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GTC cover art February 2015

February 2015
An atmospheric ghost light that is called Kitsunebi ('fox light') is described in Japanese folklore. The most famous one is the one in the Oji Inari shrine (Kita-ku, Tokyo). Every New Year's Eve in the old lunar calendar, foxes from all of the Kanto area, all suited up, gather to this shrine, light Kitsunebi under a big tree, and then stand in line. In this drawing, while the line of Kitsunebi in a standard single color is ahead of the rest, the rest of the foxes gathering under the tree are holding up 'new generation Kitsunebi' in various colors and about to join the line. This scene is reminiscent of the green fluorescent protein (GFP; here are three spatial structure models) genetically engineered so as to be available in different emission peaks.

GTC cover art January 2015

January 2015
Some dioecious plants determine sex by sex chromosomes (XY or ZW) like mammals or birds. A pair of birds on branches of a pine tree, which is a symbol of a new year in Japan, is a couple of Eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus) having extreme sexual dimorphism (left: ZZ male; right: ZW female). What they hold in their beaks are flowers of 'Suiba' (common sorrel or Rumex acetosa; left: XY1Y2 male; right: XX female). Suiba is one of the first species among the seed plants whose existence of sex chromosomes was reported (H. Kimura & T. Ono (1923) Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 37(438), 147-149. DOI: 10.15281/jplantres1887.37.438_147). It is known that Suiba's sex determination system is similar to that of Drosophila and depends on the ratio of X chromosomes to autosomes.

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