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  1. Symmetry-adapted distortion modes provide a natural way of describing distorted structures derived from higher-symmetry parent phases. Structural refinements using symmetry-mode amplitudes as fit variables have been used for at least ten years in Rietveld refinements of the average crystal structure from diffraction data; more recently, this approach has also been used for investigations of the local structure using real-space pair distribution function (PDF) data. Here, the value of performing symmetry-mode fits to PDF data is further demonstrated through the successful application of this method to two topical materials: TiSe 2 , where a subtle but long-range structural distortion driven by the formation of a charge-density wave is detected, and MnTe, where a large but highly localized structural distortion is characterized in terms of symmetry-lowering displacements of the Te atoms. The analysis is performed using fully open-source code within the DiffPy framework via two packages developed for this work: isopydistort , which provides a scriptable interface to the ISODISTORT web application for group theoretical calculations, and isopytools , which converts the ISODISTORT output into a DiffPy -compatible format for subsequent fitting and analysis. These developments expand the potential impact of symmetry-adapted PDF analysis by enabling high-throughput analysis and removing the need for any commercial software. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    The diversity of cell types is a challenge for quantifying aging and its reversal. Here we develop ‘aging clocks’ based on single-cell transcriptomics to characterize cell-type-specific aging and rejuvenation. We generated single-cell transcriptomes from the subventricular zone neurogenic region of 28 mice, tiling ages from young to old. We trained single-cell-based regression models to predict chronological age and biological age (neural stem cell proliferation capacity). These aging clocks are generalizable to independent cohorts of mice, other regions of the brains, and other species. To determine if these aging clocks could quantify transcriptomic rejuvenation, we generated single-cell transcriptomic datasets of neurogenic regions for two interventions—heterochronic parabiosis and exercise. Aging clocks revealed that heterochronic parabiosis and exercise reverse transcriptomic aging in neurogenic regions, but in different ways. This study represents the first development of high-resolution aging clocks from single-cell transcriptomic data and demonstrates their application to quantify transcriptomic rejuvenation.

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  3. Abstract

    A major question in ecology is how often competing species evolve to reduce competitive interactions and facilitate coexistence. One untested route for a reduction in competitive interactions is through ontogenetic changes in the trophic niche of one or more of the interacting species. In such cases, theory predicts that two species can coexist if the weaker competitor changes its resource niche to a greater degree with increased body size than the superior competitor.

    We tested this prediction using stable isotopes that yield information about the trophic position (δ15N) and carbon source (δ13C) of two coexisting fish species: Trinidadian guppiesPoecilia reticulataand killifishRivulus hartii.

    We examined fish from locations representing three natural community types: (1) where killifish and guppies live with predators, (2) where killifish and guppies live without predators and (3) where killifish are the only fish species. We also examined killifish from communities in which we had introduced guppies, providing a temporal sequence of the community changes following the transition from a killifish only to a killifish–guppy community.

    We found that killifish, which are the weaker competitor, had a much larger ontogenetic niche shift in trophic position than guppies in the community where competition is most intense (killifish–guppy only). This result is consistent with theory for size‐structured populations, which predicts that these results should lead to stable coexistence of the two species. Comparisons with other communities containing guppies, killifish and predators and ones where killifish live by themselves revealed that these results are caused primarily by a loss of ontogenetic niche changes in guppies, even though they are the stronger competitor. Comparisons of these natural communities with communities in which guppies were translocated into sites containing only killifish showed that the experimental communities were intermediate between the natural killifish–guppy community and the killifish–guppy–predator community, suggesting contemporary evolution in these ontogenetic trophic differences.

    These results provide comparative evidence for ontogenetic niche shifts in contributing to species coexistence and comparative and experimental evidence for evolutionary or plastic changes in ontogenetic niche shifts following the formation of new communities.

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  4. Abstract

    New phases of matter emerge at the edge of magnetic instabilities, which can occur in materials with moments that are localized, itinerant or intermediate between these extremes. In local moment systems, such as heavy fermions, the magnetism can be tuned towards a zero-temperature transition at a quantum critical point (QCP) via pressure, chemical doping, and, rarely, magnetic field. By contrast, in itinerant moment systems, QCPs are more rare, and they are induced by pressure or doping; there are no known examples of field induced transitions. This means that no universal behaviour has been established across the whole itinerant-to-local moment range—a substantial gap in our knowledge of quantum criticality. Here we report an itinerant antiferromagnet, Ti3Cu4, that can be tuned to a QCP by a small magnetic field. We see signatures of quantum criticality and the associated non-Fermi liquid behaviour in thermodynamic and transport measurements, while band structure calculations point to an orbital-selective, spin density wave ground state, a consequence of the square net structural motif in Ti3Cu4. Ti3Cu4thus provides a platform for the comparison and generalisation of quantum critical behaviour across the whole spectrum of magnetism.

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  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Spin-valley locking in monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides has attracted enormous interest, since it offers potential for valleytronic and optoelectronic applications. Such an exotic electronic state has sparsely been seen in bulk materials. Here, we report spin-valley locking in a Dirac semimetal BaMnSb 2 . This is revealed by comprehensive studies using first principles calculations, tight-binding and effective model analyses, angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurements. Moreover, this material also exhibits a stacked quantum Hall effect (QHE). The spin-valley degeneracy extracted from the QHE is close to 2. This result, together with the Landau level spin splitting, further confirms the spin-valley locking picture. In the extreme quantum limit, we also observed a plateau in the z -axis resistance, suggestive of a two-dimensional chiral surface state present in the quantum Hall state. These findings establish BaMnSb 2 as a rare platform for exploring coupled spin and valley physics in bulk single crystals and accessing 3D interacting topological states. 
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