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PSR B1828–11 is a young pulsar once thought to be undergoing free precession and recently found instead to be switching magnetospheric states in tandem with spin-down changes. Here we show the two extreme states of the mode-changing found for this pulsar and comment briefly on its interpretation.
Multi-decade observing campaigns of the globular clusters 47 Tucanae and M15 have led to an outstanding number of discoveries. Here, we report on the latest results of the long-term observations of the pulsars in these two clusters. For most of the pulsars in 47 Tucanae we have measured, among other things, their higher-order spin period derivatives, which have in turn provided stringent constraints on the physical parameters of the cluster, such as its distance and gravitational potential. For M15, we have studied the relativistic spin precession effect in PSR B2127+11C. We have used full-Stokes observations to model the precession effect, and to constrain the system geometry. We find that the visible beam of the pulsar is swiftly moving away from our line of sight and may very soon become undetectable. On the other hand, we expect to see the opposite emission beam sometime between 2041 and 2053.
Can core genetic liabilities for suicidal behavior be indexed using psychological and neural indicators combined? The current work addressed this question by examining phenotypic and genetic associations of two biobehavioral traits, threat sensitivity (THT) and disinhibition (DIS) – operationalized as psychoneurometric variables (i.e., composites of psychological-scale and neurophysiological measures) – with suicidal behaviors in a sample of adult twins.
Participants were 444 identical and fraternal twins recruited from an urban community. THT was assessed using a psychological-scale measure of fear/fearlessness combined with physiological indicators of reactivity to aversive pictures, and DIS was assessed using scale measures of disinhibitory tendencies combined with indicators of brain response from lab performance tasks. Suicidality was assessed using items from structured interview and questionnaire protocols.
THT and DIS each contributed uniquely to prediction of suicidality when assessed psychoneurometrically (i.e., as composites of scale and neurophysiological indicators). In addition, these traits predicted suicidality interactively, with participants high on both reporting the greatest degree of suicidal behaviors. Biometric (twin-modeling) analyses revealed that a high percentage of the predictive association for each psychoneurometric trait (83% for THT, 68% for DIS) was attributable to genetic variance in common with suicidality.
Findings indicate that psychoneurometric assessments of biobehavioral traits index genetic liability for suicidal behavior, and as such, can serve as innovative targets for research on core biological processes contributing to severe psychopathology, including suicidal proclivities and actions.
During 2016 February, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy installed, commissioned, and carried out science observations with a phased array feed receiver system on the 64-m diameter Parkes radio telescope. Here, we demonstrate that the phased array feed can be used for pulsar observations and we highlight some unique capabilities. We demonstrate that the pulse profiles obtained using the phased array feed can be calibrated and that multiple pulsars can be simultaneously observed. Significantly, we find that an intrinsic polarisation leakage of −31 dB can be achieved with a phased array feed beam offset from the centre of the field of view. We discuss the possibilities for using a phased array feed for future pulsar observations and for searching for fast radio bursts with the Parkes and Effelsberg telescopes.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
PSRs J1847–0130 and J1718–37184 have inferred surface dipole magnetic fields greater than those of any other known pulsars and well above the “quantum critical field” above which some models predict radio emission should not occur. These fields are similar to those of the anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs), which growing evidence suggests are “magnetars”. The lack of AXP-like X-ray emission from these radio pulsars (and the non-detection of radio emission from the AXPs) creates new challenges for understanding pulsar emission physics and the relationship between these classes of apparently young neutron stars.
In this paper it is shown that the ability to directly detect a daughter atom, using resonance ionization spectroscopy, in delayed time coincidence with the decay of a parent species promises to drastically reduce the background in low-level counting experiments. In addition, resonance ionization can also be used as an ion source for a mass spectrometer system that is capable of discriminating between isobars.
The need for increased quality assurance for radiocarbon measurements performed by the monitoring laboratories at nuclear stations has spurred the introduction of a number of interlaboratory comparisons. We organized two such intercomparisons: the first set, circulated in 1994, consisted of two milk samples, one containing current global levels of 14C, the other containing an added spike of 14C-methylated casein. The second set, circulated in 1995, consisted of two samples of natural vegetation growing on the site of the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL), containing two different levels of 14C, both well above global background. The response to our invitation to participate in these studies was very encouraging; six laboratories took part in the first intercomparison, eleven in the second. The list included both monitoring laboratories and those whose main function is 14C dating. Understandably, some of the latter preferred not to analyze the higher-activity samples. The results in 3 of the 4 data sets were consistent with a statistical distribution based on the reported errors. This report provides details of two intercomparisons, including the preparation of the samples, which may now be considered potential secondary reference materials, the range of analytical techniques in use at the participating laboratories, and a statistical analysis of the results returned to us.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) caused by fetal and perinatal asphyxia is an important cause of mortality in the neonatal period. Not only will asphyxia affect the brain but also other organs such as the liver and kidneys. Interestingly, it has been shown that liver damage is proportional to the severity of the asphyctic insult, implying an association between liver impairment and HIE. Accordingly, we investigated in an established rat model the acute and chronic hepatic response to both fetal (FA) and perinatal asphyxia (PA). In addition, we assessed whether fetal asphyctic preconditioning (PC) would have any beneficial effect on the liver. Inflammation, ceramide signaling and hepatocellular damage were analyzed in the livers of newborn and adult rats at several short- and long-term time points after both FA and PA. We found that although FA induced an acute inflammatory response, apoptotic mRNA levels and oxidative DNA damage were decreased at 96 h post FA. Whereas increased IL-6 and IL-10 mRNA levels were observed after PA, the combination of FA and PA (PC) attenuated the inflammatory response. Moreover, 6 h after PA anti-apoptotic genes were downregulated and associated with less lipid peroxidation, while preconditioned animals were comparable to controls. In summary, asphyctic PC seems to have an acute protective effect on the liver by modulating the inflammatory, apoptotic and anti-oxidative response. More insight into the hepatic response to asphyxia is necessary, as disturbed hepatic function is associated with metabolic diseases in later life.
