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Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 72,924 bioRxiv papers from 317,458 authors.

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1: Report of Partial findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley® SD rats (Whole Body Exposure)
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Posted to bioRxiv 26 May 2016

Report of Partial findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley® SD rats (Whole Body Exposure)
244,250 downloads cancer biology

Michael Wyde, Mark Cesta, Chad Blystone, Susan Elmore, Paul Foster, Michelle Hooth, Grace Kissling, David Malarkey, Robert Sills, Matthew Stout, Nigel Walker, Kristine Witt, Mary Wolfe, John Bucher

The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) has carried out extensive rodent toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) at frequencies and modulations used in the U.S. telecommunications industry. This report presents partial findings from these studies. The occurrences of two tumor types in male Harlan Sprague Dawley rats exposed to RFR, malignant gliomas in the brain and schwannomas of the heart, were considered of particular interest and are the subject of this report. The findings in this report were reviewed by expert peer reviewers selected by the NTP and National Institutes of Health (NIH). These reviews and responses to comments are included as appendices to this report, and revisions to the current document have incorporated and addressed these comments. When the studies are completed, they will undergo additional peer review before publication in full as part of the NTP's Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Technical Reports Series. No portion of this work has been submitted for publication in a scientific journal. Supplemental information in the form of four additional manuscripts has or will soon be submitted for publication. These manuscripts describe in detail the designs and performance of the RFR exposure system, the dosimetry of RFR exposures in rats and mice, the results to a series of pilot studies establishing the ability of the animals to thermoregulate during RFR exposures, and studies of DNA damage. (1) Capstick M, Kuster N, Kuhn S, Berdinas-Torres V, Wilson P, Ladbury J, Koepke G, McCormick D, Gauger J, and Melnick R. A radio frequency radiation reverberation chamber exposure system for rodents; (2) Yijian G, Capstick M, McCormick D, Gauger J, Horn T, Wilson P, Melnick RL, and Kuster N. Life time dosimetric assessment for mice and rats exposed to cell phone radiation; (3) Wyde ME, Horn TL, Capstick M, Ladbury J, Koepke G, Wilson P, Stout MD, Kuster N, Melnick R, Bucher JR, and McCormick D. Pilot studies of the National Toxicology Program's cell phone radiofrequency radiation reverberation chamber exposure system; (4) Smith-Roe SL, Wyde ME, Stout MD, Winters J, Hobbs CA, Shepard KG, Green A, Kissling GE, Tice RR, Bucher JR, and Witt KL. Evaluation of the genotoxicity of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in male and female rats and mice following subchronic exposure.

2: Discovery of a novel coronavirus associated with the recent pneumonia outbreak in humans and its potential bat origin
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Posted to bioRxiv 23 Jan 2020

Discovery of a novel coronavirus associated with the recent pneumonia outbreak in humans and its potential bat origin
180,094 downloads microbiology

Peng Zhou, Xing-Lou Yang, Xian-Guang Wang, Ben Hu, Lei Zhang, Wei Zhang, Hao-Rui Si, Yan Zhu, Bei Li, Chao-Lin Huang, Hui-Dong Chen, Jing Chen, Yun Luo, Hua Guo, Ren-Di Jiang, Mei-Qin Liu, Ying Chen, Xu-Rui Shen, Xi Wang, Xiao-Shuang Zheng, Kai Zhao, Quan-Jiao Chen, Fei Deng, Lin-Lin Liu, Bing Yan, Fa-Xian Zhan, Yan-Yi Wang, Gengfu Xiao, Zheng-Li Shi

Since the SARS outbreak 18 years ago, a large number of severe acute respiratory syndrome related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoV) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats. Previous studies indicated that some of those bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019) which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans, in Wuhan, China. The epidemic, started from December 12th, 2019, has caused 198 laboratory confirmed infections with three fatal cases by January 20th, 2020. Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at the early stage of the outbreak. They are almost identical to each other and share 79.5% sequence identify to SARS-CoV. Furthermore, it was found that nCoV-2019 is 96% identical at the whole genome level to a bat coronavirus. The pairwise protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins show that this virus belongs to the species of SARSr-CoV. The nCoV-2019 virus was then isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a critically ill patient, which can be neutralized by sera from several patients. Importantly, we have confirmed that this novel CoV uses the same cell entry receptor, ACE2, as SARS-CoV.

