The two-dimensional IR nonlinear spectroscopy of a cyclic penta-peptide in relation to its three-dimensional structure.
A form of two-dimensional (2D) vibrational spectroscopy, which uses two ultrafast IR laser pulses, is used to examine the structure of a cyclic penta-peptide in solution. Spectrally resolved cross peaks occur in the off-diagonal region of the 2D IR spectrum of the amide I region, analogous to those in 2D NMR spectroscopy. These cross peaks measure the coupling between the different amide groups in the structure. Their intensities and polarizations relate directly to the three-dimensional structure of the peptide. With the help of a model coupling Hamiltonian, supplemented by density functional calculations, the spectra of this penta-peptide can be regenerated from the known solution phase structure. This 2D-IR measurement, with an intrinsic time resolution of less than 1 ps, could be used in all time regimes of interest in biology. (+info
Molecular and epidemiological characterization of vaginal Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates.
Although vaginitis caused by Saccharomyces cerevisiae is extremely rare, in recent years we have experienced an increasing frequency of S. cerevisiae isolation from the vaginas of fertile-age women. In order to investigate the epidemiology of these vaginal infections, a total of 40 isolates of S. cerevisiae derived from symptomatic and asymptomatic women were characterized by two DNA typing approaches, named ribosomal DNA (rDNA) hybridization and Ty917 hybridization, based on the Southern blotting technique. After transfer, the polymorphic DNA restriction fragments were hybridized with the entire repeat of S. cerevisiae rDNA for one method and with the entire sequence of the Ty917 retrotransposon for the other. After elaboration with computer-assisted analysis, the results of each method showed that Ty917 hybridization is endowed with a discriminatory power higher than that of rDNA hybridization. With the Ty917 hybridization method, all of the S. cerevisiae isolates tested appeared very heterogeneous, with the exception of those collected from individual patients with recurrent vaginitis. This allowed us to exclude a possible common source of infection while the high relatedness among S. cerevisiae sequential isolates from recurrent-vaginitis patients could suggest a pattern of relapse rather than frequent reinfection. (+info
DNA computing the Hamiltonian path problem.
The directed Hamiltonian path (DHP) problem is one of the hard computational problems for which there is no practical algorithm on a conventional computer available. Many problems, including the traveling sales person problem and the longest path problem, can be translated into the DHP problem, which implies that an algorithm for DHP can also solve all the translated problems. To study the robustness of the laboratory protocol of the pioneering DNA computing for the DHP problem performed by Leonard Adleman (1994), we investigated how the graph size, multiplicity of the Hamiltonian paths, and the size of oligonucleotides that encode the vertices would affect the laboratory procedures. We applied Adleman's protocol with 18-mer oligonucleotide per node to a graph with 8 vertices and 14 edges containing two Hamiltonian paths (Adleman used 20-mer oligonucleotides for a graph with 7 nodes, 14 edges and one Hamiltonian path). We found that depending on the graph characteristics such as the number of short cycles, the oligonucleotide size, and the hybridization conditions that used to encode the graph, the protocol should be executed with different parameters from Adleman's. (+info
An ontology for biological function based on molecular interactions.
MOTIVATIONS: A number of important bioinformatics computations involve computing with function: executing computational operations whose inputs or outputs are descriptions of the functions of biomolecules. Examples include performing functional queries to sequence and pathway databases, and determining functional equality to evaluate algorithms that predict function from sequence. A prerequisite to computing with function is the existence of an ontology that provides a structured semantic encoding of function. Functional bioinformatics is an emerging subfield of bioinformatics that is concerned with developing ontologies and algorithms for computing with biological function. RESULTS: The article explores the notion of computing with function, and explains the importance of ontologies of function to bioinformatics. The functional ontology developed for the EcoCyc database is presented. This ontology can encode a diverse array of biochemical processes, including enzymatic reactions involving small-molecule substrates and macromolecular substrates, signal-transduction processes, transport events, and mechanisms of regulation of gene expression. The ontology is validated through its use to express complex functional queries for the EcoCyc DB. CONTACT: [email protected]
MPSA: integrated system for multiple protein sequence analysis with client/server capabilities.
MPSA is a stand-alone software intended to protein sequence analysis with a high integration level and Web clients/server capabilities. It provides many methods and tools, which are integrated into an interactive graphical user interface. It is available for most Unix/Linux and non-Unix systems. MPSA is able to connect to a Web server (e.g. http://pbil.ibcp.fr/NPSA) in order to perform large-scale sequence comparison on up-to-date databanks. AVAILABILITY: Free to academic http://www.ibcp.fr/mpsa/ CONTACT: [email protected]
Graphically-enabled integration of bioinformatics tools allowing parallel execution.
Rapid analysis of large amounts of genomic data is of great biological as well as medical interest. This type of analysis will greatly benefit from the ability to rapidly assemble a set of related analysis programs and to exploit the power of parallel computing. TurboGenomics, which is a software package currently in its alpha-testing phase, allows integration of heterogeneous software components to be done graphically. In addition, the tool is capable of making the integrated components run in parallel. To demonstrate these abilities, we use the tool to develop a Web-based application that allows integrated access to a set of large-scale sequence data analysis programs used by a transposon-insertion based yeast genome project. We also contrast the differences in building such an application with and without using the TurboGenomics software. (+info
Computerized reminders for five preventive screening tests: generation of patient-specific letters incorporating physician preferences.
Compliance with preventive screening tests is inadequate in the United States. We describe a computer based system for generating reminder letters to patients who may have missed their indicated screening tests because they do not visit a provider regularly or missed their tests despite the fact that they do visit a provider. We started with national recommendations and generated a local consensus for test indications. We then used this set of indications and our electronic record to determine test deficiencies in our pilot pool of 3073 patients. The computer generated customized reminder letters targeting several tests. Physicians chose any patients who should not receive letters. The response rate for fecal occult blood (FOB) testing was 33% compared with an 18% historical compliance rate within the same community. FOB reminders generated improved test compliance. Test execution must be considered when commencing a program of screening test reminders. (+info
Six-fold speed-up of Smith-Waterman sequence database searches using parallel processing on common microprocessors.
MOTIVATION: Sequence database searching is among the most important and challenging tasks in bioinformatics. The ultimate choice of sequence-search algorithm is that of Smith-Waterman. However, because of the computationally demanding nature of this method, heuristic programs or special-purpose hardware alternatives have been developed. Increased speed has been obtained at the cost of reduced sensitivity or very expensive hardware. RESULTS: A fast implementation of the Smith-Waterman sequence-alignment algorithm using Single-Instruction, Multiple-Data (SIMD) technology is presented. This implementation is based on the MultiMedia eXtensions (MMX) and Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) technology that is embedded in Intel's latest microprocessors. Similar technology exists also in other modern microprocessors. Six-fold speed-up relative to the fastest previously known Smith-Waterman implementation on the same hardware was achieved by an optimized 8-way parallel processing approach. A speed of more than 150 million cell updates per second was obtained on a single Intel Pentium III 500 MHz microprocessor. This is probably the fastest implementation of this algorithm on a single general-purpose microprocessor described to date. (+info