WorldWideScience

Sample records for enrichment samples astrobiological

  1. Sample Handling and Processing on Mars for Future Astrobiology Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beegle, Luther; Kirby, James P.; Fisher, Anita; Hodyss, Robert; Saltzman, Alison; Soto, Juancarlos; Lasnik, James; Roark, Shane

    2011-01-01

    In most analytical investigations, there is a need to process complex field samples for the unique detection of analytes especially when detecting low concentration organic molecules that may identify extraterrestrial life. Sample processing for analytical instruments is time, resource and manpower consuming in terrestrial laboratories. Every step in this laborious process will have to be automated for in situ life detection. We have developed, and are currently demonstrating, an automated wet chemistry preparation system that can operate autonomously on Earth and is designed to operate under Martian ambient conditions. This will enable a complete wet chemistry laboratory as part of future missions. Our system, namely the Automated Sample Processing System (ASPS) receives fines, extracts organics through solvent extraction, processes the extract by removing non-organic soluble species and delivers sample to multiple instruments for analysis (including for non-organic soluble species).

  2. Astrobiology Sample Analysis Program (ASAP) for Advanced Life Detection Instrumentation Development and Calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel; Brinkerhoff, Will; Dworkin, Jason; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Franz, Heather; Mahaffy, Paul; Stern, Jen; Blake, Daid; Sandford, Scott; Fries, marc; hide

    2008-01-01

    Scientific ground-truth measurements for near-term Mars missions, such as the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, are essential for validating current in situ flight instrumentation and for the development of advanced instrumentation technologies for life-detection missions over the next decade. The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) has recently funded a consortium of researchers called the Astrobiology Sample Analysis Program (ASAP) to analyze an identical set of homogenized martian analog materials in a "round-robin" style using both state-of-the-art laboratory techniques as well as in-situ flight instrumentation including the SAM gas chromatograph mass spectrometer and CHEMIN X-ray diffraction/fluorescence instruments on MSL and the Urey and MOMA organic analyzer instruments under development for the 2013 ExoMars missions. The analog samples studied included an Atacama Desert soil from Chile, the Murchison meteorite, a gypsum sample from the 2007 AMASE Mars analog site, jarosite from Panoche Valley, CA, a hydrothermal sample from Rio Tinto, Spain, and a "blind" sample collected during the 2007 MSL slow-motion field test in New Mexico. Each sample was distributed to the team for analysis to: (1) determine the nature and inventory of organic compounds, (2) measure the bulk carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition, (3) investigate elemental abundances, mineralogy and matrix, and (4) search for biological activity. The experimental results obtained from the ASAP Mars analog research consortium will be used to build a framework for understanding the biogeochemistry of martian analogs, help calibrate current spaceflight instrumentation, and enhance the scientific return from upcoming missions.

  3. Backward Planetary Protection Issues and Possible Solutions for Icy Plume Sample Return Missions from Astrobiological Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yano, Hajime; McKay, Christopher P.; Anbar, Ariel; Tsou, Peter

    The recent report of possible water vapor plumes at Europa and Ceres, together with the well-known Enceladus plume containing water vapor, salt, ammonia, and organic molecules, suggests that sample return missions could evolve into a generic approach for outer Solar System exploration in the near future, especially for the benefit of astrobiology research. Sampling such plumes can be accomplished via fly-through mission designs, modeled after the successful Stardust mission to capture and return material from Comet Wild-2 and multiple, precise trajectory controls of the Cassini mission to fly through Enceladus’ plume. The proposed LIFE (Life Investigation For Enceladus) mission to Enceladus, which would sample organic molecules from the plume of that apparently habitable world, provides one example of the appealing scientific return of such missions. Beyond plumes, the upper atmosphere of Titan could also be sampled in this manner. The SCIM mission to Mars, also inspired by Stardust, would sample and return aerosol dust in the upper atmosphere of Mars and thus extends this concept even to other planetary bodies. Such missions share common design needs. In particular, they require large exposed sampler areas (or sampler arrays) that can be contained to the standards called for by international planetary protection protocols that COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy (PPP) recommends. Containment is also needed because these missions are driven by astrobiologically relevant science - including interest in organic molecules - which argues against heat sterilization that could destroy scientific value of samples. Sample containment is a daunting engineering challenge. Containment systems must be carefully designed to appropriate levels to satisfy the two top requirements: planetary protection policy and the preserving the scientific value of samples. Planning for Mars sample return tends to center on a hermetic seal specification (i.e., gas-tight against helium escape

  4. Enrichment of Acinetobacter spp. from food samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalheira, Ana; Ferreira, Vânia; Silva, Joana; Teixeira, Paula

    2016-05-01

    Relatively little is known about the role of foods in the chain of transmission of acinetobacters and the occurrence of different Acinetobacter spp. in foods. Currently, there is no standard procedure to recover acinetobacters from food in order to gain insight into the food-related ecology and epidemiology of acinetobacters. This study aimed to assess whether enrichment in Dijkshoorn enrichment medium followed by plating in CHROMagar™ Acinetobacter medium is a useful method for the isolation of Acinetobacter spp. from foods. Recovery of six Acinetobacter species from food spiked with these organisms was compared for two selective enrichment media (Baumann's enrichment and Dijkshoorn's enrichment). Significantly (p enrichment. Next, the Dijkshoorn's enrichment followed by direct plating on CHROMagar™ Acinetobacter was applied to detect Acinetobacter spp. in different foods. Fourteen different presumptive acinetobacters were recovered and assumed to represent nine different strains on the basis of REP-PCR typing. Eight of these strains were identified by rpoB gene analysis as belonging to the species Acinetobacter johnsonii, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, Acinetobacter guillouiae and Acinetobacter gandensis. It was not possible to identify the species level of one strain which may suggests that it represents a distinct species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The Proposed Mars Astrobiology Explorer - Cacher [MAX-C] Rover: First Step in a Potential Sample Return Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Beaty, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Sample return from Mars has been advocated by numerous scientific advisory panels for over 30 years, most prominently beginning with the National Research Council s [1] strategy for the exploration of the inner solar system, and most recently by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG s) Next Decade Science Analysis Group [2]. Analysis of samples here on Earth would have enormous advantages over in situ analyses in producing the data quality needed to address many of the complex scientific questions the community has posed about Mars. Instead of a small, predetermined set of analytical techniques, state of the art preparative and instrumental resources of the entire scientific community could be applied to the samples. The analytical emphasis could shift as the meaning of each result becomes better appreciated. These arguments apply both to igneous rocks and to layered sedimentary materials, either of which could contain water and other volatile constituents. In 2009 MEPAG formed the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high-priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps towards the potential return of samples to Earth. This analysis resulted in a mission concept named the Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C), which was envisioned for launch in the 2018 opportunity. After extensive discussion, this group concluded that by far the most definitive contribution to sample return by this mission would be to collect and cache, in an accessible location, a suite of compelling samples that could potentially be recovered and returned by a subsequent mission. This would have the effect of separating two of the essential functions of MSR, the acquisition of the sample collection and its delivery to martian orbit, into two missions.

  6. Advanced Curation Activities at NASA: Implications for Astrobiological Studies of Future Sample Collections

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Evans, C. A.; Fries, M. D.; Harrington, A. D.; Regberg, A. B.; Snead, C. J.; Zeigler, R. A.

    2017-01-01

    The Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office (henceforth referred to herein as NASA Curation Office) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) is responsible for curating all of NASA's extraterrestrial samples. Under the governing document, NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 7100.10F JSC is charged with curation of all extraterrestrial material under NASA control, including future NASA missions. The Directive goes on to define Curation as including documentation, preservation, preparation, and distribution of samples for re-search, education, and public outreach. Here we briefly describe NASA's astromaterials collections and our ongoing efforts related to enhancing the utility of our current collections as well as our efforts to prepare for future sample return missions. We collectively refer to these efforts as advanced curation.

  7. Synthetic Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2017-01-01

    "Are we alone?" is one of the primary questions of astrobiology, and whose answer defines our significance in the universe. Unfortunately, this quest is hindered by the fact that we have only one confirmed example of life, that of earth. While this is enormously helpful in helping to define the minimum envelope for life, it strains credulity to imagine that life, if it arose multiple times, has not taken other routes. To help fill this gap, our lab has begun using synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - as an enabling technology. One theme, the "Hell Cell" project, focuses on creating artificial extremophiles in order to push the limits for Earth life, and to understand how difficult it is for life to evolve into extreme niches. In another project, we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids.

  8. Experience with environmental sampling at gas centrifuge enrichment plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ekenstam, G. af; Bush, W.; Janov, J.; Kuhn, E.; Ryjinski, M.

    2001-01-01

    Environmental sampling has been used routinely by the IAEA since 1996 after the IAEA Board of Governors approved it in March 1995 as a new technique to strengthen safeguards and improve efficiency. In enrichment plants it is used to confirm that there has been no production of highly enriched uranium (HEU), or production of uranium at above the declared enrichment. The use of environmental sampling is based on the assumption that every process, no matter how leak tight, will release small amounts of process material to the environment. Even though these releases of nuclear material are extremely small in gas centrifuge enrichment plants, and well below levels of concern from a health physics and safety standpoint, they are detectable and their analysis provides an indication of the enrichment of the material that has been processed in the plant. The environmental samples at enrichment plants are collected by swiping selected areas of the plant with squares of cotton cloth (10x10 cm) from sampling kits prepared in ultra clean condition. The squares of cotton cloth sealed in plastic bags are sent for analysis to the Network Analytical Laboratories. The analysis includes the measurement of the uranium isotopic composition in uranium-containing particles by Thermal lonization Mass Spectroscopy (TIMS) or Secondary ION Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS). Since the implementation of environmental sampling, swipes have been collected from 240 sampling points at three gas centrifuge plants of URENCO, which have a total throughput of more than 8,000 tonnes of uranium per year. The particle analysis results generally reflected the known operational history of the plants and confirmed that they had only been operated to produce uranium with enrichment less than 5% 235 U. The information about the content of the minor isotopes 234 U and 236 U also indicates that depleted and recycled uranium were sometimes used as feed materials in some plants. An example is given of the TIMS particle

  9. Biomolecules in Astrobiology

    OpenAIRE

    Meringer, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin, distribution and future of life in the universe, biomolecules are molecules produced by living organisms. This talk reviews known facts and open questions about biomolecules in the context of Astrobiology and introduces a research project on "Creating a Reference Set of Amino Acids Structures for Use in Multiple Astrobiology Investigations" that tries to find answers using computational methods.

  10. Multispectral Microimager for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellar, R. Glenn; Farmer, Jack D.; Kieta, Andrew; Huang, Julie

    2006-01-01

    A primary goal of the astrobiology program is the search for fossil records. The astrobiology exploration strategy calls for the location and return of samples indicative of environments conducive to life, and that best capture and preserve biomarkers. Successfully returning samples from environments conducive to life requires two primary capabilities: (1) in situ mapping of the mineralogy in order to determine whether the desired minerals are present; and (2) nondestructive screening of samples for additional in-situ testing and/or selection for return to laboratories for more in-depth examination. Two of the most powerful identification techniques are micro-imaging and visible/infrared spectroscopy. The design and test results are presented from a compact rugged instrument that combines micro-imaging and spectroscopic capability to provide in-situ analysis, mapping, and sample screening capabilities. Accurate reflectance spectra should be a measure of reflectance as a function of wavelength only. Other compact multispectral microimagers use separate LEDs (light-emitting diodes) for each wavelength and therefore vary the angles of illumination when changing wavelengths. When observing a specularly-reflecting sample, this produces grossly inaccurate spectra due to the variation in the angle of illumination. An advanced design and test results are presented for a multispectral microimager which demonstrates two key advances relative to previous LED-based microimagers: (i) acquisition of actual reflectance spectra in which the flux is a function of wavelength only, rather than a function of both wavelength and illumination geometry; and (ii) increase in the number of spectral bands to eight bands covering a spectral range of 468 to 975 nm.

  11. Enrichment and identification of polycyclic aromatic compound-degrading bacteria enriched from sediment samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Rachel M; Lappin-Scott, Hilary M; Stevens, Jamie R

    2009-07-01

    The degradation of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) has been widely studied. Knowledge of the degradation of PACs by microbial populations can be utilized in the remediation of contaminated sites. To isolate and identify PAC-degrading bacteria for potential use in future bioremediation programmes, we established a series of PAC enrichments under the same experimental conditions from a single sediment sample taken from a highly polluted estuarine site. Enrichment cultures were established using the pollutants: anthracene, phenanthrene and dibenzothiophene as a sole carbon source. The shift in microbial community structure on each of these carbon sources was monitored by analysis of a time series of samples from each culture using 16S rRNA polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). Significantly, our findings demonstrate that shifts in the constituent species within each degradative community are directly attributable to enrichment with different PACs. Subsequently, we characterized the microorganisms comprising the degradative communities within each enrichment using 16S rRNA sequence data. Our findings demonstrate that the ability to degrade PACs is present in five divisions of the Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. By determining the precise identity of the PAC-degrading bacterial species isolated from a single sediment sample, and by comparing our findings with previously published research, we demonstrate how bacteria with similar PAC degrading capabilities and 16S rRNA signatures are found in similarly polluted environments in geographically very distant locations, e.g., China, Italy, Japan and Hawaii. Such a finding suggests that geographical barriers do not limit the distribution of key PAC-degrading bacteria; this finding is in accordance with the Baas-Becking hypothesis "everything is everywhere; the environment selects" and may have significant consequences for the global distribution of PAC-degrading bacteria and

  12. Make Astrobiology Yours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn

    2012-01-01

    In this talk, I will give the AbGradCon attendees an overview of astrobiology activities ongoing at NASA as well as a brief description of the various funding programs and careers that they can pursue. After this, I will present to them the case that the future of the field is theirs to determine, and give input on how to effectively make astrobiology and NASA responsive to the needs of the community. This presentation will leverage my experiences leading various efforts in the early career astrobiology community, where I have served as a conference organizer, primer lead editor, community blogger, and unofficial liaison to NASA headquarters.

  13. Sampling and analyte enrichment strategies for ambient mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xianjiang; Ma, Wen; Li, Hongmei; Ai, Wanpeng; Bai, Yu; Liu, Huwei

    2018-01-01

    Ambient mass spectrometry provides great convenience for fast screening, and has showed promising potential in analytical chemistry. However, its relatively low sensitivity seriously restricts its practical utility in trace compound analysis. In this review, we summarize the sampling and analyte enrichment strategies coupled with nine modes of representative ambient mass spectrometry (desorption electrospray ionization, paper vhspray ionization, wooden-tip spray ionization, probe electrospray ionization, coated blade spray ionization, direct analysis in real time, desorption corona beam ionization, dielectric barrier discharge ionization, and atmospheric-pressure solids analysis probe) that have dramatically increased the detection sensitivity. We believe that these advances will promote routine use of ambient mass spectrometry. Graphical abstract Scheme of sampling stretagies for ambient mass spectrometry.

  14. Astrochemistry and astrobiology

    CERN Document Server

    Smith, Ian W M; Leach, Sydney

    2014-01-01

    This debut volume in the new Springer series Physical Chemistry in Action, composed of expert contributions, is aimed at both novice and experienced researchers, and outlines the principles of the physical chemistry deployed in astrochemistry and astrobiology.

  15. Enrichment of sub-milligram size carbon samples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kitagawa, H; vanderPlicht, J

    We have developed a carbon isotope enrichment system for use in conjunction with the Groningen Accelerator Mass Spectrometer. Using thermal diffusion of CO, we obtained an enrichment factor of about 3 for C-13 for half-gram carbon in 5 days. This means we expect for C-14 an enrichment factor of 6,

  16. Encyclopedia of astrobiology

    CERN Document Server

    Irvine, William; Amils, Ricardo; Cleaves, Henderson; Pinti, Daniele; Quintanilla, José; Rouan, Daniel; Spohn, Tilman; Tirard, Stéphane; Viso, Michel

    2015-01-01

    The interdisciplinary field of Astrobiology constitutes a joint arena where provocative discoveries are coalescing concerning, e.g. the prevalence of exoplanets, the diversity and hardiness of life, and its increasingly likely chances for its emergence. Biologists, astrophysicists, biochemists, geoscientists and space scientists share this exciting mission of revealing the origin and commonality of life in the Universe. The members of the different disciplines are used to their own terminology and technical language. In the interdisciplinary environment many terms either have redundant meanings or are completely unfamiliar to members of other disciplines. The Encyclopedia of Astrobiology serves as the key to a common understanding. Each new or experienced researcher and graduate student in adjacent fields of astrobiology will appreciate this reference work in the quest to understand the big picture. The carefully selected group of active researchers contributing to this work and the expert field editors inten...

  17. Encyclopedia of astrobiology

    CERN Document Server

    Quintanilla, José Cernicharo; Cleaves, Henderson James (Jim); Irvine, William M; Pinti, Daniele L; Viso, Michel; Gargaud, Muriel

    2011-01-01

    The interdisciplinary field of Astrobiology constitutes a joint arena where provocative discoveries are coalescing concerning, e.g. the prevalence of exoplanets, the diversity and hardiness of life, and its increasingly likely chances for its emergence. Biologists, astrophysicists, biochemists, geoscientists and space scientists share this exciting mission of revealing the origin and commonality of life in the Universe. The members of the different disciplines are used to their own terminology and technical language. In the interdisciplinary environment many terms either have redundant meanings or are completely unfamiliar to members of other disciplines. The Encyclopedia of Astrobiology serves as the key to a common understanding. Each new or experienced researcher and graduate student in adjacent fields of astrobiology will appreciate this reference work in the quest to understand the big picture. The carefully selected group of active researchers contributing to this work and the expert field editors inten...

  18. Sea Ice as a Sink for CO2 and Biogeochemical Material: a Novel Sampling Method and Astrobiological Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilner, J.; Hofmann, A.; Hand, K. P.

    2017-12-01

    Accurately modelling the intensification of greenhouse gas effects in the polar regions ("polar amplification") necessitates a thorough understanding of the geochemical balance between atmospheric, sea ice, and oceanic layers. Sea ice is highly permeable to CO2 and therefore represents a major sink of oceanic CO2 in winter and of atmospheric CO2 in summer, sinks that are typically either poorly constrained in or fully absent from global climate models. We present a novel method for sampling both trapped and dissolved gases (CO2, CH4 and δ13CH4) in sea ice with a Picarro 2132-i Methane Analyzer, taking the following sampling considerations into account: minimization of water and air contamination, full headspace sampling, prevention of inadvertent sample bag double-puncturing, and ease of use. This method involves melting of vacuum-sealed ice cores to evacuate trapped gases to the headspace and sampling the headspace gas with a blunt needle sheathed by a beveled puncturing needle. A gravity catchment tube prevents input of dangerous levels of liquid water to the Picarro cavity. Subsequent ultrasonic degassing allows for dissolved gas measurement. We are in the process of using this method to sample gases trapped and dissolved in Arctic autumn sea ice cores and atmospheric samples collected during the 2016 Polarstern Expedition and during a May 2017 field campaign north of Barrow, Alaska. We additionally employ this method, together with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), to analyze the transfer of potential biogeochemical signatures of underlying hydrothermal plumes to sea ice. This has particular relevance to Europa and Enceladus, where hypothetical hydrothermal plumes may deliver seafloor chemicals to the overlying ice shell. Hence, we are presently investigating the entrainment of methane and other hydrothermal material in sea ice cores collected along the Gakkel Ridge that may serve as biosignatures of methanogenic organisms in seafloor

  19. Solution-based targeted genomic enrichment for precious DNA samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shearer Aiden

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Solution-based targeted genomic enrichment (TGE protocols permit selective sequencing of genomic regions of interest on a massively parallel scale. These protocols could be improved by: 1 modifying or eliminating time consuming steps; 2 increasing yield to reduce input DNA and excessive PCR cycling; and 3 enhancing reproducible. Results We developed a solution-based TGE method for downstream Illumina sequencing in a non-automated workflow, adding standard Illumina barcode indexes during the post-hybridization amplification to allow for sample pooling prior to sequencing. The method utilizes Agilent SureSelect baits, primers and hybridization reagents for the capture, off-the-shelf reagents for the library preparation steps, and adaptor oligonucleotides for Illumina paired-end sequencing purchased directly from an oligonucleotide manufacturing company. Conclusions This solution-based TGE method for Illumina sequencing is optimized for small- or medium-sized laboratories and addresses the weaknesses of standard protocols by reducing the amount of input DNA required, increasing capture yield, optimizing efficiency, and improving reproducibility.

  20. Astrobiology in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, Tim

    2004-01-01

    Astrobiology is a relatively new field of study in science, one that has found a home in the curriculum of many major universities. It is a multidisciplinary field that draws participants from a range of scientific specialties: geology, physics, chemistry, engineering, computer science, and of course biology and astronomy. At the middle level, it…

  1. Astrobiology: Future Perspectives

    CERN Document Server

    Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Owen, Toby; Becker, Luann; Blank, Jen; Brucato, John; Colangeli, Luigi; Derenne, Sylvie; Dutrey, Anne; Despois, Didier; Lazcano, Antonio; Robert, Francois

    2005-01-01

    Astrobiology, a new exciting interdisciplinary research field, seeks to unravel the origin and evolution of life wherever it might exist in the Universe. The current view of the origin of life on Earth is that it is strongly connected to the origin and evolution of our planet and, indeed, of the Universe as a whole. We are fortunate to be living in an era where centuries of speculation about the two ancient and fundamental problems: the origin of life and its prevalence in the Universe are being replaced by experimental science. The subject of Astrobiology can be approached from many different perspectives. This book is focused on abiogenic organic matter from the viewpoint of astronomy and planetary science and considers its potential relevance to the origins of life on Earth and elsewhere. Guided by the review papers in this book, the concluding chapter aims to identify key questions to motivate future research and stimulate astrobiological applications of current and future research facilities and space mi...

  2. Educational Outreach for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadooka, M.; Meech, K.

    2009-12-01

    Astrobiology, the search for life in the universe, has fascinating research areas that can excite students and teachers about science. Its integrative nature, relating to astronomy, geology, oceanography, physics, and chemistry, can be used to encourage students to pursue physical sciences careers. Since 2004, the University of Hawaii NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) team scientists have shared their research with secondary teachers at our ALI’I national teacher program to promote the inclusion of astrobiology topics into science courses. Since 2007, our NAI team has co-sponsored the HI STAR program for Hawaii’s middle and high school students to work on authentic astronomy research projects and to be mentored by astronomers. The students get images of asteroids, comets, stars, and extrasolar planets from the Faulkes Telescope North located at Haleakala Observatories on the island of Maui and owned by Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope network. They also do real time observing with DeKalb Observatory telescope personally owned by Donn Starkey who willing allows any student access to his telescope. Student project results include awards at the Hawaii State Science Fair and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. We believe that research experience stimulates these students to select STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors upon entering college so a longitudinal study is being done. Plans are underway with California and Hawaii ALI’I teachers cooperating on a joint astronomy classroom project. International collaborations with Brazil, Portugal, and Italy astronomers have begun. We envision joint project between hemispheres and crossing time zones. The establishment of networking teachers, astronomers, students and educator liaisons will be discussed.

  3. Robots for Astrobiology!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope J.

    2016-01-01

    The search for life and its study is known as astrobiology. Conducting that search on other planets in our Solar System is a major goal of NASA and other space agencies, and a driving passion of the community of scientists and engineers around the world. We practice for that search in many ways, from exploring and studying extreme environments on Earth, to developing robots to go to other planets and help us look for any possible life that may be there or may have been there in the past. The unique challenges of space exploration make collaborations between robots and humans essential. The products of those collaborations will be novel and driven by the features of wholly new environments. For space and planetary environments that are intolerable for humans or where humans present an unacceptable risk to possible biologically sensitive sites, autonomous robots or telepresence offer excellent choices. The search for life signs on Mars fits within this category, especially in advance of human landed missions there, but also as assistants and tools once humans reach the Red Planet. For planetary destinations where we do not envision humans ever going in person, like bitterly cold icy moons, or ocean worlds with thick ice roofs that essentially make them planetary-sized ice caves, we will rely on robots alone to visit those environments for us and enable us to explore and understand any life that we may find there. Current generation robots are not quite ready for some of the tasks that we need them to do, so there are many opportunities for roboticists of the future to advance novel types of mobility, autonomy, and bio-inspired robotic designs to help us accomplish our astrobiological goals. We see an exciting partnership between robotics and astrobiology continually strengthening as we jointly pursue the quest to find extraterrestrial life.

  4. Philosophy and data in astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mix, Lucas John

    2018-04-01

    Creating a unified model of life in the universe - history, extent and future - requires both scientific and humanities research. One way that humanities can contribute is by investigating the relationship between philosophical commitments and data. Making those commitments transparent allows scientists to use the data more fully. Insights in four areas - history, ethics, religion and probability - demonstrate the value of careful, astrobiology-specific humanities research for improving how we talk and think about astrobiology as a whole. First, astrobiology has a long and influential history. Second, astrobiology does not decentre humanity, either physically or ethically. Third, astrobiology is broadly compatible with major world religions. Finally, claims about the probability of life arising or existing elsewhere rest heavily on philosophical priors. In all four cases, identifying philosophical commitments clarifies the ways in which data can tell us about life.

  5. Astrobiology - The New Synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sik, A.; Simon, T.

    Background In connection with the complex planetology-education in Hungary [1] we have compiled an Astrobiology coursebook - as a base of its teaching in universities and perhaps in secondary schools as well. We tried to collect and assemble in a logical and thematical order the scientific breakthroughs of the last years, that made possible the fast improvement of astrobiology. The followings are a kind of summary of these. Introduction - The ultimate science Astrobiology is a young science, that search for the possibility, forms and places of extraterrestrial life. But it is not SETI, because do not search for intelligent life, just for living organisms, so SETI is a part of astrobiology. and an extremely important statement: we can search for life-forms that similar to terrestrial life in physiology so we can recognize it as life. Astrobiology is one of the most dynamical-developing sciences of the 21st century. To determine its boundaries is difficult because the complex nature of it: astrobiology melt into itself lot of other sciences, like a kind of ultimate science. The fundamental questions are very simple [2]: When, where and how converted the organic matter into life?; How does life evolve in the Universe?; Has it appeared on other planets?; How does it spread in time and space?; and What is the future of terrestrial life? However, trying to find the answers is quite difficult. So an astrobiologist has to be aware of the basics of astronomy, space research, earth and planetary sciences, and life sciences (mainly ecology, genetics, molecular and evolution biology). But it is not enough - the newest results of these at least as important as the basic knowledge. Part I. - Astro 1. Exoplanets 1995 was a particular year in astronomy: we have found the first planet out of the Solar System. Since that time the discovery of exoplanets progress fast: nowdays more than 80 examples are known and just 6 years passed [3]. The detailed analysis of these distant objects

  6. The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J; Nuth, Joseph A; Allamandola, Louis J; Boss, Alan P; Farmer, Jack D; Hoehler, Tori M; Jakosky, Bruce M; Meadows, Victoria S; Pohorille, Andrew; Runnegar, Bruce; Spormann, Alfred M

    2008-08-01

    The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap provides guidance for research and technology development across the NASA enterprises that encompass the space, Earth, and biological sciences. The ongoing development of astrobiology roadmaps embodies the contributions of diverse scientists and technologists from government, universities, and private institutions. The Roadmap addresses three basic questions: how does life begin and evolve, does life exist elsewhere in the universe, and what is the future of life on Earth and beyond? Seven Science Goals outline the following key domains of investigation: understanding the nature and distribution of habitable environments in the universe, exploring for habitable environments and life in our own Solar System, understanding the emergence of life, determining how early life on Earth interacted and evolved with its changing environment, understanding the evolutionary mechanisms and environmental limits of life, determining the principles that will shape life in the future, and recognizing signatures of life on other worlds and on early Earth. For each of these goals, Science Objectives outline more specific high priority efforts for the next three to five years. These eighteen objectives are being integrated with NASA strategic planning.

  7. The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Benner, Steven A.; Boss, Alan P.; Deamer, David; Falkowski, Paul G.; Farmer, Jack D.; Hedges, S. Blair; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Knoll, Andrew H.; hide

    2003-01-01

    The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap provides guidance for research and technology development across the NASA enterprises that encompass the space, Earth, and biological sciences. The ongoing development of astrobiology roadmaps embodies the contributions of diverse scientists and technologists from government, universities, and private institutions. The Roadmap addresses three basic questions: How does life begin and evolve, does life exist elsewhere in the universe, and what is the future of life on Earth and beyond? Seven Science Goals outline the following key domains of investigation: understanding the nature and distribution of habitable environments in the universe, exploring for habitable environments and life in our own solar system, understanding the emergence of life, determining how early life on Earth interacted and evolved with its changing environment, understanding the evolutionary mechanisms and environmental limits of life, determining the principles that will shape life in the future, and recognizing signatures of life on other worlds and on early Earth. For each of these goals, Science Objectives outline more specific high-priority efforts for the next 3-5 years. These 18 objectives are being integrated with NASA strategic planning.

  8. Extremophiles: Link between earth and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stojanović Dejan B.

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Astrobiology studies the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe. The most promising worlds in Solar system, beyond Earth, which may harbor life are Mars and Jovian moon Europa. Extremophiles are organisms that thrive on the edge of temperature, hypersalinity, pH extremes, pressure, dryness and so on. In this paper, some extremophile cyanobacteria have been discussed as possible life forms in a scale of astrobiology. Samples were taken from solenetz and solonchak types of soil from the Vojvodina region. The main idea in this paper lies in the fact that high percentage of salt found in solonchak and solonetz gives the possibility of comparison these types of soil with 'soil' on Mars, which is also rich in salt.

  9. Astrobiology of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Wickramasinghe, Nalin C.; Wallis, Max K.; Sheldon, Robert B.

    2004-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge concerning microbial extremophiles and comets and the potential significance of comets to Astrobiology. We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of - IAU. The transfer of incident energy from sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of near surface ices, some under stable porous crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We provide data concerning new evidence for indigenous microfossils in CI meteorites, which may be the remains of extinct cometary cores. We discuss the dominant microbial communities of polar sea-ice, Antarctic ice sheet, and cryoconite environments as possible analogs for microbial ecosystems that may grow in sub-crustal pools or in ice/water films in comets.

  10. Equilibrium sorptive enrichment on poly(dimethylsiloxane) particles for trace analysis of volatile compounds in gaseous samples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baltussen, H.A.; David, F.; Sandra, P.J.F.; Janssen, J.G.M.; Cramers, C.A.M.G.

    1999-01-01

    A novel approach for sample enrichment, namely, equilibrium sorptive enrichment (ESE), is presented. A packed bed of sorption (or partitioning) material is used to enrich volatiles from gaseous samples. Normally, air sampling is stopped before breakthrough occurs, but this approach is not very

  11. Data Sharing in Astrobiology: The Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafuente, B.; Bristow, T.; Stone, N.; Pires, A.; Keller, R. M.; Downs, R. T.; Blake, D.; Fonda, M.

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is a multidisciplinary area of scientific research focused on studying the origins of life on Earth and the conditions under which life might have emerged elsewhere in the universe. NASA uses the results of Astrobiology research to help define targets for future missions that are searching for life elsewhere in the universe. The understanding of complex questions in Astrobiology requires integration and analysis of data spanning a range of disciplines including biology, chemistry, geology, astronomy and planetary science. However, the lack of a centralized repository makes it difficult for Astrobiology teams to share data and benefit from resultant synergies. Moreover, in recent years, federal agencies are requiring that results of any federally funded scientific research must be available and useful for the public and the science community. The Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED), developed with a consolidated group of astrobiologists from different active research teams at NASA Ames Research Center, is designed to help to address these issues. AHED is a central, high-quality, long-term data repository for mineralogical, textural, morphological, inorganic and organic chemical, isotopic and other information pertinent to the advancement of the field of Astrobiology.

  12. Astrobiology, Sustainability and Ethical Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnould, Jacques

    2009-12-01

    Astrobiology, a new field of research associating the prospects and constraints of prebiotic chemistry, mineralogy, geochemistry, astrophysics, theoretical physics, microbial ecology, etc., is assessed in terms of sustainability through the scientific and social functions it fulfils, and the limits it encounters or strives to overcome. In the same way as sustainable development, astrobiology must also take into account the temporal dimension specific to its field of investigation and examine its underlying conception of Nature.

  13. Astrobiology, Sustainability and Ethical Perspectives

    OpenAIRE

    Jacques Arnould

    2009-01-01

    Astrobiology, a new field of research associating the prospects and constraints of prebiotic chemistry, mineralogy, geochemistry, astrophysics, theoretical physics, microbial ecology, etc., is assessed in terms of sustainability through the scientific and social functions it fulfils, and the limits it encounters or strives to overcome. In the same way as sustainable development, astrobiology must also take into account the temporal dimension specific to its field of investigation and examine ...

  14. Astrobiology, Sustainability and Ethical Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Arnould

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrobiology, a new field of research associating the prospects and constraints of prebiotic chemistry, mineralogy, geochemistry, astrophysics, theoretical physics, microbial ecology, etc., is assessed in terms of sustainability through the scientific and social functions it fulfils, and the limits it encounters or strives to overcome. In the same way as sustainable development, astrobiology must also take into account the temporal dimension specific to its field of investigation and examine its underlying conception of Nature.

  15. AstroBiology Explorer Mission Concepts (ABE/ASPIRE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott; Ennico, Kimberly A.

    2006-01-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) and the Astrobiology Space InfraRed Explorer (ASPIRE) Mission Concepts are two missions designed to address the questions (1) Where do we come from? and (2) Are we alone? as outlined in NASA s Origins Program using infrared spectroscopy to explore the identity, abundance, and distribution of molecules of astrobiological importance throughout the Universe. The ABE mission s observational program is focused on six tasks to: (1) Investigate the evolution of ice and organics in dense clouds and star formation regions, and the young stellar/planetary systems that form in them; (2) Measure the evolution of complex organic molecules in stellar outflows; (3) Study the organic composition of a wide variety of solar system objects including asteroids, comets, and the planets and their satellites; (4) Identify organic compounds in the diffuse interstellar medium and determine their distribution , abundance, and change with environment; (5) Detect and identify organic compounds in other galaxies and determine their dependence on galactic type; and (6) Measure deuterium enrichments in interstellar organics and use them as tracers of chemical processes. The ASPIRE mission s observational program expands upon ABE's core mission and adds tasks that (7) Address the role of silicates in interstellar organic chemistry; and (8) Use different resolution spectra to assess the relative roles and abundances of gas- and solid-state materials. ABE (ASPIRE) achieves these goals using a highly sensitive, cryogenically-cooled telescope in an Earth drift-away heliocentric orbit, armed with a suite of infrared spectrometers that cover the 2.5-20(40) micron spectral region at moderate spectral resolution (R>2000). ASPIRE's spectrometer complement also includes a high-resolution (R>25,000) module over the 4-8 micron spectral region. Both missions target lists are chosen to observe a statistically significant sample of a large number of objects of varied types in

  16. Salmonella testing of pooled pre-enrichment broth cultures for screening multiple food samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, W R; Olsen, R A; Hunter, J E

    1972-04-01

    A method has been described for testing multiple food samples for Salmonella without loss in sensitivity. The method pools multiple pre-enrichment broth cultures into single enrichment broths. The subsequent stages of the Salmonella analysis are not altered. The method was found applicable to several dry food materials including nonfat dry milk, dried egg albumin, cocoa, cottonseed flour, wheat flour, and shredded coconut. As many as 25 pre-enrichment broth cultures were pooled without apparent loss in the sensitivity of Salmonella detection as compared to individual sample analysis. The procedure offers a simple, yet effective, way to increase sample capacity in the Salmonella testing of foods, particularly where a large proportion of samples ordinarily is negative. It also permits small portions of pre-enrichment broth cultures to be retained for subsequent individual analysis if positive tests are found. Salmonella testing of pooled pre-enrichment broths provides increased consumer protection for a given amount of analytical effort as compared to individual sample analysis.

  17. Vibrational Spectroscopy and Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaban, Galina M.; Kwak, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Role of vibrational spectroscopy in solving problems related to astrobiology will be discussed. Vibrational (infrared) spectroscopy is a very sensitive tool for identifying molecules. Theoretical approach used in this work is based on direct computation of anharmonic vibrational frequencies and intensities from electronic structure codes. One of the applications of this computational technique is possible identification of biological building blocks (amino acids, small peptides, DNA bases) in the interstellar medium (ISM). Identifying small biological molecules in the ISM is very important from the point of view of origin of life. Hybrid (quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics) theoretical techniques will be discussed that may allow to obtain accurate vibrational spectra of biomolecular building blocks and to create a database of spectroscopic signatures that can assist observations of these molecules in space. Another application of the direct computational spectroscopy technique is to help to design and analyze experimental observations of ice surfaces of one of the Jupiter's moons, Europa, that possibly contains hydrated salts. The presence of hydrated salts on the surface can be an indication of a subsurface ocean and the possible existence of life forms inhabiting such an ocean.

  18. From Astrochemistry to Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allamandola, L. J.

    2005-01-01

    Tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of interstellar material over the past twenty five years thanks to significant developments in observational astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Twenty years ago the composition of interstellar dust was largely guessed at, the concept of ices in dense molecular clouds ignored, and the notion of large, abundant, gas phase, carbon-rich molecules widespread throughout the interstellar medium (ISM) considered impossible. Today the composition of interstellar dust is reasonably well understood. In molecular clouds, the birthplace of stars and planets, these cold dust particles are coated with mixed molecular ices whose composition is very well constrained. Lastly, the signature of carbon-rich polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), shockingly large molecules by early interstellar chemistry standards, is widespread throughout the Universe. The first part of this talk will describe how infrared spectroscopic studies of interstellar space, combined with laboratory simulations of interstellar ice chemistry, have revealed the widespread presence of interstellar PAHs and the composition of interstellar ices, the building blocks of comets. The remainder of the presentation will focus on the photochemical evolution of these materials and astrobiology. Within a molecular cloud, and especially the presolar nebula, materials frozen into the ices are photoprocessed by ultraviolet light and produce more complex molecules. As these materials are the building blocks of comets and related to carbonaceous micrometeorites, they are likely to have been important sources of complex materials delivered to the early Earth and their composition may be related to the origin of life.

  19. Robust, Sensitive, and Automated Phosphopeptide Enrichment Optimized for Low Sample Amounts Applied to Primary Hippocampal Neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Post, Harm; Penning, Renske; Fitzpatrick, Martin; Garrigues, L.B.; Wu, W.; Mac Gillavry, H.D.; Hoogenraad, C.C.; Heck, A.J.R.; Altelaar, A.F.M.

    2017-01-01

    Because of the low stoichiometry of protein phosphorylation, targeted enrichment prior to LC–MS/MS analysis is still essential. The trend in phosphoproteome analysis is shifting toward an increasing number of biological replicates per experiment, ideally starting from very low sample amounts,

  20. Sample ontology, GOstat and ontology term enrichment - FANTOM5 | LSDB Archive [Life Science Database Archive metadata

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available switchLanguage; BLAST Search Image Search Home About Archive Update History Data List Contact us FANTOM....biosciencedbc.jp/archive/fantom5/datafiles/LATEST/extra/Ontology/ File size: 1.8 MB Simple search URL - Dat...t Us Sample ontology, GOstat and ontology term enrichment - FANTOM5 | LSDB Archive ...

  1. Stable isotope ratio measurements on highly enriched water samples by means of laser spectrometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Trigt, R; Kerstel, E.R.T.; Visser, GH; Meijer, H.A.J.

    2001-01-01

    We demonstrate the feasibility of using laser spectrometry (LS) to analyze isotopically highly enriched water samples (i.e., delta H-2 less than or equal to 15000 parts per thousand, delta O-18 less than or equal to 1200 parts per thousand), as often used in the biomedical doubly labeled water (DLW)

  2. The measurement of tritium in water samples with electrolytic enrichment using liquid scintillation counter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janković Marija M.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Tritium (3H present in the environment decreased in the last decades and nowadays it has low activity concentrations. Measurement of low-level tritium activities in natural waters, e. g. in precipitation, groundwater, and river water requires special techniques for water pretreatment and detection of low-level radioactivity. In order to increase the tritium concentration to an easily measurable level, electrolytic enrichment must be applied. This paper presents the enrichment method performed by electrolysis in a battery of 18 cells, giving an enrichment factor of 5.84 (calculated from 59 electrolyses. The calculated mean values of the separation factor and enrichment parameter were 4.10 and 0.84, respectively. Results for tritium activity in precipitation and surface water collected in Belgrade during 2008 and 2009 are presented. The Radiation and Environmental Protection Department of the Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, participated in the IAEA TRIC2008 international intercomparison exercise. The participation in the intercomparisons for any laboratory doing low-level 3H measurements in the waters is very important and useful. It is considered the best way to check the entire procedure and methods of the measurements and the reliability of the standard used. The analysis of the reported 3H activity results showed that all results for five intercomparison samples, for which electrolytic enrichment were applied prior to the 3H measurement, are acceptable.

  3. Visible-near infrared point spectrometry of drill core samples from Río Tinto, Spain: results from the 2005 Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) drilling exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, Brad; Brown, Adrian J; Stoker, Carol R

    2008-10-01

    Sampling of subsurface rock may be required to detect evidence of past biological activity on Mars. The Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) utilized the Río Tinto region, Spain, as a Mars analog site to test dry drilling technologies specific to Mars that retrieve subsurface rock for biological analysis. This work examines the usefulness of visible-near infrared (VNIR) (450-1000 nm) point spectrometry to characterize ferric iron minerals in core material retrieved during a simulated Mars drilling mission. VNIR spectrometry can indicate the presence of aqueously precipitated ferric iron minerals and, thus, determine whether biological analysis of retrieved rock is warranted. Core spectra obtained during the mission with T1 (893-897 nm) and T2 (644-652 nm) features indicate goethite-dominated samples, while relatively lower wavelength T1 (832-880 nm) features indicate hematite. Hematite/goethite molar ratios varied from 0 to 1.4, and within the 880-898 nm range, T1 features were used to estimate hematite/goethite molar ratios. Post-mission X-ray analysis detected phyllosilicates, which indicates that examining beyond the VNIR (e.g., shortwave infrared, 1000-2500 nm) will enhance the detection of other minerals formed by aqueous processes. Despite the limited spectral range of VNIR point spectrometry utilized in the MARTE Mars drilling simulation project, ferric iron minerals could be identified in retrieved core material, and their distribution served to direct core subsampling for biological analysis.

  4. Tritium Activity Measurement of Water Samples Using Liquid Scintillation Counter and Electrolytical Enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baresic, J.; Krajcar Bronic, I.; Horvatincic, N.; Obelic, B.; Sironic, A.; Kozar-Logar J.

    2011-01-01

    Tritium (3H) activity of natural waters (precipitation, groundwater, surface waters) has recently become too low to be directly measured by low-level liquid scintillation (LSC) techniques. It is therefore necessary to perform electrolytical enrichment of tritium in such waters prior to LSC measurements. Electrolytical enrichment procedure has been implemented at the Rudjer Boskovic Institute (RBI) Tritium Laboratory in 2008, and since then 19 electrolyses have been completed. The mean enrichment factor E (a ratio between the final and initial 3H activities) after stabilisation of the system is E R BI = 22.5 @ 0.5, and the mean enrichment parameter (which describes the process of water mass reduction during electrolysis) is P R BI 0.949 @ 0.003. These values are comparable with those obtained at the Jo@ef Stefan Institute (JSI) Laboratory for liquid scintillation counting, at the electrolysis equipment of the same producer (AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland) after 66 electrolyses carried out under identical conditions since 2007: E J SI = 18.9 @ 1.5, and P J SI = 0.896 @ 0.021. Both RBI and JSI laboratories have Ultra-low-level LSC Quantulus 1220 (Wallac, PerkinElmer) for measurement of 3H activity. A set of water samples having 3H activities in the range from 0 TU (''dead-water'' samples) to 18 000 TU (1 TU 0.118 Bq/L) were measured at both laboratories. Samples having 3H activity <200 TU were electrolytically enriched, while the others were measured directly in LSC. A very good agreement was obtained (correlation coefficient 0.991). Both laboratories participated in the IAEA TRIC2008 international intercomparison exercise. The analyses of reported 3H activity results in terms of z and u parameters showed that all results in both laboratories were acceptable. (author)

  5. Astrobiology: Life in Extreme Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Preeti

    2011-01-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. It seeks to answer two important scientific questions: how did we get here and are we alone in the universe? Scientists begin by studying life on Earth and its limits. The discovery of extremophiles on Earth capable of surviving extremes encourages the…

  6. Multispectral Imaging Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells in Negatively Enriched Peripheral Blood Samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brandon; Lustberg, Maryam; Summers, Thomas A; Chalmers, Jeffrey J

    2017-01-01

    A variety of biomarkers are present on cells in peripheral blood of patients with a variety of disorders, including solid tumor malignancies. While rare, characterization of these cells for specific protein levels with the advanced technology proposed, will lead to future validation studies of blood samples as "liquid biopsies" for the evaluation of disease status and therapeutic response. While circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been isolated in the blood samples of patients with solid tumors, the exact role of CTCs as clinically useful predictive markers is still debated. Current commercial technology has significant bias in that a positive selection technology is used that preassumes specific cell surface markers (such as EpCAM) are present on CTCs. However, CTCs with low EpCAM expression have been experimentally demonstrated to be more likely to be missed by this method. In contrast, this application uses a previously developed, technology that performs a purely negative enrichment methodology on peripheral blood, yielding highly enriched blood samples that contain CTCs as well as other, undefined cell types. The focus of this contribution is the use of multispectral imaging of epifluorescent, microscopic images of these enriched cells in order to help develop clinically relevant liquid biopsies from peripheral blood samples.

  7. The Lassen Astrobiology Intern Program - Concept, Implementation and Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, D. J.; Dueck, S. L.; Davis, H. B.; Parenteau, M. N.; Kubo, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    The program goal was to provide a hands-on astrobiology learning experience to high school students by introducing astrobiology and providing opportunities to conduct field and lab research with NASA scientists. The program sought to increase interest in interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering, math and related careers. Lassen Volcanic National Park (LVNP), Red Bluff High School and the Ames Team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute led the program. LVNP was selected because it shares aspects of volcanism with Mars and it hosts thermal springs with microbial mat communities. Students documented volcanic deposits, springs and microbial mats. They analyzed waters and sampled rocks, water and microorganisms. They cultured microorganisms and studied chemical reactions between rocks and simulated spring waters. Each student prepared a report to present data and discuss relationships between volcanic rocks and gases, spring waters and microbial mats. At a "graduation" event the students presented their findings to the Red Bluff community. They visited Ames Research Center to tour the facilities and learn about science and technology careers. To evaluate program impact, surveys were given to students after lectures, labs, fieldwork and discussions with Ames scientists. Students' work was scored using rubrics (labs, progress reports, final report, presentation). Students took pre/post tests on core astrobiology concepts. Parents, teachers, rangers, Ames staff and students completed end-of-year surveys on program impact. Several outcomes were documented. Students had a unique and highly valued learning experience with NASA scientists. They understood what scientists do through authentic scientific work, and what scientists are like as individuals. Students became knowledgeable about astrobiology and how it can be pursued in the lab and in the field. The students' interest increased markedly in astrobiology, interdisciplinary studies and science generally.

  8. Philosophy of astrobiology: some recent developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Vera M.

    2015-09-01

    We present some recent developments in philosophy of astrobiology which illustrate usefulness of philosophy to astrobiology. We cover applications of Aristotelian views to definition of life, of Priest's dialetheism to the question if viruses are alive, and various thought experiments in regard to these and other astrobiology issues. Thought experiments about the survival of life in the Solar system and about the role of viruses at the beginning and towards the end of life are also described.

  9. Sampling Enrichment toward Target Structures Using Hybrid Molecular Dynamics-Monte Carlo Simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kecheng Yang

    Full Text Available Sampling enrichment toward a target state, an analogue of the improvement of sampling efficiency (SE, is critical in both the refinement of protein structures and the generation of near-native structure ensembles for the exploration of structure-function relationships. We developed a hybrid molecular dynamics (MD-Monte Carlo (MC approach to enrich the sampling toward the target structures. In this approach, the higher SE is achieved by perturbing the conventional MD simulations with a MC structure-acceptance judgment, which is based on the coincidence degree of small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS intensity profiles between the simulation structures and the target structure. We found that the hybrid simulations could significantly improve SE by making the top-ranked models much closer to the target structures both in the secondary and tertiary structures. Specifically, for the 20 mono-residue peptides, when the initial structures had the root-mean-squared deviation (RMSD from the target structure smaller than 7 Å, the hybrid MD-MC simulations afforded, on average, 0.83 Å and 1.73 Å in RMSD closer to the target than the parallel MD simulations at 310K and 370K, respectively. Meanwhile, the average SE values are also increased by 13.2% and 15.7%. The enrichment of sampling becomes more significant when the target states are gradually detectable in the MD-MC simulations in comparison with the parallel MD simulations, and provide >200% improvement in SE. We also performed a test of the hybrid MD-MC approach in the real protein system, the results showed that the SE for 3 out of 5 real proteins are improved. Overall, this work presents an efficient way of utilizing solution SAXS to improve protein structure prediction and refinement, as well as the generation of near native structures for function annotation.

  10. Chromatographic enrichment of isotopes in hydrogen and water samples on palladium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreev, B.M.; Polevoi, A.S.; Perevezentsev, A.N.

    1987-01-01

    Data on the isotopic enrichment of hydrogen and water samples by chromatography on palladium have been analyzed. Experimental data on the effect of temperature, hydrogen flow, volume of the enriched fraction, and length of the chromatographic column on the degree of separation attainable in the column have been obtained. It has been shown that the maximum separation achievable (regardless of the type of the isotope mixture) at 273 K falls with increase of hydrogen flow and volume of the enriched gas fraction recoverable from the column. A separation degree of ∼ 1040 has been achieved for a mixture of protium and deuterium in a 10-mm wide and 0.6-m long chromatographic column packed with palladium black with a grain size of 0.2-0.5 mm at 273 K and a specific hydrogen flow of 1.22 mole/m 2 x sec. For a protium-tritium mixture a separation degree of ∼ 90 has been reached in a similar column at 273 K and a specific hydrogen flow of 0.4 mole/m 2 x sec

  11. Reimiep 87. An interlaboratory U-235 enrichment determination by gamma measurement on solid UF6 sample

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aparo, M.; Cresti, P.

    1988-01-01

    Gamma spectroscopy technique, based on the measurement of U 235 186 KeV flux, is now currently used for the determination of Uranium enrichment in different material of nuclear fuel cycle, namely: Uranium metallic, UO 2 pellets, UF 6 liquid or solid. The present paper describes the use of such a technique and the obtained results in determining the U 235 /U atomic isotopic abundance on a certified UF 6 solid sample. The measurements have been carried out in the frame work of the partecipation to the ''UF 6 Interlaboratory Measurements Evaluation Programme'' organized by CBNM/Geel with the support of the ESARDA (European Safeguards Research and Development Association)

  12. Marine sediment sample pre-processing for macroinvertebrates metabarcoding: mechanical enrichment and homogenization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Aylagas

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Metabarcoding is an accurate and cost-effective technique that allows for simultaneous taxonomic identification of multiple environmental samples. Application of this technique to marine benthic macroinvertebrate biodiversity assessment for biomonitoring purposes requires standardization of laboratory and data analysis procedures. In this context, protocols for creation and sequencing of amplicon libraries and their related bioinformatics analysis have been recently published. However, a standardized protocol describing all previous steps (i.e. processing and manipulation of environmental samples for macroinvertebrate community characterization is lacking. Here, we provide detailed procedures for benthic environmental sample collection, processing, enrichment for macroinvertebrates, homogenization, and subsequent DNA extraction for metabarcoding analysis. Since this is the first protocol of this kind, it should be of use to any researcher in this field, having the potential for improvement.

  13. Instrumentation for in situ sampling and analysis of compounds of interest to Astrobiology in the lower atmosphere and surface of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Paul M.; Kojiro, Daniel R.; Stimac, Robert; Kaye, William; Takeuchi, Nori

    2006-01-01

    Instrumentation for exploration of the solar system will require new enabling technology for in situ sample acquisition and analysis of pre-biotic chemistry in extreme planetary environments, such as that encountered at the surface of Titan. The potential use of balloon aero-rovers for Titan places special emphasis on the importance of miniaturization, low power and low usage of consumables. To help meet this need, we are developing a miniature gas chromatograph coupled with a new Mini-Cell ion mobility spectrometer (GC-IMS), and one of us (PMH) has begun development work on a miniaturized cryogenic inlet system with sampling probes for Titan. This instrumentation, and its approach for meeting measurement needs for the analysis of prebiotic chemistry on Titan, will be discussed.

  14. Alkaline Peptone Water-Based Enrichment Method for mcr-3 From Acute Diarrheic Outpatient Gut Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiaoling Sun

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available A third plasmid-mediated colistin resistance gene, mcr-3, is increasingly being reported in Enterobacteriaceae and Aeromonas spp. from animals and humans. To investigate the molecular epidemiology of mcr in the gut flora of Chinese outpatients, 152 stool specimens were randomly collected from outpatients in our hospital from May to June, 2017. Stool specimens enriched in alkaline peptone water or Luria-Bertani (LB broth were screened for mcr-1, mcr-2, and mcr-3 using polymerase chain reaction (PCR-based assays. Overall, 19.1% (29/152 and 5.3% (8/152 of the stool samples enriched in alkaline peptone water were PCR-positive for mcr-1 and mcr-3, respectively, while 2.7% (4/152 of samples were positive for both mcr-1 and mcr-3. Strains isolated from the samples that were both mcr-1- and mcr-3-positive were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing by broth microdilution. They were also screened for the presence of other resistance genes by PCR, while multilocus sequence typing and whole-genome sequencing were used to investigate the molecular epidemiology and genetic environment, respectively, of the resistance genes. mcr-3-positive Aeromonas veronii strain 126-14, containing a mcr-3.8-mcr-3-like2 segment, and mcr-1-positive Escherichia coli strain 126-1, belonging to sequence type 1485, were isolated from the sample from a diarrheic butcher with no history of colistin treatment. A. veronii 126-14 had a colistin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC of 2 µg/mL and was susceptible to antibiotics in common use, while E. coli 126-1 produced TEM-1, CTX-M-55, and CTX-M-14 β-lactamases and was resistant to colistin, ceftazidime, and cefotaxime. Overall, there was a higher detection rate of mcr-3-carrying strains with low colistin MICs from the samples enriched in alkaline peptone water than from samples grown in LB broth.

  15. Exploring Astrobiology: Future and In-Service Teacher Research Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cola, J.; Williams, L. D.; Snell, T.; Gaucher, E.; Harris, B.; Usselman, M. C.; Millman, R. S.

    2009-12-01

    The Georgia Tech Center for Ribosome Adaptation and Evolution, a center funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, developed an educational Astrobiology program titled, “Life on the Edge: Astrobiology.” The purpose of the program was to provide educators with the materials, exposure, and skills necessary to prepare our future workforce and to foster student interest in scientific discovery on Earth and throughout the universe. A one-week, non-residential summer enrichment program for high school students was conducted and tested by two high school educators, an undergraduate student, and faculty in the Schools of Biology, and Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech. In an effort to promote and encourage entry into teaching careers, Georgia Tech paired in-service teachers in the Georgia Intern-Fellowship for Teachers (GIFT) program with an undergraduate student interested in becoming a teacher through the Tech to Teaching program. The GIFT and Tech to Teaching fellows investigated extremophiles which have adapted to life under extreme environmental conditions. As a result, extremophiles became the focus of a week-long, “Life on the Edge: Astrobiology” curriculum aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards in Biology. Twenty-five high school students explored the adaptation and survival rates for various types of extremophiles exposed to UV radiation and desiccation; students were also introduced to hands-on activities and techniques such as genomic DNA purification, gel electrophoresis, and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The impact on everyone invested and involved in the Astrobiology program including the GIFT and Tech to Teaching fellows, high school students, and faculty are discussed.

  16. Martian Chemical and Isotopic Reference Standards in Earth-based Laboratories — An Invitation for Geochemical, Astrobiological, and Engineering Dialog on Considering a Weathered Chondrite for Mars Sample Return.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, J. W.; Tait, A. W.; Velbel, M. A.; Boston, P. J.; Carrier, B. L.; Cohen, B. A.; Schröder, C.; Bland, P.

    2017-12-01

    Exogenic rocks (meteorites) found on Mars 1) have unweathered counterparts on Earth; 2) weather differently than indigenous rocks; and 3) may be ideal habitats for putative microorganisms and subsequent biosignature preservation. These attributes show the potential of meteorites for addressing hypothesis-driven science. They raise the question of whether chondritic meteorites, of sufficient weathering intensity, might be considered as candidates for sample return in a potential future mission. Pursuant to this discussion are the following questions. A) Is there anything to be learned from the laboratory study of a martian chondrite that cannot be learned from indigenous materials; and if so, B) is the science value high enough to justify recovery? If both A and B answer affirmatively, then C) what are the engineering constraints for sample collection for Mars 2020 and potential follow-on missions; and finally D) what is the likelihood of finding a favorable sample? Observations relevant to these questions include: i) Since 2005, 24 candidate and confirmed meteorites have been identified on Mars at three rover landing sites, demonstrating their ubiquity and setting expectations for future finds. All have been heavily altered by a variety of physical and chemical processes. While the majority of these are irons (not suitable for recovery), several are weathered stony meteorites. ii) Exogenic reference materials provide the only chemical/isotope standards on Mars, permitting quantification of alteration rates if residence ages can be attained; and possibly enabling the removal of Late Amazonian weathering overprints from other returned samples. iii) Recent studies have established the habitability of chondritic meteorites with terrestrial microorganisms, recommending their consideration when exploring astrobiological questions. High reactivity, organic content, and permeability show stony meteorites to be more attractive for colonization and subsequent biosignature

  17. Lower Secondary Students' Views in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansson, Lena; Redfors, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Astrobiology is, on a profound level, about whether life exists outside of the planet Earth. The question of existence of life elsewhere in the universe has been of interest to many societies throughout history. Recently, the research area of astrobiology has grown at a fast rate, mainly due to the development of observational methods, and the…

  18. Microbiological Methodology in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abyzov, S. S.; Gerasimenko, L. M.; Hoover, R. B.; Mitskevich, I. N.; Mulyukin, A. L.; Poglazova, M. N.; Rozanov, A. Y.

    2005-01-01

    Searching for life in astromaterials to be delivered from the future missions to extraterrestrial bodies is undoubtedly related to studies of the properties and signatures of living microbial cells and microfossils on Earth. As model terrestrial analogs of Martian polar subsurface layers are often regarded the Antarctic glacier and Earth permafrost habitats where alive microbial cells preserved viability for millennia years due to entering the anabiotic state. For the future findings of viable microorganisms in samples from extraterrestrial objects, it is important to use a combined methodology that includes classical microbiological methods, plating onto nutrient media, direct epifluorescence and electron microscopy examinations, detection of the elemental composition of cells, radiolabeling techniques, PCR and FISH methods. Of great importance is to ensure authenticity of microorganisms (if any in studied samples) and to standardize the protocols used to minimize a risk of external contamination. Although the convincing evidence of extraterrestrial microbial life will may come from the discovery of living cells in astromaterials, biomorphs and microfossils must also be regarded as a target in search of life evidence bearing in mind a scenario that alive microorganisms had not be preserved and underwent mineralization. Under the laboratory conditions, processes that accompanied fossilization of cyanobacteria were reconstructed, and artificially produced cyanobacterial stromatolites resembles by their morphological properties those found in natural Earth habitats. Regarding the vital importance of distinguishing between biogenic and abiogenic signatures and between living and fossil microorganisms in analyzed samples, it is worthwhile to use some previously developed approaches based on electron microscopy examinations and analysis of elemental composition of biomorphs in situ and comparison with the analogous data obtained for laboratory microbial cultures and

  19. Habitability & Astrobiology Research in Mars Terrestrial Analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    We performed a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars) in the extreme Utah desert relevant to Mars environments, and in order to help in the interpretation of Mars missions measurements from orbit (MEX, MRO) or from the surface (MER, MSL), or Moon geochemistry (SMART-1, LRO). We shall give an update on the sample analysis in the context of habitability and astrobiology. Methods & Results: In the frame of ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns (2009 to 2013) we deployed at Mars Desert Research station, near Hanksville Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques [A, 1, 2, 9-11] including sample collection, context imaging from remote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geochemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. Among the important findings are the diversity in the composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable PAHs and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles was observed [3,4,9]. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content [6-8]. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples [10, 11]. We compare the 2009 campaign results [1-9] to new measurements from 2010-2013 campaigns [10-12] relevant to: comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life. Keywords: field analogue research, astrobiology, habitability, life detection, Earth-Moon-Mars, organics References [A] Foing, Stoker & Ehrenfreund (Editors, 2011) "Astrobiology field Research in Moon/Mars Analogue Environments", Special Issue of International

  20. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bergin, Edwin A.

    2014-01-01

    In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track the gaseous and solid molecular carriers of these volatiles throughout the process of star and planet formation. It is now clear that the early stages of star formation fosters the creation of water and simple organic molecules with enrichments of heavy isotopes. These molecules are found as ice coatings on the solid materials that represent microscopic beginnings of terrestrial worlds. Based on the meteoritic and cometary record, the process of planet formation, and the local environment, lead to additional increases in organic complexity. The astronomical connections towards this stage are only now being directly made. Although the exact details are uncertain, it is likely that the birth process of star and planets likely leads to terrestrial worlds being born with abundant water and organics on the surface

  1. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergin, Edwin A. [University of Michigan, Department of Astronomy, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2014-12-08

    In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track the gaseous and solid molecular carriers of these volatiles throughout the process of star and planet formation. It is now clear that the early stages of star formation fosters the creation of water and simple organic molecules with enrichments of heavy isotopes. These molecules are found as ice coatings on the solid materials that represent microscopic beginnings of terrestrial worlds. Based on the meteoritic and cometary record, the process of planet formation, and the local environment, lead to additional increases in organic complexity. The astronomical connections towards this stage are only now being directly made. Although the exact details are uncertain, it is likely that the birth process of star and planets likely leads to terrestrial worlds being born with abundant water and organics on the surface.

