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  1. ABSTRACT We describe the discovery of an archaeal virus, one that infects archaea, tentatively named Thermoproteus spherical piliferous virus 1 (TSPV1), which was purified from a Thermoproteales host isolated from a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park (USA). TSPV1 packages an 18.65-kb linear double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) genome with 31 open reading frames (ORFs), whose predicted gene products show little homology to proteins with known functions. A comparison of virus particle morphologies and gene content demonstrates that TSPV1 is a new member of the Globuloviridae family of archaeal viruses. However, unlike other Globuloviridae members, TSPV1 has numerous highly unusual filaments decoratingmore »its surface, which can extend hundreds of micrometers from the virion. To our knowledge, similar filaments have not been observed in any other archaeal virus. The filaments are remarkably stable, remaining intact across a broad range of temperature and pH values, and they are resistant to chemical denaturation and proteolysis. A major component of the filaments is a glycosylated 35-kDa TSPV1 protein (TSPV1 GP24). The filament protein lacks detectable homology to structurally or functionally characterized proteins. We propose, given the low host cell densities of hot spring environments, that the TSPV1 filaments serve to increase the probability of virus attachment and entry into host cells. IMPORTANCE High-temperature environments have proven to be an important source for the discovery of new archaeal viruses with unusual particle morphologies and gene content. Our isolation of Thermoproteus spherical piliferous virus 1 (TSPV1), with numerous filaments extending from the virion surface, expands our understanding of viral diversity and provides new insight into viral replication in high-temperature environments.« less
  2. Abstract

    The close synergy between peptides and nucleic acids in current biology is suggestive of a functional co-evolution between the two polymers. Here we show that cationic proto-peptides (depsipeptides and polyesters), either produced as mixtures from plausibly prebiotic dry-down reactions or synthetically prepared in pure form, can engage in direct interactions with RNA resulting in mutual stabilization. Cationic proto-peptides significantly increase the thermal stability of folded RNA structures. In turn, RNA increases the lifetime of a depsipeptide by >30-fold. Proto-peptides containing the proteinaceous amino acids Lys, Arg, or His adjacent to backbone ester bonds generally promote RNA duplex thermal stabilitymore »to a greater magnitude than do analogous sequences containing non-proteinaceous residues. Our findings support a model in which tightly-intertwined biological dependencies of RNA and protein reflect a long co-evolutionary history that began with rudimentary, mutually-stabilizing interactions at early stages of polypeptide and nucleic acid co-existence.

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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  4. Abstract A combination of searches for top squark pair production using proton–proton collision data at a center-of-mass energy of 13 $$\,\text {Te}\text {V}$$ Te at the CERN LHC, corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 137 $$\,\text {fb}^{-1}$$ fb - 1 collected by the CMS experiment, is presented. Signatures with at least 2 jets and large missing transverse momentum are categorized into events with 0, 1, or 2 leptons. New results for regions of parameter space where the kinematical properties of top squark pair production and top quark pair production are very similar are presented. Depending on the model, the combinedmore »result excludes a top squark mass up to 1325 $$\,\text {Ge}\text {V}$$ Ge for a massless neutralino, and a