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The origin and the development of scientific disciplines has been a topic of reflection for several decades. The few extensive case studies support the thesis that scientific disciplines are not monolithic structures but can be characterized by distinct social, organizational and scientific–technical practices. Nonetheless, most disciplinary histories of genetics confine themselves largely to an uncontested account of the content of the discipline or occasionally institutional factors. Little attention is paid to the large number of researchers who, by their joint efforts, ultimately shaped the discipline. We contribute to this aspect of disciplinary historiography by discussing the role of women researchers at the Institute for Heredity Research, founded in 1914 in Berlin under the directorship of Erwin Baur, and the sister of the John Innes Institute at Cambridge. This paper investigates how and why Baur built a highly successful research programme that relied on the efforts of his female staff, whose careers, notably Elisabeth Schiemann's, are also assessed in toto. These women undertook the necessary ‘technoscience’ and in some cases innovative work and helped increase the prestige of the institute and its director. Together they played a pivotal role in the establishment of genetics in Germany. Without them the discipline would have developed much more slowly and along a divergent path.
The role of episodic mass loss in evolved massive stars is one of the outstanding questions in stellar evolution theory. Integral field spectroscopy of nebulae around massive stars provide information on their recent mass-loss history. η Car is one of the most massive evolved stars and is surrounded by a complex circumstellar environment. We have conducted a three-dimensional morpho-kinematic analysis of η Car’s ejecta outside its famous Homunculus nebula. SHAPE modelling of VLT MUSE data establish unequivocally the spatial cohesion of the outer ejecta and the correlation of ejecta with the soft X-ray emission.
As an extreme kind of environment, Hickson Compact groups (HCGs) have shown to be very complex systems. HI-VLA observations revealed an intrincated network of HI tails and bridges, tracing pre-processing through extreme tidal interactions. We found HCGs to show a large HI deficiency supporting an evolutionary sequence where gas-rich groups transform via tidal interactions and ISM (interstellar medium) stripping into gas-poor systems. We detected as well a diffuse HI component in the groups, increasing with evolutionary phase, although with uncertain distribution. The complex net of detected HI as observed with the VLA seems hence so puzzling as the missing one. In this talk we revisit the existing VLA information on the HI distribution and kinematics of HCGs by means of X3D visualization. X3D constitutes a powerful tool to extract the most from HI data cubes and a mean of simplifying and easing the access to data visualization and publication via three-dimensional (3-D) diagrams.
Rare earth (e.g., Eu, Er, Yb, Tm) doped Y2O3 nanocrystals are promising fluorescent bioimaging agents which can overcome well known problems of currently used organic dyes like photobleaching, phototoxicity, and light scattering. Furthermore, the alternative quantum dots (QDs) composed of heavy metals (e.g., CdSe) possess inherently low biocompatibility due to the heavy metal content. In the present work, monodisperse spherical Y2O3:Eu3+ nanocrystals were successfully synthesized by microwave assisted urea precipitation method followed by thermochemical treatment. This is a green, fast and reproducible synthesis method, which is surfactant and hazardous precursors free. The as prepared particles were non-aggregated, spherical particles with a narrow size distribution. The calcined particles have a polycrystalline structure preserving the monodispersity and the spherical morphology of the as prepared particles. After calcination of Y(OH)CO3:Eu3+ precursors at 900°C for 2 hours, a highly crystalline cubic Y2O3 structure was obtained. The Y2O3:Eu3+ spherical particles showed a strong red emission peak at 613nm due to the 5D0–7F2 forced electric dipole transition of Eu3+ ions under UV excitation (235 nm) as revealed by the photoluminescence analysis (PL). The effect of reaction time on size and photoluminescence properties of calcined particles and also the effect of reaction temperature and pressure on the size and the yield of the precipitation process have been studied. The intense red fluorescent emission, excellent stability and potential low toxicity make these QDs promising for applications in bio-related areas such as fluorescence cell imaging or fluorescence bio labels.
In many developing countries, people rely on natural resources for subsistence and cash income. The trade ban on species listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List may be counter-productive, as increasing the rarity and thus price of these species acts as a stimulus to illegal markets rather than a deterrent. Since illegal markets cannot have legal property rights, there is no basis for any form of sustainable harvesting based on property rights. The Malagsy radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) is an example of a species that is threatened by domestic and international trade; legalizing international trade could, under certain circumstances, provide financial incentives that might effectively reduce the domestic trade and subsistence harvest of this animal. This paper argues this critically-endangered species may be more effectively conserved by assigning trading rights to local communities, rather than demanding a trade ban that cannot be enforced successfully.
