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  1. Abstract Background

    Hematophagous mosquitoes transmit many pathogens that cause human diseases. Pathogen acquisition and transmission occur when female mosquitoes blood feed to acquire nutrients for reproduction. The midgut epithelium of mosquitoes serves as the point of entry for transmissible viruses and parasites.


    We studied midgut epithelial dynamics in five major mosquito vector species by quantifying PH3-positive cells (indicative of mitotic proliferation), the incorporation of nucleotide analogs (indicative of DNA synthesis accompanying proliferation and/or endoreplication), and the ploidy (by flow cytometry) of cell populations in the posterior midgut epithelium of adult females. Our results show that the epithelial dynamics of post-emergence maturation and of mature sugar-fed guts were similar in members of theAedes,Culex, andAnophelesgenera. In the first three days post-emergence, ~ 20% of cells in the posterior midgut region of interest incorporated nucleotide analogs, concurrent with both proliferative activity and a broad shift toward higher ploidy. In mature mosquitoes maintained on sugar, an average of 3.5% of cells in the posterior midgut region of interest incorporated nucleotide analogs from five to eight days post-emergence, with a consistent presence of mitotic cells indicating constant cell turnover. Oral bacterial infection triggered a sharp increase in mitosis and nucleotide analog incorporation, suggesting that the mosquito midgut undergoes accelerated cellular turnover in response to damage. Finally, blood feeding resulted in an increase in cell proliferation, but the nature and intensity of the response varied by mosquito species and by blood source (human, bovine, avian or artificial). InAn. gambiae, enterocytes appeared to reenter the cell cycle to increase ploidy after consuming blood from all sources except avian.


    We saw that epithelial proliferation, differentiation, and endoreplication reshape the blood-fed gut to increase ploidy, possibly to facilitate increased metabolic activity. Our results highlight the plasticity of the midgut epithelium in mosquitoes’ physiological responses to distinct challenges.

    Graphical Abstract 
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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 8, 2024
  3. Abstract X-ray bursts are among the brightest stellar objects frequently observed in the sky by space-based telescopes. A type-I X-ray burst is understood as a violent thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a neutron star, accreting matter from a companion star in a binary system. The bursts are powered by a nuclear reaction sequence known as the rapid proton capture process (rp process), which involves hundreds of exotic neutron-deficient nuclides. At so-called waiting-point nuclides, the process stalls until a slower β + decay enables a bypass. One of the handful of rp process waiting-point nuclides is 64 Ge, which plays a decisive role in matter flow and therefore the produced X-ray flux. Here we report precision measurements of the masses of 63 Ge, 64,65 As and 66,67 Se—the relevant nuclear masses around the waiting-point 64 Ge—and use them as inputs for X-ray burst model calculations. We obtain the X-ray burst light curve to constrain the neutron-star compactness, and suggest that the distance to the X-ray burster GS 1826–24 needs to be increased by about 6.5% to match astronomical observations. The nucleosynthesis results affect the thermal structure of accreting neutron stars, which will subsequently modify the calculations of associated observables. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  4. Projection algorithms such as t-SNE or UMAP are useful for the visualization of high dimensional data, but depend on hyperpa- rameters which must be tuned carefully. Unfortunately, iteratively recomputing projections to find the optimal hyperparameter values is computationally intensive and unintuitive due to the stochastic nature of such methods. In this paper we propose Hy- perNP, a scalable method that allows for real-time interactive hyperparameter exploration of projection methods by training neural network approximations. A HyperNP model can be trained on a fraction of the total data instances and hyperparameter configurations that one would like to investigate and can compute projections for new data and hyperparameters at interactive speeds. HyperNP models are compact in size and fast to compute, thus allowing them to be embedded in lightweight visualiza- tion systems. We evaluate the performance of HyperNP across three datasets in terms of performance and speed. The results suggest that HyperNP models are accurate, scalable, interactive, and appropriate for use in real-world settings. 
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    Cross-correlation between weak lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and weak lensing of galaxies offers a way to place robust constraints on cosmological and astrophysical parameters with reduced sensitivity to certain systematic effects affecting individual surveys. We measure the angular cross-power spectrum between the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) DR4 CMB lensing and the galaxy weak lensing measured by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Y3 data. Our baseline analysis uses the CMB convergence map derived from ACT-DR4 and Planck data, where most of the contamination due to the thermal Sunyaev Zel’dovich effect is removed, thus avoiding important systematics in the cross-correlation. In our modelling, we consider the nuisance parameters of the photometric uncertainty, multiplicative shear bias and intrinsic alignment of galaxies. The resulting cross-power spectrum has a signal-to-noise ratio = 7.1 and passes a set of null tests. We use it to infer the amplitude of the fluctuations in the matter distribution (S8 ≡ σ8(Ωm/0.3)0.5 = 0.782 ± 0.059) with informative but well-motivated priors on the nuisance parameters. We also investigate the validity of these priors by significantly relaxing them and checking the consistency of the resulting posteriors, finding them consistent, albeit only with relatively weak constraints. This cross-correlation measurement will improve significantly with the new ACT-DR6 lensing map and form a key component of the joint 6×2pt analysis between DES and ACT.

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  6. Redshift measurements, primarily obtained from host galaxies, are essential for inferring cosmological parameters from type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). Matching SNe to host galaxies using images is non-trivial, resulting in a subset of SNe with mismatched hosts and thus incorrect redshifts. We evaluate the host galaxy mismatch rate and resulting biases on cosmological parameters from simulations modeled after the Dark Energy Survey 5-Year (DES-SN5YR) photometric sample. For both DES-SN5YR data and simulations, we employ the directional light radius method for host galaxy matching. In our SN Ia simulations, we find that 1.7% of SNe are matched to the wrong host galaxy, with redshift difference between the true and matched host of up to 0.6. Using our analysis pipeline, we determine the shift in the dark energy equation of state parameter (Dw) due to including SNe with incorrect host galaxy matches. For SN Ia-only simulations, we find Dw = 0.0013 +/- 0.0026 with constraints from the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Including core-collapse SNe and peculiar SNe Ia in the simulation, we find that Dw ranges from 0.0009 to 0.0032 depending on the photometric classifier used. This bias is an order of magnitude smaller than the expected total uncertainty on w from the DES-SN5YR sample of around 0.03. We conclude that the bias on w from host galaxy mismatch is much smaller than the uncertainties expected from the DES-SN5YR sample, but we encourage further studies to reduce this bias through better host-matching algorithms or selection cuts. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024