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Drawing on a landscape analysis of existing data-sharing initiatives, in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders, and public deliberations with community advisory panels across the U.S., we describe features of the evolving medical information commons (MIC). We identify participant-centricity and trustworthiness as the most important features of an MIC and discuss the implications for those seeking to create a sustainable, useful, and widely available collection of linked resources for research and other purposes.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
Among the most important stimuli for developing the FLAIR multi-object spectroscopy system on the 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope was its potential for carrying out large-scale redshift surveys of galaxies of intermediate magnitude (B <~ 17). During FLAIR’s lengthy development period, these objects provided the yardstick by which the system’s performance was measured, and a number of limited-area redshift surveys were carried out. We are now following these with a 1-in-3 survey over the 60 fields of the ROE/Durham Galaxy Catalogue to produce a redshift map of some 4000 galaxies out to a distance of ~ 300h−1 Mpc (where the parameter h is the Hubble constant expressed as a fraction of 100 kms−1 Mpc−1). In this paper we summarise the results from our redshift surveys to highlight the capabilities of FLAIR. We present a status report on the current large-scale survey, and show that the recently-introduced FLAIR II system will speed its progress considerably.
The dynamic model Nitrogen Dynamics in Crop rotations in Ecological Agriculture (NDICEA) was used to assess the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) balance of long-term organic cropping trials and typical organic crop rotations on a range of soil types and rainfall zones in the UK. The measurements of soil N taken at each of the organic trial sites were also used to assess the performance of NDICEA. The modeled outputs compared well to recorded soil N levels, with relatively small error margins. NDICEA therefore seems to be a useful tool for UK organic farmers. The modeling of typical organic rotations has shown that positive N balances can be achieved, although negative N balances can occur under high rainfall conditions and on lighter soil types as a result of leaching. The analysis and modeling also showed that some organic cropping systems rely on imported sources of P and K to maintain an adequate balance and large deficits of both nutrients are apparent in stockless systems. Although the K deficits could be addressed through the buffering capacity of minerals, the amount available for crop uptake will depend on the type and amount of minerals present, current cropping and fertilization practices and the climatic environment. A P deficit represents a more fundamental problem for the maintenance of crop yields and the organic sector currently relies on mined sources of P which represents a fundamental conflict with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements organic principles.
Gamma-ray burst host galaxies are deficient in molecular gas, and show anomalous metal-poor regions close to GRB positions. Using recent Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) Hi observations we show that they have substantial atomic gas reservoirs. This suggests that star formation in these galaxies may be fuelled by recent inflow of metal-poor atomic gas. While this process is debated, it can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because gas cooling (necessary for star formation) is faster than the Hi-to-H2 conversion.
Factor-analytic studies have found that depressive, bipolar, post-traumatic, obsessive–compulsive, and anxiety disorders – jointly referred to as the emotional disorders – form an internalizing spectrum that includes distress and fear subfactors. However, placement of some disorders is uncertain. Also, prior research analysed dichotomous interview-based diagnoses or dimensional self-report measures. We investigated this structure using a third-generation measure – the Interview for Mood and Anxiety Symptoms (IMAS) – that combines strengths of a clinical interview with dimensional assessment.
The interview was administered to 385 students and 288 psychiatric out-patients. Participants were reinterviewed 2 months later.
Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified three factors: distress (depression, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress, irritability, and panic syndrome); fear (social anxiety, agoraphobia, specific phobia, and obsessive–compulsive); and bipolar (mania and obsessive–compulsive). The structure was consistent over time and across samples, except that panic and agoraphobia had higher factor loadings in patients. Longitudinal analyses revealed high temporal stability of the factors (test–retest r = 0.72 to 0.87), but also substantial disorder-specific stability.
This investigation – which bridges diagnostic and self-report studies – found three subfactors of internalizing psychopathology. It provided support for a new subfactor, clarified the placement of obsessive–compulsive and bipolar disorders, and demonstrated that this model generalizes across populations. The accumulating research suggests the need to recognize formally the close links among the emotional disorders, as well as empirical clusters within this spectrum. The IMAS demonstrated strong psychometric properties and can be useful for various research and clinical applications by providing dimensional, interview-based assessment of the emotional disorders.
