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Many of the scientific programs proposed for implementation at existing and future synchrotron radiation sources involve measurement of the spatial distribution of transmitted or diffracted x-ray beams. The design of a general purpose position-sensitive detector for use in such experiments must address several conflicting requirements. Ideally, such a detector would meet the following criteria: high detection efficiency over a wide energy range, large dynamic range in measured photon intensities and response to a wide range of measurement intervals. Existing detector systems only partially meet these requirements, although much work has gone into improving the current technology.
In sub-Saharan Africa, there are limited data on burden of non-alcohol substance abuse (NAS) and depressive symptoms (DS), yet potential risk factors such as alcohol and intimate partner violence (IPV) are common and NAS abuse may be the rise. The aim of this study was to measure the burden of DS and NAS abuse, and determine whether alcohol use and IPV are associated with DS and/or NAS abuse. We conducted a cross-sectional study at five sites in four countries: Nigeria (nurses), South Africa (teachers), Tanzania (teachers) and two sites in Uganda (rural and peri-urban residents). Participants were selected by simple random sampling from a sampling frame at each of the study sites. We used a standardized tool to collect data on demographics, alcohol use and NAS use, IPV and DS and calculated prevalence ratios (PR). We enrolled 1415 respondents and of these 34.6% were male. DS occurred among 383 (32.3%) and NAS use among 52 (4.3%). In the multivariable analysis, being female (PR = 1.49, p = 0.008), NAS abuse (PR = 2.06, p = 0.02) and IPV (PR = 2.93, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with DS. Older age [odds ratio (OR) = 0.31, p < 0.001)], female (OR = 0.48, p = 0.036) were protective of NAS but current smokers (OR = 2.98, p < 0.001) and those reporting IPV (OR = 2.16, p = 0.024) were more likely to use NAS. Longitudinal studies should be done to establish temporal relationships with these risk factors to provide basis for interventions.
This Research Communication describes an investigation of the nutritional depletion of total mixed rations (TMR) by pest birds. We hypothesized that species-specific bird depredation of TMR can alter the nutritional composition of the ration and that these changes can negatively impact the performance of dairy cows. Blackbirds selected the high energy fraction of the TMR (i.e., flaked corn) and reduced starch, crude fat and total digestible nutrients during controlled feeding experiments. For Holsteins producing 37·1 kg of milk/d, dairy production modeling illustrated that total required net energy intake (NEI) was 35·8 Mcal/d. For the reference TMR unexposed to blackbirds and the blackbird-consumed TMR, NEI supplied was 41·2 and 37·8 Mcal/d, and the resulting energy balance was 5·4 and 2·0 Mcal/d, respectively. Thus, Holsteins fed the reference and blackbird-consumed TMR were estimated to gain one body condition score in 96 and 254 d, and experience daily weight change due to reserves of 1·1 and 0·4 kg/d, respectively. We discuss these results in context of an integrated pest management program for mitigating the depredation caused by pest birds at commercial dairies.
Knowledge of the effects of burial depth and burial duration on seed viability and, consequently, seedbank persistence of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) and waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) J. D. Sauer] ecotypes can be used for the development of efficient weed management programs. This is of particular interest, given the great fecundity of both species and, consequently, their high seedbank replenishment potential. Seeds of both species collected from five different locations across the United States were investigated in seven states (sites) with different soil and climatic conditions. Seeds were placed at two depths (0 and 15 cm) for 3 yr. Each year, seeds were retrieved, and seed damage (shrunken, malformed, or broken) plus losses (deteriorated and futile germination) and viability were evaluated. Greater seed damage plus loss averaged across seed origin, burial depth, and year was recorded for lots tested at Illinois (51.3% and 51.8%) followed by Tennessee (40.5% and 45.1%) and Missouri (39.2% and 42%) for A. palmeri and A. tuberculatus, respectively. The site differences for seed persistence were probably due to higher volumetric water content at these sites. Rates of seed demise were directly proportional to burial depth (α=0.001), whereas the percentage of viable seeds recovered after 36 mo on the soil surface ranged from 4.1% to 4.3% compared with 5% to 5.3% at the 15-cm depth for A. palmeri and A. tuberculatus, respectively. Seed viability loss was greater in the seeds placed on the soil surface compared with the buried seeds. The greatest influences on seed viability were burial conditions and time and site-specific soil conditions, more so than geographical location. Thus, management of these weed species should focus on reducing seed shattering, enhancing seed removal from the soil surface, or adjusting tillage systems.
