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CRISPR-mediated BMP9 ablation promotes liver steatosis via the down-regulation of PPAR{alpha} expression
Obesity drives the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) characterized by hepatic steatosis. Several bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) except BMP9 were reported related to metabolic syndrome. This study demonstrates that liver cytokine BMP9 is decreased in the liver and serum of NAFLD model mice and patients. BMP9 knockdown induces lipid accumulation in Hepa 1-6 cells. BMP9–kno
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Genomic signatures in the coral holobiont reveal host adaptations driven by Holocene climate change and reef specific symbionts
Genetic signatures caused by demographic and adaptive processes during past climatic shifts can inform predictions of species' responses to anthropogenic climate change. To identify these signatures in Acropora tenuis , a reef-building coral threatened by global warming, we first assembled the genome from long reads and then used shallow whole-genome resequencing of 150 colonies from the central
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Predicting patch occupancy reveals the complexity of host range expansion
Specialized plant-insect interactions are a defining feature of life on earth, yet we are only beginning to understand the factors that set limits on host ranges in herbivorous insects. To better understand the recent adoption of alfalfa as a host plant by the Melissa blue butterfly, we quantified arthropod assemblages and plant metabolites across a wide geographic region while controlling for cl
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Serotonergic projections to the orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortices differentially modulate waiting for future rewards
Optogenetic activation of serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) enhances patience when waiting for future rewards, and this effect is maximized by both high probability and high timing uncertainty of reward. Here, we explored which serotonin projection areas contribute to these effects using optogenetic axon terminal stimulation. We found that serotonin stimulation in the orbitof
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A stable Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in a changing North Atlantic Ocean since the 1990s
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is crucially important to global climate. Model simulations suggest that the AMOC may have been weakening over decades. However, existing array-based AMOC observations are not long enough to capture multidecadal changes. Here, we use repeated hydrographic sections in the subtropical and subpolar North Atlantic, combined with an inverse model
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Visualization nanozyme based on tumor microenvironment "unlocking" for intensive combination therapy of breast cancer
Nanozymes as artificial enzymes that mimicked natural enzyme–like activities have received great attention in cancer therapy. However, it remains a great challenge to design nanozymes that precisely exert its activity in tumor without producing off-target toxicity to surrounding normal tissues. Here, we report a synergetic enhancement strategy through the combination between nanozyme and tumor va
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Touch-induced seedling morphological changes are determined by ethylene-regulated pectin degradation
How mechanical forces regulate plant growth is a fascinating and long-standing question. After germination underground, buried seedlings have to dynamically adjust their growth to respond to mechanical stimulation from soil barriers. Here, we designed a lid touch assay and used atomic force microscopy to investigate the mechanical responses of seedlings during soil emergence. Touching seedlings i
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Robust inference of positive selection on regulatory sequences in the human brain
A longstanding hypothesis is that divergence between humans and chimpanzees might have been driven more by regulatory level adaptations than by protein sequence adaptations. This has especially been suggested for regulatory adaptations in the evolution of the human brain. We present a new method to detect positive selection on transcription factor binding sites on the basis of measuring predicted
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Patient-centered connectivity-based prediction of tau pathology spread in Alzheimers disease
In Alzheimer's disease (AD), the Braak staging scheme suggests a stereotypical tau spreading pattern that does, however, not capture interindividual variability in tau deposition. This complicates the prediction of tau spreading, which may become critical for defining individualized tau-PET readouts in clinical trials. Since tau is assumed to spread throughout connected regions, we used functiona
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Artificial lake expansion amplifies mercury pollution from gold mining
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest global source of anthropogenic mercury emissions. However, little is known about how effectively mercury released from ASGM is converted into the bioavailable form of methylmercury in ASGM-altered landscapes. Through examination of ASGM-impacted river basins in Peru, we show that lake area in heavily mined watersheds has increased by 670
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Retracing the evolutionary emergence of thymopoiesis
The onset of lymphocyte development in the vertebrate primordial thymus, about 500 million years ago, represents one of the foundational events of the emerging adaptive immune system. Here, we retrace the evolutionary trajectory of thymopoiesis, from early vertebrates to mammals, guided by members of the Foxn1/4 transcription factor gene family, which direct the differentiation of the thymic micr
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Inactivation-mimicking block of the epithelial calcium channel TRPV6
Epithelial calcium channel TRPV6 plays vital roles in calcium homeostasis, and its dysregulation is implicated in multifactorial diseases, including cancers. Here, we study the molecular mechanism of selective nanomolar-affinity TRPV6 inhibition by (4-phenylcyclohexyl)piperazine derivatives (PCHPDs). We use x-ray crystallography and cryo–electron microscopy to solve the inhibitor-bound structures
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Johns Hopkins student newspaper deletes, then retracts, article on faculty member's presentation about COVID-19 deaths
A student newspaper at Johns Hopkins has retracted an article claiming that COVID-19 has had "relatively no effect on deaths in the United States." The article, "A closer look at U.S. deaths due to COVID-19" (link from the Wayback Machine) was published on November 22 and relied on a presentation by Genevieve Briand, assistant program … Continue reading
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Mine ponds amplify mercury risks in Peru's Amazon
The proliferation of pits and ponds created in recent years by miners digging for small deposits of alluvial gold in Peru's Amazon has dramatically altered the landscape and increased the risk of mercury exposure for indigenous communities and wildlife, a new study shows.
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Traditional retail in crisis as shift to online accelerates
US Black Friday ecommerce sales set to increase 40 per cent on last year
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How AstraZeneca and Oxford found their vaccine under fire
Lack of clarity about trial results published this week has provoked a storm of criticism
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