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Developing a theoretical framework for conducting electronic fluids qualitatively distinct from those described by Landau’s Fermi-liquid theory is of central importance to many outstanding problems in condensed matter physics. One such problem is that, above the transition temperature and near optimal doping, high-transition-temperature copper-oxide superconductors exhibit ‘strange metal’ behaviour that is inconsistent with being a traditional Landau Fermi liquid. Indeed, a microscopic theory of a strange-metal quantum phase could shed new light on the interesting low-temperature behaviour in the pseudogap regime and on the d-wave superconductor itself. Here we present a theory for a specific example of a strange metal—the ‘d-wave metal’. Using variational wavefunctions, gauge theoretic arguments, and ultimately large-scale density mat...
There is considerable interest in determining the activation mechanism of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), one of the most important types of proteins for intercellular signaling. Recently, it was demonstrated for the cannabinoid CB1 GPCR, that a single mutation T210A could make CB1 completely inactive whereas T210I makes it essentially constitutively active. To obtain an understanding of this dramatic dependence of activity on mutation, we used first-principles-based methods to predict the ensemble of low-energy seven-helix conformations for the wild-type (WT) and mutants (T210A and T210I). We find that the transmembrane (TM) helix packings depend markedly on these mutations, leading for T210A to both TM3+TM6 and TM2+TM6 salt-bridge couplings in the cytoplasmic face that explains the inactivity of this mutant. In contrast T210I ha...
Recent observations from spacecraft and from powerful Earth-based telescopes are providing new information concerning the atmospheres and climatic conditions of other members of the solar system.
Dr. Lee Kump (LK): What is really interesting about the history of atmospheric oxygenation is that there is this event or interval of change from an anoxic Archean atmosphere to an oxygenated post-Archean atmosphere (Holland, 1994). When we think about the causes of the rise of oxygen and we think about the Great Oxidation Event, it is really a fundamental change in the way the Earth system functioned. It is a new state; it is the oxygenated state that is distinct from the anoxic state, and it is nonreversible.
We present 11 candidate late-type companions to nearby stars identified with data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). Eight of the candidates are likely to be companions based on their common proper motions with the primaries. The remaining three objects are rejected as companions, one of which is a free-floating T7 dwarf. Spectral types are available for five of the companions, which consist of M2V, M8.5V, L5, T8, and T8. Based on their photometry, the unclassified companions are probably two mid-M dwarfs and one late-M/early-L dwarf. One of the T8 companions, WISE J142320.84+011638.0, has already been reported by Pinfield and coworkers. The other T8 companion, ULAS J095047.28+011734.3, was discovered by Burningham and coworkers through the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope In...
Surveys searching for transiting exoplanets have found many more candidates than they have been able to confirm as true planets. This situation is especially acute with the Kepler survey, which has found over 2300 candidates but has to date confirmed only a small fraction of them as planets. I present here a general procedure that can quickly be applied to any planet candidate to calculate its false positive probability. This procedure takes into account the period, depth, duration, and shape of the signal; the colors of the target star; arbitrary spectroscopic or imaging follow-up observations; and informed assumptions about the populations and distributions of field stars and multiple-star properties. Applying these methods to a sample of known Kepler planets, I demonstrate that many signals can be validated with very limited follow-...
Given a set S of n strings, each of length ℓ, and a nonnegative value d, we define a center string as a string of length ℓ that has Hamming distance at most d from each string in S. The #CLOSEST STRING problem aims to determine the number of center strings for a given set of strings S and input parameters n, ℓ, and d. We show #CLOSEST STRING is impossible to solve exactly or even approximately in polynomial time, and that restricting #CLOSEST STRING so that any one of the parameters n, ℓ, or d is fixed leads to a fully polynomial-time randomized approximation scheme (FPRAS). We show equivalent results for the problem of efficiently sampling center strings uniformly at random (u.a.r.).
We present the results of the ground- and space-based optical and near-infrared (NIR) follow-up of 224 galaxy cluster candidates detected with the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect in the 720 deg^2 of the South Pole Telescope (SPT) survey completed in the 2008 and 2009 observing seasons. We use the optical/NIR data to establish whether each candidate is associated with an overdensity of galaxies and to estimate the cluster redshift. Most photometric redshifts are derived through a combination of three different cluster redshift estimators using red-sequence galaxies, resulting in an accuracy of Δz/(1 + z) = 0.017, determined through comparison with a subsample of 57 clusters for which we have spectroscopic redshifts. We successfully measure redshifts for 158 systems and present redshift lower limits for the remaining candidates. The redsh...
Analyses of marine carbonates through the interval 63.9 to 65.4 million years ago indicate a near-constant flux of extraterrestrial helium-3, a tracer of the accretion rate of interplanetary dust to Earth. This observation indicates that the bolide associated with the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction event was not accompanied by enhanced solar system dustiness and so could not have been a member of a comet shower. The use of helium-3 as a constant-flux proxy of sedimentation rate implies deposition of the K-T boundary clay in (10 ± 2) × 10^3 years, precluding the possibility of a long hiatus at the boundary and requiring extremely rapid faunal turnover.
Samadi and Barberousse attempt to provide a precise, formal definition of the species category that is faithful to the internodal species concept (Samadi S, Barberousse A. 2006. The tree, the network, and the species. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society89: 509–521). Here, it is argued that their study is technically flawed. Most of the necessary corrections to their definitions are provided in order to accurately portray the internodal concept. It is then argued that the internodal concept is fundamentally flawed; it does not solve the ‘classical problems’ that Samadi and Barberousse claim it does. In particular, it does not allow for the possibility of interspecies hybridization. In addition, the proposal is unworkable in practice, and also theoretically problematic because it entails that, in many lineages, speciation events ar...
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