cause of an emerging zoonosis. The recent sequencing of its genome, along with an effective animal model, makes ECTV an attractive model for the study of poxvirus pathogenesis, antiviral and vaccine testing and viral immune and inflammatory responses. This review discusses the pathogenesis of mousepox, modulation of the immune response by the virus and the cytokine and cellular components of the skin and systemic immune system that are critical to recovery from infection.

  1. The Agent of Change: The Agent of Conflict.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatfield, C. R., Jr.

    This speech examines the role of change agents in third world societies and indicates that the change agent must, to some extent, manipulate the social situation, even if his view of society is a more optimistic one than he finds in reality. If he considers strains and stresses to be the lubricants of change, then his focus on conflict as a…

  2. Incorporating BDI Agents into Human-Agent Decision Making Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamphorst, Bart; van Wissen, Arlette; Dignum, Virginia

    Artificial agents, people, institutes and societies all have the ability to make decisions. Decision making as a research area therefore involves a broad spectrum of sciences, ranging from Artificial Intelligence to economics to psychology. The Colored Trails (CT) framework is designed to aid researchers in all fields in examining decision making processes. It is developed both to study interaction between multiple actors (humans or software agents) in a dynamic environment, and to study and model the decision making of these actors. However, agents in the current implementation of CT lack the explanatory power to help understand the reasoning processes involved in decision making. The BDI paradigm that has been proposed in the agent research area to describe rational agents, enables the specification of agents that reason in abstract concepts such as beliefs, goals, plans and events. In this paper, we present CTAPL: an extension to CT that allows BDI software agents that are written in the practical agent programming language 2APL to reason about and interact with a CT environment.

  3. Contrast agents for MRI.

    PubMed

    Shokrollahi, H

    2013-12-01

    Contrast agents are divided into two categories. The first one is paramagnetic compounds, including lanthanides like gadolinium, which mainly reduce the longitudinal (T1) relaxation property and result in a brighter signal. The second class consists of super-paramagnetic magnetic nanoparticles (SPMNPs) such as iron oxides, which have a strong effect on the transversal (T2) relaxation properties. SPMNPs have the potential to be utilized as excellent probes for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For instance, clinically benign iron oxide and engineered ferrite nanoparticles provide a good MRI probing capability for clinical applications. Furthermore, the limited magnetic property and inability to escape from the reticuloendothelial system (RES) of the used nanoparticles impede their further advancement. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the engineered magnetic nanoparticle probes for the next-generation molecular MRI. Considering the importance of MRI in diagnosing diseases, this paper presents an overview of recent scientific achievements in the development of new synthetic SPMNP probes whereby the sensitive and target-specific observation of biological events at the molecular and cellular levels is feasible.

  4. Plasmids encoding therapeutic agents

    DOEpatents

    Keener, William K.

    2007-08-07

    Plasmids encoding anti-HIV and anti-anthrax therapeutic agents are disclosed. Plasmid pWKK-500 encodes a fusion protein containing DP178 as a targeting moiety, the ricin A chain, an HIV protease cleavable linker, and a truncated ricin B chain. N-terminal extensions of the fusion protein include the maltose binding protein and a Factor Xa protease site. C-terminal extensions include a hydrophobic linker, an L domain motif peptide, a KDEL ER retention signal, another Factor Xa protease site, an out-of-frame buforin II coding sequence, the lacZ.alpha. peptide, and a polyhistidine tag. More than twenty derivatives of plasmid pWKK-500 are described. Plasmids pWKK-700 and pWKK-800 are similar to pWKK-500 wherein the DP178-encoding sequence is substituted by RANTES- and SDF-1-encoding sequences, respectively. Plasmid pWKK-900 is similar to pWKK-500 wherein the HIV protease cleavable linker is substituted by a lethal factor (LF) peptide-cleavable linker.

  5. TACtic- A Multi Behavioral Agent for Trading Agent Competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosravi, Hassan; Shiri, Mohammad E.; Khosravi, Hamid; Iranmanesh, Ehsan; Davoodi, Alireza

    Software agents are increasingly being used to represent humans in online auctions. Such agents have the advantages of being able to systematically monitor a wide variety of auctions and then make rapid decisions about what bids to place in what auctions. They can do this continuously and repetitively without losing concentration. To provide a means of evaluating and comparing (benchmarking) research methods in this area the trading agent competition (TAC) was established. This paper describes the design, of TACtic. Our agent uses multi behavioral techniques at the heart of its decision making to make bidding decisions in the face of uncertainty, to make predictions about the likely outcomes of auctions, and to alter the agent's bidding strategy in response to the prevailing market conditions.

  6. Nature's pumps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogel, Steven

    1994-10-01

    Although diverse in both form and function, the fluid-forcing devices in organisms have many of the capabilities and limitations of pumps of human design. Nature's pumps certainly look quite different from those of our technology, but all of them perform the same task. The author examines a few of these with an eye toward technological parallels and the two functional classes -- positive-displacement pumps and fluid-dynamic pumps.

  7. Satellite (Natural)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    In its most general sense, any celestial object in orbit around a similar larger object. Thus, for example, the Magellanic Clouds are satellite galaxies of our own Milky Way galaxy. Without qualification, the term is used to mean a body in orbit around a planet; an alternative term is moon. The term natural satellite distinguishes these bodies from artificial satellites—spacecraft placed in orbi...

  8. Oral contraceptive agents.

    PubMed

    Shearman, R P

    1986-02-17

    The history of the development of oral contraceptives (OCs) has been a progressive reduction in dosage to what is now probably the lowest does that is compatible with the desired therapeutic effect -- to inhibit ovluation. Yet, controversy and argument continue. A table lists the OCs that are available in Australia. Many of these preparations, although having different trade names, have an identical composition. Since the withdrawal of sequential OCs from the Australian market, there are only 2 generic types. These are the progestogen only (mini) OCs, which consist of either 30 mcg of levonorgestrel or 350 mcg of norethisterone given at the same time every day; and the combined OCs, which contain an estrogen and a progestogen. In the last 12 months, some of the older high-dose OCs have been withdrawn, and it seems likely that further withdrawals will follow. Only 2 estrogens are used in the formulation of the OC, but there is a greater variety of progestogens. Ethinyl estradiol is used in most preparations. A small minority of OCs contain mestranol, the 3-methyl ether of ethinyl estradiol. Currently, there are only 4 OC agents that are available in Australia that contain mestranol and 2 of these contain the high doses of 100 mcg. Fundamentally, there are 2 types of progestogens -- those that contain, or are metabolized to, norethisterone and those that contain norgestrel or its close relative, desogestrel. With the exception of the norgestrel group and desogestrel, all other progestins, including norethisterone itself, are effective in vivo after they have been metablized to norethisterone. Mestranol is effective in humans after demethylation to ethinyl estradiol. In the norgesterel group, since d-norgestrel is inert endocrinologically, 250 mcg of levonorgestrel and 500 mcg of dl-norgestrel are equivalent. Levonorgestrel and desogestrel are of approximately equal potency. With the combined OC agents, the overwhelming mechanism of action is by the inhibition of the

  9. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial markets..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs... or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service Debentures...

  10. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial markets..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs... or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service Debentures...

  11. Gelled Anti-icing Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markles, O. F.; Sperber, H. H.

    1983-01-01

    Pectin added to antifreeze/water mixture. Formulations include water with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as deicer and pectin as gel former. Without gelling agent, deicer runs off vertical surfaces. Without pectin solution will completely evaporate in far less time. Agents developed have wide potential for ice prevention on runways, highways, bridges and sidewalks.

  12. Field Agent Activities: Level 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gussett, James

    One of a series of monographs providing information about the Delaware Model: A Systems Approach to Science Education (Del Mod System), this monograph describes the role of field agents. These agents are responsible for individual teachers who express a desire for involvement in improving teacher effectiveness and to be involved in the teaching of…

  13. Hypersensitivity to antineoplastic agents.

    PubMed

    Castells, M C

    2008-01-01

    The need to offer first line therapy for primary and recurrent cancers has spurred the clinical development of rapid desensitizations for chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies. Rapid desensitizations allow patients to be treated with medications to which they have presented with hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs), including anaphylaxis. Rapid desensitization achieves temporary tolerization to full therapeutic doses by slow administration of incremental doses of the drug inducing the HSR. Protocols are available for most chemotherapy agents, including taxanes, platins, doxorubicin, monoclonal antibodies, and others. Candidate patients include those who present with type I HSRs, mast cell/IgE dependent, including anaphylaxis, and non-IgE mediated HSRs, during the chemotherapy infusion or shortly after. Idiosyncratic reactions, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis are not amenable to rapid desensitization. The recommendation for rapid desensitization can only be made by allergy and immunology specialists and can only be performed in settings with one-to-one nurse-patient care and where resuscitation personnel and resources are readily available. Repeated desensitizations can be safely performed in outpatient settings with similar conditions, which allow cancer patients to remain in clinical studies. We have generated a universal 12-step protocol that was applied to 413 cases of intravenous and intraperitoneal rapid desensitizations using taxanes, platins, liposomal doxorubicin, doxorubicin, rituximab, and other chemotherapy drugs. Under this protocol all patients were able to complete their target dose, and 94% of the patients had limited or no reactions. No deaths or codes were reported, indicating that the procedure was safe and effective in delivering first line chemotherapy drugs.

  14. Consensus in networks of mobile communicating agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baronchelli, Andrea; Díaz-Guilera, Albert

    2012-01-01

    Populations of mobile and communicating agents describe a vast array of technological and natural systems, ranging from sensor networks to animal groups. Here, we investigate how a group-level agreement may emerge in the continuously evolving network defined by the local interactions of the moving individuals. We adopt a general scheme of motion in two dimensions and we let the individuals interact through the minimal naming game, a prototypical scheme to investigate social consensus. We distinguish different regimes of convergence determined by the emission range of the agents and by their mobility, and we identify the corresponding scaling behaviors of the consensus time. In the same way, we rationalize also the behavior of the maximum memory used during the convergence process, which determines the minimum cognitive/storage capacity needed by the individuals. Overall, we believe that the simple and general model presented in this paper can represent a helpful reference for a better understanding of the behavior of populations of mobile agents.

  15. Consensus in evolving networks of mobile agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baronchelli, Andrea; Díaz-Guilera, Albert

    2012-02-01

    Populations of mobile and communicating agents describe a vast array of technological and natural systems, ranging from sensor networks to animal groups. Here, we investigate how a group-level agreement may emerge in the continuously evolving networks defined by the local interactions of the moving individuals. We adopt a general scheme of motion in two dimensions and we let the individuals interact through the minimal naming game, a prototypical scheme to investigate social consensus. We distinguish different regimes of convergence determined by the emission range of the agents and by their mobility, and we identify the corresponding scaling behaviors of the consensus time. In the same way, we rationalize also the behavior of the maximum memory used during the convergence process, which determines the minimum cognitive/storage capacity needed by the individuals. Overall, we believe that the simple and general model presented in this talk can represent a helpful reference for a better understanding of the behavior of populations of mobile agents.

  16. Differential mobility spectroscopy for chemical agent detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, M. Todd

    2006-05-01

    General Dynamics ATP (GDATP) and Sionex Corporation (Sionex) are carrying out a cooperative development for a handheld chemical agent detector, being called JUNO TM, which will have lower false positives, higher sensitivity, and improved interference rejection compared with presently available detectors. This enhanced performance is made possible by the use of a new principle of ion separation called Differential Mobility Spectrometry (DMS). The enhanced selectivity is provided by the field tunable nature of the Sionex differential mobility technology (microDMxTM) which forms the analytical heart of the JUNO system and enables fingerprinting of molecules by characterization of the ionized molecular behavior under multiple electric field conditions. This enhanced selectivity is valuable in addressing not only the traditional list of chemical warfare agents (CWA) but also the substantial list of Toxic Industrial Compounds (TICs) and Toxic Industrial Materials (TIMs) which may be released in warfare or terrorist situations. Experimental results showing the ability of the microDMx to reject interferences, detect and resolve live agents are presented. An additional breakthrough in the technology was realized by operating the device at a reduced pressure of around 0.5 atmospheres. This reduced pressure operation resulted in roughly doubling the spectrometers resolution over what has previously been reported [1]. Advances have also been made in power consumption and packaging leading to a device suitable for portable, handheld, applications. Experimental results illustrating the performance of the microDMx technology employed in JUNO are highlighted.

  17. Discovery and development of new antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed Central

    Gootz, T D

    1990-01-01

    The unprecedented growth in the number of new antibiotics over the past two decades has been the result of extensive research efforts that have exploited the growing body of knowledge describing the interactions of antibiotics with their targets in bacterial cells. Information gained from one class of antimicrobial agents has often been used to advance the development of other classes. In the case of beta-lactams, information on structure-activity relationships gleaned from penicillins and cephalosporins was rapidly applied to the cephamycins, monobactams, penems, and carbapenems in order to discover broad-spectrum agents with markedly improved potency. These efforts have led to the introduction of many new antibiotics that demonstrate outstanding clinical efficacy and improved pharmacokinetics in humans. The current review discusses those factors that have influenced the rapid proliferation of new antimicrobial agents, including the discovery of new lead structures from natural products and the impact of bacterial resistance development in the clinical setting. The development process for a new antibiotic is discussed in detail, from the stage of early safety testing in animals through phase I, II, and III clinical trials. PMID:2404566

  18. Dialogue Games for Agent Argumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McBurney, Peter; Parsons, Simon

    The rise of the Internet and the growth of distributed computing have led to a major paradigm shift in software engineering and computer science. Until recently, the notion of computation has been variously construed as numerical calculation, as information processing, or as intelligent symbol analysis, but increasingly, it is now viewed as distributed cognition and interaction between intelligent entities [60]. This new view has major implications for the conceptualization, design, engineering and control of software systems, most profoundly expressed in the concept of systems of intelligent software agents, or multi-agent systems [99]. Agents are software entities with control over their own execution; the design of such agents, and of multi-agent systems of them, presents major research and software engineering challenges to computer scientists.

