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  1. Globally, zoonotic vector-borne diseases are on the rise and understanding their complex transmission cycles is pertinent to mitigating disease risk. In North America, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease and is caused by transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) from Ixodes spp. ticks to a diverse group of vertebrate hosts. Small mammal reservoir hosts are primarily responsible for maintenance of B. burgdorferi s.l. across the United States. Never- theless, birds can also be parasitized by ticks and are capable of infection with B. burgdorferi s.l. but their role in B. burgdorferi s.l. transmission dynamics is understudied.more »Birds could be important in both the maintenance and spread of B. burgdorferi s.l. and ticks because of their high mobility and shared habitat with important mammalian reservoir hosts. This study aims to better understand the role of avian hosts in tick-borne zoonotic disease transmission cycles in the western United States. We surveyed birds, mammals, and ticks at nine sites in northern California for B. burgdorferi s.l. infection and collected data on other metrics of host community composition such as abundance and diversity of birds, small mammals, lizards, predators, and ticks. We found 22.8% of birds infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. and that the likelihood of avian B. burgdorferi s.l. infection was significantly associated with local host community composition and pathogen prevalence in California. Addition- ally, we found an average tick burden of 0.22 ticks per bird across all species. Predator and lizard abundances were significant predictors of avian tick infestation. These results indicate that birds are relevant hosts in the local B. burgdorferi s.l. transmission cycle in the western United States and quantifying their role in the spread and maintenance of Lyme disease requires further research.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. Introduction. Half a century since the creation of the International Association of Bryologists, we carried out a review to identify outstanding challenges and future perspectives in bryology. Specifically, we have identified 50 fundamental questions that are critical in advancing the discipline. Methods. We have adapted a deep-rooted methodology of horizon scanning to identify key research foci. An initial pool of 258 questions was prepared by a multidisciplinary and international working group of 32 bryologists. A series of online surveys completed by a broader community of researchers in bryology, followed by quality-control steps implemented by the working group, were used tomore »create a list of top-priority questions. This final list was restricted to 50 questions with a broad conceptual scope and answerable through realistic research approaches. Key results. The top list of 50 fundamental questions was organised into four general topics: Bryophyte Biodiversity and Biogeography; Bryophyte Ecology, Physiology and Reproductive Biology; Bryophyte Conservation and Management; and Bryophyte Evolution and Systematics. These topics included 9, 19, 14 and 8 questions, respectively. Conclusions. Although many of the research challenges identified are not newly conceived, our horizon-scanning exercise has established a significant foundation for future bryological research. We suggest analytical and conceptual strategies and novel developments for potential use in advancing the research agenda for bryology.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. Traditional protective garments loaded with activated carbons to remove toxic gases are very bulky. Novel graphene oxide (GO) flake-based composite lamellar membrane structure is being developed as a potential component of a garment for protection against chemical warfare agents (CWAs) represented here by simulants, dimethyl methyl phosphonate (DMMP) (a sarin-simulant), and 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide (CEES) (a simulant for sulfur mustard), yet allowing a high-moisture transmission rate. GO flakes of dimensions 300−800 nm, 0.7−1.2 nm thickness and dispersed in an aqueous suspension were formed into a membrane by vacuum filtration on a porous poly(ether sulfone) (PES) or poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK)more »support membrane for noncovalent π−π interactions with GO flakes. After physical compression of such a membrane, upright cup tests indicated that it can block toluene for 3−4 days and DMMP for 5 days while exhibiting excellent water vapor permeation. Further, they display very low permeances for small-molecule gases/vapors. The GO flakes underwent crosslinking later with ethylenediamine (EDA) introduced during the vacuum filtration followed by physical compression and heating. With a further spray coating of polyurethane (PU), these membranes could be bent without losing barrier properties vis-à-vis the CWA simulant DMMP for 5 days; a membrane not subjected to bending blocked DMMP for 15 days. For the PEEK-EDA-GO-PU compressed membranes after bending, the separation factors of H2O over other species for low gas flow rates in the dynamic moisture permeation cell (DMPC) are: αH2O−He is 42.3; αH2O−N2 is 110; and αH2O−ethane is 1800. At higher gas flow rates in the DMPC, the moisture transmission rate goes up considerably due to reduced boundary layer resistances and exceeds the threshold water vapor flux of 2000 g/(m2·day) that defines a breathable fabric. This membrane displayed considerable resistance to permeation by CEES as well. The PES-EDA-GO-PU-compressed membrane shows good mechanical property under tensile strength tests.« less
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  5. Abstract The accurate simulation of additional interactions at the ATLAS experiment for the analysis of proton–proton collisions delivered by the Large Hadron Collider presents a significant challenge to the computing resources. During the LHC Run 2 (2015–2018), there were up to 70 inelastic interactions per bunch crossing, which need to be accounted for in Monte Carlo (MC) production. In this document, a new method to account for these additional interactions in the simulation chain is described. Instead of sampling the inelastic interactions and adding their energy deposits to a hard-scatter interaction one-by-one, the inelastic interactions are presampled, independent of the hardmore »scatter, and stored as combined events. Consequently, for each hard-scatter interaction, only one such presampled event needs to be added as part of the simulation chain. For the Run 2 simulation chain, with an average of 35 interactions per bunch crossing, this new method provides a substantial reduction in MC production CPU needs of around 20%, while reproducing the properties of the reconstructed quantities relevant for physics analyses with good accuracy.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  6. Abstract The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider has a broad physics programme ranging from precision measurements to direct searches for new particles and new interactions, requiring ever larger and ever more accurate datasets of simulated Monte Carlo events. Detector simulation with Geant4 is accurate but requires significant CPU resources. Over the past decade, ATLAS has developed and utilized tools that replace the most CPU-intensive component of the simulation—the calorimeter shower simulation—with faster simulation methods. Here, AtlFast3, the next generation of high-accuracy fast simulation in ATLAS, is introduced. AtlFast3 combines parameterized approaches with machine-learning techniques and is deployed tomore »meet current and future computing challenges, and simulation needs of the ATLAS experiment. With highly accurate performance and significantly improved modelling of substructure within jets, AtlFast3 can simulate large numbers of events for a wide range of physics processes.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022