13,380 research outputs found

    The Doubly Labeled Water Method for Measuring Human Energy Expenditure: Adaptations for Spaceflight

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    It is essential to determine human energy requirements in space, and the doubly labeled water method has been identified as the most appropriate means of indirect calorimetry to meet this need. The method employs naturally occurring, stable isotopes of hydrogen (H-2, deuterium) and oxygen (O-18) which, after dosing, mix with body water. The deuterium is lost from the body as water while the O-18 is eliminated as both water and CO2. The difference between the two isotope elimination rates is therefore a measure of CO2 production and hence energy expenditure. Spaceflight will present a unique challenge to the application of the doubly labeled water method. Specifically, interpretation of doubly labeled water results assumes that the natural abundance or 'background' levels of the isotopes remain constant during the measurement interval. To address this issue, an equilibration model will be developed in an ongoing ground-based study. As energy requirements of women matched to counterparts in the Astronauts Corps are being determined by doubly labeled water, the baseline isotope concentration will be changed by consumption of 'simulated Shuttle water' which is artificially enriched. One group of subjects will be equilibrated on simulated Shuttle water prior to energy determinations by doubly labeled water while the others will consume simulated Shuttle water after dosing. This process will allow us to derive a prediction equation to mathematically model the effect of changing background isotope concentrations

    Atmospheric neutrino oscillations and tau neutrinos in ice

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    The main goal of the IceCube Deep Core Array is to search for neutrinos of astrophysical origins. Atmospheric neutrinos are commonly considered as a background for these searches. We show here that cascade measurements in the Ice Cube Deep Core Array can provide strong evidence for tau neutrino appearance in atmospheric neutrino oscillations. A careful study of these tau neutrinos is crucial, since they constitute an irreducible background for astrophysical neutrino detection.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figure

    The role of cattle manure in enhancing on-farm productivity, macro- and micro-nutrient uptake, and profitability of maize in the Guinea savanna

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    An on-farm trial was conducted in the northern Guinea savanna of Nigeria, over a period of five years, with the objectives of quantifying the effects on maize of applying cattle manure in combination with synthetic fertilizer with regard to soil characteristics, yield, plant nutrition and profitability. Maize grain yield was significantly increased by the annual application of cattle manure, compared to maize receiving an equal amount of N through synthetic fertilizer, but only from the third year of the experiment. The application of manure resulted in higher soil Kjel N, Bray-I P and exchangeable K values, and an increased N utilization efficiency by maize, suggesting that yield-limiting factors other than N deficiencies were of lesser importance than in the treatment receiving sole inorganic fertilizer. Nutrients other than N applied via the manure, particularly P, K and/or B, may have contributed to the higher grain yields in treatments receiving manure. A partial budgeting analysis revealed that, over a 5-year period, investments in the application of manure, in combination with synthetic fertilizer, resulted in higher margins than the application of fertilizer alone. However, analyses of marginal rates of return of changes from low urea N to high urea N or additional manure applications suggested that it was more profitable to invest in additional urea than in organic manure in the first two years of the experiment. The results suggested that manure applications, even when applied at relatively high rates, did not serve as a quick fix to on-farm soil fertility problems, but over a longer period, manure applied in combination with synthetic fertilizers did provide a significant and profitable contribution to enhanced cereal production

    A comparison between legume technologies and fallow, and their effects on maize and soil traits, in two distinct environments of the West African savannah

