Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Bond


Nonhuman primates use social touch for maintenance and reinforcement of social structures, yet the role of social touch in human bonding in different reproductive, affiliative, and kinship-based relationships remains unresolved. Here we reveal quantified, relationship-specific maps of bodily regions where social touch is allowed in a large cross-cultural dataset (N = 1,368 from Finland, France, Italy, Russia, and the United Kingdom). Participants were shown front and back silhouettes of human bodies with a word denoting one member of their social network. They were asked to color, on separate trials, the bodily regions where each individual in their social network would be allowed to touch them. Across all tested cultures, the total bodily area where touching was allowed was linearly dependent (mean r(2) = 0.54) on the emotional bond with the toucher, but independent of when that person was last encountered. Close acquaintances and family members were touched for more reasons than less familiar individuals. The bodily area others are allowed to touch thus represented, in a parametric fashion, the strength of the relationship-specific emotional bond. We propose that the spatial patterns of human social touch reflect an important mechanism supporting the maintenance of social bonds.

Concepts: Human, Sociology, Primate, Interpersonal relationship, Bond, Human anatomy, IPod Touch, Human bonding


Trust in others' honesty is a key component of the long-term performance of firms, industries, and even whole countries. However, in recent years, numerous scandals involving fraud have undermined confidence in the financial industry. Contemporary commentators have attributed these scandals to the financial sector’s business culture, but no scientific evidence supports this claim. Here we show that employees of a large, international bank behave, on average, honestly in a control condition. However, when their professional identity as bank employees is rendered salient, a significant proportion of them become dishonest. This effect is specific to bank employees because control experiments with employees from other industries and with students show that they do not become more dishonest when their professional identity or bank-related items are rendered salient. Our results thus suggest that the prevailing business culture in the banking industry weakens and undermines the honesty norm, implying that measures to re-establish an honest culture are very important.

Concepts: Bond, Finance, Bank, Interest rate, Cheque, Financial services, Private banking, Overdraft


Human-like modes of communication, including mutual gaze, in dogs may have been acquired during domestication with humans. We show that gazing behavior from dogs, but not wolves, increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners, which consequently facilitated owners' affiliation and increased oxytocin concentration in dogs. Further, nasally administered oxytocin increased gazing behavior in dogs, which in turn increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners. These findings support the existence of an interspecies oxytocin-mediated positive loop facilitated and modulated by gazing, which may have supported the coevolution of human-dog bonding by engaging common modes of communicating social attachment.

Concepts: Psychology, Concentration, Sociology, Bond, Communication, Attachment theory, Support, Gray Wolf


Despite a major expansion of uranium-ligand multiple bond chemistry in recent years, analogous complexes involving other actinides (An) remain scarce. For thorium, under ambient conditions only a few multiple bonds to carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and chalcogenides are reported, and none to arsenic are known; indeed only two complexes with thorium-arsenic single bonds have been structurally authenticated, reflecting the challenges of stabilizing polar linkages at the large thorium ion. Here, we report thorium parent-arsenide (ThAsH2), -arsinidiides (ThAs(H)K and ThAs(H)Th) and arsenido (ThAsTh) linkages stabilized by a bulky triamidoamine ligand. The ThAs(H)K and ThAsTh linkages exhibit polarized-covalent thorium-arsenic multiple bonding interactions, hitherto restricted to cryogenic matrix isolation experiments, and the AnAs(H)An and AnAsAn linkages reported here have no precedent in f-block chemistry. 7s, 6d and 5f orbital contributions to the Th-As bonds are suggested by quantum chemical calculations, and their compositions unexpectedly appear to be tensioned differently compared to phosphorus congeners.

Concepts: Hydrogen, Molecule, Chemistry, Atom, Chemical element, Quantum chemistry, Physical chemistry, Bond


After the discovery of fullerene-C60, it took almost two decades for the possibility of boron-based fullerene structures to be considered. So far, there has been no experimental evidence for these nanostructures, in spite of the progress made in theoretical investigations of their structure and bonding. Here we report the observation, by photoelectron spectroscopy, of an all-boron fullerene-like cage cluster at B40(-) with an extremely low electron-binding energy. Theoretical calculations show that this arises from a cage structure with a large energy gap, but that a quasi-planar isomer of B40(-) with two adjacent hexagonal holes is slightly more stable than the fullerene structure. In contrast, for neutral B40 the fullerene-like cage is calculated to be the most stable structure. The surface of the all-boron fullerene, bonded uniformly via delocalized σ and π bonds, is not perfectly smooth and exhibits unusual heptagonal faces, in contrast to C60 fullerene.

