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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.
Understanding the critical time of weed removal (CTWR) is necessary for designing effective weed management programs in popcorn production that do not result in yield reduction. The objective of this study was to determine the CTWR in popcorn with and without a premix of atrazine and S-metolachlor applied PRE. Field experiments were conducted at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center, NE in 2017 and 2018. The experiment was laid out in a split-plot design with PRE herbicide as the main plot and weed removal timing as the subplot. Main plots included no herbicide or atrazine/S-metolachlor applied PRE. Subplot treatments included a weed-free control, a non-treated control, and weed removal timing at V3, V6, V9, V15, and R1 popcorn growth stages and then kept weed free throughout the season. A four-parameter log-logistic function was fitted to percentage popcorn yield loss and growing degree days separately to each main plot. The number of growing degree days, when 5% yield loss was achieved, was extracted from the model and compared between main plots. The CTWR was from the V4 to V5 popcorn growth stage in absence of PRE herbicide. With atrazine/S-metolachlor applied PRE, the CTWR was delayed until V10 to V15. It is concluded that, to avoid yield loss, weeds must be controlled before the V4 popcorn growth stage when no PRE herbicide is applied, and PRE herbicide, such as atrazine/S-metolachlor in this study, can delay the CTWR until the V10 growth stage.
Widespread and repeated use of glyphosate resulted in an increase in glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds. This led to an urgent need for diversification of weed control programs and use of PRE herbicides with alternative sites of action. Field experiments were conducted over a 4-yr period (2015 to 2018) across three locations in Nebraska to evaluate the effects of PRE-applied herbicides on critical time for weed removal (CTWR) in GR soybean. The studies were laid out in a split-plot arrangement with herbicide regime as the main plot and weed removal timing as the subplot. The herbicide regimes used were either no PRE or premix of either sulfentrazone plus imazethapyr (350 + 70 g ai ha−1) or saflufenacil plus imazethapyr plus pyroxasulfone (26 + 70 + 120 g ai ha−1). The weed removal timings were at V1, V3, V6, R2, and R5 soybean stages, with weed-free and weedy season-long checks. Weeds were removed by application of glyphosate (1,400 g ae ha−1) or by hoeing. The results across all years and locations suggested that the use of PRE herbicides delayed CTWR in soybean. In particular, the CTWR without PRE herbicides was determined to be around the V1 to V2 (14 to 21 d after emergence [DAE]) growth stage, depending on the location and weed pressure. The use of PRE-applied herbicides delayed CTWR from about the V4 (28 DAE) stage up to the R5 (66 DAE) stage. These results suggest that the use of PRE herbicides in GR soybean could delay the need for POST application of glyphosate by 2 to 5 wk, thereby reducing the need for multiple applications of glyphosate during the growing season. Additionally, the use of PRE herbicides could provide additional modes of action needed to manage GR weeds in GR soybean.
Understanding how plants alter their growth in response to interplant competition is an overlooked but complex problem. Previous studies have characterized the effect of light and water stress on soybean or common ragweed growth in monoculture, but no study has characterized soybean and common ragweed growth in mixture. A field study was conducted in 2015 and 2016 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to characterize the growth response of soybean and common ragweed with different irrigation levels and intraspecific and interspecific interference. The experiment was arranged in a split-plot design with irrigation level (0, 50%, 100% replacement of simulated evapotranspiration) as the main plot and common ragweed density (0, 2, 6, 12 plants m−1 row) as the subplot. Crop- and weed-free controls and three mixture treatments were included as subplots. Periodic destructive samples of leaf area and biomass of different organ groups were collected, and leaf area index (LAI), aboveground biomass partitioning, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf area ratio (LAR) were calculated. Additionally, soybean and common ragweed yield were harvested, and 100-seed weight and seed production were determined. Soybean did not alter biomass partitioning, SLA, or LAR in mixture with common ragweed. Soybean LAI, biomass, and seed size were affected by increasing common ragweed density. Conversely, common ragweed partitioned less new biomass to leaves and increased SLA in response to increased interference. Common ragweed LAI, biomass, and seed number were reduced by the presence of soybean and increasing common ragweed density; however, seed weight was not affected. Results show that adjustment in biomass partitioning, SLA, and LAR is not the method that soybean uses to remain plastic under competition for light. Common ragweed demonstrated plasticity in both biomass partitioning and SLA, indicating an ability to maintain productivity under intra- and inter-specific competition for light or soil resources.
