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News Article | February 4, 2016

As part of an international agreement with the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB), the team simulated a flight-vehicle loading operation with LMP-103S Green Propellant at Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The team demonstrated the proper storage and then loading of the propellant into a flight-like tank provided by the New York-based Moog Inc., an aerospace company interested in green-propulsion technology. This was the first-ever demonstration of its type on a U.S. range, said Henry Mulkey, an engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who led the effort. The demonstration, which took place late in 2015, will be followed this year by two other tests. Goddard's Propulsion Branch is carrying out a fracture test to determine the behavior of a flight tank should it crack while loaded with the propellant. And at the end of 2016, the branch also plans to test fire two Swedish-developed spacecraft thrusters powered by LMP-103S, said Caitlin Bacha, associate head of the center's Propulsion Branch. All tests are designed to show that LMP-103S is a viable, higher-performing, safer, and less-expensive alternative to hydrazine, a highly toxic propellant that requires personnel to don cumbersome, full-body protective gear when handling and loading the propellant into spacecraft. By way of comparison, Mulkey said he mixed LMP-103S wearing just safety glasses and a smock. The propellant, which a Stockholm-based company, ECAPS AB, began developing about two decades ago with SNSB funding, is based on ammonium dinitramide, a high-energy salt. It made its debut about five years ago aboard PRISMA, a Swedish spacecraft equipped with two one-Newton thrusters. (A Newton is a unit of force.) Over the years, 70 LMP-103S-powered thrusters have been built and used in different applications. NASA's Pre-Aerosol, Clouds, and ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission also is investigating the use of LMP-103S-powered thrusters. "We gained a lot of knowledge and hands-on experience from this pathfinder activity," Mulkey said. "We can take this experience and directly apply it to other flight-loading activities." Goddard's experimentation with LMP-103S is just part of NASA's green propellant story. Goddard, as well as a handful of other NASA centers, also is participating in the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM). GPIM, which NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate expects to launch in 2016, will carry 31 lbs. of another green propellant—AF-M315E—developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in California. During the demonstration to be carried out by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., of Boulder, Colorado, the spacecraft's five engines or thrusters will burn in different operations, testing how reliably the engines perform. Aerojet Rocketdyne, of Redmond, Washington, built the thrusters. For its part, Goddard carried out fluid testing on GPIM's systems and components, Bacha said. In particular, the test team carried out the first-ever "surge" and flow testing on AF-M315E. Surge is a phenomenon that occurs when an isolation valve opens to allow propellant to rapidly fill empty manifold lines. These pressures, if too high, potentially can damage sensitive flight components downstream. Flow testing, meanwhile, reveals how individual components perform in a system using the propellant. No data of this type existed for the AF-M315E prior to Goddard's surge and flow testing, Bacha said. "We have so many balls in the air with green propellant," she added. "We appreciate the opportunity to get our hands dirty, so to speak, with these propellants." Although the more traditionally used hydrazine will not be completely displaced due to its long heritage and widespread use, the two green propellants do offer compelling advantages. In addition to being easier to handle, they are more tolerant of low temperatures and could bring about less-expensive, more flexible mission designs. Furthermore, both green propellant options are better performing than hydrazine, meaning that a spacecraft could carry out more maneuvers on one tank of propellant or could reduce the needed propellant leaving room for additional flight instruments. "It's beneficial that we understand both," Mulkey said. "The change is coming."

