77,311 Works

Zero-Knowledge User Authentication: An Old Idea Whose Time Has Come

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User authentication can rely on various factors (e.g., a password, a cryptographic key, biometric data) but should not reveal any secret or private information. This seemingly paradoxical feat can be achieved through zero-knowledge proofs. Unfortunately, naive password-based approaches still prevail on the web. Multi-factor authentication schemes address some of the weaknesses of the traditional login process, but generally have deployability issues or degrade usability even further as they assume users do not possess adequate hardware....

Tyrosinase-catalyzed site-specific immobilization of engineered C-phycocyanin to surface

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Enzymatic crosslinking of proteins is often limited by the steric availability of the target residues, as of tyrosyl side chains in the case of tyrosinase. Carrying an N-terminal peptide-tag containing two tyrosine residues, the fluorescent protein C-phycocyanin HisCPC from Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 was crosslinked to fluorescent high-molecular weight forms with tyrosinase. Crosslinking with tyrosinase in the presence of L-tyrosine produced non fluorescent high-molecular weight products. Incubated in the presence of tyrosinase, HisCPC could also be...

A network comprising short and long noncoding RNAs and RNA helicase controls mouse retina architecture

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Brain regions, such as the cortex and retina, are composed of layers of uniform thickness. The molecular mechanism that controls this uniformity is not well understood. Here we show that during mouse postnatal development the timed expression of Rncr4, a retina-specific long noncoding RNA, regulates the similarly timed processing of pri-miR-183/96/182, which is repressed at an earlier developmental stage by RNA helicase Ddx3x. Shifting the timing of mature miR-183/96/182 accumulation or interfering with Ddx3x expression...

Geologic controls on supercritical geothermal resources above magmatic intrusions

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A new and economically attractive type of geothermal resource was recently discovered in the Krafla volcanic system, Iceland, consisting of supercritical water at 450 °C immediately above a 2-km deep magma body. Although utilizing such supercritical resources could multiply power production from geothermal wells, the abundance, location and size of similar resources are undefined. Here we present the first numerical simulations of supercritical geothermal resource formation, showing that they are an integral part of magma-driven geothermal...

Electrically controlled terahertz magneto-optical phenomena in continuous and patterned graphene

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The magnetic circular dichroism and the Faraday rotation are the fundamental phenomena of great practical importance arising from the breaking of the time reversal symmetry by a magnetic field. In most materials, the strength and the sign of these effects can be only controlled by the field value and its orientation. Furthermore, the terahertz range is lacking materials having the ability to affect the polarization state of the light in a non-reciprocal manner. Here we...

Maximum-Entropy Inference with a Programmable Annealer

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Optimisation problems typically involve finding the ground state (i.e. the minimum energy configuration) of a cost function with respect to many variables. If the variables are corrupted by noise then this maximises the likelihood that the solution is correct. The maximum entropy solution on the other hand takes the form of a Boltzmann distribution over the ground and excited states of the cost function to correct for noise. Here we use a programmable annealer for...

Disease-induced resource constraints can trigger explosive epidemics

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Advances in mathematical epidemiology have led to a better understanding of the risks posed by epidemic spreading and informed strategies to contain disease spread. However, a challenge that has been overlooked is that, as a disease becomes more prevalent, it can limit the availability of the capital needed to effectively treat those who have fallen ill. Here we use a simple mathematical model to gain insight into the dynamics of an epidemic when the recovery...

Automatische Ausscheidung von Waldreservatsflächen

Die Biodiversität steht in den vom Menschen geprägten Lebensräumen stark unter Druck und viele Arten sind dadurch vom Aussterben bedroht. Da viele Arten auf Wald angewiesen sind, sind Waldreservate ein wertvolles Mittel zur Erhaltung der Biodiversität. Es stellt sich die Frage, an welchem Ort die Ausscheidung eines Waldreservates am sinnvollsten ist. Die geeigneten Gebiete müssen dabei verschiedene Anforderungen erfüllen. So sollen sie etwa viele seltene Arten beherbergen, eine grosse Habitatvielfalt bieten und idealerweise nicht zu...

