Cannabis sativa has long been an important source of fiber extracted from hemp and both medicinal and recreational drugs based on cannabinoid compounds. Here, we investigated its poorly known domestication history using whole-genome resequencing of 110 accessions from worldwide origins. We show that C. sativa was first domesticated in early Neolithic times in East Asia and that all current hemp and drug cultivars diverged from an ancestral gene pool currently represented by feral plants and landraces in China. We identified candidate genes associated with traits differentiating hemp and drug cultivars, including branching pattern and cellulose/lignin biosynthesis. We also found evidence for loss of function of genes involved in the synthesis of the two major biochemically competing cannabinoids during selection for increased fiber production or psychoactive properties. Our results provide a unique global view of the domestication of C. sativa and offer valuable genomic resources for ongoing functional and molecular breeding research. Genome analyses provide new insights into the global domestication history of Cannabis sativa and its two main cannabinoids. Genome analyses provide new insights into the global domestication history of Cannabis sativa and its two main cannabinoids.
Quantum many-body systems display rich phase structure in their
low-temperature equilibrium states. However, much of nature is not in thermal
equilibrium. Remarkably, it was recently predicted that out-of-equilibrium
systems can exhibit novel dynamical phases that may otherwise be forbidden by
equilibrium thermodynamics, a paradigmatic example being the discrete time
crystal (DTC). Concretely, dynamical phases can be defined in periodically
driven many-body localized systems via the concept of eigenstate order. In
eigenstate-ordered phases, the entire many-body spectrum exhibits quantum
correlations and long-range order, with characteristic signatures in late-time
dynamics from all initial states. It is, however, challenging to experimentally
distinguish such stable phases from transient phenomena, wherein few select
states can mask typical behavior. Here we implement a continuous family of
tunable CPHASE gates on an array of superconducting qubits to experimentally
observe an eigenstate-ordered DTC. We demonstrate the characteristic
spatiotemporal response of a DTC for generic initial states. Our work employs a
time-reversal protocol that discriminates external decoherence from intrinsic
thermalization, and leverages quantum typicality to circumvent the exponential
cost of densely sampling the eigenspectrum. In addition, we locate the phase
transition out of the DTC with an experimental finite-size analysis. These
results establish a scalable approach to study non-equilibrium phases of matter
on current quantum processors.
Background There is growing concern about possible cognitive consequences of COVID-19, with reports of ‘Long COVID' symptoms persisting into the chronic phase and case studies revealing neurological problems in severely affected patients. However, there is little information regarding the nature and broader prevalence of cognitive problems post-infection or across the full spread of disease severity. Methods We sought to confirm whether there was an association between cross-sectional cognitive performance data from 81,337 participants who between January and December 2020 undertook a clinically validated web-optimized assessment as part of the Great British Intelligence Test, and questionnaire items capturing self-report of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 infection and respiratory symptoms. Findings People who had recovered from COVID-19, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits versus controls when controlling for age, gender, education level, income, racial-ethnic group, pre-existing medical disorders, tiredness, depression and anxiety. The deficits were of substantial effect size for people who had been hospitalised ( N = 192), but also for non-hospitalised cases who had biological confirmation of COVID-19 infection ( N = 326). Analysing markers of premorbid intelligence did not support these differences being present prior to infection. Finer grained analysis of performance across sub-tests supported the hypothesis that COVID-19 has a multi-domain impact on human cognition. Interpretation These results accord with reports of ‘Long Covid' cognitive symptoms that persist into the early-chronic phase. They should act as a clarion call for further research with longitudinal and neuroimaging cohorts to plot recovery trajectories and identify the biological basis of cognitive deficits in SARS-COV-2 survivors. Funding AH is supported by the UK Dementia Research Institute Care Research and Technology Centre and Biomedical Research Centre at Imperial College London. WT is supported by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology. SRC is funded by a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship 110,049/Z/15/Z. JMB is supported by Medical Research Council (MR/N013700/1). MAM, SCRW and PJH are, in part, supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London
Centenarians display decreased susceptibility to ageing-associated illness, chronic inflammation, and infectious disease1–3. Here we show that centenarians have a distinct gut microbiome enriched in microbes capable of generating unique secondary bile acids (BAs), including iso-, 3-oxo-, allo-, 3-oxoallo-, and isoallo-lithocholic acid (LCA). Among these BAs, the biosynthetic pathway for isoalloLCA had not been described previously. By screening 68 bacterial isolates from a centenarian’s faecal microbiota, we identified Odoribacteraceae strains as effective producers of isoalloLCA both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we found that the enzymes 5α-reductase (5AR) and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3βHSDH) were responsible for isoalloLCA production. IsoalloLCA exerted potent antimicrobial effects against gram-positive (but not gram-negative) multidrug-resistant pathogens, including Clostridioides difficile and Enterococcus faecium. These findings suggest that specific bile acid metabolism may be involved in reducing the risk of pathobiont infection, thereby potentially contributing to the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis.
