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Photosynthetic complex I enables cyclic electron flow around photosystem I, a regulatory mechanism for photosynthetic energy conversion. We report a 3.3-angstrom-resolution cryo–electron microscopy structure of photosynthetic complex I from the cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus. The model reveals structural adaptations that facilitate binding and electron transfer from the photosynthetic electron carrier ferredoxin. By mimicking cyclic electron flow with isolated components in vitro, we demonstrate that ferredoxin directly mediates electron transfer between photosystem I and complex I, instead of using intermediates such as NADPH (the reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate). A large rate constant for association of ferredoxin to complex I indicates efficient recognition, with the protein subunit NdhS being the key component in this process.

Resonances in ultracold collisions involving heavy molecules are difficult to simulate theoretically and have proven challenging to detect. Here we report the observation of magnetically tunable Feshbach resonances in ultracold collisions between potassium-40 (40K) atoms and sodium-23–potassium-40 (23Na40K) molecules in the rovibrational ground state. We prepare the atoms and molecules in various hyperfine levels of their ground states and observe the loss of molecules as a function of the magnetic field. The atom-molecule Feshbach resonances are identified by observing an enhancement of the loss. We have observed 11 resonances in the magnetic field range of 43 to 120 gauss. The observed atom-molecule Feshbach resonances at ultralow temperatures probe the three-body potential energy surface with exceptional resolution and will help to improve understanding of ultracold collisions.

The components with soft nature in the metal halide perovskite absorber usually generate lead (Pb)0 and iodine (I)0 defects during device fabrication and operation. These defects serve as not only recombination centers to deteriorate device efficiency but also degradation initiators to hamper device lifetimes. We show that the europium ion pair Eu3+-Eu2+ acts as the "redox shuttle" that selectively oxidized Pb0 and reduced I0 defects simultaneously in a cyclical transition. The resultant device achieves a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 21.52% (certified 20.52%) with substantially improved long-term durability. The devices retained 92% and 89% of the peak PCE under 1-sun continuous illumination or heating at 85°C for 1500 hours and 91% of the original stable PCE after maximum power point tracking for 500 hours, respectively.

The bis-tetrahydroisoquinoline (bis-THIQ) natural products have been studied intensively over the past four decades for their exceptionally potent anticancer activity, in addition to strong Gram-positive and Gram-negative antibiotic character. Synthetic strategies toward these complex polycyclic compounds have relied heavily on electrophilic aromatic chemistry, such as the Pictet–Spengler reaction, that mimics their biosynthetic pathways. Herein, we report an approach to two bis-THIQ natural products, jorunnamycin A and jorumycin, that instead harnesses the power of modern transition-metal catalysis for the three major bond-forming events and proceeds with high efficiency (15 and 16 steps, respectively). By breaking from biomimicry, this strategy allows for the preparation of a more diverse set of nonnatural analogs.

Pain is an unpleasant experience. How the brain’s affective neural circuits attribute this aversive quality to nociceptive information remains unknown. By means of time-lapse in vivo calcium imaging and neural activity manipulation in freely behaving mice encountering noxious stimuli, we identified a distinct neural ensemble in the basolateral amygdala that encodes the negative affective valence of pain. Silencing this nociceptive ensemble alleviated pain affective-motivational behaviors without altering the detection of noxious stimuli, withdrawal reflexes, anxiety, or reward. Following peripheral nerve injury, innocuous stimuli activated this nociceptive ensemble to drive dysfunctional perceptual changes associated with neuropathic pain, including pain aversion to light touch (allodynia). These results identify the amygdalar representations of noxious stimuli that are functionally required for the negative affective qualities of acute and chronic pain perception.

Land-use change threatens global biodiversity and may reshape the tree of life by favoring some lineages over others. Whether phylogenetic diversity loss compromises ecosystem service delivery remains unknown. We address this knowledge gap using extensive genomic, community, and crop datasets to examine relationships among land use, pollinator phylogenetic structure, and crop production. Pollinator communities in highly agricultural landscapes contain 230 million fewer years of evolutionary history; this loss was strongly associated with reduced crop yield and quality. Our study links landscape–mediated changes in the phylogenetic structure of natural communities to the disruption of ecosystem services. Measuring conservation success by species counts alone may fail to protect ecosystem functions and the full diversity of life from which they are derived.

Microtubule doublets (MTDs), consisting of an incomplete B-microtubule at the surface of a complete A-microtubule, provide a structural scaffold mediating intraflagellar transport and ciliary beating. Despite the fundamental role of MTDs, the molecular mechanism governing their formation is unknown. We used a cell-free assay to demonstrate a crucial inhibitory role of the carboxyl-terminal (C-terminal) tail of tubulin in MTD assembly. Removal of the C-terminal tail of an assembled A-microtubule allowed for the nucleation of a B-microtubule on its surface. C-terminal tails of only one A-microtubule protofilament inhibited this side-to-surface tubulin interaction, which would be overcome in vivo with binding protein partners. The dynamics of B-microtubule nucleation and its distinctive isotropic elongation was elucidated by using live imaging. Thus, inherent interaction properties of tubulin provide a structural basis driving flagellar MTD assembly.

