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The origin of homochirality is one of the longest-standing puzzles in understanding the origins of life. In the laboratory, illumination by circularly polarised UV radiation (asymmetric photolysis) is an effective means of producing an enantiomeric excess in an otherwise racemic mix of chiral molecules. In the natural world, however, it has proven difficult to identify a suitable source of Circularly Polarised Light (CPL). Recent observations of L-excesses of 2–9% for a number of α-methyl amino acids in the Murchison meteorite and our discovery of large degrees of CPL in some star forming regions has added weight to the suggestion that the origin of homochirality is extra-terrestrial. Here we report initial modelling of the production of that CPL.
The circumstellar environment within 10 AU of young stars are of particular interest for star and planet formation. Unfortunately, present imaging facilities such as the Hubble Space Telescope or adaptive optics on 10-m telescopes cannot resolve this region. We have proved that “spectro-astrometry” is a powerful technique for discovering pre-main-sequence binaries, determining kinematics of outflows and providing evidence for gaps in circumstellar disks — all down to AU scales. In this paper, we summarise our progress to date.
We present a study of the velocity profiles of the v=l-0 S(1) transition of molecular hydrogen (H2) towards the star forming region of OMC-1. A three dimensional data cube is presented which displays the spatial distribution as well as the velocity structure of the H2 emission. A brief description of the data acquisition, reduction and analysis is given.
The three dimensional aspect of the data has allowed us to re-examine the kinematic nature of the region. The results reveal a number of isolated sources which posses asymmetric velocity profiles which can be modelled by bow C-shocks. The implication is that these sources are compact knots of material which were involved in some explosive event, possibly associated with the luminous source IRc2, and are ploughing into the dense molecular disk around IRc2. It is likely that these bullets are associated with those discovered by Allen & Burton (1993).
Efficient diagnosis of an underlying genetic aetiology in a patient with congenital heart disease is essential to optimising clinical care. Copy number variants are one aetiology of congenital heart disease; the majority are identifiable by targeted fluorescence in situ hybridisation or array comparative genomic hybridisation, not by classical cytogenetic analysis. This study assessed the utility of array comparative genomic hybridisation as a first-tier diagnostic test for neonates with congenital heart disease.
A prospective chart review of neonates with congenital heart disease in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC was performed. Patients were tested by array comparative genomic hybridisation and classical cytogenetic analysis simultaneously. Data collected included all chromosome abnormalities detected, physical examination findings, and imaging results. McNemar’s test was used to compare detection of array comparative genomic hybridisation and classical cytogenetic analysis.
Of 45 patients, three (6.7%) had an abnormality detected by classical cytogenetic analysis and an additional 10 (22.2%) had a copy number variant detected by array comparative genomic hybridisation, highlighting an increased detection rate (p=0.008). Several of these copy number variants had unclear clinical significance, requiring additional investigation. The prevalence of dysmorphology and/or comorbidity in this population was 72%. Identification of dysmorphic features was greater when assessed by a geneticist than by providers of different subspecialties.
Array comparative genomic hybridisation has significant clinical utility as a first-tier test in this population, but it carries the potential for incidental findings and results of uncertain clinical significance. Collaboration between cardiologists and medical geneticists is essential to providing optimal clinical care.
Class II methanol masers are thought to trace the brief phase in the evolution of a massive YSO, where outflows are expected to occur. Molecular line maps of the CO isotopes of a subset of 6.7 GHz sources from the MMB catalogue were observed with the JCMT telescope. Utilising optically thick 12CO, a search was done to detect broadened line wings (initially only on the source G20.08-0.13). The physical parameters of these detected lobes were then calculated.
Thromboembolic events are a serious complication occurring in critically ill children admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit. Although enoxaparin is one of the current anticoagulants of choice, dosages in children are extrapolated from adult guidelines. Recent data suggest that this population may need a higher dose than what is currently recommended to achieve target anti-factor Xa levels. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether children less than 2 years old admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit require a higher enoxaparin dose than that currently recommended to achieve target anti-factor Xa levels.
Retrospective chart review including patients who received enoxaparin for the treatment or prophylaxis of venous thrombosis between January, 2005 and October, 2007. Patients were classified as younger and older as well as prophylactic and therapeutic on the basis of age and enoxaparin dose, respectively. Younger patients were those 2 month old or less and older patients were those older than 2 months of age.
A total of 31 patients were identified; 13 (42%) were 2 months or younger and 25 (81%) were postoperative patients. Ten (32%) received prophylactic and 21 (68%) received therapeutic enoxaparin doses. To achieve optimal anti-factor Xa levels, enoxaparin dose was increased in all groups and reached statistical significance in all patients except those older than 2 months who received prophylactic enoxaparin. An average of 2.8 dosage adjustments was needed. No bleeding complications were reported.
Young children, infants, and neonates admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit required a significantly higher enoxaparin dose than that currently recommended to achieve target anti-factor Xa levels.
The JCMT Legacy Survey (JLS) is an ambitious programme of independent surveys to study our Galaxy and universe in the submillimetre (λ = 450 − 850 μm) from the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. With its scientific breadth and unique spectral window, it is clear that the JLS will have a significant impact on star formation studies in the near future and beyond. Its complementarity with other surveys (e.g. Spitzer, Herschel) will make the JLS a very valuable resource for multi-wavelength studies for low and high-mass star formation across the Milky Way. The JLS is currently in its second year of operation.
