249 research outputs found

    The background in the neutrinoless double beta decay experiment GERDA

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    The GERmanium Detector Array (GERDA) experiment at the Gran Sasso underground laboratory (LNGS) of INFN is searching for neutrinoless double beta decay of 76Ge. The signature of the signal is a monoenergetic peak at 2039 keV, the Q-value of the decay, Q_bb. To avoid bias in the signal search, the present analysis does not consider all those events, that fall in a 40 keV wide region centered around Q_bb. The main parameters needed for the neutrinoless double beta decay analysis are described. A background model was developed to describe the observed energy spectrum. The model contains several contributions, that are expected on the basis of material screening or that are established by the observation of characteristic structures in the energy spectrum. The model predicts a flat energy spectrum for the blinding window around Q_bb with a background index ranging from 17.6 to 23.8*10^{-3} counts/(keV kg yr). A part of the data not considered before has been used to test if the predictions of the background model are consistent. The observed number of events in this energy region is consistent with the background model. The background at Q-bb is dominated by close sources, mainly due to 42K, 214Bi, 228Th, 60Co and alpha emitting isotopes from the 226Ra decay chain. The individual fractions depend on the assumed locations of the contaminants. It is shown, that after removal of the known gamma peaks, the energy spectrum can be fitted in an energy range of 200 kev around Q_bb with a constant background. This gives a background index consistent with the full model and uncertainties of the same size

    Status of the GERDA experiment

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    The study of neutrinoless double beta (0nbb) decay is the only one presently known approach to the fundamental question if the neutrino is a Majorana particle, i.e. its own anti-particle. The observation of 0nbb decay would prove that lepton number is not conserved, establish that neutrino has a Majorana component and, assuming that light neutrino is the dominating process, provide a method for the determination of its effective mass. GERDA is a new 0nbb decay experiment which is currently taking data at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) of INFN in Italy. It implements a new shielding concept by operating bare diodes made from Ge with enriched 76Ge in high purity liquid argon supplemented by a water shield. The aim of GERDA is to verify or refute the recent claim of discovery, and, in a second phase, to achieve a two orders of magnitude lower background index than past experiments, to increase the sensitive mass and to collect an exposure of 100 kg yr. The paper will discuss design, physics reach, and status of data taking of GERDA.JRC.D.4-Standards for Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguard

    The recognition of early developmental stages in haemopoiesis

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    Almost all tissues of multicellular organisms contain cells which have the capacity to change their proliferative activity according to the demand. Some tissues show little or no cellular turnover under normal steady state conditions, but they can switch to a regeneration process in response to perturbation (e.g., mechanical injury). In other tissues, there is continuous cell production to compensate for cell loss due to the continuous utilization of functional cells even under normal conditions. Variation in demand is met by variation in the rate of cell production. The cells which generate offspring throughout life in the continuously renewing tissues are usually designated as stem cells. Stem cells are capable of extensive proliferation which results in new stem cells as well as differentiating cells. The most extensively studied stem cell systems in vertebrates are those of the epidermis, the intestinal epithelium, the testis and the haemopoietic tissues. These systems are commonly used for investigations on the mechanisms of cellular differentiation. In comparison to differentiation processes during embryogenesis, the organization of the stem cell systems in the adult is relatively simple. In adulthood, differentiation is restricted to one or to a limited number of cell types, while, in embryogenesis, differentiation into a large variety of tissues takes plac

    Price assymetry in the Dutch retail gasoline market

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    This paper analyses retail price adjustments in the Dutch gasoline market. We estimate an asymmetric error correction model on weekly price changes for the years 1996 to 2001. We construct five datasets, one for each working day. The conclusions on asymmetric pricing are shown to differ over these datasets, suggesting that the choice of the day for which prices are observed matters more than commonly believed. In our view, the insufficient robustness of outcomes might explain the mixed conclusions found in the literature. Using two approaches, we also show that the effect of asymmetry on Dutch consumer costs is negligible

    Oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines contribute to demyelination and axonal damage in a cerebellar culture model of neuroinflammation

