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  1. The balance between neural stem cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation is paramount for the appropriate development of the nervous system. Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is known to sequentially promote cell proliferation and specification of neuronal phenotypes, but the signaling mechanisms responsible for the developmental switch from mitogenic to neurogenic have remained unclear. Here, we show that Shh enhances Ca 2+ activity at the neural cell primary cilium of developing Xenopus laevis embryos through Ca 2+ influx via transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily C member 3 (TRPC3) and release from intracellular stores in a developmental stage-dependent manner. This ciliary Ca 2+ activity in turn antagonizes canonical, proliferative Shh signaling in neural stem cells by down-regulating Sox2 expression and up-regulating expression of neurogenic genes, enabling neuronal differentiation. These discoveries indicate that the Shh-Ca 2+ -dependent switch in neural cell ciliary signaling triggers the switch in Shh action from canonical-mitogenic to neurogenic. The molecular mechanisms identified in this neurogenic signaling axis are potential targets for the treatment of brain tumors and neurodevelopmental disorders. 
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  2. Transparent environments and social-coding platforms asGitHub help developers to stay abreast of changes during the development and maintenance phase of a project. Especially, notification feeds can help developers to learn about relevant changes in other projects. Unfortunately, transparent environments can quickly overwhelm developers with too many notifications, such that they lose the important ones in a sea of noise. Complementing existing prioritization and filtering strategies based on binary compatibility and code ownership, we develop an anomaly detection mechanism to identify unusual commits in a repository, which stand out with respect to other changes in the same repository or by the same developer. Among others, we detect exceptionally large commits, commits at unusual times, and commits touching rarely changed file types given the characteristics of a particular repository or developer. We automatically flag unusual commits on GitHub through a browser plug-in. In an interactive survey with 173 active GitHub users, rating commits in a project of their interest, we found that, although our unusual score is only a weak predictor of whether developers want to be notified about a commit, information about unusual characteristics of a commit changes how developers regard commits. Our anomaly detection mechanism is a building block for scaling transparent environments. 
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