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High-intensity laser–plasma interactions produce a wide array of energetic particles and beams with promising applications. Unfortunately, the high repetition rate and high average power requirements for many applications are not satisfied by the lasers, optics, targets, and diagnostics currently employed. Here, we aim to address the need for high-repetition-rate targets and optics through the use of liquids. A novel nozzle assembly is used to generate high-velocity, laminar-flowing liquid microjets which are compatible with a low-vacuum environment, generate little to no debris, and exhibit precise positional and dimensional tolerances. Jets, droplets, submicron-thick sheets, and other exotic configurations are characterized with pump–probe shadowgraphy to evaluate their use as targets. To demonstrate a high-repetition-rate, consumable, liquid optical element, we present a plasma mirror created by a submicron-thick liquid sheet. This plasma mirror provides etalon-like anti-reflection properties in the low field of 0.1% and high reflectivity as a plasma, 69%, at a repetition rate of 1 kHz. Practical considerations of fluid compatibility, in-vacuum operation, and estimates of maximum repetition rate are addressed. The targets and optics presented here demonstrate a potential technique for enabling the operation of laser–plasma interactions at high repetition rates.
The purpose of this study was to dosimetrically compare TomoDirect, TomoHelical and linear accelerator-based 3D-conformal radiotherapy (Linac-3DCRT) for craniospinal irradiation (CSI) in the treatment of medulloblastoma.
Five CSI patients were replanned with Linac-3DCRT, TomoHelical, TomoDirect-3DCRT and TomoDirect-intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). Dose of 36 Gy in 20 fractions was prescribed to the planning target volume (PTV). Homogeneity index (HI), non-target integral dose (NTID), dose–volume histograms, organs-at-risk (OARs) Dmax, Dmean and treatment times were compared.
TomoHelical achieved the best PTV homogeneity compared with Linac-3DCRT, TomoDirect-3DCRT and TomoDirect-IMRT (HI of 3·6 versus 20·9, 8·7 and 9·4%, respectively). TomoDirect-IMRT achieved the lowest NTID compared with TomoDirect-3DCRT, TomoHelical and Linac-3DCRT (141 J versus 151 J, 181 J and 250 J), indicating least biological damage to normal tissues. TomoHelical plans achieved the lowest Dmax in all organs except the breasts, and lowest Dmean for most OARs, except in laterally situated OARs, where TomoDirect triumphed. Beam-on time was longest for TomoHelical, followed by TomoDirect and Linac-3DCRT.
TomoDirect has the potential to lower NTID and shorten treatment times compared with TomoHelical. It reduces PTV inhomogeneity and better spares OARs compared with Linac-3DCRT. Therefore, TomoDirect may be a CSI treatment alternative to TomoHelical and in place of Linac-3DCRT.
Paratuberculosis is a chronic disease of ruminants caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). It occurs worldwide and causes a significant loss in the animal production industry. There is no cure for MAP infection and vaccination is problematic. Identification of genetics of susceptibility could be a useful adjunct for programs that focus on management, testing and culling of diseased animals. A case-control, genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted using Holstein and Jersey cattle in a combined analysis in order to identify markers and chromosomal regions associated with susceptibility to MAP infection across-breed. A mixed-model method (GRAMMAR-GC) implemented in the GenABEL R package and a Bayes C analysis implemented in GenSel software were used as alternative approaches to conduct GWAS analysis focused on single SNPs and chromosomal segments, respectively. After conducting quality control, 22 406 SNPs from 2157 individuals were available for the GRAMMAR-GC (Bayes C) analysis and 45 640 SNPs from 2199 individuals were available for the Bayes C analysis. One SNP located on BTA27 (8·6 Mb) was identified as moderately associated (P < 5 × 10−5, FDR = 0·44) in the GRAMMAR-GC analysis of the combined breed data. Nine 1 Mb windows located on BTA 2, 3 (3 windows), 6, 8, 25, 27 and 29 each explained ≥1% of the total proportion of genetic variance in the Bayes C analysis. In an analysis ignoring differences in linkage phase, two moderately significantly associated SNPs were identified; ARS-BFGL-NGS-19381 on BTA23 (32 Mb) and Hapmap40994-BTA-46361 on BTA19 (61 Mb). New common genomic regions and candidate genes have been identified from the across-breed analysis that might be involved in the immune response and susceptibility to MAP infection.
The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.
The aim of this study is to analyse and determine elemental abundances for a large sample of distant B stars in the outer Galactic disk in order to constrain the chemical distribution of the Galactic disk and models of chemical evolution of the Galaxy. Here, we present preliminary results on a few stars along with the adopted methodology based on securing simultaneous O and Si ionization equilibria with consistent NLTE model atmospheres.
A 2-yr (2009 to 2010), no-till (direct-seeded) “follow-up” study was conducted at five western Canada sites to determine weed interference impacts and barley and canola yield recovery after 4 yr of variable crop inputs (seed, fertilizer, herbicide). During the initial period of the study (2005 to 2008), applying fertilizer in the absence of herbicides was often worse than applying no optimal inputs; in the former case, weed biomass levels were at the highest levels (2,788 to 4,294 kg ha−1), possibly due to better utilization of nutrients by the weeds than by the crops. After optimal inputs were restored (standard treatment), most barley and canola plots recovered to optimal yield levels after 1 yr. However, 4 yr with all optimal inputs but herbicides led to only 77% yield recovery for both crops. At most sites, when all inputs were restored for 2 yr, all plots yielded similarly to the standard treatment combination. Yield “recovery” occurred despite high weed biomass levels (> 4,000 kg ha−1) prior to the first recovery year and despite high wild oat seedbank levels (> 7,000 seeds m−2) at the end of the second recovery year. In relatively competitive narrow-row crops such as barley and canola, the negative effects of high soil weed seedbanks can be mitigated if growers facilitate healthy crop canopies with appropriate seed and fertilizer rates in combination with judicious herbicide applications to adequately manage recruited weeds.