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  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)  (20,185)
  • 2015-2019  (20,185)
  • 1945-1949
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Arctic sea-ice loss is a leading indicator of climate change and can be attributed, in large part, to atmospheric forcing. Here, we show that recent ice reductions, weakening of the halocline, and shoaling of intermediate-depth Atlantic Water layer in the eastern Eurasian Basin have increased winter ventilation in the ocean interior, making this region structurally similar to that of the western Eurasian Basin. The associated enhanced release of oceanic heat has reduced winter sea-ice formation at a rate now comparable to losses from atmospheric thermodynamic forcing, thus explaining the recent reduction in sea-ice cover in the eastern Eurasian Basin. This encroaching “atlantification” of the Eurasian Basin represents an essential step toward a new Arctic climate state, with a substantially greater role for Atlantic inflows.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Stratification of the deep Southern Ocean during the Last Glacial Maximum is thought to have facilitated carbon storage and subsequent release during the deglaciation as stratification broke down, contributing to atmospheric CO2 rise. Here, we present neodymium isotope evidence from deep to abyssal waters in the South Pacific that confirms stratification of the deepwater column during the Last Glacial Maximum. The results indicate a glacial northward expansion of Ross Sea Bottom Water and a Southern Hemisphere climate trigger for the deglacial breakup of deep stratification. It highlights the important role of abyssal waters in sustaining a deep glacial carbon reservoir and Southern Hemisphere climate change as a prerequisite for the destabilization of the water column and hence the deglacial release of sequestered CO2 through upwelling.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    In:  Science, 362 (6421). pp. 1403-1407.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly used as a primary tool to conserve biodiversity. This is particularly relevant in heavily exploited fisheries hot spots such as Europe, where MPAs now cover 29% of territorial waters, with unknown effects on fishing pressure and conservation outcomes. We investigated industrial trawl fishing and sensitive indicator species in and around 727 MPAs designated by the European Union. We found that 59% of MPAs are commercially trawled, and average trawling intensity across MPAs is at least 1.4-fold higher as compared with nonprotected areas. Abundance of sensitive species (sharks, rays, and skates) decreased by 69% in heavily trawled areas. The widespread industrial exploitation of MPAs undermines global biodiversity conservation targets, elevating recent concerns about growing human pressures on protected areas worldwide.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-04-04
    Description: We quantify the oceanic sink for anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) over the period 1994 to 2007 by using observations from the global repeat hydrography program and contrasting them to observations from the 1990s. Using a linear regression–based method, we find a global increase in the anthropogenic CO 2 inventory of 34 ± 4 petagrams of carbon (Pg C) between 1994 and 2007. This is equivalent to an average uptake rate of 2.6 ± 0.3 Pg C year −1 and represents 31 ± 4% of the global anthropogenic CO 2 emissions over this period. Although this global ocean sink estimate is consistent with the expectation of the ocean uptake having increased in proportion to the rise in atmospheric CO 2 , substantial regional differences in storage rate are found, likely owing to climate variability–driven changes in ocean circulation.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2015-09-04
    Description: Changes in the formation of dense water in the Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas [the “Arctic Mediterranean” (AM)] probably contributed to the altered climate of the last glacial period. We examined past changes in AM circulation by reconstructing radiocarbon ventilation ages of the deep Nordic Seas over the past 30,000 years. Our results show that the glacial deep AM was extremely poorly ventilated (ventilation ages of up to 10,000 years). Subsequent episodic overflow of aged water into the mid-depth North Atlantic occurred during deglaciation. Proxy data also suggest that the deep glacial AM was ~2° to 3°C warmer than modern temperatures; deglacial mixing of the deep AM with the upper ocean thus potentially contributed to the melting of sea ice, icebergs, and terminal ice-sheet margins.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Plate-boundary fault rupture during the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman subduction earthquake extended closer to the trench than expected, increasing earthquake and tsunami size. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 362 sampled incoming sediments offshore northern Sumatra, revealing recent release of fresh water within the deep sediments. Thermal modeling links this freshening to amorphous silica dehydration driven by rapid burial-induced temperature increases in the past 9 million years. Complete dehydration of silicates is expected before plate subduction, contrasting with prevailing models for subduction seismogenesis calling for fluid production during subduction. Shallow slip offshore Sumatra appears driven by diagenetic strengthening of deeply buried fault-forming sediments, contrasting with weakening proposed for the shallow Tohoku-Oki 2011 rupture, but our results are applicable to other thickly sedimented subduction zones including those with limited earthquake records.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: As plastic waste pollutes the oceans and fish stocks decline, unseen below the surface another problem grows: deoxygenation. Breitburg et al. review the evidence for the downward trajectory of oxygen levels in increasing areas of the open ocean and coastal waters. Rising nutrient loads coupled with climate change—each resulting from human activities—are changing ocean biogeochemistry and increasing oxygen consumption. This results in destabilization of sediments and fundamental shifts in the availability of key nutrients. In the short term, some compensatory effects may result in improvements in local fisheries, such as in cases where stocks are squeezed between the surface and elevated oxygen minimum zones. In the longer term, these conditions are unsustainable and may result in ecosystem collapses, which ultimately will cause societal and economic harm.
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  • 8
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    In:  Science, 361 (6408). eaau1371.
    Publication Date: 2018-10-15
    Description: Hoffmann et al. (Reports, 23 February 2018, p. 912) report the discovery of parietal art older than 64,800 years and attributed to Neanderthals, at least 25 millennia before the oldest parietal art ever found. Instead, critical evaluation of their geochronological data seems to provide stronger support for an age of 47,000 years, which is much more consistent with the archaeological background in hand.
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-03-05
    Description: The profound influence of marine plankton on the global carbon cycle has been recognized for decades, particularly for photosynthetic microbes that form the base of ocean food chains. However, a comprehensive model of the carbon cycle is challenged by unicellular eukaryotes (protists) having evolved complex behavioral strategies and organismal interactions that extend far beyond photosynthetic lifestyles. As is also true for multicellular eukaryotes, these strategies and their associated physiological changes are difficult to deduce from genome sequences or gene repertoires - a problem compounded by numerous unknown function proteins. Here, we explore protistan trophic modes in marine food webs and broader biogeochemical influences. We also evaluate approaches that could resolve their activities, link them to biotic and abiotic factors, and integrate them into an ecosystems biology framework. © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.
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  • 10
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    In:  Science, 354 (6310). pp. 287-288.
    Publication Date: 2019-03-05
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  • 11
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    In:  Science, 349 (6243). pp. 24-27.
    Publication Date: 2016-09-08
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Description: To provide an observational basis for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections of a slowing Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) in the 21st century, the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP) observing system was launched in the summer of 2014. The first 21-month record reveals a highly variable overturning circulation responsible for the majority of the heat and freshwater transport across the OSNAP line. In a departure from the prevailing view that changes in deep water formation in the Labrador Sea dominate MOC variability, these results suggest that the conversion of warm, salty, shallow Atlantic waters into colder, fresher, deep waters that move southward in the Irminger and Iceland basins is largely responsible for overturning and its variability in the subpolar basin.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 13
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-08-30
    Description: In the eusocial honey bee Apis mellifera , with reproductive queens and sterile workers, a female larva’s developmental fate depends on its diet; nurse bees feed queen-destined larvae exclusively royal jelly, a glandular secretion, but worker-destined larvae receive royal jelly for 3 days and subsequently jelly to which honey and beebread are added. RNA-Seq analysis demonstrated that p -coumaric acid, which is ubiquitous in honey and beebread, differentially regulates genes involved in caste determination. Rearing larvae in vitro on a royal jelly diet to which p -coumaric acid has been added produces adults with reduced ovary development. Thus, consuming royal jelly exclusively not only enriches the diet of queen-destined larvae but also may protect them from inhibitory effects of phytochemicals present in the honey and beebread fed to worker-destined larvae.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2015-08-30
    Description: The structure of DNA was determined in 1953 by x-ray fiber diffraction. Several attempts have been made to obtain a direct image of DNA with alternative techniques. The direct image is intended to allow a quantitative evaluation of all relevant characteristic lengths present in a molecule. A direct image of DNA, which is different from diffraction in the reciprocal space, is difficult to obtain for two main reasons: the intrinsic very low contrast of the elements that form the molecule and the difficulty of preparing the sample while preserving its pristine shape and size. We show that through a preparation procedure compatible with the DNA physiological conditions, a direct image of a single suspended DNA molecule can be obtained. In the image, all relevant lengths of A-form DNA are measurable. A high-resolution transmission electron microscope that operates at 80 keV with an ultimate resolution of 1.5 Å was used for this experiment. Direct imaging of a single molecule can be used as a method to address biological problems that require knowledge at the single-molecule level, given that the average information obtained by x-ray diffraction of crystals or fibers is not sufficient for detailed structure determination, or when crystals cannot be obtained from biological molecules or are not sufficient in understanding multiple protein configurations.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 15
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-08-30
    Description: Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) play curial roles in electrochemical energy conversion and storage, including fuel cells and metal-air batteries. Having rich multidimensional nanoarchitectures [for example, zero-dimensional (0D) fullerenes, 1D carbon nanotubes, 2D graphene, and 3D graphite] with tunable electronic and surface characteristics, various carbon nanomaterials have been demonstrated to act as efficient metal-free electrocatalysts for ORR and OER in fuel cells and batteries. We present a critical review on the recent advances in carbon-based metal-free catalysts for fuel cells and metal-air batteries, and discuss the perspectives and challenges in this rapidly developing field of practical significance.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2015-09-06
