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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The Mars rover Curiosity has encountered silica-enriched bedrock (as strata and as veins and associated halos of alteration) in the largely basaltic Murray Fm. of Mt. Sharp in Gale Crater. Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) investigations of the Murray Fm. revealed decreasing Mg, Ca, Mn, Fe, and Al, and higher S, as silica increased (Fig. 1). A positive correlation between SiO2 and TiO2 (up to 74.4 and 1.7 wt %, respectively) suggests that these two insoluble elements were retained while acidic fluids leached more soluble elements. Other evidence also supports a silica-retaining, acidic alteration model for the Murray Fm., including low trace element abundances consistent with leaching, and the presence of opaline silica and jarosite determined by CheMin. Phosphate stability is a key component of this model because PO4 3- is typically soluble in acidic water and is likely a mobile ion in diagenetic fluids (pH less than 5). However, the Murray rocks are not leached of P; they have variable P2O5 (Fig. 1) ranging from average Mars (0.9 wt%) up to the highest values in Gale Crater (2.5 wt%). Here we evaluate APXS measurements of Murray Fm. bedrock and veins with respect to phosphate stability in acidic fluids as a test of the acidic alteration model for the Lower Mt. Sharp rocks.
    Keywords: Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
    Type: JSC-CN-35224 , Lunar and Planetary Science Conference; 21-25 Mar. 2016; The Woodlands, TX; United States
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-19
    Description: The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has traversed up section through approximately 100 m of sedimentary rocks deposited in fluvial, deltaic, lacustrine, and eolian environments (Bradbury group and overlying Mount Sharp group). The Stimson formation unconformably overlies a lacustrine mudstone at the base of the Mount Sharp group and has been interpreted to be a cross-bedded sandstone of lithified eolian dunes. Unaltered Stimson sandstone has a basaltic composition similar to the average Mars crustal composition, but is more variable and ranges to lower K and higher Al. Fluids passing through alteration "halos" adjacent to fractures have altered the chemistry and mineralogy of the sandstone. Elemental mass gains and losses in the alteration halos were quantified using immobile element concentrations, i.e., Ti (taus). Alteration halos have elemental gains in Si, Ca, S, and P and large losses in Al, Fe, Mn, Mg, Na, K, Ni, and Zn. Mineralogy of the altered Stimson is dominated by Ca-sulfates, Si-rich X-ray amorphous materials along with plagioclase feldspar, magnetite, and pyroxenes. The igneous phases were less abundant in the altered sandstone with a lower pyroxene/plagioclase feldspar. Large elemental losses suggest acidic fluids initially removed these elements (Al mobile under acid conditions). Enrichments in Si, Ca, and S suggest secondary fluids (possibly alkaline) passed through these fractures leaving behind X-ray amorphous Si and Ca-sulfates. The mechanism for the large elemental gains in P is unclear. The geochemistry and mineralogy of the altered sandstone suggests a complicated diagenetic history with multiple episodes of aqueous alteration under a variety of environmental conditions (e.g., acidic, alkaline).
    Keywords: Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
    Type: JSC-CN-37384 , AGU Fall Meeting 2016; 12-16 Dec. 2016; San Francisco, CA; United States
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2016-06-24
    Description: The presence of potential microbial trace fossils (endolithic microborings) has been well documented in oceanic basaltic pillow lavas, hyaloclastites, tuffs, and transitional subglacial marine lavas in the past 30 yr. Despite their evident abundance in oceanic to subglacial environments, they have not been observed in continental basalts that were not erupted in marine or subglacial settings. To expand the record of putative endolithic microborings in volcanic rocks to nonmarine, continental lacustrine environments, we examined hydrovolcanic pyroclastic deposits in the Fort Rock volcanic field, central Oregon. This study presents the textures, mineralogy, and geochemistry of basaltic tuffs containing possible endolithic microborings comparable in morphology, size, and distribution to those described in earlier oceanic and subglacial basalt studies. We observed a variety of tubular and granular textures that show evidence of biogenic morphologies and behavior, and a primary geological context that expresses their age and syngenicity. Petrographic relationships with secondary phases (chabazite, nontronite, calcite) indicate that the construction of microtunnels occurred in saline, alkaline fluids at temperatures of 25–80 °C. In addition, positive correlations were observed between the extent of aqueous (abiotic) alteration and both the abundance of microtunnels and morphological type. These correlations suggest that microtunnels were more readily formed where there was greater abiotic alteration-fluid flux and that the resulting change in chemical composition of those fluids may have had a direct influence on the formation process or possibly the type of constructing microbe. This work adds to understanding of factors controlling microtunnel formation and is the first account of putative endolithic microborings in a continental lacustrine setting. This new information may also have implications in the search for habitable extraterrestrial environments, such as on Mars.