  2. Size-exclusion chromatography-based enrichment of extracellular vesicles from urine samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inés Lozano-Ramos

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Renal biopsy is the gold-standard procedure to diagnose most of renal pathologies. However, this invasive method is of limited repeatability and often describes an irreversible renal damage. Urine is an easily accessible fluid and urinary extracellular vesicles (EVs may be ideal to describe new biomarkers associated with renal pathologies. Several methods to enrich EVs have been described. Most of them contain a mixture of proteins, lipoproteins and cell debris that may be masking relevant biomarkers. Here, we evaluated size-exclusion chromatography (SEC as a suitable method to isolate urinary EVs. Following a conventional centrifugation to eliminate cell debris and apoptotic bodies, urine samples were concentrated using ultrafiltration and loaded on a SEC column. Collected fractions were analysed by protein content and flow cytometry to determine the presence of tetraspanin markers (CD63 and CD9. The highest tetraspanin content was routinely detected in fractions well before the bulk of proteins eluted. These tetraspanin-peak fractions were analysed by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM and nanoparticle tracking analysis revealing the presence of EVs.When analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, tetraspanin-peak fractions from urine concentrated samples contained multiple bands but the main urine proteins (such as Tamm–Horsfall protein were absent. Furthermore, a preliminary proteomic study of these fractions revealed the presence of EV-related proteins, suggesting their enrichment in concentrated samples. In addition, RNA profiling also showed the presence of vesicular small RNA species.To summarize, our results demonstrated that concentrated urine followed by SEC is a suitable option to isolate EVs with low presence of soluble contaminants. This methodology could permit more accurate analyses of EV-related biomarkers when further characterized by -omics technologies compared with other approaches.

  3. The UK Centre for Astrobiology: A Virtual Astrobiology Centre. Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, 2011-2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S; Biller, Beth; Bryce, Casey; Cousins, Claire; Direito, Susana; Forgan, Duncan; Fox-Powell, Mark; Harrison, Jesse; Landenmark, Hanna; Nixon, Sophie; Payler, Samuel J; Rice, Ken; Samuels, Toby; Schwendner, Petra; Stevens, Adam; Nicholson, Natasha; Wadsworth, Jennifer

    2018-02-01

    The UK Centre for Astrobiology (UKCA) was set up in 2011 as a virtual center to contribute to astrobiology research, education, and outreach. After 5 years, we describe this center and its work in each of these areas. Its research has focused on studying life in extreme environments, the limits of life on Earth, and implications for habitability elsewhere. Among its research infrastructure projects, UKCA has assembled an underground astrobiology laboratory that has hosted a deep subsurface planetary analog program, and it has developed new flow-through systems to study extraterrestrial aqueous environments. UKCA has used this research backdrop to develop education programs in astrobiology, including a massive open online course in astrobiology that has attracted over 120,000 students, a teacher training program, and an initiative to take astrobiology into prisons. In this paper, we review these activities and others with a particular focus on providing lessons to others who may consider setting up an astrobiology center, institute, or science facility. We discuss experience in integrating astrobiology research into teaching and education activities. Key Words: Astrobiology-Centre-Education-Subsurface-Analog research. Astrobiology 18, 224-243.

  4. Detection of Salmonella spp. in veterinary samples by combining selective enrichment and real-time PCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Laura B; McDonough, Patrick L; Anderson, Renee R; Franklin-Guild, Rebecca J; Ryan, James R; Perkins, Gillian A; Thachil, Anil J; Glaser, Amy L; Thompson, Belinda S

    2017-11-01

    Rapid screening for enteric bacterial pathogens in clinical environments is essential for biosecurity. Salmonella found in veterinary hospitals, particularly Salmonella enterica serovar Dublin, can pose unique challenges for culture and testing because of its poor growth. Multiple Salmonella serovars including Dublin are emerging threats to public health given increasing prevalence and antimicrobial resistance. We adapted an automated food testing method to veterinary samples and evaluated the performance of the method in a variety of matrices including environmental samples ( n = 81), tissues ( n = 52), feces ( n = 148), and feed ( n = 29). A commercial kit was chosen as the basis for this approach in view of extensive performance characterizations published by multiple independent organizations. A workflow was established for efficiently and accurately testing veterinary matrices and environmental samples by use of real-time PCR after selective enrichment in Rappaport-Vassiliadis soya (RVS) medium. Using this method, the detection limit for S. Dublin improved by 100-fold over subculture on selective agars (eosin-methylene blue, brilliant green, and xylose-lysine-deoxycholate). Overall, the procedure was effective in detecting Salmonella spp. and provided next-day results.

  5. [Optimization of solid-phase extraction for enrichment of toxic organic compounds in water samples].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ming-quan; Li, Feng-min; Wu, Qian-yuan; Hu, Hong-ying

    2013-05-01

    A concentration method for enrichment of toxic organic compounds in water samples has been developed based on combined solid-phase extraction (SPE) to reduce impurities and improve recoveries of target compounds. This SPE method was evaluated in every stage to identify the source of impurities. Based on the analysis of Waters Oasis HLB without water samples, the eluent of SPE sorbent after dichloromethane and acetone contributed 85% of impurities during SPE process. In order to reduce the impurities from SPE sorbent, soxhlet extraction of dichloromethane followed by acetone and lastly methanol was applied to the sorbents for 24 hours and the results had proven that impurities were reduced significantly. In addition to soxhlet extraction, six types of prevalent SPE sorbents were used to absorb 40 target compounds, the lgK(ow) values of which were within the range of 1.46 and 8.1, and recovery rates were compared. It was noticed and confirmed that Waters Oasis HLB had shown the best recovery results for most of the common testing samples among all three styrenedivinylbenzene (SDB) polymer sorbents, which were 77% on average. Furthermore, Waters SepPak AC-2 provided good recovery results for pesticides among three types of activated carbon sorbents and the average recovery rates reached 74%. Therefore, Waters Oasis HLB and Waters SepPak AC-2 were combined to obtain a better recovery and the average recovery rate for the tested 40 compounds of this new SPE method was 87%.

  6. Assessment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    Astrobiology is a scientific discipline devoted to the study of life in the universe--its origins, evolution, distribution, and future. It brings together the physical and biological sciences to address some of the most fundamental questions of the natural world: How do living systems emerge? How do habitable worlds form and how do they evolve? Does life exist on worlds other than Earth? As an endeavor of tremendous breadth and depth, astrobiology requires interdisciplinary investigation in order to be fully appreciated and examined. As part of a concerted effort to undertake such a challenge, the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) was established in 1998 as an innovative way to develop the field of astrobiology and provide a scientific framework for flight missions. Now that the NAI has been in existence for almost a decade, the time is ripe to assess its achievements. At the request of NASA's Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), the Committee on the Review of the NASA Astrobiology Institute undertook the assignment to determine the progress made by the NAI in developing the field of astrobiology. It must be emphasized that the purpose of this study was not to undertake a review of the scientific accomplishments of NASA's Astrobiology program, in general, or of the NAI, in particular. Rather, the objective of the study is to evaluate the success of the NAI in achieving its stated goals of: 1. Conducting, supporting, and catalyzing collaborative interdisciplinary research; 2. Training the next generation of astrobiology researchers; 3. Providing scientific and technical leadership on astrobiology investigations for current and future space missions; 4. Exploring new approaches, using modern information technology, to conduct interdisciplinary and collaborative research among widely distributed investigators; and 5. Supporting outreach by providing scientific content for use in K-12 education programs, teaching undergraduate classes, and

  7. Measurement of extremely (2) H-enriched water samples by laser spectrometry: application to batch electrolytic concentration of environmental tritium samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassenaar, L I; Kumar, B; Douence, C; Belachew, D L; Aggarwal, P K

    2016-02-15

    Natural water samples artificially or experimentally enriched in deuterium ((2) H) at concentrations up to 10,000 ppm are required for various medical, environmental and hydrological tracer applications, but are difficult to measure using conventional stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Here we demonstrate that off-axis integrated cavity output (OA-ICOS) laser spectrometry, along with (2) H-enriched laboratory calibration standards and appropriate analysis templates, allows for low-cost, fast, and accurate determinations of water samples having δ(2) HVSMOW-SLAP values up to at least 57,000 ‰ (~9000 ppm) at a processing rate of 60 samples per day. As one practical application, extremely (2) H-enriched samples were measured by laser spectrometry and compared to the traditional (3) H Spike-Proxy method in order to determine tritium enrichment factors in the batch electrolysis of environmental waters. Highly (2) H-enriched samples were taken from different sets of electrolytically concentrated standards and low-level (tritium samples, and all cases returned accurate and precise initial low-level (3) H results. The ability to quickly and accurately measure extremely (2) H-enriched waters by laser spectrometry will facilitate the use of deuterium as a tracer in numerous environmental and other applications. For low-level tritium operations, this new analytical ability facilitated a 10-20 % increase in sample productivity through the elimination of spike standards and gravimetrics, and provides immediate feedback on electrolytic enrichment cell performance. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. Astrobiology and Society: Building an Interdisciplinary Research Community

    OpenAIRE

    Race, Margaret; Denning, Kathryn; Bertka, Constance M.; Dick, Steven J.; Harrison, Albert A.; Impey, Christopher; Mancinelli, Rocco

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports recent efforts to gather experts from the humanities and social sciences along with astrobiologists to consider the cultural, societal, and psychological implications of astrobiology research and exploration. We began by convening a workshop to draft a research roadmap on astrobiology's societal implications and later formed a Focus Group on Astrobiology and Society under the auspices of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). Just as the Astrobiology Science Roadmap and var...

  9. Is Humanity Doomed? Insights from Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth D. Baum

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Astrobiology, the study of life in the universe, offers profound insights into human sustainability. However, astrobiology is commonly neglected in sustainability research. This paper develops three topics connecting astrobiology to sustainability: constraints on what zones in the universe are habitable, the absence of observations of extraterrestrial civilizations, and the physical fate of the universe. These topics have major implications for our thinking and action on sustainability. While we may not be doomed, we must take certain actions to sustain ourselves in this universe. The topics also suggest that our current sustainability efforts may be of literally galactic importance.

  10. The UK Centre for Astrobiology: A Virtual Astrobiology Centre. Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, 2011–2016

    OpenAIRE

    Cockell, Charles S.; Biller, Beth; Bryce, Casey; Cousins, Claire; Direito, Susana; Forgan, Duncan; Fox-Powell, Mark; Harrison, Jesse; Landenmark, Hanna; Nixon, Sophie; Payler, Samuel J.; Rice, Ken; Samuels, Toby; Schwendner, Petra; Stevens, Adam

    2018-01-01

    Abstract The UK Centre for Astrobiology (UKCA) was set up in 2011 as a virtual center to contribute to astrobiology research, education, and outreach. After 5 years, we describe this center and its work in each of these areas. Its research has focused on studying life in extreme environments, the limits of life on Earth, and implications for habitability elsewhere. Among its research infrastructure projects, UKCA has assembled an underground astrobiology laboratory that has hosted a deep subs...

  11. The UK Centre for Astrobiology: A Virtual Astrobiology Centre. Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, 2011–2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biller, Beth; Bryce, Casey; Cousins, Claire; Direito, Susana; Forgan, Duncan; Fox-Powell, Mark; Harrison, Jesse; Landenmark, Hanna; Nixon, Sophie; Payler, Samuel J.; Rice, Ken; Samuels, Toby; Schwendner, Petra; Stevens, Adam; Nicholson, Natasha; Wadsworth, Jennifer

    2018-01-01

    Abstract The UK Centre for Astrobiology (UKCA) was set up in 2011 as a virtual center to contribute to astrobiology research, education, and outreach. After 5 years, we describe this center and its work in each of these areas. Its research has focused on studying life in extreme environments, the limits of life on Earth, and implications for habitability elsewhere. Among its research infrastructure projects, UKCA has assembled an underground astrobiology laboratory that has hosted a deep subsurface planetary analog program, and it has developed new flow-through systems to study extraterrestrial aqueous environments. UKCA has used this research backdrop to develop education programs in astrobiology, including a massive open online course in astrobiology that has attracted over 120,000 students, a teacher training program, and an initiative to take astrobiology into prisons. In this paper, we review these activities and others with a particular focus on providing lessons to others who may consider setting up an astrobiology center, institute, or science facility. We discuss experience in integrating astrobiology research into teaching and education activities. Key Words: Astrobiology—Centre—Education—Subsurface—Analog research. Astrobiology 18, 224–243. PMID:29377716

  12. Astrobiology, discovery, and societal impact

    CERN Document Server

    Dick, Steven J

    2018-01-01

    The search for life in the universe, once the stuff of science fiction, is now a robust worldwide research program with a well-defined roadmap probing both scientific and societal issues. This volume examines the humanistic aspects of astrobiology, systematically discussing the approaches, critical issues, and implications of discovering life beyond Earth. What do the concepts of life and intelligence, culture and civilization, technology and communication mean in a cosmic context? What are the theological and philosophical implications if we find life - and if we do not? Steven J. Dick argues that given recent scientific findings, the discovery of life in some form beyond Earth is likely and so we need to study the possible impacts of such a discovery and formulate policies to deal with them. The remarkable and often surprising results are presented here in a form accessible to disciplines across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

  13. Terrestrial atmosphere, water and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coradini M.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Primitive life, defined as a chemical system capable to transfer its molecular information via self-replication and also capable to evolve, originated about 4 billion years ago from the processing of organic molecules by liquid water. Terrestrial atmosphere played a key role in the process by allowing the permanent presence of liquid water and by participating in the production of carbon-based molecules. Water molecules exhibit specific properties mainly due to a dense network of hydrogen bonds. The carbon-based molecules were either home made in the atmosphere and/or in submarine hydrothermal systems or delivered by meteorites and micrometeorites. The search for possible places beyond the earth where the trilogy atmosphere/water/life could exist is the main objective of astrobiology. Within the Solar System, exploration missions are dedicated to Mars, Europa, Titan and the icy bodies. The discovery of several hundreds of extrasolar planets opens the quest to the whole Milky Way.

  14. Astrobiology: The Case for Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    The scientific discipline of astrobiology addresses one of the most fundamental unanswered questions of science: are we alone? Is there life elsewhere in the universe, or is life unique to Earth? The field of astrobiology includes the study of the chemical precursors for life in the solar system; it also includes the search for both presently existing life and fossil signs of previously existing life elsewhere in our own solar system, as well as the search for life outside the solar system. Two of the promising environments within the solar system being currently considered are the surface of the planet Mars, and the hypothesized oceans underneath the ice covering the moon Europa. Both of these environments differ in several key ways from the environments where life is found on Earth; the Mars environment in most places too cold and at too low pressure for liquid water to be stable, and the sub-ice environment of Europa lacking an abundance of free energy in the form of sunlight. The only place in the solar system where we know that life exists today is the Earth. To look for life elsewhere in the solar system, one promising search strategy would be to find and study the environment in the solar system with conditions that are most similar to the environmental conditions where life thrives on the Earth. Specifically, we would like to study a location in the solar system with atmospheric pressure near one bar; temperature in the range where water is liquid, 0 to 100 C; abundant solar energy; and with the primary materials required for life, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen, present. Other than the surface of the Earth, the only other place where these conditions exist is the atmosphere of Venus, at an altitude of about fifty kilometers above the surface.

  15. The Astrobiology Field Guide in World Wind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalice, D. M.

    2004-12-01

    In collaboration with the Australian Centre for Astrobiology (ACA), and NASA Learning Technologies (NLT), and utilizing the powerful visualization capabilities of their "World Wind" software, the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) is crafting a prototype "Astrobiology Field Guide" to bring the field experiences and stories of astrobiology science to the public and classrooms around the world. The prototype focuses on one region in particular - The Pilbara in Western Australia. This first Field Guide "hotspot" is an internationally recognized area hosting the best known example of the earliest evidence of life on Earth - a stromatolitic chert precipitation in the 3.45 Ga Warrawoona Group. The goal of the Astrobiology Field Guide is to engage students of all ages with the ongoing field expeditions of today's astrobiologists as they explore the ends of the Earth searching for clues to life's origin, evolution, and distribution in the Universe. The NAI hopes to expand this Field Guide to include many more astrobiologically relevant areas across the globe such as Cuatro Cienegas in Mexico, the Rio Tinto in Spain, Yellowstone National Park in the US, and the Lost City hydrothermal vent field on the mid-Atlantic ridge - and possibly sites on Mars. To that end, we will be conducting feasibility studies and evaluations with informal and formal education contacts. The Astrobiology Field Guide is also serving as a cornerstone to educational materials being developed focused on the Pilbara region for use in classrooms in Australia, the UK, and potentially the US. These materials are being developed by the Australian Centre for Astrobiology, and the ICT Innovations Centre at Macquarie University in Sydney, in collaboration with the NAI and the Centre for Astronomy and Science Education at the University of Glamorgan in the UK.

  16. Enrichment of marine anammox bacteria from seawater-related samples and bacterial community study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawagoshi, Y; Nakamura, Y; Kawashima, H; Fujisaki, K; Furukawa, K; Fujimoto, A

    2010-01-01

    Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) is a novel nitrogen pathway catalyzed by anammox bacteria which are obligate anaerobic chemoautotrophs. In this study, enrichment culture of marine anammox bacteria (MAAOB) from the samples related to seawater was conducted. Simultaneous removal of ammonium and nitrite was confirmed in continuous culture inoculated with sediment of a sea-based waste disposal site within 50 days. However, no simultaneous nitrogen removal was observed in cultures inoculated with seawater-acclimated denitrifying sludge or with muddy sediment of tideland even during 200 days. Nitrogen removal rate of 0.13 kg/m(3)/day was achieved at nitrogen loading rate of 0.16 kg/m(3)/day after 320th days in the culture inoculated with the sediment of waste disposal site. The nitrogen removal ratio between ammonium nitrogen and nitrite nitrogen was 1:1.07. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis indicated that an abundance of the bacteria close to MAAOB and coexistence of ammonium oxidizing bacteria and denitrifying bacteria in the culture.

  17. Heterocyclic anions of astrobiological interest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cole, Callie A.; Demarais, Nicholas J.; Bierbaum, Veronica M.; Yang, Zhibo; Snow, Theodore P.

    2013-01-01

    As more complex organic molecules are detected in the interstellar medium, the importance of heterocyclic molecules to astrobiology and the origin of life has become evident. 2-Aminothiazole and 2-aminooxazole have recently been suggested as important nucleotide precursors, highlighting azoles as potential prebiotic molecules. This study explores the gas-phase chemistry of three deprotonated azoles: oxazole, thiazole, and isothiazole. For the first time, their gas-phase acidities are experimentally determined with bracketing and H/D exchange techniques, and their reactivity is characterized with several detected interstellar neutral molecules (N 2 O, O 2 , CO, OCS, CO 2 , and SO 2 ) and other reactive species (CS 2 , CH 3 Cl, (CH 3 ) 3 CCl, and (CH 3 ) 3 CBr). Rate constants and branching fractions for these reactions are experimentally measured using a modified commercial ion trap mass spectrometer whose kinetic data are in good accord with those of a flowing afterglow apparatus reported here. Last, we have examined the fragmentation patterns of these deprotonated azoles to elucidate their destruction mechanisms in high-energy environments. All experimental data are supported and complemented by electronic structure calculations at the B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) and MP2(full)/aug-cc-pVDZ levels of theory.

  18. Heterocyclic anions of astrobiological interest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cole, Callie A.; Demarais, Nicholas J.; Bierbaum, Veronica M. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 215 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Yang, Zhibo [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019 (United States); Snow, Theodore P., E-mail: Callie.Cole@colorado.edu, E-mail: Nicholas.Demarais@colorado.edu, E-mail: Veronica.Bierbaum@colorado.edu, E-mail: Zhibo.Yang@ou.edu, E-mail: Theodore.Snow@colorado.edu [Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, 391 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States)

    2013-12-20

    As more complex organic molecules are detected in the interstellar medium, the importance of heterocyclic molecules to astrobiology and the origin of life has become evident. 2-Aminothiazole and 2-aminooxazole have recently been suggested as important nucleotide precursors, highlighting azoles as potential prebiotic molecules. This study explores the gas-phase chemistry of three deprotonated azoles: oxazole, thiazole, and isothiazole. For the first time, their gas-phase acidities are experimentally determined with bracketing and H/D exchange techniques, and their reactivity is characterized with several detected interstellar neutral molecules (N{sub 2}O, O{sub 2}, CO, OCS, CO{sub 2}, and SO{sub 2}) and other reactive species (CS{sub 2}, CH{sub 3}Cl, (CH{sub 3}){sub 3}CCl, and (CH{sub 3}){sub 3}CBr). Rate constants and branching fractions for these reactions are experimentally measured using a modified commercial ion trap mass spectrometer whose kinetic data are in good accord with those of a flowing afterglow apparatus reported here. Last, we have examined the fragmentation patterns of these deprotonated azoles to elucidate their destruction mechanisms in high-energy environments. All experimental data are supported and complemented by electronic structure calculations at the B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) and MP2(full)/aug-cc-pVDZ levels of theory.

  19. Diversity of reductive dehalogenase genes from environmental samples and enrichment cultures identified with degenerate primer PCR screens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Audrey Hug

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Reductive dehalogenases are the critical enzymes for anaerobic organohalide respiration, a microbial metabolic process that has been harnessed for bioremediation efforts to resolve chlorinated solvent contamination in groundwater and is implicated in the global halogen cycle. Reductive dehalogenase sequence diversity is informative for the dechlorination potential of the site or enrichment culture. A suite of degenerate PCR primers targeting a comprehensive curated set of reductive dehalogenase genes was designed and applied to twelve DNA samples extracted from contaminated and pristine sites, as well as six enrichment cultures capable of reducing chlorinated compounds to non-toxic end-products. The amplified gene products from four environmental sites and two enrichment cultures were sequenced using Illumina HiSeq, and the reductive dehalogenase complement of each sample determined. The results indicate that the diversity of the reductive dehalogenase gene family is much deeper than is currently accounted for: one-third of the translated proteins have less than 70% pairwise amino acid identity to database sequences. Approximately 60% of the sequenced reductive dehalogenase genes were broadly distributed, being identified in four or more samples, and often in previously sequenced genomes as well. In contrast, 17% of the sequenced reductive dehalogenases were unique, present in only a single sample and bearing less than 90% pairwise amino acid identity to any previously identified proteins. Many of the broadly distributed reductive dehalogenases are uncharacterized in terms of their substrate specificity, making these intriguing targets for further biochemical experimentation. Finally, comparison of samples from a contaminated site and an enrichment culture derived from the same site eight years prior allowed examination of the effect of the enrichment process.

  20. Galactic Habitable Zone and Astrobiological Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vukotic, B.

    2012-12-01

    This is a short thesis description and for the sake of brevity most things are left out. For more details, those interested are further directed to the thesis related papers in this article reference list. Thesis itself is available at the University of Belgrade library "Svetozar Markovic" (Serbian version only). In this thesis we study the astrobiological history of the Galactic habitable zone through the means of numerical modeling. First group of simulations are unidimensional (time-axis) toy models examine the influence of global regulation mechanisms (gamma-ray bursts and supernovae) on temporal evolution of Galactic astrobiological complexity. It is shown that under the assumption of global regulation classical anti SETI arguments can be undermined. Second group of simulations are more complex bidimensional probabilistic cellular automata models of the Galactic thin disk. They confirm the findings of the toy models and give some insights into the spatial clustering of astrobiological complexity. As a new emerging multidisciplinary science the basic concepts of astrobiology are poorly understood and although all the simulations present here do not include some basic physics (such as Galactic kinematics and dynamics), the input parameters are somewhat arbitrary and could use a future refinement (such as the boundaries of the Galactic habitable zone). This is the cause for low weight and high uncertainty in the output results of the simulations. However, the probabilistic cellular automata has shown as a highly adaptable modeling platform that can simulate various class of astrobiological models with great ease.

  1. Implementation trial of high performance trace analysis/environmental sampling (HPTA/ES) in uranium centrifuge enrichment plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nackaerts, H.; Kloeckner, W.; Landresse, G.; MacLean, F.; Betti, M.; Forcina, V.; Hiernaut, T.; Tamborini, G.; Koch, L.; Schenkel, R.

    1999-01-01

    Field trials have demonstrated that the analysis of particles upon swipes obtained from inside nuclear installations provides clear signatures of past operations in that installation. This can offer a valuable tool for gaining assurance regarding the compliance with declared activities and the absence of undeclared activities (e.g. enrichment, reprocessing, and reactor operation) at such sites. This method, known as 'Environmental Sampling' (ES) or 'High Performance Trace Analysis' (HPTA) in EURATOM terminology, is at present being evaluated by the EURATOM Safeguards Directorate (ESD) in order to assess its possible use in nuclear installations within the European Union. It is expected that incorporation of HPTA/ES of sample collection and analysis into routine inspection activities will allow EURATOM to improve the effectiveness of safeguards in these installations and hopefully save inspection resources as well. The EURATOM Safeguards Directorate has therefore performed implementation trials involving the collection of particles by the so-called swipe sampling method in uranium centrifuge enrichment plants and hot cells in the European Union. These samples were subsequently analysed by the Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) in Karlsruhe. Sampling points were chosen on the basis of the activities performed in the vicinity and by considering the possible ways through which particles are released, diffused and transported. The aim was to test the efficiency of the method as regards: the collection of enough representative material; the identification of a large enough number of uranium particles; the accurate measurement of the enrichment of the uranium particles found on the swipe; the representativity of the results in respect of past activities in the plant; the capability of detecting whether highly enriched uranium has been produced, used or occasionally transported in a location where low enriched uranium is routinely produced in

  2. An isotopic analysis system for plutonium samples enriched in 238Pu

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruhter, W.D.; Camp, D.C.

    1991-08-01

    We have designed and built a gamma-ray spectrometer system that measures the relative plutonium isotopic abundances of plutonium oxide enriched in 238 Pu. The first system installed at Westinghouse Savannah River Company was tested and evaluated on plutonium oxide in stainless steel EP60/61 containers. 238 Pu enrichments ranged from 20% to 85%. Results show that 200 grams of plutonium oxide in an EP60.61 container can be measured with ±0.3% precision and better than ±1.0% accuracy in the specific power using a counting time of 50 minutes. 3 refs., 2 figs

  3. Isotope Enrichment Detection by Laser Ablation - Laser Absorption Spectrometry: Automated Environmental Sampling and Laser-Based Analysis for HEU Detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anheier, Norman C.; Bushaw, Bruce A.

    2010-01-01

    The global expansion of nuclear power, and consequently the uranium enrichment industry, requires the development of new safeguards technology to mitigate proliferation risks. Current enrichment monitoring instruments exist that provide only yes/no detection of highly enriched uranium (HEU) production. More accurate accountancy measurements are typically restricted to gamma-ray and weight measurements taken in cylinder storage yards. Analysis of environmental and cylinder content samples have much higher effectiveness, but this approach requires onsite sampling, shipping, and time-consuming laboratory analysis and reporting. Given that large modern gaseous centrifuge enrichment plants (GCEPs) can quickly produce a significant quantity (SQ ) of HEU, these limitations in verification suggest the need for more timely detection of potential facility misuse. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is developing an unattended safeguards instrument concept, combining continuous aerosol particulate collection with uranium isotope assay, to provide timely analysis of enrichment levels within low enriched uranium facilities. This approach is based on laser vaporization of aerosol particulate samples, followed by wavelength tuned laser diode spectroscopy to characterize the uranium isotopic ratio through subtle differences in atomic absorption wavelengths. Environmental sampling (ES) media from an integrated aerosol collector is introduced into a small, reduced pressure chamber, where a focused pulsed laser vaporizes material from a 10 to 20-(micro)m diameter spot of the surface of the sampling media. The plume of ejected material begins as high-temperature plasma that yields ions and atoms, as well as molecules and molecular ions. We concentrate on the plume of atomic vapor that remains after the plasma has expanded and then cooled by the surrounding cover gas. Tunable diode lasers are directed through this plume and each isotope is detected by monitoring absorbance

  4. DEVELOPMENT OF ENRICHMENT VERIFICATION ASSAY BASED ON THE AGE AND 235U AND 238U ACTIVITIES OF THE SAMPLES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    AL-YAMAHI, H.; EL-MONGY, S.A.

    2008-01-01

    Development of the enrichment verification methods is the backbone of the nuclear materials safeguards skeleton. In this study, the 235U percentage of depleted , natural and very slightly enriched uranium samples were estimated based on the sample age and the measured activity of 235U and 238U. The HpGe and NaI spectrometry were used for samples assay. A developed equation was derived to correlate the sample age and 235U and 238U activities with the enrichment percentage (E%). The results of the calculated E% by the deduced equation and the target E% values were found to be similar and within 0.58 -1.75% bias in the case of HpGe measurements. The correlation between them was found to be very sharp. The activity was also calculated based on the measured sample count rate and the efficiency at the gamma energies of interest. The correlation between the E% and the 235U activity was estimated and found to be linearly sharp. The results obtained by NaI was found to be less accurate than these obtained by HpGe. The bias in the case of NaI assay was in the range from 6.398% to 22.8% for E% verification

  5. Influence of enrichment and isolation media on the detection of Campylobacter spp. in naturally contaminated chicken samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Repérant, E; Laisney, M J; Nagard, B; Quesne, S; Rouxel, S; Le Gall, F; Chemaly, M; Denis, M

    2016-09-01

    Investigating Campylobacter epidemiology requires adequate technique and media to ensure optimal culturing and accurate detection and isolation of Campylobacter strains. In the present study, we investigated the performances of three enrichment durations in Bolton broth (0, 24 and 48h) and compared four isolation media (mCCDA, Karmali, Butzler no. 2 and CampyFood agar (CFA)) for the detection of Campylobacter positive samples and the identification of Campylobacter species, from naturally contaminated broiler chicken samples (caeca, neck skin from carcasses, and skin from thighs). We compared our local results to those we obtained with samples from a European survey (caeca and neck skin) and a national survey (neck skin, thigh skin, and breast). Direct plating favored the detection of positive samples highly contaminated by Campylobacter (caeca and neck skin from carcasses) whatever the media. A longer enrichment reduced the rates of Campylobacter recovery except when using Butzler no. 2, more particularly for neck skin which background microflora was less important than in caeca. As a matter of fact, enrichment allowed a higher detection rate of positive samples with low Campylobacter contamination levels (breast, thigh skin), this detection being enhanced when using Butzler no. 2. When comparing the 3 other selective media, CFA was the 2nd most efficient media prior to mCCDA and Karmali. Interestingly, enrichment promoted the growth of Campylobacter coli but this promotion was least with Butzler no. 2 agar. Our study has confirmed the need to adapt the method to the types of samples for improving the detection of Campylobacter and that the method may affect the prevalence of the species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Astrobiology and Microbial Diversity Websites at MBL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, M.; Bordenstein, S. R.

    2006-12-01

    The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) mission is to study the origin, evolution and future of life in the Universe. The MBL Astrobiology team explores the evolution and interaction of genomes of diverse organisms that play significant roles in environmental biology over evolutionary time scales. Communication about our research includes the personal contact of teacher workshops, and the development of web-based resources. Microbial Life Educational Resources (MLER) provides an expanding internet resource about the ecology, diversity and evolution for students, K-12 teachers, university faculty, and the general public. MLER includes websites, PowerPoint presentations, teaching activities, data sets, and other useful materials for creating or enhancing courses related to astrobiology. Our second site, micro*scope (http://microscope.mbl.edu), has images of microbes, classification schemes, descriptions of organisms, talks and other educational resources to improve awareness of the biodiversity of our microbial partners.

  7. Neocatastrophism and the milky way astrobiological landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vukotić B.

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The number and distribution of habitable planets in the Milky Way is one of the foremost problems of contemporary astrobiological research. We investigate the effects of applying general neocatastrophic paradigm to the evolution of the Galactic Habitable Zone. In this paper, we investigate the limits of simple, 1-dimensional astrobiological models, and consider the role of regulation mechanisms in shapening the 'astrobiological landscape'. We show that the transition from predominantly gradualist to predominantly (neocatastrophist history of our Galaxy leads to the build-up of large-scale correlations between habitable sites, offering possible keys to such important problems as Carter's 'anthropic' argument and Fermi's paradox. In addition, we consider the possibilities for extending the present class of models into spatially realistic 3-dimensional case via probabilistic cellular automata.

  8. Neocatastrophism and the Milky Way Astrobiological Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vukotić, B.

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The number and distribution of habitable planets in the Milky Way is one of the foremost problems of contemporary astrobiological research. We investigate the effects of applying general neocatastrophic paradigm to the evolution of the Galactic Habitable Zone. In this paper, we investigate the limits of simple, 1-dimensional astrobiological models, and consider the role of regulation mechanisms in shapening the "astrobiological landscape". We show that the transition from predominantly gradualist to predominantly (neocatastrophist history of our Galaxy leads to the build-up of large-scale correlations between habitable sites, offering possible keys to such important problems as Carter's "anthropic" argument and Fermi's paradox. In addition, we consider the possibilities for extending the present class of models into spatially realistic 3-dimensional case via probabilistic cellular automata.

  9. NMR studies of bent DNA using {sup 13}C-enriched samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zimmer, D.P.; Crothers, D.M. [Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States)

    1994-12-01

    Bending of the DNA double helix can be brought about by introducing runs of adenines (A-tracts) in phase with the helical repeat of the DNA. The requirements for bending of DNA by A-tracts are that the length of the A-tract be greater than 3 base pairs and that the A-tracts must be in phase with the helical repeat (every 10 or 11 bp). Other factors, such as the number of adenines in the run, flanking sequences, and whether the A-tracts are phased with respect to the 5{prime}A or the 3{prime}A, have effects upon the degree of bending as assayed by electrophoretic mobility on native polyacrylamide gels. There are a number of models for bending A-tract DNA. The junction-bending model postulates that the structure of A-tracts is similar to the fiber diffraction structure of poly A, in which there is a significant degree of base pair tilt with respect to the helix axis. In this model, bending occurs at the junction between the A-tract and the B-form helix to allow favorable stacking interactions to occur. The bend of the helix could arise as a result of some other perturbation of B-form DNA by A-tracts, such as propeller twist; bending also could be due to a combination of factors. Our goal is to find the structural features of A-tracts responsible for bending of the helix by performing NMR on oligonucleotides containing A-tracts to obtain higher resolution structural data. One of the problems encountered in NMR structure determination of nucleic acids and other macromolecules is the assignment of resonances to nuclei. This procedure can be greatly facilitated through the use of {sup 13}C-enriched nucleic acid samples. We are developing a technique for the enzymatic synthesis of labeled DNA for NMR. The technique we are developing is similar to RNA labeling techniques already in use. The technique involves growth of methylotrophic bacteria on {sup 13}CH{sub 3}OH.

  10. Effective Enrichment and Detection of Trace Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Food Samples based on Magnetic Covalent Organic Framework Hybrid Microspheres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ning; Wu, Di; Hu, Na; Fan, Guangsen; Li, Xiuting; Sun, Jing; Chen, Xuefeng; Suo, Yourui; Li, Guoliang; Wu, Yongning

    2018-04-04

    The present study reported a facile, sensitive, and efficient method for enrichment and determination of trace polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in food samples by employing new core-shell nanostructure magnetic covalent organic framework hybrid microspheres (Fe 3 O 4 @COF-(TpBD)) as the sorbent followed by HPLC-DAD. Under mild synthetic conditions, the Fe 3 O 4 @COF-(TpBD) were prepared with the retention of colloidal nanosize, larger specific surface area, higher porosity, uniform morphology, and supermagnetism. The as-prepared materials showed an excellent adsorption ability for PAHs, and the enrichment efficiency of the Fe 3 O 4 @COF-(TpBD) could reach 99.95%. The obtained materials also had fast adsorption kinetics and realized adsorption equilibrium within 12 min. The eluent was further analyzed by HPLC-DAD, and good linearity was observed in the range of 1-100 ng/mL with the linear correlation being above 0.9990. The limits of detection (S/N = 3) and limits of quantitation (S/N = 10) for 15 PAHs were in the range of 0.83-11.7 ng/L and 2.76-39.0 ng/L, respectively. For the application, the obtained materials were employed for the enrichment of trace PAHs in food samples and exhibited superior enrichment capacity and excellent applicability.

  11. Radioiodine enrichment of large-volume water samples in order to increase the sensitivity of detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Behrens, H.

    1981-01-01

    The method can be employed in the decontamination of water and waste water, separating the I from acid solution at silvered activated carbon. It was tested as an enrichment method in radioecological investigations of the I-131 contents in surface and ground water. (DG) [de

  12. Astrobiology: Life on Earth (and Elsewhere?)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Astrobiology investigates the origins, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. Scientists study how stellar systems and their planets can create planetary environments that sustain biospheres. They search for biosignatures, which are objects, substances and or patterns that indicate the presence of life. Studies of Earth's early biosphere enhance these search strategies and also provide key insights about our own origins.

  13. Astrobiology: Discovering New Worlds of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Charles C.; Van Dover, Cindy Lee

    2001-01-01

    Emphasizes discoveries at the frontiers of science. Includes an instructional poster illustrating the hydrothermal vent communities on the deep ocean floor. Describes research activities related to the new discipline of astrobiology, a multidisciplinary approach to studying the emergence of life in the universe. Research activities include the…

  14. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Astrobiology" included the following reports:The Role of Cometary and Meteoritic Delivery in the Origin and Evolution of Life: Biogeological Evidences Revisited; Hopane Biomarkers Traced from Bedrock to Recent Sediments and Ice at the Haughton Impact Structure, Devon Island: Implications for the Search for Biomarkers on Mars; and Survival of Organic Matter After High Temperature Events (Meteorite Impacts, Igneous Intrusions).

  15. AstRoMap European Astrobiology Roadmap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, Gerda; Walter, Nicolas; Westall, Frances; Grenfell, John Lee; Martin, William F; Gomez, Felipe; Leuko, Stefan; Lee, Natuschka; Onofri, Silvano; Tsiganis, Kleomenis; Saladino, Raffaele; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Palomba, Ernesto; Harrison, Jesse; Rull, Fernando; Muller, Christian; Strazzulla, Giovanni; Brucato, John R; Rettberg, Petra; Capria, Maria Teresa

    2016-03-01

    The European AstRoMap project (supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme) surveyed the state of the art of astrobiology in Europe and beyond and produced the first European roadmap for astrobiology research. In the context of this roadmap, astrobiology is understood as the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the context of cosmic evolution; this includes habitability in the Solar System and beyond. The AstRoMap Roadmap identifies five research topics, specifies several key scientific objectives for each topic, and suggests ways to achieve all the objectives. The five AstRoMap Research Topics are • Research Topic 1: Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems • Research Topic 2: Origins of Organic Compounds in Space • Research Topic 3: Rock-Water-Carbon Interactions, Organic Synthesis on Earth, and Steps to Life • Research Topic 4: Life and Habitability • Research Topic 5: Biosignatures as Facilitating Life Detection It is strongly recommended that steps be taken towards the definition and implementation of a European Astrobiology Platform (or Institute) to streamline and optimize the scientific return by using a coordinated infrastructure and funding system.

  16. Nitrogen Concentrations and Isotopic Compositions of Seafloor-Altered Terrestrial Basaltic Glass: Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, N.R.; Izawa, M.R.M.; Kobayashi, K.; Lazzeri, K.; Ranieri, L.A.; Nakamura, E.

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Observed enrichments of N (and the δ15N of this N) in volcanic glasses altered on Earth's modern and ancient seafloor are relevant in considerations of modern global N subduction fluxes and ancient life on Earth, and similarly altered glasses on Mars and other extraterrestrial bodies could serve as valuable tracers of biogeochemical processes. Palagonitized glasses and whole-rock samples of volcanic rocks on the modern seafloor (ODP Site 1256D) contain 3–18 ppm N with δ15Nair values of up to +4.5‰. Variably altered glasses from Mesozoic ophiolites (Troodos, Cyprus; Stonyford volcanics, USA) contain 2–53 ppm N with δ15N of −6.3 to +7‰. All of the more altered glasses have N concentrations higher than those of fresh volcanic glass (for MORB, smectite, illite) in both the palagonitized cracks and the microtubules. These phyllosilicates (particularly illite), and possibly also zeolites, are the likely hosts for N in these glasses. Key Words: Nitrogen—Nitrogen isotope—Palagonite—Volcanic glass—Mars. Astrobiology 18, 330–342. PMID:29106312

  17. Astrobiology: Not Just Little Green Men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, D.

    2004-05-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. This new (or at least newly-named) discipline responds to current opportunities to make significant progress on basic questions such as Where did we come from? Are we alone? Can we live on other planets? Every astronomer knows that these questions are frequently asked by the public, along with questions concerning the origin, dimensions, and ultimate fate of the universe itself. What makes curiosity about life in the universe so interesting is that we have some of the tools today to provide answers. Infrared and microwave telescopes characterize the complex chemistry that accompanies the birth of planetary systems. Concepts of planetary habitability emerge from exploring the extremes of life on Earth. We probe the nature of life itself through genetic and genomic insights into heredity and evolution. Our spacecraft are exploring Mars, Europa, and Titan, with the explicit goal of searching for evidence of life, past or present. And the discovery of exo-planetary systems greatly increases our opportunity to explore the diversity of planets and identify other habitable worlds. In addition to its interest as a research field, astrobiology provides an exciting medium for communicating science to students and the public. The questions studied by astrobiologists resonate with non-scientists. Astrobiology is also a popular subject for general-education college science courses. Its interdisciplinary techniques illustrate different ways of doing research such as exploration science versus hypothesis-driven science, or laboratory studies that are complementary to field work or historical science. All of these aspects make astrobiology a "cool" topic, and it will become even more exciting when we find evidence of life on Mars or discover earthlike planets beyond our solar system. (Supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program)

  18. Astrobiological Field Campaign to a Volcanosedimentary Mars Analogue Methane Producing Subsurface Protected Ecosystem: Imuruk Lake (Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Gómez

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Viking missions reported adverse conditions for life in Mars surface. High hydrogen signal obtained by Mars orbiters has increased the interest in subsurface prospection as putative protected Mars environment with life potential. Permafrost has attracted considerable interest from an astrobiological point of view due to the recently reported results from the Mars exploration rovers. Considerable studies have been developed on extreme ecosystems and permafrost in particular, to evaluate the possibility of life on Mars and to test specific automated life detection instruments for space missions. The biodiversity of permafrost located on the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve has been studied as an example of subsurface protected niche of astrobiological interest. Different conventional (enrichment and isolation and molecular ecology techniques (cloning, fluorescence “in situ” probe hybridization, FISH have been used for isolation and bacterial identification.

  19. Separation and enrichment of gold(III) from environmental samples prior to its flame atomic absorption spectrometric determination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Senturk, Hasan Basri; Gundogdu, Ali; Bulut, Volkan Numan; Duran, Celal; Soylak, Mustafa; Elci, Latif; Tufekci, Mehmet

    2007-01-01

    A simple and accurate method was developed for separation and enrichment of trace levels of gold in environmental samples. The method is based on the adsorption of Au(III)-diethyldithiocarbamate complex on Amberlite XAD-2000 resin prior to the analysis of gold by flame atomic absorption spectrometry after elution with 1 mol L -1 HNO 3 in acetone. Some parameters including nitric acid concentration, eluent type, matrix ions, sample volume, sample flow rate and adsorption capacity were investigated on the recovery of gold(III). The recovery values for gold(III) and detection limit of gold were greater than 95% and 16.6 μg L -1 , respectively. The preconcentration factor was 200. The relative standard deviation of the method was -1 . The validation of the presented procedure was checked by the analysis of CRM-SA-C Sandy Soil certified reference material. The presented procedure was applied to the determination of gold in some environmental samples

  20. Kape barako (coffea liberica) grounds as adsorbent for the removal of lead in lead-enriched Marikina river water samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valera, Florenda S.; Garcia, Jhonard John L.

    2015-01-01

    Kape Barako (Coffee liberica) grounds (residue left after brewing ground coffee) were used as adsorbent for the removal of lead in Marikina River water samples. The sundried coffee grounds showed 9.30% moisture after drying in the oven. The coffee grounds were determined using Shimadzu AA-6501S Atomic Adsorption Spectrometer. The lead concentration was determined to be 4.7 mg/kg in coffee grounds and below detection limit in the Marikina River water samples. The adsorption studies were done at room temperature, and the optimized parameters were a contact time of 3 hours, an adsorbent dose of 3.0 g/L and 4.0 mg/L Pb-enriched water samples. The maximum uptake capacity was found to be 14.2 mg of lead/g adsorbent. The adsorption studies were done at room temperature, and the optimized parameters were a contact time of 3 hours, an adsorbent dose of 3.0 g/L and 4.0 mg/L Pb-enriched water samples. Analyses of the coffee grounds before and after lead adsorption using Shimadzu IR-Affinity-I Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer showed marked difference in the spectra, indicating interaction between Pb and the functional groups of the coffee grounds. (author)

  1. Astrobiology undergraduate education: students' knowledge and perceptions of the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Jamie S; Drew, Jennifer C

    2009-04-01

    With the field of astrobiology continually evolving, it has become increasingly important to develop and maintain an educational infrastructure for the next generation of astrobiologists. In addition to developing more courses and programs for students, it is essential to monitor the learning experiences and progress of students taking these astrobiology courses. At the University of Florida, a new pilot course in astrobiology was developed that targeted undergraduate students with a wide range of scientific backgrounds. Pre- and post-course surveys along with knowledge assessments were used to evaluate the students' perceived and actual learning experiences. The class incorporated a hybrid teaching platform that included traditional in-person and distance learning technologies. Results indicate that undergraduate students have little prior knowledge of key astrobiology concepts; however, post-course testing demonstrated significant improvements in the students' comprehension of astrobiology. Improvements were not limited to astrobiology knowledge. Assessments revealed that students developed confidence in science writing as well as reading and understanding astrobiology primary literature. Overall, student knowledge of and attitudes toward astrobiological research dramatically increased during this course, which demonstrates the ongoing need for additional astrobiology education programs as well as periodic evaluations of those programs currently underway. Together, these approaches serve to improve the overall learning experiences and perceptions of future astrobiology researchers.

  2. Detection of toxigenic vibrio cholera from environmental water samples by an enrichment broth cultivation-pit-stop semi-nested PCR procedure

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Theron, J

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available V. cholerae. The PCR procedure coupled with an enrichment culture detected as few as four V. cholerae organisms in pure culture. Treated sewage, surface, ground and drinking water samples were seeded with V, cholerae and following enrichment, a...

  3. An Astrobiology Microbes Exhibit and Education Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn M.; Allen, Jaclyn S.; Stocco, Karen; Tobola, Kay; Olendzenski, Lorraine

    2001-01-01

    Telling the story of NASA-sponsored scientific research to the public in exhibits is best done by partnerships of scientists and museum professionals. Likewise, preparing classroom activities and training teachers to use them should be done by teams of teachers and scientists. Here we describe how we used such partnerships to develop a new astrobiology augmentation to the Microbes! traveling exhibit and a companion education module. "Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract."

  4. Selective trace enrichment of chlorotriazine pesticides from natural waters and sediment samples using terbuthylazine molecularly imprinted polymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrer, I.; Lanza, F.; Tolokan, A.; Horvath, V.; Sellergren, B.; Horvai, G.; Barcelo, D.

    2000-01-01

    Two molecularly imprinted polymers were synthesized using either dichloromethane or toluene as the porogen and terbuthylazine as the template and were used as solid-phase extraction cartridges for the enrichment of six chlorotriazines (deisopropylatrazine, deethylatrazine, simazine, atrazine, propazine, and terbuthylazine) in natural water and sediment samples. The extracted samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography/diode array detection (LC/DAD). Several washing solvents, as well as different volumes, were tested for their ability to remove the matrix components nonspecifically adsorbed on the sorbents. This cleanup step was shown to be of prime importance to the successful extraction of the pesticides from the aqueous samples. The optimal analytical conditions were obtained when the MIP imprinted using dichloromethane was the sorbent, 2 mL of dichloromethane was used in the washing step, and the preconcentrated analytes were eluted with 8 mL of methanol. The recoveries were higher than 80% for all the chlorotriazines except for propazine (53%) when 50- or 100-mL groundwater samples, spiked at 1 ??g/L level, were analyzed. The limits of detection varied from 0.05 to 0.2 ??g/L when preconcentrating a 100-mL groundwater sample. Natural sediment samples from the Ebre Delta area (Tarragona, Spain) containing atrazine and deethylatrazine were Soxhlet extracted and analyzed by the methodology developed in this work. No significant interferences from the sample matrix were noticed, thus indicating good selectivity of the MIP sorbents used.

  5. Astrobiology Learning Progressions: Linking Astrobiology Concepts with the 3D Learning Paradigm of NGSS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalice, D.; Davis, H. B.; Leach, D.; Chambers, N.

    2016-12-01

    The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) introduce a Framework for teaching and learning with three interconnected "dimensions:" Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI's), Cross-cutting Concepts (CCC's), and Science and Engineering Practices (SEP's). This "3D" Framework outlines progressions of learning from K-12 based on the DCI's, detailing which parts of a concept should be taught at each grade band. We used these discipline-based progressions to synthesize interdisciplinary progressions for core concepts in astrobiology, such as the origins of life, what makes a world habitable, biosignatures, and searching for life on other worlds. The final product is an organizing tool for lesson plans, learning media, and other educational materials in astrobiology, as well as a fundamental resource in astrobiology education that serves both educators and scientists as they plan and carry out their programs for learners.

  6. Comprehensive profiling of retroviral integration sites using target enrichment methods from historical koala samples without an assembled reference genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pin Cui

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Background. Retroviral integration into the host germline results in permanent viral colonization of vertebrate genomes. The koala retrovirus (KoRV is currently invading the germline of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus and provides a unique opportunity for studying retroviral endogenization. Previous analysis of KoRV integration patterns in modern koalas demonstrate that they share integration sites primarily if they are related, indicating that the process is currently driven by vertical transmission rather than infection. However, due to methodological challenges, KoRV integrations have not been comprehensively characterized. Results. To overcome these challenges, we applied and compared three target enrichment techniques coupled with next generation sequencing (NGS and a newly customized sequence-clustering based computational pipeline to determine the integration sites for 10 museum Queensland and New South Wales (NSW koala samples collected between the 1870s and late 1980s. A secondary aim of this study sought to identify common integration sites across modern and historical specimens by comparing our dataset to previously published studies. Several million sequences were processed, and the KoRV integration sites in each koala were characterized. Conclusions. Although the three enrichment methods each exhibited bias in integration site retrieval, a combination of two methods, Primer Extension Capture and hybridization capture is recommended for future studies on historical samples. Moreover, identification of integration sites shows that the proportion of integration sites shared between any two koalas is quite small.

  7. Life in Ice: Implications to Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2009-01-01

    During the 2008 Tawani International Expedition Schirmacher Oasis/Lake Untersee Antarctica Expedition, living and instantly motile bacteria were found in freshly thawed meltwater from ice of the Schirmacher Oasis Lakes, the Anuchin Glacier ice and samples of the that perennial ice sheet above Lake Untersee. This phenomenon of living bacteria encased in ice had previously been observed in the 32,000 year old ice of the Fox Tunnel. The bacteria found in this ice included the strain FTR1T which was isolated and published as valid new species (Carnobacterium pleistocenium) the first validly published living Pleistocene organism still alive today. Living bacteria were also extracted from ancient ice cores from Vostok, Antarctica. The discovery that many strains of bacteria are able to survive and remain alive while frozen in ice sheets for long periods of time may have direct relevance to Astrobiology. The abundance of viable bacteria in the ice sheets of Antarctica suggests that the presence of live bacteria in ice is common, rather than an isolated phenomenon. This paper will discuss the results of recent studies at NSSTC of bacteria cryopreserved in ice. This paper advances the hypothesis that cryopreserved cells, and perhaps even viable bacterial cells, may exist today--frozen in the water-ice of lunar craters, the Polar Caps or craters of Mars; or in the permafrost of Mars; ice and rocks of comets or water bearing asteroids; or in the frozen crusts of the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. The existence of bacterial life in ice suggests that it may not be necessary to drill through a thick ice crust to reach liquid water seas deep beneath the icy crusts of Europa, Ganymede and Enceladus. The presence of viable bacteria in the ice of the Earth s Polar Caps suggests that the possibility that cryo-panspermia (i.e., the trans-planetary transfer of microbial life by impact ejection/spallation of bacteria-rich polar ice masses) deserves serious consideration and study as a

  8. Enrichment and determination of small amounts of 90Sr/90Y in water samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mundschenk, H.

    1979-01-01

    Small amounts of 90 Sr/ 90 Y can be concentrated from large volumes of surface water (100 l) by precipitation of the phosphates, using bentonite as adsorber matrix. In the case of samples containing no or nearly no suspended matter (tap water, ground water, sea water), the daughter 90 Y can be extracted directly by using filter beds impregnated with HDEHP. The applicability of both techniques is demonstrated under realistic conditions. (orig.) 891 HP/orig. 892 MKO [de

  9. Sample pre-concentration with high enrichment factors at a fixed location in paper-based microfluidic devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Shih-Hao; Chou, Kuang-Hua; Yang, Ruey-Jen

    2016-03-07

    The lack of sensitivity is a major problem among microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (μPADs) for early disease detection and diagnosis. Accordingly, the present study presents a method for improving the enrichment factor of low-concentration biomarkers by using shallow paper-based channels realized through a double-sided wax-printing process. In addition, the enrichment factor is further enhanced by exploiting the ion concentration polarization (ICP) effect on the cathodic side of the nanoporous membrane, in which a stationary sample plug is obtained. The occurrence of ICP on the shallow-channel μPAD is confirmed by measuring the current-voltage response as the external voltage is increased from 0 to 210 V (or the field strength from 0 to 1.05 × 10(4) V m(-1)) over 600 s. In addition, to the best of our knowledge, the electroosmotic flow (EOF) speed on the μPAD fabricated with a wax-channel is measured for the first time using a current monitoring method. The experimental results show that for a fluorescein sample, the concentration factor is increased from 130-fold in a conventional full-thickness paper channel to 944-fold in the proposed shallow channel. Furthermore, for a fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled bovine serum albumin (FITC-BSA) sample, the proposed shallow-channel μPAD achieves an 835-fold improvement in the concentration factor. The concentration technique presented here provides a novel strategy for enhancing the detection sensitivity of μPAD applications.

  10. A concept for NASA's Mars 2016 astrobiology field laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beegle, Luther W; Wilson, Michael G; Abilleira, Fernando; Jordan, James F; Wilson, Gregory R

    2007-08-01

    The Mars Program Plan includes an integrated and coordinated set of future candidate missions and investigations that meet fundamental science objectives of NASA and the Mars Exploration Program (MEP). At the time this paper was written, these possible future missions are planned in a manner consistent with a projected budget profile for the Mars Program in the next decade (2007-2016). As with all future missions, the funding profile depends on a number of factors that include the exact cost of each mission as well as potential changes to the overall NASA budget. In the current version of the Mars Program Plan, the Astrobiology Field Laboratory (AFL) exists as a candidate project to determine whether there were (or are) habitable zones and life, and how the development of these zones may be related to the overall evolution of the planet. The AFL concept is a surface exploration mission equipped with a major in situ laboratory capable of making significant advancements toward the Mars Program's life-related scientific goals and the overarching Vision for Space Exploration. We have developed several concepts for the AFL that fit within known budget and engineering constraints projected for the 2016 and 2018 Mars mission launch opportunities. The AFL mission architecture proposed here assumes maximum heritage from the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Candidate payload elements for this concept were identified from a set of recommendations put forth by the Astrobiology Field Laboratory Science Steering Group (AFL SSG) in 2004, for the express purpose of identifying overall rover mass and power requirements for such a mission. The conceptual payload includes a Precision Sample Handling and Processing System that would replace and augment the functionality and capabilities provided by the Sample Acquisition Sample Processing and Handling system that is currently part of the 2009 MSL platform.

  11. Separation and enrichment of gold(III) from environmental samples prior to its flame atomic absorption spectrometric determination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Senturk, Hasan Basri; Gundogdu, Ali [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Karadeniz Technical University, 61080 Trabzon (Turkey); Bulut, Volkan Numan [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Karadeniz Technical University, 28049 Giresun (Turkey); Duran, Celal [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Karadeniz Technical University, 61080 Trabzon (Turkey); Soylak, Mustafa [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Erciyes University, 38039 Kayseri (Turkey)], E-mail: soylak@erciyes.edu.tr; Elci, Latif [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Pamukkale University, 20020 Denizli (Turkey); Tufekci, Mehmet [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Karadeniz Technical University, 61080 Trabzon (Turkey)

    2007-10-22

    A simple and accurate method was developed for separation and enrichment of trace levels of gold in environmental samples. The method is based on the adsorption of Au(III)-diethyldithiocarbamate complex on Amberlite XAD-2000 resin prior to the analysis of gold by flame atomic absorption spectrometry after elution with 1 mol L{sup -1} HNO{sub 3} in acetone. Some parameters including nitric acid concentration, eluent type, matrix ions, sample volume, sample flow rate and adsorption capacity were investigated on the recovery of gold(III). The recovery values for gold(III) and detection limit of gold were greater than 95% and 16.6 {mu}g L{sup -1}, respectively. The preconcentration factor was 200. The relative standard deviation of the method was <6%. The adsorption capacity of the resin was 12.3 mg g{sup -1}. The validation of the presented procedure was checked by the analysis of CRM-SA-C Sandy Soil certified reference material. The presented procedure was applied to the determination of gold in some environmental samples.

  12. The biogeochemical iron cycle and astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröder, Christian; Köhler, Inga; Muller, Francois L. L.; Chumakov, Aleksandr I.; Kupenko, Ilya; Rüffer, Rudolf; Kappler, Andreas

    2016-12-01

    Biogeochemistry investigates chemical cycles which influence or are influenced by biological activity. Astrobiology studies the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. The biogeochemical Fe cycle has controlled major nutrient cycles such as the C cycle throughout geological time. Iron sulfide minerals may have provided energy and surfaces for the first pioneer organisms on Earth. Banded iron formations document the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. To assess the potential habitability of planets other than Earth one looks for water, an energy source and a C source. On Mars, for example, Fe minerals have provided evidence for the past presence of liquid water on its surface and would provide a viable energy source. Here we present Mössbauer spectroscopy investigations of Fe and C cycle interactions in both ancient and modern environments. Experiments to simulate the diagenesis of banded iron formations indicate that the formation of ferrous minerals depends on the amount of biomass buried with ferric precursors rather than on the atmospheric composition at the time of deposition. Mössbauer spectra further reveal the mutual stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes against mineral transformation and decay of organic matter into CO2. This corresponds to observations of a `rusty carbon sink' in modern sediments. The stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes may also aid transport of particulate Fe in the water column while having an adverse effect on the bioavailability of Fe. In the modern oxic ocean, Fe is insoluble and particulate Fe represents an important source. Collecting that particulate Fe yields small sample sizes that would pose a challenge for conventional Mössbauer experiments. We demonstrate that the unique properties of the beam used in synchrotron-based Mössbauer applications can be utilized for studying such samples effectively. Reactive Fe species often occur in amorphous or nanoparticulate form in the environment and

  13. The biogeochemical iron cycle and astrobiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schröder, Christian; Köhler, Inga; Muller, Francois L. L.; Chumakov, Aleksandr I.; Kupenko, Ilya; Rüffer, Rudolf; Kappler, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Biogeochemistry investigates chemical cycles which influence or are influenced by biological activity. Astrobiology studies the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. The biogeochemical Fe cycle has controlled major nutrient cycles such as the C cycle throughout geological time. Iron sulfide minerals may have provided energy and surfaces for the first pioneer organisms on Earth. Banded iron formations document the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. To assess the potential habitability of planets other than Earth one looks for water, an energy source and a C source. On Mars, for example, Fe minerals have provided evidence for the past presence of liquid water on its surface and would provide a viable energy source. Here we present Mössbauer spectroscopy investigations of Fe and C cycle interactions in both ancient and modern environments. Experiments to simulate the diagenesis of banded iron formations indicate that the formation of ferrous minerals depends on the amount of biomass buried with ferric precursors rather than on the atmospheric composition at the time of deposition. Mössbauer spectra further reveal the mutual stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes against mineral transformation and decay of organic matter into CO 2 . This corresponds to observations of a ‘rusty carbon sink’ in modern sediments. The stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes may also aid transport of particulate Fe in the water column while having an adverse effect on the bioavailability of Fe. In the modern oxic ocean, Fe is insoluble and particulate Fe represents an important source. Collecting that particulate Fe yields small sample sizes that would pose a challenge for conventional Mössbauer experiments. We demonstrate that the unique properties of the beam used in synchrotron-based Mössbauer applications can be utilized for studying such samples effectively. Reactive Fe species often occur in amorphous or nanoparticulate form in the

  14. The biogeochemical iron cycle and astrobiology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schröder, Christian, E-mail: christian.schroeder@stir.ac.uk [University of Stirling, Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Natural Sciences (United Kingdom); Köhler, Inga [Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Geomicrobiology, Centre for Applied Geoscience (Germany); Muller, Francois L. L. [Qatar University, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences (Qatar); Chumakov, Aleksandr I.; Kupenko, Ilya; Rüffer, Rudolf [ESRF-The European Synchrotron (France); Kappler, Andreas [Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Geomicrobiology, Centre for Applied Geoscience (Germany)

    2016-12-15

    Biogeochemistry investigates chemical cycles which influence or are influenced by biological activity. Astrobiology studies the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. The biogeochemical Fe cycle has controlled major nutrient cycles such as the C cycle throughout geological time. Iron sulfide minerals may have provided energy and surfaces for the first pioneer organisms on Earth. Banded iron formations document the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. To assess the potential habitability of planets other than Earth one looks for water, an energy source and a C source. On Mars, for example, Fe minerals have provided evidence for the past presence of liquid water on its surface and would provide a viable energy source. Here we present Mössbauer spectroscopy investigations of Fe and C cycle interactions in both ancient and modern environments. Experiments to simulate the diagenesis of banded iron formations indicate that the formation of ferrous minerals depends on the amount of biomass buried with ferric precursors rather than on the atmospheric composition at the time of deposition. Mössbauer spectra further reveal the mutual stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes against mineral transformation and decay of organic matter into CO{sub 2}. This corresponds to observations of a ‘rusty carbon sink’ in modern sediments. The stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes may also aid transport of particulate Fe in the water column while having an adverse effect on the bioavailability of Fe. In the modern oxic ocean, Fe is insoluble and particulate Fe represents an important source. Collecting that particulate Fe yields small sample sizes that would pose a challenge for conventional Mössbauer experiments. We demonstrate that the unique properties of the beam used in synchrotron-based Mössbauer applications can be utilized for studying such samples effectively. Reactive Fe species often occur in amorphous or nanoparticulate form in the

  15. Applicability of a Supported Liquid Membrane in the Enrichment and Determination of Cadmium from Complex Aqueous Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Núria Pont

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available A supported liquid membrane is developed for the separation of Cd from either high in salinity or acidity aqueous media. The membrane consisted of a durapore (polyvinylidene difluoride polymeric support impregnated with a 0.5 M Aliquat 336 solution in decaline. The effect of carrier concentration, organic solvent and feed and receiving solutions on the metal permeability is studied. This system allows the effective transport of trace levels of Cd through the formation of CdCl42−, which is the predominant species responsible for the extraction process, in both NaCl and HCl solutions. The supported liquid membrane system in a hollow fibre configuration allows the enrichment and separation of trace levels of Cd from spiked seawater samples, facilitating the analytical determination of this toxic metal.