    Description: A deposition process has been developed to fabricate a complete-monolayer Pt coating on a large-surface-area three-dimensional (3D) Ni foam substrate using a buffer layer (Ag or Au) strategy. The quartz crystal microbalance, current density analysis, cyclic voltammetry integration, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results show that the monolayer deposition process accomplishes full coverage on the substrate and the deposition can be controlled to a single atomic layer thickness. To our knowledge, this is the first report on a complete-monolayer Pt coating on a 3D bulk substrate with complex fine structures; all prior literature reported on submonolayer or incomplete-monolayer coating. A thin underlayer of Ag or Au is found to be necessary to cover a very reactive Ni substrate to ensure complete-monolayer Pt coverage; otherwise, only an incomplete monolayer is formed. Moreover, the Pt monolayer is found to work as well as a thick Pt film for catalytic reactions. This development may pave a way to fabricating a high-activity Pt catalyst with minimal Pt usage.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2015-09-06
    Description: The indirect effects of predators on nonadjacent trophic levels, mediated through traits of intervening species, are collectively known as trait-mediated trophic cascades. Although birds are important predators in terrestrial ecosystems, clear examples of trait-mediated indirect effects involving bird predators have almost never been documented. Such indirect effects are important for structuring ecological communities and are likely to be negatively impacted by habitat fragmentation, climate change, and other factors that reduce abundance of top predators. We demonstrate that hummingbirds in Arizona realize increased breeding success when nesting in association with hawks. An enemy-free nesting space is created when jays, an important source of mortality for hummingbird nests, alter their foraging behavior in the presence of their hawk predators.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 18
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-12-06
    Description: The Polycomb group (PcG) of proteins defines a subset of factors that physically associate and function to maintain the positional identity of cells from the embryo to adult stages. PcG has long been considered a paradigmatic model for epigenetic maintenance of gene transcription programs. Despite intensive research efforts to unveil the molecular mechanisms of action of PcG proteins, several fundamental questions remain unresolved: How many different PcG complexes exist in mammalian cells? How are PcG complexes targeted to specific loci? How does PcG regulate transcription? In this review, we discuss the diversity of PcG complexes in mammalian cells, examine newly identified modes of recruitment to chromatin, and highlight the latest insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of PcGs in transcription regulation and three-dimensional chromatin conformation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2015-12-06
    Description: The climatic mechanisms driving the shift from the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) to the Little Ice Age (LIA) in the North Atlantic region are debated. We use cosmogenic beryllium-10 dating to develop a moraine chronology with century-scale resolution over the last millennium and show that alpine glaciers in Baffin Island and western Greenland were at or near their maximum LIA configurations during the proposed general timing of the MWP. Complimentary paleoclimate proxy data suggest that the western North Atlantic region remained cool, whereas the eastern North Atlantic region was comparatively warmer during the MWP—a dipole pattern compatible with a persistent positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation. These results demonstrate that over the last millennium, glaciers approached their eventual LIA maxima before what is considered the classic LIA in the Northern Hemisphere. Furthermore, a relatively cool western North Atlantic region during the MWP has implications for understanding Norse migration patterns during the MWP. Our results, paired with other regional climate records, point to nonclimatic factors as contributing to the Norse exodus from the western North Atlantic region.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2015-12-06
    Description: Vortices are archetypal objects that recur in the universe across the scale of complexity, from subatomic particles to galaxies and black holes. Their appearance is connected with spontaneous symmetry breaking and phase transitions. In Bose-Einstein condensates and superfluids, vortices are both point-like and quantized quasiparticles. We use a two-dimensional (2D) fluid of polaritons, bosonic particles constituted by hybrid photonic and electronic oscillations, to study quantum vortex dynamics. Polaritons benefit from easiness of wave function phase detection, a spinor nature sustaining half-integer vorticity, strong nonlinearity, and tuning of the background disorder. We can directly generate by resonant pulsed excitations a polariton condensate carrying either a full or half-integer vortex as initial condition and follow their coherent evolution using ultrafast imaging on the picosecond scale. The observations highlight a rich phenomenology, such as the spiraling of the half-vortex and the joint path of the twin charges of a full vortex, until the moment of their splitting. Furthermore, we observe the ordered branching into newly generated secondary couples, associated with the breaking of radial and azimuthal symmetries. This allows us to devise the interplay of nonlinearity and sample disorder in shaping the fluid and driving the vortex dynamics. In addition, our observations suggest that phase singularities may be seen as fundamental particles whose quantized events span from pair creation and recombination to 2D+ t topological vortex strings.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2015-12-06
    Description: The optical properties of metallic nanoparticles are highly sensitive to interparticle distance, giving rise to dramatic but frequently irreversible color changes. By electrochemical modification of individual nanoparticles and nanoparticle pairs, we induced equally dramatic, yet reversible, changes in their optical properties. We achieved plasmon tuning by oxidation-reduction chemistry of Ag-AgCl shells on the surfaces of both individual and strongly coupled Au nanoparticle pairs, resulting in extreme but reversible changes in scattering line shape. We demonstrated reversible formation of the charge transfer plasmon mode by switching between capacitive and conductive electronic coupling mechanisms. Dynamic single-particle spectroelectrochemistry also gave an insight into the reaction kinetics and evolution of the charge transfer plasmon mode in an electrochemically tunable structure. Our study represents a highly useful approach to the precise tuning of the morphology of narrow interparticle gaps and will be of value for controlling and activating a range of properties such as extreme plasmon modulation, nanoscopic plasmon switching, and subnanometer tunable gap applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 22
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-11-29
    Description: Today’s champion organic (opto-)electronic devices comprise an ever-increasing number of different organic-semiconductor layers. The functionality of these complex heterostructures largely derives from the relative alignment of the frontier molecular-orbital energies in each layer with respect to those in all others. Despite the technological relevance of the energy-level alignment at organic heterointerfaces, and despite continued scientific interest, a reliable model that can quantitatively predict the full range of phenomena observed at such interfaces is notably absent. We identify the limitations of previous attempts to formulate such a model and highlight inconsistencies in the interpretation of the experimental data they were based on. We then develop a theoretical framework, which we demonstrate to accurately reproduce experiment. Applying this theory, a comprehensive overview of all possible energy-level alignment scenarios that can be encountered at organic heterojunctions is finally given. These results will help focus future efforts on developing functional organic interfaces for superior device performance.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2015-11-29
    Description: Slight shifts in arrangement within biological photonic nanostructures can produce large color differences, and sexual selection often leads to high color diversity in clades with structural colors. We use phylogenetic reconstruction, electron microscopy, spectrophotometry, and optical modeling to show an opposing pattern of nanostructural diversification accompanied by unusual conservation of blue color in tarantulas (Araneae: Theraphosidae). In contrast to other clades, blue coloration in phylogenetically distant tarantulas peaks within a narrow 20-nm region around 450 nm. Both quasi-ordered and multilayer nanostructures found in different tarantulas produce this blue color. Thus, even within monophyletic lineages, tarantulas have evolved strikingly similar blue coloration through divergent mechanisms. The poor color perception and lack of conspicuous display during courtship of tarantulas argue that these colors are not sexually selected. Therefore, our data contrast with sexual selection that typically produces a diverse array of colors with a single structural mechanism by showing that natural selection on structural color in tarantulas resulted in convergence on similar color through diverse structural mechanisms.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2015-12-12
    Description: Improved constraints on lower-mantle composition are fundamental to understand the accretion, differentiation, and thermochemical evolution of our planet. Cosmochemical arguments indicate that lower-mantle rocks may be enriched in Si relative to upper-mantle pyrolite, whereas seismic tomography images suggest whole-mantle convection and hence appear to imply efficient mantle mixing. This study reconciles cosmochemical and geophysical constraints using the stagnation of some slab segments at ~1000-km depth as the key observation. Through numerical modeling of subduction, we show that lower-mantle enrichment in intrinsically dense basaltic lithologies can render slabs neutrally buoyant in the uppermost lower mantle. Slab stagnation (at depths of ~660 and ~1000 km) and unimpeded slab sinking to great depths can coexist if the basalt fraction is ~8% higher in the lower mantle than in the upper mantle, equivalent to a lower-mantle Mg/Si of ~1.18. Global-scale geodynamic models demonstrate that such a moderate compositional gradient across the mantle can persist can in the presence of whole-mantle convection.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2015-12-19
    Description: Photonic systems based on energy-time entanglement have been proposed to test local realism using the Bell inequality. A violation of this inequality normally also certifies security of device-independent quantum key distribution (QKD) so that an attacker cannot eavesdrop or control the system. We show how this security test can be circumvented in energy-time entangled systems when using standard avalanche photodetectors, allowing an attacker to compromise the system without leaving a trace. We reach Bell values up to 3.63 at 97.6% faked detector efficiency using tailored pulses of classical light, which exceeds even the quantum prediction. This is the first demonstration of a violation-faking source that gives both tunable violation and high faked detector efficiency. The implications are severe: the standard Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt inequality cannot be used to show device-independent security for energy-time entanglement setups based on Franson’s configuration. However, device-independent security can be reestablished, and we conclude by listing a number of improved tests and experimental setups that would protect against all current and future attacks of this type.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2015-12-19