We present an overview of the latest results from the PdBI Arcsecond Whirlpool Survey (PAWS, PI: E. Schinnerer), which has mapped CO(1-0) emission in the nearby grand-design spiral galaxy M51 at 40pc resolution. Our data are sensitive to GMCs above 105 M⊙, allowing the construction of the largest GMC catalog to date – containing over 1500 objects – using the CPROPS algorithm (Rosolowsky & Leroy 2006). In the inner disk of M51, the properties of the CO emission show significant variation that can be linked to the dynamical environment in which the molecular gas is located. We find that dynamically distinct regions host clouds with different properties and exhibit different GMC mass spectra, as well as distinct patterns of star formation. To understand how this sensitivity to environment emerges, we consider the role of pressure on GMC stabilization (including shear and star formation feedback-driven turbulence). We suggest that, in the presence of significant external pressure, streaming motions driven by the spiral arm can act to reduce the surface pressure on clouds. The resulting stabilization impacts the global pattern of star formation and can account for the observed non-monotonic radial dependence of the gas depletion time. Our findings have implications for the observed scatter in the standard GMC relations and extragalactic star formation laws.
Antenatal exposure of the fetus to inflammation may alter postnatal organ development. In our previous work, we demonstrated that the fetal liver is involved in the systemic inflammation associated with chorioamnionitis, leading to metabolic changes. On the basis of these findings, we hypothesized that chorioamnionitis can lead to postnatal inflammation-related liver injury and disturbed lipid metabolism. Chorioamnionitis was induced in sheep by intra-amniotic injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or saline at 90, 100 and 110 days of gestation. Liver homeostasis and lipid metabolism were analyzed at term and at 7 weeks of age. At term, hepatic T-lymphocytes and apoptotic hepatocytes were increased. In addition, hepatic cholesterol and triglyceride levels were decreased in LPS-exposed animals compared with controls. At 7 weeks of age, no hepatic inflammation could be detected. However, liver triglycerides and plasma cholesterol levels were increased in LPS-exposed animals relative to controls. The changes in lipid levels at 7 weeks of age were associated with increased leptin receptor mRNA levels, increased lipid peroxidation, increased expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4 as a marker for mitochondrial function and increased circulating ceramide levels. These findings demonstrate that chorioamnionitis-mediated antenatal inflammation-related liver disturbances have long-lasting postnatal effects on lipid metabolism.
The transport properties of the pyrochlore solid solution Gd2(ZrxTil-x)2O7 are investigated to clarify the relationships between composition, structural disorder and ionic and electronic transport. The oxygen ion conductivity has been found to increase sharply with increasing Zr content, x, due to enhanced structural disorder, leading to intrinsic ionic conduction at large values ofx. In contrast, the n—type conductivity predominant at low x, decreases sharply above x=0.2. Defect chemical models are presented to account for the simultaneous contributions of both intrinsic and dopant induced disorder. These models are applied to the σ(T, PO2, dopant) data to extract key thermodynamic and transport parameters. The significance of these parameters and the potential application of these materials in electrochemical devices are discussed.
We show that GaInP2 exhibits a directional anisotropy of the electrical conductivity when grown under the appropriate growth conditions. We relate this anisotropy to the characteristic surface microstructure of the material.
Diffusion of model main-chain and side-chain liquid crystalline polymers was studied in the nematic phase. The concentration of deuterium labeled polymer vs. depth in a thick matrix layer was profiled with Forward Recoil Spectrometry to determine diffusion coefficients. In each system, the tracer diffusion coefficient was measured as a function of temperature, and correlated both with phase transitions determined by thermal analysis and with melt viscosity data.
We have applied high resolution chemical imaging in a transmission electron microscope to study compositional variations across InGaAs/InAIAs double quantum well structures. The structures of interest are grown on an InP substrate and consist of two 40 Å layers of InGaAs separated by 20 Å of InAlAs. For this (InGa)x(InAl)1-xAs system, we have been able to obtain compositional information with an accuracy of about 20 % and a maximum spatial resolution of 1/2 × 1/2 unit cell. The results clearly show irregularities on a monatomic scale.