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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 SkyMapper Transient survey (SMT) is exploring variability in the southern sky by performing (a) a rolling search to discover and study supernovæ, and (b) a Target of Opportunity programme that uses the robotic SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The supernova survey is obtaining a non-targeted sample of Type Ia supernovæ (SNe Ia) at low redshifts, z < 0.1, and studying other interesting transients found with the search strategy. We have a Target of Opportunity programme with an automatic response mechanism to search for optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and fast radio-burst events; it benefits from SkyMapper’s large field of view of 5.7 sq. deg. and a rapid data reduction pipeline.
We present first results of the SMT survey. The SMT pipeline can process and obtain potential candidates within 12 hours of observation. It disentangles real transients from processing artefacts using a machine-learning algorithm. To date, SMT has discovered over 60 spectroscopically confirmed supernovæ, several peculiar objects, and over 40 SNe Ia including one (SNIa 2016hhd) which was found within the first few days of explosion. We have also participated in searches for optical counterparts of gravitational waves, fast radio bursts and other transients, and have published observations of the optical counterpart of the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We also participate in coordinated observations with the Deeper Wider Faster programme, and the Kepler K2 cosmology project.
The SkyMapper 1.3 m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory has now begun regular operations. Alongside the Southern Sky Survey, a comprehensive digital survey of the entire southern sky, SkyMapper will carry out a search for supernovae and other transients. The search strategy, covering a total footprint area of ~2 000 deg2 with a cadence of ⩽5 d, is optimised for discovery and follow-up of low-redshift type Ia supernovae to constrain cosmic expansion and peculiar velocities. We describe the search operations and infrastructure, including a parallelised software pipeline to discover variable objects in difference imaging; simulations of the performance of the survey over its lifetime; public access to discovered transients; and some first results from the Science Verification data.
Biological tissues have complex, three-dimensional (3D) organizations of cells and matrix factors that provide the architecture necessary to meet morphogenic and functional demands. Disordered cell alignment is associated with congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and neurodegenerative diseases and repairing or replacing these tissues using engineered constructs may improve regenerative capacity. However, optimizing cell alignment within engineered tissues requires quantitative 3D data on cell orientations and both efficient and validated processing algorithms. We developed an automated method to measure local 3D orientations based on structure tensor analysis and incorporated an adaptive subregion size to account for multiple scales. Our method calculates the statistical concentration parameter, κ, to quantify alignment, as well as the traditional orientational order parameter. We validated our method using synthetic images and accurately measured principal axis and concentration. We then applied our method to confocal stacks of cleared, whole-mount engineered cardiac tissues generated from human-induced pluripotent stem cells or embryonic chick cardiac cells and quantified cardiomyocyte alignment. We found significant differences in alignment based on cellular composition and tissue geometry. These results from our synthetic images and confocal data demonstrate the efficiency and accuracy of our method to measure alignment in 3D tissues.
Using the spectroscopic distances of over 0.12 million A-type stars selected from the LAMOST Spectroscopic Survey of the Galactic Anti-center (LSS-GAC), we map their three-dimensional number density distributions in the Galaxy. These stellar number density maps allow an investigation of the Galactic young age thin disk structure with no a priori assumptions about the functional form of its components. The data show strong evidence for a significant flaring young disk. A more detail analysis show that the stellar flaring have different behaviours between the Northern and the Southern Galactic disks. The maps also reveal spatially coherent, kpc-scale stellar substructure in the thin disk. Finally, we detect the Perseus arm stellar overdensity at R ~ 10 kpc.
Foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) is a naturally stress-tolerant plant, a major reserve crop and a model for panicoid grasses. The recent completion of the S. italica genome facilitates identification and characterization of WRKY transcription factor family proteins that are important regulators of major plant processes, including growth, development and stress response. The present study identified 103 WRKY transcription factor-encoding genes in the S. italica genome. The genes were named SiWRKY1–SiWRKY103 according to their order on the chromosomes. A comprehensive expression analysis of SiWRKY genes among four different tissues was performed using publicly available RNA sequencing data. Eighty-four SiWRKY genes were more highly expressed in root tissue than in other tissues and nine genes were only expressed in roots. Additionally, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed to comprehensively analyse the expression of all SiWRKY genes in response to dehydration. Results indicated that most SiWRKY genes (over 0.8) were up-regulated by drought stress. In conclusion, genome-wide identification and expression profiling of SiWRKY genes provided a set of candidates for cloning and functional analyses in plants’ response to drought stress.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
The analysis method is developed to obtain dynamic characteristics of the rotating cantilever plate with thermal shock and tip-rub. Based on the variational principle, equations of motion are derived considering the differences between rubbing forces in the width direction of the plate. The transverse deformation is decomposed into quasi-static deformation of the cantilever plate with thermal shock and dynamic deformation of the rubbing plate under thermal shock. Then deformations are obtained through the calculation of modal characteristics of rotating cantilever plate and temperature distribution function. Special attention is paid to the influence of tip-rub and thermal shock on the plate. The results show that tip-rub has the characteristics of multiple frequency vibrations, and high frequency vibrations are significant. On the contrary, thermal shock shows the low frequency vibrations. The thermal shock makes the rubbing plate gradually change into low frequency vibrations. Because rub-induced vibrations are more complicated than those caused by thermal shock, tip-rub is easier to result in the destruction of the blade. The increasing friction coefficient intensifies vibrations of the rubbing plate. Minimizing friction coefficients can be an effective way to reduce rub-induced damage through reducing the surface roughness between the blade tip and the inner surface of the casing.
We derive zphot for sources in the entire (~0.4 deg2) H-HDF-N field with the EAzY code, based on PSF-matched broad-band (U band to IRAC 4.5 μm) photometry. Our catalog consists of a total of 131,678 sources. We find σNMAD = 0.029 for non-X-ray sources. We also classify each object as a star or galaxy through SED fitting. Furthermore, we match our catalog with the 2 Ms CDF-N main X-ray catalog. For the 462 matched non-stellar X-ray sources, we improve their zphot quality (σNMAD = 0.035) by adding three additional AGN templates. We make our photometry and zphot catalog publicly available.
To cope with phosphorus (P) deficiency, plants adapt root morphology to enhance inorganic P (Pi) acquisition from soil by allocating more biomass to roots, but whether the responses can be modified across gradients of P supply is not fully understood. The present study examined changes in root-length density (RLD), root-hair density (RHD) and root-hair length (RHL) of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in two contrasting soils, the Rough and Barnfield soils. Wheat plants were grown for 3 weeks in thin-plate rhizotrons in two soils with additions of 0, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 200 mg P/kg soil. Contrary to published literature, as P additions increased it was observed that a concomitant increase in RHL (250 to 1054 µm in the Rough soil and 303–1075 µm in the Barnfield soil) and RHD (57 to 122/mm in the Rough soil and 56–120/mm in the Barnfield soil), while RLD generally decreased (2480–1130 cm/cm3 in the Rough soil and 1716–865 cm/cm3 in the Barnfield soil). The levels of added P that resulted in critical P concentrations in the soils enabling maximum shoot biomass production were 50 mg/kg P in the Rough soil and 100 mg/kg P in the Barnfield soil, and these additions influenced root morphological changes. Under severe P deficiency, P supply increased RHL and RHD, but RLD was decreased. Improvement in lateral root and root-hair responses in wheat at extreme P deficiency may be a worthy target for breeding more sustainable genotypes for future agroecosystems.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.
Mycoplasma infections are most frequently associated with disease in the urogenital or respiratory tracts and, in most cases, mycoplasmas infect the host persistently. In HIV-infected individuals the prevalence and role of genital mycoplasmas has not been well studied. To investigate the six species of Mycoplasma and the risk factors for infection in Jiangsu province, first-void urine and venous blood samples were collected and epidemiological questionnaires were administered after informed consent. A total of 1541 HIV/AIDS patients were recruited in this study. The overall infection rates of six Mycoplasma species were: Ureaplasma urealyticum (26·7%), Mycoplasma hominis (25·3%), M. fermentans (5·1%), M. genitalium (20·1%), M. penetrans (1·6%) and M. pirum (15·4%). The Mycoplasma infection rate in the unmarried group was lower than that of the married, divorced and widowed groups [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1·432, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·077–1·904, P < 0·05]. The patients who refused highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) had a much higher risk of Mucoplasma infection (aOR 1·357, 95% CI 1·097–1·679, P < 0·05). Otherwise, a high CD4+ T cell count was a protective factor against Mycoplasma infection (aOR 0·576, 95% CI 0·460–0·719, P < 0·05). Further research will be required to confirm a causal relationship and to identify risk factors for Mycoplasma infection in HIV/AIDS populations.
Gray matter (GM) atrophy and disrupted intrinsic functional connectivity (IFC) are often present in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), which shows high risk of developing into Alzheimer's disease. Little is known, however, about the relationship between GM atrophy and altered IFC, and whether they are related to cognitive decline.