    Description: Understanding how tumor cells transition to an invasive and drug-resistant phenotype is central to cancer biology, but the mechanisms underlying this transition remain unclear. We show that sarcomas gain these malignant traits by inducing lysosomal exocytosis, a ubiquitous physiological process. During lysosomal exocytosis, the movement of exocytic lysosomes along the cytoskeleton and their docking at the plasma membrane involve LAMP1, a sialylated membrane glycoprotein and target of the sialidase NEU1. Cleavage of LAMP1 sialic acids by NEU1 limits the extent of lysosomal exocytosis. We found that by down-regulation of NEU1 and accumulation of oversialylated LAMP1, tumor cells exacerbate lysosomal exocytosis of soluble hydrolases and exosomes. This facilitates matrix invasion and propagation of invasive signals, and purging of lysosomotropic chemotherapeutics. In Arf –/– mice, Neu1 haploinsufficiency fostered the development of invasive, pleomorphic sarcomas, expressing epithelial and mesenchymal markers, and lysosomal exocytosis effectors, LAMP1 and Myosin-11. These features are analogous to those of metastatic, pleomorphic human sarcomas, where low NEU1 levels correlate with high expression of lysosomal exocytosis markers. In a therapeutic proof of principle, we demonstrate that inhibiting lysosomal exocytosis reversed invasiveness and chemoresistance in aggressive sarcoma cells. Thus, we reveal that this unconventional, lysosome-regulated pathway plays a primary role in tumor progression and chemoresistance.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 27
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-12-19
    Description: In the search for light and flexible nanoferronics, significant research effort is geared toward discovering the coexisting magnetic and electric orders in crystalline charge-transfer complexes. We report the first example of multiferroicity in centimeter-sized crystalline polymeric charge-transfer superstructures that grow at the liquid-air interface and are controlled by the regioregularity of the polymeric chain. The charge order–driven ferroic mechanism reveals spontaneous and hysteretic polarization and magnetization at the donor-acceptor interface. The charge transfer and ordering in the ferroic assemblies depend critically on the self-organizing and molecular packing of electron donors and acceptors. The invention described here not only represents a new coupling mechanism of magnetic and electric ordering but also creates a new class of emerging all-organic nanoferronics.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2015-12-19
    Description: Using a multimodal biospectroscopic approach, we settle several long-standing controversies over the molecular mechanisms that lead to brain damage in cerebral malaria, which is a major health concern in developing countries because of high levels of mortality and permanent brain damage. Our results provide the first conclusive evidence that important components of the pathology of cerebral malaria include peroxidative stress and protein oxidation within cerebellar gray matter, which are colocalized with elevated nonheme iron at the site of microhemorrhage. Such information could not be obtained previously from routine imaging methods, such as electron microscopy, fluorescence, and optical microscopy in combination with immunocytochemistry, or from bulk assays, where the level of spatial information is restricted to the minimum size of tissue that can be dissected. We describe the novel combination of chemical probe–free, multimodal imaging to quantify molecular markers of disturbed energy metabolism and peroxidative stress, which were used to provide new insights into understanding the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria. In addition to these mechanistic insights, the approach described acts as a template for the future use of multimodal biospectroscopy for understanding the molecular processes involved in a range of clinically important acute and chronic (neurodegenerative) brain diseases to improve treatment strategies.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 29
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-09-26
    Description: Global mean sea levels are projected to gradually rise in response to greenhouse warming. However, on shorter time scales, modes of natural climate variability in the Pacific, such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), can affect regional sea level variability and extremes, with considerable impacts on coastal ecosystems and island nations. How these shorter-term sea level fluctuations will change in association with a projected increase in extreme El Niño and its atmospheric variability remains unknown. Using present-generation coupled climate models forced with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and subtracting the effect of global mean sea level rise, we find that climate change will enhance El Niño–related sea level extremes, especially in the tropical southwestern Pacific, where very low sea level events, locally known as Taimasa , are projected to double in occurrence. Additionally, and throughout the tropical Pacific, prolonged interannual sea level inundations are also found to become more likely with greenhouse warming and increased frequency of extreme La Niña events, thus exacerbating the coastal impacts of the projected global mean sea level rise.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2015-10-04
    Description: Understanding the deformation mechanisms of olivine is important for addressing the dynamic processes in Earth’s upper mantle. It has been thought that dislocation creep is the dominant mechanism because of extrapolated laboratory data on the plasticity of olivine at pressures below 0.5 GPa. However, we found that dislocation-accommodated grain boundary sliding (DisGBS), rather than dislocation creep, dominates the deformation of olivine under middle and deep upper mantle conditions. We used a deformation-DIA apparatus combined with synchrotron in situ x-ray observations to study the plasticity of olivine aggregates at pressures up to 6.7 GPa (that is, ~200-km depth) and at temperatures between 1273 and 1473 K, which is equivalent to the conditions in the middle region of the upper mantle. The creep strength of olivine deforming by DisGBS is apparently less sensitive to pressure because of the competing pressure-hardening effect of the activation volume and pressure-softening effect of water fugacity. The estimated viscosity of olivine controlled by DisGBS is independent of depth and ranges from 10 19.6 to 10 20.7 Pa·s throughout the asthenospheric upper mantle with a representative water content (50 to 1000 parts per million H/Si), which is consistent with geophysical viscosity profiles. Because DisGBS is a grain size–sensitive creep mechanism, the evolution of the grain size of olivine is an important process controlling the dynamics of the upper mantle.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 31
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-10-04
    Description: Sexual conflict theory suggests that female breeding success is strongly influenced by individual life history and environmental conditions and is much less affected by mate availability. Female mating failure due to a shortage of males remains poorly studied and understood. We present data on the effects of male availability on female breeding success in a wild colony of yellow ground squirrels ( Spermophilus fulvus ). A female’s probability of breeding increased with the local density of males and was higher with higher male-biased operational sex ratio (OSR) but was independent of local female density, female age, and body condition, which are factors commonly assumed to influence female reproduction. The positive effect of male availability (as measured by OSR) on female breeding success was consistent across the years, and we conclude that male limitation contributes to female mating failure. This pattern, which is not commonly recorded in species with conventional sex roles, can be explained by a combination of sociodemographic and life history traits (sex differences in age of maturation, female-skewed adult sex ratio and seasonally varying OSR, solitary living at low population density, and low mobility of females combined with mate-searching tactics of males) that are not confined to S. fulvus . Our findings indicate that the role of female mating failure (due to a shortage of males) in shaping mammalian life history may be underestimated.
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2015-10-04
    Description: Terrestrial predators can modulate the energy used for prey capture to maximize efficiency, but diving animals face the conflicting metabolic demands of energy intake and the minimization of oxygen depletion during a breath hold. It is thought that diving predators optimize their foraging success when oxygen use and energy gain act as competing currencies, but this hypothesis has not been rigorously tested because it has been difficult to measure the quality of prey that is targeted by free-ranging animals. We used high-resolution multisensor digital tags attached to foraging blue whales ( Balaenoptera musculus ) with concurrent acoustic prey measurements to quantify foraging performance across depth and prey density gradients. We parameterized two competing physiological models to estimate energy gain and expenditure based on foraging decisions. Our analyses show that at low prey densities, blue whale feeding rates and energy intake were low to minimize oxygen use, but at higher prey densities feeding frequency increased to maximize energy intake. Contrary to previous paradigms, we demonstrate that blue whales are not indiscriminate grazers but instead switch foraging strategies in response to variation in prey density and depth to maximize energetic efficiency.
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  • 33
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-10-04
    Description: Scaling down materials to an atomic-layer level produces rich physical and chemical properties as exemplified in various two-dimensional (2D) crystals including graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides, and black phosphorus. This is caused by the dramatic modification of electronic band structures. In such reduced dimensions, the electron correlation effects are also expected to be significantly changed from bulk systems. However, there are few attempts to realize novel phenomena in correlated 2D crystals. We report memristive phase switching in nano-thick crystals of 1T-type tantalum disulfide (1T-TaS 2 ), a first-order phase transition system. The ordering kinetics of the phase transition were found to become extremely slow as the thickness is reduced, resulting in an emergence of metastable states. Furthermore, we realized unprecedented memristive switching to multistep nonvolatile states by applying an in-plane electric field. The reduction of thickness is essential to achieve such nonvolatile electrical switching behavior. The thinning-induced slow kinetics possibly make the various metastable states robust and consequently realize the nonvolatile memory operation. The present result indicates that a 2D crystal with correlated electrons is a novel nano-system to explore and functionalize multiple metastable states that are inaccessible in its bulk form.
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2015-10-18
    Description: Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic and is a major risk factor for metabolic syndrome. Oxidative stress is known to play a role in the generation and maintenance of an obesity phenotype in both isolated adipocytes and intact animals. Because we had identified that the Na/K-ATPase can amplify oxidant signaling, we speculated that a peptide designed to inhibit this pathway, pNaKtide, might ameliorate an obesity phenotype. To test this hypothesis, we first performed studies in isolated murine preadipocytes (3T3L1 cells) and found that pNaKtide attenuated oxidant stress and lipid accumulation in a dose-dependent manner. Complementary experiments in C57Bl6 mice fed a high-fat diet corroborated our in vitro observations. Administration of pNaKtide in these mice reduced body weight gain, restored systemic redox and inflammatory milieu, and, crucially, improved insulin sensitivity. Thus, we propose that inhibition of Na/K-ATPase amplification of oxidative stress may ultimately be a novel way to combat obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome.