At the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), a new type of refractive X-ray optics has been developed. Owing to its comparably easy fabrication method and the large aperture, the so-called Rolled X-ray Prism Lenses (RXPL) have the potential to be used with X-ray tubes in an industrial environment as a low-cost alternative to existing optics. The lens itself is built out of a micro-structured foil which is cut into shape and rolled around a winding core to form a refracting element for X-rays. The resulting refractive structure can be used as illumination optics. Diffractometry experiments with an NIST 1976a sample were performed and showed up to an 18-fold enhanced integrated intensity compared to that acquired with a steel tube collimator.
In the present study, we hypothesised whether in vitro digestion of salmon oil would release different amounts of PUFA depending on the origin of the lipolytic enzymes used. For this purpose, in vitro digestion of salmon oil (SO) was performed using human duodenal juice (HDJ) or a commercial enzyme preparation consisting of porcine pancreatin and bile (PB). The lipolytic effect was determined by measuring the release of fatty acids (FA) using solid-phase extraction and GC–flame ionisation detection, withdrawing samples every 20 min during digestion. The amount of FA released indicated that a plateau was reached after 80 min with approximately similar amounts of FA detected using both HDJ and PB (379 (sd 18) and 352 (sd 23) mg/g SO, respectively). However, the release of 18 : 2, EPA (20 : 5) and DHA (22 : 6) was significantly different during in vitro digestion. At 80 min, HDJ and PB released 43 and 33 % of 18 : 2, 14 and 9 % of EPA and 11 and 9 % of DHA, respectively. Both enzyme preparations released approximately the same amounts of the other FA analysed. The effect of the addition of bile salts (BS) was significantly different in the two enzyme systems, where porcine pancreatin highly responded to the increase in BS concentration, in contrast to HDJ.
LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) is an innovative radio telescope optimized for the frequency range 30–240 MHz. The telescope is realized as a phased aperture array without any moving parts. Digital beam forming allows the telescope to point to any part of the sky within a second. Transient buffering makes retrospective imaging of explosive short-term events possible. The scientific focus of LOFAR will initially be on four key science projects (KSPs): (i) Detection of the formation of the very first stars and galaxies in the universe during the so-called epoch of reionization by measuring the power spectrum of the neutral hydrogen 21-cm line (Shaver et al. 1999) on the ∼ 5′ scale; (ii) Low-frequency surveys of the sky with of order 108 expected new sources; (iii) All-sky monitoring and detection of transient radio sources such as γ-ray bursts, X-ray binaries, and exo-planets (Farrell et al. 2004); and (iv) Radio detection of ultra-high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos (Falcke & Gorham 2003) allowing for the first time access to particles beyond 1021 eV (Scholten et al. 2006). Apart from the KSPs open access for smaller projects is also planned. Here we give a brief description of the telescope.
From mouse and Drosophila knock out experiments it has been deduced that the products of more than 3000 genes are involved in the genetic control regulating the expression of male (and female) fertility (Cooke and Saunders, 2002, Hackstein et al., 2000; Matzuk and Lamb, 2002). In human, the molecular identification of male fertility genes is hampered by the fact that human is not an experimental species. An infertile man is only recognised after the couple desiring for a child has asked for some therapeutic treatments in an infertility clinic.
Genetic lesions causing male infertility can be roughly grouped in three classes: (I) Chromosomal aneuploidies and rearrangements where batteries of genes on specific chromosomes have increased or decreased their expression dosage or have changed their normal nuclear territorium; (II) submicroscopic deletions (i.e. the genomic AZF deletions) where deletions or rearrangements of multiple genes – mapped in a molecular neighbourhood – have lost or altered their normal expression pattern and (III) single gene defects where the expression of a single gene is changed or lost causing then male infertility (e.g. the CFTR gene). This chapter offers a basic science perspective to the molecular genetic principles causing male infertility in the three different genetic-abnormality groups. Thereby one aim is to point to the practical prerequisites which will be needed for their proper analysis in the infertility clinic reducing time and costs and increasing the patient's success rate for conceiving a child without an inherited genetic abnormality.
