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Sample records for actin comet tails

  1. Mechanics of biomimetic systems propelled by actin comet tails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Hyeran; Tambe, Dhananjay; Shenoy, Vivek; Tang, Jay

    2009-03-01

    The motility of intracellular bacterial pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes is driven by filamentous actin comet tails in a variety of trajectories. Here, we present the in vitro study on the actin-based movements using spherical beads of different sizes coated with VCA protein, a partial domain of N-Wasp, in platelet extracts. Long term two-dimensional trajectories of the spherical beads motility show characteristic difference than those observed for bacteria, which have both elongated shape and asymmetric expression of the polymerization inducing enzyme. The trajectories also vary sensitively with the bead size and shape. These results provide a useful test to our new analytical model including the rotation of the bead relative to the tail.

  2. Insulin stimulates actin comet tails on intracellular GLUT4-containing compartments in differentiated 3T3L1 adipocytes.

    PubMed

    Kanzaki, M; Watson, R T; Khan, A H; Pessin, J E

    2001-12-28

    Incubation of isolated GLUT4-containing vesicles with Xenopus oocyte extracts resulted in a guanosine 5'-[gamma-thio]triphosphate (GTP gamma S) and sodium orthovanadate stimulation of actin comet tails. The in vitro actin-based GLUT4 vesicle motility was inhibited by both latrunculin B and a dominant-interfering N-WASP mutant, N-WASP/Delta VCA. Preparations of gently sheared (broken) 3T3L1 adipocytes also displayed GTP gamma S and sodium orthovanadate stimulation of actin comet tails on GLUT4 intracellular compartments. Furthermore, insulin pretreatment of intact adipocytes prior to gently shearing also resulted in a marked increase in actin polymerization and actin comet tailing on GLUT4 vesicles. In addition, the insulin stimulation of actin comet tails was completely inhibited by Clostridum difficile toxin B, demonstrating a specific role for a Rho family member small GTP-binding protein. Expression of N-WASP/Delta VCA in intact cells had little effect on adipocyte cortical actin but partially inhibited insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation. Taken together, these data demonstrate that insulin can induce GLUT4 vesicle actin comet tails that are necessary for the efficient translocation of GLUT4 from intracellular storage sites to the plasma membrane.

  3. A kinematic description of the trajectories of Listeria monocytogenes propelled by actin comet tails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tambe, Dhananjay; Shenoy, Vivek

    2007-03-01

    The bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes propels itself in the cytoplasm of the infected cells by forming a filamentous comet tail assembled by the polymerization of the cytoskeletal protein, actin. While a great deal is known about the molecular processes that lead to actin based movement, most macroscale aspects of motion, including the nature of the trajectories traced out by the motile bacteria are not well understood. Listeria moving between a glass-slide and cover slip in a Xenopus frog egg extract motility assay is observed to display a number of geometrically fascinating trajectories including sine curves, serpentine shapes, circles, and a variety of spirals. We have developed a dynamic model that provides a unified description of these seemingly unrelated trajectories. A key ingredient of the model is a torque (not included in any microscopic models to date) that arises from the rotation of the propulsive force about the body-axis of the bacterium. The trajectories of bacteria executing both steady and saltatory motion are found to be in excellent agreement with the predictions of our dynamic model. When the constraints that lead to planar motion are removed, our model predicts motion along regular helical trajectories, observed in recent experiments. We discover from the analysis of the trajectories of spherical beads that the comet tail revolves around the bead.

  4. Quantitative Analysis of Filament Branch Orientation in Listeria Actin Comet Tails.

    PubMed

    Jasnin, Marion; Crevenna, Alvaro H

    2016-02-23

    Several bacterial and viral pathogens hijack the host actin cytoskeleton machinery to facilitate spread and infection. In particular, Listeria uses Arp2/3-mediated actin filament nucleation at the bacterial surface to generate a branched network that will help propel the bacteria. However, the mechanism of force generation remains elusive due to the lack of high-resolution three-dimensional structural data on the spatial organization of the actin mother and daughter (i.e., branch) filaments within this network. Here, we have explored the three-dimensional structure of Listeria actin tails in Xenopus laevis egg extracts using cryo-electron tomography. We found that the architecture of Listeria actin tails is shared between those formed in cells and in cell extracts. Both contained nanoscopic bundles along the plane of the substrate, where the bacterium lies, and upright filaments (also called Z filaments), both oriented tangentially to the bacterial cell wall. Here, we were able to identify actin filament intersections, which likely correspond to branches, within the tails. A quantitative analysis of putative Arp2/3-mediated branches in the actin network showed that mother filaments lie on the plane of the substrate, whereas daughter filaments have random deviations out of this plane. Moreover, the analysis revealed that branches are randomly oriented with respect to the bacterial surface. Therefore, the actin filament network does not push directly toward the surface but rather accumulates, building up stress around the Listeria surface. Our results favor a mechanism of force generation for Listeria movement where the stress is released into propulsive motion.

  5. Quantitative Analysis of Filament Branch Orientation in Listeria Actin Comet Tails

    PubMed Central

    Jasnin, Marion; Crevenna, Alvaro H.

    2016-01-01

    Several bacterial and viral pathogens hijack the host actin cytoskeleton machinery to facilitate spread and infection. In particular, Listeria uses Arp2/3-mediated actin filament nucleation at the bacterial surface to generate a branched network that will help propel the bacteria. However, the mechanism of force generation remains elusive due to the lack of high-resolution three-dimensional structural data on the spatial organization of the actin mother and daughter (i.e., branch) filaments within this network. Here, we have explored the three-dimensional structure of Listeria actin tails in Xenopus laevis egg extracts using cryo-electron tomography. We found that the architecture of Listeria actin tails is shared between those formed in cells and in cell extracts. Both contained nanoscopic bundles along the plane of the substrate, where the bacterium lies, and upright filaments (also called Z filaments), both oriented tangentially to the bacterial cell wall. Here, we were able to identify actin filament intersections, which likely correspond to branches, within the tails. A quantitative analysis of putative Arp2/3-mediated branches in the actin network showed that mother filaments lie on the plane of the substrate, whereas daughter filaments have random deviations out of this plane. Moreover, the analysis revealed that branches are randomly oriented with respect to the bacterial surface. Therefore, the actin filament network does not push directly toward the surface but rather accumulates, building up stress around the Listeria surface. Our results favor a mechanism of force generation for Listeria movement where the stress is released into propulsive motion. PMID:26497103

  6. Genome-Wide siRNA Screen Identifies Complementary Signaling Pathways Involved in Listeria Infection and Reveals Different Actin Nucleation Mechanisms during Listeria Cell Invasion and Actin Comet Tail Formation

    PubMed Central

    Kühbacher, Andreas; Emmenlauer, Mario; Rämo, Pauli; Kafai, Natasha; Dehio, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Listeria monocytogenes enters nonphagocytic cells by a receptor-mediated mechanism that is dependent on a clathrin-based molecular machinery and actin rearrangements. Bacterial intra- and intercellular movements are also actin dependent and rely on the actin nucleating Arp2/3 complex, which is activated by host-derived nucleation-promoting factors downstream of the cell receptor Met during entry and by the bacterial nucleation-promoting factor ActA during comet tail formation. By genome-wide small interfering RNA (siRNA) screening for host factors involved in bacterial infection, we identified diverse cellular signaling networks and protein complexes that support or limit these processes. In addition, we could precise previously described molecular pathways involved in Listeria invasion. In particular our results show that the requirements for actin nucleators during Listeria entry and actin comet tail formation are different. Knockdown of several actin nucleators, including SPIRE2, reduced bacterial invasion while not affecting the generation of comet tails. Most interestingly, we observed that in contrast to our expectations, not all of the seven subunits of the Arp2/3 complex are required for Listeria entry into cells or actin tail formation and that the subunit requirements for each of these processes differ, highlighting a previously unsuspected versatility in Arp2/3 complex composition and function. PMID:25991686

  7. Yogi Berra, Forrest Gump, and the discovery of Listeria actin comet tails.

    PubMed

    Portnoy, Daniel A

    2012-04-01

    In 1988, eminent cell biologist Lew Tilney and newly appointed Assistant Professor of Microbiology Dan Portnoy met at a picnic and initiated a collaboration that led to a groundbreaking paper published in Journal of Cell Biology entitled "Actin filaments and the growth, movement, and spread of the intracellular bacterial parasite, Listeria monocytogenes." The paper has been cited more than 800 times, the most of any publication in the careers of both investigators. Using an electron microscope from the Sputnik era, they assembled a stunning collection of micrographs that illustrated how L. monocytogenes enters the host cell and exploits a host system of actin-based motility to move within cells and into neighboring cells without leaving the host cell cytosol. This research captured the imagination of cell biologists and microbiologists alike and led to novel insights into cytoskeletal dynamics. Here, Portnoy provides a retrospective that shares text from the original submission that was deleted at the time of publication, along with reviewers' comments ranging from "It is really just a show and tell paper and doesn';t have any meat" to "the finding will have major impact in cell biology and in medicine. Potentially, the paper will be a classic."

  8. The study of comets, part 1. [conference on photometry and spectrum analysis of Kohoutek comet and comet tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, B. (Editor); Mumma, M. J. (Editor); Jackson, W. M. (Editor); Ahearn, M. (Editor); Harrington, R. (Editor)

    1976-01-01

    Papers are presented dealing with observations of comets. Topic discussed include: photometry, polarimetry, and astrometry of comets; detection of water and molecular transitions in comets; ion motions in comet tails; determination of comet brightness and luminosity; and evolution of cometary orbits. Emphasis is placed on analysis of observations of comet Kohoutek.

  9. Review: Observations of recent comets, ion tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.

    1976-01-01

    Photographic plates of the moving structures in the cometary tail are examined. Several divergent explanations for the case of comet Kohoutek are presented. It is suggested that these hypotheses be tested by observing the motion of the material spectroscopically by means of the Doppler effect.

  10. Dust tail striae: Lessons from recent comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, G.; Battams, K.

    2014-07-01

    Striae are features rarely observed in cometary dust tails. These are near-linear structures that, unlike synchronic bands, are not aligned with the nucleus position, and have only been clearly observed in a few high-production-rate comets, including C/1957 P1 (Mrkos), C/1962 C1 (Seki-Lines), C/1975 V1 (West), and C/1996 O1 (Hale-Bopp). The formation of striae is difficult to explain, but several scenarios for their creation have been proposed [1]. These include that of Sekanina & Farrell [2], who proposed that striae are the result of a two-step fragmentation process, where parent particles are released from the nucleus which, after a delay, all fragment over a very short period of time. The fragmentation products then separate according to their β parameter, i.e., the degree to which the particles are influenced by radiation pressure force compared to gravitational force, to form the linear structures we observe as striae. Although there are issues with identifying a process through which many particles will collectively delay their break-up and then fragment within a short period, this scenario does fit many observations well [3]. Other proposed scenarios are more complex, including the formation of striae through a continuous cascade of fragmentation to ever smaller particle sizes [4]. As these formation scenarios result in different distributions of dust-particle sizes within individual striae, the processes occurring may therefore be identifiable if these distributions can be inferred. If the fragmentation processes taking place can be identified, then, in turn, more could be learnt about the structure of the original dust grains that go on to form these sometimes beautiful tail structures. Here, we present the analysis of striae in several comets observed from space by the SOHO LASCO coronagraph [5] and SECCHI heliospheric imagers aboard the twin STEREO spacecraft [6]. The comets studied are C/2002 V1 (NEAT) in January 2002, C/2006 P1 (McNaught) during its

  11. Actin filaments align into hollow comets for rapid VASP-mediated propulsion.

    PubMed

    Plastino, Julie; Olivier, Stéphane; Sykes, Cécile

    2004-10-05

    For cells, the growth of a dense array of branched actin filaments organized by the actin-related proteins 2 and 3 (Arp2/3) complex at the plasma membrane offers an explanation as to how movement is produced, and this arrangement is considered to be optimal for motility. Here, we challenged this assumption by using an in vitro system of polystyrene beads in cell extracts that contained a complex mix of actin polymerization proteins as in vivo. We employed the surface of the bead as a reactor where we mixed two different actin polymerization-activating factors, the Arp2/3 complex and the vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), to examine their contribution to actin-based movement and filament organization. We varied the coating of the bead surface but left the extracts identical for all assays. We found that the degree of filament alignment in the actin comet tails depended on the surface ratio of VASP to Arp2/3. Alignment of actin filaments parallel to the direction of bead movement in the presence of VASP was accompanied by an abrupt 7-fold increase in velocity that was independent of bead size and by hollowing out of the comets. The actin filament-bundling proteins fimbrin and fascin did not appear to play a role in this transformation. Together with the idea that VASP enhances filament detachment and with the presence of pulling forces at the rear of the bead, a mesoscopic analysis of movement provides a possible explanation for our results.

  12. STEREO Watches as Comet Encke Loses Its Tail

    NASA Video Gallery

    As comet Encke dipped inside the orbit of Mercury, STEREO A recorded its tail getting ripped off by a solar eruption on April 20, 2007. The eruption that hit Encke was a coronal mass ejection (CME)...

  13. [The metaphoric image of the "tail of a comet"].

    PubMed

    Wackenheim, A

    1994-01-01

    The author places the metaphoric image of "comet tail" in the semiotic structural and triadic system of Peirce. This metaphoric image utilises the iconic quality of "resemblance". The discussion of the image of "comet tail" gives the author the opportunity to distinguish three varieties. One variety is static (example: round atelectasia), the other is dynamic (example: cancer of the breast) and the third is artificial (sonographic artifact).

  14. Discovery of Accelerating Plasmoids in the Tail of Comet Encke

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellett, B.; Bingham, R.; Davies, J. A.; Bewsher, D.; Harrison, R. A.; Davis, C. J.; Eyles, C. J.; Crothers, S. R.

    2007-12-01

    Comet 2P/Encke was the second comet to have its return correctly predicted (in 1819). Encke is a Jupiter-family comet with a period of 3.30 years and a perihelion distance of 0.338 AU. The interaction between cometary plasma and the solar wind plasma provides the potential for remote monitoring of the solar wind. In this regard comet Encke is potentially a very useful probe of the solar wind because of its very short orbital period and therefore large number of close approaches to the Sun. However, for this reason it is likely to have exhausted most of its reserves of ice and therefore possess a less dense plasma tail. The comet could therefore respond faster and more dynamically to solar wind variations than the tail of a more active or higher gas production comet. The Heliospheric Imager (HI) of STEREO-A (HI-1A), observed comet 2P/Encke during April, 2007. The comet was predicted to have reached perihelion on April 19th 0 UT. This paper will only consider the observations obtained by HI-1A on April 25th to 27th, 2007. At this time the comet was around 0.63 AU from Earth and 0.39 AU from the Sun. The comet was seen to exhibit a distinct "flick" of its plasma tail on April 26th and a series of "whiplash" events. However, the most interest phenomena seen was a whole series of "plasmoids" that were observed to break off from the brighter part of the tail near the nucleus and accelerate along the tail for 4-5 million kilometres down-wind of the nucleus.

  15. Direct actin binding to A- and B-type lamin tails and actin filament bundling by the lamin A tail

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Dan N; Zastrow, Michael S

    2010-01-01

    Nuclear intermediate filament networks formed by A- and B-type lamins are major components of the nucleoskeleton. Lamins have growing links to human physiology and disease including Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD), lipodystrophy, cardiomyopathy, neuropathy, cerebellar disorders and segmental accelerated ‘aging’ syndromes. How lamins interact with other nucleoskeletal components, and even the identities of these other components, are open questions. Previous studies suggested lamins might bind actin. We report that the recombinant C-terminal tail domain of human A- and B-type lamins binds directly to purified actin in high-speed pelleting assays. This interaction maps to a conserved Actin Binding site (AB-1) comprising lamin A residues 461–536 in the Ig-fold domain, which are 54% identical in lamin B1. Two EDMD-causing missense mutations (R527P and L530P) in lamin A that are predicted to disrupt the Ig-fold, each reduced F-actin binding by ∼66%, whereas the surface-exposed lipodystrophy-causing R482Q mutation had no significant effect. The lamin A tail was unique among lamins in having a second actin-binding site (AB-2). This second site was mapped to lamin A tail residues 564–608, based on actin-binding results for the lamin C tail and internal deletions in the lamin A tail that cause Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (Δ35, Δ50) or restrictive dermopathy (Δ90). Supporting the presence of two actin-binding sites, recombinant precursor (unmodified) and mature lamin A tails (not C or B1 tails) each bundled F-actin in vitro: furthermore F-actin bundling was reduced 25–40% by the R527P, L530P, Δ35 and Δ50 mutations, and was abolished by Δ90. Unexpectedly, the mature lamin A tail bound F-actin significantly more efficiently than did the prelamin A tail; this suggested unmodified residues 647–664, unique to prelamin A, might auto-inhibit binding to actin (and potentially other partners). These biochemical results suggest direct mechanisms

  16. The large GTPase dynamin regulates actin comet formation and movement in living cells

    PubMed Central

    Orth, James D.; Krueger, E. W.; Cao, H.; McNiven, Mark A.

    2002-01-01

    The large GTPase dynamin (Dyn2) has been demonstrated by us and others to interact with several different actin-binding proteins. To define how Dyn2 might participate in actin dynamics in livings cells we have expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged Dyn2 in cultured cells and observed labeling of comet-like vesicles and macropinosomes. The comet structures progressed with a constant velocity and were reminiscent of actin comets associated with motile vesicles in cells expressing type I phosphatidylinositol phosphate 5-kinases. Based on these observations we sought to determine whether Dyn2 is an integral component of actin comets. Cells expressing type I phosphatidylinositol phosphate 5-kinase and Dyn2-GFP revealed a prominent colocalization of Dyn2 and actin in comet structures. Interestingly, comet formation and motility were normal in cells expressing wild-type Dyn2-GFP but altered markedly in Dyn2 mutant-expressing cells. Dyn2K44A-GFP mutant cells displayed a significant reduction in comet number, length, velocity, and efficiency of movement. In contrast, comets in cells expressing Dyn2ΔPRD-GFP appeared dark and did not incorporate the mutant Dyn2 protein, indicating that the proline-rich domain (PRD) is required for Dyn2 recruitment. Further, these comets were significantly longer and slower than those in control cells. These findings demonstrate a role for Dyn2 in actin-based vesicle motility. PMID:11782546

  17. The composition and tail activity of Sun-grazing comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Ying-Dong; Russell, Cristopher; Liu, Wei

    2016-04-01

    Sun-grazing comets dive into the low corona to reveal the ambient plasma and field conditions with its very active EUV and X-ray radiation patterns. In this study we model the charging-balanced cometary plasma, and its transportation in the solar magnetic field. We study the comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) event seen by SDO, Stereo and SOHO. Our model provides line-of-sight integrated emission intensity calculated via each emission lines of each charge state of O, and Fe ions. Such intensity is then compared with the observed EUV and X-ray images. Typical structures of the coronal magnetic field are studied to investigate their effects on the comet tail, and to model the observed tail activity.

  18. The dust tail of Comet Wilson 1987VII

    SciTech Connect

    Cremonese, G.; Fulle, M. Osservatorio Astronomico, Trieste )

    1990-10-01

    The dust and plasma tails of Comet Wilson 1987VII were studied using photographic plates obtained by means of an ESO Schmidt camera. The plates were digitized adopting a square scanning window of 50 microns and properly calibrated by means of calibration wedges. Dust grains of diameters between 10 microns and 5 cm, ejected during the time interval -600 less than t less than -30 (days related to perihelion), were considered and a total dust mass of (4 + or - 2) x 10 to the 14th g was obtained, together with a power index of the time-averaged size distribution of -3.0 + or - 0.1. The high value of the power index of the time-averaged size distribution with respect to the lower value of old comets might point out intrinsic differences and suggest new formations. 6 refs.

  19. The path and surviving tail of a comet that fell into the sun

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1982-01-01

    A satisfactory orbital solution for Comet Howard-Koomen-Michels 1979 XI is found on the assumption that the comet's line of apsides coincided with that of the Kreutz sungrazing comet group. The derived perihelion distance then shows that this is the first known case of a comet falling into the sun. A dust tail that survived the comet is studied as a particle flow phenomenon controlled by no force other than solar gravity and solar radiation pressure. The tail's outline is interpreted in terms of an onset of dust production, a peak repulsive force on the particles, and a circumsolar dustfree zone due to particle sublimation. It is shown that the surviving debris consisted mostly of absorbing, submicron size particles in hyperbolic trajectories convex to the sun and curving toward the earth. The tail width may be a product of the interaction of charged dust in the tail with a complicated structure of the coronal magnetic field.

  20. Encounter of the Ulysses Spacecraft with the Ion Tail of Comet McNaught

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neugebauer, M.; Gloeckler, G.; Gosling, J. T.; Rees, A.; Skoug, R.; Goldstein, B. E.; Armstrong, T. P.; Combi, M. R.; Makinen, T.; McComas, D. J.; VonSteiger, R.; Zurbuchen, T. H.; Smith, E. J.; Geiss, J.; Lanzerotti, L. J.

    2007-01-01

    Comet McNaught was the brightest comet observed from Earth in the last 40 years. For a period of five days in early 2007 February, four instruments on the Ulysses spacecraft directly measured cometary ions and key properties of the interaction of the comet's ion tail with the high-speed solar wind from the polar regions of the Sun. Because of the record-breaking duration of the encounter, the data are unusually comprehensive. O3(+) ions were detected for the first time in a comet tail, coexisting with singly charged molecular ions with masses in the range 28-35 amu. The presence of magnetic turbulence and of ions with energies up to approximately 200 keV indicate that at a distance of approximately 1.6 AU from the comet nucleus, the ion tail McNaught had not yet reached equilibrium with the surrounding solar wind.

  1. Doppler velocities in the ion tail of comet Levy 1990c

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jockers, Klaus; Rauer, H.; Debi-Prasad, C.; Geyer, E. H.

    1992-01-01

    We have obtained time alternating sequences of column density maps and Doppler velocity fields in the plasma tail of comet Levy 1990c. We describe the observing technique and data analysis, and we present first results.

  2. Structural and biochemical studies of actin in complex with synthetic macrolide tail analogues.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Jose H; Petchprayoon, Chutima; Hoepker, Alexander C; Moriarty, Nigel W; Fink, Sarah J; Cecere, Giuseppe; Paterson, Ian; Adams, Paul D; Marriott, Gerard

    2014-10-01

    The actin filament-binding and filament-severing activities of the aplyronine, kabiramide, and reidispongiolide families of marine macrolides are located within the hydrophobic tail region of the molecule. Two synthetic tail analogues of aplyronine C (SF-01 and GC-04) are shown to bind to G-actin with dissociation constants of (285±33) and (132±13) nM, respectively. The crystal structures of actin complexes with GC-04, SF-01, and kabiramide C reveal a conserved mode of tail binding within the cleft that forms between subdomains (SD) 1 and 3. Our studies support the view that filament severing is brought about by specific binding of the tail region to the SD1/SD3 cleft on the upper protomer, which displaces loop-D from the lower protomer on the same half-filament. With previous studies showing that the GC-04 analogue can sever actin filaments, it is argued that the shorter complex lifetime of tail analogues with F-actin would make them more effective at severing filaments compared with plasma gelsolin. Structure-based analyses are used to suggest more reactive or targetable forms of GC-04 and SF-01, which may serve to boost the capacity of the serum actin scavenging system, to generate antibody conjugates against tumor cell antigens, and to decrease sputum viscosity in children with cystic fibrosis.

  3. Structural and Biochemical Studies of Actin in Complex with Synthetic Macrolide Tail Analogues

    SciTech Connect

    Pereira, Jose H.; Petchprayoon, Chutima; Hoepker, Alexander C.; Moriarty, Nigel W.; Fink, Sarah J.; Cecere, Giuseppe; Paterson, Ian; Adams, Paul D.; Marriott, Gerard

    2014-07-22

    The actin filament-binding and filament-severing activities of the aplyronine, kabiramide, and reidispongiolide families of marine macrolides are located within the hydrophobic tail region of the molecule. Two synthetic tail analogues of aplyronine C (SF-01 and GC-04) are shown to bind to G-actin with dissociation constants of (285±33) and (132±13) nM, respectively. The crystal structures of actin complexes with GC-04, SF-01, and kabiramide C reveal a conserved mode of tail binding within the cleft that forms between subdomains (SD) 1 and 3. Our studies support the view that filament severing is brought about by specific binding of the tail region to the SD1/SD3 cleft on the upper protomer, which displaces loop-D from the lower protomer on the same half-filament. With previous studies showing that the GC-04 analogue can sever actin filaments, it is argued that the shorter complex lifetime of tail analogues with F-actin would make them more effective at severing filaments compared with plasma gelsolin. In conclusion, structure-based analyses are used to suggest more reactive or targetable forms of GC-04 and SF-01, which may serve to boost the capacity of the serum actin scavenging system, to generate antibody conjugates against tumor cell antigens, and to decrease sputum viscosity in children with cystic fibrosis.

  4. Structural and Biochemical Studies of Actin in Complex with Synthetic Macrolide Tail Analogues

    DOE PAGES

    Pereira, Jose H.; Petchprayoon, Chutima; Hoepker, Alexander C.; ...

    2014-07-22

    The actin filament-binding and filament-severing activities of the aplyronine, kabiramide, and reidispongiolide families of marine macrolides are located within the hydrophobic tail region of the molecule. Two synthetic tail analogues of aplyronine C (SF-01 and GC-04) are shown to bind to G-actin with dissociation constants of (285±33) and (132±13) nM, respectively. The crystal structures of actin complexes with GC-04, SF-01, and kabiramide C reveal a conserved mode of tail binding within the cleft that forms between subdomains (SD) 1 and 3. Our studies support the view that filament severing is brought about by specific binding of the tail region tomore » the SD1/SD3 cleft on the upper protomer, which displaces loop-D from the lower protomer on the same half-filament. With previous studies showing that the GC-04 analogue can sever actin filaments, it is argued that the shorter complex lifetime of tail analogues with F-actin would make them more effective at severing filaments compared with plasma gelsolin. In conclusion, structure-based analyses are used to suggest more reactive or targetable forms of GC-04 and SF-01, which may serve to boost the capacity of the serum actin scavenging system, to generate antibody conjugates against tumor cell antigens, and to decrease sputum viscosity in children with cystic fibrosis.« less

  5. The geomagnetic storm of 1910 May 18 and the tail of Halley's Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, L.-S.; Li, Z.-Y.; Gu, S.-Y.

    1984-09-01

    On May 18, 1910, the Lu-Kia-Pang Observatory near Shanghai recorded a geomagnetic storm, but it was thought that this storm was not connected with the tail of Halley's comet. In the present paper, it is argued that this storm, rather than originating in some solar activity (coronal hole or solar flare), could have been the result of the interaction of the plasma tail of Halley's comet and the earth's magnetosphere. The time lag between the storm and the transit as calculated by Leuchner (1910) is given, and the characteristic features of cometary tails and the mechanisms by which they produce geomagnetic storms are analyzed.

  6. Two-Tailed Comet Assay (2T-Comet): Simultaneous Detection of DNA Single and Double Strand Breaks.

    PubMed

    Cortés-Gutiérrez, Elva I; Fernández, José Luis; Dávila-Rodríguez, Martha I; López-Fernández, Carmen; Gosálvez, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    A modification of the original comet assay was developed for the simultaneous evaluation of DNA single strand breaks (SSBs) and double strand breaks (DSBs) in human spermatozoa. The two-dimensional perpendicular tail comet assay (2T-comet) combines non-denaturing and denaturant conditions to the same sperm nucleoid. In this case, the species-specific deproteinized sperm is first subjected to an electrophoretic field under non-denaturing conditions to mobilize isolated free discrete DNA fragments produced from DSBs; this is then followed by a second electrophoresis running perpendicular to the first one but under alkaline conditions to produce DNA denaturation, exposing SSBs on the same linear DNA chain or DNA fragments flanked by DSBs. This procedure results in a two dimensional comet tail emerging from the core where two types of original DNA affected molecule can be simultaneously discriminated. The 2T-comet is a fast, sensitive, and reliable procedure to distinguish between single and double strand DNA damage within the same cell. It is an innovative method for assessing sperm DNA integrity, which has important implications for human fertility and andrological pathology. This technique may be adapted to assess different DNA break types in other species and other cell types.

  7. The Role of Formin Tails in Actin Nucleation, Processive Elongation, and Filament Bundling*

    PubMed Central

    Vizcarra, Christina L.; Bor, Batbileg; Quinlan, Margot E.

    2014-01-01

    Formins are multidomain proteins that assemble actin in a wide variety of biological processes. They both nucleate and remain processively associated with growing filaments, in some cases accelerating filament growth. The well conserved formin homology 1 and 2 domains were originally thought to be solely responsible for these activities. Recently a role in nucleation was identified for the Diaphanous autoinhibitory domain (DAD), which is C-terminal to the formin homology 2 domain. The C-terminal tail of the Drosophila formin Cappuccino (Capu) is conserved among FMN formins but distinct from other formins. It does not have a DAD domain. Nevertheless, we find that Capu-tail plays a role in filament nucleation similar to that described for mDia1 and other formins. Building on this, replacement of Capu-tail with DADs from other formins tunes nucleation activity. Capu-tail has low-affinity interactions with both actin monomers and filaments. Removal of the tail reduces actin filament binding and bundling. Furthermore, when the tail is removed, we find that processivity is compromised. Despite decreased processivity, the elongation rate of filaments is unchanged. Again, replacement of Capu-tail with DADs from other formins tunes the processive association with the barbed end, indicating that this is a general role for formin tails. Our data show a role for the Capu-tail domain in assembling the actin cytoskeleton, largely mediated by electrostatic interactions. Because of its multifunctionality, the formin tail is a candidate for regulation by other proteins during cytoskeletal rearrangements. PMID:25246531

  8. Actin-dependent propulsion of endosomes and lysosomes byrecruitment of n-wasp

    SciTech Connect

    Taunton J; Rowning BA; Coughlin ML; Wu M; Moon RT; Mitchison TJ; Larabell CA

    2000-02-07

    We examined the spatial and temporal control of actin assembly in living Xenopus eggs. Within minutes of egg activation,dynamic actin-rich comet tails appeared on a subset of cytoplasmic vesicles that were enriched in protein kinase C (PKC), causing the vesicles to move through the cytoplasm. Actin comet tail formation in vivo was stimulated by the PKC activator phorbol myristate acetate (PMA),and this process could be reconstituted in a cell-free system. We used this system to define the characteristics that distinguish vesicles associated with actin comet tails from other vesicles in the extract. We found that the protein, N-WASP, was recruited to the surface of every vesicle associated with an actin comet tail, suggesting that vesicle movement results from actin assembly nucleated by the Arp2/3 complex, the immediate downstream target of N-WASP, The motile vesicles accumulated the dye acridine orange, a marker for endosomes and lysosomes. Furthermore, vesicles associated with actin comet tails had the morphological features of multivesicular endosomes as revealed by electron microscopy. Endosomes and lysosomes from mammalian cells preferentially nucleated actin assembly and moved in the Xenopus egg extract system. These results define endosomes and lysosomes as recruitment sites for the actin nucleation machinery and demonstrate that actin assembly contributes to organelle movement. Conversely, by nucleating actin assembly, intracellular membranes may contribute to the dynamic organization of the actin cytoskeleton.

  9. Interception of comet Hyakutake's ion tail at a distance of 500 million kilometres

    PubMed

    Gloeckler; Geiss; Schwadron; Fisk; Zurbuchen; Ipavich; von Steiger R; Balsiger; Wilken

    2000-04-06

    Remote sensing observations and the direct sampling of material from a few comets have established the characteristic composition of cometary gas. This gas is ionized by solar ultraviolet radiation and the solar wind to form 'pick-up' ions, ions in a low ionization state that retain the same compositional signatures as the original gas. The pick-up ions are carried outward by the solar wind, and they could in principle be detected far from the coma (Sampling of pick-up ions has also been used to study interplanetary dust, Venus' tail and the interstellar medium.) Here we report the serendipitous detection of cometary pick-up ions, most probably associated with the tail of comet Hyakutake, at a distance of 3.4 AU from the nucleus. Previous observations have provided a wealth of physical and chemical information about a small sample of comets, but this detection suggests that remote sampling of comet compositions, and the discovery of otherwise invisible comets, may be possible.

  10. The association of myosin IB with actin waves in dictyostelium requires both the plasma membrane-binding site and actin-binding region in the myosin tail.

    PubMed

    Brzeska, Hanna; Pridham, Kevin; Chery, Godefroy; Titus, Margaret A; Korn, Edward D

    2014-01-01

    F-actin structures and their distribution are important determinants of the dynamic shapes and functions of eukaryotic cells. Actin waves are F-actin formations that move along the ventral cell membrane driven by actin polymerization. Dictyostelium myosin IB is associated with actin waves but its role in the wave is unknown. Myosin IB is a monomeric, non-filamentous myosin with a globular head that binds to F-actin and has motor activity, and a non-helical tail comprising a basic region, a glycine-proline-glutamine-rich region and an SH3-domain. The basic region binds to acidic phospholipids in the plasma membrane through a short basic-hydrophobic site and the Gly-Pro-Gln region binds F-actin. In the current work we found that both the basic-hydrophobic site in the basic region and the Gly-Pro-Gln region of the tail are required for the association of myosin IB with actin waves. This is the first evidence that the Gly-Pro-Gln region is required for localization of myosin IB to a specific actin structure in situ. The head is not required for myosin IB association with actin waves but binding of the head to F-actin strengthens the association of myosin IB with waves and stabilizes waves. Neither the SH3-domain nor motor activity is required for association of myosin IB with actin waves. We conclude that myosin IB contributes to anchoring actin waves to the plasma membranes by binding of the basic-hydrophobic site to acidic phospholipids in the plasma membrane and binding of the Gly-Pro-Gln region to F-actin in the wave.

  11. The Association of Myosin IB with Actin Waves in Dictyostelium Requires Both the Plasma Membrane-Binding Site and Actin-Binding Region in the Myosin Tail

    PubMed Central

    Brzeska, Hanna; Pridham, Kevin; Chery, Godefroy; Titus, Margaret A.; Korn, Edward D.

    2014-01-01

    F-actin structures and their distribution are important determinants of the dynamic shapes and functions of eukaryotic cells. Actin waves are F-actin formations that move along the ventral cell membrane driven by actin polymerization. Dictyostelium myosin IB is associated with actin waves but its role in the wave is unknown. Myosin IB is a monomeric, non-filamentous myosin with a globular head that binds to F-actin and has motor activity, and a non-helical tail comprising a basic region, a glycine-proline-glutamine-rich region and an SH3-domain. The basic region binds to acidic phospholipids in the plasma membrane through a short basic-hydrophobic site and the Gly-Pro-Gln region binds F-actin. In the current work we found that both the basic-hydrophobic site in the basic region and the Gly-Pro-Gln region of the tail are required for the association of myosin IB with actin waves. This is the first evidence that the Gly-Pro-Gln region is required for localization of myosin IB to a specific actin structure in situ. The head is not required for myosin IB association with actin waves but binding of the head to F-actin strengthens the association of myosin IB with waves and stabilizes waves. Neither the SH3-domain nor motor activity is required for association of myosin IB with actin waves. We conclude that myosin IB contributes to anchoring actin waves to the plasma membranes by binding of the basic-hydrophobic site to acidic phospholipids in the plasma membrane and binding of the Gly-Pro-Gln region to F-actin in the wave. PMID:24747353

  12. Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownlee, D. E.

    2003-12-01

    Comets are surviving members of a formerly vast distribution of solid bodies that formed in the cold regions of the solar nebula. Cometary bodies escaped incorporation into planets and ejection from the solar system and they have been stored in two distant reservoirs, the Oort cloud and the Kuiper Belt, for most of the age of the solar system. Observed comets appear to have formed between 5 AU and 55 AU. From a cosmochemical viewpoint, comets are particularly interesting bodies because they are preserved samples of the solar nebula's cold ice-bearing regions that occupied 99% of the areal extent of the solar nebula disk. All comets formed beyond the "snow line" of the nebula, where the conditions were cold enough for water ice to condense, but they formed from environments that significantly differed in temperature. Some formed in the comparatively "warm" regions near Jupiter where the nebular temperature may have been greater than 120 K and others clearly formed beyond Neptune where temperatures may have been less than 30 K (Bell et al., 1997). Although comets are the best-preserved materials from the early solar system, they should be a mix of nebular and presolar materials that accreted over a vast range of distances from the Sun in environments that differed in temperature, pressure, and accretional conditions such as impact speed.Comets, by conventional definition, are unstable near the Sun; they contain highly volatile ices that vigorously sublime within 2-3 AU of the Sun. When heated, they release gas and solids due to "cometary activity," a series of processes usually detected from afar by the presence of a coma of gas and dust surrounding the cometary nucleus and or elongated tails composed of dust and gas. Active comets clearly have not been severely modified by the moderate to extreme heating that has affected all other solar system materials, including planets, moons, and even the asteroids that produced the most primitive meteorites. Comets have been

  13. Dust tail of the distant comet C/1999 J2 (Skiff)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korsun, P. P.; Chörny, G. F.

    2003-11-01

    CCD observations of comet C/1999 J2 (Skiff) were made at the Pik Terskol Observatory on September 15, 1999. The 2-m telescope equipped with the two-channel focal reducer of the Max-Plank-Institute for Aeronomy was used to study the cometary environment. In spite of the large heliocentric distance, 7.24 AU, a straight dust tail with fairly well defined boundaries was recorded. These data provide an opportunity to study the peculiarity of dust, that is not driven by water vapor. To fit the dust tail, a Monte Carlo model was developed. We trace the trajectories of about 107 sample grains to construct the detailed brightness distribution in the comet tail. The simulated isophote field and the observed one agree very well. In our model we also take into account the heliocentric dependence of the dust production rate and ejection velocity, and the dust ejection anisotropy. To transform the particle population to brightness in the modelled tail we calculate the scattering cross section of a separate particle using Mie theory. The age, ejection velocity, dust size distribution, minimum and maximum size of the involved dust particles have been derived from the model giving the best fit. The intensity map is in agreement with a flow of the slowly travelling icy grains. It has been determined that the age of the dust tail of comet C/1999 J2 (Skiff) was, at the moment of the observations, about 540 days and that the main reason for its appearance is likely phase transition from amorphous to crystalline water ice activated at the heliocentric distance of 8.6 AU.

  14. The dust tail of the distant comet C/1999 J2 (Skiff)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korsun, P.; Jockers, K.; Chorny, G.

    CCD observations of comet C/1999 J2 (Skiff) were made at the Pik Terskol Observatory on September 15, 1999. The 2-m telescope equipped with the two- channel focal reducer of the Max-Plank-Institute for Aeronomy has been used to study the cometary environment. In spite of large heliocentric distance, 7.24 A.U., a straight narrow dust tail with fairly well defined boundaries was recorded. This provides a unique opportunity to study the peculiarity of dust, which is not driven by water vapour. To fit the dust tail a Monte Carlo model was developed. We trace the trajectories of about 107 sample grains to construct the detailed brightness distribution in the comet tail. The simulated isophote field and the observed one agree very well. In our model we also take into account the heliocentric dependence of the dust production rate and ejection velocity, and the dust ejection anisotropy. To transform the particle distribution to brightness in the modeled tail we calculate the scattering cross section of the individual particles using Mie theory. The age, the ejection velocity, the dust-loss distribution, and the size distribution of the dust particles have been derived from the model giving the best fit. The intensity map is in agreement with icy grains.

  15. Pattern formation in actin gels: A study in the mechanics of gels formed by the important cytoskeletal protein actin, especially as applied to cellular motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balter, Ariel

    We have studied pattern formation in actin gels to better understand how they function in biological systems, especially in the motility mechanism used by some pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria. By coating themselves with certain enzymes, these bacteria appropriate actin (a protein) from the surrounding host cell's cytoplasm and cause a network or "gel" of actin filaments to grow on their outer surface. As the resulting "comet tail" shaped protrusion grows, it pushes the bacterium away. In experiments, polystyrene beads coated with the same enzymes will also generate comet tails and swim in a very similar manner. However, these bead experiments have also generated anomalous results such as the formation of many comet tails. In some experiments, when two comet tails formed they systematically grew into regular, oppositely handed helices. The formation of any comet tails on a bead poses a physical conundrum. The bacterial enzyme coating is asymmetrical so the comet tail forms in a particular place. But the beads are symmetrical, so comet tails formation constitutes symmetry breaking and spontaneous pattern formation. We have modeled this process as a competition between elastic energy (which favors many tails) and chemical energy (which favors few tails). Our analytical model explains the factors that experimentally determine the number of tails, and numerical simulations confirm these predictions. To understand the helical tails, we did extensive data analysis involving image processing, statistical analysis and mathematical modeling of images of the helical tails. We identified some important features of how the twin tails form. For instance, the tail growth rate is independent of drag force, and bead rotation must accompany helical tail formation. We also created a physical model for helical growth. Numerical simulations of our model show that at very low Reynolds number, a cylindrical object growing under the conditions of an actin comet tail can spontaneously

  16. THE EXTRAORDINARY MULTI-TAILED MAIN-BELT COMET P/2013 P5

    SciTech Connect

    Jewitt, David; Agarwal, Jessica; Weaver, Harold; Mutchler, Max; Larson, Stephen

    2013-11-20

    Hubble Space Telescope observations of main-belt comet P/2013 P5 reveal an extraordinary system of six dust tails that distinguish this object from any other. Observations two weeks apart show dramatic morphological change in the tails while providing no evidence for secular fading of the object as a whole. Each tail is associated with a unique ejection date, revealing continued, episodic mass loss from the 0.24 ± 0.04 km radius nucleus over the last five months. As an inner-belt asteroid and probable Flora family member, the object is likely to be highly metamorphosed and unlikely to contain ice. The protracted period of dust release appears inconsistent with an impact origin, but may be compatible with a body that is losing mass through a rotational instability. We suggest that P/2013 P5 has been accelerated to breakup speed by radiation torques.

  17. Impact of the Motor and Tail Domains of Class III Myosins on Regulating the Formation and Elongation of Actin Protrusions.

    PubMed

    Raval, Manmeet H; Quintero, Omar A; Weck, Meredith L; Unrath, William C; Gallagher, James W; Cui, Runjia; Kachar, Bechara; Tyska, Matthew J; Yengo, Christopher M

    2016-10-21

    Class III myosins (MYO3A and MYO3B) are proposed to function as transporters as well as length and ultrastructure regulators within stable actin-based protrusions such as stereocilia and calycal processes. MYO3A differs from MYO3B in that it contains an extended tail domain with an additional actin-binding motif. We examined how the properties of the motor and tail domains of human class III myosins impact their ability to enhance the formation and elongation of actin protrusions. Direct examination of the motor and enzymatic properties of human MYO3A and MYO3B revealed that MYO3A is a 2-fold faster motor with enhanced ATPase activity and actin affinity. A chimera in which the MYO3A tail was fused to the MYO3B motor demonstrated that motor activity correlates with formation and elongation of actin protrusions. We demonstrate that removal of individual exons (30-34) in the MYO3A tail does not prevent filopodia tip localization but abolishes the ability to enhance actin protrusion formation and elongation in COS7 cells. Interestingly, our results demonstrate that MYO3A slows filopodia dynamics and enhances filopodia lifetime in COS7 cells. We also demonstrate that MYO3A is more efficient than MYO3B at increasing formation and elongation of stable microvilli on the surface of cultured epithelial cells. We propose that the unique features of MYO3A, enhanced motor activity, and an extended tail with tail actin-binding motif, allow it to play an important role in stable actin protrusion length and ultrastructure maintenance.

  18. Structure and dynamics of the plasma tail of comet P/Halley. I - Knot event on December 31, 1985

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saito, T.; Yumoto, K.; Hirao, K.; Minami, S.; Saito, K.; Smith, E.

    1987-01-01

    On the basis of about 500 photographs of comet Halley taken by many observers, Saito et al. (1986) classified the detected disturbances of the plasma tail as outstanding rays, streamer, helix, kink, arcade, and disconnection event (DE). In this paper, the interaction of the solar wind with the plasma tail of Comet P/Halley is examined by using results of observations by the Sakigake spacecraft of the December 31, 1985 event, which included various disturbances and one DE-like knot. On the basis of twenty photographs taken on December 31 by Japanese astronomers, the dynamic pressure model proposed by Saito et al. (1986) is examined, and the mechnism of the knot event that appeared in the plasma tail of the comet on December 31, is explained.

  19. Comet-toolbox: Numerical simulations of cometary dust tails in your browser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, J.

    2014-07-01

    The last few years have seen a rise in the popularity of comets, on both professional and amateur levels. Many cometary events, sometimes visible without a telescope, have triggered worldwide campaigns of ground- and space-based observations: for instance, the explosion of comet 17P/Holmes, the sungrazers C/2006 P1 (McNaught) and C/2012 S1 (ISON), or the forthcoming close encounter of C/2013 A1 (Siding Springs) and Mars. With the overwhelming amount of data available, it becomes more and more important to release the models we use to analyze these events. This ensures not only that more people get the opportunity to investigate the data, but is also beneficial for the science itself as everybody is able to see, use, and improve the models. As a professional planetary scientist, I have written many tools to process the data I use, especially in the field of cometary and asteroid science [1-6]. With the progress of modern computers, it is now possible to translate these tools to simple HTML/Javascript interfaces and run the models in an Internet browser. I have decided to make my tools available in this way, to be used by anybody interested in modeling cometary processes. The first tool being released at ACM 2014 is the Finson-Probstein diagram. The motion of dust particles in a cometary environment is a complex process. A precise description of the grain trajectories requires advanced hydrodynamic models. In the tail, dust and gas are decoupled and the only significant forces affecting the grain trajectories are the solar gravity and radiation pressure. Both forces depend on the square of the heliocentric distance but work in opposite directions. Their sum can be seen as a reduced solar gravity, and the equation of motion is simply m × a = (1-β) × Sun_{gravity}, where β is the ratio P_{radiation}/Sun_{gravity}, and is inversely proportional to the size of the grains for particles larger than 1 micron. From this relation, Finson & Probstein (1968, [7]) proposed a

  20. Dust tail of the active distant Comet C/2003 WT42 (LINEAR) studied with photometric and spectroscopic observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korsun, Pavlo P.; Kulyk, Irina V.; Ivanova, Oleksandra V.; Afanasiev, Viktor L.; Kugel, Francois; Rinner, Claudine; Ivashchenko, Yuriy M.

    2010-12-01

    We present the study of dust environment of dynamically new Comet C/2003 WT42 (LINEAR) based on spectroscopic and photometric observations. The comet was observed before and after the perihelion passage at heliocentric distances from 5.2 to 9.5 AU. Although the comet moved beyond the zone where water ice sublimation could be significant, its bright coma and extended dust tail evidenced the high level of physical activity. Afρ values exceeded 3000 cm likely reaching its maximum before the perihelion passage. At the same time, the spectrum of the comet did not reveal molecular emission features above the reflected continuum. Reddening of the continuum derived from the cometary spectrum is nonlinear along the dispersion with the steeper slop in the blue region. The pair of the blue and red continuum images was analyzed to estimate a color of the comet. The mean normalized reflectivity gradient derived from the innermost part of the cometary coma equals to 8% per 1000 Å that is typical for Oort cloud objects. However, the color map shows that the reddening of the cometary dust varies over the coma increasing to 15% per 1000 Å along the tail axis. The photometric images were fitted with a Monte Carlo model to construct the theoretical brightness distribution of the cometary coma and tail and to investigate the development of the cometary activity along the orbit. As the dust particles of distant comets are expected to be icy, we propose here the model, which describes the tail formation taking into account sublimation of grains along their orbits. The chemical composition and structure of these particles are assumed to correspond with Greenberg's interstellar dust model of comet dust. All images were fitted with the close values of the model parameters. According to the results of the modeling, the physical activity of the comet is mainly determined by two active areas with outflows into the wide cones. The obliquity of the rotation axis of the nucleus equals to 20

  1. H2O(+) ions in the inner plasma tail of Comet Austin 1990 V

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonev, T.; Jockers, K.

    1994-02-01

    Narrow-band images of Comet Austin 1990 V in the light of the red (0-8-O) H2O(+) emission (6199 A) are presented. The observations were carried out in the period April 30-May 7, 1990, with a focal reducer, Fabry-Perot interferometer, and a charge coupled device (CCD) camera attached to the 1-m telescope of Hoher List Observatory. The high spectral resolution of the images allowed a precise subtraction of the dust continuum even at the nucleus and a reliable absolute calibration. Thus, for the first time, the spatial distribution of water ions and its temporal behavior is observed in the cometary coma including the area close to the nucleus. Peak column densities between 1011 and 2 x 1011/sq cm were obtained in the observational period. Close to the nucleus the column density distribution is strongly asymmetric. Toward the Sun the column density gradient is steep. In this direction the column density decreases by a factor of approximately = 4 over a distance of 104 km. In the tailward direction the distribution is flat. Frequently the column density maximum is shifted tailward. The contour passing through the nucleus usually extends more than 104 km tailward. This is caused by the mass loading of new ions into the tailward cometary plasma flow. We have integrated the column densities perpendicular to the tail direction and calculated the number of water ions per unit tail length. The derived profiles always have their maximum significantly shifted tailward. They are compared with a simple model of H2O(+) production by photoionization of water. Good qualitative agreement is obtained but the mean ion velocities deduced from the model are too high by about a factor of 10. Probably a significant part of the ions in the flanks of the tail is not detected in our observations. The time interval of 22-23 min between successive images allows to study turns of the plasma tail and the formation of ray structures near the cometary nucleus.

  2. Cyclase-associated protein (CAP) acts directly on F-actin to accelerate cofilin-mediated actin severing across the range of physiological pH.

    PubMed

    Normoyle, Kieran P M; Brieher, William M

    2012-10-12

    Fast actin depolymerization is necessary for cells to rapidly reorganize actin filament networks. Utilizing a Listeria fluorescent actin comet tail assay to monitor actin disassembly rates, we observed that although a mixture of actin disassembly factors (cofilin, coronin, and actin-interacting protein 1 is sufficient to disassemble actin comet tails in the presence of physiological G-actin concentrations this mixture was insufficient to disassemble actin comet tails in the presence of physiological F-actin concentrations. Using biochemical complementation, we purified cyclase-associated protein (CAP) from thymus extracts as a factor that protects against the inhibition of excess F-actin. CAP has been shown to participate in actin dynamics but has been thought to act by liberating cofilin from ADP·G-actin monomers to restore cofilin activity. However, we found that CAP augments cofilin-mediated disassembly by accelerating the rate of cofilin-mediated severing. We also demonstrated that CAP acts directly on F-actin and severs actin filaments at acidic, but not neutral, pH. At the neutral pH characteristic of cytosol in most mammalian cells, we demonstrated that neither CAP nor cofilin are capable of severing actin filaments. However, the combination of CAP and cofilin rapidly severed actin at all pH values across the physiological range. Therefore, our results reveal a new function for CAP in accelerating cofilin-mediated actin filament severing and provide a mechanism through which cells can maintain high actin turnover rates without having to alkalinize cytosol, which would affect many biochemical reactions beyond actin depolymerization.

  3. TURBULENCE IN THE SOLAR WIND MEASURED WITH COMET TAIL TEST PARTICLES

    SciTech Connect

    DeForest, C. E.; Howard, T. A.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Rice, D. R.

    2015-10-20

    By analyzing the motions of test particles observed remotely in the tail of Comet Encke, we demonstrate that the solar wind undergoes turbulent processing enroute from the Sun to the Earth and that the kinetic energy entrained in the large-scale turbulence is sufficient to explain the well-known anomalous heating of the solar wind. Using the heliospheric imaging (HI-1) camera on board NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft, we have observed an ensemble of compact features in the comet tail as they became entrained in the solar wind near 0.4 AU. We find that the features are useful as test particles, via mean-motion analysis and a forward model of pickup dynamics. Using population analysis of the ensemble's relative motion, we find a regime of random-walk diffusion in the solar wind, followed, on larger scales, by a surprising regime of semiconfinement that we attribute to turbulent eddies in the solar wind. The entrained kinetic energy of the turbulent motions represents a sufficient energy reservoir to heat the solar wind to observed temperatures at 1 AU. We determine the Lagrangian-frame diffusion coefficient in the diffusive regime, derive upper limits for the small scale coherence length of solar wind turbulence, compare our results to existing Eulerian-frame measurements, and compare the turbulent velocity with the size of the observed eddies extrapolated to 1 AU. We conclude that the slow solar wind is fully mixed by turbulence on scales corresponding to a 1–2 hr crossing time at Earth; and that solar wind variability on timescales shorter than 1–2 hr is therefore dominated by turbulent processing rather than by direct solar effects.

  4. Interpreting sperm DNA damage in a diverse range of mammalian sperm by means of the two-tailed comet assay

    PubMed Central

    Cortés-Gutiérrez, Elva I.; López-Fernández, Carmen; Fernández, José Luis; Dávila-Rodríguez, Martha I.; Johnston, Stephen D.; Gosálvez, Jaime

    2014-01-01

    Key Concepts The two-dimensional Two-Tailed Comet assay (TT-comet) protocol is a valuable technique to differentiate between single-stranded (SSBs) and double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) on the same sperm cell.Protein lysis inherent with the TT-comet protocol accounts for differences in sperm protamine composition at a species-specific level to produce reliable visualization of sperm DNA damage.Alkaline treatment may break the sugar–phosphate backbone in abasic sites or at sites with deoxyribose damage, transforming these lesions into DNA breaks that are also converted into ssDNA. These lesions are known as Alkali Labile Sites “ALSs.”DBD–FISH permits the in situ visualization of DNA breaks, abasic sites or alkaline-sensitive DNA regions.The alkaline comet single assay reveals that all mammalian species display constitutive ALS related with the requirement of the sperm to undergo transient changes in DNA structure linked with chromatin packing.Sperm DNA damage is associated with fertilization failure, impaired pre-and post- embryo implantation and poor pregnancy outcome.The TT is a valuable tool for identifying SSBs or DSBs in sperm cells with DNA fragmentation and can be therefore used for the purposes of fertility assessment. Sperm DNA damage is associated with fertilization failure, impaired pre-and post- embryo implantation and poor pregnancy outcome. A series of methodologies to assess DNA damage in spermatozoa have been developed but most are unable to differentiate between single-stranded DNA breaks (SSBs) and double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) on the same sperm cell. The two-dimensional Two-Tailed Comet assay (TT-comet) protocol highlighted in this review overcomes this limitation and emphasizes the importance in accounting for the difference in sperm protamine composition at a species-specific level for the appropriate preparation of the assay. The TT-comet is a modification of the original comet assay that uses a two dimensional electrophoresis to

  5. Doppler measurements of the H2O(+) ion velocity in the plasma tail of Comet Levy 1990c

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauer, H.; Jockers, K.

    1993-03-01

    2D ion velocity fields have been obtained for the first time from measurements of the Doppler shift of ion emission lines in the plasma tail of the Comet Levy 1990c. Images of the comet obtained alternating with interferograms show the appearance of the plasma tail. Velocities from about 10 to 70 km/s are measured. The velocity fields show variations in speed and distribution of velocity values during the observing period. A clear correlation of velocity and ion distribution, as expected from momentum exchange with a stationary solar wind, could not be found in most cases. The flux of H2O(+) ion in the tail is calculated and shows variations from night to night. The mean production rate of 1.5 x 10 exp 27/s corresponds to only 18 percent of the expected value assuming photoionization to be the main ionization process.

  6. Comets

    NASA Video Gallery

    Did you know that comets seen streaking across the night sky may have brought the building blocks of life to our planet billions of years ago? Join NASA in learning more about these fascinating obj...

  7. Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feldman, P. D.

    2006-01-01

    Spectroscopy of comets, in the X-ray and far-ultraviolet from space, and in the near infrared and millimeter from the ground, have revealed a wealth of new information, particularly about the molecular constituents that make up the volatile fraction of the comet s nucleus. Interpretation of these data requires not only proper wavelengths for identification but also information about the photolytic and excitation processes at temperatures typical of the inner coma (70-100 K) that lead to the observed spectral signatures. Several examples, mainly from Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer and Hubble Space Telescope spectra of comets observed during the last few years, will be given to illustrate some of the current issues.

  8. Two Molecules of Lobophorolide Cooperate to Stabilize an Actin Dimer Using Both Their 'Ring' and 'Tail' Region

    SciTech Connect

    Blain, J.; Mok, Y; Kubanek, J; Allingham, J

    2010-01-01

    Actin filament-disrupting marine macrolides are promising templates from which to design therapeutics against cancer and other diseases that co-opt the actin cytoskeleton. Typically, these macrolides form either a 1:1 or 2:1 actin-macrolide complex where their aliphatic side chain, or 'tail', has been reported to convey the major determinant of cytotoxicity. We now report the structure of the marine macrolide lobophorolide bound to actin with a unique 2:2 stoichiometry in which two lobophorolide molecules cooperate to form a dimerization interface that is composed entirely of the macrolide 'ring' region, and each molecule of lobophorolide interacts with both actin subunits via their ring and tail regions to tether the subunits together. This binding mode imposes multiple barriers against microfilament stability and holds important implications for development of actin-targeting drugs and the evolution of macrolide biosynthetic enzymes.

  9. Growing an actin gel on spherical surfaces.

    PubMed Central

    Noireaux, V; Golsteyn, R M; Friederich, E; Prost, J; Antony, C; Louvard, D; Sykes, C

    2000-01-01

    Inspired by the motility of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, we have experimentally studied the growth of an actin gel around spherical beads grafted with ActA, a protein known to be the promoter of bacteria movement. On ActA-grafted beads F-actin is formed in a spherical manner, whereas on the bacteria a "comet-like" tail of F-actin is produced. We show experimentally that the stationary thickness of the gel depends on the radius of the beads. Moreover, the actin gel is not formed if the ActA surface density is too low. To interpret our results, we propose a theoretical model to explain how the mechanical stress (due to spherical geometry) limits the growth of the actin gel. Our model also takes into account treadmilling of actin. We deduce from our work that the force exerted by the actin gel on the bacteria is of the order of 10 pN. Finally, we estimate from our theoretical model possible conditions for developing actin comet tails. PMID:10692348

  10. Collapsin Response Mediator Protein-1 Regulates Arp2/3-dependent Actin Assembly*

    PubMed Central

    Yu-Kemp, Hui-Chia; Brieher, William M.

    2016-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterial parasite that uses host proteins to assemble an Arp2/3-dependent actin comet tail to power its movement through the host cell. Initiation of comet tail assembly is more efficient in cytosol than it is under defined conditions, indicating that unknown factors contribute to the reaction. We therefore fractionated cytosol and identified CRMP-1 as a factor that facilitates Arp2/3-dependent Listeria actin cloud formation in the presence of Arp2/3 and actin alone. It also scored as an important factor for Listeria actin comet tail formation in brain cytosol. CRMP-1 does not nucleate actin assembly on its own, nor does it directly activate the Arp2/3 complex. Rather, CRMP-1 scored as an auxiliary factor that promoted the ability of Listeria ActA protein to activate the Arp2/3 complex to trigger actin assembly. CRMP-1 is one member of a family of five related proteins that modulate cell motility in response to extracellular signals. Our results demonstrate an important role for CRMP-1 in Listeria actin comet tail formation and open the possibility that CRMP-1 controls cell motility by modulating Arp2/3 activation. PMID:26598519

  11. Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkening, L. L. (Editor); Matthews, M. S. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    Vacuum ultraviolet observations from sounding rockets and satellite observatories of the gaseous comae of several comets are reviewed. The earliest of these led to discovery of the hydrogen envelope extending for millions of km from the nucleus. Subsequent observations of H I Lyman alpha, the OH (0,0 band and the oxygen resonance triplet provided strong evidence for the water-ice model of the cometary nucleus. Several species were discovered in the coma including C, C(+), CO, S, and CS. High resolution spectroscopy and the spatial variation of the observed emissions provide means to elucidate the production and excitation mechanisms of these species. The similarity of the spectra of the half dozen comets observed to date argues for a common, homogeneous composition (with the exception of dust and CO) of the cometary ice and a minimal effect on the neutral species due to molecular collisions in the inner coma.

  12. Progress in a Study of Striations in the Dust Tail of Comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekanina, Z.; Ryan, O.; Boehnhardt, H.; Birkle, K.; Engels, D.; Jaeger, M.; Keller, P.; Raab, H.

    1999-01-01

    We report preliminary results of a massive investigation of the striation patterns observed in the dust tail of comet Hale-Bopp in March and April 1997. Our findings are based on 16 wide-field photographs taken with Schmidt cameras on March 2-20, with six more, from March 31-April 8, still waiting for analysis. Altogether approximately 700 individual striae were examined on the 16 images, which were scanned and computer processed to enhance the morphology. About 5300 stria points, or some 7-8 points per stria per image on the average, were measured and their astrometric positions determined and subsequently converted to a Cartesian coordinate system, aligned with the comet's projected radius vector and centered on the nucleus. The evolution of the striated tail has been studied using the Sekanina-Farrell fragmentation hypothesis (AJ 85, 1538, 1980), previously applied to other comets. This two-step model is characterized by the time of release from the nucleus of a parent object (or objects) whose motion is assumed to have been subjected to a constant repulsive acceleration betap (presumably due to solar radiation pressure) until the time of fragmentation.

  13. VISCOUS-LIKE INTERACTION OF THE SOLAR WIND WITH THE PLASMA TAIL OF COMET SWIFT-TUTTLE

    SciTech Connect

    Reyes-Ruiz, Mauricio; Vazquez, Roberto; Perez-de-Tejada, Hector

    2010-07-01

    We compare the results of the numerical simulation of the viscous-like interaction of the solar wind with the plasma tail of a comet, with velocities of H{sub 2}O+ ions in the tail of comet Swift-Tuttle determined by means of spectroscopic ground-based observations. Our aim is to constrain the value of the basic parameters in the viscous-like interaction model: the effective Reynolds number of the flow and the interspecies coupling timescale. We find that in our simulations the flow rapidly evolves from an arbitrary initial condition to a quasi-steady state for which there is a good agreement between the simulated tailward velocity of H{sub 2}O+ ions and the kinematics derived from the observations. The fiducial case of our model, characterized by a low effective Reynolds number (Re{sub eff} {approx} 20) selected on the basis of a comparison to in situ measurements of the plasma flow at comet Halley, yields an excellent fit to the observed kinematics. Given the agreement between model and observations, with no ad hoc assumptions, we believe that this result suggests that viscous-like momentum transport may play an important role in the interaction of the solar wind and the cometary plasma environment.

  14. Progress in a Study of Striations in the Dust Tail of Comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.; Ryan, O.; Boehnhardt, H.; Birkle, K.; Engels, D.; Jaeger, M.; Keller, P.; Raab, H.

    1999-01-01

    We report preliminary results of a massive investigation of the striation patterns observed in the dust tail of comet Hale-Bopp in March and April 1997. Our findings are based on 16 wide-field photographs taken with Schmidt cameras on March 2-20, with six more, from March 31-April 8, still waiting for analysis. Altogether approximately 700 individual striae were examined on the 16 images, which were scanned and computer processed to enhance the morphology. About 5300 stria points, or some 7-8 points per stria per image on the average, were measured and their astrometric positions determined and subsequently converted to a Cartesian coordinate system, aligned with the comet's projected radius vector and centered on the nucleus. The evolution of the striated tail has been studied using the Sekanina-Farrell fragmentation hypothesis (AJ 85, 1538, 1980), previously applied to other comets. This two-step model is characterized by the time of release from the nucleus of a parent object (or objects) whose motion is assumed to have been subjected to a constant repulsive acceleration beta(sub p) (presumably due to solar radiation pressure) until the time of fragmentation.

  15. A disturbance of the ion tail of Comet Halley and the heliospheric structure as observed by Sakigake

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saito, T.; Yumoto, K.; Nakagawa, T.; Hirao, K.; Saito, K.; Smith, E. J.

    1986-01-01

    In order to study the interaction between the solar wind measured by Sakigake and ion tail disturbances of comet Halley, more than 500 photographs of the comet taken on the ground during this apparition are surveyed. The focus of the present study is the December 31, 1985, event, when various types of disturbances occurred, including an outstanding disconnection event (DE)-like knot. Analysis of the Sakigake/IMF data reveals that comet Halley did not encounter the heliospheric neutral sheet on that day, demanding a new explanation for the DE-like event, different from the Niedner-Brandt model. During this event the comet encountered a high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole tongue of the sun. The event can be explained by a dynamic pressure model, according to which the DE-like plasmoid was caused by a sudden increase in the dynamic pressure of the solar wind. A result of the simulation work by Ogino is found to support this interpretation.

  16. A disturbance of the ion tail of Comet Halley and the heliospheric structure as observed by Sakigake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, T.; Yumoto, K.; Nakagawa, T.; Hirao, K.; Saito, K.; Smith, E. J.

    1986-08-01

    In order to study the interaction between the solar wind measured by Sakigake and ion tail disturbances of comet Halley, more than 500 photographs of the comet taken on the ground during this apparition are surveyed. The focus of the present study is the December 31, 1985, event, when various types of disturbances occurred, including an outstanding disconnection event (DE)-like knot. Analysis of the Sakigake/IMF data reveals that comet Halley did not encounter the heliospheric neutral sheet on that day, demanding a new explanation for the DE-like event, different from the Niedner-Brandt model. During this event the comet encountered a high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole tongue of the sun. The event can be explained by a dynamic pressure model, according to which the DE-like plasmoid was caused by a sudden increase in the dynamic pressure of the solar wind. A result of the simulation work by Ogino is found to support this interpretation.

  17. Structures far from the head of comet Kohoutek. II - A discussion of the Swan Cloud of January 11 and of the general morphology of cometary plasma tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Brandt, J. C.

