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The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
New biomolecular-inorganic nanohybrids with two different functions, one from inorganic moiety and the other from biological one were realized by soft chemical methods such as intercalation, coprecipitation and exfoliation-reassembling reactions. Recently we have been focusing on two-dimensional inorganic compounds like layered double hydroxides (LDHs), since they are biocompatible and can be used as gene or drug delivery inorganic nanovehicles. To the best of our knowledge, such inorganic drug delivery vectors are quite different from conventionally developed ones such as viral based vectors, naked DNA, biodegradable polymers,liposomes, and etc, those which are however limitedly used due to their toxicity, immunogenecity, poor integration, and etc. But we found that such disadvantages can be overcome by immobilizing genes or drug molecules into these new inorganic vectors, which consist of non-toxic metal ions with biological compatibility. Since LDHs are anion exchangeable, negatively charged functional biomolecules can be easily intercalated into hydroxide layers of LDHs by soft chemical reaction methods to form bio-LDHs nanohybrids. In such a way they can gain extra stabilization energy due to the electrostatic interaction between inorganic layers, whatever they are anionic or cationic, and counter-charged biomolecules or drugs. We also found that the hydroxide layers of LDHs could protect the intercalated molecules very efficiently. If necessary, inorganic materials, as reservoir and delivery carrier, can be intentionally removed by dissolving them in an acidic or basic media, which offer a way of recovering the encapsulated biomolecules or drugs. The possible roles of inorganic lattice as the gene and drug delivery carrier will be shown by demonstrating the cellular uptake experiments of FITC, fluorophore, with laser scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy as well as of radioactive isotope-labeled ATP-LDH hybrid. As the typical examples for gene and drug delivery systems, As-myc-LDH and MTX-LDH nanohybrids will be demonstrated along with their endocytic mechanism. In addition, nanotoxicity of LDH and other inorganic nanoparticles will be also discussed in detail.
Triploid and pentaploid breeding is of great importance in agricultural production, but it is not always easy to obtain double ploidy parents. However, in fishes, chromosome ploidy is diversiform, which may provide natural parental resources for triploid and pentaploid breeding. Both tetraploid and hexaploid exist in Schizothorax fishes, which were thought to belong to different subfamilies with tetraploid Percocypris fishes in morphology, but they are sister genera in molecule. Fortunately, the pentaploid hybrid fishes have been successfully obtained by hybridization of Schizothorax wangchiachii (♀, 2n = 6X = 148) × Percocypris pingi (♂, 2n = 4X = 98). To understand the genetic and morphological difference among the hybrid fishes and their parents, four methods were used in this study: morphology, karyotype, red blood cell (RBC) DNA content determination and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR). In morphology, the hybrid fishes were steady, and between their parents with no obvious preference. The chromosome numbers of P. pingi have been reported as 2n = 4X = 98. In this study, the karyotype of S. wangchiachii was 2n = 6X = 148 = 36m + 34sm + 12st + 66t, while that the hybrid fishes was 2n = 5X = 123 = 39m + 28sm + 5st + 51t. Similarly, the RBC DNA content of the hybrid fishes was intermediate among their parents. In ISSR, the within-group genetic diversity of hybrid fishes was higher than that of their parents. Moreover, the genetic distance of hybrid fishes between P. pingi and S.wangchiachii was closely related to that of their parental ploidy, suggesting that parental genetic material stably coexisted in the hybrid fishes. This is the first report to show a stable pentaploid F1 hybrids produced by hybridization of a hexaploid and a tetraploid in aquaculture.
