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Liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy is a technique for simultaneous imaging of the structure and dynamics of specimens in a liquid environment. The conventional sample geometry consists of a liquid layer tightly sandwiched between two Si3N4 windows with a nominal spacing on the order of 0.5 μm. We describe a variation of the conventional approach, wherein the Si3N4 windows are separated by a 10-μm-thick spacer, thus providing room for gas flow inside the liquid specimen enclosure. Adjusting the pressure and flow speed of humid air inside this environmental liquid cell (ELC) creates a stable liquid layer of controllable thickness on the bottom window, thus facilitating high-resolution observations of low mass-thickness contrast objects at low electron doses. We demonstrate controllable liquid thicknesses in the range 160 ± 34 to 340 ± 71 nm resulting in corresponding edge resolutions of 0.8 ± 0.06 to 1.7 ± 0.8 nm as measured for immersed gold nanoparticles. Liquid layer thickness 40 ± 8 nm allowed imaging of low-contrast polystyrene particles. Hydration effects in the ELC have been studied using poly-N-isopropylacrylamide nanogels with a silica core. Therefore, ELC can be a suitable tool for in situ investigations of liquid specimens.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is the most widely distributed and highly expressed neurotrophin in the CNS. BDNF gene have been associated with increased risk psychiatric disorders. It has been described interaction between BDNF and serotonin system at a neural and genetic level. Neuroticism as a personality trait relevant in borderline personality disorder (BPD) has genetic inheritance and is associated with serotonergic dysfunction. Has been reported that BDNF Val66Met variant is associated with neuroticism in general population. The aim of this study is to test the association between Val66Met and neuroticism and evaluate if the presence of Val66Met allele interacts with polymorphism in promoter region of serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) for develop neuroticism in BPD. We evaluate personality with NEO PI R in 104 BPD subjects that did not meet criteria for axis I diagnoses and other personality disorders. Genetic analysis of BDNF was performed determining the presence of Val/Val Val/Met and Met/Met BDNF variants. 5-HTTLPR was performed determining the presence of L and S 5-HTTLPR alleles. Statistical analysis were tested with parametric and correlation method with Stata10. We did not found differences in neuroticism between BDNF variants, but when controlled by BDNF alleles we found that Met/Met modulate the expression of 5-HTTLPR, with S-carriers (LS+SS) having higher neuroticism than LL (F = 6.36, p = 0.0031). We found no differences in expression of 5-HTTLPR in other BDNF variants. We conclude that BDNF have a differential modulating effect of 5-HTTLPR in neuroticism in BPD.
Neuroticism is characterized by emotional instability and the tendency to experience negative emotions such as anger, anxiety and depressed mood. Subjects with borderline personality disorder (BPD) present this personality dimension as a temperamental core trait. There has been proposed that neuroticism can appropriately describe the most important characteristics of BPD. The polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) has been implicated in depression, anxiety and suicide. It is estimated that 5-HTTLPR polymorphism account to 7 to 9% of inherited variance of neuroticism in personality. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between neuroticism and 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in BPD. We evaluate personality with NEO PI R inventory in 104 BPD subjects (76 female/28 male) that did not meet criteria for axis I diagnoses and other personality disorders. The genetic analysis of 5-HTTLPR were performed determining the presence of long and short alleles, subjects were grouped in long/long (LL) and S-carriers (LS+SS). Statistical analysis were tested with parametric and correlation method with Stata10. We found significant difference in neuroticism between the genotype groups (F = 8.57, p = 0.0004) and lower levels of neuroticism in LL than S-carriers. Female have higher neuroticism than male. 5-HTTLPR polymorphism explains 18.02% of inherited variance in neuroticism. The S-carriers had 11.9 times higher risk of presenting elevated neuroticism compared with LL. We conclude that there are relation between 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and neuroticism in BPD. These results should contribute to the genetic study of BPD.