This paper presents a bilayer model to account for surface effects on the wrinkling of ultrathin polymer films. Assuming a surface layer of finite thickness, effects of surface properties on the critical strain, the equilibrium wavelength, and the wrinkle amplitude are discussed in comparison with conventional analysis. Experimental measurements of wrinkling in polymer films with thickness ranging from 200 nm to 5 nm are conducted. The bilayer model provides a consistent understanding of the experiments that deviate from conventional analysis for thickness less than 30 nm. A set of empirical surface properties is deduced from the experimental data.
Background and aim: The neuromuscular effects of a bolus dose of rocuronium 0.6 mg kg−1 under propofol anaesthesia in renal failure patients are prolonged compared to healthy patients. The present study aims to describe the neuromuscular effects of 0.3 mg kg−1 rocuronium under propofol anaesthesia in patients with renal failure and to compare these effects with healthy control patients. Methods: With institutional approval and informed consent, 18 healthy patients and 18 patients with renal failure took part in this prospective open label study. The renal failure patients were undergoing either renal transplantation or insertion of a shunt. Rocuronium 0.3 mg kg−1 was given intravenously after induction of anaesthesia with propofol 1–2 mg kg−1 and fentanyl 2 μg kg−1. Propofol 6–12 mg kg−1 h−1 was used for maintenance of anaesthesia. Four acceleromyographic responses of the thumb after supramaximal stimulation of the ulnar nerve using surface electrodes at 2 Hz every 15 s were measured and recorded. The onset time, the time to recovery of the first twitch to 25% recovery and the time to a train-of-four ratio of 0.7 were all recorded. Wilcoxon rank sum testing was used to compare the pharmacodynamics and to see if medication, gender or electrolytes influenced the duration of the block. P < 0.05 was significant. Results: No statistical differences were seen in the neuromuscular blocking effects of rocuronium between the two groups but there was a significant difference (P < 0.00001) in the variability of the total duration of the block. Conclusions: Rocuronium 0.3 mg kg−1 is suitable for use in patients with renal failure when endotracheal intubation and neuromuscular block for a short period of time are needed. Tracheal intubation is facilitated within 4 min and the block can be antagonized within 20 min.
Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVdF) fine fiber of 200–300 nm in diameter was prepared through the electrospinning process. Dehydrofluorination of PVdF-based fibers for making infusible fiber was carried out using DBU, and the infusible PVdF-based nanofibers were then carbonized at 900–1800°C. The structural properties and morphologies of the resulting carbon nanofibers were investigated using XRD, Raman IR, SEM, TEM, and surface area & pore analysis. The PVdF-based carbon nanofibers had rough surfaces composed of 20-to 30-nm granular carbons, indicating their high surface area in the range of 400–970 m2/g. They showed amorphous structures. In the case of the highly ehydrofluorinated PVdF fiber, the resulting carbon fiber had a smoother surface, with d002 = 0.34–0.36 nm, and a very low surface area of 16–33 m2/g. The hydrogen storage capacities of the above carbon nano-fibers were measured, using the gravimetric method, by magnetic suspension balance (MSB), at room temperature and at 100 bars. The storage data were obtained after the buoyancy correction. The PVdF-based microporous carbon nanofibers showed a hydrogen storage capacity of 0.04–0.4 wt%. The hydrogen storage capacity depended on the dehydrofluorination of the PVdF nanofiber precursor, and on the carbonization temperatures.
Electrospun PAN nanofibers were carbonized with or without iron(III) acetylacetonate to induce catalytic graphitization within the range of 900–1500°C, resulting in ultrafine carbon fibers with the diameter of about 90–300 nm. The structural properties and morphologies of the resulting carbon nanofibers were investigated using XRD, Raman IR, SEM, TEM, and surface area/pore analysis. The PAN-based carbon nanofibers carbonized without a catalyst had amorphous structures, with d002 = 0.37 nm, and smooth surfaces with very low surface areas of 22–31 m2/g. The carbonization of PAN-based nanofibers in the presence of the catalyst produced the graphite nanofibers (GNF) with d002 = 0.341 nm, indicating turbostrate structures. The graphite structures were grown by increasing the catalyst contents and the carbonization temperature. The hydrogen storage capacities of the aforementioned carbon nanofiber materials were evaluated through the gravimetric method using Magnetic Suspension Balance (MSB) at room temperature and at 100 bars. The storage data were obtained after the buoyancy correction. The CNFs showed hydrogen storage capacities of 0.16–0.50 wt.%, increasing with the increase of carbonization temperature, but that of the CNF at 1500°C was lowest. The hydrogen storage capacities of the GNFs with low surface areas of 100–250m2/g were 0.14–1.01 wt%.