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    Legume¿maize rotation and maize nitrogen (N)-response trials were carried out simultaneously from 1998 to 2004 in two distinct agro-ecological environments of West Africa: the humid derived savannah (Ibadan) and the drier northern Guinea savannah (Zaria). In the N-response trial, maize was grown annually receiving urea N at 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 kg N ha¿1. In Ibadan, maize production increased with N fertilization, but mean annual grain yield declined over the course of the trial. In Zaria, no response to N treatments was observed initially, and an increase in the phosphorus (P) and sulphur (S) fertilizer application rate was required to increase yield across treatments and obtain a response to N applications, stressing the importance of non-N fertilizers in the savannah. In the rotation trial, a 2-year natural fallow¿maize rotation was compared with maize rotated with different legume types: green manure, forage, dual-purpose, and grain legumes. The cultivation of some legume types resulted in a greater annual maize production relative to the fallow¿maize combination and corresponding treatments in the N-response trial, while there was no gain in maize yield with other legume types. Large differences in the residual effects from legumes and fallow were also observed between sites, indicting a need for site-specific land management recommendations. In Ibadan, cultivation of maize after the forage legume (Stylosanthes guianensis) achieved the highest yield. The natural fallow¿maize rotation had improved soil characteristics (Bray-I P, exchangeable potassium, calcium and magnesium) at the end of the trial relative to legume¿maize rotations, and natural fallow resulted in higher maize yields than the green manure legume (Pueraria phaseoloides). In Zaria, maize following dual-purpose soybean achieved the highest mean yield. At both sites, variation in aboveground N and P dynamics of the legume and fallow vegetation could only partly explain the different residual effects on maiz

    Atmospheric neutrinos in ice and measurement of neutrino oscillation parameters

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    The main goal of the IceCube Deep Core Array is to search for neutrinos of astrophysical origins. Atmospheric neutrinos are commonly considered as a background for these searches. We show that the very high statistics atmospheric neutrino data can be used to obtain precise measurements of the main oscillation parameters.Comment: expanded discussion of systematic uncertainties, 8 pages, 4 figure

    Acute pulmonary pathology and sudden death in rats following the intravenous administration of the plasticizer, DI (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, solubilized with Tween surfactants

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    Intravenous administration of 200-300 mg/kg of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) solubilized in aqueous solutions of several Tween surfactants caused respiratory distress in rats. There was a dose-dependent lethality with death generally occurring within 90 minutes after injection. The lungs from DEHP:Tween treated animals were enlarged, generally darkened, and in some cases showed hemorrhagic congestion. Neither the overt symptoms nor the morphologic alterations resulting from DEHP:Tween administration could be reproduced by intravenous administration of aqueous Tween solutions alone. The absence of pulmonary abnormalities following the intravenous administration of DEHP as an aqueous emulsion given either alone or even as soon as 2 minutes after pretreatment with Tween 80, suggests that the specific in vivo interaction between DEHP and Tween surfactants depends on the prior formation of water-soluble micelles of DEHP

    Electronic Structures and Optical Properties of Partially and Fully Fluorinated Graphene

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    In this letter we study the electronic structures and optical properties of partially and fully fluorinated graphene by a combination of abinitio G0W0 calculations and large-scale multi-orbital tight-binding simulations. We find that for partially fluorinated graphene, the appearance of paired fluorine atoms is more favorable than unpaired atoms. We also show that different types of structural disorder, such as carbon vacancies, fluorine vacancies, fluorine vacancy-clusters and fluorine armchair- and zigzag-clusters, will introduce different types of midgap states and extra excitations within the optical gap. Furthermore we argue that the local formation of sp3sp^3 bonds upon fluorination can be distinguished from other disorder inducing mechanisms which do not destroy the sp2sp^2 hybrid orbitals by measuring the polarization rotation of passing polarized light.Comment: Final version appeared in Phys. Rev. Let

    Deep learning based pulse shape discrimination for germanium detectors

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    Experiments searching for rare processes like neutrinoless double beta decay heavily rely on the identification of background events to reduce their background level and increase their sensitivity. We present a novel machine learning based method to recognize one of the most abundant classes of background events in these experiments. By combining a neural network for feature extraction with a smaller classification network, our method can be trained with only a small number of labeled events. To validate our method, we use signals from a broad-energy germanium detector irradiated with a 228^{228}Th gamma source. We find that it matches the performance of state-of-the-art algorithms commonly used for this detector type. However, it requires less tuning and calibration and shows potential to identify certain types of background events missed by other methods.Comment: Published in Eur. Phys. J. C. 9 pages, 10 figures, 3 table