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2015-10-18
    Description: Since the discovery of extensive earthquake triggering occurring in response to the 1992 M w (moment magnitude) 7.3 Landers earthquake, it is now well established that seismic waves from earthquakes can trigger other earthquakes, tremor, slow slip, and pore pressure changes. Our contention is that earthquake triggering is one manifestation of a more widespread elastic disturbance that reveals information about Earth’s stress state. Earth’s stress state is central to our understanding of both natural and anthropogenic-induced crustal processes. We show that seismic waves from distant earthquakes may perturb stresses and frictional properties on faults and elastic moduli of the crust in cascading fashion. Transient dynamic stresses place crustal material into a metastable state during which the material recovers through a process termed slow dynamics. This observation of widespread, dynamically induced elastic perturbation, including systematic migration of offshore seismicity, strain transients, and velocity transients, presents a new characterization of Earth’s elastic system that will advance our understanding of plate tectonics, seismicity, and seismic hazards.
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  • 36
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-10-18
    Description: During protein folding and as part of some conformational changes that regulate protein function, the polypeptide chain must traverse high-energy barriers that separate the commonly adopted low-energy conformations. How distortions in peptide geometry allow these barrier-crossing transitions is a fundamental open question. One such important transition involves the movement of a non-glycine residue between the left side of the Ramachandran plot (that is, 〈 0°) and the right side (that is, 〉 0°). We report that high-energy conformations with ~ 0°, normally expected to occur only as fleeting transition states, are stably trapped in certain highly resolved native protein structures and that an analysis of these residues provides a detailed, experimentally derived map of the bond angle distortions taking place along the transition path. This unanticipated information lays to rest any uncertainty about whether such transitions are possible and how they occur, and in doing so lays a firm foundation for theoretical studies to better understand the transitions between basins that have been little studied but are integrally involved in protein folding and function. Also, the context of one such residue shows that even a designed highly stable protein can harbor substantial unfavorable interactions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 37
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-10-25
    Description: Equilibrium crystal shape is the lowest energy crystal shape that is hardly realized in ordinary crystals because of their slow relaxation. 4 He quantum crystals in a superfluid have been expected as unique exceptions that grow extremely fast at very low temperatures. However, on the ground, gravity considerably deforms the crystals and conceals the equilibrium crystal shape, and thus, gravity-free environment is needed to observe the equilibrium shape of 4 He. We report the relaxation processes of macroscopic 4 He crystals in a superfluid below 200 mK under zero gravity using a parabolic flight of a jet plane. When gravity was removed from a gravity-flattened 4 He crystal, the crystal rapidly transformed into a shape with flat surfaces. Although the relaxation processes were highly dependent on the initial condition, the crystals relaxed to a nearly homothetic shape in the end, indicating that they were truly in an equilibrium shape minimizing the interfacial free energy. Thanks to the equilibrium shape, we were able to determine the Wulff’s origin and the size of the c-facet together with the vicinal surface profile next to the c-facet. The c-facet size was extremely small in the quantum crystals, and the facet-like flat surfaces were found to be the vicinal surfaces. At the same time, the interfacial free energy of the a-facet and s-facet was also obtained.
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2015-10-25
    Description: The presence of numerous complex organic molecules (COMs; defined as those containing six or more atoms) around protostars shows that star formation is accompanied by an increase of molecular complexity. These COMs may be part of the material from which planetesimals and, ultimately, planets formed. Comets represent some of the oldest and most primitive material in the solar system, including ices, and are thus our best window into the volatile composition of the solar protoplanetary disk. Molecules identified to be present in cometary ices include water, simple hydrocarbons, oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen-bearing species, as well as a few COMs, such as ethylene glycol and glycine. We report the detection of 21 molecules in comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), including the first identification of ethyl alcohol (ethanol, C 2 H 5 OH) and the simplest monosaccharide sugar glycolaldehyde (CH 2 OHCHO) in a comet. The abundances of ethanol and glycolaldehyde, respectively 5 and 0.8% relative to methanol (0.12 and 0.02% relative to water), are somewhat higher than the values measured in solar-type protostars. Overall, the high abundance of COMs in cometary ices supports the formation through grain-surface reactions in the solar system protoplanetary disk.
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2015-10-25
    Description: Dielectric capacitors are promising candidates for high-performance energy storage systems due to their high power density and increasing energy density. However, the traditional approach strategies to enhance the performance of dielectric capacitors cannot simultaneously achieve large capacitance and high breakdown voltage. We demonstrate that such limitations can be overcome by using a completely new three-dimensional (3D) nanoarchitectural electrode design. First, we fabricate a unique nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane with two sets of interdigitated and isolated straight nanopores opening toward opposite planar surfaces. By depositing carbon nanotubes in both sets of pores inside the AAO membrane, the new dielectric capacitor with 3D nanoscale interdigital electrodes is simply realized. In our new capacitors, the large specific surface area of AAO can provide large capacitance, whereas uniform pore walls and hemispheric barrier layers can enhance breakdown voltage. As a result, a high energy density of 2 Wh/kg, which is close to the value of a supercapacitor, can be achieved, showing promising potential in high-density electrical energy storage for various applications.
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2015-10-25
    Description: Several forms of hair loss in humans are characterized by the inability of hair follicles to enter the growth phase (anagen) of the hair cycle after being arrested in the resting phase (telogen). Current pharmacologic therapies have been largely unsuccessful in targeting pathways that can be selectively modulated to induce entry into anagen. We show that topical treatment of mouse and human skin with small-molecule inhibitors of the Janus kinase (JAK)–signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway results in rapid onset of anagen and subsequent hair growth. We show that JAK inhibition regulates the activation of key hair follicle populations such as the hair germ and improves the inductivity of cultured human dermal papilla cells by controlling a molecular signature enriched in intact, fully inductive dermal papillae. Our findings open new avenues for exploration of JAK-STAT inhibition for promotion of hair growth and highlight the role of this pathway in regulating the activation of hair follicle stem cells.
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2015-11-08
    Description: Origami-inspired active graphene-based paper with programmed gradients in vertical and lateral directions is developed to address many of the limitations of polymer active materials including slow response and violent operation methods. Specifically, we used function-designed graphene oxide as nanoscale building blocks to fabricate an all-graphene self-folding paper that has a single-component gradient structure. A functional device composed of this graphene paper can (i) adopt predesigned shapes, (ii) walk, and (iii) turn a corner. These processes can be remote-controlled by gentle light or heating. We believe that this self-folding material holds potential for a wide range of applications such as sensing, artificial muscles, and robotics.
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2015-11-08
    Description: Large-scale nanopatterning is a major issue in nanoscience and nanotechnology, but conventional top-down approaches are challenging because of instrumentation and process complexity while often lacking the desired spatial resolution. We present a hierarchical bottom-up nanopatterning routine using exclusively self-assembly processes: By combining crystal surface reconstruction, microphase separation of copolymers, and selective metal diffusion, we produce monodisperse metal nanostructures in highly regular arrays covering areas of square centimeters. In situ grazing incidence small-angle x-ray scattering during Fe nanostructure formation evidences an outstanding structural order in the self-assembling system and hints at the possibility of sculpting nanostructures using external process parameters. Thus, we demonstrate that bottom-up nanopatterning is a competitive alternative to top-down routines, achieving comparable pattern regularity, feature size, and patterned areas with considerably reduced effort. Intriguing assets of the proposed fabrication approach include the option for in situ investigations during pattern formation, the possibility of customizing the nanostructure morphology, the capacity to pattern arbitrarily large areas with ultrahigh structure densities unachievable by top-down approaches, and the potential to address the nanostructures individually. Numerous applications of self-assembled nanostructure patterns can be envisioned, for example, in high-density magnetic data storage, in functional nanostructured materials for photonics or catalysis, or in surface plasmon resonance–based sensing.
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2015-11-15
    Description: Weyl semimetals are expected to open up new horizons in physics and materials science because they provide the first realization of Weyl fermions and exhibit protected Fermi arc surface states. However, they had been found to be extremely rare in nature. Recently, a family of compounds, consisting of tantalum arsenide, tantalum phosphide (TaP), niobium arsenide, and niobium phosphide, was predicted as a Weyl semimetal candidates. We experimentally realize a Weyl semimetal state in TaP. Using photoemission spectroscopy, we directly observe the Weyl fermion cones and nodes in the bulk, and the Fermi arcs on the surface. Moreover, we find that the surface states show an unexpectedly rich structure, including both topological Fermi arcs and several topologically trivial closed contours in the vicinity of the Weyl points, which provides a promising platform to study the interplay between topological and trivial surface states on a Weyl semimetal’s surface. We directly demonstrate the bulk-boundary correspondence and establish the topologically nontrivial nature of the Weyl semimetal state in TaP, by resolving the net number of chiral edge modes on a closed path that encloses the Weyl node. This also provides, for the first time, an experimentally practical approach to demonstrating a bulk Weyl fermion from a surface state dispersion measured in photoemission.
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2015-10-18
    Description: Dicer-2 is the central player for small interfering RNA biogenesis in the Drosophila RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. Intriguingly, we found that Dicer-2 has an unconventional RNAi-independent function that positively modulates Toll immune signaling, which defends against Gram-positive bacteria, fungi, and some viruses, in both cells and adult flies. The loss of Dicer-2 expression makes fruit flies more susceptible to fungal infection. We further revealed that Dicer-2 posttranscriptionally modulates Toll signaling because Dicer-2 is required for the proper expression of Toll protein but not for Toll protein stability or Toll mRNA transcription. Moreover, Dicer-2 directly binds to the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of Toll mRNA via its PAZ (Piwi/Argonaute/Zwille) domain and is required for protein translation mediated by Toll 3'UTR. The loss of Toll 3'UTR binding activity makes Dicer-2 incapable of promoting Toll signaling. These data indicate that the interaction between Dicer-2 and Toll mRNA plays a pivotal role in Toll immune signaling. In addition, we found that Dicer-2 is also required for the Toll signaling induced by two different RNA viruses in Drosophila cells. Consequently, our findings uncover a novel RNAi-independent function of Dicer-2 in the posttranscriptional regulation of Toll protein expression and signaling, indicate an unexpected intersection of the RNAi pathway and the Toll pathway, and provide new insights into Toll immune signaling, Drosophila Dicer-2, and probably Dicer and Dicer-related proteins in other organisms.
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2015-10-25
    Description: Measuring small molecule interactions with membrane proteins in single cells is critical for understanding many cellular processes and for screening drugs. However, developing such a capability has been a difficult challenge. We show that molecular interactions with membrane proteins induce a mechanical deformation in the cellular membrane, and real-time monitoring of the deformation with subnanometer resolution allows quantitative analysis of small molecule–membrane protein interaction kinetics in single cells. This new strategy provides mechanical amplification of small binding signals, making it possible to detect small molecule interactions with membrane proteins. This capability, together with spatial resolution, also allows the study of the heterogeneous nature of cells by analyzing the interaction kinetics variability between different cells and between different regions of a single cell.
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  • 46
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-10-25
    Description: Quantum annealers are physical devices that aim at solving NP-complete optimization problems by exploiting quantum mechanics. The basic principle of quantum annealing is to encode the optimization problem in Ising interactions between quantum bits (qubits). A fundamental challenge in building a fully programmable quantum annealer is the competing requirements of full controllable all-to-all connectivity and the quasi-locality of the interactions between physical qubits. We present a scalable architecture with full connectivity, which can be implemented with local interactions only. The input of the optimization problem is encoded in local fields acting on an extended set of physical qubits. The output is—in the spirit of topological quantum memories—redundantly encoded in the physical qubits, resulting in an intrinsic fault tolerance. Our model can be understood as a lattice gauge theory, where long-range interactions are mediated by gauge constraints. The architecture can be realized on various platforms with local controllability, including superconducting qubits, NV-centers, quantum dots, and atomic systems.
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2015-10-31
    Description: In human fingertips, the fingerprint patterns and interlocked epidermal-dermal microridges play a critical role in amplifying and transferring tactile signals to various mechanoreceptors, enabling spatiotemporal perception of various static and dynamic tactile signals. Inspired by the structure and functions of the human fingertip, we fabricated fingerprint-like patterns and interlocked microstructures in ferroelectric films, which can enhance the piezoelectric, pyroelectric, and piezoresistive sensing of static and dynamic mechanothermal signals. Our flexible and microstructured ferroelectric skins can detect and discriminate between multiple spatiotemporal tactile stimuli including static and dynamic pressure, vibration, and temperature with high sensitivities. As proof-of-concept demonstration, the sensors have been used for the simultaneous monitoring of pulse pressure and temperature of artery vessels, precise detection of acoustic sounds, and discrimination of various surface textures. Our microstructured ferroelectric skins may find applications in robotic skins, wearable sensors, and medical diagnostic devices.
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2015-10-31
    Description: The exceptionally long quantum coherence times of phosphorus donor nuclear spin qubits in silicon, coupled with the proven scalability of silicon-based nano-electronics, make them attractive candidates for large-scale quantum computing. However, the high threshold of topological quantum error correction can only be captured in a two-dimensional array of qubits operating synchronously and in parallel—posing formidable fabrication and control challenges. We present an architecture that addresses these problems through a novel shared-control paradigm that is particularly suited to the natural uniformity of the phosphorus donor nuclear spin qubit states and electronic confinement. The architecture comprises a two-dimensional lattice of donor qubits sandwiched between two vertically separated control layers forming a mutually perpendicular crisscross gate array. Shared-control lines facilitate loading/unloading of single electrons to specific donors, thereby activating multiple qubits in parallel across the array on which the required operations for surface code quantum error correction are carried out by global spin control. The complexities of independent qubit control, wave function engineering, and ad hoc quantum interconnects are explicitly avoided. With many of the basic elements of fabrication and control based on demonstrated techniques and with simulated quantum operation below the surface code error threshold, the architecture represents a new pathway for large-scale quantum information processing in silicon and potentially in other qubit systems where uniformity can be exploited.
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2015-10-31
    Description: Observations from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission indicate a marked change in the gravitational signature of lunar impact structures at the morphological transition, with increasing diameter, from complex craters to peak-ring basins. At crater diameters larger than ~200 km, a central positive Bouguer anomaly is seen within the innermost peak ring, and an annular negative Bouguer anomaly extends outward from this ring to the outer topographic rim crest. These observations demonstrate that basin-forming impacts remove crustal materials from within the peak ring and thicken the crust between the peak ring and the outer rim crest. A correlation between the diameter of the central Bouguer gravity high and the outer topographic ring diameter for well-preserved basins enables the identification and characterization of basins for which topographic signatures have been obscured by superposed cratering and volcanism. The GRAIL inventory of lunar basins improves upon earlier lists that differed in their totals by more than a factor of 2. The size-frequency distributions of basins on the nearside and farside hemispheres of the Moon differ substantially; the nearside hosts more basins larger than 350 km in diameter, whereas the farside has more smaller basins. Hemispherical differences in target properties, including temperature and porosity, are likely to have contributed to these different distributions. Better understanding of the factors that control basin size will help to constrain models of the original impactor population.
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: Magic-sized clusters, as the intermediate state between molecules and nanoparticles, exhibit critical transitions of structures and material properties. We report two unique structures of gold clusters solved by x-ray crystallography, including Au 40 and Au 52 protected by thiolates. The Au 40 and Au 52 clusters exhibit a high level of complexity, with the gold atoms in the cluster first segregated into four-atom tetrahedral units—which then coil up into a Kekulé-like ring in the Au 40 cluster and a DNA-like double helix in Au 52 . The solved structures imply a new "supermolecule" origin for revealing the stability of certain magic-sized gold clusters. The formation of supermolecular structures originates in the surface ligand bonding–induced stress and its propagation through the face-centered cubic (FCC) lattice. Moreover, the two structures reveal anisotropic growth of the FCC lattice in the cluster regime, which provides implications for the important roles of ligands at the atomic level. The rich structural information encoded in the Au 40 and Au 52 clusters provides atomic-scale insight into some important issues in cluster, nanoscale, and surface sciences.
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most frequently occurring inherited cardiovascular disease. It is caused by mutations in genes encoding the force-generating machinery of the cardiac sarcomere, including human β-cardiac myosin. We present a detailed characterization of the most debated HCM-causing mutation in human β-cardiac myosin, R403Q. Despite numerous studies, most performed with nonhuman or noncardiac myosin, there is no consensus about the mechanism of action of this mutation on the function of the enzyme. We use recombinant human β-cardiac myosin and new methodologies to characterize in vitro contractility parameters of the R403Q myosin compared to wild type. We extend our studies beyond pure actin filaments to include the interaction of myosin with regulated actin filaments containing tropomyosin and troponin. We find that, with pure actin, the intrinsic force generated by R403Q is ~15% lower than that generated by wild type. The unloaded velocity is, however, ~10% higher for R403Q myosin, resulting in a load-dependent velocity curve that has the characteristics of lower contractility at higher external loads compared to wild type. With regulated actin filaments, there is no increase in the unloaded velocity and the contractility of the R403Q myosin is lower than that of wild type at all loads. Unlike that with pure actin, the actin-activated adenosine triphosphatase activity for R403Q myosin with Ca 2+ -regulated actin filaments is ~30% lower than that for wild type, predicting a lower unloaded duty ratio of the motor. Overall, the contractility parameters studied fit with a loss of human β-cardiac myosin contractility as a result of the R403Q mutation.
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: The spin-polarized surface states of topological insulators (TIs) are attractive for applications in spintronics and quantum computing. A central challenge with these materials is to reliably tune the chemical potential of their electrons with respect to the Dirac point and the bulk bands. We demonstrate persistent, bidirectional optical control of the chemical potential of (Bi,Sb) 2 Te 3 thin films grown on SrTiO 3 . By optically modulating a space-charge layer in the SrTiO 3 substrates, we induce a persistent field effect in the TI films comparable to electrostatic gating techniques but without additional materials or processing. This enables us to optically pattern arbitrarily shaped p - and n -type regions in a TI, which we subsequently image with scanning photocurrent microscopy. The ability to optically write and erase mesoscopic electronic structures in a TI may aid in the investigation of the unique properties of the topological insulating phase. The gating effect also generalizes to other thin-film materials, suggesting that these phenomena could provide optical control of chemical potential in a wide range of ultrathin electronic systems.
