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  1. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a condition characterized by impaired cardiac function, due to myocardial hypo-contractility, and is associated with point mutations in β-cardiac myosin, the molecular motor that powers cardiac contraction. Myocardial function can be modulated through sequestration of myosin motors into an auto-inhibited “super-relaxed” state (SRX), which may be further stabilized by a structural state known as the “interacting heads motif” (IHM). Here, we sought to determine whether hypo-contractility of DCM myocardium results from reduced function of individual myosin molecules or from decreased myosin availability to interact with actin due to increased IHM/SRX stabilization. We used an established DCM myosin mutation, E525K, and characterized the biochemical and mechanical activity of wild-type and mutant human β-cardiac myosin constructs that differed in the length of their coiled-coil tail, which dictates their ability to form the IHM/SRX state. We found that short-tailed myosin constructs exhibited low IHM/SRX content, elevated actin-activated ATPase activity, and fast velocities in unloaded motility assays. Conversely, longer-tailed constructs exhibited higher IHM/SRX content and reduced actomyosin ATPase and velocity. Our modeling suggests that reduced velocities may be attributed to IHM/SRX-dependent sequestration of myosin heads. Interestingly, longer-tailed E525K mutants showed no apparent impact on velocity or actomyosin ATPase at low ionic strength but stabilized IHM/SRX state at higher ionic strength. Therefore, the hypo-contractility observed in DCM may be attributable to reduced myosin head availability caused by enhanced IHM/SRX stability in E525K mutants.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 12, 2024
  3. Unprecedented photochemical reactions for the diamidocarbene 1 including the double cyclopropanation of 1-bromonaphthalene, the double addition to pyridine, and the activation of sp3C–H bonds of alkanes are reported.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 26, 2024
  4. Abstract

    We investigate the electrical characteristics of Ni Schottky contacts on n-type GaN films that have undergone ultra-high-pressure annealing (UHPA), a key processing step for activating implanted Mg. Contacts deposited on these films exhibit low rectification and high leakage current compared to contacts on as-grown films. By employing an optimized surface treatment to restore the GaN surface following UHPA, we obtain Schottky contacts with a high rectification ratio of ∼109, a near-unity ideality factor of 1.03, and a barrier height of ∼0.9 eV. These characteristics enable the development of GaN junction barrier Schottky diodes employing Mg implantation and UHPA.

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  5. Abstract Changing wildfire regimes in the western US and other fire-prone regions pose considerable risks to human health and ecosystem function. However, our understanding of wildfire behavior is still limited by a lack of data products that systematically quantify fire spread, behavior and impacts. Here we develop a novel object-based system for tracking the progression of individual fires using 375 m Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite active fire detections. At each half-daily time step, fire pixels are clustered according to their spatial proximity, and are either appended to an existing active fire object or are assigned to a new object. This automatic system allows us to update the attributes of each fire event, delineate the fire perimeter, and identify the active fire front shortly after satellite data acquisition. Using this system, we mapped the history of California fires during 2012–2020. Our approach and data stream may be useful for calibration and evaluation of fire spread models, estimation of near-real-time wildfire emissions, and as means for prescribing initial conditions in fire forecast models. 
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  6. Stochastic resonance has been successfully used to improve human movement when using subthreshold vibration. Recent work has shown promise in improving mobility in individuals with unilateral lower limb amputations. Furthering this work, we present an investigation of two different signal structures in the use of stochastic resonance to improve mobility in individuals with unilateral lower limb amputations. Cutaneous somatosensation and standing balance measures using spatial and temporal analysis were assessed. There were no differences in the somatosensation measures, but differences in the temporal characteristics of the standing measures were seen with the various vibration structures when compared to no vibration, one of which suggesting mass may play an important role in determining who may or may not benefit from this intervention. Stochastic resonance employed with subthreshold vibration influences mobility in individuals with unilateral amputations, but the full direction and extent of influence is yet to be understood. 
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  7. null (Ed.)