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  1. Abstract

    Cobamides, a class of essential coenzymes synthesized only by a subset of prokaryotes, are model nutrients in microbial interaction studies and play significant roles in global ecosystems. Yet, their spatial patterns and functional roles remain poorly understood. Herein, we present an in-depth examination of cobamide-producing microorganisms, drawn from a comprehensive analysis of 2862 marine and 2979 soil metagenomic samples. A total of 1934 nonredundant metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) potentially capable of producing cobamides de novo were identified. The cobamide-producing MAGs are taxonomically diverse but habitat specific. They constituted only a fraction of all the recovered MAGs, with the majority of MAGs being potential cobamide users. By mapping the distribution of cobamide producers in marine and soil environments, distinct latitudinal gradients were observed: the marine environment showed peak abundance at the equator, whereas soil environments peaked at mid-latitudes. Importantly, significant and positive links between the abundance of cobamide producers and the diversity and functions of microbial communities were observed, as well as their promotional roles in essential biogeochemical cycles. These associations were more pronounced in marine samples than in soil samples, which suggests a heightened propensity for microorganisms to engage in cobamide sharing in fluid environments relative to the more spatially restricted soil environment. These findings shed light on the global patterns and potential ecological roles of cobamide-producing microorganisms in marine and soil ecosystems, enhancing our understanding of large-scale microbial interactions.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 28, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  4. Distributed programmable thermal actuation enables caterpillar-inspired bidirectional locomotion for soft crawling robots. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 22, 2024
  5. Screen printing is a promising route towards high throughput printed electronics. Currently, the preparation of nanomaterial based conductive inks involves complex formulations with often toxic surfactants in the ink's composition, making them unsuitable as an eco-friendly printing technology. This work reports the development of a silver nanowire (AgNW) ink with a relatively low conductive particle loading of 7 wt%. The AgNW ink involves simple formulation and comprises a biodegradable binder and a green solvent with no toxic surfactants in the ink formulation, making it an eco-friendly printing process. The formulated ink is suitable for printing on a diverse range of substrates such as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyimide (PI) tape, glass, and textiles. By tailoring the rheological behaviour of the ink and developing a one-step post-printing process, a minimum feature size of 50 μm and conductivity as high as 6.70 × 10 6 S m −1 was achieved. Use of a lower annealing temperature of 150 °C makes the process suitable for plastic substrates. A flexible textile heater and a wearable hydration sensor were fabricated using the reported AgNW ink to demonstrate its potential for wearable electronic applications. 
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  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 24, 2024
  7. A leaf-attachable multimodal plant wearable sensor was developed for monitoring biotic and abiotic stresses in real time. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 14, 2024
  8. This work reports an approach to print complex patterns of metal nanowires on curvilinear substrates with high conductivity. 
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