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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.
Apatite-type materials AI4AII6(BO4)6X2 have two unique cations sites AI and AII, which can host large mono-, di- tri- and tetra-valent cations. The average cation radii will affect the twist angle and lattice constants. However, there are few reports on the influence of B site substitutions on the twist angle and lattice parameters. It is believed that the lattice constant variation as a function of B site substitutions may not follow the same twist-angle model as proposed for A site. This work reports our results on the crystal chemistry of synthetic apatite Ca10(VxP1−xO4)6F2 obtained through the crystal structure characterization using Rietveld refinement and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The quantification of vanadium/phosphorus partitioning in BO4 tetrahedra showed that equilibrium with more than 70% substitution of phosphorous by vanadium was difficult to achieve unless longer annealing (about 1 week at 900 °C) was employed. In comparison with the apatites with different ionic radii at AI and AII sites, Ca10(VxP1−xO4)6F2 apatites with different ionic radii at B site show little twist angle variation for the whole series, which indicates that the dilation of unit cell constants is mainly because of the expansions of BO4 tetrahedra when A site cation is fixed.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is a promising method for bone tissue engineering applications. For enhanced bone regeneration, it is important to have printable ink materials with appealing properties such as construct interconnectivity, mechanical strength, controlled degradation rates, and the presence of bioactive materials. In this respect, we develop a composite ink composed of polycaprolactone (PCL), poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), and hydroxyapatite particles (HAps) and 3D print it into porous constructs. In vitro study revealed that composite constructs had higher mechanical properties, surface roughness, quicker degradation profile, and cellular behaviors compared to PCL counterparts. Furthermore, in vivo results showed that 3D-printed composite constructs had a positive influence on bone regeneration due to the presence of newly formed mineralized bone tissue and blood vessel formation. Therefore, 3D printable ink made of PCL/PLGA/HAp can be a highly useful material for 3D printing of bone tissue constructs.
We report on a novel processing route to prepare La0.8Ce0.2(Fe0.95Co0.05)11.8Si1.2/Cu bulk composites by low-temperature hot pressing. With increasing copper content, the compressive strength of the composites first decrease and then increase owing to the buffering effect of copper, but the magnetocaloric effect reduces to some extent. Copper addition improves the thermal conductivity of the composites, which compensates for the decrease in thermal conductivity due to porosity. A relatively large entropy change of 5.75–7.19 J/(kg K) at 2 T near the Curie temperature (249 K), good thermal conductivity of 7.51–15.55 W/(m·K), and improved compressive strength of 151.1–248.0 MPa make these composites attractive magnetic refrigeration materials.
Nitrogen (N) application and irrigation to winter wheat may decrease leaf temperature and enhance photosynthesis: as a result, more photosynthates will be allocated to the grains, resulting in higher grain yields. To investigate this hypothesis, a 2-year field study was conducted with three levels of N fertilizer application (no fertilizer, N0; 240 kg N/ha, N1; 360 kg N/ha, N2) and two different water regimes (rainfed with no irrigation, R; irrigation at the over-wintering, stem elongation and grain filling stages, W). The results show that both N application and supplemental irrigation significantly increased grain yield with increases in both grain number/m2 and the 1000-grain weight, viz., WN2>WN1>WN0>RN2>RN1>RN0. In addition, application of N under both water regimes significantly increased flag leaf area, above-ground biomass and single stem productivity and decreased leaf temperature, which led to an increase in net photosynthesis rates and ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylase activity. Moreover, analysis of the chlorophyll α fluorescence transient showed that N fertilizer application and supplemental irrigation significantly increased electron donor and acceptor performance of the photosystem II reaction centre.
Suicide-related behaviours are common in schizophrenia and are significantly associated with premature death. The objective of this meta-analysis study was to estimate the pooled prevalence of suicide-related behaviours in schizophrenia patients in China.
The relevant literature was searched systematically via the relevant electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Databases and Chinese Biological Medical Literature Database) from their inception until 14 September 2016. Only original studies that reported the prevalence of suicide-related behaviours including suicidal ideation (SI), suicide plan, suicide attempt (SA) and completed suicide were selected.
Nineteen articles met the inclusion criteria and were analysed. The pooled lifetime prevalence of SI and SA were 25.8% (95% CI 14.7–41.1%) and 14.6% (95% CI 9.1–22.8%), respectively. The 1-month prevalence of SI was 22.0% (95% CI 18.2–26.4%). Subgroup analyses of lifetime SI and SA showed that gender, sample size, survey year, study location and source of patients have no significant mediating effects on the results.
Suicide-related behaviours are common in Chinese schizophrenia patients. Due to the high mortality risk, regular screening and effective suicide prevention programmes are warranted.
