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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) are studying how samples might be brought back to Earth from Mars safely. Backward planetary protection is key in this complex endeavour, as it is required to prevent potential adverse effects from returning materials to Earth's biosphere. As the question of whether or not life exists on Mars today or whether it ever did in the past is still unanswered, the effort to return samples from Mars is expected to be categorized as a ‘Restricted Earth Return’ mission, for which NASA policy requires the containment of any unsterilized material returned to Earth. NASA is investigating several solutions to contain Mars samples and sterilize any uncontained Martian particles. This effort has significant implications for both NASA's scientific mission, and the Earth's environment; and so special care and vigilance are needed in planning and execution in order to assure acceptance of safety to Earth's biosphere. To generate a technically acceptable sterilization process across a wide array of scientific and other stakeholders, on 30–31 January 2019, 10–11 June 2019 and 19–20 February 2020, NASA informally convened a Sterilization Working Group (SWG) composed of experts from industry, academia and government to assess methods for sterilization and inactivation, to identify future work needed to verify these methods against biological challenges, and to determine their feasibility for implementation on robotic spacecraft in deep space. The goals of the SWG were:
(1) Understand what it means to sterilize and/or inactivate Martian materials and how that understanding can be applied to the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission.
(2) Assess methods for sterilization and inactivation, and identify future work needed to verify these methods.
(3) Provide an effective plan for communicating with other agencies and the public.
This paper provides a summary of the discussions and conclusions of the SWG over these three workshops. It reflects a consensus position based on qualitative discussion of how agencies might approach the problem of sterilization of Mars material. The SWG reached a consensus that sterilization options can be considered on the basis of biology as we know it, and that sterilization modalities that are effective on terrestrial materials and organisms should be part of the MSR planetary protection strategy. Conclusions pointed to several industry standards for sterilization to include heat, chemical, UV radiation and low-heat plasma. Technical trade-offs for each sterilization modality were discussed while simultaneously considering the engineering challenges and limitations for spaceflight. Future work includes more in-depth discussions on technical trade-offs of sterilization modalities, identifying and testing Earth analogue challenge organisms and proteinaceous molecules against chosen modalities, and executing collaborative agreements between NASA and external working group partners to help close data gaps, and to establish strong, scientifically grounded sterilization and inactivation standards for MSR.
Grounded procedures of separation are conceptualized as a learned concept. The simultaneous cultural universality of the general idea and immense diversity of its implementations might be better understood through the lens of dual inheritance theories. By drawing on examples from developmental psychology and emotion theorizing, we argue that an innate blueprint might underlie learned implementations of cleansing that vary widely.
The use of Alzheimer disease medication for the treatment of dementia symptoms has shown significant benefits with regards to functional and cognitive outcomes as well as nursing home placement (NHP) and mortality. Hospitalisations in these patient groups are characterised by extended length of stays (LOS), frequent readmissions, frequent NHP and high-mortality rates. The impact of Alzheimer disease medication on the aforementioned outcomes remains still unknown. This study assessed the association of Alzheimer disease medication with outcomes of hospitalisation among patients with Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia.
A dynamic retrospective cohort study from 2004 to 2015 was conducted which claims data from a German health insurance company. People with dementia (PWD) were identified using ICD-10 codes and diagnostic measures. The main predictor of interest was the use of Alzheimer disease medication. Hospitalisation outcomes included LOS, readmissions, NHP and mortality during and after hospitalisation across four hospitalisations. Confounding was addressed using a propensity score throughout all analyses.
A total of 1380 users of Alzheimer disease medication and 6730 non-users were identified. The use of Alzheimer disease medication was associated with significantly shorter LOS during the first hospitalisations with estimates for the second, third and fourth showed a tendency towards shorter hospital stays. In addition, current users of Alzheimer disease medication had a lower risk of hospital readmission after the first two hospitalisations. These associations were not significant for the third and fourth hospitalisations. Post-hospitalisation NHP and mortality rates also tended to be lower among current users than among non-users but differences did not reach statistical significance.
Our results indicate that Alzheimer disease medication might contribute to a reduction of the LOS and the number of readmissions in PWD.