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  • 53
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: Electrical stimulation is currently the gold standard for cardiac pacing. However, it is invasive and nonspecific for cardiac tissues. We recently developed a noninvasive cardiac pacing technique using optogenetic tools, which are widely used in neuroscience. Optogenetic pacing of the heart provides high spatial and temporal precisions, is specific for cardiac tissues, avoids artifacts associated with electrical stimulation, and therefore promises to be a powerful tool in basic cardiac research. We demonstrated optogenetic control of heart rhythm in a well-established model organism, Drosophila melanogaster . We developed transgenic flies expressing a light-gated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), specifically in their hearts and demonstrated successful optogenetic pacing of ChR2-expressing Drosophila at different developmental stages, including the larva, pupa, and adult stages. A high-speed and ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence microscopy imaging system that is capable of providing images at a rate of 130 frames/s with axial and transverse resolutions of 1.5 and 3.9 μm, respectively, was used to noninvasively monitor Drosophila cardiac function and its response to pacing stimulation. The development of a noninvasive integrated optical pacing and imaging system provides a novel platform for performing research studies in developmental cardiology.
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: Copper-catalyzed aerobic oxidative C–H/N–H coupling between simple ketones and diamines was developed toward the synthesis of a variety of pyrazines. Various substituted ketones were compatible for this transformation. Preliminary mechanistic investigations indicated that radical species were involved. X-ray absorption fine structure experiments elucidated that the Cu(II) species 5 coordinated by two N atoms at a distance of 2.04 Å and two O atoms at a shorter distance of 1.98 Å was a reactive one for this aerobic oxidative coupling reaction. Density functional theory calculations suggested that the intramolecular coupling of cationic radicals was favorable in this transformation.
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: The RNA polymerase II mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12) is frequently mutated in human cancers, and loss of MED12 has been shown to induce drug resistance through activation of transforming growth factor–β receptor (TGF-βR) signaling. We identified MED12 as a substrate for coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1). Not only are the expression levels of CARM1 and MED12 positively correlated, but their high expression also predicts better prognosis in human breast cancers after chemotherapy. MED12 was methylated at R1862 and R1912 by CARM1, and mutation of these sites in cell lines resulted in resistance to chemotherapy drugs. Furthermore, we showed that the methylation-dependent drug response mechanism is distinct from activation of TGF-βR signaling, because methylated MED12 potently suppresses p21/WAF1 transcription. Cells defective in MED12 methylation have up-regulated p21 protein, which correlates with poor prognosis in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Collectively, this study identifies MED12 methylation as a sensor for predicting response to commonly used chemotherapy drugs in human cancers.
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: A large body of work has shown that year-to-year variations in North African dust emission are inversely proportional to previous-year monsoon rainfall in the Sahel, implying that African dust emission is highly sensitive to vegetation changes in this narrow transitional zone. However, such a theory is not supported by field observations or modeling studies, as both suggest that interannual variability in dust is due to changes in wind speeds over the major emitting regions, which lie to the north of the Sahelian vegetated zone. We reconcile this contradiction showing that interannual variability in Sahelian rainfall and surface wind speeds over the Sahara are the result of changes in lower tropospheric air temperatures over the Saharan heat low (SHL). As the SHL warms, an anomalous tropospheric circulation develops that reduces wind speeds over the Sahara and displaces the monsoonal rainfall northward, thus simultaneously increasing Sahelian rainfall and reducing dust emission from the major dust "hotspots" in the Sahara. Our results shed light on why climate models are, to date, unable to reproduce observed historical variability in dust emission and transport from this region.
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  • 57
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: The recent decline in Horn of Africa rainfall during the March–May "long rains" season has fomented drought and famine, threatening food security in an already vulnerable region. Some attribute this decline to anthropogenic forcing, whereas others maintain that it is a feature of internal climate variability. We show that the rate of drying in the Horn of Africa during the 20th century is unusual in the context of the last 2000 years, is synchronous with recent global and regional warming, and therefore may have an anthropogenic component. In contrast to 20th century drying, climate models predict that the Horn of Africa will become wetter as global temperatures rise. The projected increase in rainfall mainly occurs during the September–November "short rains" season, in response to large-scale weakening of the Walker circulation. Most of the models overestimate short rains precipitation while underestimating long rains precipitation, causing the Walker circulation response to unrealistically dominate the annual mean. Our results highlight the need for accurate simulation of the seasonal cycle and an improved understanding of the dynamics of the long rains season to predict future rainfall in the Horn of Africa.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: Mercury (Hg) methylation produces the neurotoxic, highly bioaccumulative methylmercury (MeHg). The highly conserved nature of the recently identified Hg methylation genes hgcAB provides a foundation for broadly evaluating spatial and niche-specific patterns of microbial Hg methylation potential in nature. We queried hgcAB diversity and distribution in 〉3500 publicly available microbial metagenomes, encompassing a broad range of environments and generating a new global view of Hg methylation potential. The hgcAB genes were found in nearly all anaerobic (but not aerobic) environments, including oxygenated layers of the open ocean. Critically, hgcAB was effectively absent in ~1500 human and mammalian microbiomes, suggesting a low risk of endogenous MeHg production. New potential methylation habitats were identified, including invertebrate digestive tracts, thawing permafrost soils, coastal "dead zones," soils, sediments, and extreme environments, suggesting multiple routes for MeHg entry into food webs. Several new taxonomic groups capable of methylating Hg emerged, including lineages having no cultured representatives. Phylogenetic analysis points to an evolutionary relationship between hgcA and genes encoding corrinoid iron-sulfur proteins functioning in the ancient Wood-Ljungdahl carbon fixation pathway, suggesting that methanogenic Archaea may have been the first to perform these biotransformations.
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: Contrary to the empirical Miedema and Hume-Rothery rules and a recent theoretical prediction, we report experimental evidence on the formation of Li-Cs alloys at very low pressure (〉0.1 GPa). We also succeeded in synthesizing a pure nonstoichiometric and ordered crystalline phase from an approximately equimolar mixture and resolved its structure using the maximum entropy method. The new alloy has a primitive cubic cell with the Li atom situated in the center and the Cs at the corners. This structure is stable to at least 10 GPa and has an anomalously high coefficient of thermal expansion at low pressure. Analysis of the valence charge density shows that electrons are donated from Cs to the Li " p "-orbitals, resulting in a rare formal oxidation state of –1 for Li. The observation indicates the diversity in the bonding of the seeming simple group I Li element.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 60
    Publication Date: 2015-10-11
    Description: The central engines of disc-accreting stellar-mass black holes appear to be scaled down versions of the supermassive black holes that power active galactic nuclei. However, if the physics of accretion is universal, it should also be possible to extend this scaling to other types of accreting systems, irrespective of accretor mass, size, or type. We examine new observations, obtained with Kepler/K2 and ULTRACAM, regarding accreting white dwarfs and young stellar objects. Every object in the sample displays the same linear correlation between the brightness of the source and its amplitude of variability (rms-flux relation) and obeys the same quantitative scaling relation as stellar-mass black holes and active galactic nuclei. We also show that the most important parameter in this scaling relation is the physical size of the accreting object. This establishes the universality of accretion physics from proto-stars still in the star-forming process to the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 61
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    Unknown
    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-10-18
    Description: Confined thin surfaces may wrinkle as a result of the growth of excess material. Elasticity or gravity usually sets the wavelength. We explore new selection mechanisms based on hydrodynamics. First, inspired by yoghurt-making processes, we use caseins (a family of milk proteins) as pH-responsive building blocks and the acidulent glucono--lactone to design a porous biogel film immersed in a confined buoyancy-matched viscous medium. Under specific boundary conditions yet without any external stimulus, the biogel film spontaneously wrinkles in cascade. Second, using a combination of titration, rheology, light microscopy, and confocal microscopy, we demonstrate that, during continuous acidification, the gel first shrinks and then swells, inducing wrinkling. Third, taking into account both Darcy flow through the gel and Poiseuille flow in the surrounding solvent, we develop a model that correctly predicts the wrinkling wavelength. Our results should be universal for acid-induced protein gels because they are based on pH-induced charge stabilization/destabilization and therefore could set a benchmark to gain fundamental insights into wrinkled biological tissues, to texture food, or to design surfaces for optical purposes.
