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Apr 2019 • Frontiers in psychiatry

Adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing within corticolimbic brain regions is regulated in response to chronic social defeat stress in mice

Alec LW Dick, Khen Khermesh, Evan Paul, Fabian Stamp, Erez Y Levanon, Alon Chen

Adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is a co/post-transcriptional modification of double stranded RNA, catalysed by the adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) family of enzymes, which results in recognition of inosine as guanosine by translational and splicing machinery causing potential recoding events in amino acid sequences. A-to-I editing is prominent within brain-specific transcripts and dysregulation of editing at several well-studied loci (e.g., Gria2, Htr2c) has been implicated in acute and chronic stress in rodents as well as neurological (e.g., Alzheimer’s) and psychopathological disorders such as schizophrenia and major depressive disorder. However, only a small fraction of recoding sites has been investigated within the brain following stress and our understanding of the role of RNA editing in transcriptome regulation following environmental stimuli remains poorly understood. Thus, we aimed to investigate A-to-I editing at hundreds of loci following chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) in mice within cortico-limbic regions responsive to chronic stress regulation. Adult male mice were subjected to CSDS or control conditions for 21 days and dynamic regulation of A-to-I editing was investigated 2 and 8 days following the final defeat within both the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA). Employing a targeted resequencing approach, which utilises microfluidics-based multiplex PCR coupled with next-generation sequencing, we analysed A-to-I editing at ~100 high confidence editing sites within the mouse brain. CSDS resulted in acute regulation of transcripts encoding several ADAR enzymes, which …

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Apr 2019 • Bulletin of Materials Science

Bentonite polymer composite for water purification

Gulziya A Seilkhanova, Ainur N Imangaliyeva, Yitzhak Mastai, Akmaral B Rakhym

A polyethylene glycol (PEG)–bentonite (BT) composite was prepared by direct polymerization of PEG in suspensions of BT. Based on detailed analyses using field-effect scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, surface area measurements and chemical methods, the obtained product was mainly composed of Ca-BT with a specific surface area of . The optimal conditions for adsorption of and ions were found to be a PEG content of 0.1% and a contact time of 60 min. The sorption experiments were performed under various operating variables, including polymer concentration, pH and temperature. For both and , the adsorption equilibrium was described by the Freundlich model, which confirmed the presence of a heterogeneous system with irregular filling of the active centres. The maximum sorption capacities of BT–PEG for removal of and were found to be 22 and 18 mg …

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Apr 2019 • Nature immunology

BCR affinity differentially regulates colonization of the subepithelial dome and infiltration into germinal centers within Peyer’s patches

Adi Biram, Anneli Strömberg, Eitan Winter, Liat Stoler-Barak, Ran Salomon, Yoseph Addadi, Rony Dahan, Gur Yaari, Mats Bemark, Ziv Shulman

Gut-derived antigens trigger immunoglobulin A (IgA) immune responses that are initiated by cognate B cells in Peyer’s patches (PPs). These cells colonize the subepithelial domes (SEDs) of the PPs and subsequently infiltrate pre-existing germinal centers (GCs). Here we defined the pre-GC events and the micro-anatomical site at which affinity-based B cell selection occurred in PPs. Using whole-organ imaging, we showed that the affinity of the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) regulated the infiltration of antigen-specific B cells into GCs but not clonal competition in the SED. Follicular helper-like T cells resided in the SED and promoted its B cell colonization, independently of the magnitude of BCR affinity. Imaging and immunoglobulin sequencing indicated that selective clonal expansion ensued during infiltration into GCs. Thus, in contrast to the events in draining lymph nodes and spleen, in PPs, T cells promoted …

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Apr 2019 • Lubricants

Tribological anti-wear and extreme-pressure performance of multifunctional metal and nonmetal doped C-based nanodots

Agnieszka Maria Tomala, Vijay Bhooshan Kumar, Ze’ev Porat, Remigiusz Michalczewski, Aharon Gedanken

