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  1. Animal taxa show remarkable variability in sexual reproduction, where separate sexes, or gonochorism, is thought to have evolved from hermaphroditism for most cases. Hermaphroditism accounts for 5% in animals, and sequential hermaphroditism has been found in teleost. In this study, we characterized a novel form of the transient hermaphroditic stage in little yellow croaker ( Larimichthys polyactis ) during early gonadal development. The ovary and testis were indistinguishable from 7 to 40 days post-hatching (dph). Morphological and histological examinations revealed an intersex stage of male gonads between 43 and 80 dph, which consist of germ cells, somatic cells, efferent duct,more »and early primary oocytes (EPOs). These EPOs in testis degenerate completely by 90 dph through apoptosis yet can be rescued by exogenous 17- β -estradiol. Male germ cells enter the mitotic flourishing stage before meiosis is initiated at 180 dph, and they undergo normal spermatogenesis to produce functional sperms. This transient hermaphroditic stage is male-specific, and the ovary development appears to be normal in females. This developmental pattern is not found in the sister species Larimichthys crocea or any other closely related species. Further examinations of serum hormone levels indicate that the absence of 11-ketotestosterone and elevated levels of 17- β -estradiol delineate the male intersex gonad stage, providing mechanistic insights on this unique phenomenon. Our research is the first report on male-specific transient hermaphroditism and will advance the current understanding of fish reproductive biology. This unique gonadal development pattern can serve as a useful model for studying the evolutionary relationship between hermaphroditism and gonochorism, as well as teleost sex determination and differentiation strategies.« less
  2. In this work, we conduct a comprehensive study on establishing hardness reductions for (Module) Learning with Rounding over rings (RLWR). Towards this, we present an algebraic framework of LWR, inspired by a recent work of Peikert and Pepin (TCC ’19). Then we show a search-to-decision reduction for Ring-LWR, generalizing a result in the plain LWR setting by Bogdanov et al. (TCC ’15). Finally, we show a reduction from Ring-LWE to Module Ring-LWR (even for leaky secrets), generalizing the plain LWE to LWR reduction by Alwen et al. (Crypto ’13). One of our central techniques is a new ring leftover hashmore »lemma, which might be of independent interests.« less
  3. Abstract The Permian marine-terrestrial system of the North China block provides an exceptional window into the evolution of northern temperate ecosystems during the critical transition from icehouse to greenhouse following the late Paleozoic ice age (LPIA). Despite many studies on its rich hydrocarbon reserves and climate-sensitive fossil flora, uncertain temporal constraints and correlations have hampered a thorough understanding of the records of geologic, biologic, and climatic change from the North China block. We present a new chronostratigraphy based on high-precision U-Pb chemical abrasion–isotope dilution–thermal ionization mass spectrometry (CA-ID-TIMS) geochronology of tuffs from a near-complete latest Carboniferous–Permian succession in North China.more »The results indicate that the predominance of continental red beds, climate aridification, and the disappearance of coals and characteristic tropical flora were well under way during the Cisuralian (Early Permian) in the North China block, significantly earlier than previously thought. A nearly 20 m.y. hiatus spanning the early Kungurian to the mid-Guadalupian (or later) is revealed in the northern North China block to have close temporal and spatial associations with the closure and/or subduction of the Paleo-Asian Ocean and its related tectonic convergence. This long hiatus was concomitant with the prominent loss of the highly diverse and abundant Cathaysian floras and the widespread invasion of the monotonous Angaran floras under arid climate conditions in the North China block. Similarities in the floral and climate shift histories between Euramerica and North China suggest that aside from the regional tectonic controls and continental movement, extensive volcanism during the Cisuralian may have played a major role in the global warming and aridification in the aftermath of the LPIA.« less