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We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
We provide the first in situ measurements of antenna element beam shapes of the Murchison Widefield Array. Most current processing pipelines use an assumed beam shape, which can cause absolute and relative flux density errors and polarisation ‘leakage’. Understanding the primary beam is then of paramount importance, especially for sensitive experiments such as a measurement of the 21-cm line from the epoch of reionisation, where the calibration requirements are so extreme that tile to tile beam variations may affect our ability to make a detection. Measuring the primary beam shape from visibilities is challenging, as multiple instrumental, atmospheric, and astrophysical factors contribute to uncertainties in the data. Building on the methods of Neben et al. [Radio Sci., 50, 614], we tap directly into the receiving elements of the telescope before any digitisation or correlation of the signal. Using ORBCOMM satellite passes we are able to produce all-sky maps for four separate tiles in the XX polarisation. We find good agreement with the beam model of Sokolowski et al. [2017, PASA, 34, e062], and clearly observe the effects of a missing dipole from a tile in one of our beam maps. We end by motivating and outlining additional on-site experiments.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
Paragonimiasis, human lung fluke disease, is a foodborne anthropozoonosis caused by the trematodes assigned to Paragonimus and is regarded by the World Health Organization as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). The life cycle of this medically important parasite centres on a complex freshwater biological community that includes two intermediate hosts: a mollusc and a decapod, usually a brachyuran. Although there is a perception that the biology, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Paragonimus is well understood, in reality, this is not the case, especially in Africa. Much remains unknown concerning the life-cycle of the parasite, its transmission, the current epidemiology of the disease, diagnosis and the effectiveness of treatment. Furthermore, cases of paragonimiasis may be misdiagnosed as resistant tuberculosis (TB) because of the similar pulmonary symptoms and no remission after anti TB therapy. The endemic foci of human paragonimiasis in Africa have been reported mainly in the forest zones of Upper Guinea (Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast) and Lower Guinea (Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon). Despite the perceived medical importance of paragonimiasis, relatively little attention has been paid to this NTD since its discovery in Africa in the 1960s. This review focuses on the current understanding of the life cycle and transmission of Paragonimus in Africa, discusses its diagnosis and public health importance and highlights many outstanding gaps in the knowledge that still exist for this NTD.
The structure and kinematics of the broad line region in quasars are still unknown. One popular model is the disk-wind model that offers a geometric unification of a quasar based on the viewing angle. We construct a simple kinematical disk-wind model with a narrow outflowing wind angle. The model is combined with radiative transfer in the Sobolev, or high velocity, limit. We examine how angle of viewing affects the observed characteristics of the emission line. The line profiles were found to exhibit distinct properties depending on the orientation, wind opening angle, and region of the wind where the emission arises.
At low inclination angle (close to face-on), we find that the shape of the emission line is asymmetric, narrow, and significantly blueshifted. As the inclination angle increases (close to edge-on), the line profile becomes more symmetric, broader, and less blueshifted. Additionally, lines that arise close to the base of the disk wind, near the accretion disk, tend to be broad and symmetric. Single-peaked line profiles are recovered for the intermediate and equatorial wind. The model is also able to reproduce a faster response in either the red or blue sides of the line profile, consistent with reverberation mapping studies.
We have compiled a catalogue of H ii regions detected with the Murchison Widefield Array between 72 and 231 MHz. The multiple frequency bands provided by the Murchison Widefield Array allow us identify the characteristic spectrum generated by the thermal Bremsstrahlung process in H ii regions. We detect 306 H ii regions between 260° < l < 340° and report on the positions, sizes, peak, integrated flux density, and spectral indices of these H ii regions. By identifying the point at which H ii regions transition from the optically thin to thick regime, we derive the physical properties including the electron density, ionised gas mass, and ionising photon flux, towards 61 H ii regions. This catalogue of H ii regions represents the most extensive and uniform low frequency survey of H ii regions in the Galaxy to date.
A substantial population of red quasars has been discovered in a complete sample of flat-spectrum radio sources. Dust is the most likely cause of the reddening in this sample. The location of the dust is poorly known, but may either be in the line-of-sight to the quasar, or in the immediate quasar environment. In this paper we are interested in models where the dust is located in the line of sight to the quasar. We calculate the probability distribution of the optical depth in galactic dust as a function of source redshift, using a range of parameters which might describe real galaxies. We compare these results with those found for our sample of radio quasars. If the dust content is unevolving, then it is not possible to account for all the observed reddening in the quasar sample using these models. Our minimum dust model predicts that 15% of background quasars to z ~ 5 will have a line of sight within 5 kpc of a galaxy’s centre, and would therefore be reddened out of B-band flux-limited samples.
