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The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) is the first large-area survey to be conducted with the full 36-antenna Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. RACS will provide a shallow model of the ASKAP sky that will aid the calibration of future deep ASKAP surveys. RACS will cover the whole sky visible from the ASKAP site in Western Australia and will cover the full ASKAP band of 700–1800 MHz. The RACS images are generally deeper than the existing NRAO VLA Sky Survey and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey radio surveys and have better spatial resolution. All RACS survey products will be public, including radio images (with
15 arcsec resolution) and catalogues of about three million source components with spectral index and polarisation information. In this paper, we present a description of the RACS survey and the first data release of 903 images covering the sky south of declination
made over a 288-MHz band centred at 887.5 MHz.
Optical tracking systems typically trade off between astrometric precision and field of view. In this work, we showcase a networked approach to optical tracking using very wide field-of-view imagers that have relatively low astrometric precision on the scheduled OSIRIS-REx slingshot manoeuvre around Earth on 22 Sep 2017. As part of a trajectory designed to get OSIRIS-REx to NEO 101955 Bennu, this flyby event was viewed from 13 remote sensors spread across Australia and New Zealand to promote triangulatable observations. Each observatory in this portable network was constructed to be as lightweight and portable as possible, with hardware based off the successful design of the Desert Fireball Network. Over a 4-h collection window, we gathered 15 439 images of the night sky in the predicted direction of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Using a specially developed streak detection and orbit determination data pipeline, we detected 2 090 line-of-sight observations. Our fitted orbit was determined to be within about 10 km of orbital telemetry along the observed 109 262 km length of OSIRIS-REx trajectory, and thus demonstrating the impressive capability of a networked approach to Space Surveillance and Tracking.
This chapter reviews the spread of irrigation technology across the Sahara in antiquity, and its effects on settlement agriculture and the movement of people. Recent work has stressed the close connections between the introduction of foggara technology and the rise of Garamantian civilisation, which featured intensive agriculture and incipient urbanism. However, many oases achieved substantial size through the use of well technologies, artesian springs or a combination of technologies. Another key question relates to the effects of the eventual decline and failure of these irrigation systems in terms of population movement and fragmentation of states such as the Garamantes. After presenting new AMS dating evidence for Garamantian foggaras, the chapter advances the discussion by examining the wider picture of foggara distribution within a survey of the evidence of irrigation technologies across the Sahara and whether and to what extent the distribution of foggaras beyond the core Garamantian heartlands might be seen as an indication of Garamantian control or influence. It explores what foggaras, wells and new crop introductions might suggest about agricultural intensification and organisation. This has implications for assessing agricultural intensification in the ancient Sahara. Finally, it considers causes and possible effects of irrigation failure and in some cases collapse.
The Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) balloon experiment was designed to detect radio signals initiated by high-energy neutrinos and cosmic ray (CR) air showers. These signals are typically discriminated by the polarization and phase inversions of the radio signal. The reflected signal from CRs suffer phase inversion compared to a direct ‘tau neutrino’ event. In this paper, we study subsurface reflection, which can occur without phase inversion, in the context of the two anomalous up-going events reported by ANITA. It is found that subsurface layers and firn density inversions may plausibly account for the events, while ice fabric layers and wind ablation crusts could also play a role. This hypothesis can be tested with radar surveying of the Antarctic region in the vicinity of the anomalous ANITA events. Future experiments should not use phase inversion as a sole criterion to discriminate between down-going and up-going events, unless the subsurface reflection properties are well understood.
Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
Parasitism can affect every aspect of wildlife ecology, from predator avoidance and competition for food to migrations and reproduction. In the wild, these ecological effects can have implications for host fitness and parasite dynamics. In contrast, domestic environments are typically characterised by high host densities, low host diversity, and veterinary interventions, and are not subject to processes like predation, competition, and migration. When wild and domesticated hosts interact via shared parasite populations, understanding and predicting the outcomes of parasite ecology and evolution for wildlife conservation and sustainable farming can be a challenge. We describe the ecology and evolution of ectoparasitic sea lice that are shared by farmed and wild salmon and the insights that experiments, fieldwork, and mathematical modelling have generated for theory and applied problems of host–parasite interactions over the course of a long-term study in Pacific Canada. The salmon–sea lice host–parasite system provides a rich case study to examine the ecological context of host–parasite interactions and to shed light on the principal challenges of parasite management for wildlife health and conservation.
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’.
The mammal family Tenrecidae (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) is endemic to Madagascar. Here we present the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec that were assessed or reassessed in 2015–2016 for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Six species (19.4%) were found to be threatened (4 Vulnerable, 2 Endangered) and one species was categorized as Data Deficient. The primary threat to tenrecs is habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps. In the longer term, climate change is expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges. However, the lack of data for most tenrecs on population size, ecology and distribution, together with frequent changes in taxonomy (with many cryptic species being discovered based on genetic analyses) and the poorly understood impact of bushmeat hunting on spiny species (Tenrecinae), hinders conservation planning. Priority conservation actions are presented for Madagascar's tenrecs for the first time since 1990 and focus on conserving forest habitat (especially through improved management of protected areas) and filling essential knowledge gaps. Tenrec research, monitoring and conservation should be integrated into broader sustainable development objectives and programmes targeting higher profile species, such as lemurs, if we are to see an improvement in the conservation status of tenrecs in the near future.
Understanding and resolving discrepancies between atom probe tomography (APT) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) measurements of B dopants in Si-based materials has long been a problem for those in the semiconductor community who wish to measure B within the source/drain SiGe of a device. APT data collection of Si-based materials is typically optimized for Si, which is logical, but perhaps not ideal for field evaporation of B. Increasing the evaporation field well beyond the typically used 28Si2+:28Si+ ratio of approximately 10:1 up to a ratio of ~200:1 is demonstrated to improve B detection while retaining well-matched Si and Ge concentrations with respect to those measured by SIMS. A range of evaporation conditions are examined from a very low field with high laser energy to an extremely high field with extremely low laser energy demonstrating problems at both far ends of the spectrum and a sweet spot when the operating conditions used produce a 28Si2+:28Si+ ratio of approximately 200:1 (in terms of total counts of each ionization state), which is more than an order of magnitude higher than normally used conditions and results in nicely matched B, Si, and Ge APT measurements with those of SIMS.