Blood samples from normal and Plasmodium berghei infected mice are being analyzed for trace elements by charged particle induced x-rays. Approximately 0.25 ml of the sample (whole blood, washed red cells, or plasma) is dry ashed. The ashes are mounted on a 0.003 inch Kapton foil. The analysis is performed by bombardment of the samples by a beam of 2.0 MeV protons and detection of the characteristic x-rays by a 175-eV-resolution lithium-drifted silicon detector. The data are analyzed by an on-line PDP-9 computer-based data acquisition system. Results indicate an increase in the K, Ca, Cu, and Zn per unit volume of the red cells of the malaria infected mice relative to the amounts measured for uninfected blood, and a decrease in the K, Ca, and Fe and an increase in the Cu per unit volume in the plasma of the infected mice.
All published accounts of the use of Bond's method for lattice parameter measurements have used step-scanning (at equal angle increments) of the diffraction peaks, followed by graphical or computer analysis of the data to locate the peak positions. It has been found that the peaks angles can be determined with little loss in accuracy or precision by manually setting the crystal angle to give a counting rate (observed on a rate-meter) equal to l/2 the peak rate and defining- the peak angle as the average of the angles on the two sides of the peak. Because of the asymmetry of the spectral line, defining the peak in this manner results in a shift of the peak angle from that determined by the mid-chord peak method. This shift can be compensated by determining an effective value of the wavelength based on a silicon standard. Using the method described, a lattice parameter measurement, including mounting and orienting the sample, taking the data and computing the result using a time-sharing computer terminal, can be made in less than 20 mins.
SNP in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene is associated with risk of lower respiratory infections. The influence of genetic variation in the vitamin D pathway resulting in susceptibility to upper respiratory infections (URI) has not been investigated. We evaluated the influence of thirty-three SNP in eleven vitamin D pathway genes (DBP, DHCR7, RXRA, CYP2R1, CYP27B1, CYP24A1, CYP3A4, CYP27A1, LRP2, CUBN and VDR) resulting in URI risk in 725 adults in London, UK, using an additive model with adjustment for potential confounders and correction for multiple comparisons. Significant associations in this cohort were investigated in a validation cohort of 737 children in Manchester, UK. In all, three SNP in VDR (rs4334089, rs11568820 and rs7970314) and one SNP in CYP3A4 (rs2740574) were associated with risk of URI in the discovery cohort after adjusting for potential confounders and correcting for multiple comparisons (adjusted incidence rate ratio per additional minor allele ≥1·15, Pfor trend ≤0·030). This association was replicated for rs4334089 in the validation cohort (Pfor trend=0·048) but not for rs11568820, rs7970314 or rs2740574. Carriage of the minor allele of the rs4334089 SNP in VDR was associated with increased susceptibility to URI in children and adult cohorts in the United Kingdom.
The confinement of heat in the core of a magnetic fusion reactor is optimised using a multidimensional optimisation algorithm. For the first time in such a study, the loss of heat due to turbulence is modelled at every stage using first-principles nonlinear simulations which accurately capture the turbulent cascade and large-scale zonal flows. The simulations utilise a novel approach, with gyrofluid treatment of the small-scale drift waves and gyrokinetic treatment of the large-scale zonal flows. A simple near-circular equilibrium with standard parameters is chosen as the initial condition. The figure of merit, fusion power per unit volume, is calculated, and then two control parameters, the elongation and triangularity of the outer flux surface, are varied, with the algorithm seeking to optimise the chosen figure of merit. A twofold increase in the plasma power per unit volume is achieved by moving to higher elongation and strongly negative triangularity.
Samples taken from the Dome C ice core, Antarctica, and the GRIP ice core, Greenland, are examined using the scanning electron microscope to determine their microstructure. In both cores, samples are taken from two differing climatic periods: the Holocene and the last glacial period. Many of the usual features observed in similar samples under the light microscope are observed, including: bubbles, grain boundaries and clathrate hydrates. Features not resolvable using the light microscope are also found. Dust particles are found in situ. Eighty-five per cent of those observed contained silicon, which was generally associated with aluminium and magnesium. An estimation is made of the relative proportions of dust particles located at grain boundaries and in the bulk of the ice grain. At Dome C a higher proportion than expected from a random distribution of particles was found located at grain boundaries, although in Greenland this was not found to be the case for most samples. Direct evidence is also presented indicating the role of dust particles and microscopical inclusions in impeding or ``pinning’’ grain-boundary migration. Soluble impurities are also detected at some triple junctions and grain boundaries.
