Showing papers in "Science in 2016"
TL;DR: Two-dimensional heterostructures with extended range of functionalities yields a range of possible applications, and spectrum reconstruction in graphene interacting with hBN allowed several groups to study the Hofstadter butterfly effect and topological currents in such a system.
Abstract: BACKGROUND Materials by design is an appealing idea that is very hard to realize in practice. Combining the best of different ingredients in one ultimate material is a task for which we currently have no general solution. However, we do have some successful examples to draw upon: Composite materials and III-V heterostructures have revolutionized many aspects of our lives. Still, we need a general strategy to solve the problem of mixing and matching crystals with different properties, creating combinations with predetermined attributes and functionalities. ADVANCES Two-dimensional (2D) materials offer a platform that allows creation of heterostructures with a variety of properties. One-atom-thick crystals now comprise a large family of these materials, collectively covering a very broad range of properties. The first material to be included was graphene, a zero-overlap semimetal. The family of 2D crystals has grown to includes metals (e.g., NbSe 2 ), semiconductors (e.g., MoS 2 ), and insulators [e.g., hexagonal boron nitride (hBN)]. Many of these materials are stable at ambient conditions, and we have come up with strategies for handling those that are not. Surprisingly, the properties of such 2D materials are often very different from those of their 3D counterparts. Furthermore, even the study of familiar phenomena (like superconductivity or ferromagnetism) in the 2D case, where there is no long-range order, raises many thought-provoking questions. A plethora of opportunities appear when we start to combine several 2D crystals in one vertical stack. Held together by van der Waals forces (the same forces that hold layered materials together), such heterostructures allow a far greater number of combinations than any traditional growth method. As the family of 2D crystals is expanding day by day, so too is the complexity of the heterostructures that could be created with atomic precision. When stacking different crystals together, the synergetic effects become very important. In the first-order approximation, charge redistribution might occur between the neighboring (and even more distant) crystals in the stack. Neighboring crystals can also induce structural changes in each other. Furthermore, such changes can be controlled by adjusting the relative orientation between the individual elements. Such heterostructures have already led to the observation of numerous exciting physical phenomena. Thus, spectrum reconstruction in graphene interacting with hBN allowed several groups to study the Hofstadter butterfly effect and topological currents in such a system. The possibility of positioning crystals in very close (but controlled) proximity to one another allows for the study of tunneling and drag effects. The use of semiconducting monolayers leads to the creation of optically active heterostructures. The extended range of functionalities of such heterostructures yields a range of possible applications. Now the highest-mobility graphene transistors are achieved by encapsulating graphene with hBN. Photovoltaic and light-emitting devices have been demonstrated by combining optically active semiconducting layers and graphene as transparent electrodes. OUTLOOK Currently, most 2D heterostructures are composed by direct stacking of individual monolayer flakes of different materials. Although this method allows ultimate flexibility, it is slow and cumbersome. Thus, techniques involving transfer of large-area crystals grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD), direct growth of heterostructures by CVD or physical epitaxy, or one-step growth in solution are being developed. Currently, we are at the same level as we were with graphene 10 years ago: plenty of interesting science and unclear prospects for mass production. Given the fast progress of graphene technology over the past few years, we can expect similar advances in the production of the heterostructures, making the science and applications more achievable.
TL;DR: The mechanical flexibility and easy coating capability offered by MXenes and their composites enable them to shield surfaces of any shape while providing high EMI shielding efficiency.
Abstract: Materials with good flexibility and high conductivity that can provide electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding with minimal thickness are highly desirable, especially if they can be easily processed into films. Two-dimensional metal carbides and nitrides, known as MXenes, combine metallic conductivity and hydrophilic surfaces. Here, we demonstrate the potential of several MXenes and their polymer composites for EMI shielding. A 45-micrometer-thick Ti3C2Tx film exhibited EMI shielding effectiveness of 92 decibels (>50 decibels for a 2.5-micrometer film), which is the highest among synthetic materials of comparable thickness produced to date. This performance originates from the excellent electrical conductivity of Ti3C2Tx films (4600 Siemens per centimeter) and multiple internal reflections from Ti3C2Tx flakes in free-standing films. The mechanical flexibility and easy coating capability offered by MXenes and their composites enable them to shield surfaces of any shape while providing high EMI shielding efficiency.
