811 research outputs found

    The Boltzmann factor, DNA melting, and Brownian ratchets: Topics in an introductory physics sequence for biology and premedical students

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    Three, interrelated biologically-relevant examples of biased random walks are presented: (1) A model for DNA melting, modelled as DNA unzipping, which provides a way to illustrate the role of the Boltzmann factor in a venue well-known to biology and pre-medical students; (2) the activity of helicase motor proteins in unzipping double-stranded DNA, for example, at the replication fork, which is an example of a Brownian ratchet; (3) force generation by actin polymerization, which is another Brownian ratchet, and for which the force and actin-concentration dependence of the velocity of actin polymerization is determined

    Literacy practices of primary education children in Andalusia (Spain): a family-based perspective

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    Primary school children develop literacy practices in various domains and situations in everyday life. This study focused on the analysis of literacy practices of children aged 8–12 years from the perspec- tive of their families. 1,843 families participated in the non-experimental explanatory study. The children in these families speak Spanish as a first language and are schooled in this language. The instrument used was a self-report questionnaire about children’s home-literacy practices. The data obtained were analysed using categorical principal components analysis (CATPCA) and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The results show the complex relationship between literacy practices developed by children in the domains of home and school and the limited development of a literacy-promoting ‘third space’. In conclusion, the families in our study had limited awareness of their role as literacy- promoting agents and thought of literacy learning as restricted to formal or academic spaces

    Phase field analysis of eutectic breakdown.

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    In this paper an isotropic multi-phase-field model is extended to include the effects of anisotropy and the spontaneous nucleation of an absent phase. This model is derived and compared against a published single phase model. Results from this model are compared against results from other multi-phase models, additionally this model is used to examine the break down of a regular two dimensional eutectic into a single phase dendritic front

    Bubble dynamics in DNA

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    The formation of local denaturation zones (bubbles) in double-stranded DNA is an important example for conformational changes of biological macromolecules. We study the dynamics of bubble formation in terms of a Fokker-Planck equation for the probability density to find a bubble of size n base pairs at time t, on the basis of the free energy in the Poland-Scheraga model. Characteristic bubble closing and opening times can be determined from the corresponding first passage time problem, and are sensitive to the specific parameters entering the model. A multistate unzipping model with constant rates recently applied to DNA breathing dynamics [G. Altan-Bonnet et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 138101 (2003)] emerges as a limiting case.Comment: 9 pages, 2 figure

    The Origin of [OII] in Post-Starburst and Red-Sequence Galaxies in High-Redshift Clusters

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    We present the first results from a near-IR spectroscopic campaign of the Cl1604 supercluster at z~0.9 and the cluster RX J1821.6+6827 at z~0.82 to investigate the nature of [OII] 3727A emission in cluster galaxies at high redshift. Of the 401 members in the two systems, 131 galaxies have detectable [OII] emission with no other signs of current star-formation, as well as strong absorption features indicative of a well-established older stellar population. The combination of these features suggests that the primary source of [OII] emission in these galaxies is not the result of star-formation, but rather due to the presence of a LINER or Seyfert component. Using the NIRSPEC spectrograph on the Keck II 10-m telescope, 19 such galaxies were targeted, as well as six additional [OII]-emitting cluster members that exhibited other signs of ongoing star-formation. Nearly half (~47%) of the 19 [OII]-emitting, absorption-line dominated galaxies exhibit [OII] to Ha equivalent width ratios higher than unity, the typical value for star-forming galaxies. A majority (~68%) of these 19 galaxies are classified as LINER/Seyfert based on the emission-line ratio of [NII] and Ha, increasing to ~85% for red [OII]-emitting, absorption-line dominated galaxies. The LINER/Seyfert galaxies exhibit L([OII])/L(Ha) ratios significantly higher than that observed in populations of star-forming galaxies, suggesting that [OII] is a poor indicator of star-formation in a large fraction of high-redshift cluster members. We estimate that at least ~20% of galaxies in high-redshift clusters contain a LINER/Seyfert component that can be revealed with line ratios. We also investigate the effect this population has on the star formation rate of cluster galaxies and the post-starburst fraction, concluding that LINER/Seyferts must be accounted for if these quantities are to be meaningful.Comment: 33 pages, 17 figures, to appear in Ap

    Discovery of a high-z protocluster with tunable filters: the case of 6C0140+326 at z=4.4

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    We present the first results obtained using a tunable narrowband filter in the search for high-z protoclusters. Using the recently commissioned red tunable filter on the Gran Telescopio Canarias we have searched for Lya emitters in a 75 arcmin^2 field centered on the z=4.413 radio galaxy 6C0140+326. With three different wavelength tunings we find a total of 27 unique candidate Lya emitters. The availability of three different wavelength tunings allows us to make estimates of the redshifts for each of the objects. It also allows us to separate a possible protocluster from structure in the immediate foreground. This division shows that the foreground region contains significantly fewer Lya emitters. Also, the spatial distribution of the objects in the protocluster field deviates from a random distribution at the 2.5 sigma level. The observed redshift distribution of the emitters is different from the expected distribution of a blank field at the ~3 sigma level, with the Lya emitters concentrated near the radio galaxy at z>4.38. The 6C0140+326 field is denser by a factor of 9+/-5 than a blank field, and the number density of Lya emitters close to the radio galaxy is similar to that of the z~4.1 protocluster around TNJ1338-1942. We thus conclude that there is an overdensity of Lya emitters around the radio galaxy 6C0140+326. This is one of few known overdensities at such a high redshift.Comment: 10 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    The XMM–NEWTON Ω Project: I. The X-ray luminosity – temperature relation at z>0.4