News Article | April 28, 2016

But why did the bitty bug remind its finders of Han Solo’s Wookiee co-pilot? It’s teeny, black and rife with scales. The newly discovered, rhomboid-shaped weevil beetle found in New Britain, Papua New Guinea is hardly a doppelganger for the tall hirsute resistance fighter from the planet Kashyyyk. But hey, if you’re a scientist and find a new species, you get naming rights. And thus, meet Trigonopterus chewbacca! Dr Alexander Riedel/CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Scientists Dr. Matthew H. Van Dam from the SNSB-Zoological State Collection in Germany, along with Raymond Laufa from The University of Papua New Guinea and Dr. Alexander Riedel from the Natural History Museum Karlsruhe have described the new species in a paper published in the open access journal ZooKeys. The newly discovered beetle, a flightless weevil, was one of four new black weevils found during an expedition to New Britain, Papua New Guinea. So why the name? It’s not based on stature, the little guys only measures between 2.78 and 3.13 mm. Warrior attributes were not noted, no mention of smuggling tendencies, and clearly no waves of flowing locks. One would imagine a critter earning the Chewie designation to be more along the lines of the puss (or flannel moth) caterpillar. But according to the paper: So there you have it. I’m guessing there might be a Star Wars fan or two among the scientists? The authors note that they presume there are many other new species to be found on the island. But maddeningly, "large expanses of low-elevation forests in New Britain have been converted to oil-palm plantations, highlighting the significance of documenting the insect fauna before the remaining forests are gone." Well we've got Trigonopterus chewbacca, now where's the Jedi when you need them?

News Article | December 21, 2016

Stockholm, December 21, 2016 — Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announces that the trading in ÅAC Microtec AB’s shares (short name: AAC) commenced today on Nasdaq First North in Stockholm. ÅAC Microtec belongs to the Technology sector and is the 90th company to be admitted to trading on Nasdaq’s Nordic markets* in 2016. ÅAC Microtec provides high value space solutions and systems for commercial and governmental customers for a global market through offices in Sweden and United States as well as through distributors. Commercial customers include leading industrial companies using ÅAC devices in innovative products and applications. Examples of governmental customers; the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB), Swedish defence Material Administration (FMV), European Space Agency (ESA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). ÅAC Microtec has 25 employees and is headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden. “We are very excited that so many investors have shown interest in ÅAC” says Mikael Andersson, CEO of ÅAC Microtec AB. “The raised capital will mainly be used to expand our sales and marketing capabilities of our new satellite platform SIRIUS. We have an important role to play in the rapid growth of current and new markets where ÅAC Microtec will provide satellite solutions to allow millions of people to access data for improved decision-making and communication”. “We welcome ÅAC Microtec to Nasdaq First North, one of Europe’s most liquid growth markets,” said Adam Kostyál, senior vice president and head of European listings at Nasdaq. “ÅAC Microtec is a very exciting and innovative company and will make a compelling addition to a growing number of high-tech companies on First North”. ÅAC Microtec has appointed G&W Kapitalförvaltning AB as the Certified Adviser. *Main markets and Nasdaq First North at Nasdaq Copenhagen, Nasdaq Helsinki, Nasdaq Iceland and Nasdaq Stockholm. About Nasdaq First North Nasdaq First North is regulated as a multilateral trading facility, operated by the different exchanges within Nasdaq Nordic (Nasdaq First North Denmark is regulated as an alternative marketplace). It does not have the legal status as an EU-regulated market. Companies at Nasdaq First North are subject to the rules of Nasdaq First North and not the legal requirements for admission to trading on a regulated market. The risk in such an investment may be higher than on the main market. About Nasdaq Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a leading provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services across six continents. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today's global capital markets. As the creator of the world's first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 70 marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world's securities transactions. Nasdaq is home to more than 3,700 listed companies with a market value of over $9.3 trillion and nearly 18,000 corporate clients. To learn more, visit or Nasdaq Copenhagen, Nasdaq Helsinki, Nasdaq Iceland, Nasdaq Riga, Nasdaq Stockholm, Nasdaq Tallinn, Nasdaq Vilnius, Nasdaq Clearing and Nasdaq Broker Services are respectively brand names for the regulated markets of Nasdaq Copenhagen A/S, Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd., Nasdaq Iceland hf., Nasdaq Riga, AS, Nasdaq Stockholm AB, Nasdaq Tallinn AS, AB Nasdaq Vilnius, Nasdaq Clearing AB and Nasdaq Broker Services AB. Nasdaq Nordic represents the common offering by Nasdaq Copenhagen, Nasdaq Helsinki, Nasdaq Iceland and Nasdaq Stockholm. Nasdaq Baltic represents the common offering by Nasdaq Tallinn, Nasdaq Riga and Nasdaq Vilnius. The matters described herein contain forward-looking statements that are made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about Nasdaq and its products and offerings. We caution that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other factors beyond Nasdaq's control. These factors include, but are not limited to factors detailed in Nasdaq's annual report on Form 10-K, and periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to release any revisions to any forward-looking statements.

