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Journal of the Royal Society, Interface

Jeronica Chong, Christopher Amourda, Timothy E Saunders
Development is a process precisely coordinated in both space and time. Spatial precision has been quantified in a number of developmental systems, and such data have contributed significantly to our understanding of, for example, morphogen gradient interpretation. However, comparatively little quantitative analysis has been performed on timing and temporal coordination during development. Here, we use Drosophila to explore the temporal robustness of embryonic development within physiologically normal temperatures...
July 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Jeffery W Rankin, Kelsey M Doney, Craig P McGowan
Many cursorial and large hopping species are extremely efficient locomotors with various morphological adaptations believed to reduce mechanical demand and improve movement efficiency, including elongated distal limb segments. However, despite having elongated limbs, small hoppers such as desert kangaroo rats ( Dipodomys deserti ) are less efficient locomotors than their larger counterparts, which may be in part due to avoiding predators through explosive jumping movements. Despite potentially conflicting mechanical demands between the two movements, kangaroo rats are both excellent jumpers and attain high hopping speeds, likely due to a specialized hindlimb musculoskeletal morphology...
July 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Alessandra Marrella, Michele Iafisco, Alessio Adamiano, Stefano Rossi, Maurizio Aiello, Maria Barandalla-Sobrados, Pierluigi Carullo, Michele Miragoli, Anna Tampieri, Silvia Scaglione, Daniele Catalucci
Alternative drug delivery approaches to treat cardiovascular diseases are currently under intense investigation. In this domain, the possibility to target the heart and tailor the amount of drug dose by using a combination of magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) and electromagnetic devices is a fascinating approach. Here, an electromagnetic device based on Helmholtz coils was generated for the application of low-frequency magnetic stimulations to manage drug release from biocompatible superparamagnetic Fe-hydroxyapatite NPs (FeHAs)...
July 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Tomislav Plesa, Konstantinos C Zygalakis, David F Anderson, Radek Erban
Synthetic biology is a growing interdisciplinary field, with far-reaching applications, which aims to design biochemical systems that behave in a desired manner. With the advancement in nucleic-acid-based technology in general, and strand-displacement DNA computing in particular, a large class of abstract biochemical networks may be physically realized using nucleic acids. Methods for systematic design of the abstract systems with prescribed behaviours have been predominantly developed at the (less-detailed) deterministic level...
July 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Mitchell B Lyons, Charlotte H Mills, Christopher E Gordon, Mike Letnic
Vegetation cover is fundamental in the formation and maintenance of geomorphological features in dune systems. In arid Australia, increased woody shrub cover has been linked to removal of the apex predator (Dingoes, Canis dingo ) via subsequent trophic cascades. We ask whether this increase in shrubs can be linked to altered physical characteristics of the dunes. We used drone-based remote sensing to measure shrub density and construct three-dimensional models of dune morphology. Dunes had significantly different physical characteristics either side of the 'dingo-proof fence', inside which dingoes are systematically eradicated and shrub density is higher over vast spatial extents...
July 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Clément Moreau, Laetitia Giraldi, Hermes Gadêlha
The inertialess fluid-structure interactions of active and passive inextensible filaments and slender-rods are ubiquitous in nature, from the dynamics of semi-flexible polymers and cytoskeletal filaments to cellular mechanics and flagella. The coupling between the geometry of deformation and the physical interaction governing the dynamics of bio-filaments is complex. Governing equations negotiate elastohydrodynamical interactions with non-holonomic constraints arising from the filament inextensibility. Such elastohydrodynamic systems are structurally convoluted, prone to numerical errors, thus requiring penalization methods and high-order spatio-temporal propagators...
July 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Stefano Duca, Heinrich H Nax
Cooperation among unrelated individuals in social-dilemma-type situations is a key topic in social and biological sciences. It has been shown that, without suitable mechanisms, high levels of cooperation/contributions in repeated public goods games are not stable in the long run. Reputation, as a driver of indirect reciprocity, is often proposed as a mechanism that leads to cooperation. A simple and prominent reputation dynamic function through scoring: contributing behaviour increases one's score, non-contributing reduces it...
July 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Siul A Ruiz, Dani Or
Burrows resulting from earthworm activity are important for supporting various physical and ecological soil processes. Earthworm burrowing activity is quantified using models for earthworm penetration and cavity expansion that consider soil moisture and mechanical properties. Key parameters in these models are the maximal pressures exerted by the earthworm's hydroskeleton (estimated at 200 kPa). We designed a special pressure chamber that directly measures the pressures exerted by moving earthworms under different confining pressures to delineate the limits of earthworm activity in soils at different mechanical and hydration states...
