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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Pathogen traits can vary greatly and heavily impact the ability of a pathogen to persist in a population. Although this variation is fundamental to disease ecology, little is known about the evolutionary pressures that drive these differences, particularly where they interact with host behaviour. We hypothesized that host behaviours relevant to different transmission routes give rise to differences in contact network structure, constraining the space over which pathogen traits can evolve to maximize fitness. Our analysis of 232 contact networks across mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods, fish and molluscs found that contact network topology varies by contact type, most notably in networks that are representative of fluid-exchange transmission. Using infectious disease model simulations, we showed that these differences in network structure suggest pathogens transmitted through fluid-exchange contact types will need traits associated with high transmissibility to successfully proliferate, compared to pathogens that transmit through other types of contact. These findings were supported through a review of known traits of pathogens that transmit in humans. Our work demonstrates that contact network structure may drive the evolution of compensatory pathogen traits according to transmission strategy, providing essential context for understanding pathogen evolution and ecology. 
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  3. Abstract

    Sgr A* is the variable electromagnetic source associated with accretion onto the Galactic center supermassive black hole. While the near-infrared (NIR) variability of Sgr A* was shown to be consistent over two decades, unprecedented activity in 2019 challenges existing statistical models. We investigate the origin of this activity by recalibrating and reanalyzing all of our Keck Observatory Sgr A* imaging observations from 2005–2022. We present light curves from 69 observation epochs using the NIRC2 imager at 2.12μm with laser-guide star adaptive optics. These observations reveal that the mean luminosity of Sgr A* increased by a factor of ∼3 in 2019, and the 2019 light curves had higher variance than in all time periods we examined. We find that the 2020–2022 flux distribution is statistically consistent with the historical sample and model predictions, but with fewer bright measurements above 0.6 mJy at the ∼2σlevel. Since 2019, we have observed a maximumKs(2.2μm) flux of 0.9 mJy, compared to the highest pre-2019 flux of 2.0 mJy and highest 2019 flux of 5.6 mJy. Our results suggest that the 2019 activity was caused by a temporary accretion increase onto Sgr A*, possibly due to delayed accretion of tidally stripped gas from the gaseous object G2 in 2014. We also examine faint Sgr A* fluxes over a long time baseline to search for a quasi-steady quiescent state. We find that Sgr A* displays flux variations over a factor of ∼500, with no evidence for a quiescent state in the NIR.

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  4. null (Ed.)
    The expectation of people and futurists is that all respectable cities will become Smart Cities in the near future. Two main barriers stand in the way of the evolution of cities. First is cost, the transformation into a smart city is expensive (e.g., between $30 Million and $40 Billion) and only a few cities are able to obtain the resources required for upgrades. Second, many citizens equate the data collection and surveillance of smart city technology with aggressive infringements on privacy. In this paper, we describe how citizens, city planners, and companies can develop smart cities that do not require crippling loans and are respectful of privacy. 
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  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024