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  1. The noradrenergic and cholinergic modulation of functionally distinct regions of the brain has become one of the primary organizational principles behind understanding the contribution of each system to the diversity of neural computation in the central nervous system. Decades of work has shown that a diverse family of receptors, stratified across different brain regions, and circuit-specific afferent and efferent projections play a critical role in helping such widespread neuromodulatory systems obtain substantial heterogeneity in neural information processing. This review briefly discusses the anatomical layout of both the noradrenergic and cholinergic systems, as well as the types and distributions of relevant receptors for each system. Previous work characterizing the direct and indirect interaction between these two systems is discussed, especially in the context of higher order cognitive functions such as attention, learning, and the decision-making process. Though a substantial amount of work has been done to characterize the role of each neuromodulator, a cohesive understanding of the region-specific cooperation of these two systems is not yet fully realized. For the field to progress, new experiments will need to be conducted that capitalize on the modular subdivisions of the brain and systematically explore the role of norepinephrine and acetylcholine in each ofmore »these subunits and across the full range of receptors expressed in different cell types in these regions.« less
  2. Abstract

    There is a great interest in low-cost, versatile microfluidic platforms of which the fabrication processes are rapid, straightforward, and translatable to industrial mass productions. In addition, it is beneficial for microfluidic devices to be reconfigurable in the field, so that multiple functions can be realized by a minimum number of devices. Here, we present a versatile acrylic-tape platform which allows highly accessible rapid prototyping of microfluidic devices, as well as device reconfiguration to realize different functions. The clean-room-free fabrication and sealing process only requires a laser cutter, acrylic, and tapes and can be done by an untrained person in the field. We experimentally characterized the relationship between the capillary flow speed and the channel height, the latter of which can be well controlled by the fabrication process. Reconfiguration of microfluidic functions was demonstrated on a single acrylic-tape device, thanks to the reversible sealing enabled by functional tapes. Different pumping mechanisms, including on-chip pumps for better portability and syringe pumps for precise fluid control, have been employed for the demonstration of two-phase flow and droplet generation, respectively. The low-cost and versatile acrylic-tape microfluidic devices are promising tools for applications in a wide range of fields, especially for point-of-care biomedical andmore »clinical applications.

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  3. Abstract

    Magnetic skyrmions are topologically nontrivial chiral spin textures that have potential applications in next‐generation energy‐efficient and high‐density spintronic devices. In general, the chiral spins of skyrmions are stabilized by the noncollinear Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction (DMI), originating from the inversion symmetry breaking combined with the strong spin–orbit coupling (SOC). Here, the strong SOC from topological insulators (TIs) is utilized to provide a large interfacial DMI in TI/ferrimagnet heterostructures at room temperature, resulting in small‐size (radius ≈ 100 nm) skyrmions in the adjacent ferrimagnet. Antiferromagnetically coupled skyrmion sublattices are observed in the ferrimagnet by element‐resolved scanning transmission X‐ray microscopy, showing the potential of a vanishing skyrmion Hall effect and ultrafast skyrmion dynamics. The line‐scan spin profile of the single skyrmion shows a Néel‐type domain wall structure and a 120 nm size of the 180° domain wall. This work demonstrates the sizable DMI and small skyrmions in TI‐based heterostructures with great promise for low‐energy spintronic devices.