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Journal of the Royal Society, Interface

Liam V Brown, Eamonn A Gaffney, Jonathan Wagg, Mark C Coles
Tumour immunotherapy is dependent upon activation and expansion of tumour-targetting immune cells, known as cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs). Cancer vaccines developed in the past have had limited success and the mechanisms resulting in failure are not well characterized. To elucidate these mechanisms, we developed a human-parametrized, in silico , agent-based model of vaccination-driven CTL activation within a clinical short-peptide vaccination context. The simulations predict a sharp transition in the probability of CTL activation, which occurs with variation in the separation rate (or off-rate) of tumour-specific immune response-inducing peptides (cognate antigen) from the major histocompatibility class I (MHC-I) receptors of dendritic cells (DCs) originally at the vaccination site...
March 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Keigo Nakamura, Tetsuya Hisanaga, Koichi Fujimoto, Keiji Nakajima, Hirofumi Wada
The female sex organ of the liverwort ( Marchantia polymorpha ) has a characteristic parasol-like form highly suitable for collecting water droplets containing sperm for fertilization. Motivated by this observation and using three-dimensional printing techniques, we develop a parasol-like rigid object that can grab, transport and release water droplets of a maximum size of about 1 cm. By combining experiments and scaling theory, we quantify the object's fundamental wetting and fluid dynamical properties. We construct a stability phase diagram and suggest that it is largely insensitive to properties of liquids such as surface tension and viscosity...
March 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Michael A Irvine, Bernhard P Konrad, Warren Michelow, Robert Balshaw, Mark Gilbert, Daniel Coombs
Increasing HIV testing rates among high-risk groups should lead to increased numbers of cases being detected. Coupled with effective treatment and behavioural change among individuals with detected infection, increased testing should also reduce onward incidence of HIV in the population. However, it can be difficult to predict the strengths of these effects and thus the overall impact of testing. We construct a mathematical model of an ongoing HIV epidemic in a population of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men...
March 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Stephen Smith, Neil Dalchau
Synthesizing a genetic network which generates stable Turing patterns is one of the great challenges of synthetic biology, but a significant obstacle is the disconnect between the mathematical theory and the biological reality. Current mathematical understanding of patterning is typically restricted to systems of two or three chemical species, for which equations are tractable. However, when models seek to combine descriptions of intercellular signal diffusion and intracellular biochemistry, plausible genetic networks can consist of dozens of interacting species...
March 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Leslie Dutton
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Ming Xiao, Wei Chen, Weiyao Li, Jiuzhou Zhao, You-Lee Hong, Yusuke Nishiyama, Toshikazu Miyoshi, Matthew D Shawkey, Ali Dhinojwala
Eumelanin is one of the most ubiquitous pigments in living organisms and plays an important role in coloration and UV protection. Because eumelanin is highly cross-linked and insoluble in solvents, the chemical structure is still not completely known. In this study, we used atomic force microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to compare intact eumelanosomes (pigment granules mostly made of eumelanin) from four phylogentically distant species: cuttlefish ( Sepia officinalis ) inks, black fish crow ( Corvus ossifragus ) feathers, iridescent wild turkey ( Melleagris gallopavo ) feathers and black human hair...
March 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Eric S Cooper, Molly A Mosher, Carolyn M Cross, Dwight L Whitaker
Fruits of Ruellia ciliatiflora (Acanthaceae) explosively launch small (2.5 mm diameter × 0.46 mm thick), disc-shaped seeds at velocities over 15 m s-1 , reaching distances of up to 7 m. Through high-speed video analysis, we observe that seeds fly with extraordinary backspin of up to 1660 Hz. By modelling the seeds as spinning discs, we show that flying with backspin is stable against gyroscopic precession. This stable backspin orientation minimizes the frontal area during flight, decreasing drag force on the seeds and thus increasing dispersal distance...
March 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Jimin Fu, Hua Zhang, Zhenbin Guo, Dan-Qing Feng, Vengatesen Thiyagarajan, Haimin Yao
Biofouling refers to the unfavourable attachment and accumulation of marine sessile organisms (e.g. barnacles, mussels and tubeworms) on the solid surfaces immerged in ocean. The enormous economic loss caused by biofouling in combination with the severe environmental impacts induced by the current antifouling approaches entails the development of novel antifouling strategies with least environmental impact. Inspired by the superior antifouling performance of the leaves of mangrove tree Sonneratia apetala , here we propose to combat biofouling by using a surface with microscopic ridge-like morphology...
March 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Yang Guo, Zheng Chang, Hao-Yuan Guo, Wei Fang, Qunyang Li, Hong-Ping Zhao, Xi-Qiao Feng, Huajian Gao
It is well known that capture silk, the main sticky component of the orb web of a spider, plays an important role in the spider's ability to capture prey via adhesion. However, the detailed mechanism with which the spider achieves its unparalleled high-adhesion performance remains elusive. In this work, we combine experiments and theoretical analysis to investigate the adhesion mechanisms of spider silk. In addition to the widely recognized adhesion effect of the sticky glue, we reveal a synergistic enhancement mechanism due to the elasticity of silk fibres...
