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    Designing river flows to improve food security futures in the Lower Mekong Basin - Rivers provide unrivaled opportunity for clean energy via hydropower, but little is known about the potential impact of dam-building on the food security these rivers provide. In tropical rivers, rainfall drives a periodic flood pulse fueling fish production and delivering nutrition to more than 150 million people worldwide. Hydropower will modulate this flood pulse, thereby threatening food security. We identified variance components of the Mek...
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    Plant RuBisCo assembly in E. coli with five chloroplast chaperones including BSD2 - Plant RuBisCo, a complex of eight large and eight small subunits, catalyzes the fixation of CO2 in photosynthesis. The low catalytic efficiency of RuBisCo provides strong motivation to reengineer the enzyme with the goal of increasing crop yields. However, genetic manipulation has been hampered by the failure to express plant RuBisCo in a bacterial host. We achieved the functional expression of Arabidopsis thaliana RuBisCo in Escherichia coli by...
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    Structure of the yeast spliceosomal postcatalytic P complex - The spliceosome undergoes dramatic changes in a splicing cycle. Structures of B, Bact, C, C*, and intron lariat spliceosome complexes revealed mechanisms of 5'–splice site (ss) recognition, branching, and intron release, but lacked information on 3'-ss recognition, exon ligation, and exon release. Here we report a cryo–electron microscopy structure of the postcatalytic P complex at 3.3-angstrom resolution, revealing that the 3' ss is...
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    Postcatalytic spliceosome structure reveals mechanism of 3'-splice site selection - Introns are removed from eukaryotic messenger RNA precursors by the spliceosome in two transesterification reactions—branching and exon ligation. The mechanism of 3'–splice site recognition during exon ligation has remained unclear. Here we present the 3.7-angstrom cryo–electron microscopy structure of the yeast P-complex spliceosome immediately after exon ligation. The 3'–splice site AG dinucleotide is recognized through...
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    Attosecond-resolved photoionization of chiral molecules - Chiral light-matter interactions have been investigated for two centuries, leading to the discovery of many chiroptical processes used for discrimination of enantiomers. Whereas most chiroptical effects result from a response of bound electrons, photoionization can produce much stronger chiral signals that manifest as asymmetries in the angular distribution of the photoelectrons along the light-propagation axis. We implemented self-referenced at...
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    Coherently aligned nanoparticles within a biogenic single crystal: A biological prestressing strategy - In contrast to synthetic materials, materials produced by organisms are formed in ambient conditions and with a limited selection of elements. Nevertheless, living organisms reveal elegant strategies for achieving specific functions, ranging from skeletal support to mastication, from sensors and defensive tools to optical function. Using state-of-the-art characterization techniques, we present a biostrategy for strengthening and toughening the o...
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    A precise measurement of the magnetic field in the corona of the black hole binary V404 Cygni - Observations of binary stars containing an accreting black hole or neutron star often show x-ray emission extending to high energies (>10 kilo­–electron volts), which is ascribed to an accretion disk corona of energetic particles akin to those seen in the solar corona. Despite their ubiquity, the physical conditions in accretion disk coronae remain poorly constrained. Using simultaneous infrared, optical, x-ray, and radio observatio...
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    Imaging resonant dissipation from individual atomic defects in graphene - Conversion of electric current into heat involves microscopic processes that operate on nanometer length scales and release minute amounts of power. Although central to our understanding of the electrical properties of materials, individual mediators of energy dissipation have so far eluded direct observation. Using scanning nanothermometry with submicrokelvin sensitivity, we visualized and controlled phonon emission from individual atomic-scale...
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    Renewable acrylonitrile production - Acrylonitrile (ACN) is a petroleum-derived compound used in resins, polymers, acrylics, and carbon fiber. We present a process for renewable ACN production using 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP), which can be produced microbially from sugars. The process achieves ACN molar yields exceeding 90% from ethyl 3-hydroxypropanoate (ethyl 3-HP) via dehydration and nitrilation with ammonia over an inexpensive titanium dioxide solid acid catalyst. We furthe...
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    Quantized chiral edge conduction on domain walls of a magnetic topological insulator - Electronic ordering in magnetic and dielectric materials forms domains with different signs of order parameters. The control of configuration and motion of the domain walls (DWs) enables nonvolatile responses against minute external fields. Here, we realize chiral edge states (CESs) on the magnetic DWs of a magnetic topological insulator. We design and fabricate the magnetic domains in the quantum anomalous Hall state with the tip of a magnetic ...