Several extragalactic HI surveys using a λ21 cm 13-beam focal plane array will begin in early 1997 using the Parkes 64 m telescope. These surveys are designed to detect efficiently nearby galaxies that have failed to be identified optically because of low optical surface brightness or high optical extinction. We discuss scientific and technical aspects of the multibeam receiver, including astronomical objectives, feed, receiver and correlator design and data acquisition. A comparison with other telescopes shows that the Parkes multibeam receiver has significant speed advantages for any large-area λ21 cm galaxy survey in the velocity range range 0–14000 km s−1.
We have recently discovered evidence for a population of radio-loud quasars that is reddened by dust. The dust is either along the line of sight to the quasars or is associated with the quasars. In the latter case the dust may be in molecular clouds in the quasar’s host galaxy, or in a molecular torus around the nucleus. We are planning to use 3 mm observations to search for molecular absorption lines (CO and HCO+) associated with dust at the redshift of these quasars. If any absorption systems are detected we will be able to deduce detailed information about the physical state of the molecular gas, hopefully showing which of the proposed locations of the dust is most likely.
We compare first-order (refractive) ionospheric effects seen by the MWA with the ionosphere as inferred from GPS data. The first-order ionosphere manifests itself as a bulk position shift of the observed sources across an MWA field of view. These effects can be computed from global ionosphere maps provided by GPS analysis centres, namely the CODE. However, for precision radio astronomy applications, data from local GPS networks needs to be incorporated into ionospheric modelling. For GPS observations, the ionospheric parameters are biased by GPS receiver instrument delays, among other effects, also known as receiver DCBs. The receiver DCBs need to be estimated for any non-CODE GPS station used for ionosphere modelling. In this work, single GPS station-based ionospheric modelling is performed at a time resolution of 10 min. Also the receiver DCBs are estimated for selected Geoscience Australia GPS receivers, located at Murchison Radio Observatory, Yarragadee, Mount Magnet and Wiluna. The ionospheric gradients estimated from GPS are compared with that inferred from MWA. The ionospheric gradients at all the GPS stations show a correlation with the gradients observed with the MWA. The ionosphere estimates obtained using GPS measurements show promise in terms of providing calibration information for the MWA.
GLEAM, the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA survey, is a survey of the entire radio sky south of declination + 25° at frequencies between 72 and 231 MHz, made with the MWA using a drift scan method that makes efficient use of the MWA’s very large field-of-view. We present the observation details, imaging strategies, and theoretical sensitivity for GLEAM. The survey ran for two years, the first year using 40-kHz frequency resolution and 0.5-s time resolution; the second year using 10-kHz frequency resolution and 2 s time resolution. The resulting image resolution and sensitivity depends on observing frequency, sky pointing, and image weighting scheme. At 154 MHz, the image resolution is approximately 2.5 × 2.2/cos (δ + 26.7°) arcmin with sensitivity to structures up to ~ 10° in angular size. We provide tables to calculate the expected thermal noise for GLEAM mosaics depending on pointing and frequency and discuss limitations to achieving theoretical noise in Stokes I images. We discuss challenges, and their solutions, that arise for GLEAM including ionospheric effects on source positions and linearly polarised emission, and the instrumental polarisation effects inherent to the MWA’s primary beam.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a Square Kilometre Array Precursor. The telescope is located at the Murchison Radio–astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. The MWA consists of 4 096 dipoles arranged into 128 dual polarisation aperture arrays forming a connected element interferometer that cross-correlates signals from all 256 inputs. A hybrid approach to the correlation task is employed, with some processing stages being performed by bespoke hardware, based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays, and others by Graphics Processing Units housed in general purpose rack mounted servers. The correlation capability required is approximately 8 tera floating point operations per second. The MWA has commenced operations and the correlator is generating 8.3 TB day−1 of correlation products, that are subsequently transferred 700 km from the MRO to Perth (WA) in real-time for storage and offline processing. In this paper, we outline the correlator design, signal path, and processing elements and present the data format for the internal and external interfaces.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a new low-frequency interferometric radio telescope built in Western Australia at one of the locations of the future Square Kilometre Array. We describe the automated radio-frequency interference detection strategy implemented for the Murchison Widefield Array, which is based on the aoflagger platform, and present 72–231 MHz radio-frequency interference statistics from 10 observing nights. Radio-frequency interference detection removes 1.1% of the data. Radio-frequency interference from digital TV is observed 3% of the time due to occasional ionospheric or atmospheric propagation. After radio-frequency interference detection and excision, almost all data can be calibrated and imaged without further radio-frequency interference mitigation efforts, including observations within the FM and digital TV bands. The results are compared to a previously published Low-Frequency Array radio-frequency interference survey. The remote location of the Murchison Widefield Array results in a substantially cleaner radio-frequency interference environment compared to Low-Frequency Array’s radio environment, but adequate detection of radio-frequency interference is still required before data can be analysed. We include specific recommendations designed to make the Square Kilometre Array more robust to radio-frequency interference, including: the availability of sufficient computing power for radio-frequency interference detection; accounting for radio-frequency interference in the receiver design; a smooth band-pass response; and the capability of radio-frequency interference detection at high time and frequency resolution (second and kHz-scale respectively).
