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BOGA : Basque Studies Consortium Journal
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2325-7628
Published by Boise State University Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Relationships Between COVID-19 Infection Rates, Healthcare Access,
           Socioeconomic Status, and Cultural Diversity

    • Authors: MarGhece P.J. Barnes
      Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minority groups, with high infection rates throughout those communities. There are a complex set of factors that account for COVID-19 disparities. Focusing on infection and death rates alone without also examining health equity, underestimates the true impact of the pandemic. To gain a more clear understanding of COVID-19’s impact in these communities, we analyzed the relationship between state COVID-19 infection rates with social determinants of health: cultural diversity, health care access, and socioeconomic status. Our approach to identifying this relationship was to estimate infection rates by fitting John Hopkins COVID-19 data to an SIR compartmental model commonly used in epidemiology to model infectious disease. These infection rates were then analyzed as a function of state indices with regard to healthcare access, and socioeconomic status, as well as measures of each states cultural diversity.Nationally we do not see a relationship between COVID-19 infection and removal rates to cultural diversity, healthcare access, and socioeconomic status during the time period. However an analysis of states with the highest and lowest infection rates show that more culturally diverse states had higher infection rates during this time period. In addition, states that ranked low in healthcare access had infections an order of magnitude larger than states with good healthcare access. Alternatively, states grouped by low and high socioeconomic status had similar infection rates.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 17:21:55 PST
  • Characterizing Wildfire in the Frank Church Wilderness, Idaho, Between

    • Authors: Abigail Christine Axness
      Abstract: I examined wildfire characteristics in the Frank Church Wilderness, central Idaho, between 1972-2012. Studying fire characteristics in the Frank Church Wilderness provides an opportunity to understand the history of wildfires in a federally designated wilderness area, largely devoid of management impacts with limited human access and activity. The ~958,000-hectare Frank Church Wilderness area encompasses the Middle Fork Salmon River. Vegetation cover ranges from high elevation (~2500-3200 meters) mixed conifer forests in the headwaters to low-elevation (~600-1000 meters) sagebrush-steppe and ponderosa pine (Pinus Ponderosa) forests. The Frank Church Wilderness is defined as unmanaged because effective fire suppression (e.g., vehicle and air-assisted fire suppression), logging, road access, and motorized vehicle use are extremely limited; therefore, this area provides an excellent location to examine historical changes in wildfire characteristics in the absence of substantial management influence. Studies of wildfires in the Western USA show an increase in area burned in the past several decades; however, the root cause of the trend is attributed to both historical fire suppression and a warming climate.This research aims to understand fire characteristics and their correlation with a warming climate in the Frank Church Wilderness. Our research questions are:
      How do landscape fire metrics relate to warming trends in an unmanaged wilderness'
      How are landscape metrics of burned areas correlated with one another' As a proxy for the influence of warming and drying on vegetation, I use vapor pressure deficit (VPD), which measures air aridity and is the difference between moisture pressure in the air and its value at saturation. The study uses fire atlas data from 1972-2012, remotely sensed data, and historical VPD records to test correlations among climate aridity, burn area, and other fire metrics.This analysis shows that burned area in the Frank Church Wilderness increased between 1972-2012 and is significantly correlated with VPD, indicating that fires become larger as aridity increases. Severe fire years with large burn areas include 1988, 2000, and 2008. This work supports studies that attribute the growth in burned areas (1972-2012) to background warming and drying.I used FRAGSTATS software and landscape metric calculations in a pilot study to better understand the changes to wildfire shape and total area burned in the Frank Church Wilderness. FRAGSTATS show a high positive correlation (Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.57) between total area burned and VPD (p-value of 0.001). The number of patches also positively correlated with VPD (p-value of 0.002). The landscape shape index had a positive correlation (Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.48) to VPD with a p-value of 0.01. Perimeter-area fractal dimension index metric had a negative correlation (Pearson correlation coefficient of -0.38) with VPD with a p-value of 0.05.While additional work is needed, the scientific and land management communities can benefit from the nuanced understanding of the relationship between climate aridity and burned landscape patterns in an unmanaged region.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 17:21:49 PST
  • Microbiological, Environmental, and Compositional Factors in Efficacy of
           MICP Treatment in Clayey Soils

