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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.
Lithium-ion capacitors (LICs) and Hybrid LICs (H-LICs) were assembled as three-layered pouch cells in an asymmetric configuration employing Faradaic pre-lithiated hard carbon anodes and non-Faradaic ion adsorption-desorption activated carbon (AC) cathodes for LICs and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4-LFP)/AC composite cathodes for H-LICs. The room temperature rate performance was evaluated after the initial LIC and H-LIC cell formation as a function of the electrolyte additives. The capacity retention was measured after charging at high temperature conditions, while the design factor explored was electrolyte additive formulation, with a focus on their stability. The high temperature potential holds simulate electrochemical energy materials under extreme environments and act to accelerate the failure mechanisms associated with cell degradation to determine robust electrolyte/additive combinations.
There is an increasing need for integrating high dielectric constant ceramic thin film components in organic and 3D IC packages to lower the power-supply impedance at high frequencies and supply noise-free power to the ICs. Sol-gel approach is very attractive for high density capacitors because of its ability to precisely control the composition of the films and the ease of introducing dopants to engineer the dielectric properties such as breakdown voltages and DC leakage characteristics. Thin films on copper foils lend themselves to organic package integration with standard foil lamination techniques used in package build-up processes. However, fabrication of thin film barium titanate on copper foils is generally affected by process incompatibility during crystallization in reducing atmospheres, leading to poor crystallization, oxygen vacancies and copper diffusion through the film that degrades the electrical properties.
This paper focuses on the dielectric properties and electrical reliability of thin films on copper foils. Thin film (300-400 nm) embedded capacitors with capacitance density of 2 μF/cm2, low leakage current and high breakdown voltage were fabricated via sol-gel technology and foil lamination. To lower the leakage current, the chemical composition was altered by incorporating – 1.) Excess barium 2.) Acceptor dopants such as Mn. Both approaches lowered the leakage current compared to that of pure barium titanate. SEM analysis showed enhanced densification and refined grain structure with chemistry modification. The films showed good stability in leakage currents at 150 C with an applied field strength of 100 kV/cm, demonstrating the electrical reliability of these films.
The unsteady dynamics of wall-mounted flexible plates under inclined flows was fundamentally described using theoretical arguments and experiments under various Cauchy numbers
is the fluid density,
are the plate width and length,
is the incoming velocity,
is Young’s modulus and
is the second moment of the area) and inclination angles
. Three-dimensional particle tracking velocimetry and a high-resolution force sensor were used to characterize the evolution of the plate dynamics and aerodynamic force. We show the existence of three distinctive, dominant modes of tip oscillations, which are modulated by the structure dynamic and flow instability. The first mode is characterized by small-amplitude, planar fluttering-like motions occurring under a critical Cauchy number,
. Past this condition, the motions are dominated by the second mode consisting of unsteady twisting superimposed onto the fluttering patterns. The onset of this mode is characterized by a sharp increase of the force fluctuation intensity. At sufficiently high
, the plate may undergo a third mode given by large-scale tip orbits about the mean bending. Using the equation of motion and first-order approximations, we propose a formulation to estimate
as a function of
; it exhibits solid agreement with experiments.
Subcutaneous immunotherapy is an effective and safe treatment for allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma. Different symptom scores are used to evaluate the efficacy of subcutaneous immunotherapy in clinical trials.
A total of 58 allergic rhinitis patients sensitised to house dust mites, with or without mild asthma, were included. Symptom score, medication score, visual analogue scale score and quality of life were assessed before and after 6, 12 and 24 months of subcutaneous immunotherapy.
After two years of subcutaneous immunotherapy, asthma symptom scores nearly reached zero, whereas the scores remained higher for nasal symptoms. The changes in asthma symptom scores were markedly different (p < 0.05) and occurred faster than the changes in nasal symptom scores when compared between monosensitised and polysensitised groups. Significant reductions in visual analogue scale score and medication score were demonstrated after subcutaneous immunotherapy.
Two-year subcutaneous immunotherapy with house dust mite vaccine is an effective treatment for both monosensitised and polysensitised allergic patients. The changes in asthma symptom scores were markedly different and occurred quicker than the changes in nasal symptom scores in Chinese house dust mite allergic patients.
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.
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.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is doing research and development in the field of megawatt-class radio frequency (RF) sources (gyrotrons) for the Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ECRH) systems of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and the DEMOnstration Fusion Power Plant that will follow ITER. In the focus is the development and verification of the European coaxial-cavity gyrotron technology which shall lead to gyrotrons operating at an RF output power significantly larger than 1 MW CW and at an operating frequency above 200 GHz. A major step into that direction is the final verification of the European 170 GHz 2 MW coaxial-cavity pre-prototype at longer pulses up to 1 s. It bases on the upgrade of an already existing highly modular short-pulse (ms-range) pre-prototype. That pre-prototype has shown a world record output power of 2.2 MW already. This paper summarizes briefly the already achieved experimental results using the short-pulse pre-prototype and discusses in detail the design and manufacturing process of the upgrade of the pre-prototype toward longer pulses up to 1 s.