  19. Transdermal delivery of therapeutic agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kwiatkowski, Krzysztof C. (Inventor); Hayes, Ryan T. (Inventor); Magnuson, James W. (Inventor); Giletto, Anthony (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    A device for the transdermal delivery of a therapeutic agent to a biological subject that includes a first electrode comprising a first array of electrically conductive microprojections for providing electrical communication through a skin portion of the subject to a second electrode comprising a second array of electrically conductive microprojections. Additionally, a reservoir for holding the therapeutic agent surrounding the first electrode and a pulse generator for providing an exponential decay pulse between the first and second electrodes may be provided. A method includes the steps of piercing a stratum corneum layer of skin with two arrays of conductive microprojections, encapsulating the therapeutic agent into biocompatible charged carriers, surrounding the conductive microprojections with the therapeutic agent, generating an exponential decay pulse between the two arrays of conductive microprojections to create a non-uniform electrical field and electrokinetically driving the therapeutic agent through the stratum corneum layer of skin.

  20. Intelligent Agents in Physics Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez-Guzmán, D.; Mora, César

    2010-07-01

    Intelligent Agents are being applied in a wide range of processes and everyday applications. Their development is not new, in recent years they have had an increased attention and design; like learning and mentoring tools. In this work we discuss the definition of what an intelligent agent is; how they are applied; how they look like; recent implementations of agents; agents as support in the learning process, more precisely intelligent tutors; their state in Latin-American countries and future developments and trends that will permit a better communication between people and agents. Also we present an Intelligent Tutor applied as a tool for improving high-school students' skills and reasoning for the first five topics of Mechanics curricula.

  1. Markov Tracking for Agent Coordination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washington, Richard; Lau, Sonie (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) axe an attractive representation for representing agent behavior, since they capture uncertainty in both the agent's state and its actions. However, finding an optimal policy for POMDPs in general is computationally difficult. In this paper we present Markov Tracking, a restricted problem of coordinating actions with an agent or process represented as a POMDP Because the actions coordinate with the agent rather than influence its behavior, the optimal solution to this problem can be computed locally and quickly. We also demonstrate the use of the technique on sequential POMDPs, which can be used to model a behavior that follows a linear, acyclic trajectory through a series of states. By imposing a "windowing" restriction that restricts the number of possible alternatives considered at any moment to a fixed size, a coordinating action can be calculated in constant time, making this amenable to coordination with complex agents.

  2. Amaryllidaceae Isocarbostyril Alkaloids and Their Derivatives as Promising Antitumor Agents

    PubMed Central

    Ingrassia, Laurent; Lefranc, Florence; Mathieu, Véronique; Darro, Francis; Kiss, Robert

    2008-01-01

    This review covers the isolation, total synthesis, biologic activity, and more particularly the in vitro and in vivo antitumor activities of naturally occurring isocarbostyril alkaloids from the Amaryllidaceae family. Starting from these natural products, new derivatives have been synthesized to explore structure-activity relationships within the chemical class and to obtain potential candidates for preclinical development. This approach appears to be capable of providing novel promising anticancer agents. PMID:18607503

  3. Knowledge focus via software agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henager, Donald E.

    2001-09-01

    The essence of military Command and Control (C2) is making knowledge intensive decisions in a limited amount of time using uncertain, incorrect, or outdated information. It is essential to provide tools to decision-makers that provide: * Management of friendly forces by treating the "friendly resources as a system". * Rapid assessment of effects of military actions againt the "enemy as a system". * Assessment of how an enemy should, can, and could react to friendly military activities. Software agents in the form of mission agents, target agents, maintenance agents, and logistics agents can meet this information challenge. The role of each agent is to know all the details about its assigned mission, target, maintenance, or logistics entity. The Mission Agent would fight for mission resources based on the mission priority and analyze the effect that a proposed mission's results would have on the enemy. The Target Agent (TA) communicates with other targets to determine its role in the system of targets. A system of TAs would be able to inform a planner or analyst of the status of a system of targets, the effect of that status, adn the effect of attacks on that system. The system of TAs would also be able to analyze possible enemy reactions to attack by determining ways to minimize the effect of attack, such as rerouting traffic or using deception. The Maintenance Agent would scheudle maintenance events and notify the maintenance unit. The Logistics Agent would manage shipment and delivery of supplies to maintain appropriate levels of weapons, fuel and spare parts. The central idea underlying this case of software agents is knowledge focus. Software agents are createad automatically to focus their attention on individual real-world entities (e.g., missions, targets) and view the world from that entities perspective. The agent autonomously monitors the entity, identifies problems/opportunities, formulates solutions, and informs the decision-maker. The agent must be

  4. A Cybernetic Approach to the Modeling of Agent Communities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Truszkowski, Walt; Karlin, Jay

    2000-01-01

    In an earlier paper [1] examples of agent technology in a NASA context were presented. Both groundbased and space-based applications were addressed. This paper continues the discussion of one aspect of the Goddard Space Flight Center's continuing efforts to develop a community of agents that can support both ground-based and space-based systems autonomy. The paper focuses on an approach to agent-community modeling based on the theory of viable systems developed by Stafford Beer. It gives the status of an initial attempt to capture some of the agent-community behaviors in a viable system context. This paper is expository in nature and focuses on a discussion of the modeling of some of the underlying concepts and infrastructure that will serve as the basis of more detailed investigative work into the behavior of agent communities. The paper is organized as follows. First, a general introduction to agent community requirements is presented. Secondly, a brief introduction to the cybernetic concept of a viable system is given. This concept forms the foundation of the modeling approach. Then the concept of an agent community is modeled in the cybernetic context.

  5. An Agent-Based Interface to Terrestrial Ecological Forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golden, Keith; Nemani, Ramakrishna; Pang, Wan-Lin; Votava, Petr; Etzioni, Oren

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes a flexible agent-based ecological forecasting system that combines multiple distributed data sources and models to provide near-real-time answers to questions about the state of the Earth system We build on novel techniques in automated constraint-based planning and natural language interfaces to automatically generate data products based on descriptions of the desired data products.

  6. Enhancement of commercial antifungal agents by kojic acid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Kojic acid (KA), a natural by-product of fungal fermentation, is a commonly used food and cosmetic additive. We show that KA increases activity of amphotericin B and strobilurin, medical and agricultural antifungal agents, respectively, possibly targeting the fungal antioxidative system. KA shows pr...

  7. Contrast agents for cardiac angiography: effects of a nonionic agent vs. a standard ionic agent

    SciTech Connect

    Bettmann, M.A.; Bourdillon, P.D.; Barry, W.H.; Brush, K.A.; Levin, D.C.

    1984-12-01

    The effects on cardiac hemodynamics and of a standard contrast agent, sodium methylglucamine diatrizoate (Renografin 76) were compared with the effects of a new nonionic agent (iohexol) in a double-blind study in 51 patietns undergoing coronary angiography and left ventriculography. No significant alteration in measured blood parameters occurred with either contrast agent. Hemodynamic changes occurred with both, but were significantly greater with the standard renografin than with the low-osmolality, nonionic iohexol. After left ventriculography, heart rate increased and peripheral arterial pressure fell with both agents, but less with iohexol. It is concluded that iohexol causes less alteration in cardiac function than does the agent currently most widely used. Nonionic contrast material is likely to improve the safety of coronary angiography, particularly in those patients at greatest risk.

  8. Agent Communications using Distributed Metaobjects

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, Steven Y.; Spires, Shannon V.

    1999-06-10

    There are currently two proposed standards for agent communication languages, namely, KQML (Finin, Lobrou, and Mayfield 1994) and the FIPA ACL. Neither standard has yet achieved primacy, and neither has been evaluated extensively in an open environment such as the Internet. It seems prudent therefore to design a general-purpose agent communications facility for new agent architectures that is flexible yet provides an architecture that accepts many different specializations. In this paper we exhibit the salient features of an agent communications architecture based on distributed metaobjects. This architecture captures design commitments at a metaobject level, leaving the base-level design and implementation up to the agent developer. The scope of the metamodel is broad enough to accommodate many different communication protocols, interaction protocols, and knowledge sharing regimes through extensions to the metaobject framework. We conclude that with a powerful distributed object substrate that supports metaobject communications, a general framework can be developed that will effectively enable different approaches to agent communications in the same agent system. We have implemented a KQML-based communications protocol and have several special-purpose interaction protocols under development.

  9. Departments as Agents of Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagowski, J. J.

    1996-07-01

    Higher education is changing because it has no choice. And, for the most part, outside influences are dictating the processes of change. The more fortunate institutions have had a flat budget during this period, but most have been forced to deal with a declining revenue stream as well. Legislators seem bent on micromanaging state-supported institutions, even as they cut their support. Regulators demand greater institutional accountability. Students and their parents expect more service at lower prices and increased flexibility. Technological advances have dramatically affected the availability and accessibility of extant knowledge. It is no longer a question of whether institutions will change, but rather, who will control the change. Most institutions possess long-standing academic traditions, but these are placed at risk in an increasingly competitive market that holds little sympathy for such traditions and may even see them as obstacles or barriers. As a result, the change agents will undoubtedly have a profound effect on the very nature of academic institutions. From the academic point of view, it would seem prudent to attempt to manage the changes that will inevitably occur. A number of concerned observers, notably the Pew Higher Education Roundtable and the American Association for Higher Education, argue persuasively that the academic department is the logical focus for responding to the current winds of change. Using a marketing metaphor, the academic department has been likened to a "producers' cooperative" of services that consumers seek. Thus, the department should be held accountable for the quality of teaching delivered by its members, for the coherence of its major, for its contributions to the general education curriculum, and for supervising and rewarding its individual faculty members. If departments are to be held accountable, it is surely in their best interest to act in such a way that they are accountable. Expecting academic departments to be

  10. Detoxifying cancer causing agents to prevent cancer.

    PubMed

    Hanausek, Margaret; Walaszek, Zbigniew; Slaga, Thomas J

    2003-06-01

    Different vitamins and other micronutrients in vegetables, fruits, and other natural plant products may prevent cancer development (carcinogenesis) by interfering with detrimental actions of mutagens, carcinogens, and tumor promoters. The goal of current studies in cancer prevention is to determine the mechanisms of synergistic action of the natural source compounds known to inhibit one or more stages of carcinogenesis, that is, initiation and promotion/progression. Many natural cancer preventive agents are effective inhibitors of tumor initiation, promotion, and/or progression. The mechanism of action is related to their abilities to prevent critical carcinogen metabolism and to increase detoxification of carcinogens and tumor promoters. The authors review here the potential role of the detoxification system and, in particular, the roles of D-glucaric acid and the enzyme beta-glucuronidase in early detection and prevention of cancer. There is now growing evidence for the possible control of different stages of the cancer induction by inhibiting beta-glucuronidase with D-glucaric acid derivatives, especially with its salts (D-glucarates). D-Glucaric acid has been found in many vegetables and fruits. Therefore, the consumption of fruits and vegetables naturally rich in D-glucaric acid or self-medication with D-glucaric acid derivatives such as calcium D-glucarate offers a promising cancer prevention approach.

  11. Natural inflation

    SciTech Connect

    Frieman, J.A.

    1991-02-01

    A pseduo-Nambu-Goldstone boson, with a potential of the form V({phi}) = {Lambda}{sup 4}(1 {plus minus} cos({phi}/f)), can naturally give rise to an epoch of inflation in the early universe. Successful inflation can be achieved if f {approximately} m{sub pl} and {Lambda} {approximately} m{sub GUT}. Such mass scales arise in particle physics models with a gauge group that becomes strongly interacting a the GUT scale, e.g., as is expected to happen in the hidden sector of superstring theories. The density fluctuation spectrum is a non-scale-invariant power law, with extra power on large scales. 12 refs., 3 figs.

  12. Natural Strain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freed, Alan D.

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to present a consistent and thorough development of the strain and strain-rate measures affiliated with Hencky. Natural measures for strain and strain-rate, as I refer to them, are first expressed in terms of of the fundamental body-metric tensors of Lodge. These strain and strain-rate measures are mixed tensor fields. They are mapped from the body to space in both the Eulerian and Lagrangian configurations, and then transformed from general to Cartesian fields. There they are compared with the various strain and strain-rate measures found in the literature. A simple Cartesian description for Hencky strain-rate in the Lagrangian state is obtained.

  13. Natural relaxation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzola, Luca; Raidal, Martti

    2016-11-01

    Motivated by natural inflation, we propose a relaxation mechanism consistent with inflationary cosmology that explains the hierarchy between the electroweak scale and Planck scale. This scenario is based on a selection mechanism that identifies the low-scale dynamics as the one that is screened from UV physics. The scenario also predicts the near-criticality and metastability of the Standard Model (SM) vacuum state, explaining the Higgs boson mass observed at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Once Majorana right-handed neutrinos are introduced to provide a viable reheating channel, our framework yields a corresponding mass scale that allows for the seesaw mechanism as well as for standard thermal leptogenesis. We argue that considering singlet scalar dark matter extensions of the proposed scenario could solve the vacuum stability problem and discuss how the cosmological constant problem is possibly addressed.

  14. Requirements Modeling with Agent Programming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dasgupta, Aniruddha; Krishna, Aneesh; Ghose, Aditya K.