The J-PAS survey will soon start observing thousands of square degrees of the Northern Sky with its unique set of 56 narrow band filters covering the entire optical wavelength range, providing, effectively, a low resolution spectra for every object detected. Active galaxies and quasars, thanks to their strong emission lines, can be easily identified and characterized with J-PAS data. A variety of studies can be performed, from IFU-like analysis of local AGN, to clustering of high-z quasars. We also expect to be able to extract intrinsic physical quasar properties from the J-PAS pseudo-spectra, including continuum slope and emission line luminosities. Here we show the first attempts of using the QSFit software package to derive the properties for 22 quasars at 0.8 < z < 2 observed by the miniJPAS survey, the first deg2 of J-PAS data obtained with an interim camera. Results are compared with the ones obtained by applying the same software to SDSS quasar spectra.
Hookworms of the genus Uncinaria parasitize pinniped pups in various locations worldwide. Four species have been described, two of which parasitize pinniped pups in the southern hemisphere: Uncinaria hamiltoni parasitizes Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus australis from the South American coast, and Uncinaria sanguinis parasitizes Neophoca cinerea from the Australian coast. However, their geographical ranges and host specificity are unknown. Uncinaria spp. are morphologically similar, but molecular analyses have allowed the recognition of new species in the genus Uncinaria. We used nuclear genetic markers (internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and large subunit (LSU) rDNA) and a mitochondrial genetic marker (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI)) to evaluate the phylogenetic relationships of Uncinaria spp. parasitizing A. australis and O. flavescens from South American coasts (Atlantic and Pacific coasts). We compared our sequences with published Uncinaria sequences. A Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent (GMYC) analysis was also used to delimit species, and principal component analysis was used to compare morphometry among Uncinaria specimens. Parasites were sampled from A. australis from Peru (12°S), southern Chile (42°S), and the Uruguayan coast, and from O. flavescens from northern Chile (24°S) and the Uruguayan coast. Morphometric differences were observed between Uncinaria specimens from both South American coasts and between Uncinaria specimens from A. australis in Peru and southern Chile. Phylogenetic and GMYC analyses suggest that south-eastern Pacific otariid species harbour U. hamiltoni and an undescribed putative species of Uncinaria. However, more samples from A. australis and O. flavescens are necessary to understand the phylogenetic patterns of Uncinaria spp. across the South Pacific.
The microstructure of Ni-Mg-Al mixed oxides obtained by thermal decomposition of hydrotalcite-like compounds synthesized by a co-precipitation method has been studied by using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and atomic resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM). XRD patterns revealed the formation of NixMg1-xO (x=0÷1), α-Al2O3 and traces of MgAl2O4 and NiAl2O4 phases. The peaks profile analysis indicated a small grain size, microdeformations and partial overlapping of peaks due to phases with different, but similar interplanar spacings. The microdeformations point out the presence of dislocations and the peaks shift associated with the presence of excess vacancies. The use of atomic resolution TEM made it possible to identify the phases, directly observe dislocations and demonstrate the vacancies excess. Atomic resolution TEM is achieved by applying an Exit Wave Reconstruction procedure with 40 low dose images taken at different defocus. The current results suggest that vacancies of metals are predominant in MgO (NiO) crystals and that vacancies of Oxygen are predominant in Al2O3 crystals.