    Print ISSN: 0016-7606
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2674
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2016-08-21
    Description: Fermi arcs are the surface manifestation of the topological nature of Weyl semimetals, enforced by the bulk-boundary correspondence with the bulk Weyl nodes. The surface of tantalum arsenide, similar to that of other members of the Weyl semimetal class, hosts nontopological bands that obscure the exploration of this correspondence. We use the spatial structure of the Fermi arc wave function, probed by scanning tunneling microscopy, as a spectroscopic tool to distinguish and characterize the surface Fermi arc bands. We find that, as opposed to nontopological states, the Fermi arc wave function is weakly affected by the surface potential: it spreads rather uniformly within the unit cell and penetrates deeper into the bulk. Fermi arcs reside predominantly on tantalum sites, from which the topological bulk bands are derived. Furthermore, we identify a correspondence between the Fermi arc dispersion and the energy and momentum of the bulk Weyl nodes that classify this material as topological. We obtain these results by introducing an analysis based on the role the Bloch wave function has in shaping quantum electronic interference patterns. It thus carries broader applicability to the study of other electronic systems and other physical processes.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2016-08-23
    Description: During opening of a new ocean, magma intrudes into the surrounding sedimentary basins. Heat provided by the intrusions matures the host rock, creating metamorphic aureoles potentially releasing large amounts of hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons may migrate to the seafloor in hydrothermal vent complexes in sufficient volumes to trigger global warming, e.g., during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Mound structures at the top of buried hydrothermal vent complexes observed in seismic data off Norway were previously interpreted as sediment volcanoes, and the amount of released hydrocarbon was estimated based on this interpretation. Here, we present new geophysical and geochemical data from the Gulf of California suggesting that such mound structures could in fact be edifices constructed by the growth of black smoker–type chimneys rather than sediment volcanoes. We have evidence for two buried and one active hydrothermal vent systems outside the rift axis. The active vent releases fluids of several hundred degrees Celsius containing abundant methane, mid-ocean ridge basalt–type helium, and precipitating solids up to 300 m high into the water column. Our observations challenge the idea that methane is emitted slowly from rift-related vents. The association of large amounts of methane with hydrothermal fluids that enter the water column at high pressure and temperature provides an efficient mechanism to transport hydrocarbons into the water column and atmosphere, lending support to the hypothesis that rapid climate change such as during the PETM can be triggered by magmatic intrusions into organic-rich sedimentary basins.
    Print ISSN: 0091-7613
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2682
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2016-08-11
    Description: : Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) play central roles in many biological processes. Consequently, an accurate description of the disordered state is an important step towards a comprehensive understanding of a number of important biological functions. In this work we describe a new web server, Mollack, for the automated construction of unfolded ensembles that uses both experimental and molecular simulation data to construct models for the unfolded state. An important aspect of the method is that it calculates a quantitative estimate of the uncertainty in the constructed ensemble, thereby providing an objective measure of the quality of the final model. Overall, Mollack facilitates structure-function studies of disordered proteins. Availability and Implementation: http://cmstultz-mollack.mit.edu Contact: cmstultz@mit.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
    Print ISSN: 1367-4803
    Electronic ISSN: 1460-2059
    Topics: Biology , Computer Science , Medicine
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2016-06-02
    Description: Candida albicans is a dimorphic yeast commonly found on human mucosal membranes that switches from yeast to hyphal morphology in response to environmental factors. The change to hyphal growth requires histone H3 modifications by the yeast-specific histone acetyltransferase Rtt109. In addition to its role in morphogenesis, Rtt109-dependent acetylation of histone H3 lysine residues 9 and 56 has regulatory functions during DNA replication and repair. Boric acid (BA) is a broad-spectrum agent that specifically inhibits C. albicans hyphal growth, locking the fungus in its harmless commensal yeast state. The present study characterizes the effect of BA on C. albicans histone acetylation in respect to specificity, time-course and significance. We demonstrate that sublethal concentrations of BA reduce H3K9/H3K56 acetylation, both on a basal level and in response to genotoxic stress. Acetylation at other selected histone sites were not affected by BA. qRT-PCR expression analysis of the DNA repair gene Rad51 indicated no elevated level of genotoxic stress during BA exposure. A forward-mutation analysis demonstrated the BA does not increase spontaneous or induced mutations . The findings suggest that DNA repair remains effective even when histone H3 acetylation decreases and dispels the notion that BA treatment impairs genome integrity in yeast.
    Keywords: Physiology & Biochemistry
    Print ISSN: 0378-1097
    Electronic ISSN: 1574-6968
    Topics: Biology
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2016-03-30
    Description: Coinductive definitions, such as that of an infinite stream, may often be described by elegant logic programs, but ones for which SLD-refutation is of no value as SLD-derivations fall into infinite loops. Such definitions give rise to questions of lazy corecursive derivations and parallelism, as execution of such logic programs can have both recursive and corecursive features at once. Observational and coalgebraic semantics have been used to study them abstractly. The programming developments have often occurred separately and have usually been implementation-led. Here, we give a coherent semantics-led account of the issues, starting with abstract category theoretic semantics, developing coalgebra to characterize naturally arising trees and proceeding towards implementation of a new dialect, CoALP, of logic programming, characterised by guarded lazy corecursion and parallelism.
    Print ISSN: 0955-792X
    Electronic ISSN: 1465-363X
    Topics: Computer Science , Mathematics
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2016-05-18
    Description: Electron tomography is an increasingly powerful method to study the detailed architecture of macromolecular complexes or cellular structures. Applied to amyloid deposits formed in a cell culture model of systemic amyloid A amyloidosis, we could determine the structural morphology of the fibrils directly in the deposit. The deposited fibrils are...
    Print ISSN: 0027-8424
    Electronic ISSN: 1091-6490
    Topics: Biology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2016-06-01
    Description: Amyloid fibrils are proteinaceous aggregates associated with diseases in humans and animals. The fibrils are defined by intermolecular interactions between the fibril-forming polypeptide chains, but it has so far remained difficult to reveal the assembly of the peptide subunits in a full-scale fibril. Using electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM), we present a...
    Print ISSN: 0027-8424
    Electronic ISSN: 1091-6490
    Topics: Biology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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