Showing papers in "Nature in 2003"
TL;DR: By altering the structure of a metal's surface, the properties of surface plasmons—in particular their interaction with light—can be tailored, which could lead to miniaturized photonic circuits with length scales that are much smaller than those currently achieved.
Abstract: Surface plasmons are waves that propagate along the surface of a conductor. By altering the structure of a metal's surface, the properties of surface plasmons--in particular their interaction with light--can be tailored, which offers the potential for developing new types of photonic device. This could lead to miniaturized photonic circuits with length scales that are much smaller than those currently achieved. Surface plasmons are being explored for their potential in subwavelength optics, data storage, light generation, microscopy and bio-photonics.
TL;DR: A diagnostic fingerprint of temporal and spatial ‘sign-switching’ responses uniquely predicted by twentieth century climate trends is defined and generates ‘very high confidence’ (as laid down by the IPCC) that climate change is already affecting living systems.
Abstract: Causal attribution of recent biological trends to climate change is complicated because non-climatic influences dominate local, short-term biological changes. Any underlying signal from climate change is likely to be revealed by analyses that seek systematic trends across diverse species and geographic regions; however, debates within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveal several definitions of a 'systematic trend'. Here, we explore these differences, apply diverse analyses to more than 1,700 species, and show that recent biological trends match climate change predictions. Global meta-analyses documented significant range shifts averaging 6.1 km per decade towards the poles (or metres per decade upward), and significant mean advancement of spring events by 2.3 days per decade. We define a diagnostic fingerprint of temporal and spatial 'sign-switching' responses uniquely predicted by twentieth century climate trends. Among appropriate long-term/large-scale/multi-species data sets, this diagnostic fingerprint was found for 279 species. This suite of analyses generates 'very high confidence' (as laid down by the IPCC) that climate change is already affecting living systems.
TL;DR: This work has shown that highly porous frameworks held together by strong metal–oxygen–carbon bonds and with exceptionally large surface area and capacity for gas storage have been prepared and their pore metrics systematically varied and functionalized.
Abstract: The long-standing challenge of designing and constructing new crystalline solid-state materials from molecular building blocks is just beginning to be addressed with success. A conceptual approach that requires the use of secondary building units to direct the assembly of ordered frameworks epitomizes this process: we call this approach reticular synthesis. This chemistry has yielded materials designed to have predetermined structures, compositions and properties. In particular, highly porous frameworks held together by strong metal-oxygen-carbon bonds and with exceptionally large surface area and capacity for gas storage have been prepared and their pore metrics systematically varied and functionalized.
TL;DR: The ability of mass spectrometry to identify and, increasingly, to precisely quantify thousands of proteins from complex samples can be expected to impact broadly on biology and medicine.
Abstract: Recent successes illustrate the role of mass spectrometry-based proteomics as an indispensable tool for molecular and cellular biology and for the emerging field of systems biology. These include the study of protein-protein interactions via affinity-based isolations on a small and proteome-wide scale, the mapping of numerous organelles, the concurrent description of the malaria parasite genome and proteome, and the generation of quantitative protein profiles from diverse species. The ability of mass spectrometry to identify and, increasingly, to precisely quantify thousands of proteins from complex samples can be expected to impact broadly on biology and medicine.
Baylor College of Medicine1, Chinese Academy of Sciences2, Chinese National Human Genome Center3, University of Hong Kong4, The Chinese University of Hong Kong5, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology6, Illumina7, McGill University8, Washington University in St. Louis9, University of California, San Francisco10, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute11, Beijing Normal University12, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido13, Shinshu University14, University of Tsukuba15, Howard University16, University of Ibadan17, Case Western Reserve University18, University of Utah19, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory20, Johns Hopkins University21, University of Oxford22, North Carolina State University23, National Institutes of Health24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology25, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences26, Kyoto University27, Nagasaki University28, Wellcome Trust29, Genome Canada30, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health31, University of Maryland, Baltimore32, Vanderbilt University33, Stanford University34, University of California, Berkeley35, New York University36, University of Oklahoma37, University of New Mexico38, Université de Montréal39, University of California, Los Angeles40, University of Michigan41, University of Wisconsin-Madison42, London School of Economics and Political Science43, Genetic Alliance44, GlaxoSmithKline45, University of Washington46, Harvard University47, University of Chicago48, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center49, University of Tokyo50
TL;DR: The HapMap will allow the discovery of sequence variants that affect common disease, will facilitate development of diagnostic tools, and will enhance the ability to choose targets for therapeutic intervention.
