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Orr Schlesinger, Yonatan Chemla, Mathias Heltberg, Eden Ozer, Ryan Marshall, Vincent Noireaux, Mogens Hogh Jensen, Lital Alfonta
Protein synthesis in cells has been thoroughly investigated and characterized over the past 60 years. However, some fundamental issues remain unresolved, including the reasons for genetic code redundancy and codon bias. In this study, we changed the kinetics of the E. coli transcription and translation processes by mutating the promoter and ribosome binding domains and by using genetic code expansion. The results expose a counterintuitive phenomenon, whereby an increase in the initiation rates of transcription and translation lead to a decrease in protein expression...
February 23, 2017: ACS Synthetic Biology
Rémy Allard, Angelo Arleo
Visual perception generally improves under brighter environments. For instance, motion sensitivity is known to improve with luminance intensity especially at high temporal frequencies. However, the current study counter-intuitively shows that increasing luminance intensity can impair motion sensitivity in noise. Motion sensitivity was measured with and without noise added to a drifting Gabor patch as a function of the temporal frequency and luminance intensity. As expected, motion sensitivity in absence of noise reached a ceiling performance at a relatively low luminance intensity (about 35 td) for low temporal frequencies and improved with luminance intensity up to the highest luminance intensity tested (353 td) for high temporal frequencies...
February 21, 2017: Scientific Reports
Antonio Bauzá, Antonio Frontera, Tiddo J Mooibroek
Identifying electron donating and accepting moieties is crucial to understanding molecular aggregation, which is of pivotal significance to biology. Anions such as NO3(-) are typical electron donors. However, computations predict that the charge distribution of NO3(-) is anisotropic and minimal on nitrogen. Here we show that when the nitrate's charge is sufficiently dampened by resonating over a larger area, a Lewis acidic site emerges on nitrogen that can interact favourably with electron rich partners. Surveys of the Cambridge Structural Database and Protein Data Bank reveal geometric preferences of some oxygen and sulfur containing entities around a nitrate anion that are consistent with this 'π-hole bonding' geometry...
February 21, 2017: Nature Communications
Douglas P Dyer, Kenneth Pallas, Laura Medina Ruiz, Fabian Schuette, Gillian J Wilson, Gerard J Graham
CXCR2 is an essential regulator of neutrophil recruitment to inflamed and damaged sites and plays prominent roles in inflammatory pathologies and cancer. It has therefore been highlighted as an important therapeutic target. However the success of the therapeutic targeting of CXCR2 is threatened by our relative lack of knowledge of its precise in vivo mode of action. Here we demonstrate that CXCR2-deficient mice display a counterintuitive transient exaggerated inflammatory response to cutaneous and peritoneal inflammatory stimuli...
February 16, 2017: Scientific Reports
Robert S Kerbel, Yuval Shaked
We present a rationale for further clinical development and assessment of metronomic chemotherapy on the basis of unexpected results obtained in translational mouse models of cancer involving treatment of advanced metastatic disease. Historically, mouse cancer therapy models have been dominated by treating established primary tumors or early stage low volume microscopic disease. Treatment of primary tumors is also almost always the case when using genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMS) of cancer or patient-derived xenografts (PDXs)...
February 12, 2017: Cancer Letters
Philip A Gurnev, Torri C Roark, Horia I Petrache, Alexander J Sodt, Sergey M Bezrukov
Specificity of small ions, the Hofmeister ranking, is long-known and has many applications including medicine. Yet it evades consistent theoretical description. Here we study the effect of Hofmeister anions on gramicidin A channels in lipid membranes. Counterintuitively, we find that conductance of this perfectly cation-selective channel increases about two-fold in the H2 PO4(-) <Cl(-) ≈Br(-) ≈NO3(-) <ClO4(-) <SCN(-) series. Channel dissociation kinetics show even stronger dependence, with the dwell time increasing about 20-fold...
February 15, 2017: Angewandte Chemie
Daniel M Packwood, Patrick Han, Taro Hitosugi
Molecular self-assembly refers to the spontaneous assembly of molecules into larger structures. In order to exploit molecular self-assembly for the bottom-up synthesis of nanomaterials, the effects of chemical control (strength of the directionality in the intermolecular interaction) and entropic control (temperature) on the self-assembly process should be clarified. Here we present a theoretical methodology that unambiguously distinguishes the effects of chemical and entropic control on the self-assembly of molecules adsorbed to metal surfaces...
