1,214 research outputs found

    Bright Opportunities for Atmospheric Characterization of Small Planets: Masses and Radii of K2-3 b, c, and d and GJ3470 b from Radial Velocity Measurements and Spitzer Transits

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    We report improved masses, radii, and densities for four planets in two bright M-dwarf systems, K2-3 and GJ3470, derived from a combination of new radial velocity and transit observations. Supplementing K2 photometry with follow-up Spitzer transit observations refined the transit ephemerides of K2-3 b, c, and d by over a factor of 10. We analyze ground-based photometry from the Evryscope and Fairborn Observatory to determine the characteristic stellar activity timescales for our Gaussian Process fit, including the stellar rotation period and activity region decay timescale. The stellar rotation signals for both stars are evident in the radial velocity data and is included in our fit using a Gaussian process trained on the photometry. We find the masses of K2-3 b, K2-3 c, and GJ3470 b to be 6.48{}-0.93+0.99, 2.14{}-1.04+1.08, and 12.58{}-1.28+1.31 M ⊕, respectively. K2-3 d was not significantly detected and has a 3σ upper limit of 2.80 M ⊕. These two systems are training cases for future TESS systems; due to the low planet densities (ρ < 3.7 g cm-3) and bright host stars (K < 9 mag), they are among the best candidates for transmission spectroscopy in order to characterize the atmospheric compositions of small planets

    Evaluating protein cross-linking as a therapeutic strategy to stabilize SOD1 variants in a mouse model of familial ALS.

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    Mutations in the gene encoding Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) cause a subset of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS) cases. A shared effect of these mutations is that SOD1, which is normally a stable dimer, dissociates into toxic monomers that seed toxic aggregates. Considerable research effort has been devoted to developing compounds that stabilize the dimer of fALS SOD1 variants, but unfortunately, this has not yet resulted in a treatment. We hypothesized that cyclic thiosulfinate cross-linkers, which selectively target a rare, 2 cysteine-containing motif, can stabilize fALS-causing SOD1 variants in vivo. We created a library of chemically diverse cyclic thiosulfinates and determined structure-cross-linking-activity relationships. A pre-lead compound, "S-XL6," was selected based upon its cross-linking rate and drug-like properties. Co-crystallographic structure clearly establishes the binding of S-XL6 at Cys 111 bridging the monomers and stabilizing the SOD1 dimer. Biophysical studies reveal that the degree of stabilization afforded by S-XL6 (up to 24°C) is unprecedented for fALS, and to our knowledge, for any protein target of any kinetic stabilizer. Gene silencing and protein degrading therapeutic approaches require careful dose titration to balance the benefit of diminished fALS SOD1 expression with the toxic loss-of-enzymatic function. We show that S-XL6 does not share this liability because it rescues the activity of fALS SOD1 variants. No pharmacological agent has been proven to bind to SOD1 in vivo. Here, using a fALS mouse model, we demonstrate oral bioavailability; rapid engagement of SOD1G93A by S-XL6 that increases SOD1G93A's in vivo half-life; and that S-XL6 crosses the blood-brain barrier. S-XL6 demonstrated a degree of selectivity by avoiding off-target binding to plasma proteins. Taken together, our results indicate that cyclic thiosulfinate-mediated SOD1 stabilization should receive further attention as a potential therapeutic approach for fALS

    The TESS-Keck Survey. XV. Precise Properties of 108 TESS Planets and Their Host Stars

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    We present the stellar and planetary properties for 85 TESS Objects of Interest (TOIs) hosting 108 planet candidates that compose the TESS-Keck Survey (TKS) sample. We combine photometry, high-resolution spectroscopy, and Gaia parallaxes to measure precise and accurate stellar properties. We then use these parameters as inputs to a light-curve processing pipeline to recover planetary signals and homogeneously fit their transit properties. Among these transit fits, we detect significant transit-timing variations among at least three multiplanet systems (TOI-1136, TOI-1246, TOI-1339) and at least one single-planet system (TOI-1279). We also reduce the uncertainties on planet-to-star radius ratios R _p / R _⋆ across our sample, from a median fractional uncertainty of 8.8% among the original TOI Catalog values to 3.0% among our updated results. With this improvement, we are able to recover the Radius Gap among small TKS planets and find that the topology of the Radius Gap among our sample is broadly consistent with that measured among Kepler planets. The stellar and planetary properties presented here will facilitate follow-up investigations of both individual TOIs and broader trends in planet properties, system dynamics, and the evolution of planetary systems

    Metagenomic Detection of Divergent Insect- and Bat-Associated Viruses in Plasma from Two African Individuals Enrolled in Blood-Borne Surveillance

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    Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) has enabled the high-throughput multiplexed identification of sequences from microbes of potential medical relevance. This approach has become indispensable for viral pathogen discovery and broad-based surveillance of emerging or re-emerging pathogens. From 2015 to 2019, plasma was collected from 9586 individuals in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo enrolled in a combined hepatitis virus and retrovirus surveillance program. A subset (n = 726) of the patient specimens was analyzed by mNGS to identify viral co-infections. While co-infections from known blood-borne viruses were detected, divergent sequences from nine poorly characterized or previously uncharacterized viruses were also identified in two individuals. These were assigned to the following groups by genomic and phylogenetic analyses: densovirus, nodavirus, jingmenvirus, bastrovirus, dicistrovirus, picornavirus, and cyclovirus. Although of unclear pathogenicity, these viruses were found circulating at high enough concentrations in plasma for genomes to be assembled and were most closely related to those previously associated with bird or bat excrement. Phylogenetic analyses and in silico host predictions suggested that these are invertebrate viruses likely transmitted through feces containing consumed insects or through contaminated shellfish. This study highlights the power of metagenomics and in silico host prediction in characterizing novel viral infections in susceptible individuals, including those who are immunocompromised from hepatitis viruses and retroviruses, or potentially exposed to zoonotic viruses from animal reservoir species

