3,943 research outputs found

    Lighting Up DNA with the Environment-Sensitive Bright Adenine Analogue qAN4

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    The fluorescent adenine analogue qAN4 was recently shown to possess promising photophysical properties, including a high brightness as a monomer. Here we report the synthesis of the phosphoramidite of qAN4 and its successful incorporation into DNA oligonucleotides using standard solid-phase synthesis. Circular dichroism and thermal melting studies indicate that the qAN4-modification has a stabilizing effect on the B-form of DNA. Moreover, qAN4 base-pairs selectively with thymine with mismatch penalties similar to those of mismatches of adenine. The low energy absorption band of qAN4 inside DNA has its peak around 358 nm and the emission in duplex DNA is partly quenched and blue-shifted (ca. 410 nm), compared to the monomeric form. The spectral properties of the fluorophore also show sensitivity to pH; a property that may find biological applications. Quantum yields in single-stranded DNA range from 1-29 % and in duplex DNA from 1-7 %. In combination with the absorptive properties, this gives an average brightness inside duplex DNA of 275 M-1  cm-1 , more than five times higher than the most used environment-sensitive fluorescent base analogue, 2-aminopurine. Finally, we show that qAN4 can be used to advantage as a donor for interbase FRET applications in combination with adenine analogue qAnitro as an acceptor

    Factors that transformed maize productivity in Ethiopia

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    Published online: 26 July 2015Maize became increasingly important in the food security of Ethiopia following the major drought and famine that occurred in 1984. More than 9 million smallholder house- holds, more than for any other crop in the country, grow maize in Ethiopia at present. Ethiopia has doubled its maize produc- tivity and production in less than two decades. The yield, currently estimated at >3 metric tons/ha, is the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa; yield gains for Ethiopia grew at an annual rate of 68 kg/ha between 1990 and 2013, only second to South Africa and greater than Mexico, China, or India. The maize area covered by improved varieties in Ethiopia grew from 14 % in 2004 to 40 % in 2013, and the application rate of mineral fertilizers from 16 to 34 kg/ ha during the same period. Ethiopia ’ s extension worker to farmer ratio is 1:476, compared to 1:1000 for Kenya, 1:1603 for Malawi and 1:2500 for Tanzania. Increased use of im- proved maize varieties and mineral fertilizers, coupled with increased extension services and the absence of devastating droughts are the key factors promoting the accelerated growth in maize productivity in Ethiopia. Ethiopia took a homegrown solutions approach to the research and development of its maize and other commodities. The lesson from Ethiopia ’ s experience with maize is that sustained investment in agricul- tural research and development and policy support by the national government are crucial for continued growth of agricultur

    OGLE-2005-BLG-071Lb, the Most Massive M-Dwarf Planetary Companion?

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    We combine all available information to constrain the nature of OGLE-2005-BLG-071Lb, the second planet discovered by microlensing and the first in a high-magnification event. These include photometric and astrometric measurements from Hubble Space Telescope, as well as constraints from higher order effects extracted from the ground-based light curve, such as microlens parallax, planetary orbital motion and finite-source effects. Our primary analysis leads to the conclusion that the host of Jovian planet OGLE-2005-BLG-071Lb is an M dwarf in the foreground disk with mass M= 0.46 +/- 0.04 Msun, distance D_l = 3.3 +/- 0.4 kpc, and thick-disk kinematics v_LSR ~ 103 km/s. From the best-fit model, the planet has mass M_p = 3.8 +/- 0.4 M_Jup, lies at a projected separation r_perp = 3.6 +/- 0.2 AU from its host and so has an equilibrium temperature of T ~ 55 K, i.e., similar to Neptune. A degenerate model less favored by \Delta\chi^2 = 2.1 (or 2.2, depending on the sign of the impact parameter) gives similar planetary mass M_p = 3.4 +/- 0.4 M_Jup with a smaller projected separation, r_\perp = 2.1 +/- 0.1 AU, and higher equilibrium temperature T ~ 71 K. These results from the primary analysis suggest that OGLE-2005-BLG-071Lb is likely to be the most massive planet yet discovered that is hosted by an M dwarf. However, the formation of such high-mass planetary companions in the outer regions of M-dwarf planetary systems is predicted to be unlikely within the core-accretion scenario. There are a number of caveats to this primary analysis, which assumes (based on real but limited evidence) that the unlensed light coincident with the source is actually due to the lens, that is, the planetary host. However, these caveats could mostly be resolved by a single astrometric measurement a few years after the event.Comment: 51 pages, 12 figures, 3 tables, Published in Ap

    Planet Sensitivity from Combined Ground- and Space-based Microlensing Observations

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    To move one step forward toward a Galactic distribution of planets, we present the first planet sensitivity analysis for microlensing events with simultaneous observations from space and the ground. We present this analysis for two such events, OGLE-2014-BLG-0939 and OGLE-2014-BLG-0124, which both show substantial planet sensitivity even though neither of them reached high magnification. This suggests that an ensemble of low to moderate magnification events can also yield significant planet sensitivity and therefore probability to detect planets. The implications of our results to the ongoing and future space-based microlensing experiments to measure the Galactic distribution of planets are discussed.Comment: 10 pages, 5 figures, 1 table; ApJ in pres

