Matching Items (10)

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An Examination of Citrate Synthase Activity in Experimentally Evolved Drosophila melanogaster

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Three populations of experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster populations made up of high temperature (H, constant 25 ᵒC), low temperature (C, constant 16 ᵒC) and temporal homogeneity (T, environment changes between

Three populations of experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster populations made up of high temperature (H, constant 25 ᵒC), low temperature (C, constant 16 ᵒC) and temporal homogeneity (T, environment changes between 16 ᵒC and 25 ᵒC) were prepared and assayed to determine difference in citrate synthase activity. Between the three groups, the results were inconclusive: the resulting reaction rates in units of nmol min-1mgfly-1 were 81.8 + 20.6, 101 + 15.6, and 96.9 + 25.2 for the hot (H), cold (C), and temporally homogeneous (T) groups, respectively. We conclude that the high associated variability was due to a lack of control regarding the collection time of the experimentally evolved Drosophila.

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  • 2015-05

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Kinetics, thermodynamics, and habitability of microbial iron redox cycling

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Many acidic hot springs in Yellowstone National Park support microbial iron oxidation, reduction, or microbial iron redox cycling (MIRC), as determined by microcosm rate experiments. Microbial dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR)

Many acidic hot springs in Yellowstone National Park support microbial iron oxidation, reduction, or microbial iron redox cycling (MIRC), as determined by microcosm rate experiments. Microbial dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR) was detected in numerous systems with a pH < 4. Rates of DIR are influenced by the availability of ferric minerals and organic carbon. Microbial iron oxidation (MIO) was detected from pH 2 – 5.5. In systems with abundant Fe (II), dissolved oxygen controls the presence of MIO. Rates generally increase with increased Fe(II) concentrations, but rate constants are not significantly altered by additions of Fe(II). MIRC was detected in systems with abundant ferric mineral deposition.

The rates of microbial and abiological iron oxidation were determined in a variety of cold (T= 9-12°C), circumneutral (pH = 5.5-9) environments in the Swiss Alps. Rates of MIO were measured in systems up to a pH of 7.4; only abiotic processes were detected at higher pH values. Iron oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) were responsible for 39-89% of the net oxidation rate at locations where biological iron oxidation was detected. Members of putative iron oxidizing genera, especially Gallionella, are abundant in systems where MIO was measured. Speciation calculations reveal that ferrous iron typically exists as FeCO30, FeHCO3+, FeSO40 or Fe2+ in these systems. The presence of ferrous (bi)carbonate species appear to increase abiotic iron oxidation rates relative to locations without significant concentrations. This approach, integrating geochemistry, rates, and community composition, reveals biogeochemical conditions that permit MIO, and locations where the abiotic rate is too fast for the biotic process to compete.

For a reaction to provide habitability for microbes in a given environment, it must energy yield and this energy must dissipate slowly enough to remain bioavailable. Thermodynamic boundaries exist at conditions where reactions do not yield energy, and can be quantified by calculations of chemical energy. Likewise, kinetic boundaries exist at conditions where the abiotic reaction rate is so fast that reactants are not bioavailable; this boundary can be quantified by measurements biological and abiological rates. The first habitability maps were drawn, using iron oxidation as an example, by quantifying these boundaries in geochemical space.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Anaerobic Digestion Kinetics of Batch Methanogenic and Electrogenic Systems

Description

Eighty-two percent of the United States population reside in urban areas. The centralized treatment of the municipal wastewater produced by this population is a huge energy expenditure, up to three

Eighty-two percent of the United States population reside in urban areas. The centralized treatment of the municipal wastewater produced by this population is a huge energy expenditure, up to three percent of the entire energy budget of the country. A portion of this energy is able to be recovered through the process of anaerobic sludge digestion. Typically, this technology converts the solids separated and generated during the wastewater treatment process into methane, a combustible gas that may be burned to generate electricity. Designing and optimizing anaerobic digestion systems requires the measurement of degradation rates for waste-specific kinetic parameters. In this work, I discuss the ways these kinetic parameters are typically measured. I recommend and demonstrate improvements to these commonly used measuring techniques. I provide experimental results of batch kinetic experiments exploring the effect of sludge pretreatment, a process designed to facilitate rapid breakdown of recalcitrant solids, on energy recovery rates. I explore the use of microbial electrochemical cells, an alternative energy recovery technology able to produce electricity directly from sludge digestion, as precise reporters of degradation kinetics. Finally, I examine a fundamental kinetic limitation of microbial electrochemical cells, acidification of the anode respiring biofilm, to improve their performance as kinetic sensors or energy recovery technologies.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Investigations into the occurrence, formation and fate of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in air and water

Description

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen, has been found in clouds and fogs at concentration up to 500 ng/L and in drinking water as disinfection by-product. NDMA exposure to the

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen, has been found in clouds and fogs at concentration up to 500 ng/L and in drinking water as disinfection by-product. NDMA exposure to the general public is not well understood because of knowledge gaps in terms of occurrence, formation and fate both in air and water. The goal of this dissertation was to contribute to closing these knowledge gaps on potential human NDMA exposure through contributions to atmospheric measurements and fate as well as aqueous formation processes.

