7,767 research outputs found

    Statistical equilibrium in simple exchange games I

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    Simple stochastic exchange games are based on random allocation of finite resources. These games are Markov chains that can be studied either analytically or by Monte Carlo simulations. In particular, the equilibrium distribution can be derived either by direct diagonalization of the transition matrix, or using the detailed balance equation, or by Monte Carlo estimates. In this paper, these methods are introduced and applied to the Bennati-Dragulescu-Yakovenko (BDY) game. The exact analysis shows that the statistical-mechanical analogies used in the previous literature have to be revised.Comment: 11 pages, 3 figures, submitted to EPJ

    Protein accumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum as a non-equilibrium phase transition

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    Several neurological disorders are associated with the aggregation of aberrant proteins, often localized in intracellular organelles such as the endoplasmic reticulum. Here we study protein aggregation kinetics by mean-field reactions and three dimensional Monte carlo simulations of diffusion-limited aggregation of linear polymers in a confined space, representing the endoplasmic reticulum. By tuning the rates of protein production and degradation, we show that the system undergoes a non-equilibrium phase transition from a physiological phase with little or no polymer accumulation to a pathological phase characterized by persistent polymerization. A combination of external factors accumulating during the lifetime of a patient can thus slightly modify the phase transition control parameters, tipping the balance from a long symptomless lag phase to an accelerated pathological development. The model can be successfully used to interpret experimental data on amyloid-\b{eta} clearance from the central nervous system

    ISM composition through X-ray spectroscopy of LMXBs

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    The diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) is an integral part of the evolution of the entire Galaxy. Metals are produced by stars and their abundances are the direct testimony of the history of stellar evolution. However, the interstellar dust composition is not well known and the total abundances are yet to be accurately determined. We probe ISM dust composition, total abundances, and abundance gradients through the study of interstellar absorption features in the high-resolution X-ray spectra of Galactic low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). We use high-quality grating spectra of nine LMXBs taken with XMM-Newton. We measure the column densities of O, Ne, Mg, and Fe with an empirical model and estimate the Galactic abundance gradients. The column densities of the neutral gas species are in agreement with those found in the literature. Solids are a significant reservoir of metals like oxygen and iron. Respectively, 15-25 % and 65-90 % of the total amount of O I and Fe I is found in dust. The dust amount and mixture seem to be consistent along all the lines-of-sight (LOS). Our estimates of abundance gradients and predictions of local interstellar abundances are in agreement with those measured at longer wavelengths. Our work shows that X-ray spectroscopy is a very powerful method to probe the ISM. For instance, on a large scale the ISM appears to be chemically homogeneous showing similar gas ionization ratios and dust mixtures. The agreement between the abundances of the ISM and the stellar objects suggests that the local Galaxy is also chemically homogeneous.Comment: 13 pages, 10 figures, 5 tables, accepted to A&

    EAPC task force on education for psychologists in palliative care

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    It is argued that psychological aspects of care and psychosocial problems are essential components of palliative care. However, the provision of appropriate services remains somewhat arbitrary. Unlike medical and nursing care, which are clearly delivered by doctors and nurses respectively, psychological and psychosocial support in palliative care are not assigned exclusively to psychologists. It is generally expected that all professionals working in palliative care should have some knowledge of the psychological dynamics in terminal illness, as well as skills in communication and psychological risk assessment. On the one hand, palliative care education programmes for nurses and doctors comprise a considerable amount of psychological and psychosocial content. On the other hand, only a few palliative care associations provide explicit information on the role and tasks of psychologists in palliative care. Psychologists’ associations do not deal much with this issue either. If they refer to it at all, it is in the context of the care of the aged, end-of-life care or how to deal with grief

    Chandra imaging of the ∼\simkpc extended outflow in 1H 0419-577

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    The Seyfert 1 galaxy 1H 0419-577 hosts a ∼\simkpc extended outflow that is evident in the [\ion{O}{iii}] image and that is also detected as a warm absorber in the UV/X-ray spectrum. Here, we analyze a ∼\sim30 ks Chandra-ACIS X-ray image, with the aim of resolving the diffuse extranuclear X-ray emission and of investigating its relationship with the galactic outflow. Thanks to its sub-arcsecond spatial resolution, Chandra resolves the circumnuclear X-ray emission, which extends up to a projected distance of at least ∼\sim16 kpc from the center. The morphology of the diffuse X-ray emission is spherically symmetrical. We could not recover a morphological resemblance between the soft X-ray emission and the ionization bicone that is traced by the [\ion{O}{iii}] outflow. we argue that the photoionized gas nebula must be distributed mostly along the polar directions, outside our line of sight. In this geometry, the X-ray/UV warm absorber must trace a different gas component, physically disconnected from the emitting gas, and located closer to the equatorial plane.Comment: accepted for publications A&