    OGLE-2005-BLG-153: Microlensing Discovery and Characterization of A Very Low Mass Binary

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    The mass function and statistics of binaries provide important diagnostics of the star formation process. Despite this importance, the mass function at low masses remains poorly known due to observational difficulties caused by the faintness of the objects. Here we report the microlensing discovery and characterization of a binary lens composed of very low-mass stars just above the hydrogen-burning limit. From the combined measurements of the Einstein radius and microlens parallax, we measure the masses of the binary components of 0.10±0.01 M⊙0.10\pm 0.01\ M_\odot and 0.09±0.01 M⊙0.09\pm 0.01\ M_\odot. This discovery demonstrates that microlensing will provide a method to measure the mass function of all Galactic populations of very low mass binaries that is independent of the biases caused by the luminosity of the population.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figures, 1 tabl

    Determination of the b quark mass at the M_Z scale with the DELPHI detector at LEP

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    An experimental study of the normalized three-jet rate of b quark events with respect to light quarks events (light= \ell \equiv u,d,s) has been performed using the CAMBRIDGE and DURHAM jet algorithms. The data used were collected by the DELPHI experiment at LEP on the Z peak from 1994 to 2000. The results are found to agree with theoretical predictions treating mass corrections at next-to-leading order. Measurements of the b quark mass have also been performed for both the b pole mass: M_b and the b running mass: m_b(M_Z). Data are found to be better described when using the running mass. The measurement yields: m_b(M_Z) = 2.85 +/- 0.18 (stat) +/- 0.13 (exp) +/- 0.19 (had) +/- 0.12 (theo) GeV/c^2 for the CAMBRIDGE algorithm. This result is the most precise measurement of the b mass derived from a high energy process. When compared to other b mass determinations by experiments at lower energy scales, this value agrees with the prediction of Quantum Chromodynamics for the energy evolution of the running mass. The mass measurement is equivalent to a test of the flavour independence of the strong coupling constant with an accuracy of 7 permil.Comment: 24 pages, 10 figures, Accepted by Eur. Phys. J.

    Study of Leading Hadrons in Gluon and Quark Fragmentation

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    The study of quark jets in e+e- reactions at LEP has demonstrated that the hadronisation process is reproduced well by the Lund string model. However, our understanding of gluon fragmentation is less complete. In this study enriched quark and gluon jet samples of different purities are selected in three-jet events from hadronic decays of the Z collected by the DELPHI experiment in the LEP runs during 1994 and 1995. The leading systems of the two kinds of jets are defined by requiring a rapidity gap and their sum of charges is studied. An excess of leading systems with total charge zero is found for gluon jets in all cases, when compared to Monte Carlo Simulations with JETSET (with and without Bose-Einstein correlations included) and ARIADNE. The corresponding leading systems of quark jets do not exhibit such an excess. The influence of the gap size and of the gluon purity on the effect is studied and a concentration of the excess of neutral leading systems at low invariant masses (<~ 2 GeV/c^2) is observed, indicating that gluon jets might have an additional hitherto undetected fragmentation mode via a two-gluon system. This could be an indication of a possible production of gluonic states as predicted by QCD.Comment: 19 pages, 6 figures, Accepted by Phys. Lett.

    Measurement and Interpretation of Fermion-Pair Production at LEP energies above the Z Resonance

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    This paper presents DELPHI measurements and interpretations of cross-sections, forward-backward asymmetries, and angular distributions, for the e+e- -> ffbar process for centre-of-mass energies above the Z resonance, from sqrt(s) ~ 130 - 207 GeV at the LEP collider. The measurements are consistent with the predictions of the Standard Model and are used to study a variety of models including the S-Matrix ansatz for e+e- -> ffbar scattering and several models which include physics beyond the Standard Model: the exchange of Z' bosons, contact interactions between fermions, the exchange of gravitons in large extra dimensions and the exchange of sneutrino in R-parity violating supersymmetry.Comment: 79 pages, 16 figures, Accepted by Eur. Phys. J.

    Study of Inclusive J/psi Production in Two-Photon Collisions at LEP II with the DELPHI Detector

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    Inclusive J/psi production in photon-photon collisions has been observed at LEP II beam energies. A clear signal from the reaction gamma gamma -> J/psi+X is seen. The number of observed N(J/psi -> mu+mu-) events is 36 +/- 7 for an integrated luminosity of 617 pb^{-1}, yielding a cross-section of sigma(J/psi+X) = 45 +/- 9 (stat) +/- 17 (syst) pb. Based on a study of the event shapes of different types of gamma gamma processes in the PYTHIA program, we conclude that (74 +/- 22)% of the observed J/psi events are due to `resolved' photons, the dominant contribution of which is most probably due to the gluon content of the photon.Comment: 13 pages, 8 figures, Accepted by Phys. Lett.