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  1. Abstract Nutrient foraging by fungi weathers rocks by mechanical and biochemical processes. Distinguishing fungal-driven transformation from abiotic mechanisms in soil remains a challenge due to complexities within natural field environments. We examined the role of fungal hyphae in the incipient weathering of granulated basalt from a three-year field experiment in a mixed hardwood-pine forest (S. Carolina) to identify alteration at the nanometer to micron scales based on microscopy-tomography analyses. Investigations of fungal-grain contacts revealed (i) a hypha-biofilm-basaltic glass interface coinciding with titanomagnetite inclusions exposed on the grain surface and embedded in the glass matrix and (ii) native dendritic and subhedral titanomagnetite inclusions in the upper 1–2 µm of the grain surface that spanned the length of the fungal-grain interface. We provide evidence of submicron basaltic glass dissolution occurring at a fungal-grain contact in a soil field setting. An example of how fungal-mediated weathering can be distinguished from abiotic mechanisms in the field was demonstrated by observing hyphal selective occupation and hydrolysis of glass-titanomagnetite surfaces. We hypothesize that the fungi were drawn to basaltic glass-titanomagnetite boundaries given that titanomagnetite exposed on or very near grain surfaces represents a source of iron to microbes. Furthermore, glass is energetically favorable to weathering in the presencemore »of titanomagnetite. Our observations demonstrate that fungi interact with and transform basaltic substrates over a three-year time scale in field environments, which is central to understanding the rates and pathways of biogeochemical reactions related to nuclear waste disposal, geologic carbon storage, nutrient cycling, cultural artifact preservation, and soil-formation processes.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 6, 2023
  3. Abstract Background

    We conducted a large-scale, passive regional survey of ticks associated with wildlife of the eastern United States. Our primary goals were to better assess the current geographical distribution of exoticHaemaphysalis longicornisand to identify potential wild mammalian and avian host species. However, this large-scale survey also provided valuable information regarding the distribution and host associations for many other important tick species that utilize wildlife as hosts.


    Ticks were opportunistically collected by cooperating state and federal wildlife agencies. All ticks were placed in the supplied vials and host information was recorded, including host species, age, sex, examination date, location (at least county and state), and estimated tick burden. All ticks were identified to species using morphology, and suspectH. longicorniswere confirmed through molecular techniques.


    In total, 1940 hosts were examined from across 369 counties from 23 states in the eastern USA. From these submissions, 20,626 ticks were collected and identified belonging to 11 different species. Our passive surveillance efforts detected exoticH. longicornisfrom nine host species from eight states. Notably, some of the earliest detections ofH. longicornisin the USA were collected from wildlife through this passive surveillance network. In addition, numerous new county reports were generated forAmblyomma americanum,Amblyomma maculatum,Dermacentor albipictus,Dermacentor variabilis, andIxodes scapularis.

    more »Conclusions

    This study provided data on ticks collected from animals from 23 different states in the eastern USA between 2010 and 2021, with the primary goal of better characterizing the distribution and host associations of the exotic tickH. longicornis;however, new distribution data on tick species of veterinary or medical importance were also obtained. Collectively, our passive surveillance has detected numerous new county reports forH. longicornisas well asI. scapularis.Our study utilizing passive wildlife surveillance for ticks across the eastern USA is an effective method for surveying a diversity of wildlife host species, allowing us to better collect data on current tick distributions relevant to human and animal health.