PubMed | LGC Genomics GmbH and SNSB
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

The German Barcoding initiatives BFB and GBOL have generated a reference library of more than 16,000 metazoan species, which is now ready for applications concerning next generation molecular biodiversity assessments. To streamline the barcoding process, we have developed a meta-barcoding pipeline: We pre-sorted a single malaise trap sample (obtained during one week in August 2014, southern Germany) into 12 arthropod orders and extracted DNA from pooled individuals of each order separately, in order to facilitate DNA extraction and avoid time consuming single specimen selection. Aliquots of each ordinal-level DNA extract were combined to roughly simulate a DNA extract from a non-sorted malaise sample. Each DNA extract was amplified using four primer sets targeting the CO1-5 fragment. The resulting PCR products (150-400bp) were sequenced separately on an Illumina Mi-SEQ platform, resulting in 1.5 million sequences and 5,500 clusters (coverage 10; CD-HIT-EST, 98%). Using a total of 120,000 DNA barcodes of identified, Central European Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, and Lepidoptera downloaded from BOLD we established a reference sequence database for a local CUSTOM BLAST. This allowed us to identify 529 Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) from our sequence clusters derived from pooled Malaise trap samples. We introduce a scoring matrix based on the sequence match percentages of each amplicon in order to gain plausibility for each detected BIN, leading to 390 high score BINs in the sorted samples; whereas 268 of these high score BINs (69%) could be identified in the combined sample. The results indicate that a time consuming presorting process will yield approximately 30% more high score BINs compared to the non-sorted sample in our case. These promising results indicate that a fast, efficient and reliable analysis of next generation data from malaise trap samples can be achieved using this pipeline.

PubMed | Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, SNSB and Smithonian Institution
Type: | Journal: PeerJ | Year: 2016

The deep sea comprises vast unexplored areas and is expected to conceal significant undescribed invertebrate species diversity. Deep waters may act as a refuge for many relictual groups, including elusive and enigmatic higher taxa, but the evolutionary pathways by which colonization of the deep sea has occurred have scarcely been investigated. Sister group relationships between shallow water and deep sea taxa have been documented in several invertebrate groups, but are unknown between amphibious/terrestrial and deep-sea species. Here we describe in full and interactive 3D morphoanatomical detail the new sea slug species

PubMed | Hebrew University of Jerusalem, SNSB, Museum Witt, Seilerbruecklstr. 23 and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2015

The type of Lasiocampa decolorata (KLUG, 1830), collected in 1820, was successfully barcoded to generate a 658bp COI-fragment after 194 years. The resulting molecular data allowed the description of two closely related species from Morocco: Lasiocampa hannae SPEIDEL, MOOSER & WITT sp. n. from the Anti Atlas and Lasiocampa editae SPEIDEL, MOOSER & WITT sp. n. from the High Atlas.

PubMed | Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, University of Federal Defense Munich, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, SNSB and Harvard University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular biology and evolution | Year: 2016

The Justinianic Plague, which started in the sixth century and lasted to the mid eighth century, is thought to be the first of three historically documented plague pandemics causing massive casualties. Historical accounts and molecular data suggest the bacterium Yersinia pestis as its etiological agent. Here we present a new high-coverage (17.9-fold) Y. pestis genome obtained from a sixth-century skeleton recovered from a southern German burial site close to Munich. The reconstructed genome enabled the detection of 30 unique substitutions as well as structural differences that have not been previously described. We report indels affecting a lacl family transcription regulator gene as well as nonsynonymous substitutions in the nrdE, fadJ, and pcp genes, that have been suggested as plague virulence determinants or have been shown to be upregulated in different models of plague infection. In addition, we identify 19 false positive substitutions in a previously published lower-coverage Y. pestis genome from another archaeological site of the same time period and geographical region that is otherwise genetically identical to the high-coverage genome sequence reported here, suggesting low-genetic diversity of the plague during the sixth century in rural southern Germany.