Metal–insulator–metal (MIM) resonant absorbers comprise a conducting ground plane, a thin dielectric, and thin separated metal top-surface structures. The dielectric SiO2 strongly absorbs near 9 µm wavelength and has correspondingly strong long-wave-infrared (LWIR) dispersion for the refractive index. This dispersion results in multiple absorption resonances spanning the LWIR, which can enhance broad-band sensitivity for LWIR bolometers. Similar considerations apply to silicon nitride Si3N4. TiO2 and AlN have comparatively low dispersion and give simple single LWIR resonances. These dispersion-dependent features for infrared MIM devices are demonstrated by experiment, electrodynamic simulation, and an analytic model based on standing waves.
Despite 70 years of study, Dickinsonia remains one of the Ediacara biota’s most enigmatic taxa with both morphological characters and phylogenetic affinities still debated. A large population of relatively small Dickinsonia costata present on a semi-contiguous surface from the Crisp Gorge fossil locality in the Flinders Ranges (South Australia) provides an opportunity to investigate this taxon in its juvenile form. This population supports earlier findings that suggest D. costata’s early growth was isometric, based on the relationship between measured variables of length and width. The number of body units increases with length, but at a decreasing rate. A correlation between a previously described physical feature, present as a shrinkage rim partially surrounding some specimens and a novel, raised lip in some specimens, suggests that both features may have been the result of a physical contraction in response to the burial process, rather than due to a gradual loss of mass during early diagenesis. A marked protuberance in 15% of the population is also noted in limited specimens within the South Australian Museum collections and appears to be present only in juvenile D. costata. Both the abundance and narrow size range of this population support the notion that Dickinsonia was a hardy opportunist, capable of rapid establishment and growth on relatively immature textured organic-mat substrates.
Prolonged periods of stress have been associated with impaired immune function; the experiment reported here investigates a potential link between level of metabolic load and immune function in lactating dairy cattle. A group of 111 Holstein-Friesian dairy cows was used. The cows belonged to one of two genetic lines: a selection line (S) with high genetic merit for fat plus protein yield and an unselected control line (C). The cows were offered one of two silage-based total mixed diets containing either 200 g (LC) or 450 g (HC) of concentrate per kg dry matter. Combination of genetic selection and food gave four groups: S-LC, S-HC, C-LC and C-HC. All cows were inoculated with a live attenuated BHV-1 vaccine soon after parturition and the primary antibody response in whey monitored. The number of BHV-1 antibody positive cows was not significantly different between the four groups; but, the initial antibody response was lower in cows of high genetic merit which were given a low concentrate diet. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the contribution of diet to this effect was highly significant. One year later, again after parturition, the experiment was repeated, this time using serum as the test sample. The average antibody response of the BHV-1 antibody positive cows was not significantly different between the four groups but the number of antibody positive cows was group-dependent. In conclusion, diet type but not genetic merit for high fat plus protein yield made a highly significant contribution to the antibody response of dairy cows to BHV-1 vaccination, both initially and a year later.
To identify predominant dietary patterns in four African populations and examine their association with obesity.
We used data from the Africa/Harvard School of Public Health Partnership for Cohort Research and Training (PaCT) pilot study established to investigate the feasibility of a multi-country longitudinal study of non-communicable chronic disease in sub-Saharan Africa. We applied principal component analysis to dietary intake data collected from an FFQ developed for PaCT to ascertain dietary patterns in Tanzania, South Africa, and peri-urban and rural Uganda. The sample consisted of 444 women and 294 men.