February 14, 2017: Nature Communications
Prem Solanki, John C Bischof, Yoed Rabin
Cryopreservation by vitrification is the only promising solution for long-term organ preservation which can save millions of lives across the world. One of the challenges in cryopreservation of large-size tissues and organs is to prevent fracture formation due to the tendency of the material to contract with temperature. The current study focuses on a pillow-like shape of a cryobag, while exploring various strategies to reduce thermo-mechanical stress during the rewarming phase of the cryopreservation protocol, where maximum stresses are typically found...
February 9, 2017: Cryobiology
Susan E Hodge, David A Greenberg
Genome-wide association studies of common diseases often identify a number of disease-related SNPs that reach highly significant p values but at the same time show very low disease odds ratios (ORs), most <1.5 and many <1.2. Despite their statistical significance, associations involving very low ORs explain little about the genetic contribution to the disease and nothing about disease inheritance. A commonly accepted explanation for very low ORs involves a model of polygenic inheritance, i.e., where the disease being studied is caused by a large number of interacting genes, each gene contributing only a small increment to disease risk...
February 8, 2017: Human Heredity
Baland Jalal, Vilayanur S Ramachandran
Research has shown that brain regions mediating disgust (e.g., the insula) become activated when viewing others' disgust, a response mediated, perhaps by the mirror neuron system or the Theory of Mind module. In a novel behavioral experiment, we explore vicarious disgust and relief, in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms. Participants (N = 10) provided disgust ratings to self-contamination or watching the contamination of an experimenter; and to the experimenter washing his own hands after the subjects had been contaminated...
February 6, 2017: Neurocase
Qi-Tao Cao, Heming Wang, Chun-Hua Dong, Hui Jing, Rui-Shan Liu, Xi Chen, Li Ge, Qihuang Gong, Yun-Feng Xiao
Chirality is an asymmetric property widely found in nature. Here, we propose and demonstrate experimentally the spontaneous emergence of chirality in an on-chip ultrahigh-Q whispering-gallery microresonator, without broken parity or time-reversal symmetry. This counterintuitive effect arises due to the inherent Kerr-nonlinearity-modulated coupling between clockwise and counterclockwise propagating waves. Above an input threshold of a few hundred microwatts, the initial chiral symmetry is broken spontaneously, and the counterpropagating output ratio exceeds 20∶1 with bidirectional inputs...
January 20, 2017: Physical Review Letters
Marco Tulio Angulo, Jaime A Moreno, Gabor Lippner, Albert-László Barabási, Yang-Yu Liu
Inferring properties of the interaction matrix that characterizes how nodes in a networked system directly interact with each other is a well-known network reconstruction problem. Despite a decade of extensive studies, network reconstruction remains an outstanding challenge. The fundamental limitations governing which properties of the interaction matrix (e.g. adjacency pattern, sign pattern or degree sequence) can be inferred from given temporal data of individual nodes remain unknown. Here, we rigorously derive the necessary conditions to reconstruct any property of the interaction matrix...
February 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Ricardo M F Fernandes, Matat Buzaglo, Oren Regev, István Furó, Eduardo F Marques
Mechanical agitation is commonly used to fragment and disperse insoluble materials in liquids. However, here we show that when pristine single-walled carbon nanotubes pre-dispersed in water are subject to vortex-shaking for very short periods (typically 10-60s, power density ∼0.002WmL(-1)), re-aggregation counterintuitively occurs. The initial dispersions are produced using surfactants as dispersants and powerful tip sonication (∼1WmL(-1)) followed by centrifugation. Detailed imaging by light and electron microscopies shows that the vortex-induced aggregates consist of loose networks (1-10(2)μm in size) of intertwined tubes and thin bundles...
January 13, 2017: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Rune Elvik
Several studies have found a so-called safety-in-numbers effect for vulnerable road users. This means that when the number of pedestrians or cyclists increases, the number of accidents involving these road users and motor vehicles increases less than in proportion to the number of pedestrians or cyclists. In other words, travel becomes safer for each pedestrian or cyclist the more pedestrians or cyclists there are. This finding is highly consistent, but estimates of the strength of the safety-in-numbers effect vary considerably...
