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Controlled Spreading Rates to Distribute Nanoparticles as Uniform Langmuir Films.

Langmuir 2021 Apr 19. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

We report on using a controlled spreading rate to create Langmuir films of nanoparticles with more uniform, macroscale packing. A dispersion of hydrophobic quantum dots in -hexane was deposited on subphase solutions containing various compositions of water and glycerol. Fluorescence images were captured as the film spread radially. Read More

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Blood Will Tell: What Hematological Analyses Can Reveal About Fish Welfare.

Front Vet Sci 2021 30;8:616955. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Institute of Genome Biology, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Dummerstorf, Germany.

Blood analyses provide substantial information about the physiological aspects of animal welfare assessment, including the activation status of the neuroendocrine and immune system, acute and long-term impacts due to adverse husbandry conditions, potential diseases, and genetic predispositions. However, fish blood is still not routinely analyzed in research or aquaculture for the assessment of health and/or welfare. Over the years, the investigative techniques have evolved from antibody-based or PCR-based single-parameter analyses to now include transcriptomic, metabolomic, and proteomic approaches and from hematological observations to fluorescence-activated blood cell sorting in high-throughput modes. Read More

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Tumor cell heterogeneity and its transcriptional bases in pancreatic cancer: a tale of two cell types and their many variants.

EMBO J 2021 Apr 12:e107206. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology (IEO) IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), one of the most highly lethal tumors, is characterized by complex histology, with a massive fibrotic stroma in which both pseudo-glandular structures and compact nests of abnormally differentiated tumor cells are embedded, in different proportions and with different mutual relationships in space. This complexity and the heterogeneity of the tumor component have hindered the development of a broadly accepted, clinically actionable classification of PDACs, either on a morphological or a molecular basis. Here, we discuss evidence suggesting that such heterogeneity can to a large extent, albeit not exclusively, be traced back to two main classes of PDAC cells that commonly coexist in the same tumor: cells that maintained their ability to differentiate toward endodermal, mucin-producing epithelia and epithelial cells unable to form glandular structures and instead characterized by various levels of squamous differentiation and the expression of mesenchymal lineage genes. Read More

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Identifying and Analyzing Dependencies in and among Complex Cyber Physical Systems.

Sensors (Basel) 2021 Mar 1;21(5). Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Department of Information Security and Communication Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-2815 Gjøvik, Norway.

Contemporary Critical Infrastructures (CIs), such as the power grid, comprise cyber physical systems that are tightly coupled, to form a complex system of interconnected components with interacting dependencies. Modelling methodologies have been suggested as proper tools to provide better insight into the dependencies and behavioural characteristics of these complex systems. In order to facilitate the study of interconnections in and among critical infrastructures, and to provide a clear view of the interdependencies among their cyber and physical components, this paper proposes a novel method, based on a graphical model called Modified Dependency Structure Matrix (MDSM). Read More

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An actomyosin clamp assembled by the Amphiphysin-Rho1-Dia/DAAM-Rok pathway reinforces somatic cell membrane folded around spermatid heads.

Cell Rep 2021 Mar;34(13):108918

Department of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai 400005, India. Electronic address:

Membrane curvature recruits Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs (BAR)-domain proteins and induces local F-actin assembly, which further modifies the membrane curvature and dynamics. The downstream molecular pathway in vivo is still unclear. Here, we show that a tubular endomembrane scaffold supported by contractile actomyosin stabilizes the somatic cyst cell membrane folded around rigid spermatid heads during the final stages of sperm maturation in Drosophila testis. Read More

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A brain-inspired compact cognitive mapping system.

Cogn Neurodyn 2021 Feb 30;15(1):91-101. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

School of Systems Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875 China.

In many simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) systems, the map of the environment grows over time as the robot explores the environment. The ever-growing map prevents long-term mapping, especially in large-scale environments. In this paper, we develop a compact cognitive mapping approach inspired by neurobiological experiments. Read More

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February 2021

Proximal Single-Stranded RNA Destabilizes Human Telomerase RNA G-Quadruplex and Induces Its Distinct Conformers.

J Phys Chem Lett 2021 Apr 30;12(13):3361-3366. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

School of Life Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai, 201210, China.

Single-stranded guanine-rich RNA sequences have a propensity to fold into compact G-quadruplexes (RG4s). The conformational transitions of these molecules provide an important way to regulate their biological functions. Here, we examined the stability and conformation of an RG4-forming sequence identified near the end of human telomerase RNA. Read More

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The Role of Extracellular Vesicles in Sperm Function and Male Fertility.