Abstract: The goal of the International HapMap Project is to determine the common patterns of DNA sequence variation in the human genome and to make this information freely available in the public domain. An international consortium is developing a map of these patterns across the genome by determining the genotypes of one million or more sequence variants, their frequencies and the degree of association between them, in DNA samples from populations with ancestry from parts of Africa, Asia and Europe. The HapMap will allow the discovery of sequence variants that affect common disease, will facilitate development of diagnostic tools, and will enhance our ability to choose targets for therapeutic intervention.
TL;DR: Discovery of the RANK signalling pathway in the osteoclast has provided insight into the mechanisms of osteoporosis and activation of bone resorption, and how hormonal signals impact bone structure and mass.
Abstract: Osteoclasts are specialized cells derived from the monocyte/macrophage haematopoietic lineage that develop and adhere to bone matrix, then secrete acid and lytic enzymes that degrade it in a specialized, extracellular compartment. Discovery of the RANK signalling pathway in the osteoclast has provided insight into the mechanisms of osteoclastogenesis and activation of bone resorption, and how hormonal signals impact bone structure and mass. Further study of this pathway is providing the molecular basis for developing therapeutics to treat osteoporosis and other diseases of bone loss.
TL;DR: The two RNase III proteins, Drosha and Dicer, may collaborate in the stepwise processing of miRNAs, and have key roles in miRNA-mediated gene regulation in processes such as development and differentiation.
Abstract: Hundreds of small RNAs of approximately 22 nucleotides, collectively named microRNAs (miRNAs), have been discovered recently in animals and plants. Although their functions are being unravelled, their mechanism of biogenesis remains poorly understood. miRNAs are transcribed as long primary transcripts (pri-miRNAs) whose maturation occurs through sequential processing events: the nuclear processing of the pri-miRNAs into stem-loop precursors of approximately 70 nucleotides (pre-miRNAs), and the cytoplasmic processing of pre-miRNAs into mature miRNAs. Dicer, a member of the RNase III superfamily of bidentate nucleases, mediates the latter step, whereas the processing enzyme for the former step is unknown. Here we identify another RNase III, human Drosha, as the core nuclease that executes the initiation step of miRNA processing in the nucleus. Immunopurified Drosha cleaved pri-miRNA to release pre-miRNA in vitro. Furthermore, RNA interference of Drosha resulted in the strong accumulation of pri-miRNA and the reduction of pre-miRNA and mature miRNA in vivo. Thus, the two RNase III proteins, Drosha and Dicer, may collaborate in the stepwise processing of miRNAs, and have key roles in miRNA-mediated gene regulation in processes such as development and differentiation.
TL;DR: Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) proteins regulate cell function, and have key roles in development and carcinogenesis, and combinatorial interactions in the heteromeric receptor and Smad complexes, receptor-interacting and Smadracing proteins, and cooperation with sequence-specific transcription factors allow substantial versatility and diversification of TGF- β family responses.
