140 research outputs found

    The VLA/ALMA Nascent Disk and Multiplicity (VANDAM) Survey of Orion Protostars. II. A Statistical Characterization of Class 0 and Class I Protostellar Disks

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    We have conducted a survey of 328 protostars in the Orion molecular clouds with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array at 0.87 mm at a resolution of ~0.”1 (40 au), including observations with the Very Large Array at 9 mm toward 148 protostars at a resolution of ~0 08 (32 au). This is the largest multiwavelength survey of protostars at this resolution by an order of magnitude. We use the dust continuum emission at 0.87 and 9 mm to measure the dust disk radii and masses toward the Class 0, Class I, and flat-spectrum protostars, characterizing the evolution of these disk properties in the protostellar phase. The mean dust disk radii for the Class 0, Class I, and flat-spectrum protostars are 44.9^(+5.8)_(−3.4), 37.0^(+4.9)_(−3.0), and 28.5^(+3.7)_(−2.3) au, respectively, and the mean protostellar dust disk masses are 25.9^(+7.7)_(−4.0), 14.9^(+3.8)_(−2.2), 1.6^(+3.5)_(−1.9) M⊕, respectively. The decrease in dust disk masses is expected from disk evolution and accretion, but the decrease in disk radii may point to the initial conditions of star formation not leading to the systematic growth of disk radii or that radial drift is keeping the dust disk sizes small. At least 146 protostellar disks (35% of 379 detected 0.87 mm continuum sources plus 42 nondetections) have disk radii greater than 50 au in our sample. These properties are not found to vary significantly between different regions within Orion. The protostellar dust disk mass distributions are systematically larger than those of Class II disks by a factor of >4, providing evidence that the cores of giant planets may need to at least begin their formation during the protostellar phase

    Methods to maximise recovery of environmental DNA from water samples

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    <div><p>The environmental DNA (eDNA) method is a detection technique that is rapidly gaining credibility as a sensitive tool useful in the surveillance and monitoring of invasive and threatened species. Because eDNA analysis often deals with small quantities of short and degraded DNA fragments, methods that maximize eDNA recovery are required to increase detectability. In this study, we performed experiments at different stages of the eDNA analysis to show which combinations of methods give the best recovery rate for eDNA. Using Oriental weatherloach (<i>Misgurnus anguillicaudatus</i>) as a study species, we show that various combinations of DNA capture, preservation and extraction methods can significantly affect DNA yield. Filtration using cellulose nitrate filter paper preserved in ethanol or stored in a -20°C freezer and extracted with the Qiagen DNeasy kit outperformed other combinations in terms of cost and efficiency of DNA recovery. Our results support the recommendation to filter water samples within 24hours but if this is not possible, our results suggest that refrigeration may be a better option than freezing for short-term storage (i.e., 3–5 days). This information is useful in designing eDNA detection of low-density invasive or threatened species, where small variations in DNA recovery can signify the difference between detection success or failure.</p></div

    Improving the detection of rare native fish species in environmental DNA metabarcoding surveys

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    The presence of threatened or endangered species often strongly influences management and conservation decisions. Within the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB), Australia, the presence of threatened native fish affects the management and allocation of water resources. These decisions are currently based on traditional fisheries data and a predictive MaxEnt model. However, it is important to verify the model's predictive power given the implication it may have, but this requires methods with a high detection sensitivity for rare species. Although the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding achieves a higher detection sensitivity compared with traditional methods, earlier surveys in the MDB have shown that the highly abundant and invasive common carp (Cyprinus carpio) can reduce detection probabilities for rare species. Consequently, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) blocking primer designed to block the amplification of carp eDNA could increase the detection probabilities for rare native species while simultaneously reducing the required sampling effort and survey costs. Although PCR blocking primers are often used in ancient DNA and dietary studies, no aquatic eDNA metabarcoding study to date has evaluated the potential benefits of using PCR blocking primers. A laboratory and field‐based pilot study was used to address this knowledge gap and assess the impact of a blocking primer on the detection probabilities of native species and the minimum sampling effort required. Results showed that the inclusion of the blocking primer increased the detection probabilities for native species by 10–20% and reduced the minimum required sampling effort by 25–50%. These findings provide important insights into possible methods for optimizing eDNA metabarcoding surveys for the detection of rare aquatic species

    A Comparison of Spectroscopic versus Imaging Techniques for Detecting Close Companions to Kepler Objects of Interest

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    (Abbreviated) Kepler planet candidates require both spectroscopic and imaging follow-up observations to rule out false positives and detect blended stars. [...] In this paper, we examine a sample of 11 Kepler host stars with companions detected by two techniques -- near-infrared adaptive optics and/or optical speckle interferometry imaging, and a new spectroscopic deblending method. We compare the companion Teff and flux ratios (F_B/F_A, where A is the primary and B is the companion) derived from each technique, and find no cases where both companion parameters agree within 1sigma errors. In 3/11 cases the companion Teff values agree within 1sigma errors, and in 2/11 cases the companion F_B/F_A values agree within 1sigma errors. Examining each Kepler system individually considering multiple avenues (isochrone mapping, contrast curves, probability of being bound), we suggest two cases for which the techniques most likely agree in their companion detections (detect the same companion star). Overall, our results support the advantage the spectroscopic deblending technique has for finding very close-in companions (θ\theta \lesssim0.02-0.05") that are not easily detectable with imaging. However, we also specifically show how high-contrast AO and speckle imaging observations detect companions at larger separations (θ\theta \geq0.02-0.05") that are missed by the spectroscopic technique, provide additional information for characterizing the companion and its potential contamination (e.g., PA, separation, Δ\Deltam), and cover a wider range of primary star effective temperatures. The investigation presented here illustrates the utility of combining the two techniques to reveal higher-order multiples in known planet-hosting systems.Comment: Accepted to AJ. 40 pages, 12 figure

    Food from faeces:Evaluating the efficacy of scat DNA metabarcoding in dietary analyses

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    Scat DNA metabarcoding is increasingly being used to track the feeding ecology of elusive wildlife species. This approach has greatly increased the resolution and detection success of prey items contained in scats when compared with other classical methods. However, there have been few studies that have systematically tested the applicability and reliability of this approach to study the diet of large felids species in the wild. Here we assessed the effectiveness of this approach in the cheetah Acinonyx jubatus. We tested how scat degradation, meal size, prey species consumed and feeding day (the day a particular prey was consumed) influenced prey DNA detection success in captive cheetahs. We demonstrated that it is possible to obtain diet information from 60-day old scats using genetic approaches, but the efficiency decreased over time. Probability of species-identification was highest for food items consumed one day prior to scat collection and the probability of being able to identify the species consumed increased with the proportion of the prey consumed. Detection success varied among prey species but not by individual cheetah. Identification of prey species using DNA detection methods from a single consumption event worked for samples collected between 8 and 72 hours post-feeding. Our approach confirms the utility of genetic approaches to identify prey species in scats and highlight the need to account for the systematic bias in results to control for possible scat degradation, feeding day, meal size and prey species consumed especially in the wild-collected scats