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The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
Given the difficulty in obtaining robust chronologies from tree rings in tropical regions, the search for appropriate species is very important. Both dendrochronology and radiocarbon (14C) measurements are required to validate the use of any specific tree. Some species have proved to be reliable for representing atmospheric 14C concentration over time, such as Cedrela fissilis and Araucaria angustifolia. However, not only the species have to be validated, but also different climatic conditions may result in different growth patterns for the same species. In this work, we study the annual growth rings of Cedrela fissilis from a dry tropical forest patch typical of a highly seasonal climate in central Brazil. 14C accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) was used to compare the isotopic ratios of tree rings with the 14C concentrations in the atmosphere during the nuclear tests based on curve Bomb13SH 1-2. Results are similar to the bomb peak curve within the period from 1958 to 1980 AD and serve as a crucial test for the cross-dating analyses using the skeleton plot technique.
Spineless cactus is a useful feed for various animal species in arid and semiarid regions due to its adaptability to dry and harsh soil, high efficiency of water use and carbohydrates storage. This meta-analysis was carried out to assess the effect of spineless cactus on animal performance, and develop and evaluate equations to predict dry matter intake (DMI) and average daily gain (ADG) in meat lambs. Equations for predicting DMI and ADG as a function of animal and diet characteristics were developed using data from eight experiments. The dataset was comprised of 40 treatment means from 289 meat lambs, in which cactus was included from 0 to 75% of the diet dry matter (DM). Accuracy and precision were evaluated by cross-validation using the mean square error of prediction (MSEP), which was decomposed into mean bias, systematic bias and random error; concordance correlation coefficient, which was decomposed into accuracy (Cb) and precision (ρ); and coefficient of determination (R2). In addition, the data set was used to evaluate the predicting accuracy and precision of the main lamb feeding systems (Agricultural and Food Research Council, Small Ruminant Nutritional System, National Research Council and Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) and also two Brazilian studies. The DMI, CP intake (CPI), metabolizable energy (ME) intake and ADG increased when cactus was included up to 499 g/kg DM (P<0.001). In contrast, animals fed high levels of cactus (>500 g/kg DM) had a decreased DMI, CPI and NDF intake, but increased feed efficiency (P<0.001) and similar ADG compared with those without cactus addition. The DMI was positively correlated with initial BW, final BW, concentrate and ADG, while it was negatively correlated with cactus inclusion and ME of the diet. On other hand, ADG was positively correlated with DMI, initial and mean BW and concentrate, and it was negatively correlated with cactus inclusion. The two developed equations had high accuracy (Cb of 0.95 for DMI and 0.94 for ADG) and the random error of MSEP was 99% for both equations. The precision of both equations was moderate, with R2 values of 0.53 and 0.50 and ρ values of 0.73 and 0.71 for DMI and ADG, respectively. In conclusion, the developed equation to predict DMI had moderate precision and high accuracy, nonetheless, it was more efficient than those reported in the literature. The proposed equations can be a useful alternative to estimate intake and performance of lambs fed cactus.
Temporal and spatial scarcity of water in semi-arid and seasonal ecosystems often leads to changes in movements and behaviour of large vertebrates, and in the neotropics this dynamic is poorly understood due to logistical and methodological limitations. Here we used camera trapping to elucidate variation in patterns of seasonal use of waterholes and pathways by 10 large-mammal and four large-bird species in the dry forest of north-western Costa Rica. From 2011 to 2015, we deployed trail cameras at 50 locations, including waterholes and three types of pathway (roads, human trails and animal paths). We used Generalized Linear Models to evaluate the effect of location and seasonality on the rates at which independent photographs were taken. We found interacting effects of location and seasonality for the capuchin monkey (Cebus capucinus), the tiger heron (Trigrisoma mexicanum), the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and the tapir (Tapirus bairdii) suggesting that these species were the most influenced by waterholes during the dry season. Comparison of waterhole sites and specific types of pathways (roads, animal paths and human trails) showed that location influenced photo-capture rates of almost all species, suggesting a useful insight to avoid and account for bias in camera trap studies. Furthering our ecological understanding of seasonal water regimes and large vertebrates’ behaviours allow for better understanding of the consequences of climate change on them.