The methanol multi-beam (MMB) survey has produced the largest and most complete catalogue of Galactic 6.7-GHz methanol masers to date. 6.7-GHz methanol masers are exclusively associated with high-mass star formation, and as such provide invaluable insight into the Galactic distribution and properties of high-mass star formation regions. I present the statistical properties of the MMB catalogue and, through the calculation of kinematic distances, investigate the resolution of distance ambiguities and explore the Galactic distribution.
The results of the first complete survey for 6668-MHz CH3OH and 6035-MHz excited-state OH masers in the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds are presented. A new 6668-MHz CH3OH maser in the Large Magellanic Cloud has been detected towards the star-forming region N 160a, together with a new 6035-MHz excited-state OH maser detected towards N 157a. We also re-observed the previously known 6668-MHz CH3OH masers and the single known 6035-MHz OH maser. Neither maser transition was detected above ~0.13 Jy in the Small Magellanic Cloud. All observations were initially made using the CH3OH Multibeam (MMB) survey receiver on the 64-m Parkes radio telescope as part of the overall MMB project. Accurate positions were measured with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). In a comparison of the star formation maser populations in the Magellanic Clouds and our Galaxy, the LMC maser populations are demonstrated to be smaller than their Milky Way counterparts. CH3OH masers are under-abundant by a factor of ~50, whilst OH and H2O masers are a factor of ~10 less abundant than our Galaxy.
Submillimetre imaging polarimetry is one of the most powerful tools at present for studying magnetic fields in star-forming regions, and the only way to gain significant information on the structure of these fields. We present analysis of the largest sample (to date) of both high- and low-mass star-forming regions observed using this technique. A variety of magnetic field morphologies are observed, with no single field morphology favoured. Both the continuum emission morphologies and the field morphologies are generally more complex for the high-mass sample than the low-mass sample. The large scale magnetic field (observed with the JCMT; 14″ resolution) of NGC1333 IRAS2 is interpreted to be weak (compared to the energetic contributions due to turbulence) from the random field pattern observed. On smaller scales (observed with the BIMA array; 3″ resolution) the field is observed to be almost radial, consistent with the polarisation nulls in the JCMT data – suggesting that on smaller scales, the field may be more important to the star formation process. An analysis of the magnetic field direction and the jet/outflow axis is also discussed. Cumulative distribution functions of the difference between the mean position angle of the magnetic field vectors and the jet/outflow axis reveal no correlation. However, visual inspection of the maps reveal alignment of the magnetic field and jet/outflow axis in 7 out of 15 high-mass regions and 3 out of 8 low-mass regions.
A new 7-beam methanol multibeam receiver is being used to survey the Galaxy for newly forming massive stars, that are pinpointed by strong methanol maser emission at 6.668 GHz. The receiver, jointly constructed by Jodrell Bank Observatory (JBO) and the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF), was successfully commissioned at Parkes in January 2006. The Parkes-Jodrell survey of the Milky Way for methanol masers is two orders of magnitude faster than previous systematic surveys using 30-m class dishes, and is the first systematic survey of the entire Galactic plane. The first 53 days of observations with the Parkes telescope have yielded 518 methanol sources, of which 218 are new discoveries. We present the survey methodology as well as preliminary results and analysis.
A new 7-beam methanol multibeam receiver was successfully commissioned at Parkes Observatory in January 2006, and has begun surveying the Milky Way for newly forming massive stars, that are pinpointed by strong methanol maser emission at 6.7 GHz. The receiver was jointly constructed by Jodrell Bank Observatory and the Australia Telescope National Facility for use on the Parkes and Lovell Telescopes. The whole galactic plane is being surveyed within latitudes ±2°, with a velocity resolution of 0.1 km s−1 and a 5-σ sensitivity of ~0.7 Jy. Altogether 200 days of observing will be required.
S. Ramsay Howat, UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, UK.,
A. Chrysostomou, Department of Physical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts. AL10 9AB, UK.,
P. Brand, Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK.,
M. Burton, School of Physics, UNSW, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia.,
P. Puxley, Gemini 8m Telescopes, 670 N. A'ohoku PI., Hilo HI 96720, USA
Observations of the near-infrared spectrum of molecular hydrogen in photo-dissociation regions has become a standard tool for revealing the detailed physical conditions and complex density structures of molecular clouds. Most recently, consideration has been give to the detailed behaviour of the ratio of ortho-to-para excited states, and the information that this ratio may contain regarding the history of the molecular cloud (Draine & Bertoldi 1996, Sternberg & Neufeld 1999). This paper will review NIR observations of the H2 spectrum with particular reference to the ortho-para ratios observed. Recent spectroscopy of both galactic and extragalactic sources provide some interesting constraints on the models.
Modelling of the H2 emission from photodissociation regions (PDRs) has reached a very high level of sophistication a decade after the first observations of H2 fluorescent emission, from the planetary nebula NGC2023. The earliest models, which predicted the response of low density H2 gas to a moderate intensity UV field (Black & van Dishoeck 1987, Sternberg & Dalgarno 1998) have been expanded to include the effects of collisional excitation of the lowest H2 energy levels (Burton, Hollenbach & Tielens 1990, Sternberg 1991) and of self-shielding of dense H2 (Draine & Bertoldi 1996). Observations of the H2 far-red and near-infrared spectrum confirm the model results for emission arising in energy levels as high as Ek > 40,000K (Draine 2000). Recently, theoretical attention has turned to the observed ortho-para ratio of H2 and the potential that this measure may hold for furthering our understanding of the past and present physical conditions in the PDR.
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