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Pola Shriber, Atanu Samanta, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Ilya Grinberg
Black phosphorus (BP) is a layered semiconductor with outstanding properties, making it a promising candidate for optoelectronic and other applications. BP synthesis is an intriguing task, largely due to the insufficient understanding of the synthesis mechanism. In this work, we use density functional theory calculations to examine BP, and its precursor red phosphorus, as they are formed from P4 building blocks. Our results suggest that, without external effects such as pressure or addition of a catalyst, the precursor is energetically favored in the initial steps of the synthesis, even though BP is the more stable allotrope...
March 20, 2018: Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Joshua M Peterson, Carolyn Chlebek, Ashley M Clough, Alexandra K Wells, Kathleen E Batzinger, John M Houston, Katerina Kradinova, Joseph C Glennon, Darryl J DiRisio, Eric H Ledet
STUDY DESIGN: Real time in vivo measurement of forces in the cervical spine of goats following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). OBJECTIVE: To measure interbody forces in the cervical spine during the time course of fusion following ACDF with plates of different stiffnesses. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Following ACDF, the biomechanics of the arthrodesis is largely dictated by the plate. The properties of the plate prescribe the extent of load-sharing through the disc space versus the extent of stress-shielding...
March 19, 2018: Spine
Christine Angelini, Schuyler G van Montfrans, Marc J S Hensel, Qiang He, Brian R Silliman
Climate change and consumer outbreaks are driving ecosystem collapse worldwide. Although much research has demonstrated that these factors can interact, how heterogeneity in top-down control intensity and physical forcing modulates ecosystem resilience to climate stress remains poorly understood. Here, we explore whether the nocturnal herbivorous crab Sesarma reticulatum can control spatially dominant cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) growth and how its top-down effects vary with crab density, drought stress, and large-scale disturbance in southeastern US salt marshes...
March 20, 2018: Oecologia
Ana Filipa Palmeirim, Maíra Benchimol, Marcus Vinícius Vieira, Carlos A Peres
Hydroelectric dams have induced widespread loss, fragmentation and degradation of terrestrial habitats in lowland tropical forests. Yet their ecological impacts have been widely neglected, particularly in developing countries, which are currently earmarked for exponential hydropower development. Here we assess small mammal assemblage responses to Amazonian forest habitat insularization induced by the 28-year-old Balbina Hydroelectric Dam. We sampled small mammals on 25 forest islands (0.83-1466 ha) and four continuous forest sites in the mainland to assess the overall community structure and species-specific responses to forest insularization...
March 19, 2018: Oecologia
Carmela R Guadagno, Brent E Ewers, Cynthia Weinig
A growing body of evidence demonstrates a significant relationship between cellular redox state and circadian rhythms. Each day these two vital components of plant biology influence one another, dictating the pace for metabolism and physiology. Diverse environmental stressors can disrupt this condition and, although plant scientists have made significant progress in re-constructing functional networks of plant stress responses, stress impacts on the clock-redox crosstalk is poorly understood. Inter-connected phenomena such as redox state and metabolism, internal and external environments, cellular homeostasis and rhythms can impede predictive understanding of coordinated regulation of plant stress response...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Michael A Zaks, Alexander Nepomnyashchy
Deterministic transport of passive tracers in steady laminar plane flows of incompressible viscous fluids through lattices of solid bodies or arrays of steady vortices can be anomalous. Motion along regular patterns of streamlines is often aperiodic: Repeated slow passages near stagnation points and/or solid surfaces serve for eventual decorrelation. Singularities of passage times near the obstacles, dictated by the boundary conditions, affect the character of transport anomalies: Flows past arrays of vortices are subdiffusive whereas tracers advected through lattices of solid obstacles can feature superdiffusion...
