Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences

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  • Correction for Haig, Genomic imprinting and the evolutionary psychology of human kinship [Correction]
    [Jan 2015]

    COLLOQUIUM Correction for “Genomic imprinting and the evolutionary psychology of human kinship,” by David Haig, which appeared in Supplement 2, June 28, 2011, of Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (108:10878–10885; first published June 20, 2011; 10.1073/pnas.1100295108). The authors note that, due to a printer’s error, the text starting on page...
    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Correction for Paz et al., Combinatorial regulation of a signal-dependent activator by phosphorylation and acetylation [Correction]
    [Jan 2015]

    BIOCHEMISTRY Correction for “Combinatorial regulation of a signal-dependent activator by phosphorylation and acetylation,” by Jose C. Paz, Sang-Ho Park, Naomi Phillips, Shigenobu Matsumura, Wen-Wei Tsai, Lawryn Kasper, Paul K. Brindle, Guangtao Zhang, Ming-Ming Zhou, Peter E. Wright, and Marc Montminy, which appeared in issue 48, December 2, 2014, of Proc...
    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Correction for Yueh et al., The commonly used antimicrobial additive triclosan is a liver tumor promoter [Correction]
    [Jan 2015]

    ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Correction for “The commonly used antimicrobial additive triclosan is a liver tumor promoter,” by Mei-Fei Yueh, Koji Taniguchi, Shujuan Chen, Ronald M. Evans, Bruce D. Hammock, Michael Karin, and Robert H. Tukey, which appeared in issue 48, December 2, 2014, of Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (111:17200–17205; first...
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  • In This Issue [This Week in PNAS]
    [Jan 2015]

    Analyzing the effectiveness of scientific peer review Little systematic evidence exists regarding the effectiveness of scientific peer review. Kyle Siler et al. (pp. 360–365) used a dataset of 1,008 manuscripts submitted to three leading medical journals—Annals of Internal Medicine, The BMJ, and The Lancet—in 2003 and 2004 to evaluate the...
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  • Max Birnstiel 1933-2014 [Retrospectives]
    [Jan 2015]

    Max Birnstiel, who died in November, was a pioneer of molecular biology and a creator of European scientific institutions. Born in Brazil in 1933, his family moved back to their native Switzerland when he was 5 years old, and he completed his education there. When he asked his teachers how...
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  • Molecular counting in superresolution microscopy [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
    [Jan 2015]

    Molecular Counting Problem in Superresolution Microscopy Cellular processes are often controlled by aggregates of protein complexes. Recent studies have witnessed that the stoichiometry, or the relative composition of protein complexes, can be dynamical (1–3). Quantifying the stoichiometry of these complexes, not only at the mean level but also its full...
    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Ironing out carbon export to the deep ocean [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
    [Jan 2015]

    In PNAS, Lopes et al. (1) present a novel approach to quantifying the efficiency of the biological carbon pump as Earth’s climate warmed from the ice bound glacial episode (26,000–18,000 y before present) to the equable climate of the present interglacial (10,000 y BP until present). The biological carbon pump...
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  • Ferment in the family tree [Evolution]
    [Jan 2015]

    In 1953, botanist Jonathan D. Sauer suggested that our initial motivation to cultivate cereals was not for flour or bread, but for beer (1). The implications of this idea—that a preference for dietary ethanol, or alcohol, sparked the Neolithic Revolution (2)—are profound. No stage of human evolution has left a...
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  • Young investigators and the biomedical workforce [Medical Sciences]
    [Jan 2015]

    A number of distressing trends, including a decline in the share of key research grants going to younger scientists, as well as a steady rise in the age at which investigators receive their first funding, are now a decades-long feature of the US biomedical research workforce. Working committees have proposed...
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  • Warfare and reproductive success [Anthropology]
    [Jan 2015]

    Intergroup conflict is a persistent feature of many human societies yet little is known about why individuals participate when doing so imposes a mortality risk. To evaluate whether participation in warfare is associated with reproductive benefits, we present data on participation in small-scale livestock raids among the Nyangatom, a group...
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  • Recent origin of low trabecular bone density [Anthropology]
    [Jan 2015]