Aiglstorfer M.,University of Tübingen | Aiglstorfer M.,Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment | Heissig K.,SNSB | Bohme M.,University of Tübingen | Bohme M.,Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Year: 2014

Although quite rare in comparison to other large mammal groups, the Perissodactyla from Gratkorn show a diverse assemblage. Besides the three rhinocerotid species, Aceratherium sp., Brachypotherium brachypus (Lartet, 1837), and Lartetotherium sansaniense (Lartet, in Laurillard 1848), the families Chalicotheriidae and Equidae are represented by Chalicotherium goldfussi Kaup, 1833 and Anchitherium sp., respectively. The perissodactyl assemblage fits well in a late Middle Miocene (Sarmatian) riparian woodland with diverse habitats from active rivers to drier more open environments, as were present at the Gratkorn locality. © 2014 Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Foth C.,SNSB | Foth C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Rauhut O.W.M.,SNSB | Rauhut O.W.M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Several studies investigating macroevolutionary skull shape variation in fossil reptiles were published recently, often using skull reconstructions taken from the scientific literature. However, this approach could be potentially problematic, because skull reconstructions might differ notably due to incompleteness and/or deformation of the material. Furthermore, the influence of intraspecific variation has usually not been explored in these studies. Both points could influence the results of morphometric analyses by affecting the relative position of species to each other within the morphospace. The aim of the current study is to investigate the variation in morphometric data between skull reconstructions based on the same specimen, and to compare the results to shape variation occurring in skull reconstructions based on different specimens of the same species (intraspecific variation) and skulls of closely related species (intraspecific variation). Based on the current results, shape variation of different skull reconstructions based on the same specimen seems to have generally little influence on the results of a geometric morphometric analysis, although it cannot be excluded that some erroneous reconstructions of poorly preserved specimens might cause problems occasionally. In contrast, for different specimens of the same species the variation is generally higher than between different reconstructions based on the same specimen. For closely related species, at least with similar ecological preferences in respect to the dietary spectrum, the degree of interspecific variation can overlap with that of intraspecific variation, most probably due to similar biomechanical constraints. © 2013 Foth et al.

Cranston P.S.,Australian National University | Martin J.,University of Melbourne | Spies M.,SNSB
Zootaxa | Year: 2016

Polypedilum nubifer (Skuse, 1889), originally described from Australia, is an apparently widespread species of Chirono-midae (Diptera) that can attain nuisance densities in some eutrophic water bodies. Appropriate management depends upon the identity and ability to distinguish from potential cryptic taxa. A morphological study of larvae, pupae and adults of both sexes confirmed P. nubifer as widely distributed and frequently abundant, but also revealed two previously cryptic species of limited distribution in northern Australia. These species are described as new and illustrated in all stages here. Polypedilum quasinubifer Cranston sp. n. is described from north-west Queensland, Australia and also from Thailand and Singapore. Polypedilum paranubifer Cranston sp. n. is known only from retention ponds of a uranium mine in Northern Territory, Australia. Unusual morphological features of P. nubifer including alternate Lauterborn organs on the larval an-tenna, cephalic tubules on the pupa and frontal tubercles on the adult head are present in both new species as well. Newly slide-mounted types of Polypedilum pelostolum Kieffer, 1912 (lectotype designated here) confirm synonymy to Chirono-mus nubifer Skuse, 1889, examined also as newly-slide mounted types. Reviewed plus new evidence does not support recognition of Tripedilum Kieffer, 1921 as a separate taxon; therefore, Tripedilum is returned to junior synonymy with Polypedilum s. str. © Copyright 2016 Magnolia Press.

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