The compact steep spectrum radio sources, 3C119, 3C287 and 3C343, are identified with QSO'S of redshift 0.46, 1.055 and 0.988 and visual magnitude 20.0, 17.7 and 20.6 respectively. The overall physical extent of each source is −500 pc (Fanti et al. 1985, 1986). Here we present the results of new global VLBI 18 cm observations which have been combined with MERLIN data to improve the U-V coverage. The data were mapped using the CALTECH and AIPS software packages and also using OLAF software system developed in Jodrell Bank for 3C119 and 3C343.
A large fraction of sources in flux limited radio samples consists of compact steep spectrum (CSS) sources (Fanti et al. 1987). These objects have their dominant emission on kiloparsec scales and are found in a variety of active galaxies, including Seyfert II's, peculiar galaxies and quasars. Observations of very nearby CSS sources have shown good correlations between their complex radio structures and optical emission-line gas suggesting violent interactions between jets and dense gas in their ambient interstellar media (van Breugel et al. 1984). Similar jet/gas interactions may occur in more distant and more powerful CSS sources.
Much can be learned from terrestrial planets that appear to have had the potential to be habitable, but failed to realize that potential. Mars shows evidence of a once hospitable surface environment. The reasons for its current state, and in particular its thin atmosphere and dry surface, are of great interest for what they can tell us about habitable zone planet outcomes. A main goal of the MAVEN mission is to observe Mars’ atmosphere responses to solar and space weather influences, and in particular atmosphere escape related to space weather ‘storms’ caused by interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). Numerical experiments with a data-validated MHD model suggest how the effects of an observed moderately strong ICME compare to what happens during a more extreme event. The results suggest the kinds of solar and space weather conditions that can have evolutionary importance at a planet like Mars.
Maize in Canada is grown mainly in the south-eastern part of the country. No comprehensive studies on Canadian maize yield levels have been done so far to analyse the barriers of obtaining optimal yields associated with cultivar, environmental stress and agronomic management practices. The objective of the current study was to use a modelling approach to analyse the gaps between actual and potential (determined by cultivar, solar radiation and temperature without any other stresses) maize yields in Eastern Canada. The CSM–CERES–Maize model in DSSAT v4·6 was calibrated and evaluated with measured data of seven cultivars under different nitrogen (N) rates across four sites. The model was then used to simulate grain yield levels defined as: yield potential (YP), water-limited (YW, rainfed), and water- and N-limited yields with N rates 80 kg/ha (YW, N-80N) and 160 kg/ha (YW, N-160N). The options were assessed to further increase grain yield by analysing the yield gaps related to water and N deficiencies. The CSM–CERES–Maize model simulated the grain yields in the experiments well with normalized root-mean-squared errors <0·20. The model was able to capture yield variations associated with varying N rates, cultivar, soil type and inter-annual climate variability. The seven calibrated cultivars used in the experiments were divided into three grades according to their simulated YP: low, medium and high. The simulation results for the 30-year period from 1981 to 2010 showed that the average YP was 15 000 kg/ha for cultivars with high yield potential. The YP is generally about 6000 kg/ha greater than the actual yield (YA) at each experimental site in Eastern Canada. Two-thirds of this gap between YP and YA is probably associated with water stress, as a gap of approximately 4000 kg/ha between the YW and the YP was simulated. This gap may be reduced through crop management, such as introducing irrigation to improve the distribution of available water during the growing season. The simulated yields indicated a gap of about 3000 and 1000 kg/ha between YW and YW,N-80N for cultivars with high YP and low YP, respectively. The gap between YW and YW,N-160N decreased to <2000 kg/ha for high Yp cultivars with little difference for the low Yp cultivars. The different yield gaps among cultivars suggest that cultivars with high YP require high N rates but cultivars with low YP may need only low N rates.
The present study was undertaken to examine the effect of cow genetic merit on enteric methane (CH4) emission rate. The study used a data set from 32 respiration calorimeter studies undertaken at this Institute between 1992 and 2010, with all studies involving lactating Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. Cow genetic merit was defined as either profit index (PIN) or profitable lifetime index (PLI), with these two United Kingdom genetic indexes expressing the expected improvement in profit associated with an individual cow, compared with the population average. While PIN is based solely on milk production, PLI includes milk production and a number of other functional traits including health, fertility and longevity. The data set had a large range in PIN (n=736 records, −£30 to +£63) and PLI (n=548 records, −£131 to +£184), days in milk (18 to 354), energy corrected milk yield (16.0 to 45.6 kg/day) and CH4 emission (138 to 598 g/day). The effect of cow genetic merit (PIN or PLI) was evaluated using ANOVA and linear mixed modelling techniques after removing the effects of a number of animal and diet factors. The ANOVA was undertaken by dividing each data set of PIN and PLI into three sub-groups (PIN:<£3, £3 to £15 and >£15, PLI:<£23, £23 to £67 and >£67) with these being categorised as low, medium and high genetic merit. Within the PIN and PLI data sets there was no significant differences among the three sub-groups in terms of CH4 emission per kg feed intake or per kg energy corrected milk yield, or CH4 energy (CH4-E) output as a proportion of energy intake. Linear regression using the whole PIN and PLI data sets also demonstrated that there was no significant relationship between either PIN or PLI, and CH4 emission per kg of feed intake or CH4-E output as a proportion of energy intake. These results indicate that cow genetic merit (PIN or PLI) has little effect on enteric CH4 emissions as a proportion of feed intake. Instead enteric CH4 production may mainly relate to total feed intake and dietary nutrient composition.
