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Journal of the Royal Society, Interface

H Rajabi, M Jafarpour, A Darvizeh, J-H Dirks, S N Gorb
Insect cuticle is a biological composite with a high degree of complexity in terms of both architecture and material composition. Given the complex morphology of many insect body parts, finite-element (FE) models play an important role in the analysis and interpretation of biomechanical measurements, taken by either macroscopic or nanoscopic techniques. Many previous studies show that the interpretation of nanoindentation measurements of this layered composite material is very challenging. To develop accurate FE models, it is of particular interest to understand more about the variations in the stiffness through the thickness of the cuticle...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
P J Bishop, C J Clemente, R E Weems, D F Graham, L P Lamas, J R Hutchinson, J Rubenson, R S Wilson, S A Hocknull, R S Barrett, D G Lloyd
How extinct, non-avian theropod dinosaurs locomoted is a subject of considerable interest, as is the manner in which it evolved on the line leading to birds. Fossil footprints provide the most direct evidence for answering these questions. In this study, step width-the mediolateral (transverse) distance between successive footfalls-was investigated with respect to speed (stride length) in non-avian theropod trackways of Late Triassic age. Comparable kinematic data were also collected for humans and 11 species of ground-dwelling birds...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Francisco José Serrano, Luis María Chiappe
Several flight modes are thought to have evolved during the early evolution of birds. Here, we use a combination of computational modelling and morphofunctional analyses to infer the flight properties of the raven-sized, Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis chaoyangensis-a likely candidate to have evolved soaring capabilities. Specifically, drawing information from (i) mechanical inferences of the deltopectoral crest of the humerus, (ii) wing shape (i.e. aspect ratio), (iii) estimations of power margin (i.e. difference between power required for flight and available power from muscles), (iv) gliding behaviour (i...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Sybille Dühring, Jan Ewald, Sebastian Germerodt, Christoph Kaleta, Thomas Dandekar, Stefan Schuster
The release of fungal cells following macrophage phagocytosis, called non-lytic expulsion, is reported for several fungal pathogens. On one hand, non-lytic expulsion may benefit the fungus in escaping the microbicidal environment of the phagosome. On the other hand, the macrophage could profit in terms of avoiding its own lysis and being able to undergo proliferation. To analyse the causes of non-lytic expulsion and the relevance of macrophage proliferation in the macrophage-Candida albicans interaction, we employ Evolutionary Game Theory and dynamic optimization in a sequential manner...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Rory Gibb, Akiko Shoji, Annette L Fayet, Chris M Perrins, Tim Guilford, Robin Freeman
Global wind patterns affect flight strategies in many birds, including pelagic seabirds, many of which use wind-powered soaring to reduce energy costs during at-sea foraging trips and migration. Such long-distance movement patterns are underpinned by local interactions between wind conditions and flight behaviour, but these fine-scale relationships are far less well understood. Here we show that remotely sensed ocean wind speed and direction are highly significant predictors of soaring behaviour in a migratory pelagic seabird, the Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus)...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Piyusha S Gade, Keewon Lee, Blaise N Pfaff, Yadong Wang, Anne M Robertson
A fundamental mechanism of in situ tissue regeneration from biodegradable synthetic acellular vascular grafts is the effective interplay between graft degradation, erosion and the production of extracellular matrix. In order to understand this crucial process of graft erosion and degradation, we conducted an in vitro investigation of grafts (n = 4 at days 1, 4, 7, 10 each) exposed to enzymatic degradation. Herein, we provide constitutive relationships for mass loss and mechanical properties based on much-needed experimental data...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Coco van Boxtel, Johan H van Heerden, Niclas Nordholt, Phillipp Schmidt, Frank J Bruggeman
Natural selection has shaped the strategies for survival and growth of microorganisms. The success of microorganisms depends not only on slow evolutionary tuning but also on the ability to adapt to unpredictable changes in their environment. In principle, adaptive strategies range from purely deterministic mechanisms to those that exploit the randomness intrinsic to many cellular and molecular processes. Depending on the environment and selective pressures, particular strategies can lie somewhere along this continuum...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
S E Ahnert
The map between genotype and phenotype is fundamental to biology. Biological information is stored and passed on in the form of genotypes, and expressed in the form of phenotypes. A growing body of literature has examined a wide range of genotype-phenotype (GP) maps and has established a number of properties that appear to be shared by many GP maps. These properties are 'structural' in the sense that they are properties of the distribution of phenotypes across the point-mutation network of genotypes. They include: a redundancy of genotypes, meaning that many genotypes map to the same phenotypes, a highly non-uniform distribution of the number of genotypes per phenotype, a high robustness of phenotypes and the ability to reach a large number of new phenotypes within a small number of mutational steps...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Tobias S Brett, John M Drake, Pejman Rohani
In spite of medical breakthroughs, the emergence of pathogens continues to pose threats to both human and animal populations. We present candidate approaches for anticipating disease emergence prior to large-scale outbreaks. Through use of ideas from the theories of dynamical systems and stochastic processes we develop approaches which are not specific to a particular disease system or model, but instead have general applicability. The indicators of disease emergence detailed in this paper can be classified into two parallel approaches: a set of early-warning signals based around the theory of critical slowing down and a likelihood-based approach...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Pan Liu, Bo Cheng
Flying animals ranging in size from fruit flies to hummingbirds are nimble fliers with remarkable rotational manoeuvrability. The degrees of manoeuvrability among these animals, however, are noticeably diverse and do not simply follow scaling rules of flight dynamics or muscle power capacity. As all manoeuvres emerge from the complex interactions of neural, physiological and biomechanical processes of an animal's flight control system, these processes give rise to multiple limiting factors that dictate the maximal manoeuvrability attainable by an animal...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
N B Melnikova, A I Svitenkov, D R Hose, A G Hoekstra
A three-dimensional cell-based mechanical model of coronary artery tunica media is proposed. The model is composed of spherical cells forming a hexagonal close-packed lattice. Tissue anisotropy is taken into account by varying interaction forces with the direction of intercellular connection. Several cell-centre interaction potentials for repulsion and attraction are considered, including the Hertz contact model and its neo-Hookean extension, the Johnson-Kendall-Roberts model of adhesive contact, and a wormlike chain model...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
E L Ionides, C Breto, J Park, R A Smith, A A King
Monte Carlo methods to evaluate and maximize the likelihood function enable the construction of confidence intervals and hypothesis tests, facilitating scientific investigation using models for which the likelihood function is intractable. When Monte Carlo error can be made small, by sufficiently exhaustive computation, then the standard theory and practice of likelihood-based inference applies. As datasets become larger, and models more complex, situations arise where no reasonable amount of computation can render Monte Carlo error negligible...