Abstract: Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) proteins regulate cell function, and have key roles in development and carcinogenesis The intracellular effectors of TGF-beta signalling, the Smad proteins, are activated by receptors and translocate into the nucleus, where they regulate transcription Although this pathway is inherently simple, combinatorial interactions in the heteromeric receptor and Smad complexes, receptor-interacting and Smad-interacting proteins, and cooperation with sequence-specific transcription factors allow substantial versatility and diversification of TGF-beta family responses Other signalling pathways further regulate Smad activation and function In addition, TGF-beta receptors activate Smad-independent pathways that not only regulate Smad signalling, but also allow Smad-independent TGF-beta responses
TL;DR: A consistent temperature-related shift is revealed in species ranging from molluscs to mammals and from grasses to trees, suggesting that a significant impact of global warming is already discernible in animal and plant populations.
Abstract: Over the past 100 years, the global average temperature has increased by approximately 0.6 °C and is projected to continue to rise at a rapid rate1. Although species have responded to climatic changes throughout their evolutionary history2, a primary concern for wild species and their ecosystems is this rapid rate of change3. We gathered information on species and global warming from 143 studies for our meta-analyses. These analyses reveal a consistent temperature-related shift, or ‘fingerprint’, in species ranging from molluscs to mammals and from grasses to trees. Indeed, more than 80% of the species that show changes are shifting in the direction expected on the basis of known physiological constraints of species. Consequently, the balance of evidence from these studies strongly suggests that a significant impact of global warming is already discernible in animal and plant populations. The synergism of rapid temperature rise and other stresses, in particular habitat destruction, could easily disrupt the connectedness among species and lead to a reformulation of species communities, reflecting differential changes in species, and to numerous extirpations and possibly extinctions.
TL;DR: This research presents the next generation of single-beam optical traps, which promise to take optical tweezers out of the laboratory and into the mainstream of manufacturing and diagnostics and even become consumer products.
Abstract: Optical tweezers use the forces exerted by a strongly focused beam of light to trap and move objects ranging in size from tens of nanometres to tens of micrometres. Since their introduction in 1986, the optical tweezer has become an important tool for research in the fields of biology, physical chemistry and soft condensed matter physics. Recent advances promise to take optical tweezers out of the laboratory and into the mainstream of manufacturing and diagnostics; they may even become consumer products. The next generation of single-beam optical traps offers revolutionary new opportunities for fundamental and applied research.
TL;DR: The manner in which a newly synthesized chain of amino acids transforms itself into a perfectly folded protein depends both on the intrinsic properties of the amino-acid sequence and on multiple contributing influences from the crowded cellular milieu.
Abstract: The manner in which a newly synthesized chain of amino acids transforms itself into a perfectly folded protein depends both on the intrinsic properties of the amino-acid sequence and on multiple contributing influences from the crowded cellular milieu. Folding and unfolding are crucial ways of regulating biological activity and targeting proteins to different cellular locations. Aggregation of misfolded proteins that escape the cellular quality-control mechanisms is a common feature of a wide range of highly debilitating and increasingly prevalent diseases.
TL;DR: It is found that a soluble form of ACE2, but not of the related enzyme ACE1, blocked association of the S1 domain with Vero E6 cells, indicating that ACE2 is a functional receptor for SARS-CoV.
Abstract: Spike (S) proteins of coronaviruses, including the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), associate with cellular receptors to mediate infection of their target cells Here we identify a metallopeptidase, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), isolated from SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-permissive Vero E6 cells, that efficiently binds the S1 domain of the SARS-CoV S protein We found that a soluble form of ACE2, but not of the related enzyme ACE1, blocked association of the S1 domain with Vero E6 cells 293T cells transfected with ACE2, but not those transfected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 receptors, formed multinucleated syncytia with cells expressing S protein Furthermore, SARS-CoV replicated efficiently on ACE2-transfected but not mock-transfected 293T cells Finally, anti-ACE2 but not anti-ACE1 antibody blocked viral replication on Vero E6 cells Together our data indicate that ACE2 is a functional receptor for SARS-CoV
TL;DR: The construction and analysis of a collection of yeast strains expressing full-length, chromosomally tagged green fluorescent protein fusion proteins helps reveal the logic of transcriptional co-regulation, and provides a comprehensive view of interactions within and between organelles in eukaryotic cells.