3: Deep image reconstruction from human brain activity
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Posted to bioRxiv 28 Dec 2017

Deep image reconstruction from human brain activity
125,205 downloads neuroscience

Guohua Shen, Tomoyasu Horikawa, Kei Majima, Yukiyasu Kamitani

Machine learning-based analysis of human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) patterns has enabled the visualization of perceptual content. However, it has been limited to the reconstruction with low-level image bases or to the matching to exemplars. Recent work showed that visual cortical activity can be decoded (translated) into hierarchical features of a deep neural network (DNN) for the same input image, providing a way to make use of the information from hierarchical visual features. Here, we present a novel image reconstruction method, in which the pixel values of an image are optimized to make its DNN features similar to those decoded from human brain activity at multiple layers. We found that the generated images resembled the stimulus images (both natural images and artificial shapes) and the subjective visual content during imagery. While our model was solely trained with natural images, our method successfully generalized the reconstruction to artificial shapes, indicating that our model indeed reconstructs or generates images from brain activity, not simply matches to exemplars. A natural image prior introduced by another deep neural network effectively rendered semantically meaningful details to reconstructions by constraining reconstructed images to be similar to natural images. Furthermore, human judgment of reconstructions suggests the effectiveness of combining multiple DNN layers to enhance visual quality of generated images. The results suggest that hierarchical visual information in the brain can be effectively combined to reconstruct perceptual and subjective images.

4: An integrated brain-machine interface platform with thousands of channels
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Posted to bioRxiv 17 Jul 2019

An integrated brain-machine interface platform with thousands of channels
111,598 downloads neuroscience

Elon Musk, Neuralink

Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) hold promise for the restoration of sensory and motor function and the treatment of neurological disorders, but clinical BMIs have not yet been widely adopted, in part because modest channel counts have limited their potential. In this white paper, we describe Neuralink’s first steps toward a scalable high-bandwidth BMI system. We have built arrays of small and flexible electrode “threads”, with as many as 3,072 electrodes per array distributed across 96 threads. We have also built a neurosurgical robot capable of inserting six threads (192 electrodes) per minute. Each thread can be individually inserted into the brain with micron precision for avoidance of surface vasculature and targeting specific brain regions. The electrode array is packaged into a small implantable device that contains custom chips for low-power on-board amplification and digitization: the package for 3,072 channels occupies less than (23 × 18.5 × 2) mm3. A single USB-C cable provides full-bandwidth data streaming from the device, recording from all channels simultaneously. This system has achieved a spiking yield of up to 70% in chronically implanted electrodes. Neuralink’s approach to BMI has unprecedented packaging density and scalability in a clinically relevant package.

5: Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor?
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Posted to bioRxiv 26 May 2016

Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor?
101,584 downloads neuroscience

Eric Jonas, Konrad Paul Kording

There is a popular belief in neuroscience that we are primarily data limited, and that producing large, multimodal, and complex datasets will, with the help of advanced data analysis algorithms, lead to fundamental insights into the way the brain processes information. These datasets do not yet exist, and if they did we would have no way of evaluating whether or not the algorithmically-generated insights were sufficient or even correct. To address this, here we take a classical microprocessor as a model organism, and use our ability to perform arbitrary experiments on it to see if popular data analysis methods from neuroscience can elucidate the way it processes information. Microprocessors are among those artificial information processing systems that are both complex and that we understand at all levels, from the overall logical flow, via logical gates, to the dynamics of transistors. We show that the approaches reveal interesting structure in the data but do not meaningfully describe the hierarchy of information processing in the microprocessor. This suggests current analytic approaches in neuroscience may fall short of producing meaningful understanding of neural systems, regardless of the amount of data. Additionally, we argue for scientists using complex non-linear dynamical systems with known ground truth, such as the microprocessor as a validation platform for time-series and structure discovery methods.

