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The existence of cosmic dust is attested by the interstellar extinction and polarization, IR emission and absorption spectra, and elemental depletion patterns. Dust grains are efficiently processed or even destroyed in shocks, molecular clouds, or protoplanetary disks. A considerable amount of dust has to be re-formed in the ISM. In various astrophysical environments, dust grains are covered by molecular ices and therefore contribute or catalytically influence the chemical reactions in these layers. Laboratory experiments are desperately required to understand the evolution of grains and grain/ice mixtures in molecular clouds and early planetary disks. This review considers recent progress in laboratory approaches to dust/ice experiments.
Luminosity outbursts of the FU Ori type stars, which have a magnitude of ∼ 100 L⊙ and last for decades, may affect chemical composition of the surrounding protoplanetary disk. Using astrochemical modelling we analyse the changes induced by the outburst and search for species sensitive to the luminosity rise. Some changes in the disk molecular composition appear not only during the outburst itself but can also retain for decades after the end of the outburst. We analyse main chemical processes responsible for these effects and assess timescales at which chemically inert species return to the pre-outburst abundances.
Although childhood adversity is a potent determinant of psychopathology, relatively little is known about how the characteristics of adversity exposure, including its developmental timing or duration, influence subsequent mental health outcomes. This study compared three models from life course theory (recency, accumulation, sensitive period) to determine which one(s) best explained this relationship.
Prospective data came from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7476). Four adversities commonly linked to psychopathology (caregiver physical/emotional abuse; sexual/physical abuse; financial stress; parent legal problems) were measured repeatedly from birth to age 8. Using a statistical modeling approach grounded in least angle regression, we determined the theoretical model(s) explaining the most variability (r2) in psychopathology symptoms measured at age 8 using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and evaluated the magnitude of each association.
Recency was the best fitting theoretical model for the effect of physical/sexual abuse (girls r2 = 2.35%; boys r2 = 1.68%). Both recency (girls r2 = 1.55%) and accumulation (boys r2 = 1.71%) were the best fitting models for caregiver physical/emotional abuse. Sensitive period models were chosen alone (parent legal problems in boys r2 = 0.29%) and with accumulation (financial stress in girls r2 = 3.08%) more rarely. Substantial effect sizes were observed (standardized mean differences = 0.22–1.18).
Child psychopathology symptoms are primarily explained by recency and accumulation models. Evidence for sensitive periods did not emerge strongly in these data. These findings underscore the need to measure the characteristics of adversity, which can aid in understanding disease mechanisms and determining how best to reduce the consequences of exposure to adversity.
There is growing interest in linking vitamin D deficiency with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The association between vitamin D deficiency during gestation, a critical period in neurodevelopment, and ASD is not well understood.
To determine the association between gestational vitamin D status and ASD.
Based on a birth cohort (n=4334), we examined the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), assessed from both maternal mid-gestation sera and neonatal sera, and ASD (defined by clinical records; n=68 cases).
Individuals in the 25OHD-deficient group at mid-gestation had more than twofold increased risk of ASD (odds ratio (OR)=2.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09 to 5.07, P=0.03) compared with the sufficient group. The findings persisted in analyses including children of European ethnicity only.
Mid-gestational vitamin D deficiency was associated with an increased risk of ASD. Because gestational vitamin D deficiency is readily preventable with safe, inexpensive and readily available supplementation, this risk factor warrants closer scrutiny.
The efficiency of dust formation in a variety of environments is an ongoing topic for discussions, especially if it comes to dust formation in the interstellar medium. Although this possibility is discussed in a wide range of numerical studies, experiments on the formation of dust at low densities and temperatures are mostly lacking. This contribution summarizes the main findings of our low-temperature condensation experiments including the formation of silica, complex silicates with pyroxene and olivine stoichiometry, and of carbonaceous refractory materials. Atomic and molecular species to be expected as products of supernovae shock fronts were produced by laser ablation of silicates and graphite. These species were deposited together with a rare gas on cold substrates representing the surfaces of surviving dust grains in the interstellar medium. After characterizing the precursor species, the rare gas matrix was annealed to induce diffusion and reactions between the initial components. We found the production of amorphous and homogeneous silica and magnesium iron silicates at temperatures of about 12 K in a barrierless reaction as monitored by infrared spectroscopy. The 10 μm band of the low-temperature siliceous condensates shows a striking similarity to the 10 μm band of interstellar silicates. Carbonaceous atoms and molecules can also react without a barrier and form an amorphous or hydrogenated amorphous carbon material. The refractory condensate has properties comparable to fullerene-like carbon grains formed at high temperatures.