March 19, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
D A Kenny, C J Byrne
The advent of genomic selection has led to increased interest within the cattle breeding industry to market semen from young bulls as early as possible. However, both the quantity and quality of such semen is dictated by the age at which these animals reach puberty. Enhancing early life plane of nutrition of the bull stimulates a complex biochemical interplay involving metabolic and neuroendocrine signalling and culminating in enhanced testicular growth and development and earlier onset of sexual maturation...
March 20, 2018: Animal: An International Journal of Animal Bioscience
Uzair Ansari, Ibrahim El-Battrawy, Christian Fastner, Michael Behnes, Katherine Sattler, Aydin Huseynov, Stefan Baumann, Erol Tülümen, Martin Borggrefe, Ibrahim Akin
BACKGROUND: Recent hypotheses have suggested the pathophysiological role of catecholamines in the evolution of the Takotsubo syndrome (TTS). The extent of cardiac and circulatory compromise dictates the use of some form of supportive therapy. This study was designed to investigate the clinical outcomes associated with catecholamine use in TTS patients. METHODS: Our institutional database constituted a collective of 114 patients diagnosed with TTS between 2003 and 2015...
March 20, 2018: BMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Xuguang Li, Tong Li, Tong Zhang, Cheng Gu, Shourong Zheng, Haijun Zhang, Wei Chen
Nano-scale titanium dioxide (nTiO2) is one of the most widely used metal oxide nanomaterials. Once released into the environment, nTiO2 may catalyze abiotic transformation of contaminants, and consequently affect their fate and effects. Here, we show that the overall catalytic efficiency of nTiO2 for the dehydrochlorination reaction of 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane, a commonly used solvent, depends on the crystalline phase and exposed facets of nTiO2, which significantly affect the adsorption capacity and surface catalytic activity of nTiO2...
March 19, 2018: Environmental Science & Technology
Mei-Yi Lu, Syuan-Shao Lu, Shiann-Luen Chang, Fang Liao
CCR6 is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that recognizes a single chemokine ligand, CCL20 and is primarily expressed by leukocytes. Upon ligand binding, CCR6 activates Gαi heterotrimeric G proteins to induce various potential cellular outcomes through context-specific cell signaling. It is well known that differential phosphorylation of Ser and Thr residues in the C-terminal domains or intracellular loops of GPCRs can generate barcodes that regulate GPCR function by regulating the recruitment of β-arrestins...
2018: Frontiers in Immunology
David A Broniatowski
Design decisions often require input from multiple stakeholders or require balancing multiple design requirements. However, leading axiomatic approaches to decision-based design suggest that combining preferences across these elements is virtually guaranteed to result in irrational outcomes. This has led some to conclude that a single "dictator" is required to make design decisions. In contrast, proponents of heuristic approaches observe that aggregate decisions are frequently made in practice, and argue that this widespread usage justifies the value of these heuristics to the engineering design community...
January 2018: Research in Engineering Design
Pragati Chengappa, Kimheak Sao, Tia M Jones, Ryan J Petrie
Intracellular pressure, generated by actomyosin contractility and the directional flow of water across the plasma membrane, can rapidly reprogram cell shape and behavior. Recent work demonstrates that cells can generate intracellular pressure with a range spanning at least two orders of magnitude; significantly, pressure is implicated as an important regulator of cell dynamics, such as cell division and migration. Changes to intracellular pressure can dictate the mechanisms by which single human cells move through three-dimensional environments...
2018: International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
Danica M Sutherland, Pavithra Aravamudhan, Terence S Dermody
Viruses are constantly engaged in a molecular arms race with the host, where efficient and tactical use of cellular receptors benefits critical steps in infection. Receptor use dictates initiation, establishment, and spread of viral infection to new tissues and hosts. Mammalian orthoreoviruses (reoviruses) are pervasive pathogens that use multiple receptors to overcome protective host barriers to disseminate from sites of initial infection and cause disease in young mammals. In particular, reovirus invades the central nervous system (CNS) with serotype-dependent tropism and disease...
