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In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at
has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
Here, we describe a new microsporidium Percutemincola moriokae gen. nov., sp. nov., which was discovered in the intestinal and hypodermal cells of a wild strain of the nematode Oscheius tipulae that inhabits in the soil of Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. The spores of Pe. moriokae had an average size of 1.0 × 3.8 µm and 1.3 × 3.2 µm in the intestine and hypodermis, respectively, and electron microscopy revealed that they exhibited distinguishing features with morphological diversity in the hypodermis. Isolated spores were able to infect a reference strain of O. tipulae (CEW1) through horizontal transmission but not the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Upon infection, the spores were first observed in the hypodermis and then in the intestine the following day, suggesting a unique infectious route among nematode-infective microsporidia. Molecular phylogenetic analysis grouped this new species with the recently identified nematode-infective parasites Enteropsectra and Pancytospora forming a monophyletic sister clade to Orthosomella in clade IV, which also includes human pathogens such as Enterocytozoon and Vittaforma. We believe that this newly discovered species and its host could have application as a new model in microsporidia–nematode association studies.
CRL2688 is suggested to be one of the proto-planetary nebulae which are probably at a stage in which the central star is evolving from the red giant phase with rapid mass loss (Zuckerman 1978). The bipolar shape in both the optical and H2 emission indicates that a dense toroid of dust and gas obscures the star and surrounds the optical emission. The toroid is probably responsible for channelling the mass loss to the polar directions (Ney et al. 1975, Morris 1981, Beckwith et al. 1984). We present the results of mapping observations of CO (J = 1-0) emission from the expanding molecular envelope (Zuckerman et al. 1976, Lo et al. 1976, Knapp et al. 1982, Thronson et al. 1983) of the bipolar reflection nebula CRL2688 using the Nobeyama 45-m telescope with a 1.5″ resolution at a 7″.5 observing spacing.
Studies in many Western countries have consistently shown that monetary diet cost is positively associated with diet quality, but this may not necessarily be the case in Japan. This cross-sectional study examined the nutritional correlates of monetary diet cost among 3963 young (all 18 years old), 3800 middle-aged (mean age 48 years) and 2211 older (mean age 74 years) Japanese women. Dietary intakes were assessed using a comprehensive self-administered diet history questionnaire for young and middle-aged women and a brief self-administered diet history questionnaire for older women. Monetary diet cost was estimated using retail food prices. Total vegetables, fish and shellfish, green and black tea, white rice, meat, fruit and alcoholic beverages contributed most (79–89 %) to inter-individual variation in monetary diet cost. Multiple regression analyses showed that monetary diet cost was negatively associated with carbohydrate intake, but positively with intakes of all other nutrients examined (including not only dietary fibre and key vitamins and minerals but also saturated fat and Na) in all generations. For food group intakes, irrespective of age, monetary diet cost was associated inversely with white rice and bread but positively with pulses, potatoes, fruit, total vegetables, fruit and vegetable juice, green and black tea, fish and shellfish, and meat. In conclusion, in all three generations of Japanese women and contrary to Western populations, monetary diet cost was positively associated with not only healthy dietary components (including fruits, vegetables, fish and shellfish, dietary fibre, and key vitamins and minerals), but also less healthy components (including saturated fat and Na).
We have detected [C I] 3P1–3P0 emissions in the gaseous debris disks of 49 Ceti and β Pictoris with the 10 m telescope of the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment, which is the first detection of such emissions. The line profiles of [C I] are found to resemble those of CO(J=3–2) observed with the same telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. This result suggests that atomic carbon (C) coexists with CO in the debris disks, and is likely formed by the photodissociation of CO. Assuming an optically thin [C I] emission with the excitation temperature ranging from 30 to 100 K, the column density of C is evaluated to be (2.2 ± 0.2) × 1017 and (2.5 ± 0.7) × 1016 cm−2 for 49 Ceti and β Pictoris, respectively. The C/CO column density ratio is thus derived to be 54 ± 19 and 69 ± 42 for 49 Ceti and β Pictoris, respectively. These ratios are higher than those of molecular clouds and diffuse clouds by an order of magnitude. The unusually high ratios of C to CO are likely attributed to a lack of H2 molecules needed to reproduce CO molecules efficiently from C. This result implies a small number of H2 molecules in the gas disk; i.e., there is an appreciable contribution of secondary gas from dust grains.