We present studies of the solidification of binary aqueous solutions that undergo time-periodic cooling from below. We develop an experiment for solidification of aqueous
solutions, where the temperature of the cooling boundary is modulated as a simple periodic function of time with independent variations of the modulation amplitude and frequency. The thickness of the mushy layer exhibits oscillations about the background growth obtained for constant cooling. We consider the deviation given by the difference between states with modulated and fixed cooling, which increases when the modulation amplitude increases but decreases with increasing modulation frequency. At early times, the deviation amplitude is consistent with a scaling argument for growth with quasi-steady modulation. In situ measurements of the mush temperature reveal thermal waves propagating through the mushy layer, with amplitude decaying with height within the mushy layer, whilst the phase lag behind the cooling boundary increases with height. This also leads to phase lags in the variation of the mushy-layer thickness compared to the boundary cooling. There is an asymmetry of the deviation of mushy-layer thickness: during a positive modulation (where the boundary temperature increases at the start of a cycle) the peak thickness deviation has a greater magnitude than the troughs in a negative modulation mode (where the boundary temperature decreases at the start of the cycle). A numerical model is formulated to describe mushy-layer growth with constant bulk concentration and turbulent heat transport at the mush–liquid interface driven by compositional convection associated with a finite interfacial solid fraction. The model recovers key features of the experimental results at early times, including the propagation of thermal waves and oscillations in mushy-layer thickness, although tends to overpredict the mean thickness.
We report an experimental study of the distributions of temperature and solid fraction of growing
mushy layers that are subjected to periodical cooling from below, focusing on late-time dynamics where the mushy layer oscillates about an approximate steady state. Temporal evolution of the local temperature
at various heights in the mush demonstrates that the temperature oscillations of the bottom cooling boundary propagate through the mushy layer with phase delays and substantial decay in the amplitude. As the initial concentration
increases, we show that the decay rate of the thermal oscillation with height also decreases, and the propagation speed of the oscillation phase increases. We interpret this as a result of the solid fraction increasing with
, which enhances the thermal conductivity but reduces the specific heat of the mushy layer. We present a new methodology to determine the distribution of solid fraction
in mushy layers for various
, using only measurements of the temperature
. The method is based on the phase behaviour during thermal modulation, and opens up a new approach for inferring mushy-layer properties in geophysical and engineering settings, where direct measurements are challenging. In our experiments, profiles of the solid fraction
exhibit a cliff–ramp–cliff structure with large vertical gradients of
near the mush–liquid interface and also near the bottom boundary, but much more gradual variation in the interior of the mushy layer. Such a profile structure is more pronounced for higher initial concentration
. For very low concentration, the solid fraction appears to be linearly dependent on the height within the mush. The volume-average of the solid fraction, and the local fluctuations in
both increase as
increases. We suggest that the fast increase of
near the bottom boundary is possibly due to diffusive transport of solute away from the bottom boundary and the depletion of solute content near the basal region.
Agetolites is a problematic Late Ordovician genus possessing traits of both tabulate and rugose corals. The presence of numerous mural pores has often been considered to indicate a relation to tabulates, although an affinity to rugosans has also been proposed, based mainly on well-developed septa that alternate in length. To further consider the taxonomic position of Agetolites, growth characteristics of coralla representing three species from the Xiazhen Formation in South China are documented and assessed, focusing on modes of corallite increase. Three major modes of increase are recognized. By far the most common mode involves the development of an offset from a connective mural pore, without a clear relationship to a particular parent corallite. This mode of increase is usually associated with corner pores, but in one case occurs at a wall pore. The lateral mode of increase, which is relatively uncommon, is a typical feature in corallites along the boundary of intergrowths with stromatoporoids. The axial mode of increase is rare, occurring during rejuvenation of a damaged corallite or during regeneration following termination of a corallite. The mode of corallite increase that is characteristic of Agetolites, involving a connective mural pore and occurring without evidence of a particular parent, supports the interpretation that this genus is not a rugosan or a typical favositid tabulate. Mural pores are unknown in rugosans, and offsets arise from distinct parent corallites in favositids. The Ordovician genus Lichenaria, considered a representative of the most primitive stock of tabulate corals, shows the closest similarities with types of increase in Agetolites. Certain aspects of lateral and axial increase in Agetolites are comparable to features in a few more genera of Ordovician tabulates, further supporting a tabulate affinity. The phylogenetic relation of Agetolites to those and other tabulate genera, however, remains unresolved.
