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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.
Rapid weight gain in infancy and low levels of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) at birth are associated with increased adiposity later in life. The association between placental LCPUFA delivery and weight gain in infancy is poorly understood. We sought to determine the relationships between maternal phenotype, placental fatty acid transporter expression and offspring growth patterns over the first 6 months. Placental tissue and cord blood were collected at term delivery from women with uncomplicated pregnancies. Offspring body composition measurements were recorded 1 day and 6 months after birth. Body mass index (BMI) z-scores were determined using World Health Organization 2006 reference data. Body phenotype patterns were compared among offspring who had an increase in BMI z-score and those who had a decrease. High skinfold thickness at birth and positive change in BMI z-scores during infancy were associated with low neonatal n-3 LCPUFA plasma levels (r=−0.46, P=0.046) and high saturated fatty acids levels (r=0.49, P=0.034). Growth of skinfolds over 6 months of age was associated with placental fatty acid transporter gene expression. Change in BMI z-score in the first 6 months of life correlated with arm muscle area growth, a measure of lean mass (r=0.62, P=0.003), but not with growth in skinfold thickness. Early infancy weight gain was associated with poor plasma LCPUFA status at birth, and fat deposition in infancy was related to changes in placental lipid handling. Thus, neonatal fatty acid profiles may influence the trajectory of infant growth and fat and lean mass deposition.
Epidemiology formed the basis of ‘the Barker hypothesis’, the concept of ‘developmental programming’ and today’s discipline of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Animal experimentation provided proof of the underlying concepts, and continues to generate knowledge of underlying mechanisms. Interventions in humans, based on DOHaD principles, will be informed by experiments in animals. As knowledge in this discipline has accumulated, from studies of humans and other animals, the complexity of interactions between genome, environment and epigenetics, has been revealed. The vast nature of programming stimuli and breadth of effects is becoming known. As a result of our accumulating knowledge we now appreciate the impact of many variables that contribute to programmed outcomes. To guide further animal research in this field, the Australia and New Zealand DOHaD society (ANZ DOHaD) Animals Models of DOHaD Research Working Group convened at the 2nd Annual ANZ DOHaD Congress in Melbourne, Australia in April 2015. This review summarizes the contributions of animal research to the understanding of DOHaD, and makes recommendations for the design and conduct of animal experiments to maximize relevance, reproducibility and translation of knowledge into improving health and well-being.
A K-band (18-25 GHz) reflected-wave ruby maser (Moore and Clauss 1979) has been borrowed from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory for radio astronomy use on the NASA 64-m antenna of the Deep Space Network at the Tidbinbilla Tracking Station, near Canberra. The purpose of the installation is to provide additional sensitive spectral line, continuum, and VLBI capabilities in the southern hemisphere. Previous measurements at 22.3 GHz (λ = 13.5 mm) determined that the Tidbinbilla 64-m antenna has a peak aperture efficiency of ˜22%, a well-behaved beam shape and consistent pointing (Fourikis and Jauncey 1979). Before installing the maser on the antenna a cooled (circulator) switch was added to provide a beam-switching capability, and a spectral line receiver following the maser was incorporated. The system was assembled and tested at JPL in late 1980 and installed at Tidbinbilla early in 1981. We give here a brief description and present some of the first line observations made in February and March 1981. Extensive line and continuum observations are planned with the present system and a program is under way to determine the telescope pointing characteristics.
The Parkes multibeam pulsar survey uses a 13-element receiver operating at a wavelength of 20 cm to survey the inner Galactic plane with remarkable sensitivity. To date we have collected and analyzed data from 45% of the survey region (|b| < 5°; 260° < l < 50°), and have discovered 440 pulsars, in addition to re-detecting 190 previously known ones. Most of the newly discovered pulsars are at great distances, as inferred from a median dispersion measure (DM) of 400 cm−3 pc.
This study aims to describe in detail the temporal dynamics of E. coli O157 shedding and risk factors for shedding in a grass-fed beef herd. During a 9-month period, 23 beef cows were sampled twice a week (58 sampling points) and E. coli O157 was enumerated from faecal samples. Isolates were screened by PCR for presence of rfbE, stx1 and stx2. The prevalence per sampling day ranged from 0% to 57%. This study demonstrates that many members of the herd were concurrently shedding E. coli O157. Occurrence of rainfall (P < 0·01), feeding silage (P < 0·01) and lactating (P < 0·01) were found to be predictors of shedding. Moving cattle to a new paddock had a negative effect on shedding. This approach, based on short-interval sampling, confirms the known variability of shedding within a herd and highlights that high shedding events are rare.