  16. Investigation of the fire at the Uranium Enrichment Laboratory. Analysis of samples and pressurization experiment/analysis of container

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akabori, Mitsuo; Minato, Kazuo; Watanabe, Kazuo

    1998-05-01

    To investigate the cause of the fire at the Uranium Enrichment Laboratory of the Tokai Research Establishment on November 20, 1997, samples of uranium metal waste and scattered residues were analyzed. At the same time the container lid that had been blown off was closely inspected, and the pressurization effects of the container were tested and analyzed. It was found that 1) the uranium metal waste mainly consisted of uranium metal, carbides and oxides, whose relative amounts were dependent on the particle size, 2) the uranium metal waste hydrolyzed to produce combustible gases such as methane and hydrogen, and 3) the lid of the outer container could be blown off by an explosive rise of the inner pressure caused by combustion of inflammable gas mixture. (author)

  17. Astrobiology, Evolution, and Society: Public Engagement Insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertka, C. M.

    2009-12-01

    It is unavoidable that the science of astrobiology will intersect with, and inevitably challenge, many deeply held beliefs. Exploration possibilities, particularly those that may include the discovery of extraterrestrial life, will continue to challenge us to reconsider our views of nature and our connection to the rest of the universe. As a scientific discipline, astrobiology works from the assumption that the origin and evolution of life can be accounted for by natural processes, that life could emerge naturally from the physical materials that make up the terrestrial planets. The search for life on other terrestrial planets is focused on “life as we know it.” The only life we currently know of is the life found on Earth, and for the scientific community the shared common ancestry of all Earth life, and its astounding diversity, is explained by the theory of evolution. The work of astrobiology, at its very core, is fueled by the theory of evolution. However, a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2005) revealed that 42% of US adults believe that “life has existed in its present form since the beginning of time”. This answer persists nearly 150 years after the publication of Charles Darwin’s "On the Origin of the Species", the landmark work in which Darwin proposed that living things share common ancestors and have “descended with modification” from these ancestors through a process of natural selection . Perhaps even more distressing is the fact that these numbers have not changed in decades, despite the astounding advancements in science that have resulted over this same time period. How will these facts bear on the usefulness of astrobiology as a tool for encouraging a US public to share in the excitement of scientific discovery and be informed participants in a public dialogue concerning next steps? When people were asked “to identify the biggest influence on your thinking about how life developed,” the response chosen most

  18. Capturing Student Interest in Astrobiology through Dilemmas and Paradoxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Timothy F.

    2006-01-01

    Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary science course that combines essential questions from life, physical, and Earth sciences. An effective astrobiology course also capitalizes on students' natural curiosity about social science implications of studying the origin of life and the impact of finding life elsewhere in the universe. (Contains 2…

  19. Astrobiology and society: building an interdisciplinary research community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Margaret; Denning, Kathryn; Bertka, Constance M; Dick, Steven J; Harrison, Albert A; Impey, Christopher; Mancinelli, Rocco

    2012-10-01

    This paper reports recent efforts to gather experts from the humanities and social sciences along with astrobiologists to consider the cultural, societal, and psychological implications of astrobiology research and exploration. We began by convening a workshop to draft a research roadmap on astrobiology's societal implications and later formed a Focus Group on Astrobiology and Society under the auspices of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). Just as the Astrobiology Science Roadmap and various astrobiology science focus groups have helped researchers orient and understand their work across disciplinary contexts, our intent was to apply the same approach to examine areas beyond the physical and life sciences and expand interdisciplinary interaction and scholarly understanding. These efforts continue as an experiment in progress, with an open invitation to interested researchers-astrobiologists as well as scholars in the humanities and social sciences-to become involved in research, analysis, and proactive discussions concerning the potential impacts of astrobiology on society as well as the possible impacts of society on progress in astrobiology.

  20. Irritability Trajectories, Cortical Thickness, and Clinical Outcomes in a Sample Enriched for Preschool Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagliaccio, David; Pine, Daniel S; Barch, Deanna M; Luby, Joan L; Leibenluft, Ellen

    2018-05-01

    Cross-sectional, longitudinal, and genetic associations exist between irritability and depression. Prior studies have examined developmental trajectories of irritability, clinical outcomes, and associations with child and familial depression. However, studies have not integrated neurobiological measures. The present study examined developmental trajectories of irritability, clinical outcomes, and cortical structure among preschoolers oversampled for depressive symptoms. Beginning at 3 to 5 years old, a sample of 271 children enriched for early depressive symptoms were assessed longitudinally by clinical interview. Latent class mixture models identified trajectories of irritability severity. Risk factors, clinical outcomes, and cortical thickness were compared across trajectory classes. Cortical thickness measures were extracted from 3 waves of magnetic resonance imaging at 7 to 12 years of age. Three trajectory classes were identified among these youth: 53.50% of children exhibited elevated irritability during preschool that decreased longitudinally, 30.26% exhibited consistently low irritability, and 16.24% exhibited consistently elevated irritability. Compared with other classes, the elevated irritability class exhibited higher rates of maternal depression, early life adversity, later psychiatric diagnoses, and functional impairment. Further, elevated baseline irritability predicted later depression beyond adversity and personal and maternal depression history. The elevated irritability class exhibited a thicker cortex in the left superior frontal and temporal gyri and the right inferior parietal lobule. Irritability manifested with specific developmental trajectories in this sample enriched for early depression. Persistently elevated irritability predicted poor psychiatric outcomes, higher risk for later depression, and decreased overall function later in development. Greater frontal, temporal, and parietal cortical thickness also was found, providing neural

  1. Planetary and Space Simulation Facilities PSI at DLR for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabbow, E.; Rettberg, P.; Panitz, C.; Reitz, G.

    2008-09-01

    Ground based experiments, conducted in the controlled planetary and space environment simulation facilities PSI at DLR, are used to investigate astrobiological questions and to complement the corresponding experiments in LEO, for example on free flying satellites or on space exposure platforms on the ISS. In-orbit exposure facilities can only accommodate a limited number of experiments for exposure to space parameters like high vacuum, intense radiation of galactic and solar origin and microgravity, sometimes also technically adapted to simulate extraterrestrial planetary conditions like those on Mars. Ground based experiments in carefully equipped and monitored simulation facilities allow the investigation of the effects of simulated single environmental parameters and selected combinations on a much wider variety of samples. In PSI at DLR, international science consortia performed astrobiological investigations and space experiment preparations, exposing organic compounds and a wide range of microorganisms, reaching from bacterial spores to complex microbial communities, lichens and even animals like tardigrades to simulated planetary or space environment parameters in pursuit of exobiological questions on the resistance to extreme environments and the origin and distribution of life. The Planetary and Space Simulation Facilities PSI of the Institute of Aerospace Medicine at DLR in Köln, Germany, providing high vacuum of controlled residual composition, ionizing radiation of a X-ray tube, polychromatic UV radiation in the range of 170-400 nm, VIS and IR or individual monochromatic UV wavelengths, and temperature regulation from -20°C to +80°C at the sample size individually or in selected combinations in 9 modular facilities of varying sizes are presented with selected experiments performed within.

  2. Vanguard: A New Science Mission For Experimental Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellery, A.; Wynn-Williams, D.; Edwards, H.; Dickensheets, D.; Welch, C.; Curley, A.

    As an alternative to technically and financially problemat ic sample return missions, a rover-mounted laser Raman spectrometer sensitive to biomolecules and their mineral substrata is a promising alternative in the search for evidence of former life on Mars. We presented a new remote in situ analysis package being designed for experimental astrobiology on terrestrial-type planetary surfaces. The science is based on the hypothesis that if life arose on Mars, the selective pressure of solar radiation would have led to the evolution of pigmented systems to harness the energy of sunlight and to protect cells from concurrent UV stress. Microbial communities would have therefore become stratified by the light gradient, and our remote system would penetrate the near-subsurface profile in a vertical transect of horizontal strata in ancient sediments (such as palaeolake beds). The system will include an extensive array of robotic support to translocate and deploy a Raman spectrometer detectors beneath the surface of Mars ­ it will comprise of a base station lander to support communications, a robotic micro-rover to permit well- separated triplicate profiles made by three ground-penetrating moles mounted in a vertical configuration. Each mole will deploy a tether carrying fibre optic cables coupling the Raman spectrometer onboard the rover and the side-scanning sensor head on the mole. The complete system has been named Vanguard, and it represents a close collaboration between a space robotics engineer (Ellery), an astrobiologist (Wynn-Williams), a molecular spectroscopist (Edwards), an opto-electronic technologist (Dickensheets), a spacecraft engineer (Welch) and a robotic vision specialist (Curley). The autonomy requirement for the Vanguard instrument requires that significant scientific competence is imparted to the instrument through an expert system to ensure that quick-look analysis is performed onboard in real-time as the mole penetrates beneath the surface. Onboard

  3. Astrobiology Education and Outreach: New Interdisciplinary Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Greg

    In 1998, UCLA was selected as one of the 11 initial members (5 of which are universities) of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Concurrently, UCLA implemented a brand new General Education cluster course, GE 70ABC: ``Evolution of the Cosmos and Life,'' which is unique for several reasons. It is (a) interdisciplinary, introducing students to both the life and physical sciences, (b) team-taught by 4 distinguished professors, and 4 advanced graduate teaching fellows, (c) offered for (150) freshmen students exclusively, and (d) a year-long sequence, incorporating lectures, laboratory/discussion sections, field trips, and in the spring quarter, small satellite seminars led by the individual instructors on topics radiating from the cluster theme. Further information about GE 70ABC can be found at the course website (http://www.ess.ucla.edu/Cluster_TOC.html) and the website for UCLA's GE cluster courses (http://www.college.ucla.edu/ge/clusters.htm). This poster will outline the GE 70 content, and describe some of the course's materials, activities, assessment, and student characteristics. Additionally, focus will be placed on the GE 70C seminar course component called ``Life In the Cosmos,'' designed and offered by the poster author for the Spring 1999 quarter. This seminar features a student-centered approach - with lecturing minimized and active learning a key objective - and addresses the extraterrestrial life debate from historical and cultural perspectives as well as the current scientific approaches in astrobiology/bioastronomy.

  4. Full evaporation dynamic headspace and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for uniform enrichment of odor compounds in aqueous samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochiai, Nobuo; Sasamoto, Kikuo; Hoffmann, Andreas; Okanoya, Kazunori

    2012-06-01

    A method for analysis of a wide range of odor compounds in aqueous samples at sub-ng mL⁻¹ to μg mL⁻¹ levels was developed by full evaporation dynamic headspace (FEDHS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Compared to conventional DHS and headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME), FEDHS provides more uniform enrichment over the entire polarity range for odor compounds in aqueous samples. FEDHS at 80°C using 3 L of purge gas allows complete vaporization of 100 μL of an aqueous sample, and trapping and drying it in an adsorbent packed tube, while providing high recoveries (85-103%) of the 18 model odor compounds (water solubility at 25°C: log0.54-5.65 mg L⁻¹, vapor pressure at 25°C: 0.011-3.2 mm Hg) and leaving most of the low volatile matrix behind. The FEDHS-GC-MS method showed good linearity (r²>0.9909) and high sensitivity (limit of detection: 0.21-5.2 ng mL⁻¹) for the model compounds even with the scan mode in the conventional MS. The feasibility and benefit of the method was demonstrated with analyses of key odor compounds including hydrophilic and less volatile characteristics in beverages (whiskey and green tea). In a single malt whiskey sample, phenolic compounds including vanillin could be determined in the range of 0.92-5.1 μg mL⁻¹ (RSDfuraneol, indole, maltol, and pyrazine congeners) were determined in the range of 0.21-110 ng mL⁻¹ (RSD<10%, n=6). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Space as a Tool for Astrobiology: Review and Recommendations for Experimentations in Earth Orbit and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottin, Hervé; Kotler, Julia Michelle; Billi, Daniela; Cockell, Charles; Demets, René; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Elsaesser, Andreas; d'Hendecourt, Louis; van Loon, Jack J. W. A.; Martins, Zita; Onofri, Silvano; Quinn, Richard C.; Rabbow, Elke; Rettberg, Petra; Ricco, Antonio J.; Slenzka, Klaus; de la Torre, Rosa; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Westall, Frances; Carrasco, Nathalie; Fresneau, Aurélien; Kawaguchi, Yuko; Kebukawa, Yoko; Nguyen, Dara; Poch, Olivier; Saiagh, Kafila; Stalport, Fabien; Yamagishi, Akihiko; Yano, Hajime; Klamm, Benjamin A.

    2017-07-01

    The space environment is regularly used for experiments addressing astrobiology research goals. The specific conditions prevailing in Earth orbit and beyond, notably the radiative environment (photons and energetic particles) and the possibility to conduct long-duration measurements, have been the main motivations for developing experimental concepts to expose chemical or biological samples to outer space, or to use the reentry of a spacecraft on Earth to simulate the fall of a meteorite. This paper represents an overview of past and current research in astrobiology conducted in Earth orbit and beyond, with a special focus on ESA missions such as Biopan, STONE (on Russian FOTON capsules) and EXPOSE facilities (outside the International Space Station). The future of exposure platforms is discussed, notably how they can be improved for better science return, and how to incorporate the use of small satellites such as those built in cubesat format.

  6. IRON-TOLERANT CYANOBACTERIA: IMPLICATIONS FOR ASTROBIOLOGY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Igor I.; Allen, Carlton C.; Mummey, Daniel L.; Sarkisova, Svetlana A.; McKay, David S.

    2006-01-01

    The review is dedicated to the new group of extremophiles - iron tolerant cyanobacteria. The authors have analyzed earlier published articles about the ecology of iron tolerant cyanobacteria and their diversity. It was concluded that contemporary iron depositing hot springs might be considered as relative analogs of Precambrian environment. The authors have concluded that the diversity of iron-tolerant cyanobacteria is understudied. The authors also analyzed published data about the physiological peculiarities of iron tolerant cyanobacteria. They made the conclusion that iron tolerant cyanobacteria may oxidize reduced iron through the photosystem of cyanobacteria. The involvement of both Reaction Centers 1 and 2 is also discussed. The conclusion that iron tolerant protocyanobacteria could be involved in banded iron formations generation is also proposed. The possible mechanism of the transition from an oxygenic photosynthesis to an oxygenic one is also discussed. In the final part of the review the authors consider the possible implications of iron tolerant cyanobacteria for astrobiology.

  7. Undergraduate Research at SETI in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kress, Monika; Phillips, C.; DeVore, E.; Hubickyj, O.

    2012-05-01

    The SETI Institute and San Jose State University (SJSU) have begun a partnership (URSA: Undergraduate Research at the SETI Institute in Astrobiology) in which undergraduate science and engineering majors from SJSU participate in research at the SETI Institute during the academic year. We are currently in our second year of the three-year NASA-funded grant. The goal of this program is to expose future scientists, engineers and educators to the science of astrobiology and to NASA in general, and by so doing, to prepare them for the transition to their future career in the Silicon Valley or beyond. The URSA students are mentored by a SETI Institute scientist who conducts research at the SETI Institute headquarters or nearby at NASA Ames Research Center. The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach. Its mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. SJSU is a large urban public university that serves the greater Silicon Valley area in California. Students at SJSU come from diverse ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Many of them face financial pressures that force them to pursue part-time work. URSA students are paid to work for 10 hours/week during the academic year, and also participate in monthly group meetings where they practice their presentation skills and discuss future plans. We encourage underserved and underrepresented students, including women, minority, and those who are the first in their family to go to college, to apply to the URSA program and provide ongoing mentoring and support as needed. While preparing students for graduate school is not a primary goal, some of our students have gone on to MS or PhD programs or plan to do so. The URSA program is funded by NASA EPOESS.

  8. The Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafuente, B.; Stone, N.; Downs, R. T.; Blake, D. F.; Bristow, T.; Fonda, M.; Pires, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED) is a central, high quality, long-term searchable repository for archiving and collaborative sharing of astrobiologically relevant data, including, morphological, textural and contextural images, chemical, biochemical, isotopic, sequencing, and mineralogical information. The aim of AHED is to foster long-term innovative research by supporting integration and analysis of diverse datasets in order to: 1) help understand and interpret planetary geology; 2) identify and characterize habitable environments and pre-biotic/biotic processes; 3) interpret returned data from present and past missions; 4) provide a citable database of NASA-funded published and unpublished data (after an agreed-upon embargo period). AHED uses the online open-source software "The Open Data Repository's Data Publisher" (ODR - http://www.opendatarepository.org) [1], which provides a user-friendly interface that research teams or individual scientists can use to design, populate and manage their own database according to the characteristics of their data and the need to share data with collaborators or the broader scientific community. This platform can be also used as a laboratory notebook. The database will have the capability to import and export in a variety of standard formats. Advanced graphics will be implemented including 3D graphing, multi-axis graphs, error bars, and similar scientific data functions together with advanced online tools for data analysis (e. g. the statistical package, R). A permissions system will be put in place so that as data are being actively collected and interpreted, they will remain proprietary. A citation system will allow research data to be used and appropriately referenced by other researchers after the data are made public. This project is supported by the Science-Enabling Research Activity (SERA) and NASA NNX11AP82A, Mars Science Laboratory Investigations. [1] Nate et al. (2015) AGU, submitted.

  9. Gene-ontology enrichment analysis in two independent family-based samples highlights biologically plausible processes for autism spectrum disorders.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Anney, Richard J L

    2012-02-01

    Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated a range of genes from discrete biological pathways in the aetiology of autism. However, despite the strong influence of genetic factors, association studies have yet to identify statistically robust, replicated major effect genes or SNPs. We apply the principle of the SNP ratio test methodology described by O\\'Dushlaine et al to over 2100 families from the Autism Genome Project (AGP). Using a two-stage design we examine association enrichment in 5955 unique gene-ontology classifications across four groupings based on two phenotypic and two ancestral classifications. Based on estimates from simulation we identify excess of association enrichment across all analyses. We observe enrichment in association for sets of genes involved in diverse biological processes, including pyruvate metabolism, transcription factor activation, cell-signalling and cell-cycle regulation. Both genes and processes that show enrichment have previously been examined in autistic disorders and offer biologically plausibility to these findings.

  10. Cultural Aspects of Astrobiology: A Preliminary Reconnaissance at

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven

    NASA's Astrobiology Roadmap, developed in 1998 by an interdisciplinary team of more than 150 individuals, recognizes ten science goals, 17 more specific science objectives, and four broad principles for the Astrobiology Program. Among the four operating principles, which emphasize multidisciplinarity, planetary stewardship and public outreach, is one that also recognizes broad societal interest for the implications of astrobiology, especially its extraterrestrial life component. Although several meetings ahve been convened in the past decade to discuss the implications of extraterrestrial intelligence, including NASA's own CASETI workshops in 1991-1992, none have surveyed the broader implications of astrobiology as now defined at NASA. In this paper we survey these societal questions raised by astrobiology, and then focus on those related to extraterrestrial life, and in particular how they might differ from SETI concerns already discussed. As we enter the new millennium, the necessity for interdisciplinary studies is increasingly recognized in academia, industry and government. Astrobiology provides an unprecedented opportunity to encourage the unity of knowledge, as recently proposed in E. O. Wilson's book Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. It is incumbent on scientists to support research on the implications of their work, in particular large government-funded scientific projects. The deep insights such study may yield has been amply demonstrated by the Human Genome Project, among others.

  11. STARLIFE - An International Campaign to Study the Role of Galactic Cosmic Radiation in Astrobiological Model Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, Ralf; Raguse, Marina; Leuko, Stefan; Berger, Thomas; Hellweg, Christine Elisabeth; Fujimori, Akira; Okayasu, Ryuichi; Horneck, Gerda

    2017-02-01

    In-depth knowledge regarding the biological effects of the radiation field in space is required for assessing the radiation risks in space. To obtain this knowledge, a set of different astrobiological model systems has been studied within the STARLIFE radiation campaign during six irradiation campaigns (2013-2015). The STARLIFE group is an international consortium with the aim to investigate the responses of different astrobiological model systems to the different types of ionizing radiation (X-rays, γ rays, heavy ions) representing major parts of the galactic cosmic radiation spectrum. Low- and high-energy charged particle radiation experiments have been conducted at the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC) facility at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Chiba, Japan. X-rays or γ rays were used as reference radiation at the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Cologne, Germany) or Beta-Gamma-Service GmbH (BGS, Wiehl, Germany) to derive the biological efficiency of different radiation qualities. All samples were exposed under identical conditions to the same dose and qualities of ionizing radiation (i) allowing a direct comparison between the tested specimens and (ii) providing information on the impact of the space radiation environment on currently used astrobiological model organisms.

  12. Microbes in the upper atmosphere and unique opportunities for astrobiology research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David J

    2013-10-01

    Microbial taxa from every major biological lineage have been detected in Earth's upper atmosphere. The goal of this review is to communicate (1) relevant astrobiology questions that can be addressed with upper atmosphere microbiology studies and (2) available sampling methods for collecting microbes at extreme altitudes. Precipitation, mountain stations, airplanes, balloons, rockets, and satellites are all feasible routes for conducting aerobiology research. However, more efficient air samplers are needed, and contamination is also a pervasive problem in the field. Measuring microbial signatures without false positives in the upper atmosphere might contribute to sterilization and bioburden reduction methods for proposed astrobiology missions. Intriguingly, environmental conditions in the upper atmosphere resemble the surface conditions of Mars (extreme cold, hypobaria, desiccation, and irradiation). Whether terrestrial microbes are active in the upper atmosphere is an area of intense research interest. If, in fact, microbial metabolism, growth, or replication is achievable independent of Earth's surface, then the search for habitable zones on other worlds should be broadened to include atmospheres (e.g., the high-altitude clouds of Venus). Furthermore, viable cells in the heavily irradiated upper atmosphere of Earth could help identify microbial genes or enzymes that bestow radiation resistance. Compelling astrobiology questions on the origin of life (if the atmosphere synthesized organic aerosols), evolution (if airborne transport influenced microbial mutation rates and speciation), and panspermia (outbound or inbound) are also testable in Earth's upper atmosphere.

  13. Polymorphism discovery and allele frequency estimation using high-throughput DNA sequencing of target-enriched pooled DNA samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mullen Michael P

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The central role of the somatotrophic axis in animal post-natal growth, development and fertility is well established. Therefore, the identification of genetic variants affecting quantitative traits within this axis is an attractive goal. However, large sample numbers are a pre-requisite for the identification of genetic variants underlying complex traits and although technologies are improving rapidly, high-throughput sequencing of large numbers of complete individual genomes remains prohibitively expensive. Therefore using a pooled DNA approach coupled with target enrichment and high-throughput sequencing, the aim of this study was to identify polymorphisms and estimate allele frequency differences across 83 candidate genes of the somatotrophic axis, in 150 Holstein-Friesian dairy bulls divided into two groups divergent for genetic merit for fertility. Results In total, 4,135 SNPs and 893 indels were identified during the resequencing of the 83 candidate genes. Nineteen percent (n = 952 of variants were located within 5' and 3' UTRs. Seventy-two percent (n = 3,612 were intronic and 9% (n = 464 were exonic, including 65 indels and 236 SNPs resulting in non-synonymous substitutions (NSS. Significant (P ® MassARRAY. No significant differences (P > 0.1 were observed between the two methods for any of the 43 SNPs across both pools (i.e., 86 tests in total. Conclusions The results of the current study support previous findings of the use of DNA sample pooling and high-throughput sequencing as a viable strategy for polymorphism discovery and allele frequency estimation. Using this approach we have characterised the genetic variation within genes of the somatotrophic axis and related pathways, central to mammalian post-natal growth and development and subsequent lactogenesis and fertility. We have identified a large number of variants segregating at significantly different frequencies between cattle groups divergent for calving

  14. An Astrobiological View on Sustainable Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi Naganuma

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Life on a global biosphere basis is substantiated in the form of organics and organisms, and defined as the intermediate forms (briefly expressed as CH2O hovering between the reduced (CH4, methane and (CO2, carbon dioxide ends, different from the classical definition of life as a complex organization maintaining ordered structure and information. Both definitions consider sustenance of life meant as protection of life against chaos through an input of external energy. The CH2O-life connection is maintained as long as the supply of H and O lasts, which is in turn are provided by the splitting of the water molecule H2O. Water is split by electricity, as well-known from school-level experiments, and by solar radiation and geothermal heat on a global scale. In other words, the Sun’s radiation and the Earth’s heat as well as radioactivity split water to supply H and O for continued existence of life on the Earth. These photochemical, radiochemical and geothermal processes have influences on the evolution and current composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, compared with those of Venus and Mars, and influences on the planetary climatology. This view of life may be applicable to the “search-for-life in space” and to sustainability assessment of astrobiological habitats.

  15. Astrobiology and the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Joel S.; Garvin, James B.; Drake, B. G.; Beaty, David

    2010-01-01

    In March 2007, the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) chartered the Human Exploration of Mars Science Analysis Group (HEM-SAG), co-chaired by J. B. Garvin and J. S. Levine and consisting of about 30 Mars scientists from the U.S. and Europe. HEM-SAG was one of a half dozen teams charted by NASA to consider the human exploration of Mars. Other teams included: Mars Entry, Descent and Landing, Human Health and Performance, Flight and Surface Systems, and Heliospheric/Astrophysics. The results of these Mars teams and the development of an architecture for the human exploration of Mars were summarized in two recent publications: Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, NASA Special Publication-2009-566 (B. G. Drake, Editor), 100 pages, July 2009 and Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, NASA Special Publication-2009-566 Addendum (B. G. Drake, Editor), 406 pages, July 2009. This presentation summarizes the HEM-SAG conclusions on astrobiology and the search for life on Mars by humans.

  16. An Astrobiological View on Sustainable Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naganuma, Takeshi

    2009-10-01

    Life on a global biosphere basis is substantiated in the form of organics and organisms, and defined as the intermediate forms (briefly expressed as CH2O) hovering between the reduced (CH4, methane) and (CO2, carbon dioxide) ends, different from the classical definition of life as a complex organization maintaining ordered structure and information. Both definitions consider sustenance of life meant as protection of life against chaos through an input of external energy. The CH2O-life connection is maintained as long as the supply of H and O lasts, which is in turn are provided by the splitting of the water molecule H2O. Water is split by electricity, as well-known from school-level experiments, and by solar radiation and geothermal heat on a global scale. In other words, the Sun's radiation and the Earth's heat as well as radioactivity split water to supply H and O for continued existence of life on the Earth. These photochemical, radiochemical and geothermal processes have influences on the evolution and current composition of the Earth's atmosphere, compared with those of Venus and Mars, and influences on the planetary climatology. This view of life may be applicable to the "search-for-life in space" and to sustainability assessment of astrobiological habitats.

  17. Automating X-ray Fluorescence Analysis for Rapid Astrobiology Surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David R; Flannery, David T; Lanka, Ravi; Allwood, Abigail C; Bue, Brian D; Clark, Benton C; Elam, W Timothy; Estlin, Tara A; Hodyss, Robert P; Hurowitz, Joel A; Liu, Yang; Wade, Lawrence A

    2015-11-01

    A new generation of planetary rover instruments, such as PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) and SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) selected for the Mars 2020 mission rover payload, aim to map mineralogical and elemental composition in situ at microscopic scales. These instruments will produce large spectral cubes with thousands of channels acquired over thousands of spatial locations, a large potential science yield limited mainly by the time required to acquire a measurement after placement. A secondary bottleneck also faces mission planners after downlink; analysts must interpret the complex data products quickly to inform tactical planning for the next command cycle. This study demonstrates operational approaches to overcome these bottlenecks by specialized early-stage science data processing. Onboard, simple real-time systems can perform a basic compositional assessment, recognizing specific features of interest and optimizing sensor integration time to characterize anomalies. On the ground, statistically motivated visualization can make raw uncalibrated data products more interpretable for tactical decision making. Techniques such as manifold dimensionality reduction can help operators comprehend large databases at a glance, identifying trends and anomalies in data. These onboard and ground-side analyses can complement a quantitative interpretation. We evaluate system performance for the case study of PIXL, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Experiments on three representative samples demonstrate improved methods for onboard and ground-side automation and illustrate new astrobiological science capabilities unavailable in previous planetary instruments. Dimensionality reduction-Planetary science-Visualization.

  18. Science Applications of a Multispectral Microscopic Imager for the Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Key Words: Mars—Microscopic imager—Multispectral imaging

  19. Multistage open-tube trap for enrichment of part-per-trillion trace components of low-pressure (below 27-kPa) air samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohara, D.; Vo, T.; Vedder, J. F.

    1985-01-01

    A multistage open-tube trap for cryogenic collection of trace components in low-pressure air samples is described. The open-tube design allows higher volumetric flow rates than densely packed glass-bead traps commonly reported and is suitable for air samples at pressures below 27 kPa with liquid nitrogen as the cryogen. Gas blends containing 200 to 2500 parts per trillion by volume each of ethane and ethene were sampled and hydrocarbons were enriched with 100 + or - 4 percent trap efficiency. The multistage design is more efficient than equal-length open-tube traps under the conditions of the measurements.

  20. Astrobiological Studies Plan at UCSD and the University of Buckingham

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Carl H.; Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra

    2011-10-01

    A UC-HBCU grant is requested to assist undergraduate and masters level HBCU Interns to achieve their professional and academic goals by attending summer school classes at UCSD along with graduate students in the UCSD Astrobiology Studies program, and by also attending a NASA sponsored scientific meeting in San Diego on Astrobiology organized by NASA scientist Richard Hoover (the 14th in a sequence). Hoover has recently published a paper in the Journal of Cosmology claiming extraterrestrial life fossils in three meteorites. Students will attend a workshop to prepare research publications on Astrobiological Science for the Journal of Cosmology or equivalent refereed journal, mentored by UCSD faculty and graduate students as co-authors and referees, all committed to the several months of communication usually required to complete a publishable paper. The program is intended to provide pathways to graduate admissions in the broad range of science and engineering fields, and by exposure to fundamental science and engineering disciplines needed by Astrobiologists. A three year UC-HBCU Astrobiological Studies program is proposed: 2011, 2012 and 2013. Interns would be eligible to enter this program when they become advanced graduate students. A center of excellence in astrobiology is planned for UCSD similar to that Directed by Professor Wickramasinghe for many years with Fred Hoyle at Cardiff University, http://www.astrobiology.cf.ac.uk /chandra1.html. Professor Wickramasinghe's CV is attached as Appendix 1. Figures A2-1,2 of Appendix 2 compare Astrobiology timelines of modern fluid mechanical and astrobiological models of Gibson/Wickramasinghe/Schild of the Journal of Cosmology with standard NASA- CDMHC models. NASA support will be sought to support research and educational aspects of both initiatives. Overload teaching of up to two courses a year by UCSD faculty of key astrobiology courses at either UCSD or at HBCU campuses is authorized by recent guidelines of UCSD

  1. Astrobiology in culture: the search for extraterrestrial life as "science".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billings, Linda

    2012-10-01

    This analysis examines the social construction of authority, credibility, and legitimacy for exobiology/astrobiology and, in comparison, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), considering English-language conceptions of these endeavors in scientific culture and popular culture primarily in the United States. The questions that define astrobiology as a scientific endeavor are multidisciplinary in nature, and this endeavor is broadly appealing to public audiences as well as to the scientific community. Thus, it is useful to examine astrobiology in culture-in scientific culture, official culture, and popular culture. A researcher may explore science in culture, science as culture, by analyzing its rhetoric, the primary means that people use to construct their social realities-their cultural environment, as it were. This analysis follows this path, considering scientific and public interest in astrobiology and SETI and focusing on scientific and official constructions of the two endeavors. This analysis will also consider whether and how scientific and public conceptions of astrobiology and SETI, which are related but at the same time separate endeavors, converge or diverge and whether and how these convergences or divergences affect the scientific authority, credibility, and legitimacy of these endeavors.

  2. Comparison of PCR-Based Diagnosis with Centrifuged-Based Enrichment Method for Detection of Borrelia persica in Animal Blood Samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naddaf, S R; Kishdehi, M; Siavashi, Mr

    2011-01-01

    The mainstay of diagnosis of relapsing fever (RF) is demonstration of the spirochetes in Giemsa-stained thick blood smears, but during non fever periods the bacteria are very scanty and rarely detected in blood smears by microscopy. This study is aimed to evaluate the sensitivity of different methods developed for detection of low-grade spirochetemia. Animal blood samples with low degrees of spirochetemia were tested with two PCRs and a nested PCR targeting flaB, GlpQ, and rrs genes. Also, a centrifuged-based enrichment method and Giemsa staining were performed on blood samples with various degrees of spirochetemia. The flaB-PCR and nested rrs-PCR turned positive with various degrees of spirochetemia including the blood samples that turned negative with dark-field microscopy. The GlpQ-PCR was positive as far as at least one spirochete was seen in 5-10 microscopic fields. The sensitivity of GlpQ-PCR increased when DNA from Buffy Coat Layer (BCL) was used as template. The centrifuged-based enrichment method turned positive with as low concentration as 50 bacteria/ml blood, while Giemsa thick staining detected bacteria with concentrations ≥ 25000 bacteria/ml. Centrifuged-based enrichment method appeared as much as 500-fold more sensitive than thick smears, which makes it even superior to some PCR assays. Due to simplicity and minimal laboratory requirements, this method can be considered a valuable tool for diagnosis of RF in rural health centers.

  3. Tanpopo: Astrobiology Exposure and Micrometeoroid Capture Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagishi, Akihiko; Yano, Hajime; Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Kobayashi, Kensei; Kawai, Hideyuki; Mita, Hajime; Yokobori, Shin-ichi; Tabata, Makoto; Yabuta, Hikaru

    2012-07-01

    There is a long history of the microbe-collection experiments at high altitude (1). Microbes have been collected using balloons, aircraft and meteorological rockets. Spore forming fungi and Bacilli, and Micrococci have been isolated in these experiments (1). It is not clear how high do microbes go up. If the microbes might have been present even at higher altitudes, the fact would endorse the possibility of interplanetary migration of life. Tanpopo, dandelion, is the name of a grass whose seeds with floss are spread by the wind. We propose the analyses of interplanetary migration of microbes, organic compounds and meteoroids on Japan Experimental Module (JEM) of the International Space Station (ISS) (2). Ultra low-density aerogel will be used to capture micrometeoroid and debris. Particles captured by aerogel will be used for several analyses after the initial inspection of the gel and tracks. Careful analysis of the tracks in the aerogel will provide the size and velocity dependence of debris flux. The particles will be analyzed for mineralogical, organic and microbiological characteristics. Aerogels are ready for production in Japan. Aerogels and trays are space proven. All the analytical techniques are ready. In this presentation, we will present the recent results related to the microbiological analyses. The results suggested that the bleaching speeds and the spectra of fluorescence are different between different origins of the fluorescence: whether it is emitted from microbe or not. It is also shown that PCR analysis of the microbe can be used to determine the species. References 1)Yang, Y., Yokobori, S. and Yamagishi, A.: Assessing panspermia hypothesis by microorganisms collected from the high altitude atmosphere. Biol. Sci. Space, 23 (2009), pp. 151-163. 2) Yamagishi, A., H. Yano, K. Kobayashi, K. Kobayashi, S. Yokobori, M. Tabata, H. Kawai, M. Yamashita, H. Hashimoto, H. Naraoka, & H. Mita (2008) TANPOPO: astrobiology exposure and micrometeoroid capture

  4. Lunar astrobiology: a review and suggested laboratory equipment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronstal, Aaron; Cockell, Charles S; Perino, Maria Antonietta; Bittner, Tobias; Clacey, Erik; Clark, Olathe; Ingold, Olivier; Alves de Oliveira, Catarina; Wathiong, Steven

    2007-10-01

    In October of 2005, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Alcatel Alenia Spazio released a "call to academia for innovative concepts and technologies for lunar exploration." In recent years, interest in lunar exploration has increased in numerous space programs around the globe, and the purpose of our study, in response to the ESA call, was to draw on the expertise of researchers and university students to examine science questions and technologies that could support human astrobiology activity on the Moon. In this mini review, we discuss astrobiology science questions of importance for a human presence on the surface of the Moon and we provide a summary of key instrumentation requirements to support a lunar astrobiology laboratory.

  5. A novel method for sample preparation of fresh lung cancer tissue for proteomics analysis by tumor cell enrichment and removal of blood contaminants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orre Lotta

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In-depth proteomics analyses of tumors are frequently biased by the presence of blood components and stromal contamination, which leads to large experimental variation and decreases the proteome coverage. We have established a reproducible method to prepare freshly collected lung tumors for proteomics analysis, aiming at tumor cell enrichment and reduction of plasma protein contamination. We obtained enriched tumor-cell suspensions (ETS from six lung cancer cases (two adenocarcinomas, two squamous-cell carcinomas, two large-cell carcinomas and from two normal lung samples. The cell content of resulting ETS was evaluated with immunocytological stainings and compared with the histologic pattern of the original specimens. By means of a quantitative mass spectrometry-based method we evaluated the reproducibility of the sample preparation protocol and we assessed the proteome coverage by comparing lysates from ETS samples with the direct lysate of corresponding fresh-frozen samples. Results Cytological analyses on cytospin specimens showed that the percentage of tumoral cells in the ETS samples ranged from 20% to 70%. In the normal lung samples the percentage of epithelial cells was less then 10%. The reproducibility of the sample preparation protocol was very good, with coefficient of variation at the peptide level and at the protein level of 13% and 7%, respectively. Proteomics analysis led to the identification of a significantly higher number of proteins in the ETS samples than in the FF samples (244 vs 109, respectively. Albumin and hemoglobin were among the top 5 most abundant proteins identified in the FF samples, showing a high contamination with blood and plasma proteins, whereas ubiquitin and the mitochondrial ATP synthase 5A1 where among the top 5 most abundant proteins in the ETS samples. Conclusion The method is feasible and reproducible. We could obtain a fair enrichment of cells but the major benefit of the method

  6. The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven J.; Strick, James E.

    2004-01-01

    In the opening weeks of 1998 a news article in the British journal Nature reported that NASA was about to enter biology in a big way. A "virtual" Astrobiology Institute was gearing up for business, and NASA administrator Dan Goldin told his external advisory council that he would like to see spending on the new institute eventually reach $100 million per year. "You just wait for the screaming from the physical scientists (when that happens)," Goldin was quoted as saying. Nevertheless, by the time of the second Astrobiology Science Conference in 2002, attended by seven hundred scientists from many disciplines, NASA spending on astrobiology had reached nearly half that amount and was growing at a steady pace. Under NASA leadership numerous institutions around the world applied the latest scientific techniques in the service of astrobiology's ambitious goal: the study of what NASA's 1996 Strategic Plan termed the "living universe." This goal embraced nothing less than an understanding of the origin, history, and distribution of life in the universe, including Earth. Astrobiology, conceived as a broad interdisciplinary research program, held the prospect of being the science for the twenty-first century which would unlock the secrets to some of the great questions of humanity. It is no surprise that these age-old questions should continue into the twenty-first century. But that the effort should be spearheaded by NASA was not at all obvious to those - inside and outside the agency - who thought NASA's mission was human spaceflight, rather than science, especially biological science. NASA had, in fact, been involved for four decades in "exobiology," a field that embraced many of the same questions but which had stagnated after the 1976 Viking missions to Mars. In this volume we tell the colorful story of the rise of the discipline of exobiology, how and why it morphed into astrobiology at the end of the twentieth century, and why NASA was the engine for both the

  7. Second Annual NASA Ames Space Science and Astrobiology Jamboree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotson, Jessie

    2014-01-01

    The Space Science and Astrobiology Division's researchers are pursuing investigations in a variety of fields, including exoplanets, planetary science, astrobiology, and astrophysics. In addition division personnel support a wide variety of NASA missions. With a wide variety of interesting research going on, distributed among the three branches in at least 5 buildings, it can be difficult to stay abreast of what one's fellow researchers are doing. Our goal in organizing this symposium is to facilitate communication and collaboration among the scientist within the division and to give center management and other ARC researchers and Engineers an opportunity to see what scientific missions work is being done in the division.

  8. Astrobiology Field Research in Moon/Mars Analogue Environments: Preface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, B. H.; Stoker, C.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2011-01-01

    Extreme environments on Earth often provide similar terrain conditions to landing/operation sites on Moon and Mars. Several field campaigns (EuroGeoMars2009 and DOMMEX/ILEWG EuroMoonMars from November 2009 to March 2010) were conducted at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah. Some of the key astrobiology results are presented in this special issue on Astrobiology field research in Moon/Mars analogue environments relevant to investigate the link between geology, minerals, organics and biota. Preliminary results from a multidisciplinary field campaign at Rio Tinto in Spain are presented.

  9. Metagenomic survey of methanesulfonic acid (MSA catabolic genes in an Atlantic Ocean surface water sample and in a partial enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana C. Henriques

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Methanesulfonic acid (MSA is a relevant intermediate of the biogeochemical cycle of sulfur and environmental microorganisms assume an important role in the mineralization of this compound. Several methylotrophic bacterial strains able to grow on MSA have been isolated from soil or marine water and two conserved operons, msmABCD coding for MSA monooxygenase and msmEFGH coding for a transport system, have been repeatedly encountered in most of these strains. Homologous sequences have also been amplified directly from the environment or observed in marine metagenomic data, but these showed a base composition (G + C content very different from their counterparts from cultivated bacteria. The aim of this study was to understand which microorganisms within the coastal surface oceanic microflora responded to MSA as a nutrient and how the community evolved in the early phases of an enrichment by means of metagenome and gene-targeted amplicon sequencing. From the phylogenetic point of view, the community shifted significantly with the disappearance of all signals related to the Archaea, the Pelagibacteraceae and phylum SAR406, and the increase in methylotroph-harboring taxa, accompanied by other groups so far not known to comprise methylotrophs such as the Hyphomonadaceae. At the functional level, the abundance of several genes related to sulfur metabolism and methylotrophy increased during the enrichment and the allelic distribution of gene msmA diagnostic for MSA monooxygenase altered considerably. Even more dramatic was the disappearance of MSA import-related gene msmE, which suggests that alternative transporters must be present in the enriched community and illustrate the inadequacy of msmE as an ecofunctional marker for MSA degradation at sea.

  10. Uranium enrichment. Enrichment processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexandre, M.; Quaegebeur, J.P.

    2009-01-01

    Despite the remarkable progresses made in the diversity and the efficiency of the different uranium enrichment processes, only two industrial processes remain today which satisfy all of enriched uranium needs: the gaseous diffusion and the centrifugation. This article describes both processes and some others still at the demonstration or at the laboratory stage of development: 1 - general considerations; 2 - gaseous diffusion: physical principles, implementation, utilisation in the world; 3 - centrifugation: principles, elementary separation factor, flows inside a centrifuge, modeling of separation efficiencies, mechanical design, types of industrial centrifuges, realisation of cascades, main characteristics of the centrifugation process; 4 - aerodynamic processes: vortex process, nozzle process; 5 - chemical exchange separation processes: Japanese ASAHI process, French CHEMEX process; 6 - laser-based processes: SILVA process, SILMO process; 7 - electromagnetic and ionic processes: mass spectrometer and calutron, ion cyclotron resonance, rotating plasmas; 8 - thermal diffusion; 9 - conclusion. (J.S.)

  11. Planetary Atmosphere and Surfaces Chamber (PASC: A Platform to Address Various Challenges in Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Mateo-Marti

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of planetary environments of astrobiological interest has become a major challenge. Because of the obvious technical and economical limitations on in situ planetary exploration, laboratory simulations are one of the most feasible research options to make advances both in planetary science and in developing a consistent description of the origin of life. With this objective in mind, we applied vacuum technology to the design of versatile vacuum chambers devoted to the simulation of planetary atmospheres’ conditions. These vacuum chambers are able to simulate atmospheres and surface temperatures representative of the majority of planetary objects, and they are especially appropriate for studying the physical, chemical and biological changes induced in a particular sample by in situ irradiation or physical parameters in a controlled environment. Vacuum chambers are a promising potential tool in several scientific and technological fields, such as engineering, chemistry, geology and biology. They also offer the possibility of discriminating between the effects of individual physical parameters and selected combinations thereof. The implementation of our vacuum chambers in combination with analytical techniques was specifically developed to make feasible the in situ physico-chemical characterization of samples. Many wide-ranging applications in astrobiology are detailed herein to provide an understanding of the potential and flexibility of these experimental systems. Instruments and engineering technology for space applications could take advantage of our environment-simulation chambers for sensor calibration. Our systems also provide the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the chemical reactivity of molecules on surfaces under different environments, thereby leading to a greater understanding of interface processes in prebiotic chemical reactions and facilitating studies of UV photostability and photochemistry on surfaces

  12. Epidemiology of Salmonella sp. in California cull dairy cattle: prevalence of fecal shedding and diagnostic accuracy of pooled enriched broth culture of fecal samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omran A. Abu Aboud

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background The primary objective of this cross-sectional study was to estimate the crude, seasonal and cull-reason stratified prevalence of Salmonella fecal shedding in cull dairy cattle on seven California dairies. A secondary objective was to estimate and compare the relative sensitivity (Se and specificity (Sp for pools of 5 and 10 enriched broth cultures of fecal samples for Salmonella sp. detection. Methods Seven dairy farms located in the San Joaquin Valley of California were identified and enrolled in the study as a convenience sample. Cull cows were identified for fecal sampling once during each season between 2014 and 2015, specifically during spring, summer, fall, and winter, and 10 cows were randomly selected for fecal sampling at the day of their sale. In addition, study personnel completed a survey based on responses of the herd manager to questions related to the previous four month’s herd management. Fecal samples were frozen until testing for Salmonella. After overnight enrichment in liquid broth, pools of enrichment broth (EBP were created for 5 and 10 samples. All individual and pooled broths were cultured on selective media with putative Salmonella colonies confirmed by biochemical testing before being serogrouped and serotyped. Results A total of 249 cull cows were enrolled into the study and their fecal samples tested for Salmonella. The survey-weighted period prevalence of fecal shedding of all Salmonella sp. in the cull cow samples across all study herds and the entire study period was 3.42% (N = 249; SE 1.07. The within herd prevalence of Salmonella shed in feces did not differ over the four study seasons (P = 0.074. The Se of culture of EBP of five samples was 62.5% (SE = 17.12, which was not statistically different from the Se of culture of EBP of 10 (37.5%, SE = 17.12, P = 0.48. The Sp of culture of EBP of five samples was 95.24% (SE = 3.29 and for pools of 10 samples was 100.00% (SE = 0. There was no statistical

  13. EXPOSE-E: an ESA astrobiology mission 1.5 years in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabbow, Elke; Rettberg, Petra; Barczyk, Simon; Bohmeier, Maria; Parpart, André; Panitz, Corinna; Horneck, Gerda; von Heise-Rotenburg, Ralf; Hoppenbrouwers, Tom; Willnecker, Rainer; Baglioni, Pietro; Demets, René; Dettmann, Jan; Reitz, Guenther

    2012-05-01

    The multi-user facility EXPOSE-E was designed by the European Space Agency to enable astrobiology research in space (low-Earth orbit). On 7 February 2008, EXPOSE-E was carried to the International Space Station (ISS) on the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) platform in the cargo bay of Space Shuttle STS-122 Atlantis. The facility was installed at the starboard cone of the Columbus module by extravehicular activity, where it remained in space for 1.5 years. EXPOSE-E was returned to Earth with STS-128 Discovery on 12 September 2009 for subsequent sample analysis. EXPOSE-E provided accommodation in three exposure trays for a variety of astrobiological test samples that were exposed to selected space conditions: either to space vacuum, solar electromagnetic radiation at >110 nm and cosmic radiation (trays 1 and 3) or to simulated martian surface conditions (tray 2). Data on UV radiation, cosmic radiation, and temperature were measured every 10 s and downlinked by telemetry. A parallel mission ground reference (MGR) experiment was performed on ground with a parallel set of hardware and samples under simulated space conditions. EXPOSE-E performed a successful 1.5-year mission in space.

  14. Astrobiology Science and Technology: A Path to Future Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, M. A.; Lavaery, D. B.

    2001-01-01

    The Astrobiology Program is described. However, science-driven robotic exploration of extreme environments is needed for a new era of planetary exploration requiring biologically relevant instrumentation and extensive, autonomous operations on planetary surfaces. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  15. Astrobiology and the Possibility of Life on Earth and Elsewhere…

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cottin, Hervé; Kotler, Julia Michelle; Bartik, Kristin; Cleaves, H. James; Cockell, Charles S.; de Vera, Jean Pierre P; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Leuko, Stefan; Ten Kate, Inge Loes|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217; Martins, Zita; Pascal, Robert; Quinn, Richard; Rettberg, Petra; Westall, Frances

    Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary scientific field not only focused on the search of extraterrestrial life, but also on deciphering the key environmental parameters that have enabled the emergence of life on Earth. Understanding these physical and chemical parameters is fundamental knowledge

  16. Astrobiology Courses--A Useful Framework for Teaching Interdisciplinary Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauterer, Roger

    2000-01-01

    Explains astrobiology and indicates the possibility of life on other planets and the interest of humankind in this possibility. Defines topics open to public misconception and their primary reinforcements by television shows. Expresses the need for students to learn the connections between different science majors. (YDS)

  17. The NASA Astrobiology Institute: early history and organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumberg, Baruch S.

    2003-01-01

    The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) was established as a means to advance the field of astrobiology by providing a multidisciplinary, multi-institution, science-directed program, executed by universities, research institutes, and NASA and other government laboratories. The scientific community and NASA defined the science content at several workshops as summarized in the NASA Astrobiology Roadmap. Teams were chosen nationwide, following the recommendations of external review groups, and the research program began in 1998. There are now 16 national Teams and five international affiliated and associated astrobiology institutions. The NAI has attracted an outstanding group of scientific groups and individuals. The Institute facilitates the involvement of the scientists in its scientific and management vision. Its goal is to support basic research and allow the scientists the freedom to select their projects and alter them as indicated by new research. Additional missions include the education of the public, the involvement of students who will be the astrobiologists of future generations, and the development of a culture of collaboration in NAI, a "virtual institute," spread across many sites nationally and internationally.

  18. Infrared Spectroscopy of Parent Volatiles in Comets: Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiSanti, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    Current cometary orbits provide information on their recent dynamical history. However, determining a given comet's formation region from its current dynamical state alone is complicated by radial migration in the proto-planetary disk and by dynamical interactions with the growing giant planets. Because comets reside for long periods of time in the outer Solar System, the ices contained in their nuclei (native ices) retain a relatively well-preserved footprint of when and where they formed, and this in turn can provide clues to conditions in the formation epoch. As a comet approaches the Sun, sublimation of its native ices releases parent volatiles into the coma where they can be measured spectroscopically. The past to - 15 years have seen the advent of infrared spectrometers with high sensitivity between about 2.8 and 5.0 micron, enabling a taxonomy among comets based on abundances of parent volatiles (e.g., H2O, CO, CH4, C2H6, HCN, CH30H, H2CO, NH3). Such molecules are of keen interest to Astrobiology, as they include important pre-biotic species that likely were required for the emergence of life on Earth and perhaps elsewhere. Approximately 20 comets have thus far been characterized, beginning with C/1996 82 (Hyakutake) in 1996. Molecular production rates are established through comparison of observed emission line intensities with those predicted by quantum mechanical fluorescence models. Abundances of parent volatiles (relative to H2O) vary among even the relatively small number of comets sampled, with the most volatile species (CO and CH4) displaying the largest variations. Techniques developed for measuring parent volatile abundances in comets will be discussed, as will possible implications for their formation.

  19. Comparison of PCR-Based Diagnosis with Centrifuged-Based Enrichment Method for Detection of Borrelia Persica in Animal Blood Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SR Naddaf

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: The mainstay of diagnosis of relapsing fever (RF is demonstration of the spirochetes in Giemsa-stained thick blood smears, but during non fever periods the bacteria are very scanty and rarely detected in blood smears by mi­cros­copy. This study is aimed to evaluate the sensitivity of different methods developed for detection of low-grade spi­ro­chetemia. Methods: Animal blood samples with low degrees of spirochetemia were tested with two PCRs and a nested PCR tar­get­ing flaB, GlpQ, and rrs genes. Also, a centrifuged-based enrichment method and Giemsa staining were per­formed on blood samples with various degrees of spirochetemia. Results: The flaB-PCR and nested rrs-PCR turned positive with various degrees of spirochetemia including the blood samples that turned negative with dark-field microscopy. The GlpQ-PCR was positive as far as at least one spi­ro­chete was seen in 5-10 microscopic fields. The sensitivity of GlpQ-PCR increased when DNA from Buffy Coat Layer (BCL was used as template. The centrifuged-based enrichment method turned positive with as low concentra­tion as 50 bacteria/ml blood, while Giemsa thick staining detected bacteria with concentrations ≥ 25000 bacteria/ml. Conclusion: Centrifuged-based enrichment method appeared as much as 500-fold more sensitive than thick smears, which makes it even superior to some PCR assays. Due to simplicity and minimal laboratory requirements, this method can be considered a valuable tool for diagnosis of RF in rural health centers.

  20. Comparison of PCR-Based Diagnosis with Centrifuged-Based Enrichment Method for Detection of Borrelia persica in Animal Blood Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SR Naddaf

    2011-06-01

    Background: The mainstay of diagnosis of relapsing fever (RF is demonstration of the spirochetes in Giemsa-stained thick blood smears, but during non fever periods the bacteria are very scanty and rarely detected in blood smears by mi­cros­copy. This study is aimed to evaluate the sensitivity of different methods developed for detection of low-grade spi­ro­chetemia. Methods: Animal blood samples with low degrees of spirochetemia were tested with two PCRs and a nested PCR tar­get­ing flaB, GlpQ, and rrs genes. Also, a centrifuged-based enrichment method and Giemsa staining were per­formed on blood samples with various degrees of spirochetemia. Results: The flaB-PCR and nested rrs-PCR turned positive with various degrees of spirochetemia including the blood samples that turned negative with dark-field microscopy. The GlpQ-PCR was positive as far as at least one spi­ro­chete was seen in 5-10 microscopic fields. The sensitivity of GlpQ-PCR increased when DNA from Buffy Coat Layer (BCL was used as template. The centrifuged-based enrichment method turned positive with as low concentra­tion as 50 bacteria/ml blood, while Giemsa thick staining detected bacteria with concentrations ≥ 25000 bacteria/ml.  Conclusion: Centrifuged-based enrichment method appeared as much as 500-fold more sensitive than thick smears, which makes it even superior to some PCR assays. Due to simplicity and minimal laboratory requirements, this method can be considered a valuable tool for diagnosis of RF in rural health centers.  

  1. EVA Swab Tool to Support Planetary Protection and Astrobiology Evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Michelle A.; Hood, Drew; Walker, Mary; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J.; Schuerger, Andrew C.

    2018-01-01

    When we send humans to search for life on other planets, we'll need to know what we brought with us versus what may already be there. To ensure our crewed systems meet planetary protection requirements-and to protect our science from human contamination-we'll need to assess whether microorganisms may be leaking or venting from our spacecraft. Microbial sample collection outside of a pressurized spacecraft is complicated by temperature extremes, low pressures that preclude the use of laboratory standard (wetted) swabs, and operation either in bulky spacesuits or with robotic assistance. A team at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently developed a swab kit for use in collecting microbial samples from the external surfaces of crewed spacecraft, including spacesuits. The Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Swab Kit consists of a single swab tool handle and an eight-canister sample caddy. The design team minimized development cost by re-purposing a heritage Space Shuttle tile repair handle that was designed to quickly snap into different tool attachments by engaging a mating device in each end effector. This allowed the tool handle to snap onto a fresh swab end effector much like popular shaving razor handles can snap onto a disposable blade cartridge. To disengage the handle from a swab, the user performs two independent functions, which can be done with a single hand. This dual operation mitigates the risk that a swab will be inadvertently released and lost in microgravity. Each swab end effector is fitted with commercially available foam swab tips, vendor-certified to be sterile for Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA). A microbial filter installed in the bottom of each sample container allows the container to outgas and re-pressurize without introducing microbial contaminants to internal void spaces. Extensive ground testing, post-test handling, and sample analysis confirmed the design is able to maintain sterile conditions as the canister moves between

  2. Towards a fully automated lab-on-a-disc system integrating sample enrichment and detection of analytes from complex matrices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreasen, Sune Zoëga

    the technology on a large scale from fulfilling its potential for maturing into applied technologies and products. In this work, we have taken the first steps towards realizing a capable and truly automated “sample-to-answer” analysis system, aimed at small molecule detection and quantification from a complex...... sample matrix. The main result is a working prototype of a microfluidic system, integrating both centrifugal microfluidics for sample handling, supported liquid membrane extraction (SLM) for selective and effective sample treatment, as well as in-situ electrochemical detection. As a case study...

  3. Adjustment of pH of enrichment media might improve selective isolation of MRSA from pig samples

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cavaco, Lina; Agersø, Yvonne; Mordhorst, Hanne

    2011-01-01

    pig swabs. Initially a total of seven strains, including: two MRSA, two enterococci, two CNS one Aerococcus viridans and one Proteus spp. strains, were tested for growth in Mueller Hinton II broth with pH ranging from 4 to 5.5 and salt addition of 4% to 7%. In the next step, these strains were tested...... concentrations ≥4% did allow growth of S. aureus but was inhibiting the growth of enterococci. Subsequent growth experiments with isolates from background flora showed an inhibitory effect of pH below 5 for Aerococcus spp and enterococci, whereas less effect was observed on CNS and Proteus spp. In the assays...... strains was completely inhibited by pH ≤5.5 at any salt concentrations tested (5- 6,5%), whereas the growth of Proteus spp. was only inhibited totally at pH of 4.5, but the growth rate could be reduced combining pH at 5 or 5.5 with high salt concentrations. In conclusion, pH adjustment of enrichment media...

  4. Enrichment of {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb in ash samples from oil shale-fired power plants in Estonia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozden, B. [University of Tartu, Institute of Physics/Ege University, Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Estonia); Vaasma, T.; Kiisk, M.; Suursoo, S.; Tkaczyk, A.H. [University of Tartu,Institute of Physics (Estonia)

    2014-07-01

    Energy production in Estonia is largely dependent on the oil shale industry. Oil shale is a fossil fuel typically characterized by relatively high mineral composition, modest organic fraction (varying between 10 and 65%), high ash content (usually 45% to 50%), and average lower heating value of 8.4 MJ/kg{sup -1}. Oil shale-fired power plants account for 85% of Estonian electricity production and produce up to 6 million tons of oil shale ash annually. This ash contains elevated amounts of natural radionuclides (from the {sup 238}U and {sup 232}Th series and {sup 40}K), which were bound to oil shale during its formation. These radionuclides become enriched in ash fractions during the combustion process and are partially emitted to the atmosphere via fly ash and flue gases. Oil shale-fired electricity production is foreseen to remain a dominant trend in Estonia, suggesting that the radionuclide emissions to the atmosphere will continue in the future. The natural radionuclides {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb, with half-lives of 138 days and 22.3 years respectively, originate from the radioactive decay of radionuclides of {sup 238}U series present in the earth's crust. These radionuclides are also built up artificially in the environment due to waste discharge from phosphate, oil, and gas industries, combustion of fossil fuels and other energy production as technically enhanced natural radionuclides. There are few studies on oil shale power plants influence on the levels of natural radioactivity in the surrounding areas. Realo, et al. reported that the annual doses from fly ash depositions over a 30 year period are in the range 90 - 200 μSv a{sup -1}. A study previously initiated by the University of Tartu, Institute of Physics (IPh) evaluated enrichment in the activity concentrations of {sup 238}U, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 210}Pb, {sup 232}Th, {sup 228}Ra and {sup 40}K in ash samples collected from Eesti Power Plant's circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler. According

  5. Synthesis of magnetic mesoporous metal-organic framework-5 for the effective enrichment of malachite green and crystal violet in fish samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhihui; Fu, Yanqing; Qin, Qian; Lu, Xin; Shi, Xianzhe; Zhao, Chunxia; Xu, Guowang

    2018-07-27

    A novel, magnetic and mesoporous Fe 3 O 4 @PEI-MOF-5 material was synthesized for the effective enrichment of malachite green (MG) and crystal violet (CV) in fish samples. The Fe 3 O 4 @PEI-MOF-5 material was prepared by a facile two-step solvothermal approach in which Fe 3 O 4 @PEI and MOF-5 were connected through chemical bonds. Characterization of the newly synthesized Fe 3 O 4 @PEI-MOF-5 material was performed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry, vibrating sample magnetometry, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. This new material was determined to have high magnetization and chemical stability, a large surface area and a distinctive morphology. An effective enrichment and detection method for MG and CV was subsequently developed by combining the Fe 3 O 4 @PEI-MOF-5 material with ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The linearity ranges of this approach for MG and CV were 1-500ng/mL and 0.25-500ng/mL, respectively, with correlation coefficients (R 2 ) of 0.999. The limits of detection (LODs) of the method for MG and CV were 0.30ng/mL and 0.08ng/mL, respectively, indicating that the Fe 3 O 4 @PEI-MOF-5 material had good adsorption properties for MG and CV. Fe 3 O 4 @PEI-MOF-5 can be expected to also provide efficient enrichment of MG and CV in other complex matrices. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Systems astrobiology for a reliable biomarker on exo-worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chela Flores, Julian

    2013-04-01

    Although astrobiology is a science midway between biology and astrophysics, it has surprisingly remained largely disconnected from recent trends in certain branches of both of these disciplines. Aiming at discovering how systems properties emerge has proved valuable in chemistry and in biology and should also yield insights into astrobiology. This is feasible since new large data banks in the case of astrobiology are of a geophysical/astronomical kind, rather than the also large molecular biology data that are used for questions related firstly, to genetics in a systems context and secondly, to biochemistry. The application of systems biology is illustrated for our own planetary system, where 3 Earth-like planets are within the habitable zone of a G2V star and where the process of photosynthesis has led to a single oxygenic atmosphere that was triggered during the Great Oxidation Event some 2,5 billion years before the present. The significance of the biogenic origin of a considerable fraction of our atmosphere has been discussed earlier (Kiang et al., 2007). Bonding of O2 ensures that it is stable enough to accumulate in a world's atmosphere if triggered by a living process. The reduction of F and Cl deliver energy release per e+-transfer, but unlike O2 the weaker bonding properties inhibit large atmospheric accumulation (Catling et al., 2005). The evolution of O2-producing photosynthesis is very likely on exo-worlds (Wolstencroft and Raven, 2002). With our simplifying assumption of evolutionary convergence, we show how to probe for a reliable biomarker in the exo-atmospheres of planets, or their satellites, orbiting stars of different luminosities and ages (Chela-Flores, 2013). We treat the living process as a system of exo-environments capable of radically modifying their geology and atmospheres, both for exo-planets, and especially for exo-moons, the presence of which can be extracted from the Kepler data (Kipping et al., 2012). What we are learning about the

  7. The O/OREOS Mission - Astrobiology in Low Earth Orbit. [Astrobiology in Low Earth Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; Ricco, A. J.; Squires, D.; Kitts, C.; Agasid, E.; Bramall, N.; Bryson, K.; Chittenden, J.; Conley, C.; Cook, A.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The O/OREOS (Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses) nanosatellite is the first science demonstration spacecraft and flight mission of the NASA Astrobiology Small- Payloads Program (ASP). O/OREOS was launched successfully on November 19, 2010, to a high-inclination (72 deg), 650-km Earth orbit aboard a US Air Force Minotaur IV rocket from Kodiak, Alaska. O/OREOS consists of 3 conjoined cubesat (each 1000 cu cm) modules: (i) a control bus; (ii) the Space Environment Survivability of Living Organisms (SESLO) experiment; and (iii) the Space Environment Viability of Organics (SEVO) experiment. Among the innovative aspects of the O/OREOS mission are a real-time analysis of the photostability of organics and biomarkers and the collection of data on the survival and metabolic activity for microorganisms at 3 times during the 6-month mission. We report on the spacecraft characteristics, payload capabilities, and present operational phase and flight data from the O/OREOS mission. The science and technology rationale of O/OREOS supports NASA0s scientific exploration program by investigating the local space environment as well as space biology relevant to Moon and Mars missions. It also serves as a precursor for experiments on small satellites, the International Space Station (ISS), future free-flyers and lunar surface exposure facilities.