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    Background: Demyelination and axonal damage are critical processes in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokines elicited by inflammation mediates tissue damage. Methods/Principal Findings: To monitor the demyelination and axonal injury associated with microglia activation we employed a model using cerebellar organotypic cultures stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Microglia activated by LPS released pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1ő≤, IL-6 and TNFőĪ), and increased the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This activation was associated with demyelination and axonal damage in cerebellar cultures. Axonal damage, as revealed by the presence of non-phosphorylated neurofilaments, mitochondrial accumulation in axonal spheroids, and axonal transection, was associated with stronger iNOS expression and concomitant increases in ROS. Moreover, we analyzed the contribution of pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress in demyelination and axonal degeneration using the iNOS inhibitor ethyl pyruvate, a free-scavenger and xanthine oxidase inhibitor allopurinol, as well as via blockage of pro-inflammatory cytokines using a Fc-TNFR1 construct. We found that blocking microglia activation with ethyl pyruvate or allopurinol significantly decreased axonal damage, and to a lesser extent, demyelination. Blocking TNFőĪ significantly decreased demyelination but did not prevented axonal damage. Moreover, the most common therapy for MS, interferon-beta, was used as an example of an immunomodulator compound that can be tested in this model. In vitro, interferon-beta treatment decreased oxidative stress (iNOS and ROS levels) and the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines after LPS stimulation, reducing axonal damage. Conclusion: The model of neuroinflammation using cerebellar culture stimulated with endotoxin mimicked myelin and axonal damage mediated by the combination of oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokines. This model may both facilitate understanding of the events involved in neuroinflammation and aid in the development of neuroprotective therapies for the treatment of MS and other neurodegenerative diseases

    First results on ProtoDUNE-SP liquid argon time projection chamber performance from a beam test at the CERN Neutrino Platform

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    The ProtoDUNE-SP detector is a single-phase liquid argon time projection chamber with an active volume of 7.2√ó 6.1√ó 7.0 m3. It is installed at the CERN Neutrino Platform in a specially-constructed beam that delivers charged pions, kaons, protons, muons and electrons with momenta in the range 0.3 GeV/c to 7 GeV/c. Beam line instrumentation provides accurate momentum measurements and particle identification. The ProtoDUNE-SP detector is a prototype for the first far detector module of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, and it incorporates full-size components as designed for that module. This paper describes the beam line, the time projection chamber, the photon detectors, the cosmic-ray tagger, the signal processing and particle reconstruction. It presents the first results on ProtoDUNE-SP\u27s performance, including noise and gain measurements, dE/dx calibration for muons, protons, pions and electrons, drift electron lifetime measurements, and photon detector noise, signal sensitivity and time resolution measurements. The measured values meet or exceed the specifications for the DUNE far detector, in several cases by large margins. ProtoDUNE-SP\u27s successful operation starting in 2018 and its production of large samples of high-quality data demonstrate the effectiveness of the single-phase far detector design

    Long-baseline neutrino oscillation physics potential of the DUNE experiment

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    The sensitivity of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) to neutrino oscillation is determined, based on a full simulation, reconstruction, and event selection of the far detector and a full simulation and parameterized analysis of the near detector. Detailed uncertainties due to the flux prediction, neutrino interaction model, and detector effects are included. DUNE will resolve the neutrino mass ordering to a precision of 5ŌÉ, for all őī_(CP) values, after 2 years of running with the nominal detector design and beam configuration. It has the potential to observe charge-parity violation in the neutrino sector to a precision of 3ŌÉ (5ŌÉ) after an exposure of 5 (10) years, for 50% of all őī_(CP) values. It will also make precise measurements of other parameters governing long-baseline neutrino oscillation, and after an exposure of 15 years will achieve a similar sensitivity to sin¬≤őł‚āĀ‚āÉ to current reactor experiments

    Long-baseline neutrino oscillation physics potential of the DUNE experiment

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    The sensitivity of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) to neutrino oscillation is determined, based on a full simulation, reconstruction, and event selection of the far detector and a full simulation and parameterized analysis of the near detector. Detailed uncertainties due to the flux prediction, neutrino interaction model, and detector effects are included. DUNE will resolve the neutrino mass ordering to a precision of 5ŌÉ, for all őĎCP values, after 2 years of running with the nominal detector design and beam configuration. It has the potential to observe charge-parity violation in the neutrino sector to a precision of 3ŌÉ (5ŌÉ) after an exposure of 5 (10) years, for 50% of all őĎCP values. It will also make precise measurements of other parameters governing long-baseline neutrino oscillation, and after an exposure of 15 years will achieve a similar sensitivity to sin22őł13 to current reactor experiments

    Prospects for Beyond the Standard Model Physics Searches at the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment