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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-06-11
    Description: Cassini ISS observed multiple widespread changes in surface brightness in Titan's equatorial regions over the past three years. These brightness variations are attributed to rainfall from cloud systems that appear to form seasonally. Determining the composition of this rainfall is an important step in understanding the "methanological" cycle on Titan. I use data from Cassini VIMS to complete a spectroscopic investigation of multiple rain-wetted areas. I compute "before-and-after" spectral ratios of any areas that show either deposition or evaporation of rain. By comparing these spectral ratios to a model of liquid ethane, I find that the rain is most likely composed of liquid ethane. The spectrum of liquid ethane contains multiple absorption features that fall within the 2-micron and 5-micron spectral windows in Titan's atmosphere. I show that these features are visible in the spectra taken of Titan's surface and that they are characteristically different than those in the spectrum of liquid methane. Furthermore, just as ISS saw the surface brightness reverting to its original state after a period of time, I show that VIMS observations of later flybys show the surface composition in different stages of returning to its initial form.
    Keywords: Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: The sensitivity to silicone contamination of a wide variety of adhesive bond systems is discussed. Generalizations regarding factors that make some bond systems more sensitive to contamination than others are inferred and discussed. The effect of silane adhesion promoting primer on the contamination sensitivity of two epoxy/steel bond systems is also discussed.
    Keywords: Composite Materials
    Type: M10-0557
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Natural cloud-to-ground lightning may behave differently depending on the characteristics of the attachment mediums, including the peak current (inferred from radiation fields) and the number of ground strike locations per flash. Existing literature has raised questions over the years on these characteristics of lightning over oceans, and the behaviors are not yet well understood. To investigate this we will obtain identical electric field observations over adjacent land and ocean regions during both clear air and thunderstorm periods. Oceanic observations will be obtained using a 3-meter NOAA buoy that has been instrumented with a Campbell Scientific electric field mill and New Mexico Techs slow antenna, to measure the electric fields aloft. We are currently obtaining measurements from this system on-shore at the Florida coast, to calibrate and better understand the behavior of the system in elevated-field environments. Sometime during winter 2013, this system will be moored 20NM off the coast of the Kennedy Space Center. Measurements from this system will be compared to the existing on-shore electric field mill suite of 31 sensors and a coastal slow antenna. Supporting observations will be provided by New Mexico Techs Lightning Mapping Array, the Eastern Range Cloud to Ground Lightning Surveillance System, and the National Lightning Detection Network. An existing network of high-speed cameras will be used to capture cloud-to-ground lightning strikes over the terrain regions to identify a valid data set for analysis. This on-going project will demonstrate the value of off-shore electric field measurements for safety-related decision making at KSC, and may improve our understanding of relative lightning risk to objects on the ground vs. ocean. This presentation will provide an overview of this new instrumentation, and a summary of our progress to date.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: KSC-E-DAA-TN13488 , International Lightning Detection Conference; 18-21 Mar. 2014; Tucson, AZ; United States
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-19
    Description: Natural cloud-to-ground lightning may behave differently depending on the characteristics of the attachment mediums, including the peak current (inferred from radiation fields) and the number of ground strike locations per flash. Existing literature has raised issues over the yea"rs on the behavior of lightning over ocean terrain and these phenomena are not yet well understood. To investigate lightning characteristics over differing terrain we will obtain identical observations over adjacent land and ocean regions during both clear air and thunderstorm periods comparing the electric field behavior over these various terrains. For this, a 3-meter NOAA buoy moored 20NM off the coast of the Kennedy Space Center was instrumented with an electric field mill and New Mexico Tech's slow antenna to measure the electric fields aloft and compared to the existing on-shore electric field mill suite of 31 sensors and a coastal slow antenna. New Mexico Tech's Lightning Mapping Array and the Eastern Range Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System, along with the network of high-speed cameras being used to capture cloud-to-ground lightning strikes over the terrain regions to identify a valid data set and verify the electric fields. This is an on-going project with the potential for significant impact on the determination of lightning risk to objects on the ground. This presentation will provide results and instrumentation progress to date.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: KSC-2013-255 , American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting; 2-6 Feb. 2014; Atlanta, GA; United States
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-08-14
