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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.
Using cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), it was shown for four different types of carbon that electrode treatments at negative potentials enhance the kinetics of VIV-VV and inhibit the kinetics of VII-VIII while electrode treatments at positive potentials inhibit the kinetics of VIV-VV and enhance the kinetics of VII-VIII. These observations may explain conflicting reports in the literature. The potentials required for activation and deactivation of electrodes were examined in detail. The results suggest that interchanging the positive and negative electrodes in a vanadium flow battery (VFB) would reduce the overpotential at the negative electrode and so improve the performance. This is supported by flow-cell experiments. Thus, periodic catholyte-anolyte interchange, or equivalent alternatives such as battery overdischarge, show promise of improving the voltage efficiency of VFBs.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
Information on the genetic diversity and population structure of cattle breeds is useful when deciding the most optimal, for example, crossbreeding strategies to improve phenotypic performance by exploiting heterosis. The present study investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of the most prominent dairy and beef breeds used in Ireland. Illumina high-density genotypes (777 962 single nucleotide polymorphisms; SNPs) were available on 4623 purebred bulls from nine breeds; Angus (n=430), Belgian Blue (n=298), Charolais (n=893), Hereford (n=327), Holstein-Friesian (n=1261), Jersey (n=75), Limousin (n=943), Montbéliarde (n=33) and Simmental (n=363). Principal component analysis revealed that Angus, Hereford, and Jersey formed non-overlapping clusters, representing distinct populations. In contrast, overlapping clusters suggested geographical proximity of origin and genetic similarity between Limousin, Simmental and Montbéliarde and to a lesser extent between Holstein, Friesian and Belgian Blue. The observed SNP heterozygosity averaged across all loci was 0.379. The Belgian Blue had the greatest mean observed heterozygosity (HO=0.389) among individuals within breed while the Holstein-Friesian and Jersey populations had the lowest mean heterozygosity (HO=0.370 and 0.376, respectively). The correlation between the genomic-based and pedigree-based inbreeding coefficients was weak (r=0.171; P<0.001). Mean genomic inbreeding estimates were greatest for Jersey (0.173) and least for Hereford (0.051). The pair-wise breed fixation index (Fst) ranged from 0.049 (Limousin and Charolais) to 0.165 (Hereford and Jersey). In conclusion, substantial genetic variation exists among breeds commercially used in Ireland. Thus custom-mating strategies would be successful in maximising the exploitation of heterosis in crossbreeding strategies.
We report on the identifications of 15 new X-ray selected Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). The AGN have been discovered during an ongoing program to identify and study the optical counterparts of X-ray sources detected by the HEAO-1 satellite. The new AGN add to our existing data base of 26 making a sample of 41 objects which are the subject of a multiwavelength study including radio, infrared, optical, UV and X-ray observations. As part of this study 8.4 GHz flux measurements have been made at Parkes. Radio-optical-X-ray continuum spectral index comparisons are presented.
Two new integral field units (IFUs) were installed recently on the WIYN Observatory's 3.5-meter telescope at Kitt Peak. These unique IFUs contain fibers of different sizes in the same head. This design allows smaller fibers to sample regions of higher surface brightness, providing higher spatial resolution while maintaining adequate signal-to-noise (S/N). Conversely, larger fibers maintain S/N at the expense of spatial resolution in the lower surface brightness regions of galaxies. The new IFUs were built with funds from NSF award ATI-0804576.
We sought to determine whether the introduction of a health screening and promotion clinic might serve as a useful addition to existing services for patients prescribed antipsychotic medication. In particular, we wished to assess whether such a clinic might improve adherence to best practice guidelines. We also wished to determine the level of patient interest in such a clinic and how readily this service might be provided within the constraints of existing clinical resources.
We conducted an audit of outpatient records before and following the introduction of a health screening and promotion clinic.
Of the eligible patients, 73% attended the clinic. The proportion of patients who had fasting blood tests within the previous 12 months increased from 45% at baseline to 85% at follow-up (χ2 = 14.1, p < 0.001). The proportion of patients with appropriate physical observations completed increased from 5% at baseline to 80% at follow-up (χ2 = 46.0, p < 0.001).