Western studies have suggested cultural differences in food and nutrient intake patterns associated with dietary glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL). Here, we conducted a cross-sectional study to examine the GI and GL of Japanese diets in relation to food and nutrient intakes.
Dietary intake was assessed using a validated, self-administered, diet history questionnaire.
A total of thirty-five of forty-seven prefectures in Japan.
Young (age 18 years), middle-aged (mean age 48 years) and older (mean age 74 years) Japanese women (n 3961, 3800 and 2202, respectively).
Irrespective of age, a positive association with dietary GI was seen for white rice only, which contributed most (37–42 %) to the variation in dietary GI. Conversely, all other food groups (such as fruit and vegetable juice, dairy products, noodles and fruit) were negative predictors of dietary GI. For dietary GL, 95–96 % of variation was explained by carbohydrate-rich food groups, all of which were positive predictors of GL. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, only carbohydrate intake was positively associated with dietary GI and GL, irrespective of age. Conversely, dietary GI and GL were inversely associated with intakes of all other nutrients examined (including SFA and Na).
A low-GI and -GL diet, which was characterized principally by a low intake of white rice, was associated with both favourable (higher intakes of dietary fibre and key vitamins and minerals) and unfavourable (higher intakes of SFA and Na) aspects of dietary intake patterns in three generations of Japanese women.
Several previous studies have shown that a diet score based on the Japanese food guide Spinning Top (the original score) is associated with both favourable and unfavourable dietary intake patterns. We developed a food-based diet quality score (the modified score) and examined associations with nutrient intakes. Subjects were 3963 young (all aged 18 years), 3800 middle-aged (mean age 47·7 (sd 3·9) years) and 2211 older (mean age 74·4 (sd 5·2) years) Japanese women. Dietary intakes were assessed using comprehensive (for the young and middle-aged) and brief-type (for the older) diet history questionnaires. The original score was calculated based on intakes of grains, vegetables, fish/meat, milk, fruits, and snacks/alcoholic beverages. The modified score was similarly calculated, but included Na from seasonings and without applying the upper cut-off values for dietary components where increased consumption is advocated for Japanese women (grains, vegetables, fish/meat, milk, and fruits). The original score was positively associated with intakes of carbohydrate, dietary fibre, and all the vitamins and minerals examined including Na and inversely with intakes of fats and alcohol in young and middle-aged women. In older women, the original score was inversely associated with intakes of all nutrients except for carbohydrate and vitamin C. However, the modified score was associated positively with intakes of protein, carbohydrate, dietary fibre, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, vitamins A, C and E, and folate and inversely with intakes of fats, alcohol and Na in all generations. In conclusion, the modified diet score was positively associated with favourable nutrient intake patterns in Japanese women.
We report NH3 observations of the Sgr A complex region including Sgr A West and the 20 km/s and 50 km/s molecular clouds (M–0.13–0.08 and M–0.02–0.07) using the Nobeyama Millimeter Array and the 45m telescope. NH3(1,1) and (2,2) lines were simultaneously observed to estimate the kinetic temperature. Our results suggest strong interaction between the molecular clouds and the continuum sources in the Sgr A complex. The interaction with continuum sources might be an important factor in determining the physical conditions of molecular gas in the galactic center region.