Carbon nanodots (CDs) are extensively explored due to their low toxicity, excellent water solubility and biocompatibility. Particularly, fluorescent CDs have received ever-increasing attention. Nevertheless, only a few works have been published on measuring the tribological properties of doped CDs, especially Ga doped CDs ([email protected]) and nitrogen doped CDs ([email protected]), and comparing their tribological properties with those of pristine CDs. In this work we describe a simple one-pot synthesis of CDs and doped CDs, and examine their tribological properties as potential lubricants. It is suggested that doping of CDs with various elements can give them desired properties for anti-wear and extreme-pressure performances. View Full-Text

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Apr 2019 • Journal of Polymers and the Environment

CoFe2O4 nano-particles for radical oxidative degradation of high molecular weight polybutadiene

Dario Espino, Yaara Haruvy-Manor, Yitzhak Mastai

Polymer waste production increased dramatically in the last decades, and has reached to 380 million tons (Mt.) in 2015. Due to their long-term stability, these materials impose a serious environmental challenge. Currently, recycling of polymer waste focuses on re-use of actual products, mechanical processing, chemical recycling, and bio-degradation into environmentally friendly materials. In our previous work, we proposed a new approach for radical-initiated oxidative degradation of polymers using cobalt ferrite (CoFe2O4) nanoparticles. In our current work, we focus on the use of CoFe2O4 nanoparticles as catalysts for radical degradation of high molecular weight polybutadiene. Cobalt ferrite nanoparticles were embedded into the polybutadiene polymeric matrix, with the aim of studying degradation in polymeric products that can be manufactured with catalytic nanoparticles. The polymer degradation …

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Apr 2019 • Science Advances

Relativistic independence bounds nonlocality

Avishy Carmi, Eliahu Cohen

If nature allowed nonlocal correlations other than those predicted by quantum mechanics, would that contradict some physical principle? Various approaches have been put forward in the past two decades in an attempt to single out quantum nonlocality. However, none of them can explain the set of quantum correlations arising in the simplest scenarios. Here, it is shown that generalized uncertainty relations, as well as a specific notion of locality, give rise to both familiar and new characterizations of quantum correlations. In particular, we identify a condition, relativistic independence, which states that uncertainty relations are local in the sense that they cannot be influenced by other experimenters’ choices of measuring instruments. We prove that theories with nonlocal correlations stronger than the quantum ones do not satisfy this notion of locality, and therefore, they either violate the underlying generalized …

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Apr 2019 • Materials Science and Engineering: C

Solidification of oil liquids by encapsulation within porous hollow silica microspheres of narrow size distribution for pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications

A Belostozky, S Bretler, M Kolitz-Domb, I Grinberg, S Margel

This study presents a new process for hydrophilic formulation of liquid oils, by encapsulation and solidification of the oils within porous hollow silica microspheres of narrow size distribution. Jojoba [Simmondsia chinensis] oil was chosen as a model study due to its broad potential applications. Jojoba oil is produced from the seeds of the jojoba plant, which are rich in liquid wax. Today, jojoba oil is mainly used for applications such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The oil is primarily used as a carrier oil that stabilizes sensitive active compounds, such as vitamins and other oils, which are susceptible to air oxidation or UV-light degradation. Silica (SiO2) particles are used in many different industrial products such as food and cosmetics due to their chemical inertness. Here, uniform porous hollow SiO2 microspheres, composed of sintered SiO2 nanoparticles, were made by coating polystyrene template microspheres …

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Apr 2019 • Chemistry Select

One‐pot hydrothermal synthesis of elements (B, N, P)‐doped fluorescent carbon dots for cell labelling, differentiation and outgrowth of neuronal cells

Vijay B Kumar, Raj Kumar, Ofir Friedman, Yuval Golan, Aharon Gedanken, Orit Shefi

The use of the chemically modified one-step facile hydrothermal process to develop Boron (B), Nitrogen (N), and Phosphorous (P) doped carbon dots (E@CDs) is reported on in this work. The chemical characterization of the E@CDs was systematically studied by several analytical techniques that confer doping of elements by known characteristics. The obtained E@CDs had observed very homogeneous size distribution and displayed excitation dependent fluorescence properties, and high quantum yield (QY) was measured in case of B and N doping. Excellent cell viability and good cellular uptake was observed for all E@CDs. Lastly, E@CDs were compared with pristine CDs on their effect on cell labelling, neural differentiation process and outgrowth of neurite network. By manipulating the doping of CDs, we can control the branching pattern and outgrowth of neuronal developments. The E@CDs are capable due to their photostability biocompatibility, and possible selective affinity towards nanomedicine applications.

