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At GE Research, we are combining “physics” with artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance manufacturing design, processing, and inspection, turning innovative technologies into real products and solutions across our industrial portfolio. This article provides a snapshot of how this physical plus digital transformation is evolving at GE.
Background: The zona incerta (ZI) is a small structure in the deep brain first identified by Auguste Forel for which robust in vivo visualization has remained elusive. The increased inherent signal from ultra-high field (7-Tesla or greater; 7T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) presents an opportunity to see structures not previously visible. In this study, we investigated the possibility of using quantitative T1 mapping at 7T to visualize the ZI region. Methods: We recruited healthy participants (N=32) and patients being considered for deep brain stimulation therapy as part of a prospective imaging study at 7T. Computational methods were used to process and fuse images to produce a high-resolution group average from which ZI anatomy could be delineated. Results: We pooled 7T data using image fusion methods and found that the contrast from quantitative T1 mapping was strikingly similar to classic histological staining, permitting facile identification of the ZI and nearby structures in reference to conventional stereotactic atlases. Conclusions: Using computational neuroimaging techniques, we demonstrate for the first time that the ZI is visible in vivo. Furthermore, we determined that this nuclear region can be decoupled from surrounding fibre pathways. This work paves the way for more accurate patient-specific optimization of deep brain targets for neuromodulation.
Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei is the largest urban agglomeration in northern China, but the spatiotemporal patterns and risk factors concerning hepatitis B virus (HBV) incidence in this area have been unclear. The present study aimed to reveal the spatiotemporal epidemiological features of HBV infection and quantify the association between HBV infection and socio-economic risk factors. The data on HBV cases in Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei from 2007 to 2012 was collected for each county. The Bayesian space–time hierarchy model and the GeoDetector method were used to reveal spatiotemporal patterns and detect risk factors. High-risk regions were mainly distributed in the underdeveloped rural areas in the north and mid-south of the study region, while low-risk regions were mainly distributed in the urban and western areas. The HBV annual incidence rate decreased substantially over the 6-year period, dropping from 7.34/105 to 5.51/105. Compared with this overall trend, 38.5% of high-risk counties showed a faster decrease, and 35.9% of high-risk counties exhibited a slower decrease. Meanwhile, 29.7% of low-risk counties had a faster decrease, and 44.6% of low-risk counties exhibited a slower decrease. Socio-economic factors were strongly associated with the spatiotemporal patterns and variation. The population density and gross domestic product per capita were negatively associated with HBV transmission, with determinant powers of 0.17 and 0.12, respectively. The proportion of primary industry and the number of healthcare workers were positively associated with the disease incidence, with determinant powers of 0.11 and 0.8, respectively. The interactive effect between population density and the other factors exerted a greater influence on HBV transmission than that of these factors measured independently.
The response of soil microbial communities to soil quality changes is a sensitive indicator of soil ecosystem health. The current work investigated soil microbial communities under different fertilization treatments in a 31-year experiment using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile method. The experiment consisted of five fertilization treatments: without fertilizer input (CK), chemical fertilizer alone (MF), rice (Oryza sativa L.) straw residue and chemical fertilizer (RF), low manure rate and chemical fertilizer (LOM), and high manure rate and chemical fertilizer (HOM). Soil samples were collected from the plough layer and results indicated that the content of PLFAs were increased in all fertilization treatments compared with the control. The iC15:0 fatty acids increased significantly in MF treatment but decreased in RF, LOM and HOM, while aC15:0 fatty acids increased in these three treatments. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to determine factors defining soil microbial community structure using the 21 PLFAs detected in all treatments: the first and second PCs explained 89.8% of the total variance. All unsaturated and cyclopropyl PLFAs except C12:0 and C15:0 were highly weighted on the first PC. The first and second PC also explained 87.1% of the total variance among all fertilization treatments. There was no difference in the first and second PC between RF and HOM treatments. The results indicated that long-term combined application of straw residue or organic manure with chemical fertilizer practices improved soil microbial community structure more than the mineral fertilizer treatment in double-cropped paddy fields in Southern China.