A total of 30 aMCI and 26 cognitively normal (CN) subjects were recruited for this study. Optimized voxel-based morphometric and resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging approaches were performed to measure the GM volumes (GMVs) and atrophy-related IFC, respectively. Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to examine the effects of GM atrophy and IFC on cognitive performance across subjects, after controlling for the effects of age, education, gender and group.
Compared with CN subjects, aMCI subjects showed significantly reduced GMVs and decreased IFC in the frontal-parietal and medial temporal lobe systems. Multivariate regression analysis further demonstrated that the GMVs and decreased IFC simultaneously affected the cognitive function. Specifically, GMVs were positively correlated with cognitive performances, including global cognition and episodic memory, and showed a strong trend in correlation between GMVs and non-episodic memory, whilst IFC was positively correlated with the above three cognitive measures, across all subjects. In addition, significant correlation was found between GMVs and altered IFC strength across all subjects.
Our findings demonstrated that GMVs and IFC jointly contribute to cognitive performance, and combining quantitative information about GMVs and the strength of functional connectivity may serve as an indicator of cognitive deficits in non-demented elderly.
In this work, we reported the optical photometry monitoring results for two brightest nearby quasars, PHL 1811 and 3C 273 using the ST-6 camera at Abastumani Observatory, Georgia. For PHL 1811, we found 3 microvariability events with time scale of ΔT = 6.0 min. For 3C273, we found that the largest variations are ΔV = 0.369 ± 0.028 mag, ΔR = 0.495 ± 0.076 mag, and ΔI = 0.355 ± 0.009 mag. When periodicity analysis methods are adopted to the available data, a period of p = 5.80 ± 1.12 years is obtained for PHL 1811, and p = 21.10 ± 0.14, 10.00 ± 0.14, 7.30 ± 0.09, 13.20 ± 0.09, 2.10 ± 0.06, and 0.68 ± 0.05 years are obtained for 3C 273.
Variability is one of the extreme observational properties of BL Lacertae objects. AO 0235+164 is a well studied BL Lac through the whole electro-magnetic wavebands, it is violently variable in the optical bands. In the present work, we show its optical R band photometric observations carried out during the period of Nov. 2006 to Dec. 2012 using the Ap6E CCD camera attached to the primary focus of the 70 cm meniscus telescope at Abastumani Observatory, Georgia. It shows a large variation of ΔR = 4.88 mag (14.20 - 19.08 mag) during our monitoring period. When periodicity analysis methods are adopted to its R observations from our Abastumani monitoring programme and those in the literature, the signs of some periods, P1 = 8.26 yr, P2 = 0.55 yr, P3 = 0.85 yr, P4 = 1.99 yr are found.
In this talk, we will show the beaming effect for Fermi/LAT blazars, then we discuss the correlations between γ-ray luminosity and other parameters, such as radio Doppler factors, superluminal motions, and core-dominance parameters. We also compare the Doppler factors determined from the γ-ray luminosity, X-ray emissions, and the short-term time scales with those from other methods. Our discussions suggest that γ-ray emissions may be strongly beamed.
Gattini and CSTAR have been installed at Dome A, Antarctica, which provide time-series photometric data for a large number of pulsating variable stars. We present the study for several variable stars with the data collected with the two facilities in 2009 to demonstrate the scientific potential of observations from Dome A for asteroseismology.
Altered cardiac autonomic function has been proposed in schizophrenia, but the results are mixed. Therefore, analyses with larger sample sizes and better methodology are needed.
To examine whether acute schizophrenia is associated with cardiac autonomic dysfunction, 314 unmedicated patients with acute schizophrenia and 409 healthy volunteers, aged 18–65 years, were recruited for a case–control analysis. The severity of schizophrenia symptoms was assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Cardiac autonomic function was evaluated by measuring heart rate variability (HRV) parameters during the supine–standing–supine test. Frequency-domain indices of HRV were obtained.
Unmedicated patients with acute schizophrenia consistently exhibited reduced mean RR interval and HRV levels in a supine rest and standing position compared with healthy volunteers. The severity of psychopathology, in particular positive symptoms, was negatively correlated with cardiac vagal control.
These data suggest that acute schizophrenia is accompanied by cardiac autonomic dysregulation. In view of the higher risk for cardiac complications in these patients, one might also consider the antipsychotic treatment in favour of improving cardiac autonomic modulation. Further studies using larger patient groups and controlled therapeutics may better understand the influence of antipsychotic treatment on cardiac autonomic regulation in schizophrenia.