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Apr 2019 • Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment

Entanglement entropy distribution in the strongly disordered one-dimensional Anderson mode

B Friedman, R Berkovits

The entanglement entropy (EE) distribution of strongly disordered one dimensional spin chains, which are equivalent to spinless fermions at half-filling on a bond (hopping) disordered one-dimensional Anderson model, has been shown to exhibit very distinct features such as peaks at integer multiplications of, essentially counting the number of singlets traversing the boundary. Here we show that for a canonical Anderson model with box distribution on-site disorder and repulsive nearest-neighbor interactions the EE distribution also exhibits interesting features, albeit different than the distribution seen for the bond disordered Anderson model. The canonical Anderson model shows a broad peak at low entanglement values and one narrower peak at. Density matrix renormalization group calculations reveal this structure and the influence of the disorder strength and the interaction strength on its shape. A modified real …

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Apr 2019 • Journal of Polymers and the Environment

CoFe 2 O 4 Nano-particles for Radical Oxidative Degradation of High Molecular Weight Polybutadiene

Dario Espino, Yaara Haruvy-Manor, Yitzhak Mastai

Polymer waste production increased dramatically in the last decades, and has reached to 380 million tons (Mt.) in 2015. Due to their long-term stability, these materials impose a serious environmental challenge. Currently, recycling of polymer waste focuses on re-use of actual products, mechanical processing, chemical recycling, and bio-degradation into environmentally friendly materials. In our previous work, we proposed a new approach for radical-initiated oxidative degradation of polymers using cobalt ferrite (CoFe2O4) nanoparticles. In our current work, we focus on the use of CoFe2O4 nanoparticles as catalysts for radical degradation of high molecular weight polybutadiene. Cobalt ferrite nanoparticles were embedded into the polybutadiene polymeric matrix, with the aim of studying degradation in polymeric products that can be manufactured with catalytic nanoparticles. The polymer degradation …

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Apr 2019 • Solid State Communications

Dipole moments in strongly disordered electron glass

Avi Cohen, Dmitri Gutman, Richard Berkovits

We study the effect of long-range Coulomb interaction on the dipole matrix elements in strongly disordered electron glass. The average dipole matrix element is computed numerically by a self-consistent Hartree-Fock approximation. For distances greater than the localization length the majority of dipole matrix elements decay exponentially with a dipole size. Mott states give rise to dipoles with a size much longer than the localization length.

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Apr 2019 • Ultrasonics sonochemistry

Fluorescent metal-doped carbon dots for neuronal manipulations

Vijay Bhooshan Kumar, Raj Kumar, Aharon Gedanken, Orit Shefi

There is a growing need for biocompatible nanocomposites that may efficiently interact with biological tissues through multiple modalities. Carbon dots (CDs) could serve as biocompatible fluorescence nanomaterials for targeted tissue/cell imaging. Important goals toward this end are to enhance the fluorescence quantum yields of the CDs and to increase their targetability to cells. Here, sonochemistry was used to develop a one-pot synthesis of CDs, including metal-doped CDs (M@CDs), demonstrating how various experimental parameters, such as sonication time, temperature, and power of sonication affect the size of the CDs (2–10 nm) and their fluorescence properties. The highest measured quantum yield of emission was ∼16%. Similarly, we synthesized CDs doped with different metals (M@CDs) including Ga, Sn, Zn, Ag, and Au. The interaction of M@CDs with neuron-like cells was examined and showed …

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Apr 2019 • Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment

Entanglement entropy distribution in the strongly disordered one-dimensional Anderson mode

