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The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
Nutritional requirements for vitamin D during pregnancy have been inadequately described, and there are conflicting data on the impact of gestation on vitamin D status. In the present study, we conducted a longitudinal analysis of total and free (unbound) serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) and albumin concentrations in a random sample of thirty women from the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints Ireland pregnancy cohort study at 15, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36 and 40 weeks of gestation and at 2 months postpartum. Concentrations of serum 25(OH)D, DBP and albumin were determined, and free 25(OH)D was calculated from the concentrations of total 25(OH)D, DBP and albumin. Serum albumin concentration decreased during pregnancy (P< 0·001), with a nadir at 36 weeks (P< 0·005), during which the concentration was approximately 80 % of the postnatal concentration. Serum DBP concentration increased during pregnancy and at 28 weeks of gestation, which was almost double the postnatal level (P< 0·001). Total and free 25(OH)D concentrations decreased (both P< 0·005) as pregnancy progressed, and both were lowest at 36 weeks of gestation. At 15 weeks, 10 and 63 % of the women had serum 25(OH)D concentration < 30 and 50 nmol/l, respectively, which increased to 53 and 80 % at 36 weeks of gestation. The time course of decreasing concentrations of 25(OH)D during gestation among women recruited during May–July, who delivered between October and November, and among those recruited in August–September, who delivered between February and March, was similar. The lower percentage of free 25(OH)D during pregnancy is mainly due to increased DBP.
While recent years have seen rapid growth in the number of galaxy peculiar velocity measurements, disagreements remain about the extent to which the peculiar velocity field - a tracer of the large-scale distribution of mass - agrees with both ΛCDM expectations and with velocity field models derived from redshift surveys. The 6dF Galaxy Survey includes peculiar velocities for nearly 9 000 early-type galaxies (6dFGSv), making it the largest and most homogeneous galaxy peculiar velocity sample to date. We have used the 6dFGS velocity field to determine the amplitude and scale of large-scale cosmic flows in the local universe and test standard cosmological models. We also compare the galaxy density and peculiar velocity fields to establish the distribution of dark and luminous matter and better constrain key cosmological parameters such as the redshift-space distortion parameter.
This paper provides a description of a structured template which allows review of the operation of the Mental Health Act 2001 at St Patrick's Mental Health Services (incorporating St Patrick's University Hospital, St Edmundsbury Hospital and Willow Grove Adolescent Unit). These structured processes were implemented to ensure rigorous monitoring of all clinical governance activities associated with adherence to the Mental Health Act (MHA) 2001. The paper describes in detail the information contained in the St Patrick's Mental Health Services dashboard for 2012. The dashboard displays the key performance indicators that are monitored and the paper describes how these were reviewed by the Hospital's Clinical Governance Committee on a weekly basis for the three approved centres. The dashboard has also been used by the Clinical Governance Committee to provide ongoing education and engagement with staff in order to improve the operation of the MHA 2001. The use of this structured monitoring process has allowed the hospital to measure adherence to the MHA 2001 and also to measure activities that impact directly on the care and treatment of patients detained under the Act. The use of structured monitoring tools (i.e. the dashboard) to review the operation of the MHA 2001 allows for coherent observation of key events and issues which can cause concern in terms of the operation of the Act.
There is increasing epidemiological evidence linking sub-optimal vitamin D status with overweight and obesity. Although increasing BMI and adiposity have also been negatively associated with the change in vitamin D status following supplementation, results have been equivocal. The aim of this randomised, placebo-controlled study was to investigate the associations between anthropometric measures of adiposity and the wintertime serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D) response to 15 μg cholecalciferol per d in healthy young and older Irish adults. A total of 110 young adults (20–40 years) and 102 older adults ( ≥ 64 years) completed the 22-week intervention with >85 % compliance. The change in 25(OH)D from baseline was calculated. Anthropometric measures of adiposity taken at baseline included height, weight and waist circumference (WC), along with skinfold thickness measurements to estimate fat mass (FM). FM was subsequently expressed as FM (kg), FM (%), FM index (FMI (FM kg/height m2)) and as a percentage ratio to fat-free mass (FFM). In older adults, vitamin D status was inversely associated with BMI (kg/m2), WC (cm), FM (kg and %), FMI (kg/m2) and FM:FFM (%) at baseline (r − 0·33, − 0·36, − 0·33, − 0·30, − 0·33 and − 0·27, respectively, all P values < 0·01). BMI in older adults was also negatively associated with the change in 25(OH)D following supplementation (β − 1·27, CI − 2·37, − 0·16, P = 0·026); however, no such associations were apparent in younger adults. Results suggest that adiposity may need to be taken into account when determining an adequate wintertime dietary vitamin D intake for healthy older adults residing at higher latitudes.
From January 2009 to May 2010, 436 faecal samples from patients with diarrhoeal illness in Southern Ireland were identified as Campylobacter genus-positive by an automated multiplex PCR; however, 204 (46·8%) of these samples were culture-negative for campylobacters. A combination of Campylobacter-specific uniplex PCR and 16S rRNA sequencing confirmed the presence of Campylobacter DNA in 191 (93·6%) of the culture-negative samples. Species-specific PCR identified C. jejuni (50·7%) C. ureolyticus (41%) and C. coli (5·7%) as the most prevalent species while C. fetus, C. upsaliensis, C. hyointestinalis and C. lari accounted for 10% of culture-negative samples; mixed Campylobacter spp. were detected in 11% of samples. We conclude that non-culturable Campylobacter spp. are responsible for a considerable proportion of human enteritis and the true incidence of infection is likely to be significantly underestimated where conventional Campylobacter culture methods are used in isolation.