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Niche construction

Elizabeth A Nick, David A Cole, Sun-Joo Cho, Darcy K Smith, T Grace Carter, Rachel L Zelkowitz
A new measure, the Online Social Support Scale, was developed based on previous theory, research, and measurement of in-person social support. It includes four subscales: Esteem/Emotional Support, Social Companionship, Informational Support, and Instrumental Support. In college and community samples, factor analytic and item response theory results suggest that subtypes of in-person social support also pertain in the online world. Evidence of reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity provide excellent psychometric support for the measure...
May 21, 2018: Psychological Assessment
Alba Alfonso-Garcia, Jeny Shklover, Benjamin E Sherlock, Alyssa Panitch, Leigh G Griffiths, Laura Marcu
New techniques able to monitor the maturation of tissue engineered constructs over time are needed for a more efficient control of developmental parameters. Here, a label-free fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIm) approach implemented through a single fiber-optic interface is reported for non-destructive in situ assessment of vascular biomaterials. Recellularization processes of antigen removed bovine pericardium scaffolds with endothelial cells and mesenchymal stem cells were evaluated on the serous and the fibrous sides of the scaffolds, two distinct extracellular matrix niches, over the course of a 7 day culture period...
May 21, 2018: Journal of Biophotonics
Manuel Caro-Magdaleno, Asunción Alfaro-Juárez, Jesús Montero-Iruzubieta, Ana Fernández-Palacín, Ana Muñoz-Morales, Manuel Alberto Castilla-Martino, Consuelo Spínola-Muñoz, Enrique Rodríguez-de-la-Rúa
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) is characterised by a marked decrease in limbal stem cells. It is classified primarily using subjective slit-lamp observations. In vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) can non-invasively provide objective information on the condition of the limbal niche, the corneal epithelial basal cell density and the corneal sub-basal nerve plexus density (SND). We here used IVCM to evaluate changes in SND to improve LSCD classification. METHODS: We evaluated and classified 38 patients (76 eyes, 44 with LSC and 32 control eyes) using the Rama, López-García and Deng (clinical and confocal) classifications and evaluated the concordance of the confocal and clinical classifications...
May 18, 2018: British Journal of Ophthalmology
Stefanie Inglis, Karl Heinrich Schneider, Janos M Kanczler, Heinz Redl, Richard O C Oreffo
Decellularized matrices offer a beneficial substitute for biomimetic scaffolds in tissue engineering. The current study examines the potential of decellularized placental vessel sleeves (PVS) as a periosteal protective sleeve to enhance bone regeneration in embryonic day 18 chick femurs contained within the PVS and cultured organotypically over a 10 day period. The femurs are inserted into decellularized biocompatibility-tested PVS and maintained in an organotypic culture for a period of 10 days. In femurs containing decellularized PVS, a significant increase in bone volume (p < 0...
May 14, 2018: Advanced Healthcare Materials
Kiwoong Seong, Kyuyup Lee, Sunil Puria, Jin-Ho Cho
Many clinical reports have discussed the effectiveness of stimulating the ear's round window (RW) with a tool to mitigate conductive and mixed hearing loss. The RW is one of the two openings from the middle ear into the inner ear. Various methods have been proposed to construct a highly efficient, easily implanted, and reliable RW transducer. Devices, however, such as floating mass transducers, have difficulty establishing proper contact without some degree of bone incision around the RW. Additionally, vibration energy may not be fully transmitted to the cochlea, but instead will be spread through the soft tissue around the transducer...
May 2, 2018: Computers in Biology and Medicine
Jia Bao Yao, Xiu Li Chu, Zhi Chun Zhou, Jian She Tong, Hui Wang, Jia Zhong Yu
Taking Schima superba and Cunninghamia lanceolata as test materials, a pot experiment was conducted to simulate the heterogeneous and homogeneous forest soil nutrient environments, and design three planting modes including single plant, two-strain pure plant and two-strain mixed ones to reason the promotion in mixed S. superba and C. lanceolata plantation and the competitive advantage of S. superba. Results showed that compared with the homogeneous nutrient environment, both S. superba and C. lanceolata had the higher seedling height and dry matter accumulation, when mixed in the heterogeneous nutrient environment, S...
