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  1. Key aspects of international policy, such as those pertaining to migration and trade, manifest in the physical world at international political borders; for this reason, borders are of interest to political science studying the impacts and implications of these policies. While some prior efforts have worked to characterize features of borders us- ing trained human coders and crowdsourcing, these are limited in scale by the need for manual annotations. In this paper, we present a new task, dataset, and baseline approaches for estimating the legibility of international political borders automatically and on a global scale. Our contributions are to (1) define the border legibility estimation task; (2) collect a dataset of overhead (aerial) imagery for the entire world’s international borders, (3) propose several classical and deep-learning-based approaches to establish a baseline for the task, and (4) evaluate our algorithms against a validation dataset of crowdsourced legibility com- parisons. Our results on this challenging task confirm that while low-level features can often explain border legibility, mid- and high-level features are also important. Finally, we show preliminary results of a global analysis of legibility, confirming some of the political and geographic influences of legibility. 
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  2. Malik, Harmit S. (Ed.)
    Centromeres are essential mediators of chromosomal segregation, but both centromeric DNA sequences and associated kinetochore proteins are paradoxically diverse across species. The selfish centromere model explains rapid evolution by both components via an arms-race scenario: centromeric DNA variants drive by distorting chromosomal transmission in female meiosis and attendant fitness costs select on interacting proteins to restore Mendelian inheritance. Although it is clear than centromeres can drive and that drive often carries costs, female meiotic drive has not been directly linked to selection on kinetochore proteins in any natural system. Here, we test the selfish model of centromere evolution in a yellow monkeyflower ( Mimulus guttatus ) population polymorphic for a costly driving centromere ( D ). We show that the D haplotype is structurally and genetically distinct and swept to a high stable frequency within the past 1500 years. We use quantitative genetic mapping to demonstrate that context-dependence in the strength of drive (from near-100% D transmission in interspecific hybrids to near-Mendelian in within-population crosses) primarily reflects variable vulnerability of the non-driving competitor chromosomes, but also map an unlinked modifier of drive coincident with kinetochore protein Centromere-specific Histone 3 A (CenH3A). Finally, CenH3A exhibits a recent (<1000 years) selective sweep in our focal population, implicating local interactions with D in ongoing adaptive evolution of this kinetochore protein. Together, our results demonstrate an active co-evolutionary arms race between DNA and protein components of the meiotic machinery in Mimulus , with important consequences for individual fitness and molecular divergence. 
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    Peaking at 3.7 mag on 2020 July 11, YZ Ret was the second-brightest nova of the decade. The nova’s moderate proximity (2.7 kpc, from Gaia) provided an opportunity to explore its multiwavelength properties in great detail. Here, we report on YZ Ret as part of a long-term project to identify the physical mechanisms responsible for high-energy emission in classical novae. We use simultaneous Fermi/LAT and NuSTAR observations complemented by XMM–Newton X-ray grating spectroscopy to probe the physical parameters of the shocked ejecta and the nova-hosting white dwarf. The XMM–Newton observations revealed a supersoft X-ray emission which is dominated by emission lines of C v, C vi, N vi, N vii, and O viii rather than a blackbody-like continuum, suggesting CO-composition of the white dwarf in a high-inclination binary system. Fermi/LAT-detected YZ Ret for 15 d with the γ-ray spectrum best described by a power law with an exponential cut-off at 1.9 ± 0.6 GeV. In stark contrast with theoretical predictions and in keeping with previous NuSTAR observations of Fermi-detected classical novae (V5855 Sgr and V906 Car), the 3.5–78-keV X-ray emission is found to be two orders of magnitude fainter than the GeV emission. The X-ray emission observed by NuSTAR is consistent with a single-temperature thermal plasma model. We do not detect a non-thermal tail of the GeV emission expected to extend down to the NuSTAR band. NuSTAR observations continue to challenge theories of high-energy emission from shocks in novae.

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  4. Buerkle, Alex (Ed.)
