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Wearable devices are fast evolving to address mobility and autonomy needs of elderly people who would benefit from physical assistance. Recent developments in soft robotics provide important opportunities to develop soft exoskeletons (also called exosuits) to enable both physical assistance and improved usability and acceptance for users. The XoSoft EU project has developed a modular soft lower limb exoskeleton to assist people with low mobility impairments. In this paper, we present the design of a soft modular lower limb exoskeleton to improve person’s mobility, contributing to independence and enhancing quality of life. The novelty of this work is the integration of quasi-passive elements in a soft exoskeleton. The exoskeleton provides mechanical assistance for subjects with low mobility impairments reducing energy requirements between 10% and 20%. Investigation of different control strategies based on gait segmentation and actuation elements is presented. A first hip–knee unilateral prototype is described, developed, and its performance assessed on a post-stroke patient for straight walking. The study presents an analysis of the human–exoskeleton energy patterns by way of the task-based biological power generation. The resultant assistance, in terms of power, was 10.9% ± 2.2% for hip actuation and 9.3% ± 3.5% for knee actuation. The control strategy improved the gait and postural patterns by increasing joint angles and foot clearance at specific phases of the walking cycle.
Research demonstrates the importance of nutrition for early brain development. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of multiple micronutrient powders (MNP) on child development. This study examined the impacts of home fortification with MNP on motor and mental development, executive function and memory of children living in Bihar. This two-arm cluster-randomised effectiveness trial selected seventy health sub-centres to receive either MNP and nutrition counselling (intervention) or nutrition counselling alone (control) for 12 months. Front-line health workers delivered the intervention to all households in study communities with a child aged 6–18 months. Data were collected using cross-sectional surveys at baseline and endline by selecting households from intervention (baseline, n 2184; endline, n 2170) and control (baseline, n 2176; endline, n 2122) communities using a two-stage cluster-randomised sampling strategy. Children in the intervention group had a significantly larger improvement from baseline to endline compared with those in the control group on scores for motor and mental development (Cohen’s d, motor=0·12; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·22; mental=0·15; 95 % CI 0·06, 0·25). Greater impacts of MNP on motor and mental development were observed in children from households with higher stimulation scores at baseline compared with those with lower stimulation (Cohen’s d, motor=0·20 v. 0·09; mental=0·22 v. 0·14; Pinteraction<0·05). No significant treatment differences were seen for executive function or memory. Home fortification with MNP through the existing health infrastructure in Bihar was effective in improving motor and mental development and should be considered in combination with other child development interventions such as stimulation.
Besides the well-known pulsation period of 4h34m, the B1 IV star β Cep has a very significant period of 6 or possibly 12 days in the equivalent width of the ultraviolet resonance lines. This was discovered by Fishel and Sparks (1972) with the OAO-2 satellite, and later confirmed with IUE data. Until now, no explanation has been put forward for this period.
We propose that the UV periodicity arises from a 12 day rotational period of the star and that the stellar wind is modulated by an oblique dipolar magnetic field at the surface.
Support for this hypothesis is given by the striking similarity between the UV-line behavior of β Cep and of known rotating magnetic B stars, for example the B2 V helium-strong star HD 184927 (Barker et al. 1982), and by the measured magnetic field strength of B ± σ = (810 ± 170) G for β Cep itself by Rudy and Kemp (1978). A rotational period of 12 days corresponds well with an adopted radius between 6 and 10 R⊙, given the reported values of 20 - 43 km/s for vsini.
To verify our hypothesis we carried out new magnetic field measurements simultaneously with UV spectroscopy. We confirm the 12 day UV period in the equivalent width of the stellar wind lines of CIV, Si III, Si IV and N V (see Figs. 1 and 2), but find a lower and likely variable field strength (Fig. 3), which is consistent with a 12 day period, but not conclusive.
It remains puzzling why our new magnetic field measurements show a lower field than in 1978. It is interesting to recall the recent discovery (Mathias et al. 1991) that β Cep has entered a new Be phase (July 1990), when Hα turned into emission (see Fig. 4). This opens the suggestion that the lower magnetic field is related to the emission phase. Because the UV period is still the same, the field must still be strong enough to modulate the wind. A possibly higher equivalent width of the 1991 UV data with respect to the 1979 data might also be related to this transition, but this needs to be confirmed.
