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Enrico Civiero, Manuela Pintus, Claudio Ruggeri, Elena Tamburini, Francesca Sollai, Enrico Sanjust, Paolo Zucca
Agriculture and intensive farming methods are the greatest cause of nitrogen pollution. In particular, nitrification (the conversion of ammonia to nitrate) plays a role in global climate changes, affecting the bio-availability of nitrogen in soil and contributing to eutrophication. In this paper, the Rhodotorula diobovata DSBCA06 was investigated for growth kinetics on nitrite, nitrate, or ammonia as the sole nitrogen sources (10 mM). Complete nitrite removal was observed in 48 h up to 10 mM initial nitrite...
June 30, 2018: Biology
Keith Douglas Farnsworth
Two broad features are jointly necessary for autonomous agency: organisational closure and the embodiment of an objective-function providing a ‘goal’: so far only organisms demonstrate both. Organisational closure has been studied (mostly in abstract), especially as cell autopoiesis and the cybernetic principles of autonomy, but the role of an internalised ‘goal’ and how it is instantiated by cell signalling and the functioning of nervous systems has received less attention...
June 29, 2018: Biology
Jorge A Sosa-Gutiérrez, Mónica A Valdéz-Solana, Tamara Y Forbes-Hernández, Claudia I Avitia-Domínguez, Gonzalo G Garcia-Vargas, José M Salas-Pacheco, Oscar Flores-Herrera, Alfredo Téllez-Valencia, Maurizio Battino, Erick Sierra-Campos
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of diabetes, but the metabolic alterations during early stages of the disease remain unknown. The ability of liver cells to rearrange their metabolism plays an important role in compensating the energy shortage and may provide cell survival. Moringa oleifera leaves have been studied for its health properties against diabetes, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic liver disease. We postulated that M. oleifera executes a protective function on mitochondrial functionality in HepG2 treated with high glucose...
June 26, 2018: Biology
Kasey D Fowler-Finn, Sarah L Boyer, Raine Ikagawa, Timothy Jeffries, Penelope C Kahn, Eva M Larsen, Daniel Lee, Morgan Smeester
The study of mating choices often focuses on correlates of traits to the overall outcome of a mating interaction. However, mating interactions can proceed through a series of stages, with opportunities for assessment at each stage. We compared whether male or female size predicted mating interaction outcome across several stages of mating in five species of North American leiobunine harvestmen (commonly known as daddy longlegs). Leiobunine harvestmen have been previously shown to exhibit incredible morphological diversity consistent with a spectrum of male⁻female antagonism...
June 14, 2018: Biology
Louise R Barreto, Thayná Barreto, Sonia Melo, Cristina Pungartnik, Martin Brendel
Pathogenesis-related proteins (PRs) are induced in plants after infection by pathogens and/or abiotic stress. Among these proteins, the family 10 (PR-10) influences the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and shows antimicrobial ribonuclease activity. Tc PR-10p (Pathogenesis-related Protein 10 of Theobroma cacao ) was isolated from resistant and susceptible Moniliophthora perniciosa cacao cultivars. Cell survival with Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant lines deficient in ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins indicated the influence on resistance to Tc PR-10p...
June 13, 2018: Biology
Dashuang Shi, Ljubica Caldovic, Mendel Tuchman
Carbamyl phosphate (CP) is well-known as an essential intermediate of pyrimidine and arginine/urea biosynthesis. Chemically, CP can be easily synthesized from dihydrogen phosphate and cyanate. Enzymatically, CP can be synthesized using three different classes of enzymes: (1) ATP-grasp fold protein based carbamyl phosphate synthetase (CPS); (2) Amino-acid kinase fold carbamate kinase (CK)-like CPS (anabolic CK or aCK); and (3) Catabolic transcarbamylase. The first class of CPS can be further divided into three different types of CPS as CPS I, CPS II, and CPS III depending on the usage of ammonium or glutamine as its nitrogen source, and whether N -acetyl-glutamate is its essential co-factor...