TL;DR: In this paper, the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) active site was characterized by using newly designed graphite (highly oriented pyrolitic graphite) model catalysts with well-defined π conjugation and well-controlled doping of N species.
Abstract: Nitrogen (N)-doped carbon materials exhibit high electrocatalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), which is essential for several renewable energy systems. However, the ORR active site (or sites) is unclear, which retards further developments of high-performance catalysts. Here, we characterized the ORR active site by using newly designed graphite (highly oriented pyrolitic graphite) model catalysts with well-defined π conjugation and well-controlled doping of N species. The ORR active site is created by pyridinic N. Carbon dioxide adsorption experiments indicated that pyridinic N also creates Lewis basic sites. The specific activities per pyridinic N in the HOPG model catalysts are comparable with those of N-doped graphene powder catalysts. Thus, the ORR active sites in N-doped carbon materials are carbon atoms with Lewis basicity next to pyridinic N.
TL;DR: The cellular ecosystem of tumors is begin to unravel and how single-cell genomics offers insights with implications for both targeted and immune therapies is unraveled.
Abstract: To explore the distinct genotypic and phenotypic states of melanoma tumors, we applied single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to 4645 single cells isolated from 19 patients, profiling malignant, immune, stromal, and endothelial cells. Malignant cells within the same tumor displayed transcriptional heterogeneity associated with the cell cycle, spatial context, and a drug-resistance program. In particular, all tumors harbored malignant cells from two distinct transcriptional cell states, such that tumors characterized by high levels of the MITF transcription factor also contained cells with low MITF and elevated levels of the AXL kinase. Single-cell analyses suggested distinct tumor microenvironmental patterns, including cell-to-cell interactions. Analysis of tumor-infiltrating T cells revealed exhaustion programs, their connection to T cell activation and clonal expansion, and their variability across patients. Overall, we begin to unravel the cellular ecosystem of tumors and how single-cell genomics offers insights with implications for both targeted and immune therapies.
TL;DR: This work shows that the small and oxidation-stable rubidium cation (Rb+) can be embedded into a “cation cascade” to create perovskite materials with excellent material properties and achieved stabilized efficiencies of up to 21.6% on small areas.
Abstract: All of the cations currently used in perovskite solar cells abide by the tolerance factor for incorporation into the lattice. We show that the small and oxidation-stable rubidium cation (Rb + ) can be embedded into a “cation cascade” to create perovskite materials with excellent material properties. We achieved stabilized efficiencies of up to 21.6% (average value, 20.2%) on small areas (and a stabilized 19.0% on a cell 0.5 square centimeters in area) as well as an electroluminescence of 3.8%. The open-circuit voltage of 1.24 volts at a band gap of 1.63 electron volts leads to a loss in potential of 0.39 volts, versus 0.4 volts for commercial silicon cells. Polymer-coated cells maintained 95% of their initial performance at 85°C for 500 hours under full illumination and maximum power point tracking.
TL;DR: It is shown that using cesium ions along with formamidinium cations in lead bromide–iodide cells improved thermal and photostability and lead to high efficiency in single and tandem cells.
Abstract: Metal halide perovskite photovoltaic cells could potentially boost the efficiency of commercial silicon photovoltaic modules from ∼20 toward 30% when used in tandem architectures. An optimum perovskite cell optical band gap of ~1.75 electron volts (eV) can be achieved by varying halide composition, but to date, such materials have had poor photostability and thermal stability. Here we present a highly crystalline and compositionally photostable material, [HC(NH2)2](0.83)Cs(0.17)Pb(I(0.6)Br(0.4))3, with an optical band gap of ~1.74 eV, and we fabricated perovskite cells that reached open-circuit voltages of 1.2 volts and power conversion efficiency of over 17% on small areas and 14.7% on 0.715 cm(2) cells. By combining these perovskite cells with a 19%-efficient silicon cell, we demonstrated the feasibility of achieving >25%-efficient four-terminal tandem cells.