May 18, 2017: Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao, the Journal of Applied Ecology
Ahmed M Shabana, Utpal K Mondal, Md Raqibul Alam, Taylor Spoon, Codee Alicia Ross, Muniswamy Madesh, Claudiu T Supuran, Marc A Ilies
Hypoxia is a common feature of solid tumors contributing to resistance to chemotherapy. Selective delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs to hypoxic tumor niche remains an unsolved issue. For this purpose, we constructed a gold nanoplatform targeting carbonic anhydrase IX (CA IX) epitope, which is overexpressed in hypoxic tumor cells versus normal tissues. We designed compatible small MW carbonic anhydrase inhibitor ligands (CAI)- and doxorubicin (Dox)- ligands, and optimized protocols for AuNPs efficient decoration to achieve both good targeting ligand density and optimum drug loading, while preserving colloidal stability...
May 7, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Páraic Ó Cuív, Rabina Giri, Emily C Hoedt, Michael A McGuckin, Jakob Begun, Mark Morrison
Enterococcus faecalis is an early coloniser of the human infant gut and contributes to the development of intestinal immunity. To better understand the functional capacity of E. faecalis , we constructed a broad host range RP4 mobilizable vector, pEHR513112, that confers chloramphenicol resistance and used a metaparental mating approach to isolate E. faecalis AHG0090 from a fecal sample collected from a healthy human infant. We demonstrated that E. faecalis AHG0090 is genetically tractable and could be manipulated using traditional molecular microbiology approaches...
2018: Frontiers in Immunology
Almudena González-Mula, Julien Lang, Catherine Grandclément, Delphine Naquin, Mohammed Ahmar, Laurent Soulère, Yves Queneau, Yves Dessaux, Denis Faure
Agrobacterium tumefaciens constructs an ecological niche in its host plant by transferring the T-DNA from its Ti plasmid into the host genome and by diverting the host metabolism. We combined transcriptomics and genetics for understanding the A. tumefaciens lifestyle when it colonizes Arabidopsis thaliana tumors. Transcriptomics highlighted: a transition from a motile to sessile behavior that mobilizes some master regulators (Hfq, CtrA, DivK and PleD); a remodeling of some cell surface components (O-antigen, succinoglucan, curdlan, att genes, putative fasciclin) and functions associated with plant defense (Ef-Tu and flagellin pathogen-associated molecular pattern-response and glycerol-3-phosphate and nitric oxide signaling); and an exploitation of a wide variety of host resources, including opines, amino acids, sugars, organic acids, phosphate, phosphorylated compounds, and iron...
April 27, 2018: New Phytologist
Morteza Alehosseini, Nasim Golafshan, Mahshid Kharaziha, Mohammadhossein Fathi, Hossein Edris
The combination of bioactive components such as calcium phosphates and fibrous structures are encouraging niche-mimetic keys for restoring bone defects. However, the importance of hemocompatibility of the membranes is widely ignored. Heparin-loaded nanocomposite poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)-α-tricalcium phosphate (α-TCP) fibrous membranes are developed to provide bioactive and hemocompatible constructs for bone tissue engineering. Nanocomposite membranes are optimized based on bioactivity, mechanical properties, and cell interaction...
April 27, 2018: Macromolecular Bioscience
Victor J Colino-Rabanal, Roberto Rodríguez-Díaz, María José Blanco-Villegas, Salvador J Peris, Miguel Lizana
Since domestication, a large number of livestock breeds adapted to local conditions have been created by natural and artificial selection, representing one of the most powerful ways in which human groups have constructed niches to meet their need. Although many authors have described local breeds as the result of culturally and environmentally mediated processes, this study, located in mainland Spain, is the first aimed at identifying and quantifying the environmental and human contributions to the spatial structure of local breed diversity, which we refer to as livestock niche...
April 24, 2018: Scientific Reports
William B Miller, John S Torday
Contemporary research supports the viewpoint that self-referential cognition is the proper definition of life. From that initiating platform, a cohesive alternative evolutionary narrative distinct from standard Neodarwinism can be presented. Cognition-Based Evolution contends that biological variation is a product of a self-reinforcing information cycle that derives from self-referential attachment to biological information space-time with its attendant ambiguities. That information cycle is embodied through obligatory linkages among energy, biological information, and communication...
April 13, 2018: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Malcolm M Furniss, Sandra J Kegley
The twig beetle, Pityophthorus pulchellus tuberculatus Eichhoff, infests dead branches of pines in western United States and Canada, including lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta Douglas, in northern Idaho. Adult broods overwintered in their host and emerged and colonized new hosts in late April. Males initiated galleries and were joined by up to seven females, each of which constructed an egg gallery radiating from a central chamber. Galleries had an average of 4.7 egg niches each with an egg that was large relative to the mother beetle...