Tetraspanins, such as CD81, can form lateral associations with each other and with other transmembrane proteins. These interactions may underlie CD81 functions in multiple cellular processes, such as adhesion, morphology, migration, and differentiation. Since CD81's role in neuronal cells’ migration has not been established, we here evaluated effects of CD81 on the migratory phenotype of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. CD81 was found enriched at SH-SY5Y cell's membrane, co-localizing with its interactor filamentous-actin (F-actin) in migratory relevant structures of the leading edge (filopodia, stress fibers, and adhesion sites). CD81 overexpression increased the number of cells with a migratory phenotype, in a potentially phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K)–Ak strain transforming (AKT) mediated manner. Indeed, CD81 also co-localized with AKT, a CD81-interactor and actin remodeling agent, at the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. Pharmacologic inhibition of PI3K, the canonical AKT activator, led both to a decrease in the acquisition of a migratory phenotype and to a redistribution of intracellular CD81 and F-actin into cytoplasmic agglomerates. These findings suggest that in neuronal-like cells CD81 bridges active AKT and actin, promoting the actin remodeling that leads to a motile cell morphology. Further studies on this CD81-mediated mechanism will improve our knowledge on important physiological and pathological processes such as cell migration and differentiation, and tumor metastasis.
This paper describes a model of electron energization and cyclotron-maser emission applicable to astrophysical magnetized collisionless shocks. It is motivated by the work of Begelman, Ergun and Rees [Astrophys. J. 625, 51 (2005)] who argued that the cyclotron-maser instability occurs in localized magnetized collisionless shocks such as those expected in blazar jets. We report on recent research carried out to investigate electron acceleration at collisionless shocks and maser radiation associated with the accelerated electrons. We describe how electrons accelerated by lower-hybrid waves at collisionless shocks generate cyclotron-maser radiation when the accelerated electrons move into regions of stronger magnetic fields. The electrons are accelerated along the magnetic field and magnetically compressed leading to the formation of an electron velocity distribution having a horseshoe shape due to conservation of the electron magnetic moment. Under certain conditions the horseshoe electron velocity distribution function is unstable to the cyclotron-maser instability [Bingham and Cairns, Phys. Plasmas 7, 3089 (2000); Melrose, Rev. Mod. Plasma Phys. 1, 5 (2017)].
TorsinA is a member of the AAA+ superfamily of adenosine triphosphatases. These AAA+ proteins have numerous biological functions, including vesicle fusion, cytoskeleton dynamics, intracellular trafficking, protein folding, and degradation as well as organelle biogenesis. Of particular interest is torsinA, which is mainly located in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and nuclear envelope (NE). Interestingly, mutations in the TOR1A gene (the gene encoding torsinA) are associated with DYT1 dystonia and with the preferential localization of mutated torsinA at the NE, where it is associated with lamina-associated polypeptide 1. A bioinformatics study of the torsinA interactome revealed reproductive processes to be highly relevant, as proteins in this class were found to interact with the former. Interestingly, the torsin protein family had never been previously described to be associated with the mammalian spermatogenic process. Histological staining of torsinA in human testis tissue revealed a granular cytoplasmic localization in mid- and late spermatocytes. We further sought to understand this newly discovered expression of torsinA in the meiotic phase of human spermatogenesis by studying its specific subcellular distribution. TorsinA is not present in the ER as commonly described. The proposal that torsinA might relocate to the pro-acrosomal vesicles in the Golgi apparatus is discussed.
The adaptive changes of the foetal heart in intrauterine growth restriction can persist postnatally. Data regarding its consequences for early circulatory adaptation to extrauterine life are scarce. The aim of this study was to assess cardiac morphometry and function in newborns with late-onset intrauterine growth restriction to test the hypothesis that intrauterine growth restriction causes cardiac shape and functional changes at birth.
A comprehensive echocardiographic study was performed in 25 neonates with intrauterine growth restriction and 25 adequate-for-gestational-age neonates.
Compared with controls, neonates with intrauterine growth restriction had more globular ventricles, lower longitudinal tricuspid annular motion, and higher left stroke volume without differences in the heart rate. Neonates with intrauterine growth restriction also showed subclinical signs of diastolic dysfunction in the tissue Doppler imaging with lower values of early (e′) diastolic annular peak velocities in the septal annulus. Finally, the Tei index in the tricuspid annulus was higher in the intrauterine growth restriction group.
Neonates with history of intrauterine growth restriction showed cardiac remodelling and signs of systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Overall, there was a significant tendency to worse cardiac function results in the right heart. The adaptation to extrauterine life occurred with more globular hearts, higher stroke volumes but a similar heart rate compared to adequate-for-gestational-age neonates.
Zika virus infection was declared a public health emergency of international concern in February 2016 in response to the outbreak in Brazil and its suspected link with congenital anomalies. In this study, we use notification data and disease natural history parameters to estimate the basic reproduction number (R0) of Zika in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We also obtain estimates of R0 of dengue from time series of dengue cases in the outbreaks registered in 2002 and 2012 in the city, when DENV-3 and DENV-4 serotypes, respectively, had just emerged. Our estimates of the basic reproduction number for Zika in Rio de Janeiro based on surveillance notifications (R0 = 2·33, 95% CI: 1·97–2·97) were higher than those obtained for dengue in the city (year 2002: R0 = 1·70 [1·50–2·02]; year 2012: R0 = 1·25 [1·18–1·36]). Given the role of Aedes aegypti as vector of both the Zika and dengue viruses, we also derive R0 of Zika as a function of both dengue reproduction number and entomological and epidemiological parameters for dengue and Zika. Using the dengue outbreaks from previous years allowed us to estimate the potential R0 of Zika. Our estimates were closely in agreement with our first Zika's R0 estimation from notification data. Hence, these results validate deriving the potential risk of Zika transmission in areas with recurring dengue outbreaks. Whether transmission routes other than vector-based can sustain a Zika epidemic still deserves attention, but our results suggest that the Zika outbreak in Rio de Janeiro emerged due to population susceptibility and ubiquitous presence of Ae. aegypti.
Zircon from two types of orthogneisses (inheritance-rich and inheritance-poor) from Sierra Nevada (Betic Cordillera, Spain) was investigated by integrating U–Pb geochronology, cathodoluminescence and back-scattered SEM imaging, laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analyses and Raman spectroscopy to examine the conditions of magmatic zircon growth and the variable extent and mechanisms of the Alpine modifications. Zircon from inheritance-rich gneiss consists of two main domains: inherited (Neoproterozoic-to-Early Paleozoic and Devonian) cores and magmatic overgrowths, which provided 206Pb/238U concordant ages of 286 ± 3 Ma. In inheritance-poor gneiss, zircons consist of magmatic cores and very altered rims defining a discordia with an upper intercept with the Concordia at 287 + 21 –22 Ma and a lower intercept at 20.8 + 48.6 –20.8 Ma. Magmatic domains of zircon from inheritance-rich gneiss have lower rare-earth element (REE) contents than magmatic domains from inheritance-poor gneiss, reflecting the less evolved nature of the melt. Altered domains in zircon from inheritance-poor gneisss how greater U concentrations, lower REE concentrations and lower Th/U ratios relative to the cores, interpreted as representing Pb loss from the U-rich magmatic domains during the Alpine event. Morphological changes within single grains and between populations reflects the evolution during magmatic cooling. We show that, whereas classic methods allow two different interpretations for the geodynamic setting of the two types of gneisses, a complete study of composition, morphology and structure of zircon can help to decide that a model based on a common source for the granitic melt better fits the zircon characteristics than a model based on melts generated in two different geotectonic settings.
