26 research outputs found

    The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment: Exploring Fundamental Symmetries of the Universe

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    The preponderance of matter over antimatter in the early Universe, the dynamics of the supernova bursts that produced the heavy elements necessary for life and whether protons eventually decay --- these mysteries at the forefront of particle physics and astrophysics are key to understanding the early evolution of our Universe, its current state and its eventual fate. The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) represents an extensively developed plan for a world-class experiment dedicated to addressing these questions. LBNE is conceived around three central components: (1) a new, high-intensity neutrino source generated from a megawatt-class proton accelerator at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, (2) a near neutrino detector just downstream of the source, and (3) a massive liquid argon time-projection chamber deployed as a far detector deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. This facility, located at the site of the former Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota, is approximately 1,300 km from the neutrino source at Fermilab -- a distance (baseline) that delivers optimal sensitivity to neutrino charge-parity symmetry violation and mass ordering effects. This ambitious yet cost-effective design incorporates scalability and flexibility and can accommodate a variety of upgrades and contributions. With its exceptional combination of experimental configuration, technical capabilities, and potential for transformative discoveries, LBNE promises to be a vital facility for the field of particle physics worldwide, providing physicists from around the globe with opportunities to collaborate in a twenty to thirty year program of exciting science. In this document we provide a comprehensive overview of LBNE's scientific objectives, its place in the landscape of neutrino physics worldwide, the technologies it will incorporate and the capabilities it will possess.Comment: Major update of previous version. This is the reference document for LBNE science program and current status. Chapters 1, 3, and 9 provide a comprehensive overview of LBNE's scientific objectives, its place in the landscape of neutrino physics worldwide, the technologies it will incorporate and the capabilities it will possess. 288 pages, 116 figure

    Expanding the diversity of mycobacteriophages: insights into genome architecture and evolution.

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    Mycobacteriophages are viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts such as Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. All mycobacteriophages characterized to date are dsDNA tailed phages, and have either siphoviral or myoviral morphotypes. However, their genetic diversity is considerable, and although sixty-two genomes have been sequenced and comparatively analyzed, these likely represent only a small portion of the diversity of the mycobacteriophage population at large. Here we report the isolation, sequencing and comparative genomic analysis of 18 new mycobacteriophages isolated from geographically distinct locations within the United States. Although no clear correlation between location and genome type can be discerned, these genomes expand our knowledge of mycobacteriophage diversity and enhance our understanding of the roles of mobile elements in viral evolution. Expansion of the number of mycobacteriophages grouped within Cluster A provides insights into the basis of immune specificity in these temperate phages, and we also describe a novel example of apparent immunity theft. The isolation and genomic analysis of bacteriophages by freshman college students provides an example of an authentic research experience for novice scientists

    Remote sensing is a viable tool for mapping soil salinity in agricultural lands

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    Soil salinity negatively impacts the productivity and profitability of western San Joaquin Valley (WSJV) farmland. Many factors, including drought, climate change, reduced water allocations, and land-use changes could worsen salinity conditions there, and in other agricultural lands in the state. Mapping soil salinity at regional and state levels is essential for identifying drivers and trends in agricultural soil salinity, and for developing mitigation strategies, but traditional soil sampling for salinity does not allow for accurate large-scale mapping. We tested remote-sensing modeling to map root zone soil salinity for farmland in the WSJV. According to our map, 0.78 million acres are salt affected (i.e., ECe > 4 dS/m), which represents 45% of the mapped farmland; 30% of that acreage is strongly or extremely saline. Independent validations of the remote-sensing estimations indicated acceptable to excellent correspondences, except in areas of low salinity and high soil heterogeneity. Remote sensing is a viable tool for helping landowners make decisions about land use and also for helping water districts and state agencies develop salinity mitigation strategies

    Enriching college students through study abroad: a case of Nepal Field Experience - Part 1

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    With a view of providing an unsurpassed opportunity to college students, who are mostly from Louisiana, in gaining a comprehensive understanding of Global Climate Change issues, we completed the first Nepal Field Experience Pilot Study Abroad from May 21-June 8, 2019. A total of fifteen students from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, and one graduate student from University of Arizona, Arizona, USA, participated in the program. Students examined and documented the effects of climate change impacts on agriculture, water resources, wildlife, local communities, forest resources, and other ecological and environmental settings of the country. They identified various climate change mitigation and adaptation measures that had been implemented and noted gaps between policy measures and ground realities. Research topics selected by the students included the following: climate change impacts on wildlife, water pollution, structural geology of Nepal, changing rainfall patterns and adaptation, climate change and agricultural production, geology of Kathmandu valley, air quality of Kathmandu valley, changing hydrology of glaciated landscape, climate change and geohazards, emerging diseases and pests on agricultural crops, climate change adaptation by local communities, green infrastructure and climate-smart technologies, climate change impact on drinking water sources, the roadside geology, and emerging diseases, parasites and zoonotics. Each student completed their individual research project, synthesized the results, and presented to local stakeholders in conference organized by a nonprofit nongovernmental organization, Asta-Ja Rsearch and Development Center (Asta-Ja RDC), Kathmandu, Nepal. Findings of the study reveal that Nepal is experiencing huge impacts of climate change in multiple fronts including atmospheric conditions and snowfall, temperature rise, occurrence of droughts and flooding, changes on monsoon pattern, emerging diseases and pests on crops and livestock, and declining drinking water sources. Environmental pollution, especially the air and water pollution and waste management, was very serious affecting public health, aesthetics, and even the tourism of the country. In order to reverse environmental degradation and enhance climate change adaptation, immediate implementation of effective, comprehensive, coordinated, and well-thought-out climate change adaptation and environmental initiatives are necessary. Nepal Field Experience was a lifetime learning experience for the students

