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TwinsUK is the largest cohort of community-dwelling adult twins in the UK. The registry comprises over 14,000 volunteer twins (14,838 including mixed, single and triplets); it is predominantly female (82%) and middle-aged (mean age 59). In addition, over 1800 parents and siblings of twins are registered volunteers. During the last 27 years, TwinsUK has collected numerous questionnaire responses, physical/cognitive measures and biological measures on over 8500 subjects. Data were collected alongside four comprehensive phenotyping clinical visits to the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London. Such collection methods have resulted in very detailed longitudinal clinical, biochemical, behavioral, dietary and socioeconomic cohort characterization; it provides a multidisciplinary platform for the study of complex disease during the adult life course, including the process of healthy aging. The major strength of TwinsUK is the availability of several ‘omic’ technologies for a range of sample types from participants, which includes genomewide scans of single-nucleotide variants, next-generation sequencing, metabolomic profiles, microbiomics, exome sequencing, epigenetic markers, gene expression arrays, RNA sequencing and telomere length measures. TwinsUK facilitates and actively encourages sharing the ‘TwinsUK’ resource with the scientific community — interested researchers may request data via the TwinsUK website (http://twinsuk.ac.uk/resources-for-researchers/access-our-data/) for their own use or future collaboration with the study team. In addition, further cohort data collection is planned via the Wellcome Open Research gateway (https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/gateways). The current article presents an up-to-date report on the application of technological advances, new study procedures in the cohort and future direction of TwinsUK.
We describe the design and deployment of GREENBURST, a commensal Fast Radio Burst (FRB) search system at the Green Bank Telescope. GREENBURST uses the dedicated L-band receiver tap to search over the 960–1 920 MHz frequency range for pulses with dispersion measures out to
. Due to its unique design, GREENBURST is capable of conducting searches for FRBs when the L-band receiver is not being used for scheduled observing. This makes it a sensitive single pixel detector capable of reaching deeper in the radio sky. While single pulses from Galactic pulsars and rotating radio transients will be detectable in our observations, and will form part of the database we archive, the primary goal is to detect and study FRBs. Based on recent determinations of the all-sky rate, we predict that the system will detect approximately one FRB for every 2–3 months of continuous operation. The high sensitivity of GREENBURST means that it will also be able to probe the slope of the FRB fluence distribution, which is currently uncertain in this observing band.
As demonstrated by neuroimaging data, the human brain contains systems that control responses to threat. The revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of personality predicts that individual differences in the reactivity of these brain systems produce anxiety and fear-related personality traits. Here we discuss some of the challenges in testing this theory and, as an example, present a pilot study that aimed to dissociate brain activity during pursuit by threat and goal conflict. We did this by translating the Mouse Defense Test Battery for human fMRI use. In this version, dubbed the Joystick Operated Runway Task (JORT), we repeatedly exposed 24 participants to pursuit and goal conflict, with and without threat of electric shock. The runway design of JORT allowed the effect of threat distance on brain activation to be evaluated independently of context. Goal conflict plus threat of electric shock caused deactivation in a network of brain areas that included the fusiform and middle temporal gyri, as well as the default mode network core, including medial frontal regions, precuneus and posterior cingulate gyrus, and laterally the inferior parietal and angular gyri. Consistent with earlier research, we also found that imminent threat activated the midbrain and that this effect was significantly stronger during the simple pursuit condition than during goal conflict. Also consistent with earlier research, we found significantly greater hippocampal activation during goal conflict than pursuit by imminent threat. In conclusion, our results contribute knowledge to theories linking anxiety disorders to altered functioning in defensive brain systems and also highlight challenges in this research domain.