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  1. Bacteriophage T4 is decorated with 155 180 Å-long fibers of the highly antigenic outer capsid protein (Hoc). In this study, we describe a near-atomic structural model of Hoc by combining cryo-electron microscopy and AlphaFold structure predictions. It consists of a conserved C-terminal capsid-binding domain attached to a string of three variable immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains, an architecture well-preserved in hundreds of Hoc molecules found in phage genomes. Each T4-Hoc fiber attaches randomly to the center of gp23* hexameric capsomers in one of the six possible orientations, though at the vertex-proximal hexamers that deviate from 6-fold symmetry, Hoc binds in two preferred orientations related by 180° rotation. Remarkably, each Hoc fiber binds to all six subunits of the capsomer, though the interactions are greatest with three of the subunits, resulting in the off-centered attachment of the C-domain. Biochemical analyses suggest that the acidic Hoc fiber (pI, ~4–5) allows for the clustering of virions in acidic pH and dispersion in neutral/alkaline pH. Hoc appears to have evolved as a sensing device that allows the phage to navigate its movements through reversible clustering–dispersion transitions so that it reaches its destination, the host bacterium, and persists in various ecological niches such as the human/mammalian gut. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Abstract 167 Er 3+ doped solids are a promising platform for quantum technology due to erbium’s telecom C-band optical transition and its long hyperfine coherence times. We experimentally study the spin Hamiltonian and dynamics of 167 Er 3+ spins in Y 2 O 3 using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The anisotropic electron Zeeman, hyperfine and nuclear quadrupole matrices are fitted using data obtained by X-band (9.5 GHz) EPR spectroscopy. We perform pulsed EPR spectroscopy to measure spin relaxation time T 1 and coherence time T 2 for the 3 principal axes of an anisotropic g tensor. Long electronic spin coherence time up to 24.4 μ s is measured for lowest g transition at 4 K, exceeding previously reported values at much lower temperatures. Measurements of decoherence mechanism indicates T 2 limited by spectral diffusion and instantaneous diffusion. Long spin coherence times, along with a strong anisotropic hyperfine interaction makes 167 Er 3+ :Y 2 O 3 a rich system and an excellent candidate for spin-based quantum technologies. 
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  3. Abstract

    Electron spins in solid-state systems offer the promise of spin-based information processing devices. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), an all-carbon one-dimensional material whose spin-free environment and weak spin-orbit coupling promise long spin coherence times, offer a diverse degree of freedom for extended range of functionality not available to bulk systems. A key requirement limiting spin qubit implementation in SWCNTs is disciplined confinement of isolated spins. Here, we report the creation of highly confined electron spins in SWCNTs via a bottom-up approach. The record long coherence time of 8.2 µs and spin-lattice relaxation time of 13 ms of these electronic spin qubits allow demonstration of quantum control operation manifested as Rabi oscillation. Investigation of the decoherence mechanism reveals an intrinsic coherence time of tens of milliseconds. These findings evident that combining molecular approaches with inorganic crystalline systems provides a powerful route for reproducible and scalable quantum materials suitable for qubit applications.

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  4. Elucidating the role of specific vibrational modes in spin lattice relaxation is a key step to designing room temperature qubits. We executed an experimental and theoretical study on a series of Cu2+qubits to increase their operating temperature.

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  5. Muscle fusogens in tunicates and lampreys shed new light on the evolution and developmental mechanism of muscle multinucleation. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    Morels (Morchella spp.) are popular edible fungi with significant economic and scientific value. However, white mold disease, caused by Paecilomyces penicillatus, can reduce morel yield by up to 80% in the main cultivation area in China. Paecilomyces is a polyphyletic genus and the exact phylogenetic placement of P. penicillatus is currently still unclear. Here, we obtained the first high-quality genome sequence of P. penicillatus generated through the single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing platform. The assembled draft genome of P. penicillatus was 40.2 Mb, had an N50 value of 2.6 Mb and encoded 9454 genes. Phylogenetic analysis of single-copy orthologous genes revealed that P. penicillatus is in Hypocreales and closely related to Hypocreaceae, which includes several genera exhibiting a mycoparasitic lifestyle. CAZymes analysis demonstrated that P. penicillatus encodes a large number of fungal cell wall degradation enzymes. We identified many gene clusters involved in the production of secondary metabolites known to exhibit antifungal, antibacterial, or insecticidal activities. We further demonstrated through dual culture assays that P. penicillatus secretes certain soluble compounds that are inhibitory to the mycelial growth of Morchella sextelata. This study provides insights into the correct phylogenetic placement of P. penicillatus and the molecular mechanisms that underlie P. penicillatus pathogenesis. 
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  7. null (Ed.)