Subcell Biochem 2021 ;97:483-500

Centre for Cancer Biology, University of South Australia and SA Pathology, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Within the reproductive tract, distinct cell types must have precisely controlled communication for complex processes such as gamete production, fertilisation and implantation. Intercellular communication in many physiological processes involves extracellular vesicles (EVs). In reproductive systems, EVs have been implicated in many aspects, from gamete maturation to embryo development. Read More

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January 2021

A Case of Solid Variant of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma from Trachea: A Case Report and Review of Literature.

Onco Targets Ther 2021 18;14:1997-2002. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Pathology, Shanghai General Hospital,Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200080, People's Republic of China.

Introduction: Primary tracheal adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a rare and heterogeneous group of neoplasms arising from the respiratory tract. The solid variant of ACC is a histologically distinct subtype with an unfavorable clinical course. We report on a case of tracheal ACC with immunohistochemical and molecular analysis together with a review of the literature. Read More

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Single cell spatial proteomic revelations on the multiparametric MRI heterogeneity of clinically significant prostate cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis

Purpose: Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) has become an indispensable radiographic tool in diagnosing prostate cancer. However, mpMRI fails to visualize ~15% of clinically significant PCa (csPCa). The molecular, cellular, and spatial underpinnings of such radiographic heterogeneity in csPCa are unclear. Read More

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Structural Insights from Tandem Mass Spectrometry, Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry, and Infrared/Ultraviolet Spectroscopy on Sphingonodin I: Lasso vs Branched-Cyclic Topoisomers.

J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 2021 Apr 25;32(4):1096-1104. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Florida International University, 11200 SW Eighth Street, AHC4-233, Miami, Florida 33199, United States.

Lasso peptides form a class of ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) characterized by a mechanically interlocked topology, where the C-terminal tail of the peptide is threaded and trapped within an N-terminal macrolactam ring. Sphingonodin I is a lasso peptide that has not yet been structurally characterized using the traditional structural biology tools (e.g. Read More

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The dose magnifying glass QA system for daily proton therapy range verification.

Phys Med Biol 2021 Mar 24. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Centre for Medical Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA.

Proton therapy has a distinct dosimetric advantage over conventional photon therapy due to its Bragg peak profile. This allows greater accuracy in dose delivery and dose conformation to the target, however it requires greater precision in setup, delivery and for QA procedures. The AAPM TG 224 report recommends daily range and spot position checks with tolerance on the order of a millimetre. Read More

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A compact vocabulary of paratope-epitope interactions enables predictability of antibody-antigen binding.

Cell Rep 2021 Mar;34(11):108856

Department of Immunology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address:

Antibody-antigen binding relies on the specific interaction of amino acids at the paratope-epitope interface. The predictability of antibody-antigen binding is a prerequisite for de novo antibody and (neo-)epitope design. A fundamental premise for the predictability of antibody-antigen binding is the existence of paratope-epitope interaction motifs that are universally shared among antibody-antigen structures. Read More

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Multiple-open-tubular column enabling transverse diffusion. Part 2: Channel size distribution and structure optimization.

J Chromatogr A 2021 Apr 4;1642:462033. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Chemistry, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Hans-Meerwein-Strasse 4, Marburg 35032, Germany.

Multiple-open-tubular columns enabling transverse diffusion (MOTTD) are made of straight, parallel, and cylindrical flow channels separated by a mesoporous stationary phase. In Part 1, a model of band broadening along MOTTD columns accounting for longitudinal diffusion, the trans-channel velocity bias, and mass transfer resistance in the stationary phase was proposed and validated. In this Part 2, the model is completed by considering the impact of short-range inter-channel velocity biases on the MOTTD plate number. Read More

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Aggregation of Aβ40/42 chains in the presence of cyclic neuropeptides investigated by molecular dynamics simulations.

PLoS Comput Biol 2021 Mar 12;17(3):e1008771. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

Alzheimer's disease is associated with the formation of toxic aggregates of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides. Despite tremendous efforts, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of aggregation, as well as cofactors that might influence it, remains incomplete. The small cyclic neuropeptide somatostatin-14 (SST14) was recently found to be the most selectively enriched protein in human frontal lobe extracts that binds Aβ42 aggregates. Read More

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Hyperpolarized C-glucose magnetic resonance highlights reduced aerobic glycolysis in vivo in infiltrative glioblastoma.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 11;11(1):5771. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Neuroscience Research Center, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and University of Lausanne (UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive brain tumor type in adults. GBM is heterogeneous, with a compact core lesion surrounded by an invasive tumor front. This front is highly relevant for tumor recurrence but is generally non-detectable using standard imaging techniques. Read More

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Polyphosphates induce amyloid fibril formation of α-synuclein in concentration-dependent distinct manners.

