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BOGA : Basque Studies Consortium Journal
Number of Followers: 2  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2325-7628
Published by Boise State University Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Experimental Validation of a Reflective Long Period Grating Design
           Methodology

    • Authors: Sohel Rana et al.
      Abstract: In this work, we present an experimental demonstration of our previously published modeling work on reflective long period grating (LPG). To provide the practical realization of the modeling work, we coat a long segment of fiber both in the tail length and the end facet beyond the gratings with silver to invert the transmission mode LPG to reflection mode LPG. We then measure the LPG characteristics in both the transmission and reflection mode and validate our findings from modeling work. We further build temperature and refractive index (RI) sensors and demonstrate temperature sensing from 21 °C to 191 °C with similar temperature sensitivity coefficients of 54.4 ± 2.9 pm/°C and 53.2 ± 2.6 pm/°C for transmission and reflection mode LPG, respectively whereas same RI sensitivity coefficient of 370 ± 2.2 nm/RIU.
      PubDate: Tue, 22 Nov 2022 15:47:17 PST
       
  • Heavy Episodic Drinking and Alcohol-Related Consequences: Sex-Specific
           Differences in Parental Influences Among Ninth-Grade Students

    • Authors: Diana M. Doumas et al.
      Abstract: Parents impact adolescent substance abuse, but sex-specific influences are not well-understood. This study examined parental influences on adolescent drinking behavior in a sample of ninth-grade students (N = 473). Hierarchical regression analyses indicated parental monitoring, disapproval of teen alcohol use, and quality of parent-teen general communication were significant predictors of drinking behaviors. Sex, however, moderated these relationships. Specifically, parental monitoring was protective of heavy episodic drinking and alcohol-related consequences for females, whereas parental disapproval of teen alcohol was protective of heavy episodic drinking for males. Implications for sex-specific parent-based intervention programs are discussed.
      PubDate: Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:36:03 PST
       
  • Machine Learning Methods for Generating High Dimensional Discrete Datasets

    • Authors: Giuseppe Manco et al.
      Abstract: The development of platforms and techniques for emerging Big Data and Machine Learning applications requires the availability of real-life datasets. A possible solution is to synthesize datasets that reflect patterns of real ones using a two-step approach: first, a real dataset X is analyzed to derive relevant patterns Z and, then, to use such patterns for reconstructing a new dataset X' that preserves the main characteristics of X. This survey explores two possible approaches: (1) Constraint-based generation and (2) probabilistic generative modeling. The former is devised using inverse mining (IFM) techniques, and consists of generating a dataset satisfying given support constraints on the itemsets of an input set, that are typically the frequent ones. By contrast, for the latter approach, recent developments in probabilistic generative modeling (PGM) are explored that model the generation as a sampling process from a parametric distribution, typically encoded as neural network. The two approaches are compared by providing an overview of their instantiations for the case of discrete data and discussing their pros and cons.
      PubDate: Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:11:59 PST
       
  • Drones, Virtual Reality, and Modeling: Communicating Catastrophic Dam
           Failure

    • Authors: H. R. Spero et al.
      Abstract: Dam failures occur worldwide and can be economically and ecologically devastating. Communicating the scale of these risks to the general public and decision-makers is imperative. Two-dimensional (2D) dam failure hydraulic models inform owners and floodplain managers of flood regimes but have limitations when shared with non-specialists. This study addresses these limitations by constructing a 3D Virtual Reality (VR) environment to display the 1976 Teton Dam disaster case study using a pipeline composed of (1) 2D hydraulic model data (extrapolated into 3D), (2) a 3D reconstructed dam, and (3) a terrain model processed from UAS (Uncrewed Airborne System) imagery using Structure from Motion photogrammetry. This study validates the VR environment pipeline on the Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset with the criteria: immersion fidelity, movement, immersive soundscape, and agreement with historical observations and terrain. Through this VR environment, we develop an effective method to share historical events and, with future work, improve hazard awareness; applications of this method could improve citizen engagement with Early Warning Systems. This paper establishes a pipeline to produce a visualization tool for merging UAS imagery, Virtual Reality, digital scene creation, and sophisticated 2D hydraulic models to communicate catastrophic flooding events from natural or human-made levees or dams.
      PubDate: Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:11:53 PST
       
  • Influence of Hydrophobicity on Excitonic Coupling in DNA-Templated
           Indolenine Squaraine Dye Aggregates

