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PLoS Computational Biology

Rodrigo D Requião, Luiza Fernandes, Henrique José Araujo de Souza, Silvana Rossetto, Tatiana Domitrovic, Fernando L Palhano
As proteins are synthesized, the nascent polypeptide must pass through a negatively charged exit tunnel. During this stage, positively charged stretches can interact with the ribosome walls and slow the translation. Therefore, charged polypeptides may be important factors that affect protein expression. To determine the frequency and distribution of positively and negatively charged stretches in different proteomes, the net charge was calculated for every 30 consecutive amino acid residues, which corresponds to the length of the ribosome exit tunnel...
May 22, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Gabriel F Dorlhiac, Clyde Fare, Jasper J van Thor
Ultrafast spectroscopy offers temporal resolution for probing processes in the femto- and picosecond regimes. This has allowed for investigation of energy and charge transfer in numerous photoactive compounds and complexes. However, analysis of the resultant data can be complicated, particularly in more complex biological systems, such as photosystems. Historically, the dual approach of global analysis and target modelling has been used to elucidate kinetic descriptions of the system, and the identity of transient species respectively...
May 22, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Ali Nematbakhsh, Wenzhao Sun, Pavel A Brodskiy, Aboutaleb Amiri, Cody Narciso, Zhiliang Xu, Jeremiah J Zartman, Mark Alber
Mitotic rounding during cell division is critical for preventing daughter cells from inheriting an abnormal number of chromosomes, a condition that occurs frequently in cancer cells. Cells must significantly expand their apical area and transition from a polygonal to circular apical shape to achieve robust mitotic rounding in epithelial tissues, which is where most cancers initiate. However, how cells mechanically regulate robust mitotic rounding within packed tissues is unknown. Here, we analyze mitotic rounding using a newly developed multi-scale subcellular element computational model that is calibrated using experimental data...
May 22, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Eugen Bauer, Johannes Zimmermann, Federico Baldini, Ines Thiele, Christoph Kaleta
Recent advances focusing on the metabolic interactions within and between cellular populations have emphasized the importance of microbial communities for human health. Constraint-based modeling, with flux balance analysis in particular, has been established as a key approach for studying microbial metabolism, whereas individual-based modeling has been commonly used to study complex dynamics between interacting organisms. In this study, we combine both techniques into the R package BacArena (https://cran.r-project...
May 22, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Zhuo Wang, Samuel A Danziger, Benjamin D Heavner, Shuyi Ma, Jennifer J Smith, Song Li, Thurston Herricks, Evangelos Simeonidis, Nitin S Baliga, John D Aitchison, Nathan D Price
Gene regulatory and metabolic network models have been used successfully in many organisms, but inherent differences between them make networks difficult to integrate. Probabilistic Regulation Of Metabolism (PROM) provides a partial solution, but it does not incorporate network inference and underperforms in eukaryotes. We present an Integrated Deduced And Metabolism (IDREAM) method that combines statistically inferred Environment and Gene Regulatory Influence Network (EGRIN) models with the PROM framework to create enhanced metabolic-regulatory network models...
May 17, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Siu Hung Joshua Chan, Margaret N Simons, Costas D Maranas
Genome-scale metabolic modeling has become widespread for analyzing microbial metabolism. Extending this established paradigm to more complex microbial communities is emerging as a promising way to unravel the interactions and biochemical repertoire of these omnipresent systems. While several modeling techniques have been developed for microbial communities, little emphasis has been placed on the need to impose a time-averaged constant growth rate across all members for a community to ensure co-existence and stability...
May 15, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Zachary R Sailer, Michael J Harms
High-order epistasis-where the effect of a mutation is determined by interactions with two or more other mutations-makes small, but detectable, contributions to genotype-fitness maps. While epistasis between pairs of mutations is known to be an important determinant of evolutionary trajectories, the evolutionary consequences of high-order epistasis remain poorly understood. To determine the effect of high-order epistasis on evolutionary trajectories, we computationally removed high-order epistasis from experimental genotype-fitness maps containing all binary combinations of five mutations...
