41,367 research outputs found

    Weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex by Arctic sea-ice loss

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    Successive cold winters of severely low temperatures in recent years have had critical social and economic impacts on the mid-latitude continents in the Northern Hemisphere. Although these cold winters are thought to be partly driven by dramatic losses of Arctic sea-ice, the mechanism that links sea-ice loss to cold winters remains a subject of debate. Here, by conducting observational analyses and model experiments, we show how Arctic sea-ice loss and cold winters in extra-polar regions are dynamically connected through the polar stratosphere. We find that decreased sea-ice cover during early winter months (November-December), especially over the Barents-Kara seas, enhances the upward propagation of planetary-scale waves with wavenumbers of 1 and 2, subsequently weakening the stratospheric polar vortex in mid-winter (January-February). The weakened polar vortex preferentially induces a negative phase of Arctic Oscillation at the surface, resulting in low temperatures in mid-latitudes.open11167174Ysciescopu

    Cug2 is essential for normal mitotic control and CNS development in zebrafish.

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    Background: We recently identified a novel oncogene, Cancer-upregulated gene 2 (CUG2), which is essential for kinetochore formation and promotes tumorigenesis in mammalian cells. However, the in vivo function of CUG2 has not been studied in animal models. Results: To study the function of CUG2 in vivo, we isolated a zebrafish homologue that is expressed specifically in the proliferating cells of the central nervous system (CNS). Morpholino-mediated knockdown of cug2 resulted in apoptosis throughout the CNS and the development of neurodegenerative phenotypes. In addition, cug2-deficient embryos contained mitotically arrested cells displaying abnormal spindle formation and chromosome misalignment in the neural plate. Conclusions: Therefore, our findings suggest that Cug2 is required for normal mitosis during early neurogenesis and has functions in neuronal cell maintenance, thus demonstrating that the cug2 deficient embryos may provide a model system for human neurodegenerative disorders

    Journey of water in pine cones

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    Pine cones fold their scales when it rains to prevent seeds from short-distance dispersal. Given that the scales of pine cones consist of nothing but dead cells, this folding motion is evidently related to structural changes. In this study, the structural characteristics of pine cones are studied on micro-/macro-scale using various imaging instruments. Raindrops fall along the outer scales to the three layers (bract scales, fibers and innermost lignified structure) of inner pine cones. However, not all the layers but only the bract scales get wet and then, most raindrops move to the inner scales. These systems reduce the amount of water used and minimize the time spent on structural changes. The result shows that the pine cones have structural advantages that could influence the efficient motion of pine cones. This study provides new insights to understand the motion of pine cones and would be used to design a novel water transport system.119Ysciescopu

    Bioreducible Polymer-delivered siRNA Targeting MMP-9: Suppression of Granulation Tissue Formation after Bare Metallic Stent Placement in a Rat Urethral Model

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    To evaluate the effectiveness of small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in suppressing granulation tissue formation caused by bare metallic stent placement in a rat urethral model. All experiments were approved by the committee of animal research. In 20 Sprague-Dawley male rats (weight range, 300-350 g), a self-expanding metallic bare stent was inserted in the urethra with fluoroscopic guidance. One group of 10 rats (group A) was treated with MMP-9 siRNA/bioreducible branched polyethylenimine-disulfide cross-linked-indocyanine green (bioreducible BPEI-SS-ICG), while the other group of 10 rats (group B) received control siRNA/bioreducible BPEI-SS-ICG treatment. All rats were sacrificed at 4 weeks. The therapeutic effectiveness of the MMP-9 siRNA/bioreducible BPEI-SS-ICG complex was assessed by comparing the two results of retrograde urethrography, histologic examination, and quantification of MMP-9 by using zymography and Western blot analysis between the two groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to evaluate differences. Stent placement was successful in all rats without a single case of migration at follow-up. Retrograde urethrography performed 4 weeks after stent placement demonstrated significantly larger luminal diameters of the urethra within the stents in group A compared with those in group B (P = .011). Histologic analysis revealed that the mean percentage of granulation tissue area (P < .001), mean number of epithelial layers (P < .001), and mean thickness of submucosal fibrosis (P < .001) were significantly decreased in group A compared with group B. Meanwhile, the mean density of inflammatory cell infiltration did not significantly differ between the two groups (P = .184). Quantitative analysis disclosed MMP-9 levels to be lower in group A relative to group B, indicating positive inhibition of MMP-9 by MMP-9 siRNA/bioreducible BPEI-SS-ICG. MMP-9 siRNA/bioreducible BPEI-SS-ICG is effective for inhibiting granulation tissue formation after bare metallic stent placement in a rat urethral model.X1143Ysciescopu

    Twinning-mediated formability in Mg alloys

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    Mg alloys are promising candidates for automotive applications due to their low density and high specific strength. However, their widespread applications have not been realized mainly because of poor formability at room temperature, arising from limited number of active deformation systems and strong basal texture. It has been recently shown that Mg-Zn-Ca alloys have excellent stretch formability, which has been ascribed to their weak basal texture. However, the distribution of basal poles is orthotropic, which might result in anisotropy during deformation and have adverse effect on formability. Here, we show that tension twinning is mainly responsible for enhanced formability of Mg-Zn-Ca alloys. We found that tension twinning is quite active during both uniaxial deformation and biaxial deformation of Mg-Zn-Ca alloy even under the stress conditions unfavourable for the formation of tensile twins. Our results provide new insights into the development of Mg alloys having high formability.112514Ysciescopu

    Correlated Electronic Structures and the Phase Diagram of Hydrocarbon-based Superconductors

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    We have investigated correlated electronic structures and the phase diagram of electron-doped hydrocarbon molecular solids, based on the dynamical mean-field theory. We have found that the ground state of hydrocarbon-based superconductors such as electron-doped picene and coronene is a multi-band Fermi liquid, while that of non-superconducting electron-doped pentacene is a single-band Fermi liquid in the proximity of the metal-insulator transition. The size of the molecular orbital energy level splitting plays a key role in producing the superconductivity of electron-doped hydrocarbon solids. The multi-band nature of hydrocarbon solids would boost the superconductivity through the enhanced density of states at the Fermi level.X11910sciescopu