    Agent-oriented conceptual modeling notations are highly effective in representing requirements from an intentional stance and answering questions such as what goals exist, how key actors depend on each other, and what alternatives must be considered. In this chapter, we review an approach to executing i* models by translating these into set of interacting agents implemented in the CASO language and suggest how we can perform reasoning with requirements modeled (both functional and non-functional) using i* models. In this chapter we particularly incorporate deliberation into the agent design. This allows us to benefit from the complementary representational capabilities of the two frameworks.

  15. Nuclear magnetic resonance contrast agents

    DOEpatents

    Smith, P.H.; Brainard, J.R.; Jarvinen, G.D.; Ryan, R.R.

    1997-12-30

    A family of contrast agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging and a method of enhancing the contrast of magnetic resonance images of an object by incorporating a contrast agent of this invention into the object prior to forming the images or during formation of the images. A contrast agent of this invention is a paramagnetic lanthanide hexaazamacrocyclic molecule, where a basic example has the formula LnC{sub 16}H{sub 14}N{sub 6}. Important applications of the invention are in medical diagnosis, treatment, and research, where images of portions of a human body are formed by means of magnetic resonance techniques. 10 figs.

  16. Nuclear magnetic resonance contrast agents

    DOEpatents

    Smith, Paul H.; Brainard, James R.; Jarvinen, Gordon D.; Ryan, Robert R.

    1997-01-01

    A family of contrast agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging and a method of enhancing the contrast of magnetic resonance images of an object by incorporating a contrast agent of this invention into the object prior to forming the images or during formation of the images. A contrast agent of this invention is a paramagnetic lanthanide hexaazamacrocyclic molecule, where a basic example has the formula LnC.sub.16 H.sub.14 N.sub.6. Important applications of the invention are in medical diagnosis, treatment, and research, where images of portions of a human body are formed by means of magnetic resonance techniques.

  17. Dimensional stability of natural fibers

    SciTech Connect

    Driscoll, Mark S.

    2013-04-19

    One of the main problems associated with the use of natural fibers as reinforcing agents in composites is their uptake of moisture. Many natural fibers are lignocellulosic, which causes them to swell and shrink as the amount of available moisture changes. Swelling and shrinking can cause composites to prematurely fail. This paper presents the results of a preliminary study that considers the use of two different low molecular weight monomers, hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and hydroxyethyl acrylate (HEA), polymerized by electron beam ionizing radiation, to dimensionally stabilize natural fibers. Eight different treatments consisting of varying amounts of monomer, encapsulating agent, and cross-linkers, were evaluated for their ability to dimensionally stabilize sisal fiber. Results indicate that both polymerized HEA and HEMA can reduce the swelling of sisal fiber. The effectiveness of HEA and HEMA can be further enhanced with the use of a cross-linker (SR 454). The use of hydroxylated monomers to dimensionally stabilize natural fibers may play an important role in reducing delamination and improving fiber-resin adhesion in composites.

  18. Dimensional stability of natural fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Driscoll, Mark S.; Smith, Jennifer L.; Woods, Sean; Tiss, Kenneth J.; Larsen, L. Scott

    2013-04-01

    One of the main problems associated with the use of natural fibers as reinforcing agents in composites is their uptake of moisture. Many natural fibers are lignocellulosic, which causes them to swell and shrink as the amount of available moisture changes. Swelling and shrinking can cause composites to prematurely fail. This paper presents the results of a preliminary study that considers the use of two different low molecular weight monomers, hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and hydroxyethyl acrylate (HEA), polymerized by electron beam ionizing radiation, to dimensionally stabilize natural fibers. Eight different treatments consisting of varying amounts of monomer, encapsulating agent, and cross-linkers, were evaluated for their ability to dimensionally stabilize sisal fiber. Results indicate that both polymerized HEA and HEMA can reduce the swelling of sisal fiber. The effectiveness of HEA and HEMA can be further enhanced with the use of a cross-linker (SR 454). The use of hydroxylated monomers to dimensionally stabilize natural fibers may play an important role in reducing delamination and improving fiber-resin adhesion in composites.

  19. From nature to market: examples of natural products that became drugs.

    PubMed

    de Fátima, Angelo; Terra, Bruna Silva; da Silva, Cleiton Moreira; da Silva, Daniel Leite; Araujo, Debora Pereira; da Silva Neto, Leonardo; Nascimento de Aquino, Roney Anderson

    2014-01-01

    Nature is an irrefutable source of inspiration for the modern man in many aspects. The observation and understanding of nature have allowed the development of new materials, new sources of energies, new drugs etc. Specifically, natural products provide a great contribution to the development of new agents for the treatment of infections and antitumor agents. However, obtaining natural products directly from animals, fungi, bacteria, plants etc has been considered not enough to attend the high demand by pharmaceutical industries. In this regard, various strategies based on biotechnological processes or synthetic approaches have been developed. In this scenario the total synthesis can be undoubtedly a useful and powerful tool for obtaining higher amounts of natural products and/or structural modifications thereof. Herein, we emphasize successful examples of total synthesis of galanthamine, morphine, paclitaxel and podophyllotoxin - natural products approved as pharmaceuticals.

  20. Towards strength and stability : agent-based modeling of infrastructure markets.

    SciTech Connect

    North, M. J.; Decision and Information Sciences

    2001-01-01

    Complex Adaptive Systems (CASs) can be applied to investigate complex infrastructures and infrastructure interdependencies. Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a new CAS-based approach to the construction of models. The CAS agents within the Spot Market Agent Research Tool (SMART) and Flexible Agent Simulation Toolkit (FAST) ABMs allow investigation of the electric power infrastructure, the natural gas infrastructure, and their interdependencies. The Swarm-based SMART models use sets of agents and interconnections to represent electric power and natural gas systems. A prototype virtual reality (VR) interface has also been constructed for a version of the SMART model. This tool is intended to explore the use of advanced interactive three-dimensional visualization in agent-based modeling. The Java-based FAST model is currently under construction. FAST is a complete redesign of the SMART models that includes improvements in the modeling environment, model detail, and representational fidelity. Developing ABMs is difficult but can be rewarding.

  1. Agent-based forward analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Kerekes, Ryan A.; Jiao, Yu; Shankar, Mallikarjun; Potok, Thomas E.; Lusk, Rick M.

    2008-01-01

    We propose software agent-based "forward analysis" for efficient information retrieval in a network of sensing devices. In our approach, processing is pushed to the data at the edge of the network via intelligent software agents rather than pulling data to a central facility for processing. The agents are deployed with a specific query and perform varying levels of analysis of the data, communicating with each other and sending only relevant information back across the network. We demonstrate our concept in the context of face recognition using a wireless test bed comprised of PDA cell phones and laptops. We show that agent-based forward analysis can provide a significant increase in retrieval speed while decreasing bandwidth usage and information overload at the central facility. n

  2. Peripheral Neuropathy and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... ZIP code here Enter ZIP code here Peripheral Neuropathy and Agent Orange VA presumes Veterans' early-onset ... percent disabling by VA's rating regulations. About peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy is a condition of the peripheral ...

  3. Diamine curing agents for polyurethanes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, V. L.; St. Clair, T. L.

    1975-01-01

    Three aromatic diamines have properties that make them promising candidates as curing agents for converting isocyanates to polyurethanes with higher adhesive strengths, higher softening temperatures, better toughness, and improved abrasion resistance.

  4. Triggered pore-forming agents

    DOEpatents

    Bayley, Hagan; Walker, Barbara J.; Chang, Chung-yu; Niblack, Brett; Panchal, Rekha

    1998-01-01

    An inactive pore-forming agent which is activated to lytic function by a condition such as pH, light, heat, reducing potential, or metal ion concentration, or substance such as a protease, at the surface of a cell.

  5. Tissue Penetration of Antifungal Agents

    PubMed Central

    Felton, Timothy; Troke, Peter F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Understanding the tissue penetration of systemically administered antifungal agents is critical for a proper appreciation of their antifungal efficacy in animals and humans. Both the time course of an antifungal drug and its absolute concentrations within tissues may differ significantly from those observed in the bloodstream. In addition, tissue concentrations must also be interpreted within the context of the pathogenesis of the various invasive fungal infections, which differ significantly. There are major technical obstacles to the estimation of concentrations of antifungal agents in various tissue subcompartments, yet these agents, even those within the same class, may exhibit markedly different tissue distributions. This review explores these issues and provides a summary of tissue concentrations of 11 currently licensed systemic antifungal agents. It also explores the therapeutic implications of their distribution at various sites of infection. PMID:24396137

  6. AL Amyloidosis and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... for survivors' benefits . Research on AL amyloidosis and herbicides The Health and Medicine Division (formally known as ... to the compounds of interest found in the herbicide Agent Orange and AL amyloidosis." VA made a ...

  7. Peripheral Neuropathy and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam . Research on peripheral neuropathy and herbicides The Health ...

  8. AL Amyloidosis and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam . Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of ...

  9. Launch Commit Criteria Monitoring Agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Semmel, Glenn S.; Davis, Steven R.; Leucht, Kurt W.; Rowe, Dan A.; Kelly, Andrew O.; Boeloeni, Ladislau

    2005-01-01

    The Spaceport Processing Systems Branch at NASA Kennedy Space Center has developed and deployed a software agent to monitor the Space Shuttle's ground processing telemetry stream. The application, the Launch Commit Criteria Monitoring Agent, increases situational awareness for system and hardware engineers during Shuttle launch countdown. The agent provides autonomous monitoring of the telemetry stream, automatically alerts system engineers when predefined criteria have been met, identifies limit warnings and violations of launch commit criteria, aids Shuttle engineers through troubleshooting procedures, and provides additional insight to verify appropriate troubleshooting of problems by contractors. The agent has successfully detected launch commit criteria warnings and violations on a simulated playback data stream. Efficiency and safety are improved through increased automation.

  10. Small-Scale Terrorist Attacks Using Chemical and Biological Agents: An Assessment Framework and Preliminary Comparisons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-05-20

    Warfare Agents, op. cit.; and the Health Canada Material Safety Data Sheet - Infectious Substances for Rickettsia rickettsii , found online at [http...cns.miis.edu/research/cbw/possess.htm]. Biological Agent Comparison Potential biological agents include the many bacteria and viruses that induce...barriers to their acquisition, regardless of the legality of such a transfer. In contrast, salmonella bacteria would be easy to obtain from natural

  11. What makes virtual agents believable?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanovych, Anton; Trescak, Tomas; Simoff, Simeon

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the concept of believability and make an attempt to isolate individual characteristics (features) that contribute to making virtual characters believable. As the result of this investigation we have produced a formalisation of believability and based on this formalisation built a computational framework focused on simulation of believable virtual agents that possess the identified features. In order to test whether the identified features are, in fact, responsible for agents being perceived as more believable, we have conducted a user study. In this study we tested user reactions towards the virtual characters that were created for a simulation of aboriginal inhabitants of a particular area of Sydney, Australia in 1770 A.D. The participants of our user study were exposed to short simulated scenes, in which virtual agents performed some behaviour in two different ways (while possessing a certain aspect of believability vs. not possessing it). The results of the study indicate that virtual agents that appear resource bounded, are aware of their environment, own interaction capabilities and their state in the world, agents that can adapt to changes in the environment and exist in correct social context are those that are being perceived as more believable. Further in the paper we discuss these and other believability features and provide a quantitative analysis of the level of contribution for each such feature to the overall perceived believability of a virtual agent.

  12. Bioengineering of noncoding RNAs for research agents and therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Ho, Pui Yan; Yu, Ai-Ming

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of functional small noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), such as microRNAs and small interfering RNAs, in the control of human cellular processes has opened new avenues to develop RNA-based therapies for various diseases including viral infections and cancers. However, studying ncRNA functions and developing RNA-based therapeutics relies on access to large quantities of affordable ncRNA agents. Currently, synthetic RNAs account for the major source of agents for RNA research and development, yet carry artificial modifications on the ribose ring and phosphate backbone in sharp contrast to posttranscriptional modifications present on the nucleobases or unmodified natural RNA molecules produced within cells. Therefore, large efforts have been made in recent years to develop recombinant RNA techniques to cost-effectively produce biological RNA agents that may better capture the structure, function, and safety properties of natural RNAs. In this article, we summarize and compare current in vitro and in vivo methods for the production of RNA agents including chemical synthesis, in vitro transcription, and bioengineering approaches. We highlight the latest recombinant RNA approaches using transfer RNA (tRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA), and optimal ncRNA scaffold (OnRS), and discuss the applications of bioengineered ncRNA agents (BERAs) that should facilitate RNA research and development.

  13. Relationship between Assessment Center Performance and Psychological Types of Cooperative Extension Agents in Ohio.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ishaya, Joseph B.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    The Myers-Briggs Type Inventory was completed by 135 cooperative extension agents who attended an assessment center. The majority were extroverts with sensing, thinking, and judging preferences. Those in administration or community/natural resources or with more experience had higher assessment center scores. Perceiving-oriented agents had lower…

  14. Learning in multi-agent systems

    SciTech Connect

    Goldman, C.V.

    1996-12-31

    Learning agents acting in a multi agent environment can improve their performance. These agents might decide upon their course of action by learning about other agents with whom they interact. The learning agents can learn about the others information and rules of behavior. The agents will not need to plan their actions beforehand, each time they are asked to solve the same problem they have already solved or when dealing with similar problems.

  15. Chemosensitization as a Means to Augment Commercial Antifungal Agents

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Bruce C.; Chan, Kathleen L.; Kim, Jong H.

