2015N525

Yasihiro Onoue (Nature)
1) Lagging-strand replication shapes the mutational landscape of the genome
The authors have carried out studies to understand the mechanism behind the non random occurrence of variation across the genome. They introduced a novel technique called emRiboseq and showed that the DNA synthesized by error prone polymerase makes up around 1.5% of the genome. They attribute this inability to get rid of the error-prone polymerase synthesized DNA to the competition from the DNA/Chromatin binding regulatory proteins.

2) Experimentally induced innovations lead to persistent culture via conformity in wild birds
The authors in this paper use wild great tits as model organisms to understand how social conformity affects the maintenance of persistent foraging traditions. They introduce a novel foraging technique into two birds and they found that the information had spread rapidly through social network ties to almost 75% of individuals.

Erika Yamaguchi (Science)
1) Redox cycling of Fe(II) and Fe(III) in magnetite by Fe-metabolizing bacteria
The authors utilized magnetic and spectroscopic measurements to study how the iron in a magnetite is used as an electron sink by the microorganisms (both iron reducing and oxidizing) under varying environmental conditions. They reveal that magnetite can host a plethora of different bacterial communities by functioning as an electron sink. These results have immense potential applications in environmental remediation.

Hikaru Hirata (Science)
1) Division of labor in transhydrogenase by alternating proton translocation and hydride transfer
The authors report a high resolution crystal structure of the transmembrane proton channel domain of nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase from Thermus thermophilus and a 6.9A structure of the entire enzyme. They also obtained a 18A structure of the whole enzyme by cryo-EM. The whole enzyme structure revealed a highly asymmetric dimer. The highly mobile d3 domain was in an upside down orientation in the two halves of the enzyme and the authors think that this shuttles between two distinct conformations. These structural data was complimented by cysteine cross-linking studies and propose a model for the working mechanism of the whole enzyme.

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