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See detailThe path towards high-contrast imaging with the VLTI: the Hi-5 project
Defrere, Denis ULiege; Absil, Olivier ULiege; Berger, J.-P. et al

in Experimental Astronomy: Astrophysical Instrumentation and Methods (in press), 1801

The development of high-contrast capabilities has long been recognized as one of the top priorities for the VLTI. As of today, the VLTI routinely achieves contrasts of a few 10$^{-3}$ in the near-infrared ... [more ▼]

The development of high-contrast capabilities has long been recognized as one of the top priorities for the VLTI. As of today, the VLTI routinely achieves contrasts of a few 10$^{-3}$ in the near-infrared with PIONIER (H band) and GRAVITY (K band). Nulling interferometers in the northern hemisphere and non-redundant aperture masking experiments have, however, demonstrated that contrasts of at least a few 10$^{-4}$ are within reach using specific beam combination and data acquisition techniques. In this paper, we explore the possibility to reach similar or higher contrasts on the VLTI. After reviewing the state-of-the-art in high-contrast infrared interferometry, we discuss key features that made the success of other high-contrast interferometric instruments (e.g., integrated optics, nulling, closure phase, and statistical data reduction) and address possible avenues to improve the contrast of the VLTI by at least one order of magnitude. In particular, we discuss the possibility to use integrated optics, proven in the near-infrared, in the thermal near-infrared (L and M bands, 3-5 $\mu$m), a sweet spot to image and characterize young extra-solar planetary systems. Finally, we address the science cases of a high-contrast VLTI imaging instrument and focus particularly on exoplanet science (young exoplanets, planet formation, and exozodiacal disks), stellar physics (fundamental parameters and multiplicity), and extragalactic astrophysics (active galactic nuclei and fundamental constants). Synergies and scientific preparation for other potential future instruments such as the Planet Formation Imager are also briefly discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailHuman brain patterns underlying vigilant attention: impact of sleep debt, circadian phase and attentional engagement
Maire, Micheline; Reichert, Carolin Franziska; Gabel, Virginie et al

in Scientific Reports (2018), 8(1), 970

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See detailThe Ionospheric Connection Explorer Mission: Mission Goals and Design
Immel, T. J.; England, S. L.; Mende, S. B. et al

in Space Science Reviews (2018), 214(13),

The Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, is a new NASA Explorer mission that will explore the boundary between Earth and space to understand the physical connection between our world and our space ... [more ▼]

The Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, is a new NASA Explorer mission that will explore the boundary between Earth and space to understand the physical connection between our world and our space environment. This connection is made in the ionosphere, which has long been known to exhibit variability associated with the sun and solar wind. However, it has been recognized in the 21st century that equally significant changes in ionospheric conditions are apparently associated with energy and momentum propagating upward from our own atmosphere. ICON's goal is to weigh the competing impacts of these two drivers as they influence our space environment. Here we describe the specific science objectives that address this goal, as well as the means by which they will be achieved. The instruments selected, the overall performance requirements of the science payload and the operational requirements are also described. ICON's development began in 2013 and the mission is on track for launch in 2018. ICON is developed and managed by the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, with key contributions from several partner institutions. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of procalcitonin-guided antibiotic treatment on mortality in acute respiratory infections: a patient level meta-analysis
Schuetz, Philipp; Wirz, Yannick; Sager, Ramon et al

in Lancet Infectious Diseases (2018), 18(1), 95-107

Background In February, 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the blood infection marker procalcitonin for guiding antibiotic therapy in patients with acute respiratory infections. This meta ... [more ▼]

