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The mosquito taste system and disease control [Perspectives]

Mosquitoes are a widely diverse group of organisms, comprising ∼3,500 species that live in an enormous range of habitats. Some species are vectors of diseases that afflict hundreds of millions of people each year. Although understanding of mosquito olfaction has progressed dramatically in recent years, mosquito taste remains greatly understudied....

Predicting long-term dynamics of soil salinity and sodicity on a global scale [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]

Knowledge of spatiotemporal distribution and likelihood of (re)occurrence of salt-affected soils is crucial to our understanding of land degradation and for planning effective remediation strategies in face of future climatic uncertainties. However, conventional methods used for tracking the variability of soil salinity/sodicity are extensively localized,...

Considering network interventions [Commentaries]

One of the greatest challenges to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic is the need to develop new economic policies that steer nations safely between the Scylla of exponentially increasing infection rates and the Charybdis of a severe economic downturn. The obvious solution to curtail the rapidly increasing rate of COVID-19...

Post-transcriptional tuning of FGF signaling mediates neural crest induction [Developmental Biology]

Ectodermal patterning is required for the establishment of multiple components of the vertebrate body plan. Previous studies have demonstrated that precise combinations of extracellular signals induce distinct ectodermal cell populations, such as the neural crest and the neural plate. Yet, we still lack understanding of how the response to inductive...

Physical mechanisms of amyloid nucleation on fluid membranes [Biophysics and Computational Biology]

Biological membranes can dramatically accelerate the aggregation of normally soluble protein molecules into amyloid fibrils and alter the fibril morphologies, yet the molecular mechanisms through which this accelerated nucleation takes place are not yet understood. Here, we develop a coarse-grained model to systematically explore the effect that the...

Axon morphology is modulated by the local environment and impacts the noninvasive investigation of its structure-function relationship [Neuroscience]

Axonal conduction velocity, which ensures efficient function of the brain network, is related to axon diameter. Noninvasive, in vivo axon diameter estimates can be made with diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, but the technique requires three-dimensional (3D) validation. Here, high-resolution, 3D synchrotron X-ray nano-holotomography images of white...

DNA polymerase {iota} compensates for Fanconi anemia pathway deficiency by countering DNA replication stress [Genetics]

Fanconi anemia (FA) is caused by defects in cellular responses to DNA crosslinking damage and replication stress. Given the constant occurrence of endogenous DNA damage and replication fork stress, it is unclear why complete deletion of FA genes does not have a major impact on cell proliferation and germ-line FA...

A thermodynamic atlas of carbon redox chemical space [Biochemistry]

Redox biochemistry plays a key role in the transduction of chemical energy in living systems. However, the compounds observed in metabolic redox reactions are a minuscule fraction of chemical space. It is not clear whether compounds that ended up being selected as metabolites display specific properties that distinguish them from...

Assessment of enzyme active site positioning and tests of catalytic mechanisms through X-ray-derived conformational ensembles [Biochemistry]

How enzymes achieve their enormous rate enhancements remains a central question in biology, and our understanding to date has impacted drug development, influenced enzyme design, and deepened our appreciation of evolutionary processes. While enzymes position catalytic and reactant groups in active sites, physics requires that atoms undergo constant...

Hidden proteome of synaptic vesicles in the mammalian brain [Neuroscience]

Current proteomic studies clarified canonical synaptic proteins that are common to many types of synapses. However, proteins of diversified functions in a subset of synapses are largely hidden because of their low abundance or structural similarities to abundant proteins. To overcome this limitation, we have developed an “ultra-definition” (UD) subcellular...

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