Biology

An Estimate of the Total DNA in the Biosphere

Although prokaryotes evolved at least 3 billion years before plants and animals, we find that the information content of prokaryotes is similar to plants and animals at the present day. This information-based approach offers a new way to quantify anthropogenic and natural processes in the biosphere and its information diversity over time.

How Does Medical Device Regulation Perform in the United States and the European Union? A Systematic Review

Policymakers and regulators in the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) are weighing reforms to their medical device approval and post-market surveillance systems. Data may be available that identify strengths and weakness of the approaches to medical device regulation in these settings.

p53 Gene Repair with Zinc Finger Nucleases Optimised by Yeast 1-Hybrid and Validated by Solexa Sequencing

The tumor suppressor p53 serves as a “guardian of the genome” [1] and has been studied intensively for over 30 years. By responding to cellular stresses, such as DNA damage, hypoxia and cell-cycle aberrations, p53 is activated as a transcription factor. p53 can thus help to promote the repair and survival of damaged cells by inducing cell-cycle arrest, or it can promote the permanent removal of damaged cells by inducing programmed cell death or senescence

RosettaRemodel: A Generalized Framework for Flexible Backbone Protein Design

Computational protein design tools to date have been useful for engineering proteins with a wide range of functions, including DNA binding, co-factor binding, catalysis, fluorescence spectral change, peptide-protein specificity, and protein-protein interaction. In building nanostructures, computational protein design methods have been applied to designing hyperthermophilic proteins, metalloproteins, water-soluble membrane channels, and higher order macromolecular assemblies. Many of these successes rely on fixed backbone approaches that maintain the backbone conformations seen in the original high-resolution crystal structures and focus on remodeling only the sidechains.

Living Bacterial Sacrificial Porogens to Engineer Decellularized Porous Scaffolds

Porous materials are of scientific and technological interest and find broad applications in multiple areas such as storage, separation, catalytic technologies as well as emerging microelectronics and medicine

The Global Distribution and Drivers of Alien Bird Species Richness

The number of species naturally inhabiting a location (native species richness [NSR]) is ultimately driven by the combined processes of speciation, extinction, and immigration, and proximately by the suite of environmental, ecological, historical, and evolutionary factors that determine the interplay of these processes [1]. An important feature of the Anthropocene is the extent to which human activities have enhanced immigration [2], such that species are being intentionally or accidentally transported and introduced to areas well beyond the biogeographic barriers that normally prevent their spread, and at unprecedentedly high rates.

Proboscidean Mitogenomics: Chronology and Mode of Elephant Evolution Using Mastodon as Outgroup

An accurate and well-supported phylogeny is the basis for understanding the evolution of species. With the appropriate and adequate amount of data, it is possible not only to determine relationships among species, but also to date divergence events between lineages. In turn, divergence events can be correlated to environmental changes recorded in the fossil record to help understand mechanisms driving evolution.

Protecting the Homer Spit

The Homer Spit contributes to the community’s economic, social, and environmental value. Economically it is the business center of our tourism industry. Socially it holds much history of the town and contains the harbor. Environmentally, it is a key habitat for many marine species. Identifying the risk components on the spit can be daunting.

The Yin and Yang of Memory Consolidation: Hippocampal and Neocortical

Memory traces of episodic-like events are encoded in parallel by the hippocampus and neocortex throughout the day, but their retention over time is often transient. Traces subject to consolidation are retained, whereas later memory retrieval is unsuccessful when consolidation fails or is insufficient. Consolidation in both the hippocampus and neocortex is, however, now recognised as a complex set of processes involving both “cellular” mechanisms that operate largely within individual neurons and “systems” mechanisms that include network interactions across brain areas.

RNA stores tau reversibly in complex coacervates

Inclusions consisting of the tau protein occur in many neurological conditions with Alzheimer disease the most prominent among them. Normally, tau is in a dynamic equilibrium between a microtubule-bound and free state. Under disease conditions tau self-assembles into fibrils that eventually lead to highly insoluble polymeric inclusions known as neurofibrillary tangles.

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