    2012-01-01

    Antimycotic chemosensitization and its mode of action are of growing interest. Currently, use of antifungal agents in agriculture and medicine has a number of obstacles. Foremost of these is development of resistance or cross-resistance to one or more antifungal agents. The generally high expense and negative impact, or side effects, associated with antifungal agents are two further issues of concern. Collectively, these problems are exacerbated by efforts to control resistant strains, which can evolve into a treadmill of higher dosages for longer periods. This cycle in turn, inflates cost of treatment, dramatically. A further problem is stagnation in development of new and effective antifungal agents, especially for treatment of human mycoses. Efforts to overcome some of these issues have involved using combinations of available antimycotics (e.g., combination therapy for invasive mycoses). However, this approach has had inconsistent success and is often associated with a marked increase in negative side effects. Chemosensitization by natural compounds to increase effectiveness of commercial antimycotics is a somewhat new approach to dealing with the aforementioned problems. The potential for safe natural products to improve antifungal activity has been observed for over three decades. Chemosensitizing agents possess antifungal activity, but at insufficient levels to serve as antimycotics, alone. Their main function is to disrupt fungal stress response, destabilize the structural integrity of cellular and vacuolar membranes or stimulate production of reactive oxygen species, augmenting oxidative stress and apoptosis. Use of safe chemosensitizing agents has potential benefit to both agriculture and medicine. When co-applied with a commercial antifungal agent, an additive or synergistic interaction may occur, augmenting antifungal efficacy. This augmentation, in turn, lowers effective dosages, costs, negative side effects and, in some cases, countermands resistance

  16. Latest Trend of Object Oriented Technology and Agent Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakatani, Takako; Hanyuda, Eiiti; Kurokawa, Toshiaki; Suguta, Shigeki; Ohsuga, Akihiko; Kodama, Kiminobu; Masumura, Hitoshi; Nakamura, Masatoshi; Tanaka, Tatsuji

    Object-oriented technology is used for the software of the large range, and its application fields are increasing. Object-oriented technology is also accepted naturally in the field of Internet application. Consequently, developments of new kinds of object-oriented technologies have been performed. Agent technology has been developed based on an object-oriented concept, and may have a great evolution with applying to applications of Internet field. In this paper, authors introduce the latest trend and the example of application of such object-oriented technology and agent technology.

  17. Complex groundwater flow systems as traveling agent models.

    PubMed

    López Corona, Oliver; Padilla, Pablo; Escolero, Oscar; González, Tomas; Morales-Casique, Eric; Osorio-Olvera, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Analyzing field data from pumping tests, we show that as with many other natural phenomena, groundwater flow exhibits complex dynamics described by 1/f power spectrum. This result is theoretically studied within an agent perspective. Using a traveling agent model, we prove that this statistical behavior emerges when the medium is complex. Some heuristic reasoning is provided to justify both spatial and dynamic complexity, as the result of the superposition of an infinite number of stochastic processes. Even more, we show that this implies that non-Kolmogorovian probability is needed for its study, and provide a set of new partial differential equations for groundwater flow.

  18. Complex groundwater flow systems as traveling agent models

    PubMed Central

    Padilla, Pablo; Escolero, Oscar; González, Tomas; Morales-Casique, Eric; Osorio-Olvera, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Analyzing field data from pumping tests, we show that as with many other natural phenomena, groundwater flow exhibits complex dynamics described by 1/f power spectrum. This result is theoretically studied within an agent perspective. Using a traveling agent model, we prove that this statistical behavior emerges when the medium is complex. Some heuristic reasoning is provided to justify both spatial and dynamic complexity, as the result of the superposition of an infinite number of stochastic processes. Even more, we show that this implies that non-Kolmogorovian probability is needed for its study, and provide a set of new partial differential equations for groundwater flow. PMID:25337455

  19. Improving Access To Novel Agents For Childhood Leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Weili; Gaynon, Paul S.; Sposto, Richard; Wayne, Alan S.

    2015-01-01

    Leukemia is the most common pediatric cancer. Despite great progress in the development of curative therapy, leukemia remains a leading cause of death from disease in childhood and survivors are at life-long risk of complications of treatment. New agents are needed to further increase cure rates and decrease treatment-associated toxicities. The complex biology and aggressive nature of childhood leukemia, coupled with the relatively small patient population available for study, pose specific challenges to the development of new therapies. In this review, we discuss strategies and initiatives designed to improve access to new agents in the treatment of pediatric leukemia. PMID:25678105

  20. Marine Natural Products Revisited.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Clifford W. J.

    1978-01-01

    Reports the chemistry of saxitoxin, a paralytic shellfish poison, and other toxins, including the structure of aplysiatoxins. Discusses the chemical signals and defense agents used in intra- and inter- species communication; anticancer agents; and organometallics in the marine environment. (MA)

  1. Collective behavior of predictive agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kephart, Jeffrey O.; Hogg, Tad; Huberman, Bernardo A.

    1990-06-01

    We investigate the effect of predictions upon a model of coevolutionary systems which was originally inspired by computational ecosystems. The model incorporates many of the features of distributed resource allocation in systems comprised of many individual agents, including asynchrony, resource contention, and decision-making based upon incomplete knowledge and delayed information. Previous analyses of a similar model of non-predictive agents have demonstrated that periodic or chaotic oscillations in resource allocation can occur under certain conditions, and that these oscillations can affect the performance of the system adversely. In this work, we show that the system performance can be improved if the agents do an adequate job of predicting the current state of the system. We explore two plausible methods for prediction - technical analysis and system analysis. Technical analysts are responsive to the behavior of the system, but suffer from an inability to take their own behavior into account. System analysts perform extremely well when they have very accurate information about the other agents in the system, but can perform very poorly when their information is even slightly inaccurate. By combining the strengths of both methods, we obtain a successful hybrid of the two prediction methods which adapts its model of other agents in response to the observed behavior of the system.

  2. Investigational Antimicrobial Agents of 2013

    PubMed Central

    Pucci, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY New antimicrobial agents are always needed to counteract the resistant pathogens that continue to be selected by current therapeutic regimens. This review provides a survey of known antimicrobial agents that were currently in clinical development in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. Data were collected from published literature primarily from 2010 to 2012, meeting abstracts (2011 to 2012), government websites, and company websites when appropriate. Compared to what was reported in previous surveys, a surprising number of new agents are currently in company pipelines, particularly in phase 3 clinical development. Familiar antibacterial classes of the quinolones, tetracyclines, oxazolidinones, glycopeptides, and cephalosporins are represented by entities with enhanced antimicrobial or pharmacological properties. More importantly, compounds of novel chemical structures targeting bacterial pathways not previously exploited are under development. Some of the most promising compounds include novel β-lactamase inhibitor combinations that target many multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, a critical medical need. Although new antimicrobial agents will continue to be needed to address increasing antibiotic resistance, there are novel agents in development to tackle at least some of the more worrisome pathogens in the current nosocomial setting. PMID:24092856

  3. Next Generation Remote Agent Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jonsson, Ari K.; Muscettola, Nicola; Morris, Paul H.; Rajan, Kanna

    1999-01-01

    In May 1999, as part of a unique technology validation experiment onboard the Deep Space One spacecraft, the Remote Agent became the first complete autonomous spacecraft control architecture to run as flight software onboard an active spacecraft. As one of the three components of the architecture, the Remote Agent Planner had the task of laying out the course of action to be taken, which included activities such as turning, thrusting, data gathering, and communicating. Building on the successful approach developed for the Remote Agent Planner, the Next Generation Remote Agent Planner is a completely redesigned and reimplemented version of the planner. The new system provides all the key capabilities of the original planner, while adding functionality, improving performance and providing a modular and extendible implementation. The goal of this ongoing project is to develop a system that provides both a basis for future applications and a framework for further research in the area of autonomous planning for spacecraft. In this article, we present an introductory overview of the Next Generation Remote Agent Planner. We present a new and simplified definition of the planning problem, describe the basics of the planning process, lay out the new system design and examine the functionality of the core reasoning module.

  4. Leveraging synergy for multiple agent infotaxis

    SciTech Connect

    Gintautas, Vadas; Hagberg, Aric A; Bettencourt, Luis M A

    2008-01-01

    Social computation, whether in the form of a search performed by a swarm of agents or the predictions of markets, often supplies remarkably good solutions to complex problems, which often elude the best experts. There is an intuition, built upon many anecdotal examples, that pervading principles are at play that allow individuals trying to solve a problem locally to aggregate their information to arrive at an outcome superior than any available to isolated parties. Here we show that the general structure of this problem can be cast in terms of information theory and derive general mathematical conditions for information sharing and coordination that lead to optimal multi-agent searches. Specifically we illustrate the problem in terms of the construction of local search algorithms for autonomous agents looking for the spatial location of a stochastic source. We explore the types of search problems -defined in terms of the properties of the source and the nature of measurements at each sensor -for which coordination among multiple searchers yields an advantage beyond that gained by having the same number of independent searchers. We assert that effective coordination corresponds to synergy and that ineffective coordination corresponds to redundancy as defined using information theory. We classify explicit types of sources in terms of their potential for synergy. We show that sources that emit uncorrelated particles based on a Poisson process, provide no opportunity for synergetic coordination while others, particularly sources that emit correlated signals, do allow for strong synergy between searchers. These general considerations are crucial for designing optimal algorithms for particular search problems in real world settings.

  5. Evaluating Water Demand Using Agent-Based Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowry, T. S.

    2004-12-01

    The supply and demand of water resources are functions of complex, inter-related systems including hydrology, climate, demographics, economics, and policy. To assess the safety and sustainability of water resources, planners often rely on complex numerical models that relate some or all of these systems using mathematical abstractions. The accuracy of these models relies on how well the abstractions capture the true nature of the systems interactions. Typically, these abstractions are based on analyses of observations and/or experiments that account only for the statistical mean behavior of each system. This limits the approach in two important ways: 1) It cannot capture cross-system disruptive events, such as major drought, significant policy change, or terrorist attack, and 2) it cannot resolve sub-system level responses. To overcome these limitations, we are developing an agent-based water resources model that includes the systems of hydrology, climate, demographics, economics, and policy, to examine water demand during normal and extraordinary conditions. Agent-based modeling (ABM) develops functional relationships between systems by modeling the interaction between individuals (agents), who behave according to a probabilistic set of rules. ABM is a "bottom-up" modeling approach in that it defines macro-system behavior by modeling the micro-behavior of individual agents. While each agent's behavior is often simple and predictable, the aggregate behavior of all agents in each system can be complex, unpredictable, and different than behaviors observed in mean-behavior models. Furthermore, the ABM approach creates a virtual laboratory where the effects of policy changes and/or extraordinary events can be simulated. Our model, which is based on the demographics and hydrology of the Middle Rio Grande Basin in the state of New Mexico, includes agent groups of residential, agricultural, and industrial users. Each agent within each group determines its water usage

  6. The Nature of the Bioterrorism Threat

    SciTech Connect

    Regens, J. L.

    2003-02-25

    This analysis provides an overview of the nature of the bioterrorism threat. It identifies potential CDC Class A biological agents that are likely candidates for use in a terrorist incident and describes the known sources of vulnerability. The paper also summarizes S&T resources/needs and assesses response options for achieving effective biodefense against terrorist threats.

  7. Dual Rationality and Deliberative Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debenham, John; Sierra, Carles

    Human agents deliberate using models based on reason for only a minute proportion of the decisions that they make. In stark contrast, the deliberation of artificial agents is heavily dominated by formal models based on reason such as game theory, decision theory and logic—despite that fact that formal reasoning will not necessarily lead to superior real-world decisions. Further the Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek warns us of the ‘fatal conceit’ in controlling deliberative systems using models based on reason as the particular model chosen will then shape the system’s future and either impede, or eventually destroy, the subtle evolutionary processes that are an integral part of human systems and institutions, and are crucial to their evolution and long-term survival. We describe an architecture for artificial agents that is founded on Hayek’s two rationalities and supports the two forms of deliberation used by mankind.

  8. [Anti-influenza virus agent].

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Shigeki; Kohno, Shigeru

    2012-04-01

    The necessity of newly anti-influenza agents is increasing rapidly after the prevalence of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009. In addition to the existing anti-influenza drugs, novel neuraminidase inhibitors such as peramivir (a first intravenous anti-influenza agent) and laninamivir (long acting inhaled anti-influenza agent) can be available. Moreover favipiravir, which shows a novel anti-influenza mechanism acting as RNA polymerase inhibitor, has been developing. These drugs are expected to improve the prognosis of severe cases caused by not only seasonal influenza but pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus and H5N1 avian influenza, and also treat oseltamivir-resistant influenza effectively.

  9. Agent review phase one report.

    SciTech Connect

    Zubelewicz, Alex Tadeusz; Davis, Christopher Edward; Bauer, Travis LaDell

    2009-12-01

    This report summarizes the findings for phase one of the agent review and discusses the review methods and results. The phase one review identified a short list of agent systems that would prove most useful in the service architecture of an information management, analysis, and retrieval system. Reviewers evaluated open-source and commercial multi-agent systems and scored them based upon viability, uniqueness, ease of development, ease of deployment, and ease of integration with other products. Based on these criteria, reviewers identified the ten most appropriate systems. The report also mentions several systems that reviewers deemed noteworthy for the ideas they implement, even if those systems are not the best choices for information management purposes.