    Inferences about past processes of adaptation and speciation require a gene-scale and genome-wide understanding of the evolutionary history of diverging taxa. In this study, we use genome-wide capture of nuclear gene sequences, plus skimming of organellar sequences, to investigate the phylogenomics of monkeyflowers in Mimulus section Erythranthe (27 accessions from seven species ) . Taxa within Erythranthe , particularly the parapatric and putatively sister species M . lewisii (bee-pollinated) and M . cardinalis (hummingbird-pollinated), have been a model system for investigating the ecological genetics of speciation and adaptation for over five decades. Across >8000 nuclear loci, multiple methods resolve a predominant species tree in which M . cardinalis groups with other hummingbird-pollinated taxa (37% of gene trees), rather than being sister to M . lewisii (32% of gene trees). We independently corroborate a single evolution of hummingbird pollination syndrome in Erythranthe by demonstrating functional redundancy in genetic complementation tests of floral traits in hybrids; together, these analyses overturn a textbook case of pollination-syndrome convergence. Strong asymmetries in allele sharing (Patterson’s D-statistic and related tests) indicate that gene tree discordance reflects ancient and recent introgression rather than incomplete lineage sorting. Consistent with abundant introgression blurring the history of divergence, low-recombination and adaptation-associated regions support the new species tree, while high-recombination regions generate phylogenetic evidence for sister status for M . lewisii and M . cardinalis . Population-level sampling of core taxa also revealed two instances of chloroplast capture, with Sierran M . lewisii and Southern Californian M . parishii each carrying organelle genomes nested within respective sympatric M . cardinalis clades. A recent organellar transfer from M . cardinalis , an outcrosser where selfish cytonuclear dynamics are more likely, may account for the unexpected cytoplasmic male sterility effects of selfer M . parishii organelles in hybrids with M . lewisii . Overall, our phylogenomic results reveal extensive reticulation throughout the evolutionary history of a classic monkeyflower radiation, suggesting that natural selection (re-)assembles and maintains species-diagnostic traits and barriers in the face of gene flow. Our findings further underline the challenges, even in reproductively isolated species, in distinguishing re-use of adaptive alleles from true convergence and emphasize the value of a phylogenomic framework for reconstructing the evolutionary genetics of adaptation and speciation. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT X-ray observations of shocked gas in novae can provide a useful probe of the dynamics of the ejecta. Here we report on X-ray observations of the nova V959 Mon, which was also detected in GeV gamma-rays with the Fermi satellite. We find that the X-ray spectra are consistent with a two-temperature plasma model with non-solar abundances. We interpret the X-rays as due to shock interaction between the slow equatorial torus and the fast polar outflow that were inferred from radio observations of V959 Mon. We further propose that the hotter component, responsible for most of the flux, is from the reverse shock driven into the fast outflow. We find a systematic drop in the column density of the absorber between days 60 and 140, consistent with the expectations for such a picture. We present intriguing evidence for a delay of around 40 d in the expulsion of the ejecta from the central binary. Moreover, we infer a relatively small (a few times 10−6 M⊙) ejecta mass ahead of the shock, considerably lower than the mass of 104 K gas inferred from radio observations. Finally, we infer that the dominant X-ray shock was likely not radiative at the time of our observations, and that the shock power was considerably higher than the observed X-ray luminosity. It is unclear why high X-ray luminosity, closer to the inferred shock power, is never seen in novae at early times, when the shock is expected to have high enough density to be radiative. 
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  6. Abstract We present radio observations (1–40 GHz) for 36 classical novae, representing data from over five decades compiled from the literature, telescope archives, and our own programs. Our targets display a striking diversity in their optical parameters (e.g., spanning optical fading timescales, t 2 = 1–263 days), and we find a similar diversity in the radio light curves. Using a brightness temperature analysis, we find that radio emission from novae is a mixture of thermal and synchrotron emission, with nonthermal emission observed at earlier times. We identify high brightness temperature emission ( T B > 5 × 10 4 K) as an indication of synchrotron emission in at least nine (25%) of the novae. We find a class of synchrotron-dominated novae with mildly evolved companions, exemplified by V5589 Sgr and V392 Per, that appear to be a bridge between classical novae with dwarf companions and symbiotic binaries with giant companions. Four of the novae in our sample have two distinct radio maxima (the first dominated by synchrotron and the later by thermal emission), and in four cases the early synchrotron peak is temporally coincident with a dramatic dip in the optical light curve, hinting at a common site for particle acceleration and dust formation. We publish the light curves in a machine-readable table and encourage the use of these data by the broader community in multiwavelength studies and modeling efforts. 
