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Concept: Rapping


The neural correlates of creativity are poorly understood. Freestyle rap provides a unique opportunity to study spontaneous lyrical improvisation, a multidimensional form of creativity at the interface of music and language. Here we use functional magnetic resonance imaging to characterize this process. Task contrast analyses indicate that improvised performance is characterized by dissociated activity in medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, providing a context in which stimulus-independent behaviors may unfold in the absence of conscious monitoring and volitional control. Connectivity analyses reveal widespread improvisation-related correlations between medial prefrontal, cingulate motor, perisylvian cortices and amygdala, suggesting the emergence of a network linking motivation, language, affect and movement. Lyrical improvisation appears to be characterized by altered relationships between regions coupling intention and action, in which conventional executive control may be bypassed and motor control directed by cingulate motor mechanisms. These functional reorganizations may facilitate the initial improvisatory phase of creative behavior.

Concepts: Psychology, Brain, Neuroscience, Magnetic resonance imaging, Cognition, Limbic system, Freestyle rap, Rapping


Using hip-hop music and performance to communicate the science of evolutionary biology is a dubious-sounding notion; I’ll be the first to admit. Although I currently make my living as a rap artist and science communicator, performing for thousands of people around the world every year, I can’t take credit for the key idea that led me to this strange vocation. My original idea was to use rap to communicate arcane literature, starting with Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. In a previous phase of my life I was a graduate student in medieval literature and an avid hip-hop head, and after completing my masters I embarked on a world tour with my one-man show “The Rap Canterbury Tales.” It was on tour in the UK a few years later that I encountered Dr. Mark Pallen, bacterial genomics professor and author of The Rough Guide to Evolution (Pallen 2009). Mark is a hip-hop fan and Darwin expert, and he challenged me to write a “Rap Guide to Evolution” to accompany the publication of his Rough Guide in 2009. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Evolution, Charles Darwin, Copyright, Hip hop music, Rapping, Hip hop, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales


The ability of plants to take up water from the soil depends on both the root architecture and the distribution and evolution of the hydraulic conductivities among root types and along the root length. The mature maize (Zea mays L.) root system is composed of primary, seminal, and crown roots together with their respective laterals. Our understanding of root water uptake of maize is largely based on measurements of primary and seminal roots. Crown roots might have a different ability to extract water from the soil, but their hydraulic function remains unknown. The aim of this study was to measure the location of water uptake in mature maize and investigate differences between seminal, crown, and lateral roots. Neutron radiography and injections of deuterated water were used to visualize the root architecture and water transport in 5-week-old maize root systems. Water was mainly taken up by crown roots. Seminal roots and their laterals, which were the main location of water uptake in younger plants, made a minor contribution to water uptake. In contrast to younger seminal roots, crown roots were also able to take up water from their most distal segments. The greater uptake of crown roots compared with seminal roots is explained by their higher axial conductivity in the proximal parts and by the fact that they are connected to the shoot above the seminal roots, which favors the propagation of xylem tension along the crown roots. The deeper water uptake of crown roots is explained by their shorter and fewer laterals, which decreases the dissipation of water potential along the roots.

Concepts: Measurement, Root, Maize, Rapping, Weyl group, Dynkin diagram, Incubus


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of severe environmental conditions prevailing on metalliferous waste heaps and heavy metal-contaminated growth substrates on accumulation of selected secondary metabolites, antioxidant capacity, and heavy metal concentration in two metallicolous (MC, MZ) and one nonmetallicolous (NM) populations of Echium vulgare L. The shoots and the roots of the three studied populations were collected from their natural habitats. Additionally, the plants were cultivated on different growth substrates, i.e. a contaminated substrate obtained from the areas of growth of the MZ and MC populations and an uncontaminated one from the NM population site. Several compounds, i.e. allantoin, rutin, rosmarinic acid, chlorogenic acid, and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid were identified in the shoots. Moreover, rosmarinic acid, allantoin, and shikonin were measured in the roots. The adverse environmental conditions contributed to a ca. 10- and 4-fold increase in the concentration of allantoin in the roots and shoots, respectively, as well as a ca. 4-fold and ca. 3-fold increase in the level of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid and shikonin, respectively, in comparison with the plants from the uncontaminated site. Similarly, a great impact of the contaminated substrate on the compounds was demonstrated in the soil experiment. Regardless of the populations, even ca. 20-fold higher levels of allantoin and shikonin were observed in plants grown on the MC and MZ substrates. In contrast, the chlorogenic acid concentration was lower in plants collected from the metalliferous areas and in all populations cultivated on the contaminated substrates in comparison with plants from the uncontaminated soil. Unambiguous results were obtained in the case of rutin, i.e. decreased accumulation in both metallicolous populations from the natural environment and increased accumulation in plants grown on the contaminated substrates. The high concentrations of heavy metals in the substrates contributed to high HM concentrations in plant tissues. However, some differences were observed between the metallicolous and nonmetallicolous populations - the accumulation of metals was lower in the shoots and higher in the roots of the NM population, compared with the MZ and MC populations.