6: The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia
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Posted to bioRxiv 31 Mar 2018

The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia
85,043 downloads genomics

Vagheesh Narasimhan, Nick Patterson, Priya Moorjani, Iosif Lazaridis, Mark Lipson, Swapan Mallick, Nadin Rohland, Rebecca Bernardos, Alexander M Kim, Nathan Nakatsuka, Iñigo Olalde, Alfredo Coppa, James Mallory, Vyacheslav Moiseyev, Janet Monge, Luca M Olivieri, Nicole Adamski, Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht, Francesca Candilio, Olivia Cheronet, Brendan J Culleton, Matthew Ferry, Daniel M. Fernandes, Beatriz Gamarra, Daniel Gaudio, Mateja Hajdinjak, Éadaoin Harney, Thomas K Harper, Denise Keating, Ann Marie Lawson, Megan Michel, Mario Novak, Jonas Oppenheimer, Niraj Rai, Kendra Sirak, Viviane Slon, Kristin Stewardson, Zhao Zhang, Gaziz Akhatov, Anatoly N Bagashev, Bauryzhan Baitanayev, Gian Luca Bonora, Tatiana Chikisheva, Anatoly Derevianko, Enshin Dmitry, Katerina Douka, Nadezhda Dubova, Andrey Epimakhov, Suzanne Freilich, Dorian Fuller, Alexander Goryachev, Andrey Gromov, Bryan Hanks, Margaret Judd, Erlan Kazizov, Aleksander Khokhlov, Egor Kitov, Elena Kupriyanova, Pavel Kuznetsov, Donata Luiselli, Farhod Maksudov, Christopher Meiklejohn, Deborah Merrett, Roberto Micheli, Oleg Mochalov, Zahir Muhammed, Samariddin Mustafokulov, Ayushi Nayak, Rykun M Petrovna, Davide Pettener, Richard Potts, Dmitry Razhev, Stefania Sarno, Kulyan Sikhymbaeva, Sergey M Slepchenko, Nadezhda Stepanova, Svetlana Svyatko, Sergey Vasilyev, Massimo Vidale, Dmitriy Voyakin, Antonina Yermolayeva, Alisa Zubova, Vasant S Shinde, Carles Lalueza-Fox, Matthias Meyer, David Anthony, Nicole Boivin, Kumarasamy Thangaraj, Douglas J. Kennett, Michael Frachetti, Ron Pinhasi, David Reich

The genetic formation of Central and South Asian populations has been unclear because of an absence of ancient DNA. To address this gap, we generated genome-wide data from 362 ancient individuals, including the first from eastern Iran, Turan (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan), Bronze Age Kazakhstan, and South Asia. Our data reveal a complex set of genetic sources that ultimately combined to form the ancestry of South Asians today. We document a southward spread of genetic ancestry from the Eurasian Steppe, correlating with the archaeologically known expansion of pastoralist sites from the Steppe to Turan in the Middle Bronze Age (2300-1500 BCE). These Steppe communities mixed genetically with peoples of the Bactria Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) whom they encountered in Turan (primarily descendants of earlier agriculturalists of Iran), but there is no evidence that the main BMAC population contributed genetically to later South Asians. Instead, Steppe communities integrated farther south throughout the 2nd millennium BCE, and we show that they mixed with a more southern population that we document at multiple sites as outlier individuals exhibiting a distinctive mixture of ancestry related to Iranian agriculturalists and South Asian hunter-gathers. We call this group Indus Periphery because they were found at sites in cultural contact with the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) and along its northern fringe, and also because they were genetically similar to post-IVC groups in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. By co-analyzing ancient DNA and genomic data from diverse present-day South Asians, we show that Indus Periphery-related people are the single most important source of ancestry in South Asia — consistent with the idea that the Indus Periphery individuals are providing us with the first direct look at the ancestry of peoples of the IVC — and we develop a model for the formation of present-day South Asians in terms of the temporally and geographically proximate sources of Indus Periphery-related, Steppe, and local South Asian hunter-gatherer-related ancestry. Our results show how ancestry from the Steppe genetically linked Europe and South Asia in the Bronze Age, and identifies the populations that almost certainly were responsible for spreading Indo-European languages across much of Eurasia.

