Symmetry2014, 6(3), 704-721; doi:10.3390/sym6030704 - published 14 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The last fifteen years have seen the identification of some of the mechanisms involved in anterior neural plate specification, patterning, and morphogenesis, which constitute the first stages in the formation of the forebrain. These studies have provided us with a glimpse into the molecular mechanisms that drive the development of an embryonic structure, and have resulted in the realization that cell segregation in the anterior neural plate is essential for the accurate progression of forebrain morphogenesis. This review summarizes the latest advances in our understanding of mechanisms of cell segregation during forebrain development, with and emphasis on the impact of this process on the morphogenesis of one of the anterior neural plate derivatives, the eyes.
Symmetry2014, 6(3), 677-703; doi:10.3390/sym6030677 - published 13 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Controlled mirror symmetry breaking arising from chemical and physical origin is currently one of the hottest issues in the field of supramolecular chirality. The dynamic twisting abilities of solvent molecules are often ignored and unknown, although the targeted molecules and polymers in a fluid solution are surrounded by solvent molecules. We should pay more attention to the facts that mostly all of the chemical and physical properties of these molecules and polymers in the ground and photoexcited states are significantly influenced by the surrounding solvent molecules with much conformational freedom through non-covalent supramolecular interactions between these substances and solvent molecules. This review highlights a series of studies that include: (i) historical background, covering chiral NaClO3 crystallization in the presence of d-sugars in the late 19th century; (ii) early solvent chirality effects for optically inactive chromophores/fluorophores in the 1960s–1980s; and (iii) the recent development of mirror symmetry breaking from the corresponding achiral or optically inactive molecules and polymers with the help of molecular chirality as the solvent use quantity.
Symmetry2014, 6(3), 655-676; doi:10.3390/sym6030655 - published 7 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The crystal structure development of jojoba-like esters incorporating either 1-decenoic acid and/or 1-decenol, namely octadec-9-enyl dec-9-enoate (JLE-281), and its isomer dec-9-enyl oleate (JLE-282) was investigated to reveal the effect of symmetry about the ester group on crystallization of aliphatic fatty monoesters. The phase transformation path was investigated with temperature-time resolved X-ray diffraction during stepped isothermal crystallization, and while cooling from the melt at a fixed rate. Startling differences in phase behavior were uncovered between the isomers. When stepped isothermals were used, selective extinctions occurred at a transition temperature for JLE-281 but not for JLE-282. The extinctions, which are due to dramatic changes in the electronic density of certain families of planes, indicate a phase transition attributed to a brusque rearrangement of the oxygen atoms in the crystal subcell. The phase transition did not occur when the JLEs were cooled continuously. The crucial role played by the position of the alkyl chain and its orientation relative to the easy rotation site of the C–O bond in the phase trajectories of the JLEs was particularly highlighted.
Symmetry2014, 6(3), 622-654; doi:10.3390/sym6030622 - published 4 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Variable-temperature NMR spectroscopy is probably the most convenient and sensitive technique to monitor changes in molecular structure in solution. Rearrangements that are rapid on the NMR time-scale exhibit simplified spectra, whereby non-equivalent nuclear environments yield time-averaged resonances. At lower temperatures, when the rate of exchange is sufficiently reduced, these degeneracies are split and the underlying “static” molecular symmetry, as seen by X-ray crystallography, becomes apparent. Frequently, however, such rearrangement processes are hidden, even when they become slow on the NMR time-scale, because the molecular point group remains unchanged. Judicious symmetry breaking, such as by substitution of a molecular fragment by a similar, but not identical moiety, or by the incorporation of potentially diastereotopic (chemically non-equivalent) nuclei, allows the elucidation of the kinetics and energetics of such processes. Examples are chosen that include a wide range of rotations, migrations and other rearrangements in organic, inorganic and organometallic chemistry.
Symmetry2014, 6(3), 589-621; doi:10.3390/sym6030589 - published 21 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Symmetry operations of layers periodic in two dimensions restrict the geometry the lattice according to the five two-dimensional Bravais types of lattices. In order-disorder (OD) structures, the operations relating equivalent layers generally leave invariant only a sublattice of the layers. The thus resulting restrictions can be expressed in terms of linear relations of the a2, b2 and a · b scalar products of the lattice basis vectors with rational coefficients. To characterize OD families and to check their validity, these lattice restrictions are expressed in the bases of different layers and combined. For a more familiar notation, they can be expressed in terms of the lattice parameters a, b and . Alternatively, the description of the lattice restrictions may be simplified by using centered lattices. The representation of the lattice restrictions in terms of scalar products is dependent on the chosen basis. A basis-independent classification of the lattice restrictions is outlined.
Symmetry2014, 6(3), 578-588; doi:10.3390/sym6030578 - published 11 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Extensions of real numbers in more than two dimensions, in particular quaternions and octonions, are finding applications in physics due to the fact that they naturally capture symmetries of physical systems. However, in the conventional mathematical construction of complex and multicomplex numbers multiplication rules are postulated instead of being derived from a general principle. A more transparent and systematic approach is proposed here based on the concept of coset product from group theory. It is shown that extensions of real numbers in two or more dimensions follow naturally from the closure property of finite coset groups adding insight into the utility of multidimensional number systems in describing symmetries in nature.