TL;DR: The results firmly establish that metalenses can have widespread applications in laser-based microscopy, imaging, and spectroscopy, with image qualities comparable to a state-of-the-art commercial objective.
Abstract: Subwavelength resolution imaging requires high numerical aperture (NA) lenses, which are bulky and expensive. Metasurfaces allow the miniaturization of conventional refractive optics into planar structures. We show that high-aspect-ratio titanium dioxide metasurfaces can be fabricated and designed as metalenses with NA = 0.8. Diffraction-limited focusing is demonstrated at wavelengths of 405, 532, and 660 nm with corresponding efficiencies of 86, 73, and 66%. The metalenses can resolve nanoscale features separated by subwavelength distances and provide magnification as high as 170×, with image qualities comparable to a state-of-the-art commercial objective. Our results firmly establish that metalenses can have widespread applications in laser-based microscopy, imaging, and spectroscopy.
TL;DR: A relationship between clonal neoantigen burden and overall survival in primary lung adenocarcinomas and the impact of neoantigens intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) on antitumor immunity is demonstrated.
Abstract: As tumors grow, they acquire mutations, some of which create neoantigens that influence the response of patients to immune checkpoint inhibitors. We explored the impact of neoantigen intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) on antitumor immunity. Through integrated analysis of ITH and neoantigen burden, we demonstrate a relationship between clonal neoantigen burden and overall survival in primary lung adenocarcinomas. CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes reactive to clonal neoantigens were identified in early-stage non–small cell lung cancer and expressed high levels of PD-1. Sensitivity to PD-1 and CTLA-4 blockade in patients with advanced NSCLC and melanoma was enhanced in tumors enriched for clonal neoantigens. T cells recognizing clonal neoantigens were detectable in patients with durable clinical benefit. Cytotoxic chemotherapy–induced subclonal neoantigens, contributing to an increased mutational load, were enriched in certain poor responders. These data suggest that neoantigen heterogeneity may influence immune surveillance and support therapeutic developments targeting clonal neoantigens.
TL;DR: How high-index dielectric nanoparticles can offer a substitute for plasmonic nanoparticle structures, providing a highly flexible and low-loss route to the manipulation of light at the nanoscale is reviewed.
Abstract: The resonant modes of plasmonic nanoparticle structures made of gold or silver endow them with an ability to manipulate light at the nanoscale. However, owing to the high light losses caused by metals at optical wavelengths, only a small fraction of plasmonics applications have been realized. Kuznetsov et al. review how high-index dielectric nanoparticles can offer a substitute for these metals, providing a highly flexible and low-loss route to the manipulation of light at the nanoscale. Science , this issue p. [10.1126/science.aag2472] : /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.aag2472
TL;DR: N nanoscale phase stabilization of CsPbI3 quantum dots (QDs) to low temperatures that can be used as the active component of efficient optoelectronic devices and describe the formation of α-CsP bI3 QD films that are phase-stable for months in ambient air.
Abstract: We show nanoscale phase stabilization of CsPbI 3 quantum dots (QDs) to low temperatures that can be used as the active component of efficient optoelectronic devices. CsPbI 3 is an all-inorganic analog to the hybrid organic cation halide perovskites, but the cubic phase of bulk CsPbI 3 (α-CsPbI 3 )—the variant with desirable band gap—is only stable at high temperatures. We describe the formation of α-CsPbI 3 QD films that are phase-stable for months in ambient air. The films exhibit long-range electronic transport and were used to fabricate colloidal perovskite QD photovoltaic cells with an open-circuit voltage of 1.23 volts and efficiency of 10.77%. These devices also function as light-emitting diodes with low turn-on voltage and tunable emission.
