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Quantitative plant biology is an interdisciplinary field that builds on a long history of biomathematics and biophysics. Today, thanks to high spatiotemporal resolution tools and computational modelling, it sets a new standard in plant science. Acquired data, whether molecular, geometric or mechanical, are quantified, statistically assessed and integrated at multiple scales and across fields. They feed testable predictions that, in turn, guide further experimental tests. Quantitative features such as variability, noise, robustness, delays or feedback loops are included to account for the inner dynamics of plants and their interactions with the environment. Here, we present the main features of this ongoing revolution, through new questions around signalling networks, tissue topology, shape plasticity, biomechanics, bioenergetics, ecology and engineering. In the end, quantitative plant biology allows us to question and better understand our interactions with plants. In turn, this field opens the door to transdisciplinary projects with the society, notably through citizen science.
This paper discusses the traceback method, which has been the basis of some influential papers on first language acquisition. The method sets out to demonstrate that many or even all utterances in a test corpus (usually the last two sessions of recording) can be accounted for with the help of recurrent fixed strings (like What’s that?) or frame-and-slot patterns (like [What’s X?]) that can also be identified in the remaining dataset (i.e., the previous sessions of recording). This is taken as evidence that language learning is much more item-based than previously assumed. In the present paper we sketch the development of the method over the last two decades, and discuss its relation to usage-based theory, as well as the cognitive plausibility of its components, and we highlight both its potential and its limitations.
Childhood trauma is associated with an elevated risk for psychosis, but the psychological mechanisms involved remain largely unclear. This study aimed to investigate emotional and psychotic stress reactivity in daily life as a putative mechanism linking childhood trauma and clinical outcomes in individuals at ultra-high-risk (UHR) for psychosis.
Experience sampling methodology was used to measure momentary stress, affect and psychotic experiences in the daily life of N = 79 UHR individuals in the EU-GEI High Risk Study. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire was used to assess self-reported childhood trauma. Clinical outcomes were assessed at baseline, 1- and 2-year follow-up.
The association of stress with positive (β = −0.14, p = 0.010) and negative affect (β = 0.11, p = 0.020) was modified by transition status such that stress reactivity was greater in individuals who transitioned to psychosis. Moreover, the association of stress with negative affect (β = 0.06, p = 0.019) and psychotic experiences (β = 0.05, p = 0.037) was greater in individuals exposed to high v. low levels of childhood trauma. We also found evidence that decreased positive affect in response to stress was associated with reduced functioning at 1-year follow-up (B = 6.29, p = 0.034). In addition, there was evidence that the association of childhood trauma with poor functional outcomes was mediated by stress reactivity (e.g. indirect effect: B = −2.13, p = 0.026), but no evidence that stress reactivity mediated the association between childhood trauma and transition (e.g. indirect effect: B = 0.14, p = 0.506).
Emotional and psychotic stress reactivity may be potential mechanisms linking childhood trauma with clinical outcomes in UHR individuals.
One of the most important advantages of an inflation target is that it helps to reduce uncertainty about future inflation. However, this confidence may be undermined if actual inflation continuously deviates from the target level. We examine how inflation uncertainty relates to the presence of an inflation target and deviations of inflation from the targeted level. Inflation uncertainty is quantified by means of an unobserved components stochastic volatility model that allows to distinguish between permanent and transitory inflation uncertainty. While long-term inflation appears largely stable in most economies, the short-term inflation uncertainty is found to be time-varying. Most notably, short-term inflation uncertainty is high if inflation rates are below the target level. This is particularly relevant for economies which are currently confronted with the presence of persistently low-inflation rates. Our findings suggest that announcing higher inflation targets as it is currently discussed may be costly in terms of provoking higher inflation uncertainty.
This chapter proposes to establish a multifactorial model for the development of capitalisation in Early New High German in handwritten texts, which accounts for a range of linguistic dimensions of analysis, including the semantic, syntactic and pragmatic domains. Diachronic patterns of capitalisation are discussed in view of a range of contextualising factors which are judged to have an impact on the trends, including animacy, frequency, semantic roles, syntactic functions and socio-pragmatic factors. The authors develop a systematic and empirical approach to understanding the development of diachronic capitalisation in German, which promises to become increasingly more complex and precise during the course of its development.
This chapter considers the role of human rights law in attributing responsibility for harm associated with the impacts of climate change. The suitability of human rights law to address harm caused by climate change depends upon whether a victim can substantiate a claim that a duty bearer has contributed to climate change, in such a way as to amount to a human rights violation. Qualifying the effects of climate change as human rights violations, however, poses technical obstacles concerning causality, retrospectivity, apportionment, as well as the provision of an adequate remedy. Yet, these obstacles are not insurmountable. As scientific knowledge improves, tracing causal connections between particular emissions and resulting harms is becoming less difficult. This chapter looks at the Carbon Majors petition, which is currently under investigation by the Human Rights Commission of the Philippines, to critically appraise the role of human rights law in solving complex questions associated with responsibility for the impacts of climate change.
