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Elisa Domínguez-Hüttinger, Panayiotis Christodoulides, Kosuke Miyauchi, Alan D Irvine, Mariko Okada-Hatakeyama, Masato Kubo, Reiko J Tanaka
BACKGROUND: The skin barrier acts as the first line of defense against constant exposure to biological, microbial, physical and chemical environmental stressors. Dynamic interplay between defects in the skin barrier, dysfunctional immune responses, and environmental stressors are major factors in the development of atopic dermatitis (AD). A systems-biology modeling approach can yield significant insights into these complex and dynamic processes through integration of prior biological data...
December 5, 2016: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Abolfazl Alipour, Azadeh Mojdehfarahbakhsh, Ashkan Tavakolian, Taha Morshedzadeh, Maedeh Asadi, Alireza Mehdizadeh, Mohammad Nami
Functional significance of the neural oscillations has been debated since long. In particular, oscillations have been suggested to play a major role in formation of communication channels between brain regions. It has been previously suggested that gamma coherence increases during communication between hemispheres when subjects perceive a horizontal motion in Stroboscopic Alternative Motion (SAM) stimulus. In addition, disruption of this coherence may change the horizontal perception of SAM. In this study, we investigated the changes of Cross-Frequency Coupling (CFC) in EEG signals from parietal and occipital cortices during horizontal and vertical perception of SAM...
December 8, 2016: Journal of Integrative Neuroscience
Miriam Leon, Mae L Woods, Alex J H Fedorec, Chris P Barnes
BACKGROUND: Genetic switches exhibit multistability, form the basis of epigenetic memory, and are found in natural decision making systems, such as cell fate determination in developmental pathways. Synthetic genetic switches can be used for recording the presence of different environmental signals, for changing phenotype using synthetic inputs and as building blocks for higher-level sequential logic circuits. Understanding how multistable switches can be constructed and how they function within larger biological systems is therefore key to synthetic biology...
December 7, 2016: BMC Systems Biology
Mathieu Miras, David Dubnau
The K-state in the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis is associated with transformability (competence) as well as with growth arrest and tolerance for antibiotics. Entry into the K-state is determined by the stochastic activation of the transcription factor ComK and occurs in about ∼15% of the population in domesticated strains. Although the upstream mechanisms that regulate the K-state have been intensively studied and are well understood, it has remained unexplained why undomesticated isolates of B. subtilis are poorly transformable compared to their domesticated counterparts...
2016: Frontiers in Microbiology
Giulio Ragazzon, Alberto Credi, Benoit Colasson
Bistable [2]rotaxanes in which the affinities of the two stations can be reversed form the basis of molecular shuttles. Gaining quantitative information on such rotaxanes in which the ring distribution between the two stations is largely nonsymmetric has proven to be very challenging. Here we report on two independent experimental methodologies - based on luminescence lifetime measurement and acid-base titrations - to determine the relative populations of the two co-conformations of a [2]rotaxane. The assays yield convergent results and are sensitive enough to measure an equilibrium constant (K ~ 4000) out of reach for NMR spectroscopy...
December 5, 2016: Chemistry: a European Journal
Cai Sun, Ming-Sheng Wang, Pei-Xin Li, Guo-Cong Guo
Electron-transfer (redox) thermochromism was successfully used for switching the conductance of semiconductors, by introducing a thermally active organic component into an inorganic semiconducting framework. A moisture-resistant semiconductor {(MV)2 [Pb7 Br18 ]}n (MV(2+) =methyl viologen cation) has been prepared through an in situ synthetic method for MV(2+) . It features a rare 3D haloplumbate open framework and unprecedented electron-transfer thermochromic behavior in haloplumbates. The electrical conductivity of this compound dropped significantly after coloration and restored after decoloration, which was satisfactorily explained by valence band XPS and theoretical data...
December 5, 2016: Angewandte Chemie
Francisco Fernandez-Palacio, Mikko Poutanen, Marco Saccone, Antti Siiskonen, Giancarlo Terraneo, Giuseppe Resnati, Olli Ikkala, Pierangelo Metrangolo, Arri Priimagi
Here, we present a new family of light-responsive, fluorinated supramolecular liquid crystals (LCs) showing efficient and reversible light-induced LC-to-isotropic phase transitions. Our materials design is based on fluorinated azobenzenes, where the fluorination serves to strengthen the noncovalent interaction with bond-accepting stilbazole molecules, and increase the lifetime of the cis-form of the azobenzene units. The halogen-bonded LCs were characterized by means of X-ray diffraction, hot-stage polarized optical microscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry...
