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  1. Brillouin microscopy is an emerging label-free imaging technique used to assess local viscoelastic properties. Quantum-enhanced stimulated Brillouin scattering is demonstrated using low power continuous-wave lasers at 795 nm. A signal-to-noise ratio enhancement of 3.4 dB is reported by using two-mode intensity-difference squeezed light generated with the four-wave mixing process in atomic rubidium vapor. The low optical power and the excitation wavelengths in the water transparency window have the potential to provide a powerful bio-imaging technique for probing mechanical properties of biological samples prone to phototoxicity and thermal effects. The performance enhancement affordable through the use of quantum light may pave the way for significantly improved sensitivity that cannot be achieved classically. The proposed method for utilizing squeezed light for enhanced stimulated Brillouin scattering can be easily adapted for both spectroscopic and imaging applications in biology.

     
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  3. Abstract

    Plant halogenated natural products are rare and harbor various interesting bioactivities, yet the biochemical basis for the involved halogenation chemistry is unknown. While a handful of Fe(II)- and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent halogenases (2ODHs) have been found to catalyze regioselective halogenation of unactivated C–H bonds in bacteria, they remain uncharacterized in the plant kingdom. Here, we report the discovery of dechloroacutumine halogenase (DAH) from Menispermaceae plants known to produce the tetracyclic chloroalkaloid (−)-acutumine. DAH is a 2ODH of plant origin and catalyzes the terminal chlorination step in the biosynthesis of (−)-acutumine. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that DAH evolved independently in Menispermaceae plants and in bacteria, illustrating an exemplary case of parallel evolution in specialized metabolism across domains of life. We show that at the presence of azide anion, DAH also exhibits promiscuous azidation activity against dechloroacutumine. This study opens avenues for expanding plant chemodiversity through halogenation and azidation biochemistry.

     
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