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Journal of the Royal Society, Interface

Alan Novaes Tump, Max Wolf, Jens Krause, Ralf H J M Kurvers
Collective intelligence refers to the ability of groups to outperform individuals in solving cognitive tasks. Although numerous studies have demonstrated this effect, the mechanisms underlying collective intelligence remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate diversity in cue beliefs as a mechanism potentially promoting collective intelligence. In our experimental study, human groups observed a sequence of cartoon characters, and classified each character as a cooperator or defector based on informative and uninformative cues...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
T P S Reynolds, H C Burridge, R Johnston, G Wu, D U Shah, O A Scherman, P F Linden, M H Ramage
For wood to be used to its full potential as an engineering material, it is necessary to quantify links between its cell geometry and the properties it exhibits at bulk scale. Doing so will make it possible to predict timber properties crucial to engineering, such as mechanical strength and stiffness, and the resistance to fluid flow, and to inform strategies to improve those properties as required, as well as to measure the effects of interventions such as genetic manipulation and chemical modification. Strength, stiffness and permeability of timber all derive from the geometry of its cells, and yet current practice is to predict them based on properties, such as bulk density, that do not directly describe the cell structure...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Sanjay Pant
A new class of functions, called the 'information sensitivity functions' (ISFs), which quantify the information gain about the parameters through the measurements/observables of a dynamical system are presented. These functions can be easily computed through classical sensitivity functions alone and are based on Bayesian and information-theoretic approaches. While marginal information gain is quantified by decrease in differential entropy, correlations between arbitrary sets of parameters are assessed through mutual information...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Karen M Page, Ruben Perez-Carrasco
Ring oscillators are biochemical circuits consisting of a ring of interactions capable of sustained oscillations. The nonlinear interactions between genes hinder the analytical insight into their function, usually requiring computational exploration. Here, we show that, despite the apparent complexity, the stability of the unique steady state in an incoherent feedback ring depends only on the degradation rates and a single parameter summarizing the feedback of the circuit. Concretely, we show that the range of regulatory parameters that yield oscillatory behaviour is maximized when the degradation rates are equal...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Lorenza Mattei, Francesca Di Puccio, Stefano Marchetti
Non-invasive methods for assessing fracture healing are crucial for biomedical engineers. An approach based on mechanical vibrations was tried out in the 1990s, but was soon abandoned due to insufficiently advanced technologies. The same approach is re-proposed in the present study in order to monitor the healing process of a lengthened femur with an external fixator. The pins screwed into the bone were exploited for the impact testing (IT) to excite the bone and capture its response. Transmission through the soft tissues was thus prevented, and the quality of the signals was improved...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Loïc Tadrist, Marc Saudreau, Pascal Hémon, Xavier Amandolese, André Marquier, Tristan Leclercq, Emmanuel de Langre
The wind-induced motion of the foliage in a tree is an important phenomenon both for biological issues (photosynthesis, pathogens development or herbivory) and for more subtle effects such as on wi-fi transmission or animal communication. Such foliage motion results from a combination of the motion of the branches that support the leaves, and of the motion of the leaves relative to the branches. Individual leaf dynamics relative to the branch, and branch dynamics have usually been studied separately. Here, in an experimental study on a whole tree in a large-scale wind tunnel, we present the first empirical evidence that foliage motion is actually dominated by individual leaf flutter at low wind velocities, and by branch turbulence buffeting responses at higher velocities...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Laurent Duchemin, Christophe Eloy, Eric Badel, Bruno Moulia
Plants have developed different tropisms: in particular, they reorient the growth of their branches towards the light (phototropism) or upwards (gravitropism). How these tropisms affect the shape of a tree crown remains unanswered. We address this question by developing a propagating front model of tree growth. Being length-free, this model leads to self-similar solutions after a long period of time, which are independent of the initial conditions. Varying the intensities of each tropism, different self-similar shapes emerge, including singular ones...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Huizhang Guo, Martin Büchel, Xing Li, Aneliia Wäckerlin, Qing Chen, Ingo Burgert
In this article, a robust, air-stable, flexible and transparent copper (Cu) nanowire (NW) network coating on the surface of the wood is presented, based on a fusion welding of the Cu NWs by photonic curing. Thereby, an anisotropic conductivity can be achieved, which is originating from the structural organization of the wood body and its surface. Furthermore, the Cu NWs are protected from oxidation or wear by a commercially available paraffin wax-polyolefin, which also results in surface water repellency. The developed processing steps present a facile and flexible routine for applying Cu NW transparent conductors to abundant biomaterials and solve current manufacturing obstacles for corrosion-resistant circuits while keeping the natural appearance of the substrate...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Felix J Meigel, Karen Alim
Life and functioning of higher organisms depends on the continuous supply of metabolites to tissues and organs. What are the requirements on the transport network pervading a tissue to provide a uniform supply of nutrients, minerals or hormones? To theoretically answer this question, we present an analytical scaling argument and numerical simulations on how flow dynamics and network architecture control active spread and uniform supply of metabolites by studying the example of xylem vessels in plants. We identify the fluid inflow rate as the key factor for uniform supply...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Stefano Magni, Antonella Succurro, Alexander Skupin, Oliver Ebenhöh
Global warming exposes plants to severe heat stress, with consequent crop yield reduction. Organisms exposed to high temperature stresses typically protect themselves with a heat shock response (HSR), where accumulation of unfolded proteins initiates the synthesis of heat shock proteins through the heat shock transcription factor HSF1. While the molecular mechanisms are qualitatively well characterized, our quantitative understanding of the underlying dynamics is still very limited. Here, we study the dynamics of HSR in the photosynthetic model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with a data-driven mathematical model of HSR...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Sabine Hummert, Christina Glock, Stefan N Lang, Christian Hummert, Christine Skerka, Peter F Zipfel, Sebastian Germerodt, Stefan Schuster
As a part of the complement system, factor H regulates phagocytosis and helps differentiate between a body's own and foreign cells. Owing to mimicry efforts, some pathogenic microorganisms such as Candida albicans are able to bind factor H on their cell surfaces and, thus, become similar to host cells. This implies that the decision between self and foreign is not clear-cut, which leads to a classification problem for the immune system. Here, two different alleles determining the binding affinity of factor H are relevant...
