Contributors:Gonzalo, Ramon, Baillargeat, Dominique, Alderman, Byron E. J., Ederra, Inigo, Delhote, Nicolas, Khromova, Irina, De Maagt, Peter, Murk, Axel
We present the design of a submillimeter-wave mixer based on electromagnetic band gap (EBG) technology and using subharmonic local oscillator (LO) injection. The indicated device converts an incoming submilimeter wavelength signal into a 1-5 GHz intermediate frequency (IF) signal by mixing it with a subharmonic LO signal. The mixer consists of a dual-band receiver and two coplanar stripline (CPS) filters, collocated on top of a three-dimensional (3-D) EBG structure. A four-element array of the proposed receivers was designed, fabricated and tested. The configuration demonstrated reasonable performance: conversion loss below 8 dB and noise temperature below 3000 K. The presented concept can be used for higher frequencies, provided the availability of sufficiently powerful LO sources.
Contributors:Wirth, S. B., Hamann, Y., Anselmetti, Flavio, Gilli, A., Vannière, B., Chapron, E., Joannin, S., Simonneau, A., Magny, M., Desmet, M.
Adding to the on-going debate regarding vegetation recolonisation (more particularly the timing) in Europe and climate change since the Lateglacial, this study investigates a long sediment core (LL081) from Lake Ledro (652ma.s.l., southern Alps, Italy). Environmental changes were reconstructed using multiproxy analysis (pollen-based vegetation and climate reconstruction, lake levels, magnetic susceptibility and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) measurements) recorded climate and land-use changes during the Lateglacial and early-middle Holocene. The well-dated and high-resolution pollen record of Lake Ledro is compared with vegetation records from the southern and northern Alps to trace the history of tree species distribution. An altitudedependent progressive time delay of the first continuous occurrence of Abies (fir) and of the Larix (larch) development has been observed since the Lateglacial in the southern Alps. This pattern suggests that the mid-altitude Lake Ledro area was not a refuge and that trees originated from lowlands or hilly areas (e.g. Euganean Hills) in northern Italy. Preboreal oscillations (ca. 11 000 cal BP), Boreal oscillations (ca. 10 200, 9300 cal BP) and the 8.2 kyr cold event suggest a centennial-scale climate forcing in the studied area. Picea (spruce) expansion occurred preferentially around 10 200 and 8200 cal BP in the south-eastern Alps, and therefore reflects the long-lasting cumulative effects of successive boreal and the 8.2 kyr cold event. The extension of Abies is contemporaneous with the 8.2 kyr event, but its development in the southern Alps benefits from the wettest interval 8200-7300 cal BP evidenced in high lake levels, flood activity and pollen-based climate reconstructions. Since ca. 7500 cal BP, a weak signal of pollen-based anthropogenic activities suggest weak human impact. The period between ca. 5700 and ca. 4100 cal BP is considered as a transition period to colder and wetter conditions (particularly during summers) that favoured a dense beech (Fagus) forest development which in return caused a distinctive yew (Taxus) decline.We conclude that climate was the dominant factor controlling vegetation changes and erosion processes during the early and middle Holocene (up to ca. 4100 cal BP).
Knowledge of past natural flood variability and controlling climate factors is of high value since it can be useful to refine projections of the future flood behavior under climate warming. In this context, we present a seasonally resolved 2000 year long flood frequency and intensity reconstruction from the southern Alpine slope (North Italy) using annually laminated (varved) lake sediments. Floods occurred predominantly during summer and autumn, whereas winter and spring events were rare. The all-season flood frequency and, particularly, the occurrence of summer events increased during solar minima, suggesting solar-induced circulation changes resembling negative conditions of the North Atlantic Oscillation as controlling atmospheric mechanism. Furthermore, the most extreme autumn events occurred during a period of warm Mediterranean sea surface temperature. Interpreting these results in regard to present climate change, our data set proposes for a warming scenario, a decrease in summer floods, but an increase in the intensity of autumn floods at the South-Alpine slope.
Animal and human studies have shown that sleep may have an impact on functional recovery after brain damage. Baclofen (Bac) and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) have been shown to induce physiological sleep in humans, however, their effects in rodents are unclear. The aim of this study is to characterize sleep and electroencelphalogram (EEG) after Bac and GHB administration in rats. We hypothesized that both drugs would induce physiological sleep.
Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted with EEG/electromyogram (EMG) electrodes for sleep recordings. Bac (10 or 20 mg/kg), GHB (150 or 300 mg/kg) or saline were injected 1 h after light and dark onset to evaluate time of day effect of the drugs. Vigilance states and EEG spectra were quantified.
