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Frontiers In Crystalline Matter

Author: National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309138000
Size: 43.98 MB
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For much of the past 60 years, the U.S. research community dominated the discovery of new crystalline materials and the growth of large single crystals, placing the country at the forefront of fundamental advances in condensed-matter sciences and fueling the development of many of the new technologies at the core of U.S. economic growth. The opportunities offered by future developments in this field remain as promising as the achievements of the past. However, the past 20 years have seen a substantial deterioration in the United States' capability to pursue those opportunities at a time when several European and Asian countries have significantly increased investments in developing their own capacities in these areas. This book seeks both to set out the challenges and opportunities facing those who discover new crystalline materials and grow large crystals and to chart a way for the United States to reinvigorate its efforts and thereby return to a position of leadership in this field.

Recapturing A Future For Space Exploration

Author: Committee for the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309163854
Size: 24.23 MB
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More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human outposts, culminating in the current International Space Station (ISS). However, of the more than 500 humans who have so far ventured into space, most have gone only as far as near-Earth orbit, and none have traveled beyond the orbit of the Moon. Achieving humans' further progress into the solar system had proved far more difficult than imagined in the heady days of the Apollo missions, but the potential rewards remain substantial. During its more than 50-year history, NASA's success in human space exploration has depended on the agency's ability to effectively address a wide range of biomedical, engineering, physical science, and related obstacles--an achievement made possible by NASA's strong and productive commitments to life and physical sciences research for human space exploration, and by its use of human space exploration infrastructures for scientific discovery. The Committee for the Decadal Survey of Biological and Physical Sciences acknowledges the many achievements of NASA, which are all the more remarkable given budgetary challenges and changing directions within the agency. In the past decade, however, a consequence of those challenges has been a life and physical sciences research program that was dramatically reduced in both scale and scope, with the result that the agency is poorly positioned to take full advantage of the scientific opportunities offered by the now fully equipped and staffed ISS laboratory, or to effectively pursue the scientific research needed to support the development of advanced human exploration capabilities. Although its review has left it deeply concerned about the current state of NASA's life and physical sciences research, the Committee for the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space is nevertheless convinced that a focused science and engineering program can achieve successes that will bring the space community, the U.S. public, and policymakers to an understanding that we are ready for the next significant phase of human space exploration. The goal of this report is to lay out steps and develop a forward-looking portfolio of research that will provide the basis for recapturing the excitement and value of human spaceflight--thereby enabling the U.S. space program to deliver on new exploration initiatives that serve the nation, excite the public, and place the United States again at the forefront of space exploration for the global good.

Exoplanet Science Strategy

Author: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 030947941X
Size: 60.97 MB
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The past decade has delivered remarkable discoveries in the study of exoplanets. Hand-in-hand with these advances, a theoretical understanding of the myriad of processes that dictate the formation and evolution of planets has matured, spurred on by the avalanche of unexpected discoveries. Appreciation of the factors that make a planet hospitable to life has grown in sophistication, as has understanding of the context for biosignatures, the remotely detectable aspects of a planet’s atmosphere or surface that reveal the presence of life. Exoplanet Science Strategy highlights strategic priorities for large, coordinated efforts that will support the scientific goals of the broad exoplanet science community. This report outlines a strategic plan that will answer lingering questions through a combination of large, ambitious community-supported efforts and support for diverse, creative, community-driven investigator research.

Filamentous Bacteriophage In Bio Nano Technology Bacterial Pathogenesis And Ecology

Author: Jasna Rakonjac
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
ISBN: 2889450953
Size: 33.21 MB
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Filamentous phage (genus Inovirus) infect almost invariably Gram-negative bacteria. They are distinguished from all other bacteriophage not only by morphology, but also by the mode of their assembly, a secretion-like process that does not kill the host. “Classic” Escherichia colifilamentous phage Ff (f1, fd and M13) are used in display technology and bio/nano/technology, whereas filamentous phage in general have been put to use by their bacterial hosts for adaptation to environment, pathogenesis, biofilm formation, horizontal gene transfer and modulating genome stability. Many filamentous phage have a “symbiotic” life style that is often manifested by inability to form plaques, preventing their identification by standard phage-hunting techniques; while the absence or very low sequence conservation between phage infecting different species often complicates their identification through bioinformatics. Nevertheless, the number of discovered filamentous phage is increasing rapidly, along with realization of their significance. “Temperate” filamentous phage whose genomes are integrated into the bacterial chromosome of pathogenic bacteria often modulate virulence of the host. The Vibrio cholerae phage CTXf genome encodes cholera toxin, whereas many filamentous prophage influence virulence without encoding virulence factors. The nature of their effect on the bacterial pathogenicity and overall physiology is the next frontier in understanding intricate relationship between the filamentous phage and their hosts. Phage display has been widely used as a combinatorial technology of choice for discovery of therapeutic antibodies and peptide leads that have been applied in the vaccine design, diagnostics and drug development or targeting over the past thirty years. Virion proteins of filamentous phage are integral membrane proteins prior to assembly; hence they are ideal for display of bacterial surface and secreted proteins. The use of this technology at the scale of microbial community has potential to identify host-interacting proteins of uncultivable or low-represented community members. Recent applications of Ff filamentous phage extend into protein evolution, synthetic biology and nanotechnology. In many applications, phage serves as a monodisperse long-aspect nano-scaffold of well-defined shape. Chemical or chenetic modifications of this scaffold are used to introduce the necessary functionalities, such as fluorescent labels, ligands that target specific proteins, or peptides that promote formation of inorganic or organic nanostructures. We anticipate that the future holds development of new strategies for particle assembly, site-specific multi-functional modifications and improvement of existing modification strategies. These improvements will render the production of filamentous-phage-templated materials safe and affordable, allowing their applications outside of the laboratory.

Liquid Crystals

Author: Peter J. Collings
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691086729
Size: 30.82 MB
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Liquid crystals are a phase of matter critical both in many recent scientific developments in biology, chemistry, and physics and in applications such as computer displays, electronic books, and new thermometers. This fully illustrated book builds on basic scientific concepts from biology, chemistry, and physics to explore the full range of the broad and interdisciplinary field of liquid crystal science. After a brief introduction to liquid crystals, the text sketches the history of research into this phase of matter, beginning with its discovery. Interesting in its own right, this history also demonstrates the crucial role that technological applications play in promoting scientific research. The behavior of the various liquid crystalline phases is described in detail, with an emphasis on the electrical and optical properties so important for applications. Applications are then covered, with in-depth attention given to how liquid crystals are used in computer-screen displays. Chapters dealing with liquid crystalline phases formed in solutions, the liquid crystal phases of polymers, and the biological significance of liquid crystals explore the huge range of phenomena associated with liquid crystals--from new high-strength fibers to the frontiers of cell-membrane research. Finally, there is a chapter highlighting current theoretical knowledge about why liquid crystals exist and why they have the properties they do. In this second edition, many portions of the highly praised first edition have been thoroughly revised and expanded to incorporate the tremendous theoretical and applied research advances made over the last decade. The result is an up-to-date and comprehensive description of liquid crystal science and technology at the introductory level. Students and researchers in a variety of fields will find this book an ideal entry to a highly productive area of inquiry.