802 research outputs found

    GEM-TPC pre-design technical report

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    This document contains the pre-design of the beam diagnostics components Tracking Detectors for the Super-FRS. A GEM-TPC detector has been suggested as suitable tracking detector for the ion/fragment beams produced at the in-flight separator Super-FRS under construction at the FAIR facility. The detector concept combines two widely used approaches in gas filled detectors, the Time Projection Chamber (TPC) and the Gas Electron Multiplication (GEM). Three detector generations (prototypes) have been tested in 2011, 2012 and 2014 with relativistic ion beams at GSI. Due to the high-resolution achromatic mode of the Super-FRS, highly homogeneous transmission tracking detectors are crucial to tag the momentum of the ion/fragment beam. They must be able to provide precise information on the (horizontal and vertical) deviation from nominal beam optics, while operated with slow-extracted beam on event-by event basis, in order to provide unambiguous identification of the fragments. The main requirements are a maximum active area horizontally and vertically of (380x80) mm2, a position resolution of < 1 mm, a maximum rate capability of 1 MHz, a dynamic range of about 600 fC. About 32 tracking detectors operating in vacuum are needed along the Super-FRS beam line

    Technical Design Report for the Upgrade of the ALICE Time Projection Chamber

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    An interaction rate of 50 kHz is expected for the Pb-Pb periods after the luminosity upgrade of the LHC during LS2, and the ALICE upgrade plans foresee to operate the experiment at these interaction rates. For this purpose, the MWPC-based TPC readout chambers will be replaced by Gas Electron Multipliers (GEMs), allowing a continuous readout of the TPC. The details of this upgrade are described in this Technical Design Report

    Overview of recent TJ-II stellarator results

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    The main results obtained in the TJ-II stellarator in the last two years are reported. The most important topics investigated have been modelling and validation of impurity transport, validation of gyrokinetic simulations, turbulence characterisation, effect of magnetic configuration on transport, fuelling with pellet injection, fast particles and liquid metal plasma facing components. As regards impurity transport research, a number of working lines exploring several recently discovered effects have been developed: the effect of tangential drifts on stellarator neoclassical transport, the impurity flux driven by electric fields tangent to magnetic surfaces and attempts of experimental validation with Doppler reflectometry of the variation of the radial electric field on the flux surface. Concerning gyrokinetic simulations, two validation activities have been performed, the comparison with measurements of zonal flow relaxation in pellet-induced fast transients and the comparison with experimental poloidal variation of fluctuations amplitude. The impact of radial electric fields on turbulence spreading in the edge and scrape-off layer has been also experimentally characterized using a 2D Langmuir probe array. Another remarkable piece of work has been the investigation of the radial propagation of small temperature perturbations using transfer entropy. Research on the physics and modelling of plasma core fuelling with pellet and tracer-encapsulated solid-pellet injection has produced also relevant results. Neutral beam injection driven AlfvĂ©nic activity and its possible control by electron cyclotron current drive has been examined as well in TJ-II. Finally, recent results on alternative plasma facing components based on liquid metals are also presentedThis work has been carried out within the framework of the EUROfusion Consortium and has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014–2018 under Grant Agreement No. 633053. It has been partially funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia, InovaciĂłn y Universidades of Spain under projects ENE2013-48109-P, ENE2015-70142-P and FIS2017-88892-P. It has also received funds from the Spanish Government via mobility grant PRX17/00425. The authors thankfully acknowledge the computer resources at MareNostrum and the technical support provided by the Barcelona S.C. It has been supported as well by The Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), Project P-507F

    Cabbage and fermented vegetables : From death rate heterogeneity in countries to candidates for mitigation strategies of severe COVID-19

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    Large differences in COVID-19 death rates exist between countries and between regions of the same country. Some very low death rate countries such as Eastern Asia, Central Europe, or the Balkans have a common feature of eating large quantities of fermented foods. Although biases exist when examining ecological studies, fermented vegetables or cabbage have been associated with low death rates in European countries. SARS-CoV-2 binds to its receptor, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). As a result of SARS-CoV-2 binding, ACE2 downregulation enhances the angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT(1)R) axis associated with oxidative stress. This leads to insulin resistance as well as lung and endothelial damage, two severe outcomes of COVID-19. The nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) is the most potent antioxidant in humans and can block in particular the AT(1)R axis. Cabbage contains precursors of sulforaphane, the most active natural activator of Nrf2. Fermented vegetables contain many lactobacilli, which are also potent Nrf2 activators. Three examples are: kimchi in Korea, westernized foods, and the slum paradox. It is proposed that fermented cabbage is a proof-of-concept of dietary manipulations that may enhance Nrf2-associated antioxidant effects, helpful in mitigating COVID-19 severity.Peer reviewe

