Precise Characterization (precise + characterization)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

What is the Principle of Recombination?

DIALECTICA, Issue 4 2008
David Efird
In this paper, we give a precise characterization of the principle of recombination and argue that it need not be subject to any restrictions. [source]

Echocardiographic Left Ventricular Mass in African-Americans

The Jackson Cohort of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study
Characterization of target organ damage from hypertension is of particular interest in African-Americans, and evidence from electrocardiographic studies suggests that left ventricular hypertrophy is a frequent clinical finding of considerable prognostic importance. Echocardiographic studies may permit more precise characterization of the pathologic impact of hypertension on cardiac structure and function. The objective of this study is to characterize left ventricular (LV) structure including measures of wall thickness, septal thickness, internal dimension, and mass in a middle-aged sample of African-Americans using echocardiography. This study is a cohort (cross-sectional) study in which 2445 middle-aged African-American study participants from a population-based sample initially enrolled by the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities, Jackson, Mississippi Examination Center in 1987,1989 underwent an M-mode echocardiograpic examination at their third or fourth clinic visit in 1993,1996. Measures of LV mass, even where indexed by size were conspicuously greater in men compared to women, and men exhibited a demonstrably steeper gradient of LV mass across the rather restricted age range of the study. However, when gender specific thresholds for LV hypertrophy were utilized, African-American men appear to have lower prevalence of LV hypertrophy than women. The lowest prevalence of LV hypertrophy was observed in African-American men who did not have hypertension (28.4%). The findings confirm previous suggestions from electrocardiographic investigations that cardiac hypertrophy is common, if not epidemic in middle-aged African-American men and women, whether or not they have hypertension. (ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY, Volume 20, February 2003) [source]

X-ray diffraction analysis of GaInNAs double-quantum-well structures

Kiichi Nakashima
The structures of GaInNAs/GaAs double-quantum-well (DQW) samples with various well-layer thicknesses were analysed by X-ray diffraction measurements. Two types of rocking-curve analysis were applied with different scanning configurations: a conventional configuration without a receiving slit and one with an analyser crystal placed in front of the receiving detector (the latter is the same as that usually used in reciprocal-space mapping measurements). It was found that systematic combination of both types of analysis is essential for the characterization of the sample structures. The two types of X-ray profiles obtained using the different scanning configurations exhibit a considerable difference in intensity as the thickness of the well layers increases. The increasing difference clearly indicates deterioration of the DQW structures. The two profiles exhibit little difference in terms of shape, merely showing that the DQW layers are coherently strained relative to the substrate. This implies that measurement in only one of the configurations is insensitive to the deterioration and leads to the wrong conclusion that a sample has a perfect structure without dislocations and defects. Photoluminescence and transmission electron microscope analyses both reveal that defects really do exist in the DQW structures, which is consistent with the difference in intensity observed in the X-ray measurements. From these results, a clear picture that consistently explains the sensitivity of X-ray diffraction analysis to the deterioration of samples is presented. In addition, based on this picture, it is proposed that the procedure of comparing the two types of profiles represents a new type of analysis method for the precise characterization of samples. [source]

High-sensitivity analysis of specific peptides in complex samples by selected MS/MS ion monitoring and linear ion trap mass spectrometry: Application to biological studies

Inmaculada Jorge
Abstract Mass spectrometry (MS) is a technique of paramount importance in Proteomics, and developments in this field have been possible owing to novel MS instrumentation, experimental strategies, and bioinformatics tools. Today it is possible to identify and determine relative expression levels of thousands of proteins in a biological system by MS analysis of peptides produced by proteolytic digestion. In some situations, however, the precise characterization of a particular peptide species in a very complex peptide mixture is needed. While single-fragment ion-based scanning modes such as selected ion reaction monitoring (SIRM) or consecutive reaction monitoring (CRM) may be highly sensitive, they do not produce MS/MS information and their actual specificity must be determined in advance, a prerequisite that is not usually met in a basic research context. In such cases, the MS detector may be programmed to perform continuous MS/MS spectra on the peptide ion of interest in order to obtain structural information. This selected MS/MS ion monitoring (SMIM) mode has a number of advantages that are fully exploited by MS detectors that, like the linear ion trap, are characterized by high scanning speeds. In this work, we show some applications of this technique in the context of biological studies. These results were obtained by selecting an appropriate combination of scans according to the purpose of each one of these research scenarios. They include highly specific identification of proteins present in low amounts, characterization and relative quantification of post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and S -nitrosylation and species-specific peptide identification. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Phenotypic comparison of periodontal ligament cells in vivo and in vitro