General Practitioner consultation rates for influenza-like illness (ILI) are monitored through several geographically distinct schemes in the UK, providing early warning to government and health services of community circulation and intensity of activity each winter. Following on from the 2009 pandemic, there has been a harmonization initiative to allow comparison across the distinct existing surveillance schemes each season. The moving epidemic method (MEM), proposed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control for standardizing reporting of ILI rates, was piloted in 2011/12 and 2012/13 along with the previously proposed UK method of empirical percentiles. The MEM resulted in thresholds that were lower than traditional thresholds but more appropriate as indicators of the start of influenza virus circulation. The intensity of the influenza season assessed with the MEM was similar to that reported through the percentile approach. The MEM pre-epidemic threshold has now been adopted for reporting by each country of the UK. Further work will continue to assess intensity of activity and apply standardized methods to other influenza-related data sources.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions associated with urine nitrogen (N) deposition during grazing are a major component of greenhouse gas emissions from domestic livestock. The present study investigated the relationship between urine N loading rate and the efficacy of a nitrification inhibitor, dicyandiamide (DCD), on cumulative N2O emissions from a grassland soil in Ireland over 80 and 360-day periods in 2009/10 and 2010/11. A diminishing curvilinear relationship between urine N rate and cumulative N2O emissions was observed in both years. Despite this increase in cumulative N2O emissions, the emission factor (EF3) for N2O decreased with increasing urine N rate from, on average, 0·24 to 0·10% (urine applied at 300 and 1000 kg N/ha, respectively), during an 80-day measurement period. This was probably the result of a factor other than N, such as carbon (C), limiting the production of N2O. The efficacy of DCD varied with urine N loading rate, and inter-annual variability in efficacy was also observed. Dicyandiamide was effective at reducing N2O production for 50–80 days after urine application, which accounted for the major period of elevated daily flux. However, DCD was ineffective at reducing N2O production after this period, which was likely a result of its removal from the soil via degradation and leaching.
The current study investigated the coupling of groundwater and surface water nitrogen (N) dynamics over 3 years, and considered intensive agricultural land-management influences over this period where the risk of N loss to water was considered high. Groundwater N (as nitrate) was monitored monthly in different strata and zones in four hillslopes, two in each of two agricultural catchments of c. 10 km2, and stream water N flux was monitored sub-hourly in the catchment outlets. Field nutrient sources were connected to surface water via groundwater; the groundwater along hillslopes was seen to be influenced spatially and temporally by management, geology and weather as observed in the concentration variability of nitrate in groundwater. Based on spatio-temporal averages of nitrate-N concentration, groundwater status was considered good (at least below a maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 11·3 mg/l). However, zones coincident with land-use change (ploughing and reseeding, typical of a management event in intensive landscapes), showed high spatio-temporal variability in nitrate-N concentration, exceeding the MAC temporarily, before recovering. This spatio-temporal variability highlighted the need for insight into these differences when interpreting groundwater quality data from a limited number of basin-scale sampling points and occasions. In both catchments the 3-year mean nitrate-N concentration in stream water was similar to the spatio-temporal mean concentration in groundwater. The magnitude and variability of loads, however, were more related to changes in annual runoff rather than changes in annual groundwater nitrate-N status. In one wet year, nitrate-N loads exceeded 48 kg/ha from an Arable catchment and 45 kg/ha from a grassland catchment (close to double the loss in a dry year).
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
The 2008 UK government White Paper, published as part of the Managing Radioactive Waste Safety programme, identified benefits to disposing of all of the UK's higher activity wastes at the same site. That is, a single geological disposal facility (GDF) could be constructed that consists of a module for low- and intermediate-level waste, and a module for high-level waste and spent fuel.
