169 research outputs found

    Difficulties of Simplicity

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    This paper attempts to show that the doctrine of divine simplicity suffers from difficulties which undermine its plausibility. The main difficulties explored are Plantinga’s problem of double identification, Pruss’ multiple attributes problem, and Schmitt’s co-specificity problem. In more recent years, defenders of the doctrine have offered a way out of these problems by interpreting it in light of a truthmaker account of predication. This paper analyzes this recent defense, among others, and attempts to show that this new interpretation of divine simplicity still has problems which undermine the plausibility of the doctrine

    Vector competence of Aedes aegypti, Culex tarsalis, and Culex quinquefasciatus from California for Zika virus.

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    Zika virus (ZIKV) has emerged since 2013 as a significant global human health threat following outbreaks in the Pacific Islands and rapid spread throughout South and Central America. Severe congenital and neurological sequelae have been linked to ZIKV infections. Assessing the ability of common mosquito species to transmit ZIKV and characterizing variation in mosquito transmission of different ZIKV strains is important for estimating regional outbreak potential and for prioritizing local mosquito control strategies for Aedes and Culex species. In this study, we evaluated the laboratory vector competence of Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Culex tarsalis that originated in areas of California where ZIKV cases in travelers since 2015 were frequent. We compared infection, dissemination, and transmission rates by measuring ZIKV RNA levels in cohorts of mosquitoes that ingested blood meals from type I interferon-deficient mice infected with either a Puerto Rican ZIKV strain from 2015 (PR15), a Brazilian ZIKV strain from 2015 (BR15), or an ancestral Asian-lineage Malaysian ZIKV strain from 1966 (MA66). With PR15, Cx. quinquefasciatus was refractory to infection (0%, N = 42) and Cx. tarsalis was infected at 4% (N = 46). No ZIKV RNA was detected in saliva from either Culex species 14 or 21 days post feeding (dpf). In contrast, Ae. aegypti developed infection rates of 85% (PR15; N = 46), 90% (BR15; N = 20), and 81% (MA66; N = 85) 14 or 15 dpf. Although MA66-infected Ae. aegypti showed higher levels of ZIKV RNA in mosquito bodies and legs, transmission rates were not significantly different across virus strains (P = 0.13, Fisher's exact test). To confirm infectivity and measure the transmitted ZIKV dose, we enumerated infectious ZIKV in Ae. aegypti saliva using Vero cell plaque assays. The expectorated plaque forming units PFU varied by viral strain: MA66-infected expectorated 13±4 PFU (mean±SE, N = 13) compared to 29±6 PFU for PR15-infected (N = 13) and 35±8 PFU for BR15-infected (N = 6; ANOVA, df = 2, F = 3.8, P = 0.035). These laboratory vector competence results support an emerging consensus that Cx. tarsalis and Cx. quinquefasciatus are not vectors of ZIKV. These results also indicate that Ae. aegypti from California are efficient laboratory vectors of ancestral and contemporary Asian lineage ZIKV

    Highly Variable Extinction and Accretion in the Jet-driving Class I Type Young Star PTF 10nvg (V2492 Cyg, IRAS 20496+4354)

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    We report extensive new photometry and spectroscopy of the highly variable young stellar object PTF 10nvg including optical and near-infrared time series data as well as mid-infrared and millimeter data. Following the previously reported 2010 rise, during 2011 and 2012 the source underwent additional episodes of brightening and dimming events including prolonged faint states. The observed high-amplitude variations are largely consistent with extinction changes having a 220 day quasi-periodic signal. Spectral evolution includes not only changes in the spectral slope but correlated variation in the prominence of TiO/VO/CO bands and atomic line emission, as well as anticorrelated variation in forbidden line emission which, along with H_2, dominates optical and infrared spectra at faint epochs. Neutral and singly-ionized atomic species are likely formed in an accretion flow and/or impact while the origin of zero-velocity atomic LiI 6707 in emission is unknown. Forbidden lines, including several rare species, exhibit blueshifted emission profiles and likely arise from an outflow/jet. Several of these lines are also seen spatially offset from the continuum source position, presumably in a shocked region of an extended jet. CARMA maps resolve on larger scales a spatially extended outflow in mm-wavelength CO. We attribute the observed photometric and spectroscopic behavior in terms of occultation of the central star as well as the bright inner disk and the accretion/outflow zones that renders shocked gas in the inner part of the jet amenable to observation at the faint epochs. We discuss PTF 10nvg as a source exhibiting both accretion-driven (perhaps analogous to V1647 Ori) and extinction-driven (perhaps analogous to UX Ori or GM Cep) high-amplitude variability phenomena.Comment: accepted to AJ - in press (74 pages

    The Simons Observatory: Magnetic Shielding Measurements for the Universal Multiplexing Module

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    The Simons Observatory (SO) includes four telescopes that will measure the temperature and polarization of the cosmic microwave background using over 60,000 highly sensitive transition-edge bolometers (TES). These multichroic TES bolometers are read out by a microwave RF SQUID multiplexing system with a multiplexing factor of 910. Given that both TESes and SQUIDs are susceptible to magnetic field pickup and that it is hard to predict how they will respond to such fields, it is important to characterize the magnetic response of these systems empirically. This information can then be used to limit spurious signals by informing magnetic shielding designs for the detectors and readout. This paper focuses on measurements of magnetic pickup with different magnetic shielding configurations for the SO universal multiplexing module (UMM), which contains the SQUIDs, associated resonators, and TES bias circuit. The magnetic pickup of a prototype UMM was tested under three shielding configurations: no shielding (copper packaging), aluminum packaging for the UMM, and a tin/lead-plated shield surrounding the entire dilution refrigerator 100 mK cold stage. The measurements show that the aluminum packaging outperforms the copper packaging by a shielding factor of 8-10, and adding the tin/lead-plated 1K shield further increases the relative shielding factor in the aluminum configuration by 1-2 orders of magnitude.Comment: 7 pages, 4 figure, conference proceedings submitted to the Journal of Low Temperature Physic

    White matter microstructure associations to amyloid burden in adults with Down syndrome.