    Enriching college students through study abroad: a case of Nepal Field Experience - Part 2

    No full text
    With a view of providing an unsurpassed opportunity to college students, who are mostly from Louisiana, in gaining a comprehensive understanding of Global Climate Change issues, we completed the first Nepal Field Experience Pilot Study Abroad from May 21-June 8, 2019. A total of fifteen students from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, and one graduate student from University of Arizona, Arizona, USA, participated in the program. Students examined and documented the effects of climate change impacts on agriculture, water resources, wildlife, local communities, forest resources, and other ecological and environmental settings of the country. They identified various climate change mitigation and adaptation measures that had been implemented and noted gaps between policy measures and ground realities. Research topics selected by the students included the following: climate change impacts on wildlife, water pollution, structural geology of Nepal, changing rainfall patterns and adaptation, climate change and agricultural production, geology of Kathmandu valley, air quality of Kathmandu valley, changing hydrology of glaciated landscape, climate change and geohazards, emerging diseases and pests on agricultural crops, climate change adaptation by local communities, green infrastructure and climate-smart technologies, climate change impact on drinking water sources, the roadside geology, and emerging diseases, parasites and zoonotics. Each student completed their individual research project, synthesized the results, and presented to local stakeholders in conference organized by a nonprofit nongovernmental organization, Asta-Ja Rsearch and Development Center (Asta-Ja RDC), Kathmandu, Nepal. Findings of the study reveal that Nepal is experiencing huge impacts of climate change in multiple fronts including atmospheric conditions and snowfall, temperature rise, occurrence of droughts and flooding, changes on monsoon pattern, emerging diseases and pests on crops and livestock, and declining drinking water sources. Environmental pollution, especially the air and water pollution and waste management, was very serious affecting public health, aesthetics, and even the tourism of the country. In order to reverse environmental degradation and enhance climate change adaptation, immediate implementation of effective, comprehensive, coordinated, and well-thought-out climate change adaptation and environmental initiatives are necessary. Nepal Field Experience was a lifetime learning experience for the students

    Enriching college students through study abroad: a case of Nepal Field Experience - Part 3

    No full text
    With a view of providing an unsurpassed opportunity to college students, who are mostly from Louisiana, in gaining a comprehensive understanding of Global Climate Change issues, we completed the first Nepal Field Experience Pilot Study Abroad from May 21-June 8, 2019. A total of fifteen students from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, and one graduate student from University of Arizona, Arizona, USA, participated in the program. Students examined and documented the effects of climate change impacts on agriculture, water resources, wildlife, local communities, forest resources, and other ecological and environmental settings of the country. They identified various climate change mitigation and adaptation measures that had been implemented and noted gaps between policy measures and ground realities. Research topics selected by the students included the following: climate change impacts on wildlife, water pollution, structural geology of Nepal, changing rainfall patterns and adaptation, climate change and agricultural production, geology of Kathmandu valley, air quality of Kathmandu valley, changing hydrology of glaciated landscape, climate change and geohazards, emerging diseases and pests on agricultural crops, climate change adaptation by local communities, green infrastructure and climate-smart technologies, climate change impact on drinking water sources, the roadside geology, and emerging diseases, parasites and zoonotics. Each student completed their individual research project, synthesized the results, and presented to local stakeholders in conference organized by a nonprofit nongovernmental organization, Asta-Ja Rsearch and Development Center (Asta-Ja RDC), Kathmandu, Nepal. Findings of the study reveal that Nepal is experiencing huge impacts of climate change in multiple fronts including atmospheric conditions and snowfall, temperature rise, occurrence of droughts and flooding, changes on monsoon pattern, emerging diseases and pests on crops and livestock, and declining drinking water sources. Environmental pollution, especially the air and water pollution and waste management, was very serious affecting public health, aesthetics, and even the tourism of the country. In order to reverse environmental degradation and enhance climate change adaptation, immediate implementation of effective, comprehensive, coordinated, and well-thought-out climate change adaptation and environmental initiatives are necessary. Nepal Field Experience was a lifetime learning experience for the students
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