There is an increasing interest in improving neurocysticercosis (NCC) diagnosis through the search of new and alternative antigenic sources, as those obtained from heterologous antigens. The aim of this study was to obtain potential biomarkers for NCC diagnosis after gel filtration chromatography [gel filtration fraction (GFF)] from the total saline extract (SE) from Taenia saginata metacestodes, followed by protein identification and application in immunodiagnostic. SE and GFF proteic profiles were characterized in gel electrophoresis, and diagnostic performance was verified by testing 160 serum samples through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting. Sensitivity (Se), specificity (Sp) and other diagnostic parameters were calculated. Polypeptides of interest in the diagnosis of human NCC present at GFF were analysed by mass spectrometry (MS) and B-cell epitopes were predicted. GFF had the best diagnostic parameters: Se 93·3%; Sp 93%; AUC 0·990; LR+ = 13·42 and LR− = 0·07, and proved to be useful reacting with serum samples in immunoblotting. Proteic profile ranged from 64 to 68 kDa and enolase and calcium binding protein calreticulin precursor were identified after MS. The enolase and calcium-binding protein calreticulin precursor showed 18 and 10 predicted B-cell epitopes, respectively. In conclusion we identified important markers in the GFF with high efficiency to diagnose NCC.
The Calar Alto Secondary Eclipse study was a program dedicated to observe secondary eclipses in the near-IR of two known close-orbiting exoplanets around K-dwarfs: WASP-10b and Qatar-1b. Such observations reveal hints on the orbital configuration of the system and on the thermal emission of the exoplanet, which allows the study of the brightness temperature of its atmosphere. The observations were performed at the Calar Alto Observatory (Spain). We used the OMEGA2000 instrument (Ks band) at the 3.5m telescope. The data was acquired with the telescope strongly defocused. The differential light curve was corrected from systematic effects using the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) technique. The final light curve was fitted using an occultation model to find the eclipse depth and a possible phase shift by performing a MCMC analysis. The observations have revealed a secondary eclipse of WASP-10b with depth of 0.137%, and a depth of 0.196% for Qatar-1b. The observed phase offset from expected mid-eclipse was of −0.0028 for WASP-10b, and of −0.0079 for Qatar-1b. These measured offsets led to a value for |ecosω| of 0.0044 for the WASP-10b system, leading to a derived eccentricity which was too small to be of any significance. For Qatar-1b, we have derived a |ecosω| of 0.0123, however, this last result needs to be confirmed with more data. The estimated Ks-band brightness temperatures are of 1647 K and 1885 K for WASP-10b and Qatar-1b, respectively. We also found an empirical correlation between the (R′HK) activity index of planet hosts and the Ks-band brightness temperature of exoplanets, considering a small number of systems.
The characterization of short-period detached low-mass binaries, by the determination of their physical and orbital parameters, reveal the most precise basic parameters of low-mass stars. Particularly, when photometric and spectroscopic data of eclipsing binaries (EBs) are combined. Recently, 16 new low-mass EBs were discovered by the WFCAM Transit Survey (WTS), however, only three of them were fully characterized. Therefore, new spectroscopic data were already acquired with the objective to characterize five new detached low-mass EBs discovered in the WTS, with short periods between 0.59 and 1.72 days. A preliminary analysis of the radial velocity and light curves was performed, where we have derived orbital separations of 2.88 to 6.69 R⊙, and considering both components, we have found stellar radii ranging from 0.40 to 0.80 R⊙, and masses between 0.24 and 0.71 M⊙. In addition to the determination of the orbital parameters of these systems, the relation between mass, radius and orbital period of these objects can be investigated in order to study the mass-radius relationship and the radius anomaly in the low main-sequence.
Recent observations of solar flares at high-frequencies have provided evidence of a new spectral component with fluxes increasing with frequency in the sub-THz to THz range. This new component occurs simultaneously but is separated from the well-known microwave spectral component that maximizes at frequencies of a few to tens of GHz. The aim of this work is to study in detail a mechanism recently suggested to describe the double-spectrum feature observed in solar flares based on the physical process known as microbunching instability, which occurs with high-energy electron beams in laboratory accelerators.