We found that the introduction of a health screening and promotion clinic improved adherence to best practice guidelines. This service was well received and readily provided within the constraints of existing resources. Ultimately, the structure of services to screen and advise patients prescribed antipsychotic medication will be determined by local resource considerations and configuration of services.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guideline methodology, which are the principal greenhouse gas (GHG) quantification methods, were evaluated in this study using a dairy farm GHG model. The model was applied to estimate GHG emissions from two contrasting dairy systems: a seasonal calving pasture-based dairy farm and a total confinement dairy system. Data used to quantify emissions from these systems originated from a research study carried out over a 1-year period in Ireland. The genetic merit of cows modelled was similar for both systems. Total mixed ration was fed in the Confinement system, whereas grazed grass was mainly fed in the grass-based system. GHG emissions from these systems were quantified per unit of product and area. The results of both methods showed that the dairy system that emitted the lowest GHG emissions per unit area did not necessarily emit the lowest GHG emissions possible for a given level of product. Consequently, a recommendation from this study is that GHG emissions be evaluated per unit of product given the growing affluent human population and increasing demand for dairy products. The IPCC and LCA methods ranked dairy systems’ GHG emissions differently. For instance, the IPCC method quantified that the Confinement system reduced GHG emissions per unit of product by 8% compared with the grass-based system, but the LCA approach calculated that the Confinement system increased emissions by 16% when off-farm emissions associated with primary dairy production were included. Thus, GHG emissions should be quantified using approaches that quantify the total GHG emissions associated with the production system, so as to determine whether the dairy system was causing emissions displacement. The IPCC and LCA methods were also used in this study to simulate, through a dairy farm GHG model, what effect management changes within both production systems have on GHG emissions. The findings suggest that single changes have a small mitigating effect on GHG emissions (<5%), except for strategies used to control emissions from manure storage in the Confinement system (14% to 24%). However, when several management strategies were combined, GHG emissions per unit of product could be reduced significantly (15% to 30%). The LCA method was identified as the preferred approach to assess the effect of management changes on GHG emissions, but the analysis indicated that further standardisation of the approach is needed given the sensitivity of the approach to allocation decisions regarding milk and meat.
Depressive symptoms may increase the risk of progressing from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. Consumption of n-3 PUFA may alleviate both cognitive decline and depression. The aim of the present study was to investigate the benefits of supplementing a diet with n-3 PUFA, DHA and EPA, for depressive symptoms, quality of life (QOL) and cognition in elderly people with MCI. We conducted a 6-month double-blind, randomised controlled trial. A total of fifty people aged >65 years with MCI were allocated to receive a supplement rich in EPA (1·67 g EPA+0·16 g DHA/d; n 17), DHA (1·55 g DHA+0·40 g EPA/d; n 18) or the n-6 PUFA linoleic acid (LA; 2·2 g/d; n 15). Treatment allocation was by minimisation based on age, sex and depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale, GDS). Physiological and cognitive assessments, questionnaires and fatty acid composition of erythrocytes were obtained at baseline and 6 months (completers: n 40; EPA n 13, DHA n 16, LA n 11). Compared with the LA group, GDS scores improved in the EPA (P = 0·04) and DHA (P = 0·01) groups and verbal fluency (Initial Letter Fluency) in the DHA group (P = 0·04). Improved GDS scores were correlated with increased DHA plus EPA (r 0·39, P = 0·02). Improved self-reported physical health was associated with increased DHA. There were no treatment effects on other cognitive or QOL parameters. Increased intakes of DHA and EPA benefited mental health in older people with MCI. Increasing n-3 PUFA intakes may reduce depressive symptoms and the risk of progressing to dementia. This needs to be investigated in larger, depressed samples with MCI.
We show that under certain mild conditions, a metric simplicial complex which satisfies the Ptolemy inequality is a CAT(0) space. Ptolemy's inequality is closely related to inversions of metric spaces. For a large class of metric simplicial complexes, we characterize those which are isometric to Euclidean space in terms of metric inversions.
Heart rate (HR) variability and large arterial compliance can be improved using fish oils. DHA, a component of fish oil, has cardiovascular health benefits, but its effect on HR variability (HRV) and arterial compliance is yet to be quantified. Sixty-seven overweight or obese adults (thirty-six males and thirty-one females; 53 (sem 2) year; BMI 31·7 (sem 1·1) kg/m2) were randomly allocated to consume either 6 g/d sunola oil (control; n 17), fish oil (260 mg DHA+60 mg EPA per g) at doses of 2 g/d (n 16), 4 g/d (n 17) or 6 g/d (n 17). Blood pressure, HR and compliance of large and small arteries were measured while supine at baseline and after 12 weeks in all participants, and HRV was assessed in a subgroup of forty-six participants. There was no effect of fish oil on blood pressure, small artery compliance or HR. However, the low frequency:high frequency ratio of HRV decreased with increasing doses of fish oil (r − 0·34, P = 0·02), while large artery compliance increased (r 0·34, P = 0·006). Moreover, the changes in these biomarkers were significantly correlated (r − 0·31, P = 0·04) and may reflect fish oil-induced improvements in arterial function and cardiac autonomic regulation.
We consider Ptolemy's inequality in a metric space setting. It is not hard to see that CAT(0) spaces satisfy this inequality. Although the converse is not true in full generality, we show that if our Ptolemaic space is either a Riemannian or Finsler manifold, then it must also be CAT(0). Ptolemy's inequality is closely related to inversions of metric spaces. We exploit this link to establish a new characterization of Euclidean space amongst all Riemannian manifolds.
Dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been recognized as having potential positive effects on human health (Lock and Bauman, 2004). Furthermore, alteration of the fatty acid (FA) composition of milk through targeted manipulation of dairy cow diets can be achieved (Dewhurst et al., 2006). Although breed effects on the FA composition of milk have previously been reported (Kelsey et al., 2003), most work to-date has been conducted under high input TMR based systems. Furthermore, little is known on the effects of heterosis on concentrations of FA in milk. The objective of this study was to examine whether differences in milk FA concentration exist between two contrasting breeds of dairy cow and their F1 hybrid managed under a grazing based production system.