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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  2. The impacts of extreme heat events are amplified in cities due to unique urban thermal properties. Urban greenspace mitigates high temperatures through evapotranspiration and shading; however, quantification of vegetative cooling potential in cities is often limited to simple remote sensing greenness indices or sparse, in situ measurements. Here, we develop a spatially explicit, high-resolution model of urban latent heat flux from vegetation. The model iterates through three core equations that consider urban climatological and physiological characteristics, producing estimates of latent heat flux at 30-m spatial resolution and hourly temporal resolution. We find strong agreement between field observations and model estimates of latent heat flux across a range of ecosystem types, including cities. This model introduces a valuable tool to quantify the spatial heterogeneity of vegetation cooling benefits across the complex landscape of cities at an adequate resolution to inform policies addressing the effects of extreme heat events.
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  4. Vaccines derived from chimpanzee adenovirus Y25 (ChAdOx1), human adenovirus type 26 (HAdV-D26), and human adenovirus type 5 (HAdV-C5) are critical in combatting the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. As part of the largest vaccination campaign in history, ultrarare side effects not seen in phase 3 trials, including thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), a rare condition resembling heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), have been observed. This study demonstrates that all three adenoviruses deployed as vaccination vectors versus SARS-CoV-2 bind to platelet factor 4 (PF4), a protein implicated in the pathogenesis of HIT. We have determined the structure of the ChAdOx1 viral vector and used it in state-of-the-art computational simulations to demonstrate an electrostatic interaction mechanism with PF4, which was confirmed experimentally by surface plasmon resonance. These data confirm that PF4 is capable of forming stable complexes with clinically relevant adenoviruses, an important step in unraveling the mechanisms underlying TTS.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 3, 2022
  5. Abstract Electrical scanning probe microscopies (SPM) use ultrasharp metallic tips to obtain nanometer spatial resolution and are a key tool for characterizing nanoscale semiconducting materials and systems. However, these tips are not passive probes; their high work functions can induce local band bending whose effects depend sensitively on the local geometry and material properties and thus are inherently difficult to quantify. We use sequential finite element simulations to first explore the magnitude and spatial distribution of charge reorganization due to tip-induced band bending (TIBB) for planar and nanostructured geometries. We demonstrate that tip-induced depletion and accumulation of carriers can be significantly modified in confined geometries such as nanowires compared to a bulk planar response. This charge reorganization is due to finite size effects that arise as the nanostructure size approaches the Debye length, with significant implications for a range of SPM techniques. We then use the reorganized charge distribution from our model to describe experimentally measured quantities, using in operando scanning microwave impedance microscopy measurements on axial p-i-n silicon nanowire devices as a specific example. By incorporating TIBB, we reveal that our experimentally observed enhancement (absence) of contrast at the p-i (i-n) junction is explained by the tip-induced accumulation (depletion)more »of carriers at the interface. Our results demonstrate that the inclusion of TIBB is critical for an accurate interpretation of electrical SPM measurements, and is especially important for weakly screening or low-doped materials, as well as the complex doping patterns and confined geometries commonly encountered in nanoscale systems.« less
  6. In an effort to infuse computational thinking practices in upper elementary science, and to promote positive student dispositions toward STEM, this project investigates a new narrative-centered maker environment involving: 1) problem-based learning research and modeling of physical science concepts, 2) application of learned concepts to original digital stories created using block-based programming, and 3) further communication of science understanding through play with fabricated story sets and characters reflective of narratives.
  7. Abstract The expansion of an urban tree canopy is a commonly proposed nature-based solution to combat excess urban heat. The influence trees have on urban climates via shading is driven by the morphological characteristics of trees, whereas tree transpiration is predominantly a physiological process dependent on environmental conditions and the built environment. The heterogeneous nature of urban landscapes, unique tree species assemblages, and land management decisions make it difficult to predict the magnitude and direction of cooling by transpiration. In the present article, we synthesize the emerging literature on the mechanistic controls on urban tree transpiration. We present a case study that illustrates the relationship between transpiration (using sap flow data) and urban temperatures. We examine the potential feedbacks among urban canopy, the built environment, and climate with a focus on extreme heat events. Finally, we present modeled data demonstrating the influence of transpiration on temperatures with shifts in canopy extent and irrigation during a heat wave.
  8. In an effort to infuse computational thinking practices in upper elementary science, and to promote positive student dispositions toward STEM, this project investigates a new narrative-centered maker environment involving: 1) problem-based learning research and modeling of physical science concepts, 2) application of learned concepts to original digital stories created using block-based programming, and 3) further communication of science understanding through play with fabricated story sets and characters reflective of narratives.
  9. Accurately forecasting stress may enable people to make behavioral changes that could improve their future health. For example, accurate stress forecasting might inspire people to make changes to their schedule to get more sleep or exercise, in order to reduce excessive stress tomorrow night. In this paper, we examine how accurately the previous N-days of multi-modal data can forecast tomorrow evening’s high/low binary stress levels using long short-term memory neural network models (LSTM), logistic regression (LR), and support vector machines (SVM). Using a total of 2,276 days, with 1,231 overlapping 8-day sequences of data from 142 participants (including physiological signals, mobile phone usage, location, and behavioral surveys), we find the LSTM significantly outperforms LR and SVM with the best results reaching 83.6% using 7 days of prior data. Using time-series models improves the forecasting of stress even when considering only subsets of the multi-modal data set, e.g., using only physiology data. In particular, the LSTM model reaches 81.4% accuracy using only objective and passive data, i.e., not including subjective reports from a daily survey.
  10. Abstract Patients with chronic lung disease (CLD) have an increased risk for severe coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) and poor outcomes. Here, we analyze the transcriptomes of 611,398 single cells isolated from healthy and CLD lungs to identify molecular characteristics of lung cells that may account for worse COVID-19 outcomes in patients with chronic lung diseases. We observe a similar cellular distribution and relative expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors in control and CLD lungs. CLD AT2 cells express higher levels of genes linked directly to the efficiency of viral replication and the innate immune response. Additionally, we identify basal differences in inflammatory gene expression programs that highlight how CLD alters the inflammatory microenvironment encountered upon viral exposure to the peripheral lung. Our study indicates that CLD is accompanied by changes in cell-type-specific gene expression programs that prime the lung epithelium for and influence the innate and adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022