4,011 research outputs found

    Inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B signaling hampers the vasopressin-dependent stimulation of myogenic differentiation

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    Arginine-vasopressin (AVP) promotes muscle differentiation, hypertrophy, and regeneration through the combined activation of the calcineurin and Calcium/Calmodulin-dependent Protein Kinase (CaMK) pathways. The AVP system is impaired in several neuromuscular diseases, suggesting that AVP may act as a physiological factor in skeletal muscle. Since the Phosphoinositide 3-kinases/Protein Kinase B/mammalian Target Of Rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR) signaling plays a significant role in regulating muscle mass, we evaluated its role in the AVP myogenic effect. In L6 cells AKT1 expression was knocked down, and the AVP-dependent expression of mTOR and Forkhead box O3 (FoxO) was analyzed by Western blotting. The effect of the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 was evaluated by cellular and molecular techniques. Akt knockdown hampered the AVP-dependent mTOR expression while increased the levels of FoxO transcription factor. LY294002 treatment inhibited the AVP-dependent expression of Myocyte Enhancer Factor-2 (MEF2) and myogenin and prevented the nuclear translocation of MEF2. LY294002 also repressed the AVP-dependent nuclear export of histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) interfering with the formation of multifactorial complexes on the myogenin promoter. We demonstrate that the PI3K/Akt pathway is essential for the full myogenic effect of AVP and that, by targeting this pathway, one may highlight novel strategies to counteract muscle wasting in aging or neuromuscular disorders

    Nanoscale electron-beam-driven metamaterial light sources

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    Free-standing and fiber-coupled photonic metamaterials act as nanoscale, free-electron-driven, tuneable light sources: emission occurs at wavelengths determined by structural geometry in response to electron-beam excitation of metamaterial resonant plasmonic modes

    VLT/MUSE view of the highly ionized outflow cones in the nearby starburst ESO338-IG04

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    The Lyα\alpha line is an important diagnostic for star formation at high redshift, but interpreting its flux and line profile is difficult because of the resonance nature of Lyα\alpha. Trends between the escape of Lyα\alpha photons and dust and properties of the interstellar medium (ISM) have been found, but detailed comparisons between Lyα\alpha emission and the properties of the gas in local high-redshift analogs are vital for understanding the relation between Lyα\alpha emission and galaxy properties. For the first time, we can directly infer the properties of the ionized gas at the same location and similar spatial scales of the extended Lyα\alpha halo around ESO 338-IG04. We obtained VLT/MUSE integral field spectra. We used ionization parameter mapping of the [SII]/[OIII] line ratio and the kinematics of Hα\alpha to study the ionization state and kinematics of the ISM of ESO338-IG04. The velocity map reveals two outflows. The entire central area of the galaxy is highly ionized by photons leaking from the HII regions around the youngest star clusters. Three highly ionized cones have been identified, of which one is associated with an outflow. We propose a scenario where the outflows are created by mechanical feedback of the older clusters, while the highly ionized gas is caused by the hard ionizing photons emitted by the youngest clusters. A comparison with the Lyα\alpha map shows that the (approximately bipolar) asymmetries observed in the Lyα\alpha emission are consistent with the base of the outflows detected in Hα\alpha. No clear correlation with the ionization cones is found. The mechanical and ionization feedback of star clusters significantly changes the state of the ISM by creating ionized cones and outflows. The comparison with Lyα\alpha suggests that especially the outflows could facilitate the escape of Lyα\alpha photons [Abridged].Comment: Accepted for publication in A&A Letters, 4 pages, 2 figure

    General relativity as a two-dimensional CFT

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    The tree-level scattering amplitudes of general relativity encode the full non-linearity of the Einstein field equations. Yet remarkably compact expressions for these amplitudes have been found which seem unrelated to a perturbative expansion of the Einstein-Hilbert action. This suggests an entirely different description of GR which makes this on-shell simplicity manifest. Taking our cue from the tree-level amplitudes, we discuss how such a description can be found. The result is a formulation of GR in terms of a solvable two-dimensional CFT, with the Einstein equations emerging as quantum consistency conditions.Comment: 6 pages, no figures. Honorable Mention in the 2015 Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competitio

    Characterizing spiral arm and interarm star formation

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    Interarm star formation contributes significantly to a galaxy's star formation budget, and provides an opportunity to study stellar birthplaces unperturbed by spiral arm dynamics. Using optical integral field spectroscopy of the nearby galaxy NGC 628 with VLT/MUSE, we construct Halpha maps including detailed corrections for dust extinction and stellar absorption to identify 391 HII regions at 35pc resolution over 12 kpc^2. Using tracers sensitive to the underlying gravitational potential, we associate HII regions with either arm (271) or interarm (120) environments. Using our full spectral coverage of each region, we find that most HII region physical properties (luminosity, size, metallicity, ionization parameter) are independent of environment. We calculate the fraction of Halpha luminosity due to the diffuse ionized gas (DIG) background contaminating each HII region, and find the DIG surface brightness to be higher within HII regions compared to the surroundings, and slightly higher within arm HII regions. Use of the temperature sensitive [SII]/Halpha line ratio map instead of the Halpha surface brightness to identify HII region boundaries does not change this result. Using the dust attenuation as a tracer of the gas, we find depletion times consistent with previous work (2 x 10^9 yr) with no differences between the arm and interarm, however this is very sensitive to the DIG correction. Unlike molecular clouds, which can be dynamically affected by the galactic environment, we see fairly consistent HII region properties in both arm and interarm environments. This suggests either a difference in arm star formation and feedback, or a decoupling of dense star forming clumps from the more extended surrounding molecular gas.Comment: 10 pages, 4 figures, 1 table, accepted for publication in Ap

