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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    German cockroaches (Blattella germanica L.) harbor and disperse medically important pathogens and are a source of allergens that impact human health and wellbeing. Management of this pest requires an understanding of their distribution and dispersal. In this study, we collected German cockroaches from three apartment buildings in New Jersey, USA. We identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from DNA extractions using next generation sequencing. We analyzed the SNPs and characterized cockroach population genetic structure using Fst, principal component, phylogenetic, and STRUCTURE analyses. We found significant differences in German cockroach population structure among the buildings. Within buildings, we found variable population structure that may be evidence for multiple colonization events. This study shows that SNPs derived from next generation sequencing provide a powerful tool for analyzing the genetic population structure of these medically important pests.

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  4. ABSTRACT The final phase of the reionization process can be probed by rest-frame UV absorption spectra of quasars at z ≳ 6, shedding light on the properties of the diffuse intergalactic medium within the first Gyr of the Universe. The ESO Large Programme ‘XQR-30: the ultimate XSHOOTER legacy survey of quasars at z ≃ 5.8–6.6’ dedicated ∼250 h of observations at the VLT to create a homogeneous and high-quality sample of spectra of 30 luminous quasars at z ∼ 6, covering the rest wavelength range from the Lyman limit to beyond the Mg ii emission. Twelve quasar spectra of similar quality from the XSHOOTER archive were added to form the enlarged XQR-30 sample, corresponding to a total of ∼350 h of on-source exposure time. The median effective resolving power of the 42 spectra is R ≃ 11 400 and 9800 in the VIS and NIR arm, respectively. The signal-to-noise ratio per 10 km s−1 pixel ranges from ∼11 to 114 at λ ≃ 1285 Å rest frame, with a median value of ∼29. We describe the observations, data reduction, and analysis of the spectra, together with some first results based on the E-XQR-30 sample. New photometry in the H and K bands are provided for the XQR-30 quasars, together with composite spectra whose characteristics reflect the large absolute magnitudes of the sample. The composite and the reduced spectra are released to the community through a public repository, and will enable a range of studies addressing outstanding questions regarding the first Gyr of the Universe. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 23, 2024
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  7. Abstract

    This paper presents a bilinear log model, for predicting temperature-dependent ultimate strength of high-entropy alloys (HEAs) based on 21 HEA compositions. We consider the break temperature,Tbreak, introduced in the model, an important parameter for design of materials with attractive high-temperature properties, one warranting inclusion in alloy specifications. For reliable operation, the operating temperature of alloys may need to stay belowTbreak. We introduce a technique of global optimization, one enabling concurrent optimization of model parameters over low-temperature and high-temperature regimes. Furthermore, we suggest a general framework for joint optimization of alloy properties, capable of accounting for physics-based dependencies, and show how a special case can be formulated to address the identification of HEAs offering attractive ultimate strength. We advocate for the selection of an optimization technique suitable for the problem at hand and the data available, and for properly accounting for the underlying sources of variations.

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    ABSTRACT We present the results of a new, deeper, and complete search for high-redshift 6.5 < z < 9.3 quasars over 977 deg2 of the VISTA Kilo-Degree Infrared Galaxy (VIKING) survey. This exploits a new list-driven data set providing photometry in all bands Z, Y, J, H, Ks, for all sources detected by VIKING in J. We use the Bayesian model comparison (BMC) selection method of Mortlock et al., producing a ranked list of just 21 candidates. The sources ranked 1, 2, 3, and 5 are the four known z > 6.5 quasars in this field. Additional observations of the other 17 candidates, primarily DESI Legacy Survey photometry and ESO FORS2 spectroscopy, confirm that none is a quasar. This is the first complete sample from the VIKING survey, and we provide the computed selection function. We include a detailed comparison of the BMC method against two other selection methods: colour cuts and minimum-χ2 SED fitting. We find that: (i) BMC produces eight times fewer false positives than colour cuts, while also reaching 0.3 mag deeper, (ii) the minimum-χ2 SED-fitting method is extremely efficient but reaches 0.7 mag less deep than the BMC method, and selects only one of the four known quasars. We show that BMC candidates, rejected because their photometric SEDs have high χ2 values, include bright examples of galaxies with very strong [O iii] λλ4959,5007 emission in the Y band, identified in fainter surveys by Matsuoka et al. This is a potential contaminant population in Euclid searches for faint z > 7 quasars, not previously accounted for, and that requires better characterization. 
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