The silicon detector systems of the Compressed Baryonic Matter experiment
Johann M. Heuser
- The Compressed Baryonic Matter (CBM) experiment  is a fixed target heavy-ion experiment that will operate at the international Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR)  now under construction in Darmstadt, Germany. The experiment intends to study rare probes, which are emitted from heavy ion collisions with a beam energy of 4 to 45 AGeV. A focus is laid to the short lived open charm particles and to particles decaying into di-lepton pairs. Handling the up to 107 Au+Au collisions/s required for generating those probes with sufficient statistics, as much as reaching the required sensitivity for observing them, forms a major challenge for the silicon detectors of the experiment. We present the concept and the development status of two central detectors of CBM, the CMOS pixel based micro vertex detector (MVD) and the micro-strip detector based silicon tracking system (STS).
22nd International Workshop on Vertex Detectors, 15-20 September 2013 Lake Starnberg, Germany
Motivation in all spheres of life : program & abstracts / International Conference on Motivation 2012, August 28 - 30, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
- This is the Proceedings of the "International Conference on Motivation 2012" carried out by the Special Interest Group "Motivation and Emotion" of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) in cooperation with the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF) and the Goethe University Frankfurt. (DIPF/author).
The multidrug efflux, secondary metabolite and protein secretion network of the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120
- The TolC protein of E. coli is a versatile OMF which is involved in secretion of antibiotics, heavy metal ions, secondary metabolites and proteins. These individual tasks are accomplished by a dynamic formation of different secretion complexes which comprising a plasma membrane transporter, a Membrane Fusion Protein and TolC as the outer membrane channel-tunnel. The TolC-like protein HgdD of the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 was previously described as an indispensable OMF involved in formation of the heterocyst-specific glycolipid layer which is needed to sustain the microoxic environment that allows nitrogen fixation in heterocysts of filamentous cyanobacteria. Here I show that HgdD is involved in macrolide antibiotic resistance and ethidium efflux, which is used as a model substrate for cytotoxic compounds and secondary metabolites. It can be shown that ethidium uptake is a passive and porin-dependent process, while multidrug efflux is performed together with the RND efflux pump All3143 (and the MFP All3144). In contrast to HgdD, All3143 can complement the function of its homologue AcrB in E. coli and was suggested to be named anaAcrB. Multidrug efflux is assisted by SmsA and SchE, two secondary transporters of the MFS-type, which facilitate the transport of cytoplasmatic ethidium to the periplasmic space prior to the All3143- and HgdD-dependent efflux. Moreover, it can be demonstrated that SchE and HgdD are involved in secretion of the metal ion-chelating siderophore schizokinin, which functions in iron(III) acquisition. However, a physical interaction of SchE and HgdD is unlikely since SchE does not possess an OMF interacting domain. In addition, both RND efflux pumps All3143 and Alr1656 are needed for the homeostasis of the photosystems during diazotrophic growth. Although a direct involvement in heterocyst development or metabolism cannot be discounted at this stage, it is speculated that both RND transporters are involved in detoxification of reactive nitrogen species, similar to the function of MexF and MdtF of P. aeruginosa and E. coli respectively. In addition to its function in multidrug efflux, HgdD has been shown to be involved in protein secretion. By comparative analysis of the Anabaena sp. wild type and hgdD mutant secretome it was possible to identify eight putative HgdD protein substrates. The localization of four proteins was exemplary demonstrated by secretome isolation and cell fractionation of hemagglutinin-tagged mutant strains. The absence of detectable protein in the hgdD mutant strain suggests a highly efficient secretion system which is quality controlled by proteolysis of mislocalized proteins.
Jet fragmentation properties in proton-proton and Pb-Pb collisions with ALICE at the LHC
Hermes León Vargas
- According to the standard model of particle physics, the most fundamental building blocks of the known matter are quarks and leptons, while the interactions between these fundamental objects is mediated through bosons. On one hand the leptons can exist in nature as individual particles, while on the other hand quarks appear always as bound states called hadrons. The knowledge that hadrons are built from more fundamental particles dates back to the second half of the 20th century when the work by Gell-Mann and Zweig led to the development of the quark model. The experimental proof that the hadrons are bound objects composed of more elementary particles was done through the study of deep inelastic scattering of electrons off protons. These experiments were done in a similar fashion to the studies of the atomic model led by Rutherford at the beginning of the 20th century. Further experimental analysis led to the conclusion that a large fraction of the proton momentum is not carried alone by the quarks, but by the bosons that mediate the strong interaction called gluons. The cleanest experimental signature for the existence of the gluons came from electron-positron annihilation experiments, where a quark-antiquark pair is created and one of the quarks radiates a hard gluon. Due to confinement neither the quarks nor the gluon can be observed directly, but are measured experimentally as three collimated showers of particles named jets. Since the ground breaking experiments performed at DESY, jets have provided a tool to study the properties of quarks and gluons...
