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- Interstellar medium. Pseudo-three-dimensional maps of the diffuse interstellar band at 862 nm. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.]
- Science 2014 Aug 15; 345(6198):791-5.
The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption lines observed in visual and near-infrared spectra of stars. Understanding their origin in the interstellar medium is one of the oldest problems in astronomical spectroscopy, as DIBs have been known since 1922. In a completely new approach to understanding DIBs, we combined information from nearly 500,000 stellar spectra obtained by the massive spectroscopic survey RAVE (Radial Velocity Experiment) to produce the first pseudo-three-dimensional map of the strength of the DIB at 8620 angstroms covering the nearest 3 kiloparsecs from the Sun, and show that it follows our independently constructed spatial distribution of extinction by interstellar dust along the Galactic plane. Despite having a similar distribution in the Galactic plane, the DIB 8620 carrier has a significantly larger vertical scale height than the dust. Even if one DIB may not represent the general DIB population, our observations outline the future direction of DIB research.
- Interstellar dust. Evidence for interstellar origin of seven dust particles collected by the Stardust spacecraft. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.]
- Science 2014 Aug 15; 345(6198):786-91.
Seven particles captured by the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector and returned to Earth for laboratory analysis have features consistent with an origin in the contemporary interstellar dust stream. More than 50 spacecraft debris particles were also identified. The interstellar dust candidates are readily distinguished from debris impacts on the basis of elemental composition and/or impact trajectory. The seven candidate interstellar particles are diverse in elemental composition, crystal structure, and size. The presence of crystalline grains and multiple iron-bearing phases, including sulfide, in some particles indicates that individual interstellar particles diverge from any one representative model of interstellar dust inferred from astronomical observations and theory.
- The evolution of flexible parenting. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Science 2014 Aug 15; 345(6198):776-81.
Parenting behaviors, such as the provisioning of food by parents to offspring, are known to be highly responsive to changes in environment. However, we currently know little about how such flexibility affects the ways in which parenting is adapted and evolves in response to environmental variation. This is because few studies quantify how individuals vary in their response to changing environments, especially social environments created by other individuals with which parents interact. Social environmental factors differ from nonsocial factors, such as food availability, because parents and offspring both contribute and respond to the social environment they experience. This interdependence leads to the coevolution of flexible behaviors involved in parenting, which could, paradoxically, constrain the ability of individuals to rapidly adapt to changes in their nonsocial environment.
- The biology of mammalian parenting and its effect on offspring social development. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Science 2014 Aug 15; 345(6198):771-6.
Parents know the transformative nature of having and caring for a child. Among many mammals, giving birth leads from an aversion to infant stimuli to irresistible attraction. Here, we review the biological mechanisms governing this shift in parental motivation in mammals. Estrogen and progesterone prepare the uterus for embryo implantation and placental development. Prolactin stimulates milk production, whereas oxytocin initiates labor and triggers milk ejection during nursing. These same molecules, interacting with dopamine, also activate specific neural pathways to motivate parents to nurture, bond with, and protect their offspring. Parenting in turn shapes the neural development of the infant social brain. Recent work suggests that many of the principles governing parental behavior and its effect on infant development are conserved from rodent to humans.
- Neural control of maternal and paternal behaviors. [REVIEW]
- Science 2014 Aug 15; 345(6198):765-770.
Parental care, including feeding and protection of young, is essential for the survival as well as mental and physical well-being of the offspring. A large variety of parental behaviors has been described across species and sexes, raising fascinating questions about how animals identify the young and how brain circuits drive and modulate parental displays in males and females. Recent studies have begun to uncover a striking antagonistic interplay between brain systems underlying parental care and infant-directed aggression in both males and females, as well as a large range of intrinsic and environmentally driven neural modulation and plasticity. Improved understanding of the neural control of parental interactions in animals should provide novel insights into the complex issue of human parental care in both health and disease.
- Preterm labor: one syndrome, many causes. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Science 2014 Aug 15; 345(6198):760-5.
Preterm birth is associated with 5 to 18% of pregnancies and is a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality. Spontaneous preterm labor, a syndrome caused by multiple pathologic processes, leads to 70% of preterm births. The prevention and the treatment of preterm labor have been long-standing challenges. We summarize the current understanding of the mechanisms of disease implicated in this condition and review advances relevant to intra-amniotic infection, decidual senescence, and breakdown of maternal-fetal tolerance. The success of progestogen treatment to prevent preterm birth in a subset of patients at risk is a cause for optimism. Solving the mystery of preterm labor, which compromises the health of future generations, is a formidable scientific challenge worthy of investment.
- Parenting from before conception. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Science 2014 Aug 15; 345(6198):756-60.
At fertilization, the gametes endow the embryo with a genomic blueprint, the integrity of which is affected by the age and environmental exposures of both parents. Recent studies reveal that parental history and experiences also exert effects through epigenomic information not contained in the DNA sequence, including variations in sperm and oocyte cytosine methylation and chromatin patterning, noncoding RNAs, and mitochondria. Transgenerational epigenetic effects interact with conditions at conception to program the developmental trajectory of the embryo and fetus, ultimately affecting the lifetime health of the child. These insights compel us to revise generally held notions to accommodate the prospect that biological parenting commences well before birth, even prior to conception.
- Maternal mental illness. [Editorial]
- Science 2014 Aug 15; 345(6198):755.
- An experiment in zero parenting. [News]
- Science 2014 Aug 15; 345(6198):752-4.
- The taste of things to come. [News]
- Science 2014 Aug 15; 345(6198):750-1.