  10. Learning Agents in Automated Negotiations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandrashekhar, Hemalatha; Bhasker, Bharat

    In bilateral multi-issue negotiations involving two-sided information uncertainty, selfish agents participating in a distributed search of the solution space need to learn the opponent’s preferences from the on-going negotiation interactions and utilize such knowledge to construct future proposals in order to hope to arrive at efficient outcomes. Besides, negotiation support systems that inhibit strategic misrepresentation of information need to be in place in order to assist the protagonists to obtain truly efficient solutions. To this end, this work suggests an automated negotiation procedure that while protecting the information privacy of the participating agents encourages truthful revelation of information through successive proposals. Further we present an algorithm for proposal construction in the case of two continuous issues. When both the negotiating agents implement the algorithm the negotiation trace shall be confined to the Pareto frontier. The Pareto-optimal deal close to the Nash solution shall be located whenever such a deal exists.

  11. Probiotics as antiviral agents in shrimp aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Lakshmi, Bestha; Viswanath, Buddolla; Sai Gopal, D V R

    2013-01-01

    Shrimp farming is an aquaculture business for the cultivation of marine shrimps or prawns for human consumption and is now considered as a major economic and food production sector as it is an increasingly important source of protein available for human consumption. Intensification of shrimp farming had led to the development of a number of diseases, which resulted in the excessive use of antimicrobial agents, which is finally responsible for many adverse effects. Currently, probiotics are chosen as the best alternatives to these antimicrobial agents and they act as natural immune enhancers, which provoke the disease resistance in shrimp farm. Viral diseases stand as the major constraint causing an enormous loss in the production in shrimp farms. Probiotics besides being beneficial bacteria also possess antiviral activity. Exploitation of these probiotics in treatment and prevention of viral diseases in shrimp aquaculture is a novel and efficient method. This review discusses the benefits of probiotics and their criteria for selection in shrimp aquaculture and their role in immune power enhancement towards viral diseases.

  12. Antimicrobial peptides: Possible anti-infective agents.

    PubMed

    Lakshmaiah Narayana, Jayaram; Chen, Jyh-Yih

    2015-10-01

    Multidrug-resistant bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections are major health threats. The Infectious Diseases Society of America has expressed concern on the decrease of pharmaceutical companies working on antibiotic research and development. However, small companies, along with academic research institutes, are stepping forward to develop novel therapeutic methods to overcome the present healthcare situation. Among the leading alternatives to current drugs are antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are abundantly distributed in nature. AMPs exhibit broad-spectrum activity against a wide variety of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites, and even cancerous cells. They also show potential immunomodulatory properties, and are highly responsive to infectious agents and innate immuno-stimulatory molecules. In recent years, many AMPs have undergone or are undergoing clinical development, and a few are commercially available for topical and other applications. In this review, we outline selected anion and cationic AMPs which are at various stages of development, from preliminary analysis to clinical drug development. Moreover, we also consider current production methods and delivery tools for AMPs, which must be improved for the effective use of these agents.

  13. Agent-based modeling in ecological economics.

    PubMed

    Heckbert, Scott; Baynes, Tim; Reeson, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Interconnected social and environmental systems are the domain of ecological economics, and models can be used to explore feedbacks and adaptations inherent in these systems. Agent-based modeling (ABM) represents autonomous entities, each with dynamic behavior and heterogeneous characteristics. Agents interact with each other and their environment, resulting in emergent outcomes at the macroscale that can be used to quantitatively analyze complex systems. ABM is contributing to research questions in ecological economics in the areas of natural resource management and land-use change, urban systems modeling, market dynamics, changes in consumer attitudes, innovation, and diffusion of technology and management practices, commons dilemmas and self-governance, and psychological aspects to human decision making and behavior change. Frontiers for ABM research in ecological economics involve advancing the empirical calibration and validation of models through mixed methods, including surveys, interviews, participatory modeling, and, notably, experimental economics to test specific decision-making hypotheses. Linking ABM with other modeling techniques at the level of emergent properties will further advance efforts to understand dynamics of social-environmental systems.

  14. Successful technical trading agents using genetic programming.

    SciTech Connect

    Othling, Andrew S.; Kelly, John A.; Pryor, Richard J.; Farnsworth, Grant V.

    2004-10-01

    Genetic programming (GP) has proved to be a highly versatile and useful tool for identifying relationships in data for which a more precise theoretical construct is unavailable. In this project, we use a GP search to develop trading strategies for agent based economic models. These strategies use stock prices and technical indicators, such as the moving average convergence/divergence and various exponentially weighted moving averages, to generate buy and sell signals. We analyze the effect of complexity constraints on the strategies as well as the relative performance of various indicators. We also present innovations in the classical genetic programming algorithm that appear to improve convergence for this problem. Technical strategies developed by our GP algorithm can be used to control the behavior of agents in economic simulation packages, such as ASPEN-D, adding variety to the current market fundamentals approach. The exploitation of arbitrage opportunities by technical analysts may help increase the efficiency of the simulated stock market, as it does in the real world. By improving the behavior of simulated stock markets, we can better estimate the effects of shocks to the economy due to terrorism or natural disasters.

  15. Probiotics as Antiviral Agents in Shrimp Aquaculture

    PubMed Central

    Lakshmi, Bestha; Sai Gopal, D. V. R.

    2013-01-01

    Shrimp farming is an aquaculture business for the cultivation of marine shrimps or prawns for human consumption and is now considered as a major economic and food production sector as it is an increasingly important source of protein available for human consumption. Intensification of shrimp farming had led to the development of a number of diseases, which resulted in the excessive use of antimicrobial agents, which is finally responsible for many adverse effects. Currently, probiotics are chosen as the best alternatives to these antimicrobial agents and they act as natural immune enhancers, which provoke the disease resistance in shrimp farm. Viral diseases stand as the major constraint causing an enormous loss in the production in shrimp farms. Probiotics besides being beneficial bacteria also possess antiviral activity. Exploitation of these probiotics in treatment and prevention of viral diseases in shrimp aquaculture is a novel and efficient method. This review discusses the benefits of probiotics and their criteria for selection in shrimp aquaculture and their role in immune power enhancement towards viral diseases. PMID:23738078

  16. Quorum Quenching Agents: Resources for Antivirulence Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Kaihao; Zhang, Xiao-Hua

    2014-01-01

    The continuing emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is a concern to human health and highlights the urgent need for the development of alternative therapeutic strategies. Quorum sensing (QS) regulates virulence in many bacterial pathogens, and thus, is a promising target for antivirulence therapy which may inhibit virulence instead of cell growth and division. This means that there is little selective pressure for the evolution of resistance. Many natural quorum quenching (QQ) agents have been identified. Moreover, it has been shown that many microorganisms are capable of producing small molecular QS inhibitors and/or macromolecular QQ enzymes, which could be regarded as a strategy for bacteria to gain benefits in competitive environments. More than 30 species of marine QQ bacteria have been identified thus far, but only a few of them have been intensively studied. Recent studies indicate that an enormous number of QQ microorganisms are undiscovered in the highly diverse marine environments, and these marine microorganism-derived QQ agents may be valuable resources for antivirulence therapy. PMID:24886865

  17. Designed TPR Modules as Novel Anticancer Agents

    SciTech Connect

    Cortajarena,A.; Yi, F.; Regan, L.

    2008-01-01

    Molecules specifically designed to modulate protein-protein interactions have tremendous potential as novel therapeutic agents. One important anticancer target is the chaperone Hsp90, whose activity is essential for the folding of many oncogenic proteins, including HER2, IGFIR, AKT, RAF-1, and FLT-3. Here we report the design and characterization of new tetratricopeptide repeat modules, which bind to the C-terminus of Hsp90 with higher affinity and with greater specificity than natural Hsp90-binding co-chaperones. Thus, when these modules are introduced into the cell, they out-compete endogenous co-chaperones for binding, thereby inhibiting Hsp90 function. The effect of Hsp90 inhibition in this fashion is dramatic; HER2 levels are substantially decreased and BT474 HER2 positive breast cancer cells are killed. Our designs thus provide new tools with which to dissect the mechanism of Hsp90-mediated protein folding and also open the door to the development of an entirely new class of anticancer agents.

  18. Antimycobacterial agents from selected Mexican medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Rivero-Cruz, Isabel; Acevedo, Laura; Guerrero, José A; Martínez, Sergio; Bye, Robert; Pereda-Miranda, Rogelio; Franzblau, Scott; Timmermann, Barbara N; Mata, Rachel

    2005-09-01

    As part of the ICBG program Bioactive Agents from Dryland Biodiversity of Latin America, the present investigation was undertaken to explore the possible antimycobacterial potential of compounds derived from selected Mexican medicinal plants. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the crude extracts of Rumex hymenosepalus (Polygonaceae), Larrea divaricata (Zygophyllaceae), Phoradendron robinsonii (Loranthaceae) and Amphipteryngium adstringens (Julianiaceae) led to the isolation of several antimycobacterial compounds. Four stilbenoids, two flavan-3-ols and three anthraquinones were isolated from R. hymenosepalus. Two flavonols and nordihydroguaiaretic acid were obtained from L. divaricata. Sakuranetin was the antimycobacterial agent isolated from P. robinsonii. Two known triterpenoids and the novel natural product 3-dodecyl-1,8-dihydroxy-2-naphthoic acid were obtained from A. adstringens. In general, the isolates were identified by spectral means. The antimycobacterial activity of the secondary compounds isolated from the analysed species, as well as that of nine pure compounds previously isolated in our laboratories, was investigated; the MIC values ranged from 16 to 128 microg mL-1. Among the tested compounds, the glycolipids, sesquiterpenoids and triterpenoids showed the best antimycobacterial activity. The antimycobacterial property of the glycolipids is reported for the first time. Although the tested compounds showed moderate antimycobacterial activity, their presence in the analysed species provides the rationale for their traditional use in the treatment of tuberculosis.

  19. Transportation dynamics on networks of mobile agents.

    PubMed

    Yang, Han-Xin; Wang, Wen-Xu; Xie, Yan-Bo; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Wang, Bing-Hong

    2011-01-01

    Most existing works on transportation dynamics focus on networks of a fixed structure, but networks whose nodes are mobile have become widespread, such as cell-phone networks. We introduce a model to explore the basic physics of transportation on mobile networks. Of particular interest is the dependence of the throughput on the speed of agent movement and the communication range. Our computations reveal a hierarchical dependence for the former, while an algebraic power law is found between the throughput and the communication range with the exponent determined by the speed. We develop a physical theory based on the Fokker-Planck equation to explain these phenomena. Our findings provide insights into complex transportation dynamics arising commonly in natural and engineering systems.

  20. Social cognitive theory: an agentic perspective.

    PubMed

    Bandura, A

    2001-01-01

    The capacity to exercise control over the nature and quality of one's life is the essence of humanness. Human agency is characterized by a number of core features that operate through phenomenal and functional consciousness. These include the temporal extension of agency through intentionality and forethought, self-regulation by self-reactive influence, and self-reflectiveness about one's capabilities, quality of functioning, and the meaning and purpose of one's life pursuits. Personal agency operates within a broad network of sociostructural influences. In these agentic transactions, people are producers as well as products of social systems. Social cognitive theory distinguishes among three modes of agency: direct personal agency, proxy agency that relies on others to act on one's behest to secure desired outcomes, and collective agency exercised through socially coordinative and interdependent effort. Growing transnational embeddedness and interdependence are placing a premium on collective efficacy to exercise control over personal destinies and national life.

  1. Transportation dynamics on networks of mobile agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Han-Xin; Wang, Wen-Xu; Xie, Yan-Bo; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Wang, Bing-Hong

    2011-01-01

    Most existing works on transportation dynamics focus on networks of a fixed structure, but networks whose nodes are mobile have become widespread, such as cell-phone networks. We introduce a model to explore the basic physics of transportation on mobile networks. Of particular interest is the dependence of the throughput on the speed of agent movement and the communication range. Our computations reveal a hierarchical dependence for the former, while an algebraic power law is found between the throughput and the communication range with the exponent determined by the speed. We develop a physical theory based on the Fokker-Planck equation to explain these phenomena. Our findings provide insights into complex transportation dynamics arising commonly in natural and engineering systems.

  2. Landslides as agents of diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geertsema, Marten

    2016-04-01

    Landslides, often destructive and damaging, are also agents of change that introduce diversity to landscapes. I discuss landslide diversity at three levels: site diversity, soil diversity, and habitat diversity. There are many landslide types involving different materials and rates and styles of movement. Landscape diversity varies with different types of landslides. Landslides, at the same time depositional and erosional agents, influence sites by redistributing materials and changing microtopography. Eroded portions of landslides, with exposed parent material, revert to the initial stages of soil development and ecological succession. Landslides can also alter soil properties including, surface texture, chemistry and porosity. Landslides influence habitat diversity by creating ecosystem mosaics.

  3. Autonomous sensor manager agents (ASMA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osadciw, Lisa A.

    2004-04-01

    Autonomous sensor manager agents are presented as an algorithm to perform sensor management within a multisensor fusion network. The design of the hybrid ant system/particle swarm agents is described in detail with some insight into their performance. Although the algorithm is designed for the general sensor management problem, a simulation example involving 2 radar systems is presented. Algorithmic parameters are determined by the size of the region covered by the sensor network, the number of sensors, and the number of parameters to be selected. With straight forward modifications, this algorithm can be adapted for most sensor management problems.

