In this week's Science, an international research team describes a new way to alter photosynthesis in plants to increase their light-harvesting ability and biomass production. Using tobacco plants, the researchers induced the expression of three genes related to two energy dissipation mechanisms believed to be involved in a mechanism plants use to adapt to varying levels of light and shade. Under fluctuating light conditions, the plants were better than their wild-type counterparts at carbon dioxide fixation and photosynthesis, and showed greater leaf area and height.
And in Science Signaling, a team from the Scripps Research Institute reports on the discovery of a protein-interaction network in the brain that appears to be important in Huntington's disease, and may offer clues about other brain disorders. The network is centered on the GTPase Rhes and contains multiple proteins associated with various neurological disorders, including major depressive disorder, Parkinson's disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and chronic pain.