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1.  Texture perception through direct and indirect touch: An analysis of perceptual space for tactile textures in two modes of exploration 
Somatosensory & motor research  2007;24(1-2):53-70.
Considerable information about the texture of objects can be perceived remotely through a probe. It is not clear, however, how texture perception with a probe compares with texture perception with the bare finger. Here we investigate the perception of a variety of textured surfaces encountered daily (e.g., corduroy, paper, and rubber) using the two scanning modes—direct touch through the finger and indirect touch through a probe held in the hand—in two tasks. In the first task, subjects rated the overall pair-wise dissimilarity of the textures. In the second task, subjects rated each texture along three continua, namely, perceived roughness, hardness, and stickiness of the surfaces, shown previously as the primary dimensions of texture perception in direct touch. From the dissimilarity judgment experiment, we found that the texture percept is similar though not identical in the two scanning modes. From the adjective rating experiments, we found that while roughness ratings are similar, hardness and stickiness ratings tend to differ between scanning conditions. These differences between the two modes of scanning are apparent in perceptual space for tactile textures based on multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis. Finally, we demonstrate that three physical quantities, vibratory power, compliance, and friction carry roughness, hardness, and stickiness information, predicting perceived dissimilarity of texture pairs with indirect touch. Given that different types of texture information are processed by separate groups of neurons across direct and indirect touch, we propose that the neural mechanisms underlying texture perception differ between scanning modes.
PMCID: PMC2635116  PMID: 17558923
Texture; multidimensional scaling; probe; dissimilarity; roughness; hardness; stickiness
2.  Genetic and systems level analysis of Drosophila sticky/citron kinase and dFmr1 mutants reveals common regulation of genetic networks 
BMC Systems Biology  2008;2:101.
In Drosophila, the genes sticky and dFmr1 have both been shown to regulate cytoskeletal dynamics and chromatin structure. These genes also genetically interact with Argonaute family microRNA regulators. Furthermore, in mammalian systems, both genes have been implicated in neuronal development. Given these genetic and functional similarities, we tested Drosophila sticky and dFmr1 for a genetic interaction and measured whole genome expression in both mutants to assess similarities in gene regulation.
We found that sticky mutations can dominantly suppress a dFmr1 gain-of-function phenotype in the developing eye, while phenotypes produced by RNAi knock-down of sticky were enhanced by dFmr1 RNAi and a dFmr1 loss-of-function mutation. We also identified a large number of transcripts that were misexpressed in both mutants suggesting that sticky and dFmr1 gene products similarly regulate gene expression. By integrating gene expression data with a protein-protein interaction network, we found that mutations in sticky and dFmr1 resulted in misexpression of common gene networks, and consequently predicted additional specific phenotypes previously not known to be associated with either gene. Further phenotypic analyses validated these predictions.
These findings establish a functional link between two previously unrelated genes. Microarray analysis indicates that sticky and dFmr1 are both required for regulation of many developmental genes in a variety of cell types. The diversity of transcripts regulated by these two genes suggests a clear cause of the pleiotropy that sticky and dFmr1 mutants display and provides many novel, testable hypotheses about the functions of these genes. As both of these genes are implicated in the development and function of the mammalian brain, these results have relevance to human health as well as to understanding more general biological processes.
PMCID: PMC2610033  PMID: 19032789
3.  Factors Involved in Tactile Texture Perception through Probes 
An understanding of texture perception by robotic systems can be developed by examining human texture perception through a probe. Like texture perception through direct touch with the finger, texture perception by indirect means of a probe is multi-dimensional, comprising rough, hard, and sticky texture continua. In this study, we describe the individual subject variability in probe-mediated texture perception, and compare similarities and differences of texture perception between direct touch and indirect touch. The results show variability among subjects, as individual subjects may choose to rely on different degrees of three texture dimensions and do so at different scanning velocities. Despite this variability between scanning conditions within each subject, the subjects make consistently reliable discriminations of textures and subjective magnitude estimates along texture continua when indirectly exploring texture surfaces with a probe. These data contribute information that is valuable to the design of robotic sensory systems, and to the understanding of sensory feedback, which is essential in teleoperations.
PMCID: PMC2711640  PMID: 19617927
sensory feedback; tactile perception; texture; probe; tool
4.  Electric nets and sticky materials for analysing oviposition behaviour of gravid malaria vectors 
Malaria Journal  2012;11:374.
Little is known about how malaria mosquitoes locate oviposition sites in nature. Such knowledge is important to help devise monitoring and control measures that could be used to target gravid females. This study set out to develop a suite of tools that can be used to study the attraction of gravid Anopheles gambiae s.s. towards visual or olfactory cues associated with aquatic habitats.
Firstly, the study developed and assessed methods for using electrocuting nets to analyse the orientation of gravid females towards an aquatic habitat. Electric nets (1m high × 0.5m wide) were powered by a 12V battery via a spark box. High and low energy settings were compared for mosquito electrocution and a collection device developed to retain electrocuted mosquitoes when falling to the ground. Secondly, a range of sticky materials and a detergent were tested to quantify if and where gravid females land to lay their eggs, by treating the edge of the ponds and the water surface. A randomized complete block design was used for all experiments with 200 mosquitoes released each day. Experiments were conducted in screened semi-field systems using insectary-reared An. gambiae s.s. Data were analysed by generalized estimating equations.