    1980-01-01

    Photographs show that the 'Swan Cloud' observed in comet Kohoutek on January 11, 1974 was an advanced stage of a plasma tail disconnection event, of which the rejected tail appeared to decelerate as it receded from the head. The event commenced with the development of strong tail ray activity followed by the actual tail disconnection, the merging of the disconnected tail with the new tail to form the Swan and the formation of arcade loops in the space between closing tail rays. The observed morphological sequence is easily understood in the sector boundary model (Niedner et al., 1978), and the arcade loops are proposed to be reconnected flux tubes between oppositely polarized tail rays in the incipient new tail which followed the disconnection

  18. The solar wind structure that caused a large-scale disturbance of the plasma tail of comet Austin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kozuka, Yukio; Konno, Ichishiro; Saito, Takao; Numazawa, Shigemi

    1992-01-01

    The plasma tail of Comet Austin (1989c1) showed remarkable disturbances because of the solar maximum periods and its orbit. Figure 1 shows photographs of Comet Austin taken in Shibata, Japan, on 29 Apr. 1990 UT, during about 20 minutes with the exposure times of 90 to 120 s. There are two main features in the disturbance; one is many bowed structures, which seem to move tailwards; and the other is a large-scale wavy structure. The bowed structures can be interpreted as arcade structures brushing the surface of both sides of the cometary plasma surrounding the nucleus. We identified thirteen structures of the arcades from each of the five photographs and calculated the relation between the distance of each structure from the cometary nucleus, chi, and the velocity, upsilon. The result is shown. This indicates that the velocity of the structures increases with distance. This is consistent with the result obtained from the observation at the Kiso Observatory.

  19. Listeria's right-handed helical rocket-tail trajectories: mechanistic implications for force generation in actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Zeile, William L; Zhang, Fangliang; Dickinson, Richard B; Purich, Daniel L

    2005-02-01

    Listeria monocytogenes forms right-handed helical rocket tail trajectories during actin-based motility in cell-free extracts, and this stereochemical feature is consistent with actoclampin's affinity-modulated, clamped-filament elongation model [Dickinson and Purich, 2002: Biophys J 82:605-617]. In that mechanism, right-handed torque is generated by an end-tracking molecular motor, each comprised of a filament barbed end and clamping protein that processively traces the right-handed helix of its filament partner. By contrast, torque is not a predicted property of those models (e.g., elastic propulsion, elastic Brownian ratchet, tethered ratchet, and insertional polymerization models) requiring filament barbed ends to depart/detach from the motile object's surface during/after each monomer-addition step. Helical trajectories also explain why Listeria undergoes longitudinal-axis rotation on a length-scale matching the helical periodicity of Listeria's rocket tails.

  20. A polar-localized iron-binding protein determines the polar targeting of Burkholderia BimA autotransporter and actin tail formation.

    PubMed

    Lu, Qiuhe; Xu, Yue; Yao, Qing; Niu, Miao; Shao, Feng

    2015-03-01

    Intracellular bacterial pathogens including Shigella, Listeria, Mycobacteria, Rickettsia and Burkholderia spp. deploy a specialized surface protein onto one pole of the bacteria to induce filamentous actin tail formation for directional movement within host cytosol. The mechanism underlying polar targeting of the actin tail proteins is unknown. Here we perform a transposon screen in Burkholderia thailandensis and identify a conserved bimC that is required for actin tail formation mediated by BimA from B. thailandensis and its closely related pathogenic species B. pseudomallei and B. mallei. bimC is located upstream of bimA in the same operon. Loss of bimC results in even distribution of BimA on the outer membrane surface, where actin polymerization still occurs. BimC is targeted to the same bacterial pole independently of BimA. BimC confers polar targeting of BimA prior to BimA translocation across bacterial inner membrane. BimC is an iron-binding protein, requiring a four-cysteine cluster at the carboxyl terminus. Mutation of the cysteine cluster disrupts BimC polar localization. Truncation analyses identify the transmembrane domain in BimA being responsible for its polar targeting. Consistently, BimC can interact with BimA transmembrane domain in an iron binding-dependent manner. Our study uncovers a new mechanism that determines the polar distribution of bacteria-induced actin tail in infected host cells.

  1. Photoelectric polarimetry of the tail of comet Ikey-Seki (1975 VIII)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinberg, J. L.; Beeson, D. E.

    1976-01-01

    Post-perihelion measurements of Comet 1965 VIII made on four nights in October-November 1965 using a Fabry photometer atop 3,052 m Mt. Haleakala, Hawaii are described. Detailed results of observations at 5300A on October 29, 1965 are presented.

  2. Curved tails in polymerization-based bacterial motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutenberg, Andrew D.; Grant, Martin

    2001-08-01

    The curved actin ``comet-tail'' of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes is a visually striking signature of actin polymerization-based motility. Similar actin tails are associated with Shigella flexneri, spotted-fever Rickettsiae, the Vaccinia virus, and vesicles and microspheres in related in vitro systems. We show that the torque required to produce the curvature in the tail can arise from randomly placed actin filaments pushing the bacterium or particle. We find that the curvature magnitude determines the number of actively pushing filaments, independent of viscosity and of the molecular details of force generation. The variation of the curvature with time can be used to infer the dynamics of actin filaments at the bacterial surface.

  3. Interaction of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979L on 1980 February 6 with a possibly flare-generated solar-wind disturbance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Brandt, J. C.; Zwickl, R. D.; Bame, S. J.

    1983-01-01

    Solar-wind plasma data from the ISEE-3 and Helios 2 spacecraft were examined in order to explain a uniquely rapid 10 deg turning of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979l on 1980 February 6. An earlier study conducted before the availability of in situ solar-wind data (Brandt et al., 1980) suggested that the tail position angle change occurred in response to a solar-wind velocity shear across the polar component changed by approximately 50 km/s. The present contribution confirms this result and further suggests that the comet-tail activity was caused by non-corotating, disturbed plasma flows probably associated with an Importance 1B solar flare.

  4. Actin dynamics at sites of extracellular matrix degradation.

    PubMed

    Baldassarre, Massimiliano; Ayala, Inmaculada; Beznoussenko, Galina; Giacchetti, Giada; Machesky, Laura M; Luini, Alberto; Buccione, Roberto

    2006-12-01

    The degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM) by proteases is crucial in physiological and pathological cell invasion alike. In vitro, degradation occurs at specific sites where invasive cells make contact with the ECM via specialized plasma membrane protrusions termed invadopodia. Here we present an extensive morpho-functional analysis of invadopodia actively engaged in ECM degradation and show that they are actin comet-based structures, not unlike the well-known bacteria-propelling actin tails. The relative mapping of the basic molecular components of invadopodia to actin tails is also provided. Finally, a live-imaging analysis of invadopodia highlights the intrinsic long-term stability of the structures coupled to a highly dynamic actin turnover. The results offer new insight into the tight coordination between signalling, actin remodelling and trafficking activities occurring at sites of focalized ECM degradation by invadopodia. In conclusion, invadopodia-associated actin comets are a striking example of consistently arising, spontaneous expression of actin-driven propulsion events that also represent a valuable experimental paradigm.

  5. On the nature of the anti-tail of Comet Kohoutek /1973f/. II - Comparison of the working model with ground-based photographic observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.; Miller, F. D.

    1976-01-01

    On the basis of photographic observations made at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, the radial and transverse brightness profiles and time variations in the surface brightness of the anti-tail of Comet Kohoutek were examined. In the process of photometric reduction one-dimensional radial tracings passing through the comet's nucleus and covering the entire anti-tail were used in the place of the standard two-dimensional scans. Each radial scan was defined by the position angle, and 'noise' variations were interpolated from the known field brightness outside the anti-tail. An analysis of the results provides quantitative support for a previously proposed model (Sekanina, 1974) suggesting that the dust particles in the anti-tail suffered a significant loss in radius due to evaporation near the perihelion passage. Preliminary calculations indicate that only particles initially larger than 100-150 micrometers in diameter survived. The emission rate of dust may be comparable to those derived for Comets Arend-Roland (1957 III) and Bennett (1970 II).

  6. Interaction of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979L on 1980 February 6 with a possibly flare-generated solar-wind disturbance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Brandt, J. C.; Zwickl, R. D.; Bame, S. J.

    1983-01-01

    Solar wind plasma data from the ISEE-3 and Helios 2 spacecraft were examined to explain a uniquely rapid 10 deg turning of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979L on 1980 February 6. It was suggested that the tail position angle change occurred in response to a solar wind velocity shear across which the polar component changed by approx. 50 km s-1. The present activity was caused by noncorotating, disturbed plasma flows probably associated with an Importance 1B solar flare.

  7. Novel automatic detection of pleura and B-lines (comet-tail artifacts) on in vivo lung ultrasound scans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moshavegh, Ramin; Hansen, Kristoffer Lindskov; Møller Sørensen, Hasse; Hemmsen, Martin Christian; Ewertsen, Caroline; Nielsen, Michael Bachmann; Jensen, Jørgen Arendt

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents a novel automatic method for detection of B-lines (comet-tail artifacts) in lung ultrasound scans. B-lines are the most commonly used artifacts for analyzing the pulmonary edema. They appear as laser-like vertical beams, which arise from the pleural line and spread down without fading to the edge of the screen. An increase in their number is associated with presence of edema. All the scans used in this study were acquired using a BK3000 ultrasound scanner (BK Ultrasound, Denmark) driving a 192-element 5:5 MHz wide linear transducer (10L2W, BK Ultrasound). The dynamic received focus technique was employed to generate the sequences. Six subjects, among those three patients after major surgery and three normal subjects, were scanned once and Six ultrasound sequences each containing 50 frames were acquired. The proposed algorithm was applied to all 300 in-vivo lung ultrasound images. The pleural line is first segmented on each image and then the B-line artifacts spreading down from the pleural line are detected and overlayed on the image. The resulting 300 images showed that the mean lateral distance between B-lines detected on images acquired from patients decreased by 20% in compare with that of normal subjects. Therefore, the method can be used as the basis of a method of automatically and qualitatively characterizing the distribution of B-lines.

  8. An Integrated Modeling Study for Coordinated Observations of H, O, OH, and H2O(+) Emissions in the Coma and Ion Tail of the Comet Hale-Bopp

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smyth, William H.

    2001-01-01

    This project has two overall objectives. One objective is to advance our general understanding of both the comet neutral atmosphere and the cometary plasma in the atmosphere and ion tall. The other objective is to obtain specific key information about comet Hale-Bopp that is generally important for Hale-Bopp studies. The primary emphasis in this project is to analyze, in a self-consistent manner, excellent quality high resolution image and line profile observations obtained by the University of Wisconsin for H, O, OH, and H2O+ emissions from the inner coma, outer coma, and ion tail of Hale-Bopp. The information on the spatial and velocity distributions of H2O neutral and ionized photo-products in the inner coma, outer coma, and in the H2O+ ion tail is of substantial and direct importance in the development of an integrated understanding of the complex structure and dynamics of the neutral and plasma species in the atmosphere of Hale-Bopp in particular and comets in general. The H2O production rate of Hale-Bopp is determined and, together with the other information related to the structure and dynamics of the neutral and plasma atmospheres obtained in this study, provide critical information important for a wide variety of research conducted by other groups.

  9. First images of a possible CO(+)-tail of comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 observed against the dust coma background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jockers, Klaus; Bonev, T.; Ivanova, Violeta; Rauer, H.

    1992-12-01

    Comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 was observed with the 2m-Ritchey-Cretien Telescope of the Bulgarian National Observatory, Rozhen, Bulgaria, using the CCD-camera and focal reducer of the Max-Planck-Institute for Aeronomy. Images were taken in a red continuum window and in the 2-0 A2Pi - X2Sigma(+) band of CO(+) located in the blue part of the spectrum. The red images reveal an extended dust coma. From a comparison of the red and blue images a dust reddening of 13.2 percent per 1000 A is derived. At 642 nm the magnitude of the comet with a square diaphragm of 4.5 arcsec is 16.6. The blue images, taken in the CO(+) band, show a significantly different brightness distribution which is interpreted as presence of a CO(+) coma and tail superimposed on the continuum. A column density of several 1010 CO(+) molecules cm-2 is derived. The tail thickness of 105 km is unexpectedly small. We estimate the CO(+) production rate to about 6 x 1026 CO(+) particles s-1. This value does not support the idea that the outbursts of this comet are caused by crystallization of amorphous water ice.

  10. First images of a possible CO(+)-tail of comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 observed against the dust coma background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jockers, Klaus; Bonev, T.; Ivanova, Violeta; Rauer, H.

    1992-01-01

    Comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 was observed with the 2m-Ritchey-Cretien Telescope of the Bulgarian National Observatory, Rozhen, Bulgaria, using the CCD-camera and focal reducer of the Max-Planck-Institute for Aeronomy. Images were taken in a red continuum window and in the 2-0 A(exp 2)Pi - X(exp 2)Sigma(+) band of CO(+) located in the blue part of the spectrum. The red images reveal an extended dust coma. From a comparison of the red and blue images a dust reddening of 13.2 percent per 1000 A is derived. At 642 nm the magnitude of the comet with a square diaphragm of 4.5 arcsec is 16.6. The blue images, taken in the CO(+) band, show a significantly different brightness distribution which is interpreted as presence of a CO(+) coma and tail superimposed on the continuum. A column density of several 10(exp 10) CO(+) molecules cm(exp -2) is derived. The tail thickness of 10(exp 5) km is unexpectedly small. We estimate the CO(+) production rate to about 6 x 10(exp 26) CO(+) particles s(exp -1). This value does not support the idea that the outbursts of this comet are caused by crystallization of amorphous water ice.

  11. Disintegration of comet nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V.

    2012-02-01

    The breaking up of comets into separate pieces, each with its own tail, was seen many times by astronomers of the past. The phenomenon was in sharp contrast to the idea of the eternal and unchangeable celestial firmament and was commonly believed to be an omen of impending disaster, especially for comets with tails stretching across half the sky. It is only now that we have efficient enough space exploration tools to see comet nuclei and even - in the particular case of small comet Hartley-2 in 2010 - to watch their disintegration stage. There are also other suspected candidates for disintegration in the vast family of comet nuclei and other Solar System bodies.

  12. Sketching Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez, Jeremy

    Comets add a sense of surprise and freshness to the predictability and seeming timelessness of the visible cosmos. Some of these mists of dust and fl uorescing gas sail through the inner solar system at regular intervals, such as the famous comet 1P/Halley. Many other comets are discovered yearly as they make their first observed descent to our vicinity. Depending on their distance, composition, and intrinsic brightness, comets can present a variety of appearances—from almost stellar objects, to soft round patches, to majestic, tailed plumes that are sometimes visible to the naked eye. Because these are fl eeting, transitory objects, time spent observing and sketching them is all the more precious.

  13. Dynamical and photometric investigation of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1980-01-01

    The findings of dynamic and photometric investigations of comets are summarized, and include discussions of the comets Bennett 1970 II, Kohoutek 1973f, West 1976 VI, and periodic comets d'Arrest, Encke, and Swift Tuttle. The phenomena examined include striated and anomalous tails, tail composition and the dynamics of vaporizing dust particles, the evolution of dust jets, and split and dissipating comets.

  14. Early subclinical increase in pulmonary water content in athletes performing sustained heavy exercise at sea level: ultrasound lung comet-tail evidence.

    PubMed

    Pingitore, Alessandro; Garbella, Erika; Piaggi, Paolo; Menicucci, Danilo; Frassi, Francesca; Lionetti, Vincenzo; Piarulli, Andrea; Catapano, Giosuè; Lubrano, Valter; Passera, Mirko; Di Bella, Gianluca; Castagnini, Cinzia; Pellegrini, Silvia; Metelli, Maria Rosa; Bedini, Remo; Gemignani, Angelo; L'Abbate, Antonio

    2011-11-01

    Whether prolonged strenuous exercise performed by athletes at sea level can produce interstitial pulmonary edema is under debate. Chest sonography allows to estimate extravascular lung water, creating ultrasound lung comet-tail (ULC) artifacts. The aim of the study was to determine whether pulmonary water content increases in Ironmen (n = 31) during race at sea level and its correlation with cardiopulmonary function and systemic proinflammatory and cardiac biohumoral markers. A multiple factor analysis approach was used to determine the relations between systemic modifications and ULCs by assessing correlations among variables and groups of variables showing significant pre-post changes. All athletes were asymptomatic for cough and dyspnea at rest and after the race. Immediately after the race, a score of more than five comet tail artifacts, the threshold for a significant detection, was present in 23 athletes (74%; 16.3 ± 11.2; P < 0.01 ULC after the race vs. rest) but decreased 12 h after the end of the race (13 athletes; 42%; 6.3 ± 8.0; P < 0.01 vs. soon after the race). Multiple factor analysis showed significant correlations between ULCs and cardiac-related variables and NH(2)-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide. Healthy athletes developed subclinical increase in pulmonary water content immediately after an Ironman race at sea level, as shown by the increased number of ULCs related to cardiac changes occurring during exercise. Hemodynamic changes are one of several potential factors contributing to the mechanisms of ULCs.

  15. Curvature and torsion in growing actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Shaevitz, Joshua W; Fletcher, Daniel A

    2011-01-01

    Intracellular pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and Rickettsia rickettsii move within a host cell by polymerizing a comet-tail of actin fibers that ultimately pushes the cell forward. This dense network of cross-linked actin polymers typically exhibits a striking curvature that causes bacteria to move in gently looping paths. Theoretically, tail curvature has been linked to details of motility by considering force and torque balances from a finite number of polymerizing filaments. Here we track beads coated with a prokaryotic activator of actin polymerization in three dimensions to directly quantify the curvature and torsion of bead motility paths. We find that bead paths are more likely to have low rather than high curvature at any given time. Furthermore, path curvature changes very slowly in time, with an autocorrelation decay time of 200 s. Paths with a small radius of curvature, therefore, remain so for an extended period resulting in loops when confined to two dimensions. When allowed to explore a three-dimensional (3D) space, path loops are less evident. Finally, we quantify the torsion in the bead paths and show that beads do not exhibit a significant left- or right-handed bias to their motion in 3D. These results suggest that paths of actin-propelled objects may be attributed to slow changes in curvature, possibly associated with filament debranching, rather than a fixed torque. PMID:18560043

  16. Curvature and torsion in growing actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaevitz, Joshua W.; Fletcher, Daniel A.

    2008-06-01

    Intracellular pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and Rickettsia rickettsii move within a host cell by polymerizing a comet-tail of actin fibers that ultimately pushes the cell forward. This dense network of cross-linked actin polymers typically exhibits a striking curvature that causes bacteria to move in gently looping paths. Theoretically, tail curvature has been linked to details of motility by considering force and torque balances from a finite number of polymerizing filaments. Here we track beads coated with a prokaryotic activator of actin polymerization in three dimensions to directly quantify the curvature and torsion of bead motility paths. We find that bead paths are more likely to have low rather than high curvature at any given time. Furthermore, path curvature changes very slowly in time, with an autocorrelation decay time of 200 s. Paths with a small radius of curvature, therefore, remain so for an extended period resulting in loops when confined to two dimensions. When allowed to explore a three-dimensional (3D) space, path loops are less evident. Finally, we quantify the torsion in the bead paths and show that beads do not exhibit a significant left- or right-handed bias to their motion in 3D. These results suggest that paths of actin-propelled objects may be attributed to slow changes in curvature, possibly associated with filament debranching, rather than a fixed torque.

  17. COMET C/2011 W3 (LOVEJOY): ORBIT DETERMINATION, OUTBURSTS, DISINTEGRATION OF NUCLEUS, DUST-TAIL MORPHOLOGY, AND RELATIONSHIP TO NEW CLUSTER OF BRIGHT SUNGRAZERS

    SciTech Connect

    Sekanina, Zdenek; Chodas, Paul W. E-mail: Paul.W.Chodas@jpl.nasa.gov

    2012-10-01

    We describe the physical and orbital properties of C/2011 W3. After surviving perihelion passage, the comet was observed to undergo major physical changes. The permanent loss of the nuclear condensation and the formation of a narrow spine tail were observed first at Malargue, Argentina, on December 20 and then systematically at Siding Spring, Australia. The process of disintegration culminated with a terminal fragmentation event on December 17.6 UT. The postperihelion dust tail, observed for {approx}3 months, was the product of activity over <2 days. The nucleus' breakup and crumbling were probably caused by thermal stress due to the penetration of the intense heat pulse deep into the nucleus' interior after perihelion. The same mechanism may be responsible for cascading fragmentation of sungrazers at large heliocentric distances. The delayed response to the hostile environment in the solar corona is at odds with the rubble-pile model, since the residual mass of the nucleus, estimated at {approx}10{sup 12} g (equivalent to a sphere 150-200 m across) just before the terminal event, still possessed nontrivial cohesive strength. The high production rates of atomic oxygen, observed shortly after perihelion, are compatible with a subkilometer-sized nucleus. The spine tail-the product of the terminal fragmentation-was a synchronic feature, whose brightest part contained submillimeter-sized dust grains, released at velocities of up to 30 m s{sup -1}. The loss of the nuclear condensation prevented an accurate orbital-period determination by traditional techniques. Since the missing nucleus must have been located on the synchrone, whose orientation and sunward tip have been measured, we compute the astrometric positions of this missing nucleus as the coordinates of the points of intersection of the spine tail's axis with the lines of forced orbital-period variation, derived from the orbital solutions based on high-quality preperihelion astrometry from the ground. The

  18. Type VI secretion system translocates a phage tail spike-like protein into target cells where it cross-links actin.

    PubMed

    Pukatzki, Stefan; Ma, Amy T; Revel, Andrew T; Sturtevant, Derek; Mekalanos, John J

    2007-09-25

    Genes encoding type VI secretion systems (T6SS) are widely distributed in pathogenic Gram-negative bacterial species. In Vibrio cholerae, T6SS have been found to secrete three related proteins extracellularly, VgrG-1, VgrG-2, and VgrG-3. VgrG-1 can covalently cross-link actin in vitro, and this activity was used to demonstrate that V. cholerae can translocate VgrG-1 into macrophages by a T6SS-dependent mechanism. Protein structure search algorithms predict that VgrG-related proteins likely assemble into a trimeric complex that is analogous to that formed by the two trimeric proteins gp27 and gp5 that make up the baseplate "tail spike" of Escherichia coli bacteriophage T4. VgrG-1 was shown to interact with itself, VgrG-2, and VgrG-3, suggesting that such a complex does form. Because the phage tail spike protein complex acts as a membrane-penetrating structure as well as a conduit for the passage of DNA into phage-infected cells, we propose that the VgrG components of the T6SS apparatus may assemble a "cell-puncturing device" analogous to phage tail spikes to deliver effector protein domains through membranes of target host cells.

  19. Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy): Orbit Determination, Outbursts, Disintegration of Nucleus, Dust-tail Morphology, and Relationship to New Cluster of Bright Sungrazers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekanina, Zdenek; Chodas, Paul W.

    2012-10-01

    We describe the physical and orbital properties of C/2011 W3. After surviving perihelion passage, the comet was observed to undergo major physical changes. The permanent loss of the nuclear condensation and the formation of a narrow spine tail were observed first at Malargue, Argentina, on December 20 and then systematically at Siding Spring, Australia. The process of disintegration culminated with a terminal fragmentation event on December 17.6 UT. The postperihelion dust tail, observed for ~3 months, was the product of activity over <2 days. The nucleus' breakup and crumbling were probably caused by thermal stress due to the penetration of the intense heat pulse deep into the nucleus' interior after perihelion. The same mechanism may be responsible for cascading fragmentation of sungrazers at large heliocentric distances. The delayed response to the hostile environment in the solar corona is at odds with the rubble-pile model, since the residual mass of the nucleus, estimated at ~1012 g (equivalent to a sphere 150-200 m across) just before the terminal event, still possessed nontrivial cohesive strength. The high production rates of atomic oxygen, observed shortly after perihelion, are compatible with a subkilometer-sized nucleus. The spine tail—the product of the terminal fragmentation—was a synchronic feature, whose brightest part contained submillimeter-sized dust grains, released at velocities of up to 30 m s-1. The loss of the nuclear condensation prevented an accurate orbital-period determination by traditional techniques. Since the missing nucleus must have been located on the synchrone, whose orientation and sunward tip have been measured, we compute the astrometric positions of this missing nucleus as the coordinates of the points of intersection of the spine tail's axis with the lines of forced orbital-period variation, derived from the orbital solutions based on high-quality preperihelion astrometry from the ground. The resulting orbit gives 698

  20. The earliest drawings of datable auroras and a two-tail comet from the Syriac Chronicle of Zūqnīn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayakawa, Hisashi; Mitsuma, Yasuyuki; Fujiwara, Yasunori; Kawamura, Akito Davis; Kataoka, Ryuho; Ebihara, Yusuke; Kosaka, Shunsuke; Iwahashi, Kiyomi; Tamazawa, Harufumi; Isobe, Hiroaki

    2017-01-01

    People have probably been watching the sky since the beginning of human history. Observers in pre-telescopic ages recorded anomalous events, which now provide uniquely valuable information for modern scientists. Records that include drawings are particularly useful, since the verbal expressions recorded by pre-telescopic observers, who did not know the physical nature of the phenomena, are often ambiguous. However, drawings concerning specific datable events in the historical documents are far fewer than the verbal records. Therefore, in this paper we show the possible earliest drawings of datable auroras and a two-tail comet included in a manuscript of the Chronicle of Zūqnīn, a Syriac chronicle up to 775/776 CE, to interpret their nature. Careful perusing the original Syriac autograph manuscript, MS Vat.Sir.162, provide not only historical facts in the realm around Amida, but also information concerning low-latitude aurora observations due to extreme space weather events and the existence of sun-grazing comets.

  1. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harris, Alan W. (Editor); Bowell, Edward (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    Papers from the conference are presented and cover the following topics with respect to asteroids, comets, and/or meteors: interplanetary dust, cometary atmospheres, atmospheric composition, comet tails, astronomical photometry, chemical composition, meteoroid showers, cometary nuclei, orbital resonance, orbital mechanics, emission spectra, radio astronomy, astronomical spectroscopy, photodissociation, micrometeoroids, cosmochemistry, and interstellar chemistry.

  2. Microtubule and Actin Interplay Drive Intracellular c-Src Trafficking.

    PubMed

    Arnette, Christopher; Frye, Keyada; Kaverina, Irina

    2016-01-01

    The proto-oncogene c-Src is involved in a variety of signaling processes. Therefore, c-Src spatiotemporal localization is critical for interaction with downstream targets. However, the mechanisms regulating this localization have remained elusive. Previous studies have shown that c-Src trafficking is a microtubule-dependent process that facilitates c-Src turnover in neuronal growth cones. As such, microtubule depolymerization lead to the inhibition of c-Src recycling. Alternatively, c-Src trafficking was also shown to be regulated by RhoB-dependent actin polymerization. Our results show that c-Src vesicles primarily exhibit microtubule-dependent trafficking; however, microtubule depolymerization does not inhibit vesicle movement. Instead, vesicular movement becomes both faster and less directional. This movement was associated with actin polymerization directly at c-Src vesicle membranes. Interestingly, it has been shown previously that c-Src delivery is an actin polymerization-dependent process that relies on small GTPase RhoB at c-Src vesicles. In agreement with this finding, microtubule depolymerization induced significant activation of RhoB, together with actin comet tail formation. These effects occurred downstream of GTP-exchange factor, GEF-H1, which was released from depolymerizing MTs. Accordingly, GEF-H1 activity was necessary for actin comet tail formation at the Src vesicles. Our results indicate that regulation of c-Src trafficking requires both microtubules and actin polymerization, and that GEF-H1 coordinates c-Src trafficking, acting as a molecular switch between these two mechanisms.

  3. The cause of two plasma-tail disconnection events in comet P/Haley during the ICE-Halley radial period

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brosius, J. W.; Holman, G. D.; Niedner, M. B.; Brandt, J. C.; Slavin, J. A.; Smith, E. J.

    1987-01-01

    The causes of two plasma-tail disconnection events (DEs), which occurred in Halley's comet on March 20-22 and April 11-12, 1986, during the ICE-Halley radial period, are analyzed using the ICE magnetometer and electron plasma data. It is concluded that the DE of March 20-22 was most likely caused by an IMF polarity reversal. The DE of April 11-12 on the other hand, is attributed to either a compression region in the solar wind, an IMF polarity reversal, or a combination of the two. Assuming that the two DEs are due to frontside reconnection after an IMF reversal, it was estimated that the time period between the onset of reconnection and the final disconnection of the tail is between 0.1 and 0.6 day, suggesting that the average speed at which reconnection proceeds through the cometary magnetic field pile-up region is between 1 and 6 km/sec, or several tenths of the local Alfven speed.

  4. Solar wind-magnetosphere interaction during the possible encounter of Comet Halley's tail in 1910 inferred from mid-latitude geomagnetic field disturbances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iyemori, T.; Araki, T.

    Geomagnetic disturbances from the period April to June 1910 are analyzed to detect the possible effects of the Comet Halley on the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction. Data from six midlatitude geomagnetic observatories are used to calculate the longitudinally symmetric (i.e., Dst) and asymmetric fields. An application of a linear prediction filter to separate the solar wind dynamic pressure effect on the disturbances from that of the ring current, suggests that there exists a compressional variation in the Dst on May 18 which is around or slightly earlier than the time of estimated cometary tail encounter. The normal-run magnetogram from Agincourt on the dayside and that from Lu-Kia-Pang on the nightside, also indicate rather strong (i.e., 30-40 nT) compressional variation. The disturbances characteristic to the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction under the southward IMF condition and that of the ring current development are seen during the period. These results suggest that the earth's magnetosphere had been affected by a dense cometary plasma tail with high dynamic pressure, though the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction typically observed under the southward IMF condition had been taking place during the encounter.

  5. A Million Comet Pieces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] A Million Comet Pieces (poster version)

    This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the broken Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3 skimming along a trail of debris left during its multiple trips around the sun. The flame-like objects are the comet's fragments and their tails, while the dusty comet trail is the line bridging the fragments.

    Comet 73P /Schwassman-Wachmann 3 began to splinter apart in 1995 during one of its voyages around the sweltering sun. Since then, the comet has continued to disintegrate into dozens of fragments, at least 36 of which can be seen here. Astronomers believe the icy comet cracked due the thermal stress from the sun.

    The Spitzer image provides the best look yet at the trail of debris left in the comet's wake after its 1995 breakup. The observatory's infrared eyes were able to see the dusty comet bits and pieces, which are warmed by sunlight and glow at infrared wavelengths. This comet debris ranges in size from pebbles to large boulders. When Earth passes near this rocky trail every year, the comet rubble burns up in our atmosphere, lighting up the sky in meteor showers. In 2022, Earth is expected to cross close to the comet's trail, producing a noticeable meteor shower.

    Astronomers are studying the Spitzer image for clues to the comet's composition and how it fell apart. Like NASA's Deep Impact experiment, in which a probe smashed into comet Tempel 1, the cracked Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3 provides a perfect laboratory for studying the pristine interior of a comet.

    This image was taken from May 4 to May 6 by Spitzer's multi-band imaging photometer, using its 24-micron wavelength channel.

  6. Multi-fluid MHD model for Sun-grazing comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Y.-D.; Russell, C. T.; Liu, W.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2013-09-01

    Sun-grazing comets are comets that dive into the lower corona. Recent advances in spacecraft capabilities have enabled us to observe these comets with high resolution both in time and space. These comets exhibit rich tail activity, even multiple tails. This study investigates a collection of these activities, models the cometary plasma with model-generated coronal conditions.

  7. The Comet Halley Handbook: An Observer's Guide. Second Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeomans, Donald K.

    This handbook contains information on: (1) the orbit of comet Halley; (2) the expected physical behavior of comet Halley in 1985-1986, considering brightness estimates, coma diameters, and tail lengths; (3) observing conditions for comet Halley in 1985-1986; and (4) observing conditions for the dust tail of comet Halley in 1985-1986. Additional…

  8. Comets: Gases, ices, grains and plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkening, L. L.

    1981-01-01

    The program and abstracts of the 97 papers delivered at the colloquium are presented. Cometary nuclei, comet dust, the coma, ion tails, several comet missions, and cometary origin and evolution were discussed.

  9. Comet Halley and its historic passages during the past millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legrand, J.-P.

    1986-03-01

    The March 12, 1759 return of Comet Halley verified Halley's hypothesis on the existence of periodic comets and supported Newton's principle of universal attraction. Comet Halley's appearances before the 16th century are traced and it is noted that the length of the comet's tail has varied greatly. The comet's rendezvous with ESA's satellite Giotto is discussed briefly.

  10. Phenotype characterization of embryoid body structures generated by a crystal comet effect tail in an intercellular cancer collision scenario

    PubMed Central

    Diaz, Jairo A; Murillo, Mauricio F

    2012-01-01

    Cancer is, by definition, the uncontrolled growth of autonomous cells that eventually destroy adjacent tissues and generate architectural disorder. However, this concept cannot be totally true. In three well documented studies, we have demonstrated that cancer tissues produce order zones that evolve over time and generate embryoid body structures in a space-time interval. The authors decided to revise the macroscopic and microscopic material in well-developed malignant tumors in which embryoid bodies were identified to determine the phenotype characterization that serves as a guideline for easy recognition. The factors responsible for this morphogenesis are physical, bioelectric, and magnetic susceptibilities produced by crystals that act as molecular designers for the topographic gradients that guide the surrounding silhouette and establish tissue head-tail positional identities. The structures are located in amniotic-like cavities and show characteristic somite-like embryologic segmentation. Immunophenotypic study has demonstrated exclusion factor positional identity in relation to enolase-immunopositive expression of embryoid body and human chorionic gonadotropin immunopositivity exclusion factor expression in the surrounding tissues. The significance of these observations is that they can also be predicted by experimental image data collected by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) accelerator at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in which two-beam subatomic collision particles in the resulting debris show hyperorder domains similar to those identified by us in intercellular cancer collisions. Our findings suggest that we are dealing with true reverse biologic system information in an activated collective cancer stem cell memory, in which physics participates in the elaboration of geometric complexes and chiral biomolecules that serve to build bodies with embryoid print as it develops during gestation. Reversal mechanisms in biology are intimately

  11. Modern Observational Techniques for Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C. (Editor); Greenberg, J. M. (Editor); Donn, B. (Editor); Rahe, J. (Editor)

    1981-01-01

    Techniques are discussed in the following areas: astrometry, photometry, infrared observations, radio observations, spectroscopy, imaging of coma and tail, image processing of observation. The determination of the chemical composition and physical structure of comets is highlighted.

  12. Comet LINEAR (C/1999 S4)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spence, P.; Murdin, P.

    2001-10-01

    Comet C/1999 S4A (LINEAR) was found by the automatic minor planet search programme LINEAR based in New Mexico. In July 2000, the comet disintegrated completely as it made its closest approach to the Sun, at 71 million miles. At least 16 fragments, resembling `mini-comets' with tails, were then imaged by the HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE....

  13. Comets. [IUE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahearn, Michael F.

    1988-01-01

    The IUE was used to study comets including the first dynamically new comet to approach closer than 3 AU. Differences between old and new comets are studied. Results relevant to the nature of cometary nuclei are discussed. Identification of species in the spectra; relative abundances; variability of comets; and comet mass are considered.

  14. Studying comets with NEOWISE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, R.; Bauer, J.; Kramer, E.; Fernández, Y.; Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.

    2014-07-01

    The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission detected more than 150 comets during its all-sky survey between January 2010 and February 2011. The comets were imaged at 4 infrared wavelengths (3.4, 4.6, 12, and 22 microns). The large sample of both long-period and Jupiter-family comets observed at a range of heliocentric distances allows for systematic comparison of the properties of both dynamical families. Nucleus diameters and albedos, dust comae temperatures, CO and CO_{2} emission rates, and dust tail and trail morphologies are some of the properties studied with the WISE data. This work is being continued by the reactivated NEOWISE mission [1]. In 2013, the WISE spacecraft was brought out of hibernation to resume discovering, tracking, and characterizing small bodies in the Solar System by imaging the sky at solar elongations of ˜90° at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns. Since NEOWISE resumed its all-sky survey on December 23, 2013, 10 comets have been observed, including one previously-unknown long-period comet -- C/2014 C3 (NEOWISE). Of particular interest are the NEOWISE observations of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), which will have a close encounter with Mars in October 2014. NEOWISE observed this comet in January 2014 and will observe it twice more before the comet's close approach to Mars. NEOWISE will continue to operate until early 2017, greatly enhancing our understanding of cometary properties as studied in the infrared.

  15. Actin-based propulsion of a microswimmer.

    PubMed

    Leshansky, A M

    2006-07-01

    A simple hydrodynamic model of actin-based propulsion of microparticles in dilute cell-free cytoplasmic extracts is presented. Under the basic assumption that actin polymerization at the particle surface acts as a force dipole, pushing apart the load and the free (nonanchored) actin tail, the propulsive velocity of the microparticle is determined as a function of the tail length, porosity, and particle shape. The anticipated velocities of the cargo displacement and the rearward motion of the tail are in good agreement with recently reported results of biomimetic experiments. A more detailed analysis of the particle-tail hydrodynamic interaction is presented and compared to the prediction of the simplified model.

  16. Bacterial Shape and ActA Distribution Affect Initiation of Listeria monocytogenes Actin-Based Motility

    PubMed Central

    Rafelski, Susanne M.; Theriot, Julie A.

    2005-01-01

    We have examined the process by which the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes initiates actin-based motility and determined the contribution of the variable surface distribution of the ActA protein to initiation and steady-state movement. To directly correlate ActA distributions to actin dynamics and motility of live bacteria, ActA was fused to a monomeric red fluorescent protein (mRFP1). Actin comet tail formation and steady-state bacterial movement rates both depended on ActA distribution, which in turn was tightly coupled to the bacterial cell cycle. Motility initiation was found to be a highly complex, multistep process for bacteria, in contrast to the simple symmetry breaking previously observed for ActA-coated spherical beads. F-actin initially accumulated along the sides of the bacterium and then slowly migrated to the bacterial pole expressing the highest density of ActA as a tail formed. Early movement was highly unstable with extreme changes in speed and frequent stops. Over time, saltatory motility and sensitivity to the immediate environment decreased as bacterial movement became robust at a constant steady-state speed. PMID:15980176

  17. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

    Solar keratosis; Sun-induced skin changes - keratosis; Keratosis - actinic (solar); Skin lesion - actinic keratosis ... likely to develop it if you: Have fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red ...

  18. Report of the Comet Science Working Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    General scientific questions and measurement objectives that can be addressed on a first comet mission relate to: (1) the chemical nature and the physical structure of comet nuclei as well as the changes that occur as functions of time and orbital position; (2) the chemical and physical nature of the atmospheres and ionospheres of comets, the processes which occur in them, and the development of these atmospheres and ionospheres as functions of time and orbital position; and (3) the nature of comet tails, the processes by which they are formed, and the interaction of comets with the solar wind. Capabilities of the various instruments required are discussed.

  19. Atlas of Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoyan, Ronald; Dunlop, Storm

    2015-01-01

    Foreword; Using this book; Part I. Introduction: Cometary beliefs and fears; Comets in art; Comets in literature and poetry; Comets in science; Cometary science today; Great comets in antiquity; Great comets of the Middle Ages; Part II. The 30 Greatest Comets of Modern Times: The Great Comet of 1471; Comet Halley 1531; The Great Comet of 1556; The Great Comet of 1577; Comet Halley, 1607; The Great Comet of 1618; The Great Comet of 1664; Comet Kirch, 1680; Comet Halley, 1682; The Great Comet of 1744; Comet Halley, 1759; Comet Messier, 1769; Comet Flaugergues, 1811; Comet Halley, 1835; The Great March Comet of 1843; Comet Donati, 1858; Comet Tebbutt, 1861; The Great September Comet of 1882; The Great January Comet of 1910; Comet Halley, 1910; Comet Arend-Roland, 1956; Comet Ikeya-Seki, 1965; Comet Bennett, 1970; Comet Kohoutek, 1973-4; Comet West, 1976; Comet Halley, 1986; Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, 1994; Comet Hyakutake, 1996; Comet Hale-Bopp, 1997; Comet McNaught, 2007; Part III. Appendices; Table of comet data; Glossary; References; Photo credits; Index.

  20. The physics of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mendis, D. A.; Houpis, H. L. F.; Marconi, M. L.

    1985-01-01

    This volume of the 'Fundamentals of Cosmic Physics' is concerned with the physics of comets. Aspects regarding the nucleus are discussed, taking into account observations, radius and albedo, mass, rotation, splitting and disruption, the temperature and sublimation of the cometary nucleus, the chemical composition, the electrostatic charging of the cometary nucleus, and the structure and evolution of the cometary nucleus. Other topics explored are related to the atmosphere and its interaction with the solar wind, the plasma tail, and the dust tail. Attention is given to excitation mechanisms, atmospheric abundances and production rates, chemical models of the inner coma, collisional processes and the multifluid approach, radiative transfer, the ionization processes, models of the inner layer, the outer coma, acceleration mechanisms in the plasma tail, the structure of the plasma tail, the cometary magnetosphere, dust grain orbits, gas-dust interaction in the inner coma, and the nature of the cometary dust.

  1. Dust evolution from comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1977-01-01

    The studies of the evolution of cometary debris are reviewed. The subject is divided into three major sections: (1) the developments in the immediate vicinity of the cometary nucleus, which is the source of the dust; (2) the formation of the dust tail; and (3) the blending of the debris with the dust component of interplanetary matter. The importance of the physical theory of comets is emphasized for the understanding of the early phase of the evolution of cometary dust. A physico-dynamical model designed to analyze the particle-emission mechanism from the distribution of light in the dust tails is described and the results are presented. Increased attention is paid to large particles because of their importance for the evolution of the zodiacal cloud. Finally, implications are discussed for the future in situ investigations of comets.

  2. Dust evolution from comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1976-01-01

    The studies of the evolution of cometary debris are reviewed. The subject is divided into three major sections: (1) the developments in the immediate vicinity of the cometary nucleus, which is the source of the dust; (2) the formation of the dust tail; and (3) the blending of the debris with the dust component of interplanetary matter. The importance of the physical theory of comets is emphasized for the understanding of the early phase of evolution. A physico-dynamical model designed to analyze the particle-emission mechanism from the distribution of light in the dust tail is described and the results are presented. Increased attention is paid to large particles because of their importance for the evolution of the zodiacal cloud. Finally, implications are discussed for the future in situ investigations of comets.

  3. Unidentified ions in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Engel, Lisa

    1990-01-01

    Optical spectra were taken of comets Halley, West, and Brorsen-Metcalf in the wavelength region 3200 to 6400 A. These spectra were offset approximately 10(exp -5) to 10(exp -6) km tailward from the nucleus so that the features detected were all ions with the exception of a very small residual C2 emission at 5165 A. The full labeled tail spectrum of comet Halley is given. While most of the features detected are attributable to CO(+), H2O(+), CO2(+), CH(+), and OH(+), there are three moderately strong bands in the spectra of comets Halley and Brorsen-Metcalf which remain unidentified. These features were not detected in comet West. All three spectra in the 4800 to 5400 A region are presented, Brorsen-Metcalf is the gassiest of the three. The central wavelengths of the unidentified features are 4930, 5300, and 6000 A. In an effort to identify the ions responsible for these features as well as to confirm previous identifications, laboratory spectra of ions were compared with the comet spectra. H2O(+) and CO(+) are known to have extensive emission in the 4800 to 6200 A region. Therefore, the possibility that these unidentified features are due to H2O(+) and CO(+) was investigated. A search for the following bands was conducted: H2O(+) (11-0), H2O(+) (12-0), H2O(+) (13-1), CO(+) (1-1), and CO(+) (0-0). CO(+) (1-1) and CO(+) (0-0) were previously identified and are present in all the spectra examined. The H2O(+) (11-0) band was identified. Comparison of the H2O(+) (11-0) synthetic spectrum with comet Brorsen-Metcalf data is presented. The relative fluxes of the blended H2O(+) lines in the synthetic spectrum match those of the cometary data. After eliminating H2O(+) and CO(+) as significant contributors to the stronger unidentified features, spectra of ions which are not yet identified in the optical region of comets were compared to the data. These ions are NH(+), CS(+), and C2(+). None of these ions appears to be a significant contributor to the optical spectra of these

  4. Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnham, Robert

    2000-05-01

    Spectacular and mysterious objects that come and go in the night sky, comets have dwelt in our popular culture for untold ages. As remnants from the formation of the Solar system, they are objects of key scientific research and space missions. As one of nature's most potent and dramatic dangers, they pose a threat to our safety--and yet they were the origin of our oceans and perhaps even life itself. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the biggest and most awe-inspiring of all comets: those that have earned the title "Great." Robert Burnham focuses on the Great comets Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997, which gripped attention worldwide because, for many, they were the first comets ever seen. He places these two recent comets in the context of their predecessors from past ages, among them the famous Comet Halley. Great Comets explains the exciting new discoveries that have come from these magnificent objects and profiles the spaceprobes to comets due for launch in the next few years. The book even takes a peek behind Hollywood's science-fiction fantasies to assess the real risks humanity faces from potential impacts of both comets and asteroids. For everyone interested in astronomy, this exciting book reveals the secrets of the Great Comets and provides essential tools for keeping up to date with comet discoveries in the future. Robert Burnham has been an amateur astronomer since the mid-1950s. He has been a senior editor of Astronomy magazine (1986-88) and is the author of many books and CD-ROMS, including Comet Hale-Bopp: Find and Enjoy the Great Comet and Comet Explorer.

  5. Connections between comets and plasmas in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scarf, F. L.

    1979-01-01

    The dynamical processes in the cometary system represent unusual examples of very important, widespread natural phenomena. Topics covered include: (1) the comet as an obstacle in the solar wind; (2) the nature of the plasma flow; (3) collisionless shocks; and (4) plasma processes in the comet tail.

  6. Infrared Observation of Meteoroid Production by Comet Encke

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reach, W.; Sykes, M.; Lien, D.; Davies, J.

    1999-01-01

    Comets lose mass primarily in the form of large particles that form meteoroid streams in the comets orbits. At visible wavelengths, comets often have long dust tails directed away from the Sun, consisting of small dust particles being blown away by solar radiation pressure.

  7. Synthetic mimetics of actin-binding macrolides: rational design of actin-targeted drugs.

    PubMed

    Perrins, Richard D; Cecere, Giuseppe; Paterson, Ian; Marriott, Gerard

    2008-03-01

    Actin polymerization and dynamics are involved in a wide range of cellular processes such as cell division and migration of tumor cells. At sites of cell lysis, such as those occurring during a stroke or inflammatory lung diseases, actin is released into the serum where it polymerizes, leading to problems with clot dissolution and sputum viscosity. Therefore, drugs that target these actin-mediated processes may provide one mechanism to treat these conditions. Marine-organism-derived macrolides, such as reidispongiolide A, can bind to, sever, and inhibit polymerization of actin. Our studies show that the function of these complex macrolides resides in their tail region, whereas the head group stabilizes the actin-drug complex. Synthetic compounds derived from this tail region could therefore be used as a mimetic of the natural product, providing a range of designer compounds to treat actin-associated diseases or as probes to study actin polymerization.

  8. Bacterial nucleators: actin' on actin

    PubMed Central

    Bugalhão, Joana N.; Mota, Luís Jaime; Franco, Irina S.

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is a key target of numerous microbial pathogens, including protozoa, fungi, bacteria and viruses. In particular, bacterial pathogens produce and deliver virulence effector proteins that hijack actin dynamics to enable bacterial invasion of host cells, allow movement within the host cytosol, facilitate intercellular spread or block phagocytosis. Many of these effector proteins directly or indirectly target the major eukaryotic actin nucleator, the Arp2/3 complex, by either mimicking nucleation promoting factors or activating upstream small GTPases. In contrast, this review is focused on a recently identified class of effector proteins from Gram-negative bacteria that function as direct actin nucleators. These effector proteins mimic functional activities of formins, WH2-nucleators and Ena/VASP assembly promoting factors demonstrating that bacteria have coopted the complete set of eukaryotic actin assembly pathways. Structural and functional analyses of these nucleators have revealed several motifs and/or mechanistic activities that are shared with eukaryotic actin nucleators. However, functional effects of these proteins during infection extend beyond plain actin polymerization leading to interference with other host cell functions such as vesicle trafficking, cell cycle progression and cell death. Therefore, their use as model systems could not only help in the understanding of the mechanistic details of actin polymerization but also provide novel insights into the connection between actin dynamics and other cellular pathways. PMID:26416078

  9. Actinous enigma or enigmatic actin

    PubMed Central

    Povarova, Olga I; Uversky, Vladimir N; Kuznetsova, Irina M; Turoverov, Konstantin K

    2014-01-01

    Being the most abundant protein of the eukaryotic cell, actin continues to keep its secrets for more than 60 years. Everything about this protein, its structure, functions, and folding, is mysteriously counterintuitive, and this review represents an attempt to solve some of the riddles and conundrums commonly found in the field of actin research. In fact, actin is a promiscuous binder with a wide spectrum of biological activities. It can exist in at least three structural forms, globular, fibrillar, and inactive (G-, F-, and I-actin, respectively). G-actin represents a thermodynamically instable, quasi-stationary state, which is formed in vivo as a result of the energy-intensive, complex posttranslational folding events controlled and driven by cellular folding machinery. The G-actin structure is dependent on the ATP and Mg2+ binding (which in vitro is typically substituted by Ca2+) and protein is easily converted to the I-actin by the removal of metal ions and by action of various denaturing agents (pH, temperature, and chemical denaturants). I-actin cannot be converted back to the G-form. Foldable and “natively folded” forms of actin are always involved in interactions either with the specific protein partners, such as Hsp70 chaperone, prefoldin, and the CCT chaperonin during the actin folding in vivo or with Mg2+ and ATP as it takes place in the G-form. We emphasize that the solutions for the mysteries of actin multifunctionality, multistructurality, and trapped unfolding can be found in the quasi-stationary nature of this enigmatic protein, which clearly possesses many features attributed to both globular and intrinsically disordered proteins.

  10. Halley's Comet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, Tom

    1985-01-01

    Provides tips for viewing Comet Halley in the Northeast including best viewing dates from November 1985-January 1986. Discusses going south to view the comet in March-April 1986 and gives specific information about accommodations for the Halley Rally in Everglades National Park, southernmost site in the contiguous 48 states. (JHZ)

  11. Comets in Indian Scriptures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das Gupta, P.

    2016-01-01

    The Indo-Aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times in order to conduct sacrificial rites ordained by the Vedas. Naturally, they would have sighted comets and referred to them in the Vedic texts. In Rigveda (circa 1700-1500 BC) and Atharvaveda (circa 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Rigveda speaks of a fig tree whose aerial roots spread out in the sky (Parpola 2010). Had this imagery been inspired by the resemblance of a comet's tail with long and linear roots of a banyan tree (ficus benghalensis)? Varahamihira (AD 550) and Ballal Sena (circa AD 1100-1200) described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers, such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, and Garga, to name a few. In this article, we propose that an episode in Mahabharata in which a radiant king, Nahusha, who rules the heavens and later turns into a serpent after he kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.

  12. Microtubules as Platforms for Assaying Actin Polymerization In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Oelkers, J. Margit; Vinzenz, Marlene; Nemethova, Maria; Jacob, Sonja; Lai, Frank P. L.; Block, Jennifer; Szczodrak, Malgorzata; Kerkhoff, Eugen; Backert, Steffen; Schlüter, Kai; Stradal, Theresia E. B.; Small, J. Victor

    2011-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is continuously remodeled through cycles of actin filament assembly and disassembly. Filaments are born through nucleation and shaped into supramolecular structures with various essential functions. These range from contractile and protrusive assemblies in muscle and non-muscle cells to actin filament comets propelling vesicles or pathogens through the cytosol. Although nucleation has been extensively studied using purified proteins in vitro, dissection of the process in cells is complicated by the abundance and molecular complexity of actin filament arrays. We here describe the ectopic nucleation of actin filaments on the surface of microtubules, free of endogenous actin and interfering membrane or lipid. All major mechanisms of actin filament nucleation were recapitulated, including filament assembly induced by Arp2/3 complex, formin and Spir. This novel approach allows systematic dissection of actin nucleation in the cytosol of live cells, its genetic re-engineering as well as screening for new modifiers of the process. PMID:21603613

  13. Asteroids and Comets Outreach Compilation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Contents include various different animations in the area of Asteroids and Comets. Titles of the short animated clips are: STARDUST Mission; Asteroid Castallia Impact Simulation; Castallia, Toutatis and the Earth; Simulation Asteroid Encounter with Earth; Nanorover Technology Task; Near Earth Asteroid Tracking; Champollian Anchor Tests; Early Views of Comets; Exploration of Small Bodies; Ulysses Resource Material from ESA; Ulysses Cometary Plasma Tail Animation; and various discussions on the Hale-Bopp Comet. Animation of the following are seen: the Stardust aerogel collector grid collecting cometary dust particles, comet and interstellar dust analyzer, Wiper-shield and dust flux monitor, a navigation camera, and the return of the sample to Earth; a comparison of the rotation of the Earth to the Castallia and Tautatis Asteroids; an animated land on Tautatis and the view of the motion of the sky from its surface; an Asteroid collision with the Earth; the USAF Station in Hawaii; close-up views of asteroids; automatic drilling of the Moon; exploding Cosmic Particles; and the dropping off of the plasma tail of a comet as it travels near the sun.

  14. Comet culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lusher, Rebekah

    2011-10-01

    Rebekah Lusher describes an exhibition in the new Caroline Lucretia Gallery at the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath: Omens and Inspirations: Ice, Dust and Fire - the Story of the Great Comet of 1811.

  15. Comet Halley: The Curtis Schmidts-Isla de Pascua observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Freeman D.; Liller, William

    1986-01-01

    Halley's comet plasma tail disturbances and attendant tail phenomena were observed. Nearly simultaneous exposures with two telescopes serve to correlate information obtained with the two instruments. Photographs of 14 pre-Halley comets taken on 54 nights were examined with a view to cross-interpretation of phenomena seen in Halley with the earlier comets, as recorded on a homogenous collection of plates taken with the same instrument. The tail of Halley was highly active. This contrasts sharply with pre-Halley comets where undisturbed tails are the rule. During March and April, disturbances appeared in the tail of Halley at an average of 1 new distrubance every 3.7 days. It is considered that 10 of the 11 observed disturbances had common characteristics which allow them to be characterized as disconnections.

  16. Actinic reticuloid

    SciTech Connect

    Marx, J.L.; Vale, M.; Dermer, P.; Ragaz, A.; Michaelides, P.; Gladstein, A.H.

    1982-09-01

    A 58-year-old man has his condition diagnosed as actinic reticuloid on the basis of clinical and histologic findings and phototesting data. He had clinical features resembling mycosis fungoides in light-exposed areas. Histologic findings disclosed a bandlike infiltrate with atypical mononuclear cells in the dermis and scattered atypical cells in the epidermis. Electron microscopy disclosed mononuclear cells with bizarre, convoluted nuclei, resembling cerebriform cells of Lutzner. Phototesting disclosed a diminished minimal erythemal threshold to UV-B and UV-A. Microscopic changes resembling actinic reticuloid were reproduced in this patient 24 and 72 hours after exposure to 15 minimal erythemal doses of UV-B.

  17. Comet or Asteroid?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-11-01

    When is a minor object in the solar system a comet? And when is it an asteroid? Until recently, there was little doubt. Any object that was found to display a tail or appeared diffuse was a comet of ice and dust grains, and any that didn't, was an asteroid of solid rock. Moreover, comets normally move in rather elongated orbits, while most asteroids follow near-circular orbits close to the main plane of the solar system in which the major planets move. However, astronomers have recently discovered some `intermediate' objects which seem to possess properties that are typical for both categories. For instance, a strange object (P/1996 N2 - Elst-Pizarro) was found last year at ESO ( ESO Press Photo 36/96 ) which showed a cometary tail, while moving in a typical asteroidal orbit. At about the same time, American scientists found another (1996 PW) that moved in a very elongated comet-type orbit but was completely devoid of a tail. Now, a group of European scientists, by means of observations carried out at the ESO La Silla observatory, have found yet another object that at first appeared to be one more comet/asteroid example. However, continued and more detailed observations aimed at revealing its true nature have shown that it is most probably a comet . Consequently, it has received the provisional cometary designation P/1997 T3 . The Uppsala-DLR Trojan Survey Some time ago, Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist (Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala, Sweden), in collaboration with Gerhard Hahn, Stefano Mottola, Magnus Lundström and Uri Carsenty (DLR, Institute of Planetary Exploration, Berlin, Germany), started to study the distribution of asteroids near Jupiter. They were particularly interested in those that move in orbits similar to that of Jupiter and which are located `ahead' of Jupiter in the so-called `Jovian L4 Lagrangian point'. Together with those `behind' Jupiter, these asteroids have been given the names of Greek and Trojan Heroes who participated in the famous Trojan war

  18. Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann I

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    NASA's new Spitzer Space Telescope has captured an image of an unusual comet that experiences frequent outbursts, which produce abrupt changes in brightness. Periodic comet Schwassmann-Wachmann I (P/SW-1) has a nearly circular orbit just outside that of Jupiter, with an orbital period of 14.9 years. It is thought that the outbursts arise from the build-up of internal gas pressure as the heat of the Sun slowly evaporates frozen carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide beneath the blackened crust of the comet nucleus. When the internal pressure exceeds the strength of the overlying crust, a rupture occurs, and a burst of gas and dust fragments is ejected into space at speeds of 450 miles per hour (200 meters per second).

    This 24-micron image of P/SW-1 was obtained with the multiband imaging photometer for Spitzer. The image shows thermal infrared emission from the dusty coma and tail of the comet. The nucleus of the comet is about 18 miles (30 kilometers) in diameter and is too small to be resolved by Spitzer. The micron-sized dust grains in the coma and tail stream out away from the Sun. The dust and gas comprising the comet's nucleus is part of the same primordial materials from which the Sun and planets were formed billions of years ago. The complex carbon-rich molecules they contain may have provided some of the raw materials from which life originated on Earth.

    Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 is thought to be a member of a relatively new class of objects called 'Centaurs,' of which 45 objects are known. These are small icy bodies with orbits between those of Jupiter and Neptune. Astronomers believe that Centaurs are recent escapees from the Kuiper Belt, a zone of small bodies orbiting in a cloud at the distant reaches of the solar system.

    Two asteroids, 1996 GM36 (left) and 5238 Naozane (right) were serendipitously captured in the comet image. Because they are closer to us than the comet and have faster orbital

  19. Comet Kohoutek

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gary, Gilmer A. (Editor)

    1975-01-01

    A compilation of scientific observations (workshop) is presented. Topics discussed are: (1) tail form, structure, and evolution; (2) hydroxyl related observations; (3) molecules and atoms in the coma and tail; (4) photometry and radiometry; and (5) spacecraft and ground based observation data. Color photographs are shown.

  20. Atlas of Comet Halley 1910 II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, Bertram; Rahe, Juergen; Brandt, John C.

    1986-01-01

    With the impending return of Halley's Comet in 1986, a major effort began to collect the material obtained at its last appearance in 1910. This material displays the evolving coma and tail phenomena, and is useful for comparison with the present quantitative studies of spectroscopic and structural phenomena. Images in the atlas are arranged in chronological order by day. Days that have multiple images with varying scale are arranged in two sequences. Photographs showing tail phenomena are first, followed by photographs obtained with longer focus instruments showing the head or near-nuclear region. Drawings of Comet Halley, made from visual observations in 1835 and 1910, also are included.

  1. The mitotic spindle and actin tails.

    PubMed

    Karsenti, Eric; Nédélec, François

    2004-04-01

    To segregate their chromosomes, eukaryotic cells rely on a dynamic structure made of microtubules: the mitotic spindle. This structure can form in cells lacking centrosomes, because their chromosomes also nucleate microtubules. This second assembly pathway is observed even in some cells that naturally have centrosomes, for example when the centrosomes are ablated by laser surgery. Recent results have started to address the complementary question of whether centrosome-nucleated microtubules alone could sustain the formation of a functional mitotic spindle. We wonder in this respect whether lower eukaryotes such as yeasts are different from higher eukaryotes such as vertebrates.

  2. Myosin IIIB uses an actin-binding motif in its espin-1 cargo to reach the tips of actin protrusions.

    PubMed

    Merritt, Raymond C; Manor, Uri; Salles, Felipe T; Grati, M'hamed; Dose, Andrea C; Unrath, William C; Quintero, Omar A; Yengo, Christopher M; Kachar, Bechara

    2012-02-21

    Myosin IIIA (MYO3A) targets actin protrusion tips using a motility mechanism dependent on both motor and tail actin-binding activity [1]. We show that myosin IIIB (MYO3B) lacks tail actin-binding activity and is unable to target COS7 cell filopodia tips, yet is somehow able to target stereocilia tips. Strikingly, when MYO3B is coexpressed with espin-1 (ESPN1), a MYO3A cargo protein endogenously expressed in stereocilia [2], MYO3B targets and carries ESPN1 to COS7 filopodia tips. We show that this tip localization is lost when we remove the ESPN1 C terminus actin-binding site. We also demonstrate that, like MYO3A [2], MYO3B can elongate filopodia by transporting ESPN1 to the polymerizing end of actin filaments. The mutual dependence of MYO3B and ESPN1 for tip localization reveals a novel mechanism for the cell to regulate myosin tip localization via a reciprocal relationship with cargo that directly participates in actin binding for motility. Our results are consistent with a novel form of motility for class III myosins that requires both motor and tail domain actin-binding activity and show that the actin-binding tail can be replaced by actin-binding cargo. This study also provides a framework to better understand the late-onset hearing loss phenotype in patients with MYO3A mutations.

  3. Report of the Terrestrial Bodies Science Working Group. Volume 8: The comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Chapman, C. R.; Fanale, F. P.

    1977-01-01

    The determination of the nuclear and atmospheric properties of comets, and the interaction of the solar wind with the comet tail are scientific objectives for a mission to one or more comets in the next decade. Recommended priorities for direct cometary exploration are listed.

  4. Comet formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blum, J.

    2014-07-01

    There has been vast progress in our understanding of planetesimal formation over the past decades, owing to a number of laboratory experiments as well as to refined models of dust and ice agglomeration in protoplanetary disks. Coagulation rapidly forms cm-sized ''pebbles'' by direct sticking in collisions at low velocities (Güttler et al. 2010; Zsom et al. 2010). For the further growth, two model approaches are currently being discussed: (1) Local concentration of pebbles in nebular instabilities until gravitational instability occurs (Johansen et al. 2007). (2) A competition between fragmentation and mass transfer in collisions among the dusty bodies, in which a few ''lucky winners'' make it to planetesimal sizes (Windmark et al. 2012a,b; Garaud et al. 2013). Predictions of the physical properties of the resulting bodies in both models allow a distinction of the two formation scenarios of planetesimals. In particular, the tensile strength (i.e, the inner cohesion) of the planetesimals differ widely between the two models (Skorov & Blum 2012; Blum et al. 2014). While model (1) predicts tensile strengths on the order of ˜ 1 Pa, model (2) results in rather compactified dusty bodies with tensile strengths in the kPa regime. If comets are km-sized survivors of the planetesimal-formation era, they should in principle hold the secret of their formation process. Water ice is the prime volatile responsible for the activity of comets. Thermophysical models of the heat and mass transport close to the comet-nucleus surface predict water-ice sublimation temperatures that relate to maximum sublimation pressures well below the kPa regime predicted for formation scenario (2). Model (1), however, is in agreement with the observed dust and gas activity of comets. Thus, a formation scenario for cometesimals involving gravitational instability is favored (Blum et al. 2014).

  5. Interaction of Comets and the Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, William (Technical Monitor); Raymond, John C.

    2003-01-01

    We had originally planned to analyze UVCS observations of Comet Machholz, but we obtained higher quality observations of Comet Kudo-Fujikawa in January 2003 at its 0.19 AU perihelion. Besides a large and rapidly increasing water outgassing rate, we detected a bright tail in doubly ionized carbon. The amount of carbon was greater than could be accounted for by GO photodissociation, and we attribute the carbon to evaporation of organics from dust. A spectacular disconnection event was apparent in the C III tail, and it coincides within the uncertainties with the position of the heliospheric current sheet. A paper is in press in Science, and it will be the subject of a press release. We are also analyzing two sungrazing comets. Comet C/2001 C2 shows evidence for sub-fragments and for a very long lasting source of neutrals, which we tentatively identify as evaporation of pyroxene dust grains. Comet C/2002 S2 shows a sudden 2 magnitude drop in optical brightness and an equally sudden recovery. UVCS observations during that time show a steadily increasing outgassing rate. We have derived solar wind densities for both comets, but we are still sorting out the ambiguities involving the fragmentation and optical behavior. We are collaborating with Philippe Lamy on the LASCO measurements.