Problems with Using the Normal Distribution - and Ways to Improve Quality and Efficiency of Data Analysis

Background The Gaussian or normal distribution is the most established model to characterize quantitative variation of original data. Accordingly, data are summarized using the arithmetic mean and the standard deviation, by ± SD, or with the standard error of the mean, ± SEM. This, together with corresponding bars in graphical displays has become the standard to characterize variation. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we question the adequacy of this characterization, and of the model. The published literature...

Can Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Reduce the Growth of Agricultural Weeds?

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Background Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are known for their beneficial effects on plants. However, there is increasing evidence that some ruderal plants, including several agricultural weeds, respond negatively to AMF colonization. Here, we investigated the effect of AMF on the growth of individual weed species and on weed-crop interactions. Methodology/Principal Findings First, under controlled glasshouse conditions, we screened growth responses of nine weed species and three crops to a widespread AMF, Glomus intraradices. None of...

Inducible Gene Manipulations in Brain Serotonergic Neurons of Transgenic Rats

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The serotonergic (5-HT) system has been implicated in various physiological processes and neuropsychiatric disorders, but in many aspects its role in normal and pathologic brain function is still unclear. One reason for this might be the lack of appropriate animal models which can address the complexity of physiological and pathophysiological 5-HT functioning. In this respect, rats offer many advantages over mice as they have been the animal of choice for sophisticated neurophysiological and behavioral studies....

The Temporal Order of Genetic and Pathway Alterations in Tumorigenesis

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Cancer evolves through the accumulation of mutations, but the order in which mutations occur is poorly understood. Inference of a temporal ordering on the level of genes is challenging because clinically and histologically identical tumors often have few mutated genes in common. This heterogeneity may at least in part be due to mutations in different genes having similar phenotypic effects by acting in the same functional pathway. We estimate the constraints on the order in...

The biomechanical properties of an epithelial tissue determine the location of its vasculature

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An important question is how growing tissues establish a blood vessel network. Here we study vascular network formation in pancreatic islets, endocrine tissues derived from pancreatic epithelium. We find that depletion of integrin-linked kinase (ILK) in the pancreatic epithelial cells of mice results in glucose intolerance due to a loss of the intra-islet vasculature. In turn, blood vessels accumulate at the islet periphery. Neither alterations in endothelial cell proliferation, apoptosis, morphology, Vegfa expression and VEGF-A...

The assembly dynamics of the cytolytic pore toxin ClyA

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Pore-forming toxins are protein assemblies used by many organisms to disrupt the membranes of target cells. They are expressed as soluble monomers that assemble spontaneously into multimeric pores. However, owing to their complexity, the assembly processes have not been resolved in detail for any pore-forming toxin. To determine the assembly mechanism for the ring-shaped, homododecameric pore of the bacterial cytolytic toxin ClyA, we collected a diverse set of kinetic data using single-molecule spectroscopy and complementary...

Landscape strategies for pollination services and agricultural production

Complex agro-ecological landscapes are recognized for providing a range of ecosystem goods and services at different levels. Agricultural intensification affects the long-term sustainability of these landscapes by weakening natural processes that are indirectly important to agriculture, such as pollination, biological control of pest or soil retention. In response, agro-ecological intensification has appeared as an approach to ensure the sustainability of agricultural landscapes. This approach is based on the active management of ecosystem services. However, implementation...

The genome and transcriptome of perennial ryegrass mitochondria

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Background Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is one of the most important forage and turf grass species of temperate regions worldwide. Its mitochondrial genome is inherited maternally and contains genes that can influence traits of agricultural importance. Moreover, the DNA sequence of mitochondrial genomes has been established and compared for a large number of species in order to characterize evolutionary relationships. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the organization of the mitochondrial genome and how...

