Biology in Bloom: A Primer on the Arabidopsis thaliana Model System

Author: Woodward, Andrew W.; Bartel, Bonnie Description: Arabidopsis thaliana could have easily escaped human scrutiny. Instead, Arabidopsis has become the most widely studied plant in modern biology despite its absence from the dinner table. Pairing diminutive stature and genome with prodigious resources and tools, Arabidopsis offers a window into the molecular, cellular, and developmental mechanisms underlying life as a multicellular photoautotroph. Many basic discoveries made using this plant have spawned new research areas, even beyond the verdant fields of plant biology. With a suite of resources and tools unmatched among…

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The heat-shock protein/chaperone network and multiple stress resistance

Author: Jacob, Pierre; Hirt, Heribert; Bendahmane, Abdelhafid Description: Crop yield has been greatly enhanced during the last century. However, most elite cultivars are adapted to temperate climates and are not well suited to more stressful conditions. In the context of climate change, stress resistance is a major concern. To overcome these difficulties, scientists may help breeders by providing genetic markers associated with stress resistance. However, multistress resistance cannot be obtained from the simple addition of single stress resistance traits. In the field, stresses are unpredictable and several may occur at…

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Normal and oncogenic p21ras proteins bind to the amino-terminal regulatory domain of c-Raf-1

Author: Zhang, X. F.; Settleman, J.; Kyriakis, J. M.; Takeuchi-Suzuki, E.; Elledge, S. J.; Marshall, M. S.; Bruder, J. T.; Rapp, U. R.; Avruch, J. Description: In higher eukaryotes, the Ras and Raf-1 proto-oncoproteins transduce growth and differentiation signals initiated by tyrosine kinases. The Ras polypeptide and the amino-terminal regulatory domain of Raf-1 (residues 1-257) are shown to interact, directly in vitro and in a yeast expression system. Raf-1 (1-257) binds GTP-Ras in preference to GDP-Ras, and inhibits Ras-GAP activity. Mutations in and around the Ras effector domain impair Ras…

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EGFR mutations in lung cancer: correlation with clinical response to gefitinib therapy

Author: Paez, J. Guillermo; Janne, Pasi A.; Lee, Jeffrey C.; Tracy, Sean; Greulich, Heidi; Gabriel, Stacey; Herman, Paula; Kaye, Frederic J.; Lindeman, Neal; Boggon, Titus J.; Naoki, Katsuhiko; Sasaki, Hidefumi; Fujii, Yoshitaka; Eck, Michael J.; Sellers, William R.; Johnson, Bruce E.; Meyerson, Matthew Description: Receptor tyrosine kinase genes were sequenced in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and matched normal tissue. Somatic mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene EGFR were found in 15 of 58 unselected tumors from Japan and 1 of 61 from the United States. Treatment with…

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Activation of the middle fusiform ‘face area’ increases with expertise in recognizing novel objects

Author: Gauthier, I.; Tarr, M. J.; Anderson, A. W.; Skudlarski, P.; Gore, J. C. Description: Part of the ventral temporal lobe is thought to be critical for face perception, but what determines this specialization remains unknown. We present evidence that expertise recruits the fusiform gyrus ‘face area’. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure changes associated with increasing expertise in brain areas selected for their face preference. Acquisition of expertise with novel objects (greebles) led to increased activation in the right hemisphere face areas for matching of upright…

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Can generic expertise explain special processing for faces?

Author: McKone, Elinor; Kanwisher, Nancy; Duchaine, Bradley C. Description: Does face recognition involve face-specific cognitive and neural processes (‘domain specificity’) or do faces only seem special because people have had more experience of individuating them than they have of individuating members of other homogeneous object categories (‘the expertise hypothesis’)? Here, we summarize new data that test these hypotheses by assessing whether classic face-selective effects – holistic processing, recognition impairments in prosopagnosia and fusiform face area activation – remain face selective in comparison with objects of expertise. We argue that evidence…

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Weed seed destruction by arthropods and rodents in low-input soybean agroecosystems

Author: Brust, Gerald E.; House, Garfield J. Description: Weed seed consumption experiments involving comparison of rates of seed loss by seed feeders were conducted over a five-week period in low-input (no insecticide, low herbicide usage) conventional- and no-tillage soybean agroecosystems. Seeds of four broadleaf weed species (ragweed [Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.], pigweed [Amaranthus retroflexus L.], sicklepod [Cassia obtusifolia L.], and jimsonweed [Datura stramonium L.]) and one grain crop species (wheat [Triticum aestivum L.]) were provided in a free choice design at densities of 10, 25, and 50 seeds/24 cm3. Approximately 2.3 times more seeds overall, and 1.4 times more large seeds…

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No level of alcohol consumption improves health

Author: Burton, Robyn; Sheron, Nick Description: By use of methodological enhancements of previous iterations, the systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2016 for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016, is the most comprehensive estimate of the global burden of alcohol use to date. The GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators clearly demonstrate the substantial, and larger than previously estimated, contribution of alcohol to death, disability, and ill health, globally. In 2016, alcohol use was the seventh leading risk factor for both deaths and disability-adjusted life-years…

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Health risks of chronic moderate and heavy alcohol consumption: how much is too much?

Author: Meyerhoff, Dieter J.; Bode, Christiane; Nixon, Sara Jo; de Bruin, Eveline A.; Bode, J. Christian; Seitz, Helmut K. Description: This article presents the proceedings of a symposium held at the meeting of the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA) in Mannheim, Germany, in October 2004. Most of what we know about the deleterious effects of alcohol in vivo has been gleaned from studies in sober alcoholics recruited from substance abuse treatment programs. Little is known about effects of chronic drinking in the moderate or heavy range encountered…

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Limitations in American adults’ awareness of and beliefs about alcohol as a risk factor for cancer

Author: Kiviniemi, Marc T.; Orom, Heather; Hay, Jennifer L.; Waters, Erika A. Description: Alcohol is a carcinogen. Recommendations to reduce alcohol use to lower cancer risk are increasingly common. However, neither the beliefs of US adults about alcohol consumption and cancer risk, nor factors influencing those beliefs, are well understood. We used data from the 2019 Health Information National Trends Survey (analysis N = 4,470) to examine beliefs about whether drinking too much alcohol increases cancer risk. We compared those beliefs to beliefs for three other health problems, and examined whether believing…

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