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  1. Flowing fluid past chiral objects has been used for centuries to power rotary motion in man-made machines. By contrast, rotary motion in nanoscale biological or chemical systems is produced by biasing Brownian motion through cyclic chemical reactions. Here we show that a chiral biological molecule, a DNA or RNA duplex rotates unidirectionally at billions of revolutions per minute when an electric field is applied along the duplex, with the rotation direction being determined by the chirality of the duplex. The rotation is found to be powered by the drag force of the electro-osmotic flow, realizing the operating principle of a macroscopic turbine at the nanoscale. The resulting torques are sufficient to power rotation of nanoscale beads and rods, offering an engineering principle for constructing nanoscale systems powered by electric field.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 23, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Emerging research has begun investigating the neural underpinnings of the biological and psychological differences that drive political ideology, attitudes, and actions. Here, we explore the neurological roots of politics through conducting a large sample, whole-brain analysis of functional connectivity (FC) across common fMRI tasks. Using convolutional neural networks, we develop predictive models of ideology using FC from fMRI scans for nine standard task-based settings in a novel cohort of healthy adults (n = 174, age range: 18 to 40, mean = 21.43) from the Ohio State University Wellbeing Project. Our analyses suggest that liberals and conservatives have noticeable and discriminative differences in FC that can be identified with high accuracy using contemporary artificial intelligence methods and that such analyses complement contemporary models relying on socio-economic and survey-based responses. FC signatures from retrieval, empathy, and monetary reward tasks are identified as important and powerful predictors of conservatism, and activations of the amygdala, inferior frontal gyrus, and hippocampus are most strongly associated with political affiliation. Although the direction of causality is unclear, this study suggests that the biological and neurological roots of political behavior run much deeper than previously thought.

  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 7, 2023
  4. Abstract Population analyses of functional connectivity have provided a rich understanding of how brain function differs across time, individual, and cognitive task. An important but challenging task in such population analyses is the identification of reliable features that describe the function of the brain, while accounting for individual heterogeneity. Our work is motivated by two particularly important challenges in this area: first, how can one analyze functional connectivity data over populations of individuals, and second, how can one use these analyses to infer group similarities and differences. Motivated by these challenges, we model population connectivity data as a multilayer network and develop the multi-node2vec algorithm, an efficient and scalable embedding method that automatically learns continuous node feature representations from multilayer networks. We use multi-node2vec to analyze resting state fMRI scans over a group of 74 healthy individuals and 60 patients with schizophrenia. We demonstrate how multilayer network embeddings can be used to visualize, cluster, and classify functional regions of the brain for these individuals. We furthermore compare the multilayer network embeddings of the two groups. We identify significant differences between the groups in the default mode network and salience network—findings that are supported by the triple network model theory ofmore »cognitive organization. Our findings reveal that multi-node2vec is a powerful and reliable method for analyzing multilayer networks. Data and publicly available code are available at https://github.com/jdwilson4/multi-node2vec .« less
  5. Abstract Across the social sciences, scholars regularly pool effects over substantial periods of time, a practice that produces faulty inferences if the underlying data generating process is dynamic. To help researchers better perform principled analyses of time-varying processes, we develop a two-stage procedure based upon techniques for permutation testing and statistical process monitoring. Given time series cross-sectional data, we break the role of time through permutation inference and produce a null distribution that reflects a time-invariant data generating process. The null distribution then serves as a stable reference point, enabling the detection of effect changepoints. In Monte Carlo simulations, our randomization technique outperforms alternatives for changepoint analysis. A particular benefit of our method is that, by establishing the bounds for time-invariant effects before interacting with actual estimates, it is able to differentiate stochastic fluctuations from genuine changes. We demonstrate the method’s utility by applying it to a popular study on the relationship between alliances and the initiation of militarized interstate disputes. The example illustrates how the technique can help researchers make inferences about where changes occur in dynamic relationships and ask important questions about such changes.