Background In February, 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the blood infection marker procalcitonin for guiding antibiotic therapy in patients with acute respiratory infections. This meta-analysis of patient data from 26 randomised controlled trials was designed to assess safety of procalcitonin-guided treatment in patients with acute respiratory infections from different clinical settings. Methods Based on a prespecified Cochrane protocol, we did a systematic literature search on the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, and Embase, and pooled individual patient data from trials in which patients with respiratory infections were randomly assigned to receive antibiotics based on procalcitonin concentrations (procalcitonin-guided group) or control. The coprimary endpoints were 30-day mortality and setting-specific treatment failure. Secondary endpoints were antibiotic use, length of stay, and antibiotic side-effects. Findings We identified 990 records from the literature search, of which 71 articles were assessed for eligibility after exclusion of 919 records. We collected data on 6708 patients from 26 eligible trials in 12 countries. Mortality at 30 days was significantly lower in procalcitonin-guided patients than in control patients (286 [9%] deaths in 3336 procalcitonin-guided patients vs 336 [10%] in 3372 controls; adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0·83 [95% CI 0·70 to 0·99], p=0·037). This mortality benefit was similar across subgroups by setting and type of infection (pinteractions>0·05), although mortality was very low in primary care and in patients with acute bronchitis. Procalcitonin guidance was also associated with a 2·4-day reduction in antibiotic exposure (5·7 vs 8·1 days [95% CI −2·71 to −2·15], p<0·0001) and a reduction in antibiotic-related side-effects (16% vs 22%, adjusted OR 0·68 [95% CI 0·57 to 0·82], p<0·0001). Interpretation Use of procalcitonin to guide antibiotic treatment in patients with acute respiratory infections reduces antibiotic exposure and side-effects, and improves survival. Widespread implementation of procalcitonin protocols in patients with acute respiratory infections thus has the potential to improve antibiotic management with positive effects on clinical outcomes and on the current threat of increasing antibiotic multiresistance. Funding National Institute for Health Research. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd [less ▲]

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See detailA randomized phase II study evaluating different maintenance schedules of nab-Paclitaxel in the first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer: final results of the IBCSG 42-12/BIG 2-12 SNAP trial.
Gennari, A.; Sun, Z.; Hasler-Strub, U. et al

in Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology (2017)

Background: The phase II SNAP trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy of alternative chemotherapy schedules for prolonged administration in HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC), after a short ... [more ▼]

Background: The phase II SNAP trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy of alternative chemotherapy schedules for prolonged administration in HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC), after a short induction at conventional doses. Methods: Between April 2013 and August 2015, 258 women untreated with chemotherapy for MBC were randomly assigned to receive three different maintenance chemotherapy schedules after three cycles of identical induction chemotherapy: Arm A, nab-Paclitaxel 150 mg/m2 days 1,15 Q28; Arm B, nab-Paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 days 1,8,15 Q28; Arm C, nab-Paclitaxel 75 mg/m2 days 1,8,15,22 Q28. Induction was three cycles nab-Paclitaxel 150/125 mg/m2, days 1,8,15 Q28. The primary objective was to evaluate the efficacy of each maintenance schedule, in terms of progression-free survival (PFS), as compared to the historical reference of 7-month median PFS reported by previous studies with first-line docetaxel. One-sample, one-sided log-rank tests were utilized. Quality-of-life evaluation was performed, global indicator for physical well-being was defined as the primary endpoint; completion rates of quality-of-life forms were >90%. Results: 255 patients were evaluable for the primary endpoint. After 18.2 months median follow-up, 182 PFS events were observed. Median PFS was 7.9 months (90%CI 6.8-8.4) in Arm A, 9.0 months (90%CI 8.1-10.9) in Arm B and 8.5 months (90%CI 6.7-9.5) in Arm C. PFS in Arm B was significantly longer than the historical reference of first-line docetaxel (P=0.03). Grade>/=2 sensory neuropathy was reported in 37.9%, 36.1% and 31.2% of patients in Arm A, Arm B and Arm C, respectively (Grade>/=3 in 9.1%, 5.6% and 6.6% of patients, respectively). Noteworthy, the quality-of-life scores for sensory neuropathy did not worsen with prolonged nab-Paclitaxel administration in any of the maintenance arms. Conclusion: The SNAP trial demonstrated that alternative nab-Paclitaxel maintenance schedules with reduced dosages after a short induction at conventional doses are feasible and active in the first-line treatment of MBC. Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01746225. [less ▲]

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See detailNEAR: Low-mass Planets in α Cen with VISIR
Kasper, M.; Arsenault, R.; Käufl, H.-U. et al

in The Messenger (2017), 169

ESO, in collaboration with the Breakthrough Initiatives, is working to modify the Very Large Telescope mid-IR imager (VISIR) to greatly enhance its ability to search for potentially habitable planets ... [more ▼]