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  7. Koepfli, Klaus-Peter (Ed.)
    Abstract A current challenge in the fields of evolutionary, ecological, and conservation genomics is balancing production of large-scale datasets with additional training often required to handle such datasets. Thus, there is an increasing need for conservation geneticists to continually learn and train to stay up-to-date through avenues such as symposia, meetings, and workshops. The ConGen meeting is a near-annual workshop that strives to guide participants in understanding population genetics principles, study design, data processing, analysis, interpretation, and applications to real-world conservation issues. Each year of ConGen gathers a diverse set of instructors, students, and resulting lectures, hands-on sessions, and discussions. Here, we summarize key lessons learned from the 2019 meeting and more recent updates to the field with a focus on big data in conservation genomics. First, we highlight classical and contemporary issues in study design that are especially relevant to working with big datasets, including the intricacies of data filtering. We next emphasize the importance of building analytical skills and simulating data, and how these skills have applications within and outside of conservation genetics careers. We also highlight recent technological advances and novel applications to conservation of wild populations. Finally, we provide data and recommendations to support ongoing efforts by ConGen organizers and instructors—and beyond—to increase participation of underrepresented minorities in conservation and eco-evolutionary sciences. The future success of conservation genetics requires both continual training in handling big data and a diverse group of people and approaches to tackle key issues, including the global biodiversity-loss crisis. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Shocks in γ-ray emitting classical novae are expected to produce bright thermal and non-thermal X-rays. We test this prediction with simultaneous NuSTAR and Fermi/LAT observations of nova V906 Car, which exhibited the brightest GeV γ-ray emission to date. The nova is detected in hard X-rays while it is still γ-ray bright, but contrary to simple theoretical expectations, the detected 3.5–78 keV emission of V906 Car is much weaker than the simultaneously observed >100 MeV emission. No non-thermal X-ray emission is detected, and our deep limits imply that the γ-rays are likely hadronic. After correcting for substantial absorption (NH ≈ 2 × 1023 cm−2), the thermal X-ray luminosity (from a 9 keV optically thin plasma) is just ∼2 per cent of the γ-ray luminosity. We consider possible explanations for the low thermal X-ray luminosity, including the X-rays being suppressed by corrugated, radiative shock fronts or the X-rays from the γ-ray producing shock are hidden behind an even larger absorbing column (NH > 1025 cm−2). Adding XMM–Newton and Swift/XRT observations to our analysis, we find that the evolution of the intrinsic X-ray absorption requires the nova shell to be expelled 24 d after the outburst onset. The X-ray spectra show that the ejecta are enhanced in nitrogen and oxygen, and the nova occurred on the surface of a CO-type white dwarf. We see no indication of a distinct supersoft phase in the X-ray light curve, which, after considering the absorption effects, may point to a low mass of the white dwarf hosting the nova. 
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  9. We report the first detection of hard (>10 keV) X-ray emission simultaneous with gamma-rays in a nova eruption. Observations of the nova V5855 Sgr carried out with the NuSTAR satellite on Day 12 of the eruption revealed faint, highly absorbed thermal X-rays. The extreme equivalent hydrogen column density toward the X-ray emitting region (˜3 × 10^24 cm^-2) indicates that the shock producing the X-rays was deeply embedded within the nova ejecta. The slope of the X-ray spectrum favors a thermal origin for the bulk of the emission, and the constraints of the temperature in the shocked region suggest a shock velocity compatible with the ejecta velocities inferred from optical spectroscopy. While we do not claim the detection of nonthermal X-rays, the data do not allow us to rule out an additional, fainter component dominating at energies above 20 keV, for which we obtained upper limits. The inferred luminosity of the thermal X-rays is too low to be consistent with the gamma-ray luminosities if both are powered by the same shock under standard assumptions regarding the efficiency of nonthermal particle acceleration and the temperature distribution of the shocked gas. 
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