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  1. Food intake behavior is regulated by a network of appetite-inducing and appetite-suppressing neuronal populations throughout the brain. The parasubthalamic nucleus (PSTN), a relatively unexplored population of neurons in the posterior hypothalamus, has been hypothesized to regulate appetite due to its connectivity with other anorexigenic neuronal populations and because these neurons express Fos, a marker of neuronal activation, following a meal. However, the individual cell types that make up the PSTN are not well characterized, nor are their functional roles in food intake behavior. Here, we identify and distinguish between two discrete PSTN subpopulations, those that express tachykinin-1 (PSTN Tac1 neurons) and those that express corticotropin-releasing hormone (PSTN CRH neurons), and use a panel of genetically encoded tools in mice to show that PSTN Tac1 neurons play an important role in appetite suppression. Both subpopulations increase activity following a meal and in response to administration of the anorexigenic hormones amylin, cholecystokinin (CCK), and peptide YY (PYY). Interestingly, chemogenetic inhibition of PSTN Tac1 , but not PSTN CRH neurons, reduces the appetite-suppressing effects of these hormones. Consistently, optogenetic and chemogenetic stimulation of PSTN Tac1 neurons, but not PSTN CRH neurons, reduces food intake in hungry mice. PSTN Tac1 and PSTN CRH neuronsmore »project to distinct downstream brain regions, and stimulation of PSTN Tac1 projections to individual anorexigenic populations reduces food consumption. Taken together, these results reveal the functional properties and projection patterns of distinct PSTN cell types and demonstrate an anorexigenic role for PSTN Tac1 neurons in the hormonal and central regulation of appetite.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 4, 2023
  2. Abstract The Indian Ocean has received increasing attention for its large impacts on regional and global climate. However, sea surface temperature (SST) variability arising from Indian Ocean internal processes has not been well understood particularly on decadal and longer timescales, and the external influence from the Tropical Pacific has not been quantified. This paper analyzes the interannual-to-decadal SST variability in the Tropical Indian Ocean in observations and explores the external influence from the Pacific versus internal processes within the Indian Ocean using a Linear Inverse Model (LIM). Coupling between Indian Ocean and tropical Pacific SST anomalies (SSTAs) is assessed both within the LIM dynamical operator and the unpredictable stochastic noise that forces the system. Results show that the observed Indian Ocean Basin (IOB)-wide SSTA pattern is largely a response to the Pacific ENSO forcing, although it in turn has a damping effect on ENSO especially on annual and decadal timescales. On the other hand, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is an Indian Ocean internal mode that can actively affect ENSO; ENSO also has a returning effect on the IOD, which is rather weak on decadal timescale. The third mode is partly associated with the Subtropical Indian Ocean Dipole (SIOD), andmore »it is primarily generated by Indian Ocean internal processes, although a small component of it is coupled with ENSO. Overall, the amplitude of Indian Ocean internally generated SST variability is comparable to that forced by ENSO, and the Indian Ocean tends to actively influence the tropical Pacific. These results suggest that the Indian-Pacific Ocean interaction is a two-way process.« less
  3. The discovery of more than 4500 extrasolar planets has created a need for modeling their interior structure and dynamics. Given the prominence of iron in planetary interiors, we require accurate and precise physical properties at extreme pressure and temperature. A first-order property of iron is its melting point, which is still debated for the conditions of Earth’s interior. We used high-energy lasers at the National Ignition Facility and in situ x-ray diffraction to determine the melting point of iron up to 1000 gigapascals, three times the pressure of Earth’s inner core. We used this melting curve to determine the length of dynamo action during core solidification to the hexagonal close-packed (hcp) structure. We find that terrestrial exoplanets with four to six times Earth’s mass have the longest dynamos, which provide important shielding against cosmic radiation.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 14, 2023
  4. Abstract The Pacific–North American (PNA) teleconnection pattern has been linked both to tropical phenomena, including the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and to internal extratropical processes, including interactions with the zonally varying basic state and synoptic eddies. Many questions remain, however, concerning how these various relationships act, both separately and together, to yield observed PNA variability. Using linear inverse modeling (LIM), this study finds that the development and amplification of PNA anomalies largely results from the interference of modes strongly coupled to sea surface temperatures (SST), such as ENSO, and modes internal to the atmosphere, including the MJO. These SST-coupled and “internal atmospheric” modes form subspaces that are not orthogonal, and PNA growth is shown to occur via non-normal interactions. An internal atmospheric space LIM is developed to examine growth beyond this interference by removing the SST-coupled modes, effectively removing ENSO and retaining MJO variability. Optimal PNA growth in the internal atmospheric space LIM is driven by MJO heating, particularly over the Indian Ocean, and a retrograding northeast Pacific streamfunction anomaly. Additionally, the individual contributions of tropical heating and the extratropical circulation on PNA growth are investigated. The non-normal PNA growth is an important result, demonstrating themore »difficulty in partitioning PNA variance into contributions from different phenomena. This cautionary result is likely applicable to many geophysical phenomena and should be considered in attribution studies.« less