The magnetization configuration of a novel nano-chessboard structure consisting of L10 and L12 phases in a Co40Pt60 alloy is investigated using Lorentz transmission electron microscopy (LTEM) and micro-magnetic simulations. We show high-resolution LTEM images of nano-size magnetic features acquired through spherical aberration correction in Lorentz Fresnel mode. Phase reconstructions and LTEM image simulations are carried out to fully understand the magnetic microstructure. The experimental Fresnel images of the nano-chessboard structure show zig-zag shaped magnetic domain walls at the inter-phase boundaries between L10 and L12 phases. A circular magnetization distribution with vortex and anti-vortex type arrangement is evident in the phase reconstructed magnetic induction maps as well as simulated maps. The magnetic contrast in experimental LTEM images is interpreted with the help of magnetic induction maps simulated for various relative electron beam-sample orientations inside the TEM.
In the current intensive production system, ruminants are often fed high-grain (HG) diets. However, this feeding pattern often causes rumen metabolic disorders and may further trigger laminitis, the exact mechanism is not clear. This study investigated the effect of HG diet feeding on fermentative and microbial changes in the rumen and on the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the lamellar tissue. In all, 12 male goats were fed a hay diet (0% grain; n=6) or an HG diet (56.5% grain; n=6). On day 50 of treatment, samples of blood, rumen content, and lamellar tissue of hooves of goats were collected. The data showed that compared with the hay group, HG-fed goats had lower (P<0.05) rumen pH but higher (P<0.05) total volatile fatty acids and lactate in the rumen and higher (P<0.05) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels in the rumen and blood. HG diet feeding altered the composition of rumen bacterial community, and correspondingly, the results suggested that their functions in the HG group were also altered. HG diet feeding increased (P<0.05) the expression of interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-α and MMP-2 mRNA in the lamellar tissues compared with the hay group. Correlation analysis indicated that the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines were positively correlated with MMP-2 expression in lamellar tissues. Overall, these results revealed that HG feeding altered the patterns of rumen fermentation and the composition and functions of rumen bacterial community, and lead to higher levels of LPS in the peripheral blood, and further activated the inflammatory response in lamellar tissues, which may progress to the level of laminar damage.
Previously, the concept of Ply Drop Sequence (PDS) is introduced by the authors for the designing of composite laminated structures with multiple regions. Compared to deleting a contiguous innermost/outermost plies in the classical guide-based blending, using PDS is more flexible than dropping plies between adjacent regions. In this article, a new blending model called the Permutation for Panel Sequence (PPS) blending model is proposed to correct the problem of repeated searching of discrete points in the design space for the previous PDS blending model. The proposed method is also applied to an 18-panel horseshoe benchmark problem. The results demonstrate that the useful searching points in the PPS method are less than those in the PDS method when the number of the panels is less than the number of plies in the guide laminate, and the PPS method obtains a faster convergence speed compared with the PDS method.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a very effective technique for studying gene function and may be an efficient method for controlling pests. Trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS), which plays a key role in the synthesis of trehalose and insect development, was cloned in Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (TcTPS) and the putative functions were studied using RNAi via the injection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) corresponding to conserved TPS and trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase domains. Expression analyses show that TcTPS is expressed higher in the fat body, while quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction results show that the expression of four trehalase isoforms was significantly suppressed by dsTPS injection. Additionally, the expression of six chitin synthesis-related genes, such as hexokinase 2 and glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase, was suppressed at 48 and 72 h post-dsTPS-1 and dsTPS-2 RNA injection, which were two dsTPS fragments that had been designed for two different locations in TcTPS open reading frame, and that trehalose content and trehalase 1 activity decreased significantly at 72 h post-dsRNA injection. Furthermore, T. castaneum injected with dsTPS-1 and dsTPS-2 RNA displayed significantly lower levels of chitin and could not complete the molting process from larvae to pupae, revealing abnormal molting phenotypes. These results demonstrate that silencing TPS gene leads to molting deformities and high mortality rates via regulation of gene expression in the chitin biosynthetic pathway, and may be a promising approach for pest control in the future.
Comparison of the terminus locations of Rongbuk Glacier, Mount Everest, measured in 1966 and 1997 shows that in the past 30 years the glacier has retreated 170–270 m equivalent to a retreat speed of 5.5–8.7 m a–1 . During summer 1997, a 15 m firn core was recovered from Dasuopu glacier (28°23’ N, 85°44’ E; 7000 m a.s.D on the northwest margin of Xixabangma Feng, Xizang (Tibet). The seasonal variations of δ18O values in the core indicate that monsoon signals are clearly recorded in the glacier. δ18O values are controlled by the amount effect in the monsoon season; more negative δ18O is representative of the monsoon season in snow layers. Analysis of the relationship between ice-core δ18O, sampled from 6500 m a.s.l. on the north side of Mount Everest, and instrumental series representing regional-scale precipitation, atmospheric circulation and temperature suggests a change in the relative influence of these parameters on δ18O since the 1940s. The results of the comparison add to and lengthen the sparse array of instrument data available for the Tibetan (Qinghai-Xizang) Plateau and demonstrate a recent decline in moisture flux for at least the southern part of the plateau. Glacier retreat, associated with a recent increase in temperature in the region, is coincident with this period of decreased moisture flux.
