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GTC cover art July 2017

July 2017
Kyoto's Gion Matsuri is one of Japan's three greatest festivals, and its highlight is Yamahoko Junko (decorated floats' parade) in which many decorated floats with hundreds of years of tradition parade through the central part of Kyoto. Now, is the float passing by in front of us Naginata-boko that is famous for its naginata (long-handled sword) on top? No, it is the 'telomere' float. In the T-loop-like structure of the telomere extending upward on the roof, you can see two Shagumas (straw ornaments) likened to TRF1 and TRF2 bound to the double strand region and Ohata (flag) likened POT1 bound to the 3′-single-stranded overhang. These factors are comprised of the shelterin complex and need to work cooperatively and continuously for maintenance the telomere structure. Such unremitting efforts are needed to preserve not only traditions, but also telomeres.

GTC cover art June 2017

June 2017
Fireflies are flying and glowing fantastically. Patterns of firefly squids, 'yakoutake' (glowing mushrooms; Mycena chlorophos) and 'owankurage' (crystal jelly; Aequorea victoria) are seen on kimono. They share a common mechanism in which a class of chemiluminescent substrate (luciferin) is oxidized and excited by the catalytic function of a class of enzymes (luciferase), and light is emitted as a result. There has been a custom of appreciating the glow of fireflies in Japan since ancient times, however, it was possible only for a short period in early summer. Life scientists today are lucky to admire the chemiluminescent signal throughout the year. The structural formulas in the sky, and on the woman's and child's round fans are those of firefly luciferin, its dioxetane derivative and excited oxyluciferin, respectively.

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