May 15, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Jin Hyun Ju, Sushila A Shenoy, Ronald G Crystal, Jason G Mezey
Genome-wide expression Quantitative Trait Loci (eQTL) studies in humans have provided numerous insights into the genetics of both gene expression and complex diseases. While the majority of eQTL identified in genome-wide analyses impact a single gene, eQTL that impact many genes are particularly valuable for network modeling and disease analysis. To enable the identification of such broad impact eQTL, we introduce CONFETI: Confounding Factor Estimation Through Independent component analysis. CONFETI is designed to address two conflicting issues when searching for broad impact eQTL: the need to account for non-genetic confounding factors that can lower the power of the analysis or produce broad impact eQTL false positives, and the tendency of methods that account for confounding factors to model broad impact eQTL as non-genetic variation...
May 15, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Veith Weilnhammer, Heiner Stuke, Guido Hesselmann, Philipp Sterzer, Katharina Schmack
In bistable vision, subjective perception wavers between two interpretations of a constant ambiguous stimulus. This dissociation between conscious perception and sensory stimulation has motivated various empirical studies on the neural correlates of bistable perception, but the neurocomputational mechanism behind endogenous perceptual transitions has remained elusive. Here, we recurred to a generic Bayesian framework of predictive coding and devised a model that casts endogenous perceptual transitions as a consequence of prediction errors emerging from residual evidence for the suppressed percept...
May 15, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Andreas Tuerk, Gregor Wiktorin, Serhat Güler
Accuracy of transcript quantification with RNA-Seq is negatively affected by positional fragment bias. This article introduces Mix2 (rd. "mixquare"), a transcript quantification method which uses a mixture of probability distributions to model and thereby neutralize the effects of positional fragment bias. The parameters of Mix2 are trained by Expectation Maximization resulting in simultaneous transcript abundance and bias estimates. We compare Mix2 to Cufflinks, RSEM, eXpress and PennSeq; state-of-the-art quantification methods implementing some form of bias correction...
May 15, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Nick E Phillips, Cerys Manning, Nancy Papalopulu, Magnus Rattray
Multiple biological processes are driven by oscillatory gene expression at different time scales. Pulsatile dynamics are thought to be widespread, and single-cell live imaging of gene expression has lead to a surge of dynamic, possibly oscillatory, data for different gene networks. However, the regulation of gene expression at the level of an individual cell involves reactions between finite numbers of molecules, and this can result in inherent randomness in expression dynamics, which blurs the boundaries between aperiodic fluctuations and noisy oscillators...
May 11, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Benjamin Risse, Dimitri Berh, Nils Otto, Christian Klämbt, Xiaoyi Jiang
Imaging and analyzing the locomotion behavior of small animals such as Drosophila larvae or C. elegans worms has become an integral subject of biological research. In the past we have introduced FIM, a novel imaging system feasible to extract high contrast images. This system in combination with the associated tracking software FIMTrack is already used by many groups all over the world. However, so far there has not been an in-depth discussion of the technical aspects. Here we elaborate on the implementation details of FIMTrack and give an in-depth explanation of the used algorithms...
May 11, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Thomas O Richardson, Jonas I Liechti, Nathalie Stroeymeyt, Sebastian Bonhoeffer, Laurent Keller
Rhythmical activity patterns are ubiquitous in nature. We study an oscillatory biological system: collective activity cycles in ant colonies. Ant colonies have become model systems for research on biological networks because the interactions between the component parts are visible to the naked eye, and because the time-ordered contact network formed by these interactions serves as the substrate for the distribution of information and other resources throughout the colony. To understand how the collective activity cycles influence the contact network transport properties, we used an automated tracking system to record the movement of all the individuals within nine different ant colonies...