Iron oxides resulting from the corrosion of large quantities of steel that are planned to be installed throughout a deep geological disposal facility (GDF) are expected to be one of the key surfaces of interest for controlling radionuclide behaviour under disposal conditions. Over the lengthy timescales associated with a GDF, the system is expected to become anoxic so that reduced Fe(II) phases will dominate. Batch experiments have therefore been completed in order to investigate how a model reduced Fe-oxide surface (wüstite, Fe1–xO) alters as a function of exposure to aqueous solutions with compositions representative of conditions expected within a GDF. Additional experiments were performed to constrain the effect that highly alkaline solutions (up to pH 13) have on the adsorption behaviour of the uranyl (UO22+) ion onto the surfaces of both wüstite and portlandite [Ca(OH)2; representative of the expected cementitious phases]. Surface co-ordination chemistry and speciation were determined by ex situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements (both X-ray absorption near-edge structure analysis (XANES) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure analysis (EXAFS)). Diffraction, elemental analysis and XANES showed that the bulk solid composition and Fe oxidation state remained relatively unaltered over the time frame of these experiments (120 h), although under alkaline conditions possible surface hydroxylation is observed, due presumably to the formation of surface hydroxyl complexes. The surface morphology, however, is altered significantly with a large degree of roughening and an observed decrease in the average particle size. Reduction of U(VI) to U(IV) occurs during adsorption in almost all cases and this is interpreted to indicate that wüstite may be an effective reductant of U during surface adsorption. This work also shows that increasing the carbonate concentration in reactant solutions dramatically decreases the adsorption coefficients for U on both wüstite and portlandite, consistent with U speciation and surface reactivity determined in other studies. Finally, the EXAFS results include new details about exactly how U bonds to this metal oxide surface.
We performed a study to determine rates of reinfection in three groups followed for 2 years after successful treatment: American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons living in urban (group 1) and rural (group 2) communities, and urban Alaska non-Native persons (group 3). We enrolled adults diagnosed with H. pylori infection based on a positive urea breath test (13C-UBT). After successful treatment was documented at 2 months, we tested each patient by 13C-UBT at 4, 6, 12 and 24 months. At each visit, participants were asked about medication use, illnesses and risk factors for reinfection. We followed 229 persons for 2 years or until they became reinfected. H. pylori reinfection occurred in 36 persons; cumulative reinfection rates were 14·5%, 22·1%, and 12·0% for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Study participants who became reinfected were more likely to have peptic ulcer disease (P = 0·02), low education level (P = 0·04), or have a higher proportion of household members infected with H. pylori compared to participants who did not become reinfected (P = 0·03). Among all three groups, reinfection occurred at rates higher than those reported for other US populations (<5% at 2 years); rural AI/AN individuals appear to be at highest risk for reinfection.
Patients receiving a bone-anchored hearing aid have well-documented improvements in their quality of life and audiometric performance. However, the relationship between audiometric measurements and subjective improvement is not well understood.
Adult patients enrolled in the Nova Scotia bone-anchored hearing aid programme were identified. The pure tone average for fitting the sound-field threshold, as well as the better and worse hearing ear bone conduction and air conduction levels, were collected pre-operatively. Recipients were asked to complete the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing questionnaire; their partners were asked to complete a pre- and post-bone anchored hearing aid fitting Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults questionnaire.
Forty-eight patients who completed and returned the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing questionnaire had partners who completed the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults questionnaire. The results from the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing questionnaire correlated with the sound-field hearing threshold post-bone-anchored hearing aid fitting and the pure tone average of the better hearing ear bone conduction (total Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale to the pre-operative better hearing ear air curve (r = 0.3); worse hearing ear air curve (r = 0.27); post-operative, bone-anchored hearing aid-aided sound-field thresholds (r = 0.35)). An improvement in sound-field threshold correlated only with spatial abilities. In the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults questionnaire, there was no correlation between the subjective evaluation of each patient and their partner.
The subjective impressions of hearing aid recipients with regards to speech reception and the spatial qualities of hearing correlate well with pre-operative audiometric results. However, the overall magnitude of sound-field improvement predicts an improvement of spatial perception, but not other aspects of hearing, resulting in hearing aid recipients having strongly disparate subjective impressions when compared to those of their partners.
