PHYSICS Digital spiral imaging through correlations in orbital angular momentum degree of random light In the past few years, photons entangled through the orbital angular momentum (OAM) degree of freedom have been utilized to probe specimens non-invasively in a technique known as digital spiral imaging. Guilu Long's group at Tsinghua University cooperated with Robert W. Boyd's group at the University of Rochester to demonstrate that fluctuations in OAM intensity seen in natural light can achieve similar imaging correlations at any illumination level (see Fig. 1). These spiral spectra are detectable in a fraction of the time required for quantum entanglement and are immune to environmental noise. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide The angular properties of natural sources of light, such as sunlight, could lead to robust technologies for remote sensing and imaging. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide The angular properties of natural sources of light, such as sunlight, could lead to robust technologies for remote sensing and imaging. [Yang Z et al. Light Sci Appl 2017; 6: e17013] PHYSICS New application of plasmons: nanofabrication Surface plasmons are widely known for achieving light localization in the nanoregion, yet have not been explored for fabrication beyond the light diffraction limit. Recently, Lei Wang, Qi-Dai Chen at Jilin University and co-workers developed a surface plasmonic nanoprinting technique by self-organized sub-wavelength energy deposition—ripples—realizing maskless highly efficient sub-diffraction fabrication and changing the way people think about the applications of plasmons. They further demonstrated large-area sub-wavelength structures highly efficiently; these are expected to open new applications in the photo-electronic area. [Wang L et al. Light Sci Appl 2017; 6: e17112] CHEMISTRY Molecular Borromean rings from construction to stability One intriguing and challenging synthetic target in catenane is the family of molecular Borromean rings (BRs). BRs consist of three chemically independent rings locked in such a way that no two of the three rings are linked with each other. Interestingly, the structure of BRs is very similar to a Kong-Ming lock (孔明锁), a kind of Chinese traditional six-piece burr puzzle. Recently, Guo-Xin Jin and co-workers from Fudan University reported a series of Cp*Rh-based BRs, and further established the relation between stability and structure. [Lu Y et al. Chin J Chem 2018; 36: 106–11] CHEMISTRY New red-emitting luminogens based on perylene diimides for OLED with an EQE value of 4.93% Nowadays, red-light-emitting materials with high performance still remain one of the greatest challenges. So far, few red emitters based on perylene diimides (PDI) utilized in OLED have been reported, regardless of their advantages. Recently, Guohua Xie, Qianqian Li, and Zhen Li (Wuhan University) and co-workers reported six novel PDI derivatives with excellent chemical, thermal and photo-chemical stability, which were utilized in OLED and obtained good device performance with an achieved external quantum efficiency (EQE) value of 4.93%, demonstrating that PDI derivatives could serve as promising candidates for standard-red OLED materials. [Zong L et al. Sci Bull 2018; 63: 108–16] PLANT & ANIMAL SCIENCE Regenerating human lung by stem-cell transplantation Irreversible destruction of lung tissue leads to multiple incurable lung diseases, and stem-cell-based regenerative medicine is one of the biggest hopes to treat such diseases. A research team led by Wei Zuo (Tongji University) reported their breakthrough in human lung regeneration technology. They isolated a population of stem cells from adult bronchi which can be marked by SOX9 gene expression. By transplanting such cells into the airway, they regenerated human bronchi and alveolar structure for the first time in model mice and also in the human body. [Ma QW et al. Protein Cell 2018, 9: 267–82] BIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY Dynamic partnering for an accurate mitotic orchestra Mitosis is one of the most fascinating pieces of choreography in cellular dynamics. The interactions between fibrous microtubules and condensed DNA segregate accurately and equally parental genomes into two daughter cells during mitosis. A small GTPase Ran gradient is required for spindle geometry during cell division. However, it is unclear how the mitotic machinery regulates the Ran GTPase dynamics. Yunyu Shi, Jihui Wu, Xuebiao Yao and co-workers from the University of Science & Technology of China have established an intriguing regulatory mechanism in which Ran acetylation by tumor suppressor TIP60 orchestrates the chromosome dynamics and stability during mitosis. [Bao XL et al. J Mol Cell Biol 2018; 10: 18–32] MOLECULAR BIOLOGY & GENETICS The Eucommia ulmoides genome provides insights into environmental adaptation and polyisoprene biosynthesis Eucommia ulmoides has extremely strong environmental adaptability and is the only hardy rubber tree growing in and around subtropical temperate regions. Knowledge of E. ulmoides genomics is limited, which has significantly hindered its molecular breeding. Tana Wuyun and