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Nature Communications

Ludovic Sauguet, Pierre Raia, Ghislaine Henneke, Marc Delarue
Archaeal replicative DNA polymerase D (PolD) constitute an atypical class of DNA polymerases made of a proofreading exonuclease subunit (DP1) and a larger polymerase catalytic subunit (DP2), both with unknown structures. We have determined the crystal structures of Pyrococcus abyssi DP1 and DP2 at 2.5 and 2.2 Å resolution, respectively, revealing a catalytic core strikingly different from all other known DNA polymerases (DNAPs). Rather, the PolD DP2 catalytic core has the same 'double-psi β-barrel' architecture seen in the RNA polymerase (RNAP) superfamily, which includes multi-subunit transcriptases of all domains of life, homodimeric RNA-silencing pathway RNAPs and atypical viral RNAPs...
August 22, 2016: Nature Communications
Kenneth M McCullough, Dennis Choi, Jidong Guo, Kelsey Zimmerman, Jordan Walton, Donald G Rainnie, Kerry J Ressler
Molecular characterization of neuron populations, particularly those controlling threat responses, is essential for understanding the cellular basis of behaviour and identifying pharmacological agents acting selectively on fear-controlling circuitry. Here we demonstrate a comprehensive workflow for identification of pharmacologically tractable markers of behaviourally characterized cell populations. Thy1-eNpHR-, Thy1-Cre- and Thy1-eYFP-labelled neurons of the BLA consistently act as fear inhibiting or 'Fear-Off' neurons during behaviour...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Nejc Hodnik, Claudio Baldizzone, George Polymeros, Simon Geiger, Jan-Philipp Grote, Serhiy Cherevko, Andrea Mingers, Aleksandar Zeradjanin, Karl J J Mayrhofer
The recycling of precious metals, for example, platinum, is an essential aspect of sustainability for the modern industry and energy sectors. However, due to its resistance to corrosion, platinum-leaching techniques rely on high reagent consumption and hazardous processes, for example, boiling aqua regia; a mixture of concentrated nitric and hydrochloric acid. Here we demonstrate that complete dissolution of metallic platinum can be achieved by induced surface potential alteration, an 'electrode-less' process utilizing alternatively oxidative and reductive gases...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Dominic Woolf, Johannes Lehmann, David R Lee
Restricting global warming below 2 °C to avoid catastrophic climate change will require atmospheric carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Current integrated assessment models (IAMs) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenarios assume that CDR within the energy sector would be delivered using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Although bioenergy-biochar systems (BEBCS) can also deliver CDR, they are not included in any IPCC scenario. Here we show that despite BECCS offering twice the carbon sequestration and bioenergy per unit biomass, BEBCS may allow earlier deployment of CDR at lower carbon prices when long-term improvements in soil fertility offset biochar production costs...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Martin Leder, Christopher Grossert, Lukas Sitta, Maximilian Genske, Achim Rosch, Martin Weitz
To describe a mobile defect in polyacetylene chains, Su, Schrieffer and Heeger formulated a model assuming two degenerate energy configurations that are characterized by two different topological phases. An immediate consequence was the emergence of a soliton-type edge state located at the boundary between two regions of different configurations. Besides giving first insights in the electrical properties of polyacetylene materials, interest in this effect also stems from its close connection to states with fractional charge from relativistic field theory...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
J Krempaský, S Muff, F Bisti, M Fanciulli, H Volfová, A P Weber, N Pilet, P Warnicke, H Ebert, J Braun, F Bertran, V V Volobuev, J Minár, G Springholz, J H Dil, V N Strocov
Entanglement of the spin-orbit and magnetic order in multiferroic materials bears a strong potential for engineering novel electronic and spintronic devices. Here, we explore the electron and spin structure of ferroelectric α-GeTe thin films doped with ferromagnetic Mn impurities to achieve its multiferroic functionality. We use bulk-sensitive soft-X-ray angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (SX-ARPES) to follow hybridization of the GeTe valence band with the Mn dopants. We observe a gradual opening of the Zeeman gap in the bulk Rashba bands around the Dirac point with increase of the Mn concentration, indicative of the ferromagnetic order, at persistent Rashba splitting...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Satoru Kondo, Takashi Yoshida, Kenichi Ohki
A minicolumn is the smallest anatomical module in the cortical architecture, but it is still in debate whether it serves as functional units for cortical processing. In the rodent primary visual cortex (V1), neurons with different preferred orientations are mixed horizontally in a salt and pepper manner, but vertical functional organization was not examined. In this study, we found that neurons with similar orientation preference are weakly but significantly clustered vertically in a short length and horizontally in the scale of a minicolumn...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Qian Chen, Ligeng Xu, Chao Liang, Chao Wang, Rui Peng, Zhuang Liu