  8. Enrichment factor and geoaccumulation index applied to sediment samples from the Guarapiranga reservoir, Brazil, for metal and trace element assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guimaraes, Guilherme M.; Figueiredo, Ana M.G.; Silva, Paulo S.C.; Favaro, Deborah I.; Franklin, Robson L.

    2011-01-01

    This study aims to assess sediment contamination by metals and other trace elements in five sampling points of the Guarapiranga Reservoir. Two collection campaigns were undertaken and the samples were analyzed by Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) in order to determine the following elements: major (Fe, K and Na), trace (As, Ba, Br, Co, Cr, Cs, Hf, Rb, Sb , Sc, Ta, Tb, Th, U and Zn) and rare earth elements (La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Tb, Yb and Lu). Soil samples were collected in the Guarapiranga Park, located next to the reservoir. Composite top soil samples (0-20 cm) were collected in lines across the park at every 30m and were also analyzed by INAA. EF values was calculated using Sc as the conservative element for normalization purposes and soil from Guarapiranga region was used as background levels for the elements analyzed. EF > 1.5 were obtained for the elements As, Sb and Zn, with highest values for Zn (1.6< EF<4.0), mainly at sampling points near the water supply catchment point from the Water Treatment Agency of Sao Paulo State, indicating anthropogenic contribution. As for the other elements, a 0.5< EF<1.0 was obtained, indicating that they mostly originate from crustal contribution. The Igeo Index was calculated using soil values as background or pristine values as well. For Zn, Igeo values (1.0< EF<2.0) were obtained, and, according to this criteria, these sediments can be classified as moderately contaminated. (author)

  9. Enrichment factor and geoaccumulation index applied to sediment samples from the Guarapiranga reservoir, Brazil, for metal and trace element assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guimaraes, Guilherme M.; Figueiredo, Ana M.G.; Silva, Paulo S.C.; Favaro, Deborah I., E-mail: defavaro@ipen.b, E-mail: anamaria@ipen.b [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Lab. de Analise por Ativacao Neutronica; Franklin, Robson L., E-mail: robsonf@cetesbnet.sp.gov.b [Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental (EAAI/CETESB), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Lab. de Quimica Inorganica e Radioatividade

    2011-07-01

    This study aims to assess sediment contamination by metals and other trace elements in five sampling points of the Guarapiranga Reservoir. Two collection campaigns were undertaken and the samples were analyzed by Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) in order to determine the following elements: major (Fe, K and Na), trace (As, Ba, Br, Co, Cr, Cs, Hf, Rb, Sb , Sc, Ta, Tb, Th, U and Zn) and rare earth elements (La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Tb, Yb and Lu). Soil samples were collected in the Guarapiranga Park, located next to the reservoir. Composite top soil samples (0-20 cm) were collected in lines across the park at every 30m and were also analyzed by INAA. EF values was calculated using Sc as the conservative element for normalization purposes and soil from Guarapiranga region was used as background levels for the elements analyzed. EF > 1.5 were obtained for the elements As, Sb and Zn, with highest values for Zn (1.6sampling points near the water supply catchment point from the Water Treatment Agency of Sao Paulo State, indicating anthropogenic contribution. As for the other elements, a 0.5

  10. Sixth Annual NASA Ames Space Science and Astrobiology Jamboree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingsworth, Jeffery; Howell, Steve; Fonda, Mark; Dateo, Chris; Martinez, Christine M.

    2018-01-01

    Welcome to the Sixth Annual NASA Ames Research Center, Space Science and Astrobiology Jamboree at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC). The Space Science and Astrobiology Division consists of over 60 Civil Servants, with more than 120 Cooperative Agreement Research Scientists, Post-Doctoral Fellows, Science Support Contractors, Visiting Scientists, and many other Research Associates. Within the Division there is engagement in scientific investigations over a breadth of disciplines including Astrobiology, Astrophysics, Exobiology, Exoplanets, Planetary Systems Science, and many more. The Division's personnel support NASA spacecraft missions (current and planned), including SOFIA, K2, MSL, New Horizons, JWST, WFIRST, and others. Our top-notch science research staff is spread amongst three branches in five buildings at ARC. Naturally, it can thus be difficult to remain abreast of what fellow scientific researchers pursue actively, and then what may present and/or offer regarding inter-Branch, intra-Division future collaborative efforts. In organizing this annual jamboree, the goals are to offer a wholesome, one-venue opportunity to sense the active scientific research and spacecraft mission involvement within the Division; and to facilitate communication and collaboration amongst our research scientists. Annually, the Division honors one senior research scientist with a Pollack Lecture, and one early career research scientist with an Outstanding Early Career Space Scientist Lecture. For the Pollack Lecture, the honor is bestowed upon a senior researcher who has made significant contributions within any area of research aligned with space science and/or astrobiology. This year we are pleased to honor Linda Jahnke. With the Early Career Lecture, the honor is bestowed upon an early-career researcher who has substantially demonstrated great promise for significant contributions within space science, astrobiology, and/or, in support of spacecraft missions addressing such

  11. Polyaniline-coated cigarette filters as a solid-phase extraction sorbent for the extraction and enrichment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon in water samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunkoed, Opas; Rueankaew, Thanaschaphorn; Nurerk, Piyaluk; Kanatharana, Proespichaya

    2016-06-01

    Polyaniline coated cigarette filters were successfully synthesized and used as a solid-phase extraction sorbent for the extraction and preconcentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in water samples. The polyaniline helped to enhance the adsorption ability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the sorbent through π-π interactions. The high porosity and large surface area of the cigarette filters helped to reduce backpressure and can be operated with high sample flow rate without loss of extraction efficiency. The developed sorbent was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The parameters that affected the extraction efficiencies, i.e. polymerization time, type of desorption solvent and its volume, sample flow rate, sample volume, sample pH, ionic strength, and organic modifier were investigated. Under the optimal conditions, the method was linear over the range of 0.5-10 μg/L and a detection limit of 0.5 ng/L. This simple, rapid, and cost-effective method was successfully applied to the preconcentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from water samples. The developed method provided a high enrichment factor with good extraction efficiency (85-98%) and a relative standard deviation <10%. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Determination of total selenium and Se-77 in isotopically enriched human samples by ICP-dynamic reaction cell-MS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sloth, Jens Jørgen; Larsen, Erik Huusfeldt; Bügel, Susanne H.

    2003-01-01

    and the digested faecal samples were diluted using an aqueous diluent containing 0.5% Triton X-100, 2% nitric acid and 3% methanol. Selenium was detected as Se-76, Se-77 and Se-80 by ICP- DRC- MS. Selenium originating from the natural isotope abundance yeast and other selenium sources from the diet was determined...

  13. Bacterial diversity of autotrophic enriched cultures from remote, glacial Antarctic, Alpine and Andean aerosol, snow and soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Toril, E.; Amils, R.; Delmas, R. J.; Petit, J.-R.; Komárek, J.; Elster, J.

    2009-01-01

    Four different communities and one culture of autotrophic microbial assemblages were obtained by incubation of samples collected from high elevation snow in the Alps (Mt. Blanc area) and the Andes (Nevado Illimani summit, Bolivia), from Antarctic aerosol (French station Dumont d'Urville) and a maritime Antarctic soil (King George Island, South Shetlands, Uruguay Station Artigas), in a minimal mineral (oligotrophic) media. Molecular analysis of more than 200 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that all cultured cells belong to the Bacteria domain. Phylogenetic comparison with the currently available rDNA database allowed sequences belonging to Proteobacteria Alpha-, Beta- and Gamma-proteobacteria), Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes phyla to be identified. The Andes snow culture was the richest in bacterial diversity (eight microorganisms identified) and the marine Antarctic soil the poorest (only one). Snow samples from Col du Midi (Alps) and the Andes shared the highest number of identified microorganisms (Agrobacterium, Limnobacter, Aquiflexus and two uncultured Alphaproteobacteria clones). These two sampling sites also shared four sequences with the Antarctic aerosol sample (Limnobacter, Pseudonocardia and an uncultured Alphaproteobacteriaclone). The only microorganism identified in the Antarctica soil (Brevundimonas sp.) was also detected in the Antarctic aerosol. Most of the identified microorganisms had been detected previously in cold environments, marine sediments soils and rocks. Air current dispersal is the best model to explain the presence of very specific microorganisms, like those identified in this work, in environments very distant and very different from each other.

  14. Direct PCR - A rapid method for multiplexed detection of different serotypes of Salmonella in enriched pork meat samples

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chin, Wai Hoe; Sun, Yi; Høgberg, Jonas

    2017-01-01

    , in this study, we developed a multiplex Direct PCR method for rapid detection of different Salmonella serotypes directly from pork meat samples without any DNA purification steps. An inhibitor-resistant Phusion Pfu DNA polymerase was used to overcome PCR inhibition. Four pairs of primers including a pair...

  15. The Aouda.X space suit simulator and its applications to astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groemer, Gernot E; Hauth, Stefan; Luger, Ulrich; Bickert, Klaus; Sattler, Birgit; Hauth, Eva; Föger, Daniel; Schildhammer, Daniel; Agerer, Christian; Ragonig, Christoph; Sams, Sebastian; Kaineder, Felix; Knoflach, Martin

    2012-02-01

    We have developed the space suit simulator Aouda.X, which is capable of reproducing the physical and sensory limitations a flight-worthy suit would have on Mars. Based upon a Hard-Upper-Torso design, it has an advanced human-machine interface and a sensory network connected to an On-Board Data Handling system to increase the situational awareness in the field. Although the suit simulator is not pressurized, the physical forces that lead to a reduced working envelope and physical performance are reproduced with a calibrated exoskeleton. This allows us to simulate various pressure regimes from 0.3-1 bar. Aouda.X has been tested in several laboratory and field settings, including sterile sampling at 2800 m altitude inside a glacial ice cave and a cryochamber at -110°C, and subsurface tests in connection with geophysical instrumentation relevant to astrobiology, including ground-penetrating radar, geoacoustics, and drilling. The communication subsystem allows for a direct interaction with remote science teams via telemetry from a mission control center. Aouda.X as such is a versatile experimental platform for studying Mars exploration activities in a high-fidelity Mars analog environment with a focus on astrobiology and operations research that has been optimized to reduce the amount of biological cross contamination. We report on the performance envelope of the Aouda.X system and its operational limitations.

  16. Psychrophiles and astrobiology: microbial life of frozen worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2003-01-01

    Most bodies of our Solar System are "Frozen Worlds" where the prevailing surface temperature remains at or below freezing. On Earth there are vast permanently frozen regions of permafrost, polar ice sheets, and glaciers and the deep oceans and deep-sea marine sediments have remained at 2 - 4°C for eons. Psychrophilic and psychrotrophic microbiota that inhabit these regimes provide analogs for microbial life that might inhabit ice sheets and permafrost of Mars, comets, or the ice/water interfaces or sediments deep beneath the icy crusts of Europa, Callisto, or Ganymede. Cryopreserved micro-organisms can remain viable (in a deep anabiotic state) for millions of years frozen in permafrost and ice. Psychrophilic and psychrotrophic (cold-loving) microbes can carry out metabolic processes in water films and brine, acidic, or alkaline chanels in permafrost or ice at temperatures far below 0°C. These microbes of the cryosphere help define the thermal and temporal limits of life on Earth and may provide clues to where and how to search for evidence of life elsewhere in the Cosmos. Astrobiologists at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center have collected microbial extremophiles from the Pleistocene ice wedges and frozen thermokarst ponds from the Fox Permafrost Tunnel of Alaska. Microbes have also been isolated from samples of Magellanic Penguin guano from Patagonia; deep-sea marine muds near hydrothermal vents; snow and permafrost from Siberia, and deep ice cores, ice-bubble and cryoconite rocks of the Central Antarctic Ice Sheet. These samples have yielded microbial extremophiles representing a wide variety of anaerobic bacteria and archaea. These microbes have been isolated, cultured, characterized and analyzed by phylogenetic and genomic methods. Images were obtained by Phase Contrast, Environmental, Field Emission Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopes to study the ultra-microstructure and elemental distribution in the composition of these micro-organisms. We

  17. Extremotolerance and resistance of lichens: comparative studies on five species used in astrobiological research II. Secondary lichen compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meessen, J; Sánchez, F J; Sadowsky, A; de la Torre, R; Ott, S; de Vera, J-P

    2013-12-01

    Lichens, which are symbioses of a fungus and one or two photoautotrophs, frequently tolerate extreme environmental conditions. This makes them valuable model systems in astrobiological research to fathom the limits and limitations of eukaryotic symbioses. Various studies demonstrated the high resistance of selected extremotolerant lichens towards extreme, non-terrestrial abiotic factors including space exposure, hypervelocity impact simulations as well as space and Martian parameter simulations. This study focusses on the diverse set of secondary lichen compounds (SLCs) that act as photo- and UVR-protective substances. Five lichen species used in present-day astrobiological research were compared: Buellia frigida, Circinaria gyrosa, Rhizocarpon geographicum, Xanthoria elegans, and Pleopsidium chlorophanum. Detailed investigation of secondary substances including photosynthetic pigments was performed for whole lichen thalli but also for axenically cultivated mycobionts and photobionts by methods of UV/VIS-spectrophotometry and two types of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Additionally, a set of chemical tests is presented to confirm the formation of melanic compounds in lichen and mycobiont samples. All investigated lichens reveal various sets of SLCs, except C. gyrosa where only melanin was putatively identified. Such studies will help to assess the contribution of SLCs on lichen extremotolerance, to understand the adaptation of lichens to prevalent abiotic stressors of the respective habitat, and to form a basis for interpreting recent and future astrobiological experiments. As most of the identified SLCs demonstrated a high capacity in absorbing UVR, they may also explain the high resistance of lichens towards non-terrestrial UVR.

  18. Extremotolerance and Resistance of Lichens: Comparative Studies on Five Species Used in Astrobiological Research II. Secondary Lichen Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeßen, J.; Sánchez, F. J.; Sadowsky, A.; de la Torre, R.; Ott, S.; de Vera, J.-P.

    2013-12-01

    Lichens, which are symbioses of a fungus and one or two photoautotrophs, frequently tolerate extreme environmental conditions. This makes them valuable model systems in astrobiological research to fathom the limits and limitations of eukaryotic symbioses. Various studies demonstrated the high resistance of selected extremotolerant lichens towards extreme, non-terrestrial abiotic factors including space exposure, hypervelocity impact simulations as well as space and Martian parameter simulations. This study focusses on the diverse set of secondary lichen compounds (SLCs) that act as photo- and UVR-protective substances. Five lichen species used in present-day astrobiological research were compared: Buellia frigida, Circinaria gyrosa, Rhizocarpon geographicum, Xanthoria elegans, and Pleopsidium chlorophanum. Detailed investigation of secondary substances including photosynthetic pigments was performed for whole lichen thalli but also for axenically cultivated mycobionts and photobionts by methods of UV/VIS-spectrophotometry and two types of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Additionally, a set of chemical tests is presented to confirm the formation of melanic compounds in lichen and mycobiont samples. All investigated lichens reveal various sets of SLCs, except C. gyrosa where only melanin was putatively identified. Such studies will help to assess the contribution of SLCs on lichen extremotolerance, to understand the adaptation of lichens to prevalent abiotic stressors of the respective habitat, and to form a basis for interpreting recent and future astrobiological experiments. As most of the identified SLCs demonstrated a high capacity in absorbing UVR, they may also explain the high resistance of lichens towards non-terrestrial UVR.

  19. Sensitive trace enrichment of environmental andiandrogen vinclozolin from natural waters and sediment samples using hollow-fiber liquid-phase microextraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambropoulou, Dimitra A; Albanis, Triantafyllos A

    2004-12-17

    The presence of vinclozolin in the environment as far as the endocrine disruption effects in biota are concerned has raised interest in the environmental fate of this compound. In this respect, the present study attempts to investigate the feasibility of applying a novel quantitative method, liquid-phase microextraction (LPME), so as to determine this environmental andiandrogen in environmental samples such as water and sediment samples. The technique involved the use of a small amount (3 microL) of organic solvent impregnated in a hollow fiber membrane, which was attached to the needle of a conventional GC syringe. The extracted samples were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with electron-capture detection. Experimental LPME conditions such as extraction solvent, stirring rate, content of NaCl and pH were tested. Once LPME was optimized, the performance of the proposed technique was evaluated for the determination of vinclozolin in different types of natural water samples. The recovery of spiked water samples was from 80 to 99%. The procedure was adequate for quantification of vinclozolin in waters at levels of 0.010 to 50 microg/L (r> 0.994) with a detection limit of 0.001 microg/L (S/N= 3). Natural sediment samples from the Aliakmonas River area (Macedonia, Greece) spiked with the target andiandrogen compound were liquid-liquid extracted and analyzed by the methodology developed in this work. No significant interferences from the samples matrix were noticed, indicating that the reported methodology is an innovative tactic for sample preparation in sediment analysis, with a considerable improvement in the achieved detection limits. The results demonstrated that apart from analyte enrichment, the proposed LPME procedure also serves as clean-up method and could be successfully performed to determine trace amounts of vinclozolin in water and sediment samples.

  20. Bacterial diversity of autotrophic enriched cultures from remote, glacial Antarctic, Alpine and Andean aerosol, snow and soil samples

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalez-Toril , E.; Amils , R.; J. Delmas , Robert; Petit , Jean-Robert; Komarek , J.; Elster , J.

    2009-01-01

    Four different communities and one culture of autotrophic microbial assemblages were obtained by incubation of samples collected from high elevation snow in the Alps (Mt. Blanc area) and the Andes (Nevado Illimani summit, Bolivia), from Antarctic aerosol (French station Dumont d'Urville) and a maritime Antarctic soil (King George Island, South Shetlands, Uruguay Station Artigas), in a minimal mineral (oligotrophic) media. Molecular analysis of more than 200 16S rRNA gene sequences showed...

  1. Bacterial diversity of autotrophic enriched cultures from remote, glacial Antarctic, Alpine and Andean aerosol, snow and soil samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. González-Toril

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Four different communities and one culture of autotrophic microbial assemblages were obtained by incubation of samples collected from high elevation snow in the Alps (Mt. Blanc area and the Andes (Nevado Illimani summit, Bolivia, from Antarctic aerosol (French station Dumont d'Urville and a maritime Antarctic soil (King George Island, South Shetlands, Uruguay Station Artigas, in a minimal mineral (oligotrophic media. Molecular analysis of more than 200 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that all cultured cells belong to the Bacteria domain. Phylogenetic comparison with the currently available rDNA database allowed sequences belonging to Proteobacteria Alpha-, Beta- and Gamma-proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes phyla to be identified. The Andes snow culture was the richest in bacterial diversity (eight microorganisms identified and the marine Antarctic soil the poorest (only one. Snow samples from Col du Midi (Alps and the Andes shared the highest number of identified microorganisms (Agrobacterium, Limnobacter, Aquiflexus and two uncultured Alphaproteobacteria clones. These two sampling sites also shared four sequences with the Antarctic aerosol sample (Limnobacter, Pseudonocardia and an uncultured Alphaproteobacteriaclone. The only microorganism identified in the Antarctica soil (Brevundimonas sp. was also detected in the Antarctic aerosol. Most of the identified microorganisms had been detected previously in cold environments, marine sediments soils and rocks. Air current dispersal is the best model to explain the presence of very specific microorganisms, like those identified in this work, in environments very distant and very different from each other.

  2. Astrobiology and the Possibility of Life on Earth and Elsewhere…

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottin, Hervé; Kotler, Julia Michelle; Bartik, Kristin; Cleaves, H. James; Cockell, Charles S.; de Vera, Jean-Pierre P.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Leuko, Stefan; Ten Kate, Inge Loes; Martins, Zita; Pascal, Robert; Quinn, Richard; Rettberg, Petra; Westall, Frances

    2017-07-01

    Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary scientific field not only focused on the search of extraterrestrial life, but also on deciphering the key environmental parameters that have enabled the emergence of life on Earth. Understanding these physical and chemical parameters is fundamental knowledge necessary not only for discovering life or signs of life on other planets, but also for understanding our own terrestrial environment. Therefore, astrobiology pushes us to combine different perspectives such as the conditions on the primitive Earth, the physicochemical limits of life, exploration of habitable environments in the Solar System, and the search for signatures of life in exoplanets. Chemists, biologists, geologists, planetologists and astrophysicists are contributing extensively to this interdisciplinary research field. From 2011 to 2014, the European Space Agency (ESA) had the initiative to gather a Topical Team of interdisciplinary scientists focused on astrobiology to review the profound transformations in the field that have occurred since the beginning of the new century. The present paper is an interdisciplinary review of current research in astrobiology, covering the major advances and main outlooks in the field. The following subjects will be reviewed and most recent discoveries will be highlighted: the new understanding of planetary system formation including the specificity of the Earth among the diversity of planets, the origin of water on Earth and its unique combined properties among solvents for the emergence of life, the idea that the Earth could have been habitable during the Hadean Era, the inventory of endogenous and exogenous sources of organic matter and new concepts about how chemistry could evolve towards biological molecules and biological systems. In addition, many new findings show the remarkable potential life has for adaptation and survival in extreme environments. All those results from different fields of science are guiding our

  3. Critical issues in the history, philosophy, and sociology of astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven J

    2012-10-01

    Fifty years after serious scientific research began in the field of exobiology, and forty years after serious historical research began on the subject of extraterrestrial life, this paper identifies and examines some of the most important issues in the history, philosophy, and sociology of what is today known as astrobiology. As in the philosophy of science in general, and in the philosophies of particular sciences, critical issues in the philosophy and sociology of astrobiology are both stimulated and illuminated by history. Among those issues are (1) epistemological issues such as the status of astrobiology as a science, the problematic nature of evidence and inference, and the limits of science; (2) metaphysical/scientific issues, including the question of defining the fundamental concepts of life, mind, intelligence, and culture in a universal context; the role of contingency and necessity in the origin of these fundamental phenomena; and whether or not the universe is in some sense fine-tuned for life and perhaps biocentric; (3) societal issues such as the theological, ethical, and worldview impacts of the discovery of microbial or intelligent life; and the question of whether the search for extraterrestrial life should be pursued at all, and with what precautions; and (4) issues related to the sociology of scientific knowledge, including the diverse attitudes and assumptions of different scientific communities and different cultures to the problem of life beyond Earth, the public "will to believe," and the formation of the discipline of astrobiology. All these overlapping issues are framed by the concept of cosmic evolution-the 13.7 billion year Master Narrative of the Universe-which may result in a physical, biological, or postbiological universe and determine the long-term destiny of humanity.

  4. Astrobiology: Water and Life in the Solar System and beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Alberto Quillfeldt

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available After some methodological considerations and a brief historical background (SETI, we describe the three main impulses to the present discipline of exo / astrobiology - extremophyles, the discovery of exoplanets, and the data gathered by several unmanned probes in the solar system. An overview of recent findings concerning the presence of frozen or liquid water in our planetary system is presented, and the main trends for the following years, summarized.

  5. Proposed biomimetic molecular sensor array for astrobiology applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen, D. C.; Grant, W. D.; Piletsky, S.; Sims, M. R.

    2001-08-01

    A key objective of future astrobiology lander missions, e.g. to Mars and Europa, is the detection of biomarkers - molecules whose presence indicates the existence of either current or extinct life. To address limitations of current analytical methods for biomarker detection, we describe the methodology of a new project for demonstration of a robust molecular-recognition sensor array for astrobiology biomarkers. The sensor array will be realised by assembling components that have been demonstrated individually in previous or current research projects. The major components are (1) robust artificial molecular receptors comprised of molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) recognition systems and (2) a sensor array comprised of both optical and electrochemical sensor elements. These components will be integrated together using ink-jet printing technology coupled with in situ photo-polymerisation of MIPs. For demonstration, four model biomarkers are chosen as targets and represent various classes of potential biomarkers. Objectives of the proposed work include (1) demonstration of practical proof-of-concept, (2) identify areas for further development and (3) provide performance and design data for follow-up projects leading to astrobiology missions.

  6. Secondary School Students' Knowledge and Opinions on Astrobiology Topics and Related Social Issues

    OpenAIRE

    Oreiro Rey, Raquel; Solbes Matarredona, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin of life on Earth and the distribution of life in the Universe. Its multidisciplinary approach, social and philosophical implications, and appeal within the discipline and beyond make astrobiology a uniquely qualified subject for general science education. In this study, student knowledge and opinions on astrobiology topics were investigated. Eighty-nine students in their last year of compulsory education (age 15) completed a written questionnaire that c...

  7. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez, Jorge I; Farmer, Jack D; Sellar, R Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A; Blaney, Diana L

    2014-02-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Mars-Microscopic imager-Multispectral imaging-Spectroscopy-Habitability-Arm instrument.

  8. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Jorge; Farmer, Jack; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars.

  9. Astrobiological aspects of Mars and human presence: pros and cons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G

    2008-08-01

    After the realization of the International Space Station, human exploratory missions to Moon or Mars, i.e. beyond low Earth orbit, are widely considered as the next logical step of peaceful cooperation in space on a global scale. Besides the human desire to extend the window of habitability, human exploratory missions are driven by several aspects of science, technology, culture and economy. Mars is currently considered as a major target in the search for life beyond the Earth. Understanding the history of water on Mars appears to be one of the clues to the puzzle on the probability of life on Mars. On Earth microorganisms have flourished for more than 3.5 Ga and have developed strategies to cope with so-called extreme conditions (e.g., hot vents, permafrost, subsurface regions, rocks or salt crystals). Therefore, in search for life on Mars, microorganisms are the most likely candidates for a putative biota on Mars and the search for morphological or chemical signatures of life or its relics is one of the primary and most exciting goals of Mars exploration. The presence of humans on the surface of Mars will substantially increase this research potential, e.g., by supporting deep subsurface drilling and by allowing intellectual collection and sophisticated in situ analysis of samples of astrobiological interest. On the other hand, such long-duration missions beyond LEO will add a new dimension to human space flight, concerning the distance of travel, the radiation environment, the gravity levels, the duration of the mission, and the level of confinement and isolation the crew will be exposed to. This will raise the significance of several health issues, above all radiation protection, gravity related effects as well as psychological issues. Furthermore, the import of internal and external microorganisms inevitably accompanying any human mission to Mars, or brought purposely to Mars as part of a bioregenerative life support system needs careful consideration with

  10. Life, the universe, and everything: an education outreach proposal to build a traveling astrobiology exhibit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barge, Laura M; Pulschen, André A; Emygdio, Ana Paula Mendes; Congreve, Curtis; Kishimoto, Darío E; Bendia, Amanda G; de Morais M Teles, Antonio; DeMarines, Julia; Stoupin, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Astrobiology is a transdisciplinary field with extraordinary potential for the scientific community. As such, it is important to educate the community at large about the growing importance of this field to increase awareness and scientific content learning and expose potential future scientists. To this end, we propose the creation of a traveling museum exhibit that focuses exclusively on astrobiology and utilizes modern museum exhibit technology and design. This exhibit (the "Astrobiology Road Show"), organized and evaluated by an international group of astrobiology students and postdocs, is planned to tour throughout the Americas.

  11. Ultrasonic energy enhanced the efficiency of advance extraction methodology for enrichment of trace level of copper in serum samples of patients having neurological disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arain, Mariam S; Kazi, Tasneem G; Afridi, Hassan I; Ali, Jamshed; Akhtar, Asma

    2017-07-01

    An innovative dual dispersive ionic liquid based on ultrasound assisted microextraction (UDIL-μE), for the enrichment of trace levels of copper ion (Cu 2+ ), in serum (blood) of patients suffering from different neurological disorders. The enriched metal ions were subjected to flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). In the UDIL-μE method, the extraction solvent, ionic liquid, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate [C 4 mim][PF 6 ], was dispersed into the aqueous samples using an ultrasonic bath. The(PAN) 1-(2-pyridylazo)-2-naphthol was used as ligand for the complexation of Cu ion in IL (as extracting solvent). The various variables such as sonication time, pH, concentration of complexing agent, time and rate of centrifugation, IL volume that affect the extraction process were optimized. The enhancement factor (EF) and detection limit (LOD) was found under favorable condition was 31 and 0.36μgL -1 , respectively. Reliability of the proposed method was checked by relative standard deviation (%RSD), which was found to be <5%. The accuracy of developed procedure was assured by using certified reference material (CRM) of blood serum. The developed procedure was applied successfully to the analysis of concentration of Cu ion in blood serum of different neurological disorders subjects and referents of same age group. It was observed that the levels of Cu ion was two folds higher in serum samples of neurological disorders patients as related to normal referents of same age group. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Isotope enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lydtin, H-J.; Wilden, R.J.; Severin, P.J.W.

    1978-01-01

    The isotope enrichment method described is based on the recognition that, owing to mass diffusion and thermal diffusion in the conversion of substances at a heated substrate while depositing an element or compound onto the substrate, enrichment of the element, or a compound of the element, with a lighter isotope will occur. The cycle is repeated for as many times as is necessary to obtain the degree of enrichment required

  13. Uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-01-01

    This report looks at the following issues: How much Soviet uranium ore and enriched uranium are imported into the United States and what is the extent to which utilities flag swap to disguise these purchases? What are the U.S.S.R.'s enriched uranium trading practices? To what extent are utilities required to return used fuel to the Soviet Union as part of the enriched uranium sales agreement? Why have U.S. utilities ended their contracts to buy enrichment services from DOE?

  14. An efficient and target-oriented sample enrichment method for preparative separation of minor alkaloids by pH-zone-refining counter-current chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Rui-Hong; Hou, Jin-Jun; Zhang, Yi-Bei; Pan, Hui-Qin; Yang, Wenzhi; Qi, Peng; Yao, Shuai; Cai, Lu-Ying; Yang, Min; Jiang, Bao-Hong; Liu, Xuan; Wu, Wan-Ying; Guo, De-An

    2015-08-28

    An efficient and target-oriented sample enrichment method was established to increase the content of the minor alkaloids in crude extract by using the corresponding two-phase solvent system applied in pH-zone-refining counter-current chromatography. The enrichment and separation of seven minor indole alkaloids from Uncaria rhynchophylla (Miq.) Miq. ex Havil(UR) were selected as an example to show the advantage of this method. An optimized two-phase solvent system composed of n-hexane-ethyl acetate-methanol-water (3:7:1:9, v/v) was used in this study, where triethylamine (TEA) as the retainer and hydrochloric acid (HCl) as the eluter were added at the equimolar of 10mM. Crude alkaloids of UR dissolved in the corresponding upper phase (containing 10mM TEA) were extracted twice with lower phase (containing 10mM TEA) and lower phase (containing 10mM HCl), respectively, the second lower phase extract was subjected to pH-zone-refining CCC separation after alkalization and desalination. Finally, from 10g of crude alkaloids, 4g of refined alkaloids was obtained and the total content of seven target indole alkaloids was increased from 4.64% to 15.78%. Seven indole alkaloids, including 54mg isocorynoxeine, 21mg corynoxeine, 46mg isorhynchophylline, 35mg rhynchophylline, 65mg hirsutine, 51mg hirsuteine and 27mg geissoschizine methylether were all simultaneously separated from 2.5g of refined alkaloids, with the purity of 86.4%, 97.5%, 90.3%, 92.1%, 98.5%, 92.3%, and 92.8%, respectively. The total content and purities of the seven minor indole alkaloids were tested by HPLC and their chemical structures were elucidated by ESI-HRMS and (1)H NMR. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-01-01

    GAO was asked to address several questions concerning a number of proposed uranium enrichment bills introduced during the 100th Congress. The bill would have restructured the Department of Energy's uranium enrichment program as a government corporation to allow it to compete more effectively in the domestic and international markets. Some of GAO's findings discussed are: uranium market experts believe and existing market models show that the proposed DOE purchase of a $750 million of uranium from domestic producers may not significantly increase production because of large producer-held inventories; excess uranium enrichment production capacity exists throughout the world; therefore, foreign producers are expected to compete heavily in the United States throughout the 1990s as utilities' contracts with DOE expire; and according to a 1988 agreement between DOE's Offices of Nuclear Energy and Defense Programs, enrichment decommissioning costs, estimated to total $3.6 billion for planning purposes, will be shared by the commercial enrichment program and the government

  16. Ferrofluid of magnetic clay and menthol based deep eutectic solvent: Application in directly suspended droplet microextraction for enrichment of some emerging contaminant explosives in water and soil samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarei, Ali Reza; Nedaei, Maryam; Ghorbanian, Sohrab Ali

    2018-06-08

    In this work, for the first time, ferrofluid of magnetic montmorillonite nanoclay and deep eutectic solvent was prepared and coupled with directly suspended droplet microextraction. Incorporation of ferrofluid in a miniaturized sample preparation technique resulted in achieving high extraction efficiency while developing a green analytical method. The prepared ferrofluid has strong sorbing properties and hydrophobic characteristics. In this method, a micro-droplet of ferrofluid was suspended into the vortex of a stirring aqueous solution and after completing the extraction process, was easily separated from the solution by a magnetic rod without any operational problems. The predominant experimental variables affecting the extraction efficiency of explosives were evaluated. Under optimal conditions, the limits of detection were in the range 0.22-0.91 μg L -1 . The enrichment factors were between 23 and 93 and the relative standard deviations were <10%. The relative recoveries were ranged from 88 to 104%. This method was successfully applied for the extraction and preconcentration of explosives in water and soil samples, followed their determination by high performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection (HPLC-UV). Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Minnesota Impulse Disorders Interview (MIDI): Validation of a structured diagnostic clinical interview for impulse control disorders in an enriched community sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Samuel R; Grant, Jon E

    2018-05-08

    Disorders of impulsivity are common, functionally impairing, and highly relevant across different clinical and research settings. Few structured clinical interviews for the identification and diagnosis of impulse control disorders exist, and none have been validated in a community sample in terms of psychometric properties. The Minnesota Impulse control disorders Interview (MIDI v2.0) was administered to an enriched sample of 293 non-treatment seeking adults aged 18-35 years, recruited using media advertisements in two large US cities. In addition to the MIDI, participants undertook extended clinical interview for other mental disorders, the Barratt impulsiveness questionnaire, and the Padua obsessive-compulsive inventory. The psychometric properties of the MIDI were characterized. In logistic regression, the MIDI showed good concurrent validity against the reference measures (versus gambling disorder interview, p  0.05). Test re-test reliability was excellent (0.95). The MIDI has good psychometric properties and thus may be a valuable interview tool for clinical and research studies involving impulse control disorders. Further research is needed to better understanding the optimal diagnostic classification and neurobiology of these neglected disorders. Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Emphasizing Astrobiology: Highlighting Communication in an Elective Course for Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offerdahl, Erika G.; Prather, Edward E.; Slater, Timothy F.

    2004-01-01

    The project described here involved the design, implementation, and evaluation of an upper level, undergraduate elective course for science majors. Specific course goals were to help students gain an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of astrobiology, understand key ideas in astrobiology, and develop the skills necessary to communicate…

  19. Brazilian research on extremophiles in the context of astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Rubens T. D.; Nóbrega, Felipe; Nakayama, Cristina R.; Pellizari, Vivian H.

    2012-10-01

    Extremophiles are organisms adapted to grow at extreme ranges of environmental variables, such as high or low temperatures, acid or alkaline medium, high salt concentration, high pressures and so forth. Most extremophiles are micro-organisms that belong to the Archaea and Bacteria domains, and are widely spread across the world, which include the polar regions, volcanoes, deserts, deep oceanic sediments, hydrothermal vents, hypersaline lakes, acid and alkaline water bodies, and other extreme environments considered hostile to human life. Despite the tropical climate, Brazil has a wide range of ecosystems which include some permanent or seasonally extreme environments. For example, the Cerrado is a biome with very low soil pH with high Al+3 concentration, the mangroves in the Brazilian coast are anaerobic and saline, Pantanal has thousands of alkaline-saline lakes, the Caatinga arid and hot soils and the deep sea sediments in the Brazilian ocean shelf. These environments harbour extremophilic organisms that, coupled with the high natural biodiversity in Brazil, could be explored for different purposes. However, only a few projects in Brazil intended to study the extremophiles. In the frame of astrobiology, for example, these organisms could provide important models for defining the limits of life and hypothesize about life outside Earth. Brazilian microbiologists have, however, studied the extremophilic micro-organisms inhabiting non-Brazilian environments, such as the Antarctic continent. The experience and previous results obtained from the Brazilian Antarctic Program (PROANTAR) provide important results that are directly related to astrobiology. This article is a brief synopsis of the Brazilian experience in researching extremophiles, indicating the most important results related to astrobiology and some future perspectives in this area.

  20. Astrobiology at Arizona State University: An Overview of Accomplishments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack

    2005-01-01

    During our five years as an NAI charter member, Arizona State University sponsored a broadly-based program of research and training in Astrobiology to address the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the Solar System. With such a large, diverse and active team, it is not possible in a reasonable space, to cover all details of progress made over the entire five years. The following paragraphs provide an overview update of the specific research areas pursued by the Arizona State University (ASU) Astrobiology team at the end of Year 5 and at the end of the 4 month and subsequent no cost month extensions. for a more detailed review, the reader is referred to the individual annual reports (and Executive Summaries) submitted to the NAI at the end of each of our five years of membership. Appended in electronic form is our complete publication record for all five years, plus a tabulation of undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs supported by our program during this time. The overarching theme of ASU s Astrobiology program was "Exploring the Living Universe: Studies of the Origin, Evolution and Distribution of Life in the Solar System". The NAi-funded research effort was organized under three basic sub- themes: 1. Origins of the Basic Building Blocks of Life. 2. Early Biosphere Evolution. and 3. Exploring for Life in the Solar System. These sub-theme areas were in turn, subdivided into Co-lead research modules. In the paragraphs that follow, accomplishments for individual research modules are briefly outlined, and the key participants presented in tabular form. As noted, publications for each module are appended in hard copy and digital formats, under the name(s) of lead co-Is.

  1. 3rd Annual NASA Ames Space Science and Astrobiology Jamboree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotson, Jessie

    2015-01-01

    The Space Science and Astrobiology Division at NASA Ames Research Center consists of over 50 civil servants and more than 110 contractors, co-­-ops, post-­-docs and associates. Researchers in the division are pursuing investigations in a variety of fields including exoplanets, planetary science, astrobiology and astrophysics. In addition, division personnel support a wide variety of NASA missions including (but not limited to) Kepler, SOFIA, LADEE, JWST, and New Horizons. With such a wide variety of interesting research going on, distributed among three branches in at least 5 different buildings, it can be difficult to stay abreast of what one's fellow researchers are doing. Our goal in organizing this symposium is to facilitate communication and collaboration among the scientists within the division, and to give center management and other ARC researchers and engineers an opportunity to see what scientific research and science mission work is being done in the division. We are also continuing the tradition within the Space Science and Astrobiology Division to honor one senior and one early career scientist with the Pollack Lecture and the Early Career Lecture, respectively. With the Pollack Lecture, our intent is to select a senior researcher who has made significant contributions to any area of research within the space sciences, and we are pleased to honor Dr. William Borucki this year. With the Early Career Lecture, our intent is to select a young researcher within the division who, by their published scientific papers, shows great promise for the future in any area of space science research, and we are pleased to honor Dr. Melinda Kahre this year

  2. Uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rae, H.K.; Melvin, J.G.

    1988-06-01

    Canada is the world's largest producer and exporter of uranium, most of which is enriched elsewhere for use as fuel in LWRs. The feasibility of a Canadian uranium-enrichment enterprise is therefore a perennial question. Recent developments in uranium-enrichment technology, and their likely impacts on separative work supply and demand, suggest an opportunity window for Canadian entry into this international market. The Canadian opportunity results from three particular impacts of the new technologies: 1) the bulk of the world's uranium-enrichment capacity is in gaseous diffusion plants which, because of their large requirements for electricity (more than 2000 kW·h per SWU), are vulnerable to competition from the new processes; 2) the decline in enrichment costs increases the economic incentive for the use of slightly-enriched uranium (SEU) fuel in CANDU reactors, thus creating a potential Canadian market; and 3) the new processes allow economic operation on a much smaller scale, which drastically reduces the investment required for market entry and is comparable with the potential Canadian SEU requirement. The opportunity is not open-ended. By the end of the century the enrichment supply industry will have adapted to the new processes and long-term customer/supplier relationships will have been established. In order to seize the opportunity, Canada must become a credible supplier during this century

  3. Astrobiology: guidelines and future missions plan for the international community

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, L.; Miller, D.

    The search for extra-terrestrial life has been going on ever since humans realized there was more to the Universe than just the Earth. These quests have taken many forms including, but not limited to: the quest for understanding the biological origins of life on Earth; the deployment of robotic probes to other planets to look for microbial life; the analysis of meteorites for chemical and fossil remnants of extra - terrestrial life; and the search of the radio spectrum for signs of extra-solar intelligence. These searches so far have yielded hints, but no unambiguous proof of life with origins from off Earth. The emerging field of astrobiology studies the origin, distribution, and future of life in the Universe. Technical advances and new, though not conclusive, evidence of extinct microbial life on Mars have created a new enthusiasm for astrobiology in many nations. However, the next steps to take are not clear, and should a positive result be returned, the follow-on missions are yet to be defined. This paper reports on the results of an eight-week study by the students of the International Space University during the summer of 2002. The study created a source book that can be used by mission designers and policy makers to chart the next steps in astrobiology. In particular, the study addresses the following questions:1.What is the full set of dimensions along which we can search forextra-terrestrial life?2.What activities are currently underway by the internationalcommunity along each of these dimensions?3.What are the most effective next steps that can be taken by theinternational space community in order to further this search (from a policy,sociological and mission point of view)?4.What are the proper steps for eliminating possible contaminationof the Earth's biosphere?5.What are the issues with planetary quarantine with regards tounwanted contamination of other biospheres with terrestrial organisms? Integrating all the considerations affecting the search for

  4. A possible first use of the word astrobiology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briot, Danielle

    2012-12-01

    The word astrobiology was possibly first used in 1935, in an article published in a French popular science magazine. The author was Ary J. Sternfeld (1905-1980), a pioneer of astronautics who wrote numerous scientific books and papers. The article is remarkable because his portrayal of the concept is very similar to the way it is used today. Here I review the 1935 article and provide a brief history of Sternfeld's life, which was heavily influenced by the tragic events of 20(th) century history.

  5. From Fossils to Astrobiology Records of Life on Earth and Search for Extraterrestrial Biosignatures

    CERN Document Server

    Seckbach, Joseph

    2008-01-01

    From Fossils to Astrobiology reviews developments in paleontology and geobiology that relate to the rapidly-developing field of Astrobiology, the study of life in the Universe. Many traditional areas of scientific study, including astronomy, chemistry and planetary science, contribute to Astrobiology, but the study of the record of life on planet Earth is critical in guiding investigations in the rest of the cosmos. In this varied book, expert scientists from 15 countries present peer-reviewed, stimulating reviews of paleontological and astrobiological studies. The overviews of established and emerging techniques for studying modern and ancient microorganisms on Earth and beyond, will be valuable guides to evaluating biosignatures which could be found in the extraterrestrial surface or subsurface within the Solar System and beyond. This volume also provides discussion on the controversial reports of "nanobacteria" in the Martian meteorite ALH84001. It is a unique volume among Astrobiology monographs in focusi...

  6. The Astrobiology in Secondary Classrooms (ASC) curriculum: focusing upon diverse students and teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arino de la Rubia, Leigh S

    2012-09-01

    The Minority Institution Astrobiology Collaborative (MIAC) began working with the NASA Goddard Center for Astrobiology in 2003 to develop curriculum materials for high school chemistry and Earth science classes based on astrobiology concepts. The Astrobiology in Secondary Classrooms (ASC) modules emphasize interdisciplinary connections in astronomy, biology, chemistry, geoscience, physics, mathematics, and ethics through hands-on activities that address national educational standards. Field-testing of the Astrobiology in Secondary Classrooms materials occurred over three years in eight U.S. locations, each with populations that are underrepresented in the career fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Analysis of the educational research upon the high school students participating in the ASC project showed statistically significant increases in students' perceived knowledge and science reasoning. The curriculum is in its final stages, preparing for review to become a NASA educational product.

  7. Uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohrhauer, H.

    1982-01-01

    The separation of uranium isotopes in order to enrich the fuel for light water reactors with the light isotope U-235 is an important part of the nuclear fuel cycle. After the basic principals of isotope separation the gaseous diffusion and the centrifuge process are explained. Both these techniques are employed on an industrial scale. In addition a short review is given on other enrichment techniques which have been demonstrated at least on a laboratory scale. After some remarks on the present situation on the enrichment market the progress in the development and the industrial exploitation of the gas centrifuge process by the trinational Urenco-Centec organisation is presented. (orig.)

  8. An integrated sample pretreatment platform for quantitative N-glycoproteome analysis with combination of on-line glycopeptide enrichment, deglycosylation and dimethyl labeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weng, Yejing; Qu, Yanyan; Jiang, Hao; Wu, Qi [National Chromatographic Research and Analysis Center, Key Laboratory of Separation Science for Analytical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116023 (China); University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039 (China); Zhang, Lihua, E-mail: lihuazhang@dicp.ac.cn [National Chromatographic Research and Analysis Center, Key Laboratory of Separation Science for Analytical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116023 (China); Yuan, Huiming [National Chromatographic Research and Analysis Center, Key Laboratory of Separation Science for Analytical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116023 (China); Zhou, Yuan [National Chromatographic Research and Analysis Center, Key Laboratory of Separation Science for Analytical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116023 (China); University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039 (China); Zhang, Xiaodan; Zhang, Yukui [National Chromatographic Research and Analysis Center, Key Laboratory of Separation Science for Analytical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116023 (China)

    2014-06-23

    Highlights: • An integrated platform for quantitative N-glycoproteome analysis was established. • On-line enrichment, deglycosylation and labeling could be achieved within 160 min. • A N{sub 2}-assisted interface was applied to improve the compatibility of the platform. • The platform exhibited improved quantification accuracy, precision and throughput. - Abstract: Relative quantification of N-glycoproteomes shows great promise for the discovery of candidate biomarkers and therapeutic targets. The traditional protocol for quantitative analysis of glycoproteomes is usually off-line performed, and suffers from long sample preparation time, and the risk of sample loss or contamination due to manual manipulation. In this study, a novel integrated sample preparation platform for quantitative N-glycoproteome analysis was established, with combination of online N-glycopeptide capture by a HILIC column, sample buffer exchange by a N{sub 2}-assisted HILIC–RPLC interface, deglycosylation by a hydrophilic PNGase F immobilized enzymatic reactor (hIMER) and solid dimethyl labeling on a C18 precolumn. To evaluate the performance of such a platform, two equal aliquots of immunoglobulin G (IgG) digests were sequentially pretreated, followed by MALDI-TOF MS analysis. The signal intensity ratio of heavy/light (H/L) labeled deglycosylated peptides with the equal aliquots was 1.00 (RSD = 6.2%, n = 3), much better than those obtained by the offline protocol, with H/L ratio as 0.76 (RSD = 11.6%, n = 3). Additionally, the total on-line sample preparation time was greatly shortened to 160 min, much faster than that of offline approach (24 h). Furthermore, such an integrated pretreatment platform was successfully applied to analyze the two kinds of hepatocarcinoma ascites syngeneic cell lines with high (Hca-F) and low (Hca-P) lymph node metastasis rates. For H/L labeled Hca-P lysates with the equal aliquots, 99.6% of log 2 ratios (H/L) of quantified glycopeptides ranged from −1

  9. Astrobiology Results from ILEWG EuroMoonMars Analogue Field Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    We give an update on the astrobiology results from a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars) in the extreme environment of the Utah desert. These are relevant to prepare future lunar landers and polar sample return missions, interpret Moon-Mars data (eg SMART1, LRO, Mars Express, MRO, MER, MSL), study habitability and astrobiology in Moon-Mars environments, or to test human-robotic surface EVA or base operations. In the frame of ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns (2009 to 2013) we deployed at Mars Desert Research station near Hanksville Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques [0, 1, 2, 9-11] including sample collection, context imaging from re-mote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geo-chemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. Results: Among the important findings are the diversity in the composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable PAHs and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles was observed [3,4,9]. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content [6-8]. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples [10, 11]. We compare the 2009 campaign results [0-9] to new measurements from 2010-2013 campaigns relevant to: comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life. We acknowledge team members and supporting institutes: B.H. Foing (1, 2, 6), C. Stoker (3), P. Ehrenfreund (4, 5), I. Rammos (2), L. Rodrigues (2), A. Svendsen (2), D. Oltheten (2), I. Schlacht (2), K. Nebergall (6), M. Battler (6, 7), H

  10. Heteroatom-enriched and renewable banana-stem-derived porous carbon for the electrochemical determination of nitrite in various water samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madhu, Rajesh; Veeramani, Vediyappan; Chen, Shen-Ming

    2014-04-01

    For the first time, high-surface-area (approximately 1465 m2 g-1), highly porous and heteroatom-enriched activated carbon (HAC) was prepared from banana stems (Musa paradisiaca, Family: Musaceae) at different carbonization temperatures of 700, 800 and 900°C (HAC) using a simple and eco-friendly method. The amounts of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur in the HAC are 61.12, 2.567, 0.4315, and 0.349%, respectively. Using X-ray diffraction (XRD), CHNS elemental analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy, the prepared activated carbon appears amorphous and disordered in nature. Here, we used HAC for an electrochemical application of nitrite (NO2-) sensor to control the environmental pollution. In addition, HAC exhibits noteworthy performance for the highly sensitive determination of nitrite. The limit of detection (LODs) of the nitrite sensor at HAC-modified GCE is 0.07 μM. In addition, the proposed method was applied to determine nitrite in various water samples with acceptable results.

  11. A facile and selective approach for enrichment of l-cysteine in human plasma sample based on zinc organic polymer: Optimization by response surface methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrani, Sonia; Ghaedi, Mehrorang; Ostovan, Abbas; Javadian, Hamedreza; Mansoorkhani, Mohammad Javad Khoshnood; Taghipour, Tahere

    2018-02-05

    In this research, a facile and selective method was described to extract l-cysteine (l-Cys), an essential α-amino acid for anti-ageing playing an important role in human health, from human blood plasma sample. The importance of this research was the mild and time-consuming synthesis of zinc organic polymer (Zn-MOP) as an adsorbent and evaluation of its ability for efficient enrichment of l-Cys by ultrasound-assisted dispersive micro solid-phase extraction (UA-DMSPE) method. The structure of Zn-MOP was investigated by FT-IR, XRD and SEM. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied for the experimental data to reach the best optimum conditions. The quantification of l-Cys was carried out by high performance liquid chromatography with UV detection set at λ=230nm. The calibration graph showed reasonable linear responses towards l-Cys concentrations in the range of 4.0-1000μg/L (r 2 =0.999) with low limit of detection (0.76μg/L, S/N=3) and RSD≤2.18 (n=3). The results revealed the applicability and high performance of this novel strategy in detecting trace l-Cys by Zn-MOP in complicated matrices. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Preparation of stir cake sorptive extraction based on polymeric ionic liquid for the enrichment of benzimidazole anthelmintics in water, honey and milk samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Yulei [State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystem, College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University, Siming Road, P.O. Box 1009, Xiamen 361005 (China); Zhang, Jie [Key Lab of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China); Huang, Xiaojia, E-mail: hxj@xmu.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystem, College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University, Siming Road, P.O. Box 1009, Xiamen 361005 (China); Yuan, Dongxing [State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystem, College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University, Siming Road, P.O. Box 1009, Xiamen 361005 (China)

    2014-08-20

    Highlights: • A new polymeric ionic liquid-based monolith was prepared. • The monolith was used as the extractive medium of stir cake sorptive extraction. • The SCSE–AMIIDB can extract benzimidazole anthelmintics (BAs) effectively. • A combination of SCSE–AMIIDB–LD–HPLC/DAD was developed. • The combination was applied to monitor trace BAs in water, milk and honey samples. - Abstract: In this work, a new stir cake sorptive extraction (SCSE) using polymeric ionic liquid monolith as sorbent was prepared. The sorbent was obtained by in situ copolymerization of an ionic liquid, 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium bis[(trifluoro methyl)sulfonyl]imide (AMII) and divinylbenzene (DB) in the presence of N,N-dimethylformamide. The influence of the content of ionic liquid and the porogen in the polymerization mixture on extraction performance was studied thoroughly. The physicochemical properties of the polymeric ionic liquid were characterized by infrared spectroscopy, elemental analysis, scanning electron microscopy and mercury intrusion porosimetry. The usefulness of SCSE–AMIIDB was demonstrated by the enrichment of trace benzimidazole anthelmintics. Several parameters affecting the extraction efficiency were investigated, and under the optimized conditions, a simple and effective method for the determination of trace benzimidazoles residues in water, milk and honey samples was established by coupling SCSE–AMIIDB with high performance liquid chromatography/diode array detection (SCSE–AMIIDB–HPLC/DAD). Results indicated that the limits of detection (S/N = 3) for target compounds were 0.020–0.072 μg L{sup −1}, 0.035–0.10 μg L{sup −1} and 0.026–0.076 μg L{sup −1} in water, milk and honey samples, respectively. In addition, an acceptable reproducibility was achieved by evaluating the repeatability and intermediate precision with relative standard deviations (RSD) of less than 9% and 11%, respectively. Finally, the established AMII

  13. Space Biology Meets Astrobiology: Critical Synergies and Concerns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope J.; Kirven-Brooks, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    The broad fields of space biology and astrobiology share much in common in terms of science questions, approaches, and goals. However, historical circumstances and funding agency practices have frequently resulted in a wide separation between the two related areas. Is this a good thing? We believe that it is not, and that much is to be gained in each field from sharing ideas, resources, and perhaps projects between investigators traditionally working in one discipline or the other. Some of the strengths that the Space Biology community offers include sophistication and experience in flying experiments on space missions. In turn, Astrobiology has focused heavily on ground-based and field research. Challenging physical and chemical conditions experienced in space and on other planets partially overlap, and much can be gleaned from the body of work of each community along these topical lines. A combination of these areas of expertise and experience could result in major advances to all involved. When possible, avoiding having to reinvent methods or approaches already used by a sister community can result in greater efficiencies of resource use. We will discuss some case studies where we believe there are significant overlaps including adaptation to a variety of environmental stresses, extremophiles as potential flight organisms, microfluidics as applied to planetary environment simulations, and others.

  14. Aliens are us. An innovative course in astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Carlos F.; Barufaldi, James P.

    2009-01-01

    We live in a scientific world; paradoxically, the scientific literacy of the population is minimal at best. Science is an ongoing process, a human endeavour; paradoxically, students tend to believe that science is a finished enterprise. Many non-science major students are not motivated in science classes; paradoxically, there is a public fascination with the possibility of life in the Universe, which is nowadays a scientific endeavour. An astrobiology course was developed at the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at The University of Texas at Austin to address these paradoxes and includes the following objectives: (a) to improve scientific literacy; (b) to demonstrate that science is a work in progress; (c) to enhance the inherent interdisciplinary aspect of science; (d) to demonstrate that science is embedded in society and relates with several social sciences; (e) to improve the content knowledge about the nature of science; (f) to illustrate how engaging learning science can be; and (g) to draw from the intrinsic motivation already incorporated in the general population. The course has been offered, taught and revised for the past three years. The informal course student feedback has been very positive and encouraging. The purpose of this paper is to provide a general overview of the course. In addition, the course's background, content, themes and mode of delivery are outlined, discussed and analysed in this paper. This paper subscribes to an educational philosophy that focuses on the multidisciplinary nature of science and includes critical thinking-based teaching strategies using the dynamic discipline of astrobiology.

  15. A web based semi automatic frame work for astrobiological researches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.V. Arun

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrobiology addresses the possibility of extraterrestrial life and explores measures towards its recognition. Researches in this context are founded upon the premise that indicators of life encountered in space will be recognizable. However, effective recognition can be accomplished through a universal adaptation of life signatures without restricting solely to those attributes that represent local solutions to the challenges of survival. The life indicators should be modelled with reference to temporal and environmental variations specific to each planet and time. In this paper, we investigate a semi-automatic open source frame work for the accurate detection and interpretation of life signatures by facilitating public participation, in a similar way as adopted by SETI@home project. The involvement of public in identifying patterns can bring a thrust to the mission and is implemented using semi-automatic framework. Different advanced intelligent methodologies may augment the integration of this human machine analysis. Automatic and manual evaluations along with dynamic learning strategy have been adopted to provide accurate results. The system also helps to provide a deep public understanding about space agency’s works and facilitate a mass involvement in the astrobiological studies. It will surely help to motivate young eager minds to pursue a career in this field.

  16. A Novel Penetration System for in situ Astrobiological Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Gao

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to ultraviolet flux in the surface layers of most solar bodies, future astrobiological research is increasingly seeking to conduct subsurface penetration and drilling to detect chemical signature for extant or extinct life. To address this issue, we present a micro-penetrator concept (mass < 10 kg that is suited for extraterrestrial planetary deployment and in situ investigation of chemical and physical properties. The instrumentation in this concept is a bio-inspired drill to access material beneath sterile surface layer for biomarker detection. The proposed drill represents a novel concept of two-valve-reciprocating motion, inspired by the working mechanism of wood wasp ovipositors. It is lightweight (0.5 kg, driven at low power (3 W, and able to drill deep (1-2 m. Tests have shown that the reciprocating drill is feasible and has potential of improving drill efficiency without using any external force. The overall penetration system provides a small, light and energy efficient solution to in situ astrobiological studies, which is crucial for space engineering. Such a micro-penetrator can be used for exploration of terrestrial-type planets or other small bodies of the solar system with the minimum of modifications.

  17. A Novel Penetration System for in situ Astrobiological Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Gao

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Due to ultraviolet flux in the surface layers of most solar bodies, future astrobiological research is increasingly seeking to conduct subsurface penetration and drilling to detect chemical signature for extant or extinct life. To address this issue, we present a micro-penetrator concept (mass < 10 kg that is suited for extraterrestrial planetary deployment and in situ investigation of chemical and physical properties. The instrumentation in this concept is a bio-inspired drill to access material beneath sterile surface layer for biomarker detection. The proposed drill represents a novel concept of two-valve-reciprocating motion, inspired by the working mechanism of wood wasp ovipositors. It is lightweight (0.5 kg, driven at low power (3 W, and able to drill deep (1-2 m. Tests have shown that the reciprocating drill is feasible and has potential of improving drill efficiency without using any external force. The overall penetration system provides a small, light and energy efficient solution to in situ astrobiological studies, which is crucial for space engineering. Such a micro-penetrator can be used for exploration of terrestrial-type planets or other small bodies of the solar system with the minimum of modifications.

  18. Astrobiology : is humankind ready for the next revolution ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnould, Jacques

    2012-07-01

    The discovery of a first exoplanet, in 1995, did not revolutionize but knocked astronomical sciences over. At the same time, by opening new prospects of research, in particular in the search of planets similar to the Earth and in a possible extraterrestrial life, this discovery, since then abundantly repeated, gave a new breath to the public interest for this scientific field. But is humanity ready to learn the existence from extraterrestrial forms of life or to remain, in spite of its efforts, in ignorance? The question of the plurality of the worlds is one of the oldest interrogations conveyed by the human cultures, as testified by the multiple answers which were brought to it. In the same way, the concept of life is itself an inexhaustible source of philosophical and religious reflexions, with many consequences in moral domains. It is today necessary to accompany the scientific development in the field of astrobiology by attaching the greatest importance to this intellectual patrimony. It constitutes even one of the first stages of an ethical responsibility in astrobiology, as important as that concerning planetary protection.

  19. Woodpeckers and Diamonds: Some Aspects of Evolutionary Convergence in Astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ćirković, Milan M

    2018-05-01

    Jared Diamond's argument against extraterrestrial intelligence from evolutionary contingency is subjected to critical scrutiny. As with the earlier arguments of George Gaylord Simpson, it contains critical loopholes that lead to its unraveling. From the point of view of the contemporary debates about biological evolution, perhaps the most contentious aspect of such arguments is their atemporal and gradualist usage of the space of all possible biological forms (morphospace). Such usage enables the translation of the adaptive value of a trait into the probability of its evolving. This procedure, it is argued, is dangerously misleading. Contra Diamond, there are reasons to believe that convergence not only plays an important role in the history of life, but also profoundly improves the prospects for search for extraterrestrial intelligence success. Some further considerations about the role of observation selection effects and our scaling of complexity in the great debate about contingency and convergence are given. Taken together, these considerations militate against the pessimism of Diamond's conclusion, and suggest that the search for traces and manifestations of extraterrestrial intelligences is far from forlorn. Key Words: Astrobiology-Evolution-Contingency-Convergence-Complex life-SETI-Major evolutionary transitions-Selection effects-Jared Diamond. Astrobiology 18, 491-502.

  20. The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.

    2004-01-01

    Infrared spectroscopy in the 2.5-16 micron range is a principle means by which organic compounds can be detected and identified in space via their vibrational transitions. Ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne IR spectral studies have already demonstrated that a significant fraction of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) resides in the form of complex organic molecular species. Unfortunately, neither the distribution of these materials nor their genetic and evolutionary relationships with each other or their environments are well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX mission concept currently under study by a team of partners: NASA's Ames Research Center, Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. ABE will conduct IR spectroscopic observations to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. The core observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in understanding (1) The evolution of ices and organic matter in dense molecular clouds and young forming stellar systems, (2) The chemical evolution of organic molecules in the ISM as they transition from AGB outflows to planetary nebulae to the general diffuse ISM to HII regions and dense clouds, (3) The distribution of organics in the diffuse ISM, (4) The nature of organics in the Solar System (in comets, asteroids, satellites), and (5) The nature and distribution of organics in local galaxies. The technical considerations of achieving these science objectives in a MIDEX-sized mission will be presented.