We identified two dietary patterns: the Mixed Diet pattern characterized by high intakes of unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fresh fish, but also cold cuts and refined grains; and the Processed Diet pattern characterized by high intakes of salad dressing, cold cuts and sweets. Women in the highest tertile of the Processed Diet pattern score were 3·00 times more likely to be overweight (95 % CI 1·66, 5·45; prevalence=74 %) and 4·24 times more likely to be obese (95 % CI 2·23, 8·05; prevalence=44 %) than women in this pattern’s lowest tertile (both P<0·0001; prevalence=47 and 14 %, respectively). We found similarly strong associations in men. There was no association between the Mixed Diet pattern and overweight or obesity.
We identified two major dietary patterns in several African populations, a Mixed Diet pattern and a Processed Diet pattern. The Processed Diet pattern was associated with obesity.
Browsing herbivores tend to feed selectively, focussing on nutritious species and plant parts and avoiding toxic components. Recent research suggests that this selective browsing is substantially dependent on learning about post-ingestive consequences. Thus, animals come to associate particular foods with particular effects through experience and subsequently adjust their preference accordingly. Most previous experiments have involved simple training tasks (e.g. Burritt and Provenza, 1992) which do not reflect the complexity of the diet choice problem for free-ranging herbivores. A series of experiments was conducted testing the following more realistic food choice scenarios: (1) simultaneous vs temporally separated presentation of food options during the learning phase (2) seasonal change in post-ingestive consequences and (3) trade-offs between positive and negative consequences arising from single feeds.
We report the discovery of widespread millimeter-wavelength Class I methanol maser emission associated with protostellar molecular outflows in the massive (proto)cluster G11.92−0.61. Our ~0.5″-resolution SMA and ALMA observations of the 229 GHz and 278 GHz Class I transitions reveal seven and twelve candidate masers, respectively: all 229 GHz masers have 278 GHz counterparts, and five are also coincident with 44 GHz Class I masers previously detected with the VLA. For paired masers, the peak intensities at 229 GHz and 278 GHz are correlated. We also find tentative evidence for a correlation between the strength of millimeter-wavelength Class I maser emission and the energy of the associated molecular outflow.
We present Kitty, an unprecedented and near simultaneous flaring event in ten transitions (6 hydroxyl, 1 water and 3 methanol), that began on 1 January 2015 in the massive star-forming region NGC6334F located in the Cat’s Paw Nebula. The brightest components in each transition increased by factors of 20 to 70 in line with a factor of ~70 increase in dust emission luminosity for the source MM1. We also report the detection of only the fifth known 4.660 GHz hydroxyl maser and that it varied in a correlated fashion with 1.720, 6.031, and 6.035 GHz hydroxyl counterparts. We postulate that if Kitty, and two historical flares in 1965 & 1999, are accretion events and are caused by the successive passages of a secondary star disrupting the accretion disk, where the frequency of occurrence is cycling down at a rate of ~2.2, it is possible another event will occur in 2022.
Using quasi-simultaneous observations of 86 stars with known SiO maser emission, we searched for systematic differences between the strengths of the 43 and 86 GHz v=1 maser lines. Although for individual stars there is wide scatter between the line strengths spanning nearly an order of magnitude, there is no evidence of a systematic difference between these line strengths for the entire sample.
In our attempt to investigate the basic active galactic nucleus (AGN) paradigm requiring a centrally located supermassive black hole (SMBH), a close to Keplerian accretion disk and a jet perpendicular to its plane, we have searched for radio continuum in galaxies with H2O megamasers in their disks. We observed 18 such galaxies with the Very Large Baseline Array in C band (5 GHz, ~2 mas resolution) and we detected 5 galaxies at 8 σ or higher levels. For those sources for which the maser data is available, the positions of masers and those of the 5 GHz radio continuum sources coincide within the uncertainties, and the radio continuum is perpendicular to the maser disk’s orientation within the position angle uncertainties.
