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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.
To assess the diagnostic role of mean platelet volume in tonsillitis with and without peritonsillar abscess.
Mean platelet volume and other laboratory data were retrospectively investigated.
Mean platelet volume was significantly lower in the tonsillitis group (7.8 per cent ± 0.7 per cent) than in the control group (8.7 per cent ± 0.6 per cent; p < 0.0001), and it was significantly lower in the abscess group (7.5 per cent ± 0.6 per cent) than in the no abscess group (8.0 per cent ± 0.7 per cent; p = 0.0277). White blood cell counts and C-reactive protein levels were not significantly different between patients with an abscess and those without. The mean platelet volume cut-off values for the diagnosis of tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess were 7.95 fl and 7.75 fl, respectively.
Our results suggest that a decreased mean platelet volume is associated with the development and severity of tonsillitis. This finding provides useful diagnostic information for physicians treating patients with tonsillitis.
Three-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging has been used to detect alterations in the composition of inner-ear fluid. This study investigated the association between hearing level and the signal intensity of pre- and post-contrast three-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging in patients with sudden-onset sensorineural hearing loss.
Three-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 18 patients with sudden-onset sensorineural hearing loss: 12 patients with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss (baseline hearing levels of 60 dB or less) and 6 patients with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss (baseline hearing levels of more than 60 dB).
High-intensity signals in the inner ear were observed in two of the six patients (33 per cent) with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss, but not in those with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss (mid-p test, p = 0.049). These signals were observed on magnetic resonance imaging scans 6 or 18 days after sensorineural hearing loss onset.
The results indicate that three-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging is not a useful tool for detecting inner-ear abnormalities in patients with mild sensorineural hearing loss.
Atomic-resolution structural and spectroscopic characterization techniques (scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy) are combined with nanoscale electrical measurements (conductive atomic force microscopy) to study at the atomic scale the properties of graphene grown epitaxially through the controlled graphitisation of Si-face and C-face hexagonal SiC(0001) substrates by high temperature annealing. A scanning transmission electron microscopy analysis, carried out at 60KeV of beam energy, below the knock-on threshold for carbon to ensure no damage is imparted to the film by the electron beam, demonstrates that the buffer layer present on the planar SiC(0001) Si-face delaminates from it on the (11-2n) facets of SiC surface steps, In addition, electron energy loss spectroscopy reveals that the delaminated layer has a similar electronic configuration to purely sp2-hybridized graphene. A thin amorphous film is found on the C-face, instead, which strongly suppresses epitaxy with the SiC substrate. Structurally, the amorphous area is inhomgeneous, as its Si-concentration gradually decreases while approaching the first graphene layer, which is purely sp2-hybridized. Based on these features, we discuss differences and similarities between the C-only buffer layer that forms on the Si-face of SiC with respect to the thicker C/Si amorphous film of the C-face.