This paper reports the measurement of the energy loss of protons at the energy of 100 keV penetrating a partially ionized hydrogen plasma. The plasma of ne ≈ 1015–16 cm−3; Te ≈ 1–2 eV and lifetime of about 8 µs is created by the hydrogen gas discharge. The experimental results show an increase of a factor of 2.8 in the energy loss, which are in good agreement with the Bethe, Standard Stopping Model, Li–Petrasso and Vlasov models’ predictions within the error limit. The Bethe–Bloch Coulomb logarithm term is found to increase by a factor of 4.0 for free electrons as compared with the situation where bound electrons prevail. The potential application of protons energy loss for diagnosing the electron density in plasma is proposed too.
The Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis suite of binary stellar evolution models and synthetic stellar populations provides a framework for the physically motivated analysis of both the integrated light from distant stellar populations and the detailed properties of those nearby. We present a new version 2.1 data release of these models, detailing the methodology by which Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis incorporates binary mass transfer and its effect on stellar evolution pathways, as well as the construction of simple stellar populations. We demonstrate key tests of the latest Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis model suite demonstrating its ability to reproduce the colours and derived properties of resolved stellar populations, including well-constrained eclipsing binaries. We consider observational constraints on the ratio of massive star types and the distribution of stellar remnant masses. We describe the identification of supernova progenitors in our models, and demonstrate a good agreement to the properties of observed progenitors. We also test our models against photometric and spectroscopic observations of unresolved stellar populations, both in the local and distant Universe, finding that binary models provide a self-consistent explanation for observed galaxy properties across a broad redshift range. Finally, we carefully describe the limitations of our models, and areas where we expect to see significant improvement in future versions.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) risk has become an increasing concern in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region, which is the biggest urban agglomeration in north-eastern Asia. In the study, spatiotemporal epidemiological features of HFMD were analysed, and a Bayesian space–time hierarchy model was used to detect local spatial relative risk (RR) and to assess the effect of meteorological factors. From 2009 to 2013, there was an obvious seasonal pattern of HFMD risk. The highest risk period was in the summer, with an average monthly incidence of 4·17/103, whereas the index in wintertime was 0·16/103. Meteorological variables influenced temporal changes in HFMD. A 1 °C rise in air temperature was associated with an 11·5% increase in HFMD (corresponding RR 1·122). A 1% rise in relative humidity was related to a 9·51% increase in the number of HFMD cases (corresponding RR 1·100). A 1 hPa increment in air pressure was related to a 0·11% decrease in HFMD (corresponding RR 0·999). A 1 h increase in sunshine was associated with a 0·28% rise in HFMD cases (corresponding RR 1·003). A 1 m/s rise in wind speed was related to a 6·2% increase in HFMD (corresponding RR 1·064). High-risk areas were mainly large cities, such as Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang and their neighbouring areas. These findings can contribute to risk control and implementation of disease-prevention policies.
To gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of neurological disease, relevant tissue models are imperative. Over the years, this realization has fuelled the development of novel tools and platforms, which aim at capturing in vivo complexity. One example is the field of biofabrication, which focuses on fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) biologically functional products in a controlled and automated manner. Herein, we provide a general overview of classical 3D cell culture platforms, particularly in the context of neurodegenerative disease. Subsequently, the focus is put on bioprinting-based biofabrication, its potential to advance 3D neuronal cell culture and, to conclude, the relevant translational bottlenecks, which will need to be considered as the field evolves.
RX J1713.7-3946 is a prototype in the γ-ray-bright supernova remnants (SNRs) and is in continuing debates on its hadronic versus leptonic origin of the γ-ray emission. We explore the role played by the diffusive relativistic protons that escape from the SNR shock wave in the γ-ray emission, apart from the emission of high energy particles from the inside of the SNR. In the scenario that the SNR shock propagates in a clumpy molecular cavity, we consider that the γ-ray emission from the inside of the SNR may either arise from the IC scattering or from the interaction between the trapped energetic protons and the shocked clumps. The dominant origin between them depends on the electron-to-proton number ratio. The surrounding molecular cavity wall is considered to also produce γ-ray emission due to the “illumination” by the diffusive protons that escaped from the shock wave during the expansion history. The broad-band spectrum can be well explained by this two-zone model, in which the γ-ray emission from the inside governs the TeV band, while the outer emission component substantially contributes to the GeV γ-rays. The two-zone model can also explain the TeV γ-ray radial brightness profile that significantly stretches beyond the nonthermal X-ray emitting region.
