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Latest articles

Dynamics of phosphoinositide conversion in clathrin-mediated endocytic traffic

Vesicular carriers transport proteins and lipids from one organelle to another, recognizing specific identifiers for the donor and acceptor membranes. Two important identifiers are phosphoinositides and GTP-bound GTPases, which provide well-defined but mutable labels. Phosphatidylinositol and its phosphorylated...

Measurement of electrons from albedo neutron decay and neutron density in near-Earth space

The Galaxy is filled with cosmic-ray particles, mostly protons with kinetic energies greater than hundreds of megaelectronvolts. Around Earth, trapped energetic protons, electrons and other particles circulate at altitudes from about 500 to 40,000 kilometres in the Van Allen radiation belts. Soon after these radiation belts were discovered six decades...

Initiation and long-term instability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet

Antarctica’s continental-scale ice sheets have evolved over the past 50 million years. However, the dearth of ice-proximal geological records limits our understanding of past East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) behaviour and thus our ability to evaluate its response to ongoing environmental change. The EAIS is marine-terminating and grounded below sea level...

Activation mechanism of the calcium-activated chloride channel TMEM16A revealed by cryo-EM

The calcium-activated chloride channel TMEM16A is a ligand-gated anion channel that opens in response to an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration. The protein is broadly expressed and contributes to diverse physiological processes, including transepithelial chloride transport and the control of electrical signalling in smooth muscles and certain...

Magnetically gated accretion in an accreting ‘non-magnetic’ white dwarf

White dwarfs are often found in binary systems with orbital periods ranging from tens of minutes to hours in which they can accrete gas from their companion stars. In about 15 per cent of these binaries, the magnetic field of the white dwarf is strong enough (at 106 gauss or more) to channel the accreted matter along field lines onto the magnetic poles....

Mechanisms of mTORC1 activation by RHEB and inhibition by PRAS40

The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) controls cell growth and metabolism in response to nutrients, energy levels, and growth factors. It contains the atypical kinase mTOR and the RAPTOR subunit that binds to the Tor signalling sequence (TOS) motif of substrates and regulators. mTORC1...

Origin and differentiation of human memory CD8 T cells after vaccination

The differentiation of human memory CD8 T cells is not well understood. Here we address this issue using the live yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccine, which induces long-term immunity in humans. We used in vivo deuterium labelling to mark CD8 T cells that proliferated in response to the virus and then assessed cellular turnover and longevity by quantifying...

Cryo-EM structures of the TMEM16A calcium-activated chloride channel

Calcium-activated chloride channels (CaCCs) encoded by TMEM16A control neuronal signalling, smooth muscle contraction, airway and exocrine gland secretion, and rhythmic movements of the gastrointestinal system. To understand how CaCCs mediate and control anion permeation to fulfil these physiological functions, knowledge of the mammalian TMEM16A structure...

Evolution of a designed protein assembly encapsulating its own RNA genome

The challenges of evolution in a complex biochemical environment, coupling genotype to phenotype and protecting the genetic material, are solved elegantly in biological systems by the encapsulation of nucleic acids. In the simplest examples, viruses use capsids to surround their genomes. Although these naturally occurring systems have been modified...

Convergent evolution of bilaterian nerve cords

It has been hypothesized that a condensed nervous system with a medial ventral nerve cord is an ancestral character of Bilateria. The presence of similar dorsoventral molecular patterns along the nerve cords of vertebrates, flies, and an annelid has been interpreted as support for this scenario. Whether these similarities are generally found across...

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