  6. ISO's analysis of Comet Hale-Bopp

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-03-01

    of the comet's dust and vapour, and also rates of escape of vapour, which will help in assessing the loss of material from Comet Hale-Bopp during this visit to the Sun's vicinity. "Watch out for some fascinating news," says Thijs de Graauw of Groningen University, who is in charge of the SWS instrument used in this study. "What excites me is the opportunity we shall have to compare dusty Comet Hale-Bopp, seen in the Solar System, with dusty objects far away among the stars which seem to be made of similar materials. Infrared astronomy has a special ability to unify cosmic chemistry at all scales from little dust grains in the Earth's vicinity to vast and distant galaxies." The dust itself interests the infrared astronomers, not least because their view of the Universe at large is spoiled to some extent by dust left behind by comets. Together with fine debris from asteroids, the comet dust makes a bright infrared band around the sky, which corresponds with the zodiacal light sometimes seen by eye, slanting above the horizon at twilight. ISO's predecessor, the US-Dutch-UK infrared astronomical satellite IRAS, found trails of comet dust much longer and more persistent than the familiar comet tails. ISO has seen a trail from Comet Kopff. By detecting dust grains that are typically much larger than those seen by visible light, ISO scientists hope to learn more about the dust's long-term behaviour in the Solar System. A series of images of Comet Hale-Bopp, obtained by the camera ISOCAM in October 1996, is the subject of continuing analysis. Leading this work in progress is Philippe Lamy of Marseille, France. "We hope to unveil the nucleus of the comet," Professor Lamy explains. "In principle, the Hubble Space Telescope can see finer details by visible light, but the contrast of the nucleus against the bright surrounding coma is superior at infrared wavelengths. This is because the thermal emission from the nucleus is very large and can be detected thanks to the high

  7. The Comet Halley handbook: An observer's guide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeomans, D. K.

    1981-01-01

    The orbit of Comet Halley is described as well as its expected physical behavior (brightness, tail lengths, coma diameters) in 1985-1986 during which time its preperihelion positon will allow better conditions for Northern Hemisphere observers. Southern Hemisphere observers will prefer post perihelion observation. Ephemeris data for 1981-1987 are presented in tables.

  8. Time-dependent injection of Oort Cloud comets into earth-crossing orbits

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandez, J.A.; Ip, W.H.

    1987-07-01

    The present consideration of close stellar encounter-induced modulations of the influx rate of Oort Cloud comets notes that comet showers sufficiently intense for emergence in cratering statistics are produced at 80-Myr intervals, on the assumption of an Oort Cloud heavy comet core. Numerical simulations of the time evolution of comet showers or bursts indicate that a long tail of residual shower comets follows the major event with an intensity of about 0.01 of the peak rate after 20-30 Myr, thereby suggesting that residual comet showers are primarily clustered in certain areas of the sky, rendering them observable at virtually any time. 33 references.

  9. Actinic Prurigo.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Carreón, Alma Angélica; Rodríguez-Lobato, Erika; Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, Georgina; Cuevas-González, Juan Carlos; Mancheno-Valencia, Alexandra; Solís-Arias, Martha Patricia; Vega-Memije, María Elisa; Hojyo-Tomoka, María Teresa; Domínguez-Soto, Luciano

    2015-01-01

    Actinic prurigo is an idiopathic photodermatosis that affects the skin, as well as the labial and conjunctival mucosa in indigenous and mestizo populations of Latin America. It starts predominantly in childhood, has a chronic course, and is exacerbated with solar exposure. Little is known of its pathophysiology, including the known mechanisms of the participation of HLA-DR4 and an abnormal immunologic response with increase of T CD4+ lymphocytes. The presence of IgE, eosinophils, and mast cells suggests that it is a hypersensitivity reaction (likely type IVa or b). The diagnosis is clinical, and the presence of lymphoid follicles in the mucosal histopathologic study of mucosa is pathognomonic. The best available treatment to date is thalidomide, despite its secondary effects.

  10. Observing prospects for Halley's comet. [expected path and brightness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roosen, R. G.; Marsden, B. G.

    1975-01-01

    The expected path and brightness development of Halley's comet soon before and after its perihelion on February 9, 1986 are described. It is concluded that the comet will prove disappointing to most U.S. observers, since it is not expected to equal Kohoutek in peak magnitude (and since this latter comet was disappointing to the general public). Moreover, Halley's comet will be brightest (3rd magnitude) in the southern hemisphere, and increased outdoor lighting by the year 1986 will probably obscure its tail near cities.

  11. Mesoscopic model for filament orientation in growing actin networks: the role of obstacle geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weichsel, Julian; Schwarz, Ulrich S.

    2013-03-01

    Propulsion by growing actin networks is a universal mechanism used in many different biological systems, ranging from the sheet-like lamellipodium of crawling animal cells to the actin comet tails induced by certain bacteria and viruses in order to move within their host cells. Although the core molecular machinery for actin network growth is well preserved in all of these cases, the geometry of the propelled obstacle varies considerably. During recent years, filament orientation distribution has emerged as an important observable characterizing the structure and dynamical state of the growing network. Here we derive several continuum equations for the orientation distribution of filaments growing behind stiff obstacles of various shapes and validate the predicted steady state orientation patterns by stochastic computer simulations based on discrete filaments. We use an ordinary differential equation approach to demonstrate that for flat obstacles of finite size, two fundamentally different orientation patterns peaked at either ±35° or +70°/0°/ - 70° exhibit mutually exclusive stability, in agreement with earlier results for flat obstacles of very large lateral extension. We calculate and validate phase diagrams as a function of model parameters and show how this approach can be extended to obstacles with piecewise straight contours. For curved obstacles, we arrive at a partial differential equation in the continuum limit, which again is in good agreement with the computer simulations. In all cases, we can identify the same two fundamentally different orientation patterns, but only within an appropriate reference frame, which is adjusted to the local orientation of the obstacle contour. Our results suggest that two fundamentally different network architectures compete with each other in growing actin networks, irrespective of obstacle geometry, and clarify how simulated and electron tomography data have to be analyzed for non-flat obstacle geometries.

  12. The seeding of life by comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenberg, J. M.; Mendoza-Gomez, Celia X.

    1992-01-01

    The chemical and morphological structures of comets and interstellar dust are reviewed to demonstrate the feasibility of comets providing the necessary prebiotic molecules for the formation of life on the early earth. The chemical evolution of interstellar dust is shown to be the source of organics in comets, and the molecules observed in the grains are listed as are the products resulting from grain photolysis. It is emphasized that comets could only transfer prebiotic molecules to the earth if they are fluffy aggregates that break up into fine fragments. The contributions to the early earth are considered in terms of the competition between the evolution of the living organisms and the destructive effects of impacts. It is considered that life began as the bombardment during the first 5 x 10 exp 8 years began to tail off.

  13. Observing chemical abundances in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delsemme, A. H.

    1981-01-01

    The atomic resonance lines of the major elements were observed in the atmospheres of a few comets, by using vacuum ultraviolet spectrographs on board rockets or orbiting observatories. Dust-to-gas ratios were also deduced for two comets through a Finson-Probstein's analysis of their dust-tail isophotes. The geometric albedo of the dust for the phase angle alpha of the observations is not accurately known but, the dust-to-gas ratio is not overly sensitive to the actual value of this albedo. Infrared observations of the dust head of some comets show that the bulk of cometary dust must be silicates, although a minor component (5-10 percent) of carbon compounds is rather likely, because of poor dielectric properties of the grains. This interpretation is confirmed by the fact that interplanetary dust probably of cometary origin, that was collected in the stratosphere by NASA-U2 Spacecraft, is chondritic in nature. Metal abundances in the head of a sungrazing comet support the chondritic hypothesis.

  14. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9: An Active Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rettig, Terrence W.; Hahn, Joseph M.

    1997-01-01

    The important elements of the debate over the activity versus dormancy of comet Shoemaker Levy 9 (S-L 9) are reviewed. It is argued that the circularity of the isophotes in the inner comae of S-L 9 as well as the spatial dependencies of the comae brightness profiles are indicators of sustained dust production by S-L 9. It is also shown that the westward tail orientations, which were formerly interpreted as a sign of the comet's dormancy, are not a good indicator of either activity or dormancy. Rather, the tail orientations simply place constraints on the dust production rate for grains smaller than approx. equals 5(micron). All the available evidence points to S-L 9 as having been an active, dust-producing comet. Synthetic images of an active comet are fitted to Hubble Space Telescope images of the S-L 9 fragment K, and its grain size and outflow velocity distributions are extracted. These findings show that the appearance of the dust coma was dominated by large grains having radii between approx. equals 30 (micron) and approx. equals 3 mm, produced at a rate of M approx. equals 22 kg/ s, and ejected at outflow velocities of approx. equals 0.5 m/ s. Only upper limits on the production rates of smaller grains are obtained. The nucleus of fragment K was not observed directly but its size is restricted to lie within a rather narrow interval 0.4 less than or equal to Rf less than or equal to 1.2 km.

  15. Activity in distant comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luu, Jane X.

    1992-01-01

    Activity in distant comets remains a mystery in the sense that we still have no complete theory to explain the various types of activity exhibited by different comets at large distances. This paper explores the factors that should play a role in determining activity in a distant comet, especially in the cases of comet P/Tempel 2, comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, and 2060 Chiron.

  16. The TRAPPIST comet survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jehin, E.; Opitom, C.; Manfroid, J.; Hutsemékers, D.; Gillon, M.

    2014-07-01

    distribution of several species among which OH, NH, CN, C2 and C3 as well as ions like CO+. The dust production rates (Afrho) and color of the dust are determined through four dust continuum bands (UC, BC, GC, RC). Such regular measurements are rare because of the lack of observing time on larger telescopes. Yet they are very valuable as they show how the gas production rate of each species evolves with respect to the distance to the Sun. Those observations allow to determine the composition of the comets and the chemical class to which they belong (rich or poor in carbon for instance [3]), possibly revealing the origin of those classes but also if there are some changes of the abundance ratios along the orbit (evolutionary effects). Indeed with half a dozen of comets observed each year --- and as long as possible along their orbit --- this program will provide a good statistical sample after a few years. We will present the results of this monitoring after three years of operations. Thanks to the way the telescope is operated, follow-up of split comets and of special outburst events is possible right after an alert is given and can bring important information on the nature of comets. In addition to providing the productions rates of the different species through a proper photometric calibration, image analysis can reveal coma features (jets, fans, tails), that can lead to the detection of active regions and measure the rotation period of the nucleus. The monitoring is also useful to assess the gas and dust activity of a given comet in order to prepare more detailed observations with larger telescopes. Such data can be obtained at any time under request. Finally a dozen of faint comets (V < 20) are monitored once a week through B, V, Rc, Ic filters and magnitudes and positions are sent to the MPC.

  17. Interaction of microtubules with the actin cytoskeleton via cross-talk of EB1-containing +TIPs and γ-actin in epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Dugina, Vera; Alieva, Irina; Khromova, Natalya; Kireev, Igor; Gunning, Peter W.; Kopnin, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    Actin microfilaments and microtubules are both highly dynamic cytoskeleton components implicated in a wide range of intracellular processes as well as cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions. The interactions of actin filaments with the microtubule system play an important role in the assembly and maintenance of 3D cell structure. Here we demonstrate that cytoplasmic actins are differentially distributed in relation to the microtubule system. LSM, 3D-SIM, proximity ligation assay (PLA) and co-immunoprecipitation methods applied in combination with selective depletion of β- or γ-cytoplasmic actins revealed a selective interaction between microtubules and γ-, but not β-cytoplasmic actin via the microtubule +TIPs protein EB1. EB1-positive comet distribution analysis and quantification have shown more effective microtubule growth in the absence of β-actin. Our data represent the first demonstration that microtubule +TIPs protein EB1 interacts mainly with γ-cytoplasmic actin in epithelial cells. PMID:27683037

  18. Interaction of microtubules with the actin cytoskeleton via cross-talk of EB1-containing +TIPs and γ-actin in epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Dugina, Vera; Alieva, Irina; Khromova, Natalya; Kireev, Igor; Gunning, Peter W; Kopnin, Pavel

    2016-11-08

    Actin microfilaments and microtubules are both highly dynamic cytoskeleton components implicated in a wide range of intracellular processes as well as cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions. The interactions of actin filaments with the microtubule system play an important role in the assembly and maintenance of 3D cell structure. Here we demonstrate that cytoplasmic actins are differentially distributed in relation to the microtubule system. LSM, 3D-SIM, proximity ligation assay (PLA) and co-immunoprecipitation methods applied in combination with selective depletion of β- or γ-cytoplasmic actins revealed a selective interaction between microtubules and γ-, but not β-cytoplasmic actin via the microtubule +TIPs protein EB1. EB1-positive comet distribution analysis and quantification have shown more effective microtubule growth in the absence of β-actin. Our data represent the first demonstration that microtubule +TIPs protein EB1 interacts mainly with γ-cytoplasmic actin in epithelial cells.

  19. Solar wind interaction with Comet Bennett (1969i

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burlaga, L. F.; Rahe, J.; Donn, B. D.; Neugebauer, M.

    1972-01-01

    The relations are examined between the solar-wind and Comet Bennett during the period 23 March to 5 April 1970. A large kink was observed in the ion tail of the comet on April 4, but no solar wind stream was observed in the ecliptic plane which could have caused the kink. Thus, either there was no correlation between the solar wind at the earth and that at Comet Bennett (which was 40 deg above the ecliptic) or the kink was caused by something other than a high-speed stream. The fine structure visible in photographs of the kink favors the second of these alternatives. It is shown that a shock probably passed through Comet Bennett on March 31, but no effect was seen in photographs of the comet. A stream preceded by another shock and a large abrupt change in momentum flux might have intercepted the comet between 24 March and 28 March, but again no effect was seen in photographs of the Comet. In view of these results, the possibility must be considered that a large, abrupt change in momentum flux of the solar-wind is neither necessary nor sufficient to cause a large kink in a comet tail.

  20. Comet Odyssey: Comet Surface Sample Return

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weissman, Paul R.; Bradley, J.; Smythe, W. D.; Brophy, J. R.; Lisano, M. E.; Syvertson, M. L.; Cangahuala, L. A.; Liu, J.; Carlisle, G. L.

    2010-10-01

    Comet Odyssey is a proposed New Frontiers mission that would return the first samples from the surface of a cometary nucleus. Stardust demonstrated the tremendous power of analysis of returned samples in terrestrial laboratories versus what can be accomplished in situ with robotic missions. But Stardust collected only 1 milligram of coma dust, and the 6.1 km/s flyby speed heated samples up to 2000 K. Comet Odyssey would collect two independent 800 cc samples directly from the surface in a far more benign manner, preserving the primitive composition. Given a minimum surface density of 0.2 g/cm3, this would return two 160 g surface samples to Earth. Comet Odyssey employs solar-electric propulsion to rendezvous with the target comet. After 180 days of reconnaissance and site selection, the spacecraft performs a "touch-and-go” maneuver with surface contact lasting 3 seconds. A brush-wheel sampler on a remote arm collects up to 800 cc of sample. A duplicate second arm and sampler collects the second sample. The samples are placed in a return capsule and maintained at colder than -70 C during the return flight and at colder than -30 C during re-entry and for up to six hours after landing. The entire capsule is then refrigerated and transported to the Astromaterials Curatorial Facility at NASA/JSC for initial inspection and sample analysis by the Comet Odyssey team. Comet Odyssey's planned target was comet 9P/Tempel 1, with launch in December 2017 and comet arrival in June 2022. After a stay of 300 days at the comet, the spacecraft departs and arrives at Earth in May 2027. Comet Odyssey is a forerunner to a flagship Cryogenic Comet Sample Return mission that would return samples from deep below the nucleus surface, including volatile ices. This work was supported by internal funds from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  1. Nongravitational forces on comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsden, B. G.

    1976-01-01

    Methods are presented and discussed for determining the effects of nongravitational forces on the orbits of comets. These methods are applied to short-period and long-period comets. Results are briefly described.

  2. Flight of the Comet

    NASA Video Gallery

    This video clip was compiled from images taken by NASA's EPOXI mission spacecraft during its flyby of comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4, 2010. During the encounter, the spacecraft and comet whisked past ea...

  3. Bye, Bye Comet

    NASA Video Gallery

    SOHO watched as a fairly bright comet dove towards the Sun in a white streak and was not seen again after its close encounter (May 10-11, 2011). The comet, probably part of the Kreutz family of com...

  4. The comets of 1999

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanklin, J.

    2009-12-01

    This report is the tenth in the annual series which gives for each comet: the discovery details, orbital data and general information, magnitude parameters and BAA Comet Section observations. Further details of the analysis techniques used in this report are given in an earlier paper. Ephemerides for the comets predicted to return during the year can be found in the BAA or ICQ Handbooks.

  5. The comets of 2000

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanklin, J. D.

    2010-08-01

    This report is the eleventh in the annual series which gives for each comet: the discovery details, orbital data and general information, magnitude parameters and BAA Comet Section observations. Further details of the analysis techniques used in this report are given in an earlier paper. Ephemerides for the comets predicted to return during the year can be found in the BAA or ICQ Handbooks.

  6. Newton and comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bork, Alfred

    1987-12-01

    The publication of Isaac Newton's ``notions about motion'' 300 years ago was a major moment in the history of science. In the period just before 1687 Newton's correspondence was much concerned with comets. In this period two bright comets were seen. These comets appear to have been a major stimulation to Newton's work on mechanics.

  7. Tropomyosin - master regulator of actin filament function in the cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Gunning, Peter W; Hardeman, Edna C; Lappalainen, Pekka; Mulvihill, Daniel P

    2015-08-15

    Tropomyosin (Tpm) isoforms are the master regulators of the functions of individual actin filaments in fungi and metazoans. Tpms are coiled-coil parallel dimers that form a head-to-tail polymer along the length of actin filaments. Yeast only has two Tpm isoforms, whereas mammals have over 40. Each cytoskeletal actin filament contains a homopolymer of Tpm homodimers, resulting in a filament of uniform Tpm composition along its length. Evidence for this 'master regulator' role is based on four core sets of observation. First, spatially and functionally distinct actin filaments contain different Tpm isoforms, and recent data suggest that members of the formin family of actin filament nucleators can specify which Tpm isoform is added to the growing actin filament. Second, Tpms regulate whole-organism physiology in terms of morphogenesis, cell proliferation, vesicle trafficking, biomechanics, glucose metabolism and organ size in an isoform-specific manner. Third, Tpms achieve these functional outputs by regulating the interaction of actin filaments with myosin motors and actin-binding proteins in an isoform-specific manner. Last, the assembly of complex structures, such as stress fibers and podosomes involves the collaboration of multiple types of actin filament specified by their Tpm composition. This allows the cell to specify actin filament function in time and space by simply specifying their Tpm isoform composition.

  8. The location of Asteroidal Belt Comets (ABCs), in a comet's evolutionary diagram: The Lazarus Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrín, Ignacio; Zuluaga, Jorge; Cuartas, Pablo

    2013-09-01

    There is a group of newly recognized asteroids in the main belt that are exhibiting cometary characteristics. We will call them Asteroidal Belt Comets or ABCs for short. The surprising property of these objects is that their orbits are entirely asteroidal while their behaviour is entirely cometary, with Tisserand invariants larger than 3.0, while all Jupiter family comets have Tisserand invariants smaller than 3.0. An analysis of their orbital and physical properties has resulted in the following conclusion. (1) We define the `detached group (DG)' as those objects that exhibit cometary characteristics (sublimating water) and have aphelion distances Q < 4.5 au. The DG contains all the ABCs traditionally recognized, plus a few other members not traditionally recognized like 2P and 107P. With the above definition there are 11 members of the ABC group: 2P, 107P, 133P, 176P, 233P, 238P, C/2008 R1, C/2010 R2, 2011 CR42, 3200 and 300163 = 2006 VW139. And there are three members of the collisioned asteroids, CA, P/2010 A2, 596 Scheila and P/2012 F5 Gibbs. (2) In the literature a common reason for activity is interplanetary collisions. Active objects sublimate ices except for the CA that have exhibited dust tails due to collisions and 3200 Phaethon activated by solar wind sputtering. In this work, we will trace the origin of activity to a diminution of their perihelion distances, a hypothesis that has not been previously explored in the literature. (3) We have calibrated the blackbody (colour) temperature of comets versus perihelion distance, R, regardless of class. We find T = 325 ± 5 K/√R. (4) Using a mathematical model of the thermal wave we calculate the thickness of the crust or dust layer on comet nuclei. We find a thickness of 2.0 ± 0.5 m for comet 107P, 4.7 ± 1.2 m for comet 133P and 1.9 ± 0.5 m for a sample of nine comets. Note the small errors. (5) We have located three ABCs in an evolutionary diagram of Remaining Revolutions (RR) versus Water-Budget Age (WB

  9. Actin-Based Motility of Intracellular Microbial Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Marcia B.

    2001-01-01

    A diverse group of intracellular microorganisms, including Listeria monocytogenes, Shigella spp., Rickettsia spp., and vaccinia virus, utilize actin-based motility to move within and spread between mammalian host cells. These organisms have in common a pathogenic life cycle that involves a stage within the cytoplasm of mammalian host cells. Within the cytoplasm of host cells, these organisms activate components of the cellular actin assembly machinery to induce the formation of actin tails on the microbial surface. The assembly of these actin tails provides force that propels the organisms through the cell cytoplasm to the cell periphery or into adjacent cells. Each of these organisms utilizes preexisting mammalian pathways of actin rearrangement to induce its own actin-based motility. Particularly remarkable is that while all of these microbes use the same or overlapping pathways, each intercepts the pathway at a different step. In addition, the microbial molecules involved are each distinctly different from the others. Taken together, these observations suggest that each of these microbes separately and convergently evolved a mechanism to utilize the cellular actin assembly machinery. The current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of microbial actin-based motility is the subject of this review. PMID:11729265

  10. Genesis of a Comet (Artist's Concept)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Quick Time Movie for PIA02106 Genesis of a Comet

    This artist's animation depicts one of the most widely accepted theories pertaining to the origin of comets.

    The simulation opens with a protoplanetary disk, which will eventually turn into a solar system. The fiery yellow ball in the center represents a star like our Sun.

    Like a raindrop forming in a cloud, a star forms in a diffuse gas cloud in deep space. As the star grows, its gravitational pull draws in dust and gas from the surrounding molecular cloud to form a swirling disk called a 'protoplanetary disk.' This disk eventually further consolidates to form planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

    As the animation zooms into the disk, micron-size particles of dust can be seen sticking together to form centimeter- and millimeter-sized rocks. As the rocks become more massive, gravity takes over, forcing other surrounding pebbles and dust particles to collide with the larger rocks. The process continues until a comet is born.

    Since comets form far from their star in the icy regions of the planetary system, molecules, such as water, carbon dioxide and methane, freeze onto the micron-sized dust particles and rocks before they collide to form a comet.

    Once a solar system is formed, the gravitational pull from large planets manipulates a comet's orbit and brings it into the inner solar system. As the comet approaches its star, sunlight warms and transforms the frozen gas on and just below the comet's surface directly into vapor, effectively bypassing the liquid phase. This process is called sublimation.

    Sublimation of the molecules beneath the surface forces streams of gas and dust to jet out of the comet, creating an aura or 'coma' around the rock. Interactions between ingredients in the coma with surrounding sunlight and solar winds eventually create the comet's tail, pictured here at the end of the animation.

    This movie is

  11. STUDY OF THE 2007 APRIL 20 CME-COMET INTERACTION EVENT WITH AN MHD MODEL

    SciTech Connect

    Jia, Y. D.; Russell, C. T.; Jian, L. K.; Manchester, W. B.; Cohen, O.; Hansen, K. C.; Combi, M. R.; Gombosi, T. I.; Vourlidas, A.

    2009-05-01

    This study examines the tail disconnection event on 2007 April 20 on comet 2P/Encke, caused by a coronal mass ejection (CME) at a heliocentric distance of 0.34 AU. During their interaction, both the CME and the comet are visible with high temporal and spatial resolution by the STEREO-A spacecraft. Previously, only current sheets or shocks have been accepted as possible reasons for comet tail disconnections, so it is puzzling that the CME caused this event. The MHD simulation presented in this work reproduces the interaction process and demonstrates how the CME triggered a tail disconnection in the April 20 event. It is found that the CME disturbs the comet with a combination of a 180 deg. sudden rotation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), followed by a 90 deg. gradual rotation. Such an interpretation applies our understanding of solar wind-comet interactions to determine the in situ IMF orientation of the CME encountering Encke.

  12. A worldwide photographic network for wide-field observations of Halley's Comet in 1985-1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Brandt, J. C.; Rahe, J.

    1982-01-01

    A global network of ground-based observatories for the study of Halley's Comet in 1985/1986 is discussed. Recommendations are made with respect to improving coordination between reporting observatories, in order to ensure detailed imaging of such fast-generating cometary phenomena as plasma-tail knots, helices, disconnected tails, rays and condensations. A method for calibrating telescopes is considered by which well-studied objects will be photographed to provide references for images of Halley's Comet. This procedure is expected to reduce errors to approximately 0.05 mag. A coordinated study of Halley's Comet will provide important data on the physical properties of the Comet. Examples of the topics of study related to the plasma physics of the Comet's tail include: magnetic reconnection, rippling and tearing modes, kink instability, Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, and the flute instability.

  13. Interaction of Comets and the Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, William (Technical Monitor); Raymond, John C.

    2004-01-01

    The analysis of Comet Kudo-Fujikawa at perihelion was published and picked up by Der Spiegel. Besides a large and rapidly increasing water outgassing rate, we detected a bright tail in doubly ionized carbon. The amount of carbon was greater than could be accounted for by CO photodissociation, and we attribute it to evaporation of organics from dust. A spectacular disconnection event was apparent in the C III tail, and it coincides within the uncertainties to the position of the heliospheric current sheet. The analysis of the sungrazing comet C2001 C2 is in press. It showed evidence for subfragments and for a very long lasting source of neutrals, which we identify as evaporation of pyroxene dust grains. Results were also presented at COSPAR. We are working on observations of another sungrazer, comet C2002 S2, which shows a sudden 2 magnitude drop in optical brightness and an equally sudden recovery. UVCS observations during that time show a steadily increasing outgassing rate. We have derived solar wind densities for both comets, but we are still sorting out the ambiguities involving the fragmentation and optical behavior.

  14. Reality of comet nucleus.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyttleton, R. A.

    1972-01-01

    The prime problem of a comet mission must be to settle whether the cometary nucleus has an actual tangible material existence, or whether it arises from some optical effect present only at times within comets. The absence of any large particles in a comet seems to be demonstrated by certain meteor showers. A feature that would seem to indicate that a comet consists primarily of a swarm of particles is that the coma in general contracts as the comet approaches the sun, roughly in proportion within the distance, and then expands again as it recedes.

  15. Why is Actin Patchy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders

    2009-03-01

    The intracellular protein actin, by reversibly polymerizing into filaments, generates forces for motion and shape changes of many types of biological cells. Fluorescence imaging studies show that actin often occurs in the form of localized patches of size roughly one micrometer at the cell membrane. Patch formation is most prevalent when the free-actin concentration is low. I investigate possible mechanisms for the formation of actin patches by numerically simulating the ``dendritic nucleation'' model of actin network growth. The simulations include filament growth, capping, branching, severing, and debranching. The attachment of membrane-bound activators to actin filaments, and subsequent membrane diffusion of unattached activators, are also included. It is found that as the actin concentration increases from zero, the actin occurs in patches at lower actin concentrations, and the size of the patches increases with increasing actin concentration. At a critical value of the actin concentration, the system undergoes a transition to complete coverage. The results are interpreted within the framework of reaction-diffusion equations in two dimensions.

  16. The worldwide impact of Donati's comet on art and society in the mid-19th century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasperini, Antonella; Galli, Daniele; Nenzi, Laura

    2011-06-01

    Donati's comet was one of the most spectacular astronomical events of the nineteenth century. Its extended sword-like tail was a spectacular sight that inspired several literary and artistic representations. Traces of Donati's comet are found in popular magazines, children's books, collection cards, and household objects through the beginning of the twentieth century.

  17. A Review of Current Models of Cometary Tail Disconnection Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boice, Daniel

    The plasma tail of a comet is susceptible to influences from the solar wind and its embedded magnetic field. The ion tail can show fluctuations, kinks , and moving structures. In addition, it is possible that a disconnection event (DE) might occur, when the ion tail separates from the comet and reforms a few hours later as recently observed in the tail of comet Encke by A. Vourlidas et al. [Ap.J.Lett. 668, L79-82 (2007)] using the Heliospheric Imager onboard NASA's STEREO Mission. The solar wind has a permanent abrupt, and well-known change in magnetic field direction located close to the solar equator, which the comet will intersect. The Sun also releases a large amount of ionized gases from fast-moving disturbances, such as Coronal Mass Ejections as observed by the LASCO instrument onboard ESA's SOHO Mission. In addition, highspeed streams and interplanetary shocks in the solar wind are plausible mechanisms for causing cometary tail disturbances. These types of solar phenomenon can dramatically alter the comet's tail and, on rare occasions, cause a disconnection event. In this paper, we will review the relevant observations and models of disconnection events and summarize our current state of knowledge, highlighting outstanding problems for future research. Acknowledgements. We acknowledge funding and support from the NSF Planetary Astronomy Program and the NASA Discovery Data Analysis Program.

  18. Statics and dynamics of Giacobini-Zinner magnetic tail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siscoe, G. L.; Slavin, J. A.; Smith, E. J.; Tsurutani, B. T.; Jones, D. E.

    1986-01-01

    The data gathered by the International Cometary Explorer during its traversal of Comet Giacobini-Zinner's tail are subjected to stress balance requirements, yielding estimates of unmeasured quantities. It is noted that the comet's tail is embedded in an ionosheath whose static pressure is nearly equal to the solar wind stagnation pressure, leading to a large lobe field strength. A systematic variation is found in the ion temperature across the tail, implying the variation of the pickup velocity of new ions. Axial stress balance yields an expression for the strength of the lobe field which reveals weak variation with axial distance.

  19. Myosin Vs organize actin cables in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Lo Presti, Libera; Chang, Fred; Martin, Sophie G.

    2012-01-01

    Myosin V motors are believed to contribute to cell polarization by carrying cargoes along actin tracks. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Myosin Vs transport secretory vesicles along actin cables, which are dynamic actin bundles assembled by the formin For3 at cell poles. How these flexible structures are able to extend longitudinally in the cell through the dense cytoplasm is unknown. Here we show that in myosin V (myo52 myo51) null cells, actin cables are curled, bundled, and fail to extend into the cell interior. They also exhibit reduced retrograde flow, suggesting that formin-mediated actin assembly is impaired. Myo52 may contribute to actin cable organization by delivering actin regulators to cell poles, as myoV∆ defects are partially suppressed by diverting cargoes toward cell tips onto microtubules with a kinesin 7–Myo52 tail chimera. In addition, Myo52 motor activity may pull on cables to provide the tension necessary for their extension and efficient assembly, as artificially tethering actin cables to the nuclear envelope via a Myo52 motor domain restores actin cable extension and retrograde flow in myoV mutants. Together these in vivo data reveal elements of a self-organizing system in which the motors shape their own tracks by transporting cargoes and exerting physical pulling forces. PMID:23051734

  20. Quantification of applied dose in irradiated citrus fruits by DNA Comet Assay together with image analysis.

    PubMed

    Cetinkaya, Nurcan; Ercin, Demet; Özvatan, Sümer; Erel, Yakup

    2016-02-01

    The experiments were conducted for quantification of applied dose for quarantine control in irradiated citrus fruits. Citrus fruits exposed to doses of 0.1 to 1.5 kGy and analyzed by DNA Comet Assay. Observed comets were evaluated by image analysis. The tail length, tail moment and tail DNA% of comets were used for the interpretation of comets. Irradiated citrus fruits showed the separated tails from the head of the comet by increasing applied doses from 0.1 to 1.5 kGy. The mean tail length and mean tail moment% levels of irradiated citrus fruits at all doses are significantly different (p < 0.01) from control even for the lowest dose at 0.1 kGy. Thus, DNA Comet Assay may be a practical quarantine control method for irradiated citrus fruits since it has been possible to estimate the applied low doses as small as 0.1 kGy when it is combined with image analysis.

  1. Symmetry breaking in actin gels - Implications for cellular motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Peyla, Philippe; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2007-03-01

    The physical origin of cell motility is not fully understood. Recently minimal model systems have shown, that polymerizing actin itself can produce a motile force, without the help of motor proteins. Pathogens like Shigella or Listeria use actin to propel themselves forward in their host cell. The same process can be mimicked with polystyrene beads covered with the activating protein ActA, which reside in a solution containing actin monomers. ActA induces the growth of an actin gel at the bead surface. Initially the gel grows symmetrically around the bead until a critical size is reached. Subsequently one observes a symmetry breaking and the gel starts to grow asymmetrically around the bead developing a tail of actin at one side. This symmetry breaking is accompanied by a directed movement of the bead, with the actin tail trailing behind the bead. Force generation relies on the combination of two properties: growth and elasticity of the actin gel. We study this phenomenon theoretically within the framework of a linear elasticity theory and linear flux-force relationships for the evolution of an elastic gel around a hard sphere. Conditions for a parity symmetry breaking are identified analytically and illustrated numerically with the help of a phasefield model.

  2. Ultraviolet observations of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Code, A. D.; Houck, T. E.; Lillie, C. F.

    1972-01-01

    The first observations of a comet in the vacuum ultraviolet were obtained on January 14, 1970, when OAO-2 recorded the spectrum of the bright comet Tago-Sato-Kosaka (1969g). The observations revealed, among other things, the predicted extensive hydrogen Lyman alpha halo. OAO-2 continued to collect spectrophotometric measurements of this comet throughout January of that year; a photograph of the nucleus in Lyman alpha revealed finer scale structures. In February of 1970, the bright comet Bennet (1969i) became favorable for space observations. On the basis of the OAO discovery, OGO-V made several measurements of comet Bennet with low spatial resolution photometers. Comet Enke was detected by OGO in January of 1971 at a large heliocentric distance from its Lyman alpha emission.

  3. Ammonia abundances in comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Tegler, S.; Engel, L.

    The emission band strengths of the NH2 bands of Comets Halley, Hartley-Good, Thiele, and Borrelly were measured to determine the NH2 column densities for the comets. Production rates obtained using the Haser and vectorial models are in agreement within the observational errors, suggesting that a simple two-step decay model may be used to approximate the NH2 distribution in a comet's coma. Ammonia-to-water abundance ratios from 0.01 to 0.4 percent were found for the four comets. The ratio in Comet Halley is found to be Q(NH3)/Q(H2O) = 0.002 + or - 0.001. No significant difference in the ammonia abundance was found before or after perihelion in Comet Halley.

  4. Activity of 50 Long-period Comets Beyond 5.2 au

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sárneczky, K.; Szabó, Gy. M.; Csák, B.; Kelemen, J.; Marschalkó, G.; Pál, A.; Szakáts, R.; Szalai, T.; Szegedi-Elek, E.; Székely, P.; Vida, K.; Vinkó, J.; Kiss, L. L.

    2016-12-01

    Remote investigations of ancient matter in the solar system have traditionally been carried out through observations of long-period (LP) comets, which are less affected by solar irradiation than their short-period counterparts orbiting much closer to the Sun. Here we summarize the results of our decade-long survey of the distant activity of LP comets. We found that the most important separation in the data set is based on the dynamical nature of the objects. Dynamically new comets are characterized by a higher level of activity on average: the most active new comets in our sample can be characterized by Afρ values >3-4, higher than those for our most active returning comets. New comets develop more symmetric comae, suggesting a generally isotropic outflow. In contrast to this, the comae of recurrent comets can be less symmetrical, ocassionally exhibiting negative slope parameters, which suggest sudden variations in matter production. The morphological appearance of the observed comets is rather diverse. A surprisingly large fraction of the comets have long, tenuous tails, but the presence of impressive tails does not show a clear correlation with the brightness of the comets.

  5. Villin severing activity enhances actin-based motility in vivo.

    PubMed

    Revenu, Céline; Courtois, Matthieu; Michelot, Alphée; Sykes, Cécile; Louvard, Daniel; Robine, Sylvie

    2007-03-01

    Villin, an actin-binding protein associated with the actin bundles that support microvilli, bundles, caps, nucleates, and severs actin in a calcium-dependant manner in vitro. We hypothesized that the severing activity of villin is responsible for its reported role in enhancing cell plasticity and motility. To test this hypothesis, we chose a loss of function strategy and introduced mutations in villin based on sequence comparison with CapG. By pyrene-actin assays, we demonstrate that this mutant has a strongly reduced severing activity, whereas nucleation and capping remain unaffected. The bundling activity and the morphogenic effects of villin in cells are also preserved in this mutant. We thus succeeded in dissociating the severing from the three other activities of villin. The contribution of villin severing to actin dynamics is analyzed in vivo through the actin-based movement of the intracellular bacteria Shigella flexneri in cells expressing villin and its severing variant. The severing mutations abolish the gain of velocity induced by villin. To further analyze this effect, we reconstituted an in vitro actin-based bead movement in which the usual capping protein is replaced by either the wild type or the severing mutant of villin. Confirming the in vivo results, villin-severing activity enhances the velocity of beads by more than two-fold and reduces the density of actin in the comets. We propose a model in which, by severing actin filaments and capping their barbed ends, villin increases the concentration of actin monomers available for polymerization, a mechanism that might be paralleled in vivo when an enterocyte undergoes an epithelio-mesenchymal transition.

  6. Villin Severing Activity Enhances Actin-based Motility In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Revenu, Céline; Courtois, Matthieu; Michelot, Alphée; Sykes, Cécile; Louvard, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    Villin, an actin-binding protein associated with the actin bundles that support microvilli, bundles, caps, nucleates, and severs actin in a calcium-dependant manner in vitro. We hypothesized that the severing activity of villin is responsible for its reported role in enhancing cell plasticity and motility. To test this hypothesis, we chose a loss of function strategy and introduced mutations in villin based on sequence comparison with CapG. By pyrene-actin assays, we demonstrate that this mutant has a strongly reduced severing activity, whereas nucleation and capping remain unaffected. The bundling activity and the morphogenic effects of villin in cells are also preserved in this mutant. We thus succeeded in dissociating the severing from the three other activities of villin. The contribution of villin severing to actin dynamics is analyzed in vivo through the actin-based movement of the intracellular bacteria Shigella flexneri in cells expressing villin and its severing variant. The severing mutations abolish the gain of velocity induced by villin. To further analyze this effect, we reconstituted an in vitro actin-based bead movement in which the usual capping protein is replaced by either the wild type or the severing mutant of villin. Confirming the in vivo results, villin-severing activity enhances the velocity of beads by more than two-fold and reduces the density of actin in the comets. We propose a model in which, by severing actin filaments and capping their barbed ends, villin increases the concentration of actin monomers available for polymerization, a mechanism that might be paralleled in vivo when an enterocyte undergoes an epithelio-mesenchymal transition. PMID:17182858

  7. Comet Dead Ahead

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This image shows comet Tempel 1 as seen through the clear filter of the medium resolution imager camera on Deep Impact. It was taken on June 26, 2005, when the spacecraft was 7,118,499.4 kilometers (4,423,435 miles) away from the comet. Eight images were combined to create this picture, and a logarithmic stretch was applied to enhance the coma of the comet.

  8. Physics of comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishna Swamy, K. S.

    1. General introduction. 1.1. Historical perspective. 1.2. Discovery. 1.3. Appearance. 1.4. Statistics. 1.5. Importance. 1.6. Brightness. 1.7. Main characteristics. 1.8. Spacecraft encounters with comets. 1.9. An overall view -- 2. Dynamics. 2.1. Orbital elements. 2.2. Orbit in space -- 3. Physical aspects. 3.1. Black body radiation. 3.2. Perfect gas law. 3.3. Dissociative equilibrium. 3.4. Doppler shift. 3.5. Spectroscopy. 3.6. Isotopic effect. 3.7. Franck-Condon factors. 3.8. Intensity of emitted lines. 3.9. Boltzmann distribution. 3.10. [symbol]-doubling. 3.11. Photochemistry of water. 3.12. Silicate. 3.13. Annealing. 3.14. Carbon. 3.15. Solar radiation. 3.16. Solar wind -- 4. Spectra. 4.1. Main characteristics. 4.2. Forbidden transitions. 4.3. Line-to-continuum ratio -- 5. Spectra of coma. 5.1. Fluorescence process. 5.2. Excitation temperature. 5.3. Abundances of heavy elements. 5.4. Isotopic abundances. 5.5. Summary -- 6. Gas production rates in coma. 6.1. Theoretical models. 6.2. Results. 6.3. Analysis of hydrogen observations. 6.4. Related studies. 6.5. Parent molecules. 6.6. Chemical diversity. 6.7. Summary -- 7. Dust tails. 7.1. Dynamics. 7.2. Anti-tail. 7.3. Dust trails. 7.4. Sodium gas tails. 7.5. Dust features -- 8. Light scattering theory. 8.1. Mie scattering theory. 8.2. Approximate expressions. 8.3. Computation of cross sections. 8.4. Results. 8.5. Particles of other types. 8.6. Optical constants -- 9. The nature of dust particles. 9.1. Visible continuum. 9.2. Polarization. 9.3. Grain sizes. 9.4. Infrared measurements. 9.5. Spectral feature. 9.6. Properties derived from direct measurements. 9.7. Radiation pressure effects. 9.8. Summary -- 10. Ion tails. 10.1. Evidence for the solar wind. 10.2. Dynamical aberration. 10.3. Theoretical considerations. 10.4. Instabilities and waves. 10.5. Acceleration of cometary ions. 10.6. Large scale structures. 10.7. X-rays. 10.8. Summary -- 11. Nucleus. 11.1. Morphology. 11.2. Theory of vapourization. 11

  9. Comet giacobini-zinner: plasma description.

    PubMed

    Bame, S J; Anderson, R C; Asbridge, J R; Baker, D N; Feldman, W C; Fuselier, S A; Gosling, J T; McComas, D J; Thomsen, M F; Young, D T; Zwickl, R D

    1986-04-18

    A strong interaction between the solar wind and comet Giacobini-Zinner was observed oh 11 September 1985 with the Los Alamos plasma electron experiment on the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) spacecraft. As ICE approached an intercept point 7800 kilometers behind the nucleus from the south and receded to the north, upstream phenomena due to the comet were observed. Periods of enhanced electron heat flux from the comet as well as almost continuous electron density fluctuations were measured. These effects are related to the strong electron heating observed in the cometary interaction region and to cometary ion pickup by the solar wind, respectively. No evidence for a conventional bow shock was found as ICE entered and exited the regions of strongest interaction of the solar wind with the cometary environment. The outer extent of this strong interaction zone was a transition region in which the solar wind plasma was heated, compressed, and slowed. Inside the inner boundary of the transition region was a sheath that enclosed a cold intermediate coma. In the transition region and sheath, small-scale enhancements in density were observed. These density spikes may be due to an instability associated with cometary ion pickup or to the passage of ICE through cometary ray structures. In the center of the cold intermediate coma a narrow, high-density core of plasma, presumably the developing plasma tail was found. In some ways this tail can be compared to the plasma sheet in Earth's magnetotail and to the current sheet in the tail at Venus. This type of configuration is expected in the double-lobe magnetic topology detected at the comet, possibly caused by the theoretically expected draping of the interplanetary magnetic field around its ionosphere.

  10. Special Report: Chemistry of Comets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    A'Hearn, Michael F.

    1984-01-01

    Discusses the chemistry of comets. How comets provide clues to the birth of the solar system, photolytic reactions on comets involving water, chemical modeling, nuclear chemistry, and research findings are among the areas considered. (JN)

  11. THE PLASMA ENVIRONMENT IN COMETS OVER A WIDE RANGE OF HELIOCENTRIC DISTANCES: APPLICATION TO COMET C/2006 P1 (MCNAUGHT)

    SciTech Connect

    Shou, Y.; Combi, M.; Gombosi, T.; Toth, G.; Jia, Y.-D.; Rubin, M.

    2015-08-20

    On 2007 January 12, comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) passed its perihelion at 0.17 AU. Abundant remote observations offer plenty of information on the neutral composition and neutral velocities within 1 million kilometers of the comet nucleus. In early February, the Ulysses spacecraft made an in situ measurement of the ion composition, plasma velocity, and magnetic field when passing through the distant ion tail and the ambient solar wind. The measurement by Ulysses was made when the comet was at around 0.8 AU. With the constraints provided by remote and in situ observations, we simulated the plasma environment of Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) using a multi-species comet MHD model over a wide range of heliocentric distances from 0.17 to 1.75 AU. The solar wind interaction of the comet at various locations is characterized and typical subsolar standoff distances of the bow shock and contact surface are presented and compared to analytic solutions. We find the variation in the bow shock standoff distances at different heliocentric distances is smaller than the contact surface. In addition, we modified the multi-species model for the case when the comet was at 0.7 AU and achieved comparable water group ion abundances, proton densities, plasma velocities, and plasma temperatures to the Ulysses/SWICS and SWOOPS observations. We discuss the dominating chemical reactions throughout the comet-solar wind interaction region and demonstrate the link between the ion composition near the comet and in the distant tail as measured by Ulysses.

  12. RhoA activation and actin reorganization involved in endothelial CAM-mediated endocytosis of anti-PECAM carriers: critical role for tyrosine 686 in the cytoplasmic tail of PECAM-1

    PubMed Central

    Garnacho, Carmen; Shuvaev, Vladimir; Thomas, Anu; McKenna, Lindsay; Sun, Jing; Koval, Michael; Albelda, Steven

    2008-01-01

    Platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1), a transmembrane glycoprotein involved in leukocyte transmigration, represents a good target for endothelial drug delivery (eg, using antibody-directed nanocarriers, anti-PECAM/NCs). Although endothelial cells do not internalize PECAM antibodies, PECAM-1 engagement by multivalent anti-PECAM conjugates and nanocarriers causes endocytosis via a nonclassic CAM-mediated pathway. We found that endothelial uptake of multivalent anti-PECAM complexes is associated with PECAM-1 phosphorylation. Using model REN cells expressing a series of PECAM-1 deletion and point mutants, we found that the PECAM-1 cytoplasmic domain and, more precisely, PECAM-1 tyrosine 686, is critical in mediating RhoA activation and recruitment of EGFP-RhoA to anti-PECAM/NC binding sites at the plasmalemma, actin polymerization into phalloidin-positive stress fibers, and finally CAM endocytosis of anti-PECAM/NCs. Endothelial targeting and endocytosis of anti-PECAM/NCs were markedly efficient and did not compromise endothelial barrier function in vitro (determined by immunostaining of VE-cadherin and 125I-albumin transport across endothelial monolayers) or in vivo (determined by electron microscopy imaging of pulmonary capillaries and 125I-albumin transport from the blood into the lung tissue after intravenous injection of anti-PECAM/NCs in mice). These results reveal PECAM-1 signaling and interactions with the cytoskeleton, which are required for CAM-endocytosis, and may provide safe intra-endothelial drug delivery by anti-PECAM/NCs. PMID:18182571

  13. Optical observations of the AMPTE artificial comet from the Northern Hemisphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rees, D.; Halinan, T. J.; Stenbaek-Nielsen, H. C.; Mendillo, M.; Baumgardner, J.

    1986-01-01

    The AMPTE artificial comet of Dec. 27, 1984, developed a well-defined core (maximum size about 160 x 100 km) of cold barium ions, surrounded by a diffuse coma, 500 km in diameter, consisting of ions extracted from the core. A plasma tail extended from the core, mainly directed away from the sun. The plasma tail and diffuse coma consisted of energetic ions (above 200 eV). Confounding predictions, the artificial comet survived for barely five minutes, and the core of the comet moved southward, rather than in the direction of the solar wind.

  14. Changing Speed of Comets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Follows, Mike

    2003-01-01

    It is shown that highly elliptical orbits, such as those of comets, can be explained well in terms of energy rather than forces. The principle of conservation of energy allows a comet's velocity to be calculated at aphelion and perihelion. An example asks students to calculate whether they can run fast enough to escape from a small asteroid.…

  15. The evolution of comet orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Everhart, E.

    1976-01-01

    The origin of comets and the evolution of their orbits are discussed. Factors considered include: the law of survival of comets against ejection on hyperbolic orbits; short-period comets are not created by single close encounters of near-parabolic comets with Jupiter; observable long-period comets do not evolve into observable short-period comets; unobservable long-period comets with perihelia near Jupiter can evolve into observable short-period comets; long-period comets cannot have been formed or created within the planetary region of the solar system (excluding the effects of stellar perturbations); it is possible that some of the short-period comets could have been formed inside the orbit of Neptune; circularly-restricted three-body problem, and its associated Jacobi integral, are not valid approximations to use in studying origin and evolution of comets.

  16. Meteoroid streams and comet disintegration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guliyev, A.

    2016-01-01

    The results of the statistical analysis of the dynamic parameters of 114 comets that have undergone nuclear splitting are presented in the article. The list of the objects contains: comets that have split in the period of the observation; data of twin-comets; lost comets with designation D; comets with large-scale structure in the coma. We will describe these comets as "splitted". Some aspects of the following hypothesis are studied: disintegration of comet nuclei happens as the result of their collision with meteoroid streams. For the verification of this hypothesis, the position of splitted comet orbits relatively to 125 meteor streams from Kronk's list is analyzed. It was found that the total number of comet orbit nodes located close to the meteor stream planes (for the distances up to 0.1 AU) is N = 1041. It is shown that if these comets are replaced by randomly selected different comets, N will be reduced by a factor of approximately three.

  17. Tail Buffeting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdrashitov, G.

    1943-01-01

    An approximate theory of buffeting is here presented, based on the assumption of harmonic disturbing forces. Two cases of buffeting are considered: namely, for a tail angle of attack greater and less than the stalling angle, respectively. On the basis of the tests conducted and the results of foreign investigators, a general analysis is given of the nature of the forced vibrations the possible load limits on the tail, and the methods of elimination of buffeting.

  18. The chemistry of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delsemme, A. H.

    1988-01-01

    Comets appear to represent a population of rather homogeneous objects. In particular, the original size distribution peaks at a mean diameter of the order of 10 km. Cometary dust grains appear to be made of clusters of extremely fine particles (0.1-1.0 micron) sintered by heat at a variable degree during their perihelion passages. The brightness laws of comets appear to be derived only by the sublimation of water ice or at least of gas hydrates of the clathrate type. Pristine nuclei are likely to be radially undifferentiated; only their crustal surface must be outgassed and sintered by the heat of perihelion passages. Comet Halley is confirmed to be in the same general class as the bright comets of the 1970s. With an organic fraction of 33 percent in the cometary dust, the carbon of Comet Halley is close to cosmic abundances.

  19. Mid-infrared spectra of comet nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Michael S. P.; Woodward, Charles E.; Gehrz, Robert D.; Reach, William T.; Harker, David E.

    2017-03-01

    Comet nuclei and D-type asteroids have several similarities at optical and near-IR wavelengths, including near-featureless red reflectance spectra, and low albedos. Mineral identifications based on these characteristics are fraught with degeneracies, although some general trends can be identified. In contrast, spectral emissivity features in the mid-infrared provide important compositional information that might not otherwise be achievable. Jovian Trojan D-type asteroids have emissivity features strikingly similar to comet comae, suggesting that they have the same compositions and that the surfaces of the Trojans are highly porous. However, a direct comparison between a comet and asteroid surface has not been possible due to the paucity of spectra of comet nuclei at mid-infrared wavelengths. We present 5-35 μm thermal emission spectra of comets 10P/Tempel 2, and 49P/Arend-Rigaux observed with the Infrared Spectrograph on the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our analysis reveals no evidence for a coma or tail at the time of observation, suggesting the spectra are dominated by the comet nucleus. We fit each spectrum with the near-Earth asteroid thermal model (NEATM) and find sizes in agreement with previous values. However, the NEATM beaming parameters of the nuclei, 0.74-0.83, are systematically lower than the Jupiter-family comet population mean of 1.03 ± 0.11, derived from 16- and 22-μm photometry. We suggest this may be either an artifact of the spectral reduction, or the consequence of an emissivity low near 16 μm. When the spectra are normalized by the NEATM model, a weak 10-μm silicate plateau is evident, with a shape similar to those seen in mid-infrared spectra of D-type asteroids. A silicate plateau is also evident in previously published Spitzer spectra of the nucleus of comet 9P/Tempel 1. We compare, in detail, these comet nucleus emission features to those seen in spectra of the Jovian Trojan D-types (624) Hektor, (911) Agamemnon, and (1172) Aneas, as well

  20. Solar wind interaction with Comet Bennett /1969i/.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burlaga, L. F.; Donn, B.; Neugebauer, M.; Rahe, J.

    1973-01-01

    Examination of the relations between the solar-wind and Comet Bennett during the period from Mar. 23 to Apr. 5, 1970. A large kink was observed in the ion tail of the comet on April 4, but no solar-wind stream was observed in the ecliptic plane which could have caused the kink. Thus, either there was no correlation between the solar wind at the earth and that at Comet Bennett (which was 40 deg above the ecliptic) or the kink was caused by something other than a high-speed stream. The fine structure visible in photographs of the kink favors the second of these alternatives. It is shown that a shock probably passed through Comet Bennett on March 31, but no effect was seen in photographs of the comet. A stream preceded by another shock and a large abrupt change in momentum flux might have intercepted the comet between March 24 and March 28, but again no effect was seen in photographs of the Comet.

  1. Actin Mechanics and Fragmentation*

    PubMed Central

    De La Cruz, Enrique M.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2015-01-01

    Cell physiological processes require the regulation and coordination of both mechanical and dynamical properties of the actin cytoskeleton. Here we review recent advances in understanding the mechanical properties and stability of actin filaments and how these properties are manifested at larger (network) length scales. We discuss how forces can influence local biochemical interactions, resulting in the formation of mechanically sensitive dynamic steady states. Understanding the regulation of such force-activated chemistries and dynamic steady states reflects an important challenge for future work that will provide valuable insights as to how the actin cytoskeleton engenders mechanoresponsiveness of living cells. PMID:25957404

  2. Actin Polymerization is Stimulated by Actin Crosslinking Protein Palladin

    PubMed Central

    Gurung, Ritu; Yadav, Rahul; Brungardt, Joseph G.; Orlova, Albina; Egelman, Edward H.; Beck, Moriah R.

    2016-01-01

    The actin scaffold protein palladin regulates both normal cell migration and invasive cell motility, processes that require the coordinated regulation of actin dynamics. However, the potential effect of palladin on actin dynamics has remained elusive. Here we show that the actin binding immunoglobulin-like domain of palladin, which is directly responsible for both actin binding and bundling, also stimulates actin polymerization in vitro. Palladin eliminated the lag phase that is characteristic of the slow nucleation step of actin polymerization. Furthermore, palladin dramatically reduced depolymerization, slightly enhanced the elongation rate, and did not alter the critical concentration. Microscopy and in vitro crosslinking assays reveal differences in actin bundle architecture when palladin is incubated with actin before or after polymerization. These results suggest a model whereby palladin stimulates a polymerization-competent form of G-actin, akin to metal ions, either through charge neutralization or conformational changes. PMID:26607837

  3. Comet assays to assess DNA damage and repair in grass shrimp embryos exposed to phototoxicants.

    PubMed

    Lee, R; Kim, G B

    2002-01-01

    Exposure of grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio) embryos to four compounds (anthracene, pyrene, alpha-terthienyl, methylene blue) along with solar exposure resulted in extensive DNA strand damage using the comet assay. DNA tail moments of embryos exposed to these chemicals in the dark ranged from 1.8 to 4.3, while exposure to chemicals and solar resulted in tail moments of 14.3-15.3. Reduction of DNA tail moments when solar exposed embryos were transferred to the dark, suggested DNA repair systems were active. The comet assay can be used to follow both DNA damage and repair following exposure to phototoxic chemicals.

  4. Realm of the comets

    SciTech Connect

    Weissman, P.R.

    1987-03-01

    Studies of Jovian perturbations of the orbits of long-period comets led to the concept of the Oort cloud of 180 billion comets at 50,000-150,000 AU from the sun. Several comets are induced to move toward the sun every million years by the passage of a star at a distance of a few light years. The location of the cloud has since been revised to 20,000-100,000 AU, and comets are now accepted as remnant material fron the proto-solar system epoch. The galactic disk and random, close-passing stars may also cause rare, large perturbations in the orbits of the cloud comets, sending large numbers of comets through the inner solar system. The resulting cometary storm is a candidate cause for the wholesale extinction of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous-Terniary transition due to large number of planetesimals, or one large comet, striking the earth, in a short period of time. The IRAS instruments have detected similar clouds of material around other stars.

  5. Realm of the comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.

    1987-01-01

    Studies of Jovian perturbations of the orbits of long-period comets led to the concept of the Oort cloud of 180 billion comets at 50,000-150,000 AU from the sun. Several comets are induced to move toward the sun every million years by the passage of a star at a distance of a few light years. The location of the cloud has since been revised to 20,000-100,000 AU, and comets are now accepted as remnant material fron the proto-solar system epoch. The galactic disk and random, close-passing stars may also cause rare, large perturbations in the orbits of the cloud comets, sending large numbers of comets through the inner solar system. The resulting cometary storm is a candidate cause for the wholesale extinction of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous-Terniary transition due to large number of planetesimals, or one large comet, striking the earth, in a short period of time. The IRAS instruments have detected similar clouds of material around other stars.

  6. Actin Polymerization: An Event Regulated by Tyrosine Phosphorylation During Buffalo Sperm Capacitation.

    PubMed

    Naresh, S; Atreja, S K

    2015-12-01

    In the female reproductive tract, the spermatozoa undergo a series of physiological and biochemical changes, prior to gaining the ability to fertilize, that result to capacitation. However, the actin polymerization and protein tyrosine phosphorylation are the two necessary steps for capacitation. In this study, we have demonstrated the actin polymerization and established the correlation between protein tyrosine phosphorylation and actin reorganization during in vitro capacitation in buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) spermatozoa. Indirect immunofluorescence and Western blot techniques were used to detect actin polymerization and tyrosine phosphorylation. The time-dependent fluorimetric studies revealed that the actin polymerization starts from the tail region and progressed towards the head region of spermatozoa during capacitation. The lysophosphatidyl choline (LPC)-induced acrosome reaction (AR) stimulated quick actin depolymerization. The inhibitor cytochalasin D (CD) blocked the in vitro capacitation by inhibiting the actin polymerization. In addition, we also performed different inhibitor (Genistein, H-89, PD9809 and GF-109) and enhancer (dbcAMP, H(2)O(2) and vanadate) studies on actin tyrosine phosphorylation and actin polymerization. The inhibitors of tyrosine phosphorylation inhibit actin tyrosine phosphorylation and polymerization, whereas enhancers of tyrosine phosphorylation stimulate F-actin formation and tyrosine phosphorylation. These observations suggest that the tyrosine phosphorylation regulates the actin polymerization, and both are coupled processes during capacitation of buffalo spermatozoa.

  7. Axonal actin in action: Imaging actin dynamics in neurons.

    PubMed

    Ladt, Kelsey; Ganguly, Archan; Roy, Subhojit

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a highly conserved, key cytoskeletal protein involved in numerous structural and functional roles. In neurons, actin has been intensively investigated in axon terminals-growth cones-and dendritic spines, but details about actin structure and dynamics in axon shafts have remained obscure for decades. A major barrier in the field has been imaging actin. Actin exists as soluble monomers (G-actin) as well as actin filaments (F-actin), and labeling actin with conventional fluorescent probes like GFP/RFP typically leads to a diffuse haze that makes it difficult to discern kinetic behaviors. In a recent publication, we used F-actin selective probes to visualize actin dynamics in axons, resolving striking actin behaviors that have not been described before. However, using these probes to visualize actin dynamics is challenging as they can cause bundling of actin filaments; thus, experimental parameters need to be strictly optimized. Here we describe some practical methodological details related to using these probes for visualizing F-actin dynamics in axons.

  8. A Comet's Missing Light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    On 28 November 2013, comet C/2012 S1 better known as comet ISON should have passed within two solar radii of the Suns surface as it reached perihelion in its orbit. But instead of shining in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths as it grazed the solar surface, the comet was never detected by EUV instruments. What happened to comet ISON?Missing EmissionWhen a sungrazing comet passes through the solar corona, it leaves behind a trail of molecules evaporated from its surface. Some of these molecules emit EUV light, which can be detected by instruments on telescopes like the space-based Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).Comet ISON, a comet that arrived from deep space and was predicted to graze the Suns corona in November 2013, was expected to cause EUV emission during its close passage. But analysis of the data from multiple telescopes that tracked ISON in EUV including SDO reveals no sign of it at perihelion.In a recent study, Paul Bryans and DeanPesnell, scientists from NCARs High Altitude Observatory and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, try to determine why ISON didnt display this expected emission.Comparing ISON and LovejoyIn December 2011, another comet dipped into the Suns corona: comet Lovejoy. This image, showingthe orbit Lovejoy took around the Sun, is a composite of SDO images of the pre- and post-perihelion phases of the orbit. Click for a closer look! The dashed part of the curve represents where Lovejoy passed out of view behind the Sun. [Bryans Pesnell 2016]This is not the first time weve watched a sungrazing comet with EUV-detecting telescopes: Comet Lovejoy passed similarly close to the Sun in December 2011. But when Lovejoy grazed the solar corona, it emitted brightly in EUV. So why didnt ISON? Bryans and Pesnell argue that there are two possibilities:the coronal conditions experienced by the two comets were not similar, orthe two comets themselves were not similar.To establish which factor is the most relevant, the authors first demonstrate that both

  9. Reversal of cell polarity and actin-myosin cytoskeleton reorganization under mechanical and chemical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Dalous, Jérémie; Burghardt, Emmanuel; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette; Bruckert, Franz; Gerisch, Günther; Bretschneider, Till

    2008-02-01

    To study reorganization of the actin system in cells that invert their polarity, we stimulated Dictyostelium cells by mechanical forces from alternating directions. The cells oriented in a fluid flow by establishing a protruding front directed against the flow and a retracting tail. Labels for polymerized actin and filamentous myosin-II marked front and tail. At 2.1 Pa, actin first disassembled at the previous front before it began to polymerize at the newly induced front. In contrast, myosin-II slowly disappeared from the previous tail and continuously redistributed to the new tail. Front specification was myosin-II independent and accumulation of polymerized actin was even more focused in mutants lacking myosin-II heavy chains. We conclude that under mechanical stimulation, the inversion of cell polarity is initiated by a global internal signal that turns down actin polymerization in the entire cell. It is thought to be elicited at the most strongly stimulated site of the cell, the incipient front region, and to be counterbalanced by a slowly generated, short-range signal that locally activates actin polymerization at the front. Similar pattern of front and tail interconversion were observed in cells reorienting in strong gradients of the chemoattractant cyclic AMP.

  10. Using the EUV to Weigh a Sun-Grazing Comet as it Disappears in the Solar Corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pesnell, William Dean; Schrijiver, Carolus J.; Brown, John C.; Battams, Karl; Saint-Hilaire, Pascal; Hudson Hugh S.; Lui, Wei

    2012-01-01

    On July 6,2011, the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AlA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed a comet in most of its EUY passbands. The comet disappeared while moving through the solar corona. The comet penetrated to 0.146 solar radii ($\\simapprox.100,000 km) above the photosphere before its EUY faded. Before then, the comet's coma and a tail were observed in absorption and emission, respectively. The material in the variable tail quickly fell behind the nucleus. An estimate of the comet's mass based on this effect, one derived from insolation, and one using the tail's EUY brightness, all yield $\\sim 50$ giga-grams some 10 minutes prior to the end of its visibility. These unique first observations herald a new era in the study of Sun-grazing comets close to their perihelia and of the conditions in the solar corona and solar wind. We will discuss the observations and interpretation of the comet by SDO as well as the coronagraph observations from SOHO and STEREO. A search of the SOHO comet archive for other comets that could be observed in the SDO; AlA EUY channels will be described

  11. Distant Comets Photometry and Dust Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pittichova, Jana; Meech, K. J.; Bar-Nun, A.; Notesco, G.

    2008-09-01

    Several comets have been observed to develop coma on their in-bound leg at heliocentric distances from 5.84 to 11.49 AU. We will present the observational evidence for their activity and propose an explanation based on experiments carried out on amorphous, gas-laden ice samples that are 0.1 to 100 microns thick and formed by flowing water vapor and CO onto a cold surface. The considerable gas emission occurs when the amorphous ice anneals before 135K, where it transforms into a crystalline structure. This activity was found experimentally to be associated with gas release during annealing of the gas-laden amorphous ice. We observed and measured optical CCD photometry for two short-period and five long-period, dynamically new comets, that have enter the inner solar system directly from the Oort cloud for the first time. All of these comets have been observed pre-perihelion. Observations were done with the University of Hawaii 2.2-m telescope on Mauna Kea with the Tektronix 2x2K CCD camera through the Kron-Cousins B, V, R, I filter system. In order to observationally distinguish the physical causes of activity, not only is it important to observe comets at large heliocentric distances, but also those that are dynamically new and on the in-bound leg of their orbits at distances beyond where the amorphous to crystalline ice phase transition can occur. This research includes observations of the level of nucleus activity as a function of distance. We also would like to present Finson-Probstein (FP) dust modeling investigation on select comets. From the FP dust modeling of a cometary tail we can determine three basic parameters: the dust production rate, the particle distribution, and the emission velocity of the grains.

  12. Morphology of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in its 1969--1970 apparition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churyumov, K.; Mozgova, A.; Kleshchonok, V.

    2014-07-01

    The short-period comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko or 67P was discovered by the Kyiv astronomers Klim Churyumov and Svitlana Gerasimenko on October 22, 1969, on the basis of five photographic plates exposed with the help of the 50-cm Maksutov reflector of the Alma-Ata Astrophysical Institute on 9, 11, and 21 Sept. 1969. The first 5 precise positions of the comet were sent to Dr. Brian Marsden, who showed it was a new comet. The comet had an apparent magnitude of 13 and a faint tail about 1 arcmin in length at the position angle 280°. Over the entire period of our observations from Sept. 9, 1969 to March 1, 1970, the comet had a narrow, straight tail, probably of type I. Its length ranged from 1' to 11'. On November 16, the comet had a fan-like tail. Some characteristics related to the structure of the comet are determined and discussed: d, the diameter of the coma; P, the position angle of the tail; and, s, the length of the tail. The tail axis deviated from the prolonged radius vector by up to the average angle ˜ 6°, during Nov. 17 -- Dec. 11, 1969, and by up to the average angle ˜ 21° during Dec. 16, 1969 -- March 1, 1970. This fact tells probably about the decrease of the speed of the solar wind and the decrease of the interaction between the solar wind and the plasma tail of the comet. Rosetta, a European space vehicle was launched on March 2, 2004 from Kourou to visit the icy nucleus of the short-period comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko . On Jan. 20, 2014, after 10 years of flight and 31-month sleep, Rosetta was woken up successfully and will now approach the icy nucleus of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and pass into orbit around the cometary nucleus. In Nov. 2014, the Philae probe will be sent from Rosetta to the nucleus of comet 67P to study relict matter from the era of Solar System formation.