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  • 62
    Publication Date: 2015-10-18
    Description: The water-gas shift (WGS) reaction is an important process for the generation of hydrogen. Heterogeneous gold catalysts exhibit good WGS activity, but the nature of the active site, the oxidation state, and competing reaction mechanisms are very much matters of debate. Homogeneous gold WGS systems that could shed light on the mechanism are conspicuous by their absence: gold(I)–CO is inactive and gold(III)–CO complexes were unknown. We report the synthesis of the first example of an isolable CO complex of Au(III). Its reactivity demonstrates fundamental differences between the CO adducts of the neighboring d 8 ions Pt(II) and Au(III): whereas Pt(II)-CO is stable to moisture, Au(III)–CO compounds are extremely susceptible to nucleophilic attack and show WGS reactivity at low temperature. The key to understanding these dramatic differences is the donation/back-donation ratio of the M–CO bond: gold-CO shows substantially less back-bonding than Pt-CO, irrespective of closely similar (CO) frequencies. Key WGS intermediates include the gold-CO 2 complex [(C^N^C)Au] 2 (μ-CO 2 ), which reductively eliminates CO 2 . The species identified here are in accord with Au(III) as active species and a carboxylate WGS mechanism.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 63
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    Unknown
    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-10-18
    Description: Stimulation of Escherichia coli by exponential ramps of chemoattractants generates step changes in the concentration of the response regulator, CheY-P. Because flagellar motors are ultrasensitive, this should change the fraction of time that motors spin clockwise, the CW bias . However, early work failed to show changes in CW bias when ramps were shallow. This was explained by a model for motor remodeling that predicted plateaus in plots of CW bias versus [CheY-P]. We looked for these plateaus by examining distributions of CW bias in populations of cells with different mean [CheY-P]. We did not find such plateaus. Hence, we repeated the work on shallow ramps and found that motors did indeed respond. These responses were quantitatively described by combining motor remodeling with ultrasensitivity in a model that exhibited high sensitivities over a wide dynamic range.
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2015-10-18
    Description: The emergence of nematic electronic states accompanied by a structural phase transition is a recurring theme in many correlated electron materials, including the high-temperature copper oxide– and iron-based superconductors. We provide evidence for nematic electronic states in the iron-chalcogenide superconductor FeSe 0.4 Te 0.6 from quasi-particle scattering detected in spectroscopic maps. The symmetry-breaking states persist above T c into the normal state. We interpret the scattering patterns by comparison with quasi-particle interference patterns obtained from a tight-binding model, accounting for orbital ordering. The relation to superconductivity and the influence on the coherence length are discussed.
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  • 65
    Publication Date: 2015-10-25
    Description: In nature, plants and their pollinating and/or seed-dispersing animals form complex interaction networks. The commonly observed pattern of links between specialists and generalists in these networks has been predicted to promote species coexistence. Plants also build highly species-rich mutualistic networks below ground with root-associated fungi, and the structure of these plant–fungus networks may also affect terrestrial community processes. By compiling high-throughput DNA sequencing data sets of the symbiosis of plants and their root-associated fungi from three localities along a latitudinal gradient, we uncovered the entire network architecture of these interactions under contrasting environmental conditions. Each network included more than 30 plant species and hundreds of mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi belonging to diverse phylogenetic groups. The results were consistent with the notion that processes shaping host-plant specialization of fungal species generate a unique linkage pattern that strongly contrasts with the pattern of above-ground plant–partner networks. Specifically, plant–fungus networks lacked a "nested" architecture, which has been considered to promote species coexistence in plant–partner networks. Rather, the below-ground networks had a conspicuous "antinested" topology. Our findings lead to the working hypothesis that terrestrial plant community dynamics are likely determined by the balance between above-ground and below-ground webs of interspecific interactions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
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  • 66
    Publication Date: 2015-10-25
    Description: Understanding the role of electron correlations in strong spin-orbit transition-metal oxides is key to the realization of numerous exotic phases including spin-orbit–assisted Mott insulators, correlated topological solids, and prospective new high-temperature superconductors. To date, most attention has been focused on the 5 d iridium-based oxides. We instead consider the Pt-based delafossite oxide PtCoO 2 . Our transport measurements, performed on single-crystal samples etched to well-defined geometries using focused ion beam techniques, yield a room temperature resistivity of only 2.1 microhm·cm (μ-cm), establishing PtCoO 2 as the most conductive oxide known. From angle-resolved photoemission and density functional theory, we show that the underlying Fermi surface is a single cylinder of nearly hexagonal cross-section, with very weak dispersion along k z . Despite being predominantly composed of d -orbital character, the conduction band is remarkably steep, with an average effective mass of only 1.14 m e . Moreover, the sharp spectral features observed in photoemission remain well defined with little additional broadening for more than 500 meV below E F , pointing to suppressed electron-electron scattering. Together, our findings establish PtCoO 2 as a model nearly-free–electron system in a 5 d delafossite transition-metal oxide.
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  • 67
    Publication Date: 2015-10-25
    Description: We demonstrate the additive manufacturing of complex three-dimensional (3D) biological structures using soft protein and polysaccharide hydrogels that are challenging or impossible to create using traditional fabrication approaches. These structures are built by embedding the printed hydrogel within a secondary hydrogel that serves as a temporary, thermoreversible, and biocompatible support. This process, termed freeform reversible embedding of suspended hydrogels, enables 3D printing of hydrated materials with an elastic modulus 〈500 kPa including alginate, collagen, and fibrin. Computer-aided design models of 3D optical, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging data were 3D printed at a resolution of ~200 μm and at low cost by leveraging open-source hardware and software tools. Proof-of-concept structures based on femurs, branched coronary arteries, trabeculated embryonic hearts, and human brains were mechanically robust and recreated complex 3D internal and external anatomical architectures.
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  • 68
    Publication Date: 2015-11-08
    Description: The tumor microenvironment is profoundly immunosuppressive. We show that multiple tumor types create intratumoral immune suppression driven by a specialized form of regulatory T cell (T reg ) activation dependent on the PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) lipid phosphatase. PTEN acted to stabilize T regs in tumors, preventing them from reprogramming into inflammatory effector cells. In mice with a T reg -specific deletion of PTEN, tumors grew slowly, were inflamed, and could not create an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. In normal mice, exposure to apoptotic tumor cells rapidly elicited PTEN-expressing T regs , and PTEN-deficient mice were unable to maintain tolerance to apoptotic cells. In wild-type mice with large established tumors, pharmacologic inhibition of PTEN after chemotherapy or immunotherapy profoundly reconfigured the tumor microenvironment, changing it from a suppressive to an inflammatory milieu, and tumors underwent rapid regression. Thus, the immunosuppressive milieu in tumors must be actively maintained, and tumors become susceptible to immune attack if the PTEN pathway in T regs is disrupted.
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  • 69
    Publication Date: 2015-11-08
    Description: One-dimensional metal chalcogenide nanostructures are important candidates for many technological applications such as photovoltaic and thermoelectric devices. However, the design and synthesis of one-dimensional metal chalcogenide nanostructured materials with controllable components and properties remain a challenge. We report a general chemical transformation process for the synthesis of more than 45 kinds of one-dimensional alloyed/hybrid metal chalcogenide nanostructures inherited from mother template Te x Se y @Se core-shell nanowires with tunable compositions. As many as nine types of monometal chalcogenide alloy nanowires (including AgSeTe, HgSeTe, CuSeTe, BiSeTe, PbSeTe, CdSeTe, SbSeTe, NiSeTe, and CoSeTe) can be synthesized. Alloyed and hybrid nanowires integrated with two or more alloyed metal chalcogenide phases can also be prepared. The compositions of all of these metal chalcogenide nanowires are tunable within a wide range. This protocol provides a new general route for the controllable synthesis of a new generation of one-dimensional metal chalcogenide nanostructures.
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  • 70
    Publication Date: 2015-11-08
    Description: Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have been widely used to deliver nanomaterials and other types of macromolecules into mammalian cells for therapeutic and diagnostic use. Cationic CPPs that bind to heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans on the cell surface induce potent endocytosis; however, the role of other surface receptors in this process is unclear. We describe the convergence of an HS-dependent pathway with the C-end rule (CendR) mechanism that enables peptide ligation with neuropilin-1 (NRP1), a cell surface receptor known to be involved in angiogenesis and vascular permeability. NRP1 binds peptides carrying a positive residue at the carboxyl terminus, a feature that is compatible with cationic CPPs, either intact or after proteolytic processing. We used CPP and CendR peptides, as well as HS- and NRP1-binding motifs from semaphorins, to explore the commonalities and differences of the HS and NRP1 pathways. We show that the CendR-NRP1 interaction determines the ability of CPPs to induce vascular permeability. We also show at the ultrastructural level, using a novel cell entry synchronization method, that both the HS and NRP1 pathways can initiate a macropinocytosis-like process and visualize these CPP-cargo complexes going through various endosomal compartments. Our results provide new insights into how CPPs exploit multiple surface receptor pathways for intracellular delivery.
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  • 71
    Publication Date: 2015-11-15
    Description: Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are able to directly convert about 50 to 90% of energy from oxidation of organic matters in waste to electricity and have great potential application in broad fields such as wastewater treatment. Unfortunately, the power density of the MFCs at present is significantly lower than the theoretical value because of technical limitations including low bacteria loading capacity and difficult electron transfer between the bacteria and the electrode. We reported a three-dimensional (3D) graphene aerogel (GA) decorated with platinum nanoparticles (Pt NPs) as an efficient freestanding anode for MFCs. The 3D GA/Pt–based anode has a continuous 3D macroporous structure that is favorable for microorganism immobilization and efficient electrolyte transport. Moreover, GA scaffold is homogenously decorated with Pt NPs to further enhance extracellular charge transfer between the bacteria and the anode. The MFCs constructed with 3D GA/Pt–based anode generate a remarkable maximum power density of 1460 mW/m 2 , 5.3 times higher than that based on carbon cloth (273 mW/m 2 ). It deserves to be stressed that 1460 mW/m 2 obtained from the GA/Pt anode shows the superior performance among all the reported MFCs inoculated with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. Moreover, as a demonstration of the real application, the MFC equipped with the freestanding GA/Pt anode has been successfully applied in driving timer for the first time, which opens the avenue toward the real application of the MFCs.