Abstract: A fundamental goal of cell biology is to define the functions of proteins in the context of compartments that organize them in the cellular environment. Here we describe the construction and analysis of a collection of yeast strains expressing full-length, chromosomally tagged green fluorescent protein fusion proteins. We classify these proteins, representing 75% of the yeast proteome, into 22 distinct subcellular localization categories, and provide localization information for 70% of previously unlocalized proteins. Analysis of this high-resolution, high-coverage localization data set in the context of transcriptional, genetic, and protein-protein interaction data helps reveal the logic of transcriptional co-regulation, and provides a comprehensive view of interactions within and between organelles in eukaryotic cells.
TL;DR: A Saccharomyces cerevisiae fusion library is created where each open reading frame is tagged with a high-affinity epitope and expressed from its natural chromosomal location, and it is found that about 80% of the proteome is expressed during normal growth conditions.
Abstract: The availability of complete genomic sequences and technologies that allow comprehensive analysis of global expression profiles of messenger RNA have greatly expanded our ability to monitor the internal state of a cell. Yet biological systems ultimately need to be explained in terms of the activity, regulation and modification of proteins--and the ubiquitous occurrence of post-transcriptional regulation makes mRNA an imperfect proxy for such information. To facilitate global protein analyses, we have created a Saccharomyces cerevisiae fusion library where each open reading frame is tagged with a high-affinity epitope and expressed from its natural chromosomal location. Through immunodetection of the common tag, we obtain a census of proteins expressed during log-phase growth and measurements of their absolute levels. We find that about 80% of the proteome is expressed during normal growth conditions, and, using additional sequence information, we systematically identify misannotated genes. The abundance of proteins ranges from fewer than 50 to more than 10(6) molecules per cell. Many of these molecules, including essential proteins and most transcription factors, are present at levels that are not readily detectable by other proteomic techniques nor predictable by mRNA levels or codon bias measurements.
TL;DR: ‘Endocytosis’ encompasses several diverse mechanisms by which cells internalize macromolecules and particles into transport vesicles derived from the plasma membrane and must be viewed in a broader context than simple vesicular trafficking.
Abstract: The plasma membrane is the interface between cells and their harsh environment. Uptake of nutrients and all communication among cells and between cells and their environment occurs through this interface. 'Endocytosis' encompasses several diverse mechanisms by which cells internalize macromolecules and particles into transport vesicles derived from the plasma membrane. It controls entry into the cell and has a crucial role in development, the immune response, neurotransmission, intercellular communication, signal transduction, and cellular and organismal homeostasis. As the complexity of molecular interactions governing endocytosis are revealed, it has become increasingly clear that it is tightly coordinated and coupled with overall cell physiology and thus, must be viewed in a broader context than simple vesicular trafficking.
TL;DR: The discovery of ferroelectricity in a perovskite manganite, TbMnO3, where the effect of spin frustration causes sinusoidal antiferromagnetic ordering and gigantic magnetoelectric and magnetocapacitance effects are found.
Abstract: The magnetoelectric effect--the induction of magnetization by means of an electric field and induction of polarization by means of a magnetic field--was first presumed to exist by Pierre Curie, and subsequently attracted a great deal of interest in the 1960s and 1970s (refs 2-4). More recently, related studies on magnetic ferroelectrics have signalled a revival of interest in this phenomenon. From a technological point of view, the mutual control of electric and magnetic properties is an attractive possibility, but the number of candidate materials is limited and the effects are typically too small to be useful in applications. Here we report the discovery of ferroelectricity in a perovskite manganite, TbMnO3, where the effect of spin frustration causes sinusoidal antiferromagnetic ordering. The modulated magnetic structure is accompanied by a magnetoelastically induced lattice modulation, and with the emergence of a spontaneous polarization. In the magnetic ferroelectric TbMnO3, we found gigantic magnetoelectric and magnetocapacitance effects, which can be attributed to switching of the electric polarization induced by magnetic fields. Frustrated spin systems therefore provide a new area to search for magnetoelectric media.