April 19, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Yuli Wang, Raehyun Kim, Samuel S Hinman, Bailey Zwarycz, Scott T Magness, Nancy L Allbritton
The relationship between intestinal stem cells (ISCs) and the surrounding niche environment is complex and dynamic. Key factors localized at the base of the crypt are necessary to promote ISC self-renewal and proliferation, to ultimately provide a constant stream of differentiated cells to maintain the epithelial barrier. These factors diminish as epithelial cells divide, migrate away from the crypt base, differentiate into the postmitotic lineages, and end their life span in approximately 7 days when they are sloughed into the intestinal lumen...
March 2018: Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Axel Constant, Maxwell J D Ramstead, Samuel P L Veissière, John O Campbell, Karl J Friston
In evolutionary biology, niche construction is sometimes described as a genuine evolutionary process whereby organisms, through their activities and regulatory mechanisms, modify their environment such as to steer their own evolutionary trajectory, and that of other species. There is ongoing debate, however, on the extent to which niche construction ought to be considered a bona fide evolutionary force, on a par with natural selection. Recent formulations of the variational free-energy principle as applied to the life sciences describe the properties of living systems, and their selection in evolution, in terms of variational inference...
April 2018: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
E D Sverdlov
The review is devoted to unsolvable problems of biology. 1) Problems unsolvable due to stochastic mutations occurring during DNA replication that make it impossible to create two identical organisms or even two identical complex cells (Sverdlov, E. D. (2009) Biochemistry (Moscow), 74, 939-944) and to "defeat" cancer. 2) Problems unsolvable due to multiple interactions in complex systems leading to the appearance of unpredictable emergent properties that prevent establishment of unambiguous relationships between the genetic architecture and phenotypic manifestation of the genome and make impossible to predict with certainty responses of the organism, its parts, or pathological processes to external factors...
April 2018: Biochemistry. Biokhimii︠a︡
Payam Zarrintaj, Behnaz Bakhshandeh, Mohammad Reza Saeb, Farshid Sefat, Iraj Rezaeian, Mohammad Reza Ganjali, Seeram Ramakrishna, Masoud Mozafari
The science and engineering of biomaterials have improved the human life expectancy. Tissue engineering is one of the nascent strategies with an aim to fulfill this target. Tissue engineering scaffolds are one of the most significant aspects of the recent tissue repair strategies; hence, it is imperative to design biomimetic substrates with suitable features. Conductive substrates can ameliorate the cellular activity through enhancement of cellular signaling. Biocompatible polymers with conductivity can mimic the cells' niche in an appropriate manner...
April 3, 2018: Acta Biomaterialia
Hyaekang Kim, Woori Kwak, Sook Hee Yoon, Dae-Kyung Kang, Heebal Kim
Recent comparative genomics studies have suggested that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is one of the major processes in bacterial evolution. In this study, HGT events of 64 Chlamydia strains were investigated based on the pipeline employed in HGTree database constructed in our recent study. Tree reconciliation method was applied in order to calculate feasible HGT events. Following initial detection and an evaluation procedure, evidence of the HGT was identified in 548 gene families including 42 gene families transferred from outside of Chlamydiae phylum with high reliability...
2018: PloS One
Amanda J Fuchs, Christopher C Gilbert, Jason M Kamilar
OBJECTIVE: Ecological niche modeling (ENM) has been used to assess how abiotic variables influence species distributions and diversity. Baboons are broadly distributed throughout Africa, yet the degree of climatic specialization is largely unexplored for individual taxa. Also, the influence of climate on baboon phylogenetic divergence is unknown. In this study, we constructed ENMs to investigate how niches vary across Papio species to understand how climatic variables have influenced their biogeography and mode of speciation...
April 1, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Tao Wang, Christine Thien, Carolyn Wang, Ming Ni, Junjie Gao, Allan Wang, Qing Jiang, Rocky S Tuan, Qiujian Zheng, Ming H Zheng
The tendon is a mechanosensitive tissue, but little is known about how mechanical stimulation selectively signals tenogenic differentiation and neo-tendon formation. In this study, we compared the impact of uniaxial and biaxial mechanical loading on tendon-derived stem cells (TDSCs). Our data show that there are variations in cell signaling and cell differentiation of mouse TDSCs in response to uniaxial and biaxial loading in monolayer culture. Whereas uniaxial loading induced TDSCs toward tenogenic and osteogenic differentiation, biaxial loading induced osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation of TDSCs...
March 29, 2018: FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
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