An electric net operated at the highest spark box energy of a 400 volt direct current made the net spark, creating a crackling sound, a burst of light and a burning smell. This setting caught 64% less mosquitoes than a net powered by reduced voltage output that could neither be heard nor seen (odds ratio (OR) 0.46; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.40-0.53, p < 0.001). Three sticky boards (transparent film, glue coated black fly-screen and yellow film) were evaluated as catching devices under electric nets and the transparent and shiny black surfaces were found highly attractive (OR 41.6, 95% CI 19.8 – 87.3, p < 0.001 and OR 28.8, 95% CI 14.5 – 56.8, p < 0.001, respectively) for gravid mosquitoes to land on compared to a yellow sticky film board and therefore unsuitable as collection device under the e-nets. With a square of four e-nets around a pond combined with yellow sticky boards on average 33% (95% CI 28-38%) of mosquitoes released were collected. Sticky materials and detergent in the water worked well in collecting mosquitoes when landing on the edge of the pond or on the water surface. Over 80% of collected females were found on the water surface (mean 103, 95% CI 93–115) as compared to the edge of the artificial pond (mean 24, 95% CI 20–28).
A square of four e-nets with yellow sticky boards as a collection device can be used for quantifying the numbers of mosquitoes approaching a small oviposition site. Shiny sticky surfaces attract gravid females possibly because they are visually mistaken as aquatic habitats. These materials might be developed further as gravid traps. Anopheles gambiae s.s. primarily land on the water surface for oviposition. This behaviour can be exploited for the development of new trapping and control strategies.
PMCID: PMC3507805  PMID: 23151023
Malaria; Anopheles gambiae; Oviposition; Electric nets; Sticky film
5.  Attractiveness of employment sectors for physical therapists in Ontario, Canada (1999-2007): implication for the long term care sector 
Recruiting and retaining health professions remains a high priority for health system planners. Different employment sectors may vary in their appeal to providers. We used the concepts of inflow and stickiness to assess the relative attractiveness of sectors for physical therapists (PTs) in Ontario, Canada. Inflow was defined as the percentage of PTs working in a sector who were not there the previous year. Stickiness was defined as the transition probability that a physical therapist will remain in a given employment sector year-to-year.
A longitudinal dataset of registered PTs in Ontario (1999-2007) was created, and primary employment sector was categorized as ‘hospital’, ‘community’, ‘long term care’ (LTC) or ‘other.’ Inflow and stickiness values were then calculated for each sector, and trends were analyzed.
There were 5003 PTs in 1999, which grew to 6064 by 2007, representing a 21.2% absolute growth. Inflow grew across all sectors, but the LTC sector had the highest inflow of 32.0%. PTs practicing in hospitals had the highest stickiness, with 87.4% of those who worked in this sector remaining year-to-year. The community and other employment sectors had stickiness values of 78.2% and 86.8% respectively, while the LTC sector had the lowest stickiness of 73.4%.
Among all employment sectors, LTC had highest inflow but lowest stickiness. Given expected increases in demand for services, understanding provider transitional probabilities and employment preferences may provide a useful policy and planning tool in developing a sustainable health human resource base across all employment sectors.
PMCID: PMC3507859  PMID: 22643111
Physical therapy; Health human resources; Workforce
Journal of Bacteriology  1962;83(4):860-866.
Jones, Lois M. (University of Wisconsin, Madison), C. R. McDuff, and J. B. Wilson. Phenotypic alterations in the colonial morphology of Brucella abortus due to a bacteriophage carrier state. J. Bacteriol. 83:860–866. 1962.—In the course of examining a number of Brucella cultures with a brucellaphage, it was observed that B. abortus cultures of intermediate colonial morphology, which had a blue-gray colonial appearance, were not lysed within 24 hr; in 48 hr they had developed sticky white growth in the area of the phage drop. When this growth was streaked on agar plates, both white and blue-gray colonies developed. White colonies which were sticky always carried phage and upon restreaking always gave rise to both white and blue-gray colonies. White colonies which were not sticky were rough and phage resistant. Blue-gray colonies produced only blue-gray colonies, did not carry phage, and were similar to the parent in their response to phage. When sticky white colonies were incubated for 6 hr or more in phage antiserum, all phage was eliminated and only blue-gray colonies developed. It was believed that the sticky white colonies were carrier clones in which lysis was delayed until after cell division, thus resulting in the establishment of a colony containing some phage-free progeny. With the accumulation of phage, the colony became sticky. This effect may be caused by the action of bacteriophage enzymes on the cell walls.
Brucellaphage had an extremely slow rate of adsorption on a culture of intermediate colonial morphology. A phage mutant which was more strongly lytic for cultures of intermediate colonial morphology was selected from the original phage. The adsorption rate of this phage was more rapid and the latent period shorter. A serological difference between phages could not be demonstrated.