July 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Georgios Gkotsis, Jonathan James Stanley Rickard, Anju Brooker, Serafim Bakalis, Liam M Grover, Pola Goldberg Oppenheimer
Retention of hydrophobic active agents on human skin following the use of skin-care formulations is an important indication of the performance of the deposited product. We have developed a novel system which replicates the interaction between human skin and a cosmetic emulsion to systematically establish and characterize the key parameters driving the retention process at the interface. This included a comprehensive study of the skin's biology and physical properties which influenced the process, the fabrication of advanced, improved skin biomimics, the formulation of a cosmetic model-system emulsion, comprising a hydrophobic active agent i...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
H A Owida, R Yang, L Cen, N J Kuiper, Y Yang
Cartilage is anisotropic in nature and organized into distinct zones. Our goal was to develop zonal-specific three-dimensional hybrid scaffolds which could induce the generation of zonal-specific cellular morphology and extracellular matrix (ECM) composition. The superficial and middle zones comprised two layers of hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel which enveloped specifically orientated or randomly arranged polylactic acid nanofibre meshes. The deep zone comprised a HA hydrogel with multiple vertical channels...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Thapanar Suwanmajo, J Krishnan
Multisite phosphorylation is a basic way of chemically encoding substrate function and a recurring feature of cell signalling pathways. A number of studies have explored information processing characteristics of multisite phosphorylation, through studies of the intrinsic kinetics. Many of these studies focus on the module in isolation. In this paper, we build a bridge to connect the behaviour of multisite modification in isolation to that as part of pathways. We study the effect of activation of the enzymes (which are basic ways in which the module may be regulated), as well the effects of the modified substrates being involved in further modifications or exiting reaction compartments...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Ayodeji T Bode-Oke, Samane Zeyghami, Haibo Dong
In this study, we investigated the backward free flight of a dragonfly, accelerating in a flight path inclined to the horizontal. The wing and body kinematics were reconstructed from the output of three high-speed cameras using a template-based subdivision surface reconstruction method, and numerical simulations using an immersed boundary flow solver were conducted to compute the forces and visualize the flow features. During backward flight, the dragonfly maintained an upright body posture of approximately 90° relative to the horizon...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Eamon B O'Dea, Andrew W Park, John M Drake
The epidemic threshold of the susceptible-infected-recovered model is a boundary separating parameters that permit epidemics from those that do not. This threshold corresponds to parameters where the system's equilibrium becomes unstable. Consequently, we use the average rate at which deviations from the equilibrium shrink to define a distance to this threshold. However, the vital dynamics of the host population may occur slowly even when transmission is far from threshold levels. Here, we show analytically how such slow dynamics can prevent estimation of the distance to the threshold from fluctuations in the susceptible population...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Gwenan M Knight, Mirko Zimic, Sebastian Funk, Robert H Gilman, Jon S Friedland, Louis Grandjean
The relative fitness of drug-resistant versus susceptible bacteria in an environment dictates resistance prevalence. Estimates for the relative fitness of resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis ( Mtb ) strains are highly heterogeneous and mostly derived from in vitro experiments. Measuring fitness in the field allows us to determine how the environment influences the spread of resistance. We designed a household structured, stochastic mathematical model to estimate the fitness costs associated with multidrug resistance (MDR) carriage in Mtb in Lima, Peru during 2010-2013...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Thies H Büscher, Mikhail Kryuchkov, Vladimir L Katanaev, Stanislav N Gorb
In its evolution, the diverse group of stick and leaf insects (Phasmatodea) has undergone a rapid radiation. These insects evolved specialized structures to adhere to different surfaces typical for their specific ecological environments. The cuticle of their tarsal attachment pads (euplantulae) is known to possess a high diversity of attachment microstructures (AMS) which are suggested to reflect ecological specializations of different groups within phasmids. However, the origin of these microstructures and their developmental background remain largely unknown...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Erik M Summerside, Rodger Kram, Alaa A Ahmed
Humans naturally select several parameters within a gait that correspond with minimizing metabolic cost. Much less is understood about the role of metabolic cost in selecting between gaits. Here, we asked participants to decide between walking or running out and back to different gait specific markers. The distance of the walking marker was adjusted after each decision to identify relative distances where individuals switched gait preferences. We found that neither minimizing solely metabolic energy nor minimizing solely movement time could predict how the group decided between gaits...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Jessica C Huss, Oliver Spaeker, Notburga Gierlinger, David J Merritt, Ben P Miller, Christoph Neinhuis, Peter Fratzl, Michaela Eder
Many plants in fire-prone regions retain their seeds in woody fruits in the plant canopy until the passage of a fire causes the fruit to open and release the seeds. To enable this function, suitable tissues are required that effectively store and protect seeds until they are released. Here, we show that three different species of the Australian genus Banksia incorporate waxes at the interface of the two valves of the follicle enclosing the seeds, which melt between 45°C and 55°C. Since the melting temperature of the waxes is lower than the opening temperatures of the follicles in all investigated species ( B...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Blai Vidiella, Josep Sardanyés, Ricard Solé
Semiarid ecosystems (including arid, semiarid and dry-subhumid ecosystems) span more than 40% of extant habitats and contain a similar percentage of the human population. Theoretical models and palaeoclimatic data predict a grim future, with rapid shifts towards a desert state, with accelerated diversity losses and ecological collapses. These shifts are a consequence of the special nonlinearities resulting from ecological facilitation. Here, we investigate a simple model of semiarid ecosystems identifying the so-called ghost, which appears after a catastrophic transition from a vegetated to a desert state once a critical rate of soil degradation is overcome...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
François Blanquart, Sonja Lehtinen, Marc Lipsitch, Christophe Fraser
The evolution of antibiotic resistance in opportunistic pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae , Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus is a major public health problem, as infection with resistant strains leads to prolonged hospital stay and increased risk of death. Here, we develop a new model of the evolution of antibiotic resistance in a commensal bacterial population adapting to a heterogeneous host population composed of untreated and treated hosts, and structured in different host classes with different antibiotic use...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
T Jardin, T Colonius
Lentink & Dickinson (2009 J. Exp. Biol. 212 , 2705-2719. (doi:10.1242/jeb.022269)) showed that rotational acceleration stabilized the leading-edge vortex on revolving, low aspect ratio (AR) wings and hypothesized that a Rossby number of around 3, which is achieved during each half-stroke for a variety of hovering insects, seeds and birds, represents a convergent high-lift solution across a range of scales in nature. Subsequent work has verified that, in particular, the Coriolis acceleration plays a key role in LEV stabilization...
June 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
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