On irradiation protection and linking the end of an ice age with atmospheric oxygen among other research
This press release contains:
· Summaries of newsworthy papers:
--- Irradiation protection
--- Linking the end of an ice age with atmospheric oxygen
· Mention of papers to be published at the same time with the same embargo
· Geographical listing of authors
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 Irradiation protection
Radiomitigating compounds that can protect mice from lethal does of irradiation are reported in Nature Communications this week. With further development, the work could potentially lead to new measures to counter radiation terrorism, or to protect normal tissues from ionizing irradiation during clinical radiotherapy.
Ionizing radiation induces cell death and is currently used positively in medical applications, such as bone marrow transplantation, where some protective measures are employed against unwanted damage to cells. However, in uncontrolled situations of exposure to radiation, such as during terrorist attacks or exposure of flight crews during extended space missions, the development of protective measures is lagging behind.
Valerian Kagan and co-workers designed and produced oleic and stearic acid derivatives that target mitochondria and inhibit pro-apoptotic oxidative events which lead to cell death. By administering these derivatives to mice they observe that radioprotective effects can be seen in mice treated 1 hour before to 24 hours after irradiation.
The authors suggest that the new ‘pro-oxidant’ enzymatic activity of certain protein complexes shown in this work represents a potential target for anti-apoptotic radioprotective drugs.
Valerian Kagan (University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
Tel: +1 412 624 9479; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
 Linking the end of an ice age with atmospheric oxygen
Evidence for a link between rising atmospheric oxygen and the end of an ice age during the Early Palaeoproterozoic is reported in Nature Communications this week. The result supports previous work, which suggests that as the Earth recovered from an ice age this acted to speed up the rise in the atmospheric oxygen levels, and therefore also helps explain the connection between ice ages which occurred 2.5–2.0 billion years ago and the Great Oxidation Event.
Yasuhito Sekine and colleagues analysed Osmium isotopes in sediments dating from during and after the second Palaeoproterozoic ice age. Their findings, from shallow marine environments, suggest increasing atmospheric oxygen levels during this time are in agreement with the hypothesis that the recovery from the ice age accelerated the Great Oxidation Event.
Yasuhito Sekine (University of Tokyo, Chiba, Japan)
Tel: +81 4 7136 3954; E-mail: email@example.com
Papers to go live at the same time and with the same embargo…
 Control of electronic conduction at an oxide heterointerface using surface polar adsorbates
 Electrosensory ampullary organs are derived from lateral line placodes in bony fishes
 Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy maps the folding landscape of a large protein
 Bottom-up synthesis of finite models of helical (n,m)-single-wall carbon nanotubes
 Selective fluorescent probes for live-cell monitoring of sulphide
 Pericytes resident in postnatal skeletal muscle differentiate into muscle fibres and generate satellite cells
 The ubiquitin ligase HACE1 regulates Golgi membrane dynamics during the cell cycle
 Travelling and splitting of a wave of hedgehog expression involved in spider-head segmentation
 NMDA receptor activation requires remodelling of intersubunit contacts within ligand-binding heterodimers
GEOGRAPHICAL LISTING OF AUTHORS…
The following list of places refers to the whereabouts of authors on the papers numbered in this release. For example, London: 4 - this means that on paper number four, there will be at least one author affiliated to an institute or company in London. The listing may be for an author's main affiliation, or for a place where they are working temporarily. Please see the PDF of the paper for full details.
St Catharines: 1
Chiba: 2, 3
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
San Diego: 4
Ann Arbor: 7, 9
New York: 4
From North America and Canada
Neda Afsarmanesh, Nature New York
Tel: +1 212 726 9231; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
From Japan, Korea, China, Singapore and Taiwan
Mika Nakano, Nature Tokyo
Tel: +81 3 3267 8751; E-mail: email@example.com
From the UK
Rachel Twinn, Nature, London
Tel: +44 20 7843 4658; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org