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Diagnosing the evolution of laser-generated high energy density (HED) systems is fundamental to develop a correct understanding of the behavior of matter under extreme conditions. Talbot–Lau interferometry constitutes a promising tool, since it permits simultaneous single-shot X-ray radiography and phase-contrast imaging of dense plasmas. We present the results of an experiment at OMEGA EP that aims to probe the ablation front of a laser-irradiated foil using a Talbot–Lau X-ray interferometer. A polystyrene (CH) foil was irradiated by a laser of 133 J, 1 ns and probed with 8 keV laser-produced backlighter radiation from Cu foils driven by a short-pulse laser (153 J, 11 ps). The ablation front interferograms were processed in combination with a set of reference images obtained ex situ using phase-stepping. We managed to obtain attenuation and phase-shift images of a laser-irradiated foil for electron densities above
. These results showcase the capabilities of Talbot–Lau X-ray diagnostic methods to diagnose HED laser-generated plasmas through high-resolution imaging.
Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is an oral therapy in development for multiple sclerosis (MS). Fumaric acids were first studied in MS in a Phase 1, open-label, baseline-controlled trial using the combination fumaric acid ester preparation Fumaderm. Based upon the encouraging Phase 1 results, Fumapharm partnered with Biogen Idec to conduct a Phase 2 trial of DMF in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The use of DMF in autoimmune diseases arose from a personal view of the immune system, whereby autoimmunity is caused by disruption in the Krebs's cycle. The Phase 2 trial found that 720 mg/d of BG00012 reduced active inflammation. The Phase 3 trials provide pivotal and definitive evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of BG00012 in MS. Ongoing laboratory studies and advanced imaging studies in the Phase 3 trials are evaluating the neuroprotective effects of BG00012. Fumaric acids such as BG00012 are an exciting new class of potential MS treatment.
Admiralty Bay on the King George Island hosts the Brazilian, Polish and Peruvian research stations as well as the American and Ecuadorian field stations. Human activities in this region require the use of fossil fuels as an energy source, thereby placing the region at risk of hydrocarbon contamination. Hydrocarbon monitoring was conducted on water and sediment samples from the bay over 15 years. Fluorescence spectroscopy was used for the analysis of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in seawater samples and gas chromatography with flame ionization and/or mass spectrometric detection was used to analyse individual n-alkanes and PAHs in sediment samples. The results revealed that most sites contaminated by these compounds are around the Brazilian and Polish research stations due to the intense human activities, mainly during the summer. Moreover, the sediments revealed the presence of hydrocarbons from different sources, suggesting a mixture of the direct input of oil or derivatives and derived from hydrocarbon combustion. A decrease in PAH concentrations occurred following improvement of the sewage treatment facilities at the Brazilian research station, indicating that the contribution from human waste may be significant.
Nançay radio astronomy station teams are involved in several aspects of the Research and Development (R&D)
for radio astronomy detectors and systems:
i) Microelectronics: Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA), receiver on chip and
system in package. The long-term goal is to provide sub-systems for
the future Square Kilometer Array and its Pathfinders. A beamformer chip has been integrated
in the FP6 SKADS dense aperture array technology demonstrator EMBRACE. Wide band SiGe LNAs are
developed, beamformers with in-chip control are studied and more
complex integrated receivers are designed for the european Aperture Array
Verification Programme demonstrator.
ii) Digital signal processing: EMBRACE beamforming has been implemented
in the digital backend and RFI-mitigation oriented
signal processing has been designed for realtime systems,
including work for FP6 SKADS and FP7 PrepSKA.
iii) A study of Phased Array Feeds has started in 2008, in order to study
the radio electric properties of PAFs at the focus of large F/D
telescopes, such as the Nançay Radio Telescope, as well as to test PAF
systems in collaboration with the SPP/IRFU and LAL/IN2P3 laboratories.
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