In their comment “Modeling the evolution of preferences: an answer to Schubert and Cordes” (2013, this journal), Kapeller and Steinerberger claim to have identified some flaws in the formal argument developed in our paper “Role models that make you unhappy: light paternalism, social learning, and welfare” (2013, this journal). Specifically, they maintain that there is no runaway dynamic in consumption and preference values and that our model therefore always leads to a stable society. In their proof, Kapeller and Steinerberger show that their system is bounded by the highest and lowest preference and consumption levels in the population and can never escape them. Their argument does, however, not apply to the system of coupled dynamic equations we employed to model runaway consumption.
In this study the strain states in alternating multilayers of an extrinsic O2− ion conductor yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) and an insulator RE2O3 (RE = Er, Y) are investigated as a function of the layer thickness. Multilayers with narrow columnar crystallites and coherent phase boundaries were grown by pulsed laser deposition (PLD). A detailed strain analysis is performed by X-Ray Diffraction XRD, measuring distinct reflections in and perpendicular to the interface planes. Because of small columnar crystallites in the layers, the interfacial strain decays by shear with increasing distance from the interface. The extent of the strained interface regions in the YSZ layers is estimated from XRD data. By using a quantitative analytical model based on the pressure dependence of the free migration enthalpy for vacancies the results are compared to former published experimental data on O2− ion conductivity and diffusion.
Oblique-angle deposition is used to fabricate indium tin oxide (ITO) optical coatings with a porous, columnar nanostructure. Nanostructured ITO layers with a reduced refractive index are then incorporated into antireflection coating (ARC) structures with a step-graded refractive index design, enabling increased transmittance into an underlying semiconductor over a wide range of wavelengths of interest for photovoltaic applications. Low-refractive index nanostructured ITO coatings can also be combined with metal films to form an omnidirectional reflector (ODR) structure capable of achieving high internal reflectivity over a broad spectrum of wavelengths and a wide range of angles. Such conductive high-performance ODR structures on the back surface of a thin-film solar cell can potentially increase both the current and voltage output by scattering unabsorbed and emitted photons back into the active region of the device.
The ferroelectric properties of anisotropically strained SrTiO3 films are analyzed by detailed measurements of the complex dielectric constant as function of temperature, frequency, bias voltage and electric field direction. The strain induces a relaxor-ferroelectric phase that persists up to room temperature. However, transition temperature and ferroelectric properties strongly depend on the orientation of the electric field and therefore on the amount of structural strain in the given electric field direction. Frequency and time dependent relaxation experiments reveal the presence and properties of polar nanoregions with randomly distributed directions of dipole moments in the film.
The names which construct social reality as much as they express it are the crucial stakes of political struggle.
Pierre Bourdieu (1994d: 134)
We can say that Pierre Bourdieu was preoccupied with how societies work throughout his career. The concepts he developed, such as habitus, field and cultural capital, have had tremendous heuristic and ontological value for those who study society. While I do address how societies function in this chapter, the emphasis here is on what Bourdieu implicitly tells us about why we should bother studying society at all. According to Bourdieu, contemporary social hierarchies and social inequality, as well as the suffering that they cause, are produced and maintained less by physical force than by forms of symbolic domination. He refers to the results of such domination as symbolic violence. Although explicit reference to such violence is not present in all of Bourdieu's publications, I follow Loïc Wacquant (Bourdieu & Wacquant 1992a: 15; Bourdieu 2005b: 133) in arguing that the concept informs his entire body of work. In fact, the notion of symbolic violence follows on, and is a consequence of, his understanding of language. He sees language as “an instrument of power and action” as much as communication (see Eagleton, in Bourdieu and Eagleton 1992e: 111). Language itself is a form of domination. I argue that while symbolic domination may be seen to have played part in all social formations, it is becoming more and more significant in contemporary, advanced capitalist societies.
We apply infrared spectroscopic ellipsometry (IRSE) in combination with near-infrared to vacuum-ultraviolet ellipsometry to study the concentration and mobility of holes in a set of Mg-doped In-polar InN samples of different Mg-concentrations. P-type behavior is found in the IRSE spectra for Mg-concentrations between 1x1018 cm-3 and 3x1019 cm-3. The free-charge carrier parameters are determined using a parameterized model that accounts for phonon-plasmon coupling. From the NIR-VUV data information about layer thicknesses, surface roughness, and structural InN layer properties are extracted and related to the IRSE results.