A specific feature of three-dimensional bluff body wakes, flow bistability, is a subject of particular recent interest. This feature consists of a random flipping of the wake between two asymmetric configurations and is believed to contribute to the pressure drag of many bluff bodies. In this study we apply the modelling approach recently suggested for axisymmetric bodies by Rigas et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 778, 2015, R2) to the reflectional symmetry-breaking modes of a rectilinear bluff body wake. We demonstrate the validity of the model and its Reynolds number independence through time-resolved base pressure measurements of the natural wake. Further, oscillating flaps are used to investigate the dynamics and time scales of the instability associated with the flipping process, demonstrating that they are largely independent of Reynolds number. The modelling approach is then used to design a feedback controller that uses the flaps to suppress the symmetry-breaking modes. The controller is successful, leading to a suppression of the bistability of the wake, with concomitant reductions in both lateral and streamwise forces. Importantly, the controller is found to be efficient, the actuator requiring only 24 % of the aerodynamic power saving. The controller therefore provides a key demonstration of efficient feedback control used to reduce the drag of a high-Reynolds-number three-dimensional bluff body. Furthermore, the results suggest that suppression of large-scale structures is a fundamentally efficient approach for bluff body drag reduction.
The Khayrgas Cave in Yakutia (eastern Siberia) is one of the most important Upper Paleolithic sites in northern Asia, and has been the subject of extensive 14C dating and study of mammal bones. The upper part of the cave sequence (Layers 2–4) dates to the Holocene (~4100–8200 BP), and the lower part (Layers 5–7) to the Late Pleistocene (~13,100–21,500 BP). In Layers 2–4, only extant animal species are known; ecologically they belong to a forest-type ecosystem. In Layers 5–7, several extinct species were identified, and the environment at that time corresponded to open and semi-open ecosystems. The Khayrgas Cave provides rare but reliable evidence of human occupation in the deep continental region of eastern Siberia at the Last Glacial Maximum, ~20,700–21,500 BP.
The sexual performance of Anastrepha ludens males of the Tapachula-7 genetic sexing strain, produced via selection based on mating success, was compared with that of males produced without selection in competition with wild males. Mating competition, development time, survival, mass-rearing quality parameters and pheromone production were compared. The results showed that selection based on mating competitiveness significantly improved the sexual performance of offspring. Development time, survival of larvae, pupae and adults, and weights of larvae and pupae increased with each selection cycle. Differences in the relative quantity of the pheromone compounds (Z)-3-nonenol and anastrephin were observed when comparing the parental males with the F4 and wild males. The implications of this colony management method on the sterile insect technique are discussed.
Several lines of evidence suggest that cognitive deficits represent a core feature of schizophrenia.
The concept of “cognitive dysmetria” has been introduced to characterize disintegration at the system level of frontal-thalamic-cerebellar circuitry which has been regarded as a key network for a wide range of neuropsychological symptoms in schizophrenia.
The present multimodal study aimed at investigating effective and structural connectivity of the frontal-thalamic circuitry in schizophrenia.
Univariate fMRI data analysis and effective connectivity analysis using dynamic causal modeling (DCM) were combined to examine cognitive control processes in 40 patients with schizophrenia and 40 matched healthy controls. BOLD signal and parameters of effective connectivity were related to parameters of corresponding white matter integrity assessed with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
In the DTI analysis, significantly decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) was detected in patients in the right anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC), the right thalamus and the right corpus callosum. During Stroop task performance patients demonstrated significantly lower activation relative to healthy controls in a predominantly right lateralized frontal-thalamic-cerebellar network. An abnormal effective connectivity was observed in the right lateralized connections between thalamus, anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. FA in the right ALIC was significantly correlated with the fronto-thalamic BOLD signal, effective connectivity and cognitive performance in patients.
Present data provide evidence for the notion of a structural and functional defect in the prefrontal-thalamic-cerebellar circuitry, which seems to be the basis of the cognitive control deficits in schizophrenia.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.