7: Ten simple rules for structuring papers
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Posted to bioRxiv 28 Nov 2016

Ten simple rules for structuring papers
71,621 downloads scientific communication and education

Brett Mensh, Konrad Paul Kording

Good scientific writing is essential to career development and to the progress of science. A well-structured manuscript allows readers and reviewers to get excited about the subject matter, to understand and verify the paper's contributions, and to integrate these contributions into a broader context. However, many scientists struggle with producing high-quality manuscripts and typically get little training in paper writing. Focusing on how readers consume information, we present a set of 10 simple rules to help you get across the main idea of your paper. These rules are designed to make your paper more influential and the process of writing more efficient and pleasurable.

8: Opportunities And Obstacles For Deep Learning In Biology And Medicine
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Posted to bioRxiv 28 May 2017

Opportunities And Obstacles For Deep Learning In Biology And Medicine
51,723 downloads bioinformatics

Travers Ching, Daniel S. Himmelstein, Brett K. Beaulieu-Jones, Alexandr A. Kalinin, Brian T. Do, Gregory P. Way, Enrico Ferrero, Paul-Michael Agapow, Michael Zietz, Michael M. Hoffman, Wei Xie, Gail L. Rosen, Benjamin J. Lengerich, Johnny Israeli, Jack Lanchantin, Stephen Woloszynek, Anne E. Carpenter, Avanti Shrikumar, Jinbo Xu, Evan M. Cofer, Christopher A. Lavender, Srinivas C. Turaga, Amr M. Alexandari, Zhiyong Lu, David J. Harris, Dave DeCaprio, Yanjun Qi, Anshul Kundaje, Yifan Peng, Laura K. Wiley, Marwin H.S. Segler, Simina M. Boca, S. Joshua Swamidass, Austin Huang, Anthony Gitter, Casey S Greene

Deep learning, which describes a class of machine learning algorithms, has recently showed impressive results across a variety of domains. Biology and medicine are data rich, but the data are complex and often ill-understood. Problems of this nature may be particularly well-suited to deep learning techniques. We examine applications of deep learning to a variety of biomedical problems - patient classification, fundamental biological processes, and treatment of patients - and discuss whether deep learning will transform these tasks or if the biomedical sphere poses unique challenges. We find that deep learning has yet to revolutionize or definitively resolve any of these problems, but promising advances have been made on the prior state of the art. Even when improvement over a previous baseline has been modest, we have seen signs that deep learning methods may speed or aid human investigation. More work is needed to address concerns related to interpretability and how to best model each problem. Furthermore, the limited amount of labeled data for training presents problems in some domains, as do legal and privacy constraints on work with sensitive health records. Nonetheless, we foresee deep learning powering changes at both bench and bedside with the potential to transform several areas of biology and medicine.

9: Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European languages in Europe
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Posted to bioRxiv 10 Feb 2015

Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European languages in Europe
42,501 downloads genetics

Wolfgang Haak, Iosif Lazaridis, Nick Patterson, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Bastien Llamas, Guido Brandt, Susanne Nordenfelt, Eadaoin Harney, Kristin Stewardson, Qiaomei Fu, Alissa Mittnik, Eszter Bánffy, Christos Economou, Michael Francken, Susanne Friederich, Rafael Garrido Pena, Fredrik Hallgren, Valery Khartanovich, Aleksandr Khokhlov, Michael Kunst, Pavel Kuznetsov, Harald Meller, Oleg Mochalov, Vayacheslav Moiseyev, Nicole Nicklisch, Sandra L. Pichler, Roberto Risch, Manuel A. Rojo Guerra, Christina Roth, Anna Szécsényi-Nagy, Joachim Wahl, Matthias Meyer, Johannes Krause, Dorcas Brown, David Anthony, Alan Cooper, Kurt Werner Alt, David Reich

