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We describe the design and deployment of GREENBURST, a commensal Fast Radio Burst (FRB) search system at the Green Bank Telescope. GREENBURST uses the dedicated L-band receiver tap to search over the 960–1 920 MHz frequency range for pulses with dispersion measures out to
. Due to its unique design, GREENBURST is capable of conducting searches for FRBs when the L-band receiver is not being used for scheduled observing. This makes it a sensitive single pixel detector capable of reaching deeper in the radio sky. While single pulses from Galactic pulsars and rotating radio transients will be detectable in our observations, and will form part of the database we archive, the primary goal is to detect and study FRBs. Based on recent determinations of the all-sky rate, we predict that the system will detect approximately one FRB for every 2–3 months of continuous operation. The high sensitivity of GREENBURST means that it will also be able to probe the slope of the FRB fluence distribution, which is currently uncertain in this observing band.
In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at
has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.
To propose a new classification of inner-ear anomalies that is more clinically oriented and surgically relevant: the SMS (Sawai Man Singh) classification of cochleovestibular malformations.
A retrospective multicentric study was conducted of 436 cochlear implantations carried out in 3 Indian tertiary care institutes. Patients with anomalous anatomy were included and classified, as per the new SMS classification, into cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, based on cochlear morphology, modiolus and lamina cribrosa.
There were 19, 23, 8 and 4 patients with cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, respectively. Two-year post-operative Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale scores were statistically analysed.
This new classification for inner-ear anomalies is a simpler, more practical, outcome-oriented classification that can be used to better plan the surgery. These merits make it a more uniform classification for recording results.
Recent work has implicated one type of horizontal strabismus (exotropia) as a risk factor for schizophrenia. This new insight raises questions about a potential common developmental origin of the two diseases. Seasonality of births is well established for schizophrenia. Seasonal factors such as light exposure affect eye growth and can cause vision abnormalities, but little is known about seasonality of births in strabismus. We examined birth seasonality in people with horizontal strabismus in a retrospective study in Washoe County, Nevada, and re-examined similar previously obtained data from Osaka, Japan. We then compared seasonal patterns of births between strabismus, refractive error, schizophrenia and congenital toxoplasmosis. Patients with esotropia had a significant seasonality of births, with a deficit in March, then increasing to an excess in September, while patients with exotropia had a distinctly different pattern, with an excess of births in July, gradually decreasing to a deficit in November. These seasonalities were statistically significant with either χ2 or Kolmogorov–Smirnov-type statistics. The birth seasonality of esotropia resembled that for hyperopia, with an increase in amplitude, while the seasonality for myopia involved a phase-shift. There was no correlation between seasonality of births between strabismus and congenital toxoplasmosis. The pattern of an excess of summer births for people with exotropia was remarkably similar to the well-established birth seasonality of one schizophrenia subtype, the deficit syndrome, but not schizophrenia as a whole. This suggests a testable hypothesis: that exotropia may be a risk factor primarily for the deficit type of schizophrenia.
A nonparaxial investigation for propagation characteristics of q-Gaussian laser beam in rippled density plasma is studied by considering the relativistic nonlinearity. The field distribution in the medium is expressed in terms of q parameter and beam width parameter f. Nonlinear parabolic partial differential equation governing the evolution of complex envelope in slowly varying approximation is solved in a modulated density profile. Analytical theory of self-focusing including higher order terms in the expansion of dielectric function up to fourth order is developed and the variation of beam width parameter f with the distance of propagation for different parameters is studied. One may note that increased value of density ripple, laser intensity and depth of modulation, increases self-focusing whereas a lower value of q shows strong self-focusing. A comparative study between paraxial and nonparaxial study has also conducted. This study is useful for research in high energy density physics.
Recent observations demonstrate a significant ameliorative effect of add-on transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) in schizophrenia. Of the many SNPs, NRG1 rs35753505 and catechol-o-methyl transferase (COMT) rs4680 polymorphisms have shown to have a strong association with neuroplasticity effect in schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia patients (n=32) with treatment resistant auditory hallucinations were administered with an add-on tDCS. The COMT (rs4680) and NRG1 (rs35753505) genotypes were determined. The COMT genotypes were categorised into Val group (GG; n=15) and Met group (GG/AG; n=17) and NRG1 genotypes were categorised into AA group (n=12) and AG/GG group (n=20).
The reduction in auditory hallucination sub-scale score was significantly affected by COMT-GG genotype [Time×COMT interaction: F(1,28)=10.55, p=0.003, ɳ2=0.27]. Further, COMT-GG effect was epistatically influenced by the co-occurrence of NRG1-AA genotype [Time×COMT×NRG1 interaction: F(1,28)=8.09, p=0.008, ɳ2=0.22]. Irrespective of genotype, females showed better tDCS response than males [Time×Sex interaction: F(1,21)=4.67, p=0.04, ɳ2=0.18].