J Biol Chem 2021 Mar 4:100510. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Global Center for Medical Engineering and Informatics, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan; Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University, 3-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan. Electronic address:

Polyphosphates (polyPs), chains of phosphate residues found in species across nature from bacteria to mammals, were recently reported to accelerate the amyloid fibril formation of many proteins. How polyPs facilitate this process, however, remains unknown. To gain insight into their mechanisms, we used various physicochemical approaches to examine the effects of polyPs of varying chain lengths on ultrasonication-dependent α-synuclein (α-syn) amyloid formation. Read More

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Gain-switched semiconductor laser driven soliton microcombs.

Nat Commun 2021 Mar 3;12(1):1425. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Institute of Physics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dissipative Kerr soliton generation using self-injection-locked III-V lasers has enabled fully integrated hybrid microcombs that operate in turnkey mode and can access microwave repetition rates. Yet, continuous-wave-driven soliton microcombs exhibit low energy conversion efficiency and high optical power threshold, especially when the repetition frequencies are within the microwave range that is convenient for direct detection with off-the-shelf electronics. Here, by actively switching the bias current of injection-locked III-V semiconductor lasers with switching frequencies in the X-band and K-band microwave ranges, we pulse-pump both crystalline and integrated microresonators with picosecond laser pulses, generating soliton microcombs with stable repetition rates and lowering the required average pumping power by one order of magnitude to a record-setting level of a few milliwatts. Read More

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Preparation and characterization of leukocyte- and platelet-rich fibrin membrane derived from cats' blood.

Microsc Res Tech 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Veterinary Surgery and Animal Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science-São Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, Brazil.

Autologous platelet concentrates have been used in regenerative medicine in humans due to the abundance of growth factors, but there are only a few reports in small animals. This study aimed to prepare and characterize a leukocyte and platelet-rich fibrin membrane (L-PRF) produced with blood obtained from cats. Thirteen client-owned healthy adult Maine Coon cats were enrolled. Read More

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A New Isospora (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra (Aves: Passeriformes: Cardinalidae), in Oklahoma.

J Parasitol 2021 01;107(1):129-131

Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming, Casper, Wyoming 82601.

The summer tanager, Piranga rubra (L., 1758) is a medium-sized songbird formerly belonging to the tanager family Thraupidae but now has been placed within the family Cardinalidae. Nothing is known about the coccidian parasites of this stunningly colorful bird. Read More

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January 2021

Distinct microglial response against Alzheimer's amyloid and tau pathologies characterized by P2Y12 receptor.

Brain Commun 2021 29;3(1):fcab011. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Functional Brain Imaging, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, Chiba, Japan.

Microglia are the resident phagocytes of the central nervous system, and microglial activation is considered to play an important role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Recent studies with single-cell RNA analysis of CNS cells in Alzheimer's disease and diverse other neurodegenerative conditions revealed that the transition from homeostatic microglia to disease-associated microglia was defined by changes of gene expression levels, including down-regulation of the P2Y12 receptor gene (). However, it is yet to be clarified in Alzheimer's disease brains whether and when this down-regulation occurs in response to amyloid-β and tau depositions, which are core pathological processes in the disease etiology. Read More

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January 2021

Is the H4 histone tail intrinsically disordered or intrinsically multifunctional?

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2021 Mar;23(9):5134-5142

Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, UK.

The structural versatility of histone tails is one of the key elements in the organisation of chromatin, which allows for the compact storage of genomic information. However, this structural diversity also complicates experimental and computational studies. Here, the potential and free energy landscape for the isolated and bound H4 histone tail are explored. Read More

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Acute treatment with TrkB agonist LM22A-4 confers neuroprotection and preserves myelin integrity in a mouse model of pediatric traumatic brain injury.

Exp Neurol 2021 May 18;339:113652. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Neuroscience, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital), The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia. Electronic address:

Young children have a high risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can have debilitating life-long consequences. Importantly, the young brain shows particular vulnerability to injury, likely attributed to ongoing maturation of the myelinating nervous system at the time of insult. Here, we examined the effect of acute treatment with the partial tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) agonist, LM22A-4, on pathological and neurobehavioral outcomes after pediatric TBI, with the hypothesis that targeting TrkB would minimize tissue damage and support functional recovery. Read More

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Symmetric square shaped metamaterial structure with quintuple resonance frequencies for S, C, X and Ku band applications.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 19;11(1):4270. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Electrical, Electronic and Systems Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.