Design and optimization of the lattice of the superconducting synchrotron SIS300 for slow extraction
Ángela Saá Hernández
- The superconducting synchrotron SIS300 is planned to be built at the new Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), at GSI-Darmstadt . SIS300 will be a versatile machine, which by means of a low-energy stretcher-mode or a high-energy ramped-mode will provide slowly extracted heavy ion beams towards the experimental areas. To reach the required maximum field of 4.5 T, cos(θ) magnets are necessary. Thus, SIS300 will become the first superconducting synchrotron worldwide with cos(θ) magnets providing resonant slow extraction.
Since SIS300 will be installed in the same tunnel as the SIS100 synchrotron, the dipole layout of SIS300 cannot be freely chosen. Thus, a standard lattice cannot be applied. A redesign of the SIS300 lattice accepting compromises concerning the positions and phase advances between the optical elements has been proposed. Using the analytical model of the slow extraction, firstly proposed by Kobayashi, and the analytical description of the resonance driving modes, a multiobjective optimization algorithm has been developed for the optimization of the lattice under the given boundary conditions. The final goal of the lattice optimization is a higher efficiency of the slow extraction. The results are evaluated by means of tracking simulations performed with the code Elegant.
The field quality in superconducting cos(θ) magnets is determined by the positions of the superconducting cable and the static and time-dependent effects of the current in the cable. Furthermore, the fast ramp rates of 1 T/s in the dipoles, which are fifty times faster than in any other superconducting cos(θ) magnet, together with the fact that the aperture is smaller than in conventional accelerator magnets, makes it extremely difficult to obtain a high-quality magnetic field. The unavoidable field errors affect the beam dynamics and worsen the slow extraction efficiency. Therefore, the field errors in the SIS300 dipoles have been estimated, and their effects have been taken into account in the optimization algorithm. As a result a compensation scheme has been proposed, in which time-dependent gradients in the sextupoles counteract the decay of the sextupole field errors in the dipole magnets during the slow extraction. For the limits where the compensation was no longer possible, tolerances to the magnet field errors have been determined.
Atypical causes of nontraumatic intracranial subarachnoid hemorrhage
Verena Esther Kutschera
- Climatic fluctuations during the Pleistocene (2.6-0.01 million years) have played an important role during evolution of many species. Cyclic range contractions and expansions had demographic consequences within species, provided environmental conditions for population divergence and speciation and enabled secondary contact and interspecific hybridization. These and other evolutionary processes have left genetic signatures in the genomes of affected organisms. Comprehensive and unbiased estimates of evolutionary processes can be obtained using genetic markers from different parts of the genome and by integrating population genetic and phylogenetic concepts.
Suitable for studies on evolutionary processes and patterns over different evolutionary time scales are bears (Ursidae) and foxes (Vulpes), which occupy a wide range of habitats and evolved during the past few millions of years. In my thesis, I therefore used bears and red foxes as study species to investigate the genetic variation within and between species and to obtain estimates of evolutionary relationships and divergence times of populations and species that I interpreted in a climatic context. Further, I investigated population genetic processes during the evolution of bears. My thesis includes three publications and one submitted manuscript, spanning different evolutionary time scales - from evolutionary relationships and processes among species (phylogenetic time scales, Publications I & II), among populations and closely related species in a geographical context (phylogeographic time scales, Publications II & III), to ongoing processes within species (population genetic time scales, Publication IV).
In Publication I (Kutschera et al. 2014, Mol Biol Evol 31(8):2004-2017), I studied bears at several nuclear markers from several individuals per species, complemented with markers from the Y chromosome. Using approaches based on a population genetic concept (coalescent theory) I obtained a species tree with divergence time estimates. Further, I studied two evolutionary processes in bears, interspecific gene flow and incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). This study contributed to the growing evidence that population genetic processes can be relevant on time scales up to several millions of years.