TL;DR: In mouse models, the complement-dependent pathway and microglia that prune excess synapses in development are inappropriately activated and mediate synapse loss in AD, which is an early feature of Alzheimer's disease and correlates with cognitive decline.
Abstract: Synapse loss in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) correlates with cognitive decline. Involvement of microglia and complement in AD has been attributed to neuroinflammation, prominent late in disease. Here we show in mouse models that complement and microglia mediate synaptic loss early in AD. C1q, the initiating protein of the classical complement cascade, is increased and associated with synapses before overt plaque deposition. Inhibition of C1q, C3, or the microglial complement receptor CR3 reduces the number of phagocytic microglia, as well as the extent of early synapse loss. C1q is necessary for the toxic effects of soluble β-amyloid (Aβ) oligomers on synapses and hippocampal long-term potentiation. Finally, microglia in adult brains engulf synaptic material in a CR3-dependent process when exposed to soluble Aβ oligomers. Together, these findings suggest that the complement-dependent pathway and microglia that prune excess synapses in development are inappropriately activated and mediate synapse loss in AD.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors used structure-guided protein engineering to improve the specificity of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9) using targeted deep sequencing and unbiased whole-genome off-target analysis to assess Cas9-mediated DNA cleavage in human cells.
Abstract: The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 is a versatile genome-editing tool with a broad range of applications from therapeutics to functional annotation of genes. Cas9 creates double-strand breaks (DSBs) at targeted genomic loci complementary to a short RNA guide. However, Cas9 can cleave off-target sites that are not fully complementary to the guide, which poses a major challenge for genome editing. Here, we use structure-guided protein engineering to improve the specificity of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9). Using targeted deep sequencing and unbiased whole-genome off-target analysis to assess Cas9-mediated DNA cleavage in human cells, we demonstrate that "enhanced specificity" SpCas9 (eSpCas9) variants reduce off-target effects and maintain robust on-target cleavage. Thus, eSpCas9 could be broadly useful for genome-editing applications requiring a high level of specificity.
TL;DR: A room-temperature synthesis to produce gelled oxyhydroxides materials with an atomically homogeneous metal distribution that exhibit the lowest overpotential reported at 10 milliamperes per square centimeter in alkaline electrolyte and shows no evidence of degradation after more than 500 hours of operation.
Abstract: Earth-abundant first-row (3d) transition metal-based catalysts have been developed for the oxygen-evolution reaction (OER); however, they operate at overpotentials substantially above thermodynamic requirements. Density functional theory suggested that non-3d high-valency metals such as tungsten can modulate 3d metal oxides, providing near-optimal adsorption energies for OER intermediates. We developed a room-temperature synthesis to produce gelled oxyhydroxides materials with an atomically homogeneous metal distribution. These gelled FeCoW oxyhydroxides exhibit the lowest overpotential (191 millivolts) reported at 10 milliamperes per square centimeter in alkaline electrolyte. The catalyst shows no evidence of degradation after more than 500 hours of operation. X-ray absorption and computational studies reveal a synergistic interplay between tungsten, iron, and cobalt in producing a favorable local coordination environment and electronic structure that enhance the energetics for OER.
TL;DR: By positioning histological sections on arrayed reverse transcription primers with unique positional barcodes, this work demonstrates high-quality RNA-sequencing data with maintained two-dimensional positional information from the mouse brain and human breast cancer.
Abstract: Analysis of the pattern of proteins or messengerRNAs (mRNAs) in histological tissue sections is a cornerstone in biomedical research and diagnostics. This typically involves the visualization of a few proteins or expressed genes at a time. We have devised a strategy, which we call “spatial transcriptomics,” that allows visualization and quantitative analysis of the transcriptome with spatial resolution in individual tissue sections. By positioning histological sections on arrayed reverse transcription primers with unique positional barcodes, we demonstrate high-quality RNA-sequencing data with maintained two-dimensional positional information from the mouse brain and human breast cancer. Spatial transcriptomics provides quantitative gene expression data and visualization of the distribution of mRNAs within tissue sections and enables novel types of bioinformatics analyses, valuable in research and diagnostics.
