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Department of Life Sciences
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Department of Chemical Engineering
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    ABSTRACT: Corbard & Thompson analyzed quantitatively the strong radial differential rotation that exists in a thin layer near the solar surface. We investigate the role of this radial shear in driving a flux transport dynamo operating with such a rotation profile. We show that despite being strong, near-surface radial shear effectively contributes only ∼1 kG (∼30% of the total) to the toroidal fields produced there unless an abnormally high, surface a-effect is included. While 3 kG spot formation from ∼1–2 kG toroidal fields by convective collapse cannot be ruled out, the evolutionary pattern of these model fields indicates that the polarities of spots formed from the near-surface toroidal field would violate the observed polarity relationship with polar fields. This supports previous results that large-scale solar dynamos generate intense toroidal fields in the tachocline, from which buoyant magnetic loops rise to the photosphere to produce spots. Polar fields generated in flux transport models are commonly much higher than observed. We show here that by adding enhanced diffusion in the supergranulation layer (originally proposed by Leighton), near-surface toroidal fields undergo large diffusive decay preventing spot formation from them, as well as reducing polar fields closer to the observed values. However, the weaker polar fields lead to the regeneration of a toroidal field of less than ∼10 kG at the convection zone base, too weak to produce spots that emerge in low latitudes, unless an additional poloidal field is produced at the tachocline. This is achieved by a tachocline a-effect, previously shown to be necessary for coupling the north and south hemispheres to ensure toroidal and poloidal fields that are antisymmetric about the equator.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2016; 575(1):41-45. DOI:10.1086/342555
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    ABSTRACT: Advances in a number of experimental, high-speed techniques have been used to explore the processes occurring within energetic materials. This review describes techniques used to study a wide range of processes: hot-spot formation, ignition thresholds, deflagration, sensitivity and finally the detonation process. As this is a wide field the focus will be on small-scale experiments and quantitative studies. It is important that such studies are linked to predictive models, which inform the experimental design process. The stimuli range includes, thermal ignition, drop-weight, Hopkinson Bar and Plate Impact studies. Studies made with inert simulants are also included as these are important in differentiat-ing between reactive response and purely mechanical behaviour.
    Chemistry Central Journal 12/2015; 9(1). DOI:10.1186/s13065-015-0128-x
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    ABSTRACT: During vertebrate development, the paraxial mesoderm becomes segmented, forming somites that will give rise to dermis, axial skeleton and skeletal muscles. Although recently challenged, the "clock and wavefront" model for somitogenesis explains how interactions between several cell-cell communication pathways, including the FGF, RA, Wnt and Notch signals, control the formation of these bilateral symmetric blocks. In the cephalochordate amphioxus, which belongs to the chordate phylum together with tunicates and vertebrates, the dorsal paraxial mesendoderm also periodically forms somites, although this process is asymmetric and extends along the whole body. It has been previously shown that the formation of the most anterior somites in amphioxus is dependent upon FGF signalling. However , the signals controlling somitogenesis during posterior elongation in amphioxus are still unknown. Here we show that, contrary to vertebrates, RA and FGF signals act independently during posterior elongation and that they are not mandatory for posterior somites to form. Moreover, we show that RA is not able to buffer the left/right asymmetry machinery that is controlled through the asymmetric expression of Nodal pathway actors. Our results give new insights into the evolution of the somitogenesis process in chordates. They suggest that RA and FGF pathways have acquired specific functions in the control of somito-genesis in vertebrates. We propose that the "clock and wavefront" system was selected specifically in vertebrates in parallel to the development of more complex somite-derived structures but that it was not required for somitogenesis in the ancestor of chordates.
    PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0136587. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136587


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    Prof Alice Gast
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