3,428 research outputs found

    Solar-type dynamo behaviour in fully convective stars without a tachocline

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    In solar-type stars (with radiative cores and convective envelopes), the magnetic field powers star spots, flares and other solar phenomena, as well as chromospheric and coronal emission at ultraviolet to X-ray wavelengths. The dynamo responsible for generating the field depends on the shearing of internal magnetic fields by differential rotation. The shearing has long been thought to take place in a boundary layer known as the tachocline between the radiative core and the convective envelope. Fully convective stars do not have a tachocline and their dynamo mechanism is expected to be very different, although its exact form and physical dependencies are not known. Here we report observations of four fully convective stars whose X-ray emission correlates with their rotation periods in the same way as in Sun-like stars. As the X-ray activity - rotation relationship is a well-established proxy for the behaviour of the magnetic dynamo, these results imply that fully convective stars also operate a solar-type dynamo. The lack of a tachocline in fully convective stars therefore suggests that this is not a critical ingredient in the solar dynamo and supports models in which the dynamo originates throughout the convection zone.Comment: 6 pages, 1 figure. Accepted for publication in Nature (28 July 2016). Author's version, including Method

    Presynaptic partner selection during retinal circuit reassembly varies with timing of neuronal regeneration in vivo

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    Whether neurons can restore their original connectivity patterns during circuit repair is unclear. Taking advantage of the regenerative capacity of zebrafish retina, we show here the remarkable specificity by which surviving neurons reassemble their connectivity upon regeneration of their major input. H3 horizontal cells (HCs) normally avoid red and green cones, and prefer ultraviolet over blue cones. Upon ablation of the major (ultraviolet) input, H3 HCs do not immediately increase connectivity with other cone types. Instead, H3 dendrites retract and re-extend to contact new ultraviolet cones. But, if regeneration is delayed or absent, blue-cone synaptogenesis increases and ectopic synapses are made with red and green cones. Thus, cues directing synapse specificity can be maintained following input loss, but only within a limited time period. Further, we postulate that signals from the major input that shape the H3 HC's wiring pattern during development persist to restrict miswiring after damage

    Nut production in Bertholletia excelsa across a logged forest mosaic: implications for multiple forest use

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    Although many examples of multiple-use forest management may be found in tropical smallholder systems, few studies provide empirical support for the integration of selective timber harvesting with non-timber forest product (NTFP) extraction. Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa, Lecythidaceae) is one of the world’s most economically-important NTFP species extracted almost entirely from natural forests across the Amazon Basin. An obligate out-crosser, Brazil nut flowers are pollinated by large-bodied bees, a process resulting in a hard round fruit that takes up to 14 months to mature. As many smallholders turn to the financial security provided by timber, Brazil nut fruits are increasingly being harvested in logged forests. We tested the influence of tree and stand-level covariates (distance to nearest cut stump and local logging intensity) on total nut production at the individual tree level in five recently logged Brazil nut concessions covering about 4000 ha of forest in Madre de Dios, Peru. Our field team accompanied Brazil nut harvesters during the traditional harvest period (January-April 2012 and January-April 2013) in order to collect data on fruit production. Three hundred and ninety-nine (approximately 80%) of the 499 trees included in this study were at least 100 m from the nearest cut stump, suggesting that concessionaires avoid logging near adult Brazil nut trees. Yet even for those trees on the edge of logging gaps, distance to nearest cut stump and local logging intensity did not have a statistically significant influence on Brazil nut production at the applied logging intensities (typically 1–2 timber trees removed per ha). In one concession where at least 4 trees ha-1 were removed, however, the logging intensity covariate resulted in a marginally significant (0.09) P value, highlighting a potential risk for a drop in nut production at higher intensities. While we do not suggest that logging activities should be completely avoided in Brazil nut rich forests, when a buffer zone cannot be observed, low logging intensities should be implemented. The sustainability of this integrated management system will ultimately depend on a complex series of socioeconomic and ecological interactions. Yet we submit that our study provides an important initial step in understanding the compatibility of timber harvesting with a high value NTFP, potentially allowing for diversification of forest use strategies in Amazonian Perù

    Does familial risk for alcohol use disorder predict alcohol hangover?

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    Positive family history of alcohol use disorder (FHP), a variable associated with propensity for alcohol use disorder (AUD), has been linked with elevated hangover frequency and severity, after controlling for alcohol use. This implies that hangover experiences may be related to AUD. However, inadequate control of alcohol consumption levels, low alcohol dose and testing for hangover during the intoxication phase detract from these findings. Here, we present further data pertinent to understanding the relationship between family history and alcohol hangover. Study 1 compared past year hangover frequency in a survey of 24 FHP and 118 family history negative (FHN) individuals. Study 2 applied a quasi-experimental naturalistic approach assessing concurrent hangover severity in 17 FHP and 32 FHN individuals the morning after drinking alcohol. Both studies applied statistical control for alcohol consumption levels. In Study 1, both FHP status and estimated blood alcohol concentration on the heaviest drinking evening of the past month predicted the frequency of hangover symptoms experienced over the previous 12 months. In Study 2, estimated blood alcohol concentration the previous evening predicted hangover severity but FHP status did not. FHP, indicating familial risk for AUD, was not associated with concurrent hangover severity but was associated with increased estimates of hangover frequency the previous year

    Screenwriting as a mode of research, and the screenplay as a research artefact

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    Screenwriting practice is now a flourishing mode of research within universities internationally, whereby the act of writing a screenplay or developing screenplay works is not only understood, but also celebrated as a legitimate form of knowledge discovery and dissemination. The resulting work of this creative practice research, which we might call the 'academic screenplay', thus functions simultaneously as a method of research enquiry and a 'non traditional' research artefact. In this chapter we explore what it means to develop and write a screenplay in the academy, under the conditions of and for research. By positioning screenwriting alongside and in between the disciplines of creative writing and screen production, we reflect on how it can draw from both disciplines at different times and for different purposes, and can be influenced by their specific - and sometimes contradictory - discourses. By doing so, the chapter provides a comprehensive overview of screenwriting as a growing mode of research, and its practice as an important addition to the academy

    To Sleep, to Strive, or Both: How Best to Optimize Memory

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    While numerous studies have shown that a night of sleep profits memory relative to wake, we still have little understanding about what factors mediate this effect of sleep. A clear understanding of the dynamics of this effect of sleep beyond the initial night of sleep is also lacking. Here, we examined the effect of extrinsic rewards on sleep-dependent declarative memory processing across 12 and 24 hr training-retest intervals. Subjects were either paid based on their performance at retest ($1 for each correct answer), or received a flat fee for participation. After a 12 hr interval we observed pronounced benefits of both sleep and reward on memory. Over an extended 24 hr interval we found 1) that an initial night of sleep partially protects memories from subsequent deterioration during wake, and 2) that sleep blocks further deterioration, and may even have a restorative effect on memory, when it follows a full day of wake. Interestingly, the benefit imparted to rewarded (relative to unrewarded) stimuli was equal for sleep and wake subjects, suggesting that the sleeping brain may not differentially process rewarded information, relative to wake. However, looking at the overall impact of sleep relative to reward in this protocol, it was apparent that sleep both imparted a stronger mnemonic boost than reward, and provided a benefit to memory regardless of whether it occurred in the first or the second 12 hrs following task training
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