  13. Space missions to comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neugebauer, M. (Editor); Yeomans, D. K. (Editor); Brandt, J. C. (Editor); Hobbs, R. W. (Editor)

    1979-01-01

    The broad impact of a cometary mission is assessed with particular emphasis on scientific interest in a fly-by mission to Halley's comet and a rendezvous with Tempel 2. Scientific results, speculations, and future plans are discussed.

  14. Comets: Search and Discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanklin, J.; Murdin, P.

    2003-04-01

    Comet discovery in the traditional sense by an amateur astronomer may be a thing of the past. The development of increasing numbers of professional all-sky survey programs, many specifically designed to spot moving or changing objects, means that the future prospects for visual discovery of a comet by an amateur astronomer are bleak. In the near future the professional programs are likely to cover...

  15. Comet composition and Lab

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Biver, Nicolas

    2016-10-01

    Comet composition and properties provide information on chemical and physical processes that occurred in the early Solar system, 4.6 Gyr ago. The study of comets and of star-forming regions both help for a better understanding of the formation of planetary systems. A review of our present knowledge of cometary composition is presented. We also discuss laboratory studies that would be helpful for data analysis.

  16. Carbon in comet dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brownlee, D. E.

    1990-01-01

    The association of Halley particle results with data from existing meteoritic materials that can be analyzed in the laboratory is discussed. Comet samples must exist in present collections of meteoritic materials and the Halley results provide clues for identifying them. Although it is not presently possible to positively identify cometary meteorites or cometary interplanetary dust (IDP) samples, it is possible to determine which materials are similar to Halley dust and which ones are distinctly unlike Halley. The properties of these existing Halley-compatible samples provide insight into the possible properties of cometary material. Positive identification of meteoritic comet samples or direct samples returned from a comet nucleus would of course revolutionize our ability to study carbonaceous matter in comets. Modern analytical techniques are very powerful and it is possible to perform elemental, chemical, mineralogical and even limited isotopic analysis on micron-size particles. There is an important synergism between the laboratory studies of collected samples and astronomical data from comets and interstellar grains. To fully interpret results there must be convincing methods for associating a particular class or classes of meteoritic material with comets. Ultimately this will be done by direct comet sample return such as the Rosetta mission under development by ESA. At the present time the only links that can be made involve comparison with sample properties and measurable properties of comets. Unfortunately there is at present no known unique property of cometary dust that allows its absolute identification in the laboratory. The results from Halley encounters and observation do provide much new information on cometary grains. The Halley grain compositions, density, size distribution and scattering properties all provide a basis for future investigations. Other Halley properties such as the presence of polyoxymethylene and the 3.4um emission feature could

  17. Tycho Brahe, Abū Macshar, and the comet beyond Venus (ninth century A.D.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuhäuser, Ralph; Kunitzsch, Paul; Mugrauer, Markus; Luge, Daniela; van Gent, Rob

    2016-05-01

    From his observations of the A.D. 1572 super-nova and the A.D. 1577 comet, Tycho Brahe concluded that such transient celestial objects are outside the Earth's atmosphere, and he quoted the 9th century A.D. Persian astrologer and astronomer Abu Mashar: Dixit Albumasar, Cometa supra Venerem visus fuit, i.e. that he had reported much earlier that comets were seen beyond Venus. However, even from a more detailed Latin translation, the observations and logic behind Abu Mashar's conclusion were not understandable. We present here the original Arabic text (MS Ankara, Saib 199) together with our translation and interpretation: Abu Mashar reported that he had observed Venus in (or projected onto) the tail of a comet and concluded that the comet was behind Venus, because he had observed the extinction of Venus due to the cometary tail to be negligible (light of Venus was unimpaired). He then concluded that the comet would be located behind Venus. He also mentioned that others had observed Jupiter and Saturn in cometary tails, so that those comets would even be located beyond those two outer planets - in the sphere of the stars. The dates of the observed close conjunctions were not mentioned; using known orbital elements for a few comets, we found a few close conjunctions between comets and planets from A.D. 770 to 868, but we cannot be sure regarding which conjunctions were reported. While the argument of Abu Mashar is not correct (as cometary tails are optically thin), parts of the conclusion - namely that comets are outside the Earth atmosphere and beyond the moon - is correct. This may have helped Tycho Brahe to come to his revolutionary conclusion.

  18. Comet Stepping Stones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows three of the many fragments making up Comet 73P /Schwassman-Wachmann 3. The infrared picture also provides the best look yet at the crumbling comet's trail of debris, seen here as a bridge connecting the larger fragments.

    The comet circles around our sun every 5.4 years. In 1995, it splintered apart into four pieces, labeled A through D, with C being the biggest. Since then, the comet has continued to fracture into dozens of additional pieces. This image is centered about midway between fragments C and B; fragment G can be seen in the upper right corner.

    The comet's trail is made of dust, pebbles and rocks left in the comet's wake during its numerous journeys around the sun. Such debris can become the stuff of spectacular meteor showers on Earth.

    This image was taken on April 1, 2006, by Spitzer's multi-band imaging photometer using the 24-micron wavelength channel.

  19. The end states of long-period comets and the origin of Halley-type comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Gallardo, Tabaré; Young, Juan D.

    2016-09-01

    We analyse a sample of 73 old long-period comets (LPCs) (orbital periods 200 < P < 1000 yr) with perihelion distances q < 2.5 au, discovered in the period 1850-2014. We cloned the observed comets and also added fictitious LPCs with perihelia in the Jupiter's zone. We consider both a purely dynamical evolution and a physico-dynamical one with different physical lifetimes. We can fit the computed energy distribution of comets with q < 1.3 au to the observed one only within the energy range 0.01 < x < 0.04 au-1 (or periods 125 < P < 1000 yr), where the `energy' is taken as the inverse of the semimajor axis a, namely x ≡ 1/a. The best results are obtained for physical lifetimes of about 200-300 revolutions (for a comet with a standard q = 1 au). We find that neither a purely dynamical evolution, nor a physico-dynamical one can reproduce the long tail of larger binding energies (x ≳ 0.04 au-1) that correspond to most Halley-type comets (HTCs) and Jupiter-family comets. We conclude that most HTCs are not the end states of the evolution of LPCs, but come from a different source, a flattened one that we identify with the Centaurs that are scattered to the inner planetary region from the trans-Neptunian belt. These results also show that the boundary between LPCs and HTCs should be located at an energy x ˜ 0.04 au-1 (P ˜ 125 yr), rather than the conventional classical boundary at P = 200 yr.

  20. Polycation induced actin bundles.

    PubMed

    Muhlrad, Andras; Grintsevich, Elena E; Reisler, Emil

    2011-04-01

    Three polycations, polylysine, the polyamine spermine and the polycationic protein lysozyme were used to study the formation, structure, ionic strength sensitivity and dissociation of polycation-induced actin bundles. Bundles form fast, simultaneously with the polymerization of MgATP-G-actins, upon the addition of polycations to solutions of actins at low ionic strength conditions. This indicates that nuclei and/or nascent filaments bundle due to attractive, electrostatic effect of polycations and the neutralization of repulsive interactions of negative charges on actin. The attractive forces between the filaments are strong, as shown by the low (in nanomolar range) critical concentration of their bundling at low ionic strength. These bundles are sensitive to ionic strength and disassemble partially in 100 mM NaCl, but both the dissociation and ionic strength sensitivity can be countered by higher polycation concentrations. Cys374 residues of actin monomers residing on neighboring filaments in the bundles can be cross-linked by the short span (5.4Å) MTS-1 (1,1-methanedyl bismethanethiosulfonate) cross-linker, which indicates a tight packing of filaments in the bundles. The interfilament cross-links, which connect monomers located on oppositely oriented filaments, prevent disassembly of bundles at high ionic strength. Cofilin and the polysaccharide polyanion heparin disassemble lysozyme induced actin bundles more effectively than the polylysine-induced bundles. The actin-lysozyme bundles are pathologically significant as both proteins are found in the pulmonary airways of cystic fibrosis patients. Their bundles contribute to the formation of viscous mucus, which is the main cause of breathing difficulties and eventual death in this disorder.

  1. Comets: Data, problems, and objectives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whipple, F. L.

    1977-01-01

    A highly abridged review of new relevant results from the observations of Comet Kohoutek is followed by an outline summary of our basic knowledge concerning comets, both subjects being confined to data related to the nature and origin of comets rather than the phenomena (for example, plasma phenomena are omitted). The discussion then centers on two likely places of cometary origin in the developing solar system, the proto-Uranus-Neptune region versus the much more distant fragmented interstellar cloud region, now frequented by comets of the Opik-Oort cloud. The Comet Kohoutek results add new insights, particularly with regard to the parent molecules and the nature of meteoric solids in comets, to restrict the range of the physical circumstances of comet formation. A few fundamental and outstanding questions are asked, and a plea made for unmanned missions to comets and asteroids in order to provide definitive answers as to the nature and origin of comets, asteroids, and the solar system generally.

  2. Characterization and regulation of an additional actin-filament-binding site in large isoforms of the stereocilia actin-bundling protein espin.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Lili; Beeler, Dina M; Bartles, James R

    2014-03-15

    The espin actin-bundling proteins, which are produced as isoforms of different sizes from a single gene, are required for the growth of hair cell stereocilia. We have characterized an additional actin-filament-binding site present in the extended amino-termini of large espin isoforms. Constitutively active in espin 2, the site increased the size of actin bundles formed in vitro and inhibited actin fluorescence recovery in microvilli. In espin 1, which has an N-terminal ankyrin repeat domain, the site was autoinhibited by binding between the ankyrin repeat domain and a peptide near the actin-binding site. Deletion of this peptide from espin 1 activated its actin-binding site. The peptide resembled tail homology domain I of myosin III, a ligand of the ankyrin repeat domain localized with espin 1 at the tip of stereocilia. A myosin III tail homology domain I peptide, but not scrambled control peptides, inhibited internal binding of the ankyrin repeat domain and released the espin 1 actin-binding site from autoinhibition. Thus, this regulation could result in local activation of the additional actin-binding site of espin 1 by myosin III in stereocilia.

  3. The comet assay, DNA damage, DNA repair and cytotoxicity: hedgehogs are not always dead.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo, Yolanda; Costa, Solange; Collins, Andrew R; Azqueta, Amaya

    2013-07-01

    DNA damage is commonly measured at the level of individual cells using the so-called comet assay (single-cell gel electrophoresis). As the frequency of DNA breaks increases, so does the fraction of the DNA extending towards the anode, forming the comet tail. Comets with almost all DNA in the tail are often referred to as 'hedgehog' comets and are widely assumed to represent apoptotic cells. We review the literature and present theoretical and empirical arguments against this interpretation. The level of DNA damage in these comets is far less than the massive fragmentation that occurs in apoptosis. 'Hedgehog' comets are formed after moderate exposure of cells to, for example, H2O2, but if the cells are incubated for a short period, 'hedgehogs' are no longer seen. We confirm that this is not because DNA has degraded further and been lost from the gel, but because the DNA is repaired. The comet assay may detect the earliest stages of apoptosis, but as it proceeds, comets disappear in a smear of unattached DNA. It is clear that 'hedgehogs' can correspond to one level on a continuum of genotoxic damage, are not diagnostic of apoptosis and should not be regarded as an indicator of cytotoxicity.

  4. Comets and the Stardust Mission

    ScienceCinema

    LLNL - University of California Television

    2016-07-12

    The occasional appearance of comets has awed humans throughout history. But how much do we really know about comets? Did a comet kill the dinosaurs? And, what can comets tell us about our own ancient history? With comet dust from NASA's Stardust mission, scientists like Hope Ishii, a Research Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, are beginning to answer these questions. She and high school teacher Tom Shefler look at how comets formed, their role in the Earth's history and the clues about what happened over 4 billion years ago. Series: Science on Saturday [5/2008] [Science] [Show ID: 14492

  5. Comets and the Stardust Mission

    SciTech Connect

    LLNL - University of California Television

    2008-05-16

    The occasional appearance of comets has awed humans throughout history. But how much do we really know about comets? Did a comet kill the dinosaurs? And, what can comets tell us about our own ancient history? With comet dust from NASA's Stardust mission, scientists like Hope Ishii, a Research Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, are beginning to answer these questions. She and high school teacher Tom Shefler look at how comets formed, their role in the Earth's history and the clues about what happened over 4 billion years ago. Series: Science on Saturday [5/2008] [Science] [Show ID: 14492

  6. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2011-03-01

    We present 25 accounts of comets from 40 Australian Aboriginal communities, citing both supernatural perceptions of comets and historical accounts of historically bright comets. Historical and ethnographic descriptions include the Great Comets of 1843, 1861, 1901, 1910, and 1927. We describe the perceptions of comets in Aboriginal societies and show that they are typically associated with fear, death, omens, malevolent spirits, and evil magic, consistent with many cultures around the world. We also provide a list of words for comets in 16 different Aboriginal languages.

  7. Gelsolin, a protein that caps the barbed ends and severs actin filaments, enhances the actin-based motility of Listeria monocytogenes in host cells.

    PubMed

    Laine, R O; Phaneuf, K L; Cunningham, C C; Kwiatkowski, D; Azuma, T; Southwick, F S

    1998-08-01

    The actin-based motility of Listeria monocytogenes requires the addition of actin monomers to the barbed or plus ends of actin filaments. Immunofluorescence micrographs have demonstrated that gelsolin, a protein that both caps barbed ends and severs actin filaments, is concentrated directly behind motile bacteria at the junction between the actin filament rocket tail and the bacterium. In contrast, CapG, a protein that strictly caps actin filaments, fails to localize near intracellular Listeria. To explore the effect of increasing concentrations of gelsolin on bacterial motility, NIH 3T3 fibroblasts stably transfected with gelsolin cDNA were infected with Listeria. The C5 cell line containing 2.25 times control levels of gelsolin supported significantly higher velocities of bacterial movement than did control fibroblasts (mean +/- standard error of the mean, 0.09 +/- 0.003 micro(m)/s [n = 176] versus 0.05 +/- 0.003 micro(m)/s [n = 65]). The rate of disassembly of the Listeria-induced actin filament rocket tail was found to be independent of gelsolin content. Therefore, if increases in gelsolin content result in increases in Listeria-induced rocket tail assembly rates, a positive correlation between gelsolin content and tail length would be expected. BODIPY-phalloidin staining of four different stably transfected NIH 3T3 fibroblast cell lines confirmed this expectation (r = 0.92). Rocket tails were significantly longer in cells with a high gelsolin content. Microinjection of gelsolin 1/2 (consisting of the amino-terminal half of native gelsolin) also increased bacterial velocity by more than 2.2 times. Microinjection of CapG had no effect on bacterial movement. Cultured skin fibroblasts derived from gelsolin-null mice were capable of supporting intracellular Listeria motility at velocities comparable to those supported by wild-type skin fibroblasts. These experiments demonstrated that the surface of Listeria contains a polymerization zone that can block the barbed

  8. Regulation of Sperm Capacitation and the Acrosome Reaction by PIP 2 and Actin Modulation.

    PubMed

    Breitbart, Haim; Finkelstein, Maya

    2015-01-01

    Actin polymerization and development of hyperactivated (HA) motility are two processes that take place during sperm capacitation. Actin polymerization occurs during capacitation and prior to the acrosome reaction, fast F-actin breakdown takes place. The increase in F-actin during capacitation depends upon inactivation of the actin severing protein, gelsolin, by its binding to phosphatydilinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate (PIP 2 ) and its phosphorylation on tyrosine-438 by Src. Activation of gelsolin following its release from PIP 2 is known to cause F-actin breakdown and inhibition of sperm motility, which can be restored by adding PIP 2 to the cells. Reduction of PIP 2 synthesis inhibits actin polymerization and motility, while increasing PIP 2 synthesis enhances these activities. Furthermore, sperm demonstrating low motility contained low levels of PIP 2 and F-actin. During capacitation there was an increase in PIP 2 and F-actin levels in the sperm head and a decrease in the tail. In spermatozoa with high motility, gelsolin was mainly localized to the sperm head before capacitation, whereas in low motility sperm, most of the gelsolin was localized to the tail before capacitation and translocated to the head during capacitation. We also showed that phosphorylation of gelsolin on tyrosine-438 depends upon its binding to PIP 2 . Stimulation of phospholipase C, by Ca 2 + -ionophore or by activating the epidermal-growth-factor-receptor, inhibits tyrosine phosphorylation of gelsolin and enhances enzyme activity. In conclusion, these data indicate that the increase of PIP 2 and/or F-actin in the head during capacitation enhances gelsolin translocation to the head. As a result, the decrease of gelsolin in the tail allows the maintenance of high levels of F-actin in this structure, which is essential for the development of HA motility.

  9. Regulation of sperm capacitation and the acrosome reaction by PIP2 and actin modulation

    PubMed Central

    Breitbart, Haim; Finkelstein, Maya

    2015-01-01

    Actin polymerization and development of hyperactivated (HA) motility are two processes that take place during sperm capacitation. Actin polymerization occurs during capacitation and prior to the acrosome reaction, fast F-actin breakdown takes place. The increase in F-actin during capacitation depends upon inactivation of the actin severing protein, gelsolin, by its binding to phosphatydilinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate (PIP2) and its phosphorylation on tyrosine-438 by Src. Activation of gelsolin following its release from PIP2 is known to cause F-actin breakdown and inhibition of sperm motility, which can be restored by adding PIP2 to the cells. Reduction of PIP2 synthesis inhibits actin polymerization and motility, while increasing PIP2 synthesis enhances these activities. Furthermore, sperm demonstrating low motility contained low levels of PIP2 and F-actin. During capacitation there was an increase in PIP2 and F-actin levels in the sperm head and a decrease in the tail. In spermatozoa with high motility, gelsolin was mainly localized to the sperm head before capacitation, whereas in low motility sperm, most of the gelsolin was localized to the tail before capacitation and translocated to the head during capacitation. We also showed that phosphorylation of gelsolin on tyrosine-438 depends upon its binding to PIP2. Stimulation of phospholipase C, by Ca2+-ionophore or by activating the epidermal-growth-factor-receptor, inhibits tyrosine phosphorylation of gelsolin and enhances enzyme activity. In conclusion, these data indicate that the increase of PIP2 and/or F-actin in the head during capacitation enhances gelsolin translocation to the head. As a result, the decrease of gelsolin in the tail allows the maintenance of high levels of F-actin in this structure, which is essential for the development of HA motility. PMID:25966627

  10. Selective localization of myosin-I proteins in macropinosomes and actin waves.

    PubMed

    Brzeska, Hanna; Koech, Hilary; Pridham, Kevin J; Korn, Edward D; Titus, Margaret A

    2016-02-01

    Class I myosins are widely expressed with roles in endocytosis and cell migration in a variety of cell types. Dictyostelium express multiple myosin Is, including three short-tailed (Myo1A, Myo1E, Myo1F) and three long-tailed (Myo1B, Myo1C, Myo1D). Here we report the molecular basis of the specific localizations of short-tailed Myo1A, Myo1E, and Myo1F compared to our previously determined localization of long-tailed Myo1B. Myo1A and Myo1B have common and unique localizations consistent with the various features of their tail region; specifically the BH sites in their tails are required for their association with the plasma membrane and heads are sufficient for relocalization to the front of polarized cells. Myo1A does not localize to actin waves and macropinocytic protrusions, in agreement with the absence of a tail region which is required for these localizations of Myo1B. However, in spite of the overall similarity of their domain structures, the cellular distributions of Myo1E and Myo1F are quite different from Myo1A. Myo1E and Myo1F, but not Myo1A, are associated with macropinocytic cups and actin waves. The localizations of Myo1E and Myo1F in macropinocytic structures and actin waves differ from the localization of Myo1B. Myo1B colocalizes with F-actin in the actin waves and at the tips of mature macropinocytic cups whereas Myo1E and Myo1F are in the interior of actin waves and along the entire surface of macropinocytic cups. Our results point to different mechanisms of targeting of short- and long-tailed myosin Is, and are consistent with these myosins having both shared and divergent cellular functions.

  11. Contractile basis of ameboid movement. VII. The distribution of fluorescently labeled actin in living amebas

    PubMed Central

    1980-01-01

    The technique of molecular cytochemistry has been used to follow the distribution of fluorescently labeled actin in living Chaos carolinensis and Amoeba proteus during ameboid movement and various cellular processes. The distribution of 5-iodoacetamidofluorescein- labeled actin was compared with that of Lissamine rhodamine B sulfonyl chloride-labeled ovalbumin microinjected into the same cell and recorded with an image intensification microscope system. Actively motile cells demonstrated a rather uniform distribution of actin throughout most of the cytoplasm, except in the tail ectoplasm and in plasma gel sheets, where distinct actin structures were observed. In addition, actin-containing structures were induced in the cortex during wound healing, concanavalin A capping, pinocytosis, and contractions elicited by phalloidin injections. The formation of distinct fluorescent actin structures has been correlated with contractile activities. PMID:6893200

  12. The comet assay in human biomonitoring.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Diana; Dhawan, Alok; Laubenthal, Julian

    2013-01-01

    Human biomonitoring studies aim to identify potential exposures to environmental, occupational, or lifestyle toxicants in human populations and are commonly used by public health decision makers to predict disease risk. The Comet assay measures changes in genomic stability and is one of the most reliable biomarkers to indicate early biological effects, and therefore accepted by various governmental regulatory agencies. The appeal of the Comet assay lies in its relative simplicity, rapidity, sensitivity, and economic efficiency. Furthermore, the assay is known for its broad versatility, as it can be applied to virtually any human cell and easily adapted in order to detect particular biomarkers of interest, such as DNA repair capacity or single- and double-strand breaks. In a standard experiment, isolated single cells are first embedded in agarose, and then lysed in high-salt solutions in order to remove all cellular contents except the DNA attached to a nuclear scaffold. Subsequent electrophoresis results in accumulation of undamaged DNA sequences at the proximity of the nuclear scaffold, while damaged sequences migrate towards the anode. When visualized with fluorochromes, these migrated DNA fragments resemble a comet tail and can be quantified for their intensity and shape according to internationally drafted guidelines.

  13. Hubble View of Comet ISON

    NASA Video Gallery

    This time-lapse sequence of images from the Hubble Space Telescope shows comet ISON as it appeared on May 8, 2013. At the time the images were taken, the comet was 403 million miles from the Earth,...

  14. Neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein is implicated in the actin-based motility of Shigella flexneri.

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, T; Miki, H; Takenawa, T; Sasakawa, C

    1998-01-01

    Shigella, the causative agent of bacillary dysentery, is capable of directing its own movement in the cytoplasm of infected epithelial cells. The bacterial surface protein VirG recruits host components mediating actin polymerization, which is thought to serve as the propulsive force. Here, we show that neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP), which is a critical target for filopodium formation downstream of Cdc42, is required for assembly of the actin tail generated by intracellular S.flexneri. N-WASP accumulates at the front of the actin tail and is capable of interacting with VirG in vitro and in vivo, a phenomenon that is not observed in intracellular Listeria monocytogenes. The verprolin-homology region in N-WASP was required for binding to the glycine-rich repeats domain of VirG, an essential domain for recruitment of F-actin on intracellular S.flexneri. Overexpression of a dominant-negative N-WASP mutant greatly inhibited formation of the actin tail by intracellular S.flexneri. Furthermore, depletion of N-WASP from Xenopus egg extracts shut off Shigella actin tail assembly, and this was restored upon addition of N-WASP protein, suggesting that N-WASP is a critical host factor for the assembly of the actin tail by intracellular Shigella. PMID:9582270

  15. Directed actin assembly and motility.

    PubMed

    Boujemaa-Paterski, Rajaa; Galland, Rémi; Suarez, Cristian; Guérin, Christophe; Théry, Manuel; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is a key component of the cellular architecture. However, understanding actin organization and dynamics in vivo is a complex challenge. Reconstitution of actin structures in vitro, in simplified media, allows one to pinpoint the cellular biochemical components and their molecular interactions underlying the architecture and dynamics of the actin network. Previously, little was known about the extent to which geometrical constraints influence the dynamic ultrastructure of these networks. Therefore, in order to study the balance between biochemical and geometrical control of complex actin organization, we used the innovative methodologies of UV and laser patterning to design a wide repertoire of nucleation geometries from which we assembled branched actin networks. Using these methods, we were able to reconstitute complex actin network organizations, closely related to cellular architecture, to precisely direct and control their 3D connections. This methodology mimics the actin networks encountered in cells and can serve in the fabrication of innovative bioinspired systems.

  16. Multi-fluid model of a sun-grazing comet in the rapidly ionizing, magnetized low corona

    SciTech Connect

    Jia, Y.-D.; Russell, C. T.; Liu, W.; Shou, Y. S.

    2014-11-20

    Two Sun-grazing comets were recently imaged in the low solar corona by space telescopes in unprecedented detail, revealing a wide range of new phenomena. This sparked growing interest in the interaction of comets with the coronal plasma and magnetic field and their diagnostic potential as solar probes. However, interpretation of such rich observational data requires profound understanding of relevant physical processes in an unexplored regime. Here advanced numerical modeling can provide critical clues. To this end, we present a prototype, multi-fluid, magnetohydrodynamic model of a steady-state comet in the low solar corona. These simulation results are compared with previously modeled comets in the solar wind environment. By inspecting their projection and column densities, we find a dominance of O{sup 6+} ions in the cometary tail, which can explain the observed extreme ultraviolet emission. The tail is found to be comparable to recent EUV images of these comets. In addition, the comet tail appears wider when the observer's line of sight is perpendicular rather than parallel to the local magnetic field. This is opposite to the trend in the interplanetary space permeated in the solar wind, because the ratio between dynamic pressure and magnetic pressure is an order of magnitude smaller than at 1 AU. On the other hand, we find that iron ions in the comet head build up to a density comparable to that of oxygen ions, but are unlikely to form a visible tail because of the shorter mean free paths of the neutrals.

  17. Growth of branched actin networks against obstacles.

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, A E

    2001-01-01

    A method for simulating the growth of branched actin networks against obstacles has been developed. The method is based on simple stochastic events, including addition or removal of monomers at filament ends, capping of filament ends, nucleation of branches from existing filaments, and detachment of branches; the network structure for several different models of the branching process has also been studied. The models differ with regard to their inclusion of effects such as preferred branch orientations, filament uncapping at the obstacle, and preferential branching at filament ends. The actin ultrastructure near the membrane in lamellipodia is reasonably well produced if preferential branching in the direction of the obstacle or barbed-end uncapping effects are included. Uncapping effects cause the structures to have a few very long filaments that are similar to those seen in pathogen-induced "actin tails." The dependence of the growth velocity, branch spacing, and network density on the rate parameters for the various processes is quite different among the branching models. An analytic theory of the growth velocity and branch spacing of the network is described. Experiments are suggested that could distinguish among some of the branching models. PMID:11566765

  18. The nature of comet nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Walker, Russell G.

    1992-01-01

    The icy-conglomerate model of comet nuclei has dominated all others since its introduction. It provided a basis for understanding the non-gravitational motions of comets which had perplexed dynamicists up to that time, and provided a focus for understanding cometary composition and origin. The image of comets as dirty snowballs was quickly adopted. Comet nuclei including their trail mass loss rates and refractory to volatile mass ratios are described.

  19. Astrobiology of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Wickramasinghe, Nalin C.; Wallis, Max K.; Sheldon, Robert B.

    2004-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge concerning microbial extremophiles and comets and the potential significance of comets to Astrobiology. We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of - IAU. The transfer of incident energy from sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of near surface ices, some under stable porous crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We provide data concerning new evidence for indigenous microfossils in CI meteorites, which may be the remains of extinct cometary cores. We discuss the dominant microbial communities of polar sea-ice, Antarctic ice sheet, and cryoconite environments as possible analogs for microbial ecosystems that may grow in sub-crustal pools or in ice/water films in comets.

  20. Infrared observations of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanner, Martha S.

    1991-01-01

    Selected comets are observed in the near infrared (1 to 2.2 micron) and thermal infrared (3.5 to 20 micron) with the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and other telescopes as appropriate, in order to characterize the physical properties of the dust grains; their composition, size distribution, emissivity, and albedo. Systematic variations in these properties among comets are looked for, in order to understand the heterogeneity of comet nuclei. Spectrophotometry of the 10 micron silicate emission feature is particularly emphasized. The rate of dust production from the nucleus and its temporal variability are also determined. Knowledge of the dust environment is essential to S/C design and mission planning for NASA's CRAF mission.

  1. IRAS observations of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, R. G.; Matson, D. L.; Veeder, G. J.

    1986-01-01

    The moderate spatial resolution and high sensitivity of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), which surveyed the celestial sphere during 1983 at wavelengths of 12, 25, 60, and 100 microns, were particularly well suited to detecting extended thermal emission from cometary dust. Sources with infrared color temperatures characteristic of solar system bodies, and at the ephemerides position of known comets were selected for analysis by the IRAS Asteroid Data Analysis System (ADAS). The data base is now available for use by researchers. This paper describes the development of the data base, details its entries, and presents a statistical analysis of its contents. The IRAS survey contains multiple observations of many periodic comets. A brief description and analysis is given of the observed infrared and derived physical properties for several comets of special interest.

  2. Outbursting Comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami): A Miniature Comet Holmes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishiguro, Masateru; Jewitt, David; Hanayama, Hidekazu; Usui, Fumihiko; Sekiguchi, Tomohiko; Yanagisawa, Kenshi; Kuroda, Daisuke; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Ohta, Kouji; Kawai, Nobuyuki; Miyaji, Takeshi; Fukushima, Hideo; Watanabe, Jun-ichi

    2014-05-01

    The short-period comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami, hereafter "V1") was discovered visually by two amateur astronomers. The appearance of the comet was peculiar, consisting of an envelope, a spherical coma near the nucleus and a tail extending in the anti-solar direction. We investigated the brightness and the morphological development of the comet by taking optical images with ground-based telescopes. Our observations show that V1 experienced a large-scale explosion between UT 2010 October 31 and November 3. The color of the comet was consistent with the Sun (g' - R C = 0.61 ± 0.20, R C - I C = 0.20 ± 0.20, and B - R C = 0.93 ± 0.25), suggesting that dust particles were responsible for the brightening. We used a dynamical model to understand the peculiar morphology, and found that the envelope consisted of small grains (0.3-1 μm) expanding at a maximum speed of 500 ± 40 m s-1, while the tail and coma were composed of a wider range of dust particle sizes (0.4-570 μm) and expansion speeds 7-390 m s-1. The total mass of ejecta is ~5 × 108 kg and kinetic energy ~5 × 1012 J. These values are much smaller than in the historic outburst of 17P/Holmes in 2007, but the energy per unit mass (1 × 104 J kg-1) is comparable. The energy per unit mass is about 10% of the energy released during the crystallization of amorphous water ice suggesting that crystallization of buried amorphous ice can supply the mass and energy of the outburst ejecta.

  3. Outbursting comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami): A miniature comet Holmes

    SciTech Connect

    Ishiguro, Masateru; Jewitt, David; Hanayama, Hidekazu; Miyaji, Takeshi; Fukushima, Hideo; Watanabe, Jun-ichi; Usui, Fumihiko; Sekiguchi, Tomohiko; Yanagisawa, Kenshi; Kuroda, Daisuke; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Ohta, Kouji; Kawai, Nobuyuki

    2014-05-20

    The short-period comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami, hereafter {sup V}1{sup )} was discovered visually by two amateur astronomers. The appearance of the comet was peculiar, consisting of an envelope, a spherical coma near the nucleus and a tail extending in the anti-solar direction. We investigated the brightness and the morphological development of the comet by taking optical images with ground-based telescopes. Our observations show that V1 experienced a large-scale explosion between UT 2010 October 31 and November 3. The color of the comet was consistent with the Sun (g' – R {sub C} = 0.61 ± 0.20, R {sub C} – I {sub C} = 0.20 ± 0.20, and B – R {sub C} = 0.93 ± 0.25), suggesting that dust particles were responsible for the brightening. We used a dynamical model to understand the peculiar morphology, and found that the envelope consisted of small grains (0.3-1 μm) expanding at a maximum speed of 500 ± 40 m s{sup –1}, while the tail and coma were composed of a wider range of dust particle sizes (0.4-570 μm) and expansion speeds 7-390 m s{sup –1}. The total mass of ejecta is ∼5 × 10{sup 8} kg and kinetic energy ∼5 × 10{sup 12} J. These values are much smaller than in the historic outburst of 17P/Holmes in 2007, but the energy per unit mass (1 × 10{sup 4} J kg{sup –1}) is comparable. The energy per unit mass is about 10% of the energy released during the crystallization of amorphous water ice suggesting that crystallization of buried amorphous ice can supply the mass and energy of the outburst ejecta.

  4. Look--It's a Comet!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berglund, Kay

    1997-01-01

    Describes a classroom lesson on comets that uses modeling and guided imagery to spark students' curiosity. Comet models are built using chunks of rock salt, polystyrene balls, and tinsel. Abstract ideas are made more concrete with a guided imagery story called Comet Ride! Includes an introduction to the use of parallax to measure the distance of…

  5. Term Projects on Interstellar Comets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mack, John E.

    1975-01-01

    Presents two calculations of the probability of detection of an interstellar comet, under the hypothesis that such comets would escape from comet clouds similar to that believed to surround the sun. Proposes three problems, each of which would be a reasonable term project for a motivated undergraduate. (Author/MLH)

  6. Discovering the Nature of Comets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whipple, Fred L.

    1986-01-01

    "The Mystery of Comets" by Dr. Fred Whipple provides an introduction to the modern picture of comets and his personal reminiscences of how his model of comets came to be. An adaptation of several sections of the book is presented. (JN)

  7. Application of MCM image construction to IRAS comet observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schlapfer, Martin F.; Walker, Russell G.

    1994-01-01

    There is a wealth of IRAS comet data, obtained in both the survey and pointed observations modes. However, these measurements have remained largely untouched due to difficulties in removing instrumental effects from the data. We have developed a version of the Maximum Correlation Method for Image Construction algorithm (MCM) which operates in the moving coordinate system of the comet and properly treats both real cometary motion and apparent motion due to spacecraft parallax. This algorithm has been implemented on a 486/33 PC in FORTRAN and IDL codes. Preprocessing of the IRAS CRDD includes baseline removal, deglitching, and removal of long tails due to dielectric time constants of the detectors. The resulting images are virtually free from instrumental effects and have the highest possible spatial resolution consistent with the data sampling. We present examples of high resolution IRAS images constructed from survey observations of Comets P/Tempel 1 and P/Tempel 2, and pointed observations of IRAS-Araki-Alcock.

  8. Study of a comet rendezvous mission, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The feasibility, scientific objectives, modes of exploration and implementation alternatives of a rendezvous mission to Encke's comet in 1984 are considered. Principal emphasis is placed on developing the scientific rationale for such a mission, based on available knowledge and best estimates of this comet's physical characteristics, including current theories of its origin, evolution and composition. Studied are mission profile alternatives, performance tradeoffs, preferred exploration strategy, and a spacecraft design concept capable of performing this mission. The study showed that the major scientific objectives can be met by a Titan IIID/Centaur-launched 17.5 kw solar electric propulsion spacecraft which carries 60 kg of scientific instruments and is capable of extensive maneuvering within the comet envelope to explore the coma, tail and nucleus.

  9. Amplification of actin polymerization forces

    PubMed Central

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2016-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton drives many essential processes in vivo, using molecular motors and actin assembly as force generators. We discuss here the propagation of forces caused by actin polymerization, highlighting simple configurations where the force developed by the network can exceed the sum of the polymerization forces from all filaments. PMID:27002174

  10. Amplification of actin polymerization forces.

    PubMed

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2016-03-28

    The actin cytoskeleton drives many essential processes in vivo, using molecular motors and actin assembly as force generators. We discuss here the propagation of forces caused by actin polymerization, highlighting simple configurations where the force developed by the network can exceed the sum of the polymerization forces from all filaments.

  11. Systematic random sampling of the comet assay.

    PubMed

    McArt, Darragh G; Wasson, Gillian R; McKerr, George; Saetzler, Kurt; Reed, Matt; Howard, C Vyvyan

    2009-07-01

    The comet assay is a technique used to quantify DNA damage and repair at a cellular level. In the assay, cells are embedded in agarose and the cellular content is stripped away leaving only the DNA trapped in an agarose cavity which can then be electrophoresed. The damaged DNA can enter the agarose and migrate while the undamaged DNA cannot and is retained. DNA damage is measured as the proportion of the migratory 'tail' DNA compared to the total DNA in the cell. The fundamental basis of these arbitrary values is obtained in the comet acquisition phase using fluorescence microscopy with a stoichiometric stain in tandem with image analysis software. Current methods deployed in such an acquisition are expected to be both objectively and randomly obtained. In this paper we examine the 'randomness' of the acquisition phase and suggest an alternative method that offers both objective and unbiased comet selection. In order to achieve this, we have adopted a survey sampling approach widely used in stereology, which offers a method of systematic random sampling (SRS). This is desirable as it offers an impartial and reproducible method of comet analysis that can be used both manually or automated. By making use of an unbiased sampling frame and using microscope verniers, we are able to increase the precision of estimates of DNA damage. Results obtained from a multiple-user pooled variation experiment showed that the SRS technique attained a lower variability than that of the traditional approach. The analysis of a single user with repetition experiment showed greater individual variances while not being detrimental to overall averages. This would suggest that the SRS method offers a better reflection of DNA damage for a given slide and also offers better user reproducibility.

  12. Comet LINEAR Splits Further

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-05-01

    Third Nucleus Observed with the VLT Summary New images from the VLT show that one of the two nuclei of Comet LINEAR (C/2001 A2), now about 100 million km from the Earth, has just split into at least two pieces . The three fragments are now moving through space in nearly parallel orbits while they slowly drift apart. This comet will pass through its perihelion (nearest point to the Sun) on May 25, 2001, at a distance of about 116 million kilometres. It has brightened considerably due to the splitting of its "dirty snowball" nucleus and can now be seen with the unaided eye by observers in the southern hemisphere as a faint object in the southern constellation of Lepus (The Hare). PR Photo 18a/01 : Three nuclei of Comet LINEAR . PR Photo 18b/01 : The break-up of Comet LINEAR (false-colour). Comet LINEAR splits and brightens ESO PR Photo 18a/01 ESO PR Photo 18a/01 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 438 pix - 55k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 875 pix - 136k] ESO PR Photo 18b/01 ESO PR Photo 18b/01 [Preview - JPEG: 367 x 400 pix - 112k] [Normal - JPEG: 734 x 800 pix - 272k] Caption : ESO PR Photo 18a/01 shows the three nuclei of Comet LINEAR (C/2001 A2). It is a reproduction of a 1-min exposure in red light, obtained in the early evening of May 16, 2001, with the 8.2-m VLT YEPUN (UT4) telescope at Paranal. ESO PR Photo 18b/01 shows the same image, but in a false-colour rendering for more clarity. The cometary fragment "B" (right) has split into "B1" and "B2" (separation about 1 arcsec, or 500 km) while fragment "A" (upper left) is considerably fainter. Technical information about these photos is available below. Comet LINEAR was discovered on January 3, 2001, and designated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) as C/2001 A2 (see IAU Circular 7564 [1]). Six weeks ago, it was suddenly observed to brighten (IAUC 7605 [1]). Amateurs all over the world saw the comparatively faint comet reaching naked-eye magnitude and soon thereafter, observations with professional telescopes indicated

  13. Actinic keratosis. Current treatment options.

    PubMed

    Jeffes, E W; Tang, E H

    2000-01-01

    Actinic keratoses are hyperkeratotic skin lesions that represent focal abnormal proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes. Some actinic keratoses evolve into squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, while others resolve spontaneously. The conversion rate of actinic keratosis to squamous cell carcinoma is not accurately known, but appears to be in the range of 0.25 to 1% per year. Although there is a low rate of conversion of actinic keratoses to squamous cell carcinoma, 60% of squamous cell carcinomas of the skin probably arise from actinic keratoses. The main cause of actinic keratoses in otherwise healthy Caucasians appears to be the sun. Therapy for actinic keratoses begins with prevention which starts with sun avoidance and physical protection. Sunprotection with sunscreens actually slows the return of actinic keratoses in patients already getting actinic keratoses. Interestingly, a few studies are available that demonstrate that a high fat diet is associated with the production of more actinic keratoses than is a low fat diet. One of the mainstays of therapy has been local destruction of the actinic keratoses with cryotherapy, and curettage and electrodesiccation. A new addition to this group of therapies to treat individual actinic keratoses is photodynamic therapy with topical aminolevulinic acid and light. In patients who have numerous actinic keratoses in an area of severely sun damaged skin, therapies which are applied to the whole actinic keratosis area are used. The goal of treating such an area of skin is to treat all of the early as well as the numerous clinically evident actinic keratoses at the same time. The classical approaches for treating areas of photodamaged skin without treating actinic keratoses individually include: the use of topically applied fluorouracil cream, dermabrasion, and cutaneous peels with various agents like trichloroacetic acid. Both topically as well as orally administered retinoids have been used to treat actinic keratoses but

  14. A mission design for the Halley comet rendezvous using Ion Drive

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boain, R. J.

    1977-01-01

    The Ion Drive propulsion system, a derivative of the old Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technology is considered adequate to perform all mission objectives of a proposed Halley's comet rendezvous (scheduled for launch in 1982) except one: control of thermal energy from the concentrating solar arrays. This problem can be solved, however, by adding a separable tail probe to the baseline system. The system consists of an Ion Propulsion Module (IPM) and a Mission Module (MM). Scientific objectives include a determination of the structure of the comet nucleus, an evaluation of nucleus evolution, an assay of the comet's atmosphere and ionosphere, and a study of the interaction between the comet and the interplanetary medium. Attention is given to the navigation parameters necessary for heliocentric transfer and post-rendezvous circumnavigation of the comet.

  15. An explanation for the bedforms on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Pan; Andreotti, Bruno; Claudin, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    The recent approach of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the European Space Agency spacecraft Rosetta has revealed the presence of geomorphologic features at its surface. In particular, surface patterns resembling aeolian ripples or dunes as well as `wind tails' have been observed, especially in the `neck' region. Erosion/deposition processes are unexpected on a comet because of the absence of an atmosphere, that would generate a wind to transport the grains at the surface. However, it is well known that comets experience outgassing when approaching the sun: the solar heat flux induces ice sublimation, generating dust/gas jets, which is at the origin of the comet's coma. Combining a description of sediment transport and hydrodynamics with a thermal model of the comet's surface and outgassing, we show that, albeit generated by a rarefied atmosphere, these bedforms are paradoxically analogous to ripplemarks emerging on granular beds submitted to viscous shear flows.

  16. Aspects of design and statistical analysis in the Comet assay.

    PubMed

    Wiklund, Stig Johan; Agurell, Eva

    2003-03-01

    Some aspects of the statistical design and analysis of the Comet (single cell gel electrophoresis) assay have been evaluated by means of a simulation study. The tail length and tail moment were selected for the quantification of DNA migration. Results from the simulation study showed that the choice of measure to summarize the cells on each slide is extremely important in order to facilitate an efficient analysis. For tail moment, the mean of log transformed data is clearly superior to the other evaluated measures, whereas using the mean of raw data without transformation can lead to very inefficient analyses. The 90th percentile, capturing the upper tail of the distribution, performs well for the tail length, with a slight improvement obtained by applying a log transformation prior to calculations. Furthermore, the simulation study has been used to assess the appropriateness of some models for statistical analysis and to address the issue of design (i.e. number of cultures or animals in each group, number of slides per animal/culture and number of cells scored per slide). Combining the results from the simulations with practical experience from the pharmaceutical industry, we conclude the paper by providing concise recommendations regarding the design and statistical analysis in the Comet assay.

  17. DIRBE Comet Trails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2015-01-01

    Re-examination of the COBE DIRBE data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails.The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported.The known trails of 2P/Encke, and 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 microns surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy/sr, respectively, which is <1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals one additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  18. Comet radar explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farnham, Tony; Asphaug, Erik; Barucci, Antonella; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Brownlee, Donald; Capria, Maria Teresa; Carter, Lynn; Chesley, Steve; Farnham, Tony; Gaskell, Robert; Gim, Young; Heggy, Essam; Herique, Alain; Klaasen, Ken; Kofman, Wlodek; Kreslavsky, Misha; Lisse, Casey; Orosei, Roberto; Plaut, Jeff; Scheeres, Dan

    The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) is designed to perform a comprehensive and detailed exploration of the interior, surface, and inner coma structures of a scientifically impor-tant Jupiter family comet. These structures will be used to investigate the origins of cometary nuclei, their physical and geological evolution, and the mechanisms driving their spectacular activity. CORE is a high heritage spacecraft, injected by solar electric propulsion into orbit around a comet. It is capable of coherent deep radar imaging at decameter wavelengths, high resolution stereo color imaging, and near-IR imaging spectroscopy. Its primary objective is to obtain a high-resolution map of the interior structure of a comet nucleus at a resolution of ¿100 elements across the diameter. This structure shall be related to the surface geology and morphology, and to the structural details of the coma proximal to the nucleus. This is an ideal complement to the science from recent comet missions, providing insight into how comets work. Knowing the structure of the interior of a comet-what's inside-and how cometary activity works, is required before we can understand the requirements for a cryogenic sample return mission. But more than that, CORE is fundamental to understanding the origin of comets and their evolution in time. The mission is made feasible at low cost by the use of now-standard MARSIS-SHARAD reflec-tion radar imaging hardware and data processing, together with proven flight heritage of solar electric propulsion. Radar flight heritage has been demonstrated by the MARSIS radar on Mars Express (Picardi et al., Science 2005; Plaut et al., Science 2007), the SHARAD radar onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Seu et al., JGR 2007), and the LRS radar onboard Kaguya (Ono et al, EPS 2007). These instruments have discovered detailed subsurface structure to depths of several kilometers in a variety of terrains on Mars and the Moon. A reflection radar deployed in orbit about a comet

  19. Rendezvous with a comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Matt

    2014-10-01

    After making a successful rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko earlier this year, Europe's Rosetta craft is now riding alongside this celestial body and next month is set to land a probe on its surface. Matt Taylor describes the excitement of this unique project and the scientific insights that it hopes to achieve.

  20. Halley's Comet: A Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freitag, Ruth S., Comp.

    Included in this bibliography are over 3,200 references to publications on Halley's Comet, its history, orbital motion, and physical characteristics, meteor streams associated with it, preparations for space missions to study it in 1986, and popular reaction to its appearances. Also cited are a few papers that, although they devote little…

  1. DRBE comet trails

    SciTech Connect

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2014-12-01

    Re-examination of the Cosmic Background Explorer Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails. The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported. The known trails of 2P/Encke and 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 μm surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy sr{sup −1}, respectively, which is <1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals 1 additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  2. Imaging studies of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, Malcolm B., Jr.; Klinglesmith, Daniel A., III; Westpfahl, David J.

    1991-01-01

    The Joint Observatory for Cometary Research's (JOCR) historical mission has been to provide understanding of large-scale interactions between bright comets and solar wind using wide-angle (Schmidt) imagery and spacecraft data; in this pursuit the JOCR has excelled. The 16 inch Newtonian/Cassegrain telescope was upgraded to permit filtered, narrow-field charge coupled device (CCD) imaging of both bright and faint comets. Thus, the goal of obtaining narrow-band imagery of the near-nuclear region of bright comets was added to JOCR's original mission with emphasis on ionization processes and total gas production. A 300 mm lens/CCD system exists with 3 degree field of view (FOV) which uses comet filters; this system bridges the gap between the wide-field (8 x 10 deg) Schmidt plates and the several-arcmin. field of the 16 inch telescope. JOCR is located under dark skies on South Baldy Mountain (el. 10,600 ft.) near Socorro, NM, and is one of the last truly dark sites in the continental U.S.

  3. Finding Comet Halley.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glenn, William H.

    1985-01-01

    Provides background information and references on Comet Halley (which will be observable by telescope in October 1985 and reach its most brilliant appearance in March and April of 1986). Suggestions for equipment and maps of its path through the sky are included. (DH)

  4. Ammonia abundances in four comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Tegler, S. C.; Engel, L.

    1991-02-01

    NH2 emission band strengths were measured in four comets and the NH2 column densities were determined in order to measure the ammonia content of the comets. The mean ammonia/water abundance ratio derived for the four comets is found to be 0.13 + or - 0.06 percent, with no significant variation among the comets. The uniformity of this abundance attests to a remarkable degree of chemical homogeneity over large scales in the comet-forming region of the primordial solar nebula, and contrasts with the CO abundance variations found previously in comets. The N2 and NH3 abundances indicate a condensation temperature in the range 20-160 K, consistent with virtually all comet formation hypotheses.

  5. Temperatures within comet nuclei.

    PubMed

    Squyres, S W; McKay, C P; Reynolds, R T

    1985-12-10

    We have performed a theoretical study of temperatures beneath the surface of a comet's nucleus. We solve the one-dimensional heat conduction equation for the outer portion of the comet. The upper boundary condition of the model is given by energy balance at the surface of the nucleus, including conduction of heat inward, radiation, insolation as modified by the coma, and sublimation. Our coma model assumes single scattering and includes attenuation of direct sunlight by dust grains, scattering of light onto the nucleus, and infrared radiation by dust grains. The lower boundary condition is zero net heat flux around an orbit. The thermal conductivity expression for the nucleus includes direct conduction at grain boundaries, radiative conduction, and Knudsen flow vapor diffusion. The thermal diffusivity of the nucleus and the resultant temperature profiles are shown to be strongly dependent on the physical properties of the material, including porosity, pore size, and compaction. The temperature profiles and the equilibrium temperature deep within the comet also depend on the functional relationship between thermal conductivity and temperature; the highest deep equilibrium temperatures are found for models where the thermal conductivity increases strongly with increasing temperature. The dependence of temperatures on the albedo and thermal emissivity of the nucleus is also calculated, as well as the variation of temperature with latitude for a variety of pole orientations. The effect of a dust mantle on subsurface temperatures is also investigated. All calculations are presented for short-period comets with orbits that make them accessible for exploration by spacecraft rendezvous. In situ measurements of the thermal profile in the upper meter of a comet nucleus can substantially constrain the thermal diffusivity of the material, which in turn can provide significant information about the physical properties of the nucleus.

  6. Actin stress in cell reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Jun; Wang, Yuexiu; Sachs, Frederick; Meng, Fanjie

    2014-01-01

    Cell mechanics plays a role in stem cell reprogramming and differentiation. To understand this process better, we created a genetically encoded optical probe, named actin–cpstFRET–actin (AcpA), to report forces in actin in living cells in real time. We showed that stemness was associated with increased force in actin. We reprogrammed HEK-293 cells into stem-like cells using no transcription factors but simply by softening the substrate. However, Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell reprogramming required, in addition to a soft substrate, Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog expression. Replating the stem-like cells on glass led to redifferentiation and reduced force in actin. The actin force probe was a FRET sensor, called cpstFRET (circularly permuted stretch sensitive FRET), flanked by g-actin subunits. The labeled actin expressed efficiently in HEK, MDCK, 3T3, and bovine aortic endothelial cells and in multiple stable cell lines created from those cells. The viability of the cell lines demonstrated that labeled actin did not significantly affect cell physiology. The labeled actin distribution was similar to that observed with GFP-tagged actin. We also examined the stress in the actin cross-linker actinin. Actinin force was not always correlated with actin force, emphasizing the need for addressing protein specificity when discussing forces. Because actin is a primary structural protein in animal cells, understanding its force distribution is central to understanding animal cell physiology and the many linked reactions such as stress-induced gene expression. This new probe permits measuring actin forces in a wide range of experiments on preparations ranging from isolated proteins to transgenic animals. PMID:25422450

  7. Hubble Probes Inner Region of Comet Hyakutake

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    These are NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of comet Hyakutake (designated C/1996 B2), taken at 8:30 P.M., EST on Monday, March 25 when the comet passed at a distance of only 9.3 million miles from Earth.

    Unlike most of the published images of Hyakutake, these Hubble images focus on a very small region near the heart of the comet, the icy, solid nucleus. The Hubble images provide an exceptionally clear view of the near-nucleus region of comet Hyakutake.

    The images were taken through a red filter with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (in WF mode). The sunward and tailward directions are at approximately the 4 o'clock and 11 o'clock positions, respectively. Celestial North and East are at approximately the 5:30 and 2:30 positions, respectively.

    FULL-FIELD VIEW (Left) This image is 2070 miles across (3340 km) and shows that most of the dust is being produced on the sunward-facing hemisphere of the comet. Also at upper left are three small pieces which have broken off the comet and are forming there own tails.

    Icy regions on the nucleus are activated as they rotate into sunlight, ejecting large amounts of dust in the jets that are faintly visible in this image. Sunlight striking this dust eventually turns it around and 'blows' it into the tailward hemisphere. What might be another jet is emanating from the nightside of the nucleus, but this direction might be misleading due to the angle of the jet relative to our line-of-site.

    CLOSE-UP OF NUCLEUS (Bottom Right) This expanded view of the near-nucleus region is only 470 miles (760 km) across. The nucleus is near the center of the frame, but the brightest area is probably the tip of the strongest dust jet rather than the nucleus itself. Presumably, the nucleus surface lies just below this bright jet. Further analysis may allow scientists to disentangle the nucleus from its atmosphere (coma), presently its difficult to estimate the nucleus' size.

    CLOSE-UP OF COMET FRAGMENTS (Top Right) This image shows

  8. Weak and strong comets in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Geraint Hughes

    When within the inner solar system, comets possess gaseous atmospheres. The gases therein are ionized, and eventually join the solar wind. This thesis describes an investigation of the interaction of comets with the solar wind. The work begins with an overview of the processes involved in the comet-solar wind interaction region, and the domains and boundaries that exist in the region. A review of remote observations of cometary ions is given. The characteristics of visible plasma features are summarized, together with the theories proposed to explain them. An overview of the Giotto spacecraft and its instruments, and a description of its mission to two comets are presented. Ground-based observations were obtained of the ion features present in Comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake. The morphologies and motions of the comet's plasma features are described. The formation of tail rays was captured during a high temporal resolution image sequence. A gas production rate estimate is derived from the observations, and a model of ray morphologies is proposed, based partly upon observational evidence. 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova and C/1996 Q1 Tabur were also observed; however, no strong ion features were detected. An analysis of the plasma features of 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup then follows. A description of the solar wind conditions at that comet during the Giotto encounter is given, and an estimate of its production rate is made. Ground-based observations of Grigg-Skjellerup are compared to in-situ Giotto data. Morphological features were detected in ground-based images; it is proposed that they could have been linked to certain solar wind discontinuities. A qualitative description of a model of ion ray formation then follows. The thesis concludes with a summary of the main results.

  9. Contribution of rearranged actin structures to the spread of Ectromelia virus infection in vitro.

    PubMed

    Boratynska, A; Martyniszyn, L; Szulc, L; Krzyzowska, M; Szczepanowska, J; Niemialtowski, M G

    2010-01-01

    We describe here a contribution of virus-induced actin tails and filopodia in transmission of Ectromelia virus (ECTV) infection in permissive cells detected by the immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. Immunoblot analysis revealed profoundly decreased beta-actin levels during ECTV replicative cycle in the infected cells 24 hrs post infection (p.i.). These results provided a basis for the further analysis of ECTV motion in the infected cells as well as for impact of ECTV infection on the cytoskeletal proteins.

  10. The Sodium Tail of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matta, M.; Smith, S.; Baumgardner, J.; Wilson, J.; Martinis, C.; Mendillo, M.

    2009-01-01

    During the few days centered about new Moon, the lunar surface is optically hidden from Earth-based observers. However, the Moon still offers an observable: an extended sodium tail. The lunar sodium tail is the escaping "hot" component of a coma-like exosphere of sodium generated by photon-stimulated desorption, solar wind sputtering and meteoroid impact. Neutral sodium atoms escaping lunar gravity experience solar radiation pressure that drives them into the anti-solar direction forming a comet-like tail. During new Moon time, the geometry of the Sun, Moon and Earth is such that the anti-sunward sodium flux is perturbed by the terrestrial gravitational field resulting in its focusing into a dense core that extends beyond the Earth. An all-sky camera situated at the El Leoncito Observatory (CASLEO) in Argentina has been successfully imaging this tail through a sodium filter at each lunation since April 2006. This paper reports on the results of the brightness of the lunar sodium tail spanning 31 lunations between April 2006 and September 2008. Brightness variability trends are compared with both sporadic and shower meteor activity, solar wind proton energy flux and solar near ultra violet (NUV) patterns for possible correlations. Results suggest minimal variability in the brightness of the observed lunar sodium tail, generally uncorrelated with any single source, yet consistent with a multi-year period of minimal solar activity and non-intense meteoric fluxes.

  11. Cytogenetic status and oxidative DNA-damage induced by atorvastatin in human peripheral blood lymphocytes: Standard and Fpg-modified comet assay

    SciTech Connect

    Gajski, Goran Garaj-Vrhovac, Vera; Orescanin, Visnja

    2008-08-15

    To investigate the genotoxic potential of atorvastatin on human lymphocytes in vitro standard comet assay was used in the evaluation of basal DNA damage and to investigate possible oxidative DNA damage produced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) Fpg-modified version of comet assay was also conducted. In addition to these techniques the new criteria for scoring micronucleus test were applied for more complete detection of baseline damage in binuclear lymphocytes exposed to atorvastatin 80 mg/day in different time periods by virtue of measuring the frequency of micronuclei, nucleoplasmic bridges and nuclear buds. All parameters obtained with the standard comet assay and Fpg-modified comet assay were significantly higher in the treated than in control lymphocytes. The Fpg-modified comet assay showed a significantly greater tail length, tail intensity, and tail moment in all treated lymphocytes than did the standard comet assay, which suggests that oxidative stress is likely to be responsible for DNA damage. DNA damage detected by the standard comet assay indicates that some other mechanism is also involved. In addition to the comet assay, a total number of micronuclei, nucleoplasmic bridges and nuclear buds were significantly higher in the exposed than in controlled lymphocytes. Regression analyses showed a positive correlation between the results obtained by the comet (Fpg-modified and standard) and micronucleus assay. Overall, the study demonstrated that atorvastatin in its highest dose is capable of producing damage on the level of DNA molecule and cell.

  12. Catching the Tail of the Comet: Technology in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bullard, Bettie

    2005-01-01

    During the past 10 years, the level of technology in schools has increased with tremendous speed. Accessible through that medium is a body of information that will double in 6 years and quadruple in 12. Before teachers have mastered one type of technology, school administrators are stacking old computers in workrooms or behind stage curtains. Just…

  13. Covalent attachment of actin filaments to Tween 80 coated polystyrene beads for cargo transportation.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Harsimran; Das, Tapan; Kumar, Rajesh; Ajore, Ram; Bharadwaj, Lalit M

    2008-04-01

    In this manuscript, a new strategy has been reported for circumscribed covalent attachment of barbed and pointed ends of actin filaments to polystyrene beads. A comparative study of attachment of actin filaments to polystyrene beads was performed by blocking functionally active sites on polystyrene beads with nonionic detergents such as Tween 20, Tween 80 and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Effective blocking of active sites was obtained with Tween 80 at 0.1% concentration. Attachment of single bundle of actin filament to bead was assessed by rotational motion of bead tailed actin in front and lateral view. Velocity of actin filaments attached to different size of beads in in-vitro motility assay was calculated to ascertain their attachments. Velocity of actin attached to 1.0 and 3.0 microm polystyrene beads was reduced to 3.0-4.0 and 0.0-1.0 microm/s, respectively as compared to free actin velocity of 4.0-6.0 microm/s. Single point attachment of actin filaments to different size of beads was assessed by decrease in sliding velocity. Present study provides insight into the actin-myosin based molecular motor systems for drug delivery and biosensors applications.

  14. Comets at radio wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crovisier, Jacques; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Colom, Pierre; Biver, Nicolas

    2016-11-01

    Comets are considered as the most primitive objects in the Solar System. Their composition provides information on the composition of the primitive solar nebula, 4.6 Gyr ago. The radio domain is a privileged tool to study the composition of cometary ices. Observations of the OH radical at 18 cm wavelength allow us to measure the water production rate. A wealth of molecules (and some of their isotopologues) coming from the sublimation of ices in the nucleus have been identified by observations in the millimetre and submillimetre domains. We present an historical review on radio observations of comets, focusing on the results from our group, and including recent observations with the Nançay radio telescope, the IRAM antennas, the Odin satellite, the Herschel space observatory, ALMA, and the MIRO instrument aboard the Rosetta space probe.

  15. Carbon isotopes in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wehinger, Peter A.

    1990-01-01

    The progress is reported of high resolution spectra of selected bright comets with the aim of determining the carbon isotope abundance ratio, C-12/C-13. The ratio was determined for various Solar System objects (in the atmospheres of the giant planets, meteorites, the Earth, and the solar photosphere), where the C-12/C-13 = 89/1. In the interstellar medium, optical and radio observations give a range of C-12/C-13 = 43-67/1 depending on the observing techniques used and the specific interstellar cloud observed. The echelle spectra is presented of the CN(0,0) violet system in three comets: P/Brorsen-Metcalf, C/Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, and C/Austin. P/Brorsen-Metcalf has a period of 70 y (prograde) compared with P/Halley which is 76 y (retrograde). The similar periods made P/Brorsen-Metcalf of special interest for comparison with P/Halley.

  16. Diatoms in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, R.; Hoyle, F.; Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    1986-01-01

    The fossil record of the microscopic algae classified as diatoms suggests they were injected to earth at the Cretaceous boundary. Not only could diatoms remain viable in the cometary environment, but also many species might replicate in illuminated surface layers or early interior layers of cometary ice. Presumably they reached the solar system on an interstellar comet as an already-evolved assemblage of organisms. Diatoms might cause color changes to comet nuclei while their outgassing decays and revives around highly elliptical orbits. Just as for interstellar absorption, high-resolution IR observations are capable of distinguishing whether the 10-micron feature arises from siliceous diatom material or mineral silicates. The 10-30-micron band and the UV 220-nm region can also provide evidence of biological material.

  17. The 2009 Apparition of methuselah comet 107P/Wilson-Harrington: A case of comet rejuvenation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrín, Ignacio; Hamanowa, Hiromi; Hamanowa, Hiroko; Hernández, Jesús; Sira, Eloy; Sánchez, Albert; Zhao, Haibin; Miles, Richard

    2012-09-01

    The 2009 apparition of comet 107P was observed with a variety of instruments from six observatories. The main results of this investigation are: (1) 107P/Wilson-Harrington was found to be active not only in 1949 but also in 1979, 1992, 2005 and 2009. The activity is very weak and produces only a slight brightness increase above the nucleus. (ASEC=VNUC(1,1,0)-m(1,1)<1 mag). Since the amount of solar energy received by the object at perihelion has been monotonically increasing since 1928, we conclude that the comet has been active at all apparitions ever after. The probability that the activity in 1949 or in 2009 was due to a surface impact is very small. (2) The rotational period has been determined. We find PROT=6.093±0.002 h. The amplitude of the rotational light curve (peak to valley) is AROT=0.20±0.01 mag in V. From this data the minimum ratio of semi-axis is (a/b)MIN=1.20±0.02. The rotational light curve is identical to the shape of a saw tooth. The shape of the object must be peculiar and has sharp edges. (3) This is the first time that the phase curve of a comet has been determined in three colors, B, V and R. We find B(1,1,α)=16.88(±0.06)+0.041(±0.001)α, V(1,1,α)=16.31(±0.04)+0.043(±0.001)α, and R(1,1,α)=15.90(±0.04)+0.039(±0.001)α. (4) From the phase curves color indices can be deduced when the comet is not active. We find V-B=0.57±0.07 and V-R=0.41±0.06. (5) Assuming a geometric albedo pV=0.04 and the absolute magnitude from the phase plot, we find an effective diámeter free from rotational modulation DEFFE=3.67±0.06 km. (6) The secular light curves are presented. The comet is slightly active above the nucleus line (ASEC(1,LAG)=0.36±0.10 mag), but did not exhibited a coma. Activity started +26±1 d after perihelion. Using the definition of photometric age, we find T-AGE=4700 (+6000, -1700) cy (comet years), an exceedingly old object, a methuselah comet. (7) In the 2009 apparition no tail and no coma were detected using more sensitive

  18. Physical aging in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meech, Karen J.

    1991-01-01

    The question of physical aging in cometary nuclei is addressed in order to elucidate the relationship between the past conditions in the protosolar nebula and the present state of the cometary nucleus, and to understand the processes that will physically and chemically alter the nucleus as a function of time. Attention is given to some of the processes that might be responsible for causing aging in comets, namely, radiation damage in the upper layers of the nucleus during the long residences in the Oort cloud, processing from heating and collisions within the Oort cloud, loss of highly volatile species from the nucleus on the first passage through the inner solar system, buildup of a dusty mantle, which can eventually prohibit further sublimation, and a change in the porosity, and hence the thermal properties, of the nucleus. Recent observations suggest that there are distinct differences between 'fresh' Oort cloud comets and thermally processed periodic comets with respect to intrinsic brightness and rate of change of activity as a function of distance.