There's an ever increasing amount of scientific evidence that suggests the Earth has a catastrophe cycle of ~12,000 years. The cycle is propagated by the sun and effects every planet in our solar system, albeit in different ways. The half-cycle of this event occurs every 6,000 years and has been named the 'Heinrich-Bond Cycle' in a recently published science paper.We know that the Earth's magnetosphere is weakening at an accelerated rate and that this is also a driving force of the catastrophe cycle. Coupled with that is the rapid movement of the magnetic poles travelling away from the physical North/South poles, which are set to meet each other southeast of the Indian Ocean, should they stay their current course.There's also mounting evidence of all over the world of advanced civilizations from our ancient past that just 'mysteriously' disappeared. Does this make sense knowing what we now know about Earth's catastrophe cycle? These magnetic excursions don't happen overnight, they likely take place over years, decades, or possibly even centuries depending on varying severity. Did human civilization begin in caves or is that where it tragically ended? Possibly both. The few survivors left from these excursions would likely end up in the only real safe place they could find - in caves. By the time they got to these caves, much had likely already been lost i.e. technology, supplies, books and by this time most if not all major populations had been wiped out. No satellites, cell phones, electricity, gas, running water, etc., just a handful of weary survivors and maybe a few necessary supplies. They must've had to stay there for many years as the environment was too dangerous and the weather too extreme and erratic. Picture what that would really be like and what people would really do in that situation. Camping in caves for years or decades, continuing to procreate… how would these stories get passed on through the generations? How would you explain to someone born and growing up in theses caves, the world we came from and how it was destroyed? Remember, no technology, internet, computers, or much of anything else. If I were born and raised in a cave this way and never saw this advanced civilization we supposedly came from, it might be hard to believe and easy to dismiss. The name of the game would be survival and these stories would likely seem like useless rubbish. The survivors that witnessed the excursion would likely think it the most important story they tell their children, they might even carve images of what they saw in the sky (Aurora Borealis) as the catastrophe unfolded, or tell stories of a great flood, massive earthquakes, and devastating storms. The passionate emphasis on the importance of the catastrophe, only told in stories, would inevitably become mythological and/or religious in nature. It only takes one new generation beginning in a cave to put us back in the stone age, completely disjointed from where we are now. All evidence of an advanced civilization would be anecdotal & hearsay, and might even be considered fantasy. We could say we started in caves, but I believe it's more accurate to say that's where a small handful of us end up every ~12,000 years, after civilization's end.
Natural DNA is exquisitely evolved to store genetic information. The chirally inverted l-DNA, possessing the same informational capacity but resistant to biodegradation, may serve as a robust, bioorthogonal information repository. Here we chemically synthesize a 90-kDa high-fidelity mirror-image Pfu DNA polymerase that enables accurate assembly of a kilobase-sized mirror-image gene. We use the polymerase to encode in l-DNA an 1860 paragraph by Louis Pasteur that first proposed a mirror-image world of biology. We realize chiral steganography by embedding a chimeric d-DNA/l-DNA key molecule in a d-DNA storage library, which conveys a false or secret message depending on the chirality of reading. Furthermore, we show that a trace amount of an l-DNA barcode preserved in water from a local pond remains amplifiable and sequenceable for 1 year, whereas a d-DNA barcode under the same conditions could not be amplified after 1 day. These next-generation mirror-image molecular tools may transform the development of advanced mirror-image biology systems and pave the way for the realization of the mirror-image central dogma and exploration of their applications.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating: tens of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty, while the number of undernourished people, currently estimated at nearly 690 million, could increase by up to 132 million by the end of the year.Millions of enterprises face an existential threat. Nearly half of the world’s 3.3 billion global workforce are at risk of losing their livelihoods. Informal economy workers are particularly vulnerable because the majority lack social protection and access to quality health care and have lost access to productive assets. Without the means to earn an income during lockdowns, many are unable to feed themselves and their families. For most, no income means no food, or, at best, less food and less nutritious food.The pandemic has been affecting the entire food system and has laid bare its fragility. Border closures, trade restrictions and confinement measures have been preventing farmers from accessing markets, including for buying inputs and selling their produce, and agricultural workers from harvesting crops, thus disrupting domestic and international food supply chains and reducing access to healthy, safe and diverse diets. The pandemic has decimated jobs and placed millions of livelihoods at risk. As breadwinners lose jobs, fall ill and die, the food security and nutrition of millions of women and men are under threat, with those in low-income countries, particularly the most marginalized populations, which include small-scale farmers and indigenous peoples, being hardest hit.