Feeding ruminants a high-grain (HG) diet is a widely used strategy to improve milk yield and cost efficiency. However, it may cause certain metabolic disorders. At present, information about the effects of HG diets on the systemic metabolic profile of goats and the correlation of such diets with rumen bacteria is limited. In the present study, goats were randomly divided into two groups: one was fed the hay diet (hay; n = 5), while the other was fed HG diets (HG; n = 5). On day 50, samples of rumen contents, peripheral blood serum and liver tissues were collected to determine the metabolic profiles in the rumen fluid, liver and serum and the microbial composition in rumen. The results revealed that HG diets reduced (P < 0.05) the community richness and diversity of rumen microbiota, with an increase in the Chao 1 and Shannon index and a decrease in the Simpson index. HG diets also altered the composition of rumen microbiota, with 30 genera affected (P < 0.05). Data on the metabolome showed that the metabolites in the rumen fluid, liver and serum were affected (variable importance projection > 1, P <0.05) by dietary treatment, with 47, 10 and 27 metabolites identified as differentially metabolites. Pathway analysis showed that the common metabolites in the shared key pathway (aminoacyl-transfer RNA biosynthesis) in the rumen fluid, liver and serum were glycine, lysine and valine. These findings suggested that HG diets changed the composition of the rumen microbiota and metabolites in the rumen fluid, liver and serum, mainly involved in amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide new insights into the understanding of diet-related systemic metabolism and the effects of HG diets on the overall health of goats.
Rabies is one of the major public health problems in China, and the mortality rate of rabies remains the highest among all notifiable infectious diseases. A meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) vaccination rate and risk factors for human rabies in mainland China. The PubMed, Web of Science, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, Chinese Science and Technology Periodical and Wanfang databases were searched for articles on rabies vaccination status (published between 2007 and 2017). In total, 10 174 human rabies cases from 136 studies were included in this meta-analysis. Approximately 97.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) 95.1–98.7%) of rabies cases occurred in rural areas and 72.6% (95% CI 70.0–75.1%) occurred in farmers. Overall, the vaccination rate in the reported human rabies cases was 15.4% (95% CI 13.7–17.4%). However, among vaccinated individuals, 85.5% (95% CI 79.8%–83.4%) did not complete the vaccination regimen. In a subgroup analysis, the PEP vaccination rate in the eastern region (18.8%, 95% CI 15.9–22.1%) was higher than that in the western region (13.3%, 95% CI 11.1–15.8%) and this rate decreased after 2007. Approximately 68.9% (95% CI 63.6–73.8%) of rabies cases experienced category-III exposures, but their PEP vaccination rate was 27.0% (95% CI 14.4–44.9%) and only 6.1% (95% CI 4.4–8.4%) received rabies immunoglobulin. Together, these results suggested that the PEP vaccination rate among human rabies cases was low in mainland China. Therefore, standardised treatment and vaccination programs of dog bites need to be further strengthened, particularly in rural areas.
The prevalence of sexually transmitted infection (STI) pathogens in Beijing, China, is rarely reported. In this study, 34 911 symptomatic outpatients with suspected genital infections who attended outpatient clinics in a tertiary care hospital were included to investigate the updated prevalence of Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU), Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016 in Beijing, China. Results indicated that a decrease trend (UU, CT, NG and HSV) in male and an increase trend (UU, CT and NG) in female were observed during the period. Patients aged 20–39 years old were mostly affected by these pathogens, while the prevalence in patients aged 20–29 years old was the highest, The prevalence of UU in male was significantly lower than in female (31.5% vs. 49.3%, P < 0.05), while the prevalence of NG in male was significantly higher than in female (2.5% vs. 0.8%, P < 0.05). In patients with co-infections, 60.6% of male and 71.4% of female were co-infected by UU + CT. In total, 11.9% and 88.1% of patients with HSV infections were confirmed to be infected by HSV-1 and HSV-2. This study could contribute to a better understanding of the current epidemiological features of UU, NG, CT and HSV among symptomatic patients attending an outpatient clinic in Beijing, China, and thus facilitate to develop more effective intervention, prevention and treatment of STI.