    Super star cluster feedback driving ionization, shocks and outflows in the halo of the nearby starburst ESO 338-IG04

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    Stellar feedback strongly affects the interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies. Stellar feedback in the first galaxies likely plays a major role in enabling the escape of LyC photons, which contribute to the re-ionization of the Universe. Nearby starburst galaxies serve as local analogues allowing for a spatially resolved assessment of the feedback processes in these galaxies. We characterize the feedback effects from the star clusters in the local high-redshift analogue ESO 338-IG04 on the ISM and compare the results with the properties of the most massive clusters. We use high quality VLT/MUSE optical integral field data to derive the physical properties of the ISM such as ionization, density, shocks, and perform new fitting of the spectral energy distributions of the brightest clusters in ESO 338-IG04 from HST imaging. ESO 338-IG04 has a large ionized halo which we detect to a distance of 9 kpc. We identify 4 Wolf-Rayet (WR) clusters based on the blue and red WR bump. We follow previously identified ionization cones and find that the ionization of the halo increases with distance. Analysis of the galaxy kinematics shows two complex outflows driven by the numerous young clusters in the galaxy. We find a ring of shocked emission traced by an enhanced [OI]/Hα\alpha ratio surrounding the starburst and at the end of the outflow. Finally we detect nitrogen enriched gas associated with the outflow, likely caused by the WR stars in the massive star clusters. Photo-ionization dominates the central starburst and sets the ionization structure of the entire halo, resulting in a density bounded halo, facilitating the escape of LyC photons. Outside the central starburst, shocks triggered by an expanding super bubble become important. The shocks at the end of the outflow suggest interaction between the hot outflowing material and the more quiescent halo gas.Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 22 pages, 15 figure

    Using nonlinear optical networks for optimization: primer of the ant colony algorithm

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    Using nonlinear Erbium doped optical fiber network we have implemented an optimization algorithm for the famous problem of finding the shortest path on the map for the ant colony to travel to the foraging area

    Plasmonic amplifier of the evanescent field of free electrons

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    We show experimentally for the first time that free electron evanescent fields can be amplified by a plasmonic nanolayer in much that same way as optical evanescent fields are amplified in the poor-man's super-lens

    Monitoring and recording changes in natural landscapes: A case study from two coastal wetlands in se italy

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    This study analyzed and evaluated the changes that occurred in two coastal wetlands, characterized by complex and fragmented landscape patterns, in Southern Italy, which were moni-tored over a period of seven years from 2007 to 2014. Furthermore, the performances of two Land Cover (LC) and habitat taxonomies, compared for their suitability in mapping the identified changes, were assessed. A post-mapping method was adopted to detect the habitat/LC changes that occurred in the study period. Various changes were identified, both inter-class changes (class conversions) and intra-class changes (class modifications), and quantified by means of transition matrices. Conversions were easily mapped, while the modification mapping depended on the taxonomy adopted: the Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) allowed the detection of morpho-structural changes in woody vegetation, but the European Nature Information System (EUNIS) showed a higher thematic resolution for the salt marsh types. The detected changes were related to specific impacts, pressures and underlying factors. Landscape indices highlighted different trends in landscape richness and complexity in the two sites. Changes are occurring very quickly in the observed coastal sites and the ongoing dynamics are strictly related to their small size and complexity. For effective monitoring and detection of change in these environments, the coupling of EUNIS and LCCS is suggested

    Comparison of MODIS and ETA profiles of atmospheric parameters in coastal zones with radiosonde data

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    The quality of atmospheric profiles gathered by the spaceborne Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor onboard the Terra platform and those predicted by the ETA atmospheric circulation model are assessed against corresponding radiosonde (RS)measurements. The analysis is carried out on a statistical basis taking as reference the radiosoundings collected at two coastal stations, namely Ajaccio (France) and Pratica di Mare (Italy), during the spring 2000. The examined days were characterized by smooth and slow variations of the atmospheric conditions so that a temporal lag up to about three hours between RS and MODIS profiles could be considered for comparison purposes. Both ETA predictions and MODIS retrievals compare well with RS data and their relative agreement is good. Although, as expected, the profiles of the analyzed quantities, namely temperature and moisture for both MODIS and ETA outputs and horizontal wind components predicted by ETA model, could not follow the largest fluctuations measured by RS, their averages are reproduced with a satisfactory degree of reliability. These results encourage the perspective to exploit remote measurements from the MODIS sensor of atmospheric temperature and water vapour as input to operative circulation models, such as ETA, for reliable forecasts and detailed monitoring on global scale of the atmospheric structure and dynamics
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