  19. Kitt Peak Observes Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    The Kitt Peak National Observatory's 2.1-meter telescope observed comet Tempel 1 on April 11, 2005, when the comet was near its closest approach to the Earth. A pinkish dust jet is visible to the southwest, with the broader neutral gas coma surrounding it. North is up, East is to the left, and the field of view is about 80,000 km (50,000 miles) wide. The Sun was almost directly behind the observer at this time. The red, green and blue bars in the background are stars that moved between the individual images.

    This pseudo-color picture was created by combining three black and white images obtained with different filters. The images were obtained with the HB Narrowband Comet Filters, using CN (3870 A - shown in blue), C2 (5140 A - shown in green) and RC (7128 A - shown in red). The CN and C2 filters capture different gas species (along with the underlying dust) while the RC filter captures just the dust.

  20. PROBING THE SOLAR WIND ACCELERATION REGION WITH THE SUN-GRAZING COMET C/2002 S2

    SciTech Connect

    Giordano, S.; Raymond, J. C.; Lamy, P.; Uzzo, M.; Dobrzycka, D.

    2015-01-01

    Comet C/2002 S2, a member of the Kreutz family of sungrazing comets, was discovered in white-light images of the Large Angle and Spectromeric Coronagraph Experiment coronagraph on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) on 2002 September 18 and observed in H I Lyα emission by the SOHO Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) instrument at four different heights as it approached the Sun. The H I Lyα line profiles detected by UVCS are analyzed to determine the spectral parameters: line intensity, width, and Doppler shift with respect to the coronal background. Two-dimensional comet images of these parameters are reconstructed at the different heights. A novel aspect of the observations of this sungrazing comet data is that, whereas the emission from most of the tail is blueshifted, that along one edge of the tail is redshifted. We attribute these shifts to a combination of solar wind speed and interaction with the magnetic field. In order to use the comet to probe the density, temperature, and speed of the corona and solar wind through which it passes, as well as to determine the outgassing rate of the comet, we develop a Monte Carlo simulation of the H I Lyα emission of a comet moving through a coronal plasma. From the outgassing rate, we estimate a nucleus diameter of about 9 m. This rate steadily increases as the comet approaches the Sun, while the optical brightness decreases by more than a factor of 10 and suddenly recovers. This indicates that the optical brightness is determined by the lifetimes of the grains, sodium atoms, and molecules produced by the comet.

  1. Comet Hyakutake to Approach the Earth in Late March 1996

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-03-01

    the very distant `Oort Cloud' of comets that surrounds the solar system. In this sense it is different from the periodical comets which move in closed orbits around the Sun with revolution periods between a few years and some decades. Its `dirty snowball' nucleus of ices and dust has therefore not been heated by the Sun for a very long time, perhaps never, if this is its first visit to the inner regions of the solar system. Hence it is particularly difficult to predict its future performance. Nevertheless, the available observations seem to indicate that it is a quite `active' comet and that it may therefore become comparatively bright when it approaches the Earth and later at perihelion. But how bright ? Imaging as well as spectroscopic observations have been performed in order to better characterize Comet Hyakutake. On CCD-frames obtained of the comet in early February with telescopes at the ESO La Silla Observatory and elsewhere, an elongation is clearly visible (cf. ESO Press Photo 11/96 ) in the anti-sunward direction of the coma (the cloud of gas and dust that surrounds the cometary nucleus). A real tail has not yet developed, but this is expected to happen soon. The size of the coma was measured as at least 7 arcmin, corresponding to a projected diameter of nearly 500,000 kilometres. It is also of interest that until recently the coma otherwise appeared absolutely symmetrical - there was no indication of `jets', i.e. no large vents on the surface of the nucleus had yet become active. However, on images obtained with the ESO 3.6-metre telescope in the morning of February 13, a `jet'-like feature is seen which emerges south-east of the nucleus (i.e. from the sunlit side) and curls counter-clockwise towards the opposite side (the `tail'-direction). This is probably the first evidence of localized dust production on the surface of the nucleus. CCD observations were made on February 9 at the Lowell Observatory (Flagstaff, U.S.A.) through special optical filters

  2. Maverick Comet Splits during Dramatic Outburst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-01-01

    encounters with this giant planet. For instance, it passed Jupiter at a distance of about 30 million kilometers in 1882 and 1894, and again at 40 million kilometres in 1965. SW-3 belongs to the so-called ``Jupiter family'' of comets. Some time ago, SW-3 was chosen as a back-up target for the upcoming Rosetta space mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) because the elliptical orbit of this particular comet may be reached with a relatively small expenditure of rocket fuel (the prime target is Comet Wirtanen). That allows to carry more scientific instruments on this extraordinary mission which aims at a long-term study of a cometary nucleus from a spacecraft in circum-cometary orbit. Rosetta will be launched early in the next century and will also carry two landing modules which will descend on the surface of the nucleus. The Dramatic Outburst of SW-3 In order to study this potential Rosetta target comet, Hermann Boehnhardt (Astronomical Institute of the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany) and Hans-Ulrich Kaufl (ESO-Garching) early in 1995 applied for simultaneous observing time at the ESO 3.6-m telescope and 3.5-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at the La Silla Observatory. In May 1995, the ESO Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) granted the astronomers some nights for these observations in mid-December 1995 with the TIMMI and EMMI instruments at the 3.6-m and the NTT, respectively, i.e. not quite two months after the predicted perihelion passage on September 22, when the comet would be closest to the Sun (140 million kilometres). Meanwhile, SW-3 was moving closer towards the Sun. After its recovery in December 1994 with the 3.5-metre reflector at the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain, Kurt Birkle and Hermann Boehnhardt collected a series of almost monthly images with that telescope until late June 1995, showing that the comet developed normally with respect to its brightness and the coma and tail. On August 20, it was observed by a Japanese amateur astronomer at

  3. Some results of exploration of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - the main target of the Rosetta space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churyumov, K. I.

    The short period comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from the Jupiter comet family is selected as main target of the European space mission Rosetta. In September 1969 the three collaborators of expedition of Kyiv Shevchenko University went to the Alma-Ata Astrophysical Institute to conduct a survey of short period and new comets. The main result of the expedition was the discovery of the new short period comet 67P on Oct. 22 ,1969 on the five plates obtained by Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko Sept. 9, 11 and 21, 1969 with the help of 50-cm f/2.4 Maksutov telescope in Alam-Ata. The astronomer Nikolay Belyaev from Saint-Petersbourg showed the comet followed an elliptical orbit. The fact that the comet had a close encounter with Jupiter in 1959 very important because only after this encounter comet 67P could be discovered in 1969 with the help of terrestrial telescopes. The comparison of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's light curve in its 1982-1983 apparition and the curve of the solar activity indices changes that are reduced to the comet`s center shows that the variations of the comet's brightness rather well correlate with the changes of the solar indices. On the basis of photometric processing of the two photographic images of comet 67P obtained in Nizhny Arkhyz with the help of the 6- BTA reflector of SAO of RAS some physical parameters of the comet plasma tail (coefficients of diffusion D?? , Dbot and induction of magnetic field B) were determined. (Jan. 12.105, 1983 UT: D??=5.07× 1014div 1.21× 1015 cm2/s, Dbot =5.73× 1013div 1.37× 1014 cm2/s, B=46div 111 nT; Jan. 13.124, 1983 UT: D??=4.67× 1014div 1.14× 1015 cm2/s, Dbot =4.30× 1013div 1.05× 1014 cm2/s, B=55div 134 nT). The obtained upper estimates of induction of the magnetic field B≅ 111 nT for Jan. 12,1983 and B≅ 134 nT for Jan. 13,1983 probably surpass real values of B in the cometary plasma tail. I think that this peculiarity of magnetic fields in plasma tail of comet 67P is tight connected

  4. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission: A status report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.; Neugebauer, Marcia

    1991-01-01

    The Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission received a new start in fiscal year 1990. CRAF will match orbits with an active short-period comet and follow it around the Sun, making scientific measurements of the nucleus, coma, and tail. The Imaging system will map the nucleus surface at a resolution of 1 meter/line-pair or better, while Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) and Thermal Infrared Radiometer Experiment (TIREX) will produce spectral and thermal maps of the surface. Onboard instruments will collect cometary dust, ice, and gases and perform elemental and molecular analysis. A suite of fields and particles instruments will observe the solar wind interaction with the cometary atmosphere and tail. Radio tracking of the spacecraft will provide an accurate measure of the nucleus mass and higher harmonics in the comet's gravity field. En route to the comet, the spacecraft will make a close flyby of a large asteroid, preferably a primitive type from the outer main belt. Observations at the asteroid include remote sensing mapping of the surface, detection of any solar wind interaction observable at the flyby distance, and measurement of the asteroid mass to better than 10 percent accuracy. Detailed design of the CRAF spacecraft is currently underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Recent mass growth has necessitated a switch to Venus-Earth gravity assist type trajectories, similar to that used by the Galileo spacecraft. These trajectories require longer flight times from launch to rendezvous with the target comet. The details of the current baseline mission, spacecraft design, and instrument payload will be reviewed.

  5. An Introduction to Comets and Their Origin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Robert D.; Brandt, John C.

    1985-01-01

    Presents excerpts from "The Comet Book," a nontechnical primer on comets. Various topics discusses in these excerpts include such basic information about comets as their components, paths, and origins. (DH)

  6. ESA Unveils Its New Comet Chaser.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-07-01

    hieroglyphics, so Rosetta will help scientists to unravel the mysteries of comets. Hieroglyphics were the building blocks of the Egyptian language. Comets are the most primitive objects in the Solar System, the building blocks from which the planets formed. Virtually unchanged after 4.6 billion years in the deep freeze of the outer Solar System, they still contain ices and dust from the original solar nebula. They also contain complex organic compounds which some scientists believe may have been the first building blocks for life on Earth. 200 years ago, the discovery of a slab of volcanic basalt near the Egyptian town of Rashid (Rosetta) led to a revolution in our understanding of the past. By comparing the inscriptions on the 'Rosetta Stone', historians were able to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time. Just as the Rosetta Stone provided the key to an ancient civilisation, so the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft will allow scientists to unlock the mysteries of the oldest building blocks of our Solar System - the comets. The legacy of Giotto. For centuries, comets have inspired awe and wonder. Many ancient civilisations saw them as portents of death and disaster, omens of great social and political upheavals. Shrouded in thin, luminous veils with tails streaming behind them, these 'long-haired stars' were given the name 'comets' by the ancient Greeks (the Greek word kome meant 'hair'). When ESA's Giotto spacecraft arrived at Halley's Comet in 1986, no one knew what a comet nucleus was really like. The problem was that it is impossible to see the solid heart of a comet from the Earth. As soon as the nucleus moves close enough to us for detailed observation, it is obscured from view by a shroud of gas and dust. The most popular theory about the nature of comets was put forward by American astronomer Fred Whipple, who believed they were like dirty snowballs - large chunks of water ice and dust mixed with ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide. As they

  7. Sulfides and oxides in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rietmeijer, Frans J. M.

    1988-01-01

    Metal abundances associated with Sun-grazing P/comet Ikeya-Seki 1965f, the mineralogy of chrondritic interplanetary dust particles and cosmochemical affinities of Co, V, Cr, and Ni in extraterrestrial materials and probable vaporization data for nonsilicate minerals are used to evaluate the putative dearth of nonsilicates in short-period comets. It is concluded that sulfides and oxides are common, albeit minor, constituents of these comets. Sulfides and oxides can form in situ during perihelion passage in the nucleus of active short-period comets by sulfidation of Mg, Fe-silicates.

  8. Destruction of Sun-grazing comet C/2011 N3 (SOHO) within the low solar corona.

    PubMed

    Schrijver, C J; Brown, J C; Battams, K; Saint-Hilaire, P; Liu, W; Hudson, H; Pesnell, W D

    2012-01-20

    Observations of comets in Sun-grazing orbits that survive solar insolation long enough to penetrate into the Sun's inner corona provide information on the solar atmosphere and magnetic field as well as on the makeup of the comet. On 6 July 2011, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed the demise of comet C/2011 N3 (SOHO) within the low solar corona in five wavelength bands in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV). The comet penetrated to within 0.146 solar radius (~100,000 kilometers) of the solar surface before its EUV signal disappeared. Before that, material released into the coma--at first seen in absorption--formed a variable EUV-bright tail. During the final 10 minutes of observation by SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, ~6 × 10(8) to 6 × 10(10) grams of total mass was lost (corresponding to an effective nucleus diameter of ~10 to 50 meters), as estimated from the tail's deceleration due to interaction with the surrounding coronal material; the EUV absorption by the comet and the brightness of the tail suggest that the mass was at the high end of this range. These observations provide evidence that the nucleus had broken up into a family of fragments, resulting in accelerated sublimation in the Sun's intense radiation field.

  9. The Dust Environment of Comet Austin 1990 V

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulle, M.; Bosio, S.; Cremonese, G.; Cristaldi, S.; Liller, W.; Pansecchi, L.

    1993-05-01

    We analyse 12 Schmidt plates concerning the dust tail of comet Austin 1990V taken at the Observatories of Catania, Cerro Tololo, ESO and Siding Spring during May and June, 1990. The absolute calibration of the images was performed by means of some standard fields of the Guide Star Photometric Catalogue I (Lasker et al. 1988) detected on the same plates containing the comet images. At the beginning of June the predicted Neck-Line Structure (Fulle & Pansecehi 1990) was detected and well observed as a streamer superimposed on the dust tail and an opposite sunward spike. We apply the inverse Monte- Carlo dust tail model (Fulle 1989) to two different sets of images, which provide results in reciprocal close agreement even if in the two sets the dust tail has a very different shape. We analyse dust grains of diameters between 10 μm and 10 cm ejected during the time interval -160 d < t < +60 d (days related to perihelion). The ejection velocity of millimeter-sized dust grains reaches its maximum value of 0.1 km s-1 at t = +10 d. The mass loss rate reaches a broad maximum of at least 3 l07 g s-1 a few days before perihelion. The power index of the time-averaged size distribution is -3.0±0.2. Strongly anisotropic dust ejections from the nucleus surface are incompatible with the observed shape of the dust tail. Further, the results of the photometry of the Neck-Line concerning the size dependence of the dust velocity and the observed length of the sunward spike indicate that the classical power index of the size dependence of the dust velocity u = -½ cannot account for all the observations. On the contrary, significantly higher index, u = -⅙, allows to reproduce very closely all the available data of the C/1990V dust tail. Also the size distribution and the mass loss rate given by the Neck- Line photometry agree with the results of the inverse Monte-Carlo model, thus supplying the first example of complete agreement between the two models. Although C/1990V was a new

  10. Solar-wind velocity measurements from near-Sun comets C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy), C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS), and C/2012 S1 (ISON)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramanjooloo, Y.; Jones, G. H.; Coates, A.; Owens, M. J.; Battams, K.

    2014-07-01

    Since the mid-20th century, comets' plasma (type I) tails have been studied as natural probes of the solar wind [1]. Comets have induced magnetotails, formed through the draping of the heliospheric magnetic field by the velocity shear in the mass-loaded solar wind. These can be easily observed remotely as the comets' plasma tails, which generally point away from the Sun. Local solar-wind conditions directly influence the morphology and dynamics of a comet's plasma tail. During ideal observing geometries, the orientation and structure of the plasma tail can reveal large-scale and small-scale variations in the local solar-wind structure. These variations can be manifested as tail condensations, kinks, and disconnection events. Over 50 % of observed catalogued comets are sungrazing comets [2], fragments of three different parent comets. Since 2011, two bright new comets, C/2011 W3 [3] (from hereon comet Lovejoy) and C/2012 S1 [4] (hereon comet ISON) have experienced extreme solar-wind conditions and insolation of their nucleus during their perihelion passages, approaching to within 8.3×10^5 km (1.19 solar radii) and 1.9×10^6 km (2.79 solar radii) of the solar centre. They each displayed a prominent plasma tail, proving to be exceptions amongst the observed group of sungrazing comets. These bright sungrazers provide unprecedented access to study the solar wind in the heretofore unprobed innermost region of the solar corona. The closest spacecraft in-situ sampling of the solar wind by the Helios probes reached 0.29 au. For this study, we define a sungrazing comet as one with its perihelion within the solar Roche limit (3.70 solar radii). We also extend this study to include C/2011 L4 [5] (comet Pan-STARRS), a comet with a much further perihelion distance of 0.302 au. The technique employed in this study was first established by analysing geocentric amateur observations of comets C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) and C/2004 Q2 (Machholz) [7]. These amateur images, obtained with modern

  11. Physical parameters and morphology of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - a main target of Rosetta space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churyumov, Klim; Kleshchonok, Valery; Mozgova, Alyona

    Rosetta, a European space vehicle was head to the icy nucleus of the short period comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 2 March, 2004 from cosmodrome Kouru. On 20 Jan. 2014, Rosetta after 10 years of flight and 31-month sleep has been woke up succesfully and now will approche to the icy nucleus of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and pass away into orbit around the cometary nucleus. In November 2014 the Philae probe will be sent from Rosetta on the nucleus of comet 67P to study the relict matter of the Solar system. Comet 67P was discovered by the Kyiv astronomers Klim Churyumov and Svitlana Gerasimenko on 22 October 1969 on the five photographic plates exponed with the help of 50-cm Maksutov’s reflector of the Alma-Ata Astrophysical Institute on 9, 11 and 21 Sept. 1969. First 5 exact positions of comet were sent to Dr Brian Marsden. Dr B.Marsden showed it was new comet. The comet had an apparent magnitude of 13 and a faint tail about 1 arcmin in length at position angle 280 degrees. The astronomer Nikolay Belyaev from Saint-Petersbourg calculated that the comet followed an elliptical orbit. In 1982 it had the close encounter with the Earth at 0.3910 A.U. On the basis of the observations of comet 67P obtained in Nizhny Arkhyz with the help of the 6- BTA reflector of SAO of RAS some physical parameters of its comet plasma tail (coefficients of diffusion Dp(parallel) , Ds(perpendicular) and induction of magnetic field B) were determined. Other results of exploration of comet 67P (its polarisation, spectral observations, the light curve and morphology) in different apparitions are discussed.

  12. THE DUST TAIL OF ASTEROID (3200) PHAETHON

    SciTech Connect

    Jewitt, David; Li Jing; Agarwal, Jessica

    2013-07-10

    We report the discovery of a comet-like tail on asteroid (3200) Phaethon when imaged at optical wavelengths near perihelion. In both 2009 and 2012, the tail appears {approx}>350'' (2.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} m) in length and extends approximately in the projected anti-solar direction. We interpret the tail as being caused by dust particles accelerated by solar radiation pressure. The sudden appearance and the morphology of the tail indicate that the dust particles are small, with an effective radius {approx}1 {mu}m and a combined mass {approx}3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 5} kg. These particles are likely products of thermal fracture and/or desiccation cracking under the very high surface temperatures ({approx}1000 K) experienced by Phaethon at perihelion. The existence of the tail confirms earlier inferences about activity in this body based on the detection of anomalous brightening. Phaethon, the presumed source of the Geminid meteoroids, is still active.

  13. Metallic atoms and ions in comets: Comet Halley 1986 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ibadov, S.

    1992-01-01

    The origin of metallic atoms and ions in the cometary comae is investigated theoretically. Two effects are revealed in the comas of bright comets: (1) the Na anomalous type effect is possible within the gas-dust jets of comet P/Halley 1986 3 due to cooling cometary dust by cryogenic gas flow from the nucleus; and (2) the production of ions of refractory elements (Fe(+), Si(+), etc.) at large heliocentric distances is possible in the comas of the Halley type dusty comets due to high-velocity impacts between cometary and zodiacal dust particles. Spectral observations of comets with high sensitivity and spatial resolution are important for studying both comets and interplanetary dust.

  14. The Chinese comet observation in AD 773 January

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, J.; Csikszentmihalyi, M.; Neuhäuser, R.

    2014-11-01

    The strong 14C increase in the year AD 774/5 detected in one German and two Japanese trees was recently suggested to have been caused by an impact of a comet onto Earth and a deposition of large amounts of 14C into the atmosphere (Liu et al. 2014). The authors supported their claim using a report of a historic Chinese observation of a comet ostensibly colliding with Earth's atmosphere in AD 773 January. We show here that the Chinese text presented by those authors is not an original historic text, but that it is comprised of several different sources. Moreover, the translation presented in Liu et al. is misleading and inaccurate. We give the exact Chinese wordings and our English translations. According to the original sources, the Chinese observed a comet in mid January 773, but they report neither a collision nor a large coma, just a long tail. Also, there is no report in any of the source texts about "dust rain in the daytime" as claimed by Liu et al. (2014), but simply a normal dust storm. Ho (1962) reports sightings of this comet in China on AD 773 Jan 15 and/or 17 and in Japan on AD 773 Jan 20 (Ho 1962). At the relevant historic time, the Chinese held that comets were produced within the Earth's atmosphere, so that it would have been impossible for them to report a "collision" of a comet with Earth's atmosphere. The translation and conclusions made by Liu et al. (2014) are not supported by the historical record. Therefore, postulating a sudden increase in 14C in corals off the Chinese coast precisely in mid January 773 (Liu et al. 2014) is not justified given just the 230Th dating for AD 783 ± 14.

  15. Lymphocyte DNA damage in Turkish asphalt workers detected by the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Bacaksiz, Aysegul; Kayaalti, Zeliha; Soylemez, Esma; Tutkun, Engin; Soylemezoglu, Tulin

    2014-01-01

    Asphalt has a highly complex structure and it contains several organic compounds including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic compounds. In this study, comet assay was used to detect the DNA damage in blood lymphocytes of 30 workers exposed to asphalt fumes and 30 nonexposed controls. This is the first report on Turkish asphalt workers' investigated DNA damage using the alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE). The DNA damage was evaluated by the percentage of DNA in the comet tail (% tail DNA) for each cell. According to our results, workers exposed to asphalt fumes had higher DNA damage than the control group (p < 0.01). The present study showed that asphalt fumes caused a significant increase in DNA damage and the comet assay is a suitable method for determining DNA damage in asphalt workers.

  16. Ring closure in actin polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinha, Supurna; Chattopadhyay, Sebanti

    2017-03-01

    We present an analysis for the ring closure probability of semiflexible polymers within the pure bend Worm Like Chain (WLC) model. The ring closure probability predicted from our analysis can be tested against fluorescent actin cyclization experiments. We also discuss the effect of ring closure on bend angle fluctuations in actin polymers.

  17. Comets and the origin of life; Proceedings of the Fifth College Park Colloquium on Chemical Evolution, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, October 29-31, 1980

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponnamperuma, C.

    1981-01-01

    Papers are presented concerning the characteristics of comets and their possible role in the origin of life. Specific topics include the characteristics, origin and structure of the cometary nucleus, cometary chemical abundances, the nature of interplanetary dust and its entry into terrestrial planet atmospheres, and the mechanism of ray closure in comet tails. Attention is also given to chemically evolved interstellar dust as a source of prebiotic material, the relation of comets to paleoatmospheric photochemistry, comets as a vehicle for panspermia, limits to life posed by extreme environments, and the status of cometary space missions as of 1980.

  18. Detection of radiation treatment of beans using DNA comet assay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Ashfaq A.; Khan, Hasan M.; Delincée, Henry

    2002-03-01

    A simple technique of microgel electrophoresis of single cells (DNA Comet Assay) enabled a quick detection of radiation treatment of several kinds of leguminous beans (azuki, black, black eye, mung, pinto, red kidney and white beans). Each variety was exposed to radiation doses of 0.5, 1 and 5kGy covering the permissible limits for insect disinfestation. The cells or nuclei from beans were extracted in cold PBS, embedded in agarose on microscope slides, lysed between 15 and 60min in 2.5% SDS and electrophoresis was carried out at a voltage of 2V/cm for 2-2.5min. After silver staining, the slides were evaluated through an ordinary transmission microscope. In irradiated samples, fragmented DNA stretched towards the anode and the damaged cells appeared as a comet. The density of DNA in the tails increased with increasing radiation dose. However, in non-irradiated samples, the large molecules of DNA remained relatively intact and there was only minor or no migration of DNA; the cells were round or had very short tails only. Hence, the DNA comet assay provides an inexpensive, rapid and relatively simple screening method for the detection of irradiated beans.

  19. Observations of a comet on collision course with the sun.

    PubMed

    Michels, D J; Sheeley, N R; Howard, R A; Koomen, M J

    1982-02-26

    A brilliant new comet (1979 XI: Howard-Koomen-Michels) was discovered in data from the Naval Research Laboratory's orbiting SOLWIND coronagraph. An extensive sequence of pictures, telemetered from the P78-1 satellite, shows the coma, accompanied by a bright and well-developed tail, passing through the coronagraph's field of view at afew million kilometers from the sun. Preliminary orbital calculations based on the observed motion of the comet's head and morphology of the tail indicate that this previously unreported object is a sungrazing comet and may be one of the group of Kreutz sungrazers. It appears from the data that the perihelion distance was less than 1 solar radius, so that the cometary nucleus encountered dense regions of the sun's atmosphere, was completely vaporized, and did not reappear after the time of closest approach to the sun. After this time, however, cometary debris, scattered into the ambient solar wind, caused a brightening of the corona over one solar hemisphere and to heliocentric distances of 5 to 10 solar radii.

  20. Where Do Comets Come From?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Flandern, Tom

    1982-01-01

    Proposes a new origin for comets in the solar system, namely, that comets originated in the breakup of a body orbiting the sun in or near the present location of the asteroid belt in the relatively recent past. Predictions related to the theory are discussed. (Author/JN)

  1. Detecting active comets with SDSS

    SciTech Connect

    Solontoi, Michael; Ivezic, Zeljko; West, Andrew A.; Claire, Mark; Juric, Mario; Becker, Andrew; Jones, Lynne; Hall, Patrick B.; Kent, Steve; Lupton, Robert H.; Quinn, Tom; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept. /Princeton U. Observ.

    2010-12-01

    Using a sample of serendipitously discovered active comets in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we develop well-controlled selection criteria for greatly increasing the efficiency of comet identification in the SDSS catalogs. After follow-up visual inspection of images to reject remaining false positives, the total sample of SDSS comets presented here contains 19 objects, roughly one comet per 10 million other SDSS objects. The good understanding of selection effects allows a study of the population statistics, and we estimate the apparent magnitude distribution to r {approx} 18, the ecliptic latitude distribution, and the comet distribution in SDSS color space. The most surprising results are the extremely narrow range of colors for comets in our sample (e.g. root-mean-square scatter of only {approx}0.06 mag for the g-r color), and the similarity of comet colors to those of jovian Trojans. We discuss the relevance of our results for upcoming deep multi-epoch optical surveys such as the Dark Energy Survey, Pan-STARRS, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and estimate that LSST may produce a sample of about 10,000 comets over its 10-year lifetime.

  2. Halley's Comet Makes a Comeback.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glenn, William H.

    1984-01-01

    Presents information on Halley's Comet including its discovery, impact on history, planned investigations related to its 1986 return, where and when to make observations, and predicted calendar of events. Gives general information on comets such as physical structure, theoretical origin, and paths and provides an annotated reference list. (JM)

  3. An Interview with Catherine Comet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scanlan, Mary

    1992-01-01

    Offers an interview with Catherine Comet, music director of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Symphony. Reviews her childhood and early study in France and her experiences at the Julliard School of Music and on the contest circuit. Explains how she became a professional conductor. Discusses Comet's view of the importance that classical music can have…

  4. Observation of DNA damage of human hepatoma cells irradiated by heavy ions using comet assay

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Li-Mei; Li, Wen-Jian; Pang, Xin-Yue; Gao, Qing-Xiang; Feng, Yan; Zhou, Li-Bin; Zhang, Gao-Hua

    2003-01-01

    AIM: Now many countries have developed cancer therapy with heavy ions, especially in GSI (Gesellschaft fürSchwerionenforschung mbH, Darmstadt, Germany), remarkable results have obtained, but due to the complexity of particle track structure, the basic theory still needs further researching. In this paper, the genotoxic effects of heavy ions irradiation on SMMC-7721 cells were measured using the single cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay). The information about the DNA damage made by other radiations such as X-ray, γ-ray, UV and fast neutron irradiation is very plentiful, while little work have been done on the heavy ions so far. Hereby we tried to detect the reaction of liver cancer cells to heavy ion using comet assay, meanwhile to establish a database for clinic therapy of cancer with the heavy ions. METHODS: The human hepatoma cells were chosen as the test cell line irradiated by 80Mev/u 20Ne10+ on HIRFL (China), the radiation-doses were 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 8 Gy, and then comet assay was used immediately to detect the DNA damages, 100-150 cells per dose-sample (30-50 cells were randomly observed at constant depth of the gel). The tail length and the quantity of the cells with the tail were put down. EXCEL was used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: We obtained clear images by comet assay and found that SMMC-7721 cells were all damaged apparently from the dose 0.5 Gy to 8 Gy (t-test: P < 0.001, vs control). The tail length and tail moment increased as the doses increased, and the number of cells with tails increased with increasing doses. When doses were higher than 2 Gy, nearly 100% cells were damaged. Furthermore, both tail length and tail moment, showed linear equation. CONCLUSION: From the clear comet assay images, our experiment proves comet assay can be used to measure DNA damages by heavy ions. Meanwhile DNA damages have a positive correlation with the dose changes of heavy ions and SMMC-7721 cells have a great radiosensitivity to 20Ne10+. Different

  5. Astrobiology of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Pikuta, Elena V.

    2004-01-01

    We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of - IAU. The transfer of incident energy h m sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of ices under tens of meters of stable crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We consider the icediatoms, snow algae and cyanobacteria, bacteria and yeast of cryoconite communities which are encountered in liquid wafer pools (meltwater) surrounding dark rocks in glaciers and the polar ice sheets as excellent analogs for the microbial ecosystems that might possibly exist on some comets.

  6. Infrared spectroscopy of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Disanti, Michael A.; Mumma, M. J.; Hoban, S. M.; Reuter, D.; Espenak, F.; Storrs, A. D.; Lacy, J.; Parmar, R.; Joyce, R.

    1990-01-01

    An observational search for cometary parent molecules using infrared spectroscopy was conducted in the 1 to 5 micron region. The investigation involved two different observing programs, one at moderate spectral resolution and one at fairly high resolution. The lower resolution was used to study cometary spectra in the vicinity of 3.5 micron at wavelength/change in wavelength is approximately or equal to 10(exp 3). Comets P/Brorsen-Metcalf (1989o), Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko (1989r), and Austin (1990c1) were observed with the Cryogenic Spectrometer (CRSP) at Kitt Peak. The detector incorporated an InSb array with 58 spatial elements, each 2.7 min on the sky, and 62 spectral channels per spatial element. An, as yet, unidentified feature was detected at approximately 3.52 micron in Comet Austin (on 1990 May 4, 5, and 6). The feature is possibly present in P/Brorsen-Metcalf (observed on 1989 August 23 and 25), as well. Comet Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko exhibited continuum emission only in this spectral region at the time of the observations (1989 November 14 and 16). The data are presented, and the relationship between the 3.52 micron feature and cometary activity (e.g., water production rate, visibility of the 3.4 micron emission feature) are discussed. The high resolution program probed comet Austin in the 4.8 micron region. These observations were used to search for emission lines comprising the (1-0) vibration-rotation band of the ground electronic state of CO. Retrieval of the lines allows a probe of the population distribution of levels J' = 1 through 4 of the excited (v' = 1) vibrational state within the ground electronic state of CO. Knowledge of this distribution can be used to constrain the rotational temperature. Preliminary analysis suggests the P3 line was present UT May 16 at roughly the 5 sigma level. Results concerning the existence of other lines, and physical conditions inferred therefrom are discussed.

  7. Asteroid and comet surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcfadden, Lucy-Ann

    1988-01-01

    Photometric and spectrophotometric studies of asteroids and comets are in progress to address questions about the mineralogical relationship between asteroids near the 3:1 Kirkwood gap and ordinary chondrite meteorites and between cometary nuclei and the surface of asteroids. Progress was made on a method to convert the measured excess UV flux in the spectrum of 2201 Oljato to column abundance of OH and CN. Spectral reflectance measurements of large asteroids near the 3:1 Kirkwood gap, which is expected to be the source of ordinary chondrite meteorites, were briefly examined and show no spectral signatures that are characteristic of ordinary chondrite meteorite powders measured in the lab.

  8. A Starry Diamond in a Veil of Light: Artistic and Literary Suggestions of a Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasperini, A.; Galli, D.

    2016-01-01

    Donati's Comet, discovered in Florence on June 2, 1858, was one of the most spectacular astronomical events of the nineteenth century. It could be seen with the naked eye during September and October 1858, when it reached its highest splendour. The sight of the comet, with its bright nucleus and its long, curved tail, inspired paintings, watercolors, engravings, and sketches by artists such as William Dyce, Samuel Palmer, and William Turner of Oxford. Donati's Comet is mentioned in the works of several contemporary writers and poets (Hawthorne, Dickens, Hardy, and Verne), and in the diaries of explorers and travelers all around the world. Long-lasting traces of the impression left by Donati's Comet are found in many forms of popular art and literature (ladies' magazines, children's books, collection cards, and advertisements) until the beginning of the twentieth century. This paper focuses on a few examples of this fascination, emphasizing the connections among the astronomical event and the artistic sensibility of the period.

  9. Assessment of genotoxic effects of flumorph by the comet assay in mice organs.

    PubMed

    Zhang, T; Zhao, Q; Zhang, Y; Ning, J

    2014-03-01

    The present study investigated the genotoxic effects of flumorph in various organs (brain, liver, spleen, kidney and sperm) of mice. The DNA damage, measured as comet tail length (µm), was determined using the alkaline comet assay. The comet assay is a sensitive assay for the detection of genotoxicity caused by flumorph using mice as a model. Statistically significant increases in comet assay for both dose-dependent and duration-dependent DNA damage were observed in all the organs assessed. The organs exhibited the maximum DNA damage in 96 h at 54 mg/kg body weight. Brain showed maximum DNA damage followed by spleen > kidney > liver > sperm. Our data demonstrated that flumorph had induced systemic genotoxicity in mammals as it caused DNA damage in all tested vital organs, especially in brain and spleen.

  10. Anatomy of a Busted Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Poster Version (Figure 1)

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured the picture on the left of comet Holmes in March 2008, five months after the comet suddenly erupted and brightened a millionfold overnight. The contrast of the picture has been enhanced on the right to show the anatomy of the comet.

    Every six years, comet 17P/Holmes speeds away from Jupiter and heads inward toward the sun, traveling the same route typically without incident. However, twice in the last 116 years, in November 1892 and October 2007, comet Holmes mysteriously exploded as it approached the asteroid belt. Astronomers still do not know the cause of these eruptions.

    Spitzer's infrared picture at left hand side of figure 1, reveals fine dust particles that make up the outer shell, or coma, of the comet. The nucleus of the comet is within the bright whitish spot in the center, while the yellow area shows solid particles that were blown from the comet in the explosion. The comet is headed away from the sun, which lies beyond the right-hand side of figure 1.

    The contrast-enhanced picture on the right shows the comet's outer shell, and strange filaments, or streamers, of dust. The streamers and shell are a yet another mystery surrounding comet Holmes. Scientists had initially suspected that the streamers were small dust particles ejected from fragments of the nucleus, or from hyerpactive jets on the nucleus, during the October 2007 explosion. If so, both the streamers and the shell should have shifted their orientation as the comet followed its orbit around the sun. Radiation pressure from the sun should have swept the material back and away from it. But pictures of comet Holmes taken by Spitzer over time show the streamers and shell in the same configuration, and not pointing away from the sun. The observations have left astronomers stumped.

    The horizontal line seen in the contrast-enhanced picture is a trail of debris

  11. Multiwavelength Observations of Recent Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milam, Stefanie N.; Charnley, Steven B.; Gicquel, Adeline; Cordiner, Martin; Kuan, Yi-Jehng; Chuang, Yo-Ling; Villanueva, Geronimo; DiSanti, Michael A.; Bonev, Boncho P.; Remijan, Anthony J.; Coulson, Iain

    2013-01-01

    Comets provide important clues to the physical and chemical processes that occurred during the formation and early evolution of the Solar System, and could also have been important for initiating prebiotic chemistry on the early Earth. Comets are comprised of molecular ices, that may be pristine inter-stellar remnants of Solar System formation, along with high-temperature crystalline silicate dust that is indicative of a more thermally varied history in the protosolar nebula. Comparing abundances of cometary parent volatiles, and isotopic fractionation ratios, to those found in the interstellar medium, in disks around young stars, and between cometary families, is vital to understanding planetary system formation and the processing history experienced by organic matter in the so-called interstellar-comet connection. We will present a comparison of molecular abundances in these comets to those observed in others, supporting a long-term effort of building a comet taxonomy based on composition.

  12. Multiple Myosins Are Required to Coordinate Actin Assembly with Coat Compression during Compensatory Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Bement, William M.

    2007-01-01

    Actin is involved in endocytosis in organisms ranging from yeast to mammals. In activated Xenopus eggs, exocytosing cortical granules (CGs) are surrounded by actin “coats,” which compress the exocytosing compartments, resulting in compensatory endocytosis. Here, we examined the roles of two myosins in actin coat compression. Myosin-2 is recruited to exocytosing CGs late in coat compression. Inhibition of myosin-2 slows coat compression without affecting actin assembly. This differs from phenotype induced by inhibition of actin assembly, where exocytosing CGs are trapped at the plasma membrane (PM) completely. Thus, coat compression is likely driven in part by actin assembly itself, but it requires myosin-2 for efficient completion. In contrast to myosin-2, the long-tailed myosin-1e is recruited to exocytosing CGs immediately after egg activation. Perturbation of myosin-1e results in partial actin coat assembly and induces CG collapse into the PM. Intriguingly, simultaneous inhibition of actin assembly and myosin-1e prevents CG collapse. Together, the results show that myosin-1e and myosin-2 are part of an intricate machinery that coordinates coat compression at exocytosing CGs. PMID:17699600

  13. An MHD simulation of the interaction of the solar wind with the outflowing plasma from a comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ogino, T.; Walker, R. J.; Ashour-Abdalla, M.

    1986-01-01

    The interaction between the solar wind and the outflowing plasmas from a comet has been studied by using a two-dimensional time-dependent magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulation. The model reproduced several features of the comet-solar wind interaction predicted by earlier theories and observed on the recent cometary probes. These include the formation of the contact surface and the cometary magnetotail. For a constant interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) the cometary plasma captures field lines which drape over the comet to form an antiparallel magnetic field configuration in the tail and a thin plasma sheet. Eventually, tail magnetic reconnection begins to occur at several points. When the IMF orientation is reversed dayside magnetic reconnection occurs at the subsolar point and a large disturbance propagation down the tail.

  14. Study of sungrazing comets with space-based coronagraphs: New possibilities offered by METIS on board Solar Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bemporad, A.; Giordano, S.; Raymond, J. C.; Knight, M. M.

    2015-11-01

    Thanks to the launch of SOHO in the end of 1995 and to the continuous monitoring of the white light (WL) corona offered by the LASCO coronagraphs, it was discovered that sungrazing comets are much more common than previously thought. More than 2800 comets have been discovered so far over nearly 20 years, hence slightly less than a comet every 2 days is observed by coronagraphs. The WL emission seen by SOHO/LASCO and more recently also by the STEREO/SECCHI instruments provides information not only on the comet orbits (hence on their origin), but also on the dust-tail formation, dust-tail disconnection, occurrence of nucleus fragmentation and nucleus disintegration processes. Very interestingly, a few sungrazing comets have also been observed spectroscopically in the UV by the SOHO UV Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS), and the strong emission observed in the HI Lyman- α 1216 Å line provides direct information also on the water outgassing rate, tail chemical composition, nucleus size, and occurrence of nucleus fragmentation. Moreover, the UV cometary emission provides a new method to estimate physical parameters of the coronal plasma met by the comet (like electron density, proton temperature and solar wind velocity), so that these comets can be considered as "local probes" for the solar corona. Unique observations of comets will be provided in the near future by the METIS coronagraph on board the Solar Orbiter mission: METIS will simultaneously observe the corona in WL and in UV (HI Lyman- α), hence it will be a unique instrument capable of studying at the same time the transiting comets and the solar corona. Previous results and new possibilities offered by METIS on these topics are summarized and discussed here.

  15. DNA Damage Analysis in Children with Non-syndromic Developmental Delay by Comet Assay

    PubMed Central

    Chand, Parkash; Ballambattu, Vishnu Bhat; Hanumanthappa, Nandeesha; Veeramani, Raveendranath

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Majority of the developmental delays in children are non-syndromic and they are believed to have an underlying DNA damage, though not well substantiated. Hence the present study was carried out to find out if there is any increased DNA damage in children with non-syndromic developmental delay by using the comet assay. Aim The present case-control study was undertaken to assess the level of DNA damage in children with non syndromic developmental delay and compare the same with that of age and sex matched controls using submarine gel electrophoresis (Comet Assay). Materials and Methods The blood from clinically diagnosed children with non syndromic developmental delay and controls were subjected for alkaline version of comet assay – Single cell gel electrophoresis using lymphocytes isolated from the peripheral blood. The comets were observed under a bright field microscope; photocaptured and scored using the Image J image quantification software. Comet parameters were compared between the cases and controls and statistical analysis and interpretation of results was done using the statistical software SPSS version 20. Results The mean comet tail length in cases and control was 20.77+7.659μm and 08.97+4.398μm respectively which was statistically significant (p<0.001). Other comet parameters like total comet length and % DNA in tail also showed a statistically significant difference (p < 0.001) between cases and controls. Conclusion The current investigation unraveled increased levels of DNA damage in children with non syndromic developmental delay when compared to the controls. PMID:27437200

  16. First-time comet observations at the National Observatory of Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oklay, N.; Vincent, J.

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: We performed first-time scientific comet observations from Tübitak National Observatory (TUG), Turkey using two telescopes of that facility. In order to test the capabilities of the instruments, we performed a long comet-monitoring campaign from October 2013 to January 2014. We observed many comets, including but not limited to C/2012 S1 ISON, 154P Brewington, and C/2013 R1 Lovejoy. All comets were monitored for several nights with the Bessel R, V, and B filters from the 1-m (T100) and 1.5-m (RTT150) telescopes. Additionally, we acquired the first spectroscopic observations of a comet from TUG, using the TUG Faint Object Spectrograph (TFOSC with grism between 3230-9120 Å) mounted on RTT150. With these observations, we could assess the quality of the TUG instruments for cometary science, and identified a few limitations. We propose some technical improvements for future comet observations. These will open new observational opportunities for Turkish astronomers and a participation in international campaigns on cometary science. Observations and simulations: Apart from testing the instruments, our observations were also driven by the scientific questions regarding comet ISON around its perihelion passage. We intended to follow the formation and evolution of dust coma structures, and use well-tested models to simulate and understand this activity (Vincent et al. 2010, 2013, Lin et al. 2012). Additionally, we wanted to acquire spectra and derive the composition of the tail before and after perihelion. Unfortunately, the comet was not very active before perihelion and completely disintegrated at the end of November 2013. Nonetheless, we had acquired many images in the previous weeks, and we used the remaining nights to monitor other comets, mainly C/2013 R1 Lovejoy. Since the observatory is not equipped with the comet gas filters, we concentrated on dust structures and monitored comet ISON during October 2013 in Bessel R, B, and V filters. The cometary

  17. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Granvik, M.; Virkki, A.; Fedorets, G.; Wilkman, O.; Kohout, T.

    2014-08-01

    Asteroids, Comets, Meteors focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies. Small bodies are the key to understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System, carrying signals from pre-solar times. Understanding the evolution of the Solar System helps unveil the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems. Societally, small bodies will be important future resources of minerals. The near-Earth population of small bodies continues to pose an impact hazard, whether it be small pieces of falling meteorites or larger asteroids or cometary nuclei capable of causing global environmental effects. The conference series entitled ''Asteroids, Comets, Meteors'' constitutes the leading international series in the field of small Solar System bodies. The first three conferences took place in Uppsala, Sweden in 1983, 1985, and 1989. The conference is now returning to Nordic countries after a quarter of a century. After the Uppsala conferences, the conference has taken place in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A. in 1991, Belgirate, Italy in 1993, Paris, France in 1996, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. in 1999, in Berlin, Germany in 2002, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in 2008, and in Niigata, Japan in 2012. ACM in Helsinki, Finland in 2014 will be the 12th conference in the series.

  18. Constraints from Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wooden, Diane H.

    2006-01-01

    Crystalline silicates identified in the laboratory examinations of cometary interplanetary dust particles, in Stardust particles, and in the IR spectra of comets and protoplanetary disks typically have high Mg and low Fe contents. In contrast, the amorphous silicates in IDPs and comets are predominantly Fe-rich. Mg-rich crystalline silicates are hypothesized to form by heating of amorphous silicates at temperatures above 1000 K. Annealing does not change the stoichiometry, i.e., the chemistry of the grains. Therefore, annealing is not expected to change an Fe-bearing amorphous silicate into a Mg-rich crystal. We discuss this challenge to the annealing scenario, review the condensation scenarios, and discuss the possibility that Fe reduction, a process thought to contribute in chondrule-formation, is the missing link between Fe-rich amorphous silicates and Mg rich crystalline silicates. We discuss the time scales for these processes in terms of time dependent 2D models of disks (by Gail & collaborators) and in terms of shocks. We mention the Stardust sample return results on Mg-rich crystalline silicates.

  19. Role of actin filaments in fusopod formation and osteoclastogenesis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yongqiang; Brooks, Patricia Joyce; Jang, Janet Jinyoung; Silver, Alexandra Shade; Arora, Pamma D; McCulloch, Christopher A; Glogauer, Michael

    2015-07-01

    Cell fusion process is a critical, rate-limiting step in osteoclastogenesis but the mechanisms that regulate fusopod formation are not defined. We characterized fusopod generation in cultured pre-osteoclasts derived from cells stably transfected with a plasmid that expressed a short, actin filament binding peptide (Lifeact) fused to mEGFP that enables localization of actin filaments in living cells. Fusion was initiated at fusopods, which are cell extensions of width >2 μm and that are immunostained for myosin-X at the extension tips. Fusopods formed at the leading edge of larger migrating cells and from the tail of adjacent smaller cells, both of which migrated in the same direction. Staining for DC-STAMP was circumferential and did not localize to cell-cell fusion sites. Compared with wild-type cells, monocytes null for Rac1 exhibited 6-fold fewer fusopods and formed 4-fold fewer multinucleated osteoclasts. From time-lapse images we found that fusion was temporally related to the formation of coherent and spatially isolated bands of actin filaments that originated in cell bodies and extended into the fusopods. These bands of actin filaments were involved in cell fusion after approaching cells formed initial contacts. We conclude that the formation of fusopods is regulated by Rac1 to initiate intercellular contact during osteoclastogenesis. This step is followed by the tightly regulated assembly of bands of actin filaments in fusopods, which lead to closure of the intercellular gap and finally, cell fusion. These novel, actin-dependent processes are important for fusion processes in osteoclastogenesis.

  20. Novel actin depolymerizing macrolide aplyronine A.

    PubMed

    Saito, S; Watabe, S; Ozaki, H; Kigoshi, H; Yamada, K; Fusetani, N; Karaki, H

    1996-09-01

    Aplyronine A is a macrolide isolated from Aplysia kurodai. By monitoring fluorescent intensity of pyrenyl-actin, it was found that aplyronine A inhibited both the velocity and the degree of actin polymerization. Aplyronine A also quickly depolymerized F-actin. The kinetics of depolymerization suggest that aplyronine A severs F-actin. The relationship between the concentration of total actin and F-actin at different concentrations of aplyronine A suggests that aplyronine A forms a 1:1 complex with G-actin. From these results, it is concluded that aplyronine A inhibits actin polymerization and depolymerizes F-actin by nibbling. Comparison of the chemical structure of aplyronine A and another actin-depolymerizing macrolide, mycalolide B, suggests that the side-chain but not the macrolide ring of aplyronine A may account for its actin binding and severing activity.

  1. Bacterial Actins and Their Interactors.

    PubMed

    Gayathri, Pananghat

    2017-01-01

    Bacterial actins polymerize in the presence of nucleotide (preferably ATP), form a common arrangement of monomeric interfaces within a protofilament, and undergo ATP hydrolysis-dependent change in stability of the filament-all of which contribute to performing their respective functions. The relative stability of the filament in the ADP-bound form compared to that of ATP and the rate of addition of monomers at the two ends decide the filament dynamics. One of the major differences between eukaryotic actin and bacterial actins is the variety in protofilament arrangements and dynamics exhibited by the latter. The filament structure and the polymerization dynamics enable them to perform various functions such as shape determination in rod-shaped bacteria (MreB), cell division (FtsA), plasmid segregation (ParM family of actin-like proteins), and organelle positioning (MamK). Though the architecture and dynamics of a few representative filaments have been studied, information on the effect of interacting partners on bacterial actin filament dynamics is not very well known. The chapter reviews some of the structural and functional aspects of bacterial actins, with special focus on the effect that interacting partners exert on the dynamics of bacterial actins, and how these assist them to carry out the functions within the bacterial cell.

  2. The role of substrate curvature in actin-based pushing forces.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Ian M; Ehrenberg, Morton; Bindschadler, Michael; McGrath, James L

    2004-06-22

    The extension of the plasma membrane during cell crawling or spreading is known to require actin polymerization; however, the question of how pushing forces derive from actin polymerization remains open. A leading theory (herein referred to as elastic propulsion) illustrates how elastic stresses in networks growing on curved surfaces can result in forces that push particles. To date all examples of reconstituted motility have used curved surfaces, raising the possibility that such squeezing forces are essential for actin-based pushing. By contrast, other theories, such as molecular ratchets, neither require nor consider surface curvature to explain pushing forces. Here, we critically test the requirement of substrate curvature by reconstituting actin-based motility on polystyrene disks. We find that disks move through extracts in a manner that indicates pushing forces on their flat surfaces and that disks typically move faster than the spheres they are manufactured from. For a subset of actin tails that form on the perimeter of disks, we find no correlation between local surface curvature and tail position. Collectively the data indicate that curvature-dependent mechanisms are not required for actin-based pushing.

  3. Comet Science Working Group report on the Halley Intercept Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The Halley Intercept Mission is described and the scientific benefits expected from the program are defined. One characteristic of the mission is the optical navigation and resulting accurate delivery of the spacecraft to a desired point near the nucleus. This accuracy of delivery has two important implications: (1) high probability that the mass spectrometers and other in situ measurement devices will reach the cometary ionosphere and the zone of parent molecules next to the nucleus; (2) high probability that sunlit, high resolution images of Halley's nucleus will be obtained under proper lighting conditions. In addition an observatory phase is included during which high quality images of the tail and coma structure will be obtained at progressively higher spatial resolutions as the spacecraft approaches the comet. Complete measurements of the comet/solar wind interaction can be made around the time of encounter. Specific recommendations are made concerning project implementation and spacecraft requirements.

  4. Fabry-Perot observations of Comet Halley H2O(+)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scherb, F.; Roesler, F. L. D.; Harlander, J.; Magee-Sauer, K.

    1990-01-01

    Fabry-Perot scanning spectrometer observations of Comet Halley's H2O(+) emissions have yielded 6158.64 and 6158.85 A spin doublet data at distances in the range of 0 to 2 million km from the comet heat in the antisunward direction. Cometary plasma outflow velocities were ascertained on the basis of the emissions' Doppler shifts, yielding results that were mostly but not exclusively consistent with the plasma's constant antisunward acceleration; the acceleration varied from night to night of observations over a 30-300 cm/sec range. The unusual plasma kinematics of December 14-15, 1985, and January 10, 1986, may be associated with the tail-disconnection activity observed by others.

  5. First results from the Comet ISON Observing Campaign (CIOC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lisse, C.

    2014-07-01

    Comet ISON came fresh from the Oort Cloud as predicted, coming within 0.07 au of Mars, 0.24 au of Mercury, and 10^{6} km of the solar photospheric surface. It did not become the ''Comet of the Century'' in terms of its brightness in the Earth's night-time sky as predicted, but instead became one of the rare dynamically new Oort Cloud comets to graze the Sun's corona (these occur every few decades; the last one observed was C/Ikeya-Seki 1965). For an initially bright comet detected as far out as the orbit of Saturn in Sept 2011, the comet worried us all quite a bit with its flat-lining activity from 4 to 0.8 au (March to Oct 2013). It thus put on a somewhat disappointing showing at Mars in early October, but then defied predictions of its demise and a government shutdown, ramping up instead to become a beautiful early morning green ''lollipop'' as it passed Mercury in mid-November (Figure). ISON ultimately peaked at maximum Q_{gas} = 2 × 10^{30} mol/s of water [1] within the last few days before perihelion, then seemed to have almost no gas output the day of perihelion, 28 Nov 2013 [2] before spectacularly disrupting under the watchful eyes of the SOHO and STEREO spacecraft (Figure), after which its debris fan was tracked for days until it finally disappeared [3,4]. Over 19 NASA and ESA spacecraft ultimately pointed at the comet, with at least 14 reporting detections of it ranging from the X-rays through the infrared. More than 30 ground-based observatories observed ISON from at UV to radio wavelengths. Important findings concerning the comet's size, rotation state, dust to gas ratio, composition, and coma and tail structure were made during ISON'S apparition. Numerous observing groups produced evidence for a small and CO poor (but rich in solid carbon and CO_2) nucleus that was rapidly evolving. Throughout this time, parallels to the behavior of other dynamically new comets, like C/1973 E (Kohoutek), were readily apparent. In this talk I present an overview of the

  6. Actin cytoskeleton: putting a CAP on actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, V A; Theurkauf, W E

    2000-10-05

    Two recent studies have identified a Drosophila homolog of cyclase-associated protein (CAP) as a developmentally important negative regulator of actin polymerization that may also directly mediate signal transduction.

  7. Rosetta - a comet ride to solve planetary mysteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-01-01

    be kept in hibernation during most of its 8-year trek towards Wirtanen. What makes Rosetta's cruise so long? To reach Comet Wirtanen, the spacecraft needs to go out in deep space as far from the Sun as Jupiter is. No launcher could possibly get Rosetta there directly. ESA's spacecraft will gather speed from gravitational ‘kicks’ provided by three planetary fly-bys: one of Mars in 2005 and two of Earth in 2005 and 2007. During the trip, Rosetta will also visit two asteroids, Otawara (in 2006) and Siwa (in 2008). During these encounters, scientists will switch on Rosetta's instruments for calibration and scientific studies. Long trips in deep space include many hazards, such as extreme changes in temperature. Rosetta will leave the benign environment of near-Earth space to the dark, frigid regions beyond the asteroid belt. To manage these thermal loads, experts have done very tough pre-launch tests to study Rosetta's endurance. For example, they have heated its external surfaces to more than 150°C, then quickly cooled it to -180°C in the next test. The spacecraft will be fully reactivated prior to the comet rendezvous manoeuvre in 2011. Then, Rosetta will orbit the comet - an object only 1.2 km wide - while it cruises through the inner Solar System at 135 000 kilometres per hour. At that time of the rendezvous - around 675 million km from the Sun - Wirtanen will hardly show any surface activity. It means that the carachteristic coma (the comet’s ‘atmosphere’) and the tail will not be formed yet, because of the large distance from the Sun. The comet's tail is in fact made of dust grains and frozen gases from the comet's surface that vapourise because of the Sun's heat. During 6-month, Rosetta will extensively map the comet surface, prior to selecting a landing site. In July 2012, the lander will self-eject from the spacecraft from a height of just one kilometre. Touchdown will take place at walking speed - less than 1 metre per second. Immediately after

  8. Formin' actin in the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Baarlink, Christian; Grosse, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Many if not most proteins can, under certain conditions, change cellular compartments, such as, for example, shuttling from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Thus, many proteins may exert functions in various and very different subcellular locations, depending on the signaling context. A large amount of actin regulatory proteins has been detected in the mammalian cell nucleus, although their potential roles are much debated and are just beginning to emerge. Recently, members of the formin family of actin nucleators were also reported to dynamically localize to the nuclear environment. Here we discuss our findings that specific diaphanous-related formins can promote nuclear actin assembly in a signal-dependent manner.

  9. Earth-based photography of Comet Kohoutek in sky on December 6, 1973

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    An earth-based photograph of the Comet Kohoutek in the sky on December 6, 1973, when the celestial phenomenon was more than 70 million miles from the Sun and some 119 million miles from Earth. This picture was taken from a dark mountain top area of Haleakala (Island of Maui) Hawaii, using a 35mm Nikon camera with a 55mm lens, a 300-second exposure at f/1.2 and with Tri-X film. The photographer was Frank Giovane. The indicated visible tail of the comet appears to be about 10 million miles long. Other reports have inferred that the length of the tail is up to 13 million miles. The Skylab 4 crewmen have reported that Kohoutek's tail-length was from 2 to 3 degrees or from 4 to 6 million miles as viewed with the naked eye from the Skylab space station in earth orbit.

  10. A Creaking and Cracking Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faurschou Hviid, Stubbe; Hüttig, Christian; Groussin, Olivier; Mottola, Stefano; Keller, Horst Uwe; OSIRIS Team

    2016-10-01

    Since the middle of 2014 the OSIRIS cameras on the ESA Rosetta mission have been monitoring the evolution of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it passed through perihelion. During the perihelion passage several change events have been observed on the nucleus surface. For example existing large scale cracks have expanded and new large scale cracks have been created. Also several large scale "wave pattern" like change events have been observed in the Imhotep and Hapi regions. These are events not directly correlated with any normal visible cometary activity. One interpretation is that these are events likely caused by "seismic" activity. The seismic activity is created by the self-gravity stress of the non-spherical comet nucleus and stress created by the non-gravitational forces acting on the comet. The non-gravitational forces are changing the rotation period of the comet (~20min/perihelion passage) which induces a changing mechanical stress pattern through the perihelion passage. Also the diurnal cycle with its changing activity pattern is causing a periodic wobble in the stress pattern that can act as a trigger for a comet quake. The stress pattern has been modeled using a finite element model that includes self-gravity, the comet spin and the non-gravitational forces based on a cometary activity model. This paper will discuss what can be learned about the comet nucleus structure and about the cometary material properties from these events and from the FEM model.

  11. Actin dynamics and cofilin-actin rods in Alzheimer disease

    PubMed Central

    Bamburg, James R.; Bernstein, Barbara W.

    2017-01-01

    Cytoskeletal abnormalities and synaptic loss, typical of both familial and sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD), are induced by diverse stresses such as neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and energetic stress, each of which may be initiated or enhanced by proinflammatory cytokines or amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. Extracellular Aβ-containing plaques and intracellular phospho-tau-containing neurofibrillary tangles are postmortem pathologies required to confirm AD and have been the focus of most studies. However, AD brain, but not normal brain, also have increased levels of cytoplasmic rod-shaped bundles of filaments composed of ADF/cofilin-actin in a 1:1 complex (rods). Cofilin, the major ADF/cofilin isoform in mammalian neurons, severs actin filaments at low cofilin/actin ratios and stabilizes filaments at high cofilin/actin ratios. It binds cooperatively to ADP-actin subunits in F-actin. Cofilin is activated by dephosphorylation and may be oxidized in stressed neurons to form disulfide-linked dimers, required for bundling cofilin-actin filaments into stable rods. Rods form within neurites causing synaptic dysfunction by sequestering cofilin, disrupting normal actin dynamics, blocking transport, and exacerbating mitochondrial membrane potential loss. Aβ and proinflammatory cytokines induce rods through a cellular prion protein-dependent activation of NADPH oxidase and production of reactive oxygen species. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of cofilin biochemistry, rod formation, and the development of cognitive deficits. We will then discuss rod formation as a molecular pathway for synapse loss that may be common between all three prominent current AD hypotheses, thus making rods an attractive therapeutic target. PMID:26873625

  12. Rosetta following a living comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accomazzo, Andrea; Ferri, Paolo; Lodiot, Sylvain; Pellon-Bailon, Jose-Luis; Hubault, Armelle; Porta, Roberto; Urbanek, Jakub; Kay, Ritchie; Eiblmaier, Matthias; Francisco, Tiago

    2016-09-01

    The International Rosetta Mission was launched on 2nd March 2004 on its 10 year journey to rendezvous with comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta performed comet orbit insertion on the 6th of August 2014, after which it characterised the nucleus and orbited it at altitudes as low as a few kilometres. In November 2014 Rosetta delivered the lander Philae to perform the first soft landing ever on the surface of a comet. The critical landing operations have been conducted with remarkable accuracy and will constitute one of the most important achievements in the history of spaceflight. After this critical operation, Rosetta began the escort phase of the comet in its journey in the Solar System heading to the perihelion, reached in August 2015. Throughout this period, the comet environment kept changing with increasing gas and dust emissions. A first phase of bound orbits was followed by a sequence of complex flyby segments which allowed the scientific instruments to perform in depth investigation of the comet environment and nucleus. The unpredictable nature of the comet activity forced the mission control team to implement unplanned changes to the flight plan prepared for this mission phase and to plan the whole mission in a more dynamic way than originally conceived. This paper describes the details of the landing operations and of the main comet escort phase. It also includes the mission status as achieved after perihelion and the findings about the evolution of the comet and its environment from a mission operations point of view. The lessons learned from this unique and complex operations phase and the plans for the next mission phases, which include a mission extension into 2016, are also described.

  13. Optical Studies of Active Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1998-01-01

    This grant was to support optical studies of comets close enough to the sun to be outgassing. The main focus of the observations was drawn to the two extraordinarily bright comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, but other active comets were also studied in detail during the period of funding. Major findings (all fully published) under this grant include: (1) Combined optical and submillimeter observations of the comet/Centaur P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 were used to study the nature of mass loss from this object. The submillimeter observations show directly that the optically prominent dust coma is ejected by the sublimation of carbon monoxide. Simultaneous optical-submillimeter observations allowed us to test earlier determinations of the dust mass loss rate. (2) We modelled the rotation of cometary nuclei using time-resolved images of dust jets as the primary constraint. (3) We obtained broad-band optical images of several comets for which we subsequently attempted submillimeter observations, in order to test and update the cometary ephemerides. (4) Broad-band continuum images of a set of weakly active comets and, apparently, inactive asteroids were obtained in BVRI using the University of Hawaii 2.2-m telescope. These images were taken in support of a program to test the paradigm that many near-Earth asteroids might be dead or dormant comets. We measured coma vs. nucleus colors in active comets (finding that coma particle scattering is different from, and cannot be simply related to, nucleus color). We obtained spectroscopic observations of weakly active comets and other small bodies using the HIRES spectrograph on the Keck 10-m telescope. These observation place sensitive limits to outgassing from these bodies, aided by the high (40,000) spectral resolution of HIRES.

  14. Multiple actin-based motor genes in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed Central

    Titus, M A; Warrick, H M; Spudich, J A

    1989-01-01

    Dictyostelium cells, devoid of conventional myosin, display a variety of motile activities, consistent with the presence of other molecular motors. The Dictyostelium genome was probed at low stringency with a gene fragment containing the conserved conventional myosin head domain sequences to identify other actin-based motors that may play a role in the observed motility of these mutant cells. One gene (abmA) has been characterized and encodes a polypeptide of approximately 135 kDa with a head region homologous to other myosin head sequences and a tail region that is not predicted to form either an alpha-helical structure of coiled-coil interactions. Comparisons of the amino acid sequences of the tail regions of abmA, Dictyostelium myosin I, and Acanthamoeba myosins IB and IL reveal an area of sequence similarity in the amino terminal half of the tail that may be a membrane-binding domain. The abmA gene, however, does not contain an unusual Gly, Pro, Ala stretch typical of many of the previously described myosin Is. Two additional genes (abmB and abmC) were identified using this approach and also found to contain sequences that encode proteins with typical conserved myosin head sequences. The abm genes may be part of a large family of actin-based motors that play various roles in diverse aspects of cellular motility. Images PMID:2519618

  15. Comets - Chemistry and chemical evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, B.

    1982-01-01

    Research on the chemical composition and conditions in comets and their possible role in the origin of life on earth is surveyed. The inorganic and organic compounds and ions indicated in the ultraviolet and visible spectra of comets are noted, and evidence for the existence of at least a small proportion of complex organic molecules in comets is presented. It is then pointed out that while cometary material could have reached the earth and provided volatile elements from which biochemical compounds could have formed, it is unlikely that a cometary nucleus could have withstood the temperatures and pressures necessary to sustain an environment in which life could have originated.

  16. Energy source for comet outbursts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patashnick, H.; Schuerman, D. W.; Rupprecht, G.

    1974-01-01

    Development of a mechanism explaining the internal source of energy of comet outbursts. A mechanism is proposed which automatically provides a source of particulate matter which creates a huge surface area which contains a substantial percentage of amorphous ice, so that the phase transition of the amorphous ice to a cubic structure provides a release of energy which may be responsible for the outbursts observed in many comets. In addition, the volume into which the transition can propagate is estimated for a spherical comet with a radius of 5 km.

  17. EPOXI at Comet Hartley 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    A'Hearn, Michael F.; Belton, Michael J. S.; Delamere, W. Alan; Feaga, Lori M.; Hampton, Donald; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; McFadden, Jessica M.; Meech, Karen J.; Melosh, H. Jay; Schultz, Peter H.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Yeomans, Donald K.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Bowling, Timothy J.; Carcish, Brian T.; Collins, Steven M.; Farnham, Tony F.; Groussin, Oliver; Hermalyn, Brendan; Kelley, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how comets work, i,e., what drives their activity, is crucial to using comets to study the early solar system. EPOXI flew past comet 103P/Hartley 2, one with an unusually small but very active nucleus. taking both images and spectra. Unlike large, relatively inactive nuclei, this nncleus is outgassing primarily due to CO2, which drags chnnks of ice out of the nnclens. It also shows significant differences in the relative abundance of volatiles from various parts of the nucleus.