Hongyan Du from the Non-timber Forest Research and Development Center, Chinese Academy of Forestry, and their co-workers reported a high-quality genome assembly of E. ulmoides and found the genes which are responsible for environmental adaptation and rubber production. Additionally, the multiple origins of polyisoprene biosynthesis in plants were revealed. These results provide insights into the biology and breeding of E. ulmoides. [Wuyun T-n et al. Mol Plant 2018; 11: 429–42] GEOSCIENCES A new toothed bird trapped in Burmese Cretaceous amber Amber from Myanmar has provided a new opportunity to study vertebrates such as Enantiornithes (primitive, toothed birds) in unmatched detail. In 2018, Ryan C. McKellar (Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Canada), Gang Li (Institute of High Energy Physics, CAS, China) and co-workers described a compressed skeleton (see Fig. 2), including the vertebral column, posterior-most skull, hips, and fragments of one wing and leg surrounded by feathers and soft tissue. This is the largest and most complete specimen described to date, providing internal details that elucidate the preservation process and chemistry of a corpse deposited in resin upon the forest floor approximately 99 million years ago. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Specimen overview and corresponding X-ray mCT renderings. Adapted from Sci Bull 2018; 63: 235–43. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Specimen overview and corresponding X-ray mCT renderings. Adapted from Sci Bull 2018; 63: 235–43. [Xing LD et al. Sci Bull 2018; 63: 235–43] MATERIALS SCIENCE Nanoengineering biomimetic mechano-bactericidal surfaces The development of nanoengineered surfaces to prevent bacterial colonization by creating physically unfavorable nanotopologies has made recent advances. Most notably, the pioneering work of Elena Ivanova and co-workers at Swinburne University of Technology has paved the way for the development of highly effective mechano-bactericidal materials, which can kill bacteria on contact. Black silicon, a synthetic nanopillared surface, was shown to efficiently kill bacteria by inducing membrane rupturing due to extensive stretching and tearing. Investigations into the surface chemistry and variations in geometric parameters confirmed that the bactericidal activity stems purely from the physical nanoarchitecture and is not influenced by chemical changes. [Bhadra CM et al. Nano-Micro Lett 2018; 10: 36] MATERIALS SCIENCE AuNR@PAA/CaP yolk–shell multifunctional nanoparticle-assisted theranostic agents for cancer cells Recently, Chungang Wang and co-workers at Northeast Normal University successfully fabricated a calcium phosphate (CaP)-based biomedical material composed of a CaP shell and a gold nanorod yolk. The obtained nanoparticles are employed for synergic dual-mode X-ray computed tomography/photoacoustic imaging and chemotherapy/photothermal therapy in vitro (see Fig. 3). The work brings promising insights for the synthesis of multifunctional yolk–shell nanomaterials for cancer theranostics. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Schematic illustration of the AuNR@PAA/CaP yolk–shell nanoparticles as theranostic agents in vitro. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Schematic illustration of the AuNR@PAA/CaP yolk–shell nanoparticles as theranostic agents in vitro. [Li G et al. Nano-Micro Lett 2018; 10: 7] MATERIALS SCIENCE Tiny kilohertz filtering supercapacitors to replace bulky electrolytic capacitors Nanostructure design is critical to boost the frequency response of supercapacitors from the current level below 1 Hz to above tens of kHz for applications such as ripple current filtering and pulse generation. Recently, Zhaoyang Fan and co-workers at Texas Tech University reported composite electrodes made from edge-oriented graphene (EOG)-coated carbon nanofibers (CNF) with an outstanding capacitance density of 3.7 F cm−3 and 22 kHz characteristic frequency. These composite electrodes have been tested as filtering capacitors in AC/DC converters with confirmed high performance. [Islam N et al. Nano-Micro Lett 2018; 10: 9] INFORMATION SCIENCE Playing hide and seek in the polarization profile of a laser beam Light polarization can be used to play hide and seek. Xianzhong Chen and co-workers at Heriot-Watt University and Shuang Zhang at the University of Birmingham proposed and experimentally demonstrated an approach to hide a high-resolution grayscale image in the polarization profile of a laser beam. Unlike optical holograms, where the information is encoded in the phase profile of the light beam, the image is encoded in its polarization profile. This unique technology in grayscale image encoding and polarization manipulation renders new opportunities for various applications including encryption, imaging, anti-counterfeiting and display. [Yue F et al. Light Sci Appl 2018; 7: 17129] © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of China Science Publishing & Media Ltd. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
National Science Review – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 23, 2018
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