PMCID: PMC279367  PMID: 14452300
MutS is a DNA repair protein that recognizes unpaired and bulged bases. When it binds to DNA it bends the double helix. We have developed a novel DNA-based nanomechanical device that measures the amount of work that a DNA-bending protein can do when it binds to the double helix. The device we report here is a scissors-like device consisting of two double-crossover (DX) molecules connected to each other by a flexible Holliday junction. The two DX components are connected by a double helix that contains the binding site for MutS; when the binding site duplex is bent, the scissors contracts. The two DX molecules are also joined by sticky ends on an edge adjacent to the binding site; the sticky ends can be disrupted if the protein binds with sufficient free energy. Those sticky ends are flanked by a pair of dyes; when the sticky ends are disrupted, the dyes separate, and the fluorescence resonance energy transfer signal can monitor the disruption. The strength of the sticky ends is readily varied, so that the ability of the protein to disrupt them can be quantitated. We use this device to measure work in conjunction with a second device that measures the bending angle resulting from protein binding, so as to calibrate the system. Our data are in good agreement with previous measurements of MutS binding, indicating that this device is able to measure the strength of binding correctly.
PMCID: PMC2848700  PMID: 20205420
DNA-Based Nanomechanical Devices; Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer; DNA Mispairing; DNA Repair; Unusual DNA Motifs
8.  Evaluation of a sticky trap (AedesTraP), made from disposable plastic bottles, as a monitoring tool for Aedes aegypti populations 
Parasites & Vectors  2012;5:195.
Dengue virus, which is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is the most important emerging viral disease, infecting more than 50 million people annually. Currently used sticky traps are useful tools for monitoring and control of A. aegypti, despite differences in efficiency, labor requirements and cost. In the present work, a field assay was carried out to evaluate the performance of a sticky trap (AedesTrap), produced using disposable material, in capturing gravid Aedes spp. females. Additionally, conditions necessary for the improved performance of the device, such as number of traps per site and location (indoors or outdoors) were evaluated.
During a one year period, traps were placed in a dengue endemic area in 28 day cycles. The trap, named AedesTrap, consisted of a disposable plastic soda bottle coated inside with colophony resin, which served as a sticky substrate. Disposable bottles were donated by restaurants, and traps were made by laboratory staff, reducing the cost of the sticky trap (less than U$3). Mosquito capture in indoor and outdoor areas was compared by placing the traps in laundry room, kitchen or bedroom (indoors) and front or back yard (outdoors). The relationship between the number of AedesTraps and quantity of captured mosquitoes was investigated by utilizing one or three traps/site.
During a 28 day cycle, a single AedesTrap was capable of capturing up to 15 A. aegypti in a house, with a mean capture of 0.5 to 2.63 females per premise. The AedesTrap collected three times more outdoors versus indoors. Similarly, the capability of detecting Aedes spp. infestation, and of capturing females, was three times higher when using three AedesTraps per house, compared with one trap per house.
AedesTrap was shown to be capable of capturing A. aegypti and other culicidae, providing information on the adult mosquito population, and allowing the identification of areas critically infested by mosquitoes. Low requirements for skilled labor together with easy maintenance and low cost are additional advantages of using this sticky trap.
PMCID: PMC3464176  PMID: 22958376
Aedes female; Sticky trap; Locality; Ovitrap; Surveillance
9.  Protein stickiness, rather than number of functional protein-protein interactions, predicts expression noise and plasticity in yeast 
BMC Systems Biology  2012;6:128.
A hub protein is one that interacts with many functional partners. The annotation of hub proteins, or more generally the protein-protein interaction “degree” of each gene, requires quality genome-wide data. Data obtained using yeast two-hybrid methods contain many false positive interactions between proteins that rarely encounter each other in living cells, and such data have fallen out of favor.
We find that protein “stickiness”, measured as network degree in ostensibly low quality yeast two-hybrid data, is a more predictive genomic metric than the number of functional protein-protein interactions, as assessed by supposedly higher quality high throughput affinity capture mass spectrometry data. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a protein’s high stickiness, but not its high number of functional interactions, predicts low stochastic noise in gene expression, low plasticity of gene expression across different environments, and high probability of forming a homo-oligomer. Our results are robust to a multiple regression analysis correcting for other known predictors including protein abundance, presence of a TATA box and whether a gene is essential. Once the higher stickiness of homo-oligomers is controlled for, we find that homo-oligomers have noisier and more plastic gene expression than other proteins, consistent with a role for homo-oligomerization in mediating robustness.
Our work validates use of the number of yeast two-hybrid interactions as a metric for protein stickiness. Sticky proteins exhibit low stochastic noise in gene expression, and low plasticity in expression across different environments.
PMCID: PMC3527306  PMID: 23017156
Protein-protein interaction networks; Stochastic gene expression; Evolutionary constraint; Correlomics; Cooperativity; Phenotypic plasticity
10.  Clustering of host-seeking activity of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes at the top surface of a human-baited bed net 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:267.
Knowledge of the interactions between mosquitoes and humans, and how vector control interventions affect them, is sparse. A study exploring host-seeking behaviour at a human-occupied bed net, a key event in such interactions, is reported here.