  18. Dual pools of actin at presynaptic terminals.

    PubMed

    Bleckert, Adam; Photowala, Huzefa; Alford, Simon

    2012-06-01

    We investigated actin's function in vesicle recycling and exocytosis at lamprey synapses and show that FM1-43 puncta and phalloidin-labeled filamentous actin (F-actin) structures are colocalized, yet recycling vesicles are not contained within F-actin clusters. Additionally, phalloidin also labels a plasma membrane-associated cortical actin. Injection of fluorescent G-actin revealed activity-independent dynamic actin incorporation into presynaptic synaptic vesicle clusters but not into cortical actin. Latrunculin-A, which sequesters G-actin, dispersed vesicle-associated actin structures and prevented subsequent labeled G-actin and phalloidin accumulation at presynaptic puncta, yet cortical phalloidin labeling persisted. Dispersal of presynaptic F-actin structures by latrunculin-A did not disrupt vesicle clustering or recycling or alter the amplitude or kinetics of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). However, it slightly enhanced release during repetitive stimulation. While dispersal of presynaptic actin puncta with latrunculin-A failed to disperse synaptic vesicles or inhibit synaptic transmission, presynaptic phalloidin injection blocked exocytosis and reduced endocytosis measured by action potential-evoked FM1-43 staining. Furthermore, phalloidin stabilization of only cortical actin following pretreatment with latrunculin-A was sufficient to inhibit synaptic transmission. Conversely, treatment of axons with jasplakinolide, which induces F-actin accumulation but disrupts F-actin structures in vivo, resulted in increased synaptic transmission accompanied by a loss of phalloidin labeling of cortical actin but no loss of actin labeling within vesicle clusters. Marked synaptic deficits seen with phalloidin stabilization of cortical F-actin, in contrast to the minimal effects of disruption of a synaptic vesicle-associated F-actin, led us to conclude that two structurally and functionally distinct pools of actin exist at presynaptic sites.

  19. Comet composition and Lab

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique

    2016-10-01

    The XXIX IAU General Assembly took place during the golden year of the exploration of small solar system bodies. With the Rosetta ESA mission around comet 67P, NASA Dawn and New Horizons missions nearby dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto, respectively, and the NASA/Cassini mission in Saturn neighborhood, year 2015 marked an important step towards further understanding of small solar system bodies. On August 11-13, Focus meeting 9 "Highlights in the exploration of small worlds" gathered scientists of all over the world to present and discuss the spectacular results obtained from these missions, as well as recent achievements obtained from past missions, comprehensive spectroscopic surveys from space (e.g., Herschel, NEOWISE, Gaia), ground-based observations, and geochemical analyses. This meeting was also the opportunity to discuss the state of our understanding of the nature of the various populations of small bodies in the Solar System, including icy satellites, in a cosmo-chemistry perspective.

  20. HUBBLE SEES MINI-COMET FRAGMENTS FROM COMET LINEAR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [lower right] In one stunning Hubble picture the fate of the mysteriously vanished solid nucleus of Comet LINEAR has been settled. The Hubble picture shows that the comet nucleus has been reduced to a shower of glowing 'mini-comets' resembling the fiery fragments from an exploding aerial firework. This is the first time astronomers have ever gotten a close-up look at what may be the smallest building blocks of cometary nuclei, the icy solid pieces called 'cometesimals', which are thought to be less than 100 feet across. The farthest fragment to the left, which is now very faint, may be the remains of the parent nucleus that fragmented into the cluster of smaller pieces to the right. The comet broke apart around July 26, when it made its closest approach to the Sun. The picture was taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on August 5, 2000, when the comet was at a distance of 64 million miles (102 million kilometers) from Earth. Credit: NASA, Harold Weaver (the Johns Hopkins University), and the HST Comet LINEAR Investigation Team [upper left] A ground-based telescopic view (2.2-meter telescope) of Comet LINEAR taken on August 5, at nearly the same time as the Hubble observations. The comet appears as a diffuse elongated cloud of debris without any visible nucleus. Based on these images, some astronomers had concluded that the ices in the nucleus had completely vaporized, leaving behind a loose swarm of dust. Hubble's resolution was needed to pinpoint the remaining nuclei (inset box shows HST field of view as shown in lower right). Credit: University of Hawaii

  1. Catching Comet's Particles in the Earth's Atmosphere by Using Balloons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potashko, Oleksandr; Viso, Michel

    The project is intended to catch cometary particles in the atmosphere by using balloons. The investigation is based upon knowledge that the Earth crosses the comet’s tails during the year. One can catch these particles at different altitudes in the atmosphere. So, we will be able to gradually advance in the ability to launch balloons from low to high altitudes and try to catch particles from different comet tails. The maximum altitude that we have to reach is 40 km. Both methods - distance observation and cometary samples from mission Stardust testify to the presence of organic components in comet’s particles. It would be useful to know more details about this organic matter for astrobiology; besides, the factor poses danger to the Earth. Moreover, it is important to prove that it is possible to get fundamental scientific results at low cost. In the last 5 years launching balloons has become popular and this movement looks like hackers’ one - as most of them occur without launch permission to airspace. The popularity of ballooning is connected with low cost of balloon, GPS unit, video recording unit. If you use iPhone, you have a light solution with GPS, video, picture and control function in one unit. The price of balloon itself begins from $50; it depends on maximum altitude, payload weight and material. Many university teams realized balloon launching and reached even stratosphere at an altitude of 33 km. But most of them take only video and picture. Meanwhile, it is possible to carry out scientific experiments by ballooning, for example to collect comet particles. There is rich experience at the moment of the use of mineral, chemical and isotopic analysis techniques and data of the comet’s dust after successful landing of StarDust capsule with samples in 2006. Besides, we may use absolutely perfect material to catch particles in the atmosphere, which was used by cosmic missions such as Stardust and Japanese Hayabusa. As to balloon launches, we could use

  2. [Photodynamic therapy for actinic cheilitis].

    PubMed

    Castaño, E; Comunión, A; Arias, D; Miñano, R; Romero, A; Borbujo, J

    2009-12-01

    Actinic cheilitis is a subtype of actinic keratosis that mainly affects the lower lip and has a higher risk of malignant transformation. Its location on the labial mucosa influences the therapeutic approach. Vermilionectomy requires local or general anesthetic and is associated with a risk of an unsightly scar, and the treatment with 5-fluorouracil or imiquimod lasts for several weeks and the inflammatory reaction can be very intense. A number of authors have used photodynamic therapy as an alternative to the usual treatments. We present 3 patients with histologically confirmed actinic cheilitis treated using photodynamic therapy with methyl aminolevulinic acid as the photosensitizer and red light at 630 nm. The clinical response was good, with no recurrences after 3 to 6 months of follow-up. Our experience supports the use of photodynamic therapy as a good alternative for the treatment of actinic cheilitis.

  3. Chemotaxis and Actin Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Hsu, Hsin-Fang; Negrete, Jose; Beta, Carsten; Pumir, Alain; Gholami, Azam; Tarantola, Marco; Westendorf, Christian; Zykov, Vladimir

    Recently, self-oscillations of the cytoskeletal actin have been observed in Dictyostelium, a model system for studying chemotaxis. Here we report experimental results on the self-oscillation mechanism and the role of regulatory proteins and myosin II. We stimulate cells rapidly and periodically by using photo un-caging of the chemoattractant in a micro-fluidic device and measured the cellular responses. We found that the response amplitude grows with stimulation strength only in a very narrow region of stimulation, after which the response amplitude reaches a plateau. Moreover, the frequency-response is not constant but rather varies with the strength of external stimuli. To understand the underlying mechanism, we analyzed the polymerization and de-polymerization time in the single cell level. Despite of the large cell-to-cell variability, we found that the polymerization time is independent of external stimuli and the de-polymerization time is prolonged as the stimulation strength increases. Our conclusions will be summarized and the role of noise in the signaling network will be discussed. German Science Foundation CRC 937.

  4. Comet Hyakutake C/1996 B2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    spiral jets toward the upper right, and the thin straight particle trail pointing toward the lower left. The trail was a permanent feature of the comet around the time of its close approach to the Earth in late March and early April. Also barely visible just beyond the lower left end of the trail are two of the many condensations which were seen to travel slowly down the tail are believed to be clumps of material released from the nucleus.

    The inner white region of the blue image appears to show that the hydrogen atoms like the dust might be preferentially ejected toward the sunward or day side of the nucleus. However, this is not true. The asymmetric ultraviolet radiation pattern is produced by a roughly spherical distribution of hydrogen atoms because they are so efficient at scattering the incoming solar ultraviolet light. The atoms on the sunward side actually shadow the atoms on the tailward or night side of the coma. The same detailed model analysis of the coma which explains the expansion of the hydrogen atoms in the coma also explains the appearance of the image.

    The team was lead by Michael Combi, The University of Michigan, and included Michael Brown, California Institute of Technology, Paul Feldman, Johns Hopkins University, H. Uwe Keller of the Max Planck Institute, Lindau, Robert Meier of the Naval Research Laboratory, and William Smyth of Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.

    The Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 was developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and managed by the Goddard Spaced Flight Center for NASA's Office of Space Science.

    This image and other images and data received from the Hubble Space Telescope are posted on the World Wide Web on the Space Telescope Science Institute home page at URL http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/

  5. F-actin-binding protein drebrin regulates CXCR4 recruitment to the immune synapse.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Martínez, Manuel; Gordón-Alonso, Mónica; Cabrero, José Román; Barrero-Villar, Marta; Rey, Mercedes; Mittelbrunn, María; Lamana, Amalia; Morlino, Giulia; Calabia, Carmen; Yamazaki, Hiroyuki; Shirao, Tomoaki; Vázquez, Jesús; González-Amaro, Roberto; Veiga, Esteban; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco

    2010-04-01

    The adaptive immune response depends on the interaction of T cells and antigen-presenting cells at the immune synapse. Formation of the immune synapse and the subsequent T-cell activation are highly dependent on the actin cytoskeleton. In this work, we describe that T cells express drebrin, a neuronal actin-binding protein. Drebrin colocalizes with the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and F-actin at the peripheral supramolecular activation cluster in the immune synapse. Drebrin interacts with the cytoplasmic tail of CXCR4 and both proteins redistribute to the immune synapse with similar kinetics. Drebrin knockdown in T cells impairs the redistribution of CXCR4 and inhibits actin polymerization at the immune synapse as well as IL-2 production. Our data indicate that drebrin exerts an unexpected and relevant functional role in T cells during the generation of the immune response.

  6. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter observation of Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamppari, L.; Zurek, R. W.; Cantor, B. A.; Delamere, W. A.; Egan, A.; Humm, D. C.; Kass, D. M.; McEwen, A. S.; McGovern, A.; Phillips, R. J.; Restano, M.; Seu, R.

    2014-12-01

    The Mars orbiting spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, will observe Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) for 5 days around the comet-Mars closest approach, Oct. 19, 2014. MRO carries 7 investigations, of which 6 will be used to observe the comet or search for comet particle effects on Mars. MRO focuses on three science objectives for Comet Siding Spring observations. First, MRO will observe the comet nucleus near the comet-Mars closest approach (131,000 ± 3,000 km) to attempt to determine nucleus size, rotation, and shape. This objective utilizes the HiRISE (high-resolution) camera which has 131 m/pixel at closest approach. The CRISM instrument (VIS-NIR imaging spectrometer) with >8 km/pixel, and the Context camera (CTX) with >3 km/pixel will also take measurements. Second, MRO will observe the comet coma and tail with the intent of gaining information on composition and morphology utilizing spectral and spatial coverage of the same three instruments. In particular, HiRISE covers 0.4-1.0 μm in 3 bands, with 1 microrad/pixel, CRISM which covers 0.4-3.9 μm at 6.55 nm/channel and 2.1 deg field-of-view, and CTX which has an almost 6 deg field-of-view, covering 0.5-0.8 μm. Third, MRO will observe the Mars atmosphere and ionosphere to detect potential atmospheric heating or cloud formation and changes in total electron column density, using the MCS (atmospheric profiling instrument), the MARCI (weather camera), and the SHARAD (shallow radar instrument, sensitive to ionospheric total electron count). The preliminary results of the Comet C/2013 A1 MRO observations will be presented.

  7. Tidal disruption and the appearance of periodic comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.; Chodas, P. W.; Yeomans, D. K.

    1994-01-01

    A unified model is formulated to interpret quantitatively the observed characteristics of the nuclear train, the two dust trails, and the tail region of P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 in terms of a collisionally modified rotation velocity distribution of the comet's debris. Since there is no evidence for the comet's out-gassing, the model does not assume activity. The discruption of the parent comet was due primarily to tidal stesses during its extremely close approach to Juptier in July 1992. The original nucleus is found to have been most probably approximately 5 km in radius or, equivalently, approximately 10(exp 17) g in mass. The dynamical separation of the debris occurred apparently approximately 2.2 hr after the perijove passage, even though the actual fragmentation of the original mass is likely to have begun before closest approach. Physical breakp was accompanied by ubiquitous low-velocity collisions among the particulates, resulting in a rearrangement of the initial rotaional velocities into a rapidly 'thermalized' distribution, characterized by a long tail of relatively high velocities for the debris that populates the dust trails far from the nuclear train. Compelling evidence is presented for secondary fragmentation events, indicative of the comet's continuing disintegration. Secondary fragmentation may be caused by rotational bursting of the massive fragments that had been cracked but unbroken during the tidal disruption. Impact conditions and possible interactions of the comet's debris with the jovian system during the encounter in July 1994 are described.

  8. Rho GTPases, phosphoinositides, and actin

    PubMed Central

    Croisé, Pauline; Estay-Ahumada, Catherine; Gasman, Stéphane; Ory, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    Rho GTPases are well known regulators of the actin cytoskeleton that act by binding and activating actin nucleators. They are therefore involved in many actin-based processes, including cell migration, cell polarity, and membrane trafficking. With the identification of phosphoinositide kinases and phosphatases as potential binding partners or effectors, Rho GTPases also appear to participate in the regulation of phosphoinositide metabolism. Since both actin dynamics and phosphoinositide turnover affect the efficiency and the fidelity of vesicle transport between cell compartments, Rho GTPases have emerged as critical players in membrane trafficking. Rho GTPase activity, actin remodeling, and phosphoinositide metabolism need to be coordinated in both space and time to ensure the progression of vesicles along membrane trafficking pathways. Although most molecular pathways are still unclear, in this review, we will highlight recent advances made in our understanding of how Rho-dependent signaling pathways organize actin dynamics and phosphoinositides and how phosphoinositides potentially provide negative feedback to Rho GTPases during endocytosis, exocytosis and membrane exchange between intracellular compartments. PMID:24914539

  9. Wet comet model: Rosetta redux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheldon, Robert B.

    2015-09-01

    The wet-comet model (WCM) of the structure and composition of comets was developed in 2005 to replace the "dirty-snowball" model (DSM) of Fred Whipple, because the first comet flybys of P/Halley "armada" revealed a very different landscape. Subsequent flybys of P/Borrelly, P/Wild-2, P/Hartley, P/Tempel-1 have confirmed and refined the model, so that we confidently predicted that the Rosetta mission would encounter a prolate, tumbling, concrete-encrusted, black comet: P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Unfortunately, the Philae lander team was preparing for a DSM and the anchors bounced off the concrete surface, but the orbiter has returned spec- tacular pictures of every crevice, which confirm and extend the WCM yet a sixth time. We report of what we predicted, what was observed, and several unexpected results from the ROSETTA mission.

  10. Comet ISON May Have Survived

    NASA Video Gallery

    Continuing a history of surprising behavior, material from Comet ISON appeared on the other side of the sun on the evening on Nov. 28, 2013, despite not having been seen in observations during its ...

  11. The volatile composition of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weaver, H. A.

    1988-01-01

    Comets may be our best probes of the physical and chemical conditions in the outer regions of the solar nebula during that crucial period when the planets formed. The volatile composition of cometary nuclei can be used to decide whether comets are the product of a condensation sequence similar to that invoked to explain the compositions of the planets and asteroids, or if comets are simply agglomerations of interstellar grains which have been insignificantly modified by the events that shaped the other bodies in the solar system. Although cometary nuclei are not generally accessible to observation, observations of cometary comae can illuminate at least some of the mysteries of the nuclei provided one has a detailed knowledge of the excitation conditions in the coma and also has access to basic atomic and molecular data on the many species present in comets. Examined here is the status of our knowledge of the volatile composition of cometary nuclei and how these data are obtained.

  12. SOHO Sees Comet ISON Appear

    NASA Video Gallery

    Comet ISON moves ever closer to the sun in this movie from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, captured in the early hours of Nov. 27, 2013. A coronal mass ejection explodes off the su...

  13. COnsortium of METabolomics Studies (COMETS)

    Cancer.gov

    The COnsortium of METabolomics Studies (COMETS) is an extramural-intramural partnership that promotes collaboration among prospective cohort studies that follow participants for a range of outcomes and perform metabolomic profiling of individuals.

  14. Sounds of a Comet Encounter

    NASA Video Gallery

    During its Feb. 14, 2011, flyby of comet Tempel 1, an instrument on the protective shield on NASA's Stardust spacecraft was pelted by dust particles and small rocks. For more information visit: htt...

  15. Leucocytes DNA damage in mice exposed to JS-118 by the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Hu, Jiye; Zhang, Yuchao; Zhao, Qianfei; Ning, Jun

    2011-09-01

    JS-118 is an extensively used insecticide in China. The present study investigated the genotoxic effect of JS-118 on whole blood at 24, 48, 72 and 96 h by using alkaline comet assay. Male Kunming mice were given 6.25, 12.5, 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg BW of JS-118 intraperitoneally. A statistically significant increase in all comet parameters indicating DNA damage was observed at 24 h post-treatment (p < 0.05). A clear concentration-dependent increase of DNA damage was revealed as evident by the OTM (arbitrary units), tail length (µm) and tail DNA (%). From 48 h post-treatment, a gradual decrease in mean comet parameters was noted. By 96 h of post-treatment, the mean comet tail length reached control levels indicating repair of damaged DNA. This study on mice showed different DNA damage depending on the concentration of JS-118 and the period of treatment. The present study provided further information of the potential risk of the genetic damage caused by JS-118.

  16. The relationship between environmental exposures to phthalates and DNA damage in human sperm using the neutral comet assay.

    PubMed Central

    Duty, Susan M; Singh, Narendra P; Silva, Manori J; Barr, Dana B; Brock, John W; Ryan, Louise; Herrick, Robert F; Christiani, David C; Hauser, Russ

    2003-01-01

    Phthalates are industrial chemicals widely used in many commercial applications. The general population is exposed to phthalates through consumer products as well as through diet and medical treatments. To determine whether environmental levels of phthalates are associated with altered DNA integrity in human sperm, we selected a population without identified sources of exposure to phthalates. One hundred sixty-eight subjects recruited from the Massachusetts General Hospital Andrology Laboratory provided a semen and a urine sample. Eight phthalate metabolites were measured in urine by using high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry; data were corrected for urine dilution by adjusting for specific gravity. The neutral single-cell microgel electrophoresis assay (comet assay) was used to measure DNA integrity in sperm. VisComet image analysis software was used to measure comet extent, a measure of total comet length (micrometers); percent DNA in tail (tail%), a measure of the proportion of total DNA present in the comet tail; and tail distributed moment (TDM), an integrated measure of length and intensity (micrometers). For an interquartile range increase in specific gravity-adjusted monoethyl phthalate (MEP) level, the comet extent increased significantly by 3.6 micro m [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.74-6.47]; the TDM also increased 1.2 micro m (95% CI, -0.05 to 2.38) but was of borderline significance. Monobutyl, monobenzyl, monomethyl, and mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalates were not significantly associated with comet assay parameters. In conclusion, this study represents the first human data to demonstrate that urinary MEP, at environmental levels, is associated with increased DNA damage in sperm. PMID:12842768

  17. Outburst and nuclear breakup of Comet Halley - 1910

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, H. J.; Albrecht, R.

    1981-01-01

    Computer processing of five plates of Comet Halley taken during the 1910 apparition shows that on May 24 strong asymmetric (with respect to the tail axis) fountain-like parabolic plumes had developed on the sunward side of the nucleus. Visual observations showed that after an initial fading while passing in front of the sun, the brightness increased to about magnitude 1. On the plates taken May 31, the nucleus is clearly divided into at least three parts of nearly equal brightness. However, the last plate on June 3 shows a symmetrical coma with a small stellar-like nucleus.

  18. Radar interferometric studies of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, Lewis E.; Palmer, Patrick; Depater, Imke

    1991-01-01

    Our objectives are to use radio interferometry to study composition, velocity distribution, maser excitation, and plasma interactions of cometary gas. Two new cometary chemistry programs were started with radio interferometers: (1) the VLA used to search for HC3N emission from Comet Brorsen-Metcalf at 3.3 cm wavelength; and (2) the BIMA millimeter array used to observe Comet Austin in HCN.

  19. The calculation of comet ephemerides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatum, J.

    1982-06-01

    A brief description of how a basic comet ephemeris can be calculated from the orbital elements is given. A simple Keplerian orbit is assumed for the calculations, omitting such details as light-travel time, perturbation by the planets, and non-gravitational effects. The calculated ephemeris will usually be adequate to find the comet in a telescope, and only a good programmable calculator is required. To avoid cumbersome mathematics, the necessary formulas are given without derivation.

  20. Caroline Lucretia Herschel -- Comet Huntress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, D. W.

    1999-04-01

    Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) was an active astronomer at a time when discovering comets, and calculating their orbits, was one of the main astronomical activities. She discovered eight comets and held the ladies' world record in this field until April 1987 when she was toppled from the podium by Carolyn S. Shoemaker. This paper places the Herschel cometary discoveries into the context of the contemporary cometary astronomy.

  1. Comets and nongravitational forces. IV.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsden, B. G.; Sekanina, Z.

    1971-01-01

    Orbital elements and nongravitational parameters are derived from observations at every apparition of the periodic comets Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, Faye, Tempel 2, Biela, Brorsen, and Tempel-Swift. For all except the first comet, the observations go back a century and more, although the last three comets have failed to reappear for some considerable time. The circumstances of the splitting of P/Biela are studied, and it is shown that the motion of the primary component was scarcely affected; it is also demonstrated that, if the primary still exists, it may pass only 0.05 AU from the earth in November 1971. An up-to-date list of mass-loss rates from comets is presented. It is found that, while most of the reliable determinations indicate that the cometary nongravitational effects decrease with time, there are a few cases where the effects increase slightly. The former situation is discussed in terms of a nuclear core-mantle model, implying that these comets will eventually evolve into inert, asteroidal objects, while the nuclei of the other comets are interpreted as coreless, eventually to disappear completely (or almost completely).

  2. Helium and Neon in Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1996-01-01

    Two comets were observed with EUVE in late 1994. Both comet Mueller and comet Borrelly are short-period comets having well established orbital elements and accurate ephemerides. Spectra of 40 ksec were taken of each. No evidence for emission lines from either Helium or Neon was detected. We calculated limits on the production rates of these atoms (relative to solar) assuming a standard isotropic outflow model, with a gas streaming speed of 1 km/s. The 3-sigma (99.7% confidence) limits (1/100,000 for He, 0.8 for Ne) are based on a conservative estimate of the noise in the EUVE spectra. They are also weakly dependent on the precise pointing and tracking of the EUVE field of view relative to the comet during the integrations. These limits are consistent with ice formation temperatures T greater than or equal to 30 K, as judged from the gas trapping experiments of Bar-Nun. For comparison, the solar abundances of these elements are He/O = 110, Ne/O = 1/16. Neither limit was as constraining as we had initially hoped, mainly because comets Mueller and Borrelly were intrinsically less active than anticipated.

  3. Cofilin-mediated actin dynamics promotes actin bundle formation during Drosophila bristle development

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jing; Wang, Heng; Guo, Xuan; Chen, Jiong

    2016-01-01

    The actin bundle is an array of linear actin filaments cross-linked by actin-bundling proteins, but its assembly and dynamics are not as well understood as those of the branched actin network. Here we used the Drosophila bristle as a model system to study actin bundle formation. We found that cofilin, a major actin disassembly factor of the branched actin network, promotes the formation and positioning of actin bundles in the developing bristles. Loss of function of cofilin or AIP1, a cofactor of cofilin, each resulted in increased F-actin levels and severe defects in actin bundle organization, with the defects from cofilin deficiency being more severe. Further analyses revealed that cofilin likely regulates actin bundle formation and positioning by the following means. First, cofilin promotes a large G-actin pool both locally and globally, likely ensuring rapid actin polymerization for bundle initiation and growth. Second, cofilin limits the size of a nonbundled actin-myosin network to regulate the positioning of actin bundles. Third, cofilin prevents incorrect assembly of branched and myosin-associated actin filament into bundles. Together these results demonstrate that the interaction between the dynamic dendritic actin network and the assembling actin bundles is critical for actin bundle formation and needs to be closely regulated. PMID:27385345

  4. The intermediate comets and nongravitational effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeomans, D. K.

    1986-01-01

    The motions of the intermediate-period comets Pons-Brooks, Olbers, Brorsen-Metcalf, and Westphal are investigated over their observed intervals. The three apparitions of comets Pons-Brooks and Olbers were successfully linked, using the now standard nongravitational-force model. The two apparitions of Comet Brorsen-Metcalf were successfully linked without the need for nongravitational effects. For the 1852 and 1913 apparitions of Comet Westphal, complete success was not achieved in modeling the comet's motion either with or without nongravitational effects. However, by including these effects, the comet's astrometric observations could be represented significantly better than if they were assumed inoperative. Comet Westphal's dynamic and photometric behavior suggests its complete disintegration before reaching perihelion in 1913. If the very large radial nongravitational parameter determined for Comet Westphal is due to the comet's disintegration into dust, then the resultant dust-particle size is of the order of 0.8 mm.

  5. Discovery and Exploration of Comet 67P/CHURYUMOV-GERASIMENKO - the Main Target of the Rosetta Space Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churyumov, K. I.

    2006-08-01

    The short period comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from the Jupiter comet family is selected as main target of the European space mission Rosetta. In September 1969 the three collaborators of expedition of Kyiv Shevchenko University went to the Alma-Ata Astrophysical Institute to conduct a survey of short period and new comets. The main result of the expedition was the discovery of the new short period comet 67P on Oct. 22 ,1969 on the five plates obtained by Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko Sept. 9, 11 and 21, 1969 with the help of 50-cm f/2.4 Maksutov telescope in Alam-Ata. The comparison of comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko's light curve in its 1982-1983 apparition and the curve of the solar activity indices changes that are reduced to the comet`s center shows that the variations of the comet's brightness rather well correlate with the changes of the solar indices. On the basis of photometric processing of the two photographic images of comet 67P obtained in Nizhny Arkhyz with the help of the 6- BTA reflector of SAO of RAS some physical parameters of the comet plasma tail (coefficients of diffusion D[||], D[????]and induction of magnetic field B) were determined. (Jan. 12.105, 1983 UT: D[||]=5.07×10^14±1.21 ×10^15 cm^2/s, D[?]=5.73×10^13±1.37×10^14 cm^2/s, B=46±111 nT; Jan. 13.124, 1983 UT: D[||]=4.67×10^14÷1.14 ×10^15 cm^2/s, D[?]=4.30×10^13±1.05×10^14 cm^2/s, B=55±134 nT). The obtained upper estimates of induction of the magnetic field B ≈ 111 nT for Jan. 12,1983 and B ≈ 134 nT for Jan. 13,1983 probably surpass real values of B in the cometary plasma tail. I think that this peculiarity of magnetic fields in plasma tail of comet 67P is tight connected with the magnetic properties of the surface layers of the cometary nucleus. I hope that this problem will be successful solved with the help of the device ROMAP installed on the ROSETTA Lander when it will land on the comet 67P nucleus in 2014.

  6. Photographic observations of comet Hale-Bopp at the Zvenigorod Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vereshchagin, S. V.; Osipenko, V. P.; Postnikova, E. S.

    2017-03-01

    We describe the archive of scans of the astronomical plates obtained in the observations of comet Hale-Bopp. The observations were carried out from August 17, 1996, to April 29, 1997, at the Zeiss-400/2000 astrograph of the Zvenigorod Observatory of the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences (INASAN). The archive contains the images that can be used in astrometric, photometric, and astrophysical studies. In some of the plates, the size of the comet reaches 6.3° (23 cm). In many scans, the details of the cometary tail, including individual jets, vortexes, etc., are clearly distinguishable. The archive of the images is available free.

  7. Searching for evidence for different activity drivers in long- and short-period comets from the WISE/NEOWISE data set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kramer, E.; Fernandez, Y.; Bauer, J.; Stevenson, R.; Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Walker, R.; Lisse, C.; WISE Team

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission surveyed the sky in four infrared wavelength bands (3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 μ m) between January 2010 and February 2011 [1,2]. During the mission, WISE serendipitously observed over 150 comets, including 21 newly discovered objects. About half of the comets observed by WISE displayed a significant dust tail in the 12 and 22 μ m (thermal emission) bands. The Figure below shows a sampling of six comets in the 22 μ m band, showing the range of activity levels and dust morphology present in the data. Since the observed objects are a mix of both long-period (LP) and short-period (SP) comets, differences in activity can be used to better understand the thermal processing that each of these populations has undergone. Approach: For the comets that displayed a significant dust tail, we have estimated the sizes and ages of the particles using dynamical models based on the Finson-Probstein method [3,4]. The main parameter in these models is the ratio of solar radiation pressure to solar gravity, called β. We have then compared these models to the data using a novel tail-fitting method that allows the best-fit model to be chosen analytically rather than subjectively. For comets that were observed multiple times by WISE, the particle properties were estimated separately, and then compared. Results: The ages of the dust tails seen vary in age from a few months to several years, with the average for both SP and LP comets being between 1--2 years. While many of the dust tails are comprised of grains emitted near perihelion, several comets exhibit tails that depart from this trend significantly. For both the SP and LP comets, the median β value was about 0.01, suggesting that the tail particles are on the order of tens of microns in size. Our preliminary analysis suggests that while the sizes and ages of the particles that comprise the dust tails of LP and SP comets are similar, the heliocentric distance at which

  8. Sperm DNA damage output parameters measured by the alkaline Comet assay and their importance.

    PubMed

    Simon, L; Aston, K I; Emery, B R; Hotaling, J; Carrell, D T

    2017-03-01

    The alkaline Comet assay has shown high diagnostic value to determine male reproductive health and prognostic ability to predict ART success. Here, spermatozoon was analysed in 47 fertile donors and 238 patients, including 132 couples undergoing ART [semen was collected: Group I - within 3 months of their treatment (n = 79); and Group II - 3 months prior to their treatment (n = 53)]. We introduce four Comet distribution plots (A, B1, B2 and C) by plotting the level of DNA damage (x-axis) and percentage of comets (y-axis). Fertile donors had low mean DNA damage, olive tail moment and per cent of spermatozoa with damage and increased type A plots. Comet parameters were associated with clinical pregnancies in Group I. About 66% of couples with type A distribution plot were successful after ART, whereas couples with type B1, B2 and C distribution plots achieved 56%, 44% and 33% pregnancies respectively. The efficiency of the Comet assay was due to complete decondensation process, where the compact sperm nuclear DNA (28.2 ± 0.2 μm(3) ) is decondensed to ~63 μm(3) (before lysis) and ~1018 μm(3) (after lysis). A combinational analysis of all the Comet output parameters may provide a comprehensive evaluation of patient's reproductive health as these parameters measure different aspects of DNA damage within the spermatozoa.

  9. The dynamical history of comet Halley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeomans, D. K.

    1985-01-01

    The history of the attempts to predict the motion of comet Halley is outlined and the importance of the so-called nongravitational forces acting upon this comet is emphasized. Recent orbital work of the International Halley Watch Astrometry Network is reviewed. Comet Halley's transverse nongravitational parameter is positive and nearly constant with time suggesting that the comet is in direct rotation without precession of the spin pole. The nongravitational effects are consistent with the vaporization of water ice from the comet's nucleus and long term integrations suggest that the comet has been in its present orbit for at least 16,000 years and probably much longer.

  10. The mass disruption of Oort cloud comets.

    PubMed

    Levison, Harold F; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Dones, Luke; Jedicke, Robert; Wiegert, Paul A; Bottke, William F

    2002-06-21

    We have calculated the number of dormant, nearly isotropic Oort cloud comets in the solar system by (i) combining orbital distribution models with statistical models of dormant comet discoveries by well-defined surveys and (ii) comparing the model results to observations of a population of dormant comets. Dynamical models that assume that comets are not destroyed predict that we should have discovered approximately 100 times more dormant nearly isotropic comets than are actually seen. Thus, as comets evolve inward from the Oort cloud, the majority of them must physically disrupt.

  11. Comet 67P's Pitted Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-11-01

    High-resolution imagery of comet 67P ChuryumovGerasimenko has revealed that its surface is covered in active pits some measuring hundreds of meters both wide and deep! But what processes caused these pits to form?Pitted LandscapeESAs Rosetta mission arrived at comet 67P in August 2014. As the comet continued its journey around the Sun, Rosetta extensively documented 67Ps surface through high-resolution images taken with the on-board instrument NavCam. These images have revealed that active, circular depressions are a common feature on the comets surface.In an attempt to determine how these pits formed, an international team of scientists led by Olivier Mousis (Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille) has run a series of simulations of a region of the comet the Seth region that contains a 200-meter-deep pit. These simulations include the effects of various phase transitions, heat transfer through the matrix of ices and dust, and gas diffusion throughout the porous material.Escaping VolatilesAdditional examples of pitted areas on 67Ps northern-hemisphere surface include the Ash region and the Maat region (both imaged September 2014 by NavCam) [Mousis et al. 2015]Previous studies have already eliminated two potential formation mechanisms for the pits: impacts (the sizes of the pits werent right) and erosion due to sunlight (the pits dont have the right shape). Mousis and collaborators assume that the pits are instead caused by the depletion of volatile materials chemical compounds with low boiling points either via explosive outbursts at the comets surface, or via sinkholes opening from below the surface. But what process causes the volatiles to deplete when the comet heats?The authors simulations demonstrate that volatiles trapped beneath the comets surface either in icy structures called clathrates or within amorphous ice can be suddenly released as the comet warms up. The team shows that the release of volatiles from these two structures can create 200-meter

  12. Nucleus-associated actin in Amoeba proteus.

    PubMed

    Berdieva, Mariia; Bogolyubov, Dmitry; Podlipaeva, Yuliya; Goodkov, Andrew

    2016-10-01

    The presence, spatial distribution and forms of intranuclear and nucleus-associated cytoplasmic actin were studied in Amoeba proteus with immunocytochemical approaches. Labeling with different anti-actin antibodies and staining with TRITC-phalloidin and fluorescent deoxyribonuclease I were used. We showed that actin is abundant within the nucleus as well as in the cytoplasm of A. proteus cells. According to DNase I experiments, the predominant form of intranuclear actin is G-actin which is associated with chromatin strands. Besides, unpolymerized actin was shown to participate in organization of a prominent actin layer adjacent to the outer surface of nuclear envelope. No significant amount of F-actin was found in the nucleus. At the same time, the amoeba nucleus is enclosed in a basket-like structure formed by circumnuclear actin filaments and bundles connected with global cytoplasmic actin cytoskeleton. A supposed architectural function of actin filaments was studied by treatment with actin-depolymerizing agent latrunculin A. It disassembled the circumnuclear actin system, but did not affect the intranuclear chromatin structure. The results obtained for amoeba cells support the modern concept that actin is involved in fundamental nuclear processes that have evolved in the cells of multicellular organisms.

  13. Boolean gates on actin filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siccardi, Stefano; Tuszynski, Jack A.; Adamatzky, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a globular protein which forms long polar filaments in the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. Actin networks play a key role in cell mechanics and cell motility. They have also been implicated in information transmission and processing, memory and learning in neuronal cells. The actin filaments have been shown to support propagation of voltage pulses. Here we apply a coupled nonlinear transmission line model of actin filaments to study interactions between voltage pulses. To represent digital information we assign a logical TRUTH value to the presence of a voltage pulse in a given location of the actin filament, and FALSE to the pulse's absence, so that information flows along the filament with pulse transmission. When two pulses, representing Boolean values of input variables, interact, then they can facilitate or inhibit further propagation of each other. We explore this phenomenon to construct Boolean logical gates and a one-bit half-adder with interacting voltage pulses. We discuss implications of these findings on cellular process and technological applications.

  14. Comet explorer spacecraft design project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The small, chemically primitive objects of the solar system, comets and asteroids, are one of the most important frontiers remaining for future planetary exploration. So stated the Solar System Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory Council in its 1986 report 'Planetary Exploration Through the Year 2000.' The Halley's comet flyby missions completed last spring raised more questions than were answered about the nature of comets. The next mission to a comet must be able to explore some of these questions. In the late 1990's, a spacecraft might be built to explore the hazardous area surrounding a comet nucleus. Rigorous pointing requirements for remote sensing instruments will place a considerable burden on their attendant control systems. To meet these requirements we have pursued the initial design and analysis of a multi-bodied comet explorer spacecraft. Sized so as to be built on-orbit after the space station is operational, the spacecraft is comprised of Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) subsystems, packaged into two major components: a three-axis controlled instrument platform and a spinning, detached comet dust shield. Such a configuration decouples the dynamics of dust impaction from the stringent pointing out requirements of the imaging experiments. At the same time, it offers an abundance of simple analysis problems that may be carried out by undergraduates. These problems include the following: Selection of subsystem components, sizing trade studies, investigation of three-axis and simple spin dynamics, design of simple control systems, orbit determination, and intercept trajectory generation. Additionally, such topics as proposal writing project management, human interfacing, and costing have been covered. A new approach to design teaching has been taken, whereby students will 'learn by teaching.' They are asked to decompose trade options into a set of 'if-then' rules, which then 'instruct' the Mechanically Intelligent Designer (MIND) expert design system

  15. Potassium Detection and Lithium Depletion in Comets C/2011 L4 (Panstarrs) and C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulle, M.; Molaro, P.; Buzzi, L.; Valisa, P.

    2013-07-01

    On 2013 March 21, high-resolution slit spectrographs of the comet C/2011 L4 (Panstarrs), at a heliocentric distance r = 0.46 AU, were obtained at the Osservatorio Astronomico Campo dei Fiori, Italy. Emission lines of sodium were the strongest in the spectrum as is common in comets, but potassium lines were also detected. These have rarely been observed in comets since the apparition of the brightest comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki). Lithium was not detected and stringent upper limits of its abundance compared to other alkali were derived. We obtain the abundance ratios Na/K = 54 ± 14 and Na/Li >=8103. In addition to Mercury's exosphere (Leblanc & Doressoundiram), we show that photoionization at the beginning of the alkali tails may increase the solar ratio Na/K = 15.5 (Asplund et al.) by a factor three, close to that required to match the observed value. In the same tail position, the Na/Li ratio increases only by a factor two, very far from the factor >=8 required to match an original meteoritic ratio. We apply the same model to similar alkali data (Preston) of the comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki) and obtain consistent results. An original solar Na/K ratio fits the observed value at the beginning of the alkali tails within the slit size, whereas Li is depleted by a factor >=8.

  16. POTASSIUM DETECTION AND LITHIUM DEPLETION IN COMETS C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) AND C/1965 S1 (IKEYA-SEKI)

    SciTech Connect

    Fulle, M.; Molaro, P.; Buzzi, L.; Valisa, P.

    2013-07-10

    On 2013 March 21, high-resolution slit spectrographs of the comet C/2011 L4 (Panstarrs), at a heliocentric distance r = 0.46 AU, were obtained at the Osservatorio Astronomico Campo dei Fiori, Italy. Emission lines of sodium were the strongest in the spectrum as is common in comets, but potassium lines were also detected. These have rarely been observed in comets since the apparition of the brightest comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki). Lithium was not detected and stringent upper limits of its abundance compared to other alkali were derived. We obtain the abundance ratios Na/K = 54 {+-} 14 and Na/Li {>=}810{sup 3}. In addition to Mercury's exosphere (Leblanc and Doressoundiram), we show that photoionization at the beginning of the alkali tails may increase the solar ratio Na/K = 15.5 (Asplund et al.) by a factor three, close to that required to match the observed value. In the same tail position, the Na/Li ratio increases only by a factor two, very far from the factor {>=}8 required to match an original meteoritic ratio. We apply the same model to similar alkali data (Preston) of the comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki) and obtain consistent results. An original solar Na/K ratio fits the observed value at the beginning of the alkali tails within the slit size, whereas Li is depleted by a factor {>=}8.

  17. Comparing Solar Wind Velocity Measurements Derived from Sun-grazing Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) with Solar Wind Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramanjooloo, Y.; Jones, G. H.; Coates, A. J.; Owens, M. J.; Battams, K.

    2012-12-01

    Comets' plasma (type I) tails have been studied as natural probes of the solar wind since the mid-20th century. Local solar wind conditions directly control the morphology and dynamics of a comet's plasma tail. During ideal observing geometries, the orientation and structure of the plasma tail can reveal large-scale and small-scale variations in the local solar wind structure. We present solar wind velocity measurements derived from multiple observing locations of comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) from the 14th - 19th December 2011 using recent images from the SECCHI and LASCO heliospheric imagers and coronagraphs aboard STEREO A and B, and SOHO. Overlapping observation sessions from the three spacecraft provided the perfect opportunity to use comet Lovejoy as a diagnostic tool to understand solar wind variability close to the Sun. Our unique analysis technique [submitted] allows us to determine the latitudinal variations of the solar wind, heliospheric current sheet sector boundaries and the boundaries of transient features as comet Lovejoy probes the Sun's atmosphere. We plan to compare our observations to results of suitable simulations of plasma conditions in the corona and inner heliosphere during the time of Lovejoy's perihelion passage.

  18. G-actin regulates rapid induction of actin nucleation by mDia1 to restore cellular actin polymers.

    PubMed

    Higashida, Chiharu; Suetsugu, Shiro; Tsuji, Takahiro; Monypenny, James; Narumiya, Shuh; Watanabe, Naoki

    2008-10-15

    mDia1 belongs to the formin family of proteins that share FH1 and FH2 domains. Although formins play a critical role in the formation of many actin-based cellular structures, the physiological regulation of formin-mediated actin assembly within the cell is still unknown. Here we show that cells possess an acute actin polymer restoration mechanism involving mDia1. By using single-molecule live-cell imaging, we found that several treatments including low-dose G-actin-sequestering drugs and unpolymerizable actin mutants activate mDia1 to initiate fast directional movement. The FH2 region, the core domain for actin nucleation, is sufficient to respond to latrunculin B (LatB) to increase its actin nucleation frequency. Simulation analysis revealed an unexpected paradoxical effect of LatB that leads to a several fold increase in free G-actin along with an increase in total G-actin. These results indicate that in cells, the actin nucleation frequency of mDia1 is enhanced not only by Rho, but also strongly through increased catalytic efficiency of the FH2 domain. Consistently, frequent actin nucleation by mDia1 was found around sites of vigorous actin disassembly. Another major actin nucleator, the Arp2/3 complex, was not affected by the G-actin increase induced by LatB. Taken together, we propose that transient accumulation of G-actin works as a cue to promote mDia1-catalyzed actin nucleation to execute rapid reassembly of actin filaments.

  19. Technical advance: identification of plant actin-binding proteins by F-actin affinity chromatography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, S.; Brady, S. R.; Kovar, D. R.; Staiger, C. J.; Clark, G. B.; Roux, S. J.; Muday, G. K.

    2000-01-01

    Proteins that interact with the actin cytoskeleton often modulate the dynamics or organization of the cytoskeleton or use the cytoskeleton to control their localization. In plants, very few actin-binding proteins have been identified and most are thought to modulate cytoskeleton function. To identify actin-binding proteins that are unique to plants, the development of new biochemical procedures will be critical. Affinity columns using actin monomers (globular actin, G-actin) or actin filaments (filamentous actin, F-actin) have been used to identify actin-binding proteins from a wide variety of organisms. Monomeric actin from zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.) hypocotyl tissue was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity and shown to be native and competent for polymerization to actin filaments. G-actin, F-actin and bovine serum albumin affinity columns were prepared and used to separate samples enriched in either soluble or membrane-associated actin-binding proteins. Extracts of soluble actin-binding proteins yield distinct patterns when eluted from the G-actin and F-actin columns, respectively, leading to the identification of a putative F-actin-binding protein of approximately 40 kDa. When plasma membrane-associated proteins were applied to these columns, two abundant polypeptides eluted selectively from the F-actin column and cross-reacted with antiserum against pea annexins. Additionally, a protein that binds auxin transport inhibitors, the naphthylphthalamic acid binding protein, which has been previously suggested to associate with the actin cytoskeleton, was eluted in a single peak from the F-actin column. These experiments provide a new approach that may help to identify novel actin-binding proteins from plants.

  20. Bacterial Actins? An Evolutionary Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolittle, Russell F.; York, Amanda L.

    2003-01-01

    According to the conventional wisdom, the existence of a cytoskeleton in eukaryotes and its absence in prokaryotes constitute a fundamental divide between the two domains of life. An integral part of the dogma is that a cytoskeleton enabled an early eukaryote to feed upon prokaryotes, a consequence of which was the occasional endosymbiosis and the eventual evolution of organelles. Two recent papers present compelling evidence that actin, one of the principal components of a cytoskeleton, has a homolog in Bacteria that behaves in many ways like eukaryotic actin. Sequence comparisons reveml that eukaryotic actin and the bacterial homolog (mreB protein), unlike many other proteins common to eukaryotes and Bacteria, have very different and more highly extended evolutionary histories.

  1. Gaseous activity of distant comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Womack, Maria; Sarid, Gal; Wierzchos, Kacper

    2016-10-01

    The activity of most comets within 3AU of the Sun is dominated by the sublimation of frozen water, the most abundant ice in comets. Some comets, however, are active well beyond the water-ice sublimation limit. Studying distantly active comets provides valuable opportunities to explore primitive bodies when water-ice sublimation is largely dormant, which is the case for most of a comet's lifetime. Beyond 4 AU, super-volatiles such as CO or CO2 are thought to play a major role in driving observed activity. Carbon monoxide is of special interest because it is a major contributor to comae and has a very low sublimation temperature. Three bodies dominate the observational record and modeling efforts for distantly active small bodies: the long-period comet C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp and the short-period comets (with centaur orbits) 29P/Schwassmann Wachmann 1 and 2060 Chiron. Hale-Bopp's long-period orbit means it has experienced very little solar heating in its lifetime and is analogous to dynamically new comets making their first approach to the Sun. Because Chiron and 29P have much smaller orbits closer to the Sun, they have experienced much more thermal processing than Hale-Bopp and this is expected to have changed their chemical composition from their original state. We point out that the observed CO production rates and line-widths in these three distantly active objects are consistent with each other when adjusted for heliocentric distance. This is particularly interesting for Hale-Bopp and 29P, which have approximately the same radius. The consistent CO production rates may point to a similar CO release mechanism in these objects. We also discuss how observed radio line profiles support that the development and sublimation of icy grains in the coma at about 5-6 AU is probably a common feature in distantly active comets, and an important source of other volatiles within 6 AU, including H2O, HCN, CH3OH, and H2CO.

  2. CME impact on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edberg, Niklas J. T.; Alho, M.; André, M.; Andrews, D. J.; Behar, E.; Burch, J. L.; Carr, C. M.; Cupido, E.; Engelhardt, I. A. D.; Eriksson, A. I.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Goetz, C.; Goldstein, R.; Henri, P.; Johansson, F. L.; Koenders, C.; Mandt, K.; Möstl, C.; Nilsson, H.; Odelstad, E.; Richter, I.; Simon Wedlund, C.; Stenberg Wieser, G.; Szego, K.; Vigren, E.; Volwerk, M.

    2016-11-01

    We present Rosetta observations from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during the impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME). The CME impacted on 2015 Oct 5-6, when Rosetta was about 800 km from the comet nucleus, and 1.4 au from the Sun. Upon impact, the plasma environment is compressed to the level that solar wind ions, not seen a few days earlier when at 1500 km, now reach Rosetta. In response to the compression, the flux of suprathermal electrons increases by a factor of 5-10 and the background magnetic field strength increases by a factor of ˜2.5. The plasma density increases by a factor of 10 and reaches 600 cm-3, due to increased particle impact ionization, charge exchange and the adiabatic compression of the plasma environment. We also observe unprecedentedly large magnetic field spikes at 800 km, reaching above 200 nT, which are interpreted as magnetic flux ropes. We suggest that these could possibly be formed by magnetic reconnection processes in the coma as the magnetic field across the CME changes polarity, or as a consequence of strong shears causing Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities in the plasma flow. Due to the limited orbit of Rosetta, we are not able to observe if a tail disconnection occurs during the CME impact, which could be expected based on previous remote observations of other CME-comet interactions.

  3. Actin polymerization is stimulated by actin cross-linking protein palladin.

    PubMed

    Gurung, Ritu; Yadav, Rahul; Brungardt, Joseph G; Orlova, Albina; Egelman, Edward H; Beck, Moriah R

    2016-02-15

    The actin scaffold protein palladin regulates both normal cell migration and invasive cell motility, processes that require the co-ordinated regulation of actin dynamics. However, the potential effect of palladin on actin dynamics has remained elusive. In the present study, we show that the actin-binding immunoglobulin-like domain of palladin, which is directly responsible for both actin binding and bundling, also stimulates actin polymerization in vitro. Palladin eliminated the lag phase that is characteristic of the slow nucleation step of actin polymerization. Furthermore, palladin dramatically reduced depolymerization, slightly enhanced the elongation rate, and did not alter the critical concentration. Microscopy and in vitro cross-linking assays reveal differences in actin bundle architecture when palladin is incubated with actin before or after polymerization. These results suggest a model whereby palladin stimulates a polymerization-competent form of globular or monomeric actin (G-actin), akin to metal ions, either through charge neutralization or through conformational changes.

  4. An atomic model of the tropomyosin cable on F-actin.

    PubMed

    Orzechowski, Marek; Li, Xiaochuan Edward; Fischer, Stefan; Lehman, William

    2014-08-05

    Tropomyosin regulates a wide variety of actin filament functions and is best known for the role that it plays together with troponin in controlling muscle activity. For effective performance on actin filaments, adjacent 42-nm-long tropomyosin molecules are joined together by a 9- to 10-residue head-to-tail overlapping domain to form a continuous cable that wraps around the F-actin helix. Yet, despite the apparent simplicity of tropomyosin's coiled-coil structure and its well-known periodic association with successive actin subunits along F-actin, the structure of the tropomyosin cable on actin is uncertain. This is because the conformation of the overlap region that joins neighboring molecules is poorly understood, thus leaving a significant gap in our understanding of thin-filament structure and regulation. However, recent molecular-dynamics simulations of overlap segments defined their overall shape and provided unique and sufficient cues to model the whole actin-tropomyosin filament assembly in atomic detail. In this study, we show that these MD structures merge seamlessly onto the ends of tropomyosin coiled-coils. Adjacent tropomyosin molecules can then be joined together to provide a comprehensive model of the tropomyosin cable running continuously on F-actin. The resulting complete model presented here describes for the first time (to our knowledge) an atomic-level structure of αα-striated muscle tropomyosin bound to an actin filament that includes the critical overlap domain. Thus, the model provides a structural correlate to evaluate thin-filament mechanics, self-assembly mechanisms, and the effect of disease-causing mutations.

  5. Formation and Destabilization of Actin Filaments with Tetramethylrhodamine-Modified Actin

    PubMed Central

    Kudryashov, Dmitry S.; Phillips, Martin; Reisler, Emil

    2004-01-01

    Actin labeling at Cys374 with tethramethylrhodamine derivatives (TMR-actin) has been widely used for direct observation of the in vitro filaments growth, branching, and treadmilling, as well as for the in vivo visualization of actin cytoskeleton. The advantage of TMR-actin is that it does not lock actin in filaments (as rhodamine-phalloidin does), possibly allowing for its use in investigating the dynamic assembly behavior of actin polymers. Although it is established that TMR-actin alone is polymerization incompetent, the impact of its copolymerization with unlabeled actin on filament structure and dynamics has not been tested yet. In this study, we show that TMR-actin perturbs the filaments structure when copolymerized with unlabeled actin; the resulting filaments are more fragile and shorter than the control filaments. Due to the increased severing of copolymer filaments, TMR-actin accelerates the polymerization of unlabeled actin in solution also at mole ratios lower than those used in most fluorescence microscopy experiments. The destabilizing and severing effect of TMR-actin is countered by filament stabilizing factors, phalloidin, S1, and tropomyosin. These results point to an analogy between the effects of TMR-actin and severing proteins on F-actin, and imply that TMR-actin may be inappropriate for investigations of actin filaments dynamics. PMID:15298916

  6. Optimal treatment of actinic keratoses

    PubMed Central

    Uhlenhake, Elizabeth E

    2013-01-01

    The most compelling reason and primary goal of treating actinic keratoses is to prevent malignant transformation into invasive squamous cell carcinoma, and although there are well established guidelines outlining treatment modalities and regimens for squamous cell carcinoma, the more commonly encountered precancerous actinic lesions have no such standard. Many options are available with variable success and patient compliance rates. Prevention of these lesions is key, with sun protection being a must in treating aging patients with sun damage as it is never too late to begin protecting the skin. PMID:23345970

  7. Vaporization in Comets; outbursts from Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cowan, J. J.; Ahearn, M. F.

    1982-01-01

    Revised estimates are presented which show that the total mass and kinetic energy in a typical Comet P/Schassmann-Wachmann 1 outburst are lower than previously estimated, and that this mass is comparable to the mass of gas vaporized, as inferred from recent observations of CO(+) in this comet. The storage of energy suggested by many authors is therefore not neccessary. A simple equilibrium vaporization of CO2 or CO which is suddenly exposed, on a nucleus that is otherwise primarily composed of H2O, is proposed. Under these conditions, calculations of the variation of vaporization with rotational phase indicate that the mechanism can quantitatively produce outbursts of the size observed.

  8. Photographic observations of comets at Lowell Observatory. [Halley's comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giclas, H. L.

    1981-01-01

    Observations of Halley's comet at Lowell Observatory cover a period from November 10, 1909 to May 17, 1911: 334 direct photographs were taken, 118 objective prism spectra, and 32 slit spectrograms of the nucleus, many of them including 5 arc minutes of the surrounding coma. Just one morning's observations are illustrated as an example of utilizing every possible resource available at the Observatory at the time. Observational improvements developed since then are described and some suggestions for the coming return of Halley's comet are made.

  9. SDO Catches Comet Streaking by Sun

    NASA Video Gallery

    The Solar Dynamics Observatory's AIA instrument captured the first ever image of a comet passing directly in front of the sun in the early morning of July 6, 2011 in 171 angstrom. The comet comes i...

  10. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Kelpsch, Daniel J.; Groen, Christopher M.; Fagan, Tiffany N.; Sudhir, Sweta; Tootle, Tina L.

    2016-01-01

    Drosophila oogenesis provides a developmental system with which to study nuclear actin. During Stages 5–9, nuclear actin levels are high in the oocyte and exhibit variation within the nurse cells. Cofilin and Profilin, which regulate the nuclear import and export of actin, also localize to the nuclei. Expression of GFP-tagged Actin results in nuclear actin rod formation. These findings indicate that nuclear actin must be tightly regulated during oogenesis. One factor mediating this regulation is Fascin. Overexpression of Fascin enhances nuclear GFP-Actin rod formation, and Fascin colocalizes with the rods. Loss of Fascin reduces, whereas overexpression of Fascin increases, the frequency of nurse cells with high levels of nuclear actin, but neither alters the overall nuclear level of actin within the ovary. These data suggest that Fascin regulates the ability of specific cells to accumulate nuclear actin. Evidence indicates that Fascin positively regulates nuclear actin through Cofilin. Loss of Fascin results in decreased nuclear Cofilin. In addition, Fascin and Cofilin genetically interact, as double heterozygotes exhibit a reduction in the number of nurse cells with high nuclear actin levels. These findings are likely applicable beyond Drosophila follicle development, as the localization and functions of Fascin and the mechanisms regulating nuclear actin are widely conserved. PMID:27535426

  11. Sketches of Comet Kohoutek by Astronaut Gibson

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    This pencil sketch of the Comet Kohoutek made by Skylab-4 astronaut Edward Gibson illustrates the crew's collective impressions of the comet's appearance on December 29, 1973. An early discovery of a large comet in an orbit that would reach close to the Sun at the end of 1973 prompted NASA to initiate Operation Kohoutek, a program to coordinate widespread observations of the comet from ground observatories, aircraft, balloons, rockets, unmarned satellites, and Skylab.

  12. CO2 Orbital Trends in Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Michael; Feaga, Lori; Bodewits, Dennis; McKay, Adam; Snodgrass, Colin; Wooden, Diane

    2014-12-01

    Spacecraft missions to comets return a treasure trove of details of their targets, e.g., the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Deep Impact experiment at comet 9P/Tempel 1, or even the flyby of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) at Mars. Yet, missions are rare, the diversity of comets is large, few comets are easily accessible, and comet flybys essentially return snapshots of their target nuclei. Thus, telescopic observations are necessary to place the mission data within the context of each comet's long-term behavior, and to further connect mission results to the comet population as a whole. We propose a large Cycle 11 project to study the long-term activity of past and potential future mission targets, and select bright Oort cloud comets to infer comet nucleus properties, which would otherwise require flyby missions. In the classical comet model, cometary mass loss is driven by the sublimation of water ice. However, recent discoveries suggest that the more volatile CO and CO2 ices are the likely drivers of some comet active regions. Surprisingly, CO2 drove most of the activity of comet Hartley 2 at only 1 AU from the Sun where vigorous water ice sublimation would be expected to dominate. Currently, little is known about the role of CO2 in comet activity because telluric absorptions prohibit monitoring from the ground. In our Cycle 11 project, we will study the CO2 activity of our targets through IRAC photometry. In conjunction with prior observations of CO2 and CO, as well as future data sets (JWST) and ongoing Earth-based projects led by members of our team, we will investigate both long-term activity trends in our target comets, with a particular goal to ascertain the connections between each comet's coma and nucleus.

  13. Modification of lung cancer susceptibility by green tea extract as measured by the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huifeng; Spitz, Margaret R; Tomlinson, Gail E; Schabath, Matthew B; Minna, John D; Wu, Xifeng

    2002-01-01

    Green tea is widely consumed throughout the world and is known to possess various beneficial properties that may affect carcinogen metabolism, free radical scavenging, or formation of DNA adducts. Therefore, it is plausible that green tea extract may modify BPDE-induced DNA damage. In this report, we utilized the comet assay to (1) evaluate BPDE-induced DNA damage as a potential marker of cancer susceptibility and (2) assess the ability of green tea to modify BPDE-induced DNA damage. DNA damage in individual comet cells was quantified by (1) visually measuring the proportion of cells exhibiting migration versus those without and (2) the length of damaged DNA migration (comet tail). We detected a dose-response between BDPE concentration and mean comet tail length in EBV-immortalized lymphoblastiod (lymphoid) cell lines. As the concentration of BPDE increased from 0.5 to 3 microM, the length of the mean comet tail length increased proportionally in the 3590P (derived from a healthy subject) and 3640P (derived from a patient with head and neck cancer) cell lines. In separate experiments using lymphoid cells from 21 lung cancer cases and 12 healthy subjects, the mean comet tail length was significantly higher in the lung cancer cases (80.19 +/- 15.55) versus the healthy subjects (59.94 +/- 14.23) (P < 0.01). Similar findings were observed when analyzing the mean percentage of comet induced cells (84.57 +/- 8.85 and 69.04 +/- 12.50, respectively) (P < 0.01). When green tea extract was added in conjunction with BPDE, there was a notable reduction of the mean comet tail length (13.29 +/- 0.97) as compared to BPDE treatment alone (80.19 +/- 15.55) (P < 0.01) in lung cancer cases. There were no statistical differences between the baseline (no treatments) (12.74 +/- 0.63) and the green tea extract treatment (13.06 +/- 0.97) (P = 0.21). These data suggest the modification of lung cancer susceptibility by the green tea extract. Similar results were observed for the percentage

  14. Three-dimensional structure of actin filaments and of an actin gel made with actin-binding protein.

    PubMed

    Niederman, R; Amrein, P C; Hartwig, J

    1983-05-01

    Purified muscle actin and mixtures of actin and actin-binding protein were examined in the transmission electron microscope after fixation, critical point drying, and rotary shadowing. The three-dimensional structure of the protein assemblies was analyzed by a computer-assisted graphic analysis applicable to generalized filament networks. This analysis yielded information concerning the frequency of filament intersections, the filament length between these intersections, the angle at which filaments branch at these intersections, and the concentration of filaments within a defined volume. Purified actin at a concentration of 1 mg/ml assembled into a uniform mass of long filaments which overlap at random angles between 0 degrees and 90 degrees. Actin in the presence of macrophage actin-binding protein assembled into short, straight filaments, organized in a perpendicular branching network. The distance between branch points was inversely related to the molar ratio of actin-binding protein to actin. This distance was what would be predicted if actin filaments grew at right angles off of nucleation sites on the two ends of actin-binding protein dimers, and then annealed. The results suggest that actin in combination with actin-binding protein self-assembles to form a three-dimensional network resembling the peripheral cytoskeleton of motile cells.

  15. Retrieving samples from comet nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuhlinger, Ernst; Bassner, Helmut; Fechtig, Hugo; Igenbergs, Eduard; Kuczera, Heribert; Loeb, Horst; Schobert, Detlef

    1987-09-01

    A comet nucleus sampling scenario is proposed. Material samples for analysis in earth-based laboratories should be collected continuously to a depth of 3 m below the surface, and at a solar distance of at least 2.5 AU where the comet surface is inactive. The spacecraft is propelled by chemical and electric thrusters. While hovering above the comet nucleus at an altitude of 500 to 1000 m, the spacecraft will dispatch a rotating drill on a tether. The drill pipe will be driven into the nucleus by a rocket-powered reaction wheel. The inner pipe of the drill, when filled with cometary material, will be withdrawn by the tether, stored on the spacecraft, and transported back to Earth.

  16. Catastrophic Disruption of Comet ISON

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keane, Jacqueline V.; Milam, Stefanie N.; Coulson, Iain M.; Kleyna, Jan T.; Sekanina, Zdenek; Kracht, Rainer; Riesen, Timm-Emmanuel; Meech, Karen J.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2016-11-01

    We report submillimeter 450 and 850 μm dust continuum observations for comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) obtained at heliocentric distances 0.31-0.08 au prior to perihelion on 2013 November 28 (r h = 0.0125 au). These observations reveal a rapidly varying dust environment in which the dust emission was initially point-like. As ISON approached perihelion, the continuum emission became an elongated dust column spread out over as much as 60″ (>105 km) in the anti-solar direction. Deconvolution of the November 28.04 850 μm image reveals numerous distinct clumps consistent with the catastrophic disruption of comet ISON, producing ˜5.2 × 1010 kg of submillimeter-sized dust. Orbital computations suggest that the SCUBA-2 emission peak coincides with the comet's residual nucleus.

  17. Hummingbird Comet Nucleus Analysis Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kojiro, Daniel; Carle, Glenn C.; Lasher, Larry E.

    2000-01-01

    Hummingbird is a highly focused scientific mission, proposed to NASA s Discovery Program, designed to address the highest priority questions in cometary science-that of the chemical composition of the cometary nucleus. After rendezvous with the comet, Hummingbird would first methodically image and map the comet, then collect and analyze dust, ice and gases from the cometary atmosphere to enrich characterization of the comet and support landing site selection. Then, like its namesake, Hummingbird would carefully descend to a pre-selected surface site obtaining a high-resolution image, gather a surface material sample, acquire surface temperature and then immediately return to orbit for detailed chemical and elemental analyses followed by a high resolution post-sampling image of the site. Hummingbird s analytical laboratory contains instrumentation for a comprehensive molecular and elemental analysis of the cometary nucleus as well as an innovative surface sample acquisition device.

  18. Catastrophic Disruption of Comet ISON

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keane, Jacqueline V.; Milam, Stefanie N.; Coulson, Iain M.; Kleyna, Jan T.; Sekanina, Zdenek; Kracht, Rainer; Riesen, Timm-Emmanuel; Meech, Karen J.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2016-01-01

    We report submillimeter 450 and 850 microns dust continuum observations for comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) obtained at heliocentric distances 0.31-0.08 au prior to perihelion on 2013 November 28 (rh?=?0.0125 au). These observations reveal a rapidly varying dust environment in which the dust emission was initially point-like. As ISON approached perihelion, the continuum emission became an elongated dust column spread out over as much as 60? (greater than 10(exp 5) km in the anti-solar direction. Deconvolution of the November 28.04 850 microns image reveals numerous distinct clumps consistent with the catastrophic disruption of comet ISON, producing approximately 5.2?×?10(exp 10) kg of submillimeter-sized dust. Orbital computations suggest that the SCUBA-2 emission peak coincides with the comet's residual nucleus.

  19. Modified in vivo comet assay detects the genotoxic potential of 14-hydroxycodeinone, an α,β-unsaturated ketone in oxycodone.

    PubMed

    Pant, Kamala; Roden, Nicholas; Zhang, Charles; Bruce, Shannon; Wood, Craig; Pendino, Kimberly

    2015-12-01

    14-Hydroxycodeinone (14-HC) is an α,β-unsaturated ketone impurity found in oxycodone drug substance and has a structural alert for genotoxicity. 14-HC was tested in a combined Modified and Standard Comet Assay to determine if the slight decrease in % Tail DNA noted in a previously conducted Standard Comet Assay with 14-HC could be magnified to clarify if the response was due to cross-linking activity. One limitation of the Standard Comet Assay is that DNA cross-links cannot be reliably detected. However, under certain modified testing conditions, DNA cross-links and chemical moieties that elicit such cross-links can be elucidated. One such modification involves the induction of additional breakages of DNA strands by gamma or X-ray irradiation. To determine if 14-HC is a DNA crosslinker in vivo, a Modified Comet Assay was conducted using X-ray irradiation as the modification to visualize crosslinking activity. In this assay, 14-HC was administered orally to mice up to 320 mg/kg/day. Results showed a statistically significant reduction in percent tail DNA in duodenal cells at 320 mg/kg/day, with a nonstatistically significant but dose-related reduction in percent tail DNA also observed at the mid dose of 160 mg/kg/day. Similar decreases were not observed in cells from the liver or stomach, and no increases in percent tail DNA were noted for any tissue in the concomitantly conducted Standard Comet Assay. Taken together, 14-HC was identified as a cross-linking agent in the duodenum in the Modified Comet Assay.