A case of adaptation through a mutation in a tandem duplication during experimental evolution in Escherichia coli

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Background DNA duplications constitute important precursors for genome variation. Here we analyzed an unequal duplication harboring a beneficial mutation that may provide alternative evolutionary outcomes. Results We characterized this evolutionary event during experimental evolution for only 100 generations of an Escherichia coli strain under glucose limitation within chemostats. By combining Insertion Sequence based Restriction Length Polymorphism experiments, pulsed field gel electrophoresis and two independent genome re-sequencing experiments, we identified an evolved lineage carrying a 180...

Motivations for Undertaking DNA Sequencing-Based Non-invasive Prenatal Testing for Fetal Aneuploidy: A Qualitative Study with Early Adopter Patients in Hong Kong

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Background A newly introduced cell-free fetal DNA sequencing based non-invasive prenatal testing (DNA-NIPT) detects Down syndrome with sensitivity of 99% at early gestational stage without risk of miscarriage. Attention has been given to its public health implications; little is known from consumer perspectives. This qualitative study aimed to explore women’s motivations for using, and perceptions of, DNA-NIPT in Hong Kong. Methods and Findings In-depth interviews were conducted with 45 women who had undertaken DNA-NIPT recruited...

Nodal-To-nodeless superconducting order parameter in LaFeAs1-xPxO synthesized under high pressure

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Similar to chemical doping, pressure produces and stabilizes new phases of known materials, whose properties may differ greatly from those of their standard counterparts. Here, by considering a series of LaFeAs1−xP x O iron-pnictides synthesized under high-pressure high-temperature conditions, we investigate the simultaneous effects of pressure and isoelectronic doping in the 1111 family. Results of numerous macroscopic and microscopic technique measurements unambiguously show a radically different phase diagram for the pressure-grown materials, characterized by the...

Core-Shell Morphology of Redispersible Powders in Polymer-Cement Waterproof Mortars

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Redispersible powders based on soft core-hard shell polymer particles can be used as additives in polymer-cement mortars. The role of this morphology on the spray-drying production of these powders and on the crack-bridging properties of the corresponding cement-based membranes is investigated. Different polymer latexes at high solid content with varied core-shell ratio, shell thickness and chemical composition (hardness) were prepared from styrene and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate monomers via semi-batch emulsion polymerization. The latexes were characterized in...

Biased Transmission of Sex Chromosomes in the Aphid Myzus persicae Is Not Associated with Reproductive Mode

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Commonly, a single aphid species exhibits a wide range of reproductive strategies including cyclical parthenogenesis and obligate parthenogenesis. Sex determination in aphids is chromosomal; females have two X chromosomes, while males have one. X chromosome elimination at male production is generally random, resulting in equal representation of both X chromosomes in sons. However, two studies have demonstrated deviations from randomness in some lineages. One hypothesis to account for such deviations is that recessive deleterious mutations...

Extreme events in total ozone over Arosa – Part 2: Fingerprints of atmospheric dynamics and chemistry and effects on mean values and long-term changes

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In this study the frequency of days with extreme low (termed ELOs) and extreme high (termed EHOs) total ozone values and their influence on mean values and trends are analyzed for the world's longest total ozone record (Arosa, Switzerland). The results show (i) an increase in ELOs and (ii) a decrease in EHOs during the last decades and (iii) that the overall trend during the 1970s and 1980s in total ozone is strongly dominated by...

Cortical processing of breathing perceptions in the athletic brain

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Athletes regularly endure large increases in ventilation and accompanying perceptions of breathlessness. Whilst breathing perceptions often correlate poorly with objective measures of lung function in both healthy and clinical populations, we have previously demonstrated closer matching between subjective breathlessness and changes in ventilation in endurance athletes, suggesting that athletes may be more accurate during respiratory interoception. To better understand the link between exercise and breathlessness, we sought to identify the mechanisms by which the brain...

Structure of the yeast oligosaccharyltransferase complex gives insight into eukaryotic N-glycosylation

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