TL;DR: Proof-of-principle experimental studies support the hypothesis that trained immunity is one of the main immunological processes that mediate the nonspecific protective effects against infections induced by vaccines, such as bacillus Calmette-Guérin or measles vaccination.
Abstract: The general view that only adaptive immunity can build immunological memory has recently been challenged. In organisms lacking adaptive immunity, as well as in mammals, the innate immune system can mount resistance to reinfection, a phenomenon termed "trained immunity" or "innate immune memory." Trained immunity is orchestrated by epigenetic reprogramming, broadly defined as sustained changes in gene expression and cell physiology that do not involve permanent genetic changes such as mutations and recombination, which are essential for adaptive immunity. The discovery of trained immunity may open the door for novel vaccine approaches, new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of immune deficiency states, and modulation of exaggerated inflammation in autoinflammatory diseases.
TL;DR: A simple vacuum flash–assisted solution processing method is devised to obtain shiny, smooth, crystalline perovskite films of high electronic quality over large areas, which enables the realization of highly efficient large-area PSCs for practical deployment.
Abstract: Metal halide perovskite solar cells (PSCs) currently attract enormous research interest because of their high solar-to-electric power conversion efficiency (PCE) and low fabrication costs, but their practical development is hampered by difficulties in achieving high performance with large-size devices. We devised a simple vacuum flash-assisted solution processing method to obtain shiny, smooth, crystalline perovskite films of high electronic quality over large areas. This enabled us to fabricate solar cells with an aperture area exceeding 1 square centimeter, a maximum efficiency of 20.5%, and a certified PCE of 19.6%. By contrast, the best certified PCE to date is 15.6% for PSCs of similar size. We demonstrate that the reproducibility of the method is excellent and that the cells show virtually no hysteresis. Our approach enables the realization of highly efficient large-area PSCs for practical deployment.
TL;DR: It is found that environmental conditions strongly influence the distribution of functional groups in marine microbial communities by shaping metabolic niches, but only weakly influence taxonomic composition within individual functional groups.
Abstract: Microbial metabolism powers biogeochemical cycling in Earth’s ecosystems. The taxonomic composition of microbial communities varies substantially between environments, but the ecological causes of this variation remain largely unknown. We analyzed taxonomic and functional community profiles to determine the factors that shape marine bacterial and archaeal communities across the global ocean. By classifying >30,000 marine microorganisms into metabolic functional groups, we were able to disentangle functional from taxonomic community variation. We find that environmental conditions strongly influence the distribution of functional groups in marine microbial communities by shaping metabolic niches, but only weakly influence taxonomic composition within individual functional groups. Hence, functional structure and composition within functional groups constitute complementary and roughly independent “axes of variation” shaped by markedly different processes.
TL;DR: Stool consistency showed the largest effect size, whereas medication explained largest total variance and interacted with other covariate-microbiota associations, and proposed disease marker genera associated to host covariates were found associated to microbiota compositional variation with a 92% replication rate.
Abstract: Fecal microbiome variation in the average, healthy population has remained under-investigated. Here, we analyzed two independent, extensively phenotyped cohorts: the Belgian Flemish Gut Flora Project (FGFP; discovery cohort; N = 1106) and the Dutch LifeLines-DEEP study (LLDeep; replication; N = 1135). Integration with global data sets (N combined = 3948) revealed a 14-genera core microbiota, but the 664 identified genera still underexplore total gut diversity. Sixty-nine clinical and questionnaire-based covariates were found associated to microbiota compositional variation with a 92% replication rate. Stool consistency showed the largest effect size, whereas medication explained largest total variance and interacted with other covariate-microbiota associations. Early-life events such as birth mode were not reflected in adult microbiota composition. Finally, we found that proposed disease marker genera associated to host covariates, urging inclusion of the latter in study design.
