Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences

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Effect of infrastructure design on SES dynamics [Sustainability Science]

Tue, 10/27/2015 - 12:31
The use of shared infrastructure to direct natural processes for the benefit of humans has been a central feature of human social organization for millennia. Today, more than ever, people interact with one another and the environment through shared human-made infrastructure (the Internet, transportation, the energy grid, etc.). However, there...
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Beyond graphene [News Feature]

Tue, 10/27/2015 - 12:31
Fueled by the surge of interest in graphene, scientists are racing to understand other exotic 2D materials; the payoff would be some impressive applications. These are the halcyon days of research on graphene, a much heralded superstrong material. Since atom-thin sheets of carbon were first isolated in 2004, thousands of...
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In This Issue [This Week in PNAS]

Tue, 10/27/2015 - 12:31
Woody liana vines and tropical carbon storage Lianas form a canopy over a road. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Gh5046. The abundances of woody vines called lianas are increasing in tropical forests, which store nearly 30% of aboveground terrestrial carbon and serve as a significant global carbon sink. To assess the...
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Missing use for ecosystem services concepts [Biological Sciences]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
The PNAS 100th Anniversary Special Feature on natural capital and ecosystem services highlights a range of opportunities and challenges to operationalize these concepts to strengthen environmental governance (1). However, the issue’s focus is largely on the role these concepts play in ex ante decision-making, and overlooks their role in informing...
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Liability rules can protect natural capital [Biological Sciences]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Pursuit of multiple avenues can speed incorporating the value of natural capital and ecosystem services into operations of individuals and institutions, such as businesses, government, development banks, nongovernmental institutions, and households. As Phelps et al. (1) rightly point out, the PNAS Special Feature (2) and much of the existing literature...
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Road noise [Ecology]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
We live on an ever more-populous planet, pulsating with human-generated noises of every description. The most ubiquitous noise-making structures we produce are traffic-laden roads (Fig. 1), which already criss-cross much of the Earth and are projected to increase in length by some 25 million km by midcentury: enough to encircle...
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Selectivity of ROS1 kinase inhibitors [Biochemistry]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Oncogenic ROS1 fusion proteins are molecular drivers in multiple malignancies, including a subset of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The phylogenetic proximity of the ROS1 and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) catalytic domains led to the clinical repurposing of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved ALK inhibitor crizotinib as a ROS1...
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Structure of the FMRP RGG-RNA complex [Biochemistry]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP) is a regulatory RNA binding protein that plays a central role in the development of several human disorders including Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and autism. FMRP uses an arginine-glycine-rich (RGG) motif for specific interactions with guanine (G)-quadruplexes, mRNA elements implicated in the disease-associated regulation...
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Identification of the VERNALIZATION 4 gene [Genetics]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Wheat varieties with a winter growth habit require long exposures to low temperatures (vernalization) to accelerate flowering. Natural variation in four vernalization genes regulating this requirement has favored wheat adaptation to different environments. The first three genes (VRN1–VRN3) have been cloned and characterized before. Here we show that the fourth...
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Breeding signatures of rice improvement [Genetics]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Intensive rice breeding over the past 50 y has dramatically increased productivity especially in the indica subspecies, but our knowledge of the genomic changes associated with such improvement has been limited. In this study, we analyzed low-coverage sequencing data of 1,479 rice accessions from 73 countries, including landraces and modern...
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Role of ATF3 in HSV latency [Microbiology]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
A key property of herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) is their ability to establish latent infection in sensory or autonomic ganglia and to reactivate on physical, hormonal, or emotional stress. In latently infected ganglia, HSVs express a long noncoding RNA, a latency-associated transcript (LAT), which plays a key role in maintaining...
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Spreading of huntingtin aggregates in Drosophila [Neuroscience]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
A key feature of many neurodegenerative diseases is the accumulation and subsequent aggregation of misfolded proteins. Recent studies have highlighted the transcellular propagation of protein aggregates in several major neurodegenerative diseases, although the precise mechanisms underlying this spreading and how it relates to disease pathology remain unclear. Here we use...
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CD38, breastfeeding, and emotion perception [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Attending to emotional information conveyed by the eyes is an important social skill in humans. The current study examined this skill in early development by measuring attention to eyes while viewing emotional faces in 7-mo-old infants. In particular, we investigated individual differences in infant attention to eyes in the context...
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Holocene populations in North America [Anthropology]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
As the Cordilleran and Laurentide Ice Sheets retreated, North America was colonized by human populations; however, the spatial patterns of subsequent population growth are unclear. Temporal frequency distributions of aggregated radiocarbon (14C) dates are used as a proxy of population size and can be used to track this expansion. The...
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Multistep food plant processing at Grotta Paglicci [Anthropology]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Residue analyses on a grinding tool recovered at Grotta Paglicci sublayer 23A [32,614 ± 429 calibrated (cal) B.P.], Southern Italy, have demonstrated that early modern humans collected and processed various plants. The recording of starch grains attributable to Avena (oat) caryopses expands our information about the food plants used for...
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Compound Activity Mapping for natural products [Applied Biological Sciences]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Traditional natural products discovery using a combination of live/dead screening followed by iterative bioassay-guided fractionation affords no information about compound structure or mode of action until late in the discovery process. This leads to high rates of rediscovery and low probabilities of finding compounds with unique biological and/or chemical properties....
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Electrostatic coating breaks mosquito resistance [Applied Biological Sciences]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Insecticide resistance poses a significant and increasing threat to the control of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. We present a novel method of insecticide application based on netting treated with an electrostatic coating that binds insecticidal particles through polarity. Electrostatic netting can hold small amounts of insecticides effectively and results...
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Anticancer effect of an HDAC6 inhibitor [Biochemistry]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
We report the development of a potent, selective histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) inhibitor. This HDAC6 inhibitor blocks growth of normal and transformed cells but does not induce death of normal cells. The HDAC6 inhibitor alone is as effective as paclitaxel in anticancer activity in tumor-bearing mice.
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Enzyme mimics of nucleotide synthases [Biochemistry]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Derivatives of ribosyl pyrophosphate have been synthesized, and examined with magnesium salts in the coupling of the ribose unit to various nucleophiles, including pyrazole and 2-chloroimidazole. Only with the magnesium salt present did they generate the ribosyl cation by binding to the leaving group and then couple the ribose derivative...
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Structure of subcomplex I{beta} of mammalian complex I [Biochemistry]

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:06
Mitochondrial complex I (proton-pumping NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase) is an essential respiratory enzyme. Mammalian complex I contains 45 subunits: 14 conserved “core” subunits and 31 “supernumerary” subunits. The structure of Bos taurus complex I, determined to 5-Å resolution by electron cryomicroscopy, described the structure of the mammalian core enzyme and allowed the...
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