A therapeutic strategy that can eliminate primary tumours, inhibit metastases, and prevent tumour relapses is developed herein by combining adjuvant nanoparticle-based photothermal therapy with checkpoint-blockade immunotherapy. Indocyanine green (ICG), a photothermal agent, and imiquimod (R837), a Toll-like-receptor-7 agonist, are co-encapsulated by poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA). The formed PLGA-ICG-R837 nanoparticles composed purely by three clinically approved components can be used for near-infrared laser-triggered photothermal ablation of primary tumours, generating tumour-associated antigens, which in the presence of R837-containing nanoparticles as the adjuvant can show vaccine-like functions...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Gaohua Zhu, Jun Liu, Qiye Zheng, Ruigang Zhang, Dongyao Li, Debasish Banerjee, David G Cahill
Thermal conductivity of two-dimensional (2D) materials is of interest for energy storage, nanoelectronics and optoelectronics. Here, we report that the thermal conductivity of molybdenum disulfide can be modified by electrochemical intercalation. We observe distinct behaviour for thin films with vertically aligned basal planes and natural bulk crystals with basal planes aligned parallel to the surface. The thermal conductivity is measured as a function of the degree of lithiation, using time-domain thermoreflectance...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Francesca Bomboi, Flavio Romano, Manuela Leo, Javier Fernandez-Castanon, Roberto Cerbino, Tommaso Bellini, Federico Bordi, Patrizia Filetici, Francesco Sciortino
DNA is acquiring a primary role in material development, self-assembling by design into complex supramolecular aggregates, the building block of a new-materials world. Using DNA nanoconstructs to translate sophisticated theoretical intuitions into experimental realizations by closely matching idealized models of colloidal particles is a much less explored avenue. Here we experimentally show that an appropriate selection of competing interactions enciphered in multiple DNA sequences results into the successful design of a one-pot DNA hydrogel that melts both on heating and on cooling...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Yu Liu, Jianjun Zhang, Lin Li, Guangliang Yin, Jianhua Zhang, Shan Zheng, Hannah Cheung, Ning Wu, Ning Lu, Xizeng Mao, Longhai Yang, Jiexin Zhang, Li Zhang, Sahil Seth, Huang Chen, Xingzhi Song, Kan Liu, Yongqiang Xie, Lina Zhou, Chuanduo Zhao, Naijun Han, Wenting Chen, Susu Zhang, Longyun Chen, Wenjun Cai, Lin Li, Miaozhong Shen, Ningzhi Xu, Shujun Cheng, Huanming Yang, J Jack Lee, Arlene Correa, Junya Fujimoto, Carmen Behrens, Chi-Wan Chow, William N William, John V Heymach, Waun Ki Hong, Stephen Swisher, Ignacio I Wistuba, Jun Wang, Dongmei Lin, Xiangyang Liu, P Andrew Futreal, Yanning Gao
Multiple synchronous lung cancers (MSLCs) present a clinical dilemma as to whether individual tumours represent intrapulmonary metastases or independent tumours. In this study we analyse genomic profiles of 15 lung adenocarcinomas and one regional lymph node metastasis from 6 patients with MSLC. All 15 lung tumours demonstrate distinct genomic profiles, suggesting all are independent primary tumours, which are consistent with comprehensive histopathological assessment in 5 of the 6 patients. Lung tumours of the same individuals are no more similar to each other than are lung adenocarcinomas of different patients from TCGA cohort matched for tumour size and smoking status...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Marco Giardiello, Neill J Liptrott, Tom O McDonald, Darren Moss, Marco Siccardi, Phil Martin, Darren Smith, Rohan Gurjar, Steve P Rannard, Andrew Owen
Considerable scope exists to vary the physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles, with subsequent impact on biological interactions; however, no accelerated process to access large nanoparticle material space is currently available, hampering the development of new nanomedicines. In particular, no clinically available nanotherapies exist for HIV populations and conventional paediatric HIV medicines are poorly available; one current paediatric formulation utilizes high ethanol concentrations to solubilize lopinavir, a poorly soluble antiretroviral...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Akihiro Orita, Michael G Verde, Masanori Sakai, Ying Shirley Meng
The versatility in design of redox flow batteries makes them apt to efficiently store energy in large-scale applications at low cost. The discovery of inexpensive organic electroactive materials for use in aqueous flow battery electrolytes is highly attractive, but is thus far limited. Here we report on a flow battery using an aqueous electrolyte based on the sodium salt of flavin mononucleotide. Flavins are highly versatile electroactive molecules, which catalyse a multitude of redox reactions in biological systems...