Concepts: Natural environment, Toxicology, Nature, Carboxylic acids, Heavy metal music, The Roots, Heavy metal, Rapping


Root mobility due to reciprocating movement of the tooth (jiggling) may exacerbate orthodontic root resorption (ORR). “Jiggling” describes mesiodistal or buccolingual movement of the roots of the teeth during orthodontic treatment. In the present study, buccolingual movement is described as “jiggling.” We aimed to investigate the relationship between ORR and jiggling and to test for positive cell expression in odontoclasts in resorbed roots during experimental tooth movement (jiggling) in vivo.

Concepts: Teeth, Rapping


A SURGERY matron has written a rap as a memorable way to prompt staff, patients and visitors to wash their hands.

Concepts: Eminem, Rapping, Ludacris, Rakim, Rap rock


Different HCV subtypes may naturally harbor different resistance selection to anti-NS5a inhibitors. 2761 sequences retrieved from the Los Alamos HCV database were analyzed in the NS5a domain 1, the target of NS5a inhibitors. The NS5a resistance-associated polymorphisms (RAPs) were more frequently detected in HCV G1b compared to G1a. The prevalence of polymorphisms associated with cross-resistance to compounds in clinical use (daclatasvir, DCV, ledipasvir, LDV, ombitasvir, and OMV) or scheduled to come into clinical use in the near future (IDX719, elbasvir, and ELV) was higher in G1b compared to G1a (37/1552 (2.4%) in 1b sequences and 15/1209 (1.2%) in 1a isolates, p = 0.040). Interestingly, on the basis of the genotype-specific resistance pattern, 95 (6.1%) G1b sequences had L31M RAP to DCV/IDX719, while 6 sequences of G1a (0.5%) harbored L31M RAP, conferring resistance to DCV/LDV/IDX719/ELV (p < 0.0001). Finally, 28 (2.3%) G1a and none of G1b isolates harbored M28V RAP to OMV (p < 0.0001). In conclusion, the pattern of subtype-specific resistance selection in the naturally occurring strains may guide the treatment option in association with direct acting antivirals (DAAs) targeting different regions, particularly in patients that are difficult to cure, such as those with advanced liver disease or individuals who have failed previous DAAs.

Concepts: Hepatitis C, The Target, Rapping, Los Alamos National Laboratory


Coronectomy is the surgical removal of the crown of the tooth deliberately leaving part of its roots. This is done with the hope of eliminating the pathology caused, and since the roots are still intact, the integrity of the inferior alveolar nerve is preserved.

Concepts: Surgery, The Roots, Rapping, Mandibular canal, Hope, Chrisette Michele


The purposes of the study were to evaluate the effect of mechanical cycling (MC) on the fracture resistance of endodontically treated weakened roots restored with different intraradicular retainers and to analyze the failure mode. Eighty bovine roots were prepared and restored: 20 roots were reconstructed with cast post-and-cores (CPCs); 20 with fiber posts (FPs); 20 with fiber posts with larger coronal diameter (FPLs); and 20 with anatomic posts (APs). Metal crowns were cemented in all the roots. Half of specimens from each restoration strategy (n = 10) were submitted to MC: CPC-MC, FP-MC, FPL-MC, and AP-MC. The specimens were subjected to a fracture resistance test. The results showed that the type of retainer used was statistically significant (P < 0.0004). The CPC specimens demonstrated a fracture resistance similar to that of the APs, but greater than that of the FPs and FPLs. MC was statistically significant (P < 0.003) and affected AP-MC fracture resistance, which was lower than that of CPC-MC and similar to those of FP-MC and FPL-MC.

Concepts: Statistics, Biology, Statistical significance, Effect size, The Roots, Rapping, Hip hop, Mos Def


The plant’s root system is highly plastic, and can respond to environmental stimuli such as high nitrogen (N) in patches. A root may respond to an N patch by selective placement of new lateral roots, and therewith increases root N uptake. This may be a desirable trait in breeding programmes, since it decreases NO3 (-) leaching and N2O emission. Roots of maize (Zea mays L.) were grown without N in split-nutrient rhizoslides. One side of the slides was exposed to high N after 15 d of root development, and root elongation was measured for another 15 d, described in a time course model and parameterized. The elongation rates of crown axile roots on the N-treated side of the plant followed a logistic increase to a maximum of 5.3cm d(-1); 95% of the maximum were reached within 4 d. At the same time, on the untreated side, axile root elongation dropped linearly to 1.2cm d(-1) within 6.4 d and stayed constant thereafter. Twice as many lateral roots were formed on the crown axis on the N side compared to the untreated side. Most strikingly, the elongation rates of laterals of the N side increased linearly with most of the roots reaching an asymptote ~8 d after start of the N treatment. By contrast, laterals on the side without N did not show any detectable elongation beyond the first day after their emergence. We conclude that split-nutrient rhizoslides have great potential to improve our knowledge about nitrogen responsiveness and selection for contrasting genotypes.

Concepts: Nitrogen, Root, Maize, Rapping, Jay-Z