The dwarf galaxies in the Local Group (LG) reveal a surprising amount of spatial structuring. In particular, almost all non-satellite dwarfs belong to one of two planes that show a very pronounced symmetry. In order to determine if these structures in the LG are dynamically stable or, alternatively, if they only represent transient alignments, proper motion measurements of these galaxies are required. A viable method to derive proper motions is offered by VLBI studies of 22-GHz water (and 6.7-GHz methanol) maser lines in star-forming regions.
In 2016, in the framework of the Early Science Program of the Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT), we have conducted an extensive observational campaign to map the entire optical body of all the LG dwarf galaxies that belong to the two planes, at C and K band, in a search for methanol and water maser emission.
Here, we outline the project and present its first results on 3 targets, NGC 6822, IC 1613, and WLM. While no luminous maser emission has been detected in these galaxies, a number of interesting weaker detections has been obtained, associated with particularly active star forming regions. In addition, we have produced deep radio continuum maps for these galaxies, aimed at investigating their star forming activity and providing an improved assessment of star formation rates in these galaxies.
The final stages of low-mass stellar evolution are characterized by significant mass loss due to stellar pulsations during the AGB phase, which lead to the development of planetary nebulae. Molecular masers of H2O, SiO, and ground state OH transitions are commonly detected in oxygen-rich late-type stars (OH/IR objects). In contrast, excited OH maser transitions are rare. We discuss our study of the carbon-rich pre-planetary nebula CRL618 (a prototypical post-AGB star). Observations conducted in May 2008 with the 305m Arecibo Telescope resulted in the first detection of a 4765MHz OH maser line in a late-type stellar object; the detection was confirmed a few months later also with Arecibo. Subsequent observations in 2015 and 2017 resulted in non-detection of the 4765MHz OH line. Our observations indicate that the 4765MHz OH maser in CRL 618 is highly variable, possibly tracing a short-lived phenomenon during the development of a pre-planetary nebula.
The Central Molecular Zone (CMZ), the inner 450 pc of our Galaxy, is an exceptional region where the volume and column densities, gas temperatures, velocity dispersions, etc. are much higher than in the Galactic plane. It has been suggested that the formation of stars and clusters in this area is related to the orbital dynamics of the gas. The complex kinematic structure of the molecular gas was revealed by spectral line observations. However, these results are limited to the line-of-sight-velocities. To fully understand the motions of the gas within the CMZ, we have to know its location in 6D space (3D location + 3D motion). Recent orbital models have tried to explain the inflow of gas towards and its kinematics within this region. With parallax and proper motion measurements of masers in the CMZ we can discriminate among these models and constrain how our Galactic Center is fed with gas.
Since the IAU (maser-)Symposium 287 in Stellenbosch/South Africa (Jan. 2012), great progress has been achieved in studying extragalactic maser sources. Sensitivity has reached a level allowing for dedicated maser surveys of extragalactic objects. These included, during the last years, water vapor (H2O), methanol (CH3OH), and formaldehyde (H2CO), while surveys related to hydroxyl (OH), cyanoacetylene (HC3N) and ammonia (NH3) may soon become (again) relevant. Overall, with the upgraded Very Large Array (VLA), the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), FAST (Five hundred meter Aperture Synthesis Telescope) and the low frequency arrays APERTIF (APERture Tile in Focus), ASKAP (Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder) and MeerKAT (Meer Karoo Array Telescope), extragalactic maser studies are expected to flourish during the upcoming years. The following article provides a brief sketch of past achievements, ongoing projects and future perspectives.
The first periodic Class II methanol maser was reported on in 2003. Since that time, a number of different monitoring programmes have found periodic masers, as well as other modes of variability. In a few cases, periodicity has been found in other maser species such as formaldehyde and water. Several distinct characteristics of light curves have been noted, possibly pointing to different underlying mechanisms for periodicity if one assumes a linear response to incoming radiation. I will give a brief overview of the known periodic sources, discuss current theories, and present new results obtained from monitoring mainline hydroxyl masers using the seven-element Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7) during its science verification phase.