Theory of spin fluctuations as developed in the past 30 years have played important roles in the theory of magnetism in metals, particularly in elucidating the properties around the magnetic instability or quantum critical points. Recently the theory has been extended to deal with the spin fluctuaion-mediated superconductivity with anisotropic order parameters in strongly correlated electron systems. These theoretical developments are briefly reviewed and the high temperature superconductivity of cuprates and organic and heavy electron superconductors are discussed in the light of these theories.
Nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin (ET) produced in endothelial cells are leading molecules which regulate vascular function. Failure of the physiological balance between these two molecules is usually referred to as endothelial dysfunction. ET was initially identified as a potent vasoconstrictive peptide. Three ET isoforms and two ET receptors have been identified. One of the isoforms, ET-1, plays a significant role in many cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) is known to induce endothelial dysfunction. The endothelial receptor for oxLDL was cloned, and named lectin-like oxidized receptor-1 (LOX-1). Activation of LOX-1 generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), and acivates a transcriptional factor, nuclear factor κB (NFκB), resulting in down-regulation of NO and up-regulation of ET-1. LOX-1 might be a key molecule in the generation of endothelial dysfunction. In endothelial dysfunction, ET-1 is an aggravating factor of cardiovascular diseases.
Unique new fossil assemblages containing the large bivalve family Alatoconchidae are recorded from the Guadalupian (Middle Permian) shallow marine limestone in Kamura, Kyushu. The large bivalves occur in the Neoschwagerina Zone and Lepidolina Zone. This discovery establishes that the biostratigraphic range of the family Alatoconchidae extends up to the top of the Lepidolina Zone (upper Capitanian of upper Guadalupian) i.e., to the end-Guadalupian extinction level. The largest Alatoconchidae in Kamura occurs in the Neoschwagerina Zone, the size of which is up to 50 cm long and 5 cm thick. Although details are still unknown, their morphology with a wing-like side projection of their valves appears very similar to that of Alatoconchidae that includes the well-known genus Shikamaia Ozaki. The bivalve-bearing Iwato Formation was derived from a mid-oceanic shallow marine carbonate build-up formed on a mid-oceanic paleo-seamount. The close association among the Alatoconchidae, typical Tethyan fusulines (Verbeekinidae) and rugose corals (Waagenophyllidae), plus their common extinction pattern suggests that the Alatoconchidae flourished in warm, shallow (photic) marine environments in low latitude areas in Panthalassa as well as Tethys. The extra-large size and double-layered shell with a translucent outer layer composed of prismatic calcite suggests that these bivalves may have hosted abundant photosynthetic algal symbionts to support their large-body metabolism.
The DNA-binding specificity of a transcription factor, the FFRP FL4 (pot1613368) from Pyrococcus sp. OT3, was studied. Using SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential environment) experiments, from a set of fragments, ∼150 bps, of the genomic DNA of P. OT3, seven were selected as containing binding sites. Thirteen bases identified as shared by the seven selected fragments with the least mismatches, 2.71 on average, was ATGAAAAAG TCAT. This sequence was closely related with another sequence, ATGAA[AAA/TTT]TTCAT, in the 5-3-5 arrangement, i.e. NANBNCNDNE[AAA/TTT]NENDNCNBNA, where, e.g. NA was the base complementary to NA. The average number of mismatches found between this sequence and the seven fragments was 3.14. A sequence, TTGAAATTTA CAA, resembling the sequence ATGAA[AAA/TTT] TTCAT and also another 5-3-5 sequence, TTGAA[AAA/ TTT]TTCAA, was found upstream of the fl4 gene, which is potentially recognized by FL4 for auto-regulation. Thus it is likely that an ideal binding-site of FL4 is ATGAA[AAA/TTT]TTCAT or TTGAA[AAA/TTT]TTCAA. In this abstract, the sequences were highlighted in Italic at 3, and with bold characters at 5 and 5. When two sequences compared were the same at some positions, there they were underlined.