The radial velocity of a pulsar induces the Doppler effect on its intrinsic spin properties. In particular, it can generate a contribution to the frequency second derivative. We estimated this effect for each of the International Pulsar Timing Array pulsars. We also assessed the possibility of measuring the frequency second derivative in the observational data.
The Korean VLBI Network (KVN) is a unique millimeter VLBI system which is consisted of three 21 m telescopes with relatively short baselines. We present the preliminary results of simultaneous monitoring observations of the 22.2 GHz H2O and 43.1/42.8/86.2/129.3 GHz SiO masers based on the KVN Key Science Project (KSP). We obtained the astrometrically registered maps of the H2O and SiO masers toward nine evolved stars using the source frequency phase referencing method (SFPR). The SFPR maps of the H2O and SiO masers enabled us to investigate the spatial structure and kinematics from the SiO to H2O maser regions including the development of an outward motion from the ring-like or elliptical structures of SiO masers to the asymmetric structures of the 22.2 GHz H2O maser features. In particular, the 86.2/129.3 GHz SiO (v=1, J=2–1 and J=3–2) masers were clearly imaged toward several objects for the first time. The SiO v=1, J=3–2 maser shows different distributions compared to those of the SiO v=1, 2, J=1–0 and v=1, J=2–1 masers implying a different physical condition.
To investigate lung function in Chinese patients suffering from chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps and examine its association with histopathological features.
The lung function of 99 patients with nasal polyps was measured. Haematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemistry staining were performed to evaluate any inflammatory cells and epithelial tissue remodelling.
Predicted maximal expiratory flow rate at 25 per cent vital capacity was reduced (p < 0.05) in epithelial hyperplasia, and predicted maximal expiratory flow rate at 50 per cent vital capacity was reduced (p < 0.05) in goblet cell hyperplasia. Both peripheral blood eosinophilia and tissue eosinophilia nasal polyps manifested significantly reduced: forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity ratio, predicted maximal expiratory flow rate at 25, 50 and 75 per cent of vital capacity, and predicted maximal mid-expiratory flow. Peripheral blood eosinophils were negatively correlated with predicted maximal expiratory flow rate at 25 and 50 per cent of vital capacity, and predicted maximal mid-expiratory flow. Eosinophils in tissue were negatively correlated with all lung function parameters investigated except predicted forced vital capacity.
Clinicians should be aware of lung function decline in nasal polyps patients, especially in those with tissue eosinophilia.
The distinctive pitching of hinged splitters in the trailing edge of elliptic cylinders was experimentally studied at various angles of attack (
) of the cylinder, Reynolds numbers, splitter lengths, aspect ratios (
) of the cylinder and freestream turbulence levels. High-resolution telemetry and hotwire anemometry were used to characterize and gain insight on the dynamics of splitters and wake flow. Results show that the motions of the splitters contain various dominating modes, e.g.
, which are induced by the mean flow and wake dynamics. High background turbulence dampens the coherence of the regular vortex shedding leading to negligible
. For a sufficiently long splitter, namely twice the semimajor axis of the cylinder, dual vortex shedding mode exists close to the leading and trailing edges of the splitter. In general, the splitters oscillate around an equilibrium position nearly parallel to the mean direction of the flow; however, a skewed equilibrium is also possible with a strong recirculation region. This is the case with cylinders of low
, where higher lift and drag occurs. Flow measurements at various transverse locations within the wake of the cylinder–splitter system indicate that the signature of the low-frequency splitter pitching is shifted in the wake in the cases with non-zero
of the cylinder. Although the splitter pitching exhibits two dominant vortex shedding modes in various configurations, only the higher frequency is transmitted to the wake.
Varicella–zoster virus (VZV) infection (chickenpox) results in latency and subsequent reactivation manifests as shingles. Effective attenuated vaccines (vOka) are available for prevention of both illnesses. In this study, an amplicon-based sequencing method capable of differentiating between VZV wild-type (wt) strains and vOka vaccine is described. A total of 44 vesicular fluid specimens collected from 43 patients (16 from China and 27 from the UK) with either chickenpox or shingles were investigated, of which 10 had received previous vaccination. Four sets of polymerase chain reactions were set up simultaneously with primers amplifying regions encompassing four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), ‘69349-106262-107252-108111’. Nucleotide sequences were generated by Sanger sequencing. All samples except one had a wt SNP profile of ‘A-T-T-T’. The sample collected from a patient who received vaccine 7–10 days ago, along with VZV vaccine preparations, Zostavax and Baike-varicella gave a SNP profile ‘G-C-C-C’. The results show that this method can distinguish vaccine-derived virus from wt viruses from main four clades, (clades 1–4) and should be of utility worldwide.