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  • 72
    Publication Date: 2015-11-22
    Description: It is not known whether environmental O 2 levels increased in a linear fashion or fluctuated dynamically between the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis and the later Great Oxidation Event. New rhenium-osmium isotope data from the late Archean Mount McRae Shale, Western Australia, reveal a transient episode of oxidative continental weathering more than 50 million years before the onset of the Great Oxidation Event. A depositional age of 2495 ± 14 million years and an initial 187 Os/ 188 Os of 0.34 ± 0.19 were obtained for rhenium- and molybdenum-rich black shales. The initial 187 Os/ 188 Os is higher than the mantle/extraterrestrial value of 0.11, pointing to mild environmental oxygenation and oxidative mobilization of rhenium, molybdenum, and radiogenic osmium from the upper continental crust and to contemporaneous transport of these metals to seawater. By contrast, stratigraphically overlying black shales are rhenium- and molybdenum-poor and have a mantle-like initial 187 Os/ 188 Os of 0.06 ± 0.09, indicating a reduced continental flux of rhenium, molybdenum, and osmium to seawater because of a drop in environmental O 2 levels. Transient oxygenation events, like the one captured by the Mount McRae Shale, probably separated intervals of less oxygenated conditions during the late Archean.
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  • 73
    Publication Date: 2015-11-22
    Description: Although kinetic energy of a massive particle generally has quadratic dependence on its momentum, a flat, dispersionless energy band is realized in crystals with specific lattice structures. Such macroscopic degeneracy causes the emergence of localized eigenstates and has been a key concept in the context of itinerant ferromagnetism. We report the realization of a "Lieb lattice" configuration with an optical lattice, which has a flat energy band as the first excited state. Our optical lattice potential has various degrees of freedom in its manipulation, which enables coherent transfer of a Bose-Einstein condensate into the flat band. In addition to measuring lifetime of the flat band population for different tight-binding parameters, we investigate the inter-sublattice dynamics of the system by projecting the sublattice population onto the band population. This measurement clearly shows the formation of the localized state with the specific sublattice decoupled in the flat band, and even detects the presence of flat-band breaking perturbations, resulting in the delocalization. Our results will open up the possibilities of exploring the physics of flat bands with a highly controllable quantum system.
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  • 74
    Publication Date: 2015-11-22
    Description: Entanglement is a key resource for quantum computers, quantum-communication networks, and high-precision sensors. Macroscopic spin ensembles have been historically important in the development of quantum algorithms for these prospective technologies and remain strong candidates for implementing them today. This strength derives from their long-lived quantum coherence, strong signal, and ability to couple collectively to external degrees of freedom. Nonetheless, preparing ensembles of genuinely entangled spin states has required high magnetic fields and cryogenic temperatures or photochemical reactions. We demonstrate that entanglement can be realized in solid-state spin ensembles at ambient conditions. We use hybrid registers comprising of electron-nuclear spin pairs that are localized at color-center defects in a commercial SiC wafer. We optically initialize 10 3 identical registers in a 40-μm 3 volume (with 0.95–0.07+0.05 fidelity) and deterministically prepare them into the maximally entangled Bell states (with 0.88 ± 0.07 fidelity). To verify entanglement, we develop a register-specific quantum-state tomography protocol. The entanglement of a macroscopic solid-state spin ensemble at ambient conditions represents an important step toward practical quantum technology.
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  • 75
    Publication Date: 2015-11-22
    Description: Even though polycrystalline graphene has shown a surprisingly high tensile strength, the influence of inherent grain boundaries on such property remains unclear. We study the fracture properties of a series of polycrystalline graphene models of increasing thermodynamic stability, as obtained from a long molecular dynamics simulation at an elevated temperature. All of the models show the typical and well-documented brittle fracture behavior of polycrystalline graphene; however, a clear decrease in all fracture properties is observed with increasing annealing time. The remarkably high fracture properties obtained for the most disordered (less annealed) structures arise from the formation of many nonpropagating prefracture cracks, significantly retarding failure. The stability of these reversible cracks is due to the nonlocal character of load transfer after a bond rupture in very disordered systems. It results in an insufficient strain level on neighboring bonds to promote fracture propagation. Although polycrystallinity seems to be an unavoidable feature of chemically synthesized graphenes, these results suggest that targeting highly disordered states might be a convenient way to obtain improved mechanical properties.
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  • 76
    Publication Date: 2015-11-29
    Description: Understanding climatic influences on the rates and mechanisms of landscape erosion is an unresolved problem in Earth science that is important for quantifying soil formation rates, sediment and solute fluxes to oceans, and atmospheric CO 2 regulation by silicate weathering. Glaciated landscapes record the erosional legacy of glacial intervals through moraine deposits and U-shaped valleys, whereas more widespread unglaciated hillslopes and rivers lack obvious climate signatures, hampering mechanistic theory for how climate sets fluxes and form. Today, periglacial processes in high-elevation settings promote vigorous bedrock-to-regolith conversion and regolith transport, but the extent to which frost processes shaped vast swaths of low- to moderate-elevation terrain during past climate regimes is not well established. By combining a mechanistic frost weathering model with a regional Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) climate reconstruction derived from a paleo-Earth System Model, paleovegetation data, and a paleoerosion archive, we propose that frost-driven sediment production was pervasive during the LGM in our unglaciated Pacific Northwest study site, coincident with a 2.5 times increase in erosion relative to modern rates. Our findings provide a novel framework to quantify how climate modulates sediment production over glacial-interglacial cycles in mid-latitude unglaciated terrain.
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  • 77
    Publication Date: 2015-11-29
    Description: Intrinsic immune defenses mediated by restriction factors inhibit productive viral infections. Select viruses rapidly establish latent infections and, with gene expression profiles that imply cell-autonomous intrinsic defenses, may be the most effective immune control measure against latent reservoirs. We illustrate that lysine-specific demethylases (KDMs) are restriction factors that prevent human cytomegalovirus from establishing latency by removing repressive epigenetic modifications from histones associated with the viral major immediate early promoter (MIEP), stimulating the expression of a viral lytic phase target of cell-mediated adaptive immunity. The viral UL138 protein negates this defense by preventing KDM association with the MIEP. The presence of an intrinsic defense against latency and the emergence of a cognate neutralizing viral factor indicate that "arms races" between hosts and viruses over lifelong colonization exist at the cellular level.
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  • 78
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2015-11-29
    Description: Modern snakes probably originated as habitat specialists, but it controversial unclear whether they were ancestrally terrestrial burrowers or marine swimmers. We used x-ray virtual models of the inner ear to predict the habit of Dinilysia patagonica , a stem snake closely related to the origin of modern snakes. Previous work has shown that modern snakes perceive substrate vibrations via their inner ear. Our data show that D. patagonica and modern burrowing squamates share a unique spherical vestibule in the inner ear, as compared with swimmers and habitat generalists. We built predictive models for snake habit based on their vestibular shape, which estimated D. patagonica and the hypothetical ancestor of crown snakes as burrowers with high probabilities. This study provides an extensive comparative data set to test fossoriality quantitatively in stem snakes, and it shows that burrowing was predominant in the lineages leading to modern crown snakes.
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  • 79
    Publication Date: 2015-11-29
    Description: Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are considered one of the most promising large-scale energy storage technologies. However, conventional RFBs suffer from low energy density due to the low solubility of the active materials in electrolyte. On the basis of the redox targeting reactions of battery materials, the redox flow lithium battery (RFLB) demonstrated in this report presents a disruptive approach to drastically enhancing the energy density of flow batteries. With LiFePO 4 and TiO 2 as the cathodic and anodic Li storage materials, respectively, the tank energy density of RFLB could reach ~500 watt-hours per liter (50% porosity), which is 10 times higher than that of a vanadium redox flow battery. The cell exhibits good electrochemical performance under a prolonged cycling test. Our prototype RFLB full cell paves the way toward the development of a new generation of flow batteries for large-scale energy storage.
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  • 80
    Publication Date: 2015-12-06
    Description: The development of vertebrate neurons requires a change in membrane phosphatidylcholine (PC) metabolism. Although PC hydrolysis is essential for enhanced axonal outgrowth mediated by phospholipase D (PLD), less is known about the determinants of PC metabolism on dendritic arborization. We show that protein arginine methyltransferase 8 (PRMT8) acts as a phospholipase that directly hydrolyzes PC, generating choline and phosphatidic acid. We found that PRMT8 knockout mice ( prmt8 –/– ) displayed abnormal motor behaviors, including hindlimb clasping and hyperactivity. Moreover, prmt8 –/– mice and TALEN-induced zebrafish prmt8 mutants and morphants showed abnormal phenotypes, including the development of dendritic trees in Purkinje cells and altered cerebellar structure. Choline and acetylcholine levels were significantly decreased, whereas PC levels were increased, in the cerebellum of prmt8 –/– mice. Our findings suggest that PRMT8 acts both as an arginine methyltransferase and as a PC-hydrolyzing PLD that is essential for proper neurological functions.
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