October 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Tianxiao Nie, Jianshi Tang, Xufeng Kou, Yin Gen, Shengwei Lee, Xiaodan Zhu, Qinglin He, Li-Te Chang, Koichi Murata, Yabin Fan, Kang L Wang
Voltage control of magnetism in ferromagnetic semiconductor has emerged as an appealing solution to significantly reduce the power dissipation and variability beyond current CMOS technology. However, it has been proven to be very challenging to achieve a candidate with high Curie temperature (Tc), controllable ferromagnetism and easy integration with current Si technology. Here we report the effective electric-field control of both ferromagnetism and magnetoresistance in unique MnxGe1-x nanomeshes fabricated by nanosphere lithography, in which a Tc above 400 K is demonstrated as a result of size/quantum confinement...
October 20, 2016: Nature Communications
Anup Arumughan, Yvette Roske, Carolin Barth, Laura Lleras Forero, Kenny Bravo-Rodriguez, Alexandra Redel, Simona Kostova, Erik McShane, Robert Opitz, Katja Faelber, Kirstin Rau, Thorsten Mielke, Oliver Daumke, Matthias Selbach, Elsa Sanchez-Garcia, Oliver Rocks, Daniela Panáková, Udo Heinemann, Erich E Wanker
Interaction mapping is a powerful strategy to elucidate the biological function of protein assemblies and their regulators. Here, we report the generation of a quantitative interaction network, directly linking 14 human proteins to the AAA+ ATPase p97, an essential hexameric protein with multiple cellular functions. We show that the high-affinity interacting protein ASPL efficiently promotes p97 hexamer disassembly, resulting in the formation of stable p97:ASPL heterotetramers. High-resolution structural and biochemical studies indicate that an extended UBX domain (eUBX) in ASPL is critical for p97 hexamer disassembly and facilitates the assembly of p97:ASPL heterotetramers...
October 20, 2016: Nature Communications
P H Kim, B D Hauer, C Doolin, F Souris, J P Davis
Reducing the moment of inertia improves the sensitivity of a mechanically based torque sensor, the parallel of reducing the mass of a force sensor, yet the correspondingly small displacements can be difficult to measure. To resolve this, we incorporate cavity optomechanics, which involves co-localizing an optical and mechanical resonance. With the resulting enhanced readout, cavity-optomechanical torque sensors are now limited only by thermal noise. Further progress requires thermalizing such sensors to low temperatures, where sensitivity limitations are instead imposed by quantum noise...
October 20, 2016: Nature Communications
Matthew Yankowitz, K Watanabe, T Taniguchi, Pablo San-Jose, Brian J LeRoy
Combining atomically-thin van der Waals materials into heterostructures provides a powerful path towards the creation of designer electronic devices. The interaction strength between neighbouring layers, most easily controlled through their interlayer separation, can have significant influence on the electronic properties of these composite materials. Here, we demonstrate unprecedented control over interlayer interactions by locally modifying the interlayer separation between graphene and boron nitride, which we achieve by applying pressure with a scanning tunnelling microscopy tip...
October 20, 2016: Nature Communications
Assaf Manor, Nimrod Kruger, Tamilarasan Sabapathy, Carmel Rotschild
The maximal Shockley-Queisser efficiency limit of 41% for single-junction photovoltaics is primarily caused by heat dissipation following energetic-photon absorption. Solar-thermophotovoltaics concepts attempt to harvest this heat loss, but the required high temperatures (T>2,000 K) hinder device realization. Conversely, we have recently demonstrated how thermally enhanced photoluminescence is an efficient optical heat-pump that operates in comparably low temperatures. Here we theoretically and experimentally demonstrate such a thermally enhanced photoluminescence based solar-energy converter...
October 20, 2016: Nature Communications
Christopher J Day, Rebecca M King, Lucy K Shewell, Greg Tram, Tahria Najnin, Lauren E Hartley-Tassell, Jennifer C Wilson, Aaron D Fleetwood, Igor B Zhulin, Victoria Korolik
A rare chemotaxis receptor, Tlp11, has been previously identified in invasive strains of Campylobacter jejuni, the most prevalent cause of bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. Here we use glycan and small-molecule arrays, as well as surface plasmon resonance, to show that Tlp11 specifically interacts with galactose. Tlp11 is required for the chemotactic response of C. jejuni to galactose, as shown using wild type, allelic inactivation and addition mutants. The inactivated mutant displays reduced virulence in vivo, in a model of chicken colonization...
October 20, 2016: Nature Communications
Anna A Ye, Stuart Cane, Thomas J Maresca
High-fidelity transmission of the genome through cell division requires that all sister kinetochores bind to dynamic microtubules (MTs) from opposite spindle poles. The application of opposing forces to this bioriented configuration produces tension that stabilizes kinetochore-microtubule (kt-MT) attachments. Defining the magnitude of force that is applied to kinetochores is central to understanding the mechano-molecular underpinnings of chromosome segregation; however, existing kinetochore force measurements span orders of magnitude...
October 20, 2016: Nature Communications
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