    • Authors: Somaye Asghari
      Abstract: Expansive clayey soils can cause billions of dollars of damage to infrastructure such as roads and foundations annually. Researchers propose many techniques (e.g., pre-wetting, soil replacement, and chemical stabilization) to improve the mechanical properties of these soils; however, some of these methods are impractical in certain situations, and are unsustainable in others due to the economic and environmental impacts. One possible method for enhancing soil’s mechanical properties is Microbial Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation (MICP). This environmentally friendly technique is a biological process where microbes play a key role in precipitating calcium carbonate. This precipitating calcium carbonate can coat soil particles and cement the soil matrix, thereby reducing the swelling potential. MICP is a complicated process. Many environmental variables such as the soil type, composition, chemistry, and microbial communities present in the soil control the rates and amounts of carbonate precipitation. The application of MICP in clay soils is an active area of research, however due to the complex nature of MICP and the clayey soils, not all the parameters impacting MICP have been comprehensively or systematically described. Moreover, the MICP performance of the soils tested in other studies varied considerably depending on the soil types. This leads to a fundamental question: What geochemical and environmental factors influence MICP performance and how these factors can be used as predictors of the MICP effectiveness in expansive soils' Answering this question is essential in the development of optimization strategies capable of enhancing the competitive advantages of MICP over traditional soil improvement methods; Moreover, understanding these factors prior to applying MICP to the soils can be a promising key for saving time, energy, and money. To determine the factors controlling MICP effectiveness in expansive soils, we performed a series of physical, chemical, microbiological, and compositional experiments in clayey soils collected from different geographical locations.To determine how soil’s clay content and gradation impacts calcium carbonate (CaCO3) precipitation, several artificial clay/sand mixes were prepared and examined for urease activity and calcite precipitation. The test results showed that clay has more urease activity and precipitation calcite than sand despite the two having similar relative populations of indigenous ureolytic bacteria.To determine the role of microbial communities in CaCO3 precipitation, we measured CaCO3 precipitation using Rapid Carbonate Analysis (RCA) and examined its correlation with soil ureolytic bacteria determined through 16SrRNA DNA sequencing. These observations show MICP treatment can increase ureolytic strains in all soils. However, this increase is not correlated with calcium carbonate precipitation in soils.Additional testing on 6 soil samples from multiple geographical locations showed that compositional characteristics such as Cation Exchange Capacity (CAC) and Specific Surface Area (SSA) have a significant positive correlation with the efficiency of MICP.The overall results suggest that the performance of MICP treatment is better in clayey soils compared to other non-clayey soils. Moreover, the results suggest that compositional properties such as CEC and SSA of the soil could be the reasons for the observed differences in CaCO3 precipitation in soils. Therefore, it is possible that CEC and SSA can be used as indicators of the MICP effectiveness prior to any MICP treatment in soils.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 17:21:43 PST
  • Tunable Electronic Structure via DNA-Templated Heteroaggregates of Two
           Distinct Cyanine Dyes

    • Authors: Jonathan S. Huff et al.
      Abstract: Molecular excitons are useful for applications in light harvesting, organic optoelectronics, and nanoscale computing. Electronic energy transfer (EET) is a process central to the function of devices based on molecular excitons. Achieving EET with a high quantum efficiency is a common obstacle to excitonic devices, often owing to the lack of donor and acceptor molecules that exhibit favorable spectral overlap. EET quantum efficiencies may be substantially improved through the use of heteroaggregates─aggregates of chemically distinct dyes─rather than individual dyes as energy relay units. However, controlling the assembly of heteroaggregates remains a significant challenge. Here, we use DNA Holliday junctions to assemble homo- and heterotetramer aggregates of the prototypical cyanine dyes Cy5 and Cy5.5. In addition to permitting control over the number of dyes within an aggregate, DNA-templated assembly confers control over aggregate composition, i.e., the ratio of constituent Cy5 and Cy5.5 dyes. By varying the ratio of Cy5 and Cy5.5, we show that the most intense absorption feature of the resulting tetramer can be shifted in energy over a range of almost 200 meV (1600 cm–1). All tetramers pack in the form of H-aggregates and exhibit quenched emission and drastically reduced excited-state lifetimes compared to the monomeric dyes. We apply a purely electronic exciton theory model to describe the observed progression of the absorption spectra. This model agrees with both the measured data and a more sophisticated vibronic model of the absorption and circular dichroism spectra, indicating that Cy5 and Cy5.5 heteroaggregates are largely described by molecular exciton theory. Finally, we extend the purely electronic exciton model to describe an idealized J-aggregate based on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and discuss the potential advantages of such a device over traditional FRET relays.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 14:29:52 PST
  • Microstructural and Chemical Characterization of a Purple Pigment from a
           Faiyum Mummy Portrait

