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  1. Abstract Background Mortality research has identified biomarkers predictive of all-cause mortality risk. Most of these markers, such as body mass index, are predictive cross-sectionally, while for others the longitudinal change has been shown to be predictive, for instance greater-than-average muscle and weight loss in older adults. And while sometimes markers are derived from imaging modalities such as DXA, full scans are rarely used. This study builds on that knowledge and tests two hypotheses to improve all-cause mortality prediction. The first hypothesis is that features derived from raw total-body DXA imaging using deep learning are predictive of all-cause mortality with and without clinical risk factors, meanwhile, the second hypothesis states that sequential total-body DXA scans and recurrent neural network models outperform comparable models using only one observation with and without clinical risk factors. Methods Multiple deep neural network architectures were designed to test theses hypotheses. The models were trained and evaluated on data from the 16-year-long Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study including over 15,000 scans from over 3000 older, multi-race male and female adults. This study further used explainable AI techniques to interpret the predictions and evaluate the contribution of different inputs. Results The results demonstrate that longitudinal total-body DXA scans are predictive of all-cause mortality and improve performance of traditional mortality prediction models. On a held-out test set, the strongest model achieves an area under the receiver operator characteristic curve of 0.79. Conclusion This study demonstrates the efficacy of deep learning for the analysis of DXA medical imaging in a cross-sectional and longitudinal setting. By analyzing the trained deep learning models, this work also sheds light on what constitutes healthy aging in a diverse cohort. 
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  2. Abstract

    We used a convolutional neural network to infer stellar rotation periods from a set of synthetic light curves simulated with realistic spot-evolution patterns. We convolved these simulated light curves with real TESS light curves containing minimal intrinsic astrophysical variability to allow the network to learn TESS systematics and estimate rotation periods despite them. In addition to periods, we predict uncertainties via heteroskedastic regression to estimate the credibility of the period predictions. In the most credible half of the test data, we recover 10% accurate periods for 46% of the targets, and 20% accurate periods for 69% of the targets. Using our trained network, we successfully recover periods of real stars with literature rotation measurements, even past the 13.7 day limit generally encountered by TESS rotation searches using conventional period-finding techniques. Our method also demonstrates resistance to half-period aliases. We present the neural network and simulated training data, and introduce the softwarebutterpyused to synthesize the light curves using realistic starspot evolution.

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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. Microbes are found in nearly every habitat and organism on the planet, where they are critical to host health, fitness, and metabolism. In most organisms, few microbes are inherited at birth; instead, acquiring microbiomes generally involves complicated interactions between the environment, hosts, and symbionts. Despite the criticality of microbiome acquisition, we know little about where hosts’ microbes reside when not in or on hosts of interest. Because microbes span a continuum ranging from generalists associating with multiple hosts and habitats to specialists with narrower host ranges, identifying potential sources of microbial diversity that can contribute to the microbiomes of unrelated hosts is a gap in our understanding of microbiome assembly. Microbial dispersal attenuates with distance, so identifying sources and sinks requires data from microbiomes that are contemporary and near enough for potential microbial transmission. Here, we characterize microbiomes across adjacent terrestrial and aquatic hosts and habitats throughout an entire watershed, showing that the most species-poor microbiomes are partial subsets of the most species-rich and that microbiomes of plants and animals are nested within those of their environments. Furthermore, we show that the host and habitat range of a microbe within a single ecosystem predicts its global distribution, a relationship with implications for global microbial assembly processes. Thus, the tendency for microbes to occupy multiple habitats and unrelated hosts enables persistent microbiomes, even when host populations are disjunct. Our whole-watershed census demonstrates how a nested distribution of microbes, following the trophic hierarchies of hosts, can shape microbial acquisition. 
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