Host-seeking female Anopheles gambiae activity was studied using a human-baited ‘sticky-net’ (a bed net without insecticide, coated with non-setting adhesive) to trap mosquitoes. The numbers and distribution of mosquitoes captured on each surface of the bed net were recorded and analysed using non-parametric statistical methods and random effects regression analysis. To confirm sticky-net reliability, the experiment was repeated using a pitched sticky-net (tilted sides converging at apex, i.e., neither horizontal nor vertical). The capture efficiency of horizontal and vertical sticky surfaces were compared, and the potential repellency of the adhesive was investigated.
In a semi-field experiment, more mosquitoes were caught on the top (74-87%) than on the sides of the net (p < 0.001). In laboratory experiments, more mosquitoes were caught on the top than on the sides in human-baited tests (p < 0.001), significantly different to unbaited controls (p < 0.001) where most mosquitoes were on the sides (p = 0.047). In both experiments, approximately 70% of mosquitoes captured on the top surface were clustered within a 90 × 90 cm (or lesser) area directly above the head and chest (p < 0.001). In pitched net tests, similar clustering occurred over the sleeper’s head and chest in baited tests only (p < 0.001). Capture rates at horizontal and vertical surfaces were not significantly different and the sticky-net was not repellent.
This study demonstrated that An. gambiae activity occurs predominantly within a limited area of the top surface of bed nets. The results provide support for the two-in-one bed net design for managing pyrethroid-resistant vector populations. Further exploration of vector behaviour at the bed net interface could contribute to additional improvements in insecticide-treated bed net design or the development of novel vector control tools.
PMCID: PMC3733746  PMID: 23902661
Bed net; LLIN; ITN; Anopheles gambiae; Two-in-one; Vector behaviour; Mosquito; Malaria; Pyrethroid; Insecticide resistance
11.  Local acting Sticky-trap inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor dependent pathological angiogenesis in the eye 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2014;6(5):604-623.
Current therapeutic antiangiogenic biologics used for the treatment of pathological ocular angiogenesis could have serious side effects due to their interference with normal blood vessel physiology. Here, we report the generation of novel antivascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF) biologics, termed VEGF “Sticky-traps,” with unique properties that allow for local inhibition of angiogenesis without detectable systemic side effects. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we demonstrated that Sticky-traps could locally inhibit angiogenesis to at least the same extent as the original VEGF-trap that also gains whole-body access. Sticky-traps did not cause systemic effects, as shown by uncompromised wound healing and normal tracheal vessel density. Moreover, if injected intravitreally, recombinant Sticky-trap remained localized to various regions of the eye, such as the inner-limiting membrane and ciliary body, for prolonged time periods, without gaining access either to the photoreceptors/choriocapillaris area or the circulation. These unique pharmacological characteristics of Sticky-trap could allow for safe treatment of pathological angiogenesis in patients with diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of pre-maturity.
PMCID: PMC4023884  PMID: 24705878
angiogenesis; diabetic retinopathy; retinopathy of prematurity; Sticky-trap; VEGF
12.  Association of Clinical and Radiographic Features with Perinephric “Sticky” Fat 
Journal of Endourology  2013;27(3):370-373.
Background and Purpose
The discovery of thick, adherent, perinephric sticky fat (PSF) is relatively common during open or laparoscopic retroperitoneal surgery. To our knowledge, however, there has been no previous analysis of clinical or radiographic features associated with the development of PSF or of perioperative outcomes for those patients in whom it is found. Our objective is to analyze potential predictive features and determine whether there is any effect on clinical or pathologic outcomes for patients with perinephric sticky fat.
Patients and Methods
Patients undergoing partial nephrectomy or laparoscopic cryoablation with available preoperative imaging were identified from 2005 to 2011. Operative records were reviewed to identify patients with and without PSF. Preoperative images and medical records were examined to obtain patient data regarding potential predictors as well as clinical and pathologic outcomes.
A total of 29 patients were identified—16 with PSF and 13 controls. Statistically significant factors associated with PSF included sex, tumor size, presence of perinephric stranding, tumor >50% exophytic, and thickness of perinephric fat (P<0.05). Median total operative time for patients with sticky fat was nearly 40 minutes longer than the control group (228 min vs 190 min, P<0.05). All four (17%) patients with Fuhrman grade 3 or 4 renal-cell carcinoma were from the sticky fat group (P=0.09).
Despite the small sample size, multiple possible factors associated with perinephric sticky fat were identified and may provide guidance for future investigation of this phenomenon.
PMCID: PMC4277038  PMID: 22966767
13.  Short unligated sticky ends enable the observation of circularised DNA by atomic force and electron microscopies. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1998;26(9):2092-2097.
A comparative study of the stabilisation of DNA sticky ends by divalent cations was carried out by atomic force microscopy (AFM), electron microscopy and agarose gel electrophoresis. At room temperature, molecules bearing such extremities are immediately oligomerised or circularised by addition of Mg2+or Ca2+. This phenomenon, more clearly detected by AFM, requires the presence of uranyl salt, which stabilises the structures induced by Mg2+or Ca2+. DNA fragments were obtained by restriction enzymes producing sticky ends of 2 or 4 nucleotides (nt) in length with different guanine plus cytosine (GC) contents. The stability of the pairing is high when ends of 4 nt display a 100% GC-content. In that case, 95% of DNA fragments are maintained circular by the divalent cations, although 2 nt GC-sticky ends are sufficient for a stable pairing. DNA fragments with one blunt end and the other sticky appear as dimers in the presence of Mg2+. Dimerisation was analysed by varying the lengths and concentrations of DNA fragments, the base composition of the sticky ends, and also the temperature. Our observation provides a new powerful tool for construction of inverted dimers, and circularisation, ligation analysis or short bases sequence interaction studies.