Gamma-ray observations for Supernova remnant (SNR)-molecular cloud (MC) association systems play an important role in the research on the acceleration and propagation of cosmic-ray protons. Through the analysis of 5.6 years of Fermi-Large Area Telescope observation data, here we report on the detection of a gamma-ray emission source near the SNR Kesteven 41 with a significance of 24σ in 0.2–300 GeV. The best-fit location of the gamma-ray source is consistent with the MC with which the SNR interacts. Several hypotheses including both leptonic and hadronic scenarios are considered to investigate the origin of these gamma-rays. The gamma-ray emission can be naturally explained by the decay of neutral pions produced via the collision between high energy protons accelerated by the shock of Kesteven 41 and the adjacent MC. The electron energy budget would be too high for the SNR if the gamma-rays were produced via inverse Compton (IC) scattering off the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) photons.
Eta Carinae is one of the most massive observable binaries. Yet determination of its orbital and physical parameters is hampered by obscuring winds. However the effects of the strong, colliding winds changes with phase due to the high orbital eccentricity. We wanted to improve measures of the orbital parameters and to determine the mechanisms that produce the relatively brief, phase-locked minimum as detected throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. We conducted intense monitoring of the He ii λ4686 line in η Carinae for 10 months in the year 2014, gathering ~300 high S/N spectra with ground- and space-based telescopes. We also used published spectra at the FOS4 SE polar region of the Homunculus, which views the minimum from a different direction. We used a model in which the He ii λ4686 emission is produced by two mechanisms: a) one linked to the intensity of the wind-wind collision which occurs along the whole orbit and is proportional to the inverse square of the separation between the companion stars; and b) the other produced by the ‘bore hole’ effect which occurs at phases across the periastron passage. The opacity (computed from 3D SPH simulations) as convolved with the emission reproduces the behavior of equivalent widths both for direct and reflected light. Our main results are: a) a demonstration that the He ii λ4686 light curve is exquisitely repeatable from cycle to cycle, contrary to previous claims for large changes; b) an accurate determination of the longitude of periastron, indicating that the secondary star is ‘behind’ the primary at periastron, a dispute extended over the past decade; c) a determination of the time of periastron passage, at ~4 days after the onset of the deep light curve minimum; and d) show that the minimum is simultaneous for observers at different lines of sight, indicating that it is not caused by an eclipse of the secondary star, but rather by the immersion of the wind-wind collision interior to the inner wind of the primary.
To this date ψ Per is the only classical Be star that was angularly resolved in radio (by the VLA at λ = 2 cm). Gaussian fit to the azimuthally averaged visibility data indicates a disk size (FWHM) of ~500 stellar radii (Dougherty & Taylor 1992). Recently, we obtained new multi-band cm flux density measurements of ψ Per from the enhanced VLA. We modeled the observed spectral energy distribution (SED) covering the interval from ultraviolet to radio using the Monte Carlo radiative transfer code HDUST (Carciofi & Bjorkman 2006). An SED turndown, that occurs between far-IR and radio wavelengths, is explained by a truncated viscous decretion disk (VDD), although the shallow slope of the radio SED suggests that the disk is not simply cut off, as is assumed in our model. The best-fit size of a truncated disk derived from the modeling of the radio SED is 100+5−15 stellar radii, which is in striking contrast with the result of Dougherty & Taylor (1992). The reasons for this discrepancy are under investigation.
We have recently released version 2.0 of the Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis (BPASS) population synthesis code. This is designed to construct the spectra and related properties of stellar populations built from ~200,000 detailed, individual stellar models of known age and metallicity. The output products enable a broad range of theoretical predictions for individual stars, binaries, resolved and unresolved stellar populations, supernovae and their progenitors, and compact remnant mergers. Here we summarise key applications that demonstrate that binary populations typically reproduce observations better than single star models.
Because polarization encodes geometrical information about unresolved scattering regions, it provides a unique tool for analyzing the 3-D structures of supernovae (SNe) and their surroundings. SNe of all types exhibit time-dependent spectropolarimetric signatures produced primarily by electron scattering. These signatures reveal physical phenomena such as complex velocity structures, changing illumination patterns, and asymmetric morphologies within the ejecta and surrounding material. Interpreting changes in polarization over time yields unprecedentedly detailed information about supernovae, their progenitors, and their evolution.