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    INTRODUCTION: Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) are at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease (AD). One of the early underlying mechanisms in AD pathology is the accumulation of amyloid protein plaques, which are deposited in extracellular gray matter and signify the first stage in the cascade of neurodegenerative events. AD-related neurodegeneration is also evidenced as microstructural changes in white matter. In this work, we explored the correlation of white matter microstructure with amyloid load to assess amyloid-related neurodegeneration in a cohort of adults with DS. METHODS: In this study of 96 adults with DS, the relation of white matter microstructure using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and amyloid plaque burden using [11C]PiB PET were examined. The amyloid load (AβL) derived from [11C]PiB was used as a global measure of amyloid burden. AβL and DTI measures were compared using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and corrected for imaging site and chronological age. RESULTS: TBSS of the DTI maps showed widespread age-by-amyloid interaction with both fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD). Further, diffuse negative association of FA and positive association of MD with amyloid were observed. DISCUSSION: These findings are consistent with the white matter microstructural changes associated with AD disease progression in late onset AD in non-DS populations

    Overview of the Results of the Organics PET Study of the Cometary Samples from Comet Wild 2 by the Stardust Mission

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    STARDUST is the first mission designed to bring samples back to Earth from a known comet. The captured samples were successfully returned to Earth on 15 Jan 2006, after which they were subjected to a preliminary examination by a number of teams of scientists from around the world. This abstract describes the efforts of the Organics Preliminary Examination Team (PET). More detailed discussions of specific analyses of the samples can be found in other papers presented at this meeting by individual members of the Organics PET (see the author list above for team members). The studied Wild 2 gas and dust samples were collected by impact onto aerogel tiles and Al foils when the spacecraft flew through the coma of 81P/Wild 2 on 2 Jan 2004 at a relative velocity of approx.6.1 kilometers per second. After recovery of the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) on 15 Jan 2006, the aerogel collector trays were removed in a clean room at JSC. After documentation of the collection, selected aerogel tiles and aluminum foils were removed and aerogel and cometary samples extracted for study

    Comparing complex impedance and bias step measurements of Simons Observatory transition edge sensors

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    The Simons Observatory (SO) will perform ground-based observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with several small and large aperture telescopes, each outfitted with thousands to tens of thousands of superconducting aluminum manganese (AlMn) transition-edge sensor bolometers (TESs). In-situ characterization of TES responsivities and effective time constants will be required multiple times each observing-day for calibrating time-streams during CMB map-making. Effective time constants are typically estimated in the field by briefly applying small amplitude square-waves on top of the TES DC biases, and fitting exponential decays in the bolometer response. These so-called "bias step" measurements can be rapidly implemented across entire arrays and therefore are attractive because they take up little observing time. However, individual detector complex impedance measurements, while too slow to implement during observations, can provide a fuller picture of the TES model and a better understanding of its temporal response. Here, we present the results of dark TES characterization of many prototype SO bolometers and compare the effective thermal time constants measured via bias steps to those derived from complex impedance data.Comment: 10 pages, 6 figures, SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2020, Paper Number: 11453-18

    Effects of High-Volume Versus High-Load Resistance Training on Skeletal Muscle Growth and Molecular Adaptations

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    We evaluated the effects of higher-load (HL) versus (lower-load) higher-volume (HV) resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy, strength, and muscle-level molecular adaptations. Trained men (n = 15, age: 23 ± 3 years; training experience: 7 ± 3 years) performed unilateral lower-body training for 6 weeks (3× weekly), where single legs were randomly assigned to HV and HL paradigms. Vastus lateralis (VL) biopsies were obtained prior to study initiation (PRE) as well as 3 days (POST) and 10 days following the last training bout (POSTPR). Body composition and strength tests were performed at each testing session, and biochemical assays were performed on muscle tissue after study completion. Two-way within-subject repeated measures ANOVAs were performed on most dependent variables, and tracer data were compared using dependent samples t-tests. A significant interaction existed for VL muscle cross-sectional area (assessed via magnetic resonance imaging; interaction p = 0.046), where HV increased this metric from PRE to POST (+3.2%, p = 0.018) whereas HL training did not (−0.1%, p = 0.475). Additionally, HL increased leg extensor strength more so than HV training (interaction p = 0.032; HV \u3c HL at POST and POSTPR, p \u3c 0.025 for each). Six-week integrated non-myofibrillar protein synthesis (iNon-MyoPS) rates were also higher in the HV versus HL condition, while no difference between conditions existed for iMyoPS rates. No interactions existed for other strength, VL morphology variables, or the relative abundances of major muscle proteins. Compared to HL training, 6 weeks of HV training in previously trained men optimizes VL hypertrophy in lieu of enhanced iNon-MyoPS rates, and this warrants future research

    Origin and Evolution of Prebiotic Organic Matter as Inferred from the Tagish Lake Meteorite

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    The complex suite of organic materials in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites probably originally formed in the interstellar medium and/or the solar protoplanetary disk, but was subsequently modified in the meteorites' asteroidal parent bodies. The mechanisms of formation and modification are still very poorly understood. We carried out a systematic study of variations in the mineralogy, petrology, and soluble and insoluble organic matter in distinct fragments of the Tagish Lake meteorite. The variations correlate with indicators of parent body aqueous alteration and at least some molecules of pre-biotic importance formed during the alteration
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