B Friedman, R Berkovits

The entanglement entropy (EE) distribution of strongly disordered one dimensional spin chains, which are equivalent to spinless fermions at half-filling on a bond (hopping) disordered one-dimensional Anderson model, has been shown to exhibit very distinct features such as peaks at integer multiplications of, essentially counting the number of singlets traversing the boundary. Here we show that for a canonical Anderson model with box distribution on-site disorder and repulsive nearest-neighbor interactions the EE distribution also exhibits interesting features, albeit different than the distribution seen for the bond disordered Anderson model. The canonical Anderson model shows a broad peak at low entanglement values and one narrower peak at. Density matrix renormalization group calculations reveal this structure and the influence of the disorder strength and the interaction strength on its shape. A modified real …

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Apr 2019 • The FEBS journal 286 (8), 1482-1494, 2019

Expansion microscopy: enabling single cell analysis in intact biological systems

Shahar Alon, Grace H Huynh, Edward S Boyden

There is a need for single cell analysis methods that enable the identification and localization of different kinds of biomolecules throughout cells and intact tissues, thereby allowing characterization and classification of individual cells and their relationships to each other within intact systems. Expansion microscopy (ExM) is a technology that physically magnifies tissues in an isotropic way, thereby achieving super‐resolution microscopy on diffraction‐limited microscopes, enabling rapid image acquisition and large field of view. As a result, ExM is well‐positioned to integrate molecular content and cellular morphology, with the spatial precision sufficient to resolve individual biological building blocks, and the scale and accessibility required to deploy over extended 3‐D objects like tissues and organs.

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Apr 2019 • Optical Society of America

Improved Non-contact optical monitoring of blood pulsation in IR using laser speckle contrast analysis

Hadar Genish, Matan Binyamin, Ariel Schwarz, Nisan Ozana, Zeev Zalevsky, Ran Califa

A non-contact optical method based on laser speckle contrast analysis in IR for monitoring of blood pulsation is compared to remote PPG. Suggested method show superiority at anatomic sites with week pulsation.

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Apr 2019 • Chemistry of Materials

Mitigating Structural Instability of High-Energy Lithium- and Manganese-Rich LiNixMnyCoz Oxide by Interfacial Atomic Surface Reduction

Rosy, Hadar Sclar, Eliran Evenstein, Shira Haber, Sandipan Maiti, Tali Sharabani, Michal Leskes, Malachi Noked

Surface modification of electrode materials using chemical treatments and atomic layer deposition is documented as an efficient method to stabilize the lattice structure as well as to reinforce the electrode/electrolyte interface. Nevertheless, expensive instrumentation and intrinsic deterioration of the material under high-temperature conditions and aggressive chemical treatments limit their practical application. Here, we report enhanced electrochemical stability and performances by simple atomic surface reduction (ASR) treatment of Li- and Mn-rich 0.35Li2MnO3·0.65LiNi0.35Mn0.45Co0.20O2 (HE-NMC). We provide mechanistic indications showing that ASR altered the electronic structure of surface Mn and Ni, leading to higher stability and reduced parasitic reactions. We demonstrate significant improvement in the battery performance with the proposed surface reduction, which is reflected by the enhanced capacity …

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Apr 2019 • ACS Energy Letters

Deep Defect States in Wide-Band-Gap ABX3 Halide Perovskites

Igal Levine, Omar Garcia Vera, Michael Kulbak, Davide-Raffaele Ceratti, Carolin Rehermann, José A Márquez, Sergiu Levcenko, Thomas Unold, Gary Hodes, Isaac Balberg, David Cahen, Thomas Dittrich

Lead bromide-based halide perovskites are of interest for wide-band-gap (>1.75 eV) absorbers for low-cost solar spectrum splitting to boost solar-to-electrical energy conversion efficiency/area by adding them to c-Si or Cu(In,Ga)Se2 PV cells and for photoelectrochemical solar fuel synthesis. Deep in-gap electronic states in PV absorbers serve as recombination centers and are detrimental for the cell’s photovoltaic performance, especially for the open-circuit voltage (Voc). We find four different deep defect states in polycrystalline layers of mixed-cation lead tribromide from high-sensitivity modulated surface photovoltage (SPV) spectroscopy. Measurements were performed with different contact configurations, on complete solar cells and on samples before and after aging or stressing at 85 °C under illumination. Three of the four states, with energies of ∼0.63, 0.73, and 1.35 eV below the conduction band edge, are …