  4. Biocommunication and natural genome editing

    PubMed Central

    Witzany, Guenther

    2010-01-01

    The biocommunicative approach investigates communication processes within and among cells, tissues, organs and organisms as sign-mediated interactions, and nucleotide sequences as code, i.e. language-like text, which follows in parallel three kinds of rules: combinatorial (syntactic), context-sensitive (pragmatic), and content-specific (semantic). Natural genome editing from a biocommunicative perspective is competent agent-driven generation and integration of meaningful nucleotide sequences into pre-existing genomic content arrangements and the ability to (re-)combine and (re-)regulate them according to context-dependent (i.e. adaptational) purposes of the host organism. PMID:21537469

  5. Topical hemostatic agents for dermatologic surgery.

    PubMed

    Larson, P O

    1988-06-01

    Topical hemostatic agents are very helpful in attaining capillary and small vessel hemostasis in dermatologic surgery. The commonly used topical hemostatic agents, including oxidized cellulose, absorbable gelatin, and thrombin are reviewed, along with newer agents such as microfibrillar collagen, fibrin sealants, and acrylates. Agents best suited for certain situations are recommended.

  6. 13 CFR 120.952 - Fiscal agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Fiscal agent. 120.952 Section 120... Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.952 Fiscal agent. SBA shall appoint a Fiscal Agent to assess the financial markets, minimize the cost of sales, arrange for the production...

  7. Massively parallel sequencing, a new method for detecting adventitious agents.

    PubMed

    Onions, David; Kolman, John

    2010-05-01

    There has been an upsurge of interest in developing new veterinary and human vaccines and, in turn, this has involved the development of new mammalian and insect cell substrates. Excluding adventitious agents from these cells can be problematic, particularly for cells derived from species with limited virological investigation. Massively parallel sequencing is a powerful new method for the identification of viruses and other adventitious agents, without prior knowledge of the nature of the agent. We have developed methods using random priming to detect viruses in the supernatants from cell substrates or in virus seed stocks. Using these methods we have recently discovered a new parvovirus in bovine serum. When applied to sequencing the transcriptome, massively parallel sequencing can reveal latent or silent infections. Enormous amounts of data are developed in this process usually between 100 and 400 Mbp. Consequently, sophisticated bioinformatic algorithms are required to analyse and verify virus targets.

  8. Specific sequestering agents for iron and the actinides

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, K.N.

    1983-06-01

    The transuranium actinide ions represent one unique environmental hazard associated with the waste of the nuclear power industry. A major component associated with that waste and a potential hazard is plutonium. The synthesis of metal-ion-specific complexing agents for ions such as Pu(IV) potentially represents a powerful new approach to many of the problems posed by waste treatment. This document is a progress report of a rational approach to the synthesis of such chelating agents based on the similarities of Pu(IV) and Fe(III), the structures of naturally-occurring complexing agents which are highly specific for Fe(III), and the incorporation of the same kinds of ligating groups present in the iron complexes to make octadentate complexes highly specific for plutonium. Both thermodynamic and animal test results indicate that a relatively high degree of success has already been achieved in this aim.

  9. Negative aging stereotypes and the agentic-communal dichotomy.

    PubMed

    Hale, N M; Hewitt, J

    1998-12-01

    Prior research has documented negative aging stereotypes. Our hypothesis is that these only apply when a certain dimension of traits is employed and when older persons occupy certain roles. 42 college students were asked to rate the extent to which each of several "agentic" traits, e.g., active, aggressive, independent, and "communal" traits, e.g., understanding, warm, helpful, characterized a roommate and college professor, both of whom were stated to be either 23 or 65 years of age. For the roommate (but not the professor), the young person was seen as more agentic than the older person. No differences were found on the dimension of communality. It was concluded that young college students may attribute negative behaviors to older persons but this is more likely when the negative behaviors are agentic in nature and the older person occupies certain roles such as "retired person."

  10. The social nature of natural childbirth.

    PubMed

    Mansfield, Becky

    2008-03-01

    This paper aims to develop a better understanding of what proponents of natural childbirth mean by "natural." Using a biosocial approach to birth that posits that all birth is both social and natural, the paper investigates how proponents represent the relationship between nature and society. The study asks about what kinds of nature-society relationships are expressed in proponents' representations of natural childbirth. The study examines how natural childbirth is represented by proponents in popular non-fictional English language books written for pregnant women. Claims in these books are not taken as reality, but are analyzed as ideas about nature-society relations. The central finding is that these authors simultaneously emphasize the naturalness of birth and showcase three types of social practices that they describe as being integral to natural childbirth: (1) activity during birth, (2) preparation before birth, and (3) social support, both in an individual and in a broader socio-cultural sense. At least for these authors, it is these social practices that allow natural childbirth to be natural. These findings on the social nature of natural childbirth challenge current social science scholarship, in which natural childbirth is characterized as an essentializing and nostalgic attempt to return to nature.

  11. Topical hemostatic agents in otolaryngologic surgery.

    PubMed

    Acar, Baran; Babademez, Mehmet Ali; Karabulut, Hayriye

    2010-01-01

    Topical hemostatic agents are largely used to reduce blood loss during otolaryngologic surgery. These agents play an important role in both keeping the patient's hemodynamic equilibrium and allowing for a better view of the surgical field. These agents can be classified based on their mechanism of action, and include physical or mechanical agents. Most complications of topical hemostatic agents are sustained because of the antigenic reaction of those products. This paper reviews traditional and newer topical hemostatic agents with regard to their chemical properties, their mechanisms of action, and the benefits and complications of topical agents.

  12. Agent-based models of financial markets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samanidou, E.; Zschischang, E.; Stauffer, D.; Lux, T.

    2007-03-01

    This review deals with several microscopic ('agent-based') models of financial markets which have been studied by economists and physicists over the last decade: Kim-Markowitz, Levy-Levy-Solomon, Cont-Bouchaud, Solomon-Weisbuch, Lux-Marchesi, Donangelo-Sneppen and Solomon-Levy-Huang. After an overview of simulation approaches in financial economics, we first give a summary of the Donangelo-Sneppen model of monetary exchange and compare it with related models in economics literature. Our selective review then outlines the main ingredients of some influential early models of multi-agent dynamics in financial markets (Kim-Markowitz, Levy-Levy-Solomon). As will be seen, these contributions draw their inspiration from the complex appearance of investors' interactions in real-life markets. Their main aim is to reproduce (and, thereby, provide possible explanations) for the spectacular bubbles and crashes seen in certain historical episodes, but they lack (like almost all the work before 1998 or so) a perspective in terms of the universal statistical features of financial time series. In fact, awareness of a set of such regularities (power-law tails of the distribution of returns, temporal scaling of volatility) only gradually appeared over the nineties. With the more precise description of the formerly relatively vague characteristics (e.g. moving from the notion of fat tails to the more concrete one of a power law with index around three), it became clear that financial market dynamics give rise to some kind of universal scaling law. Showing similarities with scaling laws for other systems with many interacting sub-units, an exploration of financial markets as multi-agent systems appeared to be a natural consequence. This topic has been pursued by quite a number of contributions appearing in both the physics and economics literature since the late nineties. From the wealth of different flavours of multi-agent models that have appeared up to now, we discuss the Cont

  13. Other Viruses and Viruslike Agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diseases reported under 'Virus and Virus-like Agents' in the first volume of this compendium, with the exception of Cherry rasp leaf virus and Rubus chinese seed-borne virus, should be considered oddities since there are no known type isolates available for these reported viruses. Without a po...

  14. Activity Recognition for Agent Teams

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-01

    correspond to a real team, but is rather a visual illusion caused by a coincidental configuration of agents. 50 CHAPTER 4. STABR The behavior...each frame-pair were only classified with 76% accuracy, such a method would hallucinate false action transitions at unacceptable rates). Fortunately

  15. Nucleotide cleaving agents and method

    DOEpatents

    Que, Jr., Lawrence; Hanson, Richard S.; Schnaith, Leah M. T.

    2000-01-01

    The present invention provides a unique series of nucleotide cleaving agents and a method for cleaving a nucleotide sequence, whether single-stranded or double-stranded DNA or RNA, using and a cationic metal complex having at least one polydentate ligand to cleave the nucleotide sequence phosphate backbone to yield a hydroxyl end and a phosphate end.

  16. Foodborne illness and microbial agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foodborne illnesses result from the consumption of food containing microbial agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or food contaminated by poisonous chemicals or bio-toxins. Pathogen proliferation is due to nutrient composition of foods, which are capable of supporting the growth of microorgan...

  17. An Introduction to Software Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-01

    applicable to modelling red force entities for VMSA. This paper provides an overview of software agents and represents the first step in the...ordinateur, et que la simulation en cours modélise leurs capteurs , leurs armes et leurs caractéristiques matérielles. vi DRDC Atlantic TM...34 9 Sample Applications

  18. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 4290.1620 Functions of agents... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial...

  19. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for Licensees (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Sba-Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 107.1620... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  20. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 4290.1620 Functions of agents... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial...

  1. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for Licensees (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Sba-Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 107.1620... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  2. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for Licensees (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Sba-Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 107.1620... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  3. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 4290.1620 Functions of agents... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial...

  4. SEM: A Cultural Change Agent

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Bradley; Bourke, Brian

    2015-01-01

    The authors advance the concept that institutional culture is a purposeful framework by which to view SEM's utility, particularly as a cultural change agent. Through the connection of seemingly independent functions of performance and behavior, implications emerge that deepen the understanding of the influence of culture on performance outcomes…

  5. Triggered pore-forming agents

    DOEpatents

    Bayley, H.; Walker, B.J.; Chang, C.Y.; Niblack, B.; Panchal, R.

    1998-07-07

    An inactive pore-forming agent is revealed which is activated to lytic function by a condition such as pH, light, heat, reducing potential, or metal ion concentration, or substance such as a protease, at the surface of a cell. 30 figs.

  6. Voter models with contrarian agents.

    PubMed

    Masuda, Naoki

    2013-11-01

    In the voter and many other opinion formation models, agents are assumed to behave as congregators (also called the conformists); they are attracted to the opinions of others. In this study I investigate linear extensions of the voter model with contrarian agents. An agent is either congregator or contrarian and assumes a binary opinion. I investigate three models that differ in the behavior of the contrarian toward other agents. In model 1, contrarians mimic the opinions of other contrarians and oppose (i.e., try to select the opinion opposite to) those of congregators. In model 2, contrarians mimic the opinions of congregators and oppose those of other contrarians. In model 3, contrarians oppose anybody. In all models, congregators are assumed to like anybody. I show that even a small number of contrarians prohibits the consensus in the entire population to be reached in all three models. I also obtain the equilibrium distributions using the van Kampen small-fluctuation approximation and the Fokker-Planck equation for the case of many contrarians and a single contrarian, respectively. I show that the fluctuation around the symmetric coexistence equilibrium is much larger in model 2 than in models 1 and 3 when contrarians are rare.

  7. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, G.W.; Carter, R.D.; Hand, T.E.; Powers, M.T.

    1996-05-07

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene or terpineol cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  8. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, G.W.; Carter, R.D.; Hand, T.E.; Powers, M.T.

    1997-10-21

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  9. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfurly alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, George W.; Carter, Richard D.; Hand, Thomas E.; Powers, Michael T.

    1997-10-21

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  10. Sequestering agents for the removal of actinides from waste streams

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, K.N.; White, D.J.; Xu, Jide; Mohs, T.R.

    1997-10-01

    The goal of this project is to take a biomimetic approach toward developing new separation technologies for the removal of radioactive elements from contaminated DOE sites. To achieve this objective, the authors are investigating the fundamental chemistry of naturally occurring, highly specific metal ion sequestering agents and developing them into liquid/liquid and solid supported actinide extraction agents. Nature produces sideophores (e.g., Enterobactin and Desferrioxamine B) to selectivity sequester Lewis acidic metal ions, in particular Fe(III), from its surroundings. These chelating agents typically use multiple catechols or hydroxamic acids to form polydentate ligands that chelate the metal ion forming very stable complexes. The authors are investigating and developing analogous molecules into selective chelators targeting actinide(IV) ions, which display similar properties to Fe(III). By taking advantage of differences in charge, preferred coordination number, and pH stability range, the transition from nature to actinide sequestering agents has been applied to the development of new and highly selective actinide extraction technologies. Additionally, the authors have shown that these chelating ligands are versatile ligands for chelating U(VI). In particular, they have been studying their coordination chemistry and fundamental interactions with the uranyl ion [UO{sub 2}]{sup 2+}, the dominant form of uranium found in aqueous media. With an understanding of this chemistry, and results obtained from in vivo uranium sequestration studies, it should be possible to apply these actinide(IV) extraction technologies to the development of new extraction agents for the removal of uranium from waste streams.

  11. Halide test agent replacement study

    SciTech Connect

    Banks, E.M.; Freeman, W.P.; Kovach, B.J.

    1995-02-01

    The intended phaseout of the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from commercial use required the evaluation of substitute materials for the testing for leak paths through both individual adsorbers and installed adsorbent banks. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Committee on Nuclear Air and Gas Treatment (CONAGT) is in charge of maintaining the standards and codes specifying adsorbent leak test methods for the nuclear safety related air cleaning systems. The currently published standards and codes cite the use of R-11, R-12 and R-112 for leak path test agents. All of these compounds are CFCs. There are other agencies and organizations (USDOE, USDOD and USNRC) also specifying testing for leak paths or in some cases for special life tests using the above compounds. The CONAGT has recently developed criteria for the suitability evaluation of substitute test agents. On the basis of these criteria, several compounds were evaluated for their acceptability as adsorbent bed leak and life test agents. The ASME CONAGT Test Agent Qualification Criteria. The test agent qualification is based on the following parameters: (1) Similar retention times on activated carbons at the same concentration levels as one of the following: R-11, R-12, R-112 or R-112a. (2) Similar lower detection limit sensitivity and precision in the concentration range of use as R-11, R-12, R-112 and R-112a. (3) Gives the same in-place leak test results as R-11, R-12, R-112, or R-112a. (4) Chemical and radiological stability under the use conditions. (5) Causes no degradation of the carbon and its impregnant or of the other NATS components under the use conditions. (6) Is listed in the USEPA Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) inventory for commercial use.

