First-order relationships between organic matter content and mineral surface area have been widely reported and are implicated in stabilization and long-term preservation of organic matter. However, the nature and stability of organomineral interactions and their connection with mineralogical composition have remained uncertain. In this study, we find that continentally derived organic matter of pedogenic origin is stripped from smectite mineral surfaces upon discharge, dispersal, and sedimentation in distal ocean settings. In contrast, organic matter sourced from ancient rocks that is tightly associated with mica and chlorite endures in the marine realm. These results imply that the persistence of continentally derived organic matter in ocean sediments is controlled to a first order by phyllosilicate mineralogy.
Spicules are rapidly evolving fine-scale jets of magnetized plasma in the solar chromosphere. It remains unclear how these prevalent jets originate from the solar surface and what role they play in heating the solar atmosphere. Using the Goode Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Solar Observatory, we observed spicules emerging within minutes of the appearance of opposite-polarity magnetic flux around dominant-polarity magnetic field concentrations. Data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory showed subsequent heating of the adjacent corona. The dynamic interaction of magnetic fields (likely due to magnetic reconnection) in the partially ionized lower solar atmosphere appears to generate these spicules and heat the upper solar atmosphere.
Development of efficient and robust electrocatalysts is critical for practical fuel cells. We report one-dimensional bunched platinum-nickel (Pt-Ni) alloy nanocages with a Pt-skin structure for the oxygen reduction reaction that display high mass activity (3.52 amperes per milligram platinum) and specific activity (5.16 milliamperes per square centimeter platinum), or nearly 17 and 14 times higher as compared with a commercial platinum on carbon (Pt/C) catalyst. The catalyst exhibits high stability with negligible activity decay after 50,000 cycles. Both the experimental results and theoretical calculations reveal the existence of fewer strongly bonded platinum-oxygen (Pt-O) sites induced by the strain and ligand effects. Moreover, the fuel cell assembled by this catalyst delivers a current density of 1.5 amperes per square centimeter at 0.6 volts and can operate steadily for at least 180 hours.
The RSC complex remodels chromatin structure and regulates gene transcription. We used cryo-electron microscopy to determine the structure of yeast RSC bound to the nucleosome. RSC is delineated into the adenosine triphosphatase motor, the actin-related protein module, and the substrate recruitment module (SRM). RSC binds the nucleosome mainly through the motor, with the auxiliary subunit Sfh1 engaging the H2A-H2B acidic patch to enable nucleosome ejection. SRM is organized into three substrate-binding lobes poised to bind their respective nucleosomal epitopes. The relative orientations of the SRM and the motor on the nucleosome explain the directionality of DNA translocation and promoter nucleosome repositioning by RSC. Our findings shed light on RSC assembly and functionality, and they provide a framework to understand the mammalian homologs BAF/PBAF and the Sfh1 ortholog INI1/BAF47, which are frequently mutated in cancers.
The transition from peri-implantation to gastrulation in mammals entails the specification and organization of the lineage progenitors into a body plan. Technical and ethical challenges have limited understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie this transition. We established a culture system that enabled the development of cynomolgus monkey embryos in vitro for up to 20 days. Cultured embryos underwent key primate developmental stages, including lineage segregation, bilaminar disc formation, amniotic and yolk sac cavitation, and primordial germ cell-like cell (PGCLC) differentiation. Single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis revealed development trajectories of primitive endoderm, trophectoderm, epiblast lineages, and PGCLCs. Analysis of single-cell chromatin accessibility identified transcription factors specifying each cell type. Our results reveal critical developmental events and complex molecularmechanisms underlying nonhuman primate embryogenesis in the early postimplantation period, with possible relevance to human development.
Gastrulation is a key event in embryonic development when the germ layers are specified and the basic animal body plan is established. The complexities of primate gastrulation remain a mystery because of the difficulties in accessing primate embryos at this stage. Here, we report the establishment of an in vitro culture (IVC) system that supports the continuous development of cynomolgus monkey blastocysts beyond early gastrulation up to 20 days after fertilization. The IVC embryos highly recapitulated the key events of in vivo early postimplantation development, including segregation of the epiblast and hypoblast, formation of the amniotic and yolk sac cavities, appearance of the primordial germ cells, and establishment of the anterior-posterior axis. Single-cell RNA-sequencing analyses of the IVC embryos provide information about lineage specification during primate early postimplantation development. This system provides a platform with which to explore the characteristics and mechanisms of early postimplantation embryogenesis in primates with possible conservation of cell movements and lineages in human embryogenesis.
Aliphatic amines strongly coordinate, and therefore easily inhibit, the activity of transition-metal catalysts, posing a marked challenge to nitrogen-hydrogen (N-H) insertion reactions. Here, we report highly enantioselective carbene insertion into N-H bonds of aliphatic amines using two catalysts in tandem: an achiral copper complex and chiral amino-thiourea. Coordination by a homoscorpionate ligand protects the copper center that activates the carbene precursor. The chiral amino-thiourea catalyst then promotes enantioselective proton transfer to generate the stereocenter of the insertion product. This reaction couples a wide variety of diazo esters and amines to produce chiral alpha-alkyl alpha-amino acid derivatives.
Controlling the crystal structure is a powerful approach for manipulating the fundamental properties of solids. In van der Waals materials, this control can be achieved by modifying the stacking order through rotation and translation between the layers. Here, we observed stacking-dependent interlayer magnetism in the two-dimensional (2D) magnetic semiconductor chromium tribromide (CrBr3), which was enabled by the successful growth of its monolayer and bilayer through molecular beam epitaxy. Using in situ spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy, we directly correlate the atomic lattice structure with the observed magnetic order. Although the individual monolayer CrBr3 is ferromagnetic, the interlayer coupling in bilayer depends on the stacking order and can be either ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic. Our observations pave the way for manipulating 2D magnetism with layer twist angle control.
Huang et al. (Reports, 5 October 2018, p. 80) report significant increases in forest productivity from monocultures to multispecies mixtures in subtropical China. However, their estimated productivity decrease due to a 10% tree species loss seems high. We propose that including species richness distribution of the study forests would provide more meaningful estimates of forest-scale responses.
Termites perform key ecological functions in tropical ecosystems, are strongly affected by variation in rainfall, and respond negatively to habitat disturbance. However, it is not known how the projected increase in frequency and severity of droughts in tropical rainforests will alter termite communities and the maintenance of ecosystem processes. Using a large-scale termite suppression experiment, we found that termite activity and abundance increased during drought in a Bornean forest. This increase resulted in accelerated litter decomposition, elevated soil moisture, greater soil nutrient heterogeneity, and higher seedling survival rates during the extreme El Nino drought of 2015-2016. Our work shows how an invertebrate group enhances ecosystem resistance to drought, providing evidence that the dual stressors of climate change and anthropogenic shifts in biotic communities will have various negative consequences for the maintenance of rainforest ecosystems.
Darwin proposed that mate choice might contribute to the evolution of cognitive abilities. An open question is whether observing the cognitive skills of an individual makes it more attractive as a mate. In this study, we demonstrated that initially less-preferred budgerigar males became preferred after females observed that these males, but not the initially preferred ones, were able to solve extractive foraging problems. This preference shift did not occur in control experiments in which females observed males with free access to food or in which females observed female demonstrators solving these extractive foraging problems. Our results suggest that direct observation of problem-solving skills increasesmale attractiveness and that this could contribute to the evolution of the cognitive abilities underlying such skills.