COMT-GG and NRG1-AA genotypes aid the tDCS-induced improvement in AVHs in schizophrenia patients. Our preliminary observations need replication and further systematic research to understand the neuroplastic gene determinants that modulate the effect of tDCS.
Dysphagia is a relatively common symptom following laryngectomy. An anterior pharyngeal diverticulum is a rare cause of post-laryngectomy dysphagia. However, it is often an incidental finding on rigid telescopic examination.
Methods and results:
This article describes two patients with a symptomatic anterior pharyngeal diverticulum. They were treated by transoral micro-endoscopic potassium titanyl phosphate 532 nm laser assisted resection. Both patients could take feeds orally after the procedure without any difficulty. One patient died one and a half years after the procedure because of secondary lung cancer. The other patient died after three years as a result of regional recurrence. The patients were able to swallow during their survival period post treatment.
Laser-assisted micro-endoscopic resection is a relatively safe, quick and effective procedure for the management of anterior pharyngeal diverticulum.
A s-polarized short-pulse laser impinged obliquely on an overdense plasma slab is shown to produce very significant second harmonic in the direction of specular reflection and transmission. The laser induces a non-linear current on electrons, which is curl free. However, with sharp plasma boundary, it gives rise to electromagnetic radiation at the second harmonic. Our formalism includes multiple reflections of the incident and second-harmonic waves from both the front and rear surfaces. The present work includes finiteness of the slab. The normalized second-harmonic amplitude acquires a sharp peak at some specific angle of incidence for a particular set of parameters dependent on thickness of the slab and plasma density.
Soybean is a leading oilseed crop in India, which contains about 40% of protein and 20% of oil. Core collection will accelerate the management and utilization of soybean genetic resources in breeding programmes. In the present study, eight agromorphological traits of 3443 soybean germplasm were analysed for the development of core collection using the principal component score (PCS) strategy and the power core method. The PCS strategy yielded core collection (CC1) of 576 accessions, which accounted for 16.72% of the entire collection (EC). The analysis based on the power core programme resulted in CC2 of 402 accessions, which accounted for 11.67% of the EC. Statistical analysis showed similar trends for the mean and range estimated in both core collections and EC. In addition, the variance, standard deviation and coefficient of variance were in general higher in core collections than in the EC. The correlations observed in the EC in general were preserved in core collections. A total of 311 and 137 unique accessions were found in CC1 and CC2 in addition to 265 accessions that were found to be common in both core collections. These 265 common accessions were the most diverse core sets, which accounted for 7.64% of the EC. We proposed to constitute an integrated core collection (ICC) by integrating both common and unique accessions. The ICC comprised 713 accessions, which accounted for about 20.62% of the EC. Statistical analysis indicated that the ICC captured maximum variation than CC1 and CC2. Therefore, the ICC can be extensively evaluated for a large number of economically important traits for the identification of desirable genotypes and for the development of mini core collection in soybean.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive and well-tolerated brain stimulation technique with promising efficacy as an add-on treatment for schizophrenia and for several other psychiatric disorders. tDCS modulates neuroplasticity; psychiatric disorders are established to be associated with neuroplasticity abnormalities. This review presents the summary of research on potential genetic basis of neuroplasticity-modulation mechanism underlying tDCS and its implications for treating various psychiatric disorders.
A systematic review highlighting the genes involved in neuroplasticity and their role in psychiatric disorders was carried out. The focus was on the established genetic findings of tDCS response relationship with BDNF and COMT gene polymorphisms.
Synthesis of these preliminary observations suggests the potential influence of neuroplastic genes on tDCS treatment response. These include several animal models, pharmacological studies, mentally ill and healthy human subject trials.
Taking into account the rapidly unfolding understanding of tDCS and the role of synaptic plasticity disturbances in neuropsychiatric disorders, in-depth evaluation of the mechanism of action pertinent to neuroplasticity modulation with tDCS needs further systematic research. Genes such as NRG1, DISC1, as well as those linked with the glutamatergic receptor in the context of their direct role in the modulation of neuronal signalling related to neuroplasticity aberrations, are leading candidates for future research in this area. Such research studies might potentially unravel observations that might have potential translational implications in psychiatry.
This paper details the development of a technique to improve the minority carrier lifetime of 4H-SiC thick (≥ 100 μm) n-type epitaxial layers through multiple thermal oxidations. A steady improvement in lifetime is seen with each oxidation step, improving from a starting ambipolar carrier lifetime of 1.09 µs to 11.2 µs after 4 oxidation steps and a high-temperature anneal. This multiple-oxidation lifetime enhancement technique is compared to a single high-temperature oxidation step, and a carbon implantation followed by a high-temperature anneal, which are traditional ways to achieve high ambipolar lifetime in 4H-SiC n-type epilayers. The multiple oxidation treatment resulted in a high minimum carrier lifetime of 6 µs, compared to < 2 µs for other treatments. The implications of lifetime enhancement to high-voltage/high-current 4H-SiC power devices are also discussed.