    • Authors: Glenn Gates et al.
      Abstract: Results are presented from analyses that were conducted to explain the presence of chromium, detected noninvasively using energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF), in the unusually large (2-3mm diameter) rough gem-like purple pigment particles in the paint used for a Faiyum mummy portrait. An approximately 50 μm diameter particle of the chromium-containing purple pigment was extracted from the Portrait of a Bearded Man, dated to Roman Imperial Egypt in the second century, circa 170-180 CE, accession #32.6 in the Walters Art Museum collection. The particle was characterized using energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis, electron microscopy, diffraction, and atom probe tomography. It is demonstrated that the purple pigment particle is a heterogeneous organic pigment, specifically, a lake pigment likely derived from either plant or insect matter, which contains minor percentages of both transition metals and alkali / alkali earth metals, with nanometer-scale crystallites of lead carbonates and sulfates. The analyses revealed for the first time the nanoscale microstructure and stratigraphy in an ancient lake pigment. Results suggest that similarities with respect to time period and place of production may be developed among unprovenienced Faiyum mummy portraits to help localize workshops or artists, using analyses focused on lake pigments to characterize specifically metal-based mordants.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 14:29:45 PST
  • Tuning Between Quenching and Energy Transfer in DNA-Templated Heterodimer

    • Authors: Azhad U. Chowdhury et al.
      Abstract: Molecular excitons, which propagate spatially via electronic energy transfer, are central to numerous applications including light harvesting, organic optoelectronics, and nanoscale computing; they may also benefit applications such as photothermal therapy and photoacoustic imaging through the local generation of heat via rapid excited-state quenching. Here we show how to tune between energy transfer and quenching for heterodimers of the same pair of cyanine dyes by altering their spatial configuration on a DNA template. We assemble “transverse” and “adjacent” heterodimers of Cy5 and Cy5.5 using DNA Holliday junctions. We find that the transverse heterodimers exhibit optical properties consistent with excitonically interacting dyes and fluorescence quenching, while the adjacent heterodimers exhibit optical properties consistent with nonexcitonically interacting dyes and disproportionately large Cy5.5 emission, suggestive of energy transfer between dyes. We use transient absorption spectroscopy to show that quenching in the transverse heterodimer occurs via rapid nonradiative decay to the ground state (∼31 ps) and that in the adjacent heterodimer rapid energy transfer from Cy5 to Cy5.5 (∼420 fs) is followed by Cy5.5 excited-state relaxation (∼700 ps). Accessing such drastically different photophysics, which may be tuned on demand for different target applications, highlights the utility of DNA as a template for dye aggregation.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 14:29:29 PST
  • Comparing Structure-Property Evolution for PM-HIP and Forged Alloy 625
           Irradiated with Neutrons to 1 dpa

    • Authors: Yu Lu
      Abstract: The nuclear power industry has growing interest in qualifying powder metallurgy with hot isostatic pressing (PM-HIP) to replace traditional alloy fabrication methods for reactor structural components. But there is little known about the response of PM-HIP alloys to reactor conditions. This study directly compares the response of PM-HIP to forged Ni-base Alloy 625 under neutron irradiation doses ∼0.5–1 displacements per atom (dpa) at temperatures ranging ∼321–385 °C. Post-irradiation examination involves microstructure characterization, ASTM E8 uniaxial tensile testing, and fractography. Up through 1 dpa, PM-HIP Alloy 625 appears more resistant to irradiation-induced cavity nucleation than its forged counterpart, and consequently experiences significantly less hardening. This observed difference in performance can be explained by the higher initial dislocation density of the forged material, which represents an interstitial-biased sink that leaves a vacancy supersaturation to nucleate cavities. These findings show promise for qualification of PM-HIP Alloy 625 for nuclear applications, although higher dose studies are needed to assess the steady-state irradiated microstructure.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 14:29:23 PST
  • Living a Long Life is a Multi-Step Process

    • Authors: Alexander H.K. Montoye et al.
      Abstract: There is a strong link between physical activity and health. Historically, large-scale epidemiological studies have used self-report surveys to capture physical activity measures (eg, type and intensity). In the past 20–30 years, large cohort studies have increasingly adopted devices, such as pedometers, accelerometers, and consumer-marketed activity trackers, to measure physical activity. Device-based physical activity measures alleviate some limitations of self-reporting by increasing measurement objectivity and accuracy. Additionally, device-based measures often show stronger associations with health outcomes than do self-reported measures, showcasing their value in understanding how physical activity affects health. Unlike self-report, device-based measures can capture steps, which are easily understandable and can be effective for goal setting and motivation to increase physical activity levels. Moreover, steps can be used to assess both physical activity volume (eg, steps per day) and intensity (eg, steps per min).
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 12:22:15 PST
  • Environmental Displacement in the Anthropocene

