Emergent resistance to all clinical antibiotics calls for the next generation of therapeutics. Here we report an effective antimicrobial strategy targeting the bacterial hydrogen sulfide (H2S)–mediated defense system. We identified cystathionine -lyase (CSE) as the primary generator of H2S in two major human pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and discovered small molecules that inhibit bacterial CSE. These inhibitors potentiate bactericidal antibiotics against both pathogens in vitro and in mouse models of infection. CSE inhibitors also suppress bacterial tolerance, disrupting biofilm formation and substantially reducing the number of persister bacteria that survive antibiotic treatment. Our results establish bacterial H2S as a multifunctional defense factor and CSE as a drug target for versatile antibiotic enhancers.
How eukaryotic cells assess and maintain sizes specific for their species and cell type remains unclear. We show that in the Arabidopsis shoot stem cell niche, cell size variability caused by asymmetric divisions is corrected by adjusting the growth period before DNA synthesis. KIP-related protein 4 (KRP4) inhibits progression to DNA synthesis and associates with mitotic chromosomes. The F BOX-LIKE 17 (FBL17) protein removes excess KRP4. Consequently, daughter cells are born with comparable amounts of KRP4. Inhibitor dilution models predicted that KRP4 inherited through chromatin would robustly regulate size, whereas inheritance of excess free KRP4 would disrupt size homeostasis, as confirmed by mutant analyses. We propose that a cell cycle regulator, stabilized by association with mitotic chromosomes, reads DNA content as a cell size–independent scale.
Coherent optical excitations in two-dimensional (2D) materials, 2D polaritons, can generate a plethora of optical phenomena that arise from the extraordinary dispersion relations that do not exist in regular materials. Probing of the dynamical phenomena of 2D polaritons requires simultaneous spatial and temporal imaging capabilities and could reveal unknown coherent optical phenomena in 2D materials. Here, we present a spatiotemporal measurement of 2D wave packet dynamics, from its formation to its decay, using an ultrafast transmission electron microscope driven by femtosecond midinfrared pulses. The ability to coherently excite phonon-polariton wave packets and probe their evolution in a nondestructive manner reveals intriguing dispersion-dependent dynamics that includes splitting of multibranch wave packets and, unexpectedly, wave packet deceleration and acceleration. Having access to the full spatiotemporal dynamics of 2D wave packets can be used to illuminate puzzles in topological polaritons and discover exotic nonlinear optical phenomena in 2D materials.
Ammonia (NH3) is a globally important commodity for fertilizer production, but its synthesis by the Haber-Bosch process causes substantial emissions of carbon dioxide. Alternative, zero-carbon emission NH3 synthesis methods being explored include the promising electrochemical lithium-mediated nitrogen reduction reaction, which has nonetheless required sacrificial sources of protons. In this study, a phosphonium salt is introduced as a proton shuttle to help resolve this limitation. The salt also provides additional ionic conductivity, enabling high NH3 production rates of 53 ± 1 nanomoles per second per square centimeter at 69 ± 1% faradaic efficiency in 20-hour experiments under 0.5-bar hydrogen and 19.5-bar nitrogen. Continuous operation for more than 3 days is demonstrated.
Extending the framework of statistical physics to the nonequilibrium setting has led to the discovery of previously unidentified phases of matter, often catalyzed by periodic driving. However, preventing the runaway heating that is associated with driving a strongly interacting quantum system remains a challenge in the investigation of these newly discovered phases. In this work, we utilize a trapped-ion quantum simulator to observe the signatures of a nonequilibrium driven phase without disorder—the prethermal discrete time crystal. Here, the heating problem is circumvented not by disorder-induced many-body localization, but rather by high-frequency driving, which leads to an expansive time window where nonequilibrium phases can emerge. Floquet prethermalization is thus presented as a general strategy for creating, stabilizing, and studying intrinsically out-of-equilibrium phases of matter.
We explored the bonding properties of the quantum corral (a circle of 48 iron atoms placed on a copper surface) reported by Crommie et al. in 1993, along with variants, as an artificial atom using an atomic force microscope (AFM). The original corral geometry confines 102 electrons to 28 discrete energy states, and we found that these states can form a bond to the front atom of the AFM with an energy of about 5 millielectron volts. The measured forces are about 1/1000 of typical forces in atomically resolved AFM. The confined electrons showed covalent attraction to metal tips and Pauli repulsion to CO-terminated tips. The repulsion at close distance was evident from the response of corral states created by deliberately placing single iron atoms inside the corral. The forces scaled appropriately with a 24-atom corral.