March 2017: Accident; Analysis and Prevention
Hugh Ellis, Erica Schoenberger
BACKGROUND: According to the most recent estimates, 842,000 deaths in low- to middle-income countries were attributable to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene in 2012. Despite billions of dollars and decades of effort, we still lack a sound understanding of which kinds of WASH interventions are most effective in improving public health outcomes, and an important corollary-whether the right things are being measured. The World Health Organization (WHO) has made a concerted effort to compile comprehensive data on drinking water quality and sanitation in the developing world...
2017: PloS One
Guozhen Gao, Surbhi Dhar, Mark T Bedford
The type II arginine methyltransferase PRMT5 is responsible for the symmetric dimethylation of histone to generate the H3R8me2s and H4R3me2s marks, which correlate with the repression of transcription. However, the protein level of a number of genes (MEP50, CCND1, MYC, HIF1a, MTIF and CDKN1B) are reported to be downregulated by the loss of PRMT5, while their mRNA levels remain unchanged, which is counterintuitive for PRMT5's proposed role as a transcription repressor. We noticed that the majority of the genes regulated by PRMT5, at the posttranscriptional level, express mRNA containing an internal ribosome entry site (IRES)...
January 23, 2017: Nucleic Acids Research
K Imakawa, S Nakagawa
Trophoblasts, a major constituent of the placenta, are known to express genes derived from various endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) as well as LTR retrotransposons. However, the evolutionary significance of ERV-derived genes involved in placental development has not been well characterized. In this review, we catalog the diverse morphology of placental structure among mammalian species with note of counterintuitive developments. We then detail the history of ancient placenta development with paternally expressed gene 10 (Peg10/Sirh1), Peg11/Sirh2, and Sirh7/Ldoc1 as LTR retrotransposons, followed by independent captures of ERV-env-related genes such as Syncytin-1, -2, -A, -B, -Rum1, and Fematrin-1 responsible for trophoblast cell fusion, resulting in multinucleate syncytiotrophoblast formation, and possibly morphological diversification of placentas...
2017: Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science
José Ignacio García-Plazaola, Beatriz Fernández-Marín, Juan Pedro Ferrio, Josu G Alday, Günter Hoch, Damien Landais, Alexandru Milcu, David T Tissue, Jordi Voltas, Arthur Gessler, Jacques Roy, Víctor Resco de Dios
There is increasing evidence that the circadian clock is a significant driver of photosynthesis that becomes apparent when environmental cues are experimentally held constant. We studied whether the composition of photosynthetic pigments is under circadian regulation, and whether pigment oscillations lead to rhythmic changes in photochemical efficiency. To address these questions, canopies of bean and cotton were maintained, after an entrainment phase, under constant (light or darkness) conditions for 30-48 h...
January 18, 2017: Plant, Cell & Environment
Joseph M Santin, Lynn K Hartzler
Semiaquatic frogs may not breathe air for several months because they overwinter in ice-covered ponds. In contrast to many vertebrates that experience decreased motor performance after inactivity, respiratory motor function in bullfrogs, Lithobates catesbeianus, remains functional following cold-submergence. Unlike mammalian hibernators with unloaded limb muscles and inactive locomotor systems, respiratory mechanics of frogs counterintuitively allow for ventilatory maneuvers when submerged. Thus we hypothesized that bullfrogs generate respiratory motor patterns during cold-submergence to avoid disuse and preserve motor performance...
January 17, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
James P Caruso, Brandon J Koch, Philip D Benson, Elsa Varughese, Michael D Monterey, Amy E Lee, Ajal M Dave, Sam Kiousis, Andrew E Sloan, Saroj P Mathupala
Highly malignant brain tumors harbor the aberrant propensity for aerobic glycolysis, the excessive conversion of glucose to lactic acid even in the presence of ample tissue oxygen. Lactic acid is rapidly effluxed to the tumor microenvironment via a group of plasma-membrane transporters denoted monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) to prevent "self-poisoning." One isoform, MCT2, has the highest affinity for lactate and thus should have the ability to respond to microenvironment conditions such as hypoxia, lactate, and pH to help maintain high glycolytic flux in the tumor...
February 2017: Neoplasia: An International Journal for Oncology Research
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