2018: Advances in Virus Research
Chengyin Fu, Lihua Xu, Fredy W Aquino, Arthur von Wald Cresce, Mallory Gobet, Steven G Greenbaum, Kang Xu, Bryan M Wong, Juchen Guo
Combining theoretical and experimental approaches, we investigate the solvation properties of Li+ ions in a series of ether solvents (dimethoxyethane, diglyme, triglyme, tetraglyme, and 15-crown-5) and their subsequent effects on the solid-state lithium-sulfur reactions in sub-nano confinement. The ab initio and classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations predict Li+ ion solvation structures within ether solvent in excellent agreement with experimental evidence from electrospray ionization-mass spectroscopy...
March 17, 2018: Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Zachary Js Mays, Nikhil U Nair
The trillions of microbes hosted by humans can dictate health or illness depending on a multitude of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that help define the human ecosystem. As the human microbiota is characterized, so can the interconnectivity of microbe-host-disease be realized and manipulated. Designing microbes as therapeutic agents can not only enable targeted drug delivery but also restore homeostasis within a perturbed microbial community. Used for centuries in fermentation and preservation of food, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have a long history of safe, and occasionally health promoting, interactions with the human gut, making them ideal candidates for engineered functionality...
March 15, 2018: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Sara Villa-Hernández, Rodrigo Bermejo
Proliferating cells need to accurately duplicate and pass their genetic material on to daughter cells. Problems during replication and partition challenge the structural and numerical integrity of chromosomes. Diverse mechanisms, as the DNA replication checkpoint, survey the correct progression of replication and couple it with other cell cycle events to preserve genome integrity. The structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) cohesin complex primarily contributes to chromosome duplication by mediating the tethering of newly replicated sister chromatids, thus assisting their equal segregation in mitosis...
March 16, 2018: Current Genetics
Shaoxin Feng, Nathaniel D Catron, Alan Donghua Zhu, John M Lipari, Jianwei Wu, Yi Gao, Geoff G Z Zhang
Micellar solubilization is an important concept in the delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs. The rational selection of the type and the amount of surfactant to be incorporated in a formulation require comprehensive solubility studies. These studies are time and material demanding, both of which are scarce, especially during late discovery and early development stages. We hypothesized that, if the solubilization mechanism or molecular interaction is similar, the solubilization capacity ratio (SCR, a newly defined parameter) is dictated by micellar structures, independent of drugs...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Gaetan Barbet, Leif E Sander, Matthew Geswell, Irina Leonardi, Andrea Cerutti, Iliyan Iliev, J Magarian Blander
Live vaccines historically afford superior protection, yet the cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating protective immunity remain unclear. Here we found that vaccination of mice with live, but not dead, Gram-negative bacteria heightened follicular T helper cell (Tfh) differentiation, germinal center formation, and protective antibody production through the signaling adaptor TRIF. Complementing the dead vaccine with an innate signature of bacterial viability, bacterial RNA, recapitulated these responses...
March 9, 2018: Immunity
D S Ether, F S S Rosa, D M Tibaduiza, L B Pires, R S Decca, P A Maia Neto
In this paper we propose a protocol to suppress double-layer forces between two microspheres immersed in a dielectric medium, being one microsphere metallic at a controlled potential ψ_{M} and the other a charged one either metallic or dielectric. The approach is valid for a wide range of distances between them. We show that, for a given distance between the two microspheres, the double-layer force can be totally suppressed by simply tuning ψ_{M} up to values dictated by the linearized Poisson-Boltzmann equation...
February 2018: Physical Review. E
Peter Vegh, Muzlifah Haniffa
Application of single-cell genomics technologies has revolutionized our approach to study the immune system. Unravelling the functional diversity of immune cells and their coordinated response is key to understanding immunity. Single-cell transcriptomics technologies provide high-dimensional assessment of the transcriptional states of immune cells and have been successfully applied to discover new immune cell types, reveal haematopoietic lineages, identify gene modules dictating immune responses and investigate lymphocyte antigen receptor diversity...
March 14, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
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