29 research outputs found

    Dissipation dynamics of a scalar field

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    We investigate the dissipation rate of a scalar field in the vicinity of the phase transition and the ordered phase, specifically within the universality class of model A. This dissipation rate holds significant physical relevance, particularly in the context of interpreting effective potentials as inputs for dynamical transport simulations, such as hydrodynamics. To comprehensively understand the use of effective potentials and other calculation inputs, such as the functional renormalization group, we conduct a detailed analysis of field dependencies. We solve the functional renormalization group equations on the Schwinger-Keldysh contour to determine the effective potential and dissipation rate for both finite and infinite volumes. Furthermore, we conduct a finite-size scaling analysis to calculate the dynamic critical exponent z. Our extracted value closely matches existing values from the literature

    Real-time dynamics of false vacuum decay

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    We investigate false vacuum decay of a relativistic scalar field initialized in the metastable minimum of an asymmetric double-well potential. The transition to the true ground state is a well-defined initial-value problem in real time, which can be formulated in nonequilibrium quantum field theory on a closed time path. We employ the non-perturbative framework of the two-particle irreducible (2PI) quantum effective action at next-to-leading order in a large-N expansion. We also compare to classical-statistical field theory simulations on a lattice in the high-temperature regime. By this, we demonstrate that the real-time decay rates are comparable to those obtained from the conventional Euclidean (bounce) approach. In general, we find that the decay rates are time dependent. For a more comprehensive description of the dynamics, we extract a time-dependent effective potential, which becomes convex during the nonequilibrium transition process. By solving the quantum evolution equations for the one- and two-point correlation functions for vacuum initial conditions, we demonstrate that quantum corrections can lead to transitions that are not captured by classical-statistical approximations

    Patterns of Ancestry, Signatures of Natural Selection, and Genetic Association with Stature in Western African Pygmies

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    African Pygmy groups show a distinctive pattern of phenotypic variation, including short stature, which is thought to reflect past adaptation to a tropical environment. Here, we analyze Illumina 1M SNP array data in three Western Pygmy populations from Cameroon and three neighboring Bantu-speaking agricultural populations with whom they have admixed. We infer genome-wide ancestry, scan for signals of positive selection, and perform targeted genetic association with measured height variation. We identify multiple regions throughout the genome that may have played a role in adaptive evolution, many of which contain loci with roles in growth hormone, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor signaling pathways, as well as immunity and neuroendocrine signaling involved in reproduction and metabolism. The most striking results are found on chromosome 3, which harbors a cluster of selection and association signals between approximately 45 and 60 Mb. This region also includes the positional candidate genes DOCK3, which is known to be associated with height variation in Europeans, and CISH, a negative regulator of cytokine signaling known to inhibit growth hormone-stimulated STAT5 signaling. Finally, pathway analysis for genes near the strongest signals of association with height indicates enrichment for loci involved in insulin and insulin-like growth factor signaling

    Genome-wide association study of thyroid-stimulating hormone highlights new genes, pathways and associations with thyroid disease

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    Thyroid hormones play a critical role in regulation of multiple physiological functions and thyroid dysfunction is associated with substantial morbidity. Here, we use electronic health records to undertake a genome-wide association study of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, with a total sample size of 247,107. We identify 158 novel genetic associations, more than doubling the number of known associations with TSH, and implicate 112 putative causal genes, of which 76 are not previously implicated. A polygenic score for TSH is associated with TSH levels in African, South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern and admixed American ancestries, and associated with hypothyroidism and other thyroid disease in South Asians. In Europeans, the TSH polygenic score is associated with thyroid disease, including thyroid cancer and age-of-onset of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. We develop pathway-specific genetic risk scores for TSH levels and use these in phenome-wide association studies to identify potential consequences of pathway perturbation. Together, these findings demonstrate the potential utility of genetic associations to inform future therapeutics and risk prediction for thyroid diseases

    Genetic diversity fuels gene discovery for tobacco and alcohol use

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    Tobacco and alcohol use are heritable behaviours associated with 15% and 5.3% of worldwide deaths, respectively, due largely to broad increased risk for disease and injury(1-4). These substances are used across the globe, yet genome-wide association studies have focused largely on individuals of European ancestries(5). Here we leveraged global genetic diversity across 3.4 million individuals from four major clines of global ancestry (approximately 21% non-European) to power the discovery and fine-mapping of genomic loci associated with tobacco and alcohol use, to inform function of these loci via ancestry-aware transcriptome-wide association studies, and to evaluate the genetic architecture and predictive power of polygenic risk within and across populations. We found that increases in sample size and genetic diversity improved locus identification and fine-mapping resolution, and that a large majority of the 3,823 associated variants (from 2,143 loci) showed consistent effect sizes across ancestry dimensions. However, polygenic risk scores developed in one ancestry performed poorly in others, highlighting the continued need to increase sample sizes of diverse ancestries to realize any potential benefit of polygenic prediction.Peer reviewe

    SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 disease severity are associated with genetic variants affecting gene expression in a variety of tissues

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    Variability in SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 disease severity between individuals is partly due to genetic factors. Here, we identify 4 genomic loci with suggestive associations for SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and 19 for COVID-19 disease severity. Four of these 23 loci likely have an ethnicity-specific component. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) signals in 11 loci colocalize with expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) associated with the expression of 20 genes in 62 tissues/cell types (range: 1:43 tissues/gene), including lung, brain, heart, muscle, and skin as well as the digestive system and immune system. We perform genetic fine mapping to compute 99% credible SNP sets, which identify 10 GWAS loci that have eight or fewer SNPs in the credible set, including three loci with one single likely causal SNP. Our study suggests that the diverse symptoms and disease severity of COVID-19 observed between individuals is associated with variants across the genome, affecting gene expression levels in a wide variety of tissue types

    A first update on mapping the human genetic architecture of COVID-19

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    Keto\u2013enol tautomerization drives the self-assembly of leucoquinizarin on Au(111)

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    The self-assembly of leucoquinizarin molecules on Au(111) surfaces is shown to be characterized by the molecules mostly being in their keto\u2013enolic tautomeric form, with evidence of their temporary switching to other tautomeric forms. This reveals a metastable chemistry of the assembled molecules, to be considered for their possible employment in the formation of more complex hetero-organic interfaces

    Italian isolates today: geographic and linguistic factors shaping human biodiversity

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    We briefly review the current status of anthropological and genetic studies of isolated populations and of their micro-evolutionary and biomedical applications, with particular emphasis on European populations. Thereafter, we describe the ongoing collaborative research project "Isolating the Isolates: geographic and cultural factors of human genetic variation" regarding Italian extant geographical and/or linguistic isolates, aimed at overcoming the limitations of previous studies regarding geographical coverage of isolates, number and type of genetic polymorphisms under study and suitability of the experimental design to investigate gene-culture coevolutionary processes. An interdisciplinary sampling approach will make it possible to collect several linguistic isolates and their geographic neighbours from Trentino, Veneto, Friuli, Tuscany, Sardinia and Calabria. This will be coupled with a shared genotyping strategy based on mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal polymorphisms. The results will be analyzed with a focus on the role of geographical and cultural factors in shaping human biodiversity. The aims of the project go beyond the simple reconstruction of the genetic structure and history of the examined groups. In fact, the study will also include an assessment for future bio-medical studies and the development of genetic and bio-demographic databases. Ethical and educational aspects are also foreseen by the project, by using informed consents together with disseminating activities in loco, completed by the creation of a dedicated web site for both scientific and public audiences