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  1. Abstract This is a study of the suitability of preheat flame electrical resistance as a potential method for measuring the standoff distance an oxyfuel cutting torch and a work piece. Careful scrutiny of forty-seven individual experiments demonstrate that when cut quality is good, there is a linear repeatable relationship between the two with uncertainty about ±0.3 mm (0.015 in.). As the cut quality degrades, the formation of top-edge dross reduces the electrical path length in the flame, and momentary reduction in the reaction rate in the kerf reduces the free electrons in the flame, causing increases in flame resistance. In these conditions, measurement uncertainty reduces to ±1 mm (0.040 in.) or worse.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Adaptive radiations involve astounding bursts of phenotypic, ecological and species diversity. However, the microevolutionary processes that underlie the origins of these bursts are still poorly understood. We report the discovery of an intermediate C. sp. ‘wide-mouth’ scale-eating ecomorph in a sympatric radiation of Cyprinodon pupfishes, illuminating the transition from a widespread algae-eating generalist to a novel microendemic scale-eating specialist. We first show that this ecomorph occurs in sympatry with generalist C. variegatus and scale-eating specialist C. desquamator on San Salvador Island, Bahamas, but is genetically differentiated, morphologically distinct and often consumes scales. We then compared the timing of selective sweeps on shared and unique adaptive variants in trophic specialists to characterize their adaptive walk. Shared adaptive regions swept first in both the specialist desquamator and the intermediate ‘wide-mouth’ ecomorph, followed by unique sweeps of introgressed variation in ‘wide-mouth’ and de novo variation in desquamator . The two scale-eating populations additionally shared 9% of their hard selective sweeps with the molluscivore C. brontotheroides , despite no single common ancestor among specialists. Our work provides a new microevolutionary framework for investigating how major ecological transitions occur and illustrates how both shared and unique genetic variation can provide a bridge for multiple speciesmore »to access novel ecological niches.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 25, 2023
  3. One of the main drivers of evolution is natural selection, which is when organisms better adapted to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce. A common metaphor to explain this process is a landscape covered in peaks and valleys: the peaks represent genetic combinations or traits with high evolutionary fitness, while the valleys represent those with low fitness. As a population evolves and its environment changes, it moves among these peaks taking small steps across the landscape. However, there is a limit to how far an organism can travel in one leap. So, what happens when they need to cross a valley of low fitness to get to the next peak? To address this question, Patton et al. studied three young species of pupfish that recently evolved from a common ancestor and co-habit the same environment in the Caribbean. Patton et al. sequenced whole genomes of each new species and used this to build a genotypic fitness landscape, a network linking neighboring genotypes which each have a unique fitness value that was measured during field experiments. This revealed that most of the paths connecting the different species passed through valleys of low fitness. But there were rare, narrowmore »ridges connecting each species. Next, Patton et al. found that new mutations as well as genetic variations that arose from mating with pupfish on other Caribbean islands altered genetic interactions and changed the shape of the fitness landscape. Ultimately, this significantly increased the accessibility of fitness peaks by both adding more ridges and decreasing the lengths of paths, expanding the realm of possible evolutionary outcomes. Understanding how fitness landscapes change during evolution could help to explain where new species come from. Other researchers could apply the same approach to estimate the genotypic fitness landscapes of other species, from bacteria to vertebrates. These networks could be used to visualize the complex fitness landscape that connects all lifeforms on Earth.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 26, 2023
  4. This is a study of the suitability of preheat flame electrical resistance as a potential method for measuring the standoff distance an oxyfuel cutting torch and a work piece. Careful scrutiny of forty seven (47) individual experiments demonstrate that when cut quality is good, there is a linear repeatable relationship between the two with uncertainty about ± .3mm (.015in). As the cut quality degrades, the formation of top-edge dross reduces the electrical path length in the flame, and momentary reduction in the reaction rate in the kerf reduces the free electrons in the flame, causing rises in flame resistance. In these conditions, measurement uncertainty reduces to ± 1mm (.040in) or worse.
  5. Abstract

    This paper presents a computational model to study ion and electron transportation and current-voltage characteristics inside a methane-oxygen flame. A commercial software is used to develop the model by splitting the simulation into the combustion and electrochemical transportation parts. A laboratory experiment is used to compare the results from the model. The initial and boundary conditions represented in the model are similar to the experimental conditions in the laboratory experiment.