To harness the full spectrum of solar energy, optical reflections at the surface of a solar photovoltaic cell must be reduced as much as possible over the relevant solar spectral range and over a wide range of incident angles. The development of antireflection coatings embodying omni-directionality over a wide range of wavelengths is challenging. Recently, nanoporous films, fabricated by oblique-angle deposition and having tailored- and very low-refractive index properties, have been demonstrated. Tailorability of the refractive index and the ability to realize films with a very low-refractive index are properties critical in the performance of broadband, omnidirectional antireflection coatings. As such, nanoporous materials are ideally suited for developing near-perfect antireflection coatings. Here, we discuss multilayer antireflection coatings with near-perfect transmittance over the spectral range of 400−2000 nm and over widely varying angles of acceptance, 0−90°. The calculated solar optical-to-electrical efficiency enhancement that can be attained with nanoporous multilayer coatings over single-layer quarter-wave films is 18%, making these coatings highly attractive for solar cell applications.
Wire shading during thin film deposition is a promising approach to low-cost, high volume manufacturing of flexible thin film photovoltaic modules. This contribution demonstrates successful patterning of a transparent conducting oxide layer by wire shading during dynamic web coating. Continuous sputter deposition of Al-doped ZnO on a 30 cm wide polymer foil and simultaneous wire shading form 1 cm wide and 300 cm long front contact stripes for thin film photovoltaic modules. Analysing the distribution of lateral shunt resistances after separating the initial 28 stripes into 1323 pieces, yields a patterning success of 97.3 %. Thus the technique seems well suited for flexible modules from organic solar cells.
It is investigated how figures of merits of nanocomposites are affected by structural and interaction length scales. Aside from macroscopic effects without characteristic lengths scales and atomic-scale quantum-mechanical interactions there are nanoscale interactions that reflect a competition between different energy contributions. We consider three systems, namely dielectric media, carbon-black reinforced rubbers and magnetic composites. In all cases, it is relatively easy to determine effective materials constants, which do not involve specific length scales. Nucleation and breakdown phenomena tend to occur on a nanoscale and yield a logarithmic dependence of figures of merit on the macroscopic system size. Essential system-specific differences arise because figures of merits are generally nonlinear energy integrals. Furthermore, different physical interactions yield different length scales. For example, the interaction in magnetic hard-soft composites reflects the competition between relativistic anisotropy and nonrelativistic exchange interactions, but such hierarchies of interactions are more difficult to establish in mechanical polymer composites and dielectrics.
Fossils of the giant short-faced bear, Arctodus simus (Cope, 1879), have been recovered from over 100 localities in North America, extending from Mexico to Alaska and California to Virginia. Despite this large range, the species has never been recorded from the southeastern United States. The lesser short-faced bear, Arctodus pristinus Leidy, 1854 is well represented from this region, particularly Florida, but all known occurrences are late Pliocene – middle Pleistocene in age (about 2.5 to 0.3 Ma). Differentiating A. simus from A. pristinus can be difficult because large individuals of A. pristinus overlap in size with small individuals of A. simus, and there are few morphological differences. However, these two taxa can be clearly separated based on the relative proportions of their molars and premolars. Two Pleistocene records of A. simus representing a minimum of three individuals from the Withlacoochee River drainage of central Florida are reported here, substantially extending the distribution of this massive bear into southeastern North America. A late Pleistocene age for these occurrences is corroborated by an associated Rancholabrean fauna and rare earth elemental analyses. One of the reported individuals is quite large, supporting the hypothesis of extreme sexual dimorphism in A. simus and rejecting a hypothesis of two subspecies.
Contact tracing of persons with meningococcal disease who have travelled on aeroplanes or other multi-passenger transport is not consistent between countries. We searched the literature for clusters of meningococcal disease linked by transient contact on the same plane, train, bus or boat. We found reports of two clusters in children on the same school bus and one in passengers on the same plane. Cases within each of these three clusters were due to strains that were genetically indistinguishable. In the aeroplane cluster the only link between the two cases was through a single travel episode. The onset of illness (2 and 5 days after the flight) is consistent with infection from an unidentified carrier around the time of air travel. In contrast to the established risk of transmission from a case of tuberculosis, it is likely that the risk from a case of meningococcal disease to someone who is not identified as a close contact is exceedingly low. This should be considered in making international recommendations for passenger contact tracing after a case of meningococcal disease on a plane or other multi-passenger transport.