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    We describe XMM-Newton Guaranteed Time observations of a sample of eight high redshift (0.45 < z < rvirial) bolometric luminosities, performed β-model fits to the radial surface profiles and made spectral fits to a single temperature isothermal model. We describe data analysis techniques that pay particular attention to background mitigation. We have also estimated temperatures and luminosities for two known clusters (Abell 2246 and RXJ1325.0-3814), and one new high redshift cluste r candidate (XMMU J084701.8 +345117), that were detected o ff-axis. Characterizing the L x − Tx relation as L x = L 6 ( T 6keV ) α , we find L 6 = 15 . 9 + 7 . 6 − 5 . 2 × 1044erg s − 1 and α =2.7 ±0.4 for an Ω Λ = 0 . 0 , Ω M = 1 .0, H0 = 50 km s − 1 Mpc − 1 cosmology at a typical redshift z ∼ 0 .55. Comparing with the low redshift study by Markevitch, 1998, we find α to be in agreement, and assuming L x − Tx to evolve as (1 + z ) A , we find A =0.68 ±0.26 for the same cosmology and A = 1 .52 + 0 .26 − 0 .27 for an Ω Λ = 0 . 7 , Ω M = 0 . 3 cosmology. Our A values are very similar to those found previously by Vikhlinin et al., 2002 using a compilation of Chandra observations of 0 .39 < z < 1 .26 clusters. We conclude that there is now evidence from both XMM-Newton and Chandra for an evolutionary trend in the L x − Tx relation. This evolution is significantly below the level expected from the predictions of the self-similar model for an Ω Λ = 0 . 0 , Ω M = 1 .0, cosmology, but consistent with self-similar model in an Ω Λ = 0 . 7 , Ω M = 0 . 3 cosmology. Our observations lend support to the robustness and completeness of the SHARC and 160SD surveys

    SPT-CL J0546-5345: A Massive z > 1 Galaxy Cluster Selected Via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect with the South Pole Telescope

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    We report the spectroscopic confirmation of SPT-CL J0546-5345 at = 1.067. To date this is the most distant cluster to be spectroscopically confirmed from the 2008 South Pole Telescope (SPT) catalog, and indeed the first z > 1 cluster discovered by the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect (SZE). We identify 21 secure spectroscopic members within 0.9 Mpc of the SPT cluster position, 18 of which are quiescent, early-type galaxies. From these quiescent galaxies we obtain a velocity dispersion of 1179^{+232}_{-167} km/s, ranking SPT-CL J0546-5345 as the most dynamically massive cluster yet discovered at z > 1. Assuming that SPT-CL J0546-5345 is virialized, this implies a dynamical mass of M_200 = 1.0^{+0.6}_{-0.4} x 10^{15} Msun, in agreement with the X-ray and SZE mass measurements. Combining masses from several independent measures leads to a best-estimate mass of M_200 = (7.95 +/- 0.92) x 10^{14} Msun. The spectroscopic confirmation of SPT-CL J0546-5345, discovered in the wide-angle, mass-selected SPT cluster survey, marks the onset of the high redshift SZE-selected galaxy cluster era.Comment: ApJ, in pres

    SPT-CL J0205-5829: A z = 1.32 Evolved Massive Galaxy Cluster in the South Pole Telescope Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect Survey

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    The galaxy cluster SPT-CL J0205-5829 currently has the highest spectroscopically-confirmed redshift, z=1.322, in the South Pole Telescope Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SPT-SZ) survey. XMM-Newton observations measure a core-excluded temperature of Tx=8.7keV producing a mass estimate that is consistent with the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich derived mass. The combined SZ and X-ray mass estimate of M500=(4.9+/-0.8)e14 h_{70}^{-1} Msun makes it the most massive known SZ-selected galaxy cluster at z>1.2 and the second most massive at z>1. Using optical and infrared observations, we find that the brightest galaxies in SPT-CL J0205-5829 are already well evolved by the time the universe was <5 Gyr old, with stellar population ages >3 Gyr, and low rates of star formation (<0.5Msun/yr). We find that, despite the high redshift and mass, the existence of SPT-CL J0205-5829 is not surprising given a flat LambdaCDM cosmology with Gaussian initial perturbations. The a priori chance of finding a cluster of similar rarity (or rarer) in a survey the size of the 2500 deg^2 SPT-SZ survey is 69%.Comment: 11 pages, 5 figures, submitted to Ap

    To what extent is behaviour a problem in English schools?:Exploring the scale and prevalence of deficits in classroom climate

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    The working atmosphere in the classroom is an important variable in the process of education in schools, with several studies suggesting that classroom climate is an important influence on pupil attainment. There are wide differences in the extent to which classroom climate is considered to be a problem in English schools. Some ‘official’ reports suggest that behaviour in schools is ‘satisfactory or better’ in the vast majority of schools; other sources have pointed to behaviour being a serious and widespread problem. The paper details four studies conducted over the past decade which aimed to explore these disparities. The aim of the research was to gain a more accurate insight into the extent to which deficits in classroom climate limit educational attainment and equality of educational opportunity in English schools. The findings question the suggestion that behaviour is satisfactory or better in 99.7% of English schools and the concluding section suggests ways in which deficits in classroom climate might be addressed. Although the study is limited to classrooms in England, OECD studies suggest that deficits in the working atmosphere in classrooms occur in many countries. The study therefore has potential relevance for education systems in other countries
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