Cytomegalovirus infection is a frequent and life-threatening complication that significantly limits positive transplantation outcomes. We developed preclinical mouse models of cytomegalovirus reactivation after transplantation and found that humoral immunity is essential for preventing viral recrudescence. Preexisting antiviral antibodies decreased after transplant in the presence of graft-versus-host disease and were not replaced, owing to poor reconstitution of donor B cells and elimination of recipient plasma cells. Viral reactivation was prevented by the transfer of immune serum, without a need to identify and target specific antigenic determinants. Notably, serotherapy afforded complete protection, provided that the serum was matched to the infecting viral strain. Thus, we define the mechanisms for cytomegalovirus reactivation after transplantation and identify a readily translatable strategy of exceptional potency, which avoids the constraints of cellular therapies.

Gene silencing by chromatin compaction is integral to establishing and maintaining cell fates. Trimethylated histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9me3)–marked heterochromatin is reduced in embryonic stem cells compared to differentiated cells. However, the establishment and dynamics of closed regions of chromatin at protein-coding genes, in embryologic development, remain elusive. We developed an antibody-independent method to isolate and map compacted heterochromatin from low–cell number samples. We discovered high levels of compacted heterochromatin, H3K9me3-decorated, at protein-coding genes in early, uncommitted cells at the germ-layer stage, undergoing profound rearrangements and reduction upon differentiation, concomitant with cell type–specific gene expression. Perturbation of the three H3K9me3-related methyltransferases revealed a pivotal role for H3K9me3 heterochromatin during lineage commitment at the onset of organogenesis and for lineage fidelity maintenance.

The cerebellum has been implicated in a number of nonmotor mental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction. However, its contribution to these disorders is not well understood. In mice, we found that the cerebellum sends direct excitatory projections to the ventral tegmental area (VTA), one of the brain regions that processes and encodes reward. Optogenetic activation of the cerebello-VTA projections was rewarding and, in a three-chamber social task, these projections were more active when the animal explored the social chamber. Intriguingly, activity in the cerebello-VTA pathway was required for the mice to show social preference in this task. Our data delineate a major, previously unappreciated role for the cerebellum in controlling the reward circuitry and social behavior.

A wide range of human diseases result from haploinsufficiency, where the function of one of the two gene copies is lost. Here, we targeted the remaining functional copy of a haploinsufficient gene using CRISPR-mediated activation (CRISPRa) in Sim1 and Mc4r heterozygous mouse models to rescue their obesity phenotype. Transgenic-based CRISPRa targeting of the Sim1 promoter or its distant hypothalamic enhancer up-regulated its expression from the endogenous functional allele in a tissue-specific manner, rescuing the obesity phenotype in Sim1 heterozygous mice. To evaluate the therapeutic potential of CRISPRa, we injected CRISPRa-recombinant adeno-associated virus into the hypothalamus, which led to reversal of the obesity phenotype in Sim1 and Mc4r haploinsufficient mice. Our results suggest that endogenous gene up-regulation could be a potential strategy to treat altered gene dosage diseases.

Innovations in synthetic chemistry have enabled the discovery of many breakthrough therapies that have improved human health over the past century. In the face of increasing challenges in the pharmaceutical sector, continued innovation in chemistry is required to drive the discovery of the next wave of medicines. Novel synthetic methods not only unlock access to previously unattainable chemical matter, but also inspire new concepts as to how we design and build chemical matter. We identify some of the most important recent advances in synthetic chemistry as well as opportunities at the interface with partner disciplines that are poised to transform the practice of drug discovery and development.

Catalyst design in asymmetric reaction development has traditionally been driven by empiricism, wherein experimentalists attempt to qualitatively recognize structural patterns to improve selectivity. Machine learning algorithms and chemoinformatics can potentially accelerate this process by recognizing otherwise inscrutable patterns in large datasets. Herein we report a computationally guided workflow for chiral catalyst selection using chemoinformatics at every stage of development. Robust molecular descriptors that are agnostic to the catalyst scaffold allow for selection of a universal training set on the basis of steric and electronic properties. This set can be used to train machine learning methods to make highly accurate predictive models over a broad range of selectivity space. Using support vector machines and deep feed-forward neural networks, we demonstrate accurate predictive modeling in the chiral phosphoric acid–catalyzed thiol addition to N-acylimines.

Optical and electron microscopy have made tremendous inroads toward understanding the complexity of the brain. However, optical microscopy offers insufficient resolution to reveal subcellular details, and electron microscopy lacks the throughput and molecular contrast to visualize specific molecular constituents over millimeter-scale or larger dimensions. We combined expansion microscopy and lattice light-sheet microscopy to image the nanoscale spatial relationships between proteins across the thickness of the mouse cortex or the entire Drosophila brain. These included synaptic proteins at dendritic spines, myelination along axons, and presynaptic densities at dopaminergic neurons in every fly brain region. The technology should enable statistically rich, large-scale studies of neural development, sexual dimorphism, degree of stereotypy, and structural correlations to behavior or neural activity, all with molecular contrast.

Lab Chip, 2019, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8LC01278D, PaperSadat Hasan, David Geissler, Konstantin Wink, Axel Hagen, Josef J. Heiland, Detlev Belder
We present a highly efficient microfluidic fluorescence lifetime-activated droplet sorting (FLADS) approach as a novel technology for droplet manipulation in lab-on-a-chip devices.
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The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry

Lab Chip, 2019, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8LC01193A, PaperJunge Chen, Youchun Xu, Xun Wang, Dongchen Liu, Fan Yang, Xiurui Zhu, Ying Lu, Wanli Xing
A dielectrophoretic chip has been developed for extracellular vesicle (EV) isolation, which facilitates high-recovery efficiency (>83%) and high-purity EV isolation from plasma.
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The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry
The downsized Bears Ears monument is just beginning to reveal its secrets

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