November 22, 2016: Chemistry of Materials: a Publication of the American Chemical Society
Che-Chi Shu, Chen-Chao Yeh, Wun-Sin Jhang, Shih-Chiang Lo
The stochastic nature of gene regulatory networks described by Chemical Master Equation (CME) leads to the distribution of proteins. A deterministic bistability is usually reflected as a bimodal distribution in stochastic simulations. Within a certain range of the parameter space, a bistable system exhibits two stable steady states, one at the low end and the other at the high end. Consequently, it appears to have a bimodal distribution with one sub-population (mode) around the low end and the other around the high end...
2016: PloS One
V Goblot, H S Nguyen, I Carusotto, E Galopin, A Lemaître, I Sagnes, A Amo, J Bloch
We use a one-dimensional polariton fluid in a semiconductor microcavity to explore the nonlinear dynamics of counterpropagating interacting Bose fluids. The intrinsically driven-dissipative nature of the polariton fluid allows us to use resonant pumping to impose a phase twist across the fluid. When the polariton-polariton interaction energy becomes comparable to the kinetic energy, linear interference fringes transform into a train of solitons. A novel type of bistable behavior controlled by the phase twist across the fluid is experimentally evidenced...
November 18, 2016: Physical Review Letters
Igor V Belykh, Russell Jeter, Vladimir N Belykh
Several modern footbridges around the world have experienced large lateral vibrations during crowd loading events. The onset of large-amplitude bridge wobbling has generally been attributed to crowd synchrony; although, its role in the initiation of wobbling has been challenged. To study the contribution of a single pedestrian into overall, possibly unsynchronized, crowd dynamics, we use a bio-mechanically inspired inverted pendulum model of human balance and analyze its bi-directional interaction with a lively bridge...
November 2016: Chaos
Alan Veliz-Cuba, Chinmaya Gupta, Matthew R Bennett, Krešimir Josić, William Ott
We assess the impact of cell cycle noise on gene circuit dynamics. For bistable genetic switches and excitable circuits, we find that transitions between metastable states most likely occur just after cell division and that this concentration effect intensifies in the presence of transcriptional delay. We explain this concentration effect with a three-states stochastic model. For genetic oscillators, we quantify the temporal correlations between daughter cells induced by cell division. Temporal correlations must be captured properly in order to accurately quantify noise sources within gene networks...
November 30, 2016: Physical Biology
Satoru Mochida, Scott Rata, Hirotsugu Hino, Takeharu Nagai, Béla Novák
The abrupt and irreversible transition from interphase to M phase is essential to separate DNA replication from chromosome segregation. This transition requires the switch-like phosphorylation of hundreds of proteins by the cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1):cyclin B (CycB) complex. Previous studies have ascribed these switch-like phosphorylations to the auto-activation of Cdk1:CycB through the removal of inhibitory phosphorylations on Cdk1-Tyr15 [1, 2]. The positive feedback in Cdk1 activation creates a bistable switch that makes mitotic commitment irreversible [2-4]...
November 15, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Iuliana V Ene, Matthew B Lohse, Adrian V Vladu, Joachim Morschhäuser, Alexander D Johnson, Richard J Bennett
: The white-opaque switch is a bistable, epigenetic transition affecting multiple traits in Candida albicans including mating, immunogenicity, and niche specificity. To compare how the two cell states respond to external cues, we examined the fitness, phenotypic switching, and filamentation properties of white cells and opaque cells under 1,440 different conditions at 25°C and 37°C. We demonstrate that white and opaque cells display striking differences in their integration of metabolic and thermal cues, so that the two states exhibit optimal fitness under distinct conditions...