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Identifying options for the sustainable intensification of cropping systems in southern Africa under prevailing high climate risk is needed. With this in mind, we tested an intercropping system that combined the staple crop maize with lablab, a local but underutilised legume. Grain and biomass productivity was determined for four variants (i) sole maize (sole-maize), (ii) sole lablab (sole-lablab), (iii) maize/lablab with both crops sown simultaneously (intercropped-SP) and (iv) maize/lablab with lablab sown 28 days after the maize crop (intercropped-DP). Soil water and weather data were monitored and evaluated. The trial was conducted for two seasons (2015/2016 and 2016/2017) at two sites in the Limpopo Province, South Africa: Univen (847 mm rainfall, 29.2 °C maximum and 18.9 °C minimum temperature average for the cropping season over the years 2008–2017) and Syferkuil (491 mm rainfall, with 27.0 °C maximum and 14.8 °C minimum temperature). Analysis revealed three key results: The treatment with intercropped-SP had significantly lower maize yields (2320 kg ha−1) compared with maize in intercropped-DP (2865 kg ha−1) or sole-maize (2623 kg ha−1). As expected, maize yields in the El Niño affected in season 2015/2016 were on average 1688 kg ha−1 lower than in 2016/2017. Maize yields were significantly lower (957 kg ha−1) at Univen, the warmer site with higher rainfall, than at Syferkuil. In 2015/2016, maximum temperature at Univen exceeded 40 °C around anthesis. Furthermore, soil water was close to the estimated permanent wilting point (PWP) for most of the cropping season, which indicates possible water limitations. In Syferkuil, the soil water was maintained well above PWP. Lablab yields were low, around 500 ha−1, but stable as they were not affected by treatment across season and site. Overall, the study demonstrated that intercropped-DP appears to use available soil water more efficiently than sole maize. Intercropped-DP could therefore be considered as an option for sustainable intensification under high climate risk and resource-limited conditions for smallholders in southern Africa.
This document is a resource for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) treating an injured law enforcement K9 (LEK9) in the field and/or during transport by ambulance to a veterinary hospital. A Joint Task Force on Working Dog Care was created, which included veterinarians, EMS directors, EMS physicians, and canine handlers, who met to develop a treatment protocol for injured LEK9s. The protocol covers many major life-threatening injuries that LEK9s may sustain in the line of duty, and also discusses personnel safety and necessary equipment. This protocol may help train EMS providers to save the life of an injured LEK9.
Much of the peace agreement durability literature assumes that stronger peace agreements are more likely to survive the trials of the post-conflict environment. This work does an excellent job identifying which provisions indicate that agreements are more likely to endure. However, there is no widely accepted way to directly measure the strength of agreements, and existing measures suffer from a lack of nuance or reliance on subjective weighting. We use a Bayesian item response theory model to develop a principled measure of the latent strength of peace agreements in civil conflicts from 1975 to 2005. We illustrate the measure's utility by exploring how various international factors such as sanctions and mediation contribute to the strength or weakness of agreements.
REX is a Fortran program for analysis of spectra obtained in PIXE analysis. The underlying model is still under development; however, one year of experience has demonstrated REX's capability to be a fast reliable tool. The modeling of the different components and effects of the physical model is briefly discussed. Evidence is shown that secondary effects mostly due to Compton-scattering in and around the detector are important factors. In order to assure that heavy elements are recorded with sufficient sensitivity during short bombardment times, low energy X-rays are suppressed but not completely absorbed by use of a Mylar absorber with a hole. Such an absorber sometimes introduces severe problems for other techniques of spectrum analysis. However, to REX there is only the job to find the transmission curve of the absorber.
We have been using the technique of pulsed neutron powder diffraction to study several problems in the physics and chemistry of the actinide elements. In these elements one often encounters very complex structures resulting from polymorphic transformations presumably induced by the presence of 5f-electrons. For exampie, at least five distinct structures of plutonium metal are found between room temperature and its melting point of 640°C, and two of the structures are monoclinic! Single crystals are usually not available, and the high resolution which is intrinsic to the time-of-flight powder technique is a powerful tool in the solution of complex structural problems. The relatively low absorption coefficients for neutrons for at least some actinide isotopes is an advantage when surface oxidation is a problem (as in high-temperature experiments) and provides good particle statistics so that high-quality data are available for Rietveld refinement. The low absorption of neutrons by other materials such as vanadium and fused silica enables the use of these materials for the containment of samples in high- and low-temperature environments, and the fixed geometry of the time-of-flight technique simplifies the design of furnaces and cryostats.