Novel, sensitive methods of measuring NDMA in air were developed based on Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) coupled to Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). The two measuring techniques were evaluated in laboratory experiments. SPE-GC-MS was applicable in ambient air sampling and NDMA in ambient air was found in the 0.1-13.0 ng/m3 range.

NDMA photolysis, the main degradation atmospheric pathway, was studied in the atmospheric aqueous phase. Water soluble organic carbon (WSOC) was found to have more impact than inorganic species on NDMA photolysis by competing with NDMA for photons and therefore could substantially increase the NDMA lifetime in the atmosphere. The optical properties of atmospheric WSOC were investigated in aerosol, fog and cloud samples and showed WSOC from atmospheric aerosols has a higher mass absorption efficiency (MAE) than organic matter in fog and cloud water, resulting from a different composition, especially in regards of volatile species, that are not very absorbing but abundant in fogs and clouds.

NDMA formation kinetics during chloramination were studied in aqueous samples including wastewater, surface water and ground water, at two monochloramine concentrations. A simple second order NDMA formation model was developed using measured NDMA and monochloramine concentrations at select reaction times. The model fitted the NDMA formation well (R2 >0.88) in all water matrices. The proposed model was then optimized and applied to fit the data of NDMA formation from natural organic matter (NOM) and model precursors in previously studies. By determining the rate constants, the model was able to describe the effect of water conditions such as DOC and pH on NDMA formation.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Surface interactions of layered chalcogenides in covalent functionalization and metal adsorption

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Layered chalcogenides are a diverse class of crystalline materials that consist of covalently bound building blocks held together by van der Waals forces, including the transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) and

Layered chalcogenides are a diverse class of crystalline materials that consist of covalently bound building blocks held together by van der Waals forces, including the transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) and the pnictogen chalcogenides (PCs) among all. These materials, in particular, MoS2 which is the most widely studied TMDC material, have attracted significant attention in recent years due to their unique physical, electronic, optical, and chemical properties that depend on the number of layers. Due to their high aspect ratios and extreme thinness, 2D materials are sensitive to modifications via chemistry on their surfaces. For instance, covalent functionalization can be used to robustly modify the electronic properties of 2D materials, and can also be used to attach other materials or structures. Metal adsorption on the surfaces of 2D materials can also tune their electronic structures, and can be used as a strategy for removing metal contaminants from water. Thus, there are many opportunities for studying the fundamental surface interactions of 2D materials and in particular the TMDCs and PCs.

The work reported in this dissertation represents detailed fundamental studies of the covalent functionalization and metal adsorption behavior of layered chalcogenides, which are two significant aspects of the surface interactions of 2D materials. First, we demonstrate that both the Freundlich and Temkin isotherm models, and the pseudo-second-order reaction kinetics model are good descriptors of the reaction due to the energetically inhomogeneous surface MoS2 and the indirect adsorbate-adsorbate interactions from previously attached nitrophenyl (NP) groups. Second, the covalent functionalization using aryl diazonium salts is extended to nanosheets of other representative TMDC materials MoSe2, WS2, and WSe2, and of the representative PC materials Bi2S3 and Sb2S3, demonstrated using atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Finally, using AFM and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), it is shown that Pb, Cd Zn and Co form nanoclusters on the MoS2 surface without affecting the structure of the MoS2 itself. The metals can also be thermally desorbed from MoS2, thus suggesting a potential application as a reusable water purification technology.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Small molecule detection by surface plasmon resonance: improvements in sensitivity and kinetic measurement

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Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) has emerged as a popular technique for elucidating subtle signals from biological events in a label-free, high throughput environment. The efficacy of conventional SPR sensors, whose

Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) has emerged as a popular technique for elucidating subtle signals from biological events in a label-free, high throughput environment. The efficacy of conventional SPR sensors, whose signals are mass-sensitive, diminishes rapidly with the size of the observed target molecules. The following work advances the current SPR sensor paradigm for the purpose of small molecule detection. The detection limits of two orthogonal components of SPR measurement are targeted: speed and sensitivity. In the context of this report, speed refers to the dynamic range of measured kinetic rate constants, while sensitivity refers to the target molecule mass limitation of conventional SPR measurement. A simple device for high-speed microfluidic delivery of liquid samples to a sensor surface is presented to address the temporal limitations of conventional SPR measurement. The time scale of buffer/sample switching is on the order of milliseconds, thereby minimizing the opportunity for sample plug dispersion. The high rates of mass transport to and from the central microfluidic sensing region allow for SPR-based kinetic analysis of binding events with dissociation rate constants (kd) up to 130 s-1. The required sample volume is only 1 μL, allowing for minimal sample consumption during high-speed kinetic binding measurement. Charge-based detection of small molecules is demonstrated by plasmonic-based electrochemical impedance microscopy (P-EIM). The dependence of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) on surface charge density is used to detect small molecules (60-120 Da) printed on a dextran-modified sensor surface. The SPR response to an applied ac potential is a function of the surface charge density. This optical signal is comprised of a dc and an ac component, and is measured with high spatial resolution. The amplitude and phase of local surface impedance is provided by the ac component. The phase signal of the small molecules is a function of their charge status, which is manipulated by the pH of a solution. This technique is used to detect and distinguish small molecules based on their charge status, thereby circumventing the mass limitation (~100 Da) of conventional SPR measurement.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Thermodynamics and kinetics of DNA nanostructure assembly

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ABSTRACT The unique structural features of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that are of considerable biological interest also make it a valuable engineering material. Perhaps the most useful property of DNA for

ABSTRACT The unique structural features of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that are of considerable biological interest also make it a valuable engineering material. Perhaps the most useful property of DNA for molecular engineering is its ability to self-assemble into predictable, double helical secondary structures. These interactions are exploited to design a variety of DNA nanostructures, which can be organized into both discrete and periodic structures. This dissertation focuses on studying the dynamic behavior of DNA nanostructure recognition processes. The thermodynamics and kinetics of nanostructure binding are evaluated, with the intention of improving our ability to understand and control their assembly. Presented here are a series of studies toward this goal. First, multi-helical DNA nanostructures were used to investigate how the valency and arrangement of the connections between DNA nanostructures affect super-structure formation. The study revealed that both the number and the relative position of connections play a significant role in the stability of the final assembly. Next, several DNA nanostructures were designed to gain insight into how small changes to the nanostructure scaffolds, intended to vary their conformational flexibility, would affect their association equilibrium. This approach yielded quantitative information about the roles of enthalpy and entropy in the affinity of polyvalent DNA nanostructure interactions, which exhibit an intriguing compensating effect. Finally, a multi-helical DNA nanostructure was used as a model `chip' for the detection of a single stranded DNA target. The results revealed that the rate constant of hybridization is strongly dominated by a rate-limiting nucleation step.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Modeling aqueous organic chemistry in experimental and natural systems

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In many natural systems aqueous geochemical conditions dictate the reaction pathways of organic compounds. Geologic settings that span wide ranges in temperature, pressure, and composition vastly alter relative reaction rates

In many natural systems aqueous geochemical conditions dictate the reaction pathways of organic compounds. Geologic settings that span wide ranges in temperature, pressure, and composition vastly alter relative reaction rates and resulting organic abundances. The dependence of organic reactions on these variables contributes to planetary-scale nutrient cycling, and suggests that relative abundances of organic compounds can reveal information about inaccessible geologic environments, whether from the terrestrial subsurface, remote planetary settings, or even the distant past (if organic abundances are well preserved). Despite their relevance to planetary modeling and exploration, organic reactions remain poorly characterized under geochemically relevant conditions, especially in terms of their reaction kinetics, mechanisms, and equilibria.

In order to better understand organic transformations in natural systems, the reactivities of oxygen- and nitrogen-bearing organic functional groups were investigated under experimental hydrothermal conditions, at 250°C and 40 bar. The model compounds benzylamine and α-methylbenzylamine were used as analogs to environmentally relevant amines, ultimately elucidating two dominant deamination mechanisms for benzylamine, SN1 and SN2, and a single SN1 mechanism for deamination of α-methylbenzylamine. The presence of unimolecular and bimolecular mechanisms has implications for temperature dependent kinetics, indicating that Arrhenius rate extrapolation is currently unreliable for deamination.

Hydrothermal experiments with benzyl alcohol, benzylamine, dibenzylamine, or tribenzylamine as the starting material indicate that substitution reactions between these compounds (and others) are reversible and approach metastable equilibrium after 72 hours. These findings suggest that relative ratios of organic compounds capable of substitution reactions could be targeted as tracers of inaccessible geochemical conditions.