In Publication II (Hailer, Kutschera et al. 2012, Science 336(6079):344-347), we complemented previous mitochondrial (mt) DNA-based inference of the evolutionary history of polar and brown bears with nuclear DNA. Coalescence-based species tree analyses of multiple nuclear markers from several individuals per species placed polar bears as sister lineage to brown bears and their divergence time to about 600 thousand years ago (ka). This contrasted previous mtDNA-based inference. We explained this discrepancy between mtDNA and nuclear DNA with interspecific gene flow between polar and brown bears.
In Publication III (Kutschera et al. 2013, BMC Evol Biol 13:114), I studied range-wide phylogeographic events and their timing in red foxes. A synthesis of newly generated and published mtDNA sequences was analyzed using a coalescence-based approach with multiple fossil calibration points. Thereby, I validated the identity and geographic distribution of several red fox lineages and showed that red foxes colonized North America and Japan several times independently during the late Pleistocene (126-11 ka) and around the last glacial maximum (26.5-19 ka). In a comparison of my results from red foxes to brown bears and grey wolves, I identified similar phylogeographic patterns.
In Publication IV (Kutschera et al., submitted to Biol Conserv), I found similar levels of genetic variability in vagrant polar bears that had reached Iceland compared to established subpopulations from across the range. Based on climate projections reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2014, polar bear habitat will markedly decline and become increasingly fragmented within the next decades. Dispersal will play an important role by connecting isolated subpopulations, thereby maintaining genetic diversity levels. My results indicate that vagrants could stabilize genetic variability when immigrating into established subpopulations.
In conclusion, my thesis provided a deeper understanding of evolutionary genetic processes and patterns and their timing in bears and red foxes in a climatic context, which can have conservation implications. Further, I showed that processes like ILS and interspecific gene flow can be relevant over different time scales and are important aspects of evolutionary history. Thereby, my thesis contributed to the knowledge on the evolutionary history of several carnivore species and on evolutionary processes acting within and between closely related species.
Intervention planning using a laser navigation system for ct-guided interventions: a phantom and patient study
Nagy N.N. Naguib
Julian L. Wichmann
Thomas J. Vogl
- OBJECTIVE: To investigate the accuracy, efficiency and radiation dose of a novel laser navigation system (LNS) compared to those of free-handed punctures on computed tomography (CT).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty punctures were performed using a phantom body to compare accuracy, timely effort, and radiation dose of the conventional free-handed procedure to those of the LNS-guided method. An additional 20 LNS-guided interventions were performed on another phantom to confirm accuracy. Ten patients subsequently underwent LNS-guided punctures.
RESULTS: The phantom 1-LNS group showed a target point accuracy of 4.0 ± 2.7 mm (freehand, 6.3 ± 3.6 mm; p = 0.008), entrance point accuracy of 0.8 ± 0.6 mm (freehand, 6.1 ± 4.7 mm), needle angulation accuracy of 1.3 ± 0.9° (freehand, 3.4 ± 3.1°; p < 0.001), intervention time of 7.03 ± 5.18 minutes (freehand, 8.38 ± 4.09 minutes; p = 0.006), and 4.2 ± 3.6 CT images (freehand, 7.9 ± 5.1; p < 0.001). These results show significant improvement in 60 punctures compared to freehand. The phantom 2-LNS group showed a target point accuracy of 3.6 ± 2.5 mm, entrance point accuracy of 1.4 ± 2.0 mm, needle angulation accuracy of 1.0 ± 1.2°, intervention time of 1.44 ± 0.22 minutes, and 3.4 ± 1.7 CT images. The LNS group achieved target point accuracy of 5.0 ± 1.2 mm, entrance point accuracy of 2.0 ± 1.5 mm, needle angulation accuracy of 1.5 ± 0.3°, intervention time of 12.08 ± 3.07 minutes, and used 5.7 ± 1.6 CT-images for the first experience with patients.
CONCLUSION: Laser navigation system improved accuracy, duration of intervention, and radiation dose of CT-guided interventions.
Cytotoxicity and infiltration of human NK cells in in vivo-like tumor spheroids
Ernst H. K. Stelzer
- BACKGROUND: The complex cellular networks within tumors, the cytokine milieu, and tumor immune escape mechanisms affecting infiltration and anti-tumor activity of immune cells are of great interest to understand tumor formation and to decipher novel access points for cancer therapy. However, cellular in vitro assays, which rely on monolayer cultures of mammalian cell lines, neglect the three-dimensional architecture of a tumor, thus limiting their validity for the in vivo situation.
