1,484 research outputs found

    Extensive local adaptation within the chemosensory system following Drosophila melanogaster's global expansion.

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    How organisms adapt to new environments is of fundamental biological interest, but poorly understood at the genetic level. Chemosensory systems provide attractive models to address this problem, because they lie between external environmental signals and internal physiological responses. To investigate how selection has shaped the well-characterized chemosensory system of Drosophila melanogaster, we have analysed genome-wide data from five diverse populations. By couching population genomic analyses of chemosensory protein families within parallel analyses of other large families, we demonstrate that chemosensory proteins are not outliers for adaptive divergence between species. However, chemosensory families often display the strongest genome-wide signals of recent selection within D. melanogaster. We show that recent adaptation has operated almost exclusively on standing variation, and that patterns of adaptive mutations predict diverse effects on protein function. Finally, we provide evidence that chemosensory proteins have experienced relaxed constraint, and argue that this has been important for their rapid adaptation over short timescales

    Friends or Foes? Emerging Impacts of Biological Toxins

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    Toxins are substances produced from biological sources (e.g., animal, plants, microorganisms) that have deleterious effects on a living organism. Despite the obvious health concerns of being exposed to toxins, they are having substantial positive impacts in a number of industrial sectors. Several toxin-derived products are approved for clinical, veterinary, or agrochemical uses. This review sets out the case for toxins as ‘friends’ that are providing the basis of novel medicines, insecticides, and even nucleic acid sequencing technologies. We also discuss emerging toxins (‘foes’) that are becoming increasingly prevalent in a range of contexts through climate change and the globalisation of food supply chains and that ultimately pose a risk to health

    Demographic History of the Human Commensal Drosophila melanogaster.

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    The cohabitation of Drosophila melanogaster with humans is nearly ubiquitous. Though it has been well established that this fly species originated in sub-Saharan Africa, and only recently has spread globally, many details of its swift expansion remain unclear. Elucidating the demographic history of D. melanogaster provides a unique opportunity to investigate how human movement might have impacted patterns of genetic diversity in a commensal species, as well as providing neutral null models for studies aimed at identifying genomic signatures of local adaptation. Here, we use whole-genome data from five populations (Africa, North America, Europe, Central Asia, and the South Pacific) to carry out demographic inferences, with particular attention to the inclusion of migration and admixture. We demonstrate the importance of these parameters for model fitting and show that how previous estimates of divergence times are likely to be significantly underestimated as a result of not including them. Finally, we discuss how human movement along early shipping routes might have shaped the present-day population structure of D. melanogaster

    Influences of neutron star parameters on evolutions of different types of pulsar; evolutions of anomalous X-ray pulsars, soft gamma repeaters and dim isolated thermal neutron stars on the P-\.{P} diagram

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    Influences of the mass, moment of inertia, rotation, absence of stability in the atmosphere and some other parameters of neutron stars on the evolution of pulsars are examined. It is shown that the locations and evolutions of soft gamma repeaters, anomalous X-ray pulsars and other types of pulsar on the period versus period derivative diagram can be explained adopting values of B<1014<10^{14} G for these objects. This approach gives the possibility to explain many properties of different types of pulsar.Comment: 18 pages, 1 figur

    Temporal variations in English Populations of a forest insect pest, the green spruce aphid (Elatobium abietinum), associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation and global warming

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    Based on an exceptionally long modern ecological dataset (41 years), it has been possible to show that warm weather in England associated with a positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index causes the spring migration of the green spruce aphid (Elatobium abietinum), a pest species of spruce trees (Picea) to start earlier, continue for longer and contain more aphids. An upward trend in the NAO index during the period 1966-2006 is associated with an increasing population size of E. abietinum. It is important to understand the mechanisms behind the population fluctuations, because this aphid causes considerable damage to Picea plantations. Present day weather associated fluctuations in forest insect pests may be useful analogues in understanding past pest outbreaks in forests

    J/ψJ/\psi suppression in Pb+Pb collisions and pTp_T broadening

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    We have analysed the NA50 data, on the centrality dependence of pTp_T broadening of J/ψJ/\psi's, in Pb+Pb collisions, at the CERN-SPS. The data were analysed in a QCD based model, where J/ψJ/\psi's are suppressed in 'nuclear' medium. Without any free parameter, the model could explain the NA50 pTp_T broadening data. The data were also analysed in a QGP based threshold model, where J/ψJ/\psi suppression is 100% above a critical density. The QGP based model could not explain the NA50 pTp_T broadening data. We have also predicted the centrality dependence of J/ψJ/\psi suppression and pTp_T broadening at RHIC energy. Both the models, the QGP based threshold model and the QCD based nuclear absorption model, predict pTp_T broadening very close to each other.Comment: The paper was completely revised. The conclusion is also changed. 5 pages, 4 figure

    Quasiparticles and c-axis coherent hopping in high T_c superconductors

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    We study the problem of the low-energy quasiparticle spectrum of the extended t-J model and analyze the coherent hopping between weakly coupled planes described by this model. Starting with a two-band model describing the Cu-O planes and the unoccupied bands associated to the metallic atoms located in between the planes, we obtain effective hopping matrix elements describing the c-axis charge transfer. A computational study of these processes shows an anomalously large charge anisotropy for doping concentrations around and below the optimal doping.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figure

    Study of GEM-like detectors with resistive electrodes for RICH applications

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    We have developed prototypes of GEM-like detectors with resistive electrodes to be used as RICH photodetectors equipped with CsI photocathodes. The main advantages of these detectors are their intrinsic spark protection and possibility to operate at high gain (~10E5) in many gases including poorly quenched ones, allowing for the adoption of windowless configurations in which the radiator gas is also used in the chamber. Results of systematic studies of the resistive GEMs combined with CsI photocathodes are presented: its quantum efficiency, rate characteristics, long-term stability, etc. On the basis of the obtained results, we believe that the new detector will be a promising candidate for upgrading the ALICE RICH detectorComment: Presented at the International Workshop RICH-2007, Trieste, Italy, October 200

    Electron Exchange Coupling for Single Donor Solid-State Qubits

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    Inter-valley interference between degenerate conduction band minima has been shown to lead to oscillations in the exchange energy between neighbouring phosphorus donor electron states in silicon \cite{Koiller02,Koiller02A}. These same effects lead to an extreme sensitivity of the exchange energy on the relative orientation of the donor atoms, an issue of crucial importance in the construction silicon-based spin quantum computers. In this article we calculate the donor electron exchange coupling as a function of donor position incorporating the full Bloch structure of the Kohn-Luttinger electron wavefunctions. It is found that due to the rapidly oscillating nature of the terms they produce, the periodic part of the Bloch functions can be safely ignored in the Heitler-London integrals as was done by Koiller et. al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 88,027903(2002),Phys. Rev. B. 66,115201(2002)], significantly reducing the complexity of calculations. We address issues of fabrication and calculate the expected exchange coupling between neighbouring donors that have been implanted into the silicon substrate using an 15keV ion beam in the so-called 'top down' fabrication scheme for a Kane solid-state quantum computer. In addition we calculate the exchange coupling as a function of the voltage bias on control gates used to manipulate the electron wavefunctions and implement quantum logic operations in the Kane proposal, and find that these gate biases can be used to both increase and decrease the magnitude of the exchange coupling between neighbouring donor electrons. The zero-bias results reconfirm those previously obtained by Koiller.Comment: 10 Pages, 8 Figures. To appear in Physical Review
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