    In the combustion part, the general GRI3.0 mechanism plus three additional ionization reactions are applied and results are then used as input into the electrochemical transportation part. A particular inspection line is created to analyze the results of the electrochemical transportation part. Ion, electron number density, and current density are studied along the interval from −40V to 40V electric potential. The ions are heavier and more difficult to move than electrons. The results show that at both torch and work surfaces charged sheaths are formed and cause three different regions of current-voltage relations.

  6. Herbivorous fishes form a keystone component of reef ecosystems, yet the functional mechanisms underlying their feeding performance are poorly understood. In water, gravity is counter-balanced by buoyancy, hence fish are recoiled backwards after every bite they take from the substrate. To overcome this recoil and maintain contact with the algae covered substrate, fish need to generate thrust while feeding. However, the locomotory performance of reef herbivores in the context of feeding has hitherto been ignored. We used a three-dimensional high-speed video system to track mouth and body kinematics during in situ feeding strikes of fishes in the genus Zebrasoma , while synchronously recording the forces exerted on the substrate. These herbivores committed stereotypic and coordinated body and fin movements when feeding off the substrate and these movements determined algal biomass removed. Specifically, the speed of rapidly backing away from the substrate was associated with the magnitude of the pull force and the biomass of algae removed from the substrate per feeding bout. Our new framework for measuring biting performance in situ demonstrates that coordinated movements of the body and fins play a crucial role in herbivore foraging performance and may explain major axes of body and fin shape diversification acrossmore »reef herbivore guilds.« less
  7. Wittkopp, Patricia (Ed.)
    Abstract Investigating closely related species that rapidly evolved divergent feeding morphology is a powerful approach to identify genetic variation underlying variation in complex traits. This can also lead to the discovery of novel candidate genes influencing natural and clinical variation in human craniofacial phenotypes. We combined whole-genome resequencing of 258 individuals with 50 transcriptomes to identify candidate cis-acting genetic variation underlying rapidly evolving craniofacial phenotypes within an adaptive radiation of Cyprinodon pupfishes. This radiation consists of a dietary generalist species and two derived trophic niche specialists—a molluscivore and a scale-eating species. Despite extensive morphological divergence, these species only diverged 10 kya and produce fertile hybrids in the laboratory. Out of 9.3 million genome-wide SNPs and 80,012 structural variants, we found very few alleles fixed between species—only 157 SNPs and 87 deletions. Comparing gene expression across 38 purebred F1 offspring sampled at three early developmental stages, we identified 17 fixed variants within 10 kb of 12 genes that were highly differentially expressed between species. By measuring allele-specific expression in F1 hybrids from multiple crosses, we found that the majority of expression divergence between species was explained by trans-regulatory mechanisms. We also found strong evidence for two cis-regulatory alleles affecting expression divergencemore »of two genes with putative effects on skeletal development (dync2li1 and pycr3). These results suggest that SNPs and structural variants contribute to the evolution of novel traits and highlight the utility of the San Salvador Island pupfish system as an evolutionary model for craniofacial development.« less
  8. To investigate the origins and stages of vertebrate adaptive radiation, we reconstructed the spatial and temporal histories of adaptive alleles underlying major phenotypic axes of diversification from the genomes of 202 Caribbean pupfishes. On a single Bahamian island, ancient standing variation from disjunct geographic sources was reassembled into new combinations under strong directional selection for adaptation to the novel trophic niches of scale-eating and molluscivory. We found evidence for two longstanding hypotheses of adaptive radiation: hybrid swarm origins and temporal stages of adaptation. Using a combination of population genomics, transcriptomics, and genome-wide association mapping, we demonstrate that this microendemic adaptive radiation of novel trophic specialists on San Salvador Island, Bahamas experienced twice as much adaptive introgression as generalist populations on neighboring islands and that adaptive divergence occurred in stages. First, standing regulatory variation in genes associated with feeding behavior (prlh,cfap20, andrmi1) were swept to fixation by selection, then standing regulatory variation in genes associated with craniofacial and muscular development (itga5,ext1,cyp26b1, andgalr2) and finally the only de novo nonsynonymous substitution in an osteogenic transcription factor and oncogene (twist1) swept to fixation most recently. Our results demonstrate how ancient alleles maintained in distinct environmental refugia can be assembled into new adaptive combinationsmore »and provide a framework for reconstructing the spatiotemporal landscape of adaptation and speciation.

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