We report progress on a spectroscopic and photometric programme devoted to the study of the dynamics of O-F5 stars within 15° of the North and South Galactic Poles. The aims of the programme are to test dynamical and chemical evolution models of the Galaxy by establishing velocity dispersions as a function of z-distance for stars of different population groups. We are also able to investigate the interstellar reddening at the poles and the kinematic properties of apparently normal early-type stars found more than 1 kpc from the galactic plane.
Spring tillage is a component of an integrated weed management strategy for control of early emerging glyphosate-resistant weeds such as common ragweed; however, the effect of tillage on common ragweed emergence pattern is unknown. The objectives of this study were to evaluate whether spring tillage during emergence would influence the emergence pattern or stimulate additional emergence of common ragweed and to characterize common ragweed emergence in southeast Nebraska. A field experiment was conducted for three years (2014 to 2016) in Gage County, Nebraska in a field naturally infested with glyphosate-resistant common ragweed. Treatments consisted of a no-tillage control and three spring tillage timings. The Soil Temperature and Moisture Model (STM2) software was used to estimate soil temperature and moisture at a 2-cm depth. The Weibull function was fit to total common ragweed emergence (%) with day of year (DOY), thermal time, and hydrothermal time as independent variables. Tillage treatments and year had no effect on total common ragweed emergence (P=0.88 and 0.35, respectively) and time to 10, 25, 50, 75, and 90% emergence (P=0.31). However, emergence pattern was affected by year (P=<0.001) with 50% total emergence reached on May 5 in 2014, April 20 in 2015, and April 2 in 2016 and 90% total emergence reached on May 12, 2014, May 8, 2015, and April 30, 2016. According to the corrected information-theoretic model comparison criterion (AICc), the Weibull function with thermal time and base temperature of 3 C best explained the emergence pattern over three years. This study concludes that spring tillage does not stimulate additional emergence; therefore, after the majority of the common ragweed has emerged and before the crop has been planted, tillage could be used as an effective component of an integrated glyphosate-resistant common ragweed management program in Nebraska.
Capturing service users’ perspectives can highlight additional and different concerns to those of clinicians, but there are no up to date, self-report psychometrically sound measures of side effects of antipsychotic medications.
To develop a psychometrically sound measure to identify antipsychotic side effects important to service users, the Maudsley Side Effects (MSE) measure.
An initial item bank was subjected to a Delphi exercise (n = 9) with psychiatrists and pharmacists, followed by service user focus groups and expert panels (n = 15) to determine item relevance and language. Feasibility and comprehensive psychometric properties were established in two samples (N43 and N50). We investigated whether we could predict the three most important side effects for individuals from their frequency, severity and life impact.
MSE is a 53-item measure with good reliability and validity. Poorer mental and physical health, but not psychotic symptoms, was related to side-effect burden. Seventy-nine percent of items were chosen as one of the three most important effects. Severity, impact and distress only predicted ‘putting on weight’ which was more distressing, more severe and had more life impact in those for whom it was most important.
MSE is a self-report questionnaire that identifies reliably the side-effect burden as experienced by patients. Identifying key side effects important to patients can act as a starting point for joint decision making on the type and the dose of medication.
The study aims to assess whether supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 (HN001) can reduce the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled parallel trial was conducted in New Zealand (NZ) (Wellington and Auckland). Pregnant women with a personal or partner history of atopic disease were randomised at 14–16 weeks’ gestation to receive HN001 (6×109 colony-forming units) (n 212) or placebo (n 211) daily. GDM at 24–30 weeks was assessed using the definition of the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) (fasting plasma glucose ≥5·1 mmol/l, or 1 h post 75 g glucose level at ≥10 mmol/l or at 2 h ≥8·5 mmol/l) and NZ definition (fasting plasma glucose ≥5·5 mmol/l or 2 h post 75 g glucose at ≥9 mmol/l). All analyses were intention-to-treat. A total of 184 (87 %) women took HN001 and 189 (90 %) women took placebo. There was a trend towards lower relative rates (RR) of GDM (IADPSG definition) in the HN001 group, 0·59 (95 % CI 0·32, 1·08) (P=0·08). HN001 was associated with lower rates of GDM in women aged ≥35 years (RR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·12, 0·81, P=0·009) and women with a history of GDM (RR 0·00; 95 % CI 0·00, 0·66, P=0·004). These rates did not differ significantly from those of women without these characteristics. Using the NZ definition, GDM prevalence was significantly lower in the HN001 group, 2·1 % (95 % CI 0·6, 5·2), v. 6·5 % (95 % CI 3·5, 10·9) in the placebo group (P=0·03). HN001 supplementation from 14 to 16 weeks’ gestation may reduce GDM prevalence, particularly among older women and those with previous GDM.
Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013–2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder. The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward. Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies. Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.
Whole apples have not been previously implicated in outbreaks of foodborne bacterial illness. We investigated a nationwide listeriosis outbreak associated with caramel apples. We defined an outbreak-associated case as an infection with one or both of two outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes highly related by whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST) from 1 October 2014 to 1 February 2015. Single-interviewer open-ended interviews identified the source. Outbreak-associated cases were compared with non-outbreak-associated cases and traceback and environmental investigations were performed. We identified 35 outbreak-associated cases in 12 states; 34 (97%) were hospitalized and seven (20%) died. Outbreak-associated ill persons were more likely to have eaten commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples (odds ratio 326·7, 95% confidence interval 32·2–3314). Environmental samples from the grower's packing facility and distribution-chain whole apples yielded isolates highly related to outbreak isolates by wgMLST. This outbreak highlights the importance of minimizing produce contamination with L. monocytogenes. Investigators should perform single-interviewer open-ended interviews when a food is not readily identified.
Improving neurocognitive outcomes following treatment for brain metastases have become increasingly important. We propose that a brief telephone-based neurocognitive assessment may improve follow-up cognitive assessments in this palliative population. Aim: To prospectively assess the feasibility and reliability of a telephone based brief neurocognitive assessment compared to the same tests delivered face-to-face. Methods: Brain metastases patients to be treated with whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) were assessed using a brief validated neurocognitive battery at baseline, at 1 month and 3 months following WBRT (in person and over the phone). The primary outcome was feasibility and inter-procedural (in person versus telephone) reliability. The secondary objective was to evaluate the change in neurocognitive function before and after WBRT. Results: Out of 39 patients enrolled, 82% of patients completed the baseline in-person and telephone neurocognitive assessments. However, at 1 month, only 41% of enrolled patients completed the in-person and telephone cognitive assessments and at 3 months, only 10% of patients completed them. Results pertaining to reliability and change in neurocognitive function will be updated. Conclusion: The pre-defined definition of feasibility (at least 80% completion for face to face and telephone neurocognitive assessments) was met at baseline. However, a large proportion of participants did not complete either telephone or in person neurocognitive follow-up at 1 month and at 3 months post-WBRT. Attrition remained a challenge for neurocognitive testing in this population even when a telephone-based brief assessment was used.
The amplification of a seed magnetic field by the hydrodynamic behavior of a disk galaxy is an important and challenging problem. We present our initial work on a numerical simulation of the amplification of such a field to large scales and its subsequent evolution. The computations will be carried out using a 3-D magnetohydrodynamic code.
This article explores the three-dimensional flow structure of a streamwise-oriented vortex incident on a finite aspect-ratio wing. The vertical positioning of the incident vortex relative to the wing is shown to have a significant impact on the unsteady flow structure. A direct impingement of the streamwise vortex produces a spiralling instability in the vortex just upstream of the leading edge, reminiscent of the helical instability modes of a Batchelor vortex. A small negative vertical offset develops a more pronounced instability while a positive vertical offset removes the instability altogether. These differences in vertical position are a consequence of the upstream influence of pressure gradients provided by the wing. Direct impingement or a negative vertical offset subject the vortex to an adverse pressure gradient that leads to a reduced axial velocity and diminished swirl conducive to hydrodynamic instability. Conversely, a positive vertical offset removes instability by placing the streamwise vortex in line with a favourable pressure gradient, thereby enhancing swirl and inhibiting the growth of unstable modes. In every case, the helical instability only occurs when the properties of the incident vortex fall within the instability threshold predicted by linear stability theory. The influence of pressure gradients associated with separation and stall downstream also have the potential to introduce suction-side instabilities for a positive vertical offset. The influence of the wing is more severe for larger vortices and diminishes with vortex size due to weaker interaction and increased viscous stability. Helical instability is not the only possible outcome in a direct impingement. Jet-like vortices and a higher swirl ratio in wake-like vortices can retain stability upon impact, resulting in the laminar vortex splitting over either side of the wing.