  12. [Natural biological risks and military biological risks].

    PubMed

    Michel, P; Attree, O; Mage, R; Tournier, J N; Quesnel-Hellmann, A

    2000-01-01

    The Iraqi biological program, the activities of sect Aum in Japan and the extensive endemicity of plague prove the existence of military, terrorist and natural biological risks. Among the agents of natural risk (viruses, bacteria.), plague is induced by modification of the ecosystem. Present since 1921 in the high plateau of Madagaskar, the disease evolves under two modes, endemic (natural) or epidemic (urban). Since the control of endemicity is impossible, the decrease of incidence will be obtained by the control of the animal reservoir. The military risk is part of the history of armed conquests. Anthrax and botulinum toxins, are the most toxic agents, banned by the Convention of London (1972). In 1995, 4 years after the end of Gulf war, UNSCOM obtained from authorities the inventory of Iraqi biological program, with details on the militarization of toxins and spores. These furtive weapons, are produced with limited technological skills, often in dual manufactures and are difficult to control.

  13. Pro-oxidant activity of dietary chemopreventive agents: an under-appreciated anti-cancer property.

    PubMed

    Azmi, Asfar S; Sarkar, Fazlul H; Hadi, S M

    2013-01-01

    " Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" was quoted by Hippocrates more than two thousand years ago and since ancient times the health benefits of different natural agents have been exploited. In modern research, the disease preventive benefits of many such natural agents, particularly dietary compounds and their derivatives, has been attributed to their well recognized activity as the regulators of redox state of the cell. Nevertheless, most of these studies have focused on their antioxidant activity. A large body of evidence indicates that a major fraction of these agents can elicit pro-oxidant (radical generating) behavior which has been linked to their anti-cancer effects. This editorial provides an overview of the under-appreciated pro-oxidant activity of natural products, with a special focus on their ability to generate reactive oxygen species in the presence of transition metal ions, and discusses their possible use as cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

  14. Laser interrogation of surface agents (LISA) for chemical agent reconnaissance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higdon, N. S.; Chyba, Thomas H.; Richter, Dale A.; Ponsardin, Patrick L.; Armstrong, Wayne T.; Lobb, C. T.; Kelly, Brian T.; Babnick, Robert D.; Sedlacek, Arthur J., III

    2002-06-01

    Laser Interrogation of Surface Agents (LISA) is a new technique which exploits Raman scattering to provide standoff detection and identification of surface-deposited chemical agents. ITT Industries, Advanced Engineering and Sciences Division is developing the LISA technology under a cost-sharing arrangement with the US Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command for incorporation on the Army's future reconnaissance vehicles. A field-engineered prototype LISA-Recon system is being designed to demonstrate on-the- move measurements of chemical contaminants. In this article, we will describe the LISA technique, data form proof-of- concept measurements, the LISA-Recon design, and some of the future realizations envisioned for military sensing applications.

  15. Onto-Agents-Enabling Intelligent Agents on the Web

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-05-01

    concept of the semantic web, but also time- consuming . There has been much research here, but I have not yet seen any public 10 business ...OntoAgents project. 1. Prof. Gio Wiederhold, PhD, Principal Investigator * (Retired) Recalled for active duty to teach the Freshman course: Business on the...Manual annotation is tedious, and often done poorly. Even within the funded DAML project fewer pages were annotated than was hoped. In eCommerce , there

  16. 2,5-diketopiperazines as neuroprotective agents.

    PubMed

    Cornacchia, C; Cacciatore, I; Baldassarre, L; Mollica, A; Feliciani, F; Pinnen, F

    2012-01-01

    2,5-diketopiperazines are the simplest cyclic peptides found in nature, commonly biosynthesized from amino acids by different organisms, and represent a promising class of biologically active natural products. Their peculiar heterocyclic structure confers high stability against the proteolysis and constitutes a structural requirement for the active intestinal absorption. Furthermore, the diketopiperazine-based motif is considered as a novel brain shuttle for the delivery of drugs with limited ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and can be proposed as an ideal candidate for the rational development of new therapeutic agents. Although these cyclic peptides have been known since the beginning of the 20th century, only recently have they attracted substantial interest with respect to the wide spectrum of their biological properties, including antitumor, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and antihyperglycemic activities. In addition to these, the most challenging function of the diketopiperazine derivatives is related with their remarkable neuroprotective and nootropic activity. The aim of the present paper is to provide an overview of the two major classes of diketopiperazines, the TRH-related and the unsaturated derivatives both characterized by a significant ability to protect against neurotoxicity in several experimental models. The neuroprotective profile of these compounds suggests that they may have a future utility in the therapy of neuronal degeneration in vivo, potentially through several different mechanisms.

  17. Agents that increase the permeability of the outer membrane.

    PubMed Central

    Vaara, M

    1992-01-01

    The outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria provides the cell with an effective permeability barrier against external noxious agents, including antibiotics, but is itself a target for antibacterial agents such as polycations and chelators. Both groups of agents weaken the molecular interactions of the lipopolysaccharide constituent of the outer membrane. Various polycations are able, at least under certain conditions, to bind to the anionic sites of lipopolysaccharide. Many of these disorganize and cross the outer membrane and render it permeable to drugs which permeate the intact membrane very poorly. These polycations include polymyxins and their derivatives, protamine, polymers of basic amino acids, compound 48/80, insect cecropins, reptilian magainins, various cationic leukocyte peptides (defensins, bactenecins, bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein, and others), aminoglycosides, and many more. However, the cationic character is not the sole determinant required for the permeabilizing activity, and therefore some of the agents are much more effective permeabilizers than others. They are useful tools in studies in which the poor permeability of the outer membrane poses problems. Some of them undoubtedly have a role as natural antibiotic substances, and they or their derivatives might have some potential as pharmaceutical agents in antibacterial therapy as well. Also, chelators (such as EDTA, nitrilotriacetic acid, and sodium hexametaphosphate), which disintegrate the outer membrane by removing Mg2+ and Ca2+, are effective and valuable permeabilizers. PMID:1406489

  18. Infectious disease agents mediate interaction in food webs and ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Selakovic, Sanja; de Ruiter, Peter C.; Heesterbeek, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Infectious agents are part of food webs and ecosystems via the relationship with their host species that, in turn, interact with both hosts and non-hosts. Through these interactions, infectious agents influence food webs in terms of structure, functioning and stability. The present literature shows a broad range of impacts of infectious agents on food webs, and by cataloguing that range, we worked towards defining the various mechanisms and their specific effects. To explore the impact, a direct approach is to study changes in food-web properties with infectious agents as separate species in the web, acting as additional nodes, with links to their host species. An indirect approach concentrates not on adding new nodes and links, but on the ways that infectious agents affect the existing links across host and non-host nodes, by influencing the ‘quality’ of consumer–resource interaction as it depends on the epidemiological state host involved. Both approaches are natural from an ecological point of view, but the indirect approach may connect more straightforwardly to commonly used tools in infectious disease dynamics. PMID:24403336

  19. Biomorphic Multi-Agent Architecture for Persistent Computing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lodding, Kenneth N.; Brewster, Paul

    2009-01-01

    A multi-agent software/hardware architecture, inspired by the multicellular nature of living organisms, has been proposed as the basis of design of a robust, reliable, persistent computing system. Just as a multicellular organism can adapt to changing environmental conditions and can survive despite the failure of individual cells, a multi-agent computing system, as envisioned, could adapt to changing hardware, software, and environmental conditions. In particular, the computing system could continue to function (perhaps at a reduced but still reasonable level of performance) if one or more component( s) of the system were to fail. One of the defining characteristics of a multicellular organism is unity of purpose. In biology, the purpose is survival of the organism. The purpose of the proposed multi-agent architecture is to provide a persistent computing environment in harsh conditions in which repair is difficult or impossible. A multi-agent, organism-like computing system would be a single entity built from agents or cells. Each agent or cell would be a discrete hardware processing unit that would include a data processor with local memory, an internal clock, and a suite of communication equipment capable of both local line-of-sight communications and global broadcast communications. Some cells, denoted specialist cells, could contain such additional hardware as sensors and emitters. Each cell would be independent in the sense that there would be no global clock, no global (shared) memory, no pre-assigned cell identifiers, no pre-defined network topology, and no centralized brain or control structure. Like each cell in a living organism, each agent or cell of the computing system would contain a full description of the system encoded as genes, but in this case, the genes would be components of a software genome.

  20. The New Agent: A Qualitative Study to Strategically Adapt New Agent Professional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Lauri M.; Hadley, Gregg

    2014-01-01

    The qualitative study reported here assessed the needs of agents related to new agent professional development to improve the current model. Agents who participated in new agent professional development within the last 5 years were selected to participate in focus groups to determine concerns and continued needs. Agents enjoyed networking and…

  1. Does an Agent Matter? The Effects of Animated Pedagogical Agents on Multimedia Environments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craig, Scotty D.; Gholson, Barry

    Data are presented on the effects of Animated Agents on multimedia learning environments with specific concerns of split attention and modality effects. The study was a 3 (agent properties: agent only, agent with gestures, no agent) x 3 (picture features: static picture, sudden onset, animation) factorial design with outcome measures of mental…

  2. Identification of novel and improved antimitotic agents derived from noscapine.

    PubMed

    Anderson, James T; Ting, Anthony E; Boozer, Sherry; Brunden, Kurt R; Crumrine, Chris; Danzig, Joel; Dent, Tom; Faga, Laurel; Harrington, John J; Hodnick, William F; Murphy, Steven M; Pawlowski, Gary; Perry, Robert; Raber, Amy; Rundlett, Stephen E; Stricker-Krongrad, Alain; Wang, Jianmin; Bennani, Youssef L

    2005-11-17

    Analogues of the natural product noscapine were synthesized and their potential as antitumor agents evaluated. The discovery of a novel regioselective O-demethylation facilitated the synthesis of the potent aniline 6, which arrests mammalian cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle at 0.1 microM and also affects tubulin polymerization. Aniline 6 is orally bioavailable and is 250-fold more potent than noscapine in reducing cell proliferation in rapidly dividing cells.

  3. Medicinal significance of naturally occurring cyclotetrapeptides.

    PubMed

    Abdalla, Muna Ali

    2016-10-01

    Bioactive natural products are serendipitous drug candidates, which stimulate synthetic approaches for improving and supporting drug discovery and development. Therefore, the search for bioactive metabolites from different natural sources continues to play an important role in fashioning new medicinal agents. Several cyclic peptides were produced by organisms, such as β-defensins, gramicidin S, and tyrocidine A, and exhibited a wide range of bioactivities, such as antiviral activity against HIV-1, influenza A viruses, or antibacterial activity. Cyclic tetrapeptides are a class of natural products that were found to have a broad range of biological activities, promising pharmacokinetic properties, as well as interesting conformational dynamics and ability of slow inter-conversion to several different structures. Cyclooligopeptides, particularly medium ring-sized peptides, were obtained from marine microorganisms and exhibited a wide range of pharmacological properties, including antimicrobial and anti-dinoflagellate activities, cytotoxicity, and inhibitory activity against enzyme sortase B. Most of the naturally occurring cyclotetrapeptides are obtained from fungi. Some natural cyclic tetrapeptides were found to inhibit histone deacetylase (HDAC), which regulate the expression of genes. These compounds are very useful as cancer therapeutics. Various analogues of the natural cyclotetrapeptides were successfully synthesized to find novel lead compounds for pharmacological and biotechnological applications. Therefore, in this review, previously reported novel natural cyclotetrapeptides are briefly discussed, along with their important biological activities as drug candidates, together with their promising therapeutic properties. Moreover, their future perspective in drug discovery as potential therapeutic agents will be determined.

  4. Investigation of Vietnamese plants for potential anticancer agents

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, Lynette Bueno; Still, Patrick C.; Naman, C. Benjamin; Ren, Yulin; Pan, Li; Chai, Hee-Byung; Carcache de Blanco, Esperanza J.; Ninh, Tran Ngoc; Van Thanh, Bui; Swanson, Steven M.; Soejarto, Djaja D.

    2014-01-01

    Higher plants continue to afford humankind with many new drugs, for a variety of disease types. In this review, recent phytochemical and biological progress is presented for part of a collaborative multi-institutional project directed towards the discovery of new antitumor agents. The specific focus is on bioactive natural products isolated and characterized structurally from tropical plants collected in Vietnam. The plant collection, identification, and processing steps are described, and the natural products isolated from these species are summarized with their biological activities. PMID:25395897

  5. Neuroprotective "agents" in surgery. Secret "agent" man, or common "agent" machine?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andrews, R. J.

    1999-01-01

    The search for clinically-effective neuroprotective agents has received enormous support in recent years--an estimated $200 million by pharmaceutical companies on clinical trials for traumatic brain injury alone. At the same time, the pathophysiology of brain injury has proved increasingly complex, rendering the likelihood of a single agent "magic bullet" even more remote. On the other hand, great progress continues with technology that makes surgery less invasive and less risky. One example is the application of endovascular techniques to treat coronary artery stenosis, where both the invasiveness of sternotomy and the significant neurological complication rate (due to microemboli showering the cerebral vasculature) can be eliminated. In this paper we review aspects of intraoperative neuroprotection both present and future. Explanations for the slow progress on pharmacologic neuroprotection during surgery are presented. Examples of technical advances that have had great impact on neuroprotection during surgery are given both from coronary artery stenosis surgery and from surgery for Parkinson's disease. To date, the progress in neuroprotection resulting from such technical advances is an order of magnitude greater than that resulting from pharmacologic agents used during surgery. The progress over the last 20 years in guidance during surgery (CT and MRI image-guidance) and in surgical access (endoscopic and endovascular techniques) will soon be complemented by advances in our ability to evaluate biological tissue intraoperatively in real-time. As an example of such technology, the NASA Smart Probe project is considered. In the long run (i.e., in 10 years or more), pharmacologic "agents" aimed at the complex pathophysiology of nervous system injury in man will be the key to true intraoperative neuroprotection. In the near term, however, it is more likely that mundane "agents" based on computers, microsensors, and microeffectors will be the major impetus to improved

  6. Surface decontamination for blister agents Lewisite, sulfur mustard and agent yellow, a Lewisite and sulfur mustard mixture.

