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Causal inference in genetic trio studies [Genetics]

We introduce a method to draw causal inferences—inferences immune to all possible confounding—from genetic data that include parents and offspring. Causal conclusions are possible with these data because the natural randomness in meiosis can be viewed as a high-dimensional randomized experiment. We make this observation actionable by developing a conditional...

Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in a cat owned by a COVID-19-affected patient in Spain [Agricultural Sciences]

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of COVID-19, is considered a zoonotic pathogen mainly transmitted human to human. Few reports indicate that pets may be exposed to the virus. The present report describes a cat suffering from severe respiratory distress and thrombocytopenia living with a family...

Computational generation of an annotated gigalibrary of synthesizable, composite peptidic macrocycles [Biophysics and Computational Biology]

Peptidomimetic macrocycles have the potential to regulate challenging therapeutic targets. Structures of this type having precise shapes and drug-like character are particularly coveted, but are relatively difficult to synthesize. Our laboratory has developed robust methods that integrate small-peptide units into designed scaffolds. These methods create...

Don’t let COVID-19 disrupt campus climate surveys of sexual harassment [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]

Surveying a campus community about sexual harassment can be a daunting task during normal times. It’s especially daunting during a pandemic. Institutional leaders may balk at committing scarce resources to survey efforts. Some may wonder how to interpret results that look dramatically different from prior assessments. Also, they may worry...

Learning probabilistic neural representations with randomly connected circuits [Biophysics and Computational Biology]

The brain represents and reasons probabilistically about complex stimuli and motor actions using a noisy, spike-based neural code. A key building block for such neural computations, as well as the basis for supervised and unsupervised learning, is the ability to estimate the surprise or likelihood of incoming high-dimensional neural activity...

Transcription factor expression defines subclasses of developing projection neurons highly similar to single-cell RNA-seq subtypes [Neuroscience]

We are only just beginning to catalog the vast diversity of cell types in the cerebral cortex. Such categorization is a first step toward understanding how diversification relates to function. All cortical projection neurons arise from a uniform pool of progenitor cells that lines the ventricles of the forebrain. It...

GRIP1 regulates synaptic plasticity and learning and memory [Neuroscience]

Hebbian plasticity is a key mechanism for higher brain functions, such as learning and memory. This form of synaptic plasticity primarily involves the regulation of synaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) abundance and properties, whereby AMPARs are inserted into synapses during long-term potentiation (LTP) or...

Not all trauma is the same [Letters (Online Only)]

In a recent Brief Report by Raker et al. (1), the investigators analyze data from a prospective study of young, low-income mothers who survived Hurricane Katrina and apply this to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to discuss strategies to mitigate the pandemic’s indirect effects on survivors. We appreciate...

Reply to Ng et al.: Not all trauma is the same, but lessons can be drawn from commonalities [Letters (Online Only)]

In their Letter, Ng et al. (1) state that our (2) comparison of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to Hurricane Katrina is “slightly contrived.” We appreciate the opportunity for discussion. However, we maintain that there is much to be learned from prior disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, for anticipating and mitigating...

Using the curriculum vitae to promote gender equity during the COVID-19 pandemic [Letters (Online Only)]

We commend Malisch et al. on their Opinion (1) on immediate solutions to ensure gender equity during the COVID-19 pandemic given the disproportionate burden placed on women due to childcare and household responsibilities. Given early reports showing fewer women are submitting academic papers during the pandemic (2), we encourage institutions...

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