June 12, 2018: Biology
Azure Yarbrough, Katherine Maringer, Entsar J Saheb, Sanaa Jawed, John Bush
Rab GTPases are essential regulators of many cellular processes and play an important role in downstream signaling vital to proper cell function. We sought to elucidate the role of novel D. discoideum GTPase RabS. Cell lines over-expressing DdRabS and expressing DdRabS N137I (dominant negative (DN)) proteins were generated, and it was determined that DdRabS localized to endosomes, ER-Golgi membranes, and the contractile vacuole system. It appeared to function in vesicular trafficking, and the secretion of lysosomal enzymes...
May 28, 2018: Biology
Simon Orozco-Arias, Juan Liu, Reinel Tabares-Soto, Diego Ceballos, Douglas Silva Domingues, Andréa Garavito, Ray Ming, Romain Guyot
One particular class of Transposable Elements (TEs), called Long Terminal Repeats (LTRs), retrotransposons, comprises the most abundant mobile elements in plant genomes. Their copy number can vary from several hundreds to up to a few million copies per genome, deeply affecting genome organization and function. The detailed classification of LTR retrotransposons is an essential step to precisely understand their effect at the genome level, but remains challenging in large-sized genomes, requiring the use of optimized bioinformatics tools that can take advantage of supercomputers...
May 25, 2018: Biology
Clemer Abad, Melissa M Cook, Lei Cao, Julie R Jones, Nalini R Rao, Lynn Dukes-Rimsky, Rini Pauly, Cindy Skinner, Yunsheng Wang, Feng Luo, Roger E Stevenson, Katherina Walz, Anand K Srivastava
Deletions and mutations involving the Retinoic Acid Induced 1 ( RAI1 ) gene at 17p11.2 cause Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS). Here we report a patient with autism as the main clinical presentation, with some SMS-like features and a rare de novo RAI1 gene mutation, c.3440G > A (p.R1147Q). We functionally characterized the RAI1 p.R1147Q mutant protein. The mutation, located near the nuclear localization signal, had no effect on the subcellular localization of the mutant protein. However, similar to previously reported RAI1 missense mutations in SMS patients, the RAI1 p...
May 24, 2018: Biology
Forum Bhatt, Vishal Patel, Constance J Jeffery
Periplasmic ligand-binding proteins (PBPs) bind ligands with a high affinity and specificity. They undergo a large conformational change upon ligand binding, and they have a robust protein fold. These physical features have made them ideal candidates for use in protein engineering projects to develop novel biosensors and signaling molecules. The Escherichia coli MppA (murein peptide permease A) PBP binds the murein tripeptide, l-alanyl-γ-d-glutamyl-meso-diaminopimelate, (l-Ala-γ-d-Glu-meso-Dap), which contains both a D-amino acid and a gamma linkage between two of the amino acids...
May 19, 2018: Biology
Seongjoon Kang, Obed W Odom, Candice L Malone, Saravanan Thangamani, David L Herrin
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii ( Chlamydomonas ) strains that are toxic to mosquito larvae because they express chloroplast transgenes that are based on the mosquitocidal proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) could be very useful in mosquito control. Chlamydomonas has several advantages for this approach, including genetic controls not generally available with industrial algae. The Bti toxin is produced by sporulating bacteria and has been used for mosquito control for >30 years without creating highly resistant mosquito populations...
May 8, 2018: Biology
Daniel Fels
Life is based on two aspects: matter and a non-material, electrical component. In a dynamic system of reciprocal causality, matter and the so-called bioelectricity interact with one another, forming a functional unity. The aim of this essay is to summarize evidence for bioelectricity, for the sensitivity of biosystems to external physical factors and for the interactions of internal bioelectricity with internal biochemical structures. I propose non-material information of bioelectrical states to be just as inheritable from generation to generation as is the material genetic code...
May 7, 2018: Biology
Joanna C Ellison, Kim M Beasy
Carbon sequestration values of wetlands are greatest in their sediments. Northern hemisphere research dominates the earlier saltmarsh carbon sequestration literature, recently augmented by analyses across mainland Australia where species assemblages, catchment histories and environmental settings differ. No previous assessment has been made for Tasmania. Carbon stores and accumulation rates in saltmarsh sediments of the Rubicon estuary, Tasmania, were investigated. Carbon was determined from sediment cores by Elemental Analyser, combined with analysis of organic content and bulk density...