    Description: In December 2010, NASA created a Science Definition Team (SDT) for WFIRST, the Wide Field Infra-Red Survey Telescope, recommended by the Astro 2010 Decadal Survey as the highest priority for a large space mission. The SDT was chartered to work with the WFIRST Project Office at GSFC and the Program Office at JPL to produce a Design Reference Mission (DRM) for WFIRST. Part of the original charge was to produce an interim design reference mission by mid-2011. That document was delivered to NASA and widely circulated within the astronomical community. In late 2011 the Astrophysics Division augmented its original charge, asking for two design reference missions. The first of these, DRM1, was to be a finalized version of the interim DRM, reducing overall mission costs where possible. The second of these, DRM2, was to identify and eliminate capabilities that overlapped with those of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (henceforth JWST), ESA's Euclid mission, and the NSF's ground-based Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (henceforth LSST), and again to reduce overall mission cost, while staying faithful to NWNH. This report presents both DRM1 and DRM2.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN8710
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-08-14
    Description: The New Worlds, New Horizons (NWNH) in Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 Decadal Survey prioritized the community consensus for ground-based and space-based observatories. Recognizing that many of the community s key questions could be answered with a wide-field infrared survey telescope in space, and that the decade would be one of budget austerity, WFIRST was top ranked in the large space mission category. In addition to the powerful new science that could be accomplished with a wide-field infrared telescope, the WFIRST mission was determined to be both technologically ready and only a small fraction of the cost of previous flagship missions, such as HST or JWST. In response to the top ranking by the community, NASA formed the WFIRST Science Definition Team (SDT) and Project Office. The SDT was charged with fleshing out the NWNH scientific requirements to a greater level of detail. NWNH evaluated the risk and cost of the JDEM-Omega mission design, as submitted by NASA, and stated that it should serve as the basis for the WFIRST mission. The SDT and Project Office were charged with developing a mission optimized for achieving the science goals laid out by the NWNH re-port. The SDT and Project Office opted to use the JDEM-Omega hardware configuration as an initial start-ing point for the hardware implementation. JDEM-Omega and WFIRST both have an infrared imager with a filter wheel, as well as counter-dispersed moderate resolution spectrometers. The primary advantage of space observations is being above the Earth's atmosphere, which absorbs, scatters, warps and emits light. Observing from above the atmosphere enables WFIRST to obtain precision infrared measurements of the shapes of galaxies for weak lensing, infrared light-curves of supernovae and exoplanet microlensing events with low systematic errors, and infrared measurements of the H hydrogen line to be cleanly detected in the 1〈z〈2 redshift range important for baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) dark energy measurements. The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), Herschel, Spitzer, and Wide-field Infrared Sur-vey Explorer (WISE) are all space missions that have produced stunning new scientific advances by going to space to observe in the infrared. This interim report describes progress as of June 2011 on developing a requirements flowdown and an evaluation of scientific performance. An Interim Design Reference Mission (IDRM) configuration is presented that is based on the specifications of NWNH with some refinements to optimize the design in accordance with the new scientific requirements. Analysis of this WFIRST IDRM concept is in progress to ensure the capability of the observatory is compatible with the science requirements. The SDT and Project will continue to refine the mission concept over the coming year as design, analysis and simulation work are completed, resulting in the SDT s WFIRST Design Reference Mission (DRM) by the end of 2012.
    Keywords: Astronomy
    Type: GSFC.JA.5730.2011
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2012-06-06
    Description: The Sprn gene encodes Shadoo (Sho), a glycoprotein with biochemical properties similar to the unstructured region of cellular prion protein (PrPC). Sho has been considered a candidate for the hypothetical π protein that supplies a PrPC-like function to maintain the viability of Prnp0/0 mice lacking the PrPC protein. To understand these relationships more clearly we probed the cell biology of Sho and created knockout mice. Besides full-length and a “C1” C-terminal fragment, we describe a 6-kDa N-terminal Sho neuropeptide, “N1,” which is present in membrane-enriched subcellular fractions of wild-type mice. Sprn null alleles were produced that delete all protein coding sequences yet spare the Mtg1 gene transcription unit that overlaps the Sprn 3′ UTR; the resulting mice bred to homozygosity were viable and fertile, although Sprn0/0 mice maintained in two genetic backgrounds weighed less than wild-type mice. Lack of Sho protein did not affect prion incubation time. Contrasting with lethality reported for knockdown of expression in Prnp0/0 embryos using lentiviruses targeted against the Sprn 3′ UTR, we established that double-knockout mice deficient in both Sho and PrPC are fertile and viable up to 690 d of age. Our data reduce the impetus for equating Sho with the notional π protein and are not readily reconciled with hypotheses wherein expression of PrPC and Sho are both required for completion of embryogenesis. Alternatively, and in accord with some reports for PrPC, we infer that Sho’s activity will prove germane to the maintenance of neuronal viability in postnatal life.
