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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  2. The ability to dynamically assemble contractile networks is required throughout cell physiology, yet direct biophysical mechanisms regulating non-muscle myosin 2 filament assembly in living cells are lacking. Here, we use a suite of dynamic, quantitative imaging approaches to identify deterministic factors that drive myosin filament appearance and amplification. We find that actin dynamics regulate myosin assembly, but that the static actin architecture plays a less clear role. Instead, remodeling of actin networks modulates the local myosin monomer levels and facilitates assembly through myosin:myosin-driven interactions. Using optogenetically controlled myosin, we demonstrate that locally concentrating myosin is sufficient to both form filaments and jump-start filament amplification and partitioning. By counting myosin monomers within filaments, we demonstrate a myosin-facilitated assembly process that establishes filament stacks prior to partitioning into clusters that feed higher-order networks. Together, these findings establish the biophysical mechanisms regulating the assembly of non-muscle contractile structures that are ubiquitous throughout cell biology.

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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
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  5. Animal cytoplasmic fatty acid synthase (FAS) represents a unique family of enzymes that are classically thought to be most closely related to fungal polyketide synthase (PKS). Recently, a widespread family of animal lipid metabolic enzymes has been described that bridges the gap between these two ubiquitous and important enzyme classes: the animal FAS–like PKSs (AFPKs). Although very similar in sequence to FAS enzymes that produce saturated lipids widely found in animals, AFPKs instead produce structurally diverse compounds that resemble bioactive polyketides. Little is known about the factors that bridge lipid and polyketide synthesis in the animals. Here, we describe the function of EcPKS2 fromElysia chlorotica, which synthesizes a complex polypropionate natural product found in this mollusc. EcPKS2 starter unit promiscuity potentially explains the high diversity of polyketides found in and among molluscan species. Biochemical comparison of EcPKS2 with the previously described EcPKS1 reveals molecular principles governing substrate selectivity that should apply to related enzymes encoded within the genomes of photosynthetic gastropods. Hybridization experiments combining EcPKS1 and EcPKS2 demonstrate the interactions between the ketoreductase and ketosynthase domains in governing the product outcomes. Overall, these findings enable an understanding of the molecular principles of structural diversity underlying the many molluscan polyketides likely produced by the diverse AFPK enzyme family.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 19, 2024
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  7. Second-harmonic generation (SHG) is a common technique with many applications. Common inorganic single-crystalline materials used to produce SHG light are effective using short IR/visible wavelengths but generally do not perform well at longer, technologically relevant IR wavelengths such as 1300, 1550, and 2000 nm. Efficient SHG materials possess many of the same key material properties as terahertz (THz) generators, and certain single-crystalline organic THz generation materials have been reported to perform at longer IR wavelengths. Consequently, this work focuses on characterizing three efficient organic THz generators for SHG, namely, DAST (trans-4-[4-(dimethylamino)-N-methylstilbazolium] p-tosylate), DSTMS (4-N,N-dimethylamino-4’-N’-methylstilbazolium 2,4,6-trimethylbenzenesulfonate), and the recently discovered generator PNPA ((E)-4-((4-nitrobenzylidene)amino)-N-phenylaniline). All three of these crystals outperform the beta-barium borate (BBO), an inorganic material commonly used for SHG, using IR pump wavelengths (1200–2000 nm).

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  8. Subsidies are widely criticized in fisheries management for promoting global fishing capacity growth and overharvesting. Scientists worldwide have thus called for a ban on “harmful” subsidies that artificially increase fishing profits, resulting in the recent agreement among members of the World Trade Organization to eliminate such subsidies. The argument for banning harmful subsidies relies on the assumption that fishing will be unprofitable after eliminating subsidies, incentivizing some fishermen to exit and others to refrain from entering. These arguments follow from open-access governance regimes where entry has driven profits to zero. Yet many modern-day fisheries are conducted under limited-access regimes that limit capacity and maintain economic profits, even without subsidies. In these settings, subsidy removal will reduce profits but perhaps without any discernable effect on capacity. Importantly, until now, there have been no empirical studies of subsidy reductions to inform us about their likely quantitative impacts. In this paper, we evaluate a policy reform that reduced fisheries subsidies in China. We find that China’s subsidy reductions accelerated the rate at which fishermen retired their vessels, resulting in reduced fleet capacity, particularly among older and smaller vessels. Notably, the reduction of harmful subsidies was only partly responsible for reducing fleet capacity; an increase in vessel retirement subsidies was also a necessary driver of capacity reduction. Our study demonstrates that the efficacy of removing harmful subsidies depends on the policy environment in which removals occur. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 27, 2024
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