We have determined the strain and particle size for several samples of palladium powder by time-of-flight nrutron powder diffraction on two different diffractometers and by x-ray powder diffraction. The results are compared and found to be in fair agreement. The time-of-flight method gives good enough precision to reveal deficiencies in the simple models used for strain and particle size line broadening.
In sows, n-3 fatty acids increase litter sizes, however, effects on gilt reproductive development have not been adequately studied. Moreover, not determined are effects of feeding n-3 fatty acids to sows on reproduction in offspring. The objective here was to determine effects of 4% dietary menhaden oil on growth and puberty in gilts farrowed by sows fed menhaden oil. Sows (n = 44) were assigned to: (1) control gestation and lactation diets, or (2) diets including menhaden oil. For primiparous sows only, total litter size and born alive were greater (P < 0.05) in females fed menhaden oil. Conversely, pigs from primiparous controls were heavier (P < 0.05) than pigs from primiparous sows fed menhaden oil (parity by diet interactions, P < 0.01). Diet did not affect (P > 0.20) other sow and litter characteristics. At weaning, 84 gilts from control- or menhaden oil sows were placed three gilts per pen and provided control diets or diets containing menhaden oil. Nursery and grow-finish feed intake and feed efficiency were similar (P > 0.21) for gilts from the different sows and weight gain was similar (P > 0.24) for gilts fed control or menhaden diets. Gilts fed menhaden oil tended to eat less in the nursery (1.18±0.08 kg v. 0.98±0.08 kg; P = 0.09) and overall (1.83±0.04 kg v. 1.72±0.04 kg; P = 0.06). Thus, overall feed to gain was greater (2.52±0.03 v. 2.33±0.03; P < 0.01) and nursery (2.12±0.04 v. 1.80±0.04; P = 0.10) and grow-finish (3.07±0.19 v. 2.58±0.19; P = 0.08) feed to gain tended to be greater, for control gilts. Age at puberty was greater (P = 0.02) for gilts from menhaden oil-fed sows (205.1±3.2 days) compared to gilts from controls (193.9±3.2 days) and tended to be greater (P = 0.09), for controls (203.5±3.2 days) compared to gilts fed menhaden oil (195.5±3.2 days). A tendency existed (P = 0.09) for greater follicular fluid in gilts fed menhaden oil, however, ovulation rate and ovarian, luteal and uterine weights were not affected by sow diet, gilt diet or the interaction (P > 0.23). Feeding gilts menhaden oil enhanced feed efficiency and hastened puberty onset. Gilts from sows consuming menhaden oil exhibited delayed puberty and retaining females from sows fed this feedstuff may be ill advised.
We provide the first in situ measurements of antenna element beam shapes of the Murchison Widefield Array. Most current processing pipelines use an assumed beam shape, which can cause absolute and relative flux density errors and polarisation ‘leakage’. Understanding the primary beam is then of paramount importance, especially for sensitive experiments such as a measurement of the 21-cm line from the epoch of reionisation, where the calibration requirements are so extreme that tile to tile beam variations may affect our ability to make a detection. Measuring the primary beam shape from visibilities is challenging, as multiple instrumental, atmospheric, and astrophysical factors contribute to uncertainties in the data. Building on the methods of Neben et al. [Radio Sci., 50, 614], we tap directly into the receiving elements of the telescope before any digitisation or correlation of the signal. Using ORBCOMM satellite passes we are able to produce all-sky maps for four separate tiles in the XX polarisation. We find good agreement with the beam model of Sokolowski et al. [2017, PASA, 34, e062], and clearly observe the effects of a missing dipole from a tile in one of our beam maps. We end by motivating and outlining additional on-site experiments.