  20. Regulatory mimicry in Listeria monocytogenes actin-based motility

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Ryan; Swiss, Rachel; Briones, Gabriel; Stone, Kathryn L.; Gulcicek, Erol E.; Agaisse, Hervé

    2009-01-01

    Summary The actin-based motility of the intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes relies on ActA, a bacterial factor mimicking the activity of host cell nucleation-promoting factors of the WASP/WAVE family. The activity of WASP and WAVE is tightly regulated in cells. However, it is not known whether the activity of ActA is regulated upon L. monocytogenes infection. Here, we used an RNAi-based genetic approach in combination with computer-assisted image analysis to investigate the role of host factors in L. monocytogenes spread from cell to cell. We showed that the host cell serine/threonine kinase CK2 is required for efficient actin tail formation. We demonstrated that, similar to WASP and WAVE, the affinity of ActA for the ARP2/3 complex is regulated by CK2-mediated phosphorylation. We also demonstrated the importance of this regulatory mechanism in a mouse model of infection. Our work suggests that ActA is a bacterial virulence factor that not only displays a structural mimic of the VCA domain of WASP/WAVE family members, but also co-opted CK2 as the host cell factor regulating its activity, a form of mimicry that we refer to as regulatory mimicry. We present comparative evidence supporting the notion that unrelated pathogens displaying actin-based motility may have evolved a similar strategy. PMID:19748468

  1. Comet Kopff - A case for mantle development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, A. L.

    1986-03-01

    The author observed comet Kopff during its 1983 apparition. Intensified Dissector Scanner (IDS) spectra were obtained mapping the distribution of the gases in the coma. The comet appears to have a preperihelion brightness maximum in monochromatic light. The author shows this result to be model independent. These data are consistent with a partial mantle developing due to the high obliquity of the comet.

  2. A STUDY OF DUST AND GAS AT MARS FROM COMET C/2013 A1 (SIDING SPRING)

    SciTech Connect

    Kelley, Michael S. P.; Farnham, Tony L.; Bodewits, Dennis; Tricarico, Pasquale; Farnocchia, Davide

    2014-09-01

    Although the nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will safely pass Mars in 2014 October, the dust in the coma and tail will more closely approach the planet. Using a dynamical model of comet dust, we estimate the impact fluence. Based on our nominal model no impacts are expected at Mars. Relaxing our nominal model's parameters, the fluence is no greater than ∼10{sup –7} grains m{sup –2} for grain radii larger than 10 μm. Mars-orbiting spacecraft are unlikely to be impacted by large dust grains, but Mars may receive as many as ∼10{sup 7} grains, or ∼100 kg of total dust. We also estimate the flux of impacting gas molecules commonly observed in comet comae.

  3. Optical spectrophotometry of Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner and emission profiles of H2O+

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strauss, M. A.; Mccarthy, P. J.; Spinrad, H.

    1986-01-01

    Two-dimensional CCD spectrograms were obtained of Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner (1984e) on five occasions between July and October 1985. Spatial emission profiles of H2O+ were extracted at 6198 angstroms (the strongest ionic line in the visible spectrum). This emission line traces the extent of the ion, or plasma, tail. The spectrographic slit was placed approximately along the trajectory of the ICE spacecraft on September 11, 1985; the resulting H2O+ profile has a full-width-half-maximum of about 5700 km, about three times that of the plasma density profile measured by ICE, and has a full-width-zero-intensity of about 30,000 km, very similar to the ICE values. H2O production rates for the comet are derived and compared with those of Comet P/Halley (1982i).

  4. Journey to a Comet (Animation)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Quick Time Movie for PIA02117 Journey to a Comet

    This movie shows Deep Impact's approach to comet Tempel 1. It is made up of images taken by the spacecraft's medium-resolution camera from May 1 to July 2, 3:50 Universal Time. The spacecraft detected three outbursts during this time period, on June 14, June 22 and July 2. The outbursts appear as flickers or bursts of light. The movie ends during the middle of the final outburst.

  5. Carbonaceous chondrites as bioengineered comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheldon, Robert B.; Hoover, Richard

    2012-10-01

    The discovery of microfossils on carbonaceous meteorites has electrified the public with the first concrete evidence of extraterrestrial biology. But how these organisms colonized and grew on the parent body-the comet-remains a mystery. We report on several features of cyanobacteria that permit them to bioengineer comets, as well as a tantalizing look at interplanetary uses for magnetite framboids that are found in abundance on carbonaceous chondrites. We argue that these structures provide important directionality and energy harvesting features similar to magnetotactic bacteria found on Earth.

  6. Antibodies to Actin in Autoimmune Neutropenia

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-02-01

    protein as actin. Purified Acanthamoeba actin by anti-neutrophil antibodies in autoimmune neutropenia, comigrated with the protein and was specifically...anti-rabbit IgG were obtained from ICN Immunobiolog- formed using purified Acanthamoeba actin (gift of Dr Blair Bowers. icals, Naperville, IL. Cells...preparations𔃼 1 - was the protein recognized by these anti-neutrophil antibody 6 .2- positive sera, lgG, and F(ab’) 2. Purified Acanthamoeba actin

  7. An actin cytoskeleton with evolutionarily conserved functions in the absence of canonical actin-binding proteins

    PubMed Central

    Paredez, Alexander R.; Assaf, Zoe June; Sept, David; Timofejeva, Ljudmilla; Dawson, Scott C.; Wang, Chung-Ju Rachel; Cande, W. Z.

    2011-01-01

    Giardia intestinalis, a human intestinal parasite and member of what is perhaps the earliest-diverging eukaryotic lineage, contains the most divergent eukaryotic actin identified to date and is the first eukaryote known to lack all canonical actin-binding proteins (ABPs). We sought to investigate the properties and functions of the actin cytoskeleton in Giardia to determine whether Giardia actin (giActin) has reduced or conserved roles in core cellular processes. In vitro polymerization of giActin produced filaments, indicating that this divergent actin is a true filament-forming actin. We generated an anti-giActin antibody to localize giActin throughout the cell cycle. GiActin localized to the cortex, nuclei, internal axonemes, and formed C-shaped filaments along the anterior of the cell and a flagella-bundling helix. These structures were regulated with the cell cycle and in encysting cells giActin was recruited to the Golgi-like cyst wall processing vesicles. Knockdown of giActin demonstrated that giActin functions in cell morphogenesis, membrane trafficking, and cytokinesis. Additionally, Giardia contains a single G protein, giRac, which affects the Giardia actin cytoskeleton independently of known target ABPs. These results imply that there exist ancestral and perhaps conserved roles for actin in core cellular processes that are independent of canonical ABPs. Of medical significance, the divergent giActin cytoskeleton is essential and commonly used actin-disrupting drugs do not depolymerize giActin structures. Therefore, the giActin cytoskeleton is a promising drug target for treating giardiasis, as we predict drugs that interfere with the Giardia actin cytoskeleton will not affect the mammalian host. PMID:21444821

  8. An actin cytoskeleton with evolutionarily conserved functions in the absence of canonical actin-binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Paredez, Alexander R; Assaf, Zoe June; Sept, David; Timofejeva, Ljudmilla; Dawson, Scott C; Wang, Chung-Ju Rachel; Cande, W Z

    2011-04-12

    Giardia intestinalis, a human intestinal parasite and member of what is perhaps the earliest-diverging eukaryotic lineage, contains the most divergent eukaryotic actin identified to date and is the first eukaryote known to lack all canonical actin-binding proteins (ABPs). We sought to investigate the properties and functions of the actin cytoskeleton in Giardia to determine whether Giardia actin (giActin) has reduced or conserved roles in core cellular processes. In vitro polymerization of giActin produced filaments, indicating that this divergent actin is a true filament-forming actin. We generated an anti-giActin antibody to localize giActin throughout the cell cycle. GiActin localized to the cortex, nuclei, internal axonemes, and formed C-shaped filaments along the anterior of the cell and a flagella-bundling helix. These structures were regulated with the cell cycle and in encysting cells giActin was recruited to the Golgi-like cyst wall processing vesicles. Knockdown of giActin demonstrated that giActin functions in cell morphogenesis, membrane trafficking, and cytokinesis. Additionally, Giardia contains a single G protein, giRac, which affects the Giardia actin cytoskeleton independently of known target ABPs. These results imply that there exist ancestral and perhaps conserved roles for actin in core cellular processes that are independent of canonical ABPs. Of medical significance, the divergent giActin cytoskeleton is essential and commonly used actin-disrupting drugs do not depolymerize giActin structures. Therefore, the giActin cytoskeleton is a promising drug target for treating giardiasis, as we predict drugs that interfere with the Giardia actin cytoskeleton will not affect the mammalian host.

  9. Actinic cheilitis in dental practice.

    PubMed

    Savage, N W; McKay, C; Faulkner, C

    2010-06-01

    Actinic cheilitis is a potentially premalignant condition involving predominantly the vermilion of the lower lip. The aim of the current paper was to review the clinical presentation of actinic cheilitis and demonstrate the development of management plans using a series of cases. These are designed to provide immediate treatment where required but also to address the medium and long-term requirements of the patient. The authors suggest that the clinical examination of lips and the assessment of actinic cheilitis and other lip pathology become a regular part of the routine soft tissue examination undertaken as a part of the periodic examination of dental patients. Early recognition of actinic cheilitis can allow the development of strategies for individual patients that prevent progression. These are based on past sun exposure, future lifestyle changes and the daily use of emollient sunscreens, broad-brimmed hats and avoidance of sun exposure during the middle of the day. This is a service that is not undertaken as a matter of routine in general medical practice as patients are not seen with the regularity of dental patients and generally not under the ideal examination conditions available in the dental surgery.

  10. A numerical study of comet ISON near perihelion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shou, Y.; Combi, M. R.; Jia, X.; Hansen, K. C.

    2013-12-01

    The comet ISON has an extremely small perihelion distance (2.7 solar radii) and is also expected to have a very high production rate during its passage close to the sun in November of 2013. During that period, it is planned to be monitored by many ground- and space-based observatories, i.e. SOHO, STEREO, SDO, MRO, MESSENGER, SWIFT, Chandra, Spitzer, etc., all of which are able to provide substantial observational data of high quality about the comet and its interaction with the solar wind. In addition, as this sun-grazing comet penetrates so deep into the solar atmosphere, where the plasma environment is totally different from the normal solar wind conditions we are familiar with, it offers a great opportunity to study a new type of solar wind-comet interaction. Near perihelion, the photo-ionization time scale of the cometary neutrals is on the order of 100 s, which means that a large portion of neutrals are lost and most of the cometary ions are produced in a small region near the nucleus. Therefore, a much smaller upstream mass-loading region, a high production rate, a solar wind with a low Mach number and a strong interplanetary magnetic field together can dramatically alter the conventional cometary plasma environment of a bow shock, diamagnetic cavity and plasma tail. Preliminary results of a numerical study using the University of Michigan BATSRUS MHD model exploring the nature of the solar wind interaction and the coma environment are described. This work has been partially supported by grant AST-0707283 from the NSF Planetary Astronomy program and NASA Planetary Atmospheres program grant NNX09AB59G.

  11. Lack of genotoxicity of formocresol, paramonochlorophenol, and calcium hydroxide on mammalian cells by comet assay.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Daniel Araki; Marques, Mariângela Esther Alencar; Salvadori, Daisy Maria Fávero

    2004-08-01

    Formocresol, paramonochlorophenol, and calcium hydroxide are widely used in dentistry because of their antibacterial activities in root canal disinfection. However, the results of genotoxicity studies using these materials are inconsistent in literature. The goal of this study was to examine the genotoxic potential of formocresol, paramonochlorophenol, and calcium hydroxide using mouse lymphoma cells and human fibroblasts cells in vitro by the comet assay. Data were assessed by Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric test. The results showed that all compounds tested did not cause DNA damage for the tail moment or tail intensity parameters. These findings suggest that formocresol, paramonochlorophenol, and calcium hydroxide do not promote DNA damage in mammalian cells and that the comet assay is a suitable tool to investigate genotoxicity.

  12. New Image of Comet Halley in the Cold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-09-01

    molecular emission in the Earth's atmosphere within the sky area covered by the comet's image. The presence of this considerable "noise" calls for very careful image processing in order to detect the faint comet signal. The identity of the comet is beyond doubt: the image is faintly visible on composite photos obtained during a single night, demonstrating that the direction and rate of motion of the detected object perfectly matches that predicted for Comet Halley from its well-known orbit. Moreover, the image is located within 1 arcsec from the predicted position in the sky. Outlook After its passage in 1910, Comet Halley was again seen in 1982, when David Jewitt first observed its faint image with the 5-m Palomar telescope at a time when it was 11 AU from the Sun, a little further than planet Saturn. It was observed from La Silla two months later. As the comet approached, the ice in the nucleus began to evaporate (sublimate), and the comet soon became surrounded by a cloud of dust and gas (the "coma"). It developed the tail that is typical of comets and was extensively observed, also from several spacecraft passing close to its nucleus in early 1986. Observations have since been made of Comet Halley as it moves away from the Sun, documenting a steady decrease of activity. When it reached the distance of Saturn, the tail and coma had disappeared completely, leaving only the 5 x 5 x 15 km avocado-shaped "dirty snowball" nucleus. However, Halley was still good for a major surprise: in 1991, a gigantic explosion happened, providing it with an expanding, extensive cloud of dust for several months. It is not known whether this event was caused by a collision with an unknown piece of rock or by internal processes (a last "sigh" on the way out). Until now, the most recent observation of Comet Halley was done in 1994 with the New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla, at that time the most powerful ESO telescope. It showed the comet to be completely inactive. Nine years later, so

  13. Actin crosslinkers: repairing the sense of touch.

    PubMed

    Sun, Sean X; Walcott, Sam

    2010-10-26

    Cells use actin bundles infused with myosin to exert contractile forces on the extracellular environment. This active tension is essential for cellular mechanosensation. Now, the role of actin crosslinkers in stabilizing and repairing the actin bundles is coming into clearer view.

  14. An early look of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring): Breathtaker or nightmare?

    SciTech Connect

    Ye, Quan-Zhi; Hui, Man-To

    2014-06-01

    The dynamically new comet, C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), is to make a close approach to Mars on 2014 October 19 at 18:30 UT at a distance of 40 ± 1 Martian radii. Such an extremely rare event offers a precious opportunity for the spacecrafts on Mars to closely study a dynamically new comet itself as well as the planet-comet interaction. Meanwhile, the high-speed meteoroids released from C/Siding Spring also pose a threat to physically damage the spacecrafts. Here we present our observations and modeling results of C/Siding Spring to characterize the comet and assess the risk posed to the spacecrafts on Mars. We find that the optical tail of C/Siding Spring is dominated by larger particles at the time of the observation. Synchrone simulation suggests that the comet was already active in late 2012 when it was more than 7 AU from the Sun. By parameterizing the dust activity with a semi-analytic model, we find that the ejection speed of C/Siding Spring is comparable to comets such as the target of the Rosetta mission, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Under a nominal situation, the simulated dust cone will miss the planet by about 20 Martian radii. At the extreme ends of uncertainties, the simulated dust cone will engulf Mars, but the meteoric influx at Mars is still comparable to the nominal sporadic influx, seemly indicating that an intense and enduring meteoroid bombardment due to C/Siding Spring is unlikely. Further simulation also suggests that gravitational disruption of the dust tail may be significant enough to be observable at Earth.

  15. An Early Look of Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring): Breathtaker or Nightmare?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Quan-Zhi; Hui, Man-To

    2014-06-01

    The dynamically new comet, C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), is to make a close approach to Mars on 2014 October 19 at 18:30 UT at a distance of 40 ± 1 Martian radii. Such an extremely rare event offers a precious opportunity for the spacecrafts on Mars to closely study a dynamically new comet itself as well as the planet-comet interaction. Meanwhile, the high-speed meteoroids released from C/Siding Spring also pose a threat to physically damage the spacecrafts. Here we present our observations and modeling results of C/Siding Spring to characterize the comet and assess the risk posed to the spacecrafts on Mars. We find that the optical tail of C/Siding Spring is dominated by larger particles at the time of the observation. Synchrone simulation suggests that the comet was already active in late 2012 when it was more than 7 AU from the Sun. By parameterizing the dust activity with a semi-analytic model, we find that the ejection speed of C/Siding Spring is comparable to comets such as the target of the Rosetta mission, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Under a nominal situation, the simulated dust cone will miss the planet by about 20 Martian radii. At the extreme ends of uncertainties, the simulated dust cone will engulf Mars, but the meteoric influx at Mars is still comparable to the nominal sporadic influx, seemly indicating that an intense and enduring meteoroid bombardment due to C/Siding Spring is unlikely. Further simulation also suggests that gravitational disruption of the dust tail may be significant enough to be observable at Earth.

  16. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1991-07-01

    Concerning comets: 1957 III Arend-Roland, 1957 V Mrkos, 1958 III Burnham, 1959 III Bester-Hoffmeister, 1959 VI Alcock, 1959 VIII P/Giacobini-Zinner, 1960 I P/Wild 1, 1960 II Burnham, 1960 III P/Schaumasse, 1960 VIII P/Finlay, 1961 V Wilson-Hubbard, 1961 VIII Seki, 1962 III Seki-Lines, 1962 VIII Humason, 1963 I Ikeya, 1963 III Alcock, 1963 V Pereyra, 1964 VI Tomita-Gerber-Honda, 1964 VIII Ikeya, 1964 IX Everhart, 1979 X Bradfield, 1980 X P/Stephan-Oterma, 1980 XII Meier, 1980 XIII P/Tuttle, 1981 II Panther, 1982 I Bowell, 1982 IV P/Grigg-Skjellerup, 1982 VII P/d'Arrest, 1986 III P/Halley, 1987 IV Shoemaker, 1987 XII P/Hartley 3, 1987 XIX P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 2, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1987 XXX Levy, 1987 XXXII McNaught, 1987 XXXIII P/Borrelly, 1987 XXXVI P/Parker-Hartley, 1987 XXXVII P/Helin- Roman-Alu 1, 1988 III Shoemaker-Holt, 1988 V Liller, 1988 VIII P/Ge-Wang, 1988 XI P/Shoemaker-Holt 2, 1988 XIV P/Tempel 2, 1988 XV Machholz, 1988 XX Yanaka, 1988 XXI Shoemaker, 1988 XXIV Yanaka, 1989 III Shoemaker, 1989 V Shoemaker-Holt-Rodriquez, 1989 VIII P/Pons-Winnecke, 1989 X P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989 XI P/Gunn, 1989 XIII P/Lovas 1, 1989 XVIII McKenzie-Russell, 1989 XIX Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1989 XX P/Clark, 1989 XXI Helin-Ronan-Alu, 1989 XXII Aarseth-Brewington, 1989h P/Van Biesbroeck, 1989t P/Wild 2, 1989u P/Kearns-Kwee, 1989c1 Austin, 1989e1 Skorichenko-George, 1990a P/Wild 4, 1990b Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990c Levy, 1990e P/Wolf-Harrington, 1990f P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, 1990g McNaught-Hughes, 1990i Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, 1990n P/Taylor, 1990ο P/Shoemaker-Levy 1, 1991a P/Metcalf-Brewington, 1991b Arai, 1991c P/Swift-Gehrels, 1991d Shoemaker-Levy, 1991e P/Shoemaker-Levy 3, 1991h P/Takamizawa, 1991j P/Hartley 1, 1991k P/Mrkos, 1991l Helin-Lawrence, 1991n P/Faye, 1991q P/Levy, 1991t P/Hartley 2, P/Encke, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  17. A new proxy of comet impacts?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasatkina, E.; Shumilov, O.; Lukina, N.

    Environmental consequences of impacts by comets and asteroids depend on their sizes. The impact of 10 km sized asteroid killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. A comet impact in AD 536 (>500 m diameter) caused a global climatic downturn. An impact of Tunguska-sized (50 m diameter) object (TO) could devastate a 2000 km -2 forest area, roughly the size of Moscow or New York. Among some misteries of the Tunguska event an important role plays the cause of the accelerated tree growth after 1908 in the catastrophe area. The main explanation is that an accelerated growth of old trees is a result of decrease of the level of competition due to falling of trees. We analyzed tree rings in larch samples collected in the Taymir region of Northern Siberia (72N; 105E) at a distance of about 1500 km to the North from the Tunguska catastrophe epicenter (61N; 102E). It was found that tree ring growth is 150% higher in 1908. We also analyzed all available Siberian tree-ring series (more than 100). It was found that there is a considerable increase of tree ring growth in 1908 over a huge area of Siberia (60N-75N; 60E-110E). It is obvious that the above mentioned interpretation could hardly explain the effect observed. Most likely the tree growth was stimulated by the TO matter spreaded over a large territory of Eurasia and introduced into the soil. It is generally believed that meteorites and comets delivered large amounts of organic to the early Earth. Another hypothesis is connected to NO produced during the Tunguska event. The cometary (probably fragment of the comet Enke) tail started to influence the Earth atmosphere several days before the fall of the meteorite causing optical anomalies observed mainly to the West from the place of TO explosion (Western Siberia, European Russia, Northern Europe). It is interesting that we've discovered nearly the similar, but smaller (about 50%) increase of tree ring growth connected to the Chulym bolide impact in 1984. The Chulym bolide

  18. Comet Mineralogy as Inferred from Infrared Spectra of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wooden, Diane H.

    2006-01-01

    For most comets, infrared (IR) spectroscopy (remote sensing) is the method through which we diagnose the mineralogy and size distribution of dust in their comae. The shape and contrast of the IR spectral features depend on the particle size: optically active minerals (absorbing of visible and near-IR solar photons) and submicron solid grains or highly porous (> 90% vacuum) grains primarily contribute to the shapes of the observed resonances. Comet mineralogies typically are determined by fitting thermal emission models of ensembles of discrete mineral grains to observed IR spectral energy distributions. The absorptivities (Q-abs) and scattering efficiencies (Q-scat) of the discrete mineral grains are computed using Mie scattering, Maxwell-Garnet mixing, Discrete Dipole Approximation, and Multi-Layered Sphere codes. These techniques when applied to crystalline minerals, specifically olivine (Mg_x, Fe_1-x)2 Si04, x>0.9, require the use of ellipsoidal shaped particles with elongated axial ratios or hollow spheres to produce the shapes of the resonances observed both from comet comae and laboratory samples. The wavelength positions of the distinct resonances from submicron-radii crystalline silicates, as well as their thermal equilibrium temperatures, constrain the crystalline olivine to have a relatively high Mg-content (x>0.9, or Fo>90). Only resonances computed for submicron Mg-rich crystalline olivine and crystalline orthopyroxene match the observed IR spectral features. However, this has led to the interpretation that micron-radii and larger crystals are absent from comet comae. Furthermore, the mass fraction of silicate crystals is dependent upon whether just the submicron portion of the size distribution is being compared or the submicron crystals compare to the aggregates of porous amorphous silicates that are computationally tractable as porous spheres. We will discuss the Deep Impact results as examples of these challenges to interpreting mid-IR spectra of

  19. Comet Halley: The view from Pioneer Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    The plans to scan Halley's Comet at close range using the Pioneer Venus Orbiter are discussed. The composition of comets, their paths through space, and the history of comet encounters are examined. An ultraviolet spectrometer aboard the spacecraft will determine the composition of the gaseous coma and will measure the total gas production during its passage. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter will observe the comet for five weeks before solar interference with communications occurs as Venus passes on the far side of the Sun from Earth. Diagrams of the solar system and the relationship of the comet to the planets and the Sun are provided.

  20. Astrometric observations of comets and minor planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. G.; Gibson, J.

    1991-01-01

    Comets and planet crossing asteroids are observed so that accurate positions can be determined. The observations are made with the Palomar 1.5 m telescope equipped with a CCD array. The combination of telescope and detector is quite effective at recording faint comets and minor planets. This proves useful for early acquisition of comets and asteroids returning for a new opposition. The resulting positions permit accurate orbits to be determined and allow the properties of the comets and asteroids to be measured by other observers using a variety of techniques. Recoveries and other notable observations of comets and planet crossing asteroids observed during the past years are discussed.

  1. Astrometric observations of comets and minor planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. G.; Gibson, J.

    1991-01-01

    Comets and planet crossings are observed so that accurate positions can be determined. The observations are made with the Palomar 1.5m telescope equipped with a charge coupled device (CCD) array. This combination is quite efficient at recording faint comets and minor planets. This proves quite useful for early acquisition of comets and asteroids returning for a new opposition. The resulting positions permit accurate orbits to be determined and allow the properties of the comets and asteroids to be measured by other observers using a variety of techniques. Recoveries and other notable observations of comets and planet crossing asteroids observed during the past year are discussed.

  2. Modeling the Dynamics of Comet Hale-Bopp's Dust at Large Heliocentric Distances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kramer, Emily A.; Fernandez, Y. R.; Kelley, M. S.; Woodney, L. M.; Lisse, C. M.

    2010-10-01

    Comet Hale-Bopp has provided an unprecedented opportunity to observe a bright comet over a wide range of heliocentric distances. We present here Spitzer Space Telescope observations of Hale-Bopp from 2005 and 2008 that show a distinct coma and tail, which is uncommon given its heliocentric distance -- 21.6 AU and 27.2 AU, respectively. These 24 um images (obtained with MIPS, the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer) show thermal emission from the dust, and are being studied using dynamical models [1, 2] to explain the dust morphology and constrain the dust's properties. Preliminary work suggests that the motion of the dust cannot be solely due to the effects of gravity and radiation pressure. We investigate the role of other possible driving forces, including the so-called rocket force [3]. Our initial analysis also shows that: (1) there is no trail lying along the orbit plane, as Spitzer saw for many other comets [4]; (2) the position angle of the tail changed by about 50º between 2005 and 2008; (3) the faintness and shape of the tail in 2008 compared to 2005 cannot solely be due to the change in observing geometry. These points suggest that even though Hale-Bopp is far from the Sun its tail is made of relatively recently-released grains. Our science goals are to understand the comet's activity mechanism, constrain the age of the dust, find the size of the grains, and compare properties of the dust seen now to those of the dust seen in the 1990s. We acknowledge support from the NSF, NASA and the Spitzer Science Center for this work. References: [1] Kelley, M.S., et al.  2008, Icarus 193, 572, [2] Lisse, C.M., et al. 1998, ApJ 496, 971, [3] Reach, W.T., et al. 2009, Icarus 203, 571, [4] Reach, W.T., et al. 2007, Icarus 191, 298.

  3. On Board the Vomit Comet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woodring, Kathleen Mills

    2000-01-01

    Introduces a project of constructing a rover that can maintain its upright position with minimal gravitation that is based on National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratories rover designs. Tests the project in NASA's "Vomit Comet" under zero-gravity environment. (YDS)

  4. Featured Image: A Comet's Coma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-11-01

    This series of images (click for the full view!) features the nucleus of comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko. The images were taken with the Wide Angle Camera of RosettasOSIRIS instrument asRosetta orbited comet 67P. Each column represents a different narrow-band filter that allows us to examine the emission of a specific fragment species, and the images progress in time from January 2015 (top) to June 2015 (bottom). In a recent study, Dennis Bodewits (University of Maryland) and collaborators used these images to analyze the comets inner coma, the cloud of gas and dust produced around the nucleus as ices sublime. OSIRISs images allowed the team to explore how the 67Ps inner coma changed over time as the comet approached the Sun marking the first time weve been able to study such an environment at this level of detail. To read more about what Bodewits and collaborators learned, you can check out their paper below!CitationD. Bodewits et al 2016 AJ 152 130. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/5/130

  5. The COMET Sleep Research Platform

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, Deborah A.; DeSalvo, Steven; Miller, Richard A.; Jónsson, Darrell; Griffin, Kara S.; Hyde, Pamela R.; Walsh, James K.; Kushida, Clete A.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: The Comparative Outcomes Management with Electronic Data Technology (COMET) platform is extensible and designed for facilitating multicenter electronic clinical research. Background: Our research goals were the following: (1) to conduct a comparative effectiveness trial (CET) for two obstructive sleep apnea treatments—positive airway pressure versus oral appliance therapy; and (2) to establish a new electronic network infrastructure that would support this study and other clinical research studies. Discussion: The COMET platform was created to satisfy the needs of CET with a focus on creating a platform that provides comprehensive toolsets, multisite collaboration, and end-to-end data management. The platform also provides medical researchers the ability to visualize and interpret data using business intelligence (BI) tools. Conclusion: COMET is a research platform that is scalable and extensible, and which, in a future version, can accommodate big data sets and enable efficient and effective research across multiple studies and medical specialties. The COMET platform components were designed for an eventual move to a cloud computing infrastructure that enhances sustainability, overall cost effectiveness, and return on investment. PMID:25848590

  6. Halley's Comet: A Bibliographic Essay.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallant, Stephen L.

    1985-01-01

    This bibliographic essay evaluates six books on Halley's Comet as science writings that fall into three categories: middle school and junior high-level books; senior high to adult-level books; and advanced level. Author, number of pages, publication date, price, International Standard Book Number, and publisher information are provided. (EJS)

  7. The measurement of comet positions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatum, J. B.

    1982-04-01

    A procedure for measuring the position of comets from photographs is described that requires only a photographic telescope, a measuring microscope, a star atlas and catalog, and a programmable calculator or computer. Instructions are given on how to choose the comparison stars, make the measurement, and gather the data. Also discussed are proper motion corrections, determinations of the focal length, and standard coordinates.

  8. Gas phase chemistry in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oppenheimer, M.

    1976-01-01

    The significance of gas phase reactions in determining the nuclear structure of comets is discussed. The sublimation of parent molecules such as H2O, CH4, CO2, and NH3 from the surface of the nucleus and their subsequent photodissociation and ionization in forming observed cometary molecular species are elaborated.

  9. Landslides and impacts on comets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czechowski, Leszek

    2016-07-01

    The recent landing of Philae on the comet 67P/Czuriumow-Gierasimienko indicates that elastic properties of comet's nuclei could be similar to elastic properties of dry snow, namely Young modulus is assumed to be 106 - 108 Pa. We considered a simple model of two spheres (with radius 1400 m each) connected by cylinder (with radius of 200 m and length of 200 m). Density is 470 kg m-3. This shape corresponds approximately to shape of some comets. A few vibration modes are possible. In present research we consider 3 modes: bending, lengthening-shortening along axis of symmetry, and torsion. Let assume that comets are hit by small meteoroid of the mass of 1 kg and velocity 20 km s-1. The maximum values of acceleration of the surface resulting from this impact are given in Table 1. Note that these values are higher than acceleration of the gravity of the comet. Consequently, these vibrations could be an important factor of surface evolution, e.g. they could trigger landslides. It could be alternative mechanism to that presented in [4] (i.e. fluidization). Acknowledgement: The research is partly supported by Polish National Science Centre (decision 2014/15/B/ST 10/02117) References [1] T. Spohn, J. Knollenberg, A. J. Ball, M. Ba-naszkiewicz, J. Benkhoff, M. Grott, J. Gry-gorczuk, C. Hüttig, A. Hagermann, G. Kargl, E. Kaufmann, N. Kömle, E. Kührt, K. J. Kossacki, W. Marczewski, I. Pelivan, R. Schrödter, K. Seiferlin. (2015) Thermal and mechanical properties of the near-surface layers of comet 67P/Churyumov- Gera-simenko Science 31 July 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6247 DOI: 10.1126/science.aab0464 [2] Reuter B. (2013) On how to measure snow mechanical properties relevant to slab avalanche release. International Snow Science Workshop Grenoble - Chamonix Mont-Blanc - 2013 007 [3] Ball A.J. (1997) Ph. D. Thesis: Measuring Physical Properties at the Surface of a Comet Nu-cleus, Univ.of Kent U.K. [4] Belton M. J.S., Melosh J. (2009). Fluidization and multiphase transport of

  10. Mechanism of Actin-Based Motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantaloni, Dominique; Le Clainche, Christophe; Carlier, Marie-France

    2001-05-01

    Spatially controlled polymerization of actin is at the origin of cell motility and is responsible for the formation of cellular protrusions like lamellipodia. The pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Shigella flexneri, which undergo actin-based propulsion, are acknowledged models of the leading edge of lamellipodia. Actin-based motility of the bacteria or of functionalized microspheres can be reconstituted in vitro from only five pure proteins. Movement results from the regulated site-directed treadmilling of actin filaments, consistent with observations of actin dynamics in living motile cells and with the biochemical properties of the components of the synthetic motility medium.

  11. CO in Distantly Active Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Womack, M.; Sarid, G.; Wierzchos, K.

    2017-03-01

    The activity of most comets near the Sun is dominated by the sublimation of frozen water, the most abundant ice in comets. Some comets, however, are active well beyond the water-ice sublimation limit of ∼3 au. Three bodies dominate the observational record and modeling efforts for distantly active comets: the long-period comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp), and the short-period comets (with Centaur orbits) 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 and 2060 Chiron. We summarize what is known about these three objects with an emphasis on their gaseous comae. We calculate their CN/CO and CO2/CO production rate ratios from the literature and discuss implications, such as HCN and CO2 outgassing are not significant contributors to their comae. Using our own data we derive CO production rates, Q(CO), for all three objects to examine whether there is a correlation between gas production and different orbital histories and/or size. The CO measurements of Hale-Bopp (4–11 AU) and 29P are consistent with a nominal production rate of Q(CO) = 3.5 × 1029 r‑2 superimposed with sporadic outbursts. The similarity of Hale-Bopp CO production rates for pre- and post-perihelion suggests that thermal inertia was not very important and therefore most of the activity is at or near the surface of the comet. We further examine the applicability of existing models in explaining the systematic behavior of our small sample. We find that orbital history does not appear to play a significant role in explaining 29P’s CO production rates. 29P outproduces Hale-Bopp at the same heliocentric distance, even though it has been subjected to much more solar heating. Previous modeling work on such objects predicts that 29P should have been devolatilized over a fresher comet like Hale-Bopp. This may point to 29P having a different orbital history than current models predict, with its current orbit acquired more recently. On the other hand, Chiron’s CO measurements are consistent with it being significantly depleted

  12. Nuclear Actin in Development and Transcriptional Reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Misu, Shinji; Takebayashi, Marina; Miyamoto, Kei

    2017-01-01

    Actin is a highly abundant protein in eukaryotic cells and dynamically changes its polymerized states with the help of actin-binding proteins. Its critical function as a constituent of cytoskeleton has been well-documented. Growing evidence demonstrates that actin is also present in nuclei, referred to as nuclear actin, and is involved in a number of nuclear processes, including transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodeling. The contribution of nuclear actin to transcriptional regulation can be explained by its direct interaction with transcription machineries and chromatin remodeling factors and by controlling the activities of transcription factors. In both cases, polymerized states of nuclear actin affect the transcriptional outcome. Nuclear actin also plays an important role in activating strongly silenced genes in somatic cells for transcriptional reprogramming. When these nuclear functions of actin are considered, it is plausible to speculate that nuclear actin is also implicated in embryonic development, in which numerous genes need to be activated in a well-coordinated manner. In this review, we especially focus on nuclear actin's roles in transcriptional activation, reprogramming and development, including stem cell differentiation and we discuss how nuclear actin can be an important player in development and cell differentiation.

  13. Actin Dynamics: From Nanoscale to Microscale

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E.

    2010-01-01

    The dynamic nature of actin in cells manifests itself in many ways: Polymerization near the cell edge is balanced by depolymerization in the interior, externally induced actin polymerization is followed by depolymerization, and spontaneous oscillations of the cell periphery are frequently seen. I discuss how mathematical modeling relates quantitative measures of actin dynamics to the rates of underlying molecular level processes. The rate of actin incorporation at the leading edge of a moving cell is roughly consistent with existing theories, and the factors determining the characteristic time of actin polymerization are fairly well understood. However, our understanding of actin disassembly is limited, in particular the interplay between severing and depolymerization and the role of specific combinations of proteins in implementing disassembly events. The origins of cell-edge oscillations, and their possible relation to actin waves, are a fruitful area of future research. PMID:20462375

  14. Observation and Kinematic Description of Long Actin Tracks Induced by Spherical Beads

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Hyeran; Perlmutter, David S.; Shenoy, Vivek B.; Tang, Jay X.

    2010-01-01

    We report an in vitro study comparing the growth of long actin tails induced by spherical beads coated with the verprolin central acidic domain of the polymerization enzyme N-WASP to that induced by Listeria monocytogenes in similar cellular extracts. The tracks behind the beads show characteristic differences in shape and curvature from those left by the bacteria, which have an elongated shape and a similar polymerization-inducing enzyme distributed only on the rear surface of the cell. The experimental tracks are simulated using a generalized kinematic model, which incorporates three modes of bead rotation with respect to the tail. The results show that the trajectories of spherical beads are mechanically deterministic rather than random, as suggested by stochastic models. Assessment of the bead rotation and its mechanistic basis offers insights into the biological function of actin-based motility. PMID:21044576

  15. Myosin III-mediated cross-linking and stimulation of actin bundling activity of Espin.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haiyang; Li, Jianchao; Raval, Manmeet H; Yao, Ningning; Deng, Xiaoying; Lu, Qing; Nie, Si; Feng, Wei; Wan, Jun; Yengo, Christopher M; Liu, Wei; Zhang, Mingjie

    2016-01-19

    Class III myosins (Myo3) and actin-bundling protein Espin play critical roles in regulating the development and maintenance of stereocilia in vertebrate hair cells, and their defects cause hereditary hearing impairments. Myo3 interacts with Espin1 through its tail homology I motif (THDI), however it is not clear how Myo3 specifically acts through Espin1 to regulate the actin bundle assembly and stabilization. Here we discover that Myo3 THDI contains a pair of repeat sequences capable of independently and strongly binding to the ankyrin repeats of Espin1, revealing an unexpected Myo3-mediated cross-linking mechanism of Espin1. The structures of Myo3 in complex with Espin1 not only elucidate the mechanism of the binding, but also reveal a Myo3-induced release of Espin1 auto-inhibition mechanism. We also provide evidence that Myo3-mediated cross-linking can further promote actin fiber bundling activity of Espin1.

  16. Host actin polymerization tunes the cell division cycle of an intracellular pathogen.

    PubMed

    Siegrist, M Sloan; Aditham, Arjun K; Espaillat, Akbar; Cameron, Todd A; Whiteside, Sarah A; Cava, Felipe; Portnoy, Daniel A; Bertozzi, Carolyn R

    2015-04-28

    Growth and division are two of the most fundamental capabilities of a bacterial cell. While they are well described for model organisms growing in broth culture, very little is known about the cell division cycle of bacteria replicating in more complex environments. Using a D-alanine reporter strategy, we found that intracellular Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) spend a smaller proportion of their cell cycle dividing compared to Lm growing in broth culture. This alteration to the cell division cycle is independent of bacterial doubling time. Instead, polymerization of host-derived actin at the bacterial cell surface extends the non-dividing elongation period and compresses the division period. By decreasing the relative proportion of dividing Lm, actin polymerization biases the population toward cells with the highest propensity to form actin tails. Thus, there is a positive-feedback loop between the Lm cell division cycle and a physical interaction with the host cytoskeleton.

  17. 100 and counting : SOHO's score as the world's top comet finder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-02-01

    Like nearly all of SOHO's discoveries, the 100th comet showed up in images from the LASCO instrument. This is a set of coronagraphs that view the space around the Sun out to 20 million kilometres, while blotting out the bright solar disk with masks. Developed for SOHO by a multinational team led by the US Naval Research Laboratory, LASCO watches for mass ejections from the Sun that threaten to disturb the Earth's space environment. The comet discoveries are a big bonus. SOHO's experts spot many of the comets as soon as the images come in. But still pictures and movies from LASCO are freely available on the Internet to astronomers around the world, who can discover less obvious comets without leaving their desks. This was the case when Kazimieras Cernis of the Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy in Vilnius, Lithuania, found SOHO-100. "On 4 February I saw the comet as a small speck of light in the previous day's LASCO images," Cernis explained. "It had no visible tail, but it was too fuzzy to be an asteroid. By the time I had seen the object moving steadily across the sky in six successive images, I was convinced it was a comet and I sent the details to the SOHO scientists for verification." The competition to find SOHO's 100th comet was keen. An amateur astronomer, Maik Meyer of Frauenstein, Germany, discovered SOHO-98 and 99. On 5 February, less than 24 hours after Cernis reported the candidate SOHO-100, Meyer found the candidate SOHO-101. On the same day and in the same LASCO images Douglas Biesecker, a member of the SOHO science team, spotted the candidate SOHO-102 travelling ahead of 101. Computations have now validated the orbits for all three candidates, and shown them to be bona fide comet discoveries. Other amateur astronomers have used the LASCO images to find comets. In the summer of 1999 Terry Lovejoy in Australia found five, and since September 1999 an amateur in England, Jonathan Shanklin, has spotted three more. "SOHO is a special chance for

  18. Assessment of DNA interstrand crosslinks using the modified alkaline comet assay.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jian Hong; Jones, Nigel J

    2012-01-01

    The single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay, more commonly known as the comet assay, due to the "comet-like" appearance of the cells, was originally developed as a technique to measure the presence of DNA single-strand breaks. The assay is performed on single cells embedded in agar and placed in an electrical field at alkaline pH, so that fragments of negatively charged single-stranded DNA move through the gel toward the positively charged anode. Undamaged DNA moves relatively slowly, forming the head of the comet, while DNA fragmented due to the presence of single-strand breaks, moves more quickly giving the appearance of the tail. The extent of DNA migration is a measure of the DNA damage present. Since it was first developed, the comet assay has been adapted for measuring other types of DNA damage. The neutral comet assay has been employed for DNA double-strand breaks, while techniques using DNA repair enzymes to cleave specific adducts, UvrABC for ultraviolet radiation induced adducts, for example, have also been described. Here, we describe a modified version of the comet assay for the measurement of interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). Interstrand crosslinking agents include the chemotherapeutic agents mitomycin C and cis-platin, psoralen plus UVA light (PUVA) used to treat hyperproliferative skin disorders and diepoxybutane, a metabolite of 1,3-butadiene used in industrial processes and an environmental pollutant. ICLs are a potent and cytotoxic form of DNA damage as they prevent DNA strand separation, thereby preventing DNA replication. Their removal requires several different DNA repair processes including translesion synthesis and homologous recombination. As ICLs prevent separation of the DNA strands, their presence results in less DNA migration in the comet assay. To successfully measure ICLs, it is necessary to incorporate a step that induces single-strand breaks (using a defined dose of ionizing radiation) that allows the crosslinked DNA to migrate.

  19. The Tail of BPM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruba, Steve; Meyer, Jim

    Business process management suites (BPMS's) represent one of the fastest growing segments in the software industry as organizations automate their key business processes. As this market matures, it is interesting to compare it to Chris Anderson's 'Long Tail.' Although the 2004 "Long Tail" article in Wired magazine was primarily about the media and entertainment industries, it has since been applied (and perhaps misapplied) to other markets. Analysts describe a "Tail of BPM" market that is, perhaps, several times larger than the traditional BPMS product market. This paper will draw comparisons between the concepts in Anderson's article (and subsequent book) and the BPM solutions market.

  20. Estimating tail probabilities

    SciTech Connect

    Carr, D.B.; Tolley, H.D.

    1982-12-01

    This paper investigates procedures for univariate nonparametric estimation of tail probabilities. Extrapolated values for tail probabilities beyond the data are also obtained based on the shape of the density in the tail. Several estimators which use exponential weighting are described. These are compared in a Monte Carlo study to nonweighted estimators, to the empirical cdf, to an integrated kernel, to a Fourier series estimate, to a penalized likelihood estimate and a maximum likelihood estimate. Selected weighted estimators are shown to compare favorably to many of these standard estimators for the sampling distributions investigated.

  1. NEUTRAL Na IN COMETARY TAILS AS A REMNANT OF EARLY AQUEOUS ALTERATION

    SciTech Connect

    Ellinger, Y.; Pauzat, F.; Doronin, M.; Zicler, E.; Mousis, O.; Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Ali-Dib, M.

    2015-03-10

    Observations of comet C/1995O1 Hale-Bopp during the spring of 1997 led to the discovery of a neutral sodium tail whose origin is still not clearly understood. Here, we propose an interpretation for the origin of this sodium tail, which is based upon chemical grounds. Starting from Na{sup +} trapped chemically during the condensation of refractory material in the protosolar nebula to its incorporation in the building blocks of comets and its transfer from refractory to volatile phases in the nucleus due to aqueous alteration, we follow the chemical path of sodium until its transformation into a neutral atom when released from the sublimating cometary ice. We propose that two Na reservoirs should coexist in a comet: one coming from the refractory dust, the other one from the icy matrix. Their relative importance would depend on the extent of the zone where liquid water formed within the nucleus and the time during which water remained liquid, thus favoring the Na{sup +} exchange between rocks and ice. These two key parameters would in turn strongly depend on the thermal history of the comet (amounts of radiogenic nuclides, orbital history, etc.). If our model is correct, the detection of Na originating from water ice would be a testimonial of the past aqueous alteration of the comet or its parent body.

  2. Neutral Na in Cometary Tails as a Remnant of Early Aqueous Alteration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellinger, Y.; Pauzat, F.; Mousis, O.; Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Leblanc, F.; Ali-Dib, M.; Doronin, M.; Zicler, E.; Doressoundiram, A.

    2015-03-01

    Observations of comet C/1995O1 Hale-Bopp during the spring of 1997 led to the discovery of a neutral sodium tail whose origin is still not clearly understood. Here, we propose an interpretation for the origin of this sodium tail, which is based upon chemical grounds. Starting from Na+ trapped chemically during the condensation of refractory material in the protosolar nebula to its incorporation in the building blocks of comets and its transfer from refractory to volatile phases in the nucleus due to aqueous alteration, we follow the chemical path of sodium until its transformation into a neutral atom when released from the sublimating cometary ice. We propose that two Na reservoirs should coexist in a comet: one coming from the refractory dust, the other one from the icy matrix. Their relative importance would depend on the extent of the zone where liquid water formed within the nucleus and the time during which water remained liquid, thus favoring the Na+ exchange between rocks and ice. These two key parameters would in turn strongly depend on the thermal history of the comet (amounts of radiogenic nuclides, orbital history, etc.). If our model is correct, the detection of Na originating from water ice would be a testimonial of the past aqueous alteration of the comet or its parent body.

  3. The generation of magnetic fields and electric currents in cometary plasma tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ip, W.-H.; Mendis, D. A.

    1976-01-01

    Due to the folding of the interplanetary magnetic field into the tail as a comet sweeps through the interplanetary medium, the magnetic field in the tail can be built up to the order of 100 gammas at a heliocentric distance of about 1 AU. This folding of magnetic flux tubes also results in a cross-tail electric current passing through a neutral sheet. When streams of enhanced plasma density merge with the main tail, cross-tail currents as large as 1 billion A may result. A condition could arise which causes a significant fraction of this current to be discharged through the inner coma, resulting in rapid ionization. The typical time scale for such outbursts of ionization is estimated to be of the order of 10,000 sec, which is in reasonable agreement with observation.

  4. Chlamydia trachomatis Tarp harbors distinct G and F actin binding domains that bundle actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Jiwani, Shahanawaz; Alvarado, Stephenie; Ohr, Ryan J; Romero, Adriana; Nguyen, Brenda; Jewett, Travis J

    2013-02-01

    All species of Chlamydia undergo a unique developmental cycle that transitions between extracellular and intracellular environments and requires the capacity to invade new cells for dissemination. A chlamydial protein called Tarp has been shown to nucleate actin in vitro and is implicated in bacterial entry into human cells. Colocalization studies of ectopically expressed enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-Tarp indicate that actin filament recruitment is restricted to the C-terminal half of the effector protein. Actin filaments are presumably associated with Tarp via an actin binding alpha helix that is also required for actin nucleation in vitro, but this has not been investigated. Tarp orthologs from C. pneumoniae, C. muridarum, and C. caviae harbor between 1 and 4 actin binding domains located in the C-terminal half of the protein, but C. trachomatis serovar L2 has only one characterized domain. In this work, we examined the effects of domain-specific mutations on actin filament colocalization with EGFP-Tarp. We now demonstrate that actin filament colocalization with Tarp is dependent on two novel F-actin binding domains that endow the Tarp effector with actin-bundling activity. Furthermore, Tarp-mediated actin bundling did not require actin nucleation, as the ability to bundle actin filaments was observed in mutant Tarp proteins deficient in actin nucleation. These data shed molecular insight on the complex cytoskeletal rearrangements required for C. trachomatis entry into host cells.

  5. Molecular docking and QSAR of aplyronine A and analogues: potent inhibitors of actin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussain, Abrar; Melville, James L.; Hirst, Jonathan D.

    2010-01-01

    Actin-binding natural products have been identified as a potential basis for the design of cancer therapeutic agents. We report flexible docking and QSAR studies on aplyronine A analogues. Our findings show the macrolide `tail' to be fundamental for the depolymerisation effect of actin-binding macrolides and that it is the tail which forms the initial interaction with the actin rather than the macrocycle, as previously believed. Docking energy scores for the compounds were highly correlated with actin depolymerisation activity. The 3D-QSAR models were predictive, with the best model giving a q 2 value of 0.85 and a r 2 of 0.94. Results from the docking simulations and the interpretation from QSAR "coeff*stdev" contour maps provide insight into the binding mechanism of each analogue and highlight key features that influence depolymerisation activity. The results herein may aid the design of a putative set of analogues that can help produce efficacious and tolerable anti-tumour agents. Finally, using the best QSAR model, we have also made genuine predictions for an independent set of recently reported aplyronine analogues.

  6. Enhancement of radiosensitivity in H1299 cancer cells by actin-associated protein cofilin

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Y.-J. . E-mail: lee_yi_jang@hotmail.com; Sheu, T.-J.; Keng, Peter C.

    2005-09-23

    Cofilin is an actin-associated protein that belongs to the actin depolymerization factor/cofilin family and is important for regulation of actin dynamics. Cofilin can import actin monomers into the nucleus under certain stress conditions, however the biological effects of nuclear transport are unclear. In this study, we found that over-expression of cofilin led to increased radiation sensitivity in human non-small lung cancer H1299 cells. Cell survival as determined by colony forming assay showed that cells over-expressing cofilin were more sensitive to ionizing radiation (IR) than normal cells. To determine whether the DNA repair capacity was altered in cofilin over-expressing cells, comet assays were performed on irradiated cells. Repair of DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation was detected in cofilin over-expressing cells after 24 h of recovery. Consistent with this observation, the key components for repair of DNA double-strand breaks, including Rad51, Rad52, and Ku70/Ku80, were down-regulated in cofilin over-expressing cells after IR exposure. These findings suggest that cofilin can influence radiosensitivity by altering DNA repair capacity.

  7. Vaporization in comets - The icy grain halo of Comet West

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahearn, M. F.; Cowan, J. J.

    1980-01-01

    The variation with heliocentric distance of the production rates of various species in Comet West (1975n = 1976 VI) is explained with a cometary model consisting of a CO2 dominated nucleus plus a halo of icy grains of H2O or clathrate hydrate. It is concluded that the parents of CN and C3 are released primarily from the nucleus but that the parent of C2 is released primarily from the halo of icy grains.

  8. Molecular dynamics and high throughput binding free energy calculation of anti-actin anticancer drugs-New insights for better design.

    PubMed

    L, Roopa; R, Pravin Kumar; M M, Sudheer Mohammed

    2016-10-01

    Actin cytoskeleton plays an important role in cancerous cell progression. Till date many anticancer toxins are discovered that binds to different sites of actin. Mechanism of action of these toxins varies with respect to the site where they bind to actin. Latrunculin A (LAT) binds closely to nucleotide binding site and Reidispongiolide binds to the barbed end of actin. LAT is reported to reduce the displacement of domain 2 with respect to domain 1 and allosterically modulate nucleotide exchange. On the other hand Reidispongiolide binds with the higher affinity to actin and competes with the DNaseI binding loop once the inter-monomer interaction has been formed. Evolving better actin binders being the aim of this study we conducted a comparative molecular dynamics of these two actin-drug complexes and actin complexed with ATP alone, 50ns each. High throughput binding free energy calculations in conjugation with the high-throughput MD simulations was used to predict modifications in these two renowned anti-actin anticancer drugs for better design. Per residue energy profiling that contribute to free energy of binding shows that there is an unfavourable energy at the site where Asp157 interacts with 2-thiazolidinone moiety of LAT. Similarly, unfavourable energies are reported near macrocyclic region of Reidispongiolide specifically near carbons 7, 11 & 25 and tail region carbons 27 & 30. These predicted sites can be used for modifications and few of these are discussed in this work based on the interactions with the binding site residues. The study reveals specific interactions that are involved in the allosteric modulation of ATP by these two compounds. Glu207 closely interacting with LAT A initiates the allosteric effect on ATP binding site specifically affecting residues Asp184, Lys215 and Lys336. RGA bound actin shows high anti-correlated motions between sub domain 3 and 4. Unlike LAT A, Reidispongiolide induces a flat structure of actin which definitely should

  9. Biomonitoring of agricultural workers exposed to pesticide mixtures in Guerrero state, Mexico, with comet assay and micronucleus test.

    PubMed

    Carbajal-López, Yolanda; Gómez-Arroyo, Sandra; Villalobos-Pietrini, Rafael; Calderón-Segura, María Elena; Martínez-Arroyo, Amparo

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic effect of pesticides in exfoliated buccal cells of workers occupationally exposed in Guerrero, Mexico, using the comet assay and the micronucleus test. The study compared 111 agricultural workers in three rural communities (Arcelia 62, Ajuchitlan 13, and Tlapehuala 36), with 60 non-exposed individuals. All the participants were males. The presence of DNA damage was investigated in the exfoliated buccal cells of study participants with the comet assay and the micronucleus (MN) test; comet tail length was evaluated in 100 nuclei and 3000 epithelial cells of each individual, respectively; other nuclear anomalies such as nuclear buds, karyolysis, karyorrhexis, and binucleate cells were also evaluated. Study results revealed that the tail migration of DNA and the frequency of MN increased significantly in the exposed group, which also showed nuclear anomalies associated with cytotoxic or genotoxic effect. No positive correlation was noted between exposure time and tail length and micronuclei frequencies. No significant effect on genetic damage was observed as a result of age, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The MN and comet assay in exfoliated buccal cells are useful and minimally invasive methods for monitoring genetic damage in individuals exposed to pesticides. This study provided valuable data for establishing the possible risk to human health associated with pesticide exposure.

  10. CO2 Orbital Trends in Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Michael; Bodewits, Dennis; Feaga, Lori; Knight, Matthew; McKay, Adam; Snodgrass, Colin; Wooden, Diane

    2016-08-01

    Carbon dioxide is a primary volatile in comet nuclei, and potentially a major contributor to comet activity (i.e., the process of mass loss). However, CO2 cannot be observed directly from the ground, and past surveys of this molecule in comets were limited to space-borne snapshot observations. This situation limits our understanding of the behavior of CO2 in comets, and its role in driving comet mass loss. To address this deficiency, we were awarded a Cy11 Spitzer program designed to quantify the production rate of CO2 on >month-long timescales for 21 comets. We request an additional 269~hr in Cy13 to complete the Spitzer portion of our survey, and to add three more comets (46P/Wirtanen and 2 Target of Opportunity Oort cloud comets). Our survey is designed to probe the orbital trends of CO2 production in the comet population. We aim to: 1) examine the role of CO2 in the persistent post-perihelion activity observed in Jupiter-family comets; 2) measure the seasonal variations of CO2/H2O as a proxy for nucleus heterogeneity, when possible; 3) search for orbital trends sensitive to cumulative insolation as a proxy for nucleus layering; and 4) examine how Oort cloud comets evolve by comparing dynamically new and old targets. The final data set will allow us to investigate the effects of heating on the evolution of comets, if nucleus structures can be inferred through activity, and set the stage for JWST investigations into comet activity and composition.

  11. Numerical simulation of comet nuclei. I - Water-ice comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herman, G.; Podolak, M.

    1985-01-01

    A one-dimensional numerical model of pure water-ice cometary nuclei is presented, and the influence of the nuclear interior as a heat reservoir on the behavior of the nuclear surface is examined. It is shown that a number of effects, including the thermal inertia due to heat stored in the core and the release of latent heat, which goes entirely into heating the adjacent layers or into sublimation on passing through a phase transition from amorphous to crystalline ice, can help to explain such characteristics as the asymmetrical lightcurve of Comet Halley. Results are given for the cases of Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 and Comet Encke. Consideration is also given to the insulating effect of an evolving dust mantle. The role of this mantle in determining the surface temperature of the ice core is studied as a function of the mass fraction of the dust in the ice-dust mixture and the thermal conductivity of the nucleus. The loose-lattice model of Mendis and Brin (1977) indicates that both high dust to ice ratios and high-core conductivities inhibit mantle blowoff.

  12. Wagging tail vibration absorber

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barclay, R. G.; Humphrey, P. W.

    1969-01-01

    A 750-foot cantilever length of extendible-tape boom (very low stiffness) was considered as the main system to be damped. A number of tail lengths were tried from 20 feet to 80 feet after which 40 feet was investigated further as a desirable compromise between performance and practical lengths. A 40-foot damping tail produced a damping effect on the main boom for the first mode equivalent in decay rate to 3.1 percent of critical damping. In this case the spring-hinge and tail were tuned to the main boom first mode frequency and the hinge damping was set at 30 percent of critical based on the tail properties. With this same setting, damping of the second mode was .4 percent and the third mode .1 percent.

  13. Labeling F-actin barbed ends with rhodamine-actin in permeabilized neuronal growth cones.

    PubMed

    Marsick, Bonnie M; Letourneau, Paul C

    2011-03-17

    The motile tips of growing axons are called growth cones. Growth cones lead navigating axons through developing tissues by interacting with locally expressed molecular guidance cues that bind growth cone receptors and regulate the dynamics and organization of the growth cone cytoskeleton. The main target of these navigational signals is the actin filament meshwork that fills the growth cone periphery and that drives growth cone motility through continual actin polymerization and dynamic remodeling. Positive or attractive guidance cues induce growth cone turning by stimulating actin filament (F-actin) polymerization in the region of the growth cone periphery that is nearer the source of the attractant cue. This actin polymerization drives local growth cone protrusion, adhesion of the leading margin and axonal elongation toward the attractant. Actin filament polymerization depends on the availability of sufficient actin monomer and on polymerization nuclei or actin filament barbed ends for the addition of monomer. Actin monomer is abundantly available in chick retinal and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) growth cones. Consequently, polymerization increases rapidly when free F-actin barbed ends become available for monomer addition. This occurs in chick DRG and retinal growth cones via the local activation of the F-actin severing protein actin depolymerizing factor (ADF/cofilin) in the growth cone region closer to an attractant. This heightened ADF/cofilin activity severs actin filaments to create new F-actin barbed ends for polymerization. The following method demonstrates this mechanism. Total content of F-actin is visualized by staining with fluorescent phalloidin. F-actin barbed ends are visualized by the incorporation of rhodamine-actin within growth cones that are permeabilized with the procedure described in the following, which is adapted from previous studies of other motile cells. When rhodamine-actin is added at a concentration above the critical concentration

  14. Nuclear Actin in Development and Transcriptional Reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Misu, Shinji; Takebayashi, Marina; Miyamoto, Kei

    2017-01-01

    Actin is a highly abundant protein in eukaryotic cells and dynamically changes its polymerized states with the help of actin-binding proteins. Its critical function as a constituent of cytoskeleton has been well-documented. Growing evidence demonstrates that actin is also present in nuclei, referred to as nuclear actin, and is involved in a number of nuclear processes, including transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodeling. The contribution of nuclear actin to transcriptional regulation can be explained by its direct interaction with transcription machineries and chromatin remodeling factors and by controlling the activities of transcription factors. In both cases, polymerized states of nuclear actin affect the transcriptional outcome. Nuclear actin also plays an important role in activating strongly silenced genes in somatic cells for transcriptional reprogramming. When these nuclear functions of actin are considered, it is plausible to speculate that nuclear actin is also implicated in embryonic development, in which numerous genes need to be activated in a well-coordinated manner. In this review, we especially focus on nuclear actin’s roles in transcriptional activation, reprogramming and development, including stem cell differentiation and we discuss how nuclear actin can be an important player in development and cell differentiation. PMID:28326098

  15. Fission Yeast Myosin-I, Myo1p, Stimulates Actin Assembly by Arp2/3 Complex and Shares Functions with Wasp

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wei-Lih; Bezanilla, Magdalena; Pollard, Thomas D.

    2000-01-01

    Fission yeast myo1+ encodes a myosin-I with all three tail homology domains (TH1, 2, 3) found in typical long-tailed myosin-Is. Myo1p tail also contains a COOH-terminal acidic region similar to the A-domain of WASp/Scar proteins and other fungal myosin-Is. Our analysis shows that Myo1p and Wsp1p, the fission yeast WASp-like protein, share functions and cooperate in controlling actin assembly. First, Myo1p localizes to cortical patches enriched at tips of growing cells and at sites of cell division. Myo1p patches partially colocalize with actin patches and are dependent on an intact actin cytoskeleton. Second, although deletion of myo1+ is not lethal, Δmyo1 cells have actin cytoskeletal defects, including loss of polarized cell growth, delocalized actin patches, and mating defects. Third, additional disruption of wsp1+ is synthetically lethal, suggesting that these genes may share functions. In mapping the domains of Myo1p tail that share function with Wsp1p, we discovered that a Myo1p construct with just the head and TH1 domains is sufficient for cortical localization and to rescue all Δmyo1 defects. However, it fails to rescue the Δmyo1 Δwsp1 lethality. Additional tail domains, TH2 and TH3, are required to complement the double mutant. Fourth, we show that a recombinant Myo1p tail binds to Arp2/3 complex and activates its actin nucleation activity. PMID:11076964

  16. The Tail Suspension Test

    PubMed Central

    Terrillion, Chantelle E.; Piantadosi, Sean C.; Bhat, Shambhu; Gould, Todd D.

    2012-01-01

    The tail-suspension test is a mouse behavioral test useful in the screening of potential antidepressant drugs, and assessing of other manipulations that are expected to affect depression related behaviors. Mice are suspended by their tails with tape, in such a position that it cannot escape or hold on to nearby surfaces. During this test, typically six minutes in duration, the resulting escape oriented behaviors are quantified. The tail-suspension test is a valuable tool in drug discovery for high-throughput screening of prospective antidepressant compounds. Here, we describe the details required for implementation of this test with additional emphasis on potential problems that may occur and how to avoid them. We also offer a solution to the tail climbing behavior, a common problem that renders this test useless in some mouse strains, such as the widely used C57BL/6. Specifically, we prevent tail climbing behaviors by passing mouse tails through a small plastic cylinder prior to suspension. Finally, we detail how to manually score the behaviors that are manifested in this test. PMID:22315011

  17. Cytogenetic status of healthy children assessed with the alkaline comet assay and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome assay.

    PubMed

    Gajski, Goran; Gerić, Marko; Oreščanin, Višnja; Garaj-Vrhovac, Vera

    2013-01-20

    In the present study the alkaline comet assay and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome (CBMN Cyt) assay were used to evaluate the baseline frequency of cytogenetic damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) of 50 healthy children from the general population in Croatia (age, 11.62±1.81 years). Mean values of tail length, tail intensity and tail moment, as comet assay parameters, were 12.92±0.10, 0.73±0.06 and 0.08±0.01, respectively. The mean frequency of micronuclei (MN) for all subjects was 2.32±0.28 per 1000 bi-nucleated cells, while the mean frequency of nucleoplasmic bridges (NPBs) was 1.72±0.24 and of nuclear buds (NBUDs) 1.44±0.19. The mean nuclear division index (NDI) was 1.70±0.05. When comet-assay parameters were considered, higher mean values for all three were found for the female population. According to the Mann-Whitney U test applied on the results of the comet assay, the only statistically significant difference between the male and female populations was found for tail length. Similar to the results obtained by the comet assay, girls showed higher mean values of all three measured parameters of the CBMN Cyt assay. This difference was statistically significant for total number of NPBs only. In the case of the NDI, a higher mean value was also obtained in girls, but this difference was not statistically significant. The results obtained present background data that could be considered as normal values for healthy children living in urban areas, and can later on serve as baseline values for further toxicological monitoring. Additionally, the usefulness of both techniques in measuring cytogenetic damage during bio-monitoring of children is confirmed.

  18. Dual chemotaxis signalling regulates Dictyostelium development: intercellular cyclic AMP pulses and intracellular F-actin disassembly waves induce each other.

    PubMed

    Vicker, Michael G; Grutsch, James F

    2008-10-01

    Aggregating Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae periodically emit and relay cAMP, which regulates their chemotaxis and morphogenesis into a multicellular, differentiated organism. Cyclic AMP also stimulates F-actin assembly and chemotactic pseudopodium extension. We used actin-GFP expression to visualise for the first time intracellular F-actin assembly as a spatio-temporal indicator of cell reactions to cAMP, and thus the kinematics of cell communication, in aggregating streams. Every natural cAMP signal pulse induces an autowave of F-actin disassembly, which propagates from each cell's leading end to its trailing end at a linear rate, much slower than the calculated and measured velocities of cAMP diffusion in aggregating Dictyostelium. A sequence of transient reactions follows behind the wave, including anterior F-actin assembly, chemotactic pseudopodium extension and cell advance at the cell front and, at the back, F-actin assembly, extension of a small retrograde pseudopodium (forcing a brief cell retreat) and chemotactic stimulation of the following cell, yielding a 20s cAMP relay delay. These dynamics indicate that stream cell behaviour is mediated by a dual signalling system: a short-range cAMP pulse directed from one cell tail to an immediately following cell front and a slower, long-range wave of intracellular F-actin disassembly, each inducing the other.