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    Signatures of exciton condensation in a transition metal dichalcogenide - Bose condensation has shaped our understanding of macroscopic quantum phenomena, having been realized in superconductors, atomic gases, and liquid helium. Excitons are bosons that have been predicted to condense into either a superfluid or an insulating electronic crystal. Using the recently developed technique of momentum-resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy (M-EELS), we studied electronic collective modes in the transition metal dichalco...
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    Spatiotemporal gene expression trajectories reveal developmental hierarchies of the human cortex - Systematic analyses of spatiotemporal gene expression trajectories during organogenesis have been challenging because diverse cell types at different stages of maturation and differentiation coexist in the emerging tissues. We identified discrete cell types as well as temporally and spatially restricted trajectories of radial glia maturation and neurogenesis in developing human telencephalon. These lineage-specific trajectories reveal the expres...
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    Firearms and accidental deaths: Evidence from the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting - Exposure to firearms increased substantially after the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and 6 adults were killed. Gun sales spiked by 3 million, on the basis of the increase in the number of background checks for firearm purchases. Google searches for buying and cleaning guns increased. We used Vital Statistics mortality data to examine whether a spike in accidental firearm deaths ...
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    Paradoxical escape responses by narwhals (Monodon monoceros) - Until recent declines in Arctic sea ice levels, narwhals (Monodon monoceros) have lived in relative isolation from human perturbation and sustained predation pressures. The resulting naïvety has made this cryptic, deep-diving cetacean highly susceptible to disturbance, although quantifiable effects have been lacking. We deployed a submersible, animal-borne electrocardiograph-accelerometer-depth recorder to monitor physiological and behav...
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    A small-molecule inhibitor of TRPC5 ion channels suppresses progressive kidney disease in animal models - Progressive kidney diseases are often associated with scarring of the kidney’s filtration unit, a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). This scarring is due to loss of podocytes, cells critical for glomerular filtration, and leads to proteinuria and kidney failure. Inherited forms of FSGS are caused by Rac1-activating mutations, and Rac1 induces TRPC5 ion channel activity and cytoskeletal remodeling in podocytes. Whet...
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    Structural basis for methylphosphonate biosynthesis - Methylphosphonate synthase (MPnS) produces methylphosphonate, a metabolic precursor to methane in the upper ocean. Here, we determine a 2.35-angstrom resolution structure of MPnS and discover that it has an unusual 2-histidine-1-glutamine iron-coordinating triad. We further solve the structure of a related enzyme, hydroxyethylphosphonate dioxygenase from Streptomyces albus (SaHEPD), and find that it displays the same motif. SaHEPD can be convert...
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    Comment on "Cognition-mediated evolution of low-quality floral nectars" - Nachev et al. (Reports, 6 January 2017, p. 75) present dilute nectar in bat-pollinated plants as "paradoxical" because bats prefer concentrated nectar, but paradox disappears with realistic assumptions about nectar evolution. We argue that they make unrealistic assumptions about the cognitive abilities of bat pollinators, invoke Weber’s law inappropriately, and cannot predict observed nectar concentrations of bat flowers or negative correl...
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    A generative vision model that trains with high data efficiency and breaks text-based CAPTCHAs - Learning from a few examples and generalizing to markedly different situations are capabilities of human visual intelligence that are yet to be matched by leading machine learning models. By drawing inspiration from systems neuroscience, we introduce a probabilistic generative model for vision in which message-passing–based inference handles recognition, segmentation, and reasoning in a unified way. The model demonstrates excellent general...
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    Response to Comment on "Cognition-mediated evolution of low-quality floral nectars" - Pyke and Waser claim that our virtual pollination ecology model makes unrealistic assumptions and fails to predict observed nectar concentrations of bat flowers and negative correlations between pollinator body size and sugar concentration. In their comment, crucial model features are misrepresented, misunderstood, or ignored. Sensitivity to the supply/demand ratio explains both the equilibrium concentrations and the selection for lower concentr...
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    On the origin of modern humans: Asian perspectives - The traditional "out of Africa" model, which posits a dispersal of modern Homo sapiens across Eurasia as a single wave at ~60,000 years ago and the subsequent replacement of all indigenous populations, is in need of revision. Recent discoveries from archaeology, hominin paleontology, geochronology, genetics, and paleoenvironmental studies have contributed to a better understanding of the Late Pleistocene record in Asia. Important findings highli...
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