METHODS: Three-dimensional in vivo-like tumor spheroid were established from human cervical carcinoma cell lines as proof of concept to investigate infiltration and cytotoxicity of NK cells in a 96-well plate format, which is applicable for high-throughput screening. Tumor spheroids were monitored for NK cell infiltration and cytotoxicity by flow cytometry. Infiltrated NK cells, could be recovered by magnetic cell separation.
RESULTS: The tumor spheroids were stable over several days with minor alterations in phenotypic appearance. The tumor spheroids expressed high levels of cellular ligands for the natural killer (NK) group 2D receptor (NKG2D), mediating spheroid destruction by primary human NK cells. Interestingly, destruction of a three-dimensional tumor spheroid took much longer when compared to the parental monolayer cultures. Moreover, destruction of tumor spheroids was accompanied by infiltration of a fraction of NK cells, which could be recovered at high purity.
CONCLUSION: Tumor spheroids represent a versatile in vivo-like model system to study cytotoxicity and infiltration of immune cells in high-throughput screening. This system might proof useful for the investigation of the modulatory potential of soluble factors and cells of the tumor microenvironment on immune cell activity as well as profiling of patient-/donor-derived immune cells to personalize cellular immunotherapy.
Abscisic acid negatively interferes with basal defence of barley against Magnaporthe oryzae
- Background: Plant hormones are well known regulators which balance plant responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. We investigated the role of abscisic acid (ABA) in resistance of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) against the plant pathogenic fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.
Results: Exogenous application of ABA prior to inoculation with M. oryzae led to more disease symptoms on barley leaves. This result contrasted the finding that ABA application enhances resistance of barley against the powdery mildew fungus. Microscopic analysis identified diminished penetration resistance as cause for enhanced susceptibility. Consistently, the barley mutant Az34, impaired in ABA biosynthesis, was less susceptible to infection by M. oryzae and displayed elevated penetration resistance as compared to the isogenic wild type cultivar Steptoe. Chemical complementation of Az34 mutant plants by exogenous application of ABA re-established disease severity to the wild type level. The role of ABA in susceptibility of barley against M. oryzae was corroborated by showing that ABA application led to increased disease severity in all barley cultivars under investigation except for the most susceptible cultivar Pallas. Interestingly, endogenous ABA concentrations did not significantly change after infection of barley with M. oryzae.
Conclusion: Our results revealed that elevated ABA levels led to a higher disease severity on barley leaves to M. oryzae. This supports earlier reports on the role of ABA in enhancing susceptibility of rice to the same pathogen and thereby demonstrates a host plant-independent function of this phytohormone in pathogenicity of monocotyledonous plants against M. oryzae.
Quantification of LV function and mass by cardiovascular magnetic resonance: multi-center variability and consensus contours
David A. Bluemke
Brett R. Cowan
Matthias G. Friedrich
Christopher M. Kramer
Jos J. M. Westenberg
Alistair A. Young
- Background: High reproducibility of LV mass and volume measurement from cine cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has been shown within single centers. However, the extent to which contours may vary from center to center, due to different training protocols, is unknown. We aimed to quantify sources of variation between many centers, and provide a multi-center consensus ground truth dataset for benchmarking automated processing tools and facilitating training for new readers in CMR analysis.
Methods: Seven independent expert readers, representing seven experienced CMR core laboratories, analyzed fifteen cine CMR data sets in accordance with their standard operating protocols and SCMR guidelines. Consensus contours were generated for each image according to a statistical optimization scheme that maximized contour placement agreement between readers.
Results: Reader-consensus agreement was better than inter-reader agreement (end-diastolic volume 14.7 ml vs 15.2–28.4 ml; end-systolic volume 13.2 ml vs 14.0–21.5 ml; LV mass 17.5 g vs 20.2–34.5 g; ejection fraction 4.2 % vs 4.6–7.5 %). Compared with consensus contours, readers were very consistent (small variability across cases within each reader), but bias varied between readers due to differences in contouring protocols at each center. Although larger contour differences were found at the apex and base, the main effect on volume was due to small but consistent differences in the position of the contours in all regions of the LV.
Conclusions: A multi-center consensus dataset was established for the purposes of benchmarking and training. Achieving consensus on contour drawing protocol between centers before analysis, or bias correction after analysis, is required when collating multi-center results.