Abstract:
Both PHA-E and RCA-I almost exclusively labeled an 82–84 kDa protein band of an SDS-PAGE of solubilized barbel taste epithelial membranes. Further, both rhodamine-conjugated RCA-I and polyclonal antibodies raised to the 82–84 kDa electroeluted peptides labeled the apical region of catfish taste buds. Because of the specificity shown by RCA-I, lectin affinity was chosen as the first of a three-step procedure designed to enrich the presumed LGICR for L-Arg. Purified and CHAPS-solubilized taste epithelial membrane proteins were subjected successively to (1), lectin (RCA-I) affinity; (2), gel filtration (Sephacryl S-300HR); and (3), ion exchange chromatography. All fractions from each chromatography step were evaluated for L-Arg-induced ion channel activity by reconstituting each fraction into a lipid bilayer. Active fractions demonstrated L-Arg-induced channel activity that was inhibited by D-arginine (D-Arg) with kinetics nearly identical to those reported earlier for L-Arg-stimulated ion channels of native barbel membranes reconstituted into lipid bilayers. After the final enrichment step, SDS-PAGE of the active ion channel protein fraction revealed a single band at 82–84 kDa which may be interpreted as a component of a multimeric receptor/channel complex.The data are consistent with the supposition that the L-Arg receptor is a LGICR. This taste receptor remains active during biochemical enrichment procedures. This is the first report of enrichment of an active LGICR from the taste system of vertebrata.The initial event in taste transduction involves recognition of taste stimuli by plasma membrane-associated receptor proteins. These proteins are concentrated at the apical end of specialized neuro-epithelial cells (taste cells) found within multicellular end-organs known as taste buds [1,2]. The recognition binding sites for most taste stimuli face the exterior environment. The interaction of a taste stimulus with this recognition site triggers a chain of metabolic an

Abstract:
A new technique is described by which light-induced gauge potentials allow systems of ultra-cold neutral atoms to behave like charged particles in a magnetic field. Here, atoms move in a uniform laser field with a spatially varying Zeeman shift and experience an effective magnetic field. This technique is applicable for atoms with two or more internal ground states. Finally, an explicit model of the system using a single-mode 2D Gross-Pitaevskii equation yields the expected vortex lattice.

Abstract:
Inspection of the Ross-Macdonald expression of the basic reproductive number (R0) suggests that this quantity may increase with reservoir host mortality. Computer simulation confirms this finding and indicates that the level of virulence is positively associated with the numbers of infectious mosquitoes by the end of the epizootic. The presence of reservoir incompetent hosts in even moderate numbers largely eliminated the transmission-enhancing effect of host mortality. Local host die-off may prevent mosquitoes to "waste" infectious blood meals on immune host and may thus facilitate perpetuation and spread of transmission.Under certain conditions, host mortality may enhance transmission of WNV and similarly maintained arboviruses and thus facilitate their emergence and spread. The validity of the assumptions upon which this argument is built need to be empirically examined.In 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) emerged in North America with a massive and deadly avian epizootic in New York City [1] that was accompanied by a cluster of human meningo-encephalitis cases [2]. Among the avian species affected by that epizootic, corvids and certain exotic zoo specimens were particularly obvious [3]. Since then, WNV has disseminated across the entire contiguous United States and southern Canada, becoming the most common arboviral disease in North America. More recently, evidence of WNV transmission has been reported from Central America, South America and the Caribbean [4-7]. Although Work and colleagues, in their original studies on WNV transmission [8], observed 100% mortality in experimentally infected hooded crows (Corvus cornix), substantial and widespread mortality in wild birds had not previously been noted. In the year preceding the emergence of WNV in North America, however, a number of domestic geese (Anser anser) and white storks (Ciconia ciconia) died of WNV infection in Israel [9,10]. That variant of the virus was closely related to the virus introduced into North Amer

Abstract:
Background The perception of sour taste in humans is incompletely understood at the receptor cell level. We report here on two patients with an acquired sour ageusia. Each patient was unresponsive to sour stimuli, but both showed normal responses to bitter, sweet, and salty stimuli. Methods and Findings Lingual fungiform papillae, containing taste cells, were obtained by biopsy from the two patients, and from three sour-normal individuals, and analyzed by RT-PCR. The following transcripts were undetectable in the patients, even after 50 cycles of amplification, but readily detectable in the sour-normal subjects: acid sensing ion channels (ASICs) 1a, 1β, 2a, 2b, and 3; and polycystic kidney disease (PKD) channels PKD1L3 and PKD2L1. Patients and sour-normals expressed the taste-related phospholipase C-β2, the δ-subunit of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and the bitter receptor T2R14, as well as β-actin. Genomic analysis of one patient, using buccal tissue, did not show absence of the genes for ASIC1a and PKD2L1. Immunohistochemistry of fungiform papillae from sour-normal subjects revealed labeling of taste bud cells by antibodies to ASICs 1a and 1β, PKD2L1, phospholipase C-β2, and δ-ENaC. An antibody to PKD1L3 labeled tissue outside taste bud cells. Conclusions These data suggest a role for ASICs and PKDs in human sour perception. This is the first report of sour ageusia in humans, and the very existence of such individuals (“natural knockouts”) suggests a cell lineage for sour that is independent of the other taste modalities.

Abstract:
We theoretically explore the optical flux lattices produced for ultra-cold atoms subject to laser fields where both the atom-light coupling and the effective detuning are spatially periodic. We analyze the geometric vector potential and the magnetic flux it generates, as well as the accompanying geometric scalar potential. We show how to understand the gauge-dependent Aharonov-Bohm singularities in the vector potential, and calculate the continuous magnetic flux through the elementary cell in terms of these singularities. The analysis is illustrated with a square optical flux lattice. We conclude with an explicit laser configuration yielding such a lattice using a set of five properly chosen beams with two counterpropagating pairs (one along the x axes and the other y axes), together with a single beam along the z axis. We show that this lattice is not phase-stable, and identify the one phase-difference that affects the magnetic flux. Thus armed with realistic laser setup, we directly compute the Chern number of the lowest Bloch band to identify the region where the non- zero magnetic flux produces a topologically non-trivial band structure.

Abstract:
We use support theory, in particular the fretsaw extensions of Shklarski and Toledo, to design preconditioners for the stiffness matrices of 2-dimensional truss structures that are stiffly connected. Provided that all the lengths of the trusses are within constant factors of each other, that the angles at the corners of the triangles are bounded away from 0 and $\pi$, and that the elastic moduli and cross-sectional areas of all the truss elements are within constant factors of each other, our preconditioners allow us to solve linear equations in the stiffness matrices to accuracy $\epsilon$ in time $O (n^{5/4} (\log^{2}n \log \log n)^{3/4} \log (1/\epsilon))$.

Abstract:
We present faster approximation algorithms for generalized network flow problems. A generalized flow is one in which the flow out of an edge differs from the flow into the edge by a constant factor. We limit ourselves to the lossy case, when these factors are at most 1. Our algorithm uses a standard interior-point algorithm to solve a linear program formulation of the network flow problem. The system of linear equations that arises at each step of the interior-point algorithm takes the form of a symmetric M-matrix. We present an algorithm for solving such systems in nearly linear time. The algorithm relies on the Spielman-Teng nearly linear time algorithm for solving linear systems in diagonally-dominant matrices. For a graph with m edges, our algorithm obtains an additive epsilon approximation of the maximum generalized flow and minimum cost generalized flow in time tildeO(m^(3/2) * log(1/epsilon)). In many parameter ranges, this improves over previous algorithms by a factor of approximately m^(1/2). We also obtain a similar improvement for exactly solving the standard min-cost flow problem.

Abstract:
We realize a single-band 2D Bose-Hubbard system with Rb atoms in an optical lattice and measure the condensate fraction as a function of lattice depth, crossing from the superfluid to the Mott-insulating phase. We quantitatively identify the location of the superfluid to normal transition by observing when the condensed fraction vanishes. Our measurement agrees with recent quantum Monte Carlo calculations for a finite-sized 2D system to within experimental uncertainty.

Abstract:
Cold atoms confined in periodic potentials are remarkably versatile quantum systems for implementing simple models prevalent in condensed matter theory. In the current experiment, we realize the 2D Bose-Hubbard model by loading a Bose-Einstein condensate into an optical lattice, and we study the resulting Mott insulating state (a phase of matter in which atoms are localized on specific lattice sites). We measure momentum distributions which agree quantitatively with theory (no adjustable parameters). We also study correlations in atom shot nose and observe a pronounced dependence on the lattice depth, this dependence indicates geometric effects to first order and suggests deviations due to higher order corrections.

Abstract:
We demonstrate that dynamical probes provide direct means of detecting the topological phase transition (TPT) between conventional and topological phases, which would otherwise be difficult to access because of loss or heating processes. We propose to avoid such heating by rapidly quenching in and out of the short-lived topological phase across the transition that supports gapless excitations. Following the quench, the distribution of excitations in the final conventional phase carries signatures of the TPT. We apply this strategy to study the TPT into a Majorana-carrying topological phase predicted in one-dimensional spin-orbit-coupled Fermi gases with attractive interactions. The resulting spin-resolved momentum distribution, computed by self-consistently solving the time-dependent Bogoliubov--de Gennes equations, exhibits Kibble-Zurek scaling and St\"{u}ckelberg oscillations characteristic of the TPT. We discuss parameter regimes where the TPT is experimentally accessible.