Mid-Infrared optofluidics based silicon sensor platforms are demonstrated. Silicon is a great candidate for mid-infrared optofluidics for the following reasons: (1) Silicon has a broad transmission window up to 7 um (2) Silicon offers CMOS compatible and monolithic fabrication (3) Silicon has high chemical resistance that can withstand high temperature, acid/base solution and organic solvents. (4) Silicon is a non-toxic environmentally friendly material. The fabricated mid-infrared optofluidic sensor can replace bulky instruments, such as FTIR, with a lab-on-a-chip system, while achieving much higher sensitivity.
One dimensional photonic crystal 1D-PhC silicon waveguide resonators with quality factor, Q∼105, are demonstrated at mid-infrared wavelengths between 2 um to 5 um. Silicon has several advantages for mid-infrared applications including its broad mid-infrared transmission spectrum which extends out to 9 um, CMOS compatible fabrication processing, and ease of electronic-photonic integration. The proposed resonators are composed of photonic crystal cavities with optimized (i) lattice parameter a, (ii) cavity width w and (iii) hole radius r. Finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations are used to adjust these three parameters, a, w, and r, to select a resonant frequency of interest within the mid-infrared spectral range. Due to the high quality factor Q, these PhC silicon waveguide resonators have much higher sensitivity as chemical sensors and have the potential to replace bulky instruments such as an FTIR.
Two dimensional Er3+-TeO2 thin film photonics crystals (PhCs) are fabricated. These PhCs demonstrate broadband enhancement of PL emission at near Infrared (NIR). The PhC structures are written by dual beam focused ion beam (FIB). Highly uniformed patterns with smooth surfaces are observed. A pattern resolution better than hundred nanometers is achieved. PhCs arrays with photonic lattice constants from 350 nm to 1700 nm are examined in order to optimize the PL extraction efficiency. Strong photoluminescence around 1530 nm is observed by 488-532 nm lasers pumping. A confocal microscopy with spectrometer is used to capture the broadband PL signals from individual PhC array.
The emission enhancement factor and spectral dependent extraction ratio are analyzed to find the interaction between PL lightwave and PhC structures. By optimize the PhC structures, 1500 um-1560 um broadband PL is successfully converted between the PL emission layer and the external cavity. A 60 % enhancement of surface extraction efficiency is achieved when PhC with periodicity a=800 nm is applied. When photonic lattice constants a are smaller than the critical periodicity 600 nm, the PL light becomes confined inside the thin film layer. Simulation is also performed by two dimensional finite difference time domain (FDTD) calculation in order to explain the experimental observed anisotropic PL enhancements.
The broadband PL enhancement enables Er3+-TeO2 PhCs thin film as a potential light source for three dimensional integrated photonic circuits.
Background: Yoga therapy (YT) improves cognitive function in healthy individuals, but its impact on cognitive function among persons with schizophrenia (SZ) has not been investigated.
Objective: To evaluate the adjunctive YT for cognitive domains impaired in SZ.
Methods: Patients with SZ received YT or treatment as usual (TAU; n = 65, n = 23, respectively). Accuracy and speed for seven cognitive domains were assessed using a computerised neurocognitive battery (CNB), thus minimising observer bias. Separately, YT was evaluated among patients with bipolar I disorder (n = 40), major depressive disorder (n = 37) and cardiology outpatients (n = 68). All patients also received routine pharmacotherapy. Patients were not randomised to YT or TAU.
Results: In comparison with the SZ/TAU group, the SZ/YT group showed significantly greater improvement with regard to measures of attention following corrections for multiple comparisons; the changes were more prominent among the men. In the other diagnostic groups, differing patterns of improvements were noted with small-to-medium effect sizes.
Conclusions: Our initial analyses suggest nominally significant improvement in cognitive function in SZ with adjunctive therapies such as YT. The magnitude of the change varies by cognitive domain and may also vary by diagnostic group.
In the present work an alternative nanoparticle synthesis technique was developed, where the nanoparticles nucleate and grow inside the pores of the nanostructured porous silicon (NPS). Employing green method for the nanoparticle synthesis, yeast extract is used as a reducing agent. The porous layers were prepared by electrochemical etching of Boron-doped (100) Si substrate (0.01-0.02Ohm·cm). The NPS support was immersed into the reactive colloid for different times, then withdrawn, cleaned and dried. SEM and XRD measurements were carried out to characterize the NPS substrate and the immobilized catalyst nanoparticles. EDX mapping shows a homogeneous deposition of nanoparticles on the porous support. The average particle size, calculated from XRD diffractograms (using the Scherrer`s formula), was found between 6 to 10 nm. This method provides a good incorporation and distribution of nanoparticles, also an alternative environment-friendly technique to develop catalytic devices fabricated on silicon substrate with an additional advantage of being integrated with the silicon based microelectronic circuits.