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Avian influenza virus (AIV) subtypes H5 and H7 can infect poultry causing low pathogenicity (LP) AI, but these LPAIVs may mutate to highly pathogenic AIV in chickens or turkeys causing high mortality, hence H5/H7 subtypes demand statutory intervention. Serological surveillance in the European Union provides evidence of H5/H7 AIV exposure in apparently healthy poultry. To identify the most sensitive screening method as the first step in an algorithm to provide evidence of H5/H7 AIV infection, the standard approach of H5/H7 antibody testing by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) was compared with an ELISA, which detects antibodies to all subtypes. Sera (n = 1055) from 74 commercial chicken flocks were tested by both methods. A Bayesian approach served to estimate diagnostic test sensitivities and specificities, without assuming any ‘gold standard’. Sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA was 97% and 99.8%, and for H5/H7 HI 43% and 99.8%, respectively, although H5/H7 HI sensitivity varied considerably between infected flocks. ELISA therefore provides superior sensitivity for the screening of chicken flocks as part of an algorithm, which subsequently utilises H5/H7 HI to identify infection by these two subtypes. With the calculated sensitivity and specificity, testing nine sera per flock is sufficient to detect a flock seroprevalence of 30% with 95% probability.
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.
Changing management in UK lowland pasture systems has lead to larger fertiliser inputs, increased intensity and frequency of cutting and a movement towards silage rather than hay based systems. This has lead to changes in both floral diversity and the seasonal characteristics of sward architectural complexity, which include the loss of key vegetation structures at critical times of the year. e.g., seed heads. This has had large impacts on invertebrate communities in pasture systems and is thought to be the cause of large-scale declines in both the abundances and diversity of invertebrates (Duffey et al., 1974). This decline in invertebrate abundance has also been linked to a concomitant decline in farmland bird populations reliant on invertebrates as a food sources (Vickery et al., 2001). By manipulating cattle grazing, cutting and fertiliser regimes in intensively managed pasture systems the role of vegetation structure for a variety of invertebrate communities has been investigated.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
Some studies suggested that the chemical abundance trend with the condensation temperature, Tc, is a signature of rocky planet formation. Very recently, a strong Tc trend was reported in ζ2 Ret relative to its companion (ζ1 Ret) and was explained by the presence of a debris disk around ζ2 Ret. We re-evaluated the presence and variability of the Tc trend in this system with a goal to understand the impact of the presence of the debris disk on a star. Our results confirm the reported abundance difference between ζ2 Ret and ζ1 Ret and its dependence on the Tc. However, we also found that the Tc trends depend on the individual spectrum used. We conclude that for the ζ Reticuli system, for example, nonphysical factors can be at the root of the Tc trends for the case of individual spectra. For more details see Adibekyan et al. (2016b).
In this work we present chemical abundances of heavy elements (Z>28) for a homogeneous sample of 1059 stars from HARPS planet search program. We also derive ages using parallaxes from Hipparcos and Gaia DR1 to compare the results. We study the [X/Fe] ratios for different populations and compare them with models of Galactic chemical evolution. We find that thick disk stars are chemically disjunt for Zn adn Eu. Moreover, the high-alpha metal-rich population presents an interesting behaviour, with clear overabundances of Cu and Zn and lower abundances of Y and Ba with respect to thin disk stars. Several abundance ratios present a significant correlation with age for chemically separated thin disk stars (regardless of their metallicity) but thick disk stars do not present that behaviour. Moreover, at supersolar metallicities the trends with age tend to be weaker for several elements.
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.
The past three years have seen not only a growth in the activities of our commission, but an extension of its activities into important areas which have heretofore motivated too little activity. Of particular interest have been the many activities directed towards elucidating the question of the abundance of extrasolar planetary systems. There have been a number of observations showing the presence of disks of dust around nearby stars, disks which fit the idea that stars are often formed with an accompanying disk of dust which may in many or perhaps all cases produce a planetary system. Infra-red evidence for dust disks exists for something like twenty stars. The disk of Beta Pictoris has even been clearly imaged at optical wavelengths, showing without a doubt that such disk structures exist. One very impressive detection of an apparent brown dwarf object has also been made; should this be confirmed by other observations, it would be clear evidence for the existence of planet-like bodies in the systems of other stars.
The possibility that life, primitive or advanced, might exist in other places of the Universe has occupied the minds of scientists and lay-people for thousands of years. It is only in the last 25 years, however, that we have finally begun to search for answers to this profound question using experimental techniques. The goal of Astronomy is to understand the origin and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies and of the Universe as a whole. The appearance of life is an integral part of this whole process and our picture of the Universe will never be complete until we will comprehend also the significance of life in the process of Cosmic Evolution.
A multi-faceted, multi-institutional laboratory astrophysics program is carried out at the Livermore electron beam ion trap facility, which is a mature spectroscopic source with unsurpassed controls and capabilities, and an unparalleled assortment of spectroscopic equipment, including a full complement of grating and crystal spectrometers and a 6x6 micro-calorimeter array. Recent results range from the calibration of x-ray diagnostics, including the Fe XVII and Fe XXV emission lines, extensive lists of L-shell ions, the first laboratory simulation and fit of a cometary x-ray emission spectrum, and the discovery of new spectral diagnostics for measuring magnetic field strengths.
Depression and anxiety in Parkinson's disease are common and frequently co-morbid, with significant impact on health