May 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Mathew Baldwin, Sarah Snelling, Stephanie Dakin, Andrew Carr
As our ability to engineer nanoscale materials has developed we can now influence endogenous cellular processes with increasing precision. Consequently, the use of biomaterials to induce and guide the repair and regeneration of tissues is a rapidly developing area. This review focuses on soft tissue engineering, it will discuss the types of biomaterial scaffolds available before exploring physical, chemical and biological modifications to synthetic scaffolds. We will consider how these properties, in combination, can provide a precise design process, with the potential to meet the requirements of the injured and diseased soft tissue niche...
April 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Mahroo Karimpoor, Eva Yebra-Fernandez, Maryam Parhizkar, Mine Orlu, Duncan Craig, Jamshid S Khorashad, Mohan Edirisinghe
The development of assays for evaluating the sensitivity of leukaemia cells to anti-cancer agents is becoming an important aspect of personalized medicine. Conventional cell cultures lack the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the bone marrow (BM), the extracellular matrix and stromal components which are crucial for the growth and survival of leukaemia stem cells. To accurately predict the sensitivity of the leukaemia cells in an in vitro assay a culturing system containing the essential components of BM is required...
April 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Vahid Alizadehyazdi, Mehdi Modabberifar, S M Javid Mahmoudzadeh Akherat, Matthew Spenko
This paper describes the use of the electrostatic element of an electrostatic/gecko-like adhesive to repel dust particles, which have been shown to significantly affect adhesion and reliability. The result is a non-destructive, non-contact cleaning method that can be used in conjunction with other cleaning techniques, many of which rely on physical contact between the fibrillar adhesive and substrate. The paper focuses on experimental evaluation of the repulsion of 100 μm glass beads as a function of wave shape, frequency, phase number and electrode direction in relation to the gecko-like features...
April 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Albert B Kao, Andrew M Berdahl, Andrew T Hartnett, Matthew J Lutz, Joseph B Bak-Coleman, Christos C Ioannou, Xingli Giam, Iain D Couzin
Aggregating multiple non-expert opinions into a collective estimate can improve accuracy across many contexts. However, two sources of error can diminish collective wisdom: individual estimation biases and information sharing between individuals. Here, we measure individual biases and social influence rules in multiple experiments involving hundreds of individuals performing a classic numerosity estimation task. We first investigate how existing aggregation methods, such as calculating the arithmetic mean or the median, are influenced by these sources of error...
April 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Laia Albiol, Myriam Cilla, David Pflanz, Ina Kramer, Michaela Kneissel, Georg N Duda, Bettina M Willie, Sara Checa
Sclerostin, a product of the Sost gene, is a Wnt-inhibitor and thus negatively regulates bone accrual. Canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling is also known to be activated in mechanotransduction. Sclerostin neutralizing antibodies are being tested in ongoing clinical trials to target osteoporosis and osteogenesis imperfecta but their interaction with mechanical stimuli on bone formation remains unclear. Sost knockout (KO) mice were examined to gain insight into how long-term Sost deficiency alters the local mechanical environment within the bone...
April 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Andrew J Parnell, James E Bradford, Emma V Curran, Adam L Washington, Gracie Adams, Melanie N Brien, Stephanie L Burg, Carlos Morochz, J Patrick A Fairclough, Pete Vukusic, Simon J Martin, Scott Doak, Nicola J Nadeau
Iridescence is an optical phenomenon whereby colour changes with the illumination and viewing angle. It can be produced by thin film interference or diffraction. Iridescent optical structures are fairly common in nature, but relatively little is known about their production or evolution. Here we describe the structures responsible for producing blue-green iridescent colour in Heliconius butterflies. Overall the wing scale structures of iridescent and non-iridescent Heliconius species are very similar, both having longitudinal ridges joined by cross-ribs...
April 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Nobuo Misawa, Toshihisa Osaki, Shoji Takeuchi
This review highlights recent development of biosensors that use the functions of membrane proteins. Membrane proteins are essential components of biological membranes and have a central role in detection of various environmental stimuli such as olfaction and gustation. A number of studies have attempted for development of biosensors using the sensing property of these membrane proteins. Their specificity to target molecules is particularly attractive as it is significantly superior to that of traditional human-made sensors...
April 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Joseph M Cleary, Zachary W Lipsky, Minyoung Kim, Cláudia N H Marques, Guy K German
Contemporary studies have revealed dramatic changes in the diversity of bacterial microbiota between healthy and diseased skin. However, the prevailing use of swabs to extract the microorganisms has meant that only population 'snapshots' are obtained, and all spatially resolved information of bacterial growth is lost. Here we report on the temporospatial growth of Staphylococcus aureus on the surface of the human stratum corneum (SC); the outermost layer of skin. This bacterial species dominates bacterial populations on skin with atopic dermatitis (AD)...
April 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Thomas E DeCoursey
Voltage-gated proton channels are unique ion channels, membrane proteins that allow protons but no other ions to cross cell membranes. They are found in diverse species, from unicellular marine life to humans. In all cells, their function requires that they open and conduct current only under certain conditions, typically when the electrochemical gradient for protons is outwards. Consequently, these proteins behave like rectifiers, conducting protons out of cells. Their activity has electrical consequences and also changes the pH on both sides of the membrane...
April 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
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