ESO, in collaboration with the Breakthrough Initiatives, is working to modify the Very Large Telescope mid-IR imager (VISIR) to greatly enhance its ability to search for potentially habitable planets around both components of the binary Alpha Centauri, part of the closest stellar system to the Earth. Much of the funding for the NEAR (New Earths in the Alpha Cen Region) project is provided by the Breakthrough Initiatives, and ESO mostly provides staff and observing time. The concept combines adaptive optics using the deformable secondary mirror at Unit Telescope 4, a new annular groove phase mask (AGPM) coronagraph optimised for the most sensitive spectral bandpass in the N-band, and a novel internal chopper system for noise filtering based on a concept for longer wavelengths invented by the microwave pioneer Robert Dicke. The NEAR experiment is relevant to the mid-infrared METIS instrument on the Extremely Large Telescope, as the knowledge gained and proof of concept will be transferable. [less ▲]

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See detailCognitive brain responses during circadian wake-promotion: evidence for sleep- pressure-dependent hypothalamic activations
Reichert, Carolin Franziska; Maire, Micheline; Gabel, Virginie et al

in Scientific Reports (2017), 7(1),

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See detailGaia Data Release 1. Open cluster astrometry: performance, limitations, and future prospects
Gaia Collaboration; van Leeuwen, F.; Vallenari, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 601

Context. The first Gaia Data Release contains the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution (TGAS). This is a subset of about 2 million stars for which, besides the position and photometry, the proper motion and ... [more ▼]

Context. The first Gaia Data Release contains the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution (TGAS). This is a subset of about 2 million stars for which, besides the position and photometry, the proper motion and parallax are calculated using Hipparcos and Tycho-2 positions in 1991.25 as prior information. <BR /> Aims: We investigate the scientific potential and limitations of the TGAS component by means of the astrometric data for open clusters. <BR /> Methods: Mean cluster parallax and proper motion values are derived taking into account the error correlations within the astrometric solutions for individual stars, an estimate of the internal velocity dispersion in the cluster, and, where relevant, the effects of the depth of the cluster along the line of sight. Internal consistency of the TGAS data is assessed. <BR /> Results: Values given for standard uncertainties are still inaccurate and may lead to unrealistic unit-weight standard deviations of least squares solutions for cluster parameters. Reconstructed mean cluster parallax and proper motion values are generally in very good agreement with earlier Hipparcos-based determination, although the Gaia mean parallax for the Pleiades is a significant exception. We have no current explanation for that discrepancy. Most clusters are observed to extend to nearly 15 pc from the cluster centre, and it will be up to future Gaia releases to establish whether those potential cluster-member stars are still dynamically bound to the clusters. <BR /> Conclusions: The Gaia DR1 provides the means to examine open clusters far beyond their more easily visible cores, and can provide membership assessments based on proper motions and parallaxes. A combined HR diagram shows the same features as observed before using the Hipparcos data, with clearly increased luminosities for older A and F dwarfs. Tables D.1 to D.19 are also available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/601/A19">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/601/A19</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko observation campaign in support of the Rosetta mission
Snodgrass, C.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Aceituno, F. et al

in Philosophical Transactions : Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences (2017), 375

We present a summary of the campaign of remote observations that supported the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. Telescopes across the globe (and in space) followed comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko ... [more ▼]

We present a summary of the campaign of remote observations that supported the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. Telescopes across the globe (and in space) followed comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from before Rosetta's arrival until nearly the end of the mission in September 2016. These provided essential data for mission planning, large-scale context information for the coma and tails beyond the spacecraft and a way to directly compare 67P with other comets. The observations revealed 67P to be a relatively `well-behaved' comet, typical of Jupiter family comets and with activity patterns that repeat from orbit to orbit. Comparison between this large collection of telescopic observations and the in situ results from Rosetta will allow us to better understand comet coma chemistry and structure. This work is just beginning as the mission ends-in this paper, we present a summary of the ground-based observations and early results, and point to many questions that will be addressed in future studies. This article is part of the themed issue 'Cometary science after Rosetta'. [less ▲]

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See detailOrbital alignment and star-spot properties in the WASP-52 planetary system
Mancini, L.; Southworth, J.; Raia, G. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 465

We report 13 high-precision light curves of eight transits of the exoplanet WASP-52 b, obtained by using four medium-class telescopes, through different filters, and adopting the defocussing technique ... [more ▼]