    • Authors: Olga A. Mass et al.
      Abstract: Control over the strength of excitonic coupling in molecular dye aggregates is a substantial factor for the development of technologies such as light harvesting, optoelectronics, and quantum computing. According to the molecular exciton model, the strength of excitonic coupling is inversely proportional to the distance between dyes. Covalent DNA templating was proved to be a versatile tool to control dye spacing on a subnanometer scale. To further expand our ability to control photophysical properties of excitons, here, we investigated the influence of dye hydrophobicity on the strength of excitonic coupling in squaraine aggregates covalently templated by DNA Holliday Junction (DNA HJ). Indolenine squaraines were chosen for their excellent spectral properties, stability, and diversity of chemical modifications. Six squaraines of varying hydrophobicity from highly hydrophobic to highly hydrophilic were assembled in two dimer configurations and a tetramer. In general, the examined squaraines demonstrated a propensity toward face-to-face aggregation behavior observed via steady-state absorption, fluorescence, and circular dichroism spectroscopies. Modeling based on the Kühn–Renger–May approach quantified the strength of excitonic coupling in the squaraine aggregates. The strength of excitonic coupling strongly correlated with squaraine hydrophobic region. Dimer aggregates of dichloroindolenine squaraine were found to exhibit the strongest coupling strength of 132 meV (1065 cm–1). In addition, we identified the sites for dye attachment in the DNA HJ that promote the closest spacing between the dyes in their dimers. The extracted aggregate geometries, and the role of electrostatic and steric effects in squaraine aggregation are also discussed. Taken together, these findings provide a deeper insight into how dye structures influence excitonic coupling in dye aggregates covalently templated via DNA, and guidance in design rules for exciton-based materials and devices.
      PubDate: Tue, 22 Nov 2022 13:24:13 PST
       
  • Drivers of Flight Performance of California Condors (Gymnogyps
           californianus
    )

    • Authors: Sophie R. Bonner et al.
      Abstract: Flight behavior of soaring birds depends on a complex array of physiological, social, demographic, and environmental factors. California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus) rely on thermal and orographic updrafts to subsidize extended bouts of soaring flight, and their soaring flight performance is expected to vary in response to environmental variation and, potentially, with experience. We collected 6298 flight tracks described by high-frequency GPS telemetry data from five birds ranging in age from 1 to 19 yr old and followed over 32 d in summer 2016. Using these data, we tested the hypothesis that climb rate, an indicator of flight performance, would be related to the topographic and meteorological variables the bird experienced, and also to its age. Climb rate was greater when condors were flying in faster winds and during environmental conditions that were conducive to updraft development. However, we found no effect of age on climb rate. Although many of these relationships were expected based on flight theory, the lack of an effect of age was unexpected. Our work expands understanding of the relationship condors have with the environment, and it also suggests the potential for as-yet unexplored complexity to this relationship. As such, this study provides insight into avian flight behavior and, because flight performance influences bird behavior and exposure to anthropogenic risk, it has potential consequences for development of conservation management plans.
      PubDate: Tue, 22 Nov 2022 12:44:44 PST
       
  • Centralized Project-Specific Metadata Platforms: Toolkit Provides New
           Perspectives on Open Data Management within Multi-Institution and
           Multidisciplinary Research Projects

    • Authors: Andrew Wright Child et al.
      Abstract: Open science and open data within scholarly research programs are growing both in popularity and by requirement from grant funding agencies and journal publishers. A central component of open data management, especially on collaborative, multidisciplinary, and multi-institutional science projects, is documentation of complete and accurate metadata, workflow, and source code in addition to access to raw data and data products to uphold FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles. Although best practice in data/metadata management is to use established internationally accepted metadata schemata, many of these standards are discipline-specific making it difficult to catalog multidisciplinary data and data products in a way that is easily findable and accessible. Consequently, scattered and incompatible metadata records create a barrier to scientific innovation, as researchers are burdened to find and link multidisciplinary datasets. One possible solution to increase data findability, accessibility, interoperability, reproducibility, and integrity within multi-institutional and interdisciplinary projects is a centralized and integrated data management platform. Overall, this type of interoperable framework supports reproducible open science and its dissemination to various stakeholders and the public in a FAIR manner by providing direct access to raw data and linking protocols, metadata and supporting workflow materials.
      PubDate: Tue, 22 Nov 2022 12:44:37 PST
       
  • Anderson and Shushan: Lichens of Western North America Fascicle VIII

    • Authors: Hailey Jones et al.
      Abstract: Twenty-five North American lichens are issued in Fascicle VIII of the “Anderson and Shushan: Lichens of Western North America” series, numbers 176–200. This fascicle is comprised of material representing specimens from the Rhizoplaca melanophthalma aggregate, including the vagrant taxa R. arbuscula, R. haydenii, and R. idahoensis; two collections representing unattached forms in the R. porteri group – R. melanophthalma ssp. crispa and an erratic form of R. porteri; and two umbilicate saxicolous taxa, R. robusta and R. shushanii, the former described as new to science here. We also provide the first morphological description for R. shushanii, a species that was initially described based on diagnostic DNA sequence characters.
      PubDate: Mon, 21 Nov 2022 14:09:26 PST
       
  • Lessons from Electric Cooperatives: Evolving Participatory Governance
           Practices