A safety case for a co-located GDF will have to consider the extent to which evolving thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical and gas (THMCG) conditions in and around one module may affect conditions in the other module, including the extent to which barrier performance and radionuclide migration behaviour could be altered. Several research projects have been undertaken on behalf of Radioactive Waste Management Directorate aimed at understanding and evaluating the THMCG interactions that might occur during the disposal facility operational and post-closure phases.
This paper describes research on THMCG interactions between disposal modules based on illustrative GDF designs for different host rock environments. Interactions were evaluated using simple analytical solutions and detailed three-dimensional models. The analyses demonstrated that interactions can be controlled by design constraints.
An analysis was undertaken to measure age-specific vaccine effectiveness (VE) of 2010/11 trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine (TIV) and monovalent 2009 pandemic influenza vaccine (PIV) administered in 2009/2010. The test-negative case-control study design was employed based on patients consulting primary care. Overall TIV effectiveness, adjusted for age and month, against confirmed influenza A(H1N1)pdm 2009 infection was 56% (95% CI 42–66); age-specific adjusted VE was 87% (95% CI 45–97) in <5-year-olds and 84% (95% CI 27–97) in 5- to 14-year-olds. Adjusted VE for PIV was only 28% (95% CI −6 to 51) overall and 72% (95% CI 15–91) in <5-year-olds. For confirmed influenza B infection, TIV effectiveness was 57% (95% CI 42–68) and in 5- to 14-year-olds 75% (95% CI 32–91). TIV provided moderate protection against the main circulating strains in 2010/2011, with higher protection in children. PIV administered during the previous season provided residual protection after 1 year, particularly in the <5 years age group.
Perennial ryegrass evaluation schemes categorize varieties into three maturity (early, intermediate and late) and two ploidy (diploid and tetraploid) groups, and compare the relative yield, persistence and nutritive quality of varieties within these groups. The present study compared these groups for herbage yield, dry matter (DM) concentration and, using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS), four quality characteristics (in vitro content of digestible dry matter (CDDM), water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) and crude protein (CP) concentrations, and buffering capacity). A total of 1208 plots were sown across 5 years in Irish Recommended List trials and then harvested 6–7 times in each of 2 harvest years. This also allowed an assessment of the effect of sward age. Maturity group had no significant effect on annual herbage yield, quality or DM concentration except for in vitro CDDM (P<0·01) but differed significantly for in vitro CDDM (P<0·01), WSC concentration (P<0·01) and buffering capacity (P<0·05) at the first silage harvest. Tetraploid swards had greater annual herbage yields (P<0·001), in vitro CDDM values (P<0·001) and WSC concentrations (P<0·01), but lower CP and DM concentrations (P<0·001) than diploids. Swards in their first full year produced an additional 5·17 t/ha DM (P<0·001) and had a higher (P<0·01) WSC concentration at the second silage harvest than in their second year, but did not differ significantly for in vitro CDDM and WSC, CP or DM concentrations. The present study showed that differences exist in yield, nutritive quality and ensilability indices between maturity and ploidy groups. These observations justify their assessment in variety comparative trials and facilitates particular groups being selected for individual farming systems to increase efficiency.
To report outcomes for the first known cochlear implantation procedures in two patients with Brown–Vialetto–Van-Laere syndrome.
Two adult patients (a brother and sister) with post-lingual sensorineural deafness associated with Brown–Vialetto–Van-Laere syndrome. The female patient presented with a milder form of the syndrome.
Main outcome measure:
Post-implantation speech discrimination scores.
Auditory evoked potential testing suggested pathological changes in both patients' cochleae, auditory nerves, brainstem and (probably) central auditory pathways. In the male patient, despite implantation of the better ear, the Bamford–Kowal–Bench sentence score was zero at 21 months post-implantation. In the female patient, Bamford–Kowal–Bench sentence scores at six months post-implantation were 25 per cent in quiet and 3 per cent in noise.
These poor clinical outcomes appear to be related to retrocochlear and probable central auditory pathway degeneration.