136 research outputs found

    Observations of red-giant variable stars by Aboriginal Australians

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    Aboriginal Australians carefully observe the properties and positions of stars, including both overt and subtle changes in their brightness, for subsistence and social application. These observations are encoded in oral tradition. I examine two Aboriginal oral traditions from South Australia that describe the periodic changing brightness in three pulsating, red-giant variable stars: Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis), Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri), and Antares (Alpha Scorpii). The Australian Aboriginal accounts stand as the only known descriptions of pulsating variable stars in any Indigenous oral tradition in the world. Researchers examining these oral traditions over the last century, including anthropologists and astronomers, missed the description of these stars as being variable in nature as the ethnographic record contained several misidentifications of stars and celestial objects. Arguably, ethnographers working on Indigenous Knowledge Systems should have academic training in both the natural and social sciences.Comment: The Australian Journal of Anthropology (2018

    Star formation at the edge of the Local Group: a rising star formation history in the isolated galaxy WLM

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    We present the star formation history (SFH) of the isolated (D~970 kpc) Local Group dwarf galaxy WLM measured from color-magnitude diagrams constructed from deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging. Our observations include a central (0.5 rhr_h) and outer field (0.7 rh r_h) that reach below the oldest main sequence turnoff. WLM has no early dominant episode of star formation: 20% of its stellar mass formed by ~12.5 Gyr ago (z~5). It also has an SFR that rises to the present with 50% of the stellar mass within the most recent 5 Gyr (z<0.7). There is evidence of a strong age gradient: the mean age of the outer field is 5 Gyr older than the inner field despite being only 0.4 kpc apart. Some models suggest such steep gradients are associated with strong stellar feedback and dark matter core creation. The SFHs of real isolated dwarf galaxies and those from the the Feedback In Realistic Environment suite are in good agreement for M(z=0)107109MM_{\star}(z=0) \sim 10^7-10^9 M_{\odot}, but in worse agreement at lower masses (M(z=0)105107MM_{\star}(z=0) \sim 10^5-10^7 M_{\odot}). These differences may be explainable by systematics in the models (e.g., reionization model) and/or observations (HST field placement). We suggest that a coordinated effort to get deep CMDs between HST/JWST (crowded central fields) and WFIRST (wide-area halo coverage) is the optimal path for measuring global SFHs of isolated dwarf galaxies.Comment: 13 pages, 13 Figures, 4 Tables. Re-submitted to MNRAS after addressing the referee's comment

    Information retrieval and text mining technologies for chemistry

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    Efficient access to chemical information contained in scientific literature, patents, technical reports, or the web is a pressing need shared by researchers and patent attorneys from different chemical disciplines. Retrieval of important chemical information in most cases starts with finding relevant documents for a particular chemical compound or family. Targeted retrieval of chemical documents is closely connected to the automatic recognition of chemical entities in the text, which commonly involves the extraction of the entire list of chemicals mentioned in a document, including any associated information. In this Review, we provide a comprehensive and in-depth description of fundamental concepts, technical implementations, and current technologies for meeting these information demands. A strong focus is placed on community challenges addressing systems performance, more particularly CHEMDNER and CHEMDNER patents tasks of BioCreative IV and V, respectively. Considering the growing interest in the construction of automatically annotated chemical knowledge bases that integrate chemical information and biological data, cheminformatics approaches for mapping the extracted chemical names into chemical structures and their subsequent annotation together with text mining applications for linking chemistry with biological information are also presented. Finally, future trends and current challenges are highlighted as a roadmap proposal for research in this emerging field.A.V. and M.K. acknowledge funding from the European Community’s Horizon 2020 Program (project reference: 654021 - OpenMinted). M.K. additionally acknowledges the Encomienda MINETAD-CNIO as part of the Plan for the Advancement of Language Technology. O.R. and J.O. thank the Foundation for Applied Medical Research (FIMA), University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain). This work was partially funded by Consellería de Cultura, Educación e Ordenación Universitaria (Xunta de Galicia), and FEDER (European Union), and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the scope of the strategic funding of UID/BIO/04469/2013 unit and COMPETE 2020 (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006684). We thank Iñigo Garciá -Yoldi for useful feedback and discussions during the preparation of the manuscript.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Necdin, a Negative Growth Regulator, Is a Novel STAT3 Target Gene Down-Regulated in Human Cancer

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    Cytokine and growth factor signaling pathways involving STAT3 are frequently constitutively activated in many human primary tumors, and are known for the transcriptional role they play in controlling cell growth and cell cycle progression. However, the extent of STAT3's reach on transcriptional control of the genome as a whole remains an important question. We predicted that this persistent STAT3 signaling affects a wide variety of cellular functions, many of which still remain to be characterized. We took a broad approach to identify novel STAT3 regulated genes by examining changes in the genome-wide gene expression profile by microarray, using cells expressing constitutively-activated STAT3. Using computational analysis, we were able to define the gene expression profiles of cells containing activated STAT3 and identify candidate target genes with a wide range of biological functions. Among these genes we identified Necdin, a negative growth regulator, as a novel STAT3 target gene, whose expression is down-regulated at the mRNA and protein levels when STAT3 is constitutively active. This repression is STAT3 dependent, since inhibition of STAT3 using siRNA restores Necdin expression. A STAT3 DNA-binding site was identified in the Necdin promoter and both EMSA and chromatin immunoprecipitation confirm binding of STAT3 to this region. Necdin expression has previously been shown to be down-regulated in a melanoma and a drug-resistant ovarian cancer cell line. Further analysis of Necdin expression demonstrated repression in a STAT3-dependent manner in human melanoma, prostate and breast cancer cell lines. These results suggest that STAT3 coordinates expression of genes involved in multiple metabolic and biosynthetic pathways, integrating signals that lead to global transcriptional changes and oncogenesis. STAT3 may exert its oncogenic effect by up-regulating transcription of genes involved in promoting growth and proliferation, but also by down-regulating expression of negative regulators of the same cellular processes, such as Necdin

    Assessing reconstruction techniques of the Atlantic Ocean circulation variability during the last millennium

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    We assess the use of the meridional thermal-wind transport estimated from zonal density gradients to reconstruct the oceanic circulation variability during the last millennium in a forced simulation with the ECHO-G coupled climate model. Following a perfect-model approach, model-based pseudo-reconstructions of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and the Florida Current volume transport (FCT) are evaluated against their true simulated variability. The pseudo-FCT is additionally verified as proxy for AMOC strength and compared with the available proxy-based reconstruction. The thermal-wind component reproduces most of the simulated AMOC variability, which is mostly driven by internal climate dynamics during the preindustrial period and by increasing greenhouse gases afterwards. The pseudo-reconstructed FCT reproduces well the simulated FCT and reasonably well the variability of the AMOC strength, including the response to external forcing. The pseudo-reconstructed FCT, however, underestimates/overestimates the simulated variability at deep/shallow levels. Density changes responsible for the pseudo-reconstructed FCT are mainly driven by zonal temperature differences; salinity differences oppose but play a minor role. These results thus support the use of the thermal-wind relationship to reconstruct the oceanic circulation past variability, in particular at multidecadal timescales. Yet model-data comparison highlights important differences between the simulated and the proxy-based FCT variability. ECHO-G simulates a prominent weakening in the North Atlantic circulation that contrasts with the reconstructed enhancement. Our model results thus do not support the reconstructed FC minimum during the Little Ice Age. This points to a failure in the reconstruction, misrepresented processes in the model, or an important role of internal ocean dynamics
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