This study explores the effect of symmetrical square shaped metamaterial design for microwave frequency applications. The latest technology demands of advanced performance and research studies of metamaterial integration in the related bands are increasing tremendously. Therefore, this motivates us to explore the metamaterial design structure that has a high possibility to be applied in more than two resonance bands using a compact design structure. Read More

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February 2021

Prognostic and Predictive Value of Integrated Qualitative and Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Analysis in Glioblastoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 02 10;13(4). Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Medical Oncology, School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW), Maastricht University Medical Centre+, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant primary brain tumor for which no curative treatment options exist. Non-invasive qualitative (Visually Accessible Rembrandt Images (VASARI)) and quantitative (radiomics) imaging features to predict prognosis and clinically relevant markers for GBM patients are needed to guide clinicians. A retrospective analysis of GBM patients in two neuro-oncology centers was conducted. Read More

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February 2021

Non-collinear Hox gene expression in bivalves and the evolution of morphological novelties in mollusks.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 11;11(1):3575. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Evolutionary Biology, Unit for Integrative Zoology, University of Vienna, Althanstraße 14, 1090, Vienna, Austria.

Hox genes are key developmental regulators that are involved in establishing morphological features during animal ontogeny. They are commonly expressed along the anterior-posterior axis in a staggered, or collinear, fashion. In mollusks, the repertoire of body plans is widely diverse and current data suggest their involvement during development of landmark morphological traits in Conchifera, one of the two major lineages that comprises those taxa that originated from a uni-shelled ancestor (Monoplacophora, Gastropoda, Cephalopoda, Scaphopoda, Bivalvia). Read More

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February 2021

Designed folding pathway of modular coiled-coil-based proteins.

Nat Commun 2021 02 11;12(1):940. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Synthetic Biology and Immunology, National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Natural proteins are characterised by a complex folding pathway defined uniquely for each fold. Designed coiled-coil protein origami (CCPO) cages are distinct from natural compact proteins, since their fold is prescribed by discrete long-range interactions between orthogonal pairwise-interacting coiled-coil (CC) modules within a single polypeptide chain. Here, we demonstrate that CCPO proteins fold in a stepwise sequential pathway. Read More

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February 2021

Cells Lacking PA200 Adapt to Mitochondrial Dysfunction by Enhancing Glycolysis via Distinct Opa1 Processing.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Feb 5;22(4). Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Department of Medical Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary.

The conserved Blm10/PA200 proteins are proteasome activators. Previously, we identified PA200-enriched regions in the genome of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and ChIP-seq analysis. We also found that selective mitochondrial inhibitors induced PA200 redistribution in the genome. Read More

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February 2021

Side-Chain Engineering of Diketopyrrolopyrrole-Based Hole-Transport Materials to Realize High-Efficiency Perovskite Solar Cells.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Feb 3;13(6):7405-7415. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Department of Energy & Materials Engineering, Research Center for Photoenergy, Harvesting & Conversion Technology (phct), Dongguk University, Seoul 04620, Republic of Korea.

The design and synthesis of a stable and efficient hole-transport material (HTM) for perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are one of the most demanding research areas. At present, 2,2',7,7'-tetrakis[,-di(4-methoxyphenyl)amino]-9,9'-spirobifluorene (spiro-MeOTAD) is a commonly used HTM in the fabrication of high-efficiency PSCs; however, its complicated synthesis, addition of a dopant in order to realize the best efficiency, and high cost are major challenges for the further development of PSCs. Herein, various diketopyrrolopyrrole-based small molecules were synthesized with the same backbone but distinct alkyl side-chain substituents (i. Read More

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February 2021

Z-Ring-Associated Proteins Regulate Clustering of the Replication Terminus-Binding Protein ZapT in Caulobacter crescentus.

mBio 2021 01 26;12(1). Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyushu University, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, Japan.

Regulated organization of the chromosome is essential for faithful propagation of genetic information. In the model bacterium , the replication terminus of the chromosome is spatially arranged in close proximity to the cytokinetic Z-ring during the cell cycle. Although the Z-ring-associated proteins ZapA and ZauP interact with the terminus recognition protein ZapT, the molecular functions of the complex that physically links the terminus and the Z-ring remain obscure. Read More

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January 2021