Metastable equilibria for organic reactions were investigated in a natural low-temperature serpentinizing continental system. Serpentinization is a water-rock reaction which generates hyperalkaline, reducing conditions. Thermodynamic calculations were performed for reactions between dissolved inorganic carbon and hydrogen to produce methane, formate, and acetate. Quantifying conditions that satisfy equilibrium for these reactions allows subsurface conditions to be predicted. These calculations also lead to hypotheses regarding active microbial processes during serpentinization.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Large-Scale Kinetic Analyses of Protein-Protein Interactions: Advancing the Understanding of Post Translational Modifications in Biological Regulation

Description

Signal transduction networks comprising protein-protein interactions (PPIs) mediate homeostatic, diseased, and therapeutic cellular responses. Mapping these networks has primarily focused on identifying interactors, but less is known about the interaction

Signal transduction networks comprising protein-protein interactions (PPIs) mediate homeostatic, diseased, and therapeutic cellular responses. Mapping these networks has primarily focused on identifying interactors, but less is known about the interaction affinity, rates of interaction or their regulation. To better understand the extent of the annotated human interactome, I first examined > 2500 protein interactions within the B cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway using a current, cutting-edge bioluminescence-based platform called “NanoBRET” that is capable of analyzing transient and stable interactions in high throughput. Eighty-three percent (83%) of the detected interactions have not been previously reported, indicating that much of the BCR pathway is still unexplored. Unfortunately, NanoBRET, as with all other high throughput methods, cannot determine binding kinetics or affinities. To address this shortcoming, I developed a hybrid platform that characterizes > 400 PPIs quantitatively and simultaneously in < 1 hour by combining the high throughput and flexible nature of nucleic programmable protein arrays (NAPPA) with the quantitative abilities of surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi). NAPPA-SPRi was then used to study the kinetics and affinities of > 12,000 PPIs in the BCR signaling pathway, revealing unique kinetic mechanisms that are employed by proteins, phosphorylation and activation states to regulate PPIs. In one example, activation of the GTPase RAC1 with nonhydrolyzable GTP-γS minimally affected its binding affinities with phosphorylated proteins but increased, on average, its on- and off-rates by 4 orders of magnitude for one-third of its interactions. In contrast, this phenomenon occurred with virtually all unphosphorylated proteins. The majority of the interactions (85%) were novel, sharing 40% of the same interactions as NanoBRET as well as detecting 55% more interactions than NanoBRET. In addition, I further validated four novel interactions identified by NAPPA-SPRi using SDS-PAGE migration and Western blot analyses. In one case, we have the first evidence of a direct enzyme-substrate interaction between two well-known proto-oncogenes that are abnormally regulated in > 30% of cancers, PI3K and MYC. Herein, PI3K is demonstrated to phosphorylate MYC at serine 62, a phosphosite that increases the stability of MYC. This study provides valuable insight into how PPIs, phosphorylation, and GTPase activation regulate the BCR signal transduction pathway. In addition, these methods could be applied toward understanding other signaling pathways, pathogen-host interactions, and the effect of protein mutations on protein interactions.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Thermodynamics and kinetics of DNA tile-based self-assembly

Description

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) has emerged as an attractive building material for creating complex architectures at the nanometer scale that simultaneously affords versatility and modularity. Particularly, the programmability of DNA enables

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) has emerged as an attractive building material for creating complex architectures at the nanometer scale that simultaneously affords versatility and modularity. Particularly, the programmability of DNA enables the assembly of basic building units into increasingly complex, arbitrary shapes or patterns. With the expanding complexity and functionality of DNA toolboxes, a quantitative understanding of DNA self-assembly in terms of thermodynamics and kinetics, will provide researchers with more subtle design guidelines that facilitate more precise spatial and temporal control. This dissertation focuses on studying the physicochemical properties of DNA tile-based self-assembly process by recapitulating representative scenarios and intermediate states with unique assembly pathways.

First, DNA double-helical tiles with increasing flexibility were designed to investigate the dimerization kinetics. The higher dimerization rates of more rigid tiles result from the opposing effects of higher activation energies and higher pre-exponential factors from the Arrhenius equation, where the pre-exponential factor dominates. Next, the thermodynamics and kinetics of single tile attachment to preformed “multitile” arrays were investigated to test the fundamental assumptions of tile assembly models. The results offer experimental evidences that double crossover tile attachment is determined by the electrostatic environment and the steric hindrance at the binding site. Finally, the assembly of double crossover tiles within a rhombic DNA origami frame was employed as the model system to investigate the competition between unseeded, facet and seeded nucleation. The results revealed that preference of nucleation types can be tuned by controlling the rate-limiting nucleation step.

The works presented in this dissertation will be helpful for refining the DNA tile assembly model for future designs and simulations. Moreover, The works presented here could also be helpful in understanding how individual molecules interact and more complex cooperative bindings in chemistry and biology. The future direction will focus on the characterization of tile assembly at single molecule level and the development of error-free tile assembly systems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016