  1. Secondary School Students' Knowledge and Opinions on Astrobiology Topics and Related Social Issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oreiro, Raquel; Solbes, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin of life on Earth and the distribution of life in the Universe. Its multidisciplinary approach, social and philosophical implications, and appeal within the discipline and beyond make astrobiology a uniquely qualified subject for general science education. In this study, student knowledge and opinions on astrobiology topics were investigated. Eighty-nine students in their last year of compulsory education (age 15) completed a written questionnaire that consisted of 10 open questions on the topic of astrobiology. The results indicate that students have significant difficulties understanding the origin of life on Earth, despite exposure to the topic by way of the assigned textbooks. The students were often unaware of past or present achievements in the search for life within the Solar System and beyond, topics that are far less commonly seen in textbooks. Student questionnaire answers also indicated that students had problems in reasoning and critical thinking when asked for their opinions on issues such as the potential for life beyond Earth, the question of whether UFOs exist, or what our place is in the Universe. Astrobiology might help initiate student awareness as to current thinking on these matters and should be considered for general science education. Key Words: Astrobiology-Students' views-Science education. Astrobiology 17, 91-99.

  2. Trace analysis of halogenated hydrocarbons in gaseous samples by on-line enrichment in an adsorption trap, on-column cold-trapping and capillary gas chromatography. I.Method and instrumentation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noij, T.H.M.; Fabian, P.; Borchers, R.; Janssen, F.; Cramers, C.A.M.G.; Rijks, J.A.

    1987-01-01

    A method is described for the determination of halocarbons in gaseous samples down to the ppt level (1:1012, v/v), consisting of successive on-line sub-ambient enrichment on an adsorbent, on-column cryofocusing, capillary gas chromatography and electron-capture detection. The quantitative aspects of

  3. Isotope enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garbuny, M.

    1979-01-01

    The invention discloses a method for deriving, from a starting material including an element having a plurality of isotopes, derived material enriched in one isotope of the element. The starting material is deposited on a substrate at less than a critical submonatomic surface density, typically less than 10 16 atoms per square centimeter. The deposit is then selectively irradiated by a laser (maser or electronic oscillator) beam with monochromatic coherent radiation resonant with the one isotope causing the material including the one istope to escape from the substrate. The escaping enriched material is then collected. Where the element has two isotopes, one of which is to be collected, the deposit may be irradiated with radiation resonant with the other isotope and the residual material enriched in the one isotope may be evaporated from the substrate and collected

  4. Hacia una filosofía de la astrobiología

    OpenAIRE

    Roberto Aretxaga-Burgos

    2016-01-01

    Tomando como fundamento la historia y literatura astrobiológicas, exploramos la posibilidad y necesidad de una Filosofía de la Astrobiología, proponemos una definición de Filosofía de la Astrobiología y su consideración como subdisciplina de la Filosofía de la Ciencia, distinta de la Filosofía de la Biología. Incluimos una bibliografía para una Filosofía de la Astrobiología.

  5. Ethical issues in astrobiology: a Christian perspective (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph, R. O.

    2009-12-01

    With its focus on the origin, extent, and future of life, Astrobiology raises exciting, multidisciplinary questions for science. At the same time, Astrobiology raises important questions for the humanities. For instance, the prospect of discovering extraterrestrial life - either intelligent or unintelligent - raises questions about humans’ place in the universe and our relationship with nature on planet Earth. Fundamentally, such questions are rooted in our understanding of what it means to be human. From a Christian perspective, the foundational claim about human nature is that all persons bear the "imago dei", the image of God. This concept forms the basis for how humans relate to one another (dignity) and how humans relate to nature (stewardship). For many Christians the "imago dei" also suggests that humans are at the center of the universe. The discovery of extraterrestrial life would be another scientific development - similar to evolution - that essentially de-centers humanity. For some Christian perspectives this de-centering may be problematic, but I will argue that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would actually offer a much needed theological corrective for contemporary Christians’ understanding of the "imago dei". I will make this argument by examining two clusters of ethical issues confronting Astrobiology: 1. What ethical obligations would human explorers owe to extraterrestrial life? Are there ethical obligations to protect extraterrestrial ecosystems from harm or exploitation by human explorers? Do our ethical considerations change, if the extraterrestrial life is a “second genesis;” in other words a form of life completely different and independent from the carbon-based life that we know on Earth? 2. Do we have an ethical obligation to promote life as much as we can? If human explorers discover extraterrestrial life and through examination determine that it is struggling to survive, do we have an ethical obligation to assist that

  6. planetaria como de la astrobiología

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Alcíbar-Cuello

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available En este artículo se exponen algunos de los recursos didácticos que han sido concebidos para facilitar el aprendizaje de distintos aspectos de la Exploración Planetaria y, en concreto, de la Astrobiología como área transdisciplinar de conocimientos. El interés más evidente que presentan estos materiales didácticos, además de tener una vocación interactiva, es que combinan contenidos científicotecnológicos con cuestiones de índole metodológica, lo que proporciona al estudiante una visión más reflexiva del modus operandi de la investigación científica.

  7. Astrobiological Effects of Stellar Radiation in Circumstellar Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuntz, Manfred; Gurdemir, Levent; Guinan, Edward F.; Kurucz, Robert L.

    2006-10-01

    The centerpiece of all life on Earth is carbon-based biochemistry. Previous scientific research has suggested that biochemistry based on carbon may also play a decisive role in extraterrestrial life forms, i.e., alien life outside of Earth, if existent. In the following, we explore if carbon-based macromolecules (such as DNA) in the environments of stars other than the Sun are able to survive the effects of energetic stellar radiation, such as UV-C in the wavelength band between 200 and 290 nm. We focus on main-sequence stars akin to the Sun, but of hotter (F-type stars) and cooler (K- and M-type stars) surface temperature. Emphasis is placed on investigating the radiative environment in stellar habitable zones (HZs). Stellar habitable zones have an important relevance in astrobiology because they constitute circumstellar regions in which a planet of suitable size can have surface temperatures for water to exist in liquid form.

  8. Alien life matters: reflections on cosmopolitanism, otherness, and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre Novoa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This is a synaptic paper that invites the reader to take a stroll on the edges of cross-disciplinary knowledge. We will walk the roads of anthropology, history, philosophy, astronomy and biology. It is mainly a theoretical article, where I attempt to provide links between authors and theories that were, at first sight, unrelated. In doing so, this paper is aimed at making one controversial claim: ideologically and politically speaking, cosmopolitanism may never fully transcend itself beyond a debate until and unless humankind encounters alien life forms. The argument is based on a simple equation. Despite all the quarrels and debates around the concept, it seems innocuous to assume that cosmopolitanism is the search for a certain universal identity or, at least, a search for a common culturalia, i.e. the cultural grounds wherein local and global senses of universalism come into being (section 2. In spite of the fact that identities are built in opposition and supported by difference (section 3, cosmopolitanism might only be possible as a political project (cosmopolitics when humankind is faced with life forms that are capable of providing true Otherness. I believe that this may explain why we have been fascinated by the utopias of extra-terrestrials for many centuries now (section 4. These utopias are present in a diverse array of knowledges, ranging from science to art, literature or even religion. They have been around for at least 500 years. Until now, all of them have been trapped in the realm of imagination, but there is one concrete cluster of knowledge that has attempted to transpose these imaginings into reality: the promising discipline of astrobiology. Astrobiology is mainly troubled by the de-naturalisation of Earth in order to create analogues for the study of life elsewhere in the cosmos. Provocatively, I end up this paper stating that this may well be the most cosmopolitical practice available to us (section 5.

  9. Astrobiology, Mars Exploration and Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2015-01-01

    The search for evidence of life beyond Earth illustrates how the charters of NASA and the National Park Service share common ground. The mission of NPS is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. NASA's Astrobiology program seeks to understand the origins, evolution and distribution of life in the universe, and it abides by the principles of planetary stewardship, public outreach, and education. We cannot subject planetary exploration destinations to Earthly biological contamination both for ethical reasons and to preserve their scientific value for astrobiology. We respond to the public's interest in the mysteries of life and the cosmos by honoring their desire to participate in the process of discovery. We involve youth in order to motivate career choices in science and technology and to perpetuate space exploration. The search for evidence of past life on Mars illustrates how the missions of NASA and NPS can become synergistic. Volcanic activity occurs on all rocky planets in our Solar System and beyond, and it frequently interacts with water to create hydrothermal systems. On Earth these systems are oases for microbial life. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has found evidence of extinct hydrothermal system in Gusev crater, Mars. Lassen Volcanic National Park provides a pristine laboratory for investigating how microorganisms can both thrive and leave evidence of their former presence in hydrothermal systems. NASA scientists, NPS interpretation personnel and teachers can collaborate on field-oriented programs that enhance Mars mission planning, engage students and the public in science and technology, and emphasize the ethics of responsible exploration.

  10. Discrimination of Pigments of Microalgae, Bacteria and Yeasts Using Lightweight Handheld Raman Spectrometers: Prospects for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jehlicka, J.; Osterrothova, K.; Nedbalova, L.; Gunde-Cimerman, N.; Oren, A.

    2014-06-01

    Handheld Raman instrumentation with 532 nm lasers can be used to distinguish carotenoids of autotrophic microalgae, purple sulfur bacteria, halophilic Archaea and pigmented yeasts. Pigments are proposed as biomarkers for astrobiology of Mars.

  11. Multidisciplinary integrated field campaign to an acidic Martian Earth analogue with astrobiological interest: Rio Tinto

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gómez, F.; Walter, N.; Amils, R.; Rull, F.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Kvíderová, Jana; Sarrazin, P.; Foing, B.; Behar, A.; Fleischer, I.; Parro, V.; Garcia-Villadangos, M.; Blake, D.; Martin-Ramos, J. D.; Direito, S.; Mahapatra, P.; Stam, C.; Venkateswaran, K.; Voytek, M.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 3 (2011), 291-305 ISSN 1473-5504 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : astrobiology * extreme environments * Earth analogue Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.723, year: 2011

  12. Internalizing Null Extraterrestrial "Signals": An Astrobiological App for a Technological Society

    OpenAIRE

    Chaisson, Eric J.

    2014-01-01

    One of the beneficial outcomes of searching for life in the Universe is that it grants greater awareness of our own problems here on Earth. Lack of contact with alien beings to date might actually comprise a null "signal" pointing humankind toward a viable future. Astrobiology has surprising practical applications to human society; within the larger cosmological context of cosmic evolution, astrobiology clarifies the energetic essence of complex systems throughout the Universe, including tech...

  13. Uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-08-01

    This paper reports that in 1990 the Department of Energy began a two-year project to illustrate the technical and economic feasibility of a new uranium enrichment technology-the atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) process. GAO believes that completing the AVLIS demonstration project will provide valuable information about the technical viability and cost of building an AVLIS plant and will keep future plant construction options open. However, Congress should be aware that DOE still needs to adequately demonstrate AVLIS with full-scale equipment and develop convincing cost projects. Program activities, such as the plant-licensing process, that must be completed before a plant is built, could take many years. Further, an updated and expanded uranium enrichment analysis will be needed before any decision is made about building an AVLIS plant. GAO, which has long supported legislation that would restructure DOE's uranium enrichment program as a government corporation, encourages DOE's goal of transferring AVLIS to the corporation. This could reduce the government's financial risk and help ensure that the decision to build an AVLIS plant is based on commercial concerns. DOE, however, has no alternative plans should the government corporation not be formed. Further, by curtailing a planned public access program, which would have given private firms an opportunity to learn about the technology during the demonstration project, DOE may limit its ability to transfer AVLIS to the private sector

  14. Survey on astrobiology research and teaching activities within the United kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dartnell, Lewis R; Burchell, Mark J

    2009-10-01

    While astrobiology is apparently growing steadily around the world, in terms of the number of researchers drawn into this interdisciplinary area and teaching courses provided for new students, there have been very few studies conducted to chart this expansion quantitatively. To address this deficiency, the Astrobiology Society of Britain (ASB) conducted a questionnaire survey of universities and research institutions nationwide to ascertain the current extent of astrobiology research and teaching in the UK. The aim was to provide compiled statistics and an information resource for those who seek research groups or courses of study, and to facilitate new interdisciplinary collaborations. The report here summarizes details gathered on 33 UK research groups, which involved 286 researchers (from undergraduate project students to faculty members). The survey indicates that around 880 students are taking university-level courses, with significant elements of astrobiology included, every year in the UK. Data are also presented on the composition of astrobiology students by their original academic field, which show a significant dominance of physics and astronomy students. This survey represents the first published systematic national assessment of astrobiological academic activity and indicates that this emerging field has already achieved a strong degree of penetration into the UK academic community.

  15. Proceedings of the Astrobiology Science Conference 2010. Evolution and Life: Surviving Catastrophes and Extremes on Earth and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    The Program of the 2010 Astrobiology Science Conference: Evolution and Life: Surviving Catastrophes and Extremes on Earth and Beyond, included sessions on: 50 Years of Exobiology and Astrobiology: Greatest Hits; Extraterrestrial Molecular Evolution and Pre-Biological Chemistry: From the Interstellar Medium to the Solar System I; Human Exploration, Astronaut Health; Diversity in Astrobiology Research and Education; Titan: Past, Present, and Future; Energy Flow in Microbial Ecosystems; Extraterrestrial Molecular Evolution and Prebiological Chemistry: From the Interstellar Medium to the Solar System II; Astrobiology in Orbit; Astrobiology and Interdisciplinary Communication; Science from Rio Tinto: An Acidic Environment; Can We Rule Out Spontaneous Generation of RNA as the Key Step in the Origin of Life?; How Hellish Was the Hadean Earth?; Results from ASTEP and Other Astrobiology Field Campaigns I; Prebiotic Evolution: From Chemistry to Life I; Adaptation of Life in Hostile Space Environments; Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets I: Formation and Composition; Collaborative Tools and Technology for Astrobiology; Results from ASTEP and Other Astrobiology Field Campaigns II; Prebiotic Evolution: From Chemistry to Life II; Survival, Growth, and Evolution of Microrganisms in Model Extraterrestrial Environments; Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets II: Habitability and Life; Planetary Science Decadal Survey Update; Astrobiology Research Funding; Bioessential Elements Through Space and Time I; State of the Art in Life Detection; Terrestrial Evolution: Implications for the Past, Present, and Future of Life on Earth; Psychrophiles and Polar Environments; Life in Volcanic Environments: On Earth and Beyond; Geochronology and Astrobiology On and Off the Earth; Bioessential Elements Through Space and Time II; Origins and Evolution of Genetic Systems; Evolution of Advanced Life; Water-rich Asteroids and Moons: Composition and Astrobiological Potential; Impact Events and Evolution; A Warm, Wet

  16. EXPOSE-R2: The Astrobiological ESA Mission on Board of the International Space Station

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elke Rabbow

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available On July 23, 2014, the Progress cargo spacecraft 56P was launched from Baikonur to the International Space Station (ISS, carrying EXPOSE-R2, the third ESA (European Space Agency EXPOSE facility, the second EXPOSE on the outside platform of the Russian Zvezda module, with four international astrobiological experiments into space. More than 600 biological samples of archaea, bacteria (as biofilms and in planktonic form, lichens, fungi, plant seeds, triops eggs, mosses and 150 samples of organic compounds were exposed to the harsh space environment and to parameters similar to those on the Mars surface. Radiation dosimeters distributed over the whole facility complemented the scientific payload. Three extravehicular activities later the chemical samples were returned to Earth on March 2, 2016, with Soyuz 44S, having spent 588 days in space. The biological samples arrived back later, on June 18, 2016, with 45S, after a total duration in space of 531 days. The exposure of the samples to Low Earth Orbit vacuum lasted for 531 days and was divided in two parts: protected against solar irradiation during the first 62 days, followed by exposure to solar radiation during the subsequent 469 days. In parallel to the space mission, a Mission Ground Reference (MGR experiment with a flight identical Hardware and a complete flight identical set of samples was performed at the premises of DLR (German Aerospace Center in Cologne by MUSC (Microgravity User Support Center, according to the mission data either downloaded from the ISS (temperature data, facility status, inner pressure status or provided by RedShift Design and Engineering BVBA, Belgium (calculated ultra violet radiation fluence data. In this paper, the EXPOSE-R2 facility, the experimental samples, mission parameters, environmental parameters, and the overall mission and MGR sequences are described, building the background for the research papers of the individual experiments, their analysis and results.

  17. Sampling

    CERN Document Server

    Thompson, Steven K

    2012-01-01

    Praise for the Second Edition "This book has never had a competitor. It is the only book that takes a broad approach to sampling . . . any good personal statistics library should include a copy of this book." —Technometrics "Well-written . . . an excellent book on an important subject. Highly recommended." —Choice "An ideal reference for scientific researchers and other professionals who use sampling." —Zentralblatt Math Features new developments in the field combined with all aspects of obtaining, interpreting, and using sample data Sampling provides an up-to-date treat

  18. Astrobiological Aspects of Radiation Chemistry in Europa's Icy Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, R. W.; Hand, K. P.

    2006-05-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa, with its likely subsurface ocean and young, active surface, is a promising habitat for life. Europa orbits in the heart of Jupiter's powerful magnetosphere and suffers intense energetic particle bombardment, producing both positive and negative aspects for astrobiology at Europa. Ionizing radiation can produce oxidants that could support a radiation-driven ecology as proposed by Chyba. On the other hand, biomolecular evidence for life that may be upwelled to the surface is rapidly altered by irradiation, complicating astrobiological searches for evidence of life. We present an overview of laboratory work performed at JPL and elsewhere and observational results related to these two aspects. The oxidants hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen are known to exist on Europa and the radiolytic production of these species has been studied in the laboratory for both electron and ion irradiation. Laboratory- measured equilibrium concentrations of H2O2, where production and destruction rates are equal, are in general agreement with the observed 0.1% molar abundance on Europa. The shape of Europa's peroxide band is consistent with the line shapes observed in radiolysis and with H2O2 dispersed in water ice rather than occurring as H2O2 aggregates. Surprisingly, molecular oxygen may be even more abundant on Europa even though O2 is extremely volatile ande would be expected to escape from the ice surface. Radiolysis can produce molecular oxygen and appears to simultaneously alter the ice matrix, trapping the O2. Other species observed on Europa are CO2 and SO2, and laboratory radiolysis of these species in H2O ice produces carbonic and sulfuric acid, respectively. We are studying the radiolytic degradation of biomarkers in ice at Europa temperatures by studying both simple organics and more complex biomolecules, including microorganisms. Hydrocarbon radiolysis yields carbon dioxide and methane, which can escape the system and results in loss of carbon. In

  19. Seeking Signs of Life on Mars: The Importance of Sedimentary Suites as Part of Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    iMOST Team; Mangold, N.; McLennan, S. M.; Czaja, A. D.; Ori, G. G.; Tosca, N. J.; Altieri, F.; Amelin, Y.; Ammannito, E.; Anand, M.; Beaty, D. W.; Benning, L. G.; Bishop, J. L.; Borg, L. E.; Boucher, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Busemann, H.; Campbell, K. A.; Carrier, B. L.; Debaille, V.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dixon, M.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Farmer, J. D.; Fernandez-Remolar, D. C.; Fogarty, J.; Glavin, D. P.; Goreva, Y. S.; Grady, M. M.; Hallis, L. J.; Harrington, A. D.; Hausrath, E. M.; Herd, C. D. K.; Horgan, B.; Humayun, M.; Kleine, T.; Kleinhenz, J.; Mackelprang, R.; Mayhew, L. E.; McCubbin, F. M.; McCoy, J. T.; McSween, H. Y.; Moser, D. E.; Moynier, F.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Raulin, F.; Rettberg, P.; Rucker, M. A.; Schmitz, N.; Sefton-Nash, E.; Sephton, M. A.; Shaheen, R.; Shuster, D. L.; Siljestrom, S.; Smith, C. L.; Spry, J. A.; Steele, A.; Swindle, T. D.; ten Kate, I. L.; Usui, T.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Wadhwa, M.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Westall, F.; Wheeler, R. M.; Zipfel, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-04-01

    Sedimentary, and especially lacustrine, depositional environments are high-priority geological/astrobiological settings for Mars Sample Return. We review the detailed investigations, measurements, and sample types required to evaluate such settings.

  20. Finding Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) Destinations for Human Exploration: Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Rob; Abell, Paul; Barbee, Brent; Johnson, Lindley

    2012-01-01

    The current number of known potential NEA targets for HSF is limited to those objects whose orbital characteristics are similar to that of the Earth. This is due to the projected capabilities of the exploration systems currently under consideration and development at NASA. However, NEAs with such orbital characteristics often have viewing geometries that place them at low solar elongations and thus are difficult to detect from the vicinity of Earth. While ongoing ground-based surveys and data archives maintained by the NEO Program Observation Program Office and the Minor Planet Center (MPC) have provided a solid basis upon which to build, a more complete catalog of the NEO population is required to inform a robust and sustainable HSF exploration program. Since all the present NEO observing assets are currently confined to the vicinity of the Earth, additional effort must be made to provide capabilities for detection of additional HSF targets via assets beyond Earth orbit. A space-based NEO survey telescope located beyond the vicinity of the Earth, has considerable implications for planetary science and astrobiology. Such a telescope will provide foundational knowledge of our Solar System small body population and detect targets of interest for both the HSF and scientific communities. Data from this asset will yield basic characterization data on the NEOs observed (i.e., albedo, size determination, potential for volatiles and organics, etc.) and help down select targets for future HSF missions. Ideally, the most attractive targets from both HSF and astrobiology perspectives are those NEAs that may contain organic and volatile materials, and which could be effectively sampled at a variety of locations and depths. Presented here is an overview of four space-based survey concepts; any one of which after just a few years of operation will discover many highly accessible NEO targets suitable for robotic and human exploration. Such a space-based survey mission will reveal

  1. First Light from Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph; Deming, Drake

    2005-01-01

    The first light from an extrasolar planet was recently detected. These results, obtained for two transiting extrasolar planets at different infrared wavelengths, open a new era in the field of extrasolar planet detection and characterization because for the first time we can now detect planets beyond the solar system directly. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope at 24 microns, we observed the modulation of combined light (star plus planet) from the HD 209458 system as the planet disappeared behind the star during secondary eclipse and later re-emerged, thereby isolating the light from the planet. We obtained a planet-to-star ratio of 0.26% at 24 microns, corresponding to a brightness temperature of 1130 + / - 150 K. We will describe this result in detail, explain what it can tell us about the atmosphere of HD 209458 b, and discuss implications for the field of astrobiology. These results represent a significant step on the path to detecting terrestrial planets around other stars and in understanding their atmospheres in terms of composition and temperature.

  2. Life and the Universe: From Astrochemistry to Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allamandola, Louis J.

    2013-01-01

    Great strides have been made in our understanding of interstellar material thanks to advances in infrared astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), shockingly large molecules by earlier astrochemical standards, are widespread and very abundant throughout much of the cosmos. In cold molecular clouds, the birthplace of planets and stars, interstellar atoms and molecules freeze onto extremely cold dust and ice particles forming mixed molecular ices dominated by simple species such as water, methanol, ammonia, and carbon monoxide. Within these clouds, and especially in the vicinity of star and planet forming regions, these ices and PAHs are processed by ultraviolet light and cosmic rays forming hundreds of far more complex species, some of biogenic interest. Eventually, these are delivered to primordial planets by comets and meteorites. As these materials are the building blocks of comets and related to carbonaceous micrometeorites, they are likely to be important sources of complex organic materials delivered to habitable planets (including the primordial Earth) and their composition may be related to the origin of life. This talk will focus on the chemical evolution of these cosmic materials and their relevance to astrobiology.

  3. Astrobiology, space and the future age of discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumberg, Baruch S

    2011-02-13

    Astrobiology is the study of the origins, evolution, distribution and future of life in the Universe, and specifically seeks to understand the origin of life and to test the hypothesis that life exists elsewhere than on Earth. There is a general mathematics, physics and chemistry; that is, scientific laws that obtain on Earth also do so elsewhere. Is there a general biology? Is the Universe life-rich or is Earth an isolated island of biology? Exploration in the Age of Enlightenment required the collection of data in unexplored regions and the use of induction and empiricism to derive models and natural laws. The current search for extra-terrestrial life has a similar goal, but with a much greater amount of data and with computers to help with management, correlations, pattern recognition and analysis. There are 60 active space missions, many of them aiding in the search for life. There is not a universally accepted definition of life, but there are a series of characteristics that can aid in the identification of life elsewhere. The study of locations on Earth with similarities to early Mars and other space objects could provide a model that can be used in the search for extra-terrestrial life.

  4. A Micro Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorter for Astrobiology Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Donald W.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2009-01-01

    A micro-scale Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorter (microFACS) for astrobiology applications is under development. This device is designed to have a footprint of 7 cm x 7 cm x 4 cm and allow live-dead counts and sorting of cells that have fluorescent characteristics from staining. The FACS system takes advantage of microfluidics to create a cell sorter that can fit in the palm of the hand. A micron-scale channel allows cells to pass by a blue diode which causes emission of marker-expressed cells which are detected by a filtered photodetector. A small microcontroller then counts cells and operates high speed valves to select which chamber the cell is collected in (a collection chamber or a waste chamber). Cells with the expressed characteristic will be collected in the collection chamber. This system has been built and is currently being tested. We are also designing a system with integrated MEMS-based pumps and valves for a small and compact unit to fly on small satellite-based biology experiments.

  5. The Use of Returned Martian Samples to Evaluate the Possibility of Extant Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    iMOST Team; ten Kate, I. L.; Mackelprang, R.; Rettberg, P.; Smith, C. L.; Altieri, F.; Amelin, Y.; Ammannito, E.; Anand, M.; Beaty, D. W.; Benning, L. G.; Bishop, J. L.; Borg, L. E.; Boucher, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Busemann, H.; Campbell, K. A.; Carrier, B. L.; Czaja, A. D.; Debaille, V.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dixon, M.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Farmer, J. D.; Fernandez-Remolar, D. C.; Fogarty, J.; Glavin, D. P.; Goreva, Y. S.; Grady, M. M.; Hallis, L. J.; Harrington, A. D.; Hausrath, E. M.; Herd, C. D. K.; Horgan, B.; Humayun, M.; Kleine, T.; Kleinhenz, J.; Mangold, N.; Mayhew, L. E.; McCoy, J. T.; McCubbin, F. M.; McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.; Moser, D. E.; Moynier, F.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Ori, G. G.; Raulin, F.; Rucker, M. A.; Schmitz, N.; Sefton-Nash, E.; Sephton, M. A.; Shaheen, R.; Shuster, D. L.; Siljestrom, S.; Spry, J. A.; Steele, A.; Swindle, T. D.; Tosca, N. J.; Usui, T.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Wadhwa, M.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Westall, F.; Wheeler, R. M.; Zipfel, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-04-01

    The astrobiological community is highly interested in interrogating returned martian samples for evidence of extant life. A single observation with one method will not constitute evidence of extant life — it will require a suite of investigations.

  6. Magnetic graphene composites as both an adsorbent for sample enrichment and a MALDI-TOF MS matrix for the detection of nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in PM2.5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiangang; Zhang, Li; Li, Ruijin; Hu, Di; Ma, Nengxuan; Shuang, Shaomin; Cai, Zongwei; Dong, Chuan

    2015-03-07

    A simple and rapid method that uses synthesized magnetic graphene composites as both an adsorbent for enrichment and as a matrix in MALDI-TOF MS analysis was developed for the detection of nitropolycyclic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAHs) in PM2.5 samples. Three nitro-PAHs were detected down to sub pg μL(-1) levels based on calculations from an instrumental signal-to-noise better than 3, which shows the feasibility of using the new materials in MALDI-TOF MS as a potential powerful analytical approach for the analysis of nitro-PAHs in PM2.5 samples.

  7. Uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-11-01

    This paper analyzes under four different scenarios the adequacy of a $500 million annual deposit into a fund to pay for the cost of cleaning up the Department of Energy's (DOE) three aging uranium enrichment plants. These plants are located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Paducah, Kentucky; and Portsmouth, Ohio. In summary the following was found: A fixed annual $500 million deposit made into a cleanup fund would not be adequate to cover total expected cleanup costs, nor would it be adequate to cover expected decontamination and decommissioning (D and D) costs. A $500 million annual deposit indexed to an inflation rate would likely be adequate to pay for all expected cleanup costs, including D and D costs, remedial action, and depleted uranium costs

  8. Secondary School Students' Knowledge and Opinions on Astrobiology Topics and Related Social Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oreiro, Raquel; Solbes, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin of life on Earth and the distribution of life in the Universe. Its multidisciplinary approach, social and philosophical implications, and appeal within the discipline and beyond make astrobiology a uniquely qualified subject for general science education. In this study, student knowledge and opinions on astrobiology topics were investigated. Eighty-nine students in their last year of compulsory education (age 15) completed a written questionnaire that consisted of 10 open questions on the topic of astrobiology. The results indicate that students have significant difficulties understanding the origin of life on Earth, despite exposure to the topic by way of the assigned textbooks. The students were often unaware of past or present achievements in the search for life within the Solar System and beyond, topics that are far less commonly seen in textbooks. Student questionnaire answers also indicated that students had problems in reasoning and critical thinking when asked for their opinions on issues such as the potential for life beyond Earth, the question of whether UFOs exist, or what our place is in the Universe. Astrobiology might help initiate student awareness as to current thinking on these matters and should be considered for general science education.

  9. Summer Research Experiences for Science and Art Teachers to Explore Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cola, J.; Gaucher, E.; Snell, T.; Greenwood, J.; Angra, A.; Zimmerman, C.; Williams, L. D.

    2012-12-01

    The Georgia Tech Center for Ribosomal Origins and Evolution, a center funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, developed an educational program titled, "Life on the Edge: Astrobiology." The purpose of the program was to provide high school educators with the exposure, materials, and skills necessary to prepare our future workforce and to foster student interest in scientific discovery on Earth and throughout the universe. In an effort to promote and encourage entry into teaching careers, Georgia Tech paired teachers in the Georgia Intern-Fellowship for Teachers (GIFT) program with undergraduate students interested in becoming a teacher through the NSF Pre-Teaching REU program. The GIFT and Pre-Teaching fellows investigated extremophiles, which became the focus of a week-long, "Life on the Edge: Astrobiology " summer program developed by three high school educators, two undergraduate students and faculty in the Schools of Biology, and Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech. Twenty high school students were introduced to hands-on activities, such as astrobiology inspired art and techniques such as genomic DNA purification, gel electrophoresis, and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The impact of the Astrobiology program on the GIFT researchers, Pre-Teaching REU students, high school students, and faculty are discussed.

  10. Data management in astrobiology: challenges and opportunities for an interdisciplinary community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydinoglu, Arsev Umur; Suomela, Todd; Malone, Jim

    2014-06-01

    Data management and sharing are growing concerns for scientists and funding organizations throughout the world. Funding organizations are implementing requirements for data management plans, while scientists are establishing new infrastructures for data sharing. One of the difficulties is sharing data among a diverse set of research disciplines. Astrobiology is a unique community of researchers, containing over 110 different disciplines. The current study reports the results of a survey of data management practices among scientists involved in the astrobiology community and the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) in particular. The survey was administered over a 2-month period in the first half of 2013. Fifteen percent of the NAI community responded (n=114), and additional (n=80) responses were collected from members of an astrobiology Listserv. The results of the survey show that the astrobiology community shares many of the same concerns for data sharing as other groups. The benefits of data sharing are acknowledged by many respondents, but barriers to data sharing remain, including lack of acknowledgement, citation, time, and institutional rewards. Overcoming technical, institutional, and social barriers to data sharing will be a challenge into the future.

  11. Walk Through Solar System Times: An Exhibit with an Astrobiology Emphasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, C. Y.

    2012-01-01

    In this astrobiology outreach project, we attempt to present the research of the Goddard Center for Astrobiology (GCA) in the context of the history of the Solar System. GCA research emphasizes the origin and formation of complex pre-biotic organic materials in extraterrestrial environments and explores whether the delivery of these primordial materials and water to the early Earth enabled the emergence and evolution of life. The content expounds on areas that are usually not touched upon in a timeline of the Earth's formation. The exhibit addresses the questions: How did our solar system form? How is the formation of our solar systems similar or different from others? How did the organic molecules we observe in space get to the Earth? What conditions are most suitable for life? We will address the issues and challenges of designing the exhibit and of explaining advanced astrobiology research topics to the public.

  12. Astrobiology as an Interdisciplinary Starting Point to Natural Sciences for High-potential Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitner, J. J.; Firneis, M. G.; Hitzenberger, R.

    2013-09-01

    One of the corner stones of the Research Platform on ExoLife, University of Vienna, Austria is public outreach and education with respect to astrobiology, exoplanets, and planetary sciences. Since 2009 several initiatives have been started by the Research Platform to concentrate the interest of students in and outside the University onto natural sciences. Astrobiology as a very interdisciplinary scientific discipline with questions like "Are we alone in the Universe?," "How unique is Earth as a planet?" or "How did life originate?" will fascinate youngsters and junior scientists (see [1]).

  13. Science at the ends of the Earth: astrobiology field expeditions as outreach tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billings, Linda

    INTRODUCTION This paper will report on and evaluate communication, education, and outreach initiatives conducted in conjunction with NASA Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) field campaigns, addressing the costs and benefits of linking students, teachers, and other interested citizens with researchers in the field. This paper will highlight success stories, lessons learned, and promising practices regarding educational programs in scientific research environments. The Astrobiology Program in the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Science Mission Directorate studies the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Public interest in astrobiology is great, and advances in the field are rapid. Hence, the Astrobiology Program supports the widest possible dissemination of timely and useful information about scientific discoveries, technology development, new knowledge, and greater understanding produced by its investigators, employing an approach described as strategic communication planning. That is, the Astrobiology Program aims to integrate communication, education, and outreach into all aspects of program planning and execution. The Program encourages all of its investigators to contribute to the ongoing endeavor of informing public audiences about Astrobiology. The ASTEP element of the Astrobiology Program sponsors terrestrial field campaigns to further scientific research and technology development relevant to future solar system exploration missions. ASTEP science investigations are designed to further biological research in terrestrial environments analogous to those found on other planets, past or present. ASTEP sponsors the development of technologies to enable remote searches for, and identification of, life in extreme environments. ASTEP supports systems-level field campaigns designed to demonstrate and validate the science and technology in extreme environments on Earth. This

  14. Methodology for the detection of contamination by hydrocarbons and further soil sampling for volatile and semi-volatile organic enrichment in former petrol stations, SE Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa María Rosales Aranda

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The optimal detection and quantification of contamination plumes in soil and groundwater by petroleum organic compounds, gasoline and diesel, is critical for the reclamation of hydrocarbons contaminated soil at petrol stations. Through this study it has been achieved a sampling stage optimization in these scenarios by means of the location of potential contamination areas before sampling with the application of the 2D electrical resistivity tomography method, a geophysical non destructive technique based on resistivity measurements in soils. After the detection of hydrocarbons contaminated areas, boreholes with continuous coring were performed in a petrol station located in Murcia Region (Spain. The drillholes reached depths down to 10 m and soil samples were taken from each meter of the drilling. The optimization in the soil samples handling and storage, for both volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds determinations, was achieved by designing a soil sampler to minimize volatilization losses and in order to avoid the manual contact with the environmental samples during the sampling. The preservation of soil samples was performed according to Europe regulations and US Environmental Protection Agency recommendations into two kinds of glass vials. Moreover, it has been taken into account the determination techniques to quantify the hydrocarbon pollution based on Gas Chromatography with different detectors and headspace technique to reach a liquid-gas equilibrium for volatile analyses.

  15. Improving the Phosphoproteome Coverage for Limited Sample Amounts Using TiOsub>2sub>-SIMAC-HILIC (TiSH) Phosphopeptide Enrichment and Fractionation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engholm-Keller, Kasper; Larsen, Martin R

    2016-01-01

    spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. Due to the sample loss resulting from fractionation, this procedure is mainly performed when large quantities of sample are available. To make large-scale phosphoproteomics applicable to smaller amounts of protein we have recently combined highly specific TiO2-based...... protocol we describe the procedure step by step to allow for comprehensive coverage of the phosphoproteome utilizing only a few hundred micrograms of protein....

  16. Juvenile psittacine environmental enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Freilicher, Elisabeth; Rupley, Agnes E

    2015-05-01

    Environmental enrichment is of great import to the emotional, intellectual, and physical development of the juvenile psittacine and their success in the human home environment. Five major types of enrichment include social, occupational, physical, sensory, and nutritional. Occupational enrichment includes exercise and psychological enrichment. Physical enrichment includes the cage and accessories and the external home environment. Sensory enrichment may be visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or taste oriented. Nutritional enrichment includes variations in appearance, type, and frequency of diet, and treats, novelty, and foraging. Two phases of the preadult period deserve special enrichment considerations: the development of autonomy and puberty. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Depleting high-abundant and enriching low-abundant proteins in human serum: An evaluation of sample preparation methods using magnetic nanoparticle, chemical depletion and immunoaffinity techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jesus, Jemmyson Romário; da Silva Fernandes, Rafael; de Souza Pessôa, Gustavo; Raimundo, Ivo Milton; Arruda, Marco Aurélio Zezzi

    2017-08-01

    The efficiency of three different depletion methods to remove the most abundant proteins, enriching those human serum proteins with low abundance is checked to make more efficient the search and discovery of biomarkers. These methods utilize magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), chemical reagents (sequential application of dithiothreitol and acetonitrile, DTT/ACN), and commercial apparatus based on immunoaffinity (ProteoMiner, PM). The comparison between methods shows significant removal of abundant protein, remaining in the supernatant at concentrations of 4.6±0.2, 3.6±0.1, and 3.3±0.2µgµL -1 (n=3) for MNPs, DTT/ACN and PM respectively, from a total protein content of 54µgµL -1 . Using GeLC-MS/MS analysis, MNPs depletion shows good efficiency in removing high molecular weight proteins (>80kDa). Due to the synergic effect between the reagents DTT and ACN, DTT/ACN-based depletion offers good performance in the depletion of thiol-rich proteins, such as albumin and transferrin (DTT action), as well as of high molecular weight proteins (ACN action). Furthermore, PM equalization confirms its efficiency in concentrating low-abundant proteins, decreasing the dynamic range of protein levels in human serum. Direct comparison between the treatments reveals 72 proteins identified when using MNP depletion (43 of them exclusively by this method), but only 20 proteins using DTT/ACN (seven exclusively by this method). Additionally, after PM treatment 30 proteins were identified, seven exclusively by this method. Thus, MNPs and DTT/ACN depletion can be simple, quick, cheap, and robust alternatives for immunochemistry-based protein depletion, providing a potential strategy in the search for disease biomarkers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Applicability of cryoconite consortia of microorganisms and glacier-dwelling animals in astrobiological studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zawierucha Krzysztof

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available For several years it has been of interest to astrobiologists to focus on Earth’s glaciers as a habitat that can be similar to glaciers on other moons and planets. Microorganisms on glaciers form consortia – cryoconite granules (cryoconites. They are granular/spherical mineral particles connected with archaea, cyanobacteria, heterotrophic bacteria, algae, fungi, and micro animals (mainly Tardigrada and Rotifera. Cryophilic organisms inhabiting glaciers have been studied in different aspects: from taxonomy, ecology and biogeography, to searching of biotechnological potentials and physiological strategies to survive in extreme glacial habitats. However, they have never been used in astrobiological experiments. The main aim of this paper is brief review of literature and supporting assumptions that cryoconite granules and microinvertebrates on glaciers, are promising models in astrobiology for looking for analogies and survival strategies in terms of icy planets and moons. So far, astrobiological research have been conducted on single strains of prokaryotes or microinvertebrates but never on a consortium of them. Due to the hypothetical similarity of glaciers on the Earth to those on other planets these cryoconites consortia of microorganisms and glacier microinvertebrates may be applied in astrobiological experiments instead of the limno-terrestrial ones used currently. Those consortia and animals have qualities to use them in such studies and they may be the key to understanding how organisms are able to survive, reproduce and remain active at low temperatures.

  19. Field astrobiology research instruments and methods in moon-mars analogue site.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Foing, B.H.; Stoker, C.; Zavaleta, J.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Sarrazin, P.; Blake, D.; Page, J.; Pletser, V.; Hendrikse, J.; Oliveira Lebre Direito, M.S.; Kotler, M.; Martins, Z.; Orzechowska, G.; Thiel, C.S.; Clarke, J.; Gross, J.; Wendt, L.; Borst, A.; Peters, S.; Wilhelm, M.-B.; Davies, G.R.; EuroGeoMars 2009 Team, ILEWG

    2011-01-01

    We describe the field demonstration of astrobiology instruments and research methods conducted in and from the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah during the EuroGeoMars campaign 2009 coordinated by ILEWG, ESA/ESTEC and NASA Ames, with the contribution of academic partners. We discuss the

  20. The Mojave Desert: A Martian Analog Site for Future Astrobiology Themed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, E.; Abbey, W.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L. W.

    2011-01-01

    Astrobiological interest in Mars is highlighted by evidence that Mars was once warm enough to have liquid water present on its surface long enough to create geologic formations that could only exist in the presense of extended fluvial periods. These periods existed at the same time life on Earth arose. If life began on Mars as well during this period, it is reasonable to assume it may have adapted to the subsurface as environments at the surface changed into the inhospitable state we find today. If the next series of Mars missions (Mars Science Laboratory, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter proposed for launch in 2016, and potential near surface sample return) fail to discover either extinct or extant life on Mars, a subsurface mission would be necessary to attempt to "close the book" on the existence of martian life. Mars is much colder and drier than Earth, with a very low pressure CO2 environment and no obvious habitats. Terrestrial regions with limited precipitation, and hence reduced active biota, are some of the best martian low to mid latitude analogs to be found on Earth, be they the Antarctic dry valleys, the Atacama or Mojave Deserts. The Mojave Desert/Death Valley region is considered a Mars analog site by the Terrestrial Analogs Panel of the NSF-sponsored decadal survey; a field guide was even developed and a workshop was held on its applicability as a Mars analog. This region has received a great deal of attention due to its accessibility and the variety of landforms and processes observed relevant to martian studies.

  1. Separation and Enrichment of Gold in Water, Geological and Environmental Samples by Solid Phase Extraction on Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes Prior to its Determination by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duran, Ali; Tuzen, Mustafa; Soylak, Mustafa

    2015-01-01

    This study proposes the application of multi-walled carbon nanotubes as a solid sorbent for the preconcentration of gold prior to its flame atomic absorption spectrometry determination. Extraction was achieved by using a glass column (15.0 cm in length and 1.0 cm in diameter). Quantitative recoveries were obtained in the pH range of 2.5-4.0; the elution step was carried out with 5.0 ml of 1.0 mol/L HNO3 in acetone. In the ligand-free study, variables such as pH, eluent type, sample volume, flow rates, and matrix effect were examined for the optimum recovery of gold ions. The gold ions were able to be pre-concentrated by a factor of 150 and their LOD was determined to be 1.71 μg/L. In order to evaluate the accuracy of the developed method, addition-recovery tests were applied for the tap water, mineral water, and sea water samples. Gold recovery studies were implemented using a wet digestion technique for mine and soil samples taken from various media, and this method was also applied for anodic slime samples taken from the factories located in the Kayseri Industrial Zone of Turkey.

  2. Understanding the nineteenth century origins of disciplines: lessons for astrobiology today?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazelton, William J.; Sullivan, Woodruff T., III

    2009-10-01

    Astrobiology's goal of promoting interdisciplinary research is an attempt to reverse a trend that began two centuries ago with the formation of the first specialized scientific disciplines. We have examined this era of discipline formation in order to make a comparison with the situation today in astrobiology. Will astrobiology remain interdisciplinary or is it becoming yet another specialty? As a case study, we have investigated effects on the scientific literature when a specialized community is formed by analyzing the citations within papers published during 1802-1856 in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Phil. Trans.), the most important ‘generalist’ journal of its day, and Transactions of the Geological Society of London (Trans. Geol. Soc.), the first important disciplinary journal in the sciences. We find that these two journals rarely cited each other, and papers published in Trans. Geol. Soc. cited fewer interdisciplinary sources than did geology papers in Phil. Trans. After geology had become established as a successful specialized discipline, geologists returned to publishing papers in Phil. Trans., but they wrote in the new, highly specialized style developed in Trans. Geol. Soc. They had succeeded in not only creating a new scientific discipline, but also a new way of doing science with its own modes of research and communication. A similar citation analysis was applied to papers published over the period 2001-2008 in the contemporary journals Astrobiology and the International Journal of Astrobiology to test the hypothesis that astrobiologists are in the early stages of creating their own specialized community. Although still too early to reliably detect any but the largest trends, there is no evidence yet that astrobiologists are drifting into their own isolated discipline. Instead, to date they appear to remain interdisciplinary.

  3. Dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction for metals enrichment: a useful strategy for improving sensitivity of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy in liquid samples analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguirre, M A; Selva, E J; Hidalgo, M; Canals, A

    2015-01-01

    A rapid and efficient Dispersive Liquid-Liquid Microextraction (DLLME) followed by Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy detection (LIBS) was evaluated for simultaneous determination of Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn in water samples. Metals in the samples were extracted with tetrachloromethane as pyrrolidinedithiocarbamate (APDC) complexes, using vortex agitation to achieve dispersion of the extractant solvent. Several DLLME experimental factors affecting extraction efficiency were optimized with a multivariate approach. Under optimum DLLME conditions, DLLME-LIBS method was found to be of about 4.0-5.5 times more sensitive than LIBS, achieving limits of detection of about 3.7-5.6 times lower. To assess accuracy of the proposed DLLME-LIBS procedure, a certified reference material of estuarine water was analyzed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Other enrichment related contracts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, J.C.

    1978-01-01

    In addition to long-term enrichment contracts, DOE has other types of contracts: (1) short-term, fixed-commitment enrichment contract; (2) emergency sales agreement for enriched uranium; (3) feed material lease agreement; (4) enriched uranium storage agreement; and (5) feed material usage agreement

  5. (+)- 10-camphorsulfonic acid and enrichment of enantiomeric

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    WINTEC

    . The partially resolved enriched sample of (S,S)-(–)-2,3-diphenylpiperazine with 73% ee was purified to obtain samples of 97% ee using different achiral acids via the preparation of either homochiral or heterochiral hydrogen bonded.

  6. Sample clean-up, enrichment and determination of s-triazine herbicides from southern ethiopian lakes supported using liquid membrane extraction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Åke Jönsson

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available The liquid membrane extraction method has been employed for selectively extracting trace quantities of s-triazine herbicides in environmental waters collected from lakes Awassa, Chamo and Abbya, located in close proximity to the agricultural farms in Southern Ethiopia. In liquid membrane extraction, the uncharged triazine compounds from the flowing donor solution diffuse through a porous poly(tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE membrane, containing a water immiscible organic solvent. The s-triazine molecules are then irreversibly trapped in the stagnant acidic acceptor phase since they become protonated. Using both di-n-hexylether and n-undecane membrane solvents, s-traizine herbicides were extracted and low detection limits of about 1 ng/L have been obtained by extraction of three liters of sample solution spiked with 0.1 g/L of each triazine. Residues of atrazine and terbutryn ranging in concentration from 0.02 to 0.05 g/L have been successfully determined.

  7. Widening Perspectives: The Intellectual and Social Benefits of Astrobiology (Regardless of Whether Extraterrestrial Life is Discovered or Not)

    OpenAIRE

    Crawford, Ian A.

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is usually defined as the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. As such it is inherently interdisciplinary and cannot help but engender a worldview infused by cosmic and evolutionary perspectives. Both these attributes of the study of astrobiology are, and will increasingly prove to be, beneficial to society regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not.

  8. Widening perspectives: the intellectual and social benefits of astrobiology (regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, I. A.

    2018-01-01

    Astrobiology is usually defined as the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the Universe. As such it is inherently interdisciplinary and cannot help but engender a worldview infused by cosmic and evolutionary perspectives. Both these attributes of the study of astrobiology are, and will increasingly prove to be, beneficial to society regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not.

  9. Spectroscopic Studies of Molecular Systems relevant in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornaro, Teresa

    2016-01-01

    In the Astrobiology context, the study of the physico-chemical interactions involving "building blocks of life" in plausible prebiotic and space-like conditions is fundamental to shed light on the processes that led to emergence of life on Earth as well as to molecular chemical evolution in space. In this PhD Thesis, such issues have been addressed both experimentally and computationally by employing vibrational spectroscopy, which has shown to be an effective tool to investigate the variety of intermolecular interactions that play a key role in self-assembling mechanisms of nucleic acid components and their binding to mineral surfaces. In particular, in order to dissect the contributions of the different interactions to the overall spectroscopic signals and shed light on the intricate experimental data, feasible computational protocols have been developed for the characterization of the spectroscopic properties of such complex systems. This study has been carried out through a multi-step strategy, starting the investigation from the spectroscopic properties of the isolated nucleobases, then studying the perturbation induced by the interaction with another molecule (molecular dimers), towards condensed phases like the molecular solid, up to the case of nucleic acid components adsorbed on minerals. A proper modeling of these weakly bound molecular systems has required, firstly, a validation of dispersion-corrected Density Functional Theory methods for simulating anharmonic vibrational properties. The isolated nucleobases and some of their dimers have been used as benchmark set for identifying a general, reliable and effective computational procedure based on fully anharmonic quantum mechanical computations of the vibrational wavenumbers and infrared intensities within the generalized second order vibrational perturbation theory (GVPT2) approach, combined with the cost-effective dispersion-corrected density functional B3LYP-D3, in conjunction with basis sets of

  10. Measuring the effect of an astrobiology course on student optimism regarding extraterrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, David L.

    2017-07-01

    Students in an introductory undergraduate Astrobiology course were given a pre/post-test based on the Drake Equation in an attempt to measure changes in their perceptions regarding the prevalence of life in the Galaxy after taking the course. The results indicated that, after taking the course, the students were considerably more optimistic, by a 2 to 1 margin or more, about the prospect of habitable planets, the origin of life, and the evolution of intelligence in other planetary systems. The results suggest that, while it may not be the explicit goal of an astrobiology course to change student beliefs about the abundance or rarity of extraterrestrial life, such changes in opinion can and do occur.

  11. Miniature GC: Minicell ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) for astrobiology planetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Holland, Paul M.; Stimac, Robert M.; Kaye, William J.; Takeuchi, Norishige

    2006-01-01

    Astrobiology flight experiments require highly sensitive instrumentation for in situ analysis of volatile chemical species and minerals present in the atmospheres and surfaces of planets, moons, and asteroids. The complex mixtures encountered place a heavy burden on the analytical instrumentation to detect and identify all species present. The use of land rovers and balloon aero-rovers place additional emphasis on miniaturization of the analytical instrumentation. In addition, smaller instruments, using tiny amounts of consumables, allow the use of more instrumentation and/or longer mission life for stationary landers/laboratories. We describe here the development of a miniature GC - Minicell Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS) under development through NASA's Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development (ASTID) Program and NASA's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program.

  12. Ethics and the Potential Conflicts between Astrobiology, Planetary Protection, and Commercial Use of Space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik Persson

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available A high standard of planetary protection is important for astrobiology, though the risk for contamination can never be zero. It is therefore important to find a balance. If extraterrestrial life has a moral standing in its own right, it will also affect what we have to do to protect it. The questions of how far we need to go to protect extraterrestrial life will be even more acute and complicated when the time comes to use habitable worlds for commercial purposes. There will also be conflicts between those who want to set a world aside for more research and those who want to give the green light for development. I believe it is important to be proactive in relation to these issues. The aim of my project is therefore to identify, elucidate, and if possible, suggest solutions to potential conflicts between astrobiology, planetary protection, and commercial use of space.

  13. Mud Volcanoes - A New Class of Sites for Geological and Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, C.C.; Oehler, D.Z.; Baker, D.M.

    2009-01-01

    Mud volcanoes provide a unique low-temperature window into the Earth s subsurface - including the deep biosphere - and may prove to be significant sources of atmospheric methane. The identification of analogous features on Mars would provide an important new class of sites for geological and astrobiological exploration. We report new work suggesting that features in Acidalia Planitia are most consistent with their being mud volcanoes.

  14. Miniature GC-Minicell Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS) for In Situ Measurements in Astrobiology Planetary Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Stimac, Robert M.; Kaye, William J.; Holland, Paul M.; Takeuchi, Norishige

    2006-01-01

    Astrobiology flight experiments require highly sensitive instrumentation for in situ analysis of volatile chemical species and minerals present in the atmospheres and surfaces of planets, moons, and asteroids. The complex mixtures encountered place a heavy burden on the analytical instrumentation to detect and identify all species present. The use of land rovers and balloon aero-rovers place additional emphasis on miniaturization of the analytical instrumentation. In addition, smaller instruments, using tiny amounts of consumables, allow the use of more instrumentation and/or ionger mission life for stationary landers/laboratories. The miniCometary Ice and Dust Experiment (miniCIDEX), which combined Gas Chromatography (GC) with helium Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS), was capable of providing the wide range of analytical information required for Astrobiology missions. The IMS used here was based on the PCP model 111 IMS. A similar system, the Titan Ice and Dust Experiment (TIDE), was proposed as part of the Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission (TOAM). Newer GC systems employing Micro Electro- Mechanical System (MEMS) based technology have greatly reduced both the size and resource requirements for space GCs. These smaller GCs, as well as the continuing miniaturization of Astrobiology analytical instruments in general, has highlighted the need for smaller, dry helium IMS systems. We describe here the development of a miniature, MEMS GC-IMS system (MEMS GC developed by Thorleaf Research Inc.), employing the MiniCell Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS), from Ion Applications Inc., developed through NASA's Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development (ASTID) Program and NASA s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program.

  15. Derived enriched uranium market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rutkowski, E.

    1996-01-01

    The potential impact on the uranium market of highly enriched uranium from nuclear weapons dismantling in the Russian Federation and the USA is analyzed. Uranium supply, conversion, and enrichment factors are outlined for each country; inventories are also listed. The enrichment component and conversion components are expected to cause little disruption to uranium markets. The uranium component of Russian derived enriched uranium hexafluoride is unresolved; US legislation places constraints on its introduction into the US market

  16. Astrobiology Outreach and the Nature of Science: The Role of Creativity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Carol; Walter, Malcolm R.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract There is concern in many developed countries that school students are turning away from science. However, students may be choosing not to study science and dismissing the possibility of a scientific career because, in the junior secondary years, they gain a false view of science and the work of scientists. There is a disparity between science as it is portrayed at school and science as it is practiced. This paper describes a study to explore whether engaging in science through astrobiology outreach activities may improve students' understanding of the nature and processes of science, and how this may influence their interest in a career in science. The results suggest that the students attending these Mars research–related outreach activities are more interested in science than the average student but are lacking in understanding of aspects of the nature of science. A significant difference was detected between pre- and posttest understandings of some concepts of the nature of science. Key Words: Science education—School science—Creativity—Nature and processes of science—Attitudes—Astrobiology. Astrobiology 12, 1143–1153. PMID:23134090

  17. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology: Analogs and Applications to the Search for Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Astrobiology: Analogs and Applications to the Search for Life" included the folowing reports:The Search for Life on Mars Using Macroscopically Visible Microbial Mats (Stromatolites) in 3.5/3.3 Ga Cherts from the Pilbara in Australia and Barberton in South Africa as Analogues; Life in a Mars Analog: Microbial Activity Associated with Carbonate Cemented Lava Breccias from NW Spitsbergen; Groundwater-fed Iron-rich Microbial Mats in a Freshwater Creek: Growth Cycles and Fossilization Potential of Microbial Features; Episodic Fossilization of Microorganisms on an Annual Timescale in an Anthropogenically Modified Natural Environment: Geochemical Controls and Implications for Astrobiology; Proterozoic Microfossils and Their Implications for Recognizing Life on Mars; Microbial Alteration of Volcanic Glass in Modern and Ancient Oceanic Crust as a Proxy for Studies of Extraterrestrial Material ; Olivine Alteration on Earth and Mars; Searching for an Acidic Aquifer in the R!o Tinto Basin. First Geobiology Results of MARTE Project; In-Field Testing of Life Detection Instruments and Protocols in a Mars Analogue Arctic Environment; Habitability of the Shallow Subsurface on Mars: Clues from the Meteorites; Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment (MARTE): 2003 Drilling Campaign to Search for a Subsurface Biosphere at Rio Tinto Spain; Characterization of the Organic Matter in an Archean Chert (Warrawoona, Australia); and The Solfatara Crater, Italy: Characterization of Hydrothermal Deposits, Biosignatures and Their Astrobiological Implication.

  18. Role of the observer in the scientific process in astrobiology and in defining life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Vera M.

    2010-09-01

    The role of the observer in the scientific process has been studied in various contexts, including philosophical. It is notorious that the experiments are theory-loaded, that the observers pick and choose what they consider important based on their scientific and cultural backgrounds, and that the same phenomenon may be studied by different observers from different angles. In this paper we critically review various authors' views of the role of the observer in the scientific process, as they apply to astrobiology. Astrobiology is especially vulnerable to the role of the observer, since it is an interdisciplinary science. Thus, the backgrounds of the observers in the astrobiology field are even more heterogeneous than in the other sciences. The definition of life is also heavily influenced by the observer of life who injects his/her own prejudices in the process of observing and defining life. Such prejudices are often dictated by the state of science, instrumentation, and the science politics at the time, as well as the educational, scientific, cultural and other background of the observer.

  19. Developing the critical thinking skills of astrobiology students through creative and scientific inquiry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Jamie S; Lemus, Judith D

    2015-01-01

    Scientific inquiry represents a multifaceted approach to explore and understand the natural world. Training students in the principles of scientific inquiry can help promote the scientific learning process as well as help students enhance their understanding of scientific research. Here, we report on the development and implementation of a learning module that introduces astrobiology students to the concepts of creative and scientific inquiry, as well as provide practical exercises to build critical thinking skills. The module contained three distinct components: (1) a creative inquiry activity designed to introduce concepts regarding the role of creativity in scientific inquiry; (2) guidelines to help astrobiology students formulate and self-assess questions regarding various scientific content and imagery; and (3) a practical exercise where students were allowed to watch a scientific presentation and practice their analytical skills. Pre- and post-course surveys were used to assess the students' perceptions regarding creative and scientific inquiry and whether this activity impacted their understanding of the scientific process. Survey results indicate that the exercise helped improve students' science skills by promoting awareness regarding the role of creativity in scientific inquiry and building their confidence in formulating and assessing scientific questions. Together, the module and survey results confirm the need to include such inquiry-based activities into the higher education classroom, thereby helping students hone their critical thinking and question asking skill set and facilitating their professional development in astrobiology.

  20. The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin in Coahuila, Mexico: An Astrobiological Precambrian Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siefert, Janet L.; Escalante, Ana E.; Elser, James J.; Eguiarte, Luis E.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) is a rare oasis in the Chihuahuan Desert in the state of Coahuila, Mexico. It has a biological endemism similar to that of the Galapagos Islands, and its spring-fed ecosystems have very low nutrient content (nitrogen or phosphorous) and are dominated by diverse microbialites. Thus, it has proven to be a distinctive opportunity for the field of astrobiology, as the CCB can be seen as a proxy for an earlier time in Earth's history, in particular the late Precambrian, the biological frontier when prokaryotic life yielded at least partial dominance to eukaryotes and multicellular life. It is a kind of ecological time machine that provides abundant opportunities for collaborative investigations by geochemists, geologists, ecologists, and population biologists in the study of the evolutionary processes that structured Earth-based life, especially in the microbial realm. The CCB is an object of investigation for the identification of biosignatures of past and present biota that can be used in our search for extraterrestrial life. In this review, we summarize CCB research efforts that began with microbial ecology and population biology projects and have since been expanded into broader efforts that involve biogeochemistry, comparative genomics, and assessments of biosignatures. We also propose that, in the future, the CCB is sanctioned as a “Precambrian Park” for astrobiology. Key Words: Microbial mats—Stromatolites—Early Earth—Extremophilic microorganisms—Microbial ecology. Astrobiology 12, 641–647. PMID:22920514

  1. The astrobiology primer: an outline of general knowledge--version 1, 2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billings, L; Cameron, V; Claire, M; Dick, G J; Domagal-Goldman, S D; Javaux, E J; Johnson, O J; Laws, C; Race, M S; Rask, J; Rummel, J D; Schelble, R T; Vance, S

    2006-10-01

    The Astrobiology Primer has been created as a reference tool for those who are interested in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology. The field incorporates many diverse research endeavors, but it is our hope that this slim volume will present the reader with all he or she needs to know to become involved and to understand, at least at a fundamental level, the state of the art. Each section includes a brief overview of a topic and a short list of readable and important literature for those interested in deeper knowledge. Because of the great diversity of material, each section was written by a different author with a different expertise. Contributors, authors, and editors are listed at the beginning, along with a list of those chapters and sections for which they were responsible. We are deeply indebted to the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), in particular to Estelle Dodson, David Morrison, Ed Goolish, Krisstina Wilmoth, and Rose Grymes for their continued enthusiasm and support. The Primer came about in large part because of NAI support for graduate student research, collaboration, and inclusion as well as direct funding. We have entitled the Primer version 1 in hope that it will be only the first in a series, whose future volumes will be produced every 3-5 years. This way we can insure that the Primer keeps up with the current state of research. We hope that it will be a great resource for anyone trying to stay abreast of an ever-changing field.