The science cases for incorporating high time resolution capabilities into modern radio telescopes are as numerous as they are compelling. Science targets range from exotic sources such as pulsars, to our Sun, to recently detected possible extragalactic bursts of radio emission, the so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs). Originally conceived purely as an imaging telescope, the initial design of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) did not include the ability to access high time and frequency resolution voltage data. However, the flexibility of the MWA’s software correlator allowed an off-the-shelf solution for adding this capability. This paper describes the system that records the 100 μs and 10 kHz resolution voltage data from the MWA. Example science applications, where this capability is critical, are presented, as well as accompanying commissioning results from this mode to demonstrate verification.
We present the results of an approximately 6 100 deg2 104–196 MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the MWACS. The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h < RA < 8.5 h, − 58° < Dec < −14°over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6–3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3 arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy beam− 1, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaicked snapshots, flux density calibration, and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14 110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1 247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources.
Significant new opportunities for astrophysics and cosmology have been identified at low radio frequencies. The Murchison Widefield Array is the first telescope in the southern hemisphere designed specifically to explore the low-frequency astronomical sky between 80 and 300 MHz with arcminute angular resolution and high survey efficiency. The telescope will enable new advances along four key science themes, including searching for redshifted 21-cm emission from the EoR in the early Universe; Galactic and extragalactic all-sky southern hemisphere surveys; time-domain astrophysics; and solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric science and space weather. The Murchison Widefield Array is located in Western Australia at the site of the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) low-band telescope and is the only low-frequency SKA precursor facility. In this paper, we review the performance properties of the Murchison Widefield Array and describe its primary scientific objectives.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is one of three Square Kilometre Array Precursor telescopes and is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in the Murchison Shire of the mid-west of Western Australia, a location chosen for its extremely low levels of radio frequency interference. The MWA operates at low radio frequencies, 80–300 MHz, with a processed bandwidth of 30.72 MHz for both linear polarisations, and consists of 128 aperture arrays (known as tiles) distributed over a ~3-km diameter area. Novel hybrid hardware/software correlation and a real-time imaging and calibration systems comprise the MWA signal processing backend. In this paper, the as-built MWA is described both at a system and sub-system level, the expected performance of the array is presented, and the science goals of the instrument are summarised.
Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) is a serious and costly clinical
problem. Specifically, receiving mechanical ventilation for over 24 hours
increases the risk of VAP and is associated with high morbidity, mortality
and medical costs. Cost effective endotracheal tubes (ETTs) that are
resistant to bacterial infection could help prevent this problem. The
objective of this study was to determine differences in the growth of
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) on
nanomodified and unmodified polyvinyl chloride (PVC) ETTs under dynamic
airway conditions. PVC ETTs were modified to have nanometer surface features
by soaking them in Rhizopus arrhisus, a fungal lipase.
Twenty-four hour experiments (supported by computational models) showed that
air flow conditions within the ETT influenced both the location and
concentration of bacterial growth on the ETTs especially within areas of
tube curvature. More importantly, experiments revealed a 1.5 log reduction
in the total number of S. aureus on the novel nanomodified
ETTs compared to the conventional ETTs after 24 hours of air flow. This
dynamic study showed that lipase etching can create nano-rough surface
features on PVC ETTs that suppress S. aureus growth and,
thus, may provide clinicians with an effective and inexpensive tool to
The recent implementation of mass drug administration (MDA) for control of uro-genital schistosomiasis has identified an urgent need for molecular markers to both directly monitor the impact of MDA, for example to distinguish re-infections from uncleared infections, as well as understand aspects of parasite reproduction and gene flow which might predict evolutionary change, such as the development and spread of drug resistance. We report the development of a novel microsatellite tool-kit allowing, for the first time, robust genetic analysis of individual S. haematobium larvae collected directly from infected human hosts. We genotyped the parasite populations of 47 children from 2 schools in the Ségou region of Mali, the first microsatellite study of this highly neglected parasite. There was only limited evidence of population subdivision between individual children or between the two schools, suggesting that few barriers to gene flow exist in this population. Complex relationships between parasite reproductive success, infection intensity and host age and gender were identified. Older children and boys harboured more diverse infections, as measured by the number of unique adult genotypes present. Individual parasite genotypes had variable reproductive success both across hosts, a pre-requisite for evolutionary selection, and, phenotypically, in hosts of different ages and genders. These data serve as a baseline against which to measure the effect of treatment on parasite population genetics in this region of Mali, and the tools developed are suitable to further investigate this important pathogen, and its close relatives, throughout their range.