    • Authors: Stephanie Lenhart
      Abstract: Cooperatives are often viewed as an organizational form with the potential to promote more decentralized, sustainable, and just societies. The energy democracy movement connects the renewable energy transition to a redistribution of political and economic power, and cooperatives are mechanisms that can reclaim energy decision-making to prioritize the public interest. Founded on well-established ideals and principles, cooperative institutions provide a model for pluralistic governance. Electric cooperatives were first formed in the early 20th century to provide an essential service to a community as a whole, rather than a specific group of users. In recent decades, electric cooperatives have emerged as prominent sites of experimentation in energy democracy. Yet, the ability for cooperateives to further the ideals of energy democracy varies across local contexts and a diversity of nested institutional relationships.
      PubDate: Fri, 18 Nov 2022 14:47:42 PST
       
  • Gendered Leadership During the COVID-19 Pandemic: How Democracy and
           Representation Moderate Leadership Effectiveness

    • Authors: Sanghee Park
      Abstract: This article investigates whether and how gendered leadership makes a difference in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The country-level variances in the initial trajectories provide a unique comparative setting that allows us to examine the link between leadership and performance, moderated by institutional contexts – democracy and representation. Using daily panel data over the first half of the year 2020 across OECD countries, I find that women-led countries show epidemiologic patterns different from male-led countries. The effect of gendered leadership was contingent on the maturity of democracy and the degree of gender representation in both parliament and bureaucracy.
      PubDate: Fri, 18 Nov 2022 14:47:37 PST
       
  • Seasonality of Precipitation in the Southwestern United States During the
           Late Pleistocene Inferred from Stable Isotopes in Herbivore Tooth Enamel

    • Authors: Matthew J. Kohn et al.
      Abstract: The late Pleistocene was a climatically dynamic period, with abrupt shifts between cool-wet and warm-dry conditions. Increased effective precipitation supported large pluvial lakes and long-lived spring ecosystems in valleys and basins throughout the western and southwestern U.S., but the source and seasonality of the increased precipitation are debated. Increases in the proportions of C4/(C4+ C3) grasses in the diets of large grazers have been ascribed both to increases in summer precipitation and lower atmospheric CO2 levels. Here we present stable carbon and oxygen isotope data from tooth enamel of late Pleistocene herbivores recovered from paleowetland deposits at Tule Spring Fossil Beds National Monument in the Las Vegas Valley of southern Nevada, as well as modern herbivores from the surrounding area. We use these data to investigate whether winter or summer precipitation was responsible for driving the relatively wet hydroclimate conditions that prevailed in the region during the late Pleistocene. We also evaluate whether late Pleistocene grass C4/(C4+ C3) was higher than today, and potential drivers of any changes.Tooth enamel δ18O values for Pleistocene Equus, Bison, and Mammuthus are generally low (average 22.0 ± 0.7‰, 2 s.e., VSMOW) compared to modern equids (27.8 ± 1.5‰), and imply lower water δ18O values (−16.1 ± 0.8‰) than modern precipitation (−10.5‰) or in waters present in active springs and wells in the Las Vegas Valley (−12.9‰), an area dominated by winter precipitation. In contrast, tooth enamel of Camelops (a browser) generally yielded higher δ18O values (23.9 ± 1.1‰), possibly suggesting drought tolerance. Mean δ13C values for the Pleistocene grazers (−6.6 ± 0.7‰, 2 s.e., VPDB) are considerably higher than for modern equids (−9.6 ± 0.4‰) and indicate more consumption of C4 grass (17 ± 5%) than today (4 ± 4%). However, calculated C4 grass consumption in the late Pleistocene is strikingly lower than the proportion of C4 grass taxa currently present in the valley (55–60%). δ13C values in Camelops tooth enamel (−7.7 ± 1.0‰) are interpreted as reflecting moderate consumption (14 ± 8%) of Atriplex (saltbush), a C4 shrub that flourishes in regions with hot, dry summers.Lower water δ18O values, lower abundance of C4 grasses, and the inferred presence of Atriplex are all consistent with general circulation models for the late Pleistocene that show enhanced delivery of winter precipitation, sourced from the north Pacific, into the interior western U.S. but do not support alternative models that infer enhanced delivery of summer precipitation, sourced from the tropics. In addition, we hypothesize that dietary competition among the diverse and abundant Pleistocene fauna may have driven the grazers analyzed here to feed preferentially on C4 grasses. Dietary partitioning, especially when combined with decreased pCO2 levels during the late Pleistocene, can explain the relatively high δ13C values observed in late Pleistocene grazers in the Las Vegas Valley and elsewhere in the southwestern U.S. without requiring additional summer precipitation. Pleistocene hydroclimate parameters derived from dietary and floral records may need to be reevaluated in the context of the potential effects of dietary preferences and lower pCO2 levels on the stability of C3 vs. C4 plants.
      PubDate: Fri, 18 Nov 2022 14:11:27 PST
       