PMCID: PMC147521  PMID: 9547265
14.  Identification of Fluorescent Compounds with Non-Specific Binding Property via High Throughput Live Cell Microscopy 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e28802.
Compounds exhibiting low non-specific intracellular binding or non-stickiness are concomitant with rapid clearing and in high demand for live-cell imaging assays because they allow for intracellular receptor localization with a high signal/noise ratio. The non-stickiness property is particularly important for imaging intracellular receptors due to the equilibria involved.
Three mammalian cell lines with diverse genetic backgrounds were used to screen a combinatorial fluorescence library via high throughput live cell microscopy for potential ligands with high in- and out-flux properties. The binding properties of ligands identified from the first screen were subsequently validated on plant root hair. A correlative analysis was then performed between each ligand and its corresponding physiochemical and structural properties.
The non-stickiness property of each ligand was quantified as a function of the temporal uptake and retention on a cell-by-cell basis. Our data shows that (i) mammalian systems can serve as a pre-screening tool for complex plant species that are not amenable to high-throughput imaging; (ii) retention and spatial localization of chemical compounds vary within and between each cell line; and (iii) the structural similarities of compounds can infer their non-specific binding properties.
We have validated a protocol for identifying chemical compounds with non-specific binding properties that is testable across diverse species. Further analysis reveals an overlap between the non-stickiness property and the structural similarity of compounds. The net result is a more robust screening assay for identifying desirable ligands that can be used to monitor intracellular localization. Several new applications of the screening protocol and results are also presented.
PMCID: PMC3252290  PMID: 22242152
15.  Estrogen formulations and beauty care practices in Japanese women 
Traditionally, oral estrogens have been used for hormone replacement therapy. However, in Japan, additional estrogen formulations have been used, including transdermal patches and transdermal gels. The latter have a unique commonality with cosmetics because both of them are applied to the skin. Beauty care is one of the most important lifestyle factors for women, and it has been reported that the amount of attention paid to beauty care has an effect in determining whether or not women will choose to undergo HRT during menopause. Therefore, our study focused on estrogen formulations and beauty care practices.
Patients and methods
Fifty women who use hormone replacement therapy were recruited from the outpatient clinic of Tohoku University Hospital. They were treated with oral conjugated estrogen (n = 11), transdermal 17β-estradiol patch (n = 11), and transdermal 17β-estradiol gel (n = 28). They completed a questionnaire to assess their lifestyle (beauty care practices and exercise habits) and their compliance. The transdermal gel users were further interviewed about their subjective impressions regarding “smell”, “sticky feeling”, “spreadability”, and “irritation” on the skin using a five-grade scale.
There were no differences in the usability of medicines and patient compliance among the estrogen formulations. We observed a positive tendency between the level of beauty care and transdermal gel use (P = 0.0645, ordinary logistic regression analysis). The gel users placed top priority on a lack of “sticky feeling” but the subjective impression regarding “sticky feeling” was worst among the four factors (P < 0.01, Steel–Dwass test). Correspondence analysis showed that the subjective impressions of transdermal gel corresponding to usability in the range of “moderate” to “very good” and “sticky feeling” greatly affected the usability of the formulation.
These results suggest that the level of attention to beauty care plays some role in the choice of estrogen formulations.
PMCID: PMC3271811  PMID: 22312196
HRT; estrogen; transdermal gel; cosmetics; subjective impression
16.  The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy on Affective Memory Recall Dynamics in Depression: A Mechanistic Model of Rumination 
Objectives: converging research suggests that mindfulness training exerts its therapeutic effects on depression by reducing rumination. Theoretically, rumination is a multifaceted construct that aggregates multiple neurocognitive aspects of depression, including poor executive control, negative and overgeneral memory bias, and persistence or stickiness of negative mind states. Current measures of rumination, most-often self-reports, do not capture these different aspects of ruminative tendencies, and therefore are limited in providing detailed information about the mechanisms of mindfulness. Methods: we developed new insight into the potential mechanisms of rumination, based on three model-based metrics of free recall dynamics. These three measures reflect the patterns of memory retrieval of valenced information: the probability of first recall (Pstart) which represents initial affective bias, the probability of staying with the same valence category rather than switching, which indicates strength of positive or negative association networks (Pstay), and probability of stopping (Pstop) or ending recall within a given valence, which indicates persistence or stickiness of a mind state. We investigated the effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT; N = 29) vs. wait-list control (N = 23) on these recall dynamics in a randomized controlled trial in individuals with recurrent depression. Participants completed a standard laboratory stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test, to induce negative mood and activate ruminative tendencies. Following that, participants completed a free recall task consisting of three word lists. This assessment was conducted both before and after treatment or wait-list. Results: while MBCT participant’s Pstart remained relatively stable, controls showed multiple indications of depression-related deterioration toward more negative and less positive bias. Following the intervention, MBCT participants decreased in their tendency to sustain trains of negative words and increased their tendency to sustain trains of positive words. Conversely, controls showed the opposite tendency: controls stayed in trains of negative words for longer, and stayed in trains of positive words for less time relative to pre-intervention scores. MBCT participants tended to stop recall less often with negative words, which indicates less persistence or stickiness of negatively valenced mental context. Conclusion: MBCT participants showed a decrease in patterns that may perpetuate rumination on all three types of recall dynamics (Pstart, Pstay, and Pstop), compared to controls. MBCT may weaken the strength of self-perpetuating negative associations networks that are responsible for the persistent and “sticky” negative mind states observed in depression, and increase the positive associations that are lacking in depression. This study also offers a novel, objective method of measuring several indices of ruminative tendencies indicative of the underlying mechanisms of rumination.
