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Dry permafrost - ground with temperature always below 0°C and containing negligible ice - overlying ice-cemented ground has been reported in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica and on Mars. Here we report on a new site (79°49.213'S, 83°18.860'W, 718 m elevation) located on the side of Mount Dolence in Ellsworth Land, Antarctica. Year-round temperature and humidity measurements indicate that dry permafrost is present between depths of 13.5 and 49.0 cm - the location of ice-cemented ground. The mean annual frost point of the ice-cemented ground is -17.0 ± 0.2°C and the mean annual frost point of the atmosphere is -22.7 ± 1°C. The corresponding mean annual temperatures are -19.2°C and -20.3°C. Neither the temperature of the ice-cemented ground nor the air rise above freezing. Both the dry permafrost and the ice table may be habitable. In the dry soil at 3 cm depth there are 80 hours in the summer when temperature exceeds -5°C and water activity exceeds 0.8. At the ice table, temperature exceeds -10°C and water activity exceeds 0.8 for 35 hours in the year. The ice table and the dry permafrost above it would be considered a ‘Special Region’ on Mars. Further microbial investigation of this site is indicated.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
Synthesis of Ni and Zn substituted nano-greigite,
Fe3S4, is achieved from single source
diethyldithiocarbamato precursor compounds, producing particles typically
50–100 nm in diameter with plate-like pseudohexagonal morphologies. Up to 12
wt.% Ni is incorporated into the greigite structure, and there is evidence
that Zn is also incorporated but Co is not substituted into the lattice. The
Fe L3 X-ray absorption spectra for these materials have a narrow
single peak at 707.7 eV and the resulting main X-ray magnetic circular
dichroism (XMCD) has the same sign at 708.75 eV. All XMCD spectra also have
a broad positive feature at 711 eV, a characteristic of covalent mixing. The
greigite XMCD spectra contrast with the three clearly defined XMCD site
specific peaks found in the ferrite spinel, magnetite. The Fe
L2,3X-ray absorption spectra and XMCD spectra of the
greigite reflect and reveal the high conductivity of greigite and the very
strong covalency of the Fe–S bonding. The electron hopping between
Fe3+ and Fe2+ on octahedral sites results in an
intermediate oxidation state of the Fe in the Oh site of
Fe2.5+ producing an effective formula of [Fe3+
↑]A-site[2Fe2.5+ ↓]B-siteS42–]. The Ni L2,3 X-ray absorption spectra and XMCD reveal substitution on the
Oh site with a strongly covalent character and an
oxidation state <Ni1.5+ in a representative formula
[Fe3+ ↑]A[[(2 – x)Fe2.5+
The development of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging systems has been extended for the entire radiotherapy process. However, MR images provide voxel values that are not directly related to electron densities, thus MR images cannot be used directly for dose calculation. The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of dose calculations to be performed on MR images and evaluate the necessity of re-planning.
A prostate cancer patient was imaged using both MR and computed tomography (CT). The multilevel threshold (MLT) algorithm was used to categorise voxel values in the MR images into three segments (air, water and bone) with homogeneous Hounsfield units (HU). An intensity-modulated radiation therapy plan was generated from CT images of the patient. The plan was then copied to the segmented MR datasets and the doses were recalculated using pencil beam (PB) and collapsed cone (CC) algorithms and Monte Carlo (MC) modelling.
γ Evaluation showed that the percentage of points in regions of interest with γ<1 (3%/3 mm) were more than 94% in the segmented MR. Compared with the planning CT plan, the segmented MR plan resulted in a dose difference of –0·3, 0·8 and –1·3% when using PB, CC and MC algorithms, respectively.
The segmentation and conversion of MR images into HU data using the MLT algorithm, used in this feasibility study, can be used for dose calculation. This method can be used as a dosimetric assessment tool and can be easily implemented in the clinic.
Buried Ideas is a major contribution to the study of early China, and of ancient civilizations in general. It analyzes four important, recently discovered texts that in some manner deal with the idea that the position of the ruler should be transferred by voluntary abdication from one sage to another. In addition to analyzing in detail the arguments of these texts and their relations to the received tradition, it also provides a useful introductory survey of the current state of the study of Chu-script bamboo-slip texts, facilitates direct confrontation with these texts for anyone who desires to pursue them, demonstrates—in association with her earlier monographs—how newly discovered texts have transformed our understanding of early China, offers insights into the origins and deep structure of the Chinese modeling of history as a dynastic cycle/sequence, and shows how working across generic boundaries both improves our understanding of ancient China, and allows more insightful comparisons with other early civilizations.
Well-preserved interstellar grains occur in carbonaceous chondrites. Diamond (10-100å) contains r- and p-process Xe (suggesting a supernovae connection), and appears to have formed by stellar condensation, not by interstellar shocks. SiC (mainly 0.1-1 μm) is labeled either with s-process Xe, Kr (red giant?) or with Ne22, N15 (nova?), and shows large isotopic variations in N (100x), C (16x), and Si (1.3x). As Si is unaffected by H, He-burning, the Si variations reflect the isotopic heterogeneity of the ISM on the scale of individual stars; the Si compositions found thus far require at least 6 separate stars.
Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images contain more scatter than a conventional computed tomography (CT) image and therefore provide inaccurate Hounsfield units (HUs). Consequently, CBCT images cannot be used directly for dose calculation. The aim of this study is to enable dose calculations to be performed with the use of CBCT images taken during radiotherapy and potentially avoid the necessity of re-planning.
A phantom and prostate cancer patient with a metallic prosthetic hip replacement were imaged using both CT and CBCT. The multilevel threshold algorithm was used to categorise pixel values in the CBCT images into segments of homogeneous HU. The variation in HU with position in the CBCT images was taken into consideration and the benefit of using a larger number of materials than typically used in previous work has been explored. This segmentation method relies upon the operator dividing the CBCT data into a set of volumes where the variation in the relationship between pixel values and HUs is small. A field-in-field treatment plan was generated from the CT of the phantom. An intensity-modulated radiation therapy plan was generated from CT images of the patient. These plans were then copied to the segmented CBCT datasets with identical settings and the doses were recalculated and compared.
In the phantom study, γ evaluation showed that the percentage of points falling in planning target volume, rectum and bladder with γ<1 (3%/3 mm) was 100%. In the patient study, increasing the number of bins to define the material type from seven materials to eight materials required 50% more operator time to improve the accuracy by 0·01% using pencil beam and collapsed cone and 0·05% when using Monte Carlo algorithms.
The segmentation of CBCT images using the method in this study can be used for dose calculation. For a simple phantom, 2 values of HU were needed to improve dose calculation accuracy. In challenging circumstances such as that of a prostate patient with hip prosthesis, 5 values of HU were found to be needed, giving a reasonable balance between dose accuracy and operator time.