  • Civility: A Concept Analysis Revisited

    • Authors: Cynthia M. Clark et al.
      Abstract: BackgroundNurses have an ethical obligation to create cultures of civility, treat others with respect and dignity, and foster healthy, inclusive work environments that protect worker and patient safety.PurposeBecause concepts are known to change over time, this concept analysis compares the original concept of civility published in 2008 with the current concept analysis of civility.MethodsThe Walker and Avant method of concept analysis was utilized.FindingsAntecedents, defining attributes, ideal and unintended consequences, relevant cases, and an operational definition of civility are presented. A conceptual model illustrates antecedents, defining attributes, consequences of civility, and the role perception plays when assessing, interpreting, experiencing, and responding to incivility.DiscussionAuthentic civility, rather than “mere civility,” is urgently needed to build meaningful relationships, create healthy, productive work and learning environments, and foster organizational cultures of inclusivity and belonging.
      PubDate: Fri, 18 Nov 2022 13:20:21 PST
       
  • Microstructural Changes in Nuclear Graphite Induced by Thermal Annealing

    • Authors: Steve Johns et al.
      Abstract: Irradiation-induced property change in nuclear graphite is particularly important when considering the in-service lifetimes of graphite components. In other works, it has been shown that annealing of irradiated graphite above the irradiation temperature may heal atomic-level defects and thus reverse some amount of physical property change. In this work, virgin nuclear graphite IG-110 was annealed at 2500 °C to observe any microstructural changes due solely to high-temperature thermal annealing. The results shown in this study suggest that fullerene-like defects, which are not observed in as-prepared nuclear graphites, will arise due to thermal annealing near graphitization temperature. Consequently, such defects may directly contribute to non-recoverable physical property change which has previously been observed in irradiated nuclear graphites.
      PubDate: Fri, 18 Nov 2022 13:09:42 PST
       
  • Diverse Magmatic Evolutionary Trends of the Northern Andes Unraveled by
           Paleocene to Early Eocene Detrital Zircon Geochemistry

    • Authors: James L. Crowley
      Abstract: The Paleocene-early Eocene continental magmatic arc (PECMA) in the Northern Andes is an example of arc magmatism following a major collisional event. This arc formed after the arc-continent collision between the Caribbean Plate and the South American continental margin at ca. 72 Ma. We used detrital zircon LA-ICP-MS and CA-ID-TIMS geochronology and geochemistry to complement the limited plutonic record of the PECMA and better characterize the PECMA's magmatic evolution. Zircon geochronology and their respective trace element geochemistry were analyzed from Paleocene-early Eocene strata of the Bogotá Formation in the foreland region. Our results show that after the collision of the Caribbean Plate, the magmas in the PECMA differentiated under a thick continental crust with limited subduction input at ca. 66 Ma. By 62–50 Ma, scattered patterns of Hf, U, U/Yb, and Yb/Gd ratios in detrital zircons suggest the existence of contrasting magmatic inputs attributed to different depths of crustal fractionation, varied temperatures of crystallization, and significant mantle and subduction inputs. These diverse magmatic patterns reflect the evolution of the continental crust. We proposed that oblique convergence and strike-slip tectonics favored contrasting crustal architectures along the continental margin while local lithosphere dripping from a previously thickened crust promoted the formation of hot magmas under a thick continental crust.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:09:26 PST
       
  • Uncertainty of ICESat-2 ATL06- and ATL08-Derived Snow Depths for
           Glacierized and Vegetated Mountain Regions

    • Authors: Ellyn M. Enderlin et al.
      Abstract: Seasonal snow melt dominates the hydrologic budget across a large portion of the globe. Snow accumulation and melt vary over a broad range of spatial scales, preventing accurate extrapolation of sparse in situ observations to watershed scales. The lidar onboard the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation, Satellite (ICESat-2) was designed for precise mapping of ice sheets and sea ice, and here we assess the feasibility of snow depth-mapping using ICESat-2 data in more complex and rugged mountain landscapes. We explore the utility of ATL08 Land and Vegetation Height and ATL06 Land Ice Height differencing from reference elevation datasets in two end member study sites. We analyze ∼3 years of data for Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in Idaho's Owyhee Mountains and Wolverine Glacier in southcentral Alaska's Kenai Mountains. Our analysis reveals decimeter-scale uncertainties in derived snow depth and glacier mass balance at the watershed scale. Both accuracy and precision decrease as slope increases: the magnitudes of the median and median of the absolute deviation of elevation errors (MAD) vary from ∼0.2 m for slopes < 5° to> 1 m for slopes> 20°. For glacierized regions, failure to account for intra- and inter-annual evolution of glacier surface elevations can strongly bias ATL06 elevations, resulting in under-estimation of the mass balance gradient with elevation. Based on these results, we conclude that ATL08 and ATL06 observations are best suited for characterization of watershed-scale snow depth and mass balance gradients over relatively shallow slopes with thick snowpacks. In these regions, ICESat-2 elevation residual-derived snow depth and mass balance transects can provide valuable watershed scale constraints on terrain parameter- and model-derived estimates of snow accumulation and melt.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:09:20 PST
       