    • Authors: Elizabeth Lunstrum et al.
      Abstract: This intervention invites more substantial scholarly attention to human displacement in and of the Anthropocene—this current epoch in which humans have become the primary drivers of global environmental change—and sets out an initial framework for its study. The framework is organized around three interrelated contributions. First is the recognition that displacement is driven not just by climate change but also broader forms of environmental change defining the Anthropocene, including biodiversity loss, changes to land and water resources, and the buildup of nuclear debris, along with their intersections. Second, the framework parses out three distinct moments of displacement in the Anthropocene: displacement as a consequence of, prerequisite to, and active response to environmental change. Third, the framework rejects environmental (neo)determinism by showing how displacement across these distinct moments and drivers is more than environmental: It is the articulation of environmental and sociopolitical–economic factors, which are routinely shaped by inequality and play out within a broader series of crises and crisis narratives that drive displacement and hinder viable solutions. We ground these interventions in examples of political conflict, anti-immigrant politics, the posttruth and colonial politics of knowledge production, and the Anthropocene itself as crisis requiring displacement to clean up its mess. Although each example is quite distinct, a common thread stitched across them is colonialism, highlighting a recurring extra-environmental driver of displacement. Taken together, these dynamics underscore that displacement is not an unfortunate by-product of the Anthropocene but woven into its very fabric.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 12:15:05 PST
  • Analysis of Skills Sought by Employers of Bachelors-Level Geoscientists

    • Authors: Gregory Shafer et al.
      Abstract: Bachelors-level geoscientists make up the majority of the geoscience workforce, and positions for entry-level geoscientists are expected to grow rapidly over the next decade, with some jobs anticipating upward of 10% growth (National Center for O*NET Development, 2021). Are geoscience departments adequately preparing undergraduate students to succeed in these positions'
      PubDate: Wed, 23 Nov 2022 11:13:55 PST
  • Developing a Soil Column System to Measure Hydrogeophysical Properties of
           Unconsolidated Sediment

    • Authors: Taylor Bienvenue et al.
      Abstract: Geophysical methods have been increasingly used to characterize the Earth's critical zone (CZ) and monitor hydrological processes occurring within it. For a quantitative interpretation, geophysical studies of CZ materials are necessary, and thus require more sophisticated laboratory setups. In this study, we develop a hydrogeophysical soil column system to measure key hydraulic and electrical properties of regolith in CZs. The developed soil column system consists of two components: (a) a novel hydrogeophysical probe that measures pore water pressure and electrical potential in soils and (b) a cylindrical cell to hold soil samples. The system can be arranged to perform both saturated flow and drainage tests. The saturated flow test is similar to the traditional constant head experiment for determining the hydraulic conductivity and streaming potential coupling coefficient. The drainage tests can produce transient responses of cumulative overflow, pore water pressure, and streaming potential. These transient data can be used to estimate the sample's electrical and hydraulic properties with the coupled, stochastic hydrogeophysical inversion. A sand sample is used to demonstrate the procedures of applying this new system. The measured saturated hydraulic conductivity and streaming potential coupling coefficient of the sand are within the typical ranges of sands reported in the literature. The inversion-estimated soil parameters can well reproduce the measured transient responses during the drainage test of the sample. Moreover, the inversion-estimated saturated properties are in good agreement with those independently measured in the saturated flow test, showing the robustness of the developed system.
      PubDate: Wed, 23 Nov 2022 11:13:48 PST
  • Late Triassic to Jurassic Magmatic and Tectonic Evolution of the
           Intermontane Terranes in Yukon, Northern Canadian Cordillera: Transition
           From Arc to Syn-Collisional Magmatism and Post-Collisional Lithospheric

    • Authors: Maurice Colpron et al.
      Abstract: End-on arc collision and onset of the northern Cordilleran orogen is recorded in Late Triassic to Jurassic plutons in the Intermontane terranes of Yukon, and in development of the synorogenic Whitehorse trough (WT). A synthesis of the extensive data set for these plutons supports interpretation of the magmatic and tectonic evolution of the northern Intermontane terranes. Late Triassic juvenile plutons that locally intrude the Yukon-Tanana terrane represent the northern extension of arc magmatism within Stikinia. Early Jurassic plutons that intrude Stikinia and Yukon-Tanana terranes were emplaced during crustal thickening (200–195 Ma) and subsequent exhumation (190–178 Ma). The syn-collisional magmatism migrated to the south and shows increasing crustal contributions with time. This style of magmatism in Yukon contrasts with coeval, juvenile arc magmatism in British Columbia (Hazelton Group), that records southward arc migration in the Early Jurassic. Exhumation and subsidence of the WT in the north were probably linked to the retreating Hazelton arc by a sinistral transform. East of WT, Early Jurassic plutons intruded into Yukon-Tanana record continued arc magmatism in Quesnellia. Middle Jurassic plutons were intruded after final enclosure of the Cache Creek terrane and imbrication of the Intermontane terranes. The post-collisional plutons have juvenile isotopic compositions that, together with stratigraphic evidence of surface uplift, are interpreted to record asthenospheric upwelling and lithospheric delamination. A revised tectonic model proposes that entrapment of the Cache Creek terrane was the result of Hazelton slab rollback and development of a sinistral transform fault system linked to the collision zone to the north.
      PubDate: Wed, 23 Nov 2022 11:13:42 PST
  • The Geochemical Evolution of Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos Archipelago