Based on multivariate morphometric analysis, Halysites catenularius is identified from the Rumba Formation (Telychian) and Jaagarahu Formation (Sheinwoodian) of Estonia; H. priscus is confirmed as a junior synonym. Halysites catenularius, H. junior, and H. senior are shown to be closely related; H. catenularius is morphologically intermediate. Cyclomorphism in H. catenularius, recorded by fluctuations of corallite tabularial area, indicates an average annual growth rate of 6.0 mm, which is typical for halysitids. Tubules in H. catenularius, generated from small intramural openings between adjacent corallites, were involved in two types of interstitial increase. The intramural openings, three types of lateral increase, temporary agglutinated patches of corallites, and axial increase documented in H. catenularius resemble features in some species of Catenipora. These similarities are consistent with the interpretation that Halysites evolved from Catenipora. Evaluation of the possibility that both genera are polyphyletic will require further detailed analysis of additional species.
The dynamics of two rectangular, flexible plates of low aspect ratio
(height/width = 4) was experimentally investigated in tandem arrangements under uniform flows at various Cauchy numbers
is the fluid density,
is the incoming flow velocity,
is the Young’s modulus and
is the second moment of the area) and spacings
, 1 and 2. Planar particle image velocimetry (PIV) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) were used to characterize the surrounding flow field and oscillations of the wall-mounted structures. Results show that the oscillations of the upstream plate were dominated by its natural frequency. However, the motions of the downstream plate were significantly modulated by the induced flow and coherent motions shed from the upstream structure. Such modulation led to highly correlated motions between the plates with similar amplitude in the case
, to comparatively larger oscillation amplitude of the downstream plate in the intermediate separation
, and roughly decoupled interaction for
. Despite that the intensity of the oscillations of the upstream plate increased monotonically with
, this was not the case for the downstream plate at
and 2 due to flow fluctuations, vortex shedding and large structure deformation; as a result, it exhibited a local minimum. Supported with measurements, a mathematical model was derived to quantitatively explain this behaviour.
Delirium is heterogeneous and can vary by etiology.
We sought to determine how delirium subtyped by etiology affected six-month function and cognition.
Prospective cohort study.
Tertiary care, academic medical center.
A total of 228 hospitalized patients > 65 years old were admitted from the emergency department (ED).
The modified Brief Confusion Assessment Method was used to determine delirium in the ED. Delirium etiology was determined by three trained physician reviewers using a Delirium Etiology checklist. Pre-illness and six-month function and cognition were determined using the Older American Resources and Services Activities of Daily Living (OARS ADL) questionnaire and the short-form Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE). Multiple linear regression was performed to determine if delirium etiology subtypes were associated with six-month function and cognition adjusted for baseline OARS ADL and IQCODE. Two-factor interactions were incorporated to determine pre-illness function or cognition-modified relationships between delirium subtypes and six-month function and cognition.
In patients with poorer pre-illness function only, delirium secondary to metabolic disturbance (β coefficient = −2.9 points, 95%CI: −0.3 to −5.6) and organ dysfunction (β coefficient = −4.3 points, 95%CI: −7.2 to −1.4) was significantly associated with poorer six-month function. In patients with intact cognition only, delirium secondary to central nervous system insults was significantly associated with poorer cognition (β coefficient = 0.69, 95%CI: 0.19 to 1.20).
Delirium is heterogeneous and different etiologies may have different prognostic implications. Furthermore, the effect of these delirium etiologies on outcome may be dependent on the patient's pre-illness functional status and cognition.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
Amorphous TiO2 and SnO2 electron transport layers (ETLs) were deposited by low-temperature atomic layer deposition (ALD). Surface morphology and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicate uniform and pinhole free coverage of these ALD hole blocking layers. Both mesoporous and planar perovskite solar cells were fabricated based on these thin films with aperture areas of 1.04 cm2 for TiO2 and 0.09 cm2 and 0.70 cm2 for SnO2. The resulting cell performance of 18.3 % power conversion efficiency (PCE) using planar SnO2 on 0.09 cm2 and 15.3 % PCE using mesoporous TiO2 on 1.04 cm2 active areas are discussed in conjunction with the significance of growth parameters and ETL composition.