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Baltimore, MD, United States

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is an American public research university, located in Baltimore County, Maryland, United States, mostly in the community of Catonsville, approximately 10 minutes from downtown Baltimore City and 30 minutes from Washington, D.C. With a fall 2014 enrollment of about 14,000 students, over 50 undergraduate majors, over 60 graduate programs, and the first university research park in Maryland, UMBC has been named the #1 up-and-coming university for six years in a row, since 2009, by US News & World Report. In addition, US News & World Report has placed UMBC in the top ten for best undergraduate teaching six years in a row, being placed at #5, the second highest-ranked public university.Established as a part of the University System of Maryland in 1966, the university specializes in the natural science and engineering, while also offering programs in the liberal arts. Athletically, the UMBC Retrievers have 19 NCAA Division I teams that participate in the America East Conference. Wikipedia.


Fasano A.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Physiological Reviews | Year: 2011

The primary functions of the gastrointestinal tract have traditionally been perceived to be limited to the digestion and absorption of nutrients and to electrolytes and water homeostasis. A more attentive analysis of the anatomic and functional arrangement of the gastrointestinal tract, however, suggests that another extremely important function of this organ is its ability to regulate the trafficking of macromolecules between the environment and the host through a barrier mechanism. Together with the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and the neuroendocrine network, the intestinal epithelial barrier, with its intercellular tight junctions, controls the equilibrium between tolerance and immunity to non-self antigens. Zonulin is the only physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions described so far that is involved in trafficking of macromolecules and, therefore, in tolerance/immune response balance. When the finely tuned zonulin pathway is deregulated in genetically susceptible individuals, both intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory, and neoplastic disorders can occur. This new paradigm subverts traditional theories underlying the development of these diseases and suggests that these processes can be arrested if the interplay between genes and environmental triggers is prevented by reestablishing the zonulin-dependent intestinal barrier function. This review is timely given the increased interest in the role of a "leaky gut" in the pathogenesis of several pathological conditions targeting both the intestine and extraintestinal organs. Copyright © 2011 the American Physiological Society. Source


Dunning Hotopp J.C.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Trends in Genetics | Year: 2011

Horizontal gene transfer is increasingly described between bacteria and animals. Such transfers that are vertically inherited have the potential to influence the evolution of animals. One classic example is the transfer of DNA from mitochondria and chloroplasts to the nucleus after the acquisition of these organelles by eukaryotes. Even today, many of the described instances of bacteria-to-animal transfer occur as part of intimate relationships such as those of endosymbionts and their invertebrate hosts, particularly insects and nematodes, while numerous transfers are also found in asexual animals. Both of these observations are consistent with modern evolutionary theory, in particular the serial endosymbiotic theory and Muller's ratchet. Although it is tempting to suggest that these particular lifestyles promote horizontal gene transfer, it is difficult to ascertain given the nonrandom sampling of animal genome sequencing projects and the lack of a systematic analysis of animal genomes for such transfers. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Belas R.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Trends in Microbiology | Year: 2014

Formation of a bacterial biofilm is a developmental process that begins when a cell attaches to a surface, but how does a bacterial cell know it is on or near a surface in the first place? The phase of this 'swim-or-stick' switch is determined by a sensory transduction mechanism referred to as surface sensing, which involves the rotating bacterial flagellum. This review explores six bacterial species as models of flagellar mechanosensing of surfaces to understand the current state of our knowledge and the challenges that lie ahead. A common link between these bacteria is a requirement for the proper function of the flagellar motor stators that channel ions into the cell to drive flagellar rotation. Conditions that affect ion flow act as a signal that, ultimately, controls the master transcriptional regulatory circuits controlling the flagellar hierarchy and biofilm formation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Takacs L.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

This paper reviews the history of mechanochemistry. It begins with prehistoric times, when reactions could be initiated during grinding and rubbing accidentally, and follows the main developments until recent results and current trends. There are very few records on mechanochemistry until the first systematic investigations by Spring and Lea at the end of the 19th century. For the next decades, mechanochemistry developed slowly; minerals, inorganic compounds, and polymers were the main subjects of investigation. The area became more organized in the 1960s, when several large groups were established and the first dedicated conferences were held. Mechanical alloying was invented in 1966 independently and it became a subject of intense research. Interaction between the two topics was established in the 1990s. In recent years, the mechanochemical synthesis of organic compounds was added to the main subjects and the invention of the atomic force microscope provided new ways to manipulate atoms and molecules by direct mechanical action. The theoretical explanation of mechanochemical phenomena is difficult, as the mechanism is system specific and several length and time scales are involved. Thiessen proposed the first theory, the magma-plasma model, in 1967, and deeper insight is being obtained by computer modelling combined with empirical work. Practical applications have been an important motivation throughout the history of mechanochemistry. It is used alone or in combination with other steps in an increasing number of technologies. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source


A system and methods for removal of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from an environment, where the system includes an inert and organic biofilm substrata as biofilm media for dual use: 1) inoculation of microorganisms to degrade POPs and 2) accumulation of POPs on the substrata, effective in maintaining bioavailable concentrations for sustaining microbial activity. Microorganisms capable of degrading or transforming POPs are actively associated with the substrata as a biofilm. Application of this delivery vehicle will enhance the microbial degradation of POPs, while simultaneously adsorbing hydrophobic POPs from the environment making them bioavailable for the microorganisms located in the formed biofilms and additionally lowering the aqueous concentration of POPs that have detrimental effects towards fish and mammals as they bioaccumulate through the food chain.

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