  2. A geoethical approach to the geological and astrobiological exploration and research of the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Frias, Jesus; Horneck, Gerda; de La Torre Noetzel, Rosa; Rull, Fernando

    Lunar and Mars exploration and research require not only scientific and technological inter-disciplinary cooperation, but also the consideration of budding ethical and scientific integrity issues. COSPAR's planetary protection policy (in coordination with the United Nations Com-mittee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space as well as various other bilateral and multilateral organizations) serves as the consensus standard for biological contamination prevention under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty1 . Space agencies Planetary Protection Policies are mostly consis-tent with the COSPAR policy. Geoethics was formerly promoted in 1991 as a new discipline, involving scientific and societal aspects2 , and its institutionalization was officially established in 2004 with the backing of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development, AGID3 (IUGS/ICSU). Recently, it has been proposed that the integration of geoethical issues in studies on planetary geology and astrobiology would enrich their methodological and con-ceptual character4-6 . The incorporation through geoethics of new questions and approaches associated to the "abiotic world" would involve: 1) extrapolating to space the recently defined and approved IUCN/UNESCO guidelines and recommendations on geodiversity7 as "planetary geodiversity", and 2) widening the classical concept of Planetary Protection, giving an addi-tional "abiotic" dimension to the exploration and research of the Moon and Mars. Given the geological characteristics and planetary evolution of the Moon and Mars, it is obvious that they require tailored geoethical approaches. Some fundamental aspects include, among others: the interrelation with bioethics and organics vs. inorganic contamination in Planetary Protection, the appropriate regulations of some necessary natural disturbances (e.g. on the Moon) dur-ing robotic and manned planetary missions, wilderness/planetary parks8,9 , the correct use of mineralogical and geochemical analytical

  3. Uranium enrichment plans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, D.C.; Gagne, R.W.

    1978-01-01

    The following topics are covered: the status of the Government's existing uranium enrichment services contracts, natural uranium requirements based on the latest contract information, uncertainty in predicting natural uranium requirements based on uranium enrichment contracts, and domestic and foreign demand assumed in enrichment planning

  4. Improved Detection of Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL)-Producing Escherichia coli in Input and Output Samples of German Biogas Plants by a Selective Pre-Enrichment Procedure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schauss, Thorsten; Glaeser, Stefanie P.; Gütschow, Alexandra; Dott, Wolfgang; Kämpfer, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The presence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli was investigated in input (manure from livestock husbandry) and output samples of six German biogas plants in 2012 (one sampling per biogas plant) and two German biogas plants investigated in an annual cycle four times in 2013/2014. ESBL-producing Escherichia coli were cultured by direct plating on CHROMagar ESBL from input samples in the range of 100 to 104 colony forming units (CFU) per g dry weight but not from output sample. This initially indicated a complete elimination of ESBL-producing E. coli by the biogas plant process. Detected non target bacteria were assigned to the genera Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Bordetella, Achromobacter, Castellaniella, and Ochrobactrum. A selective pre-enrichment procedure increased the detection efficiency of ESBL-producing E. coli in input samples and enabled the detection in five of eight analyzed output samples. In total 119 ESBL-producing E. coli were isolated from input and 46 from output samples. Most of the E. coli isolates carried CTX-M-type and/or TEM-type beta lactamases (94%), few SHV-type beta lactamase (6%). Sixty-four bla CTX-M genes were characterized more detailed and assigned mainly to CTX-M-groups 1 (85%) and 9 (13%), and one to group 2. Phylogenetic grouping of 80 E. coli isolates showed that most were assigned to group A (71%) and B1 (27%), only one to group D (2%). Genomic fingerprinting and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) showed a high clonal diversity with 41 BOX-types and 19 ST-types. The two most common ST-types were ST410 and ST1210. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of 46 selected ESBL-producing E. coli revealed that several isolates were additionally resistant to other veterinary relevant antibiotics and some grew on CHROMagar STEC but shiga-like toxine (SLT) genes were not detected. Resistance to carbapenems was not detected. In summary the study showed for the first time the presence of ESBL-producing E. coli in

  5. Improved detection of extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL-producing Escherichia coli in input and output samples of German biogas plants by a selective pre-enrichment procedure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thorsten Schauss

    Full Text Available The presence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL-producing Escherichia coli was investigated in input (manure from livestock husbandry and output samples of six German biogas plants in 2012 (one sampling per biogas plant and two German biogas plants investigated in an annual cycle four times in 2013/2014. ESBL-producing Escherichia coli were cultured by direct plating on CHROMagar ESBL from input samples in the range of 100 to 104 colony forming units (CFU per g dry weight but not from output sample. This initially indicated a complete elimination of ESBL-producing E. coli by the biogas plant process. Detected non target bacteria were assigned to the genera Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Bordetella, Achromobacter, Castellaniella, and Ochrobactrum. A selective pre-enrichment procedure increased the detection efficiency of ESBL-producing E. coli in input samples and enabled the detection in five of eight analyzed output samples. In total 119 ESBL-producing E. coli were isolated from input and 46 from output samples. Most of the E. coli isolates carried CTX-M-type and/or TEM-type beta lactamases (94%, few SHV-type beta lactamase (6%. Sixty-four blaCTX-M genes were characterized more detailed and assigned mainly to CTX-M-groups 1 (85% and 9 (13%, and one to group 2. Phylogenetic grouping of 80 E. coli isolates showed that most were assigned to group A (71% and B1 (27%, only one to group D (2%. Genomic fingerprinting and multilocus sequence typing (MLST showed a high clonal diversity with 41 BOX-types and 19 ST-types. The two most common ST-types were ST410 and ST1210. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of 46 selected ESBL-producing E. coli revealed that several isolates were additionally resistant to other veterinary relevant antibiotics and some grew on CHROMagar STEC but shiga-like toxine (SLT genes were not detected. Resistance to carbapenems was not detected. In summary the study showed for the first time the presence of ESBL-producing E

  6. Results of Time-of-Flight Neutron Capture Measurements of 176,177,178,179 Hf-enriched and nat Hf samples at 10 m, 30 m and 60 m stations of GELINA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ware, T.C.; Dean, C.J.; Borella, A.; Kopecky, S.; Moens, A.; Schillebeeckx, P.; Janeva, N.; Moxon, M.C.

    2014-04-01

    Neutron capture measurements have been performed at the time-offlight facility GELINA to determine neutron resonance parameters for 174,176,177,178,179,180 Hf. In total, 16 distinct experiments were conducted at the 12 m, 28 m and 58 m capture stations using C 6 D 6 detectors with a moderated neutron beam and the accelerator operating at 50 Hz or 800 Hz. Measurements were performed with nat Hf metallic samples and oxide samples enriched in 176 Hf, 177 Hf, 178 Hf and 179 Hf. This report describes the experimental details required to deliver the experimental capture yields to the EXFOR data library which is maintained by the Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD and the Nuclear Data Section of the IAEA. The experimental conditions and data reduction procedures are described. In addition, the full covariance information based on the AGS concept is given, such that resonance parameters together with their covariances can be derived in a least squares adjustment to the data. (author)

  7. Uranium Enrichment, an overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coates, J.H.

    1994-01-01

    This general presentation on uranium enrichment will be followed by lectures on more specific topics including descriptions of enrichment processes and assessments of the prevailing commercial and industrial situations. I shall therefore avoid as much as possible duplications with these other lectures, and rather dwell on: some theoretical aspects of enrichment in general, underlying the differences between statistical and selective processes, a review and comparison between enrichment processes, remarks of general order regarding applications, the proliferation potential of enrichment. It is noteworthy that enrichment: may occur twice in the LWR fuel cycle: first by enriching natural uranium, second by reenriching uranium recovered from reprocessing, must meet LWR requirements, and in particular higher assays required by high burn up fuel elements, bears on the structure of the entire front part of the fuel cycle, namely in the conversion/reconversion steps only involving UF 6 for the moment. (author). tabs., figs., 4 refs

  8. Advanced enrichment techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, A.

    1988-01-01

    BNFL is in a unique position in that it has commercial experience of diffusion enrichment, and of centrifuge enrichment through its associate company Urenco. In addition BNFL is developing laser enrichment techniques as part of a UK development programme in this area. The paper describes the development programme which led to the introduction of competitive centrifuge enrichment technology by Urenco and discusses the areas where improvements have and will continue to be made in the centrifuge process. It also describes the laser development programme currently being undertaken in the UK. The paper concludes by discussing the relative merits of the various methods of uranium enrichment, with particular reference to the enrichment market likely to obtain over the rest of the century

  9. Advanced enrichment techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, A.

    1987-01-01

    BNFL is in a unique position in that it has commercial experience of diffusion enrichment, and of centrifuge enrichment through its associate company Urenco. In addition BNFL is developing laser enrichment techniques as part of a UK development programme in this area. The paper describes the development programme which led to the introduction of competitive centrifuge enrichment technology by Urenco and discusses the areas where improvements have and will continue to be made in the centrifuge process. It also describes the laser development programme currently being undertaken in the UK. The paper concludes by discussing the relative merits of the various methods of uranium enrichment, with particular reference to the enrichment market likely to obtain over the rest of the century. (author)

  10. Uranium enrichment: an overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cazalet, J.

    1995-01-01

    This paper is a general presentation of uranium enrichment processes and assessments of the prevailing commercial and industrial situations. It gives first some theoretical aspects of enrichment in general and explains the differences between statistical and selective processes in particular. Then a review of the different processes is made with a comparison between them. Finally, some general remarks concerning applications are given and the risks of proliferation related to enrichment are mentioned. (J.S.). 4 refs., 5 figs., 8 tabs

  11. The enrichment secondary market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Einbund, D.R.

    1986-01-01

    This paper will addresses two topics: the background to the present status of the enrichment secondary market and the future outlook of the secondary market in enrichment services, and the viability of the nuclear fuel brokerage industry. These two topics are inevitably connected, as most secondary market activity, not only in enrichment but also in natural uranium, has traditionally been conducted with the participation of brokers. Therefore, the author interrelates these topics

  12. Mud Volcanoes of Trinidad as Astrobiological Analogs for Martian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riad Hosein

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i Digity; (ii Piparo and (iii Devil’s Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region.

  13. Mud Volcanoes of Trinidad as Astrobiological Analogs for Martian Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosein, Riad; Haque, Shirin; Beckles, Denise M.

    2014-01-01

    Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i) Digity; (ii) Piparo and (iii) Devil’s Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region. PMID:25370529

  14. Mud volcanoes of trinidad as astrobiological analogs for martian environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosein, Riad; Haque, Shirin; Beckles, Denise M

    2014-10-13

    Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i) Digity; (ii) Piparo and (iii) Devil's Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region.

  15. Astrobiology and the Chemistry of the Early Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Jamie Elsila

    2011-01-01

    The field of astrochemistry investigates the origin of the chemicals necessary for the formation of life. Astrochemists use remote observations, laboratory simulations, and analysis of extraterrestrial samples to understand the inventory of pre biotic chemicals present on the early Earth. Among the problems investigated by astrochemists is the origin of homo chirality in terrestrial life. Analysis of meteorites shows that they may have delivered an excess of L-amino acids to the Earth's surface, perhaps leading to homochirality.

  16. An Astrobiological Experiment to Explore the Habitability of Tidally Locked M-Dwarf Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel; Sapers, Haley; Simoncini, Eugenio; Lutz, Stefanie; Alexandre, Marcelo da Rosa; Galante, Douglas

    2014-04-01

    We present a summary of a three-year academic research proposal drafted during the Sao Paulo Advanced School of Astrobiology (SPASA) to prepare for upcoming observations of tidally locked planets orbiting M-dwarf stars. The primary experimental goal of the suggested research is to expose extremophiles from analogue environments to a modified space simulation chamber reproducing the environmental parameters of a tidally locked planet in the habitable zone of a late-type star. Here we focus on a description of the astronomical analysis used to define the parameters for this climate simulation.

  17. Geology of McLaughlin Crater, Mars: A Unique Lacustrine Setting with Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, J. R.; Niles, P. B.; Rogers, A. D.; Johnson, S. S.; Ashley, J. W.; Golombek, M. P.

    2016-01-01

    McLaughlin crater is a 92-kmdiameter Martian impact crater that contained an ancient carbonate- and clay mineral-bearing lake in the Late Noachian. Detailed analysis of the geology within this crater reveals a complex history with important implications for astrobiology [1]. The basin contains evidence for, among other deposits, hydrothermally altered rocks, delta deposits, deep water (>400 m) sediments, and potentially turbidites. The geology of this basin stands in stark contrast to that of some ancient basins that contain evidence for transient aqueous processes and airfall sediments (e.g. Gale Crater [2-3]).

  18. Micro-XRF : Elemental Analysis for In Situ Geology and Astrobiology Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allwood, Abigail; Hodyss, Robert; Wade, Lawrence

    2012-01-01

    The ability to make close-up measurements of rock chemistry is one of the most fundamental tools for astrobiological exploration of Mars and other rocky bodies of the solar system. When conducting surface-based exploration, lithochemical measurements provide critical data that enable interpretation of the local geology, which in turn is vital for determining habitability and searching for evidence of life. The value of lithochemical measurements for geological interpretations has been repeatedly demonstrated with virtually every landed Mars mission over the past four decades.

  19. Lunar Radio Telescopes: A Staged Approach for Lunar Science, Heliophysics, Astrobiology, Cosmology, and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, Joseph; Bowman, Judd D.; Burns, Jack O.; Farrell, W. M.; Jones, D. L.; Kasper, J. C.; MacDowall, R. J.; Stewart, K. P.; Weiler, K.

    2012-01-01

    Observations with radio telescopes address key problems in cosmology, astrobiology, heliophysics, and planetary science including the first light in the Universe (Cosmic Dawn), magnetic fields of extrasolar planets, particle acceleration mechanisms, and the lunar ionosphere. The Moon is a unique science platform because it allows access to radio frequencies that do not penetrate the Earth's ionosphere and because its far side is shielded from intense terrestrial emissions. The instrument packages and infrastructure needed for radio telescopes can be transported and deployed as part of Exploration activities, and the resulting science measurements may inform Exploration (e.g., measurements of lunar surface charging). An illustrative roadmap for the staged deployment of lunar radio telescopes

  20. Report on a NASA astrobiology institute-funded workshop without walls: stellar stoichiometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desch, Steven J; Young, Patrick A; Anbar, Ariel D; Hinkel, Natalie; Pagano, Michael; Truitt, Amanda; Turnbull, Margaret

    2014-04-01

    We report on the NASA Astrobiology Institute-funded Workshop Without Walls entitled "Stellar Stoichiometry," hosted by the "Follow the Elements" team at Arizona State University in April 2013. We describe several innovative practices we adopted that made effective use of the Workshop Without Walls videoconferencing format, including use of information technologies, assignment of scientific tasks before the workshop, and placement of graduate students in positions of authority. A companion article will describe the scientific results arising from the workshop. Our intention here is to suggest best practices for future Workshops Without Walls.

  1. Uranium enrichment plans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gagne, R.W.; Thomas, D.C.

    1977-01-01

    The status of existing uranium enrichment contracts in the US is reviewed and expected natural uranium requirements for existing domestic uranium enrichment contracts are evaluated. Uncertainty in natural uranium requirements associated with requirements-type and fixed-commitment type contracts is discussed along with implementation of variable tails assay

  2. The Biomolecule Sequencer Project: Nanopore Sequencing as a Dual-Use Tool for Crew Health and Astrobiology Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, K. K.; Botkin, D. S.; Burton, A. S.; Castro-Wallace, S. L.; Chaput, J. D.; Dworkin, J. P.; Lehman, N.; Lupisella, M. L.; Mason, C. E.; Smith, D. J.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Human missions to Mars will fundamentally transform how the planet is explored, enabling new scientific discoveries through more sophisticated sample acquisition and processing than can currently be implemented in robotic exploration. The presence of humans also poses new challenges, including ensuring astronaut safety and health and monitoring contamination. Because the capability to transfer materials to Earth will be extremely limited, there is a strong need for in situ diagnostic capabilities. Nucleotide sequencing is a particularly powerful tool because it can be used to: (1) mitigate microbial risks to crew by allowing identification of microbes in water, in air, and on surfaces; (2) identify optimal treatment strategies for infections that arise in crew members; and (3) track how crew members, microbes, and mission-relevant organisms (e.g., farmed plants) respond to conditions on Mars through transcriptomic and genomic changes. Sequencing would also offer benefits for science investigations occurring on the surface of Mars by permitting identification of Earth-derived contamination in samples. If Mars contains indigenous life, and that life is based on nucleic acids or other closely related molecules, sequencing would serve as a critical tool for the characterization of those molecules. Therefore, spaceflight-compatible nucleic acid sequencing would be an important capability for both crew health and astrobiology exploration. Advances in sequencing technology on Earth have been driven largely by needs for higher throughput and read accuracy. Although some reduction in size has been achieved, nearly all commercially available sequencers are not compatible with spaceflight due to size, power, and operational requirements. Exceptions are nanopore-based sequencers that measure changes in current caused by DNA passing through pores; these devices are inherently much smaller and require significantly less power than sequencers using other detection methods

  3. Mineralogy and Astrobiology Detection Using Laser Remote Sensing Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abedin, M. Nurul; Bradley, Arthur T.; Sharma, Shiv K.; Misra, Anupam K.; Lucey, Paul G.; Mckay, Chistopher P.; Ismail, Syed; Sandford, Stephen P.

    2015-01-01

    A multispectral instrument based on Raman, laser-induced fluorescence (LIF), laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), and a lidar system provides high-fidelity scientific investigations, scientific input, and science operation constraints in the context of planetary field campaigns with the Jupiter Europa Robotic Lander and Mars Sample Return mission opportunities. This instrument conducts scientific investigations analogous to investigations anticipated for missions to Mars and Jupiter's icy moons. This combined multispectral instrument is capable of performing Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy out to a >100 m target distance from the rover system and provides single-wavelength atmospheric profiling over long ranges (>20 km). In this article, we will reveal integrated remote Raman, LIF, and lidar technologies for use in robotic and lander-based planetary remote sensing applications. Discussions are focused on recently developed Raman, LIF, and lidar systems in addition to emphasizing surface water ice, surface and subsurface minerals, organics, biogenic, biomarker identification, atmospheric aerosols and clouds distributions, i.e., near-field atmospheric thin layers detection for next robotic-lander based instruments to measure all the above-mentioned parameters. OCIS codes: (120.0280) Remote sensing and sensors; (130.0250) Optoelectronics; (280.3640) Lidar; (300.2530) Fluorescence, laser-induced; (300.6450) Spectroscopy, Raman; (300.6365) Spectroscopy, laser induced breakdown

  4. Astrobiological neurosystems rise and fall of intelligent life forms in the universe

    CERN Document Server

    Cranford, Jerry L

    2015-01-01

    This book explains why scientists believe that life may be more common in the Universe than previously considered possible. It presents the tools and strategies astronomers and astrobiologists are using in their formal search for habitable exoplanets as well as more advanced forms of life in other parts of our galaxy. The author then summarizes what is currently known about how and where organic molecules critical to our form of carbon-based life are manufactured. The core of the book explains (and presents educated guesses) how nervous systems evolved on Earth, how they work, and how they might work on other worlds. Combining his knowledge of neuroscience, computers, and astrobiology the author jumps into the discussion whether biological nervous systems are just the first step in the rise of intelligence in the Universe. The book ends with a description from both the psychologist’s and the neuroscientist’s viewpoints, exactly what it is about the fields of astrobiology and astronomy that “boggles...

  5. Life Out There: An Astrobiological Multimedia Experience for the Digital Planetarium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, K. C.; Grinspoon, D.

    2013-04-01

    Planetariums have a long history of experimentation with audio and visuals to create new multimedia experiences. We report on a series of innovative experiences in the Gates Planetarium at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in 2009-2011 combining live performances of music and navigation through scientific visualizations. The Life Out There productions featured a story showcasing astrobiology concepts at scales ranging from galactic to molecular, and told using VJ-ing of immersive visualizations and musical performances from the House Band to the Universe. Funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute's JPL-Titan Team, these hour-long shows were broken into four separate themed musical movements, with an improvisatory mix of music, dome visuals, and spoken science narrative which resulted in no two performances being exactly alike. Post-performance dissemination is continuing via a recorded version of the performance available as a DVD and online streaming video. Written evaluations from visitors who were present at the live shows reveal high satisfaction, while one of the Life Out There concerts was used to inaugurate a new evening program to draw in a younger audience demographic to DMNS.

  6. From Extremophiles to Star Trek, The Use of Synthetic Biology in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.; Fujishima, Kosuke; Lima, Ivan Paulino; Gentry, Diana; Phan, Samson; Navarette, Jesica; Palmer, Jesse; Burnier, Andre

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology – the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes – has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids. In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as bio-mining, human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  7. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Caves and Rock Fracture Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope J.

    2017-01-01

    The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond. We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can fluorish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a Field Guide to Unknown Organisms for developing life detection space missions.

  8. Developments in uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohrhauer, H.

    1995-01-01

    The enrichment services market is still characterized by overcapacities. While consumption worldwide will rise by some 15% to 39,000 t SWU/a over the next ten years, capacities amount to nearly 50,000 t SWU/a. The price for enrichment services probably has reached its all time low. Prices below U.S. $ 100/kg SWU are not likely to cover costs even of the economically most advanced enrichment processes. Urenco has prepared for the difficult enrichment business in the years to come by streamlining and cost cutting measures. The company intends to hold and increase its share of more than 10% in the world market. The uranium enrichment plant of Gronau will be expanded further. Expansion beyond 1000 t is subject to another permit being granted under the Atomic Energy Act, an application for which was filed in December 1994. Centrifuge technology is the superior enrichment technology, i.e., there is still considerable potential for further development. Construction of enrichment plants employing the centrifuge technology in the United States and in France is being pursued in various phases, from feasibility studies to licensing procedures. Before these plants could be implemented, however, considerable problems of organization would have to be solved, and the market would have to change greatly, respectively. The laser process, at the present time, does not seem to be able to develop into a major industrial competitor. (orig.) [de

  9. TRIGA low enrichment fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gietzen, A.

    1993-01-01

    Sixty TRIGA reactors have been sold and the earliest of these are now passing twenty years of operation. All of these reactors use the uranium zirconium hydride fuel (UZrH) which provides certain unique advantages arising out of its large prompt negative temperature coefficient, very low fission product release, and high temperature capability. Eleven of these Sixty reactors are conversions from plate fuel to TRIGA fuel which were made as a result of these advantages. With only a few exceptions, TRIGA reactors have always used low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel with an enrichment of 19.9%. The exceptions have either been converted from the standard low-enriched fuel to the 70% enriched FLIP fuel in order to achieve extended lifetime, or are higher powered reactors which were designed for long life using 93%-enriched uranium during the time when the use and export of highly enriched uranium (HEU) was not restricted. The advent of international policies focusing attention on nonproliferation and safeguards made the HEU fuels obsolete. General Atomic immediately undertook a development effort (nearly two years ago) in order to be in a position to comply with these policies for all future export sales and also to provide a low-enriched alternative to fully enriched plate-type fuels. This important work was subsequently partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The laboratory and production tests have shown that higher uranium densities can be achieved to compensate for reducing the enrichment to 20%, and that the fuels maintain the characteristics of the very thoroughly proven standard TRIGA fuels. In May of 1978, General Atomic announced that these fuels were available for TRIGA reactors and for plate-type reactors with power levels up to 15 MW with General Atomic's standard commercial warranty

  10. TRIGA low enrichment fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gietzen, A.

    1993-01-01

    Sixty TRIGA reactors have been sold and the earliest of these are now passing twenty years of operation. All of these reactors use the uranium-zirconium hydride fuel (UZrH) which provides certain unique advantages arising out of its large prompt negative temperature coefficient, very low fission product release, and high temperature capability. Eleven of these Sixty reactors are conversions from plate fuel to TRIGA fuel which were made as a result of these advantages. With only a few exceptions, TRIGA reactors have always used low-enriched-uranium (LEU) fuel with an enrichment of 19.9%. The exceptions have either been converted from the standard low-enriched fuel to the 70% enriched FLIP fuel in order to achieve extended lifetime, or are higher powered reactors which were designed for long life using 93%-enriched uranium during the time when the use and export of highly enriched uranium (HEU) was not restricted. The advent of international policies focusing attention on nonproliferation and safeguards made the HEU fuels obsolete. General Atomic immediately undertook a development effort (nearly two years ago) in order to be in a position to comply with these policies for all future export sales and also to provide a low-enriched alternative to fully enriched plate-type fuels. This important work was subsequently partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The laboratory and production tests have shown that higher uranium densities can be achieved to compensate for reducing the enrichment to 20%, and that the fuels maintain the characteristics of the very thoroughly proven standard TRIGA fuels. In May of 1978, General Atomic announced that these fuels were available for TRIGA reactors and for plate-type reactors with power levels up to 15 MW with GA's standard commercial warranty

  11. Astrobiology Training in Lava Tubes (ATiLT): Characterizing coralloid speleothems in basaltic lava tubes as a Mars analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, J.; Leveille, R. J.; Douglas, P.

    2017-12-01

    Coralloid speleothems or cave corals are small mineralised nodes that can take a variety of forms, and which develop through groundwater seepage and water-rock interaction in caves. They are found commonly on Earth in a plethora of caves, including lava tubes. Since lava tubes have been identified on the surface of Mars from remotely sensed images, there has been interest in studying Earth's lava tube systems as an analogue for understanding Martian lava environments. If cave minerals were found on Mars, they could indicate past or present water-rock interaction in the Martian subsurface. Martian lava tubes could also provide insights into habitable subsurface environments as well as conditions favourable for the synthesis and preservation of biosignatures. One of the aims of the Astrobiology Training in Lava Tubes (ATiLT) project is to analyze biosignatures and paleoenvironmental indicators in secondary cave minerals, which will be looked at in-situ and compared to collected field samples. In this study, secondary mineralization in lava cave systems from Lava Beds National Monument, CA is examined. In the field, coralloid speleothems have been observed growing on all surfaces of the caves, including cave ceilings, floors, walls and overhangs. They are also observed growing adjacent to biofilms, which sometimes fill in the cracks of the coralloid nodes. Preliminary results show the presence of opal, calcite, quartz and other minor minerals in the speleothems. This study seeks to understand the formation mechanism and source of these secondary minerals, as well as determine their possible relation to the biofilms. This will be done through the analysis of the water chemistry, isotope geochemistry and microscale mineralogy.

  12. The competitive enrichment market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parks, J.W.; Huffman, F.C.

    1984-01-01

    With the enactment of the ''Private Ownership of Special Nuclear Materials Act'' in 1964, the U.S. Government made provisions to enter into the uranium enrichment services business. Since nuclear power was in its infancy and the Government was promoting its growth as well as trying to help U.S. industry sell reactors overseas, the initial contracts (Requirements Contracts) for enrichment services placed most of the risks associated with the supplying of the services on the Government. Projections of nuclear power additions continued to grow and in 1972 the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) stopped contracting under Requirements Contracts in order to study which mode of contracting best suited the commercial development of the industry. In mid-1973, the AEC introduced the Long-Term Fixed Commitment (LTFC) contract which shifted the risk to the customer. By mid-1974, AEC had contracts which completely used the enrichment capacity of its complex and refused to accept requests for additional contracts. This action further convinced European nations that they should continue to develop their own enrichment capacity and resulted in the EURODIF and URENCO projects. Before this time the U.S. supplied 100% of the world market for enriching services

  13. Enrichment: Dealing with overcapacity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterson, C.H.

    1989-01-01

    Today's surplus of enrichment capacity will continue until at least the end of this century. This will challenge the ingenuity of the separative work unit (SWU) suppliers as they attempt to keep market share and remain profitable in a very competitive marketplace. The utilities will be faced with attractive choices, but making the best choice will require careful analysis and increased attention to market factors. Current demand projections will probably prove too high to the extent that more reactors are canceled or delayed. The DOE has the vast majority of the unused capacity, so it will feel the most immediate impact of this large surplus in productive capacity. The DOE has responded to these market challenges by planning another reorganization of its enriching operations. Without a major agreement among the governments affected by the current surplus in enrichment capacity, the future will see lower prices, more competitive terms, and the gradual substitution of centrifuge or laser enrichment for the gaseous diffusion plants. The competition that is forcing the gaseous diffusion prices down to marginal cost will provide the long-term price basis for the enrichment industry

  14. The subsurface geology of Río Tinto: material examined during a simulated Mars drilling mission for the Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Schutt, John; Sutter, Brad; Heldmann, Jennifer L; Bell, Mary Sue; Battler, Melissa; Cannon, Howard; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Stoker, Carol R

    2008-10-01

    The 2005 Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) project conducted a simulated 1-month Mars drilling mission in the Río Tinto district, Spain. Dry robotic drilling, core sampling, and biological and geological analytical technologies were collectively tested for the first time for potential use on Mars. Drilling and subsurface sampling and analytical technologies are being explored for Mars because the subsurface is the most likely place to find life on Mars. The objectives of this work are to describe drilling, sampling, and analytical procedures; present the geological analysis of core and borehole material; and examine lessons learned from the drilling simulation. Drilling occurred at an undisclosed location, causing the science team to rely only on mission data for geological and biological interpretations. Core and borehole imaging was used for micromorphological analysis of rock, targeting rock for biological analysis, and making decisions regarding the next day's drilling operations. Drilling reached 606 cm depth into poorly consolidated gossan that allowed only 35% of core recovery and contributed to borehole wall failure during drilling. Core material containing any indication of biology was sampled and analyzed in more detail for its confirmation. Despite the poorly consolidated nature of the subsurface gossan, dry drilling was able to retrieve useful core material for geological and biological analysis. Lessons learned from this drilling simulation can guide the development of dry drilling and subsurface geological and biological analytical technologies for future Mars drilling missions.

  15. Astrobiology, history, and society life beyond earth and the impact of discovery

    CERN Document Server

    2013-01-01

    This book addresses important current and historical topics in astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth, including the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The first section covers the plurality of worlds debate from antiquity through the nineteenth century, while section two covers the extraterrestrial life debate from the twentieth century to the present. The final section examines the societal impact of discovering life beyond Earth, including both cultural and religious dimensions. Throughout the book, authors draw links between their own chapters and those of other contributors, emphasizing the interconnections between the various strands of the history and societal impact of the search for extraterrestrial life. The chapters are all written by internationally recognized experts and are carefully edited by Douglas Vakoch, professor of clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute. This interd...

  16. Astrobiology outreach and the nature of science: the role of creativity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fergusson, Jennifer; Oliver, Carol; Walter, Malcolm R

    2012-12-01

    There is concern in many developed countries that school students are turning away from science. However, students may be choosing not to study science and dismissing the possibility of a scientific career because, in the junior secondary years, they gain a false view of science and the work of scientists. There is a disparity between science as it is portrayed at school and science as it is practiced. This paper describes a study to explore whether engaging in science through astrobiology outreach activities may improve students' understanding of the nature and processes of science, and how this may influence their interest in a career in science. The results suggest that the students attending these Mars research-related outreach activities are more interested in science than the average student but are lacking in understanding of aspects of the nature of science. A significant difference was detected between pre- and posttest understandings of some concepts of the nature of science.

  17. Assessing the Ecophysiology of Methanogens in the Context of Recent Astrobiological and Planetological Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth-Sophie Taubner

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Among all known microbes capable of thriving under extreme and, therefore, potentially extraterrestrial environmental conditions, methanogens from the domain Archaea are intriguing organisms. This is due to their broad metabolic versatility, enormous diversity, and ability to grow under extreme environmental conditions. Several studies revealed that growth conditions of methanogens are compatible with environmental conditions on extraterrestrial bodies throughout the Solar System. Hence, life in the Solar System might not be limited to the classical habitable zone. In this contribution we assess the main ecophysiological characteristics of methanogens and compare these to the environmental conditions of putative habitats in the Solar System, in particular Mars and icy moons. Eventually, we give an outlook on the feasibility and the necessity of future astrobiological studies concerning methanogens.

  18. The Formation of Organic Compounds of Astrobiological Interest by the Irradiation Processing of Astrophysical Ices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.

    2015-01-01

    Many environments in space contain very low temperature mixed molecular ices that are exposed to ionizing radiation in the form of cosmic rays and high-energy photons. While traditional chemistry would not be expected to occur at the temperatures typical of these ices (T compounds. Many of these new products are of direct interest to astrobiology. For example, the irradiation of mixed molecular ices has been shown to produce amino acids, amphiphiles, quinones, sugars, heterocyclic compounds, and nucleobases, all molecular building blocks used by terrestrial life. Insofar as the presence of these materials plays a role in the origin of life on planets, this has profound implications for the potential abundance of life in the universe since these experiments simulate universal conditions that are expected to be found wherever new stars and planets form.

  19. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope Jane

    2016-01-01

    We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can flourish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a "Field Guide to Unknown Organisms" for developing life detection space missions.

  20. Tumbleweed: Wind-propelled Surficial Measurements for Astrobiology and Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlman, K. R.; Behar, A. E.; Jones, J. A.; Carsey, F.; Coleman, M.; Bearman, G.; Buehler, M.; Boston, P. J.; McKay, C. P.; Rothschild, L.

    2004-01-01

    Tumbleweed is a wind-propelled long-range vehicle based on well-developed and tested technology, instrumented to perform surveys Mars analog environments for habitability and suitable for a variety of missions on Mars. Tumbleweeds are light-weight and relatively inexpensive, making it very attractive for multiple deployments or piggy-backing on a larger mission. Tumbleweeds with rigid structures are also being developed for similar applications. Modeling and testing have shown that a 6 meter diameter Tumbleweed is capable of climbing 25 hills, traveling over 1 meter diameter boulders, and ranging over a thousand kilometers. Tumbleweeds have a potential payload capability of about 10 kilograms with approximately 10-20 Watts of power. Stopping for science investigations can also be accomplished using partial deflation or other braking mechanisms. Surveys for Astrobiology and other applications of tumbleweeds are shown.

  1. Pulsed neutron generator system for astrobiological and geochemical exploration of planetary bodies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akkurt, Hatice; Groves, Joel L.; Trombka, Jacob; Starr, Richard; Evans, Larry; Floyd, Samuel; Hoover, Richard; Lim, Lucy; McClanahan, Timothy; James, Ralph; McCoy, Timothy; Schweitzer, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

    A pulsed neutron/gamma-ray detection system for use on rovers to survey the elemental concentrations of Martian and Lunar surface and subsurface materials is evaluated. A robotic survey system combining a pulsed neutron generator (PNG) and detectors (gamma ray and neutron) can measure the major constituents to a depth of about 30 cm. Scanning mode measurements can give the major elemental concentrations while the rover is moving; analyzing mode measurements can give a detailed elemental analysis of the adjacent material when the rover is stationary. A detailed map of the subsurface elemental concentrations will provide invaluable information relevant to some of the most fundamental astrobiological questions including the presence of water, biogenic activity, life habitability and deposition processes

  2. The Formation of Complex Organic Compounds in Astrophysical Ices and their Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.

    2015-01-01

    Ices in astrophysical environments are generally dominated by very simple molecules like H2O, CH3OH, CH4, NH3, CO, CO2, etc, although they likely contain PAHs as well. These molecules, particularly H2O, are of direct interest to astrobiology in-and-of themselves since they represent some of the main carriers of the biogenic elements C, H, O, and N. In addition, these compounds are present in the dense interstellar clouds in which new stars and planetary systems are formed and may play a large role in the delivery of volatiles and organics to the surfaces of new planets. However, these molecules are all far simpler than the more complex organic compounds found in living systems.

  3. The Argyre Region as a Prime Target for in situ Astrobiological Exploration of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairén, Alberto G; Dohm, James M; Rodríguez, J Alexis P; Uceda, Esther R; Kargel, Jeffrey; Soare, Richard; Cleaves, H James; Oehler, Dorothy; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Essefi, Elhoucine; Banks, Maria E; Komatsu, Goro; Fink, Wolfgang; Robbins, Stuart; Yan, Jianguo; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Maruyama, Shigenori; Baker, Victor R

    2016-02-01

    At the time before ∼3.5 Ga that life originated and began to spread on Earth, Mars was a wetter and more geologically dynamic planet than it is today. The Argyre basin, in the southern cratered highlands of Mars, formed from a giant impact at ∼3.93 Ga, which generated an enormous basin approximately 1800 km in diameter. The early post-impact environment of the Argyre basin possibly contained many of the ingredients that are thought to be necessary for life: abundant and long-lived liquid water, biogenic elements, and energy sources, all of which would have supported a regional environment favorable for the origin and the persistence of life. We discuss the astrobiological significance of some landscape features and terrain types in the Argyre region that are promising and accessible sites for astrobiological exploration. These include (i) deposits related to the hydrothermal activity associated with the Argyre impact event, subsequent impacts, and those associated with the migration of heated water along Argyre-induced basement structures; (ii) constructs along the floor of the basin that could mark venting of volatiles, possibly related to the development of mud volcanoes; (iii) features interpreted as ice-cored mounds (open-system pingos), whose origin and development could be the result of deeply seated groundwater upwelling to the surface; (iv) sedimentary deposits related to the formation of glaciers along the basin's margins, such as evidenced by the ridges interpreted to be eskers on the basin floor; (v) sedimentary deposits related to the formation of lakes in both the primary Argyre basin and other smaller impact-derived basins along the margin, including those in the highly degraded rim materials; and (vi) crater-wall gullies, whose morphology points to a structural origin and discharge of (wet) flows.

  4. Laser and gas centrifuge enrichment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heinonen, Olli [Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Massachusetts (United States)

    2014-05-09

    Principles of uranium isotope enrichment using various laser and gas centrifuge techniques are briefly discussed. Examples on production of high enriched uranium are given. Concerns regarding the possibility of using low end technologies to produce weapons grade uranium are explained. Based on current assessments commercial enrichment services are able to cover the global needs of enriched uranium in the foreseeable future.

  5. Oxygen enrichment incineration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Jeong Guk; Yang, Hee Chul; Park, Geun Il; Kim, Joon Hyung

    2000-10-01

    Oxygen enriched combustion technology has recently been used in waste incineration. To apply the oxygen enrichment on alpha-bearing waste incineration, which is being developed, a state-of-an-art review has been performed. The use of oxygen or oxygen-enriched air instead of air in incineration would result in increase of combustion efficiency and capacity, and reduction of off-gas product. Especially, the off-gas could be reduced below a quarter, which might reduce off-gas treatment facilities, and also increase an efficiency of off-gas treatment. However, the use of oxygen might also lead to local overheating and high nitrogen oxides (NOx) formation. To overcome these problems, an application of low NOx oxy-fuel burner and recycling of a part of off-gas to combustion chamber have been suggested

  6. Oxygen enrichment incineration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jeong Guk; Yang, Hee Chul; Park, Geun Il; Kim, Joon Hyung

    2000-10-01

    Oxygen enriched combustion technology has recently been used in waste incineration. To apply the oxygen enrichment on alpha-bearing waste incineration, which is being developed, a state-of-an-art review has been performed. The use of oxygen or oxygen-enriched air instead of air in incineration would result in increase of combustion efficiency and capacity, and reduction of off-gas product. Especially, the off-gas could be reduced below a quarter, which might reduce off-gas treatment facilities, and also increase an efficiency of off-gas treatment. However, the use of oxygen might also lead to local overheating and high nitrogen oxides (NOx) formation. To overcome these problems, an application of low NOx oxy-fuel burner and recycling of a part of off-gas to combustion chamber have been suggested.

  7. Centrifuge enrichment program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Astley, E.R.

    1976-01-01

    Exxon Nuclear has been active in privately funded research and development of centrifuge enrichment technology since 1972. In October of 1975, Exxon Nuclear submitted a proposal to design, construct, and operate a 3000-MT SWU/yr centrifuge enrichment plant, under the provisions of the proposed Nuclear Fuel Assurance Act of 1975. The U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) accepted the proposal as a basis for negotiation. It was proposed to build a 1000-MT SWU/yr demonstration increment to be operational in 1982; and after successful operation for about one year, expand the facilities into a 3000-MT SWU/yr plant. As part of the overall centrifuge enrichment plant, a dedicated centrifuge manufacturing plant would be constructed; sized to support the full 3000-MT SWU/yr plant. The selection of the centrifuge process by Exxon Nuclear was based on an extremely thorough evaluation of current and projected enrichment technology; results show that the technology is mature and the process will be cost effective. The substantial savings in energy (about 93%) from utilization of the centrifuge option rather than gaseous diffusion is a compelling argument. As part of this program, Exxon Nuclear has a large hardware R and D program, plus a prototype centrifuge manufacturing capability in Malta, New York. To provide a full-scale machine and limited cascade test capability, Exxon Nuclear is constructing a $4,000,000 Centrifuge Test Facility in Richland, Washington. This facility was to initiate operations in the Fall of 1976. Exxon Nuclear is convinced that the centrifuge enrichment process is the rational selection for emergence of a commercial enrichment industry

  8. Phosphopeptide enrichment by immobilized metal affinity chromatography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thingholm, Tine E.; Larsen, Martin R.

    2016-01-01

    Immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) has been the method of choice for phosphopeptide enrichment prior to mass spectrometric analysis for many years and it is still used extensively in many laboratories. Using the affinity of negatively charged phosphate groups towards positively...... charged metal ions such as Fe3+, Ga3+, Al3+, Zr4+, and Ti4+ has made it possible to enrich phosphorylated peptides from peptide samples. However, the selectivity of most of the metal ions is limited, when working with highly complex samples, e.g., whole-cell extracts, resulting in contamination from...

  9. US enrichment reduction studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-06-01

    A major national program, the Reduced Enrichment Research and Test Reactor (RERTR) Program, is currently under way in the U.S., centered at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), to reduce the potential of research and test reactor fuels for increasing the proliferation of nuclear explosive devices. The main objective of the program is to provide the technical means by which the uranium enrichment to be used in these reactors can be reduced to less than 20% without significant economic and performance penalties. The criteria, basis and goals of the program are consistent with the results of a number of case studies which have been performed as part of the program

  10. Advanced uranium enrichment processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clerc, M.; Plurien, P.

    1986-01-01

    Three advanced Uranium enrichment processes are dealt with in the report: AVLIS (Atomic Vapour LASER Isotope Separation), MLIS (Molecular LASER Isotope Separation) and PSP (Plasma Separation Process). The description of the physical and technical features of the processes constitutes a major part of the report. If further presents comparisons with existing industrially used enrichment technologies, gives information on actual development programmes and budgets and ends with a chapter on perspectives and conclusions. An extensive bibliography of the relevant open literature is added to the different subjects discussed. The report was drawn up by the nuclear research Centre (CEA) Saclay on behalf of the Commission of the European Communities

  11. Uranium Conversion & Enrichment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karpius, Peter Joseph [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2017-02-06

    The isotopes of uranium that are found in nature, and hence in ‘fresh’ Yellowcake’, are not in relative proportions that are suitable for power or weapons applications. The goal of conversion then is to transform the U3O8 yellowcake into UF6. Conversion and enrichment of uranium is usually required to obtain material with enough 235U to be usable as fuel in a reactor or weapon. The cost, size, and complexity of practical conversion and enrichment facilities aid in nonproliferation by design.

  12. Astrobiological implications of dim light phototrophy in deep-sea red clays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Anindita; Singh, Tanya; LokaBharathi, P. A.; Dhakephalkar, Prashant K.; Mallik, Sweta; Kshirsagar, Pranav R.; Khadge, N. H.; Nath, B. Nagender; Bhattacharya, Satadru; Dagar, Aditya Kumar; Kaur, Prabhjot; Ray, Dwijesh; Shukla, Anil D.; Fernandes, Christabelle E. G.; Fernandes, Sheryl O.; Thomas, Tresa Remya A.; Mamatha, S. S.; Mourya, Babu Shashikant; Meena, Ram Murti

    2017-02-01

    Red clays of Central Indian Basin (CIB) under influence of trace of Rodriguez Triple Junction exhibited chemoautotrophy, low temperature hydrothermal alterations and photoautotrophic potential. Seamount flank TVBC-08, hosting such signatures revealed dominance of aerobic anoxygenic phototroph Erythrobacter, with 93% of total 454 pyrosequencing tags. Subsequently, enrichments for both aerobic (Erythrobacter) and anaerobic anoxygenic phototrophs (green and purple sulphur bacteria) under red and white LED light illumination, with average irradiance 30.66 W m-2, were attempted for three red-clay sediment cores. Successful enrichments were obtained after incubation for c.a. 120 days at 4°± 2 °C and 25°± 2 °C, representing ambient psychrophilic and low temperature hydrothermal alteration conditions respectively. During hydrothermal cooling, a microbial succession from anaerobic chemolithotrophy to oxygenic photoautotrophy through anaerobic/aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic microbes is indicated. Spectral absorbance patterns of the methanol extracted cell pellets showed peaks corresponding to metal sulphide precipitations, the Soret band of chlorosome absorbance by photosystem II and absence of peaks at Qy transition band. Dendritic nano-structures of metal sulphides are common in these sediments and are comparable with other sulphidic paleo-marine Martian analogues. Significant blue and redshifts have been observed for the experimental samples relative to the un-inoculated medium. These observations indicate the propensity of metal-sulphide deposits contributing to chemiluminiscence supporting the growth of phototrophs at least partially, in the otherwise dark abyss. The effects of other geothermal heat and light sources are also under further consideration. The potential of phototrophic microbial cells to exhibit Doppler shift in absorbance patterns is significant towards understanding planetary microbial habitability. Planetary desiccation could considerably

  13. An Enriching Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Nancy A.; Burroughs, Jean

    2001-01-01

    Successful school-community partnerships in Volusia (Florida) Public Schools are the results of marketing creatively, meeting community members' needs, and bringing the right people together. The 3-year old program now offers students of all ages an expanding list of enrichment classes on many subjects for a nominal fee. (MLH)

  14. Uranium enrichment techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamdoun, N.A.

    2007-01-01

    This article includes an introduction about the isotopes of natural uranium, their existence and the difficulty of the separation between them. Then it goes to the details of a number of methods used to enrich uranium: Gaseous Diffusion method, Electromagnetic method, Jet method, Centrifugal method, Chemical method, Laser method and Plasma method.

  15. Requirements for enrichment tools

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, A.; Winkels, R.; Trompper, M.

    2016-01-01

    This report gives a high level overview of requirements for Enrichment tools in the Openlaws.eu project. Openlaws.eu aims to initiate a platform and develop a vision for Big Open Legal Data (BOLD): an open framework for legislation, case law, and legal literature from across Europe.

  16. Enriching the Catalog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennant, Roy

    2004-01-01

    After decades of costly and time-consuming effort, nearly all libraries have completed the retrospective conversion of their card catalogs to electronic form. However, bibliographic systems still are really not much more than card catalogs on wheels. Enriched content that Amazon.com takes for granted--such as digitized tables of contents, cover…

  17. Sample preparation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1992-01-01

    Sample preparation prior to HPLC analysis is certainly one of the most important steps to consider in trace or ultratrace analysis. For many years scientists have tried to simplify the sample preparation process. It is rarely possible to inject a neat liquid sample or a sample where preparation may not be any more complex than dissolution of the sample in a given solvent. The last process alone can remove insoluble materials, which is especially helpful with the samples in complex matrices if other interactions do not affect extraction. Here, it is very likely a large number of components will not dissolve and are, therefore, eliminated by a simple filtration process. In most cases, the process of sample preparation is not as simple as dissolution of the component interest. At times, enrichment is necessary, that is, the component of interest is present in very large volume or mass of material. It needs to be concentrated in some manner so a small volume of the concentrated or enriched sample can be injected into HPLC. 88 refs

  18. Availability of enrichment services

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Svenke, E.

    1977-01-01

    The report summarizes major uncertainties which are likely to influence future demands for uranium isotopic enrichment. Since for the next decade the development of nuclear power will be largely concerned with the increment in demand the timely need for enrichment capacity will be particularly sensitive to assumptions about growth rates. Existing worldwide capacity together with capacities under construction will be sufficient well into the 1980's. However, long decision and construction leadtime, uncertainty as to future demand as well as other factors, specifically high capital need, all of which entail financial risks, create hindrances to a timely development of increment. The adequacy of current technology is well demonstrated in plant operation and new technology is under way. Technology is, however, not freely available on a purely commercial basis. Commercial willingness, which anticipates a limited degree of financial risk, is requesting both long term back-up from the utilities that would parallel their firm decisions on the acquisition of nuclear power units, and a protective government umbrella. This situation depends on the symbiotic relationship that exists between the nuclear power generating organizations, the enrichment undertakings and the governments involved. The report accordingly stresses the need for a more cooperative approach and this, moreover, at the multinational level. There is otherwise a risk that proper resources and financing means will not be allocated to the enrichment sector. Export limitations that request the highest degree of industrial processing of nuclear fuel, i.e. the compulsory enrichment of natural uranium, do not serve the interests of overall industrial efficiency

  19. Promotion of uranium enrichment business

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurushima, Morihiro

    1981-01-01

    The Committee on Nuclear Power has studied on the basic nuclear power policy, establishing its five subcommittees, entrusted by the Ministry of Nternational Trade and Industry. The results of examination by the subcommittee on uranium enrichment business are given along with a report in this connection by the Committee. In order to establish the nuclear fuel cycle, the aspect of uranium enrichment is essential. The uranium enrichment by centrifugal process has proceeded steadily in Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation. The following matters are described: the need for domestic uranium enrichment, the outlook for overseas enrichment services and the schedule for establishing domestic enrichment business, the current state of technology development, the position of the prototype enrichment plant, the course to be taken to establish enrichment business the main organization operating the prototype and commercial plants, the system of supplying centrifuges, the domestic conversion of natural uranium the subsidies for uranium enrichment business. (J.P.N.)

  20. United States uranium enrichment policies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, R.W.

    1977-01-01

    ERDA's uranium enrichment program policies governing the manner in which ERDA's enrichment complex is being operated and expanded to meet customer requirements for separative work, research and development activities directed at providing technology alternatives for future enrichment capacity, and establishing the framework for additional domestic uranium enrichment capacity to meet the domestic and foreign nuclear industry's growing demand for enrichment services are considered. The ERDA enrichment complex consists of three gaseous diffusion plants located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Paducah, Kentucky; and Portsmouth, Ohio. Today, these plants provide uranium enrichment services for commercial nuclear power generation. These enrichment services are provided under contracts between the Government and the utility customers. ERDA's program involves a major pilot plant cascade, and pursues an advanced isotope separation technique for the late 1980's. That the United States must develop additional domestic uranium enrichment capacity is discussed

  1. Analysis of tank 38H (HTF-38-17-18, -19) and tank 43H (HTF-43-17-20, -21) samples for support of the enrichment control and corrosion control programs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hay, M. S. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL); Coleman, C. J. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL); Diprete, D. P. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)

    2017-03-01

    SRNL analyzed samples from Tank 38H and Tank 43H to support ECP and CCP. The total uranium in the Tank 38H samples ranged from 53.7 mg/L for the surface sample to 57.0 mg/L in the sub-surface sample. The Tank 43H samples showed uranium concentrations of 46.2 mg/L for the surface sample and 45.7 mg/L in the sub-surface sample. The U-235 percentage was 0.63% in the Tank 38H samples and 0.62% in the Tank 43H samples. The total uranium and percent U-235 results appear consistent with recent Tank 38H and Tank 43H uranium measurements. The plutonium results for the Tank 38H surface sample are slightly higher than recent sample results, while the Tank 43H plutonium results are within the range of values measured on previous samples. The Cs-137 results for the Tank 38H surface and subsurface samples are slightly higher than the concentrations measured in recent samples. The Cs-137 results for the two Tank 43H samples are within the range of values measured on previous samples. The comparison of the sum of the cations in each sample versus the sum of the anions shows a difference of 23% for the Tank 38H surface sample and 18% for the Tank 43H surface sample. The four samples show silicon concentrations somewhat lower than the previous samples with values ranging from 80.2 to 105 mg/L.

  2. Analysis of Tank 38H (HTF-38-17-52, -53) and Tank 43H (HTF-43-17-54, -55) Samples for Support of the Enrichment Control and Corrosion Control Programs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hay, M. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL); Coleman, C. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL); Diprete, D. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)

    2017-08-09

    SRNL analyzed samples from Tank 38H and Tank 43H to support ECP and CCP. The total uranium in the Tank 38H surface sample was 41.3 mg/L while the sub-surface sample was 43.5 mg/L. The Tank 43H samples contained total uranium concentrations of 28.5 mg/L in the surface sample and 28.1 mg/L in the sub-surface sample. The U-235 percentage ranged from 0.62% to 0.63% for the Tank 38H samples and Tank 43H samples. The total uranium and percent U-235 results in the table appear slightly lower than recent Tank 38H and Tank 43H uranium measurements. The plutonium results in the table show a large difference between the surface and sub-surface sample concentrations for Tank 38H. The Tank 43H plutonium results closely match the range of values measured on previous samples. The Cs-137 results for the Tank 38H surface and sub-surface samples show similar concentrations slightly higher than the concentrations measured in recent samples. The Cs-137 results for the two Tank 43H samples also show similar concentrations within the range of values measured on previous samples. The four samples show silicon concentrations somewhat lower than the previous samples with values ranging from 124 to 168 mg/L.

  3. Future of uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hosmer, C.

    1981-01-01

    The increasing amount of separative work being done in government facilities to produce low-enriched uranium fuel for nuclear utilities again raises the question: should this business-type, industrial function be burned over the private industry. The idea is being looked at by the Reagan administration, but faces problems of national security as well as from the unique nature of the business. This article suggests that a joint government-private venture combining enriching, reprocessing, and waste disposal could be the answer. Further, a separate entity using advanced laser technology to deplete existing uranium tails and lease them for fertile blankets in breeder reactors might earn substantial revenues to help reduce the national debt

  4. South Australia, uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-02-01

    The Report sets out the salient data relating to the establishment of a uranium processing centre at Redcliff in South Australia. It is conceived as a major development project for the Commonwealth, the South Australian Government and Australian Industry comprising the refining and enrichment of uranium produced from Australian mines. Using the data currently available in respect of markets, demand, technology and possible financial return from overseas sales, the project could be initiated immediately with hexafluoride production, followed rapidly in stages by enrichment production using the centrifuge process. A conceptual development plan is presented, involving a growth pattern that would be closely synchronised with the mining and production of yellowcake. The proposed development is presented in the form of an eight-and-half-year programme. Costs in this Report are based on 1975 values, unless otherwise stated. (Author)

  5. Enriched lithium collection from lithium plasma flow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karchevsky, A.I.; Laz'ko, V.S.; Muromkin, Y.A.; Pashkovsky, V.G.; Ustinov, A.L.; Dolgolenko, D.A.

    1994-01-01

    In order to understand the physical processes concerned with the selective heating by ion cyclotron resonance and with the subsequent collection of heated particles, experiments were carried out with the extraction of lithium samples, enriched with 6 Li isotopes. Probe and integral extractors allow to collect enriched Li at the end of the selective heating region. Surface density distribution on the collector and local isotopic content of lithium are measured, as a function of the screen height and the retarding potential. Dependence of the collected amount of lithium and of its isotopic content on the value of the magnetic field is also measured. 4 figs., 2 tabs., 5 refs

  6. Analysis of Tank 38H (HTF-38-16-80, 81) and Tank 43H (HTF-43-16-82, 83) Samples for Support of the Enrichment Control and Corrosion Control Programs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hay, M. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)

    2016-10-24

    SRNL analyzed samples from Tank 38H and Tank 43H to support ECP and CCP. The total uranium in the Tank 38H surface sample was 57.6 mg/L, while the sub-surface sample was 106 mg/L. The Tank 43H samples ranged from 50.0 to 51.9 mg/L total uranium. The U-235 percentage was consistent for all four samples at 0.62%. The total uranium and percent U-235 results appear consistent with recent Tank 38H and Tank 43H uranium measurements. The Tank 38H plutonium results show a large difference between the surface and sub-surface sample concentrations and somewhat higher concentrations than previous samples. The Pu-238 concentration is more than forty times higher in the Tank 38H sub-surface sample than the surface sample. The surface and sub-surface Tank 43H samples contain similar plutonium concentrations and are within the range of values measured on previous samples. The four samples analyzed show silicon concentrations somewhat higher than the previous sample with values ranging from 104 to 213 mg/L.

  7. Low-resolution gamma-ray measurements of uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sprinkle, J.K. Jr.; Christiansen, A.; Cole, R.; Collins, M.L.

    1996-01-01

    Facilities that process special nuclear material perform periodic inventories. In bulk facilities that process low-enriched uranium, these inventories and their audits are based primarily on weight and enrichment measurements. Enrichment measurements determine the 211 U weight fraction of the uranium compound from the passive gamma-ray emissions of the sample. Both international inspectors and facility operators rely on the capability to make in-field gamma-ray measurements of uranium enrichment. These users require rapid, portable measurement capability. Some in-field measurements have been biased, forcing the inspectors to resort to high-resolution measurements or mass spectrometry to accomplish their goals

  8. Resistance of Microorganisms to Extreme Environmental Conditions and Its Contribution to Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pabulo Henrique Rampelotto

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available In the last decades, substantial changes have occurred regarding what scientists consider the limits of habitable environmental conditions. For every extreme environmental condition investigated, a variety of microorganisms have shown that not only can they tolerate these conditions, but that they also often require these extreme conditions for survival. Microbes can return to life even after hundreds of millions of years. Furthermore, a variety of studies demonstrate that microorganisms can survive under extreme conditions, such as ultracentrifugation, hypervelocity, shock pressure, high temperature variations, vacuums, and different ultraviolet and ionizing radiation intensities, which simulate the conditions that microbes could experience during the ejection from one planet, the journey through space, as well as the impact in another planet. With these discoveries, our knowledge about the biosphere has grown and the putative boundaries of life have expanded. The present work examines the recent discoveries and the principal advances concerning the resistance of microorganisms to extreme environmental conditions, and analyzes its contributions to the development of the main themes of astrobiology: the origins of life, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the dispersion of life in the Universe.

  9. NASA-ESA Joint Mission to Explore Two Worlds of Great Astrobiological Interest - Titan and Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reh, K.; Coustenis, A.; Lunine, J.; Matson, D.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Erd, C.; Beauchamp, P.

    2009-04-01

    Rugged shorelines, laced with canyons, leading to ethane/methane seas glimpsed through an organic haze, vast fields of dunes shaped by alien sciroccos… An icy moon festooned with plumes of water-ice and organics, whose warm watery source might be glimpsed through surface cracks that glow in the infrared… The revelations by Cassini-Huygens about Saturn's crown jewels, Titan and Enceladus, have rocked the public with glimpses of new worlds unimagined a decade before. The time is at hand to capitalize on those discoveries with a broad mission of exploration that combines the widest range of planetary science disciplines—Geology, Geophysics, Atmospheres, Astrobiology,Chemistry, Magnetospheres—in a single NASA/ESA collaboration. The Titan Saturn System Mission will explore these exciting new environments, flying through Enceladus' plumes and plunging deep into Titan's atmosphere with instruments tuned to find what Cassini could only hint at. Exploring Titan with an international fleet of vehicles; from orbit, from the surface of a great polar sea, and from the air with the first hot air balloon to ride an extraterrestrial breeze, TSSM will turn our snapshot gaze of these worlds into an epic film. This paper will describe a collaborative NASA-ESA Titan Saturn System Mission that will open a new phase of planetary exploration by projecting robotic presence on the land, on the sea, and in the air of an active, organic-rich world.

  10. The importance of the Maillard-metal complexes and their silicates in astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liesch, Patrick J.; Kolb, Vera M.

    2007-09-01

    The Maillard reaction occurs when sugars and amino acids are mixed together in the solid state or in the aqueous solution. Since both amino acids and sugar-like compounds are found on meteorites, we hypothesized that they would also undergo the Maillard reaction. Our recent work supports this idea. We have shown previously that the water-insoluble Maillard products have substantial similarities with the insoluble organic materials from the meteorites. The Maillard organic materials are also part of the desert varnish on Earth, which is a dark, shiny, hard rock coating that contains iron and manganese and is glazed in silicate. Rocks that are similar in appearance to the desert varnish have been observed on the Martian surface. They may also contain the organic materials. We have undertaken study of the interactions between the Maillard products, iron and other metals, and silicates, to elucidate the role of the Maillard products in the chemistry of desert varnish and meteorites. Specifically, we have synthesized a series of the Maillard-metal complexes, and have tested their reactivity towards silicates. We have studied the properties of these Maillard-metal-silicate products by the IR spectroscopy. The astrobiological potential of the Maillard-metal complexes is assessed.

  11. A Statistical Approach to Illustrate the Challenge of Astrobiology for Public Outreach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Foucher

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we attempt to illustrate the competition that constitutes the main challenge of astrobiology, namely the competition between the probability of extraterrestrial life and its detectability. To illustrate this fact, we propose a simple statistical approach based on our knowledge of the Universe and the Milky Way, the Solar System, and the evolution of life on Earth permitting us to obtain the order of magnitude of the distance between Earth and bodies inhabited by more or less evolved past or present life forms, and the consequences of this probability for the detection of associated biosignatures. We thus show that the probability of the existence of evolved extraterrestrial forms of life increases with distance from the Earth while, at the same time, the number of detectable biosignatures decreases due to technical and physical limitations. This approach allows us to easily explain to the general public why it is very improbable to detect a signal of extraterrestrial intelligence while it is justified to launch space probes dedicated to the search for microbial life in the Solar System.

  12. Reduced and oxidised scytonemin: theoretical protocol for Raman spectroscopic identification of potential key biomolecules for astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varnali, Tereza; Edwards, Howell G M

    2014-01-03

    Scytonemin is an important UV-radiation protective biomolecule synthesised by extremophilic cyanobacteria in stressed terrestrial environments. Scytonemin and its reduced form have been both isolated experimentally and the Raman spectrum for scytonemin has been assigned and characterised experimentally both in extracts and in living extremophilic cyanobacterial colonies. Scytonemin is recognised as a key biomarker molecule for terrestrial organisms in stressed environments. We propose a new, theoretically plausible structure for oxidised scytonemin which has not been mentioned in the literature hitherto. DFT calculations for scytonemin, reduced scytonemin and the new structure modelled and proposed for oxidised scytonemin are reported along with their Raman spectroscopic data and λmax UV-absorption data obtained theoretically. Comparison of the vibrational spectroscopic assignments allows the three forms of scytonemin to be detected and identified and assist not only in the clarification of the major features in the experimentally observed Raman spectral data for the parent scytonemin but also support a protocol proposed for their analytical discrimination. The results of this study provide a basis for the search for molecules of this type in future astrobiological missions of exploration and the search for extinct and extant life terrestrially. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Detection of uranium enrichment activities using environmental monitoring techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belew, W.L.; Carter, J.A.; Smith, D.H.; Walker, R.L.

    1993-01-01

    Uranium enrichment processes have the capability of producing weapons-grade material in the form of highly enriched uranium. Thus, detection of undeclared uranium enrichment activities is an international safeguards concern. The uranium separation technologies currently in use employ UF 6 gas as a separation medium, and trace quantities of enriched uranium are inevitably released to the environment from these facilities. The isotopic content of uranium in the vegetation, soil, and water near the plant site will be altered by these releases and can provide a signature for detecting the presence of enriched uranium activities. This paper discusses environmental sampling and analytical procedures that have been used for the detection of uranium enrichment facilities and possible safeguards applications of these techniques

  14. The enriched chromium neutrino source for GALLEX

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartmann, F.X.; Hahn, R.L.

    1991-01-01

    The preparation and study of an intense source of neutrinos in the form of neutron irradiated materials which are enriched in Cr-50 for use in the GALLEX solar neutrino experiment are discussed. Chromyl fluoride gas is enriched in the Cr-50 isotope by gas centrifugation and subsequently converted to a very stable form of chromium oxide. The results of neutron activation analyses of such chromium samples indicate low levels of any long-lived activities, but show that short-lived activities, in particular Na-24, may be of concern. These results show that irradiating chromium oxide enriched in Cr-50 is preferable to irradiating either natural chromium or argon gas as a means of producing a neutrino source to calibrate the GALLEX detector. These results of the impurity level analysis of the enriched chromyl fluoride gas and its conversion to the oxide are also of interest to work in progress by other members of the Collaboration investigating an alternative conversion of the enriched gas to chromium metal. 35 refs., 12 figs., 5 tabs

  15. Beta activity of enriched uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nambiar, P.P.V.J.; Ramachandran, V.

    1975-01-01

    Use of enriched uranium as reactor fuel necessitates its handling in various forms. For purposes of planning and organising radiation protection measures in enriched uranium handling facilities, it is necessary to have a basic knowledge of the radiation status of enriched uranium systems. The theoretical variations in beta activity and energy with U 235 enrichment are presented. Depletion is considered separately. Beta activity build up is also studied for two specific enrichments, in respect of which experimental values for specific alpha activity are available. (author)

  16. Blueprint for domestic uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-01-01

    The AEC advisory committee on domestic production of uranium enrichment has studied for more than a year how to achieve the domestic enrichment of uranium by the construction and operation of a commercial enriching plant using centrifugal separation method, and the report was submitted to the Atomic Energy Commission on August 18, 1980. Japan has depended wholly on overseas services for her uranium enrichment needs, but the development of domestic enrichment has been carried on in parallel. The AEC decided to construct a uranium enrichment pilot plant using centrifuges, and it has been forwarded as a national project. The plant is operated by the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp. since 1979. The capacity of the plant will be raised to approximately 75 ton SWU a year. The centrifuges already operated have provided the first delivery of fuel of about 1 ton for the ATR ''Fugen''. The demand-supply balance of uranium enrichment service, the significance of the domestic enrichment of uranium, the evaluation of uranium enrichment technology, the target for domestic enrichment plan, the measures to promote domestic uranium enrichment, and the promotion of the construction of a demonstration plant are reported. (Kako, I.)