  • Predictions and Drivers of Sub-Reach-Scale Annual Streamflow Permanence
           for the Upper Missouri River Basin: 1989–2018

    • Authors: Kendra E. Kaiser
      Abstract: The presence of year-round surface water in streams (i.e., streamflow permanence) is an important factor for identifying aquatic habitat availability, determining the regulatory status of streams, managing land use change, allocating water resources, and designing scientific studies. However, accurate, high resolution, and dynamic prediction of streamflow permanence that accounts for year-to-year variability at a regional extent is a major gap in modeling capability. Herein, we expand and adapt the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER) model from its original implementation in the Pacific Northwest (PROSPERPNW) to the upper Missouri River basin (PROSPERUM), a geographical region that includes mountain and prairie ecosystems of the northern United States. PROSPERUM is an empirical model used to estimate the probability that a stream channel has year-round flow in response to climatic conditions (monthly and annual) and static physiographic predictor variables of the upstream basin. The structure and approach of PROSPERUM are generally consistent with the PROSPERPNW model but include improved spatial resolution (10 m) and a longer modeling period. Average model accuracy was 81 %. Drainage area, upstream proportion as wetlands, and upstream proportion as developed land cover were the most important predictor variables. The PROSPERUM model identifies decreases in streamflow permanence during climatically drier years, although there is variability in the magnitude across basins highlighting geographically varying sensitivity to drought. Variability in the response of perennial streams to drought conditions among basins in the study area was also observed.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:09:15 PST
       
  • Infrasonic Gliding Reflects a Rising Magma Column at Mount Etna (Italy)

    • Authors: Mariangela Sciotto et al.
      Abstract: Infrasound is increasing applied as a tool to investigate magma dynamics at active volcanoes, especially at open-vent volcanoes, such as Mt. Etna (Italy), which are prodigious sources of infrasound. Harmonic infrasound signals have been used to constrain crater dimensions and track the movement of magma within the shallow plumbing system. This study interprets the remarkable systematic change in monotonic infrasound signals preceding a lava fountaining episode at Mt. Etna on 20 February 2021. We model the changing tones (0.7 to 3 Hz fundamental frequency) as a rise in the magma column from 172 ± 25 m below the crater rim to 78 ± 8 m over the course of 24 h. The infrasonic gliding disappears approximately 4 h before the onset of lava fountaining as the magma column approaches the flare of the crater and acoustic resonance is no longer supported. The featured 20 February event was just one of 52 lava fountain episodes that occurred at Mt. Etna over the course of 9 months in 2021 and was the only lava fountain episode where dramatic gliding was observed as a subsequent partial collapse of the crater prevented future resonance. The results presented here demonstrate that analysis of infrasonic gliding can be used to track the position of the magma free surface and hence may provide information on the processes taking place within the plumbing system before eruptive activity.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:09:10 PST
       
  • Review Article: Global Monitoring of Snow Water Equivalent Using
           High-Frequency Radar Remote Sensing

    • Authors: Hans-Peter Marshall
      Abstract: Seasonal snow cover is the largest single component of the cryosphere in areal extent, covering an average of 46 × 106 km2 of Earth's surface (31 % of the land area) each year, and is thus an important expression and driver of the Earth's climate. In recent years, Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover has been declining at about the same rate (∼ −13 % per decade) as Arctic summer sea ice. More than one-sixth of the world's population relies on seasonal snowpack and glaciers for a water supply that is likely to decrease this century. Snow is also a critical component of Earth's cold regions' ecosystems, in which wildlife, vegetation, and snow are strongly interconnected. Snow water equivalent (SWE) describes the quantity of water stored as snow on the land surface and is of fundamental importance to water, energy, and geochemical cycles. Quality global SWE estimates are lacking. Given the vast seasonal extent combined with the spatially variable nature of snow distribution at regional and local scales, surface observations are not able to provide sufficient SWE information. Satellite observations presently cannot provide SWE information at the spatial and temporal resolutions required to address science and high-socio-economic-value applications such as water resource management and streamflow forecasting. In this paper, we review the potential contribution of X- and Ku-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for global monitoring of SWE. SAR can image the surface during both day and night regardless of cloud cover, allowing high-frequency revisit at high spatial resolution as demonstrated by missions such as Sentinel-1. The physical basis for estimating SWE from X- and Ku-band radar measurements at local scales is volume scattering by millimeter-scale snow grains. Inference of global snow properties from SAR requires an interdisciplinary approach based on field observations of snow microstructure, physical snow modeling, electromagnetic theory, and retrieval strategies over a range of scales. New field measurement capabilities have enabled significant advances in understanding snow microstructure such as grain size, density, and layering. We describe radar interactions with snow-covered landscapes, the small but rapidly growing number of field datasets used to evaluate retrieval algorithms, the characterization of snowpack properties using radar measurements, and the refinement of retrieval algorithms via synergy with other microwave remote sensing approaches. This review serves to inform the broader snow research, monitoring, and application communities on progress made in recent decades and sets the stage for a new era in SWE remote sensing from SAR measurements.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:09:06 PST
       