Bac and GHB induced a non-physiological state characterized by atypical behavior and an abnormal EEG pattern. After termination of this state, Bac was found to increase the duration of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (∼90 and 10 min, respectively), reduce sleep fragmentation and affect NREM sleep episode frequency and duration (p<0.05). GHB had no major effect on vigilance states. Bac drastically increased EEG power density in NREM sleep in the frequencies 1.5-6.5 and 9.5-21.5 Hz compared to saline (p<0.05), while GHB enhanced power in the 1-5-Hz frequency band and reduced it in the 7-9-Hz band. Slow-wave activity in NREM sleep was enhanced 1.5-3-fold during the first 1-2 h following termination of the non-physiological state. The magnitude of drug effects was stronger during the dark phase.
While both Bac and GHB induced a non-physiological resting state, only Bac facilitated and consolidated sleep, and promoted EEG delta oscillations thereafter. Hence, Bac can be considered a sleep-promoting drug and its effects on functional recovery after stroke can be evaluated both in humans and rats.
The Mediterranean region has been identified as a global warming hotspot, where future climate impacts are expected to have significant consequences on societal and ecosystem well-being. To put ongoing trends of summer climate into the context of past natural variability, we reconstructed climate from maximum latewood density (MXD) measurements of Pinus heldreichii (1521–2010) and latewood width (LWW) of Pinus nigra (1617–2010) on Mt. Olympus, Greece. Previous research in the northeastern Mediterranean has primarily focused on inter-annual variability, omitting any low-frequency trends. The present study utilizes methods capable of retaining climatically driven long-term behavior of tree growth. The LWW chronology corresponds closely to early summer moisture variability (May–July, r = 0.65, p < 0.001, 1950–2010), whereas the MXD-chronology relates mainly to late summer warmth (July–September, r = 0.64, p < 0.001; 1899–2010). The chronologies show opposing patterns of decadal variability over the twentieth century (r = −0.68, p < 0.001) and confirm the importance of the summer
North Atlantic Oscillation (sNAO) for summer climate in the northeastern Mediterranean, with positive sNAO phases inducing cold anomalies and enhanced cloudiness and precipitation. The combined reconstructions document the late twentieth—early twenty-first century warming and drying trend, but indicate generally drier early summer and cooler late summer conditions in the period ~1700–1900 CE. Our findings suggest a potential decoupling between twentieth century atmospheric circulation patterns and pre-industrial climate variability. Furthermore, the range of natural climate variability stretches beyond summer moisture availabilityobserved in recent decades and thus lends credibility to the significant drying trends projected for this region in current Earth System Model simulations.
During the last glacial cycle, Greenland temperature showed many rapid temperature variations, the so-called Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO) events. The past atmospheric methane concentration closely followed these temperature variations, which implies that the warmings recorded in Greenland were probably hemispheric in extent. Here we substantially extend and complete the North Greenland Ice Core Project (NGRIP) methane record from the Preboreal Holocene (PB) back to the end of the last interglacial period with a mean time resolution of 54 yr. We relate the amplitudes of the methane increases associated with DO events to the amplitudes of the local Greenland NGRIP temperature increases derived from stable nitrogen isotope (δ15N) measurements, which have been performed along the same ice core (Kindler et al., 2014). We find the ratio to oscillate between 5 parts per billion (ppb) per °C and 18 ppb °C−1 with the approximate frequency of the precessional cycle. A remarkably high ratio of 25.5 ppb °C−1 is reached during the transition from the Younger Dryas (YD) to the PB. Analysis of the timing of the fast methane and temperature increases reveals significant lags of the methane increases relative to NGRIP temperature for DO events 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 19, and 20. These events generally have small methane increase rates and we hypothesize that the lag is caused by pronounced northward displacement of the source regions from stadial to interstadial. We further show that the relative interpolar concentration difference (rIPD) of methane is about 4.5% for the stadials between DO events 18 and 20, which is in the same order as in the stadials before and after DO event 2 around the Last Glacial Maximum. The rIPD of methane remains relatively stable throughout the full last glacial, with a tendency for elevated values during interstadial compared to stadial periods.
Hint2, one of the five members of the superfamily of the histidine triad AMP-lysine hydrolase proteins, is expressed in mitochondria of various cell types. In human adrenocarcinoma cells, Hint2 modulates Ca2+ handling by mitochondria. As Hint2 is highly expressed in hepatocytes, we investigated if this protein affects Ca2+ dynamics in this cell type. We found that in hepatocytes isolated from Hint2−/− mice, the frequency of Ca2+ oscillations induced by 1 μM noradrenaline was 150% higher than in the wild-type. Using spectrophotometry, we analyzed the rates of Ca2+ pumping in suspensions of mitochondria prepared from hepatocytes of either wild-type or Hint2−/− mice; we found that Hint2 accelerates Ca2+ pumping into mitochondria. We then resorted to computational modeling to elucidate the possible molecular target of Hint2 that could explain both observations. On the basis of a detailed model for mitochondrial metabolism proposed in another study, we identified the respiratory chain as the most probable target of Hint2. We then used the model to predict that the absence of Hint2 leads to a premature opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore in response to repetitive additions of Ca2+ in suspensions of mitochondria. This prediction was then confirmed experimentally.