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  1. Anabaena sensory rhodopsin (ASR) is a particular microbial retinal protein for which light-adaptation leads to the ability to bind both the all- trans , 15- anti (AT) and the 13- cis , 15- syn (13C) isomers of the protonated Schiff base of retinal (PSBR). In the context of obtaining insight into the mechanisms by which retinal proteins catalyse the PSBR photo-isomerization reaction, ASR is a model system allowing to study, within the same protein, the protein–PSBR interactions for two different PSBR conformers at the same time. A detailed analysis of the vibrational spectra of AT and 13C, and their photo-productsmore »in wild-type ASR obtained through femtosecond (pump-) four-wave-mixing is reported for the first time, and compared to bacterio- and channelrhodopsin. As part of an extensive study of ASR mutants with blue-shifted absorption spectra, we present here a detailed computational analysis of the origin of the mutation-induced blue-shift of the absorption spectra, and identify electrostatic interactions as dominating steric effects that would entail a red-shift. The excited state lifetimes and isomerization reaction times (IRT) for the three mutants V112N, W76F, and L83Q are studied experimentally by femtosecond broadband transient absorption spectroscopy. Interestingly, in all three mutants, isomerization is accelerated for AT with respect to wild-type ASR, and this the more, the shorter the wavelength of maximum absorption. On the contrary, the 13C photo-reaction is slightly slowed down, leading to an inversion of the ESLs of AT and 13C, with respect to wt-ASR, in the blue-most absorbing mutant L83Q. Possible mechanisms for these mutation effects, and their steric and electrostatic origins are discussed.« less
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  3. Abstract We search for gravitational-wave signals associated with gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the Fermi and Swift satellites during the second half of the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo (2019 November 1 15:00 UTC–2020 March 27 17:00 UTC). We conduct two independent searches: a generic gravitational-wave transients search to analyze 86 GRBs and an analysis to target binary mergers with at least one neutron star as short GRB progenitors for 17 events. We find no significant evidence for gravitational-wave signals associated with any of these GRBs. A weighted binomial test of the combined results finds nomore »evidence for subthreshold gravitational-wave signals associated with this GRB ensemble either. We use several source types and signal morphologies during the searches, resulting in lower bounds on the estimated distance to each GRB. Finally, we constrain the population of low-luminosity short GRBs using results from the first to the third observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. The resulting population is in accordance with the local binary neutron star merger rate.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  5. Intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) span the approximate mass range 100−10 5   M ⊙ , between black holes (BHs) that formed by stellar collapse and the supermassive BHs at the centers of galaxies. Mergers of IMBH binaries are the most energetic gravitational-wave sources accessible by the terrestrial detector network. Searches of the first two observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo did not yield any significant IMBH binary signals. In the third observing run (O3), the increased network sensitivity enabled the detection of GW190521, a signal consistent with a binary merger of mass ∼150  M ⊙ providing direct evidencemore »of IMBH formation. Here, we report on a dedicated search of O3 data for further IMBH binary mergers, combining both modeled (matched filter) and model-independent search methods. We find some marginal candidates, but none are sufficiently significant to indicate detection of further IMBH mergers. We quantify the sensitivity of the individual search methods and of the combined search using a suite of IMBH binary signals obtained via numerical relativity, including the effects of spins misaligned with the binary orbital axis, and present the resulting upper limits on astrophysical merger rates. Our most stringent limit is for equal mass and aligned spin BH binary of total mass 200  M ⊙ and effective aligned spin 0.8 at 0.056 Gpc −3 yr −1 (90% confidence), a factor of 3.5 more constraining than previous LIGO-Virgo limits. We also update the estimated rate of mergers similar to GW190521 to 0.08 Gpc −3 yr −1 .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
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