May 2, 2018: Biology
Peter Bateson, Jack E H Fleet, Anthony S Riseley, Elena Janeva, Anastasia S Marcella, Chiara Farinea, Maria Kuptsova, Núria Conde Pueyo, Christopher J Howe, Paolo Bombelli, Brenda M Parker
Photobioelectrochemical systems are an emerging possibility for renewable energy. By exploiting photosynthesis, they transform the energy of light into electricity. This study evaluates a simple, scalable bioelectrochemical system built from recycled plastic bottles, equipped with an anode made from recycled aluminum, and operated with the green alga Chlorella sorokiniana . We tested whether such a system, referred to as a bio-bottle-voltaic (BBV) device, could operate outdoors for a prolonged time period of 35 days...
April 17, 2018: Biology
Alessandro Marco Lizzul, Aitor Lekuona-Amundarain, Saul Purton, Luiza Cintra Campos
This paper characterizes the strain Chlorella sorokiniana UTEX 1230 within a laboratory setting using a 1 L bubble column. The findings show that productivity can be trebled under mixotrophic conditions (from 0.2 g·L−1 ·d−1 to 0.66 g·L−1 ·d−1 ) with the addition of sodium acetate. The results also indicate that both the growth rate and final yield increase with the cultivation temperature, with most parameters showing an optimum in the range of 30–35 °C...
April 13, 2018: Biology
Patai Charoonnart, Saul Purton, Vanvimon Saksmerprome
Aquaculture industries, and in particular the farming of fish and crustaceans, are major contributors to the economy of many countries and an increasingly important component in global food supply. However, the severe impact of aquatic microbial diseases on production performance remains a challenge to these industries. This article considers the potential applications of microalgal technology in the control of such diseases. At the simplest level, microalgae offer health-promoting benefits as a nutritional supplement in feed meal because of their digestibility and high content of proteins, lipids and essential nutrients...
April 12, 2018: Biology
Henry Loeffler-Wirth, Hans Binder, Edith Willscher, Tobias Gerber, Manfred Kunz
Single-cell transcriptomics has been used for analysis of heterogeneous populations of cells during developmental processes and for analysis of tumor cell heterogeneity. More recently, analysis of pseudotime (PT) dynamics of heterogeneous cell populations has been established as a powerful concept to study developmental processes. Here we perform PT analysis of 3 melanoma short-term cultures with different genetic backgrounds to study specific and concordant properties of PT dynamics of selected cellular programs with impact on melanoma progression...
April 3, 2018: Biology
Anik Boudreau, Scott Fuller, David M Ribnicky, Allison J Richard, Jacqueline M Stephens
An ethanolic extract of Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel bush, GB), which is a native Louisiana plant with documented use in Creole folk medicine, has been shown to inhibit lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation in cultured macrophages. Here, we examine the effects of GB on adipocyte development and function, as these processes are attractive targets for intervention in insulin resistance. Oil Red O neutral lipid staining, reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), and immunoblotting were used to measure GB effects on lipid accumulation, gene expression, and protein abundance, respectively...
March 25, 2018: Biology
Andrew Spicer, Attila Molnar
It is abundantly clear that the development of gene editing technologies, represents a potentially powerful force for good with regard to human and animal health and addressing the challenges we continue to face in a growing global population. This now includes the development of approaches to modify microalgal strains for potential improvements in productivity, robustness, harvestability, processability, nutritional composition, and application. The rapid emergence and ongoing developments in this area demand a timely review and revision of the current definitions and regulations around genetically modified organisms (GMOs), particularly within Europe...
March 6, 2018: Biology
Jonathan B L Bard
Evolutionary change comes from natural and other forms of selection acting on existing anatomical and physiological variants. While much is known about selection, little is known about the details of how genetic mutation leads to the range of heritable anatomical variants that are present within any population. This paper takes a systems-based view to explore how genomic mutation in vertebrate genomes works its way upwards, though changes to proteins, protein networks, and cell phenotypes to produce variants in anatomical detail...
February 26, 2018: Biology
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