Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, is of zoonotic origin. Evolutionary analyses assessing whether coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 infected ancestral species of modern-day animal hosts could be useful in identifying additional reservoirs of potentially dangerous coronaviruses. We reasoned that if a clade of species has been repeatedly exposed to a virus, then their proteins relevant for viral entry may exhibit adaptations that affect host susceptibility or response. We perform comparative analyses across the mammalian phylogeny of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the cellular receptor for SARS-CoV-2, in order to uncover evidence for selection acting at its binding interface with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. We uncover that in rodents there is evidence for adaptive amino acid substitutions at positions comprising the ACE2-spike interaction interface, whereas the variation within ACE2 proteins in primates and some other mammalian clades is not consistent with evolutionary adaptations. We also analyze aminopeptidase N (APN), the receptor for the human coronavirus 229E, a virus that causes the common cold, and find evidence for adaptation in primates. Altogether, our results suggest that the rodent and primate lineages may have had ancient exposures to viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-229E, respectively. Included in this repository are the instructions and corresponding code required to build the dataset and run the analysis in the manuscript.
Saturation of \alfven modes driven unstable by a
distribution of high energy particles as a function of collisionality
is investigated with a guiding
center code, using numerical eigenfunctions produced by linear theory and
numerical high energy particle distributions. The most important
resonance is found and it is shown that when the resonance domain is bounded,
not allowing particles to collisionlessly escape, the saturation amplitude
is given by the balance of the resonance mixing time with the time for
nearby particles to collisionally diffuse across the resonance width.
Saturation amplitudes are in agreement with theoretical predictions as
long as the mode amplitude is not so large that it produces stochastic
loss from the resonance domain.
In this comment, we point out possible critical numerical flaws of recent particle simulation studies (Jiang et al 2016 Nucl. Fusion 56 126017, Peng et al 2018 Nucl. Fusion 58 026007) on the electrical gas breakdown in a simple one-dimensional periodic slab geometry. We show that their observations on the effects of the ambipolar electric fields during the breakdown, such as the sudden reversal of the ion flow direction, could not be real physical phenomena but resulting from numerical artifacts violating the momentum conservation law. We show that an incomplete implementation of the direct-implicit scheme can cause the artificial electric fields and plasma transports resulting in fallacies in simulation results. We also discuss that their simple plasma model without considering poloidal magnetic fields seriously mislead the physical mechanism of the electrical gas breakdown because it cannot reflect important dominant plasma dynamics in the poloidal plane (Yoo et al 2018 Nat. Commun. 9 3523).
A compact and multi-view Solid State Neutral Particle Analyzer (SSNPA) diagnostic based on silicon photodiode arrays has been successfully tested on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U). The SSNPA diagnostic provides spatially, temporally, and pitch-angle resolved measurements of fast-ion distribution by detecting fast neutral flux resulting from charge exchange (CX) reactions. The system consists of three 16-channel subsystems: t-SSNPA viewing the plasma mid-radius and neutral beam (NB) line #2 tangentially, r-SSNPA viewing the plasma core and NB line #1 radially and p-SSNPA with no intersection with any NB lines. Due to the setup geometry, the active CX signals of t-SSNPA and r-SSNPA are mainly sensitive to passing and trapped particles respectively. In addition, both t-SSNPA and r-SSNPA utilize three vertically stacked arrays with different filter thickness to obtain coarse energy information. The experimental data show that all channels are operational. The signal to noise ratio is typically larger than 10 and the main noise is x-ray induced signal. The active and passive CX signals are clearly observed on t-SSNPA and r-SSNPA during NB modulation. The SSNPA data also indicate significant losses of passing particles during sawteeth, while trapped particles are weakly affected. Fluctuations up to 120 kHz, have been observed on SSNPA, and they are strongly correlated with magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) instabilities.
Compact tokamak fusion reactors utilizing advanced high-temperature superconducting magnets for the toroidal field coils have received considerable recent attention due to the promise of more compact devices and more economical fusion energy development. Facilities with combined Fusion Nuclear Science (FNS) and Pilot Plant missions to provide both the nuclear environment needed to develop fusion materials and components while also potentially achieving sufficient fusion performance to generate modest net electrical power are considered. The performance of the tokamak fusion system is assessed using a range of core physics and toroidal field magnet performance constraints to better understand which parameters most strongly influence the achievable fusion performance.
Antony, James W.; Cheng, Larry Y.; Brooks, Paula P.; Paller, Ken A.; Norman, Kenneth A.