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  4. Abstract

    Observations of CH+are used to trace the physical properties of diffuse clouds, but this requires an accurate understanding of the underlying CH+chemistry. Until this work, the most uncertain reaction in that chemistry was dissociative recombination (DR) of CH+. Using an electron–ion merged-beams experiment at the Cryogenic Storage Ring, we have determined the DR rate coefficient of the CH+electronic, vibrational, and rotational ground state applicable for different diffuse cloud conditions. Our results reduce the previously unrecognized order-of-magnitude uncertainty in the CH+DR rate coefficient to ∼20% and are applicable at all temperatures relevant to diffuse clouds, ranging from quiescent gas to gas locally heated by processes such as shocks and turbulence. Based on a simple chemical network, we find that DR can be an important destruction mechanism at temperatures relevant to quiescent gas. As the temperature increases locally, DR can continue to be important up to temperatures of ∼600 K, if there is also a corresponding increase in the electron fraction of the gas. Our new CH+DR rate-coefficient data will increase the reliability of future studies of diffuse cloud physical properties via CH+abundance observations.

  5. This research work explores different machine learning techniques for recognizing the existence of rapport between two people engaged in a conversation, based on their facial expressions. First using artificially generated pairs of correlated data signals, a coupled gated recurrent unit (cGRU) neural network is developed to measure the extent of similarity between the temporal evolution of pairs of time-series signals. By pre-selecting their covariance values (between 0.1 and 1.0), pairs of coupled sequences are generated. Using the developed cGRU architecture, this covariance between the signals is successfully recovered. Using this and various other coupled architectures, tests for rapport (measured by the extent of mirroring and mimicking of behaviors) are conducted on real-life datasets. On fifty-nine (N = 59) pairs of interactants in an interview setting, a transformer based coupled architecture performs the best in determining the existence of rapport. To test for generalization, the models were applied on never-been-seen data collected 14 years prior, also to predict the existence of rapport. The coupled transformer model again performed the best for this transfer learning task, determining which pairs of interactants had rapport and which did not. The experiments and results demonstrate the advantages of coupled architectures for predicting an interactional processmore »such as rapport, even in the presence of limited data.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 15, 2022
  6. Abstract

    Impedance-based protein detection sensors for point-of-care diagnostics require quantitative specificity, as well as rapid or real-time operation. Furthermore, microfabrication of these sensors can lead to the formation of factors suitable for in vivo operation. Herein, we present microfabricated needle-shaped microwell impedance sensors for rapid-sample-to-answer, label-free detection of cytokines, and other biomarkers. The microneedle form factor allows sensors to be utilized in transcutaneous or transvascular sensing applications. In vitro, experimental characterization confirmed sensor specificity and sensitivity to multiple proteins of interest. Mechanical characterization demonstrated sufficient microneedle robustness for transcutaneous insertion, as well as preserved sensor function postinsertion. We further utilized these sensors to carry out real-time in vivo quantification of human interleukin 8 (hIL8) concentration levels in the blood of transgenic mice that endogenously express hIL8. To assess sensor functionality, hIL8 concentration levels in serum samples from the same mice were quantified by ELISA. Excellent agreement between real-time in vivo sensor readings in blood and subsequent ELISA serum assays was observed over multiple transgenic mice expressing hIL8 concentrations from 62 pg/mL to 539 ng/mL.

  7. ABSTRACT In this work, we estimate how much bulk viscosity driven by Urca processes is likely to affect the gravitational wave signal of a neutron star coalescence. In the late inspiral, we show that bulk viscosity affects the binding energy at fourth post-Newtonian order. Even though this effect is enhanced by the square of the gravitational compactness, the coefficient of bulk viscosity is likely too small to lead to observable effects in the waveform during the late inspiral, when only considering the orbital motion itself. In the post-merger, however, the characteristic time-scales and spatial scales are different, potentially leading to the opposite conclusion. We post-process data from a state-of-the-art equal-mass binary neutron star merger simulation to estimate the effects of bulk viscosity (which was not included in the simulation itself). In that scenario, we find that bulk viscosity can reach high values in regions of the merger. We compute several estimates of how much it might directly affect the global dynamics of the considered merger scenario, and find that it could become significant. Even larger effects could arise in different merger scenarios or in simulations that include non-linear effects. This assessment is reinforced by a quantitative comparison with relativistic heavy-ionmore »collisions where such effects have been explored extensively.« less