Since its introduction, the reward prediction error theory of dopamine has explained a wealth of empirical phenomena, providing a unifying framework for understanding the representation of reward and value in the brain1,2,3. According to the now canonical theory, reward predictions are represented as a single scalar quantity, which supports learning about the expectation, or mean, of stochastic outcomes. Here we…
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Catechol dehydroxylation is a central chemical transformation in the gut microbial metabolism of plant- and host-derived small molecules. However, the molecular basis for this transformation and its distribution among gut microorganisms are poorly understood. Here, we characterize a molybdenum-dependent enzyme from the human gut bacterium Eggerthella lenta that dehydroxylates catecholamine neurotransmitters. Our findings suggest that this activity enables E. lenta to use dopamine as…
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The complex motion of the beating heart is accomplished by the spatial arrangement of contracting cardiomyocytes with varying orientation across the transmural layers, which is difficult to imitate in organic or synthetic models. High-fidelity testing of intracardiac devices requires anthropomorphic, dynamic cardiac models that represent this complex motion while maintaining the intricate anatomical structures inside the heart. In this work,…
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Cortical layer 1 (L1) interneurons have been proposed as a hub for attentional modulation of underlying cortex, but the transformations that this circuit implements are not known. We combined genetically targeted voltage imaging with optogenetic activation and silencing to study the mechanisms underlying sensory processing in mouse barrel cortex L1. Whisker stimuli evoked precisely timed single spikes in L1 interneurons, followed by strong lateral inhibition. A mild aversive stimulus activated cholinergic inputs and evoked a bimodal distribution of spiking responses in L1.
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Women harboring heterozygous germline mutations of BRCA2 have a 50 to 80% risk of developing breast cancer, yet the pathogenesis of these cancers is poorly understood. To reveal early steps in BRCA2-associated carcinogenesis, we analyzed sorted cell populations from freshly-isolated, non-cancerous breast tissues of BRCA2 mutation carriers and matched controls. Single-cell whole-genome sequencing demonstrates that >25% of BRCA2 carrier (BRCA2mut/+) luminal progenitor (LP) cells exhibit sub-chromosomal copy number variations, which are rarely observed in non-carriers.
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Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are ubiquitously present in our environment, but the mechanisms by which they adversely affect human reproductive health and strategies to circumvent their effects remain largely unknown. Here, we show in Caenorhabditis elegans that supplementation with the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) rescues the reprotoxicity induced by the widely used plasticizer and endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA), in part by neutralizing DNA…
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Unbiased in vivo genome-wide genetic screening is a powerful approach to elucidate new molecular mechanisms, but such screening has not been possible to perform in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). Here, we report the results of the first genome-wide genetic screens in the CNS using both short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and CRISPR libraries. Our screens identify many classes of CNS neuronal essential…
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Cell Release during Perfusion Reflects Cold Ischemic Injury in Rat Livers

The global shortage of donor organs has made it crucial to deeply understand and better predict donor liver viability. However, biomarkers that effectively assess viability of marginal grafts for organ transplantation are currently lacking. Here, we showed that hepatocytes, sinusoidal endothelial, stellate, and liver-specific immune cells were released into perfusates from Lewis rat livers as a result of cold ischemia and machine perfusion.
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The abiotic synthesis of ribonucleotides is thought to have been an essential step toward the emergence of the RNA world. However, it is likely that the prebiotic synthesis of ribonucleotides was accompanied by the simultaneous synthesis of arabinonucleotides, 2′-deoxyribonucleotides, and other variations on the canonical nucleotides. In order to understand how relatively homogeneous RNA could have emerged from such complex…
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Dysregulated physical stresses are generated during tumorigenesis that affect the surrounding compliant tissues including adipocytes. However, the effect of physical stressors on the behavior of adipocytes and their cross-talk with tumor cells remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that compression of cells, resulting from various types of physical stresses, can induce dedifferentiation of adipocytes via mechanically activating Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
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