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Apr 2019 • Phase Transitions

Magnetic phase transitions around room temperature in Cu9S5

Annette Setzer, Pablo D Esquinazi, Lukas Botsch, Oliver Baehre, Eti Teblum, Anat Itzhak, Olga Girshevitz, Gilbert Daniel Nessim

We have studied the magnetization of a recently synthesized CuS compound and found two phase transitions around room temperature. The phase transitions in the crystalline structure, characterized by XRD studies, are accompanied by changes also in the electrical resistivity. A hysteretic first-order phase transition has been found between 260 and 320 K, from a low-temperature paramagnetic anilite phase to a diamagnetic high-temperature low-digenite phase. A second order phase transition was recognized at ≃ 352 K from low digenite to a paramagnetic high-digenite structure at high temperatures.

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Apr 2019 • Optical Society of America

Remote Detection of Photoacoustic Signals using Time Varying Speckle Patterns

Matan Benyamin, Hadar Genish, Ran Califa, Nissan Ozana, Ariel Schwartz, Zeev Zalevsky

A novel method for non-contact detection of photoacoustic signals is presented and experimentally demonstrated. The approach is based on time varying speckle pattern analysis and suggests a more robust alternative for interferometric and refractometric solutions.

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Apr 2019 • Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Catechol-modified carbon cloth as hybrid electrode for energy storage devices

David Malka, Sapir Giladi, Ortal Hanna, Michal Weitman, Reut Cohen, Yuval Elias, Ran Attias, Thierry Brousse, Aryeh A Frimer, Doron Aurbach

Diazonium chemistry was used to enrich Kynol carbon cloth with catechol (dihydroxybenzene) moieties as redox agents. Comprehensive surface analyses (combining BET, SEM, TGA, and TGA-GC/MS) were carried out to evaluate the effect of redox molecules grafted over the carbon cloth surface. Electrochemical deprotection of 3, 4-dimethoxyaniline grafted to the electrochemically active catechol, followed by electrochemical assessment in a three-electrode cell, shows a faradaic contribution due to redox reactions from the catechol-grafted moieties. Galvanostatic measurements underline the remarkably stable performance of this redox reaction, which permits over 3,000 cycles.

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Apr 2019 • Frontiers in pharmacology

Zinc-doped copper oxide nanocomposites inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer by inducing autophagy through AMPK/mTOR pathway

Xiao Li, Huanli Xu, Cong Li, Gan Qiao, Ammad Ahmad Farooqi, Aharon Gedanken, Xiaohui Liu, Xiukun Lin

Zinc doped copper oxide nanocomposites (Zn-CuO NPs) is a novel doped metal nanomaterial synthesized by our group using the sonochemical method. Our previous studies have shown that Zn-CuO NPs could inhibit cancer cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis via ROS-mediated pathway. In the present study, we studied the anticancer effect of Zn-CuO NPs on human pancreatic cancer cells. MTS assay revealed that Zn-CuO NPs was able to inhibit cancer cell growth. TEM, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscope analysis showed that Zn-CuO NPs induced autophagy significantly; the number of autophagosomes increased obviously in cells treated with Zn-CuO NPs. Western blot analysis revealed that treatment with the NPs resulted in activation of AMPK/mTOR pathway in both AsPC-1 and MIA Paca-2 cells in dose dependent manners. Moreover, in the presence of AMPK activator AMPKinone, the protein level of p-AMPK, p-ULK1, Beclin-1 and LC3-II/LC3-I increased, while the protein expression of p-AMPK, p-ULK1, Beclin-1 and LC3-II/LC3-I decreased in the presence of AMPK inhibitor Compound C. In vivo study using xenograft mice revealed that Zn-CuO NPs significantly inhibited tumor growth with low toxicity. Our study confirms that Zn-CuO NPs inhibit the tumor growth both in vitro and in vivo for pancreatic cancer. AMPK/mTOR pathway plays an important role in the NPs induced inhibition of tumor growth.

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