TL;DR: A record high ZTdev ∼1.34, with ZT ranging from 0.7 to 2.0 at 300 to 773 kelvin, realized in hole-doped tin selenide (SnSe) crystals, arises from the ultrahigh power factor, which comes from a high electrical conductivity and a strongly enhanced Seebeck coefficient enabled by the contribution of multiple electronic valence bands present in SnSe.
Abstract: Thermoelectric technology, harvesting electric power directly from heat, is a promising environmentally friendly means of energy savings and power generation. The thermoelectric efficiency is determined by the device dimensionless figure of merit ZT(dev), and optimizing this efficiency requires maximizing ZT values over a broad temperature range. Here, we report a record high ZT(dev) ∼1.34, with ZT ranging from 0.7 to 2.0 at 300 to 773 kelvin, realized in hole-doped tin selenide (SnSe) crystals. The exceptional performance arises from the ultrahigh power factor, which comes from a high electrical conductivity and a strongly enhanced Seebeck coefficient enabled by the contribution of multiple electronic valence bands present in SnSe. SnSe is a robust thermoelectric candidate for energy conversion applications in the low and moderate temperature range.
TL;DR: A comprehensively and systematically review the leading candidate materials, present the limitations of each system, and analyze how these limitations can be overcome and overall cell performance improved.
Abstract: Recent developments in photovoltaic materials have led to continual improvements in their efficiency. We review the electrical characteristics of 16 widely studied geometries of photovoltaic materials with efficiencies of 10 to 29%. Comparison of these characteristics to the fundamental limits based on the Shockley-Queisser detailed-balance model provides a basis for identifying the key limiting factors, related to efficient light management and charge carrier collection, for these materials. Prospects for practical application and large-area fabrication are discussed for each material.
TL;DR: LshC2c2 is a RNA-guided RNase which requires the activity of its two HEPN domains, suggesting previously unidentified mechanisms of RNA targeting and degradation by CRISPR systems.
Abstract: The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated genes (Cas) adaptive immune system defends microbes against foreign genetic elements via DNA or RNA-DNA interference. We characterize the class 2 type VI CRISPR-Cas effector C2c2 and demonstrate its RNA-guided ribonuclease function. C2c2 from the bacterium Leptotrichia shahii provides interference against RNA phage. In vitro biochemical analysis shows that C2c2 is guided by a single CRISPR RNA and can be programmed to cleave single-stranded RNA targets carrying complementary protospacers. In bacteria, C2c2 can be programmed to knock down specific mRNAs. Cleavage is mediated by catalytic residues in the two conserved Higher Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes Nucleotide-binding (HEPN) domains, mutations of which generate catalytically inactive RNA-binding proteins. These results broaden our understanding of CRISPR-Cas systems and suggest that C2c2 can be used to develop new RNA-targeting tools.
British Geological Survey1, University of Leicester2, Scott Polar Research Institute3, University of California, Berkeley4, Centre national de la recherche scientifique5, Jan Kochanowski University6, University of the Basque Country7, University of Maryland, Baltimore County8, Institut de recherche pour le développement9, Free University of Berlin10, Georgetown University11, Duke University12, Australian National University13, University of Colorado Boulder14, Fridtjof Nansen Institute15, University of Vienna16, Chinese Academy of Sciences17, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies18, University of Nairobi19, Harvard University20, University of Alberta21
TL;DR: C climatic, biological, and geochemical signatures of human activity in sediments and ice cores, Combined with deposits of new materials and radionuclides, as well as human-caused modification of sedimentary processes, the Anthropocene stands alone stratigraphically as a new epoch beginning sometime in the mid–20th century.
Abstract: Human activity is leaving a pervasive and persistent signature on Earth. Vigorous debate continues about whether this warrants recognition as a new geologic time unit known as the Anthropocene. We review anthropogenic markers of functional changes in the Earth system through the stratigraphic record. The appearance of manufactured materials in sediments, including aluminum, plastics, and concrete, coincides with global spikes in fallout radionuclides and particulates from fossil fuel combustion. Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles have been substantially modified over the past century. Rates of sea-level rise and the extent of human perturbation of the climate system exceed Late Holocene changes. Biotic changes include species invasions worldwide and accelerating rates of extinction. These combined signals render the Anthropocene stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene and earlier epochs.