  17. Uranium enrichment by gas centrifuge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heriot, I.D.

    1988-01-01

    After recalling the physical principles and the techniques of centrifuge enrichment the report describes the centrifuge enrichment programmes of the various countries concerned and compares this technology with other enrichment technologies like gaseous diffusion, laser, aerodynamic devices and chemical processes. The centrifuge enrichment process is said to be able to replace with advantage the existing enrichment facilities in the short and medium term. Future prospects of the process are also described, like recycled uranium enrichment and economic improvements; research and development needs to achieve the economic prospects are also indicated. Finally the report takes note of the positive aspect of centrifuge enrichment as far as safeguards and nuclear safety are concerned. 27 figs, 113 refs

  18. Radiometric enrichment of nonradioactive ores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mokrousov, V.A.; Lileev, V.A.

    1979-01-01

    Considered are the methods of mineral enrichment based on the use of the radioation of various types. The physical essence of enrichment processes is presented, their classification is given. Described are the ore properties influencing the efficiency of radiometric enrichment, methods of the properties study and estimation of ore enrichment. New possibilities opened by radiometric enrichment in the technology of primary processing of mineral raw materials are elucidated. A considerable attention is paid to the main and auxiliary equipment for radiometric enrichment. The foundations of the safety engineering are presented in a brief form. Presented are also results of investigations and practical works in the field of enrichment of ores of non-ferrous, ferrous and non-metallic minerals with the help of radiometric methods

  19. The world enrichment market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gunter, L.; McCants, C.; Rutkowski, E.

    1991-01-01

    The enrichment market can be divided into two periods: the near-term market (1991 to 1995) and the long-term market (1995 and beyond). The near-term market is characterized by limited unfilled requirements of 4% per year, to be supplied by national stockpiles and excess inventories. This low-cost material will be drawn down by about 1993, causing a subsequent price rise. As the price rises, primary supplier activity is expected to increase. In the near-term, two contracting activities are apparent: spot; and intermediate-term. The current spot market is expected to last until available low cost inventories are drawn down. Recently, in attempts to gain market share, suppliers have offered attractively priced intermediate-term (3 year) contracts for 1996 to 1998. While a small spot market will continue after 1995, it is anticipated that utilities will prefer a mix of medium- and long-term (5 to 10 year) contracts from primary suppliers for most of their enrichment requirements. As national stockpiles and utility inventories are consumed, low-cost supply available to the spot market is expected to diminish. Consequently, with little low-cost supply available, the only apparent source of material will be from primary suppliers, and the resulting competition over market share is expected to be intense. (author)

  20. Motif enrichment tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatti, Charles; Sinha, Saurabh

    2014-07-01

    The Motif Enrichment Tool (MET) provides an online interface that enables users to find major transcriptional regulators of their gene sets of interest. MET searches the appropriate regulatory region around each gene and identifies which transcription factor DNA-binding specificities (motifs) are statistically overrepresented. Motif enrichment analysis is currently available for many metazoan species including human, mouse, fruit fly, planaria and flowering plants. MET also leverages high-throughput experimental data such as ChIP-seq and DNase-seq from ENCODE and ModENCODE to identify the regulatory targets of a transcription factor with greater precision. The results from MET are produced in real time and are linked to a genome browser for easy follow-up analysis. Use of the web tool is free and open to all, and there is no login requirement. ADDRESS: http://veda.cs.uiuc.edu/MET/. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  1. Astrobiological Significance of Definitive Mineralogical Analysis of Martian Surface Samples Using the CheMin XRD/XRF Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Sarrazin, P.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Vaniman, D. T.; Collins, S.

    2004-01-01

    The search for evidence of habitability, or of extant or extinct life on Mars, will initially be a search for evidence of past or present conditions supportive of life. The three key requirements for the emergence of life are thought to be liquid water; a suitable energy source; and chemical building blocks. CheMin is a miniaturized XRD/XRF (X-Ray diffraction / X-ray fluorescence) instrument which has been developed for definitive mineralogic analysis of soils and rocks on the Martian surface. The CheMin instrument can provide information that is highly relevant to each of these habitability requirements as summarized below.

  2. Modular enrichment measurement system for in-situ enrichment assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stewart, J.P.

    1976-01-01

    A modular enrichment measurement system has been designed and is in operation within General Electric's Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Facility for the in-situ enrichment assay of uranium-bearing materials in process containers. This enrichment assay system, which is based on the ''enrichment meter'' concept, is an integral part of the site's enrichment control program and is used in the in-situ assay of the enrichment of uranium dioxide (UO 2 ) powder in process containers (five gallon pails). The assay system utilizes a commercially available modular counting system and a collimnator designed for compatability with process container transport lines and ease of operator access. The system has been upgraded to include a microprocessor-based controller to perform system operation functions and to provide data acquisition and processing functions. Standards have been fabricated and qualified for the enrichment assay of several types of uranium-bearing materials, including UO 2 powders. The assay system has performed in excess of 20,000 enrichment verification measurements annually and has significantly contributed to the facility's enrichment control program

  3. Evaluating biomarkers for prognostic enrichment of clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Kathleen F; Roth, Jeremy; Zhu, Kehao; Thiessen-Philbrook, Heather; Meisner, Allison; Wilson, Francis Perry; Coca, Steven; Parikh, Chirag R

    2017-12-01

    A potential use of biomarkers is to assist in prognostic enrichment of clinical trials, where only patients at relatively higher risk for an outcome of interest are eligible for the trial. We investigated methods for evaluating biomarkers for prognostic enrichment. We identified five key considerations when considering a biomarker and a screening threshold for prognostic enrichment: (1) clinical trial sample size, (2) calendar time to enroll the trial, (3) total patient screening costs and the total per-patient trial costs, (4) generalizability of trial results, and (5) ethical evaluation of trial eligibility criteria. Items (1)-(3) are amenable to quantitative analysis. We developed the Biomarker Prognostic Enrichment Tool for evaluating biomarkers for prognostic enrichment at varying levels of screening stringency. We demonstrate that both modestly prognostic and strongly prognostic biomarkers can improve trial metrics using Biomarker Prognostic Enrichment Tool. Biomarker Prognostic Enrichment Tool is available as a webtool at http://prognosticenrichment.com and as a package for the R statistical computing platform. In some clinical settings, even biomarkers with modest prognostic performance can be useful for prognostic enrichment. In addition to the quantitative analysis provided by Biomarker Prognostic Enrichment Tool, investigators must consider the generalizability of trial results and evaluate the ethics of trial eligibility criteria.

  4. The Lost City Hydrothermal Field: A Spectroscopic and Astrobiological Analogue for Nili Fossae, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador, Elena S; Bandfield, Joshua L; Brazelton, William J; Kelley, Deborah

    2017-11-01

    Low-temperature serpentinization is a critical process with respect to Earth's habitability and the Solar System. Exothermic serpentinization reactions commonly produce hydrogen as a direct by-product and typically produce short-chained organic compounds indirectly. Here, we present the spectral and mineralogical variability in rocks from the serpentine-driven Lost City Hydrothermal Field on Earth and the olivine-rich region of Nili Fossae on Mars. Near- and thermal-infrared spectral measurements were made from a suite of Lost City rocks at wavelengths similar to those for instruments collecting measurements of the martian surface. Results from Lost City show a spectrally distinguishable suite of Mg-rich serpentine, Ca carbonates, talc, and amphibole minerals. Aggregated detections of low-grade metamorphic minerals in rocks from Nili Fossae were mapped and yielded a previously undetected serpentine exposure in the region. Direct comparison of the two spectral suites indicates similar mineralogy at both Lost City and in the Noachian (4-3.7 Ga) bedrock of Nili Fossae, Mars. Based on mapping of these spectral phases, the implied mineralogical suite appears to be extensive across the region. These results suggest that serpentinization was once an active process, indicating that water and energy sources were available, as well as a means for prebiotic chemistry during a time period when life was first emerging on Earth. Although the mineralogical assemblages identified on Mars are unlikely to be directly analogous to rocks that underlie the Lost City Hydrothermal Field, related geochemical processes (and associated sources of biologically accessible energy) were once present in the subsurface, making Nili Fossae a compelling candidate for a once-habitable environment on Mars. Key Words: Mars-Habitability-Serpentinization-Analogue. Astrobiology 17, 1138-1160.

  5. Enrichment of boron 10

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coutinho, C.M.M.; Rodrigues Filho, J.S.R.; Umeda, K.; Echternacht, M.V.

    1990-01-01

    A isotopic separation pilot plant with five ion exchange columns interconnected in series were designed and built in the IEN. The columns are charged with a strong anionic resin in its alkaline form. The boric acid solution is introduced in the separation columns until it reaches a absorbing zone length which is sufficient to obtain the desired boron-10 isotopic concentration. The boric acid absorbing zone movement is provided by the injection of a diluted hydrochloric acid solution, which replace the boric acid throughout the columns. The absorbing zone equilibrium length is proportional to its total length. The enriched boron-10 and the depleted boron are located in the final boundary and in the initial position of the absorbing zones, respectively. (author)

  6. Thermal breeder fuel enrichment zoning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Capossela, H.J.; Dwyer, J.R.; Luce, R.G.; McCoy, D.F.; Merriman, F.C.

    1992-01-01

    A method and apparatus for improving the performance of a thermal breeder reactor having regions of higher than average moderator concentration are disclosed. The fuel modules of the reactor core contain at least two different types of fuel elements, a high enrichment fuel element and a low enrichment fuel element. The two types of fuel elements are arranged in the fuel module with the low enrichment fuel elements located between the high moderator regions and the high enrichment fuel elements. Preferably, shim rods made of a fertile material are provided in selective regions for controlling the reactivity of the reactor by movement of the shim rods into and out of the reactor core. The moderation of neutrons adjacent the high enrichment fuel elements is preferably minimized as by reducing the spacing of the high enrichment fuel elements and/or using a moderator having a reduced moderating effect. 1 figure

  7. Advanced Neutron Source enrichment study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bari, R.A.; Ludewig, H.; Weeks, J.R.

    1996-01-01

    A study has been performed of the impact on performance of using low-enriched uranium (20% 235 U) or medium-enriched uranium (35% 235 U) as an alternative fuel for the Advanced Neutron Source, which was initially designed to use uranium enriched to 93% 235 U. Higher fuel densities and larger volume cores were evaluated at the lower enrichments in terms of impact on neutron flux, safety, safeguards, technical feasibility, and cost. The feasibility of fabricating uranium silicide fuel at increasing material density was specifically addressed by a panel of international experts on research reactor fuels. The most viable alternative designs for the reactor at lower enrichments were identified and discussed. Several sensitivity analyses were performed to gain an understanding of the performance of the reactor at parametric values of power, fuel density, core volume, and enrichment that were interpolations between the boundary values imposed on the study or extrapolations from known technology

  8. Astronomía y Astrobiología con internet : recursos informáticos y material multimedia interactivo

    OpenAIRE

    Ruiz Rey, Francisco José

    2006-01-01

    El artículo de Francisco José Ruiz Rey presenta información sobre diversos recursos didácticos de Astronomía y Astrobiología disponibles en Internet. Previamente, el autor hace una reflexión sobre Internet como un elemento que favorece el aprendizaje significativo constructivo y que modifica el patrón de escuela tradicional que requiere la presencia física del profesor y de los alumnos. Partiendo de esta reflexión, Francisco José Ruiz ofrece una selección amplia de sitios Web comentados divid...

  9. Unattended safeguards instrumentation at centrifuge enrichment plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, L. Eric; Lebrun, Alain R.; Labella, Rocco

    2014-01-01

    s effectiveness in meeting the high‑level verification objectives at enrichment facilities. In addition, such unattended instrumentation could reduce or eliminate the need for routine interim inspections, and significantly reduce the need for drawing samples from gas and cylinders during inspections—thereby achieving operational efficiencies.

  10. Enrichment plants. A survey of major new uranium enriching projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kovan, D.

    1976-01-01

    The work enrichment situation is reported. The development of enrichment in the U.S. and in Europe is outlined. A brief description is given of the technology of separation by diffusion and by centrifugation and the advantages and disadvantages of the two processes are compared. Finally the supply and demand situation is briefly considered. (U.K.)

  11. Industrial aspects in uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mezin, M.

    1982-05-01

    Characteristics of isotope separation processes in operation and under development are discussed. These include the number of stages in series, the number of components, the component unit capacity and enery requirements. The implementation of an enrichment process and the question of an enrichment plant in Australia are also considered

  12. City model enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, Philip D.; Quinn, Jonathan A.; Jones, Christopher B.

    The combination of mobile communication technology with location and orientation aware digital cameras has introduced increasing interest in the exploitation of 3D city models for applications such as augmented reality and automated image captioning. The effectiveness of such applications is, at present, severely limited by the often poor quality of semantic annotation of the 3D models. In this paper, we show how freely available sources of georeferenced Web 2.0 information can be used for automated enrichment of 3D city models. Point referenced names of prominent buildings and landmarks mined from Wikipedia articles and from the OpenStreetMaps digital map and Geonames gazetteer have been matched to the 2D ground plan geometry of a 3D city model. In order to address the ambiguities that arise in the associations between these sources and the city model, we present procedures to merge potentially related buildings and implement fuzzy matching between reference points and building polygons. An experimental evaluation demonstrates the effectiveness of the presented methods.

  13. Searching for Amino Acids in Meteorites and Comet Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Jamie Elsila

    2010-01-01

    Chemistry plays an important role in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology, which strives to understand the origin, distribution, and evolution of life throughout the universe. Chemical techniques are used to search for and characterize the basic ingredients for life, from the elements through simple molecules and up to the more complex compounds that may serve as the ingredients for life. The Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory at NASA Goddard uses state-of-the-art laboratory analytical instrumentation in unconventional ways to examine extraterrestrial materials and tackle some of the big questions in astrobiology. This talk will discuss some of the instrumentation and techniques used for these unique samples, as well as some of our most interesting results. The talk will present two areas of particular interest in our laboratory: (1) the search for chiral excesses in meteoritic amino acids, which may help to explain the origin of homochirality in life on Earth; and (2) the detection of amino acids and amines in material returned by NASA's Stardust mission, which rendevouzed with a cornet and brought back cometary particles to the Earth.

  14. AEC determines uranium enrichment policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1992-01-01

    The Advisory Committee on Uranium Enrichment of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has submitted a report to AEC chairman concerning the promotion of the introduction of advanced material, high performance centrifuges to replace conventional metallic drum centrifuges, and the development of next generation advanced centrifuges. The report also called for the postponement until around 1997 of the decision whether the development should be continued or not on atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) and molecular laser isotope separation (MLIS) processes, as well as the virtual freezing of the construction of a chemical process demonstration plant. The report was approved by the AEC chairman in August. The uranium enrichment service market in the world will continue to be characterized by oversupply. The domestic situation of uranium enrichment supply-demand trend, progress of the expansion of Rokkasho enrichment plant, the trend in the development of gas centrifuge process and the basic philosophy of commercializing domestic uranium enrichment are reported. (K.I.)

  15. Enhancing a Person, Enhancing a Civilization: A Research Program at the Intersection of Bioethics, Future Studies, and Astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ćirković, Milan M

    2017-07-01

    There are manifold intriguing issues located within largely unexplored borderlands of bioethics, future studies (including global risk analysis), and astrobiology. Human enhancement has for quite some time been among the foci of bioethical debates, but the same cannot be said about its global, transgenerational, and even cosmological consequences. In recent years, discussions of posthuman and, in general terms, postbiological civilization(s) have slowly gained a measure of academic respect, in parallel with the renewed interest in the entire field of future studies and the great strides made in understanding of the origin and evolution of life and intelligence in their widest, cosmic context. These developments promise much deeper synergic answers to questions regarding the long-term future of enhancement: how far can it go? Is human enhancement a further step toward building a true postbiological civilization? Should we actively participate and help shape this process? Is the future of humanity "typical" in the same Copernican sense as our location in space and time is typical in the galaxy, and if so, can we derive important insights about the evolutionary pathways of postbiological evolution from astrobiological and Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) studies? These and similar questions could be understood as parts of a possible unifying research program attempting to connect cultural and moral evolution with what we know and understand about their cosmological and biological counterparts.

  16. Establishment of a rearing system of the extremotolerant tardigrade Ramazzottius varieornatus: a new model animal for astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horikawa, Daiki D; Kunieda, Takekazu; Abe, Wataru; Watanabe, Masahiko; Nakahara, Yuichi; Yukuhiro, Fumiko; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Hamada, Nobuyuki; Wada, Seiichi; Funayama, Tomoo; Katagiri, Chihiro; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Higashi, Seigo; Okuda, Takashi

    2008-06-01

    Studies on the ability of multicellular organisms to tolerate specific environmental extremes are relatively rare compared to those of unicellular microorganisms in extreme environments. Tardigrades are extremotolerant animals that can enter an ametabolic dry state called anhydrobiosis and have high tolerance to a variety of extreme environmental conditions, particularly while in anhydrobiosis. Although tardigrades have been expected to be a potential model animal for astrobiological studies due to their excellent anhydrobiotic and extremotolerant abilities, few studies of tolerance with cultured tardigrades have been reported, possibly due to the absence of a model species that can be easily maintained under rearing conditions. We report the successful rearing of the herbivorous tardigrade, Ramazzottius varieornatus, by supplying the green alga Chlorella vulgaris as food. The life span was 35 +/- 16.4 d, deposited eggs required 5.7 +/- 1.1 d to hatch, and animals began to deposit eggs 9 d after hatching. The reared individuals of this species had an anhydrobiotic capacity throughout their life cycle in egg, juvenile, and adult stages. Furthermore, the reared adults in an anhydrobiotic state were tolerant of temperatures of 90 degrees C and -196 degrees C, and exposure to 99.8% acetonitrile or irradiation with 4000 Gy (4)He ions. Based on their life history traits and tolerance to extreme stresses, R. varieornatus may be a suitable model for astrobiological studies of multicellular organisms.

  17. New generation enrichment monitoring technology for gas centrifuge enrichment plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ianakiev, Kiril D.; Alexandrov, Boian S.; Boyer, Brian D.; Hill, Thomas R.; Macarthur, Duncan W.; Marks, Thomas; Moss, Calvin E.; Sheppard, Gregory A.; Swinhoe, Martyn T.

    2008-01-01

    The continuous enrichment monitor, developed and fielded in the 1990s by the International Atomic Energy Agency, provided a go-no-go capability to distinguish between UF 6 containing low enriched (approximately 4% 235 U) and highly enriched (above 20% 235 U) uranium. This instrument used the 22-keV line from a 109 Cd source as a transmission source to achieve a high sensitivity to the UF 6 gas absorption. The 1.27-yr half-life required that the source be periodically replaced and the instrument recalibrated. The instrument's functionality and accuracy were limited by the fact that measured gas density and gas pressure were treated as confidential facility information. The modern safeguarding of a gas centrifuge enrichment plant producing low-enriched UF 6 product aims toward a more quantitative flow and enrichment monitoring concept that sets new standards for accuracy stability, and confidence. An instrument must be accurate enough to detect the diversion of a significant quantity of material, have virtually zero false alarms, and protect the operator's proprietary process information. We discuss a new concept for advanced gas enrichment assay measurement technology. This design concept eliminates the need for the periodic replacement of a radioactive source as well as the need for maintenance by experts. Some initial experimental results will be presented.

  18. Surface enrichment with chrome and nitriding of IF steel under an abnormal glow discharge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meira, S.R.; Borges, P.C.; Bernardelli, E.A.

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this work is to evaluate the influence of surface enrichment of IF steel with chrome, and nitriding, the formation of the nitrided layer. Thus, IF steel samples were subjected to surface enrichment process, using 409 stainless steel as a target for sputtering, followed by plasma nitriding, both under a dc abnormal glow discharge. The enrichment treatment was operated at 1200 ° C for 3h. The nitriding treatment was operated at 510 ° C for 2 h. The influence of the treatments on the layers formed was studied through optical microscopy (OM), scan electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Vickers microindentation. The results show that the enrichment is effective to enrich the IF surface, furthermore, improves the characteristics of nitriding, comparing nitriding samples to nitriding and enriched, was observed needles of nitrides, as well as a higher hardness, which is associated with the nitrides of chrome, on the nitriding and enriched samples. (author)

  19. Hydrogen-enriched fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roser, R. [NRG Technologies, Inc., Reno, NV (United States)

    1998-08-01

    NRG Technologies, Inc. is attempting to develop hardware and infrastructure that will allow mixtures of hydrogen and conventional fuels to become viable alternatives to conventional fuels alone. This commercialization can be successful if the authors are able to achieve exhaust emission levels of less than 0.03 g/kw-hr NOx and CO; and 0.15 g/kw-hr NMHC at full engine power without the use of exhaust catalysts. The major barriers to achieving these goals are that the lean burn regimes required to meet exhaust emissions goals reduce engine output substantially and tend to exhibit higher-than-normal total hydrocarbon emissions. Also, hydrogen addition to conventional fuels increases fuel cost, and reduces both vehicle range and engine output power. Maintaining low emissions during transient driving cycles has not been demonstrated. A three year test plan has been developed to perform the investigations into the issues described above. During this initial year of funding research has progressed in the following areas: (a) a cost effective single-cylinder research platform was constructed; (b) exhaust gas speciation was performed to characterize the nature of hydrocarbon emissions from hydrogen-enriched natural gas fuels; (c) three H{sub 2}/CH{sub 4} fuel compositions were analyzed using spark timing and equivalence ratio sweeping procedures and finally; (d) a full size pick-up truck platform was converted to run on HCNG fuels. The testing performed in year one of the three year plan represents a baseline from which to assess options for overcoming the stated barriers to success.

  20. NAA analysis of enriched Zn-68 by

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rafii, H.; Mirzaei, M.; Mirzajani, N.; Sardari, D.; Shahabi, I.; Majedi, F.

    2002-01-01

    Excessive application of enriched isotopes in various fields of sciences and industry necessitates measuring their abundant by a precise and rapid methos. Beside the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, the thermal neutron activation analysis, NAA, is an alternative method, which is capable to determine trace amounts of elements as well as the elemental abundance. In this article the enrichment of Zn-68 in two different samples has been studied by mean of NAA. One sample was separated by an electromagnetic system in our center and the other was purchased from a French company, Cortecnet. The neutron irradiation was took place in MNSR reactor by flux 10 1 1n/cm 2 sec. for 30 min. and the produced radioactivity from Zn-69 m was measured one day after irradiation by HPGe detector. The results shows a good agreement with the reported ones and its low derivation of about ±3.05 indicates that the NAA is a precise, rapid, and supplemental method for analyzing enriched Zn-68

  1. Application research of improved 235U enrichment meter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Daming; Wu Xin; Lu Zhao; Tang Peijia; Lu Feng; Wang Yunmei

    1998-01-01

    A prototype 235 U enrichment meter based on NaI(Tl) γ spectroscopy is improved and it works under the principle of that the enrichment of 235 U is proportional to the radioactivity of 185 keV γ-ray when the sample is thick infinitely. The data of radioactivity from 235 U can be collected by a notebook computer and the interface control software is written using C++ language. The meter was tested and calibrated using standard fuel rods in fuel fabrication plant. For single fuel rod, the measured value of 235 U enrichment is agreeable with declared value within-1.0%-2.8%

  2. Determination of uranium enrichment by using gamma-spectrometric methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kutnyj, D.V.; Telegin, Yu.N.; Odejchuk, N.P.; Mikhailov, V.A.; Tovkanets, V.E.

    2009-01-01

    By using commercial analysis programs MGAU (LLNL, USA) and FRAM (LANL, USA) the summary error of gamma-spectrometric uranium enrichment measurements was investigated. Uranium samples with enrichments of 0,71; 4,46 and 20,1 % were measured. The coaxial high purity germanium detector (type GC) and the planar germanium detector (type LEGe) were used as gamma-radiation detectors. It was shown that experimental equipment and mathematical software available in NSC KIPT allow us to measure uranium enrichment by nondestructive method with accuracy of not worse than 2%.

  3. High enrichment to low enrichment core's conversion. Technical securities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abbate, P.; Madariaga, M.R.

    1990-01-01

    This work presents the fulfillment of the technical securities subscribed by INVAP S.E. for the conversion of a high enriched uranium core. The reactor (of 5 thermal Mw), built in the 50's and 60's, is of the 'swimming pool' type, with light water and fuel elements of the curve plates MTR type, enriched at 93.15 %. These are neutronic and thermohydraulic securities. (Author) [es

  4. Safety of uranium enrichment plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yonekawa, Shigeru; Morikami, Yoshio; Morita, Minoru; Takahashi, Tsukasa; Tokuyasu, Takashi.

    1991-01-01

    With respect to safety evaluation of the gas centrifuge enrichment facility, several characteristic problems are described as follows. Criticality safety in the cascade equipments can be obtained to maintain the enrichment of UF 6 below 5 %. External radiation dose equivalent rate of the 30B cylinder is low enough, the shield is not necessary. Penetration ratio of the two-stage HEPA filters for UF 6 aerosol is estimated at 10 -9 . From the experimental investigation, vacuum tightness is not damaged by destruction of gas centrifuge rotor. Carbon steel can be used for uranium enrichment equipments under the condition below 100degC. (author)

  5. Environmental enrichment for aquatic animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcoran, Mike

    2015-05-01

    Aquatic animals are the most popular pets in the United States based on the number of owned pets. They are popular display animals and are increasingly used in research settings. Enrichment of captive animals is an important element of zoo and laboratory medicine. The importance of enrichment for aquatic animals has been slower in implementation. For a long time, there was debate over whether or not fish were able to experience pain or form long-term memories. As that debate has reduced and the consciousness of more aquatic animals is accepted, the need to discuss enrichment for these animals has increased. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. World enrichment requirements to 2005

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1991-01-01

    The primary enrichment suppliers-Eurodif, Techsnabexport, Urenco, and the US DOE - are positioning themselves to take advantage of the post - 1995 market. Overall, unfilled requirements represent about 40 percent of world requirements in the year 2000. The USA will be the primary market, as US utilities' unfilled enrichment requirements account for over 60 percent of the world's total unfilled requirements. The enrichment market is moving toward more global competition, as each supplier tries to maintain its current regional market base and then to capture additional market share in other regions

  7. Uranium Enrichment Safeguards

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demuth, Scott F. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Trahan, Alexis Chanel [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2017-06-26

    DIV of facility layout, material flows, and other information provided in the DIQ. Material accountancy through an annual PIV and a number of interim inventory verifications, including UF6 cylinder identification and counting, NDA of cylinders, and DA on a sample collection of UF6. Application of C/S technologies utilizing seals and tamper-indicating devices (TIDs) on cylinders, containers, storage rooms, and IAEA instrumentation to provide continuity of knowledge between inspection. Verification of the absence of undeclared material and operations, especially HEU production, through SNRIs, LFUA of cascade halls, and environmental swipe sampling

  8. Centar's gas centrifuge enrichment project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abajian, V.V.; Fishman, A.M.

    1976-01-01

    Plans for the building and operating of Centar Associates gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant are described. Operating costs and machine manufacture are considered. Commitments with the utilities are summarised. (U.K.)

  9. Extraosseus enrichments in bone scintigraphy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jochens, R.; Schumacher, T.; Amthauer, H.; Wolter, M.; Stock, W.; Stroszczynski, C.; Moersler, J.P.; Eichstaedt, H.

    1996-01-01

    Extraosseus enrichments are common findings in bone scintigraphy. Main causes are artifacts by skin or cloth contamination, paravenous and subcutaneous injection. Physical examination, removal of cloths, skin cleaning or further images in differing projections lead to the correct diagnosis artefact or extraosseous enrichments. Further on, extraosseous enrichments are seen in physiological variants. In different diseases extraosseous enrichments are common, especially in urinary tract, liver and extremities. Further diagnostics, e.g. conventional radiologic procedures, sonography and CT scans, have to be performed. In individual cases side results in bone scintigraphy lead to formerly unknown diagnosis, further diagnostic procedure is influenced decisively. Own cases show for example a cerebral apoplectic insult, formerly unknown liver metastasis or metastasis in extraosseous Ewings's sarcoma. (orig.) [de

  10. Uranium enrichment: an evolving market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Longenecker, J.; Witzel, R.

    1997-01-01

    With over half of the world uranium enrichment market uncommitted to any supplier early in the next century, competition is certain to be fierce. In the meantime the outlood remains unclear, with the market dominated by a number of developments -privatisation of the United States Enrichment Corp (USEC), increasing availability of Russian and US military inventories, the deployment of advanced technology and the closure of nuclear power plants due to deregulation. (author)

  11. Unjust enrichment in business law

    OpenAIRE

    Vydrová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    This thesis analyses the concept of unjust enrichment under the business law. First of all the thesis explains the term of business law. Business law is a complex of legal rules concerning the contractual relationships between entrepreneurs arising from their business activities. Business law is a comprehensive field of law which extends into many other fields of law, both private and public law. Equally the regulation of unjust enrichment within the business law expands into many other laws ...

  12. Enrichment and isolation of microbial strains degrading bioplastic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    acer

    2015-07-08

    Jul 8, 2015 ... The sea sediments and sea water samples were collected from sites highly polluted with plastic waste from one of the beaches of Mumbai, India. Polymer sample. PVA (M.W. 125000) in powdered form was purchased from S. D.. Fine Chemicals, Mumbai, India. Enrichment of PVA degrading microbial stains.

  13. Tellurium Enrichment in Jurassic Coal, Brora, Scotland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liam Bullock

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Mid-Jurassic pyritic coals exposed at the village of Brora, northern Scotland, UK, contain a marked enrichment of tellurium (Te relative to crustal mean, average world coal compositions and British Isles Carboniferous coals. The Te content of Brora coal pyrite is more than one order of magnitude higher than in sampled pyrite of Carboniferous coals. The Te enrichment coincides with selenium (Se and mercury (Hg enrichment in the rims of pyrite, and Se/Te is much lower than in pyrites of Carboniferous coals. Initial pyrite formation is attributed to early burial (syn-diagenesis, with incorporation of Te, Se, Hg and lead (Pb during later pyrite formation. The source of Te may have been a local hydrothermal system which was responsible for alluvial gold (Au in the region, with some Au in Brora headwaters occurring as tellurides. Anomalous Te is not ubiquitous in coal, but may occur locally, and is detectable by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS.

  14. Protecting and expanding the richness and diversity of life, an ethic for astrobiology research and space exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph, Richard O.; McKay, Christopher P.

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing search for life on other worlds and the prospects of eventual human exploration of the Moon and Mars indicate the need for new ethical guidelines to direct our actions as we search and how we respond if we discover microbial life on other worlds. Here we review how life on other worlds presents a novel question in environmental ethics. We propose a principle of protecting and expanding the richness and diversity of life as the basis of an ethic for astrobiology research and space exploration. There are immediate implications for the operational policies governing how we conduct the search for life on Mars and how we plan for human exploration throughout the Solar System.

  15. Protecting and Expanding the Richness and Diversity of Life, An Ethic for Astrobiology Research and Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph, Richard O.; McKay, Chris P.

    2011-01-01

    The ongoing search for life on other worlds and the prospects of eventual human exploration of the Moon and Mars indicate the need for new ethical guidelines to direct our actions as we search and how we respond if we discover microbial life on other worlds. Here we review how life on other worlds presents a novel question in environmental ethics. We propose a principle of protecting and expanding the richness and diversity of life as the basis of an ethic for astrobiology research and space exploration. There are immediate implications for the operational policies governing how we conduct the search for life on Mars and how we plan for human exploration throughout the Solar System.

  16. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology Stew: Pinch of Microbes, Smidgen of UV, Touch of Organics, and Dash of Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session Astrobiology Stew: Pinch of Microbes, Smidgen of UV, Touch of Organics, and Dash of Meteorites includes the following topics: 1) Investigating the Impact of UV Radiation on High-Altitude Shallow Lake Habitats, Life Diversity, and Life Survival Strategies: Clues for Mars' Past Habitability Potential? 2) An Analysis of Potential Photosynthetic Life on Mars; 3) Radiation Inactivation of Bacterial spores on Mars; 4) Hydrophobic Surfaces of Spacecraft Components Enhance the Aggregation of Microorganisms and May Lead to Higher Survival Rates of Bacteria on Mars Landers; 5) Optical Detection of Organic Chemical Biosignatures at Hydrothermal Vents; 6) Signs of Life in Meridiani Planum-What Might Opportunity See (or Miss)? 7) Isolation of PUrines and Pyrimidines from the Murchison Meteorite Using Sublimation; and 8) Relative Amino Acid Composition of CM1 Carbonaceous Chondrites.

  17. PWR fuel of high enrichment with erbia and enriched gadolinia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bejmer, Klaes-Håkan; Malm, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Today standard PWR fuel is licensed for operation up to 65-70 MWd/kgU, which in most cases corresponds to an enrichment of more than 5 w/o "2"3"5U. Due to criticality safety reason of storage and transportation, only fuel up to 5 w/o "2"3"5U enrichment is so far used. New fuel storage installations and transportation casks are necessary investments before the reactivity level of the fresh fuel can be significantly increased. These investments and corresponding licensing work takes time, and in the meantime a solution that requires burnable poisons in all pellets of the fresh high-enriched fuel might be used. By using very small amounts of burnable absorber in every pellet the initial reactivity can be reduced to today's levels. This study presents core calculations with fuel assemblies enriched to almost 6 w/o "2"3"5U mixed with a small amount of erbia. Some of the assemblies also contain gadolinia. The results are compared to a reference case containing assemblies with 4.95 w/o "2"3"5U without erbia, utilizing only gadolinia as burnable poison. The comparison shows that the number of fresh fuel assemblies can be reduced by 21% (which increases the batch burnup by 24%) by utilizing the erbia fuel concept. However, increased cost of uranium due to higher enrichment is not fully compensated for by the cost gain due to the reduction of the number assemblies. Hence, the fuel cycle cost becomes slightly higher for the high enrichment erbia case than for the reference case. (author)

  18. Successful enrichment of the ubiquitous freshwater acI Actinobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Sarahi L; McMahon, Katherine D; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Warnecke, Falk

    2014-02-01

    Actinobacteria of the acI lineage are often the numerically dominant bacterial phylum in surface freshwaters, where they can account for > 50% of total bacteria. Despite their abundance, there are no described isolates. In an effort to obtain enrichment of these ubiquitous freshwater Actinobacteria, diluted freshwater samples from Lake Grosse Fuchskuhle, Germany, were incubated in 96-well culture plates. With this method, a successful enrichment containing high abundances of a member of the lineage acI was established. Phylogenetic classification showed that the acI Actinobacteria of the enrichment belonged to the acI-B2 tribe, which seems to prefer acidic lakes. This enrichment grows to low cell densities and thus the oligotrophic nature of acI-B2 was confirmed. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. High enrichment to low enrichment core's conversion. Accidents analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abbate, P.; Rubio, R.; Doval, A.; Lovotti, O.

    1990-01-01

    This work analyzes the different accidents that may occur in the reactor's facility after the 20% high-enriched uranium core's conversion. The reactor (of 5 thermal Mw), built in the 50's and 60's, is of the 'swimming pool' type, with light water and fuel elements of the curve plates MTR type, enriched at 93.15 %. This analysis includes: a) accidents by reactivity insertion; b) accidents by coolant loss; c) analysis by flow loss and d) fission products release. (Author) [es

  20. Gaseous diffusion -- the enrichment workhorse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shoemaker, J.E. Jr.

    1984-01-01

    Construction of the first large-scale gaseous diffusion facility was started as part of the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in 1943. This facility, code named ''K-25,'' began operation in January 1945 and was fully on stream by September 1945. Four additional process buildings were later added in Oak Ridge as the demand for enriched uranium escalated. New gaseous diffusion plants were constructed at Paducah, Kentucky, and Portsmouth, Ohio, during this period. The three gaseous diffusion plants were the ''workhorses'' which provided the entire enriched uranium demand for the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. As the demand for enriched uranium for military purposes decreased during the early 1960s, power to the diffusion plants was curtailed to reduce production. During the 1960s, as plans for the nuclear power industry were formulated, the role of the diffusion plants gradually changed from providing highly-enriched uranium for the military to providing low-enriched uranium for power reactors

  1. Uranium enrichment. Technology, economics, capacity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voigt, W.R. Jr.; Saire, D.E.; Gestson, D.K.; Peske, S.E.; Vanstrum, P.R.

    1983-01-01

    Large-scale enrichment of uranium has now been carried out for 40 years. While the gaseous diffusion process was the original choice of several countries and continues today to provide the major component of the world production of separative work, the last two decades have witnessed the development of a number of alternative processes for enrichment. These processes, which are being studied and deployed around the world, offer a wide range of technical and economic characteristics which will be useful in assuring adequate capacity to meet projected reactor fuel market needs through the rest of this century at competitive prices. With present uncertainties in future enriched uranium needs, it is apparent that flexibility in the deployment and operation of any enrichment process will be one of the prime considerations for the future. More economical production of separative work not only can have a beneficial impact on reactor fuel costs, but also tends to conserve natural uranium resources. This paper reviews the world scene in the enrichment component of the fuel cycle, including existing or planned commercial-scale facilities and announced R+D efforts on various processes. (author)

  2. Uranium enrichment: technology, economics, capacity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Voigt, Jr., W. R.; Vanstrum, P. R.; Saire, D. E.; Gestson, D. K.; Peske, S. E.

    1982-08-01

    Large-scale enrichment of uranium has now been carried out for 40 years. While the gaseous diffusion process was the original choice of several countries and continues today to provide the major component of the world production of separative work, the last two decades have witnessed the development of a number of alternative processes for enrichment. These processes, which are being studied and deployed around the world, offer a wide range of technical and economic characteristics which will be useful in assuring adequate capacity to meet projected reactor fuel market needs through the rest of this century at competitive prices. With present uncertainties in future enriched uranium needs, it is apparent that flexibility in the deployment and operation of any enrichment process will be one of the prime considerations for the future. More economical production of separative work not only can have a beneficial impact on reactor fuel costs, but also tends to conserve natural uranium resources. This paper reviews the world scene in the enrichment component of the fuel cycle, including existing or planned commercial-scale facilities and announced R and D efforts on various processes.

  3. Uranium enrichment: technology, economics, capacity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voigt, W.R. Jr.; Vanstrum, P.R.; Saire, D.E.; Gestson, D.K.; Peske, S.E.

    1982-01-01

    Large-scale enrichment of uranium has now been carried out for 40 years. While the gaseous diffusion process was the original choice of several countries and continues today to provide the major component of the world production of separative work, the last two decades have witnessed the development of a number of alternative processes for enrichment. These processes, which are being studied and deployed around the world, offer a wide range of technical and economic characteristics which will be useful in assuring adequate capacity to meet projected reactor fuel market needs through the rest of this century at competitive prices. With present uncertainties in future enriched uranium needs, it is apparent that flexibility in the deployment and operation of any enrichment process will be one of the prime considerations for the future. More economical production of separative work not only can have a beneficial impact on reactor fuel costs, but also tends to conserve natural uranium resources. This paper reviews the world scene in the enrichment component of the fuel cycle, including existing or planned commercial-scale facilities and announced R and D efforts on various processes

  4. The Passive Neutron Enrichment Meter for Uranium Cylinder Assay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Karen A.; Menlove, Howard O.; Swinhoe, Martyn T.; Marlow, Johanna B. [Safeguards Science and Technology Group (N-1), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos (United States)

    2011-12-15

    As fuel cycle technology becomes more prevalent around the world, international safeguards have become increasingly important in verifying that nuclear materials have not been diverted. Uranium enrichment technology is a critical pathway to nuclear weapons development, making safeguards of enrichment facilities especially important. Independently-verifiable material accountancy is a fundamental measure in detecting diversion of nuclear materials. This paper is about a new instrument for uranium cylinder assay for enrichment plant safeguards called the Passive Neutron Enrichment Meter (PNEM). The measurement objective is to simultaneously verify uranium mass and enrichment in Uf6 cylinders. It can be used with feed, product, and tails cylinders. Here, we consider the enrichment range up to 5% {sup 235}U. The concept is to use the Doubles-to-Singles count rate to give a measure of the {sup 235}U enrichment and the Singles count rate to provide a measure of the total uranium mass. The cadmium ratio is an additional signature for the enrichment that is especially useful for feed and tails cylinders. PNEM is a {sup 3}He-based system that consists of two portable detector pods. Uranium enrichment in UF{sub 6} cylinders is typically determined using a gamma-ray-based method that only samples a tiny volume of the cylinder's content and requires knowledge of the cylinder wall thickness. The PNEM approach has several advantages over gamma-ray-based methods including a deeper penetration depth into the cylinder, meaning it can be used with heterogeneous isotopic mixtures of UF{sub 6}. In this paper, we describe a Monte Carlo modelling study where we have examined the sensitivity of the system to systematic uncertainties such as the distribution of UF{sub 6} within the cylinder. We also compare characterization measurements of the PNEM prototype to the expected measurements calculated with Monte Carlo simulations.

  5. sample clean-up, enrichment and determination of

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The liquid mernbrane extraction method has been employed for selectively extracting trace ... be given foremost attention [13]. ... Germany). Structural information and other related physical parameters are given in Table 1. .... E is the measure of the rate of mass transfer through the membrane, and at specified extraction ...

  6. Sample clean-up, enrichment and determination of s -triazine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In liquid membrane extraction, the uncharged triazine compounds from the flowing donor solution diffuse through a porous poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) membrane, containing a water immiscible organic solvent. The s-triazine molecules are then irreversibly trapped in the stagnant acidic acceptor phase since they ...

  7. Influence of environmental enrichment on the behavior and physiology of mice infected by Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Déborah Maria Moreira da Silva

    Full Text Available Abstract INTRODUCTION: Enriched environments normally increase behavioral repertoires and diminish the expression of abnormal behaviors and stress-related physiological problems in animals. Although it has been shown that experimental animals infected with microorganisms can modify their behaviors and physiology, few studies have evaluated how environmental enrichment affects these parameters. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of environmental enrichment on the behavior and physiology of confined mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. METHODS: The behaviors of 20 T. cruzi-infected mice and 20 non-infected mice were recorded during three treatments: baseline, enrichment, and post-enrichment. Behavioral data were collected using scan sampling with instantaneous recording of behavior every 30s, totaling 360h. Plasma TNF, CCL2, and IL-10 levels and parasitemia were also evaluated in infected enriched/non-enriched mice. Behavioral data were evaluated by Friedman’s test and physiological data by one-way ANOVA and area under the curve (AUC analysis. RESULTS: Results showed that environmental enrichment significantly increased exploratory behaviors and diminished inactivity. The use of environmental enrichment did not diminish circulating levels of TNF and IL-10 but diminished circulating levels of CCL2 and parasitemia. CONCLUSIONS: Positive behavioral and physiological effects of environmental enrichment were observed in mice living in enriched cages. Thus, environmental enrichment improved the welfare of these animals.

  8. A Systematic Approach to Marital Enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinkmeyer, Don; Carlson, Jon

    1986-01-01

    Presents a systematic approach to enriching marital relationships. The history and current status of marital enrichment is reviewed. An Adlerian approach to marital enrichment is described. Applications of the program in enrichment groups, marriage therapy and couple groups are included. (Author)

  9. Enrichment of light hydrocarbon mixture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang,; Dali, [Los Alamos, NM; Devlin, David [Santa Fe, NM; Barbero, Robert S [Santa Cruz, NM; Carrera, Martin E [Naperville, IL; Colling, Craig W [Warrenville, IL

    2010-08-10

    Light hydrocarbon enrichment is accomplished using a vertically oriented distillation column having a plurality of vertically oriented, nonselective micro/mesoporous hollow fibers. Vapor having, for example, both propylene and propane is sent upward through the distillation column in between the hollow fibers. Vapor exits neat the top of the column and is condensed to form a liquid phase that is directed back downward through the lumen of the hollow fibers. As vapor continues to ascend and liquid continues to countercurrently descend, the liquid at the bottom of the column becomes enriched in a higher boiling point, light hydrocarbon (propane, for example) and the vapor at the top becomes enriched in a lower boiling point light hydrocarbon (propylene, for example). The hollow fiber becomes wetted with liquid during the process.

  10. PC based uranium enrichment analyser

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madan, V.K.; Gopalakrishana, K.R.; Bairi, B.R.

    1991-01-01

    It is important to measure enrichment of unirradiated nuclear fuel elements during production as a quality control measure. An IBM PC based system has recently been tested for enrichment measurements for Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), Hyderabad. As required by NFC, the system has ease of calibration. It is easy to switch the system from measuring enrichment of fuel elements to pellets and also automatically store the data and the results. The system uses an IBM PC plug in card to acquire data. The card incorporates programmable interval timers (8253-5). The counter/timer devices are executed by I/O mapped I/O's. A novel algorithm has been incorporated to make the system more reliable. The application software has been written in BASIC. (author). 9 refs., 1 fig

  11. Advances in uranium enrichment processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rae, H.K.; Melvin, J.G.; Slater, J.B.

    1986-05-01

    Advances in gas centrifuges and development of the atomic vapour laser isotope separation process promise substantial reductions in the cost of enriched uranium. The resulting reduction in LWR fuel costs could seriously erode the economic advantage of CANDU, and in combination with LWR design improvements, shortened construction times and increased operational reliability could allow the LWR to overtake CANDU. CANDU's traditional advantages of neutron economy and high reliability may no longer be sufficient - this is the challenge. The responses include: combining neutron economy and dollar economy by optimizing CANDU for slightly enriched uranium fuel; developing cost-reducing improvements in design, manufacture and construction; and reducing the cost of heavy water. Technology is a renewable resource which must be continually applied to a product for it to remain competitive in the decades to come. Such innovation is a prerequisite to Canada increasing her share of the international market for nuclear power stations. The higher burn-up achievable with enriched fuel in CANDU can reduce the fuel cycle costs by 20 to 40 percent for a likely range of costs for yellowcake and separative work. Alternatively, some of the benefits of a higher fissile content can take the form of a cheaper reactor core containing fewer fuel channels and less heavy water, and needing only a single fuelling machine. An opportunity that is linked to this need to introduce an enriched uranium fuel cycle into CANDU is to build an enrichment business in Canada. This could offer greater value added to our uranium exports, security of supply for enriched CANDUs, technological growth in Canada and new employment opportunities. AECL has a study in progress to define this opportunity

  12. Uranium enriched granites in Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, M.R.; Aakerblom, G.

    1980-01-01

    Granites with uranium contents higher than normal occur in a variety of geological settings in the Swedish Precambrian, and represent a variety of granite types and ages. They may have been generated by (1) the anatexis of continental crust (2) processes occurring at a much greater depth. They commonly show enrichement in F, Sn, W and/or Mo. Only in one case is an important uranium mineralization thought to be directly related to a uranium-enriched granite, while the majority of epigenetic uranium mineralizations with economic potential are related to hydrothermal processes in areas where the bedrock is regionally uranium-enhanced. (Authors)

  13. Uranium enrichment. 1980 annual report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-05-01

    This report contains data and related information on the production of enriched uranium at the gaseous diffusion plants and an update on the construction and project control center for the gas centrifuge plant. Power usage at the gaseous diffusion plants is illustrated. The report contains several glossy color pictures of the plants and processes described. In addition to gaseous diffusion and the centrifuge process, three advanced isotope separation process are now being developed. The business operation of the enrichment plants is described; charts on revenue, balance sheets, and income statements are included

  14. Prospects and problems of uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Imai, Ryukichi

    1974-01-01

    The problem of uranium enrichment now concerns principally peaceful nuclear power generation. With the current oil crisis, energy resources assume unprecedented importance. However, the requirements for enriched uranium vary with the vicissitude of the world situation in nuclear power generation; the enterprise of uranium enrichment is related to economic aspect. The following matters are described: dimension of enrichment problem, political factors, changes in requirements, projects in each country, and strategy of enrichment in Japan. (Mori, K.)

  15. Uranium enrichment in the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, J.H.; Parks, J.W.

    1975-01-01

    History, improvement programs, status of electrical power availability, demands for uranium enrichment, operating plan for the U. S. enriching facilities, working inventory of enriched uranium, possible factors affecting deviations in the operating plan, status of gaseous diffusion technology, status of U. S. gas centrifuge advances, transfer of enrichment technology, gaseous diffusion--gas centrifuge comparison, new enrichment capacity, U. S. separative work pricing, and investment in nuclear energy are discussed. (LK)

  16. Oxygen enriched air using membrane for palm oil wastewater treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramlah Mohd Tajuddin

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available A research aimed to explore new method of aeration using oxygen enriched air performance on BOD reduction of palm oil wastewater was conducted. The oxygen enriched air was obtained from an Oxygen Enriched System (OES developed using asymmetric polysulfone hollow fiber membrane with composition consisting of PSF: 22%, DMAc: 31.8%, THF: 31.8%, EtOH: 14.4%. Palm oil wastewater samples were taken from facultative pond effluent. These samples were tested for its initial biochemical oxygen demand (BOD, total suspended solids (TSS, pH, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen (DO, suspended solids (SS, and total dissolved solids (TDS before being subjected to two modes of aeration system, that is diffused air and oxygen enriched air. These water quality concentrations were tested for every 20 minutes for two-hour period during the aeration process. Results of BOD, TSS, pH, conductivity, DO, SS and TDS concentrations against time of samples from the two modes of aeration were then compared. It was found that DO concentration achieved in oxygen enriched air aeration was better than aeration using diffused air system. Aeration using OES improve the DO concentration in the wastewater and thus improve the BOD reduction and also influence other physical characteristics of wastewater. This phenomenon indicates the advantage of using air with higher oxygen concentration for wastewater aeration instead of diffused air system.

  17. Radon-enriched spring waters in the South of Poland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kozlowska, B.; Hetman, A.; Dorda, J.; Zipper, W.

    2001-01-01

    A method for determination of 222 Rn in natural water samples which involves a Wallac 1414 Win Spectral α/β liquid scintillation counter is described. Samples were collected from springs in health resorts in the Sudety Mountains in Poland. Half of the studied water samples were radon enriched with an activity concentration higher then 74 Bq/l. Seasonal variations of 222 Rn in these waters are under investigation. The method introduced is very convenient and elegant for radon activity measurements.

  18. Enriched uranium recovery flowsheet improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holt, D.L.

    1986-01-01

    Savannah River uses 7.5% TBP to recover and purify enriched uranium. Adequate decontamination from fission products is necessary to reduce personnel exposure and to ensure that the enriched uranium product meets specifications. Initial decontamination of the enriched uranium from the fission products is carried out in the 1A bank, 16 stages of mixer-settlers. Separation of the enriched uranium from the fission product, 95 Zr, has been adequate, but excessive solvent degradation caused by the long phase contact times in the mixer-settlers has limited the 95 Zr decontamination factor (DF). An experimental program is investigating the replacement of the current 1A bank with either centrifugal contactors or a combination of centrifugal contactors and mixer-settlers. Experimental work completed has compared laboratory-scale centrifugal contactors and mixer-settlers for 95 Zr removal efficiencies. Feed solutions spiked with actual plant solutions were used. The 95 Zr DF was significantly better in the mixer-settlers than in the centrifugal contactors. As a result of this experimental study, a hybrid equipment flowsheet has been proposed for plant use. The hybrid equipment flowsheet combines the advantages of both types of solvent extraction equipment. Centrifugal contactors would be utilized in the extraction and initial scrub sections, followed by additional scrub stages of mixer-settlers

  19. Enrichment plant management and safeguards

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hurt, N.H.

    1978-01-01

    The next increment of enrichment at Portsmouth will be gas centrifuge. The safeguards program at Portsmouth is discussed, including the DYMCAS system, the computerization, and the detectors. Control of the material access areas is discussed. The licensee material surveillance and verification program is also described

  20. The changing face of enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dunckel, E.

    1981-01-01

    The AIS techniques considered are atomic vapour laser isotope separation, molecular laser isotope separation and plasma separation. The future of the AIS technique and their advantages over the gas centrifuge method are discussed in terms of economics, power consideration, and possible enrichment contracts. (U.K.)

  1. Environmental Development Plan: uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-09-01

    This Environmental Development Plan identifies and examines the environmental, health, safety, and socioeconomic concerns and corresponding requirements associated with the DOE research, development, demonstration, and operation of the Uranium Enrichment program, including the gaseous diffusion process, the centrifuge process, centrifuge rotor fabrication, and related research and development activities

  2. Comparison of microbial DNA enrichment tools for metagenomic whole genome sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoendel, Matthew; Jeraldo, Patricio R; Greenwood-Quaintance, Kerryl E; Yao, Janet Z; Chia, Nicholas; Hanssen, Arlen D; Abdel, Matthew P; Patel, Robin

    2016-08-01

    Metagenomic whole genome sequencing for detection of pathogens in clinical samples is an exciting new area for discovery and clinical testing. A major barrier to this approach is the overwhelming ratio of human to pathogen DNA in samples with low pathogen abundance, which is typical of most clinical specimens. Microbial DNA enrichment methods offer the potential to relieve this limitation by improving this ratio. Two commercially available enrichment kits, the NEBNext Microbiome DNA Enrichment Kit and the Molzym MolYsis Basic kit, were tested for their ability to enrich for microbial DNA from resected arthroplasty component sonicate fluids from prosthetic joint infections or uninfected sonicate fluids spiked with Staphylococcus aureus. Using spiked uninfected sonicate fluid there was a 6-fold enrichment of bacterial DNA with the NEBNext kit and 76-fold enrichment with the MolYsis kit. Metagenomic whole genome sequencing of sonicate fluid revealed 13- to 85-fold enrichment of bacterial DNA using the NEBNext enrichment kit. The MolYsis approach achieved 481- to 9580-fold enrichment, resulting in 7 to 59% of sequencing reads being from the pathogens known to be present in the samples. These results demonstrate the usefulness of these tools when testing clinical samples with low microbial burden using next generation sequencing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Comparing Multi-Step IMAC and Multi-Step TiO2 Methods for Phosphopeptide Enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Xiaoshan; Schunter, Alissa; Hummon, Amanda B.

    2016-01-01

    Phosphopeptide enrichment from complicated peptide mixtures is an essential step for mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomic studies to reduce sample complexity and ionization suppression effects. Typical methods for enriching phosphopeptides include immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) or titanium dioxide (TiO2) beads, which have selective affinity and can interact with phosphopeptides. In this study, the IMAC enrichment method was compared with the TiO2 enrichment method, using a multi-step enrichment strategy from whole cell lysate, to evaluate their abilities to enrich for different types of phosphopeptides. The peptide-to-beads ratios were optimized for both IMAC and TiO2 beads. Both IMAC and TiO2 enrichments were performed for three rounds to enable the maximum extraction of phosphopeptides from the whole cell lysates. The phosphopeptides that are unique to IMAC enrichment, unique to TiO2 enrichment, and identified with both IMAC and TiO2 enrichment were analyzed for their characteristics. Both IMAC and TiO2 enriched similar amounts of phosphopeptides with comparable enrichment efficiency. However, phosphopeptides that are unique to IMAC enrichment showed a higher percentage of multi-phosphopeptides, as well as a higher percentage of longer, basic, and hydrophilic phosphopeptides. Also, the IMAC and TiO2 procedures clearly enriched phosphopeptides with different motifs. Finally, further enriching with two rounds of TiO2 from the supernatant after IMAC enrichment, or further enriching with two rounds of IMAC from the supernatant TiO2 enrichment does not fully recover the phosphopeptides that are not identified with the corresponding multi-step enrichment. PMID:26237447

  4. Availability of enriched stable isotopes: present status and future prospects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoff, R.W.

    1986-01-01

    The Electromagnetic Isotope Enrichment Facility (EMIEF) is currently used to produce 225 enriched stable isotopes of 50 elements. Among these are included most of the known elements with stable isotopes except for the noble gases, certain light elements, monisotopic elements, etc. The EMIEF can also be used to produce enriched samples of radioactive species, most notably the isotopes of uranium and plutonium. These enriched materials are placed in either the Sales Inventory of in the Research Materials Collection (RMC). The materials in the Sales Inventory are for sale to anyone on a first come, first served basis. Prices in the most recent catalog range from $0.05/mg for 99.8% 140 Ce to $1,267/mg for 98.5% 176 Lu. The materials in the RMC are made available to US researchers (or groups that include a US investigator) on a loan basis for use in non-destructive experiments and applications. In addition, certain samples have been provided to European investigators for cross-section studies through the auspices of EURATOM and the European-American Nuclear Data Committee. The status of the enriched isotopes included in the Sales Inventory is tabulated where isotopes are listed that are either not available or are in insufficient quantity or quality to meet current requests, as of 6/30/86. These can be summarized in the following subcategories: isotopes with zero inventory (22), Isotopes of insufficient quantity (17), and isotopes with insufficient enrichment quality (10). Of these 49 species, the supplies of 10 will be replenished by the scheduled FY86 enrichments in process (isotopes of bromine, calcium, nickel, potassium, rubidium, and strontium). In Table 3 are listed isotopes where the current inventory is less than the average annual sales level for the past five years. There are 47 isotopes listed, representing 25 different elements. Thus, there exists considerable potential for a substantial increase in the number of isotopes with zero inventory

  5. The commercial role for centrifuge enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Readle, P.H.; Wilcox, P.

    1987-01-01

    The enrichment market is extremely competitive and capacity greatly exceeds demand. BNFL [British Nuclear Fuels Ltd.] is in a unique position in having commercial experience of the two enrichment technologies currently used industrially: diffusion, and centrifuge enrichment through its associate company Urenco. In addition, BNFL is developing laser enrichment techniques as part of a UK development programme. The paper describes the enrichment market, briefly discusses the relative merits of the various methods of uranium enrichment and concludes that the gas centrifuge will be best able to respond to market needs for at least the remainder of the century. (author)

  6. Enrichment into the 21st century

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rutkowski, E.

    1995-01-01

    This article discusses the future of the enrichment services market into the next century. It is estimated that demand for enrichment services will reach 31 million SWU by the end of the century and remain constant for the following 10 years. The current world enrichment capacity is 44 million SWU, or some 50% ahead of the demand. This oversupply is projected to continue into the next century, but in spite of this, several suppliers are planning new enrichment facilities. HEU as a source of enriched uranium is examined. Overall, long-term prices for enrichment services are expected to decline in the coming decade

  7. The design of an automated electrolytic enrichment apparatus for tritium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Myers, J.L.

    1994-12-01

    The Radiation Analytical Sciences Section at Laboratory at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory performs analysis of low-level tritium concentrations in various natural water samples from the Tri-Valley Area, DOE Nevada Test Site, Site 300 in Tracy, CA, and other various places around the world. Low levels of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, which is pre-concentrated in the RAS laboratory using an electrolytic enrichment apparatus. Later these enriched waters are analyzed by liquid scintillation counting to determine the activity of tritium. The enrichment procedure and the subsequent purification process by vacuum distillation are currently undertaken manually, hence being highly labor-intensive. The whole process typically takes about 2 to 3 weeks to complete a batch of 30 samples, with a dedicated personnel operating the process. The goal is to automate the entire process, specifically having the operation PC-LabVIEW{trademark} controlled with real-time monitoring capability. My involvement was in the design and fabrication of a prototypical automated electrolytic enrichment cell. Work will be done on optimizing the electrolytic process by assessing the different parameters of the enrichment procedure. Hardware and software development have also been an integral component of this project.

  8. Modeling Profiles and Signatures of Enrichments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, A.; Qualls, C.; Lucas, S. G.; Lombari, G.; Appenzeller, O.

    2014-12-01

    Anthropogenic and geochemical enrichment of soils and living matter have been well documented 1, 2, 3.Here we report on geochemical, anthropogenic and biological enrichments with heavy metals in Modern Peru and compared this to Modern and ancient data from New Mexico, USA. We established a signature derived from the quantities of 25 metals in various biological, fossil and soil materials. We also speculate that human adaptation to mercury toxicity may occur in remarkably short time spans during the Holocene. We found mercury concentrations in Modern pigeon feathers and llama wool from free foraging birds and animals in Albuquerque, NM, ranging from 0.006 to 0.019 mg/Kg of tissue. The values for Modern Peru ranged from 22.0 to 556 mg/Kg for the same tissues. We discovered, in 64 million-year-old fossilized plants from New Mexico (Paleocene Nacimiento Formation, San Juan Basin), a mercury concentration of 1.11 mg/Kg of fossil, whereas Modern plant material from the Rio Grande Basin in New Mexico contained no mercury. Profiling of metal content of these samples suggests that mercury is a proxy for anthropogenic rather than geochemical enrichment in the localities we examined. We found no overt signs of mercury toxicity in contemporaneous inhabitants of Huancavelica4, Peru; one of the ten most mercury-polluted places in the world and the mercury concentration in their hair is well below modern admissible levels. However, assessment of their annual scalp hair growth-rate showed marked reduction in growth (~ 5cm/yr) versus ~ 16cm/year for normal scalp hair from other continents4. This is consistent with a toxic effect of heavy metals on human metabolism and especially autonomic nervous system function in Huancavelica, Peru. Contemporaneous anthropogenic activities are known to increase heavy metal content in the biosphere with potentially toxic effects on humans. However, signs of human evolutionary adaptation to such toxins might already be evident in Peru4.

  9. Bacterial and Archaeal Lipids Recovered from Subsurface Evaporites of Dalangtan Playa on the Tibetan Plateau and Their Astrobiological Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Ziye; Xiao, Long; Wang, Hongmei; Yang, Huan; Li, Jingjing; Huang, Ting; Xu, Yi; Ma, Nina

    2017-11-01

    Qaidam Basin (Tibetan Plateau) is considered an applicable analogue to Mars with regard to sustained extreme aridity and abundant evaporites. To investigate the possibility of the preservation of microbial lipids under these Mars analog conditions, we conducted a mineralogical and organic geochemistry study on samples collected from two Quaternary sections in Dalangtan Playa, northwestern Qaidam Basin, which will enhance our understanding of the potential preservation of molecular biomarkers on Mars. Two sedimentary units were identified along two profiles: one salt unit characterized by a predominance of gypsum and halite, and one detrital unit with a decrease of gypsum and halite and enrichment in siliciclastic minerals. Bacterial fatty acids and archaeal acyclic diether and tetraether membrane lipids were detected, and they varied throughout the sections in concentration and abundance. Bacterial and archaeal biomolecules indicate a dominance of Gram-positive bacteria and halophilic archaea in this hypersaline ecosystem that is similar to those in other hypersaline environments. Furthermore, the abundance of bacterial lipids decreases with the increase of salinity, whereas archaeal lipids showed a reverse trend. The detection of microbial lipids in hypersaline environments would indicate, for example on Mars, a high potential for the detection of microbial biomarkers in evaporites over geological timescales.