PMCID: PMC3446543  PMID: 23049507
memory; emotional processing; mindfulness; free recall
17.  Are Yellow Sticky Traps an Effective Method for Control of Sweetpotato Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, in the Greenhouse or Field? 
Yellow sticky traps are a common method for monitoring many pests, but it has not been shown whether they could be used as a control method. In this study the impact of yellow sticky traps on the population dynamics of the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) was determined in the greenhouse and field. In the greenhouse, yellow sticky traps significantly suppressed the population increase of adult and immature whiteflies. The whitefly densities in the greenhouse with traps were significantly lower than the greenhouse without traps. In the field, traps did not have a significant impact on the population dynamics of adult and immature whiteflies. The densities in fields with traps were very similar to fields without traps. These results suggest that yellow sticky traps can be used as an effective method for the control of whiteflies in the greenhouse, but not in the field. This information will prove useful for the effective management of whiteflies in greenhouses.
PMCID: PMC3620036  PMID: 23445077
entire crop growth period; population dynamics
18.  Evaluation of the influence of electric nets on the behaviour of oviposition site seeking Anopheles gambiae s.s 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7:272.
Electric nets (e-nets) are used to analyse the flight behaviour of insects and have been used extensively to study the host-oriented flight of tsetse flies. Recently we adapted this tool to analyse the oviposition behaviour of gravid malaria vectors, Anopheles gambiae s.s., orienting towards aquatic habitats and traps by surrounding an artificial pond with e-nets and collecting electrocuted mosquitoes on sticky boards on the ground next to the nets. Here we study whether e-nets themselves affect the responses of gravid An. gambiae s.s..
Dual-choice experiments were carried out in 80 m2 screened semi-field systems where 200 gravid An. gambiae s.s. were released each night for 12 nights per experiment. The numbers of mosquito landing on or approaching an oviposition site were studied by adding detergent to the water in an artificial pond or surrounding the pond with a square of e-nets. We also assessed whether the supporting framework of the nets or the sticky boards used to retain electrocuted mosquitoes influenced the catch.
Two similar detergent treated ponds presented in choice tests caught an equal proportion of the mosquitoes released, whereas a pond surrounded by e-nets caught a higher proportion than an open pond (odds ratio (OR) 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1 - 2.7; p < 0.017). The separate evaluation of the impact of the square of electric nets and the yellow boards on the approach of gravid females towards a pond suggests that the tower-like construction of the square of electric nets did not restrict the approach of females but the yellow sticky boards on the ground attract gravid females to a source of water (OR 2.7 95% CI 1.7 – 4.3; p < 0.001).
The trapping efficiency of the electric nets is increased when large yellow sticky boards are placed on the ground next to the e-nets to collect electrocuted mosquitoes, possibly because of increased visual contrast to the aquatic habitat. It is therefore important when comparing two treatments that the same trapping device is used in both. The importance of contrast around artificial habitats might be exploited to improve collections of An. gambiae s.s. in gravid traps.
PMCID: PMC4067519  PMID: 24948354
Electric net; Oviposition behaviour; Aquatic habitat; Anopheles gambiae; Sticky trap; Gravid trap
19.  Biomimetic Transferable Surface for a Real Time Control over Wettability and Photoerasable Writing with Water Drop Lens 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7407.
We demonstrate a transferable device that can turn wettability of surfaces to sticky or slippy, as per requirement. It is composed of polymeric yarn with a fibrous structure, which can be lifted and placed on any surface to render it the unique wettability properties. We introduce Polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF) random fiber as biomimetic rose petal surface. When it is decorated with PVDF nanofibers yarns, the random mesh transform from rose petal sticky state into grass leaf slippy state. When it is placed on sticky, hydrophilic metal coin, it converts the surface of the coin to super hydrophobic. Adjustments in the yarn system, like interyarn spacing, can be done in real time to influence its wettability, which is a unique feature. Next, we load the polymer with a photochromic compound for chemical restructuring. It affects the sliding angle of water drop and makes the fibers optically active. We also demonstrate a “water droplets lens” concept that enables erasable writing on photochromic rose petal sticky fibrous surface. The droplet on a highly hydrophobic surface acts as a ball lens to concentrate light onto a hot spot; thereby we demonstrate UV light writing with water lenses and visible light erasing.