P. Lekic
The mammalian periodontal ligament contains heterogeneous populations of connective tissue cells, the precise function of which is poorly understood. Despite close proximity to bone and the application of high amplitude physical forces, cells in the periodontal ligament (PL) are capable of expressing regulatory factors that maintain PL width during adult life. The study of PL homeostasis and PL cell differentiation requires culture and phenotypic methods for precise characterization of PL cell populations, in particular those cells with an inherently osteogenic program. Currently it is unknown if cells cultured from the PL are phenotypically similar to the parental cells that are present in the tissues. We have compared the phenotype of cells in vivo with cells derived from the PL and expanded in vitro to assess the general validity of in vitro models for the study of phenotypic regulation in vivo. Rat PL cells were isolated by either scraping the root of the extracted first mandibular molars (Group A), or by scraping the alveolar socket following extraction of first mandibular molars (Group B), or by obtaining a mixture of cells after disaggregating a block of tissue consisting of first mandibular molar, PL and the surrounding alveolar bone (Group C). Cultured cells at confluence were fixed and immunostained for ,-smooth muscle actin (,-SMA), osteopontin (OPN), alkaline phosphatase (AP), or bone sialoprotein (BSP). For in vivo assessments, frontal sections of rat first mandibular molar were immunostained for ,-SMA, OPN, AP and BSP. We examined osteogenic differentiation of cultured PL cell cultures by bone nodule-forming assays. In vivo and at all examined sites, >68% of PL cells were immunostained for AP; ,50% and ,51% for OPN and ,-SMA (p=0.3), respectively, while only ,8% were positively stained for BSP (p<0.01). Analysis of cultured PL cells in Groups A, B and C showed 54%, 53% and 56% positive staining for ,-SMA respectively; 51%, 56%, 54% for OPN; 66%, 70%, 69% for AP and 2.2%, 1.4% and 2.8% for BSP. The mean percentage of PL cells in situ stained for the different markers was similar to that of cultured PL cells (Group A,Group B,Group C in situ for p>0.2) except for BSP which was 3 to 4 fold higher in vivo(p<0.01). PL cell cultures treated with dexamethasone showed mineralized tissue formation for all groups (A, B, C), but no mineralized tissue formation was detected in the absence of dexamethasone. As PL cells express quantitatively similar phenotypes in vitro and in vivo, we conclude that the in vitro models used here for assessment of PL cell differentiation appear to be appropriate and are independent of the cell sampling method. Further, dexamethasone-dependent progenitors are present both on the root and bone-related sides of the PL. [source]

The Content of Intentions

MIND & LANGUAGE, Issue 4 2000
Elisabeth Patherie
By distinguishing between prior intentions and intentions in action, Searle has helped solve a number of difficulties confronted by the earlier versions of the causal theory of actions. Yet this distinction also raises important new issues. In particular, once a distinction is posited between two types of intentions, one must specify what the exact nature of their respective contents is and explain how the two types of intentions are connected. I suggest that in addressing those issues we could benefit from the insights provided by recent work in the coginitive neuroscience of action. I try to show how this work can help us give a more precise characterization of the content of intentions in action and bridge the gap between prior intentions and intentions in action. [source]

Fast and automated functional classification with MED-SuMo: An application on purine-binding proteins

Olivia Doppelt-Azeroual
Abstract Ligand,protein interactions are essential for biological processes, and precise characterization of protein binding sites is crucial to understand protein functions. MED-SuMo is a powerful technology to localize similar local regions on protein surfaces. Its heuristic is based on a 3D representation of macromolecules using specific surface chemical features associating chemical characteristics with geometrical properties. MED-SMA is an automated and fast method to classify binding sites. It is based on MED-SuMo technology, which builds a similarity graph, and it uses the Markov Clustering algorithm. Purine binding sites are well studied as drug targets. Here, purine binding sites of the Protein DataBank (PDB) are classified. Proteins potentially inhibited or activated through the same mechanism are gathered. Results are analyzed according to PROSITE annotations and to carefully refined functional annotations extracted from the PDB. As expected, binding sites associated with related mechanisms are gathered, for example, the Small GTPases. Nevertheless, protein kinases from different Kinome families are also found together, for example, Aurora-A and CDK2 proteins which are inhibited by the same drugs. Representative examples of different clusters are presented. The effectiveness of the MED-SMA approach is demonstrated as it gathers binding sites of proteins with similar structure-activity relationships. Moreover, an efficient new protocol associates structures absent of cocrystallized ligands to the purine clusters enabling those structures to be associated with a specific binding mechanism. Applications of this classification by binding mode similarity include target-based drug design and prediction of cross-reactivity and therefore potential toxic side effects. [source]

Breast Intracystic Papillary Carcinoma: An Update

Julien Calderaro
Abstract:, Intracystic papillary carcinoma (IPC), a breast tumor mainly occuring in the elderly, has long been considered as a variant of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). This is now debated since metastatic cases have been reported. In this study, surgical pieces of 20 IPCs were reassessed, and markers of myopepithelial layer (p63, CD10 and Smooth Muscle Actin) as well as estrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PgR) and C-erb-B2 oncoprotein expression were systematically performed and quantified. In 10 cases, an associated unequivocal invasive component was found. In all 20 cases, no myoepithelial layer was found. Eighteen tumors were ER positive, 14 were PgR positive. Moreover, none of the tumors over-expressed C-erb-B2 oncoprotein. Therefore this study showed that in all cases of IPC there were microscopic features of invasive carcinoma despite good clinical prognostic indicators, and that precise characterization of tumors requires extensive paraffin embedding of surgical pieces. [source]


Bronwyn Kingwell
SUMMARY 1Arterial stiffness, which has independent predictive value for cardiovascular events, seems to have a genetic component, largely independent of the influence of blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors. 2In animal models of essential hypertension (stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats), structural modifications of the arterial wall include an increase in the number of elastin,smooth muscle cell connections and smaller fenestrations of the internal elastic lamina, possibility leading to redistribution of the mechanical load towards elastic materials. These modifications may give rise to mechanisms explaining why changes in arterial wall material accompanying wall hypertrophy in these animals are not associated with an increase in arterial stiffness. 3In monogenic connective tissue diseases (Marfan, Williams and Ehlers,Danlos syndromes) and the corresponding animal models, precise characterization of the arterial phenotype makes it possible to determine the influence of abnormal, genetically determined, wall components on arterial stiffness. 4Such studies have highlighted the role of extracellular matrix signalling in the vascular wall and have shown that elastin and collagen not only display elasticity or rigidity, but are also involved in the control of smooth muscle cell function. 5These data provide strong evidence that arterial stiffness is affected by the amount and density of stiff wall material and the spatial organization of that material. [source]