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The primary objectives of the ExoplANETS-A project are to: establish new knowledge on exoplanet atmospheres; establish new insight on influence of the host star on the planet atmosphere; disseminate knowledge, using online, web-based platforms. The project, funded under the EU’s Horizon-2020 programme, started in January 2018 and has a duration ∼3 years. We present an overview of the project, the activities concerning the host stars and some early results on the host stars.
Thousands of planets outside the Solar system have been discovered, with exoplanets in different environments. Since we cannot expect to find an exoplanetary system fully resembling our Solar System, we consider a Solar System type configuration where the Earth moves in an eccentric orbit. We focus on young Earth 1 billion years ago, when the Sun’s extreme UV (EUV) flux was about 5 times higher than the current radiation. In case of eccentric motion of Earth, strong variations of the EUV flux would influence the evolution of the planet’s atmosphere (EUV radiation of 50 times the current EUV flux would be possible). Taking into account a certain amount of Nitrogen in the atmosphere of such a young Earth, we study the non-thermal loss of N2 over a long time interval. We therefore investigate to what extent eccentric motion will influence the conditions of habitability of a terrestrial planet.
On evolutionary timescales, the atmospheres of planets evolve due to interactions with the planet's surface and with the planet's host star. Stellar X-ray and EUV (=’XUV’) radiation is absorbed high in the atmosphere, driving photochemistry, heating the gas, and causing atmospheric expansion and mass loss. Atmospheres can interact strongly with the stellar winds, leading to additional mass loss. In this review, I summarise some of the ways in which stellar output can influence the atmospheres of planets. I will discuss the importance of simultaneously understanding the evolution of the star's output and the time dependent properties of the planet's atmosphere.
As part of the project Pathways to Habitability (http://path.univie.ac.at/), we study the properties of the stellar winds of low-mass and Sun-like stars, and their influences on the atmospheres of potentially habitable planets. For this purpose, we combine mapping of stellar magnetic fields with magnetohydrodynamic wind models.
The treatment of cervical lymph node metastases is an important part of the management of oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer. Metastases are already clinically present in 61 per cent (+ or −2.6 per cent) of patients at presentation. Previous studies concerning the prevalence and distribution of neck node metastases in oropharyngeal carcinoma have been retrospective, and little or no information is available about the histopathological methods used.
This study has prospectively analysed 85 neck dissection specimens in 72 consecutive patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, both with clinically N0 and N+ve necks, to identify the prevalence and distribution of cervical metastases. We have used a technique to separate the neck dissection into nodal levels per-operatively, and then embedded the entire specimen for histological examination to avoid missing metastatic disease in small lymph nodes (<3mm diameter).
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