March 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Akhilesh Kumar Shakya, Kutty Selva Nandakumar
Recently, smart biocatalysts, where enzymes are conjugated to stimuli-responsive (smart) polymers, have gained significant attention. Based on the presence or absence of external stimuli, the polymer attached to the enzyme changes its conformation to protect the enzyme from the external environment and regulate the enzyme activity, thus acting as a molecular switch. Owing to this behaviour, smart biocatalysts can be separated easily from a reaction mixture and re-used several times. Several such smart polymer-based biocatalysts have been developed for industrial and biomedical applications...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Sam Sinai, Jason Olejarz, Iulia A Neagu, Martin A Nowak
Compartments are ubiquitous throughout biology, and they have very likely played a crucial role at the origin of life. Here we assume that a protocell, which is a compartment enclosing functional components, requires N such components in order to be evolvable. We calculate the timescale in which a minimal evolvable protocell is produced. We show that when protocells fuse and share information, the timescales polynomially in N By contrast, in the absence of fusion, the worst-case scenario is exponential in N We discuss the implications of this result for the origin of life and other biological processes...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Daniel B Reeves, Amalia S Magaret, Alex L Greninger, Christine Johnston, Joshua T Schiffer
Humans can be infected sequentially by different strains of the same virus. Estimating the prevalence of so-called 'superinfection' for a particular pathogen is vital because superinfection implies a failure of immunologic memory against a given virus despite past exposure, which may signal challenges for future vaccine development. Increasingly, viral deep sequencing and phylogenetic inference can discriminate distinct strains within a host. Yet, a population-level study may misrepresent the true prevalence of superinfection for several reasons...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Cameron A Smith, Christian A Yates
Many biological and physical systems exhibit behaviour at multiple spatial, temporal or population scales. Multiscale processes provide challenges when they are to be simulated using numerical techniques. While coarser methods such as partial differential equations are typically fast to simulate, they lack the individual-level detail that may be required in regions of low concentration or small spatial scale. However, to simulate at such an individual level throughout a domain and in regions where concentrations are high can be computationally expensive...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Eric P Vejerano, Linsey C Marr
The detailed physico-chemical characteristics of respiratory droplets in ambient air, where they are subject to evaporation, are poorly understood. Changes in the concentration and phase of major components in a droplet-salt (NaCl), protein (mucin) and surfactant (dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine)-may affect the viability of any pathogens contained within it and thus may affect the efficiency of transmission of infectious disease by droplets and aerosols. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of relative humidity (RH) on the physico-chemical characteristics of evaporating droplets of model respiratory fluids...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Sarah Kariko, Jaakko V I Timonen, James C Weaver, Dvir Gur, Carolyn Marks, Leslie Leiserowitz, Mathias Kolle, Ling Li
This study investigates the structural basis for the red, silver and black coloration of the theridiid spider, Phoroncidia rubroargentea (Berland, 1913) from Madagascar. Specimens of this species can retain their colour after storage in ethanol for decades, whereas most other brightly pigmented spider specimens fade under identical preservation conditions. Using correlative optical, structural and chemical analysis, we identify the colour-generating structural elements and characterize their optical properties...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Benjamin R Freedman, Ashley B Rodriguez, Cody D Hillin, Stephanie N Weiss, Biao Han, Lin Han, Louis J Soslowsky
Tendon experiences a variety of multiscale changes to its extracellular matrix during mechanical loading at the fascicle, fibre and fibril levels. For example, tensile loading of tendon increases its stiffness, with organization of collagen fibres, and increases cell strain in the direction of loading. Although applied macroscale strains correlate to cell and nuclear strains in uninjured tendon, the multiscale response during tendon healing remains unknown and may affect cell mechanosensing and response. Therefore, this study evaluated multiscale structure-function mechanisms in response to quasi-static tensile loading in uninjured and healing tendons...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Christoph Riedl, Johannes Bjelland, Geoffrey Canright, Asif Iqbal, Kenth Engø-Monsen, Taimur Qureshi, Pål Roe Sundsøy, David Lazer
Most models of product adoption predict S-shaped adoption curves. Here we report results from two country-scale experiments in which we find linear adoption curves. We show evidence that the observed linear pattern is the result of active information-seeking behaviour: individuals actively pulling information from several central sources facilitated by modern Internet searches. Thus, a constant baseline rate of interest sustains product diffusion, resulting in a linear diffusion process instead of the S-shaped curve of adoption predicted by many diffusion models...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
T M Puvirajesinghe, Z L Zhi, R V Craster, S Guenneau
Graphene oxide (GO) is increasingly used for controlling mass diffusion in hydrogel-based drug delivery applications. On the macro-scale, the density of GO in the hydrogel is a critical parameter for modulating drug release. Here, we investigate the diffusion of a peptide drug through a network of GO membranes and GO-embedded hydrogels, modelled as porous matrices resembling both laminated and 'house of cards' structures. Our experiments use a therapeutic peptide and show a tunable nonlinear dependence of the peptide concentration upon time...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Etheresia Pretorius, Martin J Page, Lisa Hendricks, Nondumiso B Nkosi, Sven R Benson, Douglas B Kell
In recent work, we discovered that the presence of highly substoichiometric amounts (10 -8 molar ratio) of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Gram-negative bacteria caused fibrinogen clotting to lead to the formation of an amyloid form of fibrin. We here show that the broadly equivalent lipoteichoic acids (LTAs) from two species of Gram-positive bacteria have similarly (if not more) potent effects. Using thioflavin T fluorescence to detect amyloid as before, the addition of low concentrations of free ferric ion is found to have similar effects...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Raphael Hornung, Alexander Grünberger, Christoph Westerwalbesloh, Dietrich Kohlheyer, Gerhard Gompper, Jens Elgeti
Nutrient gradients and limitations play a pivotal role in the life of all microbes, both in their natural habitat as well as in artificial, microfluidic systems. Spatial concentration gradients of nutrients in densely packed cell configurations may locally affect the bacterial growth leading to heterogeneous micropopulations. A detailed understanding and quantitative modelling of cellular behaviour under nutrient limitations is thus highly desirable. We use microfluidic cultivations to investigate growth and microbial behaviour of the model organism Corynebacterium glutamicum under well-controlled conditions...
February 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
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