Begun in 2012, the SNSPOL Project continues to amass the largest database of time-dependent spectropolarimetric data on SNe. I present an overview of the project and its recent results. In the future, combining such data with interpretive radiative transfer models will further constrain explosion mechanisms and processes that shape SN ejecta, uncover new relationships among SN types, and probe the properties of progenitor winds and circumstellar material.
The origin of red supergiant mass loss still remains to be unveiled. Characterising the formation loci and the dust distribution in the first stellar radii above the surface is key to understand the initiation of the mass loss phenomenon. Polarimetric interferometry observations in the near-infrared allowed us to detect an inner dust atmosphere located only 0.5 stellar radius above the photosphere of Betelgeuse. We modelled these observations and compare them with visible polarimetric measurements to discuss the dust distribution properties.
Recent spectropolarimetric surveys of bright, hot stars have found that ~10% of OB-type stars contain strong (mostly dipolar) surface magnetic fields (~kG). The prominent paradigm describing the interaction between the stellar winds and the surface magnetic field is the magnetically confined wind shock (MCWS) model. In this model, the stellar wind plasma is forced to move along the closed field loops of the magnetic field, colliding at the magnetic equator, and creating a shock. As the shocked material cools radiatively it will emit X-rays. Therefore, X-ray spectroscopy is a key tool in detecting and characterizing the hot wind material confined by the magnetic fields of these stars. Some B-type stars are found to have very short rotational periods. The effects of the rapid rotation on the X-ray production within the magnetosphere have yet to be explored in detail. The added centrifugal force due to rapid rotation is predicted to cause faster wind outflows along the field lines, leading to higher shock temperatures and harder X-rays. However, this is not observed in all rapidly rotating magnetic B-type stars. In order to address this from a theoretical point of view, we use the X-ray Analytical Dynamical Magnetosphere (XADM) model, originally developed for slow rotators, with an implementation of new rapid rotational physics. Using X-ray spectroscopy from ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope, we observed 5 rapidly rotating B-types stars to add to the previous list of observations. Comparing the observed X-ray luminosity and hardness ratio to that predicted by the XADM allows us to determine the role the added centrifugal force plays in the magnetospheric X-ray emission of these stars.
The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) hosts a large number of high-mass X-ray binaries, and in particular of Be/X-ray Binaries (BeXRBs; neutron stars orbiting OBe-type stars), offering a unique laboratory to address the effect of metalicity. One key property of their optical companion is Hα in emission, which makes them bright sources when observed through a narrow-band Hα filter. We performed a survey of the SMC Bar and Wing regions using wide-field cameras (WFI@MPG/ESO and MOSAIC@CTIO/Blanco) in order to identify the counterparts of the sources detected in our XMM-Newton survey of the same area. We obtained broad-band R and narrow-band Hα photometry, and identified ~10000 Hα emission sources down to a sensitivity limit of 18.7 mag (equivalent to ~B8 type Main Sequence stars). We find the fraction of OBe/OB stars to be 13% down to this limit, and by investigating this fraction as a function of the brightness of the stars we deduce that Hα excess peaks at the O9-B2 spectral range. Using the most up-to-date numbers of SMC BeXRBs we find their fraction over their parent population to be ~0.002 − 0.025 BeXRBs/OBe, a direct measurement of their formation rate.
The evolution of massive stars encompasses short-lived transition phases in which mass-loss is more enhanced and usually eruptive. A complex environment, combining atomic, molecular and dust regions, is formed around these stars. In particular, the circumstellar environment of B[e] Supergiants is not well understood. To address that, we have initiated a campaign to investigate their environments for a sample of Galactic and Magellanic Cloud sources. Using high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectra (MPG-ESO/FEROS, GEMINI/Phoenix and VLT/CRIRES, respectively), we examine a set of emission features ([OI], [CaII], CO bandheads) to trace the physical conditions and kinematics in their formation regions. We find that the B[e] Supergiants are surrounded by a series of rings of different temperatures and densities, a probable result of previous mass-loss events. In many cases the CO forms very close to the star, while we notice also an alternate mixing of densities and temperatures (which give rise to the different emission features) along the equatorial plane.