May 2013

Research articles

    1. Biophysics and Structural Biology

    Sequence-dependent base pair stepping dynamics in XPD helicase unwinding

    Zhi Qi et al
    The ability of an enzyme called XPD helicase to unwind the double helix is influenced by the DNA sequence and the availability of energy.
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    1. Cell Biology

    TRPM5-mediated calcium uptake regulates mucin secretion from human colon goblet cells

    Sandra Mitrovic et al
    Goblet cells secrete mucins—which are key components of mucus—in a process that is regulated by calcium ions, which enter the goblet cells via a mechanism involving a channel protein called TRPM5.
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    1. Neuroscience

    Decoding the neural mechanisms of human tool use

    Jason P Gallivan et al
    Imaging experiments reveal that some brain regions do not distinguish between actions performed using tools and those performed using the hands, while others represent these two types of action separately.
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    1. Genomics and Evolutionary Biology

    The rise and fall of the Phytophthora infestans lineage that triggered the Irish potato famine

    Kentaro Yoshida et al
    The strain of Phytophthora infestans that caused the Great Famine in the late 1840s was caused by a single genotype that is distinct from, but closely related to, the most prevalent modern genotype.
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    1. Cell Biology
    2. Neuroscience

    Pharmacological brake-release of mRNA translation enhances cognitive memory

    Carmela Sidrauski et al
    A compound that prevents stressors such as UV light and viral infection from downregulating protein synthesis inside cells improves memory performance in mice.
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    1. Developmental Biology and Stem Cells

    A novel sphingolipid-TORC1 pathway critically promotes postembryonic development in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Huanhu Zhu et al
    A lipid acts to promote the development of nematode worm larvae through activation of an enzyme complex called TORC1.
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    1. Developmental Biology and Stem Cells
    2. Immunology

    MicroRNA-146a acts as a guardian of the quality and longevity of hematopoietic stem cells in mice

    Jimmy L Zhao et al
    Chronic and excessive inflammation can lead to exhaustion of the supply of hematopoietic stem cells and to myeloid malignancies in mice, mimicking important aspects of the myelodysplastic syndrome found in humans.
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    1. Biophysics and Structural Biology
    2. Neuroscience

    Structure of a pore-blocking toxin in complex with a eukaryotic voltage-dependent K+ channel

    Anirban Banerjee et al
    Charybdotoxin, a toxin produced by scorpions, blocks a K+ channel by binding in a lock-and-key fashion to the mouth of the channel and presenting a lysine amino group, which serves as a K+ mimic in the selectivity filter.
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    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Predicting mosquito infection from Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte density and estimating the reservoir of infection

    Thomas S Churcher et al
    Identifying and treating those groups of individuals that are most likely to transmit the malaria parasite to mosquitoes could help to control the spread of the disease.
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    1. Genomics and Evolutionary Biology
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Stability-mediated epistasis constrains the evolution of an influenza protein

    Lizhi Ian Gong et al
    Some of the mutations that occur during influenza evolution can only be tolerated in conjunction with other mutations that increase the stability of a viral protein.
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    1. Cell Biology

    ER-associated mitochondrial division links the distribution of mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA in yeast

    Andrew Murley et al
    Sites at which mitochondria contact the endoplasmic reticulum co-localize the replication of mitochondria and their DNA to help ensure that DNA is distributed appropriately between the newly formed organelles in cells.
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    1. Ecology
    2. Neuroscience

    Feeding-induced rearrangement of green leaf volatiles reduces moth oviposition

    Silke Allmann et al
    The ability of Manduca moths to recognize changes in the profile of volatile compounds released by plants being attacked by Manduca caterpillars allows them to lay their eggs on plants that are less likely to be attacked by insects and other predators, and to avoid competing against other caterpillars of the same species for resources.
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    1. Immunology
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    EBI2-mediated bridging channel positioning supports splenic dendritic cell homeostasis and particulate antigen capture

    Tangsheng Yi, Jason G Cyster
    The receptor EBI2 is essential for correctly positioning CD4+ dendritic cells in the spleen so that they can present blood-borne antigens to T cells and thereby provoke an antibody response.
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    1. Neuroscience

    Controlling gain one photon at a time

    Gregory W Schwartz, Fred Rieke
    Single absorbed photons trigger adaptational mechanisms that help the retina maintain sensitivity across a wide range of background illumination.
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