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This study aimed to investigate predictive factors for revision surgery in otosclerosis.
This was a retrospective, multicentre study in four tertiary centres. The primary objective was to investigate factors that were predictive of the need for revision stapes surgery.
The ‘revision’ group included 145 patients, and the ‘control’ group included 143 patients. This study identified statistically significant predictive factors for the need for revision surgery: younger age, active smoking status, dyslipidaemia and high blood pressure. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of surgical technique or stapedotomy technique.
This study showed that patients who are candidates for primary stapes surgery with younger age, active smoking status, dyslipidaemia and high blood pressure are at higher risk of needing revision surgery. A holistic approach prior to stapes surgery with multidisciplinary assessment is recommended. These results are important for better patient counselling on expected outcomes and risks.
The Portsmouth Physiological and Operative Severity Score for the Enumeration of Mortality and Morbidity (‘P-POSSUM’) is a two-part scoring system that includes a physiological assessment and a measure of operative severity. This study sought to determine whether risk estimates for this scoring system could be used in major head and neck reconstructive surgery.
A retrospective review was performed of patients undergoing resection for a temporal bone malignancy in a single head and neck centre in Dublin, Ireland, from 2002 to 2021.
The mean ± standard deviation morbidity estimate calculated using the scoring system was 47.6 per cent ± 19.5 per cent. The actual rate of complications was 47 per cent. The optimal cut-off for the scoring system was calculated using the Youden index from the receiver operating characteristic curve, which was 40.5 per cent in this case.
The study indicates that the Portsmouth Physiological and Operative Severity Score for the Enumeration of Mortality and Morbidity is a useful tool for predicting morbidity risk in patients undergoing head and neck resection with reconstruction for temporal bone malignancies.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The Zadko telescope is a 1 m f/4 Cassegrain telescope, situated in the state of Western Australia about 80-km north of Perth. The facility plays a niche role in Australian astronomy, as it is the only meter class facility in Australia dedicated to automated follow-up imaging of alerts or triggers received from different external instruments/detectors spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Furthermore, the location of the facility at a longitude not covered by other meter class facilities provides an important resource for time critical projects. This paper reviews the status of the Zadko facility and science projects since it began robotic operations in March 2010. We report on major upgrades to the infrastructure and equipment (2012–2014) that has resulted in significantly improved robotic operations. Second, we review the core science projects, which include automated rapid follow-up of gamma ray burst (GRB) optical afterglows, imaging of neutrino counterpart candidates from the ANTARES neutrino observatory, photometry of rare (Barbarian) asteroids, supernovae searches in nearby galaxies. Finally, we discuss participation in newly commencing international projects, including the optical follow-up of gravitational wave (GW) candidates from the United States and European GW observatory network and present first tests for very low latency follow-up of fast radio bursts. In the context of these projects, we outline plans for a future upgrade that will optimise the facility for alert triggered imaging from the radio, optical, high-energy, neutrino, and GW bands.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) will give us an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the transient sky at radio wavelengths. In this paper we present VAST, an ASKAP survey for Variables and Slow Transients. VAST will exploit the wide-field survey capabilities of ASKAP to enable the discovery and investigation of variable and transient phenomena from the local to the cosmological, including flare stars, intermittent pulsars, X-ray binaries, magnetars, extreme scattering events, interstellar scintillation, radio supernovae, and orphan afterglows of gamma-ray bursts. In addition, it will allow us to probe unexplored regions of parameter space where new classes of transient sources may be detected. In this paper we review the known radio transient and variable populations and the current results from blind radio surveys. We outline a comprehensive program based on a multi-tiered survey strategy to characterise the radio transient sky through detection and monitoring of transient and variable sources on the ASKAP imaging timescales of 5 s and greater. We also present an analysis of the expected source populations that we will be able to detect with VAST.
Globular clusters (GCs) harbour a large number of close binaries which are hard to identify optically due to high stellar densities. Observing these GCs in X-rays, in which the compact binaries are bright, diminishes the over-crowding problem. Using the new generation of X-ray observatories, it is possible to identify populations of neutron star low mass X-ray binaries, cataclysmic variables and millisecond pulsars as well as other types of binaries. We present the spectra of a variety of binaries that we have identified in four GCs observed by XMM-Newton. We show that through population studies we can begin to understand the formation of individual classes of binaries in GCs and hence start to unfold the complex evolutionary paths of these systems.
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