TL;DR: The potent activator resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, lowers the Michaelis constant of SIRT1 for both the acetylated substrate and NAD+, and increases cell survival by stimulating Sirt1-dependent deacetylation of p53.
Abstract: In diverse organisms, calorie restriction slows the pace of ageing and increases maximum lifespan. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, calorie restriction extends lifespan by increasing the activity of Sir2 (ref. 1), a member of the conserved sirtuin family of NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylases. Included in this family are SIR-2.1, a Caenorhabditis elegans enzyme that regulates lifespan, and SIRT1, a human deacetylase that promotes cell survival by negatively regulating the p53 tumour suppressor. Here we report the discovery of three classes of small molecules that activate sirtuins. We show that the potent activator resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, lowers the Michaelis constant of SIRT1 for both the acetylated substrate and NAD(+), and increases cell survival by stimulating SIRT1-dependent deacetylation of p53. In yeast, resveratrol mimics calorie restriction by stimulating Sir2, increasing DNA stability and extending lifespan by 70%. We discuss possible evolutionary origins of this phenomenon and suggest new lines of research into the therapeutic use of sirtuin activators.
TL;DR: Osteoblastic cells are a regulatory component of the haematopoietic stem cell niche in vivo that influences stem cell function through Notch activation.
Abstract: Stem cell fate is influenced by specialized microenvironments that remain poorly defined in mammals. To explore the possibility that haematopoietic stem cells derive regulatory information from bone, accounting for the localization of haematopoiesis in bone marrow, we assessed mice that were genetically altered to produce osteoblast-specific, activated PTH/PTHrP receptors (PPRs). Here we show that PPR-stimulated osteoblastic cells that are increased in number produce high levels of the Notch ligand jagged 1 and support an increase in the number of haematopoietic stem cells with evidence of Notch1 activation in vivo. Furthermore, ligand-dependent activation of PPR with parathyroid hormone (PTH) increased the number of osteoblasts in stromal cultures, and augmented ex vivo primitive haematopoietic cell growth that was abrogated by gamma-secretase inhibition of Notch activation. An increase in the number of stem cells was observed in wild-type animals after PTH injection, and survival after bone marrow transplantation was markedly improved. Therefore, osteoblastic cells are a regulatory component of the haematopoietic stem cell niche in vivo that influences stem cell function through Notch activation. Niche constituent cells or signalling pathways provide pharmacological targets with therapeutic potential for stem-cell-based therapies.
TL;DR: It is found that genes of similar functions are clustered in distinct, multi-megabase regions of individual chromosomes; genes in these regions tend to share transcriptional profiles.
Abstract: A principal challenge currently facing biologists is how to connect the complete DNA sequence of an organism to its development and behaviour. Large-scale targeted-deletions have been successful in defining gene functions in the single-celled yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but comparable analyses have yet to be performed in an animal. Here we describe the use of RNA interference to inhibit the function of ∼86% of the 19,427 predicted genes of C. elegans. We identified mutant phenotypes for 1,722 genes, about two-thirds of which were not previously associated with a phenotype. We find that genes of similar functions are clustered in distinct, multi-megabase regions of individual chromosomes; genes in these regions tend to share transcriptional profiles. Our resulting data set and reusable RNAi library of 16,757 bacterial clones will facilitate systematic analyses of the connections among gene sequence, chromosomal location and gene function in C. elegans.
TL;DR: It is shown that ATM is held inactive in unirradiated cells as a dimer or higher-order multimer, with the kinase domain bound to a region surrounding serine 1981 that is contained within the previously described ‘FAT’ domain.