The star β Cep appears to be the only star in its class which shows this wind variability and in this respect β Cep is an exceptional β Cep star.
The present study investigated the population dynamics of Exhippolysmata oplophoroides in an area influenced by upwelling, focusing on reproductive period, sex ratio, growth rate, longevity, mortality, relative growth and size of sex change. We also tested the hypothesis that the appendices internae increased in size with sex change from the male to the simultaneous hermaphrodite phase as possible replacements for the male appendices masculinae, which are reduced or lost at sex change. Population structure was assessed by the distribution of size frequency in three demographic groups: male phase, hermaphrodite phase with, and without embryos. For relative growth analysis, the length of the following structures was measured: carapace, second pleuron, first pereopod, second pereopod, appendices internae of the second to fifth pleopods, and appendix masculina. Smaller size classes were composed only by male-phase individuals. The sex ratio was significantly biased towards the simultaneous hermaphrodite phase. Reproduction was continuous in the population throughout the year. Slower growth rates but higher maximum body sizes than those estimated at other locations in south-eastern Brazil were observed in the population studied. Cooler temperatures and higher nutrient levels associated with upwelling may have produced this pattern of reproduction and growth, similar to that found in more southerly austral latitudes. We also found that sex change influences the relative growth of body structures such as the second pereopods, appendices internae, and appendix masculina, and hypotheses on the adaptive value of such allometric growth are proposed.
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.
It is well known that Cepheid variables are very important distance indicators because of their PL and PLC relations. The distances derived through the quoted relations are affected by well known systematic effects, since, in general, we have a poor knowledge of both reddening and metallicity of the Cepheid sample. Good estimates of the quoted parameters can be achieved if the observed Cepheids are cluster members since, by comparison between cluster CMD and theoretical isochrones we can estimate the cluster reddening, metallicity and age, i.e., the evolving masses for each evolutionary phase. The ideal objects to be searched for Cepheid membership are Magellanic Cloud clusters since they are well populated in the relevant evolutionary phases.
We derive zphot for sources in the entire (~0.4 deg2) H-HDF-N field with the EAzY code, based on PSF-matched broad-band (U band to IRAC 4.5 μm) photometry. Our catalog consists of a total of 131,678 sources. We find σNMAD = 0.029 for non-X-ray sources. We also classify each object as a star or galaxy through SED fitting. Furthermore, we match our catalog with the 2 Ms CDF-N main X-ray catalog. For the 462 matched non-stellar X-ray sources, we improve their zphot quality (σNMAD = 0.035) by adding three additional AGN templates. We make our photometry and zphot catalog publicly available.
Completing the census of AGN in the Universe is the key to understanding the cosmic evolution of supermassive black holes (SMBH) and galaxies, and to resolving the spectrum of the X-ray background (XRB). However, a large population of AGN, especially the heavily obscured, Compton-thick AGN, are still missing from even the deepest X-ray surveys. The infrared spectra energy distribution (SED) of distant star-forming galaxies can reveal the presence of bright AGN activity. Using some of the deepest infrared, X-ray and radio data available in the GOODS fields, we identify a population of infrared bright quasars at redshift z ~ 2, which are often missed in the X-ray band. Amongst these sources the number of obscured and heavily-obscured quasars is much higher than those previously found in several X-ray and optical selected samples. A unique view on these heavily-obscured quasars is now given at high energies by NuSTAR. I will present the first NuSTAR detection of a heavily obscured quasar at z 2. This source is a potential archetype of the heavily-obscured high-z AGN in which most of the black hole growth is happening, that can explain the mysterious missing fraction of the XRB.