    Print ISSN: 0027-8424
    Electronic ISSN: 1091-6490
    Topics: Biology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2012-02-01
    Description: Airborne and ground-based measurements during the CalNex (California Research at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change) field study in May/June 2010 show a weekend effect in ozone in the South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB) consistent with previous observations. The well-known and much-studied weekend ozone effect has been attributed to weekend reductions in nitrogen oxide (NOx = NO + NO2) emissions, which affect ozone levels via two processes: (1) reduced ozone loss by titration and (2) enhanced photochemical production of ozone due to an increased ratio of non-methane volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to NOx. In accord with previous assessments, the 2010 airborne and ground-based data show an average decrease in NOx of 46 ± 11% and 34 ± 4%, respectively, and an average increase in VOC/NOx ratio of 48 ± 8% and 43 ± 22%, respectively, on weekends. This work extends current understanding of the weekend ozone effect in the SoCAB by identifying its major causes and quantifying their relative importance from the available CalNex data. Increased weekend production of a VOC-NOx oxidation product, peroxyacetyl nitrate, compared to a radical termination product, nitric acid, indicates a significant contribution from increased photochemical production on weekends. Weekday-to-weekend differences in the products of NOx oxidation show 45 ± 13% and 42 ± 12% more extensive photochemical processing and, when compared with odd oxygen (Ox = O3 + NO2), 51 ± 14% and 22 ± 17% greater ozone production efficiency on weekends in the airborne and ground-based data, respectively, indicating that both contribute to higher weekend ozone levels in the SoCAB.
    Print ISSN: 0148-0227
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Published by Wiley on behalf of American Geophysical Union (AGU).
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2012-02-29
    Description: Antigenic variation enables pathogens to avoid the host immune response by continual switching of surface proteins. The protozoan blood parasite Trypanosoma brucei causes human African trypanosomiasis (“sleeping sickness”) across sub-Saharan Africa and is a model system for antigenic variation, surviving by periodically replacing a monolayer of variant surface glycoproteins (VSG) that covers its cell surface. We compared the genome of Trypanosoma brucei with two closely related parasites Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma vivax, to reveal how the variant antigen repertoire has evolved and how it might affect contemporary antigenic diversity. We reconstruct VSG diversification showing that Trypanosoma congolense uses variant antigens derived from multiple ancestral VSG lineages, whereas in Trypanosoma brucei VSG have recent origins, and ancestral gene lineages have been repeatedly co-opted to novel functions. These historical differences are reflected in fundamental differences between species in the scale and mechanism of recombination. Using phylogenetic incompatibility as a metric for genetic exchange, we show that the frequency of recombination is comparable between Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma brucei but is much lower in Trypanosoma vivax. Furthermore, in showing that the C-terminal domain of Trypanosoma brucei VSG plays a crucial role in facilitating exchange, we reveal substantial species differences in the mechanism of VSG diversification. Our results demonstrate how past VSG evolution indirectly determines the ability of contemporary parasites to generate novel variant antigens through recombination and suggest that the current model for antigenic variation in Trypanosoma brucei is only one means by which these parasites maintain chronic infections.
    Print ISSN: 0027-8424
    Electronic ISSN: 1091-6490
    Topics: Biology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2014-03-26
    Description: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurological disease that causes motor neuron degeneration, progressive motor dysfunction, paralysis, and death. Although multiple causes have been identified for this disease, 〉95% of ALS cases show aggregation of transactive response DNA binding protein (TDP-43) accompanied by its nuclear depletion. Therefore, the TDP-43...
    Print ISSN: 0027-8424
    Electronic ISSN: 1091-6490
    Topics: Biology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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