Abstract: The ATM protein kinase, mutations of which are associated with the human disease ataxia-telangiectasia, mediates responses to ionizing radiation in mammalian cells. Here we show that ATM is held inactive in unirradiated cells as a dimer or higher-order multimer, with the kinase domain bound to a region surrounding serine 1981 that is contained within the previously described 'FAT' domain. Cellular irradiation induces rapid intermolecular autophosphorylation of serine 1981 that causes dimer dissociation and initiates cellular ATM kinase activity. Most ATM molecules in the cell are rapidly phosphorylated on this site after doses of radiation as low as 0.5 Gy, and binding of a phosphospecific antibody is detectable after the introduction of only a few DNA double-strand breaks in the cell. Activation of the ATM kinase seems to be an initiating event in cellular responses to irradiation, and our data indicate that ATM activation is not dependent on direct binding to DNA strand breaks, but may result from changes in the structure of chromatin.
TL;DR: Based on the pathogenic mechanisms, specific therapeutic interventions can be designed to suppress synovial inflammation and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis.
Abstract: Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory arthritis and is a major cause of disability. It existed in early Native American populations several thousand years ago but might not have appeared in Europe until the 17th century. Early theories on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis focused on autoantibodies and immune complexes. T-cell-mediated antigen-specific responses, T-cell-independent cytokine networks, and aggressive tumour-like behaviour of rheumatoid synovium have also been implicated. More recently, the contribution of autoantibodies has returned to the forefront. Based on the pathogenic mechanisms, specific therapeutic interventions can be designed to suppress synovial inflammation and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis.
TL;DR: It is shown that contacting semiconducting single-walled nanotubes by palladium, a noble metal with high work function and good wetting interactions with nanotube, greatly reduces or eliminates the barriers for transport through the valence band of nanot tubes.
Abstract: A common feature of the single-walled carbon-nanotube field-effect transistors fabricated to date has been the presence of a Schottky barrier at the nanotube–metal junctions1,2,3. These energy barriers severely limit transistor conductance in the ‘ON’ state, and reduce the current delivery capability—a key determinant of device performance. Here we show that contacting semiconducting single-walled nanotubes by palladium, a noble metal with high work function and good wetting interactions with nanotubes, greatly reduces or eliminates the barriers for transport through the valence band of nanotubes. In situ modification of the electrode work function by hydrogen is carried out to shed light on the nature of the contacts. With Pd contacts, the ‘ON’ states of semiconducting nanotubes can behave like ohmically contacted ballistic metallic tubes, exhibiting room-temperature conductance near the ballistic transport limit of 4e2/h (refs 4–6), high current-carrying capability (∼25 µA per tube), and Fabry–Perot interferences5 at low temperatures. Under high voltage operation, the current saturation appears to be set by backscattering of the charge carriers by optical phonons. High-performance ballistic nanotube field-effect transistors with zero or slightly negative Schottky barriers are thus realized.
TL;DR: The cloning of complementary DNAs encoding adiponectin receptors 1 and 2 by expression cloning supports the conclusion that they serve as receptors for globular and full-length adiponECTin, and that they mediate increased AMP kinase and PPAR-α ligand activities, as well as fatty-acid oxidation and glucose uptake by adiponectionin.
Abstract: Adiponectin (also known as 30-kDa adipocyte complement-related protein; Acrp30) is a hormone secreted by adipocytes that acts as an antidiabetic and anti-atherogenic adipokine. Levels of adiponectin in the blood are decreased under conditions of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Administration of adiponectin causes glucose-lowering effects and ameliorates insulin resistance in mice. Conversely, adiponectin-deficient mice exhibit insulin resistance and diabetes. This insulin-sensitizing effect of adiponectin seems to be mediated by an increase in fatty-acid oxidation through activation of AMP kinase and PPAR-alpha. Here we report the cloning of complementary DNAs encoding adiponectin receptors 1 and 2 (AdipoR1 and AdipoR2) by expression cloning. AdipoR1 is abundantly expressed in skeletal muscle, whereas AdipoR2 is predominantly expressed in the liver. These two adiponectin receptors are predicted to contain seven transmembrane domains, but to be structurally and functionally distinct from G-protein-coupled receptors. Expression of AdipoR1/R2 or suppression of AdipoR1/R2 expression by small-interfering RNA supports our conclusion that they serve as receptors for globular and full-length adiponectin, and that they mediate increased AMP kinase and PPAR-alpha ligand activities, as well as fatty-acid oxidation and glucose uptake by adiponectin.
