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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    We present the characterization of the low-gravity M6 dwarf 2MASS J06195260-2903592, previously identified as an unusual field object based on its strong IR excess and variable near-IR spectrum. Multiple epochs of low-resolution (R≈ 150) near-IR spectra show large-amplitude (≈0.1–0.5 mag) continuum variations on timescales of days to 12 yr, unlike the small-amplitude variability typical for field ultracool dwarfs. The variations between epochs are well-modeled as changes in the relative extinction (ΔAV≈ 2 mag). Similarly, Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System 1 optical photometry varies on timescales as long as 11 yr (and possibly as short as an hour) and implies comparableAVchanges. Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mid-IR light curves also suggest changes on 6 month timescales, with amplitudes consistent with the optical/near-IR extinction variations. However, near-IR spectra, near-IR photometry, and optical photometry obtained in the past year indicate that the source can also be stable on hourly and monthly timescales. From comparison to objects of similar spectral type, the total extinction of 2MASS J0619-2903 seems to beAV≈ 4–6 mag, with perhaps epochs of lower extinction. Gaia Early Data Release 3 (EDR3) finds that 2MASS J0619-2903 has a wide-separation (1.′2 = 10,450 au) stellar companion, with anmore »isochronal age of3110+22Myr and a mass of0.300.03+0.04M. Adopting this companion’s age and EDR3 distance (145.2 ± 0.6 pc), we estimate a mass of 0.11–0.17Mfor 2MASS J0619-2903. Altogether, 2MASS J0619-2903 appears to possess an unusually long-lived primordial circumstellar disk, perhaps making it a more obscured analog to the “Peter Pan” disks found around a few M dwarfs in nearby young moving groups.

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  3. Kormas, Konstantinos Aristomenis (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The study of the mammalian microbiome serves as a critical tool for understanding host-microbial diversity and coevolution and the impact of bacterial communities on host health. While studies of specific microbial systems (e.g., in the human gut) have rapidly increased, large knowledge gaps remain, hindering our understanding of the determinants and levels of variation in microbiomes across multiple body sites and host species. Here, we compare microbiome community compositions from eight distinct body sites among 17 phylogenetically diverse species of nonhuman primates (NHPs), representing the largest comparative study of microbial diversity across primate host species and body sites. Analysis of 898 samples predominantly acquired in the wild demonstrated that oral microbiomes were unique in their clustering, with distinctive divergence from all other body site microbiomes. In contrast, all other body site microbiomes clustered principally by host species and differentiated by body site within host species. These results highlight two key findings: (i) the oral microbiome is unique compared to all other body site microbiomes and conserved among diverse nonhuman primates, despite their considerable dietary and phylogenetic differences, and (ii) assessments of the determinants of host-microbial diversity are relative to the level of the comparison (i.e., intra-/inter-body site, -host species,more »and -individual), emphasizing the need for broader comparative microbial analyses across diverse hosts to further elucidate host-microbial dynamics, evolutionary and biological patterns of variation, and implications for human-microbial coevolution. IMPORTANCE The microbiome is critical to host health and disease, but much remains unknown about the determinants, levels, and evolution of host-microbial diversity. The relationship between hosts and their associated microbes is complex. Most studies to date have focused on the gut microbiome; however, large gaps remain in our understanding of host-microbial diversity, coevolution, and levels of variation in microbiomes across multiple body sites and host species. To better understand the patterns of variation and evolutionary context of host-microbial communities, we conducted one of the largest comparative studies to date, which indicated that the oral microbiome was distinct from the microbiomes of all other body sites and convergent across host species, suggesting conserved niche specialization within the Primates order. We also show the importance of host species differences in shaping the microbiome within specific body sites. This large, comparative study contributes valuable information on key patterns of variation among hosts and body sites, with implications for understanding host-microbial dynamics and human-microbial coevolution.« less
  4. It has been recognized that jobs across different domains is becoming more data driven, and many aspects of the economy, society, and daily life depend more and more on data. Undergraduate education offers a critical link in providing more data science and engineering (DSE) exposure to students and expanding the supply of DSE talent. The National Academies have identified that effective DSE education requires both appropriate classwork and hands-on experience with real data and real applications. Currently significant progress has been made in classwork, while progress in hands-on research experience has been lacking. To fill this gap, we have proposed to create data-enabled engineering project (DEEP) modules based on real data and applications, which is currently funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program. To achieve project goal, we have developed two internet-of-things (IoT) enabled laboratory engineering testbeds (LETs) and generated real data under various application scenarios. In addition, we have designed and developed several sample DEEP modules in interactive Jupyter Notebook using the generated data. These sample DEEP modules will also be ported to other interactive DSE learning environments, including Matlab Live Script and R Markdown, for wide and easy adoption. Finally,more »we have conducted metacognitive awareness gain (MAG) assessments to establish a baseline for assessing the effectiveness of DEEP modules in enhancing students’ reflection and metacognition. The DEEP modules that are currently being developed target students in Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and MS program in Data Science at xxx University. The modules will be deployed in the Spring of 2021, and we expect to have immediate impact to the targeted classes and students. We also anticipate that the DEEP modules can be adopted without modification to other disciplines in Engineering such as Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering. They can also be easily extended to other disciplines in other colleges such as Liberal Arts by incorporating real data and applications from the respective disciplines. In this work, we will share our ideas, the rationale behind the proposed approach, the planned tasks for the project, the demonstration of modules developed, and potential dissemination venues.« less
  5. Abstract Objectives

    Hair (i.e., pelage/fur) is a salient feature of primate (including human) diversity and evolution—serving functions tied to thermoregulation, protection, camouflage, and signaling—but wild primate pelage evolution remains relatively understudied. Specifically, assessing multiple hypotheses across distinct phylogenetic scales is essential but is rarely conducted. We examine whole body hair color and density variation across Indriidae (Avahi,Indri,Propithecus)—a lineage that, like humans, exhibits vertical posture (i.e., their whole bodies are vertical to the sun).

    Materials and methods

    Our analyses consider multiple phylogenetic scales (family‐level, genus‐level) and hypotheses (e.g., Gloger's rule, the body cooling hypotheses). We obtain hair color and density from museum and/or wild animals, opsin genotypes from wild animals, and climate data from WorldClim. To analyze our data, we use phylogenetic generalized linear mixed models (PGLMM) using Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms.


    Our results show that across the Indriidae family, darker hair is typical in wetter regions. However, withinPropithecus, dark black hair is common in colder forest regions. Results also show pelage redness increases in populations exhibiting enhanced color vision. Lastly, we find follicle density on the crown and limbs increases in dry and open environments.


    This study highlights how different selective pressures across distinct phylogenetic scales have likely acted on primatemore »hair evolution. Specifically, our data acrossPropithecusmay implicate thermoregulation and is the first empirical evidence of Bogert's rule in mammals. Our study also provides rare empirical evidence supporting an early hypothesis on hominin hair evolution.

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  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024