Competition between memories can cause weakening of those memories. Here we investigated memory competition during sleep in human participants by presenting auditory cues that had been linked to two distinct picture-location pairs during wake. We manipulated competition during learning by requiring participants to rehearse picture-location pairs associated with the same sound either competitively (choosing to rehearse one over the other, leading to greater competition) or separately; we hypothesized that greater competition during learning would lead to greater competition when memories were cued during sleep. With separate-pair learning, we found that cueing benefited spatial retention. With competitive-pair learning, no benefit of cueing was observed on retention, but cueing impaired retention of well-learned pairs (where we expected strong competition). During sleep, post-cue beta power (16–30 Hz) indexed competition and predicted forgetting, whereas sigma power (11–16 Hz) predicted subsequent retention. Taken together, these findings show that competition between memories during learning can modulate how they are consolidated during sleep.
Podesta, M.; Gorelenkova, M.; Gorelenkov, N.N.; White, R.B.
Alfvénic instabilities (AEs) are well known as a potential cause of enhanced fast ion transport in fusion devices. Given a specific plasma scenario, quantitative predictions of (i) expected unstable AE spectrum and (ii) resulting fast ion transport are required to prevent or mitigate the AE- induced degradation in fusion performance. Reduced models are becoming an attractive tool to analyze existing scenarios as well as for scenario prediction in time-dependent simulations. In this work, a neutral beam heated NSTX discharge is used as reference to illustrate the potential of a reduced fast ion transport model, known as kick model, that has been recently implemented for interpretive and predictive analysis within the framework of the time-dependent tokamak transport code TRANSP. Predictive capabilities for AE stability and saturation amplitude are first assessed, based on given thermal plasma profiles only. Predictions are then compared to experimental results, and the interpretive capabilities of the model further discussed. Overall, the reduced model captures the main properties of the instabilities and associated effects on the fast ion population. Additional information from the actual experiment enables further tuning of the model’s parameters to achieve a close match with measurements.
The Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability of magnetohydrodynamic surface waves at the low latitude boundary layer is examined using both an eigenfrequency analysis and a time-dependent wave simulation. The analysis includes the effects of sheared flow and Alfven velocity gradient. When the magnetosheath flows are perpendicular to the ambient magnetic field direction, unstable KH waves that propagate obliquely to the sheared flow direction occur at the sheared flow surface when the Alfv\'en Mach number is higher than an instability threshold. Including a shear transition layer between the magnetosphere and magnetosheath leads to secondary KH waves (driven by the sheared flow) that are coupled to the resonant surface Alfven wave. There are remarkable differences between the primary and the secondary KH waves including wave frequency, the growth rate, and the ratio between transverse and the compressional component. The secondary KH wave energy is concentrated near the shear Alfven wave frequency at the magnetosheath with a lower frequency than the primary KH waves. Although the growth rate of the secondary KH waves is lower than the primary KH waves, the threshold condition is lower, so it is expected that these types of waves will dominate at lower Mach number. Because the transverse component of the secondary KH waves is stronger than the primary KH waves, more efficient wave energy transfer from the boundary layer to the inner magnetosphere is also predicted.
Martin, Nicholas R; Blackman, Edith; Bratton, Benjamin P; Chase, Katelyn J; Bartlett, Thomas M; Gitai, Zemer
Bacterial species have diverse cell shapes that enable motility, colonization, and virulence. The cell wall defines bacterial shape and is primarily built by two cytoskeleton-guided synthesis machines, the elongasome and the divisome. However, the mechanisms producing complex shapes, like the curved-rod shape of Vibrio cholerae, are incompletely defined. Previous studies have reported that species-specific regulation of cytoskeleton-guided machines enables formation of complex bacterial shapes such as cell curvature and cellular appendages. In contrast, we report that CrvA and CrvB are sufficient to induce complex cell shape autonomously of the cytoskeleton in V. cholerae. The autonomy of the CrvAB module also enables it to induce curvature in the Gram-negative species Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Caulobacter crescentus, and Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Using inducible gene expression, quantitative microscopy, and biochemistry we show that CrvA and CrvB circumvent the need for patterning via cytoskeletal elements by regulating each other to form an asymmetrically-localized, periplasmic structure that directly binds to the cell wall. The assembly and disassembly of this periplasmic structure enables dynamic changes in cell shape. Bioinformatics indicate that CrvA and CrvB may have diverged from a single ancestral hybrid protein. Using fusion experiments in V. cholerae, we find that a synthetic CrvA/B hybrid protein is sufficient to induce curvature on its own, but that expression of two distinct proteins, CrvA and CrvB, promotes more rapid curvature induction. We conclude that morphological complexity can arise independently of cell shape specification by the core cytoskeleton-guided synthesis machines.