We report 13 high-precision light curves of eight transits of the exoplanet WASP-52 b, obtained by using four medium-class telescopes, through different filters, and adopting the defocussing technique. One transit was recorded simultaneously from two different observatories and another one from the same site but with two different instruments, including a multiband camera. Anomalies were clearly detected in five light curves and modelled as star-spots occulted by the planet during the transit events. We fitted the clean light curves with the JKTEBOP code, and those with the anomalies with the PRISM+GEMC codes in order to simultaneously model the photometric parameters of the transits and the position, size and contrast of each star-spot. We used these new light curves and some from the literature to revise the physical properties of the WASP-52 system. Star-spots with similar characteristics were detected in four transits over a period of 43 d. In the hypothesis that we are dealing with the same star-spot, periodically occulted by the transiting planet, we estimated the projected orbital obliquity of WASP-52 b to be λ = 3.8° ± 8.4°. We also determined the true orbital obliquity, ψ = 20° ± 50°, which is, although very uncertain, the first measurement of ψ purely from star-spot crossings. We finally assembled an optical transmission spectrum of the planet and searched for variations of its radius as a function of wavelength. Our analysis suggests a flat transmission spectrum within the experimental uncertainties. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of a patient-reported outcome measure for upper limb function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: DMD Upper Limb PROM.
Klingels, K.; Mayhew, A. G.; Mazzone, E. S. et al

in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (2017), 59(2), 224-231

AIM: To develop a patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) assessing upper limb function related to activities of daily living (ADL) that cannot be observed in a clinical setting, specifically for patients ... [more ▼]

AIM: To develop a patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) assessing upper limb function related to activities of daily living (ADL) that cannot be observed in a clinical setting, specifically for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) across a wide age range, applicable in the different stages of the disease. METHOD: The developmental process was based on US Food and Drug Administration guidelines. This included item generation from a systematic review of existing tools and expert opinion on task difficulty and relevance, involving individuals with DMD. Cultural aspects affecting ADL were taken into consideration to make this tool applicable to the broad DMD community. Items were selected in relation to a conceptual framework reflecting disease progression covering the full range of upper limb function across different ADL domains. RESULTS: After pilot testing and iterative Rasch analyses, redundant or clinically irrelevant items were removed. The final questionnaire consists of 32 items covering four domains of ADL (food, self-care, household and environment, leisure and communication). Test-retest reliability was excellent. INTERPRETATION: A DMD-specific upper limb PROM was developed on the basis of clinical relevance and psychometric robustness. Its main purpose is to document the patient self-reported natural history of DMD and assess the efficacy of interventions. [less ▲]

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See detailStudy of the variability of Nova V5668 Sgr, based on high-resolution spectroscopic monitoring
Jack, D.; Robles Pérez, J. De J.; De Gennaro Aquino, I. et al

in Astronomische Nachrichten (2017), 338

We present results of our dense spectroscopic monitoring of Nova V5668 Sgr. Starting on March 19 in 2015, only a few days after discovery, we have obtained a series of spectra with the TIGRE telescope and ... [more ▼]

We present results of our dense spectroscopic monitoring of Nova V5668 Sgr. Starting on March 19 in 2015, only a few days after discovery, we have obtained a series of spectra with the TIGRE telescope and its HEROS echelle spectrograph which offers a resolution of R = 20,000 and covers the optical wavelength range from 3800 to 8800 {\AA}. We performed a line identification of the discernible features for four spectra which are representative for the respective phases in the light curve evolution of that nova. By simultaneously analysing the variations in the visual light curve and the corresponding spectra of Nova V5668 Sgr, we found that during the declining phases of the nova the absorption features in all hydrogen and many other lines had shifted to higher expansion velocities of -2000 km s^-1. Conversely, during the rise towards the following maximum, these observed absorption features had returned to lower expansion velocities.We found that the absorption features of some Fe II lines displayed the same behaviour, but in addition disappeared for a few days during some declining phases. Features of several N I lines also disappeared while new N II lines appeared in emission for a few days during some of the declining phases of the light curve of Nova V5668 Sgr. The shape of the emission features is changing during the evolution and shows a clear double peak structure after the deep minimum. [less ▲]

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See detailEuropean consensus-based (S2k) Guideline on the Management of Herpes Zoster - guided by the European Dermatology Forum (EDF) in cooperation with the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV), Part 2: Treatment
WERNER R.N.; NIKKELS, Arjen ULiege; MARINOVIC B. et al

in Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology (2017)

Herpes zoster (HZ, shingles) is a frequent medical condition which may severely impact the quality of life of affected patients. Different therapeutic approaches to treat acute HZ are available. The aim ... [more ▼]