Since ancient times, observers, including Babylonians, residents of the environs of Vesuvius, Japanese, have noted specific phenomena in the atmosphere, on the ground, in water and in the behavior of animals in anticipation of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. In the atmosphere, it is a haze, narrow dark cloud stripes of great length, black mists, slots in the clouds. The languages of the flame from the slots in the ground, hot springs, the change of river channels, various noises, excitement, the smell of hydrogen sulfide in standing waters, the mass release of fish from the water, the restless behavior of animals. Aristotle suggested that these phenomena in the atmosphere are caused by gas emissions from the Earth, Humboldt associated with seismogenic changes in atmospheric electricity. Later, researchers linked them to activated faults of the earth's crust, the local concentration of ions in radiation. Modern geological analysis showed the presence of methane in those areas, faults of the earth's crust, and the growth of electromagnetic fields several times before earthquakes. However, the decryption of atmospheric precursors remained at the level of author decryption of satellite images of atmospheric formations, which did not exclude the mass of noise estimates, for example, orographic and long-range clouds, aircraft traces. There was no identification of the "blackness" of clouds and fogs. Our analysis of the spectral characteristics of atmospheric formations showed that the water intake of some narrow extended clouds above the faults of the earth's crust is zero, in their zone the local minimum of the integral humidity of the atmosphere. The phenomenological representation of the components of solar radiation made it possible to identify the characteristic size of the cloud atmospheric aerosol from spectral data from the NOAA series, thereby concluding the predominantly dry dust composition of seismogenic clouds, their "blackness." The presence of narrow extended breaks in wet meteorological clouds over activated faults of the Earth's crust is also associated with the reaction of atmospheric moisture to electromagnetic disturbances - clouds diverge, visible dust formations do not form since atmospheric dust is previously "disassembled" by meteorological clouds into condensation nuclei. The discussed atmospheric anomalies precede local earthquakes.
RNA N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modifications are essential in plants. Here, we show that transgenic expression of the human RNA demethylase FTO in rice caused a more than threefold increase in grain yield under greenhouse conditions. In field trials, transgenic expression of FTO in rice and potato caused ~50% increases in yield and biomass. We demonstrate that the presence of FTO stimulates root meristem cell proliferation and tiller bud formation and promotes photosynthetic efficiency and drought tolerance but has no effect on mature cell size, shoot meristem cell proliferation, root diameter, plant height or ploidy. FTO mediates substantial m6A demethylation (around 7% of demethylation in poly(A) RNA and around 35% decrease of m6A in non-ribosomal nuclear RNA) in plant RNA, inducing chromatin openness and transcriptional activation. Therefore, modulation of plant RNA m6A methylation is a promising strategy to dramatically improve plant growth and crop yield.
Purpose Previous studies show that there is increased brain activity after exercise, leading to improved word recall in adults. The aim of this study was to examine whether different types of exercise (i.e., aerobic vs. anaerobic) may also lead to improved performance during vocabulary learning in children. Method A total of 48 participants (24 in Experiment 1 and 24 in Experiment 2) between the ages of 6 and 12 years completed a word learning task. Training of words took place in a resting and in an exercise condition using a within-subject design. In the resting measure, children were taught names of novel objects and then colored for 3 min before being tested on their ability to recognize the words. In the exercise condition, the same steps were followed, but instead of coloring, children engaged in 3 min of either aerobic exercise (i.e., swimming in Experiment 1) or anaerobic exercise (i.e., a CrossFit-like workout in Experiment 2). Results In Experiment 1, accuracy of word recognition was significantly higher for words that were trained in the aerobic exercise compared to the resting condition. In Experiment 2, there was no significant difference in performance between the anaerobic exercise and resting conditions. Conclusions These findings suggest that previously identified benefits of exercise on language abilities in adults also extend to school-aged children. However, not all types of physical activity lead to this boost in performance, as only aerobic (but not anaerobic) exercise improved children's ability to acquire new word–object relations. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.14462187