TL;DR: The IrOx/SrIrO3 catalyst outperforms known IrOx and ruthenium oxide (RuOx) systems, the only other OER catalysts that have reasonable activity in acidic electrolyte.
Abstract: Oxygen electrochemistry plays a key role in renewable energy technologies such as fuel cells and electrolyzers, but the slow kinetics of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) limit the performance and commercialization of such devices. Here we report an iridium oxide/strontium iridium oxide (IrOx/SrIrO3) catalyst formed during electrochemical testing by strontium leaching from surface layers of thin films of SrIrO3 This catalyst has demonstrated specific activity at 10 milliamps per square centimeter of oxide catalyst (OER current normalized to catalyst surface area), with only 270 to 290 millivolts of overpotential for 30 hours of continuous testing in acidic electrolyte. Density functional theory calculations suggest the formation of highly active surface layers during strontium leaching with IrO3 or anatase IrO2 motifs. The IrOx/SrIrO3 catalyst outperforms known IrOx and ruthenium oxide (RuOx) systems, the only other OER catalysts that have reasonable activity in acidic electrolyte.
TL;DR: In this paper, a new bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, was found to be able to use PET as its major energy and carbon source, producing two enzymes capable of hydrolyzing PET and the reaction intermediate, mono(2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalic acid.
Abstract: Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) is used extensively worldwide in plastic products, and its accumulation in the environment has become a global concern. Because the ability to enzymatically degrade PET has been thought to be limited to a few fungal species, biodegradation is not yet a viable remediation or recycling strategy. By screening natural microbial communities exposed to PET in the environment, we isolated a novel bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, that is able to use PET as its major energy and carbon source. When grown on PET, this strain produces two enzymes capable of hydrolyzing PET and the reaction intermediate, mono(2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalic acid. Both enzymes are required to enzymatically convert PET efficiently into its two environmentally benign monomers, terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol.
TL;DR: Lewis reviews the status of solar thermal and solar fuels approaches for harnessing solar energy, as well as technology gaps for achieving cost-effective scalable deployment combined with storage technologies to provide reliable, dispatchable energy.
Abstract: Major developments, as well as remaining challenges and the associated research opportunities, are evaluated for three technologically distinct approaches to solar energy utilization: solar electricity, solar thermal, and solar fuels technologies. Much progress has been made, but research opportunities are still present for all approaches. Both evolutionary and revolutionary technology development, involving foundational research, applied research, learning by doing, demonstration projects, and deployment at scale will be needed to continue this technology-innovation ecosystem. Most of the approaches still offer the potential to provide much higher efficiencies, much lower costs, improved scalability, and new functionality, relative to the embodiments of solar energy-conversion systems that have been developed to date.
TL;DR: A photochemical strategy to fabricate a stable atomically dispersed palladium–titanium oxide catalyst (Pd1/TiO2) on ethylene glycolate–stabilized ultrathin TiO2 nanosheets containing Pd up to 1.5%.
Abstract: Atomically dispersed noble metal catalysts often exhibit high catalytic performances, but the metal loading density must be kept low (usually below 0.5%) to avoid the formation of metal nanoparticles through sintering. We report a photochemical strategy to fabricate a stable atomically dispersed palladium-titanium oxide catalyst (Pd1/TiO2) on ethylene glycolate (EG)-stabilized ultrathin TiO2 nanosheets containing Pd up to 1.5%. The Pd1/TiO2 catalyst exhibited high catalytic activity in hydrogenation of C=C bonds, exceeding that of surface Pd atoms on commercial Pd catalysts by a factor of 9. No decay in the activity was observed for 20 cycles. More important, the Pd1/TiO2-EG system could activate H2 in a heterolytic pathway, leading to a catalytic enhancement in hydrogenation of aldehydes by a factor of more than 55.