July 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Owen N Beck, Paolo Taboga, Alena M Grabowski
Limited available information describes how running-specific prostheses and running speed affect the biomechanics of athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations. Accordingly, we quantified the effects of prosthetic stiffness, height and speed on the biomechanics of five athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations during treadmill running. Each athlete performed a set of running trials with 15 different prosthetic model, stiffness and height combinations. Each set of trials began with the athlete running on a force-measuring treadmill at 3 m s(-1), subsequent trials incremented by 1 m s(-1) until they achieved their fastest attainable speed...
June 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Thomas R Shultz, Marcel Montrey, Lucy M Aplin
We apply three plausible algorithms in agent-based computer simulations to recent experiments on social learning in wild birds. Although some of the phenomena are simulated by all three learning algorithms, several manifestations of social conformity bias are simulated by only the approximate majority (AM) algorithm, which has roots in chemistry, molecular biology and theoretical computer science. The simulations generate testable predictions and provide several explanatory insights into the diffusion of innovation through a population...
June 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Li Wenbo, Jin Wang
The study of the cancer-immune system is important for understanding tumorigenesis and the development of cancer and immunotherapy. In this work, we build a comprehensive cancer-immune model including both cells and cytokines to uncover the underlying mechanism of cancer immunity based on landscape topography. We quantify three steady-state attractors, normal state, low cancer state and high cancer state, for the innate immunity and adaptive immunity of cancer. We also illustrate the cardinal inhibiting cancer immunity interactions and promoting cancer immunity interactions through global sensitivity analysis...
June 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Timothy E Higham, Anthony P Russell, Karl J Niklas
The remarkable adhesive capabilities of geckos have garnered attention from scientists and the public for centuries. Geckos are known to have an adhesive load-bearing capacity far in excess (by 100-fold or more) of that required to support their body mass or accommodate the loading imparted during maximal locomotor acceleration. Few studies, however, have investigated the ecological contexts in which geckos use their adhesive system and how this may influence its properties. Here we develop a modelling framework to assess whether their prodigious adhesive capacity ever comes under selective challenge...
June 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Anna Konstorum, Anthony T Vella, Adam J Adler, Reinhard C Laubenbacher
The goal of cancer immunotherapy is to boost a patient's immune response to a tumour. Yet, the design of an effective immunotherapy is complicated by various factors, including a potentially immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment, immune-modulating effects of conventional treatments and therapy-related toxicities. These complexities can be incorporated into mathematical and computational models of cancer immunotherapy that can then be used to aid in rational therapy design. In this review, we survey modelling approaches under the umbrella of the major challenges facing immunotherapy development, which encompass tumour classification, optimal treatment scheduling and combination therapy design...
June 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Thomas Steinmann, Jérôme Casas
Arthropod flow-sensing hair length ranges over more than an order of magnitude, from 0.1 to 5 mm. Previous studies repeatedly identified the longest hairs as the most sensitive, but recent studies identified the shortest hairs as the most responsive. We resolved this apparent conflict by proposing a new model, taking into account both the initial and long-term aspects of the flow pattern produced by a lunging predator. After the estimation of the mechanical parameters of hairs, we measured the flow produced by predator mimics and compared the predicted and observed values of hair displacements in this flow...
June 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Ross D Milton, Shelley D Minteer
Enzymatic bioelectrocatalysis is being increasingly exploited to better understand oxidoreductase enzymes, to develop minimalistic yet specific biosensor platforms, and to develop alternative energy conversion devices and bioelectrosynthetic devices for the production of energy and/or important chemical commodities. In some cases, these enzymes are able to electronically communicate with an appropriately designed electrode surface without the requirement of an electron mediator to shuttle electrons between the enzyme and electrode...
June 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Gang Yan, Neo D Martinez, Yang-Yu Liu
A classic measure of ecological stability describes the tendency of a community to return to equilibrium after small perturbations. While many advances show how the network architecture of these communities severely constrains such tendencies, one of the most fundamental properties of network structure, i.e. degree heterogeneity-the variability of the number of links associated with each species, deserves further study. Here we show that the effects of degree heterogeneity on stability vary with different types of interspecific interactions...
June 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
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