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Today: 20 January 2018, Saturday.

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#1

 

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Description Insulating bricks filled with an aerogel paste could eliminate the need for additional layers of insulation in buildings.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 17 January 2018

#2

 

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Description RNA polymerase III (Pol III) and transcription factor IIIB (TFIIIB) assemble together on different promoter types to initiate the transcription of small, structured RNAs. Here we present structures of Pol III preinitiation complexes, comprising the 17-subunit Pol III and the heterotrimeric transcription factor TFIIIB, bound to a natural promoter in different functional states. Electron cryo-microscopy reconstructions, varying from 3.7 Å to 5.5 Å resolution, include two early intermediates in which the DNA duplex is closed, an open DNA complex, and an initially transcribing complex with RNA in the active site. Our structures reveal an extremely tight, multivalent interaction between TFIIIB and promoter DNA, and explain how TFIIIB recruits Pol III. Together, TFIIIB and Pol III subunit C37 activate the intrinsic transcription factor-like activity of the Pol III-specific heterotrimer to initiate the melting of double-stranded DNA, in a mechanism similar to that of the Pol II system.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 17 January 2018

#3

 

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Description RNA polymerase (Pol) III transcribes essential non-coding RNAs, including the entire pool of transfer RNAs, the 5S ribosomal RNA and the U6 spliceosomal RNA, and is often deregulated in cancer cells. The initiation of gene transcription by Pol III requires the activity of the transcription factor TFIIIB to form a transcriptionally active Pol III preinitiation complex (PIC). Here we present electron microscopy reconstructions of Pol III PICs at 3.4–4.0 Å and a reconstruction of unbound apo-Pol III at 3.1 Å. TFIIIB fully encircles the DNA and restructures Pol III. In particular, binding of the TFIIIB subunit Bdp1 rearranges the Pol III-specific subunits C37 and C34, thereby promoting DNA opening. The unwound DNA directly contacts both sides of the Pol III cleft. Topologically, the Pol III PIC resembles the Pol II PIC, whereas the Pol I PIC is more divergent. The structures presented unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying the first steps of Pol III transcription and also the general conserved mechanisms of gene transcription initiation.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 17 January 2018

#4

 

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Description A 910-carat diamond has been discovered in a mine in the African country of Lesotho. The find is the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered. the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 16 January 2018

#5

 

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Description The name Corning is synonymous with glass and with good reason. Corning developed the bulb-shaped glass for Edison’s incandescent lamp; Corning’s heat-resistant glass made safer railroad lanterns, technology that evolved into car headlights; CorningWare and Pyrex provided temperature resistance in kitchens and labs; and its glass ceramics were even employed in the nose cones of space ships.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 15 January 2018

#6

 

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Description In 1938, two studies demonstrated that liquid helium-4 flows without friction or viscosity at temperatures close to absolute zero. The finding led to major advances in our understanding of low-temperature physics.

#Theoretical sciences;#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 15 January 2018

#7

 

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Description Graphene is a single layer of graphite — also known as that soft material commonly found in pencil lead — with the atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like, hexagonal pattern. While that description is decidedly unexciting, graphene is actually emerging as one of science’s most versatile new materials. Just one atom thick (or thin, depending on how you think about it), graphene is among the strongest materials in the known universe, with 100 times the strength of steel, an astonishing amount of flexibility, and a whole lot of other talents lurking beneath the surface. Do you remember that classic scene from The Simpsons in which Homer is offered “wax lips,” described by the salesman as “the candy of 1,000 uses?” Well, graphene is the wax lips of the material science world. And while we don’t have time to detail 1,000 uses, here are some of the most exciting graphene discoveries made so far.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 14 January 2018