Dengue fever (DF) and leptospirosis are serious public problems in tropical regions, especially in Manila, the Philippines. In attempting to understand the causes of DF and leptospirosis seasonality, meteorological factors have been suspected, but quantitative correlation between seasonality and meteorological factors has not been fully investigated. In this study, we investigated correlation of temporal patterns of reported numbers of laboratory-confirmed cases of both DF and leptospirosis with meteorological conditions (temperature, relative humidity, rainfall) in Manila. We used time-series analysis combined with spectral analysis and the least squares method. A 1-year cycle explained underlying variations of DF, leptospirosis and meteorological data. There was a peak of the 1-year cycle in temperature during May, followed by maxima in rainfall, relative humidity and number of laboratory-confirmed DF and leptospirosis cases. This result suggests that DF and leptospirosis epidemics are correlated not only with rainfall but also relative humidity and temperature in the Philippines. Quantifying the correlation of DF and leptospirosis infections with meteorological conditions may prove useful in predicting DF and leptospirosis epidemics, and health services should plan accordingly.
The effect of Hybrid stage 1 palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome on right ventricular function is unknown. We sought to compare right ventricular function in normal neonates and those with hypoplastic left heart syndrome before Hybrid palliation and to assess the effect of Hybrid palliation on right ventricular function, using the right ventricular myocardial performance index and the ratio of systolic and diastolic durations.
We carried out a retrospective review of echocardiographic data on 23 infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome who underwent Hybrid palliation and 35 normal controls. Data were acquired before Hybrid and after Hybrid palliation – post 1, 0–4 days; post 2, 1 week; post 3, 2–3 weeks; post 4, 1–1.5 months following Hybrid palliation.
Myocardial performance index and ratio of systolic and diastolic durations were higher in the pre-Hybrid hypoplastic left heart syndrome group (n=23) – 0.47±0.16 versus 0.25±0.07, p<0.001; 1.59±0.44 versus 1.09±0.14, p<0.0001 – compared with controls (n=35). There was no significant change in the myocardial performance index at any of the post-Hybrid time points. Ratio of systolic and diastolic durations increased significantly 2 weeks after Hybrid – post 3: 2.08±0.62 and post 4: 2.21±0.45 versus pre: 1.59±0.44, p=0.043 and 0.003. There were no significant differences in parameters between sub-groups of infants who died (n=10) and survivors (n=13).
Right ventricular myocardial performance index and ratio of systolic and diastolic durations were significantly higher in infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome before intervention compared with controls. The ratio of systolic and diastolic durations increased significantly 2 weeks after Hybrid palliation. Our data suggest that infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome have right ventricular dysfunction before intervention, which worsens over 2 weeks after Hybrid palliation.
Preparation of a sigma-CrFe single-phase specimen was achieved by arc melting of pure Fe and Cr, cold rolling, and subsequent annealing at 973 K or 1073 K in vacuum. Cold rolling before annealing is effective for the annealing-induced formation of sigma-CrFe from the bcc solid-solution phase. The phase stability and the structural change from sigma-CrFe to a bcc solid-solution phase under fast electron irradiation were investigated by in situ transmission electron microscope (TEM) observation in the temperature range between 22 K and 473 K by using an ultra-high voltage electron microscope (UHVEM). The phase transition of sigma-CrFe by fast electron irradiation was found to occur at a particular temperature.
Four microseconds long Ar3+ beam with injection energy of 15 keV/u has been injected into the Digital Accelerator of the High-Energy Accelerator Research Organization. Beam production, transportation, and injection are described as well as machine properties. Results of a free running experiment under static magnetic field and longitudinal confinement and acceleration under a fast ramping magnetic field are presented in detail with a brief discussion on the beam lifetime.
The correlation of stress in Silicon Carbide (SiC) crystal and frequency shift in micro- Raman spectroscopy was determined by an experimental method. We applied uniaxial stress to 4H- and 6H-SiC single crystal square bar specimen shaped with (0001) and (11-20) faces by four point bending test, under measuring the frequency shift in micro-Raman spectroscopy. The results revealed that the linearity coefficients between stress and Raman shift were -1.96 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/4)E2 on 4H-SiC (0001) face, -2.08 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/4)E2 on 4H-SiC (11-20) face and -2.70 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/6)E2 on 6H-SiC (0001) face. Determination of these coefficients has made it possible to evaluate the residual stress in SiC crystal quantitatively by micro-Raman spectroscopy. We evaluated the residual stress in SiC substrate that was grown in our laboratory by utilizing the results obtained in this study. The result of estimation indicated that the SiC substrate with a diameter of 6 inch remained residual stress as low as ±15 MPa.
