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  1. Background: Although microalgal biofuels have potential advantages over conventional fossil fuels, high production costs limit their application in the market. We developed bio-flocculation and incubation methods for the marine alga Nannochloropsis oceanica CCMP1779 and the oleaginous fungus Mortierella elongata AG77 resulting in increased oil productivity. Results: Grown separately and then combining the cells the M. elongata mycelium could efficiently capture N. oceanica due to an intricate cellular interaction between the two species leading to bio-flocculation. Use of a high-salt culture medium induced accumulation of triacylglycerol (TAG) and enhanced the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) including arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in M. elongata. To increase TAG productivity in the alga, we developed an effective reduced nitrogen supply regime based on ammonium in environmental photobioreactors (ePBRs). Under optimized conditions, N. oceanica produced high levels of TAG that could be indirectly monitored by following chlorophyll content. Combining N. oceanica and M. elongata to initiate bio-flocculation yielded high levels of TAG and total fatty acids, ~15% and 22% of total dry weight (DW), respectively, as well as high levels of PUFAs. Genetic engineering N. oceanica for higher TAG content in nutrient-replete medium was accomplished by overexpressing DGTT5, a gene encoding the type II acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 5. Combined with bioflocculation this approach led to increased production of TAG under nutrient replete conditions (~10% of DW) compared to the wild type (~6% of DW). Conclusions: The combined use of M. elongata and N. oceanica with available genomes and genetic engineering tools for both species opens up new avenues to improve bio-fuel productivity and allows the engineering of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Keywords: Microalgae, Filamentous fungi, Flocculation, Cell wall interaction, Biofuel, Nitrogen starvation, Polyunsaturated fatty acid, Triacylglycerol 
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  2. Abstract We search for signatures of gravitational lensing in the gravitational-wave signals from compact binary coalescences detected by Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and Advanced Virgo during O3a, the first half of their third observing run. We study: (1) the expected rate of lensing at current detector sensitivity and the implications of a non-observation of strong lensing or a stochastic gravitational-wave background on the merger-rate density at high redshift; (2) how the interpretation of individual high-mass events would change if they were found to be lensed; (3) the possibility of multiple images due to strong lensing by galaxies or galaxy clusters; and (4) possible wave-optics effects due to point-mass microlenses. Several pairs of signals in the multiple-image analysis show similar parameters and, in this sense, are nominally consistent with the strong lensing hypothesis. However, taking into account population priors, selection effects, and the prior odds against lensing, these events do not provide sufficient evidence for lensing. Overall, we find no compelling evidence for lensing in the observed gravitational-wave signals from any of these analyses. 
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  3. Abstract We present a search for continuous gravitational-wave emission due to r-modes in the pulsar PSR J0537–6910 using data from the LIGO–Virgo Collaboration observing run O3. PSR J0537–6910 is a young energetic X-ray pulsar and is the most frequent glitcher known. The inter-glitch braking index of the pulsar suggests that gravitational-wave emission due to r-mode oscillations may play an important role in the spin evolution of this pulsar. Theoretical models confirm this possibility and predict emission at a level that can be probed by ground-based detectors. In order to explore this scenario, we search for r-mode emission in the epochs between glitches by using a contemporaneous timing ephemeris obtained from NICER data. We do not detect any signals in the theoretically expected band of 86–97 Hz, and report upper limits on the amplitude of the gravitational waves. Our results improve on previous amplitude upper limits from r-modes in J0537-6910 by a factor of up to 3 and place stringent constraints on theoretical models for r-mode-driven spin-down in PSR J0537–6910, especially for higher frequencies at which our results reach below the spin-down limit defined by energy conservation. 
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