  • Perturbative Theoretical Model of Electronic Transient Circular Dichroism
           Spectroscopy of Molecular Aggregates

    • Authors: Paul C. Arpin et al.
      Abstract: A chiral analog of transient absorption spectroscopy, transient circular dichroism (TCD) spectroscopy is an emerging time-resolved method. Both spectroscopic methods can probe the electronic transitions of a sample, and TCD is additionally sensitive to the dynamic aspects of chirality, such as those induced by molecular excitons. Here, we develop a theoretical description of TCD for electronic multi-level models in which the pump pulse is linearly polarized and probe pulse is alternately left- and right-circularly polarized. We derive effective response functions analogous to those often used to describe other four-wave mixing methods and then simulate and analyze TCD spectra for three representative multi-level electronic model systems. We elaborate on the presence and detection of the spectral signatures of electronic coherences.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:03:03 PST
       
  • Liposome Formulation for Tumor-Targeted Drug Delivery Using Radiation
           Therapy

    • Authors: Daniel Fologea
      Abstract: Targeted delivery of drugs or other therapeutic agents through internal or external triggers has been used to control and accelerate the release from liposomal carriers in a number of studies, but relatively few utilize energy of therapeutic X-rays as a trigger. We have synthesized liposomes that are triggered by ionizing radiation (RTLs) to release their therapeutic payload. These liposomes are composed of natural egg phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC), cholesterol, and 1,2-disteroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[methoxy (polyethylene glycol)-2000] (DSPE-PEG-2000), and the mean size of the RTL was in the range of 114 to 133 nm, as measured by nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). The trigger mechanism is the organic halogen, chloral hydrate, which is known to generate free protons upon exposure to ionizing radiation. Once protons are liberated, a drop in internal pH of the liposome promotes destabilization of the lipid bilayer and escape of the liposomal contents. In proof of principle studies, we assessed RTL radiation-release of fluorescent tracers upon exposure to a low pH extracellular environment or exposure to X-ray irradiation. Biodistribution imaging before and after irradiation demonstrated a preferential uptake and release of the liposomes and their cargo at the site of local tumor irradiation. Finally, a potent metabolite of the commonly used chemotherapy irinotecan, SN-38, was loaded into RTL along with near infrared (NIR) fluorescent dyes for imaging studies and measuring tumor cell cytotoxicity alone or combined with radiation exposure, in vitro and in vivo. Fully loaded RTLs were found to increase tumor cell killing with radiation in vitro and enhance tumor growth delay in vivo after three IV injections combined with three, 5 Gy local tumor radiation exposures compared to either treatment modality alone.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:02:02 PST
       
  • Binding of Alpha-Crystallin to Cortical and Nuclear Lens Lipid Membranes
           Derived from a Single Lens

    • Authors: Raju Timsina et al.
      Abstract: Several studies reported that α-crystallin concentrations in the eye lens cytoplasm decrease with a corresponding increase in membrane-bound α-crystallin with age and cataracts. The influence of the lipid and cholesterol composition difference between cortical membrane (CM) and nuclear membrane (NM) on α-crystallin binding to membranes is still unclear. This study uses the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spin-labeling method to investigate the α-crystallin binding to bovine CM and NM derived from the total lipids extracted from a single lens. Compared to CMs, NMs have a higher percentage of membrane surface occupied by α-crystallin and binding affinity, correlating with less mobility and more order below and on the surface of NMs. α-Crystallin binding to CM and NM decreases mobility with no significant change in order and hydrophobicity below and on the surface of membranes. Our results suggest that α-crystallin mainly binds on the surface of bovine CM and NM and such surface binding of α-crystallin to membranes in clear and young lenses may play a beneficial role in membrane stability. However, with decreased cholesterol content within the CM, which mimics the decreased cholesterol content in the cataractous lens membrane, α-crystallin binding increases the hydrophobicity below the membrane surface, indicating that α-crystallin binding forms a hydrophobic barrier for the passage of polar molecules, supporting the barrier hypothesis in developing cataracts.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:01:56 PST
       
  • Zinc–Acetate–Amine Complexes as Precursors to ZnO and the Effect of
           the Amine on Nanoparticle Morphology, Size, and Photocatalytic Activity