November 22, 2016: MBio
Denggui Fan, Suyu Liu, Qingyun Wang
Epileptic absence seizure characterized by the typical 2-4 Hz spike-wave discharges (SWD) are known to arise due to the physiologically abnormal interactions within the thalamocortical network. By introducing a second inhibitory neuronal population in the cortical system, here we propose a modified thalamocortical field model to mathematically describe the occurrences and transitions of SWD under the mutual functions between cortex and thalamus, as well as the disinhibitory modulations of SWD mediated by the two different inhibitory interneuronal populations...
November 23, 2016: Scientific Reports
Pranay Podder, Dhiman Mallick, Andreas Amann, Saibal Roy
Ambient mechanical vibrations have emerged as a viable energy source for low-power wireless sensor nodes aiming the upcoming era of the 'Internet of Things'. Recently, purposefully induced dynamical nonlinearities have been exploited to widen the frequency spectrum of vibration energy harvesters. Here we investigate some critical inconsistencies between the theoretical formulation and applications of the bistable Duffing nonlinearity in vibration energy harvesting. A novel nonlinear vibration energy harvesting device with the capability to switch amidst individually tunable bistable-quadratic, monostable-quartic and bistable-quartic potentials has been designed and characterized...
November 22, 2016: Scientific Reports
Hinze Hogendoorn, Frans A J Verstraten, Hamish MacDougall, David Alais
Certain visual stimuli can have two possible interpretations. These perceptual interpretations may alternate stochastically, a phenomenon known as bistability. Some classes of bistable stimuli, including binocular rivalry, are sensitive to bias from input through other modalities, such as sound and touch. Here, we address the question whether bistable visual motion stimuli, known as plaids, are affected by vestibular input that is caused by self-motion. In Experiment 1, we show that a vestibular self-motion signal biases the interpretation of the bistable plaid, increasing or decreasing the likelihood of the plaid being perceived as globally coherent or transparently sliding depending on the relationship between self-motion and global visual motion directions...
November 25, 2016: Vision Research
Ajay Kumar Yagati, Sang-Uk Kim, Taek Lee, Junhong Min, Jeong-Woo Choi
In the present study, we developed a biohybrid material composed of recombinant azurin and CdSe-ZnS quantum dot to perform as a resistive random access memory (ReRAM) device. Site specific amino acid sequences were introduced in azurin to bind with the surface of CdSe-ZnS nanoparticle allowing the formation of a hybrid and voltage-driven switching enabled to develop a resistive random access memory (ReRAM) device. The analytical measurements confirmed that the azurin and CdSe-ZnS nanoparticles were well conjugated and formed into a single hybrid...
November 15, 2016: Biosensors & Bioelectronics
Chi Xu, Stijn Hantson, Milena Holmgren, Egbert H van Nes, Arie Staal, Marten Scheffer
Although canopy height has long been a focus of interest in ecology, it has remained difficult to study at large spatial scales. Recently, satellite-borne LiDAR equipment produced the first systematic high resolution maps of vegetation height worldwide. Here we show that this new resource reveals three marked modes in tropical canopy height ~40, ~12, and ~2 m corresponding to forest, savanna, and treeless landscapes. The distribution of these modes is consistent with the often hypothesized forest-savanna bistability and suggests that both states can be stable in areas with a mean annual precipitation between ~1,500  and ~2,000 mm...
September 2016: Ecology
Graham M Donovan
Airway closure has important implications for lung disease, especially asthma; in particular, the prospect of bistability between open and closed (or effectively closed) airway states has been thought to play a prominent role in airway closure associated with the formation of clustered ventilation defects in asthma. However, many existing analyses of closure consider only static airway equilibria; here we construct, to our knowledge, a new model wherein airway narrowing and closure dynamics are modulated by coupling the airway to cross-bridge models of airway smooth muscle dynamics and force generation...
November 15, 2016: Biophysical Journal
Pablo R Grassi, Natalia Zaretskaya, Andreas Bartels
A growing body of literature suggests that feedback modulation of early visual processing is ubiquitous and central to cortical computation. In particular stimuli with high-level content that invariably activate ventral object responsive regions have been shown to suppress early visual cortex. This suppression was typically interpreted in the framework of predictive coding and feedback from ventral regions. Here we examined early visual modulation during perception of a bistable Gestalt illusion that has previously been shown to be mediated by dorsal parietal cortex rather than by ventral regions that were not activated...
November 12, 2016: NeuroImage
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