    Nrf2-interacting nutrients and COVID-19 : time for research to develop adaptation strategies

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    There are large between- and within-country variations in COVID-19 death rates. Some very low death rate settings such as Eastern Asia, Central Europe, the Balkans and Africa have a common feature of eating large quantities of fermented foods whose intake is associated with the activation of the Nrf2 (Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2) anti-oxidant transcription factor. There are many Nrf2-interacting nutrients (berberine, curcumin, epigallocatechin gallate, genistein, quercetin, resveratrol, sulforaphane) that all act similarly to reduce insulin resistance, endothelial damage, lung injury and cytokine storm. They also act on the same mechanisms (mTOR: Mammalian target of rapamycin, PPAR gamma:Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, NF kappa B: Nuclear factor kappa B, ERK: Extracellular signal-regulated kinases and eIF2 alpha:Elongation initiation factor 2 alpha). They may as a result be important in mitigating the severity of COVID-19, acting through the endoplasmic reticulum stress or ACE-Angiotensin-II-AT(1)R axis (AT(1)R) pathway. Many Nrf2-interacting nutrients are also interacting with TRPA1 and/or TRPV1. Interestingly, geographical areas with very low COVID-19 mortality are those with the lowest prevalence of obesity (Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia). It is tempting to propose that Nrf2-interacting foods and nutrients can re-balance insulin resistance and have a significant effect on COVID-19 severity. It is therefore possible that the intake of these foods may restore an optimal natural balance for the Nrf2 pathway and may be of interest in the mitigation of COVID-19 severity

    Obeticholic acid for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis: interim analysis from a multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial

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    Background Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a common type of chronic liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis. Obeticholic acid, a farnesoid X receptor agonist, has been shown to improve the histological features of NASH. Here we report results from a planned interim analysis of an ongoing, phase 3 study of obeticholic acid for NASH. Methods In this multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, adult patients with definite NASH,non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) activity score of at least 4, and fibrosis stages F2–F3, or F1 with at least oneaccompanying comorbidity, were randomly assigned using an interactive web response system in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive oral placebo, obeticholic acid 10 mg, or obeticholic acid 25 mg daily. Patients were excluded if cirrhosis, other chronic liver disease, elevated alcohol consumption, or confounding conditions were present. The primary endpointsfor the month-18 interim analysis were fibrosis improvement (≄1 stage) with no worsening of NASH, or NASH resolution with no worsening of fibrosis, with the study considered successful if either primary endpoint was met. Primary analyses were done by intention to treat, in patients with fibrosis stage F2–F3 who received at least one dose of treatment and reached, or would have reached, the month 18 visit by the prespecified interim analysis cutoff date. The study also evaluated other histological and biochemical markers of NASH and fibrosis, and safety. This study is ongoing, and registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02548351, and EudraCT, 20150-025601-6. Findings Between Dec 9, 2015, and Oct 26, 2018, 1968 patients with stage F1–F3 fibrosis were enrolled and received at least one dose of study treatment; 931 patients with stage F2–F3 fibrosis were included in the primary analysis (311 in the placebo group, 312 in the obeticholic acid 10 mg group, and 308 in the obeticholic acid 25 mg group). The fibrosis improvement endpoint was achieved by 37 (12%) patients in the placebo group, 55 (18%) in the obeticholic acid 10 mg group (p=0·045), and 71 (23%) in the obeticholic acid 25 mg group (p=0·0002). The NASH resolution endpoint was not met (25 [8%] patients in the placebo group, 35 [11%] in the obeticholic acid 10 mg group [p=0·18], and 36 [12%] in the obeticholic acid 25 mg group [p=0·13]). In the safety population (1968 patients with fibrosis stages F1–F3), the most common adverse event was pruritus (123 [19%] in the placebo group, 183 [28%] in the obeticholic acid 10 mg group, and 336 [51%] in the obeticholic acid 25 mg group); incidence was generally mild to moderate in severity. The overall safety profile was similar to that in previous studies, and incidence of serious adverse events was similar across treatment groups (75 [11%] patients in the placebo group, 72 [11%] in the obeticholic acid 10 mg group, and 93 [14%] in the obeticholic acid 25 mg group). Interpretation Obeticholic acid 25 mg significantly improved fibrosis and key components of NASH disease activity among patients with NASH. The results from this planned interim analysis show clinically significant histological improvement that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. This study is ongoing to assess clinical outcomes

    Development and validation of HERWIG 7 tunes from CMS underlying-event measurements