    • Authors: Josh Eixenberger et al.
      Abstract: Zinc oxide is an environmentally friendly and readily synthesized semiconductor with many industrial applications. ZnO powders were prepared by alkali precipitation using different [Zn(acetate)2(amine)x] compounds to alter the particle size and aspect ratio. Slow precipitations from 95 °C solutions produced micron-scale particles with morphologies of hexagonal plates, rods, and needles, depending on the precursor used. Powders prepared at 65 °C with rapid precipitation yielded particles with minimal morphology differences, but particle size was dependent on the precursor used. The smallest particles were produced using precursors that yielded crystals with low aspect ratios during high-temperature synthesis. Particles produced during rapid synthesis had sizes ranging from 21–45 nm. The materials were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, BET, and diffuse reflectance. The materials prepared using precursors with less-volatile amines were found to retain more organic material than ZnO produced using precursors with more volatile amines. The amount of organic material associated with the nanoparticles influenced the photocatalytic activity of the ZnO, with powders containing less organic material producing faster rate constants for the decolorizing of malachite green solutions under ultraviolet illumination, independent of particle size. [Zn(acetate)2(hydrazine)2] produced ZnO with the fastest rate constant and was recycled five times for dye degradation studies that revealed minimal to no reduction in catalytic efficiency.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:01:50 PST
       
  • Beyond Partisanship: Outperforming the Party Label with Local Roots in
           Congressional Elections

    • Authors: Charles R. Hunt
      Abstract: While factors like partisanship are increasingly decisive in congressional elections, they do not fully explain variation in constituency support between similarly situated incumbents. I argue that legislators’ reelection success is also influenced by the depth of their local, pre-Congress roots in the district they represent. I theorize that this local connection offers practical advantages to incumbents, such as built-in grassroots political infrastructure in their districts. Shared local identity also allows legislators to relate to their voters on a dimension that is uniquely suited to cross-cut partisanship and qualify them to represent their particular constituents. Therefore, I argue that local roots outperform their district’s partisan expectations – and more specifically, their party’s presidential nominees. Using an original dataset of nearly 3,000 House incumbents from 2002 to 2018 and novel measures of their preexisting local roots in their districts, I find that deeply rooted incumbents outperform their party’s presidential nominees in their districts by an average of about five additional points, even after controlling for partisanship and other crucial factors. I also find that this impact grows as the depth of local roots among a district’s voters increases. These results indicate that even in an era of congressional politics largely defined by partisanship and presidential loyalty, dyadic district connections like local ties can break through and affect legislators’ standing among their constituents.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 15:56:29 PST
       
  • Growing Tea with Subnational Roots: Tea Party Affiliation, Factionalism,
           and GOP Politics in State Legislatures

    • Authors: Stella M. Rouse et al.
      Abstract: Most research has examined the influence of the Tea Party as a social movement or loose organization, but less is known about its influence within legislative party politics, especially at the state level. In this paper, we argue that in this context the Tea Party is primarily an intraparty faction that has caused significant divisions inside the Republican Party. Using an original dataset of legislators across 13 states for the years 2010 to 2013, we examine legislator and district-level characteristics that predict state legislators’ affiliation with the Tea Party. Our results reveal that in some respects legislators affiliated with the Tea Party are a far-right wing of the Republican Party. However, by other measures that capture anti-establishment political sentiment, Tea Party affiliated legislators comprise a factional group attempting to transform the Party in ways that go beyond ideology. These findings have important implications for the future prospects of the GOP.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 15:56:24 PST
       
  • Sustainable Deimplementation of Continuous Pulse Oximetry Monitoring in
           Children Hospitalized with Bronchiolitis: Study Protocol for the
           Eliminating Monitor Overuse (EMO) Type III Effectiveness-Deimplementation
           Cluster-Randomized Trial

    • Authors: Nathaniel J. Williams
      Abstract: Background: Methods of sustaining the deimplementation of overused medical practices (i.e., practices not supported by evidence) are understudied. In pediatric hospital medicine, continuous pulse oximetry monitoring of children with the common viral respiratory illness bronchiolitis is recommended only under specific circumstances. Three national guidelines discourage its use for children who are not receiving supplemental oxygen, but guideline-discordant practice (i.e., overuse) remains prevalent. A 6-hospital pilot of educational outreach with audit and feedback resulted in immediate reductions in overuse; however, the best strategies to optimize sustainment of deimplementation success are unknown.Methods: The Eliminating Monitor Overuse (EMO) trial will compare two deimplementation strategies in a hybrid type III effectiveness-deimplementation trial. This longitudinal cluster-randomized design will be conducted in Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings (PRIS) Network hospitals and will include baseline measurement, active deimplementation, and sustainment phases. After a baseline measurement period, 16–19 hospitals will be randomized to a deimplementation strategy that targets unlearning (educational outreach with audit and feedback), and the other 16–19 will be randomized to a strategy that targets unlearning and substitution (adding an EHR-integrated clinical pathway decision support tool). The primary outcome is the sustainment of deimplementation in bronchiolitis patients who are not receiving any supplemental oxygen, analyzed as a longitudinal difference-in-differences comparison of overuse rates across study arms. Secondary outcomes include equity of deimplementation and the fidelity to, and cost of, each deimplementation strategy. To understand how the deimplementation strategies work, we will test hypothesized mechanisms of routinization (clinicians developing new routines supporting practice change) and institutionalization (embedding of practice change into existing organizational systems).Discussion: The EMO trial will advance the science of deimplementation by providing new insights into the processes, mechanisms, costs, and likelihood of sustained practice change using rigorously designed deimplementation strategies. The trial will also advance care for a high-incidence, costly pediatric lung disease.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov,NCT05132322. Registered on November 10, 2021.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 15:55:45 PST
       