Bone-anchored hearing aid recipients experience well documented improvements in their audiometric performance and quality of life. While hearing aid recipients may understate their functional improvement, their partners may be more aware of such improvement. We sought to investigate patients' partners' perceptions of functional improvement following bone-anchored hearing aid fitting.
Surveys were sent to 153 patients who had received a bone-anchored hearing aid through the Nova Scotia bone-anchored hearing aid programme. The validated survey asked patients' partners to give their subjective impression of the bone-anchored hearing aid recipient's functional status.
Results and conclusions:
Surveys were completed by 90 patients (58.8 per cent), of whom 72 reported having a partner. Partners reported a significant improvement in hearing (p ≤ 0.0001). Partners reported improvement in 87.0 per cent of functional scenarios, no change in 12.6 per cent, and a decline in 0.4 per cent. These findings demonstrate a significant improvement in the emotional and social effects of hearing impairment, as perceived by bone-anchored hearing aid recipients' partners.
The Tc of 124 is enhanced by Ca substitution: CaxY(1‐x)Ba2Cu4Oy prepared at 200 bar at 930°C shows Tc = 89 K for x = 0.1. The 124 phase remains stable with Ca substitution at P(O2) ≥ 50 bar. For P(O2) = 2‐16 bar, Ca substitution stabilizes a tetragonal 123 phase CaxY(1‐x)Ba2Cu4Oy, which shows a Tc (87 K for x = 0.2) comparable to that of unsubstituted orthorhombic 123. The synthesis of CaT‐123 has been achieved in oxygen overpressure as small as 1 bar.
Samples with the stoichiometry (CaxY1−x)Ba2Cu4O8, x = 0, 0.1 were synthesized at P(O2) = 25 and 200 bar. High Resolution TEM images for the samples synthesized at 25 bar show a high density of planar defects as compared to almost defect free microstructure of Ca0.1Y0.9Ba2Cu4O8 synthesized at 200 bar. The intragrain critical current density of the high defect density samples is however about 100 times lower that that of Ca0.1Y0.9Ba2Cu4O8 synthesized at P(O2) = 200 bar.
Fe-Co-V-C quaternary alloys were drop cast and directionally solidified to obtain an in situ composite. It is found that the fully eutectic structure occurs at a composition of Fe - 40.5Co -10.4V- 8.6C (at. %) in a drop-cast alloy. Directional solidification of this composition in a high-temperature optical floating zone furnace produces a well-aligned microstructure, consisting of sub-micron VC fibers (~19% by volume) embedded in a FeCo-5V solid solution matrix containing ~ 1% C. The temperature dependencies of mechanical properties of this composite were examined by tensile tests and the composite was found to have higher yield strength and lower ductility than the matrix.
Crystallographic and chemical analysis of the microstructures obtained by annealing a heavily deformed Ti-24Al-11 Nb alloy have been performed. The influence of the niobium distribution within the different phases present and the variation of degree of long range order caused by this distribution have been related to the deformation mechanisms leading to strain hardening at the early stages of deformation. In particular, slip band formation and twinning have been observed to occur within the (α2 phase according to the different degree of order measured.
Titanium trialuminide alloys suffer problems of intense segregation during solidification and extreme brittleness when subjected to tensile stresses. In this study, spray forming techniques have been used to obtain homogeneous materials of fine microstructure, containing various second phase particles, and the deformation behaviour of these materials examined over a range of temperatures.
The microstructure and deformation behaviour of an iron-modified titanium trialuminide with the L12 structure is reported here.Deformation mechanisms are interpreted by analysis of dislocation structures and further confirmation is obtained by activation volume measurements: the importance of Peierls effects at low temperatures and cross slip at high temperatures is shown. The material remains brittle in tension both at room temperature and at high temperatures: the second phase particles in the material are yet not present in sufficient volume fraction to greatly affect plastic behaviour.
Nb-silicide based in-situ composites are promising materials for future high-temperature structural applications. Nb-silicide composites are typically alloyed with Hf, Ti, Cr, and Al to provide a balance of mechanical and environmental properties. A thermodynamic description of the Nb-Cr-Si system has been developed previously in literature based on reported isothermal sections. According to the previously calculated phase diagrams, selected alloys were directionally solidified. The as-solidified microstructures could not be interpreted using the liquidus projection calculated from the existing thermodynamic descriptions. Therefore, an improved thermodynamic description was developed by incorporating the new experimental data.