Arc welding processes such Gas Tungsten (GTAW), Gas Metal (GMAW) and Submerged Arc (SAW) are typically used in order to produce a weld joint in stainless steels (SS). However, welding thermal cycle generates a sensitization by formation of chromium carbides. In addition, the heat affected zone (HAZ) is also susceptible to sensitization and fracture of the weldment. Weld bead geometric parameters such depth penetration, fusion zone (FZ) width and size of HAZ are mainly determined by welding operation parameters. This research work studies the influence of welding current, welding speed and arc gap on the width and grain size in the HAZ produced by a single pass of autogenous GTAW process applied to a plate butt-welded joint of AISI 304 SS. The welded specimens were prepared for analysis by light optical (LOM) and scanning electron (SEM) microscopies to identify the interfaces between FZ-HAZ and base material as well as the grain growth in the HAZ. Adams equation for 2-D heat distribution was used to estimate theoretically the width of the HAZ. Furthermore, computational simulation which solved a convective-diffusion problem of the volumetric heat applied during the weld pool formation allowed to correlate the thermal gradient and the molten material flow of the FZ with the welding depth penetration, and width and grain size in the HAZ. The results demonstrated that the high heat input generates an important grain growth in the HAZ caused by low heat diffusion in the adjacent material to the fusion line. Welding speed was the main factor in the thermal gradient changes. Simulation results indicate that outward recirculating flow in the molten metal produced by surface tension forces is responsible for the shallow penetration of the autogenous GTAW process. Theoretical and computational estimations of the HAZ are in good agreement with the experimental results.
Energy reserve, estimated as body condition score (BCS), is the major determinant of the re-initiation of ovarian activity in postpartum cows. Leptin, IGF-I and insulin are positively related to BCS and are putative mediators between BCS and reproductive function. However, when BCS and body composition dissociates, concentrations of these metabolic hormones are altered. We hypothesized that increasing lean muscle tissue, but not fat tissue, would diminish the reproductive response to oestrus induction treatments. Thirty lactating beef cows with BCS of 3.10±1.21 and 75.94±12 days postpartum were divided in two groups. Control cows (n=15) were supplemented with 10.20 kg of concentrate daily for 60 days. Treated cows (n=15) were supplemented equally, and received a β-adrenergic receptor agonist (β-AA; 0.15 mg/kg BW) to achieve accretion of lean tissue mass and not fat tissue mass. Twelve days after ending concentrate supplementation/β-AA treatment, cows received a progestin implant to induce oestrus. Cows displaying oestrus were inseminated during the following 60 days, and maintained with a fertile bull for a further 21 days. Cows in both groups gained weight during the supplementation period (Daily weight gain: Control=0.75 kg v. β-AA=0.89 kg). Cows treated with β-AA had a larger increase in BCS (i.e. change in BCS: control=1 point (score 4.13) v. β-AA=2 points (score 5.06; P<0.05), as a result of muscle accretion (i.e. change in muscle depth: control 0.21 cm v. β-AA 0.97 cm; P<0.05) but not adipose tissue (i.e. change in back fat depth; control 0.13 cm v. β-AA −0.06 cm; P<0.05). The changes in body composition in β-AA cows were associated with a reduction in serum concentrations of IGF-I (25.4%) and leptin (27.9%), without observed changes in insulin. Ovulation and pregnancy to 1st service (P>0.05) did not differ between groups. However, the number of cows displaying oestrus (control 13/15 v. β-AA 8/15; P<0.05) and the percentage cycling (control 6/8 v. β-AA 3/10; P=0.07) after progestin treatment and the pregnancy percentage at the end of the breeding period (control 13/15 v. β-AA 8/15; P<0.05) were lower in β-AA than control cows. In summary, the increase BCS through muscle tissue accretion, but not through fat tissue accretion, resulted in a lower response to oestrus induction, lower percentage of cycling animals and lower pregnancy percentage after progestin treatment; which was associated with a decrease in serum concentrations of leptin and IGF-I.
Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) are characterized by the capacity to recover a permanent deformation after being heated above a critical temperature called Final Austenite Temperature (Af). The Ni-Ti SMA are the most commercially used, however recent studies showed that the Cu-Al-Mn SMA present significant shape recovery and mechanical properties, showing a strong potential for developing new applications. In this context, the main goal of this work is to manufacture a Cu-Al-Mn SMA through a plasma melting process followed by injection molding of liquid metal and then characterize the samples, using the following techniques: Optical Microscopy (OM), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Electrical Resistance as a function of Temperature (ERT) tests, Dynamical Mechanical Analysis (DMA) and Microhardness (MH).