Herpes zoster (HZ, shingles) is a frequent medical condition which may severely impact the quality of life of affected patients. Different therapeutic approaches to treat acute HZ are available. The aim of this European project was the elaboration of a consensus-based guideline on the management of patients who present with HZ, considering different patient populations and different localizations. This interdisciplinary guideline aims at an improvement of the outcomes of the acute HZ management concerning disease duration, acute pain and quality of life of the affected patients and at a reduction in the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) and other complications. The guideline development followed a structured and pre-defined process, considering the quality criteria for guidelines development as suggested by the AGREE II instrument. The steering group was responsible for the planning and the organization of the guideline development process (Division of Evidence-Based Medicine, dEBM). The expert panel was nominated by virtue of clinical expertise and/or scientific experience and included experts from the fields of dermatology, virology/infectiology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, neurology and anaesthesiology. Recommendations for clinical practice were formally consented during the consensus conference, explicitly considering different relevant aspects. The guideline was approved by the commissioning societies after an extensive internal and external review process. In this second part of the guideline, therapeutic interventions have been evaluated. The expert panel formally consented recommendations for the treatment of patients with HZ (antiviral medication, pain management, local therapy), considering various clinical situations. Users of the guideline must carefully check whether the recommendations are appropriate for the context of intended application. In the setting of an international guideline, it is generally important to consider different national approaches and legal circumstances with regard to the regulatory approval, availability and reimbursement of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. [less ▲]

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See detailEuropean consensus-based (S2k) Guideline on the Management of Herpes Zoster - guided by the European Dermatology Forum (EDF) in cooperation with the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV), Part 1: Diagnosis
WERNER R. N.; NIKKELS, Arjen ULiege; MARINOVIC B. et al

in Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology (2017), 31

Herpes zoster (HZ, shingles) is a frequent medical condition which may severely impact the quality of life of affected patients. Different therapeutic approaches to treat acute HZ are available. The aim ... [more ▼]

Herpes zoster (HZ, shingles) is a frequent medical condition which may severely impact the quality of life of affected patients. Different therapeutic approaches to treat acute HZ are available. The aim of this European project was the elaboration of a consensus-based guideline on the management of patients who present with HZ, considering different patient populations and different localizations. This interdisciplinary guideline aims at an improvement of the outcomes of the acute HZ management concerning disease duration, acute pain and quality of life of the affected patients and at a reduction of the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia and other complications. The guideline development followed a structured and predefined process, considering the quality criteria for guidelines development as suggested by the AGREE II instrument. The steering group was responsible for the planning and the organization of the guideline development process (Division of Evidence based Medicine, dEBM). The expert panel was nominated by virtue of clinical expertise and/or scientific experience and included experts from the fields of dermatology, virology/infectiology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, neurology and anaesthesiology. Recommendations for clinical practice were formally consented during the consensus conference, explicitly considering different relevant aspects. The guideline was approved by the commissioning societies after an extensive internal and external review process. In this first part of the guideline, diagnostic means have been evaluated. The expert panel formally consented recommendations for the management of patients with (suspected) HZ, referring to the assessment of HZ patients, considering various specific clinical situations. Users of the guideline must carefully check whether the recommendations are appropriate for the context of intended application. In the setting of an international guideline, it is generally important to consider different national approaches and legal circumstances with regard to the regulatory approval, availability and reimbursement of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. [less ▲]

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See detailNew Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC), Newsletter 35. New minerals and nomenclature modifications approved in 2016 and 2017
Halenius, U; Hatert, Frédéric ULiege; Pasero, M et al

in European Journal of Mineralogy (2017), 29

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See detailNew Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC), Newsletter 37. New minerals and nomenclature modifications approved in 2017.
Halenius, U; Hatert, Frédéric ULiege; Pasero, M et al

in Mineralogical Magazine (2017), 81(3), 732-742

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See detailNew Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC), Newsletter 38. New minerals and nomenclature modifications approved in 2017.
Halenius, U; Hatert, Frédéric ULiege; Pasero, M et al

in European Journal of Mineralogy (2017), 29

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See detailNew Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC), Newsletter 35. New minerals and nomenclature modifications approved in 2016 and 2017
Halenius, U; Hatert, Frédéric ULiege; Pasero, M et al

in Mineralogical Magazine (2017), 81

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