PMCID: PMC4261171  PMID: 25491016
20.  Mineral nutrient uptake from prey and glandular phosphatase activity as a dual test of carnivory in semi-desert plants with glandular leaves suspected of carnivory 
Annals of Botany  2009;104(4):649-654.
Background and Aims
Ibicella lutea and Proboscidea parviflora are two American semi-desert species of glandular sticky plants that are suspected of carnivory as they can catch small insects. The same characteristics might also hold for two semi-desert plants with glandular sticky leaves from Israel, namely Cleome droserifolia and Hyoscyamus desertorum. The presence of proteases on foliar hairs, either secreted by the plant or commensals, detected using a simple test, has long been considered proof of carnivory. However, this test does not prove whether nutrients are really absorbed from insects by the plant. To determine the extent to which these four species are potentially carnivorous, hair secretion of phosphatases and uptake of N, P, K and Mg from fruit flies as model prey were studied in these species and in Roridula gorgonias and Drosophyllum lusitanicum for comparison. All species examined possess morphological and anatomical adaptations (hairs or emergences secreting sticky substances) to catch and kill small insects.
The presence of phosphatases on foliar hairs was tested using the enzyme-labelled fluorescence method. Dead fruit flies were applied to glandular sticky leaves of experimental plants and, after 10–15 d, mineral nutrient content in their spent carcasses was compared with initial values in intact flies after mineralization.
Key Results
Phosphatase activity was totally absent on Hyoscyamus foliar hairs, a certain level of activity was usually found in Ibicella, Proboscidea and Cleome, and a strong response was found in Drosophyllum. Roridula exhibited only epidermal activity. However, only Roridula and Drosophyllum took up nutrients (N, P, K and Mg) from applied fruit flies.
Digestion of prey and absorption of their nutrients are the major features of carnivory in plants. Accordingly, Roridula and Drosophyllum appeared to be fully carnivorous; by contrast, all other species examined are non-carnivorous as they did not meet the above criteria.
PMCID: PMC2729641  PMID: 19556266
Roridula gorgonias; Drosophyllum lusitanicum; Proboscidea parviflora; Ibicella lutea; Cleome droserifolia; Hyoscyamus desertorum; phosphatase; phosphomonoesters; fruit flies; N, P, K, Mg uptake from prey
21.  Multi-finger interaction during involuntary and voluntary single finger force changes 
Two types of finger interaction are characterized by positive co-variation (enslaving) or negative co-variation (error compensation) of finger forces. Enslaving reflects mechanical and neural connections among fingers, while error compensation results from synergic control of fingers to stabilize their net output. Involuntary and voluntary force changes by a finger were used to explore these patterns. We hypothesized that synergic mechanisms will dominate during involuntary force changes, while enslaving will dominate during voluntary finger force changes. Subjects pressed with all four fingers to match a target force that was 10% of their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). One of the fingers was unexpectedly raised 5.0 mm at a speed of 30.0 mm/s. During finger raising the subject was instructed “not to intervene voluntarily”. After the finger was passively lifted and a new steady-state achieved, subjects pressed down with the lifted finger, producing a pulse of force voluntarily. The data were analyzed in terms of finger forces and finger modes (hypothetical commands to fingers reflecting their intended involvement). The target finger showed an increase in force during both phases. In the involuntary phase, the target finger force changes ranged between 10.71 ± 1.89% MVC (I-finger) and 16.60 ± 2.26% MVC (L-finger). Generally, non-target fingers displayed a force decrease with a maximum amplitude of −1.49 ± 0.43% MVC (L-finger). Thus, during the involuntary phase, error compensation was observed – non-lifted fingers showed a decrease in force (as well as in mode magnitude). During the voluntary phase, enslaving was observed – non-target fingers showed an increase in force and only minor changes in mode magnitude. The average change in force of non-target fingers ranged from 21.83 ± 4.47% MVC for R-finger (M-finger task) to 0.71 ± 1.10 % MVC for L-finger (I-finger task). The average change in mode of non-target fingers was between −7.34 ± 19.27% MVC for R-finger (L-finger task) and 7.10 ± 1.38% MVC for M-finger (I-finger task). We discuss a range of factors affecting force changes, from purely mechanical effects of finger passive lifting to neural synergic adjustments of commands to individual fingers. The data fit a recently suggested scheme that merges the equilibrium-point hypothesis (control with referent configurations) with the idea of hierarchical synergic control of multi-element systems.