In support of the ICRF experiments planned on the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator, i.e. fast ion generation, wall conditioning, target plasma production and heating, a first experimental study on plasma production has been made in the Uragan-2M (U-2M) stellarator using W7-X-like two-strap antenna. In all the experiments, antenna monopole phasing was used. The W7-X-like antenna operation with launched radiofrequency power of ~100 kW have been performed in helium (p = (4–14) × 10−2 Pa) with the vacuum vessel walls pre-loaded with hydrogen. Production of plasma with a density higher than 1012 cm−3 was observed near the first harmonic of the hydrogen cyclotron frequency. Operation at first hydrogen harmonic is feasible in W7-X future ICRF experiments.
Background: Cultivation of targeted pathogens has been long recognized as a gold standard for healthcare surveillance. However, there is an emergent need to characterize all viable microorganisms in healthcare facilities to understand the role that both clinical and nonclinical microorganisms play in healthcare-associated infections. Metagenomic sequencing allows detection of entire microbial communities, in contrast to targeted identification by cultivation. Widespread application of metagenomic sequencing has been impeded in part because the sensitivity and specificity are unknown, which inhibits our ability to interpret results for risk assessment. To assess the impact of sample preparation methods on sensitivity and specificity, we compared several pretreatment steps followed by metagenomic sequencing, and we performed culture-based analyses. Methods: We collected 120 surface swabs from the medical intensive care unit at Rush University Medical Center, which we aggregated to create a representative microbiome sample. We then subjected aliquots to different processing methods (DNA extraction methods, internal standard addition, propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment, and whole-cell serial filtration). We evaluated the effects of these methods based on DNA yields and metagenomic sequencing outcomes. We also compared the metagenomic results to the microbial identifications obtained by cultivation using environmental microbiology methods and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Results: Our results demonstrate that bead-beating and heat lysis followed by liquid-liquid extraction is the optimal method for the identification of low-biomass surface-associated microbes, as opposed to widely used column-based and magnetic bead-based methods. For low-biomass surface-associated samples, ~590,000 reads per sample are sufficient for ≍90% coverage in metagenomic sequencing (Fig. 1). The ZymoBIOMICS microbial community standard is not appropriate for methods assessing membrane integrity. For the identification of putatively viable microorganisms, PMA treatment is promising, although elimination of signals from nonviable organisms will reduce the overall detectable signal. Combining PMA-treated metagenomic sequencing with cultivation yields the most comprehensive results, particularly for low-abundance taxa, despite high sequencing coverage (Fig. 2). To distribute more detection resources to bacteria, our target domain, we tried whole-cell filtration prior to extraction, attempting to isolate bacterial cells from eukaryotic cells and other particles. For low-biomass surface-associated samples, the sample loss and the difficulties in performing filtration outweigh the slight increase of bacterial signal. Conclusions: Despite optimization, we observed certain blind spots in both cultivation and metagenomic sequencing. This information is essential for informed risk assessment. Further research is needed to identify additional limitations to ensure that results from metagenomic sequencing can be interpreted in the context of healthcare-acquired infection prevention.
Funding: This work was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (BAA FY2018-OADS-01 Contract 02915).
The chapter traces the origins of Roman civil service and the office of the scriba in Etruscan models and tries to understand the workings of decurial organisation, i.e. the recruitment, assignment and organisation of the public scribal apparitores. It postulates a high susceptibility of the system to the Roman phenomenon of patronage and social relations.
The chapter serves both as a summary of the classical model of scriba-ship established throughout the book and as an epilogue to the history of the scribae in the Later Roman Empire and beyond. It follows the sparse traces of scribae and revivals of the post in the institutions of the Late Roman state. It argues for the pervasive nature of the idea of the scriba using the example of a public scribe in the Ostrogothic Kingdom of the seventh century.
In a society in which only a fraction of the population was literate and numerate, being one of the few specialists in reading, writing and reckoning meant the possession of an invaluable asset. The fact that the Roman state heavily relied on these professional scribes in financial and legal administration led to their holding a unique position and status. By gathering and analysing the available source material on the Roman scribae, Benjamin Hartmann traces the history of Rome's public scribes from the early Republic to the Later Roman Empire. He tells the story of men of low social origin, who, by means of their specialised knowledge, found themselves at the heart of the Roman polity, in close proximity to the powerful and responsible for the written arcana of the state – a story of knowledge and power, corruption and contested social mobility.
The chapter serves as an introduction to the topic and the study. It presents the theoretical framework and the available sources on the scribae, addresses methodological questions and discusses previous research and establishes the focus on the cultural history of the scribae.