Concepts: Scientific method, Electron, Carbon, Philosophy of science, Graphite, Bond, Fullerene, Truncated icosahedron


Human M-proinsulin was cleaved by trypsin at the R(31)R(32)-E(33) and K(64)R(65)-G(66) bonds (B/C and C/A junctions), showing the same cleavage specificity as exhibited by prohormone convertases 1 and 2 respectively. Buffalo/bovine M-proinsulin was also cleaved by trypsin at the K(59)R(60)-G(61) bond but at the B/C junction cleavage occurred at the R(31)R(32)-E(33) as well as the R(31)-R(32)E(33) bond. Thus, the human isoform in the native state, with a 31 residue connecting C-peptide, seems to have a unique structure around the B/C and C/A junctions and cleavage at these sites is predominantly governed by the structure of the proinsulin itself. In the case of both the proinsulin species the cleavage at the B/C junction was preferred (65%) over that at the C/A junction (35%) supporting the earlier suggestion of the presence of some form of secondary structure at the C/A junction. Proinsulin and its derivatives, as natural substrates for trypsin, were used and mass spectrometric analysis showed that the k(cat.)/K(m) values for the cleavage were most favourable for the scission of the bonds at the two junctions (1.02±0.08×10(5)s(-1)M(-1)) and the cleavage of the K(29)-T(30) bond of M-insulin-RR (1.3±0.07×10(5)s(-1)M(-1)). However, the K(29)-T(30) bond in M-insulin, insulin as well as M-proinsulin was shielded from attack by trypsin (k(cat.)/K(m) values around 1000s(-1)M(-1)). Hence, as the biosynthetic path follows the sequence; proinsulin→insulin-RR→insulin, the K(29)-T(30) bond becomes shielded, exposed then shielded again respectively.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Insulin, Pancreas, Sociology, Bond, C-peptide, Proinsulin, Bonds, Lancashire


The fringe banking industry, including payday lenders and check cashers, was nearly nonexistent three decades ago. Today it generates tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue. The industry’s growth accelerated in the 1980s with financial deregulation and the working class’s declining resources. With Current Population Survey data, we used propensity score matching to investigate the relationship between fringe loan use, unbanked status, and self-rated health, hypothesizing that the material and stress effects of exposure to these financial services would be harmful to health. We found that fringe loan use was associated with 38 percent higher prevalence of poor or fair health, while being unbanked (not having one’s own bank account) was associated with 17 percent higher prevalence. Although a variety of policies could mitigate the health consequences of these exposures, expanding social welfare programs and labor protections would address the root causes of the use of fringe services and advance health equity.

Concepts: Bond, Debt, Loan, Bank, Personal finance, Credit card, Payday loan, Predatory lending


Methylmercury (CH3Hg(+)) is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain anaerobic microorganisms in natural environments. Although numerous studies have characterized the basis of mercury (Hg) methylation, no studies have examined CH3Hg(+) degradation by methanotrophs, despite their ubiquitous presence in the environment. We report that some methanotrophs, such as Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b, can take up and degrade CH3Hg(+) rapidly, whereas others, such as Methylococcus capsulatus Bath, can take up but not degrade CH3Hg(+). Demethylation by M. trichosporium OB3b increases with increasing CH3Hg(+) concentrations but was abolished in mutants deficient in the synthesis of methanobactin, a metal-binding compound used by some methanotrophs, such as M. trichosporium OB3b. Furthermore, addition of methanol (>5 mM) as a competing one-carbon (C1) substrate inhibits demethylation, suggesting that CH3Hg(+) degradation by methanotrophs may involve an initial bonding of CH3Hg(+) by methanobactin followed by cleavage of the C-Hg bond in CH3Hg(+) by the methanol dehydrogenase. This new demethylation pathway by methanotrophs indicates possible broader involvement of C1-metabolizing aerobes in the degradation and cycling of toxic CH3Hg(+) in the environment.

Concepts: Oxygen, Environment, Natural environment, Bond, James Bond, Environmentalism, Environmental science, Anaerobic organism


Partner preference, or the selective social preference for a pair mate, is a key behavioral indicator of social monogamy. Standardized partner preference testing has been used extensively in rodents but a single test has not been standardized for primates. The goal of this study was to develop a partner preference test with socially monogamous titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus) adapted from the widely used rodent test. In Experiment 1, we evaluated the test with pairs of titi monkeys (N = 12) in a three-chambered apparatus for 3 hr. The subject was placed in the middle chamber, with grated windows separating it from its partner on one side and an opposite sex stranger on the other side. Subjects spent a greater proportion of time in proximity to their partners' windows than the strangers', indicating a consistent preference for the partner over the stranger. Touching either window did not differ between partners and strangers, suggesting it was not a reliable measure of partner preference. Subjects chose their partner more than the stranger during catch and release sessions at the end of the test. In Experiment 2, we compared responses of females with current partners (N = 12) in the preference test with other relationship types representing former attachment bonds (N = 13) and no attachment bond (N = 8). Only females from established pair bonds spent significantly more time near their partner’s window compared to the stranger’s indicating that this measure of preference was unique to current partners. Other measures of preference did not differentiate behavior toward a current partner and other relationship types. This test reproduces behavioral patterns found in previous studies in titi monkeys highlighting the accuracy of this new partner preference test. This test can be used as a standardized measure of partner preference in titi monkeys to quantitatively study pair bonding and evaluate factors influencing partner preference. Am. J. Primatol. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Primate, Bond, Monogamy, Pitheciidae, Titi, Value of monogamy


Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) surface treatment of fiber posts has been reported to increase bond strength of fiber posts to resin cements. However, residual oxygen radicals might jeopardize the bonding procedure. This study examined the effect of three antioxidant agents on the bond strength of fiber posts to conventional and self-adhesive resin cements.

Concepts: Oxygen, Hydrogen, Oxidative stress, Reactive oxygen species, Carbon, Hydrogen peroxide, Bond, Peroxide