We present preliminary analysis of new HST observations of the transiting extrasolar planet HD 209458b. Photometric observations were obtained with the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), providing milli-mag precision and high time resolution (40 Hz). The FGS photometry allows us to derive precise stellar/orbital parameters (ephemeris, inclination, limb darkening) and planetary radius, and also allows a search for the presence of planetary rings and satellites. We discuss preliminary results and two approaches to modelling the observations.
Sodium alanate was milled with and without TiCl3. The hydrogen release and uptake was measured during temperature-programmed absorption and desorption, as well as by isothermal charging and discharging, using a Sieverts' type apparatus. These data were supplemented by in-situ X-ray diffraction studies of hydrogen desorption. Rate constants derived from XRD were slower than those derived from volumetric H2 measurements. Al formation observed in XRD exceeded that expected from the observed decomposition of NaAlH4 and Na3AlH6.
The hydrogen storage properties of nanostructured Mg and MgH2 thin films were studied as created by Ar and Ar+H2 plasma sputter deposition. Columnar structures with typical widths of ∼120 nm are observed with their long columnar axis extending throughout the thickness of the films. Applying substrate bias voltages during deposition results in narrower columns. A concomitant reduction in hydrogen desorption temperature from 400 °C to 360 °C is observed. Capping the Mg films with a ∼100 nm thin Pd layer leads to significantly reduced hydrogen desorption temperatures of ∼200 °C induced by the catalytic activity of the Pd cap layer. Also, hydrogen permeation of the films is strongly improved. The rate-determining factor is found to be the dissociation of the hydrogen molecules. Optimum hydrogen loading conditions of the Pd/Mg films were obtained just above ∼200 °C at hydrogen pressures of 0.25–1.0 MPa, resulting in hydrogen storage capacities in the range of 4–7 wt%.
Hydrogen adsorption has been observed with a binding energy of ∼ 50 kJ /mol on as-synthesized carbon multi-wall nanotubes (MWNTs). The MWNTs are virtually free of non-nanotube carbon impurities but contain residual iron catalyst particles. The MWNTs are also highly graphitic. No hydrogen adsorption is observed at near ambient temperatures for purified MWNTs that are free of iron particles. However, hydrogen adsorption is also not observed on bare iron particles even following reduction in the presence of hydrogen at 775 K. These results imply that a special synergy occurs when small iron particles or atoms are in intimate contact with sp2-hybridized aromatic carbon. Interestingly, reducing the as-synthesized MWNTs in H2 at 573 K results in an increased hydrogen capacity. Understanding this hydrogen storage mechanism could facilitate the economical engineering of a hydrogen storage material that meets the United States Department of Energy targets for vehicular fuel cell applications. Recent theoretical studies have shown that an iron ad atom forms a complex with a C36 fullerene and shares charge with four carbon atoms of a bent five-membered ring. Three H2 ligands then coordinate with the iron forming a stable 18-electron organometallic complex. Here the binding energy of the molecular hydrogen ligands is ∼43 kJ /mol. These theoretical results could possibly explain the unique hydrogen storage properties of MWNTs that are grown with an iron catalyst.
Determining the ubiquity of top-down control effects of predators on their prey and ecosystem processes is important for understanding community and ecosystem-level consequences that may result from predator loss. We conducted experiments at two spatial scales to investigate the effects of terrestrial frogs (Eleutherodactylus coqui) on aerial and litter invertebrates, plant growth and herbivory, and litter decomposition. At both scales, frogs reduced aerial invertebrates and leaf herbivory, but had no effect on litter invertebrates. At the smaller scale, frogs increased foliage production rates, measured as the number of new leaves and new leaf area produced, by 80% and decomposition rates by 20%. The influence of E. coqui on increasing primary productivity and decomposition rates at the smaller scale appeared to be a result of elimination and excretion rather than of controlling prey. While the results provide evidence for frogs controlling herbivorous prey at both scales, species effects on ecosystem processes were only detectable at the smaller scale. The results highlight the difficulties in conducting experiments at large spatial scales. The findings from this study imply that the loss of amphibians and other species of higher trophic levels may affect nutrient cycling rates in tropical forests.