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Expanding DNA storage capacity

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Global modeling of natures contributions to people

The magnitude and pace of global change demand rapid assessment of nature and its contributions to people. We present a fine-scale global modeling of current status and future scenarios for several contributions: water quality regulation, coastal risk reduction, and crop pollination. We find that where people’s needs for nature are now greatest, nature’s ability to meet those needs is declining. Up to 5 billion people face higher water pollution and insufficient pollination for nutrition under future scenarios of land use and climate change, particularly in Africa and South Asia. Hundreds of millions of people face heightened coastal risk across Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas. Continued loss of nature poses severe threats, yet these can be reduced 3- to 10-fold under a sustainable development scenario.

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Species shuffling by humans

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Control of aversion by glycine-gated GluN1/GluN3A NMDA receptors in the adult medial habenula

The unconventional N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits GluN3A and GluN3B can, when associated with the other glycine-binding subunit GluN1, generate excitatory conductances purely activated by glycine. However, functional GluN1/GluN3 receptors have not been identified in native adult tissues. We discovered that GluN1/GluN3A receptors are operational in neurons of the mouse adult medial habenula (MHb), an epithalamic area controlling aversive physiological states. In the absence of glycinergic neuronal specializations in the MHb, glial cells tuned neuronal activity via GluN1/GluN3A receptors. Reducing GluN1/GluN3A receptor levels in the MHb prevented place-aversion conditioning. Our study extends the physiological and behavioral implications of glycine by demonstrating its control of negatively valued emotional associations via excitatory glycinergic NMDA receptors.

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Glassy carbon for maximum impact

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Shisa7 is a GABAA receptor auxiliary subunit controlling benzodiazepine actions

The function and pharmacology of -aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs) are of great physiological and clinical importance and have long been thought to be determined by the channel pore–forming subunits. We discovered that Shisa7, a single-passing transmembrane protein, localizes at GABAergic inhibitory synapses and interacts with GABAARs. Shisa7 controls receptor abundance at synapses and speeds up the channel deactivation kinetics. Shisa7 also potently enhances the action of diazepam, a classic benzodiazepine, on GABAARs. Genetic deletion of Shisa7 selectively impairs GABAergic transmission and diminishes the effects of diazepam in mice. Our data indicate that Shisa7 regulates GABAAR trafficking, function, and pharmacology and reveal a previously unknown molecular interaction that modulates benzodiazepine action in the brain.

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Plants, soils, and climate

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Synergistic sorbent separation for one-step ethylene purification from a four-component mixture

Purification of ethylene (C2H4), the largest-volume product of the chemical industry, currently involves energy-intensive processes such as chemisorption (CO2 removal), catalytic hydrogenation (C2H2 conversion), and cryogenic distillation (C2H6 separation). Although advanced physisorbent or membrane separation could lower the energy input, one-step removal of multiple impurities, especially trace impurities, has not been feasible. We introduce a synergistic sorbent separation method for the one-step production of polymer-grade C2H4 from ternary (C2H2/C2H6/C2H4) or quaternary (CO2/C2H2/C2H6/C2H4) gas mixtures with a series of physisorbents in a packed-bed geometry. We synthesized ultraselective microporous metal-organic materials that were readily regenerated, including one that was selective for C2H6 over CO2, C2H2, and C2H4.

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Getting more bits out of PCRAM

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