  19. Outbursts and cavities in comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ipatov, Sergei

    Based on analysis of the images made during the first 13 minutes after the collision of the impact module of the Deep Impact (DI) spacecraft with Comet 9P/Tempel 1, Ipatov & A'Hearn [1] studied time variations of ejection of material after this impact. They showed that, besides the normal ejection, at time t_{e} after the DI collision between 8 s and 60 s there was a considerable additional ejection (a triggered outburst) of small (micron size) particles. It increased the mean velocities of observed small ejected particles (compared with the normal ejection). The outburst could be caused by excavation of a large cavity with dust and gas under pressure. The largest cavity excavated after the collision could be relatively deep because a considerable excess ejection lasted during about 50 s. Schultz et al. [2] concluded that the diameter d_{tc} of the DI transient crater was about 200 m. Some authors support smaller values of d_{tc}. The depth of the DI crater at t_{e}=8 s was estimated in [3] to be about 6 m for d_{tc}=200 m and 4 m for d_{tc}=100 m. The distance between the pre-impact surface of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 and the upper border of the largest excavated cavity equal to about 4-6 m, and sizes of particles inside the cavities of a few microns are in good agreement with the results obtained by Kossacki & Szutowicz [4]. In their models of the explosion of Comet 17P/Holmes, the initial sublimation front of the CO ice was located at a depth of 4 m, 10 m, or 20 m, and calculations were finished when the CO pressure exceeded the threshold value 10 kPa. It was shown that the pressure of CO vapor can rise to this value only when the nucleus is composed of very fine grains, a few microns in radius. The porous structure of comets provides enough space for sublimation. The projection of the velocity of the leading edge of the DI cloud (onto the plane perpendicular to the line of sight) was about 100-200 m/s and is typical for outburst particles ejected from comets

  20. Comet composition and density analyzer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, B. C.

    1982-01-01

    Distinctions between cometary material and other extraterrestrial materials (meteorite suites and stratospherically-captured cosmic dust) are addressed. The technique of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) for analysis of elemental composition is involved. Concomitant with these investigations, the problem of collecting representative samples of comet dust (for rendezvous missions) was solved, and several related techniques such as mineralogic analysis (X-ray diffraction), direct analysis of the nucleus without docking (electron macroprobe), dust flux rate measurement, and test sample preparation were evaluated. An explicit experiment concept based upon X-ray fluorescence analysis of biased and unbiased sample collections was scoped and proposed for a future rendezvous mission with a short-period comet.

  1. Comet Assay in Cancer Chemoprevention.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Raffaela; Ferraiuolo, Maria; Morgano, Gian Paolo; Muti, Paola; Strano, Sabrina

    2016-01-01

    The comet assay can be useful in monitoring DNA damage in single cells caused by exposure to genotoxic agents, such as those causing air, water, and soil pollution (e.g., pesticides, dioxins, electromagnetic fields) and chemo- and radiotherapy in cancer patients, or in the assessment of genoprotective effects of chemopreventive molecules. Therefore, it has particular importance in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology, and in both environmental and human biomonitoring. It allows the detection of single strand breaks as well as double-strand breaks and can be used in both normal and cancer cells. Here we describe the alkali method for comet assay, which allows to detect both single- and double-strand DNA breaks.

  2. Thermal modeling of Halley's comet

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weissman, P.R.; Kieffer, H.H.

    1984-01-01

    The comet thermal model of Weissman and Kieffer is used to calculate gas production rates and other parameters for the 1986 perihelion passage of Halley's Comet. Gas production estimates are very close to revised pre-perihelion estimates by Newburn based on 1910 observations of Halley; the increase in observed gas production post-perihelion may be explained by a variety of factors. The energy contribution from multiply scattered sunlight and thermal emission by coma dust increases the total energy reaching the Halley nucleus at perihelion by a factor of 2.4. The high obliquity of the Halley nucleus found by Sekanina and Larson may help to explain the asymmetry in Halley's gas production rates around perihelion. ?? 1984.

  3. Radar observations of Comet Halley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, D. B.; Harmon, J. K.; Shapiro, I. I.

    1989-01-01

    Five nights of Arecibo radar observations of Comet Halley are reported which reveal a feature in the overall average spectrum which, though weak, seems consistent with being an echo from the comet. The large radar cross section and large bandwidth of the feature suggest that the echo is predominantly from large grains which have been ejected from the nucleus. Extrapolation of the dust particle size distribution to large grain sizes gives a sufficient number of grains to account for the echo. The lack of a detectable echo from the nucleus, combined with estimates of its size and rotation rate from spacecraft encounters and other data, indicate that the nucleus has a surface of relatively high porosity.

  4. Comet Orbits: Prediction, Nongravitational Effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsden, B. G.

    1972-01-01

    The problems of calculating cometary orbits are discussed, with particular attention to that of predicting the returns of periodic comets. It is shown that the only inherent difficulty arises from the action of nongravitational forces. Recent progress toward an understanding of these forces is described in detail, both from the point of view of fitting the observations and of interpreting the forces in terms of the Whipple icy-conglomerate model.

  5. Giant Comets, Evolution and Civilization

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-01-01

    culture. The Tunguska event of 1908 seems most likely to have been caused by a bolide of -100 m diameter exploding at a height of some 8 km. The resulting...as its more pervasive effects. Periodic Extinctions and External Forcing The coincidences in age between tektites and Tertiary extinction events were...sunlight through stratospheric dust injection from the meteor stream of a large comet, not least for the Cretaceous-Tertiary event [8, 40]. Furthermore

  6. Orbital error analysis for comet Encke, 1980

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeomans, D. K.

    1976-01-01

    Before a particular comet is selected as a flyby target, the following criteria should be considered in determining its ephemeris uncertainty: (1) A target comet should have good observability during the apparition of the proposed intercept; and (2) A target comet should have a good observational history. Several well observed and consecutive apparitions allow an accurate determination of a comet's mean motion and nongravitational parameters. Using these criteria, along with statistical and empirical error analyses, it has been demonstrated that the 1980 apparition of comet Encke is an excellent opportunity for a cometary flyby space probe. For this particular apparition, a flyby to within 1,000 km of comet Encke seems possible without the use of sophisticated and expensive onboard navigation instrumentation.

  7. Atmospheric holes and small comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frank, L. A.; Sigwarth, J. B.

    1993-01-01

    Global images of Earth's UV dayglow as gained with an imaging photometer on board Dynamics Explorer 1 exhibit transient decreases, or atmospheric holes, in the dayglow intensities over areas with diameters about 50 km. Features of these atmospheric holes include (1) preferential motion in the east-to-west direction across the sunlit face of Earth, (2) similar diurnal variations in occurrence rates as those for radar meteors, (3) correlation of the occurrence rates with the nonshower rates as determined with forward scatter radar, and (4) larger angular diameters for these atmospheric holes when the spacecraft approaches Earth during its perigee passes. These atmospheric holes are interpreted in terms of obscuration of the dayglow by water clouds from the disruption and subsequent vaporization of small comets at low altitudes above the atmosphere. Supporting evidence for the existence of these small comets is given by their telescopic sighting at greater altitudes before disruption and the detection of water bursts in Earth's upper atmosphere. The small-comet hypothesis and its relationship to geophysical, lunar, and interplanetary phenomena are discussed.

  8. Comet Borrelly Slows Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Over 1300 energy spectra taken on September 22, 2001 from the ion and electron instruments on NASA's Deep Space 1 span a region of 1,400,000 kilometers (870,000 miles) centered on the closest approach to the nucleus of comet Borrelly. A very strong interaction occurs between the solar wind (horizontal red bands to left and right in figure) and the comet's surrounding cloud of dust and gas, the coma. Near Deep Space 1's closest approach to the nucleus, the solar wind picked up charged water molecules from the coma (upper green band near the center), slowing the wind sharply and creating the V-shaped energy structure at the center.

    Deep Space 1 completed its primary mission testing ion propulsion and 11 other advanced, high-risk technologies in September 1999. NASA extended the mission, taking advantage of the ion propulsion and other systems to undertake this chancy but exciting, and ultimately successful, encounter with the comet. More information can be found on the Deep Space 1 home page at http://nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1/ .

    Deep Space 1 was launched in October 1998 as part of NASA's New Millennium Program, which is managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The California Institute of Technology manages JPL for NASA.

  9. Comet coma sample return instrument

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Albee, A. L.; Brownlee, Don E.; Burnett, Donald S.; Tsou, Peter; Uesugi, K. T.

    1994-01-01

    The sample collection technology and instrument concept for the Sample of Comet Coma Earth Return Mission (SOCCER) are described. The scientific goals of this Flyby Sample Return are to return to coma dust and volatile samples from a known comet source, which will permit accurate elemental and isotopic measurements for thousands of individual solid particles and volatiles, detailed analysis of the dust structure, morphology, and mineralogy of the intact samples, and identification of the biogenic elements or compounds in the solid and volatile samples. Having these intact samples, morphologic, petrographic, and phase structural features can be determined. Information on dust particle size, shape, and density can be ascertained by analyzing penetration holes and tracks in the capture medium. Time and spatial data of dust capture will provide understanding of the flux dynamics of the coma and the jets. Additional information will include the identification of cosmic ray tracks in the cometary grains, which can provide a particle's process history and perhaps even the age of the comet. The measurements will be made with the same equipment used for studying micrometeorites for decades past; hence, the results can be directly compared without extrapolation or modification. The data will provide a powerful and direct technique for comparing the cometary samples with all known types of meteorites and interplanetary dust. This sample collection system will provide the first sample return from a specifically identified primitive body and will allow, for the first time, a direct method of matching meteoritic materials captured on Earth with known parent bodies.

  10. Comet coma sample return instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albee, A. L.; Brownlee, Don E.; Burnett, Donald S.; Tsou, Peter; Uesugi, K. T.

    The sample collection technology and instrument concept for the Sample of Comet Coma Earth Return Mission (SOCCER) are described. The scientific goals of this Flyby Sample Return are to return to coma dust and volatile samples from a known comet source, which will permit accurate elemental and isotopic measurements for thousands of individual solid particles and volatiles, detailed analysis of the dust structure, morphology, and mineralogy of the intact samples, and identification of the biogenic elements or compounds in the solid and volatile samples. Having these intact samples, morphologic, petrographic, and phase structural features can be determined. Information on dust particle size, shape, and density can be ascertained by analyzing penetration holes and tracks in the capture medium. Time and spatial data of dust capture will provide understanding of the flux dynamics of the coma and the jets. Additional information will include the identification of cosmic ray tracks in the cometary grains, which can provide a particle's process history and perhaps even the age of the comet. The measurements will be made with the same equipment used for studying micrometeorites for decades past; hence, the results can be directly compared without extrapolation or modification. The data will provide a powerful and direct technique for comparing the cometary samples with all known types of meteorites and interplanetary dust. This sample collection system will provide the first sample return from a specifically identified primitive body and will allow, for the first time, a direct method of matching meteoritic materials captured on Earth with known parent bodies.

  11. HCN and CN in comet 2P/Encke, a three-dimensional view on comet Encke's outgassing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jockers, K.; Szutowicz, S.

    2008-09-01

    Background Simultaneous radio and optical observations of chemically related species in comets promise to supplement each other favorably. High resolution spectra of a submillimeter line provide the distribution of radial velocity. Narrow-band images in the optical region offer the spatial distribution of a species projected into the sky plane perpendicular to the line of sight. Therefore optical and radio observations can in principle be combined into a three-dimensional picture of a comet. A suitable pair of species accessible in the microwave and optical wavelength range is provided by HCN (one of the strongest radio emissions of comets) and CN (strong optical emission). HCN is the most probable parent of CN, but other parents of CN are possible. In this study we use HCN and CN observations of comet it 2P/Encke to address the parental relation of HCN with respect to CN and to investigate the gas outflow from a cometary surface and its dependence on location on the surface (the question of so-called "active vents" or "active areas") and on solar zenith angle. Some known facts about Comet 2P/Encke Comet 2P/Encke is a short period comet. It has the smallest known perihelion distance q = 0.33 AU and a period of 3.28 years. Because of its closeness to the Sun Comet Encke probably is the most evolved comet known. In the optical wavelength range comet Encke does not display a dust tail. Instead a so-called "fan" is observed, a broad feature visible at the solar side of the comet but not directly pointing to the Sun. In the far infrared spectral region Comet Encke displays a huge coma [1] of large dust grains but because of their large size these grains do not contibute significantly to the optical image [2]. In a study based on a large number of historical observations Sekanina [3] has investigated comet Encke's fan-shaped coma. According to this author comet Encke's north rotation pole is located at right ascension 205° and declination 2° (equinox 1950.0). Two vents

  12. Actin dynamics in mouse fibroblasts in microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moes, Maarten J. A.; Bijvelt, Jose J.; Boonstra, Johannes

    2007-09-01

    After stimulating with the growth factor PDGF, cells exhibit abundant membrane ruffling and other morphological changes under normal gravity conditions. These morphological changes are largely determined by the actin microfilament system. Now these actin dynamics were studied under microgravity conditions in mouse fibroblasts during the DELTA mission. The aim of the present study was to describe the actin morphology in detail, to establish the effect of PDGF on actin morphology and to study the role of several actin-interacting proteins involved in introduced actin dynamics in microgravity. Identical experiments were conducted at 1G on earth as a reference. No results in microgravity were obtained due to a combination of malfunctioning hardware and unfulfilled temperature requirements.

  13. The actin cytoskeleton in endothelial cell phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Prasain, Nutan; Stevens, Troy

    2009-01-01

    Endothelium forms a semi-permeable barrier that separates blood from the underlying tissue. Barrier function is largely determined by cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions that define the limits of cell borders. Yet, such cell-cell and cell-matrix tethering is critically reliant upon the nature of adherence within the cell itself. Indeed, the actin cytoskeleton fulfills this essential function, to provide a strong, dynamic intracellular scaffold that organizes integral membrane proteins with the cell’s interior, and responds to environmental cues to orchestrate appropriate cell shape. The actin cytoskeleton is comprised of three distinct, but interrelated structures, including actin cross-linking of spectrin within the membrane skeleton, the cortical actin rim, and actomyosin-based stress fibers. This review addresses each of these actin-based structures, and discusses cellular signals that control the disposition of actin in different endothelial cell phenotypes. PMID:19028505

  14. Polymerization of actin by positively charged liposomes

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    By cosedimentation, spectrofluorimetry, and electron microscopy, we have established that actin is induced to polymerize at low salt concentrations by positively charged liposomes. This polymerization occurs only at the surface of the liposomes, and thus monomers not in direct contact with the liposome remain monomeric. The integrity of the liposome membrane is necessary to maintain actin in its polymerized state since disruption of the liposome depolymerizes actin. Actin polymerized at the surface of the liposome is organized into two filamentous structures: sheets of parallel filaments in register and a netlike organization. Spectrofluorimetric analysis with the probe N- pyrenyl-iodoacetamide shows that actin is in the F conformation, at least in the environment of the probe. However, actin assembly induced by the liposome is not accompanied by full ATP hydrolysis as observed in vitro upon addition of salts. PMID:3360852

  15. EVIDENCE FOR COMET STORMS IN METEORITE AGES

    SciTech Connect

    Perlmutter, S.; Muller, R.A.

    1987-10-01

    Clustering of cosmic-ray exposure ages of H chondritic meteorites occurs at 7 {+-} 3 and 30 {+-} 6 Myr ago. There is independent evidence that comet storms have occurred at the same times, based on the fossil record of family and genus extinctions, impact craters and glass, and geomagnetic reversals. We suggest that H chondrites were formed by the impact of shower comets on asteroids. The duration of the most recent comet shower was {le} 4 Myr, in agreement with storm theory.

  16. History of the dust released by comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jambor, B. J.

    1976-01-01

    The Finson-Brobstein theory is used to examine production and history of dust released from periodic comets and to compare dust size distribution in relation to the Zodiacal cloud. Results eliminate all of the bright new comets from contributors to the Zodiacal cloud. Among the periodic comets, all particles of size much smaller than 10 micrometer are also lost. Only the large particles remain as possible contributors.

  17. Velocity of Ejection of Meteor Particle from the Nucleus of Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safarov, Abduljalol; Ibadinov, Khursand

    2016-07-01

    The time and velocity of dust particles of anomalous tail of comets was determine. Velocity ejection of dust particles from the nuclei of comets C/1851 U1, C/1877 G1, C/1921 E1, C/1925 V1, C/1962 C1, C/1969 T1, C/1975 V2, 2P/1924 and 26P/1927 F1 reaching up to 0.4 km/s can be attributed to the removal of large dust particles from the surface of the icy nucleus of comet sublimating molecules. In comets C/1823 Y1, C/1844 Y1, C/1882 R1, C/1883 D1, C/1888 R1, C/1892 E1, D/1894 F1, C/1910 A1, C/1921 E1, C/1922 U1, C/1930 D1, C/1930 O1, C/1931 P1, C/1932 M1, C/1935 A1, C/1954 O1, C/1961 O1, C/1963 A1, C/1968 H1, C/1973 E1, C/1980 P1, C/1984 N2, C/1987 P1, C/1995 O1, C/1999 H1, C/1999 T2, C/1999 S4, C/2002 T7, C/2004 F4, C/2004 Q2, 6P/1950, 7P/1869 G1, 7P/1933, 10P/1930, 19P/1918, 34P/1938 J1, 35P/1939, 67P/1982, 73P/1930 J1, 96P/1986 J1 and 109P/1862 O1 ejection velocity (up to a few km/s) of the particles of anomalous tail from the nuclei significantly exceed the thermal velocity of the molecules sublimating ice nuclei. Such velocity may be explained by the removal of particles from the surface of the nucleus after the collision of the comet nucleus with meteoroids

  18. Coordinated recruitment of Spir actin nucleators and myosin V motors to Rab11 vesicle membranes

    PubMed Central

    Pylypenko, Olena; Welz, Tobias; Tittel, Janine; Kollmar, Martin; Chardon, Florian; Malherbe, Gilles; Weiss, Sabine; Michel, Carina Ida Luise; Samol-Wolf, Annette; Grasskamp, Andreas Till; Hume, Alistair; Goud, Bruno; Baron, Bruno; England, Patrick; Titus, Margaret A; Schwille, Petra; Weidemann, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    There is growing evidence for a coupling of actin assembly and myosin motor activity in cells. However, mechanisms for recruitment of actin nucleators and motors on specific membrane compartments remain unclear. Here we report how Spir actin nucleators and myosin V motors coordinate their specific membrane recruitment. The myosin V globular tail domain (MyoV-GTD) interacts directly with an evolutionarily conserved Spir sequence motif. We determined crystal structures of MyoVa-GTD bound either to the Spir-2 motif or to Rab11 and show that a Spir-2:MyoVa:Rab11 complex can form. The ternary complex architecture explains how Rab11 vesicles support coordinated F-actin nucleation and myosin force generation for vesicle transport and tethering. New insights are also provided into how myosin activation can be coupled with the generation of actin tracks. Since MyoV binds several Rab GTPases, synchronized nucleator and motor targeting could provide a common mechanism to control force generation and motility in different cellular processes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17523.001 PMID:27623148

  19. Expression of actin genes in the arrow worm Paraspadella gotoi (Chaetognatha).

    PubMed

    Yasuda, E; Goto, T; Makabe, K W; Satoh, N

    1997-12-01

    Arrow worms (the phylum Chaetognatha), one of the major marine planktonic animals, exhibit features characteristic to both deuterostomes and protostomes, and their ancestry therefore remains unknown. As the first step to elucidate the molecular bases of arrow worm phylogeny, physiology and embryology, we isolated cDNA clones for three different actin genes (PgAct1, PgAct2 and PgAct3) from the benthic species Paraspadella gotoi, and examined their expression patterns in adults and juveniles. The amino acid sequences of the three actins resembled each other, with identities ranging from 86% to 92%. However, the patterns of the spatial expression of the genes were independent. The PgAct1 gene might encode a cytoplasmic actin and was expressed in oogenic cells, spermatogenic cells, and cells in the ventral ganglion. The PgAct2 and PgAct3 genes encoded actins of divergent types. The former was expressed in well-developed muscle of the head (gnathic) region and trunk muscle cells, whereas the latter was expressed in muscle of the trunk and tail regions and oogenic cells. These results suggest that, similarly to other metazoans, the chaetognath contains multiple forms of actins, which are expressed in various manners in the adult and juvenile arrow worm.

  20. Disruption of the Rickettsia rickettsii Sca2 autotransporter inhibits actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Kleba, Betsy; Clark, Tina R; Lutter, Erika I; Ellison, Damon W; Hackstadt, Ted

    2010-05-01

    Rickettsii rickettsii, the etiologic agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, replicates within the cytosol of infected cells and uses actin-based motility to spread inter- and intracellularly. Although the ultrastructure of the actin tail and host proteins associated with it are distinct from those of Listeria or Shigella, comparatively little is known regarding the rickettsial proteins involved in its organization. Here, we have used random transposon mutagenesis of R. rickettsii to generate a small-plaque mutant that is defective in actin-based motility and does not spread directly from cell to cell as is characteristic of spotted fever group rickettsiae. The transposon insertion site of this mutant strain was within Sca2, a member of a family of large autotransporter proteins. Sca2 exhibits several features suggestive of its apparent role in actin-based motility. It displays an N-terminal secretory signal peptide, a C-terminal predicted autotransporter domain, up to four predicted Wasp homology 2 (WH2) domains, and two proline-rich domains, one with similarity to eukaryotic formins. In a guinea pig model of infection, the Sca2 mutant did not elicit fever, suggesting that Sca2 and actin-based motility are virulence factors of spotted fever group rickettsiae.

  1. Coordinated recruitment of Spir actin nucleators and myosin V motors to Rab11 vesicle membranes.

    PubMed

    Pylypenko, Olena; Welz, Tobias; Tittel, Janine; Kollmar, Martin; Chardon, Florian; Malherbe, Gilles; Weiss, Sabine; Michel, Carina Ida Luise; Samol-Wolf, Annette; Grasskamp, Andreas Till; Hume, Alistair; Goud, Bruno; Baron, Bruno; England, Patrick; Titus, Margaret A; Schwille, Petra; Weidemann, Thomas; Houdusse, Anne; Kerkhoff, Eugen

    2016-09-13

    There is growing evidence for a coupling of actin assembly and myosin motor activity in cells. However, mechanisms for recruitment of actin nucleators and motors on specific membrane compartments remain unclear. Here we report how Spir actin nucleators and myosin V motors coordinate their specific membrane recruitment. The myosin V globular tail domain (MyoV-GTD) interacts directly with an evolutionarily conserved Spir sequence motif. We determined crystal structures of MyoVa-GTD bound either to the Spir-2 motif or to Rab11 and show that a Spir-2:MyoVa:Rab11 complex can form. The ternary complex architecture explains how Rab11 vesicles support coordinated F-actin nucleation and myosin force generation for vesicle transport and tethering. New insights are also provided into how myosin activation can be coupled with the generation of actin tracks. Since MyoV binds several Rab GTPases, synchronized nucleator and motor targeting could provide a common mechanism to control force generation and motility in different cellular processes.

  2. The application of the comet assay to assess the genotoxicity of environmental pollutants in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Imanikia, Soudabeh; Galea, Francesca; Nagy, Eszter; Phillips, David H; Stürzenbaum, Stephen R; Arlt, Volker M

    2016-07-01

    This study aimed to establish a protocol for cell dissociation from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to assess the genotoxicity of the environmental pollutant benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) using the alkaline version of the single cell electrophoresis assay (comet assay). BaP genotoxicity was assessed in C. elegans (wild-type [WT]; N2, Bristol) after 48h exposure (0-40μM). Induction of comets by BaP was concentration-dependent up to 20μM; comet% tail DNA was ∼30% at 20μM BaP and ∼10% in controls. Similarly, BaP-induced DNA damage was evaluated in C. elegans mutant strains deficient in DNA repair. In xpa-1 and apn-1 mutants BaP-induced comet formation was diminished to WT background levels suggesting that the damage formed by BaP that is detected in the comet assay is not recognised in cells deficient in nucleotide and base excision repair, respectively. In summary, our study provides a protocol to evaluate DNA damage of environmental pollutants in whole nematodes using the comet assay.

  3. DNA damage in grasshoppers' larvae--comet assay in environmental approach.

    PubMed

    Augustyniak, Maria; Orzechowska, Helena; Kędziorski, Andrzej; Sawczyn, Tomasz; Doleżych, Bogdan

    2014-02-01

    The comet assay that provides a quantitative measure of the DNA-strand breaks may be used for assessing the 'genotoxic potential' of the environment. Young adults of Chorthippus brunneus (Orthoptera), collected at three sites in Southern Poland, differing in the level of pollution, particularly with heavy metals: Pilica (reference), Olkusz (moderately polluted) and Szopienice (heavily polluted) - were allowed to mate under laboratory conditions that were free from any pollution. Egg-pods were collected and, after diapause, brain cells from one-day old larvae were used for the comet assay. We compared the level of DNA damage in the larvae originating from these sites and also measured time-dependent DNA repair after single 10min. application of H2O2 (20μM final concentration). The DNA damage was relatively low in larval cells irrespectively of the site pollution their parents came from. However, measured comet parameters - tail DNA content (TDNA), tail length (TL), and olive tail moment (OTM) - were significantly higher in larvae originating from the Szopienice site than in those from the reference site. Incubation of cells with H2O2 resulted in significantly higher values of the comet parameters in the insects from all the study sites with the highest ones observed in the offspring of grasshoppers from Szopienice. Moreover, DNA repair, following the treatment, did not occur in the latter group. These data contribute to almost unexplored subject of genotoxic effects of environmental pollutants in insects. They are discussed in the light of the concept of adaptive strategies in energy allocation depending on the level of biotope pollution.

  4. Genotoxicity of cadmium chloride in the marine gastropod Nerita chamaeleon using comet assay and alkaline unwinding assay.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Anupam; Bhagat, Jacky; Ingole, Baban S; Rao, Durga P; Markad, Vijaykumar L

    2015-02-01

    This paper presents an evaluation of the genotoxic effects of cadmium chloride (CdCl2 ) on marine gastropod, Nerita chamaeleon following the technique of comet assay and the DNA alkaline unwinding assay (DAUA). In this study, the extent of DNA damage in gill cells of N. chamaeleon was measured after in vivo exposure to four different concentrations (10, 25, 50, and 75 µg/L) of CdCl2 . In vitro exposure of hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ; 1, 10, 25, and 50 µM) of the gill cells showed a significant increase in the percentage tail DNA, Olive tail moment, and tail length (TL). Significant changes in percentage tail DNA by CdCl2 exposure were observed in all exposed groups of snails with respect to those in control. Exposure to 75 µg/L of CdCl2 produced significant decrease in DNA integrity as measured by DAUA at all duration with respect to control. In vivo exposure to different concentrations of CdCl2 (10, 25, 50, and 75 µg/L) to N. chamaeleon showed considerable increase in DNA damage as observed by both alkaline comet assay and the DAUA. The extent of DNA damage in marine gastropods determined by the application of alkaline comet assay and DAUA clearly indicated the genotoxic responses of marine gastropod, N. chamaeleon to a wide range of cadmium concentration in the marine environment.

  5. Filopodia-like actin cables position nuclei in association with perinuclear actin in Drosophila nurse cells.

    PubMed

    Huelsmann, Sven; Ylänne, Jari; Brown, Nicholas H

    2013-09-30

    Controlling the position of the nucleus is vital for a number of cellular processes from yeast to humans. In Drosophila nurse cells, nuclear positioning is crucial during dumping, when nurse cells contract and expel their contents into the oocyte. We provide evidence that in nurse cells, continuous filopodia-like actin cables, growing from the plasma membrane and extending to the nucleus, achieve nuclear positioning. These actin cables move nuclei away from ring canals. When nurse cells contract, actin cables associate laterally with the nuclei, in some cases inducing nuclear turning so that actin cables become partially wound around the nuclei. Our data suggest that a perinuclear actin meshwork connects actin cables to nuclei via actin-crosslinking proteins such as the filamin Cheerio. We provide a revised model for how actin structures position nuclei in nurse cells, employing evolutionary conserved machinery.

  6. A new activity index for comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whipple, Fred L.

    1992-12-01

    An activity index, AI, is derived from observational data to measure the increase of activity in magnitudes for comets when brightest near perihelion as compared to their inactive reflective brightness at great solar distances. Because the observational data are still instrumentally limited in the latter case and because many comets carry particulate clouds about them at great solar distances, the application of the activity index is still limited. A tentative application is made for the comets observed by Max Beyer over a period of nearly 40 years, providing a uniform magnitude system for the near-perihelion observations. In all, 32 determinations are made for long-period (L-P) comets and 15 for short-period (S-P). Although the correlations are scarcely definitive, the data suggest that the faintest comets are just as active as the brightest and that the S-P comets are almost as active as those with periods (P) exceeding 104 years or those with orbital inclinations of i less than 120 deg. Comets in the range 102 less than P less than 104 yr. or with i greater than 120 deg appear to be somewhat more active than the others. There is no evidence to suggest aging among the L-P comets or to suggest other than a common nature for comets generally.

  7. Cometary Volatiles and the Origin of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    A'Hearn, Michael F.; Feaga, Lori M.; Keller, H. Uwe; Kawakita, Hideyo; Hampton, Donald L.; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Meech, Karen J.; Schultz, Peter H.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph; Yeomans, Donald K.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Farnham, Tony L.; Groussin, Olivier; Kelley, Michael S.; Lisse, Carey M.; Merlin, Frederic; Protopapa, Silvia; Wellnitz, Dennis D.

    2012-01-01

    We describe recent results on the CO/C02/H2O composition of comets and compare these with models of the protoplanetary disk. We argue that the cometary observations require reactions on grain surfaces to convert CO to CO2 and also require formation between the CO and CO2 snow lines. This then requires very early mixing of cometesimals in the protoplanetary disk analogous to the mixing described for the asteroid belt by Walsh and Morbidelli. We suggest that most comets formed in the region of the giant planets. the traditional source of the Oort-cloud comets but not of the Jupiter-family comets

  8. European Space Agency announces comet landing site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-09-01

    Scientists believe that comets hold clues to the solar system's origins, and soon they will be one step closer to unlocking these secrets. Last week, the European Space Agency announced that the spacecraft Rosetta will deploy its lander, Philae, to land on the "head" of the comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko at candidate site J. Project scientists have been racing to choose an ideal landing site since Rosetta arrived at the comet on 6 August. This event will mark the first landing mission on a comet.

  9. Persistent nuclear actin filaments inhibit transcription by RNA polymerase II.

    PubMed

    Serebryannyy, Leonid A; Parilla, Megan; Annibale, Paolo; Cruz, Christina M; Laster, Kyle; Gratton, Enrico; Kudryashov, Dmitri; Kosak, Steven T; Gottardi, Cara J; de Lanerolle, Primal

    2016-09-15

    Actin is abundant in the nucleus and it is clear that nuclear actin has important functions. However, mystery surrounds the absence of classical actin filaments in the nucleus. To address this question, we investigated how polymerizing nuclear actin into persistent nuclear actin filaments affected transcription by RNA polymerase II. Nuclear filaments impaired nuclear actin dynamics by polymerizing and sequestering nuclear actin. Polymerizing actin into stable nuclear filaments disrupted the interaction of actin with RNA polymerase II and correlated with impaired RNA polymerase II localization, dynamics, gene recruitment, and reduced global transcription and cell proliferation. Polymerizing and crosslinking nuclear actin in vitro similarly disrupted the actin-RNA-polymerase-II interaction and inhibited transcription. These data rationalize the general absence of stable actin filaments in mammalian somatic nuclei. They also suggest a dynamic pool of nuclear actin is required for the proper localization and activity of RNA polymerase II.

  10. Modeling actin waves in dictyostelium cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasnik, Vaibhav; Mukhopadhyay, Ranjan

    2011-03-01

    Actin networks in living cells demonstrate a high capacity for self-organization and are responsible for the formation of a variety of structures such as lamellopodia, phagocytic cups, and cleavage furrows. Recent experiments have studied actin waves formed on the surface of dictyostelium cells that have been treated with a depolymerizing agent. These waves are believed to be physiologically important, for example, for the formation of phagocytic cups. We propose and study a minimal model, based on the dendritic nucleation of actin polymers, to explain the formation of these waves. This model can be extended to study the dynamics of the coupled actin-membrane system.

  11. GPCRs and actin-cytoskeleton dynamics.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Victorio, Genaro; González-Espinosa, Claudia; Espinosa-Riquer, Zyanya P; Macías-Silva, Marina

    2016-01-01

    A multitude of physiological processes regulated by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) signaling are accomplished by the participation of active rearrangements of the cytoskeleton. In general, it is common that a cross talk occurs among networks of microfilaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments in order to reach specific cell responses. In particular, actin-cytoskeleton dynamics regulate processes such as cell shape, cell division, cell motility, and cell polarization, among others. This chapter describes the current knowledge about the regulation of actin-cytoskeleton dynamic by diverse GPCR signaling pathways, and also includes some protocols combining immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy for the visualization of the different rearrangements of the actin-cytoskeleton. We report how both the S1P-GPCR/G12/13/Rho/ROCK and glucagon-GPCR/Gs/cAMP axes induce differential actin-cytoskeleton rearrangements in epithelial cells. We also show that specific actin-binding molecules, like phalloidin and LifeAct, are very useful to analyze F-actin reorganization by confocal microscopy, and also that both molecules show similar results in fixed cells, whereas the anti-actin antibody is useful to detect both the G- and F-actin, as well as their compartmentalization. Thus, it is highly recommended to utilize different approaches to investigate the regulation of actin dynamics by GPCR signaling, with the aim to get a better picture of the phenomenon under study.

  12. Architecture and Connectivity Govern Actin Network Contractility.

    PubMed

    Ennomani, Hajer; Letort, Gaëlle; Guérin, Christophe; Martiel, Jean-Louis; Cao, Wenxiang; Nédélec, François; De La Cruz, Enrique M; Théry, Manuel; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2016-03-07

    Actomyosin contractility plays a central role in a wide range of cellular processes, including the establishment of cell polarity, cell migration, tissue integrity, and morphogenesis during development. The contractile response is variable and depends on actomyosin network architecture and biochemical composition. To determine how this coupling regulates actomyosin-driven contraction, we used a micropatterning method that enables the spatial control of actin assembly. We generated a variety of actin templates and measured how defined actin structures respond to myosin-induced forces. We found that the same actin filament crosslinkers either enhance or inhibit the contractility of a network, depending on the organization of actin within the network. Numerical simulations unified the roles of actin filament branching and crosslinking during actomyosin contraction. Specifically, we introduce the concept of "network connectivity" and show that the contractions of distinct actin architectures are described by the same master curve when considering their degree of connectivity. This makes it possible to predict the dynamic response of defined actin structures to transient changes in connectivity. We propose that, depending on the connectivity and the architecture, network contraction is dominated by either sarcomeric-like or buckling mechanisms. More generally, this study reveals how actin network contractility depends on its architecture under a defined set of biochemical conditions.

  13. Bioinformatics study of the mangrove actin genes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basyuni, M.; Wasilah, M.; Sumardi

    2017-01-01

    This study describes the bioinformatics methods to analyze eight actin genes from mangrove plants on DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank as well as predicted the structure, composition, subcellular localization, similarity, and phylogenetic. The physical and chemical properties of eight mangroves showed variation among the genes. The percentage of the secondary structure of eight mangrove actin genes followed the order of a helix > random coil > extended chain structure for BgActl, KcActl, RsActl, and A. corniculatum Act. In contrast to this observation, the remaining actin genes were random coil > extended chain structure > a helix. This study, therefore, shown the prediction of secondary structure was performed for necessary structural information. The values of chloroplast or signal peptide or mitochondrial target were too small, indicated that no chloroplast or mitochondrial transit peptide or signal peptide of secretion pathway in mangrove actin genes. These results suggested the importance of understanding the diversity and functional of properties of the different amino acids in mangrove actin genes. To clarify the relationship among the mangrove actin gene, a phylogenetic tree was constructed. Three groups of mangrove actin genes were formed, the first group contains B. gymnorrhiza BgAct and R. stylosa RsActl. The second cluster which consists of 5 actin genes the largest group, and the last branch consist of one gene, B. sexagula Act. The present study, therefore, supported the previous results that plant actin genes form distinct clusters in the tree.

  14. F-actin waves, actin cortex disassembly and focal exocytosis driven by actin-phosphoinositide positive feedback.

    PubMed

    Masters, Thomas A; Sheetz, Michael P; Gauthier, Nils C

    2016-04-01

    Actin polymerization is controlled by the phosphoinositide composition of the plasma membrane. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the spatiotemporal regulation of actin network organization over extended length scales are still unclear. To observe phosphoinositide-dependent cytoskeletal dynamics we combined the model system of frustrated phagocytosis, total internal reflection microscopy and manipulation of the buffer tonicity. We found that macrophages interacting with IgG-coated glass substrates formed circular F-actin waves on their ventral surface enclosing a region of plasma membrane devoid of cortical actin. Plasma membrane free of actin cortex was strongly depleted of PI(4,5)P2 , but enriched in PI(3,4)P2 and displayed a fivefold increase in exocytosis. Wave formation could be promoted by application of a hypotonic shock. The actin waves were characteristic of a bistable wavefront at the boundary between the regions of membrane containing and lacking cortical actin. Phosphoinositide modifiers and RhoGTPase activities dramatically redistributed with respect to the wavefronts, which often exhibited spatial oscillations. Perturbation of either lipid or actin cytoskeleton-related pathways led to rapid loss of both the polarized lipid distribution and the wavefront. As waves travelled over the plasma membrane, wavefront actin was seen to rapidly polymerize and depolymerize at pre-existing clusters of FcγRIIA, coincident with rapid changes in lipid composition. Thus the potential of receptors to support rapid F-actin polymerization appears to depend acutely on the local concentrations of multiple lipid species. We propose that interdependence through positive feedback from the cytoskeleton to lipid modifiers leads to coordinated local cortex remodeling, focal exocytosis, and organizes extended actin networks.

  15. Photodynamic therapy for actinic keratoses.

    PubMed

    Kalisiak, Michal S; Rao, Jaggi

    2007-01-01

    Actinic keratoses (AKs) are one of the most common conditions that are treated by dermatologists and they have the potential to progress to squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has emerged as a novel and versatile method of treating those lesions. Topical preparations of aminolevulinic acid and methyl aminolevulinate are commercially available photosensitizers, and numerous light sources may be used for photoactivation. This article focuses on practical aspects of PDT in the treatment of AKs, outcomes of relevant clinical trials, and special applications of PDT in transplant recipients and other who are predisposed to AK formation. Step-by-step descriptions of PDT sessions are presented.

  16. A Comet on Earth: Results from the Stardust Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Brennan, Sean

    2006-08-29

    The Stardust mission returned from a 6-year voyage in January of 2006. During the mission it swept through the tail of comet Wild 2 (pronounced Vilt), collecting the microscopic particles streaming from it. These particles were collected in a very low density material called aerogel. The satellite then took 2 years to return to Earth. The payload, jettisoned from the satellite, re-entered the atmosphere and gently landed in the Utah desert. Since January researchers have started the process of extracting the particles from the aerogel and using an extensive array of techniques to measure such things as elemental and isotopic abundance, mineralogy and petrology. We at SLAC have been using an X-ray Microprobe to determine the amount of different elements that are present in these particles. Please join us for a preliminary look at the results of the Stardust mission.

  17. Mission design for a ballistic slow flyby Comet Encke 1980

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farquhar, R. W.; Mccarthy, D. K.; Muhonen, D. P.; Yeomans, D. K.

    1974-01-01

    Preliminary mission analyses for a proposed 1980 slow flyby (7-9 km/s) of comet Encke are presented. Among the topics covered are science objectives, Encke's physical activity and ephemeris accuracy, trajectory and launch-window analysis, terminal guidance, and spacecraft concepts. The nominal mission plan calls for a near-perihelion intercept with two spacecraft launched on a single launch vehicle. Both spacecraft will arrive at the same time, one passing within 500 km from Encke's nucleus on its sunward side, the other cutting through the tail region. By applying a small propulsive correction about three weeks after the encounter, it is possible to retarget both spacecraft for a second Encke intercept in 1984. The potential science return from the ballistic slow flyby is compared with other proposed mission modes for the 1980 Encke flyby mission, including the widely advocated slow flyby using solar-electric propulsion. It is shown that the ballistic slow flyby is superior in every respect.

  18. Reconstitution of a Minimal Actin Cortex by Coupling Actin Filaments to Reconstituted Membranes.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Sven K

    2016-01-01

    A thin layer of actin filaments in many eukaryotic cell types drives pivotal aspects of cell morphogenesis and is generally cited as the actin cortex. Myosin driven contractility and actin cytoskeleton membrane interactions form the basis of fundamental cellular processes such as cytokinesis, cell migration, and cortical flows. How the interplay between the actin cytoskeleton, the membrane, and actin binding proteins drives these processes is far from being understood. The complexity of the actin cortex in living cells and the hardly feasible manipulation of the omnipotent cellular key players, namely actin, myosin, and the membrane, are challenging in order to gain detailed insights about the underlying mechanisms. Recent progress in developing bottom-up in vitro systems where the actin cytoskeleton is combined with reconstituted membranes may provide a complementary route to reveal general principles underlying actin cortex properties. In this chapter the reconstitution of a minimal actin cortex by coupling actin filaments to a supported membrane is described. This minimal system may be very well suited to study for example protein interactions on membrane bound actin filaments in a very controlled and quantitative manner as it may be difficult to perform in living systems.

  19. Probing the solar magnetic field with a Sun-grazing comet.

    PubMed

    Downs, Cooper; Linker, Jon A; Mikií, Zoran; Riley, Pete; Schrijver, Carolus J; Saint-Hilaire, Pascal

    2013-06-07

    On 15 and 16 December 2011, Sun-grazing comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) passed deep within the solar corona, effectively probing a region that has never been visited by spacecraft. Imaged from multiple perspectives, extreme ultraviolet observations of Lovejoy's tail showed substantial changes in direction, intensity, magnitude, and persistence. To understand this unique signature, we combined a state-of-the-art magnetohydrodynamic model of the solar corona and a model for the motion of emitting cometary tail ions in an embedded plasma. The observed tail motions reveal the inhomogeneous magnetic field of the solar corona. We show how these motions constrain field and plasma properties along the trajectory, and how they can be used to meaningfully distinguish between two classes of magnetic field models.

  20. The pros and cons of common actin labeling tools for visualizing actin dynamics during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Spracklen, Andrew J; Fagan, Tiffany N; Lovander, Kaylee E; Tootle, Tina L

    2014-09-15

    Dynamic remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton is required for both development and tissue homeostasis. While fixed image analysis has provided significant insight into such events, a complete understanding of cytoskeletal dynamics requires live imaging. Numerous tools for the live imaging of actin have been generated by fusing the actin-binding domain from an actin-interacting protein to a fluorescent protein. Here we comparatively assess the utility of three such tools--Utrophin, Lifeact, and F-tractin--for characterizing the actin remodeling events occurring within the germline-derived nurse cells during Drosophila mid-oogenesis or follicle development. Specifically, we used the UAS/GAL4 system to express these tools at different levels and in different cells, and analyzed these tools for effects on fertility, alterations in the actin cytoskeleton, and ability to label filamentous actin (F-actin) structures by both fixed and live imaging. While both Utrophin and Lifeact robustly label F-actin structures within the Drosophila germline, when strongly expressed they cause sterility and severe actin defects including cortical actin breakdown resulting in multi-nucleate nurse cells, early F-actin filament and aggregate formation during stage 9 (S9), and disorganized parallel actin filament bundles during stage 10B (S10B). However, by using a weaker germline GAL4 driver in combination with a higher temperature, Utrophin can label F-actin with minimal defects. Additionally, strong Utrophin expression within the germline causes F-actin formation in the nurse cell nuclei and germinal vesicle during mid-oogenesis. Similarly, Lifeact expression results in nuclear F-actin only within the germinal vesicle. F-tractin expresses at a lower level than the other two labeling tools, but labels cytoplasmic F-actin structures well without causing sterility or striking actin defects. Together these studies reveal how critical it is to evaluate the utility of each actin labeling tool

  1. The pros and cons of common actin labeling tools for visualizing actin dynamics during Drosophila oogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Spracklen, Andrew J.; Fagan, Tiffany N.; Lovander, Kaylee E.; Tootle, Tina L.

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton is required for both development and tissue homeostasis. While fixed image analysis has provided significant insight into such events, a complete understanding of cytoskeletal dynamics requires live imaging. Numerous tools for the live imaging of actin have been generated by fusing the actin-binding domain from an actin-interacting protein to a fluorescent protein. Here we comparatively assess the utility of three such tools – Utrophin, Lifeact, and F-tractin – for characterizing the actin remodeling events occurring within the germline-derived nurse cells during Drosophila mid-oogenesis or follicle development. Specifically, we used the UAS/GAL4 system to express these tools at different levels and in different cells, and analyzed these tools for effects on fertility, alterations in the actin cytoskeleton, and ability to label filamentous actin (F-actin) structures by both fixed and live imaging. While both Utrophin and Lifeact robustly label F-actin structures within the Drosophila germline, when strongly expressed they cause sterility and severe actin defects including cortical actin breakdown resulting in multi-nucleate nurse cells, early F-actin filament and aggregate formation during stage 9 (S9), and disorganized parallel actin filament bundles during stage 10B (S10B). However, by using a weaker germline GAL4 driver in combination with a higher temperature, Utrophin can label F-actin with minimal defects. Additionally, strong Utrophin expression within the germline causes F-actin formation in the nurse cell nuclei and germinal vesicle during mid-oogenesis. Similarly, Lifeact expression results in nuclear F-actin only within the germinal vesicle. F-tractin expresses at a lower level than the other two labeling tools, but labels cytoplasmic F-actin structures well without causing sterility or striking actin defects. Together these studies reveal how critical it is to evaluate the utility of each actin labeling

  2. Report of the Comet Science Working Group. [flyby of Comet halley and rendezvous with Comet tempel 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Scientific objectives and mission strategies for a flyby of Halley's comet and rendezvous with Tempel-2 are discussed. Instrumentation to be carried by both the rendezvous spacecraft and the coma probe payload are listed. Known characteristics of both comets are summarized.

  3. Force of an actin spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Jennifer; Mahadevan, L.; Matsudaira, Paul

    2003-03-01

    The acrosomal process of the horseshoe crab sperm is a novel mechanochemical molecular spring that converts its elastic stain energy to mechanical work upon the chemical activation by Ca2+. Twisted and bent, the initial state of the acrosomal bundle features a high degree of complexity in its structure and the energy is believed to be stored in the highly strained actin filaments as an elastic potential energy. When activated, the bundle relaxes from the coil of the highly twisted and bent filaments to its straight conformation at a mean velocity of 15um/s. The mean extension velocity increases dramatically from 3um/s to 27um/s when temperature of the medium is changed from 9.6C to 32C (respective viscosities of 1.25-0.75cp), yet it exhibits a very weak dependence on changes in the medium viscosity (1cp-33cp). These experiments suggest that the uncoiling of the actin spring should be limited not by the viscosity of the medium but by the unlatching events of involved proteins at a molecular level. Unlike the viscosity-limited processes, where force is directly related to the rate of the reaction, a direct measurement is required to obtain the spring force of the acrosomal process. The extending acrosomal bundle is forced to push against a barrier and its elastic buckling response is analyzed to measure the force generated during the uncoiling.

  4. Actin-Regulator Feedback Interactions during Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xinxin; Galletta, Brian J.; Cooper, John A.; Carlsson, Anders E.

    2016-01-01

    Endocytosis mediated by clathrin, a cellular process by which cells internalize membrane receptors and their extracellular ligands, is an important component of cell signaling regulation. Actin polymerization is involved in endocytosis in varying degrees depending on the cellular context. In yeast, clathrin-mediated endocytosis requires a pulse of polymerized actin and its regulators, which recruit and activate the Arp2/3 complex. In this article, we seek to identify the main protein-protein interactions that 1) cause actin and its regulators to appear in pulses, and 2) determine the effects of key mutations and drug treatments on actin and regulator assembly. We perform a joint modeling/experimental study of actin and regulator dynamics during endocytosis in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We treat both a stochastic model that grows an explicit three-dimensional actin network, and a simpler two-variable Fitzhugh-Nagumo type model. The models include a negative-feedback interaction of F-actin onto the Arp2/3 regulators. Both models explain the pulse time courses and the effects of interventions on actin polymerization: the surprising increase in the peak F-actin count caused by reduced regulator branching activity, the increase in F-actin resulting from slowing of actin disassembly, and the increased Arp2/3 regulator lifetime resulting from latrunculin treatment. In addition, they predict that decreases in the regulator branching activity lead to increases in accumulation of regulators, and we confirmed this prediction with experiments on yeast harboring mutations in the Arp2/3 regulators, using quantitative fluorescence microscopy. Our experimental measurements suggest that the regulators act quasi-independently, in the sense that accumulation of a particular regulator is most strongly affected by mutations of that regulator, as opposed to the others. PMID:27028652

  5. What do comets 252P/LINEAR and P2016 BA14 have in common?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudawska, Regina; Vaubaillon, Jeremie; Tóth, Juraj; Raetz, Stefanie

    2016-10-01

    Automated surveys of NEOs continue to discover objects in cometary-like orbits that are likely candidate parent bodies [1]. Some of them unexpectedly produce a comet-like comae and tails [2, 3]. Here, we study one such case, namely asteroid 2016 BA14 recently discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey, which shows cometary appearance and has a Tisserand parameter of 2.8. Moreover, the orbital similarly between P/2016 BA14 and comet 252P/LINEAR was pointed. If those JFCs split in the past, significant dust would have been released. We present a survey of results dealing with investigating the association of comets P/2016 BA14 and 252P/LINEAR with meteor showers observed on Earth. We carry out a further search to investigate the possible genetic relationship between the comets themselves too. To confirm the reality of the relation between a comet and a meteoroid stream it is necessary to investigate the evolution of their orbits. The model of generation and evolution of meteoroid stream in the solar system is taken from Vaubaillon et al. [4]. The ejections of meteoroids from the possible parent body surface took place when it was passing its perihelion between 1700 A.D. and 2016 A.D. Next, the orbits of ejected meteoroids were integrated to year 2079. We will show the similarities and differences of the two streams, and will conclude regarding the possible relationship between P/2016 BA14 and 252P/LINEAR.[1] Jenniskens, P., Meteor Showers and their Parent Comets (Cambridge University Press), 2006[2] Jewitt, D., AJ, 143, 66, 2012[3] Jewitt, D. and Li, J., AJ, 140, 1519, 2010[4] Vaubaillon, J., Colas, F. Jorda, L., A&A, 439, 751, 2005

  6. DNA damage in hemodialysis patients with chronic kidney disease; a test of the role of diabetes mellitus; a comet assay investigation.

    PubMed

    Mamur, Sevcan; Unal, Fatma; Altok, Kadriye; Deger, Serpil Muge; Yuzbasioglu, Deniz

    2016-04-01

    The incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing rapidly. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is the most important cause of CKD. We studied the possible role of DM in CKD patients with respect to DNA damage, as assessed by the comet assay in 60 CKD patients (with or without DM) undergoing hemodialysis and in 26 controls. Effects of other factors, such as age, sex, hypertension, duration of hemodialysis, body mass index (BMI), and levels of hemoglobin (HB), intact parathormone (iPTH), and ferritin (FER), were also examined. Primary DNA damage measured by the comet assay was significantly higher in CKD patients than in controls. Among CKD patients, the following correlations were observed. (1) There was no difference in comet tail length or tail intensity between diabetic and non-diabetic individuals. (2) Age, sex, hemoglobin, hypertension, duration of hemodialysis, and ferritin levels affected neither tail length nor intensity. (3) BMI values above 25kg/m(2) and iPTH levels above 300pg/ml were associated with significantly greater comet tail length. Our results indicate that primary DNA damage is increased in CKD patients undergoing hemodialysis, compared to controls; however, DM had no additional effect.

  7. Spectrophotometry of 25 comets - Post-Halley updates for 17 comets plus new observations for eight additional comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newburn, Ray L., Jr.; Spinrad, Hyron

    1989-01-01

    The best possible production figures within the current post-Halley framework and available observations are given for H2O, O(1D), CN, C3, C2 and dust in 25 comets. Of these, the three objects with the smallest mixing ratios of all minor species have moderate to little or no dust and appear 'old'. Comets with large amounts of CN are very dusty, and there is a clear correlation of CN with dust, although comets with little or no dust still have some CN. Thus, CN appears to have at least two sources, dust and one or more parent gases. Also, the C2/CN production ratio changes continuously with heliocentric distance in every comet considered, suggesting that C2 production may be a function of coma density as well as parental abundance. Dust production ranges from essentially zero in Comet Sugano-Saigusa-Fujikawa up to 67,000 kg/s for Halley on March 14, 1986.

  8. Rosetta: Comet-Chaser, Comet-Lander, and Comet-Hopper All In One Mission! (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chmielewski, Artur B.

    2015-09-01

    Mission to Catch a Comet! Comets have inspired awe and wonder since the dawn of history. Many scientists today believe that comets crashed into Earth in its formative period spewing organic molecules that were crucial to the growth of life. Comets may have formed about the same time as the giant planets of our solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) - about 4.6 billion years ago. Some scientists think that comets and planets were both made from the same clumps of dust and ice that spewed from our Sun's birth; others think that these roving time capsules are even older than that, and that they may contain grains of interstellar stuff that is even older than our solar system.

  9. Comet Dust After Deep Impact

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wooden, Diane H.; Harker, David E.; Woodward, Charles E.

    2006-01-01

    When the Deep Impact Mission hit Jupiter Family comet 9P/Tempel 1, an ejecta crater was formed and an pocket of volatile gases and ices from 10-30 m below the surface was exposed (A Hearn et aI. 2005). This resulted in a gas geyser that persisted for a few hours (Sugita et al, 2005). The gas geyser pushed dust grains into the coma (Sugita et a1. 2005), as well as ice grains (Schulz et al. 2006). The smaller of the dust grains were submicron in radii (0-25.3 micron), and were primarily composed of highly refractory minerals including amorphous (non-graphitic) carbon, and silicate minerals including amorphous (disordered) olivine (Fe,Mg)2SiO4 and pyroxene (Fe,Mg)SiO3 and crystalline Mg-rich olivine. The smaller grains moved faster, as expected from the size-dependent velocity law produced by gas-drag on grains. The mineralogy evolved with time: progressively larger grains persisted in the near nuclear region, having been imparted with slower velocities, and the mineralogies of these larger grains appeared simpler and without crystals. The smaller 0.2-0.3 micron grains reached the coma in about 1.5 hours (1 arc sec = 740 km), were more diverse in mineralogy than the larger grains and contained crystals, and appeared to travel through the coma together. No smaller grains appeared at larger coma distances later (with slower velocities), implying that if grain fragmentation occurred, it happened within the gas acceleration zone. These results of the high spatial resolution spectroscopy (GEMINI+Michelle: Harker et 4. 2005, 2006; Subaru+COMICS: Sugita et al. 2005) revealed that the grains released from the interior were different from the nominally active areas of this comet by their: (a) crystalline content, (b) smaller size, (c) more diverse mineralogy. The temporal changes in the spectra, recorded by GEMIM+Michelle every 7 minutes, indicated that the dust mineralogy is inhomogeneous and, unexpectedly, the portion of the size distribution dominated by smaller grains has

  10. When comets get old: A synthesis of comet and meteor observations of the low activity comet 209P/LINEAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye (叶泉志), Quan-Zhi; Hui (许文韬), Man-To; Brown, Peter G.; Campbell-Brown, Margaret D.; Pokorný, Petr; Wiegert, Paul A.; Gao (高兴), Xing

    2016-01-01

    It is speculated that some weakly active comets may be transitional objects between active and dormant comets. These objects are at a unique stage of the evolution of cometary nuclei, as they are still identifiable as active comets, in contrast to inactive comets that are observationally indistinguishable from low albedo asteroids. In this paper, we present a synthesis of comet and meteor observations of Jupiter-family Comet 209P/LINEAR, one of the most weakly active comets recorded to-date. Images taken by the Xingming 0.35-m telescope and the Gemini Flamingo-2 camera are modeled by a Monte Carlo dust model, which yields a low dust ejection speed (1/10 of that of moderately active comets), dominance of large dust grains, and a low dust production of 0.4kgs-1 at 19 d after the 2014 perihelion passage. We also find a reddish nucleus of 209P/LINEAR that is similar to D-type asteroids and most Trojan asteroids. Meteor observations with the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR), coupled with meteoroid stream modeling, suggest a low dust production of the parent over the past few hundred orbits, although there are hints of a some temporary increase in activity in the 18th century. Dynamical simulations indicate 209P/LINEAR may have resided in a stable near-Earth orbit for ∼104 yr, which is significantly longer than typical JFCs. All these lines of evidence imply that 209P/LINEAR as an aging comet quietly exhausting its remaining near surface volatiles. We also compare 209P/LINEAR to other low activity comets, where evidence for a diversity of the origin of low activity is seen.

  11. Synthetic peptides that cause F-actin bundling and block actin depolymerization

    DOEpatents

    Sederoff, Heike [Raleigh, NC; Huber, Steven C [Savoy, IL; Larabell, Carolyn A [Berkeley, CA

    2011-10-18

    Synthetic peptides derived from sucrose synthase, and having homology to actin and actin-related proteins, sharing a common motif, useful for causing acting bundling and preventing actin depolymerization. Peptides exhibiting the common motif are described, as well as specific synthetic peptides which caused bundled actin and inhibit actin depolymerization. These peptides can be useful for treating a subject suffering from a disease characterized by cells having neoplastic growth, for anti-cancer therapeutics, delivered to subjects solely, or concomitantly or sequentially with other known cancer therapeutics. These peptides can also be used for stabilizing microfilaments in living cells and inhibiting growth of cells.

  12. Sun-grazing comets as probes of the physics of the solar corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrijver, C.

    2012-12-01

    In 2011, two Sun-grazing comets were observed at EUV wavelengths as they descended into the inner solar corona. The first, C/2011 N3 (SoHO), was observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly of the Solar Dynamics Observatory up to the point at which it terminated its existence very near to its orbital perihelion. Its tail emission was visible to within 0.146 solar radii of the solar surface. The second comet in the inner corona, C/2011 W3, was observed by a fleet of observatories, including the STEREO spacecraft which saw it during its approach to, and subsequent voyage away from, its orbital perihelion behind the Sun as seen from Earth. C2011 W3 survied for only about 1.6 more days when the last of its material sublimated. The variable cometary tails, observed in a multiple EUV passbands, were seen to be deflected by the interaction with the solar magnetic field as the comets flew through the corona. In this talk, I will discuss lessons about the solar corona learned from the cometary emission and absorption features and from the interaction of the ionizing cometary material with the magnetized corona through which it traveled.

  13. Meteoroid Streams from Sunskirter Comet Breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenniskens, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    In its first year of operations, the CAMS project (Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance) has measured 47,000 meteoroid orbits at Earth, including some that pass the Sun as close as 0.008 AU. The population density increases significantly above perihelion distance q = 0.037 AU. Meteoroid streams are known with q about 0.1 AU. The Sun has a profound effect on comets that pass at 0.04-0.16 AU distance, called the sunskirter comets. SOHO and STEREO see families of small comets called the Marsden and Kracht groups. Sunlight is efficiently scattered by small 10-m sized fragments, making those fragments visible even when far from Earth. These comet groups are associated with meteor showers on Earth, in particular the Daytime Arietids and Delta Aquariids. All are related to 96P/Machholz, a highly inclined short-period (5.2 year) Jupiter family comet that comes to within 0.12 AU from the Sun, the smallest perihelion distance known among numbered comets. The proximity of the Sun speeds up the disintegration process, providing us a unique window on this important decay mechanism of Jupiter family comets and creating meteoroid streams. These are not the only sunskirting comets, however. In this presentation, we will present CAMS observations of the complete low-q meteoroid population at Earth and review their association with known parent bodies.

  14. Episodic Aging and End States of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Zdenek

    2008-01-01

    It is known that comets are aging very rapidly on cosmic scales, because they rapidly shed mass. The processes involved are (i) normal activity - sublimation of ices and expulsion of dust from discrete emission sources on and/or below the surface of a comet's nucleus, and (ii) nuclear fragmentation. Both modes are episodic in nature, the latter includes major steps in the comet's life cycle. The role and history of dynamical techniques used are described and results on mass losses due to sublimation and dust expulsion are reviewed. Studies of split comets, Holmes-like exploding comets, and cataclysmically fragmenting comets show that masses of 10 to 100 million tons are involved in the fragmentation process. This and other information is used to investigate the nature of comets' episodic aging. Based on recent advances in understanding the surface morphology of cometary nuclei by close-up imaging, a possible mechanism for large-scale fragmentation events is proposed and shown to be consistent with evidence available from observations. Strongly flattened pancake-like shapes appear to be required for comet fragments by conceptual constraints. Possible end states are briefly examined.

  15. The Geology of Comet 19/P Borrelly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Britt, D. T.; Boice, D. C; Buratti, B. J.; Hicks, M. D.; Nelson, R. M.; Oberst, J.; Sandel, B. R.; Soderblom, L. A.; Stern, S. A.; Thomas, N.

    2002-01-01

    The Deep Space One spacecraft flew by Comet 19P/Borrelly on September 22, 2001 and returned a rich array of imagery with resolutions of up to 48 m/pixel. These images provide a window into the surface structure, processes, and geological history of a comet. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  16. Make a Halley's Comet Orbit Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Podmore, Francis; Fleet, Richard W.

    1985-01-01

    Describes a simple three-dimensional model of Halley's Comet orbit (which is much more informative than a two-dimensional drawing) to illustrate spatial relationships and visualize how the comet moves relative to the earth. Instructions for model assembly are given along with a template which can be photocopied and glued to cardboard. (JN)

  17. Chemical diversity in the comet population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biver, Nicolas

    2015-08-01

    For the last 3 decades, infrared and microwave techniques have enabled the detection of up to 25 different parent molecules in the coma of comets. Several molecules have been detected in over 40 different comets. A large diversity of composition is seen in the sample, comprising comets of various dynamical origin. Abundances relative to water for the molecules can vary by a factor 3 to more than 10. The taxonomic study of a sample of comets in which the abundance of several molecules (e.g., HCN, CH3OH, CO, CH4, C2H6, H2S, H2CO, CH3CN, cs,...) has been measured does not show any clear grouping. Except for fragments of a common parent comet, every comet observed shows a different composition. The absence of any clear correlation between the volatile content of the comets and their dynamical origin (Kuiper Belt versus Oort Cloud) suggest that there is no clear dychotomy between two origins for the comets. Their diveristy in composition may also suggest that radial and temporal mixing in the early protoplanetary nebula may have played an important role.

  18. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Nejedla, Michaela; Sadi, Sara; Sulimenko, Vadym; de Almeida, Francisca Nunes; Blom, Hans; Draber, Pavel; Aspenström, Pontus; Karlsson, Roger

    2016-01-01

    Profilin controls actin nucleation and assembly processes in eukaryotic cells. Actin nucleation and elongation promoting factors (NEPFs) such as Ena/VASP, formins, and WASP-family proteins recruit profilin:actin for filament formation. Some of these are found to be microtubule associated, making actin polymerization from microtubule-associated platforms possible. Microtubules are implicated in focal adhesion turnover, cell polarity establishment, and migration, illustrating the coupling between actin and microtubule systems. Here we demonstrate that profilin is functionally linked to microtubules with formins and point to formins as major mediators of this association. To reach this conclusion, we combined different fluorescence microscopy techniques, including superresolution microscopy, with siRNA modulation of profilin expression and drug treatments to interfere with actin dynamics. Our studies show that profilin dynamically associates with microtubules and this fraction of profilin contributes to balance actin assembly during homeostatic cell growth and affects micro­tubule dynamics. Hence profilin functions as a regulator of microtubule (+)-end turnover in addition to being an actin control element. PMID:27307590

  19. Submillimeter Continuum Observations of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1998-01-01

    The aim of this proposal was to study the submillimeter continuum emission from comets. The study was based mainly on the exploitation of the world's leading submillimeter telescope, the JCMT (James Clerk Maxwell Telescope) on Mauna Kea. Submillimeter wavelengths provide a unique view of cometary physics for one main reason. The cometary size distribution is such that the scattering cross-section is dominated by small dust grains, while the mass is dominated by the largest particles. Submillimeter continuum radiation samples cometary particles much larger than those sampled by more common observations at shorter (optical and infrared) wavelengths and therefore provides a nearly direct measure of the cometary dust mass.

  20. Amino Acids from a Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, Jamie Elisla

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Stardust spacecraft returned samples from comet 81P/Wild 2 to Earth in January 2006. Examinations of the organic compounds in cometary samples can reveal information about the prebiotic organic inventory present on the early Earth and within the early Solar System, which may have contributed to the origin of life. Preliminary studies of Stardust material revealed the presence of a suite of organic compounds including several amines and amino acids, but the origin of these compounds (cometary- vs. terrestrial contamination) could not be identified. We have recently measured the carbon isotopic ratios of these amino acids to determine their origin, leading to the first detection of a coetary amino acid.