    • Authors: E. L. Wilson et al.
      Abstract: Understanding how ocean island volcanoes evolve provides important insight into the behavior of mantle plumes, how plumes interact with mid-ocean ridges, and potential risks posed to inhabitants as the islands age. In this field-based study of the Galápagos Islands, we use radiogenic isotope ratio, major element, and trace element analysis of>70 new lava samples to document the geochemical evolution of Santa Cruz Island over the past ∼2 million years, as it has been carried away from the plume. Currently, Santa Cruz is a dormant shield volcano in the central archipelago. Previous work indicates that exposed lavas preserve>1 million years of activity in two eruptive units: 1) The older Platform Series, exposed primarily in the northeast; and 2) the Shield Series, which blankets the rest of Santa Cruz and erupted from a WNW trending fissure system. Our new geochemical analyses indicate that the Platform Series lavas are more evolved and isotopically enriched than Shield lavas, but neither as compositionally monotonous nor as isotopically enriched as the younger western Galápagos volcanoes. Santa Cruz formed when the Galápagos Spreading Center (GSC) was closer to the plume than it is today, resulting in enhanced plume-ridge interaction and transport of plume material to the ridge. Consequently, the Platform Series was formed under relatively magma-starved conditions compared to today’s western volcanoes. Magma supply was sufficient for partial fractionation and homogenization of melts in shallow reservoirs, but inadequate to support thermochemically buffered networks like those in the present-day western archipelago. The slight depletion of Platform Series lavas relative to Fernandina reflects entrainment of depleted upper mantle and/or diversion of deep, enriched plume melts to the nearby GSC. The younger Shield Series lavas are even more depleted because plate motion has carried the volcano across the compositional boundary of the bilaterally asymmetric plume into its more depleted zone. Shield Series lavas’ variable, primitive compositions reflect minimal crustal processing in small, ephemeral, poorly supplied magma reservoirs. Unlike the young western shields, the constructional history of Santa Cruz has been controlled to a significant extent by its proximity to the GSC.
      PubDate: Wed, 23 Nov 2022 11:13:35 PST
  • Relative Timing of Off-Axis Volcanism from Sediment Thickness Estimates on
           the 8°20’N Seamount Chain, East Pacific Rise

    • Authors: Andrea Fabbrizzi et al.
      Abstract: Volcanic seamount chains on the flanks of mid-ocean ridges record variability in magmatic processes associated with mantle melting over several millions of years. However, the relative timing of magmatism on individual seamounts along a chain can be difficult to estimate without in situ sampling and is further hampered by Ar40/Ar39 dating limitations. The 8°20’N seamount chain extends ∼170 km west from the fast-spreading East Pacific Rise (EPR), north of and parallel to the western Siqueiros fracture zone. Here, we use multibeam bathymetric data to investigate relationships between abyssal hill formation and seamount volcanism, transform fault slip, and tectonic rotation. Near-bottom compressed high-intensity radiated pulse, bathymetric, and sidescan sonar data collected with the autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry are used to test the hypothesis that seamount volcanism is age-progressive along the seamount chain. Although sediment on seamount flanks is likely to be reworked by gravitational mass-wasting and current activity, bathymetric relief and Sentry vehicle heading analysis suggest that sedimentary accumulations on seamount summits are likely to be relatively pristine. Sediment thickness on the seamounts' summits does not increase linearly with nominal crustal age, as would be predicted if seamounts were constructed proximal to the EPR axis and then aged as the lithosphere cooled and subsided away from the ridge. The thickest sediments are found at the center of the chain, implying the most ancient volcanism there, rather than on seamounts furthest from the EPR. The nonlinear sediment thickness along the 8°20’N seamounts suggests that volcanism can persist off-axis for several million years.
      PubDate: Wed, 23 Nov 2022 11:13:29 PST
  • Experimental Validation of a Reflective Long Period Grating Design

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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
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