    Snowmelt and sublimation: field experiments and modelling in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco

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    International audienceSnow in the High Atlas Mountains is a major source for freshwater renewal and for water availability in the semi-arid lowlands of south-eastern Morocco. Snowfall- and snow-ablation monitoring and modelling is important for estimating potential water delivery from the mountain water towers to the forelands. This study is part of GLOWA-IMPETUS, an integrated management project dealing with scarce water resources in West Africa. The Ameskar study area is located to the south of the High Atlas Mountains, in their rain shadow. As a part of the M'Goun river basin within the upper Drâa valley, the study area is characterised by high radiation inputs, low atmospheric humidity and long periods with sub-zero temperatures. Its altitude ranges between 2000 m and 4000 m, with dominant north- and south-facing slopes. Snowfall occurs mainly from November to April but even summit regions can become repeatedly devoid of snow cover. Snow cover maps for the M'Goun basin (1240 km2) are derived from calculations of NDSI (Normalized Difference Snow Index) from MODIS satellite images and snow depth is monitored at four automatic weather stations between 2000?4000 m. Snowfall events are infrequent at lower altitudes. The presence of snow penitentes at altitudes above 3000 m indicates that snow sublimation is an important component of snow ablation. Snow ablation was modelled with the UEB Utah Energy Balance Model (Tarboton and Luce, 1996). This single layer, physically-based, point energy and mass balance model is driven by meteorological variables recorded at the automatic weather stations at Tounza (2960 m) and Tichki (3260 m). Data from snow pillows at Tounza and Tichki are used to validate the model's physical performance in terms of energy and water balances for a sequence of two snowfall events in the winter of 2003/4. First UEB modelling results show good overall performance and timing of snowmelt and sublimation compared to field investigations. Up to 44% of snow ablation is attributed to snow sublimation in typical winters with subzero temperatures and low atmospheric humidity at an altitude of 3000 m. At altitudes below 3000 m snowmelt generally dominates over sublimation. Unfortunately, the highest altitude zones suffer long periods with direct water loss into the atmosphere by sublimation in the course of which they cannot contribute to direct runoff or groundwater formation in the southern High Atlas Mountains. Keywords: sublimation, snow ablation modelling, energy balance model, High Atlas Mountain

    Emission cross sections for energetic O+^+(4S,2D,2P^4S,^2D,^2P)-N2_2 collisions

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    We report measurements of excitation functions for the O+−^{+}-N2_{2} process with the incident beam of 1−101-10 keV O+^{+} in the ground O+(4S)^{+}(^{4}S) and metastable O+(2D)^{+}(^{2}D) and O+(2P)^{+}(^{2}P) states. The measurements are performed with the sufficiently high energy resolution of 0.001 eV, which allows to distinguish the excitation channels. The excitation cross section induced by incident ions in the metastable state O+(2P)^{+}(^{2}P) is much larger than that for the ground O+(4S)^{+}(^{4}S). The excitation cross section of N2+_{2}^{+} ion for (0,0), (0,1) and (1,2) bands system is measured and the ratio of intensities for these bands is established as 10:3:1.10:3:1. It is shown that the cross sections for the N+∗^{+^{\ast }}ions excitations in the dissociative charge exchange processes increase with the increase of the incident ion energy. The energy dependence of the excitation cross section of the band (0,0) λ=391.4\lambda=391.4 nm of the first negative system of the N2+_{2}^{+} and degree of polarization of radiation in O+−^{+}-N2_{2} collision are measured for the first time. An influence of an admixture of the ion metastable state on a degree of polarization is revealed. It is demonstrated that for O+−^{+}-N2_{2} collision system the degree of polarization by metastable O+^{+}(2P^{2}P) ions is less compared to those that are in the ground O+^{+}(4S^{4}S) state and the sign of polarization degree of excited molecular ions does not change.Comment: 15 pages, 8 Figure
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