In recent years, the effect of Toxoplasma gondii infection on the cerebrum and neuropsychiatric patients has been increasingly highlighted. However, there is limited information about the epidemiology of T. gondii infection in psychiatric patients in Shandong province, eastern China. Therefore, through a case-control study, 445 patients hospitalized for diacrisis or treatment in Weihai, eastern China, and 445 control subjects from the general population of the same region matched by gender, age, and residence were examined with enzyme-linked immunoassays for the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies to T. gondii and associated sociodemographic and behavioural characteristics in a population of psychiatric patients. Seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to T. gondii in psychiatric patients (77/445, 17·30%) was significantly higher than in control subjects (55/445, 12·36%) (P = 0·038). Fourteen (3·15%) psychiatric patients and 10 (2·25%) control subjects had IgM antibodies to T. gondii (P = 0·408). Multivariate analysis using logic regression showed that T. gondii infection was associated with cats at home and consumption of raw/undercooked meat in psychiatric patients. Considering that most psychiatric patients usually have lower cognitive functioning and additional transmission routes related to their inappropriate behaviours that could enhance the risk of infection, psychiatric patients should be considered as a specific group of T. gondii infection.
A multipath mechanism similar to that used in Australia sixty years ago by the Sea-cliff Interferometer is shown to generate correlations between the periods of oscillations observed by two distant radio telescopes pointed to the Sun. The oscillations are the result of interferences between the direct wave detected in the main antenna lobe and its reflection on ground detected in a side lobe. A model is made of such oscillations in the case of two observatories located at equal longitudes and opposite tropical latitudes, respectively in Ha Noi (Viet Nam) and Learmonth (Australia), where similar radio telescopes are operated at 1.4 GHz. Simple specular reflection from ground is found to give a good description of the observed oscillations and to explain correlations that had been previously observed and for which no satisfactory interpretation, instrumental or other, had been found.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
A solution-processed method is developed to fabricate fully transparent resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices with a configuration of FTO/ZrO2/ITO, where the zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) layer was firstly deposited on fluorine tin oxide (FTO) substrate by sol-gel and then indium tin oxide (ITO) films were deposited on ZrO2 layer by sol-gel as the top electrodes.The solution processed FTO/ZrO2/ITO based RRAM devices show the fully transparency and excellent bipolar resistance switching behaviors. The resistance ratio between high and low resistance states was more than 10, and more than 100 switching cycles and good data retention and multilevel resistive switching have been demonstrated.
Flexible surface acoustic wave (SAW) based temperature and humidity sensors were fabricated and characterized. ZnO piezoelectric films were deposited on polyimide substrates by DC magnetron sputtering. ZnO films possess (0002) crystal orientation with large grain sizes of 50∼70 nm. SAW devices showed two wave modes, namely the Rayleigh and Lamb modes, with the frequencies at fR ∼132MHz and fL∼427MHz respectively for a wavelength of 12 μm device. The two resonant frequencies have a temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF) of −423ppm/K and −258ppm/K for the Rayleigh and Lamb waves, respectively. The SAW sensors exhibited a good repeatability in responding to cyclic change of humidity. The responses of the sensors increase with the increase in humidity, and the sensitivity increases with the decrease in wavelength. A high sensitivity of 34.7 kHz/10%RH has been obtained from a SAW device without any surface treatment, demonstrated that the flexible SAW humidity sensors are very promising for application in flexible sensors and microsystems.
Flexible electronics and microsystems are an emerging technology with a tremedous impact to the future electronics and information technology and widespread applications. Various devices and microsystems have been developed. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices are a type of essential device for electronics, microsensors and microsystems; however there is no activity on the development of flexible SAW devices yet. This paper reports the development of flexible SAW devices on cheap, bendable and disposable plastic films. Flexible SAW devices with resonant frequency of 198.1 MHz and 447 MHz for the Rayleigh and Lamb waves respectively have been obtained with a large transmission signal up to 18dB. The flexible SAW devices have also demonstrated their ability for acoustic streaming with a velocity up to 3.4 cm/s and for particle concentration. The results have clearly demonstrated that the flexible SAW devices have great potential for applications in electronics and microsystems.