    PubMed

    Stone, Harry; See, David; Smiley, Autumn; Ellingson, Anthony; Schimmoeller, Jessica; Oudejans, Lukas

    2016-08-15

    Sulfur mustard (HD) and Lewisite (L) are blister agents that have a high potential for terrorist use; Agent Yellow (HL) is the eutectic mixture of HD and L. Bench-scale testing was used to determine the residual amount of these chemical warfare agents remaining on three building materials (wood, metal and glass) after application of various decontaminants (household bleach, full strength and dilute; hydrogen peroxide 3% solution; and EasyDECON(®) DF200). All decontaminants reduced the amount of L recovered from coupons. Application of dilute bleach showed little or no difference compared to natural attenuation in the amount of HD recovered from coupons. Full-strength bleach was the most effective of four decontaminants at reducing the amount of HD from coupons. Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) and DF200 did decrease the amount of HD recovered from coupons more than natural attenuation (except DF200 against HD on metal), but substantial amounts of HD remained on some materials. Toxic HD by-products were generated by hydrogen peroxide treatment. The effectiveness of decontaminants was found to depend on agent, material, and decontaminant. Increased decontaminant reaction time (60min rather than 30min) did not significantly increase effectiveness.

  7. Needs, Pains, and Motivations in Autonomous Agents.

    PubMed

    Starzyk, Janusz A; Graham, James; Puzio, Leszek

    2016-08-17

    This paper presents the development of a motivated learning (ML) agent with symbolic I/O. Our earlier work on the ML agent was enhanced, giving it autonomy for interaction with other agents. Specifically, we equipped the agent with drives and pains that establish its motivations to learn how to respond to desired and undesired events and create related abstract goals. The purpose of this paper is to explore the autonomous development of motivations and memory in agents within a simulated environment. The ML agent has been implemented in a virtual environment created within the NeoAxis game engine. Additionally, to illustrate the benefits of an ML-based agent, we compared the performance of our algorithm against various reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms in a dynamic test scenario, and demonstrated that our ML agent learns better than any of the tested RL agents.

  8. CATS-based Agents That Err

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callantine, Todd J.

    2002-01-01

    This report describes preliminary research on intelligent agents that make errors. Such agents are crucial to the development of novel agent-based techniques for assessing system safety. The agents extend an agent architecture derived from the Crew Activity Tracking System that has been used as the basis for air traffic controller agents. The report first reviews several error taxonomies. Next, it presents an overview of the air traffic controller agents, then details several mechanisms for causing the agents to err in realistic ways. The report presents a performance assessment of the error-generating agents, and identifies directions for further research. The research was supported by the System-Wide Accident Prevention element of the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Program.

  9. Chaotic neurodynamics for autonomous agents.

    PubMed

    Harter, Derek; Kozma, Robert

    2005-05-01

    Mesoscopic level neurodynamics study the collective dynamical behavior of neural populations. Such models are becoming increasingly important in understanding large-scale brain processes. Brains exhibit aperiodic oscillations with a much more rich dynamical behavior than fixed-point and limit-cycle approximation allow. Here we present a discretized model inspired by Freeman's K-set mesoscopic level population model. We show that this version is capable of replicating the important principles of aperiodic/chaotic neurodynamics while being fast enough for use in real-time autonomous agent applications. This simplification of the K model provides many advantages not only in terms of efficiency but in simplicity and its ability to be analyzed in terms of its dynamical properties. We study the discrete version using a multilayer, highly recurrent model of the neural architecture of perceptual brain areas. We use this architecture to develop example action selection mechanisms in an autonomous agent.

  10. Bacteriocins as Potential Anticancer Agents

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Sumanpreet; Kaur, Sukhraj

    2015-01-01

    Cancer remains one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide, despite advances in its treatment and detection. The conventional chemotherapeutic agents used for the treatment of cancer have non-specific toxicity toward normal body cells that cause various side effects. Secondly, cancer cells are known to develop chemotherapy resistance in due course of treatment. Thus, the demand for novel anti-cancer agents is increasing day by day. Some of the experimental studies have reported the therapeutic potential of bacteriocins against various types of cancer cell lines. Bacteriocins are ribosomally-synthesized cationic peptides secreted by almost all groups of bacteria. Some bacteriocins have shown selective cytotoxicity toward cancer cells as compared to normal cells. This makes them promising candidates for further investigation and clinical trials. In this review article, we present the overview of the various cancer cell-specific cytotoxic bacteriocins, their mode of action and efficacies. PMID:26617524

  11. Mechanisms of contrast agent destruction.

    PubMed

    Chomas, J E; Dayton, P; Allen, J; Morgan, K; Ferrara, K W

    2001-01-01

    Various applications of contrast-assisted ultrasound, including blood vessel detection, perfusion estimation, and drug delivery, require controlled destruction of contrast agent microbubbles. The lifetime of a bubble depends on properties of the bubble shell, the gas core, and the acoustic waveform impinging on the bubble. Three mechanisms of microbubble destruction are considered: fragmentation, acoustically driven diffusion, and static diffusion. Fragmentation is responsible for rapid destruction of contrast agents on a time scale of microseconds. The primary characteristics of fragmentation are a very large expansion and subsequent contraction, resulting in instability of the bubble. Optical studies using a novel pulsed-laser optical system show the expansion and contraction of ultrasound contrast agent microbubbles with the ratio of maximum diameter to minimum diameter greater than 10. Fragmentation is dependent on the transmission pressure, occurring in over 55% of bubbles insonified with a peak negative transmission pressure of 2.4 MPa and in less than 10% of bubbles insonified with a peak negative transmission pressure of 0.8 MPa. The echo received from a bubble decorrelates significantly within two pulses when the bubble is fragmented, creating an opportunity for rapid detection of bubbles via a decorrelation-based analysis. Preliminary findings with a mouse tumor model verify the occurrence of fragmentation in vivo. A much slower mechanism of bubble destruction is diffusion, which is driven by both a concentration gradient between the concentration of gas in the bubble compared with the concentration of gas in the liquid, as well as convective effects of motion of the gas-liquid interface. The rate of diffusion increases during insonation, because of acoustically driven diffusion, producing changes in diameter on the time scale of the acoustic pulse length, thus, on the order of microseconds. Gas bubbles diffuse while they are not being insonified, termed

  12. Safety Pharmacology of Anticancer Agents.

    PubMed

    Martin, Pauline L

    2015-01-01

    The safety pharmacology testing for anticancer agents has historically differed for small molecule pharmaceutical drugs versus large-molecule biopharmaceuticals. For pharmaceutical drugs, dedicated safety pharmacology studies have been conducted according to the ICH M3 (R2), ICH 7A, and ICH S7B guidance documents. For biopharmaceuticals, safety pharmacology endpoints have been incorporated into the repeated-dose toxicology studies according to ICHS6 (R1). However, the introduction of the ICH S9 guidance document for the nonclinical evaluation for anticancer pharmaceuticals has allowed for a streamlined approach for both types of molecules to facilitate access of new potential therapeutics to cancer patients and to reduce the number of animal studies. Examples of the testing strategies that have previously been employed for some representative anticancer agents are provided, and their predictivity to adverse events noted in the clinic is discussed.

  13. Geometry of behavioral spaces: A computational approach to analysis and understanding of agent based models and agent behaviors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cenek, Martin; Dahl, Spencer K.

    2016-11-01

    Systems with non-linear dynamics frequently exhibit emergent system behavior, which is important to find and specify rigorously to understand the nature of the modeled phenomena. Through this analysis, it is possible to characterize phenomena such as how systems assemble or dissipate and what behaviors lead to specific final system configurations. Agent Based Modeling (ABM) is one of the modeling techniques used to study the interaction dynamics between a system's agents and its environment. Although the methodology of ABM construction is well understood and practiced, there are no computational, statistically rigorous, comprehensive tools to evaluate an ABM's execution. Often, a human has to observe an ABM's execution in order to analyze how the ABM functions, identify the emergent processes in the agent's behavior, or study a parameter's effect on the system-wide behavior. This paper introduces a new statistically based framework to automatically analyze agents' behavior, identify common system-wide patterns, and record the probability of agents changing their behavior from one pattern of behavior to another. We use network based techniques to analyze the landscape of common behaviors in an ABM's execution. Finally, we test the proposed framework with a series of experiments featuring increasingly emergent behavior. The proposed framework will allow computational comparison of ABM executions, exploration of a model's parameter configuration space, and identification of the behavioral building blocks in a model's dynamics.

  14. Arthropods: Vectors of Disease Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-07-01

    andersoni 0-fever Coxiella burnetti Dermacentor andersoni, Rhipicephalus san guineus Rocky Mountain spotted fever Rickettsia rickettsii Dermacentor...andersoni, D variabilis Rickettsial pox (mite-borne) Rickettsia akari Liponyssoides san guineus Relapsing fever Borre/ja turicatae 8 hermsi4 B parkeri...typhus Rickettsia typhi Xenopsylla cheopis, others ELB agent R 4/phi-like Ctenocephalides fe/is Louse-borne Epidemic typhus Rickettsia prowazekii

  15. Antisense Treatments for Biothreat Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-08-01

    oligomers (ASOs) represent a promising technology to treat viral and bacterial infections, and have already been shown to be successful against a...viral and bacterial agents have a history of state- sponsored ’weaponization’, including Marburg, Ebola, Junin, Machupo, yellow fever viruses and...14. ABSTRACT Antisense oligomers (ASOs) represent a promising technology to treat viral and bacterial infections, and have already been shown to be

  16. Multi-agent autonomous system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fink, Wolfgang (Inventor); Dohm, James (Inventor); Tarbell, Mark A. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A multi-agent autonomous system for exploration of hazardous or inaccessible locations. The multi-agent autonomous system includes simple surface-based agents or craft controlled by an airborne tracking and command system. The airborne tracking and command system includes an instrument suite used to image an operational area and any craft deployed within the operational area. The image data is used to identify the craft, targets for exploration, and obstacles in the operational area. The tracking and command system determines paths for the surface-based craft using the identified targets and obstacles and commands the craft using simple movement commands to move through the operational area to the targets while avoiding the obstacles. Each craft includes its own instrument suite to collect information about the operational area that is transmitted back to the tracking and command system. The tracking and command system may be further coupled to a satellite system to provide additional image information about the operational area and provide operational and location commands to the tracking and command system.

  17. New agents in HSC mobilization.

    PubMed

    Domingues, Mélanie J; Nilsson, Susan K; Cao, Benjamin

    2017-02-01

    Mobilized peripheral blood (PB) is the most common source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) for autologous transplantation. Granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is the most commonly used mobilization agent, yet despite its widespread use, a considerable number of patients still fail to mobilize. Recently, a greater understanding of the interactions that regulate HSC homeostasis in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment has enabled the development of new molecules that mobilize HSC through specific inhibition, modulation or perturbation of these interactions. AMD3100 (plerixafor), a small molecule that selectively inhibits the chemokine receptor CXCR4 is approved for mobilization in combination with G-CSF in patients with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Nevertheless, identifying mobilization strategies that not only enhance HSC number, but are rapid and generate an optimal "mobilized product" for improved transplant outcomes remains an area of clinical importance. In recent times, new agents based on recombinant proteins, peptides and small molecules have been identified as potential candidates for therapeutic HSC mobilization. In this review, we describe the most recent developments in HSC mobilization agents and their potential impact in HSC transplantation.

  18. Expressing Quality of Service in Agent Communication

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-06-01

    many criteria within a multi - agent system . It can be used to express timing capabilties of an agent, or the accuracy of a response that an agent can...upon a model of a real-time multi - agent system (RTMAS) that we have developed [3]. The model is based on the assumption that agents may be able to...Providence, RI, July 1997. [3] L.C. DiPippo, V. F.-Wolfe, L. Nair, E. Hodys and O. Uvarov. A Real-Time Multi - Agent System Architecture for E- Commerce

  19. Agent planning in AgScala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tošić, Saša; Mitrović, Dejan; Ivanović, Mirjana

    2013-10-01

    Agent-oriented programming languages are designed to simplify the development of software agents, especially those that exhibit complex, intelligent behavior. This paper presents recent improvements of AgScala, an agent-oriented programming language based on Scala. AgScala includes declarative constructs for managing beliefs, actions and goals of intelligent agents. Combined with object-oriented and functional programming paradigms offered by Scala, it aims to be an efficient framework for developing both purely reactive, and more complex, deliberate agents. Instead of the Prolog back-end used initially, the new version of AgScala relies on Agent Planning Package, a more advanced system for automated planning and reasoning.

  20. Natural Areas, Regions, and Two Centuries of Environmental Change on the Great Plains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wishart, David J.

    2006-01-01

    A careful reading of recent issues of the "Natural Areas Journal," the publication of the Natural Areas Association, will leave you with the conclusion that humans are not a part of natural areas. When humans do appear, it is either as disturbing agents, disrupting the naturalness through, for example, the introduction of exotic plants…