neutralino mass up to 700 $$\,\text {Ge}\text {V}$$ Ge for a top squark mass of 1150 $$\,\text {Ge}\text {V}$$ Ge . Top squarks with masses from 145 to 295 $$\,\text {Ge}\text {V}$$ Ge , for neutralino masses from 0 to 100 $$\,\text {Ge}\text {V}$$ Ge , with a mass difference between the top squark and the neutralino in a window of 30 $$\,\text {Ge}\text {V}$$ Ge around the mass of the top quark, are excluded for the first time with CMS data. The results of theses searches are also interpreted in an alternative signal model of dark matter production via a spin-0 mediator in association with a top quark pair. Upper limits are set on the cross section for mediator particle masses of up to 420 $$\,\text {Ge}\text {V}$$ Ge .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022
  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Production cross sections of the Higgs boson are measured in the $${\mathrm{H}} \rightarrow {\mathrm{Z}} {\mathrm{Z}} \rightarrow 4\ell $$ H → Z Z → 4 ℓ ( $$\ell ={\mathrm{e}},{{{\upmu }}_{\mathrm{}}^{\mathrm{}}} $$ ℓ = e , μ ) decay channel. A data sample of proton–proton collisions at a center-of-mass energy of 13 $$\,\text {Te}\text {V}$$ Te , collected by the CMS detector at the LHC and corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 137 $$\,\text {fb}^{-1}$$ fb - 1 is used. The signal strength modifier $$\mu $$ μ , defined as the ratio of the Higgs boson production rate in the $$4\ellmore »$$ 4 ℓ channel to the standard model (SM) expectation, is measured to be $$\mu =0.94 \pm 0.07 \,\text {(stat)} ^{+0.09}_{-0.08} \,\text {(syst)} $$ μ = 0.94 ± 0.07 (stat) - 0.08 + 0.09 (syst) at a fixed value of $$m_{{\mathrm{H}}} = 125.38\,\text {Ge}\text {V} $$ m H = 125.38 Ge . The signal strength modifiers for the individual Higgs boson production modes are also reported. The inclusive fiducial cross section for the $${\mathrm{H}} \rightarrow 4\ell $$ H → 4 ℓ process is measured to be $$2.84^{+0.23}_{-0.22} \,\text {(stat)} ^{+0.26}_{-0.21} \,\text {(syst)} \,\text {fb} $$ 2 . 84 - 0.22 + 0.23 (stat) - 0.21 + 0.26 (syst) fb , which is compatible with the SM prediction of $$2.84 \pm 0.15 \,\text {fb} $$ 2.84 ± 0.15 fb for the same fiducial region. Differential cross sections as a function of the transverse momentum and rapidity of the Higgs boson, the number of associated jets, and the transverse momentum of the leading associated jet are measured. A new set of cross section measurements in mutually exclusive categories targeted to identify production mechanisms and kinematical features of the events is presented. The results are in agreement with the SM predictions.« less
  6. Abstract The rate for Higgs ( $${\mathrm{H}} $$ H ) bosons production in association with either one ( $${\mathrm{t}} {\mathrm{H}} $$ t H ) or two ( $${\mathrm{t}} {{\overline{{{\mathrm{t}}}}}} {\mathrm{H}} $$ t t ¯ H ) top quarks is measured in final states containing multiple electrons, muons, or tau leptons decaying to hadrons and a neutrino, using proton–proton collisions recorded at a center-of-mass energy of $$13\,\text {TeV} $$ 13 TeV by the CMS experiment. The analyzed data correspond to an integrated luminosity of 137 $$\,\text {fb}^{-1}$$ fb - 1 . The analysis is aimed at events that contain $${\mathrm{H}} \rightarrowmore »{\mathrm{W}} {\mathrm{W}} $$ H → W W , $${\mathrm{H}} \rightarrow {\uptau } {\uptau } $$ H → τ τ , or $${\mathrm{H}} \rightarrow {\mathrm{Z}} {\mathrm{Z}} $$ H → Z Z decays and each of the top quark(s) decays either to lepton+jets or all-jet channels. Sensitivity to signal is maximized by including ten signatures in the analysis, depending on the lepton multiplicity. The separation among $${\mathrm{t}} {\mathrm{H}} $$ t H , $${\mathrm{t}} {{\overline{{{\mathrm{t}}}}}} {\mathrm{H}} $$ t t ¯ H , and the backgrounds is enhanced through machine-learning techniques and matrix-element methods. The measured production rates for the $${\mathrm{t}} {{\overline{{{\mathrm{t}}}}}} {\mathrm{H}} $$ t t ¯ H and $${\mathrm{t}} {\mathrm{H}} $$ t H signals correspond to $$0.92 \pm 0.19\,\text {(stat)} ^{+0.17}_{-0.13}\,\text {(syst)} $$ 0.92 ± 0.19 (stat) - 0.13 + 0.17 (syst) and $$5.7 \pm 2.7\,\text {(stat)} \pm 3.0\,\text {(syst)} $$ 5.7 ± 2.7 (stat) ± 3.0 (syst) of their respective standard model (SM) expectations. The corresponding observed (expected) significance amounts to 4.7 (5.2) standard deviations for $${\mathrm{t}} {{\overline{{{\mathrm{t}}}}}} {\mathrm{H}} $$ t t ¯ H , and to 1.4 (0.3) for $${\mathrm{t}} {\mathrm{H}} $$ t H production. Assuming that the Higgs boson coupling to the tau lepton is equal in strength to its expectation in the SM, the coupling $$y_{{\mathrm{t}}}$$ y t of the Higgs boson to the top quark divided by its SM expectation, $$\kappa _{{\mathrm{t}}}=y_{{\mathrm{t}}}/y_{{\mathrm{t}}}^{\mathrm {SM}}$$ κ t = y t / y t SM , is constrained to be within $$-0.9< \kappa _{{\mathrm{t}}}< -0.7$$ - 0.9 < κ t < - 0.7 or $$0.7< \kappa _{{\mathrm{t}}}< 1.1$$ 0.7 < κ t < 1.1 , at 95% confidence level. This result is the most sensitive measurement of the $${\mathrm{t}} {{\overline{{{\mathrm{t}}}}}} {\mathrm{H}} $$ t t ¯ H production rate to date.« less
  7. Abstract The production of Z boson pairs in proton–proton ( $${\mathrm{p}} {\mathrm{p}} $$ p p ) collisions, $${{\mathrm{p}} {\mathrm{p}} \rightarrow ({\mathrm{Z}}/\gamma ^*)({\mathrm{Z}}/\gamma ^*) \rightarrow 2\ell 2\ell '}$$ p p → ( Z / γ ∗ ) ( Z / γ ∗ ) → 2 ℓ 2 ℓ ′ , where $${\ell ,\ell ' = {\mathrm{e}}}$$ ℓ , ℓ ′ = e or $${{\upmu }}$$ μ , is studied at a center-of-mass energy of 13 $$\,\text {TeV}$$ TeV with the CMS detector at the CERN LHC. The data sample corresponds to an integrated luminosity of 137 $$\,\text {fb}^{-1}$$ fb - 1more », collected during 2016–2018. The $${\mathrm{Z}} {\mathrm{Z}} $$ Z Z production cross section, $$\sigma _{\text {tot}} ({\mathrm{p}} {\mathrm{p}} \rightarrow {\mathrm{Z}} {\mathrm{Z}} ) = 17.4 \pm 0.3 \,\text {(stat)} \pm 0.5 \,\text {(syst)} \pm 0.4 \,\text {(theo)} \pm 0.3 \,\text {(lumi)} \text { pb} $$ σ tot ( p p → Z Z ) = 17.4 ± 0.3 (stat) ± 0.5 (syst) ± 0.4 (theo) ± 0.3 (lumi) pb , measured for events with two pairs of opposite-sign, same-flavor leptons produced in the mass region $${60< m_{\ell ^+\ell ^-} < 120\,\text {GeV}}$$ 60 < m ℓ + ℓ - < 120 GeV is consistent with standard model predictions. Differential cross sections are also measured and agree with theoretical predictions. The invariant mass distribution of the four-lepton system is used to set limits on anomalous $${\mathrm{Z}} {\mathrm{Z}} {\mathrm{Z}} $$ Z Z Z and $${{\mathrm{Z}} {\mathrm{Z}} \gamma }$$ Z Z γ couplings.« less
  8. Abstract A search for dark matter particles is performed using events with a Z boson candidate and large missing transverse momentum. The analysis is based on proton–proton collision data at a center-of-mass energy of 13 $$\,\text {Te}\text {V}$$ Te , collected by the CMS experiment at the LHC in 2016–2018, corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 137 $$\,\text {fb}^{-1}$$ fb - 1 . The search uses the decay channels $${\mathrm{Z}} \rightarrow {\mathrm{e}} {\mathrm{e}} $$ Z → e e and $${\mathrm{Z}} \rightarrow {{\upmu }{}{}} {{\upmu }{}{}} $$ Z → μ μ . No significant excess of events is observed over themore »background expected from the standard model. Limits are set on dark matter particle production in the context of simplified models with vector, axial-vector, scalar, and pseudoscalar mediators, as well as on a two-Higgs-doublet model with an additional pseudoscalar mediator. In addition, limits are provided for spin-dependent and spin-independent scattering cross sections and are compared to those from direct-detection experiments. The results are also interpreted in the context of models of invisible Higgs boson decays, unparticles, and large extra dimensions.« less