A celebrated result of Rödl and Ruciński states that for every graph
, which is not a forest of stars and paths of length 3, and fixed number of colours
there exist positive constants
such that for
the probability that every colouring of the edges of the random graph
contains a monochromatic copy of
(the ‘0-statement’), while for
(the ‘1-statement’). Here
denotes the 2-density of
. On the other hand, the case where
is a forest of stars has a coarse threshold which is determined by the appearance of a certain small subgraph in
. Recently, the natural extension of the 1-statement of this theorem to
-uniform hypergraphs was proved by Conlon and Gowers and, independently, by Friedgut, Rödl and Schacht. In particular, they showed an upper bound of order
for the 1-statement, where
. Similarly as in the graph case, it is known that the threshold for star-like hypergraphs is given by the appearance of small subgraphs. In this paper we show that another type of threshold exists if
: there are
-uniform hypergraphs for which the threshold is determined by the asymmetric Ramsey problem in which a different hypergraph has to be avoided in each colour class. Along the way we obtain a general bound on the 1-statement for asymmetric Ramsey properties in random hypergraphs. This extends the work of Kohayakawa and Kreuter, and of Kohayakawa, Schacht and Spöhel who showed a similar result in the graph case. We prove the corresponding 0-statement for hypergraphs satisfying certain balancedness conditions.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
Within the ‘earliest phases of star formation’ (EPoS) Herschel project, we observed the NH3 inversion lines of 6 very young high-mass star-forming regions at high spatial resolution (3-5″) with the JVLA. While the Herschel data provide details about the dust continuum, the ammonia data reveal the kinematics and temperatures. Here we present the exciting star-forming clump ISOSS23053 that shows multiple velocity components. We observe a prominent velocity step within the clump, which could be a sign of colliding or converging flows that triggers star formation. Furthermore, we used the JVLA in the C-array configuration to study this source in more detail and we present the first results from the new data. They support the idea of converging flows, as we observe two components in the NH3(1,1) and (2,2) line, whereas the higher excited NH3(3,3) line shows one component that links the two lower excited lines.
Just a decade ago, only a handful of laboratories were engaged in the preparation and characterization of cosmic dust analogues and in the study of the formation of molecules on their surfaces. Now more than three dozen laboratories (see list below) work on such topics.
We have selected cold and massive (M > 100M⊙) cores as candidates for early phases of star formation from millimeter continuum surveys without associations at short wavelengths. We compared the millimeter continuum peak positions with IR and radio catalogs and excluded cores that had sources associated with the cores’ peaks. We compiled a list of 173 cores in over 117 regions that are candidates for very early phases of Massive Star Formation (MSF). Now with the Spitzer and Herschel archives, these cores can be characterized further. We are compiling this data set to construct the complete spectral energy distribution (SED) in the mid- and far-infrared with good spatial resolution and broad spectral coverage. This allow us to disentangle the complex regions and model the SED of the deeply embedded protostars/clusters. We present a status report of our efforts: a preview of the IR properties of all cores and their embedded source inferred from a grey body fit to the compiled SEDs.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
An overview about the German cluster project Cool Silicon aiming at increasing the energy efficiency for semiconductors, communications, sensors and software is presented. Examples for achievements are: 1000 times reduced gate leakage in transistors using high-fc (HKMG) materials compared to conventional poly-gate (SiON) devices at the same technology node; 700 V transistors integrated in standard 0.35 μm CMOS; solar cell efficiencies above 19% at < 200 W/m2 irradiation; 0.99 power factor, 87% efficiency and 0.088 distortion factor for dc supplies; 1 ns synchronization resolution via Ethernet; database accelerators allowing 85% energy savings for servers; adaptive software yielding energy reduction of 73% for e-Commerce applications; processors and corresponding data links with 40% and 70% energy savings, respectively, by adaption of clock frequency and supply voltage in less than 20 ns; clock generator chip with tunable frequency from 83-666 MHz and 0.62-1.6 mW dc power; 90 Gb/s on-chip link over 6 mm and efficiency of 174 fJ/mm; dynamic biasing system doubling efficiency in power amplifiers; 60 GHz BiCMOS frontends with dc power to bandwidth ratio of 0.17 mW/MHz; driver assistance systems reducing energy consumption by 10% in cars
In February 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its 100-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope atop Mount Graham in Arizona. LEECH neatly complements other high-contrast planet imaging efforts by observing stars in L' band (3.8 microns) as opposed to the shorter wavelength near-infrared bands (1–2.3 microns). This part of the spectrum offers deeper mass sensitivity for intermediate age (several hundred Myr-old) systems, since their Jovian-mass planets radiate predominantly in the mid-infrared. In this proceedings, we present the science goals for LEECH and a preliminary contrast curve from some early data.
The study of the phase transition of random graph processes, and recently in particular Achlioptas processes, has attracted much attention. Achlioptas, D'Souza and Spencer (Science, 2009) gave strong numerical evidence that a variety of edge-selection rules in Achlioptas processes exhibit a discontinuous phase transition. However, Riordan and Warnke (Science, 2011) recently showed that all these processes have a continuous phase transition.
In this work we prove discontinuous phase transitions for three random graph processes: all three start with the empty graph on n vertices and, depending on the process, we connect in every step (i) one vertex chosen randomly from all vertices and one chosen randomly from a restricted set of vertices, (ii) two components chosen randomly from the set of all components, or (iii) a randomly chosen vertex and a randomly chosen component.
Division VI, consisting of one Commission (Commission 34) and two Working Groups (Astrochemistry WG and Planetary Nebulae WG), has 972 members whose theoretical, observational, and experimental research interests cover a wide spectrum of activities associated with the study of the interstellar medium (ISM) in the Universe. As such, the Division has close links with Division VIII, IX, and X. The ISM and stars, the two major visible components of a galaxy, are coupled to each other through star formation, stellar feedback, and gravitational potential; thus, the Division is also closely linked to Division VII.
Binary or multiple stars are common in our neighbourhood, and many of the exoplanets we know of belong to a star in such a system. The influence of a second star on planet formation can be probed by comparing properties of planets in binary/multiple-star systems with those of single-star planets. We present some of the results from our Lucky Imaging survey for binary companions to hosts of transiting exoplanets.
Binary/multiple properties provide clues to the formation of stars. In the AstraLux binary survey, we use the Lucky Imaging technique to search for companions to a large sample of young, nearby M dwarfs. We present results from observations of the first sub-sample, consisting of 124 M dwarfs in the southern sky.