    Humans are unique, compared with our closest living relatives (chimpanzees) and early fossil hominins, in having an enlarged body size and lower limb joint surfaces in combination with a relatively gracile skeleton (i.e., lower bone mass for our body size). Some analyses have observed that in at least a few...
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  • Skeletal gracility in modern humans [Anthropology]
    [Jan 2015]

    The postcranial skeleton of modern Homo sapiens is relatively gracile compared with other hominoids and earlier hominins. This gracility predisposes contemporary humans to osteoporosis and increased fracture risk. Explanations for this gracility include reduced levels of physical activity, the dissipation of load through enlarged joint surfaces, and selection for systemic...
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  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa Asn-transamidosome [Biochemistry]
    [Jan 2015]

    Many prokaryotes lack a tRNA synthetase to attach asparagine to its cognate tRNAAsn, and instead synthesize asparagine from tRNAAsn-bound aspartate. This conversion involves two enzymes: a nondiscriminating aspartyl-tRNA synthetase (ND-AspRS) that forms Asp-tRNAAsn, and a heterotrimeric amidotransferase GatCAB that amidates Asp-tRNAAsn to form Asn-tRNAAsn for use in protein synthesis. ND-AspRS,...
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  • Crystal structures of dioxygenase intermediates [Biochemistry]
    [Jan 2015]

    Intradiol aromatic ring-cleaving dioxygenases use an active site, nonheme Fe3+ to activate O2 and catecholic substrates for reaction. The inability of Fe3+ to directly bind O2 presents a mechanistic conundrum. The reaction mechanism of protocatechuate 3,4-dioxygenase is investigated here using the alternative substrate 4-fluorocatechol. This substrate is found to slow...
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  • Benzophenanthridines bind to monomeric glutaminase [Biochemistry]
    [Jan 2015]

    The mitochondrial enzyme glutaminase C (GAC) catalyzes the hydrolysis of glutamine to glutamate plus ammonia, a key step in the metabolism of glutamine by cancer cells. Recently, we discovered a class of allosteric inhibitors of GAC that inhibit cancer cell growth without affecting their normal cellular counterparts, with the lead...
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  • MTHFD1 and severe combined immune deficiency [Biochemistry]
    [Jan 2015]

    An inborn error of metabolism associated with mutations in the human methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 1 (MTHFD1) gene has been identified. The proband presented with SCID, megaloblastic anemia, and neurologic abnormalities, but the causal metabolic impairment is unknown. SCID has been associated with impaired purine nucleotide metabolism, whereas megaloblastic anemia has been...
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  • Kinetic pathway of 40S recruitment to HCV IRES [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
    [Jan 2015]

    Translation initiation can occur by multiple pathways. To delineate these pathways by single-molecule methods, fluorescently labeled ribosomal subunits are required. Here, we labeled human 40S ribosomal subunits with a fluorescent SNAP-tag at ribosomal protein eS25 (RPS25). The resulting ribosomal subunits could be specifically labeled in living cells and in vitro....
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  • Bacteria optimizes energy efficiency [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
    [Jan 2015]

    We are interested in the balance of energy and protein synthesis in bacterial growth. How has evolution optimized this balance? We describe an analytical model that leverages extensive literature data on growth laws to infer the underlying fitness landscape and to draw inferences about what evolution has optimized in Escherichia...
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  • Remodeling diatom metabolism [Cell Biology]
    [Jan 2015]

    Diatoms are unicellular algae that accumulate significant amounts of triacylglycerols as storage lipids when their growth is limited by nutrients. Using biochemical, physiological, bioinformatics, and reverse genetic approaches, we analyzed how the flux of carbon into lipids is influenced by nitrogen stress in a model diatom, Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Our results...
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  • mLnp1 stabilizes three-way junctions of the ER [Cell Biology]
    [Jan 2015]

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) consists of a polygonal network of sheets and tubules interconnected by three-way junctions. This network undergoes continual remodeling through competing processes: the branching and fusion of tubules forms new three-way junctions and new polygons, and junction sliding and ring closure leads to polygon loss. However, little...
    Categories: Journal Articles