  • Health Effects of Pesticide Exposure in Latin American and the Caribbean
           Populations: A Scoping Review

    • Authors: Carly Hyland
      Abstract: Background: Multiple epidemiological studies have shown that exposure to pesticides is associated with adverse health outcomes. However, the literature on pesticide-related health effects in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region, an area of intensive agricultural and residential pesticide use, is sparse. We conducted a scoping review to describe the current state of research on the health effects of pesticide exposure in LAC populations with the goal of identifying knowledge gaps and research capacity building needs.Methods: We searched PubMed and SciELO for epidemiological studies on pesticide exposure and human health in LAC populations published between January 2007 and December 2021. We identified 233 publications from 16 countries that met our inclusion criteria and grouped them by health outcome (genotoxicity, neurobehavioral outcomes, placental outcomes and teratogenicity, cancer, thyroid function, reproductive outcomes, birth outcomes and child growth, and others).Results: Most published studies were conducted in Brazil (37%, n = 88) and Mexico (20%, n = 46), were cross-sectional in design (72%, n = 167), and focused on farmworkers (45%, n = 105) or children (21%, n = 48). The most frequently studied health effects included genotoxicity (24%, n = 62) and neurobehavioral outcomes (21%, n = 54), and organophosphate (OP) pesticides were the most frequently examined (26%, n = 81). Forty-seven percent (n = 112) of the studies relied only on indirect pesticide exposure assessment methods. Exposure to OP pesticides, carbamates, or to multiple pesticide classes was consistently associated with markers of genotoxicity and adverse neurobehavioral outcomes, particularly among children and farmworkers.Discussion: Our scoping review provides some evidence that exposure to pesticides may adversely impact the health of LAC populations, but methodological limitations and inconsistencies undermine the strength of the conclusions. It is critical to increase capacity building, integrate research initiatives, and conduct more rigorous epidemiological studies in the region to address these limitations, better inform public health surveillance systems, and maximize the impact of research on public policies.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 15:55:42 PST
       
  • Tripartheid: How Global White Supremacy Triumphs Through Neoliberalism

    • Authors: Arthur Scarritt
      Abstract: The means of the extravagant rentier diminish daily in inverse proportion to the growing possibilities and temptations of pleasure. He must, therefore, either consume his capital himself, and in so doing bring about his own ruin, or become an industrial capitalist.—Karl Marx, Economic & Philosophic ManuscriptsThe seeds of the fiasco of an election in November 2016 in the United States, where the less affluent of European descent, including more than half of the women of this group, found their tribune in a vulgar billionaire, has roots in the cross-class coalition that spearheaded colonial settlement in the seventeenth century at the expense of the indigenous and enslaved Africans.—Gerald Horne, The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, and Capitalism in Seventeenth-Century North America and the CaribbeanFor the past fifty years, the neoliberal reassertion of elite power has triumphed around the world. A new aristocracy concentrates “masters of the universe” wealth and power, even amidst weak economic growth. Upwards of half of the world’s population, meanwhile, has “dropped out of history . . . written off as hopeless or terminal cases.” And the once stable middle class faces fearsome insecurity and downward mobility. Students of these globe-changing processes emphasize structural factors, a point corroborated by neoliberalism’s own prescriptions and structural adjustment programs (SAPs). David Harvey, for instance, describes neoliberalism as a “political project . . . to restore the power of economic elites.” Neoliberalism restructures social institutions to funnel wealth from the poor to the rich, justified as supply-side economics.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 15:55:26 PST
       
  • Dataset for Volcano Opto-Acoustics: Mapping the Infrasound Wavefield at
           Yasur Volcano (Vanuatu)

    • Authors: Jeffrey Johnson et al.
      Abstract: We explore the capabilities of volcano opto-acoustics, a promising technique for measuring explosion and infrasound resonance phenomena at open-vent volcanoes. Joint visual and infrasound study at Yasur Volcano (Vanuatu) demonstrate that even consumer-grade cameras are capable of recording infrasound with high fidelity. Passage of infrasonic waves ranging from 20 Pa to hundreds of Pa, from both explosions and persistent tremor, pressurizes and depressurizes ambient plumes inducing vaporization and condensation respectively and can be used for optical tracking of pressure waves. Image filtering and processing applied to standard video thus appears capable of replicating the spatio-temporal evolution of the sound wavefield. Wavefield maps can illuminate the propagation of blasts as well as the dynamics of infrasonic tremor possibly associated with standing waves in the craters. We propose that opto-acoustic monitoring may be used to extract near-vent infrasound signal and track volcanic unrest from a remote distance.
      PubDate: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 12:25:07 PST
       
 
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