TL;DR: Performing synthesis at high temperatures ensures that only the most stable binding sites are occupied, yielding a sinter-resistant, atomically dispersed catalyst.
Abstract: Catalysts based on single atoms of scarce precious metals can lead to more efficient use through enhanced reactivity and selectivity. However, single atoms on catalyst supports can be mobile and aggregate into nanoparticles when heated at elevated temperatures. High temperatures are detrimental to catalyst performance unless these mobile atoms can be trapped. We used ceria powders having similar surface areas but different exposed surface facets. When mixed with a platinum/aluminum oxide catalyst and aged in air at 800°C, the platinum transferred to the ceria and was trapped. Polyhedral ceria and nanorods were more effective than ceria cubes at anchoring the platinum. Performing synthesis at high temperatures ensures that only the most stable binding sites are occupied, yielding a sinter-resistant, atomically dispersed catalyst.
TL;DR: Observations indicate that therapies targeting glial cells might provide benefit for those afflicted by neurodegenerative disorders, because the environment is affected during disease in a cascade of processes collectively termed neuroinflammation.
Abstract: Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and frontotemporal lobar dementia are among the most pressing problems of developed societies with aging populations. Neurons carry out essential functions such as signal transmission and network integration in the central nervous system and are the main targets of neurodegenerative disease. In this Review, I address how the neuron’s environment also contributes to neurodegeneration. Maintaining an optimal milieu for neuronal function rests with supportive cells termed glia and the blood-brain barrier. Accumulating evidence suggests that neurodegeneration occurs in part because the environment is affected during disease in a cascade of processes collectively termed neuroinflammation. These observations indicate that therapies targeting glial cells might provide benefit for those afflicted by neurodegenerative disorders.
University Medical Center Groningen1, Novosibirsk State University2, Harvard University3, Aalto University4, Maastricht University5, Rega Institute for Medical Research6, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven7, Wageningen University and Research Centre8, Radboud University Nijmegen9, Broad Institute10, Vrije Universiteit Brussel11
TL;DR: Deep sequencing of the gut microbiomes of 1135 participants from a Dutch population-based cohort shows relations between the microbiome and 126 exogenous and intrinsic host factors, including 31 intrinsic factors, 12 diseases, 19 drug groups, 4 smoking categories, and 60 dietary factors, and an important step toward a better understanding of environment-diet-microbe-host interactions.
Abstract: Deep sequencing of the gut microbiomes of 1135 participants from a Dutch population-based cohort shows relations between the microbiome and 126 exogenous and intrinsic host factors, including 31 intrinsic factors, 12 diseases, 19 drug groups, 4 smoking categories, and 60 dietary factors. These factors collectively explain 18.7% of the variation seen in the interindividual distance of microbial composition. We could associate 110 factors to 125 species and observed that fecal chromogranin A (CgA), a protein secreted by enteroendocrine cells, was exclusively associated with 61 microbial species whose abundance collectively accounted for 53% of microbial composition. Low CgA concentrations were seen in individuals with a more diverse microbiome. These results are an important step toward a better understanding of environment-diet-microbe-host interactions.
TL;DR: The role of early-life education of the immune system during this “window of opportunity,” when disruption of optimal host-commensal interactions can lead to persistent and in some cases irreversible defects in the development and training of specific immune subsets is discussed.
Abstract: Microbial colonization of mucosal tissues during infancy plays an instrumental role in the development and education of the host mammalian immune system. These early-life events can have long-standing consequences: facilitating tolerance to environmental exposures or contributing to the development of disease in later life, including inflammatory bowel disease, allergy, and asthma. Recent studies have begun to define a critical period during early development in which disruption of optimal host-commensal interactions can lead to persistent and in some cases irreversible defects in the development and training of specific immune subsets. Here, we discuss the role of early-life education of the immune system during this “window of opportunity,” when microbial colonization has a potentially critical impact on human health and disease.