Strophomenid brachiopods have long been interpreted as “snowshoe” strategists, with their flattened concavo-convex valves providing resistance to foundering in very soft sediments. There has been a sharp difference of opinion in whether the shells were oriented with their convex or their concave surface in contact with the sediment. This study, along with independent evidence from sedimentology, ichnology, and morphology, indicates that the strophomenids lived with their shells concave down (convex up). Experiments indicate the force required to push shells into soft cohesive muds is much greater for the convex up than for the convex down orientation. Forces also increase with shell curvature. All measured forces greatly exceed estimates of the downward force exerted by the weight of the shell, indicating that foundering resistance may not have been the key functional requirement. Instead, a convex up orientation would have provided resistance to overturning in currents, in particular if the valves gaped widely. The “snowshoe” may not be the relevant paradigm for the shell morphology of these forms. An alternative is that they functioned more as a tip-resistant base, similar to those of garden umbrellas or stanchions.
The study of variable stars in open clusters via asteroseismology is a powerful tool for the study of stellar evolution and stars in general. That is because stars in clusters can be assumed to originate from the same interstellar cloud, so they share similar properties such as age and overall metallicity. We performed a search for variable stars in the field of the young open star cluster Roslund 2, with photoelectric and CCD photometry acquired at two different telescopes. Within the resulting light curves we have found 12 variable stars. Our measurements confirm three previously known variables.
The electronic structure of delta plutonium (δ-Pu) and plutonium compounds is investigated using photoelectron spectroscopy (PES). Results for δ-Pu show a small component of the valence electronic structure which might reasonably be associated with a 5f6 configuration. PES results for PuTe are used as an indication for the 5f6 configuration due to the presence of atomic multiplet structure. Temperature dependent PES data on δ-Pu indicate a narrow peak centered 20 meV below the Fermi energy and 100 meV wide. The first PES data for PuCoIn5 indicate a 5f electronic structure more localized than the 5fs in the closely related PuCoGa5. There is support from the PES data for a description of Pu materials with an electronic configuration of 5f5 with some admixture of 5f6 as well as a localized/delocalized 5f5 description.
Faecal moisture content can determine whether faeces appear soft or firm, and faecal character can influence whether owners are satisfied with a dog food. In a previous study, dogs appeared to produce softer faeces after noon. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether time of defecation affected canine faecal water content. A total of eight hound dogs were fed one of four canned diets as a single meal each morning for 1 week per diet in a Latin square design. All four diets contained approximately 77 % moisture and, on a DM basis, 24 MJ/kg gross energy, 23 % crude protein, 32 % crude fat, 31 % N-free extract and 1 % crude fibre. The proportion of dietary protein from soya-derived texturised vegetable protein (TVP):beef was 0:100, 14:86, 29:71 and 57:43, respectively. Soya carbohydrate partially replaced maize starch as TVP increased. Faeces were collected by direct catch during the sixth morning and afternoon of each diet period. Mean faecal moisture content was greater in the afternoon than in the morning (79 v. 71 %; P = 0·01) and increased with dietary TVP (P ≤ 0·0001), and there was an interaction between time of day and percentage TVP (P = 0·003). Faecal moisture content differed from morning to afternoon only with TVP in the diet. Faecal wet weight was similar from morning to afternoon. This suggests that time of day and presence of TVP from soya should be taken into account when evaluating the effect of a diet on faecal form and moisture content in dogs fed once daily.
Computational fluid dynamics solutions of the Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations have been used to numerically predict the thrust of a thermally choked ram accelerator in subdetonative velocity regime. Studies were focused on a projectile operating in a 38-mm-diameter ram accelerator tube loaded with premixed propellant gas; methane/oxygen/nitrogen at 5.15 MPa fill pressure. Simulations were carried out for a series of incoming velocities. The shear stress transport turbulence model (SST) and the eddy dissipation combustion model (EDM) with five-step reaction mechanism were used to simulate the fully turbulent reactive flow field around the projectile. The predicted projectile thrust-velocity agreed well with the experimental measurements, in addition, the CFD predicted pressure variation and magnitude along projectile axial direction also agreed well with the test data. The present investigation reveals some key features of the shock-wave system around the projectile, which are important in determining the characteristics of the thermally choked propulsive mode. These findings are useful in understanding the characteristics of high speed turbulent combustion process in the ram accelerator.