TL;DR: It is concluded that SNO cells lining the bone surface function as a key component of the niche to support HSCs, and that BMP signalling through BMPRIA controls the number of H SCs by regulating niche size.
Abstract: Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are a subset of bone marrow cells that are capable of self-renewal and of forming all types of blood cells (multi-potential). However, the HSC 'niche'--the in vivo regulatory microenvironment where HSCs reside--and the mechanisms involved in controlling the number of adult HSCs remain largely unknown. The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signal has an essential role in inducing haematopoietic tissue during embryogenesis. We investigated the roles of the BMP signalling pathway in regulating adult HSC development in vivo by analysing mutant mice with conditional inactivation of BMP receptor type IA (BMPRIA). Here we show that an increase in the number of spindle-shaped N-cadherin+CD45- osteoblastic (SNO) cells correlates with an increase in the number of HSCs. The long-term HSCs are found attached to SNO cells. Two adherens junction molecules, N-cadherin and beta-catenin, are asymmetrically localized between the SNO cells and the long-term HSCs. We conclude that SNO cells lining the bone surface function as a key component of the niche to support HSCs, and that BMP signalling through BMPRIA controls the number of HSCs by regulating niche size.
TL;DR: It is found that oceanic absorption of CO2 from fossil fuels may result in larger pH changes over the next several centuries than any inferred from the geological record of the past 300 million years.
Abstract: The coming centuries may see more ocean acidification than the past 300 million years. Most carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the burning of fossil fuels will eventually be absorbed by the ocean1, with potentially adverse consequences for marine biota2,3,4. Here we quantify the changes in ocean pH that may result from this continued release of CO2 and compare these with pH changes estimated from geological and historical records. We find that oceanic absorption of CO2 from fossil fuels may result in larger pH changes over the next several centuries than any inferred from the geological record of the past 300 million years, with the possible exception of those resulting from rare, extreme events such as bolide impacts or catastrophic methane hydrate degassing.
TL;DR: It is shown that the perceived central role for IL-12 in autoimmune inflammation, specifically in the brain, has been misinterpreted and that IL-23, and not IL- 12, is the critical factor in this response.
Abstract: Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a heterodimeric molecule composed of p35 and p40 subunits. Analyses in vitro have defined IL-12 as an important factor for the differentiation of naive T cells into T-helper type 1 CD4+ lymphocytes secreting interferon-gamma (refs 1, 2). Similarly, numerous studies have concluded that IL-12 is essential for T-cell-dependent immune and inflammatory responses in vivo, primarily through the use of IL-12 p40 gene-targeted mice and neutralizing antibodies against p40. The cytokine IL-23, which comprises the p40 subunit of IL-12 but a different p19 subunit, is produced predominantly by macrophages and dendritic cells, and shows activity on memory T cells. Evidence from studies of IL-23 receptor expression and IL-23 overexpression in transgenic mice suggest, however, that IL-23 may also affect macrophage function directly. Here we show, by using gene-targeted mice lacking only IL-23 and cytokine replacement studies, that the perceived central role for IL-12 in autoimmune inflammation, specifically in the brain, has been misinterpreted and that IL-23, and not IL-12, is the critical factor in this response. In addition, we show that IL-23, unlike IL-12, acts more broadly as an end-stage effector cytokine through direct actions on macrophages.
TL;DR: The analysis suggests that management based on recent data alone may be misleading, and provides minimum estimates for unexploited communities, which could serve as the 'missing baseline' needed for future restoration efforts.
