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The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
Astrobiology seeks to understand the limits of life and to determine the physiology of organisms in order to better assess the habitability of other worlds. To successfully achieve these goals we require microorganisms from environments on Earth that approximate to extraterrestrial environments in terms of physical and/or chemical conditions. The most challenging of these environments with respect to sample collection, isolation and cultivation of microorganisms are anoxic environments. In this paper, an approach to this challenge was implemented within the European Union's MASE (Mars Analogues for Space Exploration) project. In this review paper, we aim to provide a set of methods for future field work and sampling campaigns. A number of anoxic environment based on characteristics that make them analogous to past and present locations on Mars were selected. They included anoxic sulphur-rich springs (Germany), the salt-rich Boulby Mine (UK), a lake in a basaltic context (Iceland), acidic sediments in the Rio Tinto (Spain), glacier samples (Austria) and permafrost samples (Russia and Canada). Samples were collected under strict anoxic conditions to be used for cultivation and genomic community analysis. Using the samples, a culturing approach was implemented to enrich anaerobic organisms using a defined medium that would allow for organisms to be grown under identical conditions in future physiological comparisons. Anaerobic microorganisms were isolated and deposited with the DSMZ (Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH) culture collection to make them available to other scientists. In MASE, the selected organisms are studied with respect to survival and growth under Mars relevant stresses. They are artificially fossilized and the resulting biosignatures studied and used to investigate the efficacy of life detection instrumentation for planetary missions. Some of the organisms belong to genera with medical and environmental importance such as Yersinia spp., illustrating how astrobiology field research can be used to increase the availability of microbial isolates for applied terrestrial purposes.
We studied the effect of a cross-conjugated bridging group (χC) on charge-transfer in a push-pull chromophore system. The hyperpolarizability of such molecules was found to be comparable to that of a fully π-conjugated molecule (πC) with the same donor and acceptor. The cross-conjugated moiety was then applied as a pendant to a fully π-conjugated chromophore containing a tricyanopyrroline acceptor (TCP). The addition of a χC moiety did not alter the intrinsic hyperpolarizability and provides an avenue for extending and aiding πC systems. The molecules were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), hyper-Raleigh scattering (HRS) and UV-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy. Experimental results were compared with the predictions of density functional theory (DFT). Cross-conjugated molecules have comparable β values, relative to πC molecules, due to reduced spatial overlap between the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO). Thus, the χC architecture could facilitate independent modification of donor and acceptor strengths while minimizing unfavorable effects on electronic transitions and dipole moments.
The motion and deformation of a spherical elastic capsule freely suspended in a simple shear flow is studied numerically, focusing on the effect of the internal-to-external viscosity ratio. The three-dimensional fluid–structure interactions are modelled coupling a boundary integral method (for the internal and external fluid motion) with a finite element method (for the membrane deformation). For low viscosity ratios, the internal viscosity affect the capsule deformation. Conversely, for large viscosity ratios, the slowing effect of the internal motion lowers the overall capsule deformation; the deformation is asymptotically independent of the flow strength and membrane behaviour. An important result is that increasing the internal viscosity leads to membrane compression and possibly buckling. Above a critical value of the viscosity ratio, compression zones are found on the capsule membrane for all flow strengths. This shows that very viscous capsules tend to buckle easily.
We present an analysis of the properties of H i holes detected in 20 galaxies that are part of “The H i Nearby Galaxy Survey”. We detected more than 1000 holes in total in the sampled galaxies. The holes are found throughout the disks of the galaxies, out to the edge of the H i disk. We find that shear limits the age of holes in spirals. Shear is less important in dwarf galaxies which explains why H i holes in dwarfs are rounder, on average than in spirals. Shear is particularly strong in the inner part of spiral galaxies, limiting the lifespan of holes there and explaining why we find that holes outside R25 are larger and older. We proceed to derive the surface and volume porosity and find that this correlates with the type of the host galaxy: later Hubble types tend to be more porous. The size distribution of the holes in our sample follows a power law with a slope of aν ~ −2.9. Assuming that the holes are the result of massive star formation, we derive values for the supernova rate (SNR) and star formation rate (SFR) which scales with the SFR derived based on other tracers. If we extrapolate the observed number of holes to include those that fall below our resolution limit, down to holes created by a single supernova, we find that our results are compatible with the hypothesis that H i holes result from star formation.
The Urban Areas Working Group is part of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s EMRAS II (Environmental Modelling for Radiation Safety) Programme. The goal of this Working Group is to test and improve the capabilities of models used in assessment of radioactive contamination in urban settings, including dispersion and deposition events, short- and long-term contaminant redistribution following deposition events, and potential countermeasures or remediation efforts for reducing human exposures and doses. The Working Group has developed three modeling exercises, which are designed to permit intercomparison of model predictions and, in one case, comparison of model predictions with measurements. This paper describes the scenarios and provides comparisons of initial modeling results. Reasons for similarities and discrepancies among model predictions are discussed in terms of the modeling approaches, models, and parameter values used by different assessors. Preliminary conclusions emphasize the value of explaining individual approaches and the importance of understanding the effects of different assumptions and parameter values on the modeling results.
In previous work, a platform was developed for testing computer-vision algorithms for robotic planetary exploration. This platform consisted of a digital video camera connected to a wearable computer for real-time processing of images at geological and astrobiological field sites. The real-time processing included image segmentation and the generation of interest points based upon uncommonness in the segmentation maps. Also in previous work, this platform for testing computer-vision algorithms has been ported to a more ergonomic alternative platform, consisting of a phone camera connected via the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network to a remote-server computer. The wearable-computer platform has been tested at geological and astrobiological field sites in Spain (Rivas Vaciamadrid and Riba de Santiuste), and the phone camera has been tested at a geological field site in Malta. In this work, we (i) apply a Hopfield neural-network algorithm for novelty detection based upon colour, (ii) integrate a field-capable digital microscope on the wearable computer platform, (iii) test this novelty detection with the digital microscope at Rivas Vaciamadrid, (iv) develop a Bluetooth communication mode for the phone-camera platform, in order to allow access to a mobile processing computer at the field sites, and (v) test the novelty detection on the Bluetooth-enabled phone camera connected to a netbook computer at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. This systems engineering and field testing have together allowed us to develop a real-time computer-vision system that is capable, for example, of identifying lichens as novel within a series of images acquired in semi-arid desert environments. We acquired sequences of images of geologic outcrops in Utah and Spain consisting of various rock types and colours to test this algorithm. The algorithm robustly recognized previously observed units by their colour, while requiring only a single image or a few images to learn colours as familiar, demonstrating its fast learning capability.
The CEA, in coordination with IPEV and LUAN, will prepare an experiment to study frost formation on surfaces in radiative cooling in the winter. This experiment has been shipped to be installed at Concordia before the 2007 winter period. It will be controlled from Concordia winterover personal, through PC server that will locally archive data from WEBcams and several local heat regulators. This experiment will be used to give recipes on the way to compensate with heaters the radiative cooling from the sky and maintain instrument surfaces at temperature just above icing conditions. The individual regulators proposed in this experiment will be usable as standalone ice protection systems for existing and future telescopes.
One of the key predictions of hierarchical galaxy formation models is that a significant fraction of elliptical galaxies form in late merging events. One of the most important diagnostics of such an assembly is the existence of blue spheroidal galaxies, which have spheroid-dominated morphologies and blue colors indicating recent star formation, as an intermediate step in the evolution of elliptical galaxies.