PMCID: PMC3230081  PMID: 21104236
Synergy; hand; force; enslaving; equilibrium-point hypothesis
22.  Polymer Mechanics as a Model for Short-Term and Flow-Independent Cartilage Viscoelasticity 
Articular cartilage is the load bearing soft tissue that covers the contacting surfaces of long bones in articulating joints. Healthy cartilage allows for smooth joint motion, while damaged cartilage prohibits normal function in debilitating joint diseases such as osteoarthritis. Knowledge of cartilage mechanical function through the progression of osteoarthritis, and in response to innovative regeneration treatments, requires a comprehensive understanding of the molecular nature of interacting extracellular matrix constituents and interstitial fluid. The objectives of this study were therefore to (1) examine the timescale of cartilage stress-relaxation using different mechanistic models and (2) develop and apply a novel (termed “sticky”) polymer mechanics model to cartilage stress-relaxation based on temporary binding of constituent macromolecules. Using data from calf cartilage samples, we found that different models captured distinct timescales of cartilage stress-relaxation: monodisperse polymer reptation best described the first second of relaxation, sticky polymer mechanics best described data from ∼1-100 seconds of relaxation, and a model of inviscid fluid flow through a porous elastic matrix best described data from 100 seconds to equilibrium. Further support for the sticky polymer model was observed using experimental data where cartilage stress-relaxation was measured in either low or high salt concentration. These data suggest that a complete understanding of cartilage mechanics, especially in the short time scales immediately following loading, requires appreciation of both fluid flow and the polymeric behavior of the extracellular matrix.
PMCID: PMC3087607  PMID: 21552375
Articular cartilage; osteoarthritis; polymer dynamics; reptation; viscoelasticity; biomechanics
23.  Sticky siRNAs targeting survivin and cyclin B1 exert an antitumoral effect on melanoma subcutaneous xenografts and lung metastases 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:338.
Melanoma represents one of the most aggressive and therapeutically challenging malignancies as it often gives rise to metastases and develops resistance to classical chemotherapeutic agents. Although diverse therapies have been generated, no major improvement of the patient prognosis has been noticed. One promising alternative to the conventional therapeutic approaches currently available is the inactivation of proteins essential for survival and/or progression of melanomas by means of RNA interference. Survivin and cyclin B1, both involved in cell survival and proliferation and frequently deregulated in human cancers, are good candidate target genes for siRNA mediated therapeutics.
We used our newly developed sticky siRNA-based technology delivered with linear polyethyleneimine (PEI) to inhibit the expression of survivin and cyclin B1 both in vitro and in vivo, and addressed the effect of this inhibition on B16-F10 murine melanoma tumor development.
We confirm that survivin and cyclin B1 downregulation through a RNA interference mechanism induces a blockage of the cell cycle as well as impaired proliferation of B16-F10 cells in vitro. Most importantly, PEI-mediated systemic delivery of sticky siRNAs against survivin and cyclin B1 efficiently blocks growth of established subcutaneaous B16-F10 tumors as well as formation and dissemination of melanoma lung metastases. In addition, we highlight that inhibition of survivin expression increases the effect of doxorubicin on lung B16-F10 metastasis growth inhibition.
PEI-mediated delivery of sticky siRNAs targeting genes involved in tumor progression such as survivin and cyclin B1, either alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs, represents a promising strategy for melanoma treatment.
PMCID: PMC3711931  PMID: 23835136
Sticky siRNA; Delivery; Survivin; Cyclin B1; Tumor inhibition; Melanoma
24.  A sticky situation: the unexpected stability of malaria elimination 
Malaria eradication involves eliminating malaria from every country where transmission occurs. Current theory suggests that the post-elimination challenges of remaining malaria-free by stopping transmission from imported malaria will have onerous operational and financial requirements. Although resurgent malaria has occurred in a majority of countries that tried but failed to eliminate malaria, a review of resurgence in countries that successfully eliminated finds only four such failures out of 50 successful programmes. Data documenting malaria importation and onwards transmission in these countries suggests malaria transmission potential has declined by more than 50-fold (i.e. more than 98%) since before elimination. These outcomes suggest that elimination is a surprisingly stable state. Elimination's ‘stickiness’ must be explained either by eliminating countries starting off qualitatively different from non-eliminating countries or becoming different once elimination was achieved. Countries that successfully eliminated were wealthier and had lower baseline endemicity than those that were unsuccessful, but our analysis shows that those same variables were at best incomplete predictors of the patterns of resurgence. Stability is reinforced by the loss of immunity to disease and by the health system's increasing capacity to control malaria transmission after elimination through routine treatment of cases with antimalarial drugs supplemented by malaria outbreak control. Human travel patterns reinforce these patterns; as malaria recedes, fewer people carry malaria from remote endemic areas to remote areas where transmission potential remains high. Establishment of an international resource with backup capacity to control large outbreaks can make elimination stickier, increase the incentives for countries to eliminate, and ensure steady progress towards global eradication. Although available evidence supports malaria elimination's stickiness at moderate-to-low transmission in areas with well-developed health systems, it is not yet clear if such patterns will hold in all areas. The sticky endpoint changes the projected costs of maintaining elimination and makes it substantially more attractive for countries acting alone, and it makes spatially progressive elimination a sensible strategy for a malaria eradication endgame.
PMCID: PMC3720043  PMID: 23798693
malaria elimination; malaria eradication; backwards bifurcation
25.  Advanced understanding of stickiness on superhydrophobic surfaces 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:3268.
This study explores how contact angle hysteresis and titling angle relate with stickiness on superhydrophobic surfaces. The result indicates that contact angle hysteresis could not be mentioned as a proper factor to evaluate the surface stickiness. By analyzing the system pinning force of droplet placed on a titled surface, we concluded that both solid fraction and surface geometric factor are the critical factors determining the surface stickiness.
PMCID: PMC3834362  PMID: 24253402

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