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[Research Article] Structure of a eukaryotic voltage-gated sodium channel at near-atomic resolution

Voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels are responsible for the initiation and propagation of action potentials. They are associated with a variety of channelopathies and are targeted by multiple pharmaceutical drugs and natural toxins. Here, we report the cryogenic electron microscopy structure of a putative Nav channel from American cockroach (designated NavPaS) at 3.8 angstrom resolution. The voltage-sensing domains (VSDs) of the four repeats exhibit distinct conformations. The entrance to the asymmetric selectivity filter vestibule is guarded by heavily glycosylated and disulfide bond–stabilized extracellular loops. On the cytoplasmic side, a conserved amino-terminal…

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[Research Article] Persistent effects of pre-Columbian plant domestication on Amazonian forest composition

The extent to which pre-Columbian societies altered Amazonian landscapes is hotly debated. We performed a basin-wide analysis of pre-Columbian impacts on Amazonian forests by overlaying known archaeological sites in Amazonia with the distributions and abundances of 85 woody species domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples. Domesticated species are five times more likely than nondomesticated species to be hyperdominant. Across the basin, the relative abundance and richness of domesticated species increase in forests on and around archaeological sites. In southwestern and eastern Amazonia, distance to archaeological sites strongly influences the relative abundance and…

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