Interfacial phenomena in the W-Si systems were studied by a monoenergetic positron beam. Doppler broadening profiles of the positron annihilation were measured as a function of incident positron energy. Tungsten thin films of 100 nm in thickness were deposited on p-type, 10 »cm Cz-grown Si wafers with (100) orientation by the DC magnetron sputtering method. Specimens were annealed at various temperatures in order to form suicides. It was found that the position of the interface of both W/Si and W silicide/Si is very different from the position expected from a simple situation neglecting the effect of electric field on the diffusion of positrons. This fact arouse the utility of positrons as a test charge to probe directly the electric field gradient in the Schottky barrier.
During the last stage of terrestrial planet formation, Mars-sized protoplanets often collides with each other. Our high-resolution impact simulations show that such giant impacts produce a significant amount of fragments within the terrestrial planet region. These ejected fragments form a hot debris disk around the central star. We calculated the evolution of the surface density and size distribution of the debris disk using the analytical model of collision disruption, and estimated its infrared excess emission. We found that 24 μm flux from the debris disk is higher than stellar flux throughout the giant impact stage (~ 108 years), which can explain the infrared excess recently observed around the star with the age of 107 – 108 years.
The effects of the anti-methanogenic compound, bromochloromethane (BCM), on rumen microbial fermentation and ecology were examined in vivo. Japanese goats were fed a diet of 50 % Timothy grass and 50 % concentrate and then sequentially adapted to low, mid and high doses of BCM. The goats were placed into the respiration chambers for analysis of rumen microbial function and methane and H2 production. The levels of methane production were reduced by 5, 71 and 91 %, and H2 production was estimated at 545, 2941 and 3496 mmol/head per d, in response to low, mid and high doses of BCM, respectively, with no effect on maintenance feed intake and digestibility. Real-time PCR quantification of microbial groups showed a significant decrease relative to controls in abundance of methanogens and rumen fungi, whereas there were increases in Prevotella spp. and Fibrobacter succinogenes, a decrease in Ruminococcus albus and R. flavefaciens was unchanged. The numbers of protozoa were also unaffected. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and quantitative PCR analysis revealed that several Prevotella spp. were the bacteria that increased most in response to BCM treatment. It is concluded that the methane-inhibited rumen adapts to high hydrogen levels by shifting fermentation to propionate via Prevotella spp., but the majority of metabolic hydrogen is expelled as H2 gas.
We have presented a model of microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si) growth based on the Van der Drift model. The model needs growth velocities of the facets (100) and (111), an amorphous silicon growth velocity and a grain nucleation rate. The growth velocity ratio of the facets, (100) and (111), determines the preferred orientation and the morphology of the μc-Si film, especially oriented to (110). As the grain nucleation rate increases, the ratio of the living grain number to the total grain number decreases and the crystallinity increases, so the grain nucleation rate governs the trade-off relation of the μc-Si cells between decreasing the open circuit voltage and increasing the short circuit current as the crystallinity increases.
The differences of secondary defects between B+ and Al+ implanted layers in high-energy implantation were investigated. At the same volume concentration of implanted ion, density of secondary defects in Al+ implanted layer is higher than that in B+ implanted layer. On the contrary, mean defect size in B+ implanted layer is larger than that in Al+ implanted layer. The structure of secondary defect is thought to be a dislocation loop formed by an extra Si-C layer or localized lattice strain correlated to agglomerated interstitials. The amount of interstitials used for secondary defect formation is estimated. It almost coincides the same amount of implanted ions, and this correlation doesn't depend on ion species. B+ and Al+ implanted layers have different activation energy for secondary defect formation. This result means that they have different agglomerating mechanism of interstitials, which cause the differences of defect size and density between them.