May 10, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Thomas H B FitzGerald, Dorothea Hämmerer, Karl J Friston, Shu-Chen Li, Raymond J Dolan
Normative models of human cognition often appeal to Bayesian filtering, which provides optimal online estimates of unknown or hidden states of the world, based on previous observations. However, in many cases it is necessary to optimise beliefs about sequences of states rather than just the current state. Importantly, Bayesian filtering and sequential inference strategies make different predictions about beliefs and subsequent choices, rendering them behaviourally dissociable. Taking data from a probabilistic reversal task we show that subjects' choices provide strong evidence that they are representing short sequences of states...
May 9, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Eghbal A Hosseini, Katrina P Nguyen, Wilsaan M Joiner
Motor adaptation paradigms provide a quantitative method to study short-term modification of motor commands. Despite the growing understanding of the role motion states (e.g., velocity) play in this form of motor learning, there is little information on the relative stability of memories based on these movement characteristics, especially in comparison to the initial adaptation. Here, we trained subjects to make reaching movements perturbed by force patterns dependent upon either limb position or velocity. Following training, subjects were exposed to a series of error-clamp trials to measure the temporal characteristics of the feedforward motor output during the decay of learning...
May 8, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Nicolás Tomasini, Paula Gabriela Ragone, Sébastien Gourbière, Juan Pablo Aparicio, Patricio Diosque
People living in areas with active vector-borne transmission of Chagas disease have multiple contacts with its causative agent, Trypanosoma cruzi. Reinfections by T. cruzi are possible at least in animal models leading to lower or even hardly detectable parasitaemia. In humans, although reinfections are thought to have major public health implications by increasing the risk of chronic manifestations of the disease, there is little quantitative knowledge about their frequency and the timing of parasite re-inoculation in the course of the disease...
May 8, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Alexander Franks, Edoardo Airoldi, Nikolai Slavov
Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation shape tissue-type-specific proteomes, but their relative contributions remain contested. Estimates of the factors determining protein levels in human tissues do not distinguish between (i) the factors determining the variability between the abundances of different proteins, i.e., mean-level-variability and, (ii) the factors determining the physiological variability of the same protein across different tissue types, i.e., across-tissues variability. We sought to estimate the contribution of transcript levels to these two orthogonal sources of variability, and found that scaled mRNA levels can account for most of the mean-level-variability but not necessarily for across-tissues variability...
May 8, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Christopher M Jakobson, Danielle Tullman-Ercek, Marilyn F Slininger, Niall M Mangan
The spatial organization of metabolism is common to all domains of life. Enteric and other bacteria use subcellular organelles known as bacterial microcompartments to spatially organize the metabolism of pathogenicity-relevant carbon sources, such as 1,2-propanediol. The organelles are thought to sequester a private cofactor pool, minimize the effects of toxic intermediates, and enhance flux through the encapsulated metabolic pathways. We develop a mathematical model of the function of the 1,2-propanediol utilization microcompartment of Salmonella enterica and use it to analyze the function of the microcompartment organelles in detail...
May 5, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Julie L Chaney, Aaron Steele, Rory Carmichael, Anabel Rodriguez, Alicia T Specht, Kim Ngo, Jun Li, Scott Emrich, Patricia L Clark
Synonymous rare codons are considered to be sub-optimal for gene expression because they are translated more slowly than common codons. Yet surprisingly, many protein coding sequences include large clusters of synonymous rare codons. Rare codons at the 5' terminus of coding sequences have been shown to increase translational efficiency. Although a general functional role for synonymous rare codons farther within coding sequences has not yet been established, several recent reports have identified rare-to-common synonymous codon substitutions that impair folding of the encoded protein...
May 5, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Silvan Quax, Ole Jensen, Paul Tiesinga
Selective routing of information between cortical areas is required in order to combine different sources of information according to cognitive demand. Recent experiments have suggested that alpha band activity originating from the pulvinar coordinates this inter-areal cortical communication. Using a computer model we investigated whether top-down induced shifts in the relative alpha phase between two cortical areas could modulate cortical communication, quantified in terms of changes in gamma band coherence between them...
May 4, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
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