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Trending Papers in biology

A Bayesian Deep Learning Framework for End-To-End Prediction of Emotion from Heartbeat
Ross Harper, Joshua Southern
Published: Feb 2019
Automatic prediction of emotion promises to revolutionise human-computer interaction. Recent trends involve fusion of multiple data modalities - audio, visual, and physiological - to classify emotional state. However, in practice, collection of physiological data `in the wild' is currently limited to heartbeat time series of the kind generated by affordable wearable heart monitors. Furthermore, real-world applications of emotion prediction often require some measure of uncertainty over model output, in order to inform downstream decision-making. We present here an end-to-end deep learning model for classifying emotional valence from unimodal heartbeat time series. We further propose a Bayesian framework for modelling uncertainty over these valence predictions, and describe a probabilistic procedure for choosing to accept or reject model output according to the intended application. We benchmarked our framework against two established datasets and achieved peak classification accuracy of 90%. These results lay the foundation for applications of affective computing in real-world domains such as healthcare, where a high premium is placed on non-invasive collection of data, and predictive certainty.
Submitted by J P
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Exploring the peyote cactus transcriptome to understand the genes involved in mescaline biosynthesis
From Paper: De novo sequencing and analysis of Lophophora williamsii transcriptome, and searching for putative genes involved in mescaline biosynthesis
Published: Sep 2015
  • This report provides a catalogue of specific candidate genes that may be further expressed in model systems in order to confirm their role in mescaline biosynthesis
  • The mescaline biosynthetic pathway is poorly understood - in order to identify relevant genes, the researchers sequenced and assembled 307.2 mega-base pairs of transcriptome data
Submitted by Arye Lipman
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Development of efficient suicide mechanisms for biological containment of bacteria.
S. M. Knudsen, O. Karlström
Published: Jan 1991
To optimize plasmid containment, we have systematically investigated the factors that limit the killing efficiency of a suicide system based on the relF gene from Escherichia coli controlled by inducible lac promoters and placed on plasmids. In induction experiments with this suicide system, killing efficiency was unaffected by temperature and growth medium; there was no requirement for great promoter strength or high plasmid copy number. We could demonstrate that the factors limiting killing were the mutation rate of the suicide function and the reduced growth rate caused by a basal level of expression of the suicide gene during normal growth, which can give a selective growth advantage to cells with mutated suicide functions. The capacity of the plasmid-carried killing system to contain the plasmid was tested in transformation, transduction, and conjugational mobilization. The rate of plasmid transfer detected in these experiments seemed too high to provide adequate biological containment. As expected from the induction experiments, plasmids that escaped containment in these transfer experiments turned out to be mutated in the suicide function. With lac-induced suicide as a test, the efficiency of the system was improved by tightening the repression of the suicide gene, thereby preventing selection of cells mutated in the killing function. Reduction of the mutational inactivation rate of the suicide system by duplication of the suicide function augmented the efficiency of the suicide dramatically. These results permit the construction of extremely efficient biological containment systems.
Retrieved from semantic_scholar
Engineering Stem Cell Self-organization to Build Better Organoids
Published: Jun 2019
  • Four areas of focus are needed to generate better organoids: 1) controlling initial culture conditions 2) directing symmetry breaking 3) imposing boundary conditions to guide cellular self-patterning 4) rationally engineered scale-up
  • Self organization can be engineered by spatiotemporally controlling cell to cell and cell to extra-cellular matrix interaction - this should allow better in vitro organogenesis
Submitted by Arye Lipman
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In plants DNA damage triggers reprogramming into stem cells
Published: Aug 2020
  • These findings indicate that DNA strand breaks, which are usually considered to pose a severe threat to cells, trigger cellular reprogramming towards stem cells via the activity of ATR and STEMINs
  • DNA damage can result from intrinsic cellular processes and from exposure to stressful environments
Submitted by xue pan
Chronic Corticosterone Pretreatment Reverses Psilocybin Effects on Mouse Anxious and Hedonic Behaviors
  • Psilocybin alone promotes anxiolytic and hedonic responses but promotes anxiogenic and anhedonic responses when pre-treated with chronic corticosterone.
Submitted by Leo Sun
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A lateralised design for the interaction of visual memories and heading representations in navigating ants
The navigational skills of ants, bees and wasps represent one of the most baffling examples of the powers of minuscule brains. Insects store long-term memories of the visual scenes they experience, and they use compass cues to build a robust representation of directions. We know reasonably well how long-term memories are formed, in a brain area called the Mushroom Bodies (MB), as well as how heading representations are formed in another brain area called the Central Complex (CX). However, how such memories and heading representations interact to produce powerful navigational behaviours remains unclear. Here we combine behavioural experiments with computational modelling that is strictly based on connectomic data to provide a new perspective on how navigation might be orchestrated in these insects. Our results reveal a lateralised design, where signals about whether to turn left or right are segregated in the left and right hemispheres, respectively. Furthermore, we show that guidance is a two-stage process: the recognition of visual memories, presumably in the MBs, does not directly drive the motor command, but instead updates a desired heading, presumably in the CX, which in turn is used to control guidance using celestial compass information. Overall, this circuit enables ants to recognise views independently of their body orientation, and combines terrestrial and celestial cues in a way that produces exceptionally robust navigation.
Submitted by Leo Sun
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Viburnum tinus Fruits Use Lipids to Produce Metallic Blue Structural Color
  • The constituents of this bright, chromatic signal indicate it is an honest signal
  • The fruits are fatty and the embedded contrast phase in the cell wall is lipid
Submitted by plant biology
Grafting success by cell wall remodeling
  • Nicotiana benthamiana is an intriguing species of plant because of its ability to form grafts with many different kinds of plants.
  • The expression of β-1,4-glucanases secreted into the extracellular region turns out to be key in facilitating cell wall reconstruction.
Submitted by plant biology
Light modulates a plants response to gravity through organ-specific gene expression
From Paper: Light modulates the gravitropic responses through organ-specific PIFs and HY5 regulation of LAZY4 expression in Arabidopsis
  • Together, our data indicate that light exerts opposite regulation of LAZY4 expression in shoots and roots by mediating the protein levels of PIFs and HY5, respectively, to inhibit the negative gravitropism of shoots and promote positive gravitropism of roots in Arabidopsis.
  • In hypocotyls, light promotes degradation of PIFs to reduce LAZY4 expression, which inhibits the negative gravitropism of hypocotyls.
Submitted by plant biology
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