Abstract: Serious concerns have been raised about the ecological effects of industrialized fishing1, 2, 3, spurring a United Nations resolution on restoring fisheries and marine ecosystems to healthy levels4. However, a prerequisite for restoration is a general understanding of the composition and abundance of unexploited fish communities, relative to contemporary ones. We constructed trajectories of community biomass and composition of large predatory fishes in four continental shelf and nine oceanic systems, using all available data from the beginning of exploitation. Industrialized fisheries typically reduced community biomass by 80% within 15 years of exploitation. Compensatory increases in fast-growing species were observed, but often reversed within a decade. Using a meta-analytic approach, we estimate that large predatory fish biomass today is only about 10% of pre-industrial levels. We conclude that declines of large predators in coastal regions5 have extended throughout the global ocean, with potentially serious consequences for ecosystems5, 6, 7. Our analysis suggests that management based on recent data alone may be misleading, and provides minimum estimates for unexploited communities, which could serve as the ‘missing baseline’8 needed for future restoration efforts.
TL;DR: It is reported that the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 subunit is essential for inhibiting cytokine synthesis by the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.
Abstract: Excessive inflammation and tumour-necrosis factor (TNF) synthesis cause morbidity and mortality in diverse human diseases including endotoxaemia, sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Highly conserved, endogenous mechanisms normally regulate the magnitude of innate immune responses and prevent excessive inflammation. The nervous system, through the vagus nerve, can inhibit significantly and rapidly the release of macrophage TNF, and attenuate systemic inflammatory responses. This physiological mechanism, termed the 'cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway' has major implications in immunology and in therapeutics; however, the identity of the essential macrophage acetylcholine-mediated (cholinergic) receptor that responds to vagus nerve signals was previously unknown. Here we report that the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha7 subunit is required for acetylcholine inhibition of macrophage TNF release. Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve inhibits TNF synthesis in wild-type mice, but fails to inhibit TNF synthesis in alpha7-deficient mice. Thus, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha7 subunit is essential for inhibiting cytokine synthesis by the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.
TL;DR: A silicon-based two-dimensional photonic-crystal slab is used to fabricate a nanocavity with Q = 45,000 and V = 7.0 × 10-14 cm3; the value of Q/V is 10–100 times larger than in previous studies, underlying the realization that light should be confined gently in order to be confined strongly.
Abstract: Photonic cavities that strongly confine light are finding applications in many areas of physics and engineering, including coherent electron-photon interactions, ultra-small filters, low-threshold lasers, photonic chips, nonlinear optics and quantum information processing. Critical for these applications is the realization of a cavity with both high quality factor, Q, and small modal volume, V. The ratio Q/V determines the strength of the various cavity interactions, and an ultra-small cavity enables large-scale integration and single-mode operation for a broad range of wavelengths. However, a high-Q cavity of optical wavelength size is difficult to fabricate, as radiation loss increases in inverse proportion to cavity size. With the exception of a few recent theoretical studies, definitive theories and experiments for creating high-Q nanocavities have not been extensively investigated. Here we use a silicon-based two-dimensional photonic-crystal slab to fabricate a nanocavity with Q = 45,000 and V = 7.0 x 10(-14) cm3; the value of Q/V is 10-100 times larger than in previous studies. Underlying this development is the realization that light should be confined gently in order to be confined strongly. Integration with other photonic elements is straightforward, and a large free spectral range of 100 nm has been demonstrated.
Abstract: Some of the most fundamental questions concerning our evolutionary origins, our social relations, and the organization of society are centred around issues of altruism and selfishness. Experimental evidence indicates that human altruism is a powerful force and is unique in the animal world. However, there is much individual heterogeneity and the interaction between altruists and selfish individuals is vital to human cooperation. Depending on the environment, a minority of altruists can force a majority of selfish individuals to cooperate or, conversely, a few egoists can induce a large number of altruists to defect. Current gene-based evolutionary theories cannot explain important patterns of human altruism, pointing towards the importance of both theories of cultural evolution as well as gene–culture co-evolution.