    Epistemic Logic Programs: an Approach to Semantic Comparison

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    Epistemic Logic Programs (ELPs) extend Answer Set Programming (ASP) with epistemic operators. The semantics of such programs is provided in terms of world views, which are sets of belief sets. Several semantic approaches have been proposed over time to characterize world views. Recent work has introduced semantic properties that should be met by any semantics for ELPs. We propose a new method, easy but, we believe, effective, to compare the different semantic approaches

    Epistemic Logic Programs: a Novel Perspective and Some Extensions

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    Epistemic Logic Programs (ELPs), which propose an extension to Answer Set Programming (ASP) with epistemic operators, have their semantic defined, in various ways, in terms of world views, which are sets of belief sets. Several semantic approaches have in fact been proposed over time to characterize world views, and, recently, to also characterize semantic properties that should be met by any semantics for ELPs. We propose a new semantics, easy also from the computational point of view, but effective, also in order to compare the different semantic approaches. We also propose a significant extension to the ELP approach, by allowing epistemic atoms in rule heads

    Unveiling the environment surrounding LMXB SAX J1808.4-3658

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    Low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) are a natural workbench to study accretion disk phenomena and optimal background sources to measure elemental abundances in the Interstellar medium (ISM). In high-resolution XMM-Newton spectra, the LMXB SAX J1808.4-3658 showed in the past a neon column density significantly higher than expected given its small distance, presumably due to additional absorption from a neon-rich circumstellar medium (CSM). It is possible to detect intrinsic absorption from the CSM by evidence of Keplerian motions or outflows. For this purpose, we use a recent, deep (100 ks long), high-resolution Chandra/LETGS spectrum of SAX J1808.4-3658 in combination with archival data. We estimated the column densities of the different absorbers through the study of their absorption lines. We used both empirical and physical models involving photo- and collisional-ionization in order to determine the nature of the absorbers. The abundances of the cold interstellar gas match the solar values as expected given the proximity of the X-ray source. For the first time in this source, we detected neon and oxygen blueshifted absorption lines that can be well modeled with outflowing photoionized gas. The wind is neon rich (Ne/O>3) and may originate from processed, ionized gas near the accretion disk or its corona. The kinematics (v=500-1000 km/s) are indeed similar to those seen in other accretion disks. We also discovered a system of emission lines with very high Doppler velocities (v~24000 km/s) originating presumably closer to the compact object. Additional observations and UV coverage are needed to accurately determine the wind abundances and its ionization structure.Comment: 12 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication on A&

    I NEMATODI COME BIOINDICATORI PER LA VALUTAZIONE DELLA FUNZIONALITÀ DEL SUOLO IN AREE DEGRADATE DI VIGNETI ITALIANI

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    In viticoltura, la non corretta preparazione del terreno prima dell’impianto comporta la formazione di aree degradate caratterizzate da scarsa produzione e la presenza di piante più suscettibili a fitoparassiti e fitopatologie. Le cause del malfunzionamento del suolo possono essere imputate alla riduzione del contributo della fauna del suolo e dei servizi ecosistemici a essa legati come il ciclo dei nutrienti, l’impoverimento nel contenuto di sostanza organica, alterazione del pH, il deficit idrico e la compattazione del suolo. ReSolVe è un progetto transnazionale, finanziato dal programma Core-Organic+, finalizzato a valutare gli effetti di tre diverse tecniche agronomiche per il ripristino della funzionalità ottimale in aree degradate di vigneti biologici. Ante trattamento, i più alti valori di abbondanza di individui e ricchezza di famiglie sono stati rilevati nell’area non degradata di ambedue i siti. Gli indici bio-qualitativi hanno evidenziato un ambiente degradato con dominanza di specie generaliste e colonizzatrici. I nematodi batteriofagi erano predominanti nelle aree degradate, mentre i fitoparassiti nelle aree non degradate. L’abbondanza di nematodi fungivori e predatori è stata bassa in ambo i siti
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