DES MOINES — Iowa’s secretary of state is encouraging Iowans to vote-by-mail in the June 2nd Primary and Paul Pate has extending the absentee voting period to a total of 40 days.Pate released a recorded message late Monday afternoon. “The safety of voters takes precedence and by encouraging Iowans to vote absentee, we can reduce the risk of community spread of COVID-19,” Pate said. “We still plan on having our polls open on June 2nd for voters who prefer to cast ballots in person, but this effort will help reduce the risk of infecting others.”The vote-by-mail period for the June 2nd primary will now begin on April 23rd. During primary elections earlier this month in Arizona, Florida and Illinois, election officials announced public health precautions like disinfecting voting booths and machines regularly, plus poll workers were given gloves, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer. But there were reports of poll workers failing to show up, causing lines and — in some cases — polling sites had to be moved or consolidated.Under current state law, the early voting period for primaries and the General Election is 29 days. Pate used his authority in a disaster to extend the absentee ballot period by 11 days.
This, in all its molecular complexity, is what the bulging end of a single neuron looks like. A whopping 300,000 proteins come together to form the structure, which is less than a micrometer wide, hundreds of times smaller than a grain of sand. This particular synapse is from a rat brain. It’s where chemical signals called neurotransmitters are released into the space between neurons to pass messages from cell to cell. To create a 3D molecular model of the structure, researchers first isolated the synapses of rat neurons and turned to classic biochemistry to identify and quantify the molecules present at every stage of the neurotransmitter release cycle. Then, they used microscopy to pinpoint the location of each protein. Some proteins—like the red patches of SNAP25 visible in the video at 0:14—aid in the release of vesicles, tiny spheres full of neurotransmitters. Others—like the green, purple, and red rods at 0:45—help the synapse maintain its overall structure. Different proteins surround vesicles when they’re inside the synapse—the circles scattered throughout the structure at 0:56—than when the vesicles are forming at the edge of the synapse—as shown at 2:08. Researchers can use the model, described online today in Science, to better understand how neurons function and what goes wrong in brain disorders.(Video credit: Wilhelm et al. 2014, Science)*See related Report: Composition of isolated synaptic boutons reveals the amounts of vesicle trafficking proteins