  10. A Chinese Longitudinal Study on Work/Family Enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Luo

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore reciprocal relationships between work/family resources, work/family enrichment (WFE), and work/family satisfaction in a Chinese society. Design/methodology/approach: A longitudinal design was adopted using a three-wave panel sample. Data were obtained from 310 Taiwanese employees on three occasions,…

  11. Inventory control through gamma spectrometry at the enriched uranium laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicens, H.E.; Korob, R.O.; Goldschmidt, A.E.

    1987-01-01

    The enriched uranium laboratory processes alternatively uranium 90% and 20% enriched in U-235. The control of the isotopic composition of lots is made through mass spectrometry. In the laboratory operation wastes of both enrichments are generated and the recovery is performed with a time delay. To strengthen the administrative controls, avoid errors related to personnel replacement and/or deferred operations, it seemed suitable to adjust the gamma spectrometry as a fast, simple and available method to determine the enrichment. The laboratory work includes a wet and a dry process. The waste recovery necessarily involves the handling of liquid samples. For this reason, it was decided to determine the calibration curve for uranyl nitrate samples of fixed concentration and geometry. The samples were prepared from material purified through double precipitation of uranium peroxide and subsequent ignition to U 3 O 8 in platinum crucible, in tubular oven during 8 hours at 720 deg C. The preparation of samples, the measurement description, the discussion of results and the analysis of errors due to the presence of insoluble material and concentration changes are included. (Author)

  12. Enrichment demand boosts SWU prices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    The enrichment market is picking up significantly on very brisk demand. US utilities, which normally purchase material nine months to a year ahead of time, are already hitting the market to fill their 1996 requirements. In June, two non-US utilities, one European entity and a US utility bought SWUs, the entity in an off-market deal. But that doesn't tell the whole story. Three other US utilities entered the market during the month. Meanwhile, we count 13 more utilities getting ready to hit the market for more than 4 million SWUs. Why the surge in demand? Utilities, uncertain of the role to be played by the new US Enrichment Corp. and seeking to take advantage of low interest rates, are implementing buy and hold strategies. As a result, the upper end of NUKEM's SWU price range inched up to $78. The lower end dipped to $67 based on the European deal

  13. Enrichment techniques employed in phosphoproteomics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fíla, Jan; Honys, David

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 43, č. 3 (2012), s. 1025-1047 ISSN 0939-4451 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP501/11/1462; GA ČR GA522/09/0858; GA ČR GA525/09/0994; GA MŠk OC08011 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50380511 Keywords : Phosphoproteomics * Enrichment * IMAC Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 3.914, year: 2012

  14. Uranium enrichment plans and policies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwennesen, J.L.

    1981-01-01

    Significant progress has been made in US efforts to expand its enrichment capacity. The Cascade Improvement Program (CIP) and Cascade Upgrading Program (CUP) are now complete at Oak Ridge and Paducah and almost complete at Portsmouth. Considerable progress has also been made in constructing the Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plant (GCEP), and physical construction of the first process building is well under way. Current plans are to have two process buildings on-line by 1989 with the remaining six buildings to be added sequentially as needed to meet demand. The status of DOE enrichment services contracts is essentially unchanged from that reported at last year's seminar. The OUEA latest forecast of nuclear power growth, however, is considerably lower than reported last year, although a leveling trend is becoming apparent. The Variable Tails Assay Option (VTAO) of the AFC contract was made available for the third time for FY 1983. The DOE inventories of natural uranium still remain high. The Department of Energy will dispose of this material by using it for Government programs and for enrichment plant operations. It appears that Government inventories of uranium are adequate through at least the mid-1990s. It remains DOE policy not to dispose of its natural uranium stocks through direct sales in the marketplace, except for very small quantities or if an emergency situation would exist and all reasonable attempts had been made, without success, to obtain natural uranium from commercial sources. Finally, with regard to DOE plans on future transaction tails assays, it still appears likely that the current 0.20 percent uranium-235 reference tails assay will be maintained until well into the 1990s, at which time it might be increased up to 0.25 percent uranium-235

  15. Selenium Enrichment of Horticultural Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puccinelli, Martina; Malorgio, Fernando; Pezzarossa, Beatrice

    2017-06-04

    The ability of some crops to accumulate selenium (Se) is crucial for human nutrition and health. Selenium has been identified as a cofactor of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is a catalyzer in the reduction of peroxides that can damage cells and tissues, and can act as an antioxidant. Plants are the first link in the food chain, which ends with humans. Increasing the Se quantity in plant products, including leafy and fruity vegetables, and fruit crops, without exceeding the toxic threshold, is thus a good way to increase animal and human Se intake, with positive effects on long-term health. In many Se-enriched plants, most Se is in its major organic form. Given that this form is more available to humans and more efficient in increasing the selenium content than inorganic forms, the consumption of Se-enriched plants appears to be beneficial. An antioxidant effect of Se has been detected in Se-enriched vegetables and fruit crops due to an improved antioxidative status and to a reduced biosynthesis of ethylene, which is the hormone with a primary role in plant senescence and fruit ripening. This thus highlights the possible positive effect of Se in preserving a longer shelf-life and longer-lasting quality.

  16. Selenium Enrichment of Horticultural Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Puccinelli

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The ability of some crops to accumulate selenium (Se is crucial for human nutrition and health. Selenium has been identified as a cofactor of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is a catalyzer in the reduction of peroxides that can damage cells and tissues, and can act as an antioxidant. Plants are the first link in the food chain, which ends with humans. Increasing the Se quantity in plant products, including leafy and fruity vegetables, and fruit crops, without exceeding the toxic threshold, is thus a good way to increase animal and human Se intake, with positive effects on long-term health. In many Se-enriched plants, most Se is in its major organic form. Given that this form is more available to humans and more efficient in increasing the selenium content than inorganic forms, the consumption of Se-enriched plants appears to be beneficial. An antioxidant effect of Se has been detected in Se-enriched vegetables and fruit crops due to an improved antioxidative status and to a reduced biosynthesis of ethylene, which is the hormone with a primary role in plant senescence and fruit ripening. This thus highlights the possible positive effect of Se in preserving a longer shelf-life and longer-lasting quality.

  17. Supply of enriched uranium for research reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mueller, H.

    2004-01-01

    Since the RERTR-Meeting in Newport/USA in 1990 recommended in several papers to the research reactor community to agree upon a worldwide unified technical specification for low enriched uranium (LEU) and high enriched uranium (HEU) in order to facilitate supplies of LEU and HEU to fabricators for acceptance and for fabrication of fresh fuel elements. This target for unified and simplified specification has only been partially reached due to different interests of the fabricators because they want to receive the uranium as pure as possible. As a result of various investigations, however, it became clear that both LEU and HEU received from the United States since the late fifties had different qualities which we have to deal with today due to the availability of stocks. We are now one step forward to know more precisely the properties of LEU and HEU we have received in the past. This uranium was never virgin and we have to cope with this situation. Therefore in my present paper I have concentrated on the documentation of analytical work performed on samples of LEU and HEU received in the past. I propose furthermore a frame of unified specifications for so-called virgin LEU and HEU including uranium from a Zero-experiment. In addition I am giving a recommendation for specifications of LEU obtained by blending of reprocessed HEU. Finally I am touching the question of secure supplies of fresh LEU. (author)

  18. The isotopic enrichment of uranium in 1979

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baron, M.

    1979-01-01

    The Eurodif uranium enrichment plant built on the Tricastin site is described. The uranium isotope separation plants in service abroad are presented. The main characteristics of the international enrichment market are defined [fr

  19. Uranium enrichment (a strategy analysis overview)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blahnik, C.

    1979-08-01

    An analysis of available information on enrichment technology, separative work supply and demand, and SWU cost is presented. Estimates of present and future enrichment costs are provided for use in strategy analyses of alternate nuclear fuel cycles and systems. (auth)

  20. Curriculum enrichment through indigenous Zulu games | Roux ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Curriculum enrichment through indigenous Zulu games. ... 1997). The aim of the study was to document and analyze indigenous Zulu games for possible curriculum enrichment of physical ... AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL.

  1. Assay of low-enriched uranium using spontaneous fission neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zucker, M.S.; Fainberg, A.

    1980-01-01

    Low-enriched uranium oxide in bulk containers can be assayed for safeguards purposes, using the neutrons from spontaneous fission of 238 U as a signature, to complement enrichment and mass measurement. The penetrability of the fast fission neutrons allows the inner portion of bulk samples to register. The measurement may also be useful for measuring moisture content, of significance in process control. The apparatus used can be the same as for neutron correlation counting for Pu assay. The neutron multiplication observed in 238 U is of intrinsic interest

  2. Network-based functional enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poirel Christopher L

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many methods have been developed to infer and reason about molecular interaction networks. These approaches often yield networks with hundreds or thousands of nodes and up to an order of magnitude more edges. It is often desirable to summarize the biological information in such networks. A very common approach is to use gene function enrichment analysis for this task. A major drawback of this method is that it ignores information about the edges in the network being analyzed, i.e., it treats the network simply as a set of genes. In this paper, we introduce a novel method for functional enrichment that explicitly takes network interactions into account. Results Our approach naturally generalizes Fisher’s exact test, a gene set-based technique. Given a function of interest, we compute the subgraph of the network induced by genes annotated to this function. We use the sequence of sizes of the connected components of this sub-network to estimate its connectivity. We estimate the statistical significance of the connectivity empirically by a permutation test. We present three applications of our method: i determine which functions are enriched in a given network, ii given a network and an interesting sub-network of genes within that network, determine which functions are enriched in the sub-network, and iii given two networks, determine the functions for which the connectivity improves when we merge the second network into the first. Through these applications, we show that our approach is a natural alternative to network clustering algorithms. Conclusions We presented a novel approach to functional enrichment that takes into account the pairwise relationships among genes annotated by a particular function. Each of the three applications discovers highly relevant functions. We used our methods to study biological data from three different organisms. Our results demonstrate the wide applicability of our methods. Our algorithms are

  3. Enriched uranium sales: effect on supply industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersen, R.K.

    1985-01-01

    The subject is covered in sections: introduction (combined effect of low-enriched uranium (LEU) inventory sales and utility services enrichment contract terms); enrichment market overview; enrichment market dynamics; the reaction of the US Department of Energy; elimination of artificial demand; draw down of inventories; purchase and sale of LEU inventories; tails assay option; unfulfilled requirements for U 3 O 8 ; conclusions. (U.K.)

  4. An automated solution enrichment system for uranium analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, S.A.; Sparks, R.; Sampson, T.; Parker, J.; Horley, E.; Kelly, T.

    1993-01-01

    An automated Solution Enrichment system (SES) for analysis of Uranium and U-235 isotopes in process samples has been developed through a joint effort between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Martin Marietta Energy systems, Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. This device features an advanced robotics system which in conjuction with stabilized passive gamma-ray and X-ray fluorescence detectors provides for rapid, non-destructive analyses of process samples for improved special nuclear material accountability and process control

  5. The Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C): a potential rover mission for 2018. Final report of the Mars Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) October 14, 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    This report documents the work of the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG), which was assigned to formulate a concept for a potential rover mission that could be launched to Mars in 2018. Based on programmatic and engineering considerations as of April 2009, our deliberations assumed that the potential mission would use the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) sky-crane landing system and include a single solar-powered rover. The mission would also have a targeting accuracy of approximately 7 km (semimajor axis landing ellipse), a mobility range of at least 10 km, and a lifetime on the martian surface of at least 1 Earth year. An additional key consideration, given recently declining budgets and cost growth issues with MSL, is that the proposed rover must have lower cost and cost risk than those of MSL--this is an essential consideration for the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG). The MRR-SAG was asked to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps toward the potential return of samples to Earth. The proposed means of achieving these two goals while balancing the trade-offs between them are described here in detail. We propose the name Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher(MAX-C) to reflect the dual purpose of this potential 2018 rover mission.

  6. 31 CFR 540.316 - Uranium enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Uranium enrichment. 540.316 Section 540.316 Money and Finance: Treasury Regulations Relating to Money and Finance (Continued) OFFICE OF... REGULATIONS General Definitions § 540.316 Uranium enrichment. The term uranium enrichment means the process of...

  7. The development and application of solid polymer electrolysis enrichment device of tritium in water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wen Xuelian; Yang Hailan Wu Bin; Yang Huaiyuan

    2003-01-01

    This paper briefly describes the working principle of solid polymer electrolysis enrichment device of tritium in water, presents experiments and works in development of SPE tritium automatic electrolysis enrichment device by CIRP, with which the water samples had been processed for TRIC2000, and the measurement results are satisfied

  8. Does an onion-enriched diet beneficially affect the microbiotal composition in healthy human subjects?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergström, Anders; Borg, Birgitte; Marin, Eduvigis Roldán

    enriched diet and one non-enriched supplemented diet in a double-blinded crossover design with a 25 days wash-out period in between. Six of the subjects delivered fecal samples on the last two days before starting on the diet and on the two last days of the 14 day diet. Total DNA was isolated from...

  9. Protein biomarker enrichment by biomarker antibody complex elution for immunoassay biosensing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sabatté, G.S.; Feitsma, H.; Evers, T.H.; Prins, M.W.J.

    2011-01-01

    It is very challenging to perform sample enrichment for protein biomarkers because proteins can easily change conformation and denature. In this paper we demonstrate protein enrichment suited for high-sensitivity integrated immuno-biosensing. The method enhances the concentration of the biomarkers

  10. Feasibility of nondestructive assay measurements in uranium enrichment plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walton, R.B.

    1978-04-01

    Applications of nondestructive assay methods to measurement problems in uranium enrichment facilities are reviewed. The results of a number of test and evaluation projects that were performed over the last decade at ORGDP and Portsmouth are presented. Measurements of the residual holdup in the top enrichment portion of the shut-down K-25 cascade were made with portable neutron and gamma-ray detectors, and inventory estimates based on these data were in good agreement with ORGDP estimates. In the operating cascade, the tests showed that portable NaI detectors are effective for monitoring NaF and alumina media for gaseous effluent traps and that gas phase enrichments and inventories, as well as large deposits of uranium, can be detected with portable neutron and gamma-ray instrumentation. A wide variety of scrap and waste materials, including barrier and compressor blades, incinerator ash and trapping media, and miscellaneous waste, were measured using passive gamma-ray and neutron methods and 14-MeV neutron interrogation. Methods developed for rapid verification of UF/sub 6/ in shipping containers with portable neutron and gamma-ray instruments are now used routinely by safeguards inspectors. Passive assay methods can also be used to measure continuously the enrichments of /sup 235/U and /sup 234/U in the UF/sub 6/ product and tails withdrawals of a gaseous diffusion plant. A system that was developed and installed in the extended-range product withdrawal station of the Portsmouth facility measures enrichment with a relative accuracy of 0.5%. A stand-alone neutron detector has also been successfully evaluated for the measurement of the isotopic abundance of /sup 234/U in UF/sub 6/ in sample cylinders, an application of potential importance to Minor Isotope Safeguards Technology. Recommendations are made on the role of NDA measurements for enrichment plant safeguards, including additional tests and evaluations that may be needed, particularly for advanced uranium

  11. Automated assay of uranium solution concentration and enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horley, E.C.; Gainer, K.; Hansen, W.J.; Kelley, T.A.; Parker, J.L.; Sampson, T.E.; Walton, G.; Jones, S.A.

    1992-01-01

    For the first time, the concentration and enrichment of uranium solutions can be measured in one step. We have developed a new instrument to automatically measure the concentration and enrichment of uranium solutions through the adaptation of a commercial robot. Two identical solution enrichment systems are being installed in the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. These automated systems will reduce radiation exposure to personnel and increase the reliability and repeatability of the measurements. Each robotic system can process up to 40 batch and 8 priority samples in an unattended mode. Both passive gamma-ray and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyses are performed to determine total uranium concentration and 235 U enrichment. Coded samples are read by a bar-code reader to determine measurement requirements, then assayed by either or both of the gamma-ray and XRF instruments. The robot moves the sample containers and operates all shield doors and shutters, reducing hardware complexity. If the robots is out of service, an operator can manually perform all operations

  12. Practical enrichment technique for 33S (34S)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McInteer, B.B.; Lyman, J.L.; Nilsson, A.C.; Quigley, G.P.

    1982-01-01

    The successful preparation of a macroscopic sample of enriched 33 S by laser-induced molecular dissociation is reported. Approach was to induce isotopically selective dissociation of SF 6 with CO 2 -laser pulses and to separate the remaining SF 6 from the sulfur-containing reaction products by cryogenic distillation. A 200 Hz, 0.75 J/pulse laser was used for photolysis of low-pressure (less than 1 torr) gas mixtures. The mixture of SF 6 and scavenger recirculated continuously throughout the irradiation chamber where the laser pulses selectively dissociated 32 SF 6 to give the final products: SF 4 or SOF 2 . The unreacted SF 6 was enriched in the heavier isotopes: 33 S, 34 S, and 36 S. A 1.3-g sample of SF 6 was collected with a 33 S enrichment factor of 1.96 and a 34 S enrichment factor of 2.25. A similar size sample of depleted ( 32 S) sulfur compounds was also collected. A scavenger was necessary to ensure high yield, and moist hydrogen was found to be best for our conditions. Removal of hydrogen fluoride was also necessary to prevent severe corrosion and to maintain high isotopic selectivity. 6 figures

  13. DNA enrichment approaches to identify unauthorized genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arulandhu, Alfred J; van Dijk, Jeroen P; Dobnik, David; Holst-Jensen, Arne; Shi, Jianxin; Zel, Jana; Kok, Esther J

    2016-07-01

    With the increased global production of different genetically modified (GM) plant varieties, chances increase that unauthorized GM organisms (UGMOs) may enter the food chain. At the same time, the detection of UGMOs is a challenging task because of the limited sequence information that will generally be available. PCR-based methods are available to detect and quantify known UGMOs in specific cases. If this approach is not feasible, DNA enrichment of the unknown adjacent sequences of known GMO elements is one way to detect the presence of UGMOs in a food or feed product. These enrichment approaches are also known as chromosome walking or gene walking (GW). In recent years, enrichment approaches have been coupled with next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis and implemented in, amongst others, the medical and microbiological fields. The present review will provide an overview of these approaches and an evaluation of their applicability in the identification of UGMOs in complex food or feed samples.

  14. Development of empirical relation for isotope of uranium in enriched uranium matrix

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Srivastava, S.K.; Vidyasagar, D.; Jha, S.K.; Tripathi, R.M.

    2018-01-01

    Uranium enriched in 235 U is required in commercial light water reactors to produce a controlled nuclear reaction. Enrichment allows the 235 U isotopes to be increased from 0.71% to a range between 2% to 5% depending upon requirement. The enriched uranium in the form of sintered UO 2 pellet is used for any commercially operating boiling light water reactors. The enriched uranium fuel bundle surface swipes sample is being analysed to assess the tramp uranium as a quality control parameter. It is known that the 234 U isotope also enriched along with 235 U isotope in conventional gaseous diffusion enrichment process. The information about enrichment percentage of 234 U helps to characterize isotopic properties of enriched uranium. A few reports provide the empirical equation and graphs for finding out the specific activity, activity percentage, activity ratio of 234 U isotopes for enriched uranium. Most of them have not provided the reference for the data used and their source. An attempt has been made to model the relationship between 234 U and 235 U as a function of uranium enrichment at low level

  15. Electrically Cooled Germanium System for Measurements of Uranium Enrichments in UF6 Cylinders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dvornyak, P.; Koestlbauer, M.; Lebrun, A.; Murray, M.; Nizhnik, V.; Saidler, C.; Twomey, T.

    2010-01-01

    Measurements of Uranium enrichment in UF6 cylinders is a significant part of the IAEA Safeguards verification activities at enrichment and conversion plants. Nowadays, one of the main tools for verification of Uranium enrichment in UF6 cylinders used by Safeguards inspectors is the gamma spectroscopy system with HPGe detector cooled with liquid nitrogen. Electrically Cooled Germanium System (ECGS) is a new compact and portable high resolution gamma spectrometric system free from liquid nitrogen cooling, which can be used for the same safeguards applications. It consists of the ORTEC Micro-trans-SPEC HPGe Portable Spectrometer, a special tungsten collimator and UF6 enrichment measurement software. The enrichment of uranium is determined by of quantifying the area of the 185.7 keV peak provided that the measurement is performed with a detector viewing an infinite thickness of material. Prior starting the verification of uranium enrichment at the facility, the ECGS has to be calibrated with a sample of known uranium enrichment, material matrix, container wall thickness and container material. Evaluation of the ECGS capabilities was performed by carrying out a field test on actual enrichment verification of uranium in UF6 cylinder or other forms of uranium under infinite thickness conditions. The results of these evaluations allow to say that the use of ECGS will enhance practicality of the enrichment measurements and support unannounced inspection activities at enrichment and conversion plants. (author)

  16. Gas-phase UF6 enrichment monitor for enrichment plant safeguards

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strittmatter, R.B.; Tape, J.W.

    1980-03-01

    An in-line enrichment monitor is being developed to provide real-time enrichment data for the gas-phase UF 6 feed stream of an enrichment plant. The nondestructive gamma-ray assay method can be used to determine the enrichment of natural UF 6 with a relative precision of better than 1% for a wide range of pressures

  17. 76 FR 11523 - Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-02

    ... and Licensing Board; AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility); Notice of... Governmental Entities Regarding Environmental Portion of Enrichment Facility Licensing Proceeding February 24.... White. In this 10 CFR part 70 proceeding regarding the request of applicant AREVA Enrichment Services...

  18. Enriching Orphans’ Potentials through Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Intelligence Enrichment Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurulwahida Hj Azid

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Orphans are considered a minority and they should be given a greater emphasis so that they do not feel left out and can build their own lives without a sense of humility. This does not mean that the orphans should be pampered instead they should be given the confidence and motivation to strive for success in later life. Humility among orphans can be associated with interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. This study aims to evaluate the impact of problem-solving activity treatment based on the interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. 46 students from two orphanages were involved as the treatment group. The research design used was a one-group pretest-posttest design applied through a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Enrichment activities that provided interpersonal and intrapersonal skills as evidenced in this study should be carried out regularly at orphanages. Our study has proven that orphans‟ rights to learn cannot be neglected and „no child left behind „policy needs to be carried through by everybody involved with orphans‟ well-being. Teachers and carers need to be trained to use these enrichment activities at their orphanages to help maximize the orphans‟ potentials.

  19. The reduced enrichment program for JRR-4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takayanagi, M.

    1992-01-01

    Japan Research Reactor No. 4(JRR-4) with the rated power of 3.5 MW, swimming pool type research reactor, 93 % enriched uranium ETR-type fuel used, light water moderated and cooled. The first criticality reached on 28th January, 1965. The reactor has operated for about 26 years. However, it was planed to the reduced enrichment of the fuels to low enrichment according to the International Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) program. This paper describes the program for conversion of the enrichment of fuel from 93 % to less than 20 %. (author)

  20. Astrobiology's Central Dilemma: How can we detect Life if we cannot even Define it?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    2001-11-01

    Culling and consolidating from a collection of 102 attributes asserted as properties of Life, and the numerous Definitions of Life which invoke them, a new definition is proposed. Analysis of the pathways to proving that any given entity, from micro-sample to planetary object, harbors one or more lifeforms provides strategies for the observations, experiments and detection approaches. These are necessarily varied because of the relative accessibility/inaccessibility of the samples themselves, for example, from Mars, Europa, the ancient Earth or extra-solar system planets. A two-tiered Definition of Life has been formulated, involving both Lifeform and Organism. Devising exploration strategies with a reasonable probability of success and acceptance should proceed along the steps needed for detection and verification of the minimal properties which define Life itself. Multiple approaches, such as high resolution remote spectroscopy for detection of biomarker gases, in situ demonstrations of energy utilization to performs functions such as anabolic or catabolic transformations, achievement of demonstrated reproduction through multi-condition incubations, and probes for macromolecular biochemicals which indicate information storage should be undertaken wherever possible, as should return of samples to terrestrial laboratories for more versatile, more sensitive and more definitive examinations. Use of control samples is paramount, as is detailed understanding of the chemistry and physics of the environment which constrains the activities and tracers being sought.

  1. Enrichment planting without soil treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hagner, Mats

    1998-12-31

    Where enrichment planting had been carried out with either of the two species Picea abies and Pinus contorta, the survival of the planted seedlings was at least as good as after planting in a normal clear cut area treated with soil scarification. This was in spite of the fact that the seedlings were placed shallow in the humus layer without any soil treatment. However, they were sheltered from insects by treatment before planting. Where enrichment planting was carried out with Pinus sylvestris the survival in dense forest was poor, but in open forest the survival was good. The growth of planted seedlings was enhanced by traditional clearing and soil treatment. However, this was for Pinus sylvestris not enough to compensate for the loss of time, 1-2 years, caused by arrangement of soil scarification. The growth of seedlings planted under crown cover was directly related to basal area of retained trees. However, the variation in height growth among individual seedlings was very big, which meant that some seedlings grow well also under a fairly dense forest cover. The pioneer species Pinus sylvestris reacted more strongly to basal area of retained trees than did the shade tolerant species Picea abies. Enrichment planting seems to be a necessary tool for preserving volume productivity, at places where fairly intensive harvest of mature trees has been carried out in stands of ordinary forest type in central Sweden. If double seedlings, with one Picea abies and one Pinus sylvestris, are used, the probability for long term establishment is enhanced 13 refs, 20 figs, 4 tabs

  2. [Hydroxylamine conversion by anammox enrichment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Anhui; Zheng, Ping; Lu, Huifeng; Ding, Shuang; Wang, Caihua

    2010-04-01

    Hydroxylamine is an important intermediate product of anammox. This study was focused on the characteristics of hydroxylamine and nitrite conversions by anammox enrichment. The changes of nitrogenous substrates and related products with time were measured using batch tests with anammox enrichment as inoculum. Since hydroxylamine didn't react with nitrite in uninoculated control culture, these two compounds were chemically stable. Both of them decreased with time in anammox enrichment inoculated cultures, in which ammonia as intermediate product would be produced and converted with the maximum concentration being 0.338 mg/L. The total nitrogen concentration decreased from 4.694 mmol/L to 0.812 mmol/L with conversion rate 82.7% in the end. When hydroxylamine and nitrite concentrations were about 2.5 mmol/L respectively, the maximum specific sludge conversion rates of hydroxylamine was 0.535 mmol/(gVSS.h), which was 1.81 times bigger than that of ammonia in ammonia reaction system; the maximum specific sludge rate of total nitrogen was slightly higher than that in ammonia reaction system. When hydroxylamine concentration increased to 5.0 mmol/L, the hydroxylamine and nitrite conversion rates promoted by 26.7% and 120.7% respectively; and the maximum ammonia accumulated was 1.810 mmol/L. When nitrite concentration increased to 5.0 mmol/L, the hydroxylamine and nitrite conversion rates promoted by 6.9% and 9.0% respectively; and the maximum ammonia accumulated was 0.795 mmol/L. Anammox enrichment was capable of converting hydroxylamine and nitrite simultaneously and had the higher conversion rate of hydroxylamine than ammonia conversion rate. Hydroxylamine and nitrite conversion rates were less affected by increase in nitrite concentration, but more significantly influenced by increase in hydroxylamine. The maximum ammonia concentration accumulated would rise as the result of increasing both hydroxylamine and nitrite. The result of experiment was consistent with pathway

  3. Boron enrichment in martian clay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James D Stephenson

    Full Text Available We have detected a concentration of boron in martian clay far in excess of that in any previously reported extra-terrestrial object. This enrichment indicates that the chemistry necessary for the formation of ribose, a key component of RNA, could have existed on Mars since the formation of early clay deposits, contemporary to the emergence of life on Earth. Given the greater similarity of Earth and Mars early in their geological history, and the extensive disruption of Earth's earliest mineralogy by plate tectonics, we suggest that the conditions for prebiotic ribose synthesis may be better understood by further Mars exploration.

  4. Producing deuterium-enriched products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1980-01-01

    A method of producing an enriched deuterium product from a gaseous feed stream of mixed hydrogen and deuterium, comprises: (a) combining the feed stream with gaseous bromine to form a mixture of the feed stream and bromine and exposing the mixture to an electrical discharge effective to form deuterium bromide and hydrogen bromide with a ratio of D/H greater than the ratio of D/H in the feed stream; and (b) separating at least a portion of the hydrogen bromide and deuterium bromide from the mixture. (author)

  5. Two-stage electrolysis to enrich tritium in environmental water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shima, Nagayoshi; Muranaka, Takeshi

    2007-01-01

    We present a two-stage electrolyzing procedure to enrich tritium in environmental waters. Tritium is first enriched rapidly through a commercially-available electrolyser with a large 50A current, and then through a newly-designed electrolyser that avoids the memory effect, with a 6A current. Tritium recovery factor obtained by such a two-stage electrolysis was greater than that obtained when using the commercially-available device solely. Water samples collected in 2006 in lakes and along the Pacific coast of Aomori prefecture, Japan, were electrolyzed using the two-stage method. Tritium concentrations in these samples ranged from 0.2 to 0.9 Bq/L and were half or less, that in samples collected at the same sites in 1992. (author)

  6. Lab-on-a-Chip: From Astrobiology to the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maule, Jake; Wainwright, Nor; Steele, Andrew; Gunter, Dan; Monaco, Lisa A.; Wells, Mark E.; Morris, Heather C.; Boudreaux, Mark E.

    2008-01-01

    The continual and long-term habitation of enclosed environments, such as Antarctic stations, nuclear submarines and space stations, raises unique engineering, medical and operational challenges. There is no easy way out and no easy way to get supplies in. This situation elevates the importance of monitoring technology that can rapidly detect events within the habitat that affect crew safety such as fire, release of toxic chemicals and hazardous microorganisms. Traditional methods to monitor microorganisms on the International Space Station (ISS) have consisted of culturing samples for 3-5 days and eventual sample return to Earth. To augment these culture methods with new, rapid molecular techniques, we developed the Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development - Portable Test System (LOCAD-PTS). The system consists of a hand-held spectrophotometer, a series of interchangeable cartridges and a surface sampling/dilution kit that enables crew to collect samples and detect a range of biological molecules, all within 15 minutes. LOCAD-PTS was launched to the ISS aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in December 2006, where it was operated for the first time during March-May 2007. The surfaces of five separate sites in the US Lab and Node 1 of ISS were analyzed for endotoxin, using cartridges that employ the Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) assay; results of these tests will be presented. LOCAD-PTS will remain permanently onboard ISS with new cartridges scheduled for launch in February and October of 2008 for the detection of fungi (Beta-glucan) and Gram-positive bacteria (lipoteichoic acid), respectively.

  7. Assessing Student Attitudes Towards Science in an Adaptive Online Astrobiology Course: Comparing Online and On-Campus Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Perera, V.; Mead, C.; Horodyskyj, L.; Semken, S. C.; Lopatto, D.; Anbar, A. D.

    2016-12-01

    General-education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses are considered essential to a college education, in part, to train students to think critically and to make informed decisions about complex scientific issues such as climate change and public health. Therefore, the goals of these STEM courses go beyond content knowledge to include generating positive attitudes towards science, developing competence in evaluating scientific information in everyday life, and understanding the nature of science. The Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey is frequently used to measure these attitudes, but it has not previously been used in an online, general education course. In this work, we administered the CURE survey for three semesters (N = 774) before and after completion of an online astrobiology course called Habitable Worlds. We compare students taking this course as part of fully-online degree programs (o-course) with those taking it as part of traditional undergraduate programs (i-course). More females and older students were among the o-course group, while overall the course had more white students than the Arizona State University average. Mean course grades were similar between the two groups but attitudes toward science differred significantly. O-course students began the course with more positive attitudes than i-course students, and o-course students also showed more positive changes at the end of the course. These differences suggest lesser intrinsic motivation among the i-course students. Additionally, pre-course attitudes correlated with final course grade for o-course students, but not for i-course students, which implies that success among o-course students is influenced by different factors than i-course students. Thus, effective student support strategies may differ for online-only students. Future work will include student interviews to better calibrate the CURE survey to online science courses.

  8. Assessing Attitudes Towards Science During an Adaptive Online Astrobiology Course: Comparing Online and On-Campus Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Viranga; Mead, Chris; Buxner, Sanlyn; Horodyskyj, Lev; Semken, Steven; Lopatto, David; Anbar, Ariel

    2016-10-01

    General-education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses are accepted as essential to a college education. An often cited reason is to train a scientifically literate populace who can think critically and make informed decisions about complex issues such as climate change, health care, and atomic energy. Goals of these STEM courses, therefore, go beyond content knowledge to include generating positive attitudes towards science, developing competence in evaluating scientific information in everyday life and understanding the nature of science. To gauge if such non-content learning outcomes are being met in our course, an online astrobiology course called Habitable Worlds, we administered the Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey to students. The survey was administered before and after completion of the course for three semesters starting with the Fall 2014 semester and ending with the Fall 2015 semester (N = 774). A factor analysis indicated three factors on attitudes: toward science education, toward the interconnectedness of science with non-science fields, and toward the nature of science. Here we present some differences between students enrolled in online degree programs (o-course) and those enrolled in traditional undergraduate programs (i-course). While mean course grades were similar, changes in attitudes toward science differ significantly between o-course and i-course students. The o-course students began the course with more positive attitudes across all three factors than the i-course students. Their attitudes toward science education improved during the course, while the i-course students showed no change. Attitudes toward the other two factors declined in both populations during the course, but declines were smaller among o-course students. These differences may indicate lesser intrinsic motivation among the i-course students. The CURE survey has not been used before in an online course; therefore, we will

  9. Prospects for nasa s astrobiology mission Leonid Mac and ground-based observations during the upcoming 2002 Leonid storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenniskens, P.; Schmidt, G.

    Meteors represent a unique pathway from organic matter in space to prebiotic molecules on Earth. In the process, the organic material is changed in ways that are not easily simulated in the laboratory. An essential step to knowing what molecules may have been delivered from space at the time of the origin of life is understanding the physical conditions in the meteor phenomenon and to trace the fate of organic compounds in real-live meteors. This was the objective of the NASA and USAF sponsored Leonid Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign, wth successful missionsi during the strong Leonid showers of November 1998, 1999 and 2001. The research aircraft offer an international team of observers the opportunity to be above clouds and scattered Moon light and to be at the right place, at the right time. One further campaign is being prepared for a mission on November 19, 2002, when the Leonid meteor shower is expected to peak twice in succession, at rates of around ZHR = 4000/hr and 5000/hr, which will be best seen over western Europe and the America's, respectively. This presentation serves to encourage ground-based observations for observers at those locations. To that purpose, a summary will be given of the results to date, with emphasis on the progress made during the spectacular storms of 2001. We will briefly outline the new meteor model that has evolved and our new understanding of persistent emissions and the fate of meteoric matter after deposition. The new data have answered some questions, but also raised numerous issues that need to be addressed further. Finally, past Leonid storms have proven ideal to involve the public in astrobiology and provided a trilling experience, examples of which will be given. The 2002 Leonid storms are expected to be the last until 2099.

  10. Evaluación de la enseñanza de la Astrobiología en Secundaria: análisis de libros de texto y opiniones de profesores en formación

    OpenAIRE

    Oreiro Rey, Raquel; Solbes Matarredona, Jordi

    2015-01-01

    En este trabajo se presenta una evaluación diagnóstica de la enseñanza de la Astrobiología mediante el análisis de libros de texto de las asignaturas de Biología y Geología de 4º de la ESO y Ciencias para el Mundo Contemporáneo de 1º de Bachillerato. El objetivo principal es comprobar si la Astrobiología se ha incorporado adecuadamente en la enseñanza secundaria. Se muestran, además, las opiniones de un grupo de profesores en formación sobre la enseñanza de la Astrobiología. In this work, ...

  11. Present state of development of uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-01-01

    The pilot plant for uranium enrichment started the operation on September 12, 1979. The pilot plant has been constructed by the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp. in Ningyo Pass, Okayama Prefecture. 7000 centrifugal separators will be installed by mid 1981, and yearly production of 70 t SWU is expected. The Uranium Enrichment Committee of Japan Atomic Industrial Forum has made the proposal on the method of forwarding the development of uranium enrichment in Japan to Atomic Energy Commission and related government offices in December, 1978. This survey summarized the trends of uranium enrichment in Japan and foreign countries and the problems about nuclear non-proliferation, and provides with the reference materials. The demand and supply of uranium enrichment in the world, the present states and plans in USA, Europe, USSR and others, the demand and supply of uranium enrichment and the measures for securing it in Japan, the present state and future plan of uranium enrichment project in Japan, the international regulation of uranium enrichment, the recent policy of USA and INFCE, and the trend of the regulation of utilizing enriched uranium are described. Moreover, the concept of separation works in uranium enrichment and the various technologies of separation are explained. (Kako, I.)

  12. The thermal properties of a carbon nanotube-enriched epoxy: Thermal conductivity, curing, and degradation kinetics

    KAUST Repository

    Ventura, Isaac Aguilar; Rahaman, Ariful; Lubineau, Gilles

    2013-01-01

    conductivity, and degradation kinetics were studied. Introducing the MWCNTs increased the curing activation energy as revealed by differential scanning calorimetry. The final thermal conductivity of the 0.5 and 1.0 wt % MWCNT-enriched epoxy samples measured

  13. Importance of pre-enrichment media for isolation of Salmonella spp. from swine and poultry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoorfar, Jeffrey; Baggesen, Dorte Lau

    1998-01-01

    The performance of two new (1-day) culture methods, Salmonella Enrichment Broth (SEB) and Revive, and an alternative pre-enrichment broth, designated Universal pre-enrichment broth (UB), was compared to the internationally accepted buffered peptone water (BPW). The study was directed towards......-skin samples (0.16, P = 0.001). The SEE method in the porcine samples resulted in a sensitivity (0.71) comparable to the standard method (P = 0.31). In conclusion, additional pre-enrichment of samples in UB may substantially increase the culture sensitivity. During routine screening of large numbers of samples......, it may be advantageous to use SEE rather than standard culturing. (C) 1998 Federation of European Microbiological Societies....

  14. Determination of reliability of express forecasting evaluation of radiometric enriching ability of non-ferrous ores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirpishchikov, S.P.

    1991-01-01

    Use of the data of nuclear physical methods of sampling and logging enables to improve reliability of evaluation of radiometric enriching ability of ores, as well as to evaluate quantitatively this reliability. This problem may be solved by using some concepts of geostatistics. The presented results enable to conclude, that the data of nuclear-physical methods of sampling and logging can provide high reliability of evaluation of radiometric enriching ability of non-ferrous ores and their geometrization by technological types

  15. Can enrichment make Brazilian tapir spend more time on view to the public?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutra, Luísa Mascarenhas Ladeia; Young, Robert John

    2015-01-01

    One common visitor complaint in zoos is that the nonhuman animals are not visible. This problem needs to be resolved without compromising the animals' welfare; environmental enrichment could solve the problem. This study investigated whether enrichment would increase public exposure time of lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) in the Belo Horizonte Zoo in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Observations were made before (62 hr) and during (62 hr) the introduction of enrichment using focal animal sampling with instantaneous recording of behavior. The 5 enrichment items were a bamboo fence covered in vines, logs, a sandbox, dry leaves, and bamboo bushes. Before the enrichments were applied, the tapir was not visible to the public for more than 85% of the time. In addition, during the analysis of the enrichment treatment, other variables were considered--such as weekday, time of day, and weather conditions--which could influence the animals' interaction with the enrichments. The enrichments increased and decreased the expression of some behaviors; however, public viewing time of the animals did not increase. Thus, the enrichment applied was not strong enough to overcome the animals' crepuscular behavior.

  16. Gasket for uranium enrichment plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kishi, S; Aiyoshi, H

    1977-02-08

    A gasket to be inserted between flange joints in the equipments and pipe lines of an uranium enrichment plant having neither permeability nor adsorptivity to water while maintaining mechanical, physical and chemical properties of an elastomer gasket is described. A gasket made of an elastomeric material such as a polymer is integratedly formed at its surface with anti-slip projections. The gasket is further surrounded at its upper and lower peripheral sides, as well as outer circumferential portion with a U-sectioned cover (enclosure) made of fluoro-plastics. In this arrangement, the gasket main body shows a gas-tightness for uranium hexafluoride gas and the cover exhibits a gas-tightness for other component gases such as moisture to thereby prevent degradation of the gasket due to absorption and permeation of the moisture.

  17. Uranium enrichment in South Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roux, A.J.A.; Grant, W.L.

    1976-01-01

    It is stated that the South African process is of an aerodynamic type, the separating element being in effect a high performance stationary-walled centrifuge using UF 6 in hydrogen as process fluid. Some details of the very low uranium inventory and high separation factor achievable are given. A new cascade technique is described, based on the principle that an axial flow compressor can simultaneously transmit several streams of different isotopic composition without there being significant mixing between them. The research and development programme is discussed. It is expected that an enrichment plant of 5000 t/a SW capacity, with provision for expansion up to 10,000 t/a SW capacity, will come into operation by 1984. (U.K.)

  18. Stable isotope enrichment: Current and future potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tracy, J.G.; Aaron, W.S.

    1992-01-01

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the Isotope Enrichment Facility for the purpose of providing enriched stable isotopes, selected radioactive isotopes (including the actinides), and isotope-related materials and services for use in various research applications. ORNL is responsible for isotope enrichment and the distribution of approximately 225 nongaseous stable isotopes from 50 multi-isotopic elements. Many enriched isotope products are of prime importance in the fabrication of nuclear targets and the subsequent production of special radionuclides. State-of-the-art techniques to achieve special isotopic, chemical, and physical requirements are performed at ORNL This report describes the status and capabilities of the Isotope Enrichment Facility and the Isotope Research Materials Laboratory as well as emphasizing potential advancements in enrichment capabilities

  19. Considering the post-1995 enrichment market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gunter, L.

    1994-01-01

    World demand for uranium enrichment services is likely to grow only a little over the next decade, from the current 28 million separative work units (SWU) per year to 33 MSWU per year. Much of the growth will come from Asia where nuclear generating capacity is still increasing. The current situation of the primary enrichment companies is summarized. The primary Western suppliers, Cogema, United States Enrichment Corporation and Urenco, are competing for increased market share in the USA, Europe and Asia as utilities purchase their post-1995 requirements. Entry of the Russian enrichment company, Tenex, into Western markets has been limited by trade restrictions. As a consequence of disarmament, blended weapons material has resulted in a surplus of low-enriched uranium. Together with over-capacity amongst the primary enrichers this has led to an expectation that reduced prices will be negotiable in the medium term. (3 figures). (UK)

  20. Noble gas enrichment studies at JET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Groth, M.; Andrew, P.; Fundamenski, W.; Guo, H.Y.; Hillis, D.L.; Hogan, J.T.; Horton, L.D.; Matthews, G.F.; Meigs, A.G.; Morgan, P.M.; Stamp, M.F.; Hellermann, M. von

    2001-01-01

    Adequate helium exhaust has been achieved in reactor-relevant ELMy H-mode plasmas in JET performed in the MKII AP and MKII GB divertor geometry. The divertor-characteristic quantities of noble gas compression and enrichment have been experimentally inferred from Charge Exchange Recombination Spectroscopy measurements in the core plasma, and from spectroscopic analysis of a Penning gauge discharge in the exhaust gas. The retention of helium was found to be satisfactory for a next-step device, with enrichment factors exceeding 0.1. The helium enrichment decreases with increasing core plasma density, while the neon enrichment has the opposite behaviour. Analytic and numerical analyses of these plasmas using the divertor impurity code package DIVIMP/NIMBUS support the explanation that the enrichment of noble gases depends significantly on the penetration depth of the impurity neutrals with respect to the fuel atoms. Changes of the divertor plasma configuration and divertor geometry have no effect on the enrichment

  1. Stable isotope enrichment - current and future potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tracy, J.G.; Aaron, W.S.

    1993-01-01

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the Isotope Enrichment Facility for the purpose of providing enriched stable isotopes, selected radioactive isotopes (including the actinides), and isotope-related materials and services for use in various research applications. ORNL is responsible for isotope enrichment and the distribution of approximately 225 nongaseous stable isotopes from 50 multi-isotopic elements. Many enriched isotope products are of prime importance in the fabrication of nuclear targets and the subsequent production of special radionuclides. State-of-the-art techniques to achieve special isotopic, chemical, and physical requirements are performed at ORNL. This report describes the status and capabilities of the Isotope Enrichment Facility and the Isotope Research Materials Laboratory as well as emphasizing potential advancements in enrichment capabilities. (orig.)

  2. Turkey's regulatory plans for high enriched to low enriched conversion of TR-2 reactor core

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guelol Oezdere, Oya

    2003-01-01

    Turkey is a developing country and has three nuclear facilities two of which are research reactors and one pilot fuel production plant. One of the two research reactors is TR-2 which is located in Cekmece site in Istanbul. TR-2 Reactor's core is composed of both high enriched and low enriched fuel and from high enriched to low enriched core conversion project will take place in year 2005. This paper presents the plans for drafting regulations on the safety analysis report updates for high enriched to low enriched core conversion of TR-2 reactor, the present regulatory structure of Turkey and licensing activities of nuclear facilities. (author)

  3. Behavioral and physiologic responses to environmental enrichment in the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Dawn; Brown, Janine L; Rodden, Melissa D; Songsasen, Nucharin

    2007-09-01

    The ex situ population of maned wolves is not self-sustaining due to poor reproduction, caused primarily by parental incompetence. Studies have shown that environmental enrichment can promote natural parental behaviors in zoo animals. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of environmental enrichment on behavioral and physiological responses of maned wolves. During an 8-week experimental period, daily behavior observations and fecal sample collection were conducted on four adult wolves (2.2) individually housed in environments without enrichment. After 2 weeks, the wolves were chronologically provided with 2-week intervals of hiding dead mice around the exhibit, no enrichment, and introduction of boomer balls. Responses of the wolves to enrichment were assessed based on activity levels and exploratory rates, as well as the level of corticoid metabolites in fecal samples collected daily throughout the study period. Providing wolves with environmental enrichment significantly increased exploratory behaviors (Pmaned wolves. There is evidence suggesting that providing animals with ability to forage for food is a more effective enrichment strategy than introducing objects. There is need for a longer term study to determine the impact of environmental enrichment in this species. Zoo Biol 26:331-343, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  4. EURODIF: the uranium enrichment by gaseous diffusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rougeau, J.P.

    1981-01-01

    During the seventies the nuclear power programme had an extremely rapid growth rate which entailed to increase the world uranium enrichment capacity. EURODIF is the largest undertaking in this field. This multinational joint venture built and now operates and enrichment plant using the gaseous diffusion process at Tricastin (France). This plant is delivering low enriched uranium since two years and has contracted about 110 million SWU's till 1990. Description, current activity and prospects are given in the paper. (Author) [pt

  5. The future cost of uranium enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pouris, A.

    1986-01-01

    The cost of uranium enrichment is the most important factor determining the fuel cost of nuclear energy. This paper attempts to forecast the future direction of the price of separative work by examining the forces that determine it. It is argued that the interplay among the characteristics of enrichment technologies, the structure of the international market, and the balance of supply and demand determine the enrichment price. The analysis indicates that all forces point towards a price much lower than the current one. It is predicted that, depending on the technological advances, the price of separative work unit for uranium enrichment will range between $40 and $90 by the year 2000. (author)

  6. Multiplex target enrichment using DNA indexing for ultra-high throughput SNP detection.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Kenny, Elaine M

    2011-02-01

    Screening large numbers of target regions in multiple DNA samples for sequence variation is an important application of next-generation sequencing but an efficient method to enrich the samples in parallel has yet to be reported. We describe an advanced method that combines DNA samples using indexes or barcodes prior to target enrichment to facilitate this type of experiment. Sequencing libraries for multiple individual DNA samples, each incorporating a unique 6-bp index, are combined in equal quantities, enriched using a single in-solution target enrichment assay and sequenced in a single reaction. Sequence reads are parsed based on the index, allowing sequence analysis of individual samples. We show that the use of indexed samples does not impact on the efficiency of the enrichment reaction. For three- and nine-indexed HapMap DNA samples, the method was found to be highly accurate for SNP identification. Even with sequence coverage as low as 8x, 99% of sequence SNP calls were concordant with known genotypes. Within a single experiment, this method can sequence the exonic regions of hundreds of genes in tens of samples for sequence and structural variation using as little as 1 μg of input DNA per sample.

  7. A New Approach on Sampling Microorganisms from the Lower Stratosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunawan, B.; Lehnen, J. N.; Prince, J.; Bering, E., III; Rodrigues, D.

    2017-12-01

    University of Houston's Undergraduate Student Instrumentation Project (USIP) astrobiology group will attempt to provide a cross-sectional analysis of microorganisms in the lower stratosphere by collecting living microbial samples using a sterile and lightweight balloon-borne payload. Refer to poster by Dr. Edgar Bering in session ED032. The purpose of this research is two-fold: first, to design a new system that is capable of greater mass air intake, unlike the previous iterations where heavy and power-intensive pumps are used; and second, to provide proof of concept that live samples are accumulated in the upper atmosphere and are viable for extensive studies and consequent examination for their potential weather-altering characteristics. Multiple balloon deployments will be conducted to increase accuracy and to provide larger set of data. This paper will also discuss visual presentation of the payload along with analyzed information of the captured samples. Design details will be presented to NASA investigators for professional studies

  8. A Method for Choosing the Best Samples for Mars Sample Return.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Peter R; Sephton, Mark A

    2018-05-01

    Success of a future Mars Sample Return mission will depend on the correct choice of samples. Pyrolysis-FTIR can be employed as a triage instrument for Mars Sample Return. The technique can thermally dissociate minerals and organic matter for detection. Identification of certain mineral types can determine the habitability of the depositional environment, past or present, while detection of organic matter may suggest past or present habitation. In Mars' history, the Theiikian era represents an attractive target for life search missions and the acquisition of samples. The acidic and increasingly dry Theiikian may have been habitable and followed a lengthy neutral and wet period in Mars' history during which life could have originated and proliferated to achieve relatively abundant levels of biomass with a wide distribution. Moreover, the sulfate minerals produced in the Theiikian are also known to be good preservers of organic matter. We have used pyrolysis-FTIR and samples from a Mars analog ferrous acid stream with a thriving ecosystem to test the triage concept. Pyrolysis-FTIR identified those samples with the greatest probability of habitability and habitation. A three-tier scoring system was developed based on the detection of (i) organic signals, (ii) carbon dioxide and water, and (iii) sulfur dioxide. The presence of each component was given a score of A, B, or C depending on whether the substance had been detected, tentatively detected, or not detected, respectively. Single-step (for greatest possible sensitivity) or multistep (for more diagnostic data) pyrolysis-FTIR methods informed the assignments. The system allowed the highest-priority samples to be categorized as AAA (or A*AA if the organic signal was complex), while the lowest-priority samples could be categorized as CCC. Our methods provide a mechanism with which to rank samples and identify those that should take the highest priority for return to Earth during a Mars Sample Return mission. Key Words

  9. Enrichment Assay Methods Development for the Integrated Cylinder Verification System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Leon E.; Misner, Alex C.; Hatchell, Brian K.; Curtis, Michael M.

    2009-01-01

    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors currently perform periodic inspections at uranium enrichment plants to verify UF6 cylinder enrichment declarations. Measurements are typically performed with handheld high-resolution sensors on a sampling of cylinders taken to be representative of the facility's entire product-cylinder inventory. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is developing a concept to automate the verification of enrichment plant cylinders to enable 100 percent product-cylinder verification and potentially, mass-balance calculations on the facility as a whole (by also measuring feed and tails cylinders). The Integrated Cylinder Verification System (ICVS) could be located at key measurement points to positively identify each cylinder, measure its mass and enrichment, store the collected data in a secure database, and maintain continuity of knowledge on measured cylinders until IAEA inspector arrival. The three main objectives of this FY09 project are summarized here and described in more detail in the report: (1) Develop a preliminary design for a prototype NDA system, (2) Refine PNNL's MCNP models of the NDA system, and (3) Procure and test key pulse-processing components. Progress against these tasks to date, and next steps, are discussed.

  10. Enrichment Assay Methods Development for the Integrated Cylinder Verification System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Leon E.; Misner, Alex C.; Hatchell, Brian K.; Curtis, Michael M.

    2009-10-22

    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors currently perform periodic inspections at uranium enrichment plants to verify UF6 cylinder enrichment declarations. Measurements are typically performed with handheld high-resolution sensors on a sampling of cylinders taken to be representative of the facility's entire product-cylinder inventory. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is developing a concept to automate the verification of enrichment plant cylinders to enable 100 percent product-cylinder verification and potentially, mass-balance calculations on the facility as a whole (by also measuring feed and tails cylinders). The Integrated Cylinder Verification System (ICVS) could be located at key measurement points to positively identify each cylinder, measure its mass and enrichment, store the collected data in a secure database, and maintain continuity of knowledge on measured cylinders until IAEA inspector arrival. The three main objectives of this FY09 project are summarized here and described in more detail in the report: (1) Develop a preliminary design for a prototype NDA system, (2) Refine PNNL's MCNP models of the NDA system, and (3) Procure and test key pulse-processing components. Progress against these tasks to date, and next steps, are discussed.

  11. Arsenic in the environment: enrichments in the Slovenian soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateja Gosar

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Arsenic, a toxic element with metalloid properties, is found in detectable concentrations in environmental samples. In nature it is enriched in metal (sulphide ore deposits, mainly as arsenides of Cu, Ni and Fe. Arsenic compounds are used mainly in agricultureand forestry as pesticides and herbicides. The ecosystem can be contaminated with arsenic via both natural and anthropogenic sources. Uses of arsenic contaminated water present so far the greatest health hazard. Occurrences of mining related arsenic problems havealso been recorded in many parts of the world.The impact of mining and metallurgic industry with regard to arsenic contents in soils in some potentially contaminated areas in Slovenia is discussed. Enriched contents of arsenic were found in Mežica. Arsenic correlates very well with lead, zinc and other heavymetals which are enriched as a result of long lasting lead production in the area. Also in Celje and Jesenice arsenic has the same distribution pattern as other anthropogenically introduced pollutants. In Idrija there are some slightly arsenic enriched areas, but there is no correlation with mercury, so the origin of arsenic in not clear yet.

  12. Unattended Monitoring of HEU Production in Gaseous Centrifuge Enrichment Plants using Automated Aerosol Collection and Laser-based Enrichment Assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anheier, Norman C.; Bushaw, Bruce A.

    2010-01-01

    Nuclear power is enjoying rapid growth as government energy policies and public demand shift toward low carbon energy production. Pivotal to the global nuclear power renaissance is the development and deployment of robust safeguards instrumentation that allows the limited resources of the IAEA to keep pace with the expansion of the nuclear fuel cycle. Undeclared production of highly enriched uranium (HEU) remains a primary proliferation concern for modern gaseous centrifuge enrichment plants (GCEPs), due to their massive separative work unit (SWU) processing power and comparably short cascade equilibrium timescale. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is developing an unattended safeguards instrument, combining continuous aerosol particulate collection with uranium isotope assay, to provide timely detection of HEU production within a GCEP. This approach is based on laser vaporization of aerosol particulates, followed by laser spectroscopy to characterize the uranium enrichment level. Our prior investigation demonstrated single-shot detection sensitivity approaching the femtogram range and relative isotope ratio uncertainty better than 10% using gadolinium as a surrogate for uranium. In this paper we present measurement results on standard samples containing traces of depleted, natural, and low enriched uranium, as well as measurements on aerodynamic size uranium particles mixed in background materials (e.g., dust, minerals, soils). Improvements and optimizations in the detection electronics, signal timing, calibration, and laser alignment have lead to significant improvements in detection sensitivity and enrichment accuracy, contributing to an overall reduction in the false alarm probability. The sample substrate media was also found to play a significant role in facilitating laser-induced vaporization and the production of energetic plasma conditions, resulting in ablation optimization and further improvements in the isotope abundance sensitivity.

  13. Mineralogy of Surface Serpentinite Outcrops in the Coast Range Ophiolite: Implications for the Deep Biosphere and Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccann, A. R.; Cardace, D.; Carnevale, D.; Ehlmann, B. L.

    2011-12-01

    Range Ophiolite, along with aerial-view maps, which will be compared with imagery and data for recently confirmed serpentinite exposures in the Nili Fossae region of the Martian surface. A summary table of terrestrial microbes (and their metabolisms) detected in serpentinite groundwaters will be provided, to add specificity to candidate subterranean life forms on Mars, be they active presently or in the planet's history. Ehlmann et al. 2010. GRL 37:1-5 Schulte et al. 2006. Astrobiology 6(2):364-376

  14. Reviews in Modern Astronomy 28: From the First Quasars to Life-Bearing Planets - From Accretion Physics to Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlepsch, Regina v.

    2016-07-01

    The current issue of AN is Volume 28 of the Reviews in Modern Astronomy and presents the Karl Schwarzschild Award Lecture, the Ludwig Bierman n Award Lecture and the Doctoral Thesis Award Lecture given at the 88th Annual International Scientific Meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft held in Kiel, Germany, September 14-18, 2015. It was the fifth time that Kiel hosted a meeting of the AG, the first one was in 1887. In 2015 the fall meeting was a part of the celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the Christiana Albertina University Kiel in 1665. For astronomers around the globe, the astrophysical group is well known for the Kieler Schule and its fundamental contributions to the physics of stellar atmospheres. Based on the work by Albrecht Unsöld during his tenure of 41 years as active researcher and lecturer (and many more after becoming emeritus), the quantitative analysis of stellar atmospheres and the reliable determination of chemical abundances is nowadays a cornerstone of modern astrophysics. Even more, it is of ground-laying importance for the whole field, from the characterization of exoplanets and their host stars to the properties of galaxies at cosmic dawn. The meeting was guided by the theme "From the First Quasars to Life-Bearing Planets -- From Accretion Physics to Astrobiology". The meeting was attended by almost 300 participants from around the world. The Karl Schwarzschild Medal 2015 of the Astronomische Gesellschaft was awarded to Professor Immo Appenzeller, Heidelberg. His lecture with the title "Astronomical technology -- the past and the future" opened the meeting. The talk presented by the Ludwig Biermann Award winner 2015, Dr. Ivan Minchev, Potsdam, dealt with the topic "Constraining the Milky Way assembly history with Galactic Archaeology". The Doctoral Thesis Award 2015 was awarded to Dr. Cornelia Müller (Würzburg). In her lecture she discussed the subject "Multiwavelength and parsec-scale properties of extragalactic Jets". The AG

  15. A Conspicuous Clay Ovoid in Nakhla: Evidence for Subsurface Hydrothermal Alteration on Mars with Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, Sarah; Lyon, Ian

    2014-01-01

    layer of iron oxides/hydroxides. Carbonates, halite, and sulfates were deposited last within interstitial spaces and along fractures. Among three plausible competing hypotheses here, this particular abiotic scenario is considered to be the most reasonable explanation for the formation of the ovoid structure in Nakhla, and although compelling evidence for a biotic origin is lacking, it is evident that the martian subsurface contains niche environments where life could develop. Key Words: Biomorph—Clays—Search for life (biosignatures)—Martian meteorites—Hydrothermal systems. Astrobiology 14, 651–693. PMID:25046549

  16. 76 FR 387 - Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-04

    ... and Licensing Board; AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility) December 17, 2010... construction and operation of a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility--denoted as the Eagle Rock... site at http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/arevanc.html . These and other documents relating...

  17. Study on the radiotoxicology of enriched uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Shoupeng; Zheng Siying; Wang Guolin; Wang Chongdao; Cao Genfa

    1987-12-01

    A study on the retentive peculiarity of soluble enriched uranium UO 2 F 2 were observed after iv once or consecutive ip qd x 3d to Wistar male rats. The dynamic retention of radioactivity in the body showed that the enriched uranium UO 2 F 2 was chiefly localized in kidney, and then in skeleton and liver. The radioactivity of the enriched uranium UO 2 F 2 in skeleton rose steadily while the concentratoin in kidney and liver droped. When enriched uranium UO 2 F 2 was accumulated in organism, it caused chromosome aberrations on bone marrow cells. Results indicated that the chromosome aberration rates were elevated when the dose of the enriched uranium UO 2 F 2 was increased, at the same time, the cell division was depressed. Accumulation of insoluble enriched uranium U 3 O 8 in gastrointestinal tract was well described by a two exponential expression. Values of retention estimate for fast component, T 1 = 0.34 d, and for relatively long term component, T 2 = 4.05 d. The deposition of UO 2 F 2 in the intact skin was only 0.16 to 0.18% of the total contaminated UO 2 F 2 . Penetration of the enriched uranium UO 2 F 2 was dominantly increased in abraded skin. This value is about 25 to 32 times as compaired with that in intact skin. Retention of the enriched uranium UO 2 F 2 through abraded skins was dominantly localized in kidney and skeleton

  18. Uranium enrichment: a vital new industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-10-01

    The energy problem facing the nation and the need for nuclear power are pointed out. Uranium enrichment and the demand for it are discussed. Reasons for, and obstacles to, private enrichment are outlined. The President's plan (including the Nuclear Fuel Assurance Act) is summarized

  19. Inoculation stress hypothesis of environmental enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crofton, Elizabeth J; Zhang, Yafang; Green, Thomas A

    2015-02-01

    One hallmark of psychiatric conditions is the vast continuum of individual differences in susceptibility vs. resilience resulting from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. The environmental enrichment paradigm is an animal model that is useful for studying a range of psychiatric conditions, including protective phenotypes in addiction and depression models. The major question is how environmental enrichment, a non-drug and non-surgical manipulation, can produce such robust individual differences in such a wide range of behaviors. This paper draws from a variety of published sources to outline a coherent hypothesis of inoculation stress as a factor producing the protective enrichment phenotypes. The basic tenet suggests that chronic mild stress from living in a complex environment and interacting non-aggressively with conspecifics can inoculate enriched rats against subsequent stressors and/or drugs of abuse. This paper reviews the enrichment phenotypes, mulls the fundamental nature of environmental enrichment vs. isolation, discusses the most appropriate control for environmental enrichment, and challenges the idea that cortisol/corticosterone equals stress. The intent of the inoculation stress hypothesis of environmental enrichment is to provide a scaffold with which to build testable hypotheses for the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying these protective phenotypes and thus provide new therapeutic targets to treat psychiatric/neurological conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Perspectives for the uranium enrichment in Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Senna, J.G.S.M.

    1991-01-01

    Through an analysis of the electrical energy future in Brazil, the needs for enriched uranium are discussed, and therefore the importance of developing local capability for self-production. A description of the production processes that are well established is given first, then the analysis itself is performed and finally a visualization of the International Market for enriched uranium is shown. (author)