Bressloff, Paul C; Lai, Yi Ming(The Journal of Mathematical Neuroscience, Springer Nature, 2011-05-03)[Article]
We extend the theory of noise-induced phase synchronization to the case of a neural master equation describing the stochastic dynamics of an ensemble of uncoupled neuronal population oscillators with intrinsic and extrinsic noise. The master equation formulation of stochastic neurodynamics represents the state of each population by the number of currently active neurons, and the state transitions are chosen so that deterministic Wilson-Cowan rate equations are recovered in the mean-field limit. We apply phase reduction and averaging methods to a corresponding Langevin approximation of the master equation in order to determine how intrinsic noise disrupts synchronization of the population oscillators driven by a common extrinsic noise source. We illustrate our analysis by considering one of the simplest networks known to generate limit cycle oscillations at the population level, namely, a pair of mutually coupled excitatory (E) and inhibitory (I) subpopulations. We show how the combination of intrinsic independent noise and extrinsic common noise can lead to clustering of the population oscillators due to the multiplicative nature of both noise sources under the Langevin approximation. Finally, we show how a similar analysis can be carried out for another simple population model that exhibits limit cycle oscillations in the deterministic limit, namely, a recurrent excitatory network with synaptic depression; inclusion of synaptic depression into the neural master equation now generates a stochastic hybrid system.
BACKGROUND: Analysis of the human genome has revealed that as much as an order of magnitude more of the genomic sequence is transcribed than accounted for by the predicted and characterized genes. A number of these transcripts are alternatively spliced forms of known protein coding genes; however, it is becoming clear that many of them do not necessarily correspond to a functional protein. RESULTS: In this study we analyze alternative splicing isoforms of human gene products that are unambiguously identified by mass spectrometry and compare their properties with those of isoforms of the same genes for which no peptide was found in publicly available mass spectrometry datasets. We analyze them in detail for the presence of uninterrupted functional domains, active sites as well as the plausibility of their predicted structure. We report how well each of these strategies and their combination can correctly identify translated isoforms and derive a lower limit for their specificity, that is, their ability to correctly identify non-translated products. CONCLUSIONS: The most effective strategy for correctly identifying translated products relies on the conservation of active sites, but it can only be applied to a small fraction of isoforms, while a reasonably high coverage, sensitivity and specificity can be achieved by analyzing the presence of non-truncated functional domains. Combining the latter with an assessment of the plausibility of the modeled structure of the isoform increases both coverage and specificity with a moderate cost in terms of sensitivity.
For organic semiconductors to find ubiquitous electronics applications, the development of new materials with high mobility and air stability is critical. Despite the versatility of carbon, exploratory chemical synthesis in the vast chemical space can be hindered by synthetic and characterization difficulties. Here we show that in silico screening of novel derivatives of the dinaphtho[2,3-b:2',3'-f]thieno[3,2-b]thiophene semiconductor with high hole mobility and air stability can lead to the discovery of a new high-performance semiconductor. On the basis of estimates from the Marcus theory of charge transfer rates, we identified a novel compound expected to demonstrate a theoretic twofold improvement in mobility over the parent molecule. Synthetic and electrical characterization of the compound is reported with single-crystal field-effect transistors, showing a remarkable saturation and linear mobility of 12.3 and 16 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1), respectively. This is one of the very few organic semiconductors with mobility greater than 10 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) reported to date.
BACKGROUND: The growth and development of a biological organism is reflected by its metabolic network, the evolution of which relies on the essential gene duplication mechanism. There are two current views about the evolution of metabolic networks. The retrograde model hypothesizes that a pathway evolves by recruiting novel enzymes in a direction opposite to the metabolic flow. The patchwork model is instead based on the assumption that the evolution is based on the exploitation of broad-specificity enzymes capable of catalysing a variety of metabolic reactions. RESULTS: We analysed a well-studied unicellular eukaryotic organism, S. cerevisiae, and studied the effect of the removal of paralogous gene products on its metabolic network. Our results, obtained using different paralog and network definitions, show that, after an initial period when gene duplication was indeed instrumental in expanding the metabolic space, the latter reached an equilibrium and subsequent gene duplications were used as a source of more specialized enzymes rather than as a source of novel reactions. We also show that the switch between the two evolutionary strategies in S. cerevisiae can be dated to about 350 million years ago. CONCLUSIONS: Our data, obtained through a novel analysis methodology, strongly supports the hypothesis that the patchwork model better explains the more recent evolution of the S. cerevisiae metabolic network. Interestingly, the effects of a patchwork strategy acting before the Euascomycete-Hemiascomycete divergence are still detectable today.
The present study aims to investigate the effect of suspended nanoparticles in base fluids, namely nanofluids, on the thermal resistance of a disk-shaped miniature heat pipe [DMHP]. In this study, two types of nanoparticles, gold and carbon, in aqueous solution are used respectively. An experimental system was set up to measure the thermal resistance of the DMHP with both nanofluids and deionized [DI] water as the working medium. The measured results show that the thermal resistance of DMHP varies with the charge volume and the type of working medium. At the same charge volume, a significant reduction in thermal resistance of DMHP can be found if nanofluid is used instead of DI water.
Contamination of soil and water due to the release of light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs) is a ubiquitous problem. The problem is more severe in arid and semi-arid coastal regions where most of the petroleum production and related refinery industries are located. Biological treatment of these organic contaminated resources is receiving increasing interests and where applicable, can serve as a cost-effective remediation alternative. The success of bioremediation greatly depends on the prevailing environmental variables, and their remediation favoring customization requires a sound understanding of their integrated behavior on fate and transport of LNAPLs under site-specific conditions. The arid and semi-arid coastal sites are characterized by specific environmental extremes; primarily, varying low and high temperatures, high salinity, water table dynamics, and fluctuating soil moisture content. An understanding of the behavior of these environmental variables on biological interactions with LNAPLs would be helpful in customizing the bioremediation for restoring problematic sites in these regions. Therefore, this paper reviews the microbial degradation of LNAPLs in soil-water, considering the influences of prevailing environmental parameters of arid and semi-arid coastal regions. First, the mechanism of biodegradation of LNAPLs is discussed briefly, followed by a summary of popular kinetic models used by researchers for describing the degradation rate of these hydrocarbons. Next, the impact of soil moisture content, water table dynamics, and soil-water temperature on the fate and transport of LNAPLs are discussed, including an overview of the studies conducted so far. Finally, based on the reviewed information, a general conclusion is presented with recommendations for future research subjects on optimizing the bioremediation technique in the field under the aforesaid environmental conditions. The present review will be useful to better understand the feasibility of bioremediation technology, in general, and its applicability for remediating LNAPLs polluted lands under aforesaid environments, in particular.
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