    The Science Performance of JWST as Characterized in Commissioning

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    This paper characterizes the actual science performance of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as determined from the six month commissioning period. We summarize the performance of the spacecraft, telescope, science instruments, and ground system, with an emphasis on differences from pre-launch expectations. Commissioning has made clear that JWST is fully capable of achieving the discoveries for which it was built. Moreover, almost across the board, the science performance of JWST is better than expected; in most cases, JWST will go deeper faster than expected. The telescope and instrument suite have demonstrated the sensitivity, stability, image quality, and spectral range that are necessary to transform our understanding of the cosmos through observations spanning from near-earth asteroids to the most distant galaxies.Comment: 5th version as accepted to PASP; 31 pages, 18 figures; https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1538-3873/acb29

    Design and characteristics of the prophylactic intra-operative ventricular arrhythmia ablation in high-risk LVAD candidates (PIVATAL) trial

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    BACKGROUND: The use of a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) in patients with advanced heart failure refractory to optimal medical management has progressed steadily over the past two decades. Data have demonstrated reduced LVAD efficacy, worse clinical outcome, and higher mortality for patients who experience significant ventricular tachyarrhythmia (VTA). We hypothesize that a novel prophylactic intra-operative VTA ablation protocol at the time of LVAD implantation may reduce the recurrent VTA and adverse events postimplant. METHODS: We designed a prospective, multicenter, open-label, randomized-controlled clinical trial enrolling 100 patients who are LVAD candidates with a history of VTA in the previous 5 years. Enrolled patients will be randomized in a 1:1 fashion to intra-operative VTA ablation (n = 50) versus conventional medical management (n = 50) with LVAD implant. Arrhythmia outcomes data will be captured by an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to monitor VTA events, with a uniform ICD programming protocol. Patients will be followed prospectively over a mean of 18 months (with a minimum of 9 months) after LVAD implantation to evaluate recurrent VTA, adverse events, and procedural outcomes. Secondary endpoints include right heart function/hemodynamics, healthcare utilization, and quality of life. CONCLUSION: The primary aim of this first-ever randomized trial is to assess the efficacy of intra-operative ablation during LVAD surgery in reducing VTA recurrence and improving clinical outcomes for patients with a history of VTA

    The James Webb Space Telescope Mission

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    Twenty-six years ago a small committee report, building on earlier studies, expounded a compelling and poetic vision for the future of astronomy, calling for an infrared-optimized space telescope with an aperture of at least 4m4m. With the support of their governments in the US, Europe, and Canada, 20,000 people realized that vision as the 6.5m6.5m James Webb Space Telescope. A generation of astronomers will celebrate their accomplishments for the life of the mission, potentially as long as 20 years, and beyond. This report and the scientific discoveries that follow are extended thank-you notes to the 20,000 team members. The telescope is working perfectly, with much better image quality than expected. In this and accompanying papers, we give a brief history, describe the observatory, outline its objectives and current observing program, and discuss the inventions and people who made it possible. We cite detailed reports on the design and the measured performance on orbit.Comment: Accepted by PASP for the special issue on The James Webb Space Telescope Overview, 29 pages, 4 figure

    Design and characteristics of the prophylactic intra‐operative ventricular arrhythmia ablation in high‐risk LVAD candidates (PIVATAL) trial

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    Abstract Background The use of a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) in patients with advanced heart failure refractory to optimal medical management has progressed steadily over the past two decades. Data have demonstrated reduced LVAD efficacy, worse clinical outcome, and higher mortality for patients who experience significant ventricular tachyarrhythmia (VTA). We hypothesize that a novel prophylactic intra‐operative VTA ablation protocol at the time of LVAD implantation may reduce the recurrent VTA and adverse events postimplant. Methods We designed a prospective, multicenter, open‐label, randomized‐controlled clinical trial enrolling 100 patients who are LVAD candidates with a history of VTA in the previous 5 years. Enrolled patients will be randomized in a 1:1 fashion to intra‐operative VTA ablation (n = 50) versus conventional medical management (n = 50) with LVAD implant. Arrhythmia outcomes data will be captured by an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to monitor VTA events, with a uniform ICD programming protocol. Patients will be followed prospectively over a mean of 18 months (with a minimum of 9 months) after LVAD implantation to evaluate recurrent VTA, adverse events, and procedural outcomes. Secondary endpoints include right heart function/hemodynamics, healthcare utilization, and quality of life. Conclusion The primary aim of this first‐ever randomized trial is to assess the efficacy of intra‐operative ablation during LVAD surgery in reducing VTA recurrence and improving clinical outcomes for patients with a history of VTA

    The James Webb Space Telescope Mission

    No full text
    Twenty-six years ago a small committee report, building on earlier studies, expounded a compelling and poetic vision for the future of astronomy, calling for an infrared-optimized space telescope with an aperture of at least 4 m. With the support of their governments in the US, Europe, and Canada, 20,000 people realized that vision as the 6.5 m James Webb Space Telescope. A generation of astronomers will celebrate their accomplishments for the life of the mission, potentially as long as 20 yr, and beyond. This report and the scientific discoveries that follow are extended thank-you notes to the 20,000 team members. The telescope is working perfectly, with much better image quality than expected. In this and accompanying papers, we give a brief history, describe the observatory, outline its objectives and current observing program, and discuss the inventions and people who made it possible. We cite detailed reports on the design and the measured performance on orbit
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