We generated genome-wide data from 69 Europeans who lived between 8,000-3,000 years ago by enriching ancient DNA libraries for a target set of almost four hundred thousand polymorphisms. Enrichment of these positions decreases the sequencing required for genome-wide ancient DNA analysis by a median of around 250-fold, allowing us to study an order of magnitude more individuals than previous studies and to obtain new insights about the past. We show that the populations of western and far eastern Europe followed opposite trajectories between 8,000-5,000 years ago. At the beginning of the Neolithic period in Europe, ~8,000-7,000 years ago, closely related groups of early farmers appeared in Germany, Hungary, and Spain, different from indigenous hunter-gatherers, whereas Russia was inhabited by a distinctive population of hunter-gatherers with high affinity to a ~24,000 year old Siberian6. By ~6,000-5,000 years ago, a resurgence of hunter-gatherer ancestry had occurred throughout much of Europe, but in Russia, the Yamnaya steppe herders of this time were descended not only from the preceding eastern European hunter-gatherers, but from a population of Near Eastern ancestry. Western and Eastern Europe came into contact ~4,500 years ago, as the Late Neolithic Corded Ware people from Germany traced ~3/4 of their ancestry to the Yamnaya, documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery. This steppe ancestry persisted in all sampled central Europeans until at least ~3,000 years ago, and is ubiquitous in present-day Europeans. These results provide support for the theory of a steppe origin of at least some of the Indo-European languages of Europe.

10: Patterns of genetic differentiation and the footprints of historical migrations in the Iberian Peninsula
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Posted to bioRxiv 12 Mar 2018

Patterns of genetic differentiation and the footprints of historical migrations in the Iberian Peninsula
41,321 downloads genomics

Clare Bycroft, Ceres Fernandez-Rozadilla, Clara Ruiz-Ponte, Inés Quintela-García, Ángel Carracedo, Peter Donnelly, Simon R. Myers

Genetic differences within or between human populations (population structure) has been studied using a variety of approaches over many years. Recently there has been an increasing focus on studying genetic differentiation at fine geographic scales, such as within countries. Identifying such structure allows the study of recent population history, and identifies the potential for confounding in association studies, particularly when testing rare, often recently arisen variants. The Iberian Peninsula is linguistically diverse, has a complex demographic history, and is unique among European regions in having a centuries-long period of Muslim rule. Previous genetic studies of Spain have examined either a small fraction of the genome or only a few Spanish regions. Thus, the overall pattern of fine-scale population structure within Spain remains uncharacterised. Here we analyse genome-wide genotyping array data for 1,413 Spanish individuals sampled from all regions of Spain. We identify extensive fine-scale structure, down to unprecedented scales, smaller than 10 Km in some places. We observe a major axis of genetic differentiation that runs from east to west of the peninsula. In contrast, we observe remarkable genetic similarity in the north-south direction, and evidence of historical north-south population movement. Finally, without making particular prior assumptions about source populations, we show that modern Spanish people have regionally varying fractions of ancestry from a group most similar to modern north Moroccans. The north African ancestry results from an admixture event, which we date to 860 - 1120 CE, corresponding to the early half of Muslim rule. Our results indicate that it is possible to discern clear genetic impacts of the Muslim conquest and population movements associated with the subsequent Reconquista.

11: Creating a universal SNP and small indel variant caller with deep neural networks
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Posted to bioRxiv 14 Dec 2016

Creating a universal SNP and small indel variant caller with deep neural networks
35,706 downloads genomics

Ryan Poplin, Pi-Chuan Chang, David Alexander, Scott Schwartz, Thomas Colthurst, Alexander Ku, Dan Newburger, Jojo Dijamco, Nam Nguyen, Pegah T. Afshar, Sam S. Gross, Lizzie Dorfman, Cory Y McLean, Mark A. DePristo

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a rapidly evolving set of technologies that can be used to determine the sequence of an individual's genome by calling genetic variants present in an individual using billions of short, errorful sequence reads. Despite more than a decade of effort and thousands of dedicated researchers, the hand-crafted and parameterized statistical models used for variant calling still produce thousands of errors and missed variants in each genome. Here we show that a deep convolutional neural network can call genetic variation in aligned next-generation sequencing read data by learning statistical relationships (likelihoods) between images of read pileups around putative variant sites and ground-truth genotype calls. This approach, called DeepVariant, outperforms existing tools, even winning the "highest performance" award for SNPs in a FDA-administered variant calling challenge. The learned model generalizes across genome builds and even to other species, allowing non-human sequencing projects to benefit from the wealth of human ground truth data. We further show that, unlike existing tools which perform well on only a specific technology, DeepVariant can learn to call variants in a variety of sequencing technologies and experimental designs, from deep whole genomes from 10X Genomics to Ion Ampliseq exomes. DeepVariant represents a significant step from expert-driven statistical modeling towards more automatic deep learning approaches for developing software to interpret biological instrumentation data.

12: Eight thousand years of natural selection in Europe
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Posted to bioRxiv 14 Mar 2015

Eight thousand years of natural selection in Europe
34,821 downloads genetics

Iain Mathieson, Iosif Lazaridis, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Nick Patterson, Songül Alpaslan Roodenberg, Eadaoin Harney, Kristin Stewardson, Daniel Fernandes, Mario Novak, Kendra Sirak, Cristina Gamba, Eppie R. Jones, Bastien Llamas, Stanislav Dryomov, Joseph Pickrell, Juan Luís Arsuaga, José María Bermúdez de Castro, Eudald Carbonell, Fokke Gerritsen, Aleksandr Khokhlov, Pavel Kuznetsov, Marina Lozano, Harald Meller, Oleg Mochalov, Vayacheslav Moiseyev, Manuel A. Rojo Guerra, Jacob Roodenberg, Josep Maria Vergès, Johannes Krause, Alan Cooper, Kurt W. Alt, Dorcas Brown, David Anthony, Carles Lalueza-Fox, Wolfgang Haak, Ron Pinhasi, David Reich

The arrival of farming in Europe around 8,500 years ago necessitated adaptation to new environments, pathogens, diets, and social organizations. While indirect evidence of adaptation can be detected in patterns of genetic variation in present-day people, ancient DNA makes it possible to witness selection directly by analyzing samples from populations before, during and after adaptation events. Here we report the first genome-wide scan for selection using ancient DNA, capitalizing on the largest genome-wide dataset yet assembled: 230 West Eurasians dating to between 6500 and 1000 BCE, including 163 with newly reported data. The new samples include the first genome-wide data from the Anatolian Neolithic culture, who we show were members of the population that was the source of Europe's first farmers, and whose genetic material we extracted by focusing on the DNA-rich petrous bone. We identify genome-wide significant signatures of selection at loci associated with diet, pigmentation and immunity, and two independent episodes of selection on height.

13: Common methods for fecal sample storage in field studies yield consistent signatures of individual identity in microbiome sequencing data
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Posted to bioRxiv 04 Feb 2016

Common methods for fecal sample storage in field studies yield consistent signatures of individual identity in microbiome sequencing data
33,666 downloads genomics

Ran Blekhman, Karen Tang, Elizabeth A. Archie, Luis B Barreiro, Zachary P Johnson, Mark E Wilson, Jordan Kohn, Michael L Yuan, Laurence Gesquiere, Laura E. Grieneisen, Jenny Tung

Field studies of wild vertebrates are frequently associated with extensive collections of banked fecal samples, which are often collected from known individuals and sometimes also sampled longitudinally across time. Such collections represent unique resources for understanding ecological, behavioral, and phylogenetic effects on the gut microbiome, especially for species of particular conservation concern. However, we do not understand whether sample storage methods confound the ability to investigate interindividual variation in gut microbiome profiles. This uncertainty arises in part because comparisons across storage methods to date generally include only a few (≤5) individuals, or analyze pooled samples. Here, we used n=52 samples from 13 rhesus macaque individuals to compare immediate freezing, the gold standard of preservation, to three methods commonly used in vertebrate field studies: storage in ethanol, lyophilization following ethanol storage, and storage in RNAlater. We found that the signature of individual identity consistently outweighed storage effects: alpha diversity and beta diversity measures were significantly correlated across methods, and while samples often clustered by donor, they never clustered by storage method. Provided that all analyzed samples are stored the same way, banked fecal samples therefore appear highly suitable for investigating variation in gut microbiota. Our results open the door to a much-expanded perspective on variation in the gut microbiome across species and ecological contexts.

14: Revised estimates for the number of human and bacteria cells in the body
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Posted to bioRxiv 06 Jan 2016

Revised estimates for the number of human and bacteria cells in the body
33,121 downloads systems biology

Ron Sender, Shai Fuchs, Ron Milo

We critically revisit the ″common knowledge″ that bacteria outnumber human cells by a ratio of at least 10:1 in the human body. We found the total number of bacteria in the ″reference man″ to be 3.9·1013, with an uncertainty (SEM) of 25%, and a variation over the population (CV) of 52%. For human cells we identify the dominant role of the hematopoietic lineage to the total count of body cells (≈90%), and revise past estimates to reach a total of 3.0·1013 human cells in the 70 kg ″reference man″ with 2% uncertainty and 14% CV. Our analysis updates the widely-cited 10:1 ratio, showing that the number of bacteria in our bodies is actually of the same order as the number of human cells. Indeed, the numbers are similar enough that each defecation event may flip the ratio to favor human cells over bacteria.

15: Identification of Pre-Existing Adaptive Immunity to Cas9 Proteins in Humans
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Posted to bioRxiv 05 Jan 2018

Identification of Pre-Existing Adaptive Immunity to Cas9 Proteins in Humans
30,260 downloads immunology

Carsten T. Charlesworth, Priyanka S Deshpande, Daniel P Dever, Beruh Dejene, Natalia Gomez-Ospina, Sruthi Mantri, Mara Pavel-Dinu, Joab Camarena, Kenneth I Weinberg, Matthew H Porteus

The CRISPR-Cas9 system has proven to be a powerful tool for genome editing allowing for the precise modification of specific DNA sequences within a cell. Many efforts are currently underway to use the CRISPR-Cas9 system for the therapeutic correction of human genetic diseases. The most widely used homologs of the Cas9 protein are derived from the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Streptococcus pyogenes (S. pyogenes). Based on the fact that these two bacterial species cause infections in the human population at high frequencies, we looked for the presence of pre-existing adaptive immune responses to their respective Cas9 homologs, SaCas9 (S. aureus homolog of Cas9) and SpCas9 (S. pyogenes homolog of Cas9). To determine the presence of anti-Cas9 antibodies, we probed for the two homologs using human serum and were able to detect antibodies against both, with 79% of donors staining against SaCas9 and 65% of donors staining against SpCas9. Upon investigating the presence of antigen-specific T-cells against the two homologs in human peripheral blood, we found anti-SaCas9 T-cells in 46% of donors. Upon isolating, expanding, and conducting antigen re-stimulation experiments on several of these donors anti-SaCas9 T-cells, we observed a SaCas9-specific response confirming that these T-cells were antigen-specific. We were unable to detect antigen-specific T-cells against SpCas9, although the sensitivity of the assay precludes us from concluding that such T-cells do not exist. Together, this data demonstrates that there are pre-existing humoral and cell-mediated adaptive immune responses to Cas9 in humans, a factor which must be taken into account as the CRISPR-Cas9 system moves forward into clinical trials.

16: Third-generation sequencing and the future of genomics
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Posted to bioRxiv 13 Apr 2016

Third-generation sequencing and the future of genomics
29,653 downloads bioinformatics

Hayan Lee, James Gurtowski, Shinjae Yoo, Maria Nattestad, Shoshana Marcus, Sara Goodwin, W. Richard McCombie, Michael C. Schatz

Third-generation long-range DNA sequencing and mapping technologies are creating a renaissance in high-quality genome sequencing. Unlike second-generation sequencing, which produces short reads a few hundred base-pairs long, third-generation single-molecule technologies generate over 10,000 bp reads or map over 100,000 bp molecules. We analyze how increased read lengths can be used to address long-standing problems in de novo genome assembly, structural variation analysis and haplotype phasing.

17: Prefrontal cortex as a meta-reinforcement learning system
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Posted to bioRxiv 06 Apr 2018

Prefrontal cortex as a meta-reinforcement learning system
29,487 downloads neuroscience

Jane X Wang, Zeb Kurth-Nelson, Dharshan Kumaran, Dhruva Tirumala, Hubert Soyer, Joel Z. Leibo, Demis Hassabis, Matthew Botvinick

Over the past twenty years, neuroscience research on reward-based learning has converged on a canonical model, under which the neurotransmitter dopamine 'stamps in' associations between situations, actions and rewards by modulating the strength of synaptic connections between neurons. However, a growing number of recent findings have placed this standard model under strain. In the present work, we draw on recent advances in artificial intelligence to introduce a new theory of reward-based learning. Here, the dopamine system trains another part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, to operate as its own free-standing learning system. This new perspective accommodates the findings that motivated the standard model, but also deals gracefully with a wider range of observations, providing a fresh foundation for future research.

18: Comprehensive integration of single cell data
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Posted to bioRxiv 02 Nov 2018

Comprehensive integration of single cell data
28,026 downloads genomics

Tim Stuart, Andrew Butler, Paul J. Hoffman, Christoph Hafemeister, Efthymia Papalexi, William M. Mauck, Marlon Stoeckius, Peter Smibert, Rahul Satija

Single cell transcriptomics (scRNA-seq) has transformed our ability to discover and annotate cell types and states, but deep biological understanding requires more than a taxonomic listing of clusters. As new methods arise to measure distinct cellular modalities, including high-dimensional immunophenotypes, chromatin accessibility, and spatial positioning, a key analytical challenge is to integrate these datasets into a harmonized atlas that can be used to better understand cellular identity and function. Here, we develop a computational strategy to "anchor" diverse datasets together, enabling us to integrate and compare single cell measurements not only across scRNA-seq technologies, but different modalities as well. After demonstrating substantial improvement over existing methods for data integration, we anchor scRNA-seq experiments with scATAC-seq datasets to explore chromatin differences in closely related interneuron subsets, and project single cell protein measurements onto a human bone marrow atlas to annotate and characterize lymphocyte populations. Lastly, we demonstrate how anchoring can harmonize in-situ gene expression and scRNA-seq datasets, allowing for the transcriptome-wide imputation of spatial gene expression patterns, and the identification of spatial relationships between mapped cell types in the visual cortex. Our work presents a strategy for comprehensive integration of single cell data, including the assembly of harmonized references, and the transfer of information across datasets. Availability: Installation instructions, documentation, and tutorials are available at: https://www.satijalab.org/seurat

19: A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions
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Posted to bioRxiv 05 Jul 2016

A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions
27,959 downloads scientific communication and education

Vincent Larivière, Véronique Kiermer, Catriona J. MacCallum, Marcia McNutt, Mark Patterson, Bernd Pulverer, Sowmya Swaminathan, Stuart Taylor, Stephen Curry

Although the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is widely acknowledged to be a poor indicator of the quality of individual papers, it is used routinely to evaluate research and researchers. Here, we present a simple method for generating the citation distributions that underlie JIFs. Application of this straightforward protocol reveals the full extent of the skew of these distributions and the variation in citations received by published papers that is characteristic of all scientific journals. Although there are differences among journals across the spectrum of JIFs, the citation distributions overlap extensively, demonstrating that the citation performance of individual papers cannot be inferred from the JIF. We propose that this methodology be adopted by all journals as a move to greater transparency, one that should help to refocus attention on individual pieces of work and counter the inappropriate usage of JIFs during the process of research assessment.

20: Towards an integration of deep learning and neuroscience
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Posted to bioRxiv 13 Jun 2016

Towards an integration of deep learning and neuroscience
27,686 downloads neuroscience

Adam H Marblestone, Greg Wayne, Konrad P. Kording

Neuroscience has focused on the detailed implementation of computation, studying neural codes, dynamics and circuits. In machine learning, however, artificial neural networks tend to eschew precisely designed codes, dynamics or circuits in favor of brute force optimization of a cost function, often using simple and relatively uniform initial architectures. Two recent developments have emerged within machine learning that create an opportunity to connect these seemingly divergent perspectives. First, structured architectures are used, including dedicated systems for attention, recursion and various forms of short- and long-term memory storage. Second, cost functions and training procedures have become more complex and are varied across layers and over time. Here we think about the brain in terms of these ideas. We hypothesize that (1) the brain optimizes cost functions, (2) these cost functions are diverse and differ across brain locations and over development, and (3) optimization operates within a pre-structured architecture matched to the computational problems posed by behavior. Such a heterogeneously optimized system, enabled by a series of interacting cost functions, serves to make learning data-efficient and precisely targeted to the needs of the organism. We suggest directions by which neuroscience could seek to refine and test these hypotheses.

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