Annals

Annals Reports (2)

Edited by Edited by Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences editorial staff
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Annals Reports (2)

Published: September 2015

Volume 1352

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The first paper highlights the connection between nutrition and the complex science of preventing disease and discusses the promotion of optimal metabolic health, building on input from several complementary disciplines. The discussion focuses on (1) the basic science of optimal metabolic health, including data from gene–diet interactions, microbiome, and epidemiological research in nutrition, with the goal of defining better targets and interventions, and (2) how nutrition, from pharma to lifestyle, can build on systems science to address complex issues.

Also included is a report on the use of existing light-regulated proteins and small molecules to control RNA function in living cells. Light-responsive proteins have been used in the field of optogenetics to control cellular functions. The paper explores the challenges of and potential strategies for engineering light regulation into functional RNAs in cells. Applications of light-regulated RNAs for synthetic biology and for studying functions of endogenously expressed RNAs are also discussed.

The ability to sense and respond to mechanical forces is essential for life and cells have evolved a variety of systems to convert physical forces into cellular signals. Within this repertoire are the mechanosensitive ion channels, proteins that play critical roles in mechanosensation by transducing forces into ionic currents across cellular membranes. A third paper reviews the current understanding of a family of mechanosensitive ion channels TRAAK, TREK1, and TREK2.