Abstract:
Background The polycomb-group (PcG) proteins function as general regulators of stem cells. We previously reported that retrovirus-mediated overexpression of Bmi1, a gene encoding a core component of polycomb repressive complex (PRC) 1, maintained self-renewing hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during long-term culture. However, the effects of overexpression of Bmi1 on HSCs in vivo remained to be precisely addressed. Methodology/Principal findings In this study, we generated a mouse line where Bmi1 can be conditionally overexpressed under the control of the endogenous Rosa26 promoter in a hematopoietic cell-specific fashion (Tie2-Cre;R26StopFLBmi1). Although overexpression of Bmi1 did not significantly affect steady state hematopoiesis, it promoted expansion of functional HSCs during ex vivo culture and efficiently protected HSCs against loss of self-renewal capacity during serial transplantation. Overexpression of Bmi1 had no effect on DNA damage response triggered by ionizing radiation. In contrast, Tie2-Cre;R26StopFLBmi1 HSCs under oxidative stress maintained a multipotent state and generally tolerated oxidative stress better than the control. Unexpectedly, overexpression of Bmi1 had no impact on the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Conclusions/Significance Our findings demonstrate that overexpression of Bmi1 confers resistance to stresses, particularly oxidative stress, onto HSCs. This thereby enhances their regenerative capacity and suggests that Bmi1 is located downstream of ROS signaling and negatively regulated by it.

Abstract:
We analyze the zero-energy sector of the trigonal zigzag nanodisk and corner based on the Dirac theory of graphene. The zero-energy states are shown to be indexed by the edge momentum and grouped according to the irreducible representation of the trigonal symmetry group $C_{3v}$. Wave functions are explicitly constructed as holomorphic or antiholomorphic functions around the K or K' point. Each zero-energy mode is a chiral edge mode. We find a texture of magnetic vortices. It is intriguing that a vortex with the winding number $2$ emerges in the state belonging to the $E$ (doublet) representation. The realization of such a vortex is vary rare.

Abstract:
The trigonal zigzag nanodisk with size $N$ has $N$ localized spins. We investigate its thermodynamical properties with and without external leads. Leads are made of zigzag graphene nanoribbons or ordinary metallic wires. There exists a quasi-phase transition between the quasi-ferromagnet and quasi-paramagnet states, as signaled by a sharp peak in the specific heat and in the susceptability. Lead effects are described by the many-spin Kondo Hamiltonian. A new peak emerges in the specific heat. Furthermore, the band width of free electrons in metallic leads becomes narrower. By investigating the spin-spin correlation it is argued that free electrons in the lead form spin-singlets with electrons in the nanodisk. They are indications of many-spin Kondo effects.

Abstract:
Graphene nanodisk is a graphene derivative with a closed edge. The trigonal zigzag nanodisk with size $N$ has $N$-fold degenerated zero-energy states. We investigate electron-electron interaction effects in the zero-energy sector. We explicitely derive the direct and exchange interactions, which are found to have no SU($N$) symmetry. Then, regarding a nanodisk as a quantum dot with an internal degree of freedom, we analyze the nanodisk-lead system consisting of a nanodisk and two leads. Employing the standard Green function method, we reveal novel Coulomb blockade effects in the system. The occupation number in the nanodisk exhibits a peculiar series of plateaux and dips, reflecting a peculiar structure of energy spectrum of nanodisk without SU($N$) symmetry. Dips are argued to emerge due to a Coulomb correlation effect.

Abstract:
Graphene nanoribbons are quasi-one-dimensional meterials with finite width. Characterizing a wide class of nanoribbons by edge shape and width, we make a systematic analysis of their electronic properties. The band gap structure of nanoribbons is shown to exhibit a valley structure with stream-like sequences of metallic or almost metallic nanoribbons. Among them, all zigzag nanoribbons are metallic, and armchair nanoribbons are metallic by period of 3. We find that these stream-like sequences correspond to equi-width curves, and that the band gap of chiral and armchair nanoribbons oscillate as a function of the width. Furthermore a possible application of nanoribbons to nanoelectronics is discussed.

Abstract:
The intrinsic Zeeman energy is precisely one half of the cyclotron energy for electrons in graphene. As a result a Landau-level mixing occurs to create the energy spectrum comprised of the $4j$-fold degenerated zero-energy level and 4-fold degenerated nonzero-energy levels in the $j$-layer graphene, where $j=1,2,3$ for monolayer, bilayer and trilayer, respectively. The degeneracy manifests itself in the quantum Hall (QH) effect. We study how the degeneracy is removed by the Coulomb interactions. With respect to the zero-energy level, an excitonic gap opens by making a BCS-type condensation of electron-hole pairs at the filling factor $\nu =0$. It gives birth to the Ising QH ferromagnet at $\nu =\pm 1$ for monolayer, $\nu =\pm 1,\pm 3$ for bilayer, and $\nu =\pm 1,\pm 3,\pm 5$ for trilayer graphene from the zero-energy degeneracy. With respect to the nonzero-energy level, a remarkable consequence is derived that the effective Coulomb potential depends on spins, since a single energy level contains up-spin and down-spin electrons belonging to different Landau levels. The spin-dependent Coulomb interaction leads to the valley polarization at $\nu =\pm 4, \pm 8, \pm 12, ...$ for monolayer, $\nu =\pm 2, \pm 6, \pm 10, >...$ for bilayer, and $\nu =\pm 2,\pm 4, \pm 8, \pm 12, ...$ for trilayer graphene.

Abstract:
We explore the electronic properties of finite-length graphene nanoribbons as well as graphene nanodisks with various sizes and shapes in quest of metallic ones. For this purpose it is sufficient to search zero-energy states. We find that there exist no zero-energy states in finite-length zigzag nanoribbons though all infinite-length zigzag nanoribbons have zero-energy states. The occurrence of zero-energy states is surprisingly rare. Among typical nanodisks, only trigonal zigzag nanodisks have degenerate zero-energy states and show metallic ferromagnetism, where the degeneracy can be controlled arbitrarily by designing the size. A remarkable property is that the relaxation time is quite large in spite of its small size in trigonal zigzag nanodisks.

Abstract:
Trigonal zigzag graphene nanodisk exhibits magnetism whose spin is proportional to the edge length of the nanodisk. Its spin can be designed from 1/2 to a huge value. The spins form a quasiferromagnet, which has intermediate properties between a single spin and a ferromagnet. In other words, the ferromagnet order has a relatively long life time, and yet the nanodisk spin can be rotated by external field or current. We consider a nanodisk connected with two leads. This system acts as a spin filter just as in a metal-ferromagnet-metal junction. In this way we can generate a spin current. Furthermore we can manipulate spin current by spin valve, spin switch and other spintronic devices made of graphene nanodisks. We also show that nanodisk spins are robust against the effect of randomness in site energy, transfer energy and lattice defects.

Abstract:
Bilayer silicene has richer physical properties than bilayer graphene due to its buckled structure together with its trigonal symmetric structure. The buckled structure arises from a large ionic radius of silicon, and the trigonal symmetry from a particular way of hopping between two silicenes. It is a topologically trivial insulator since it carries a trivial $\mathbb{Z}_{2}$ topological charge. Nevertheless, its physical properties are more akin to those of a topological insulator than those of a band insulator. Indeed, a bilayer silicene nanoribbon has edge modes which are almost gapless and helical. We may call it a quasi-topological insulator. An important observation is that the band structure is controllable by applying the electric field to a bilayer silicene sheet. We investigate the energy spectrum of bilayer silicene under electric field. Just as monolayer silicene undergoes a phase transition from a topological insulator to a band insulator at a certain electric field, bilayer silicene makes a transition from a quasi-topological insulator to a band insulator beyond a certain critical field. Bilayer silicene is a metal while monolayer silicene is a semimetal at the critical field. Furthermore we find that there are several critical electric fields where the gap closes due to the trigonal warping effect in bilayer silicene.

Abstract:
Silicene is a monolayer of silicon atoms forming a honeycomb lattice. The lattice is actually made of two sublattices with a tiny separation. Silicene is a topological insulator, which is characterized by a full insulating gap in the bulk and helical gapless edges. It undergoes a phase transition from a topological insulator to a band insulator by applying external electric field. Analyzing the spin Chern number based on the effective Dirac theory, we find their origin to be a pseudospin meron in the momentum space. The peudospin degree of freedom arises from the two-sublattice structure. Our analysis makes clear the mechanism how a phase transition occurs from a topological insulator to a band insulator under increasing electric field. We propose a method to determine the critical electric field with the aid of diamagnetism of silicene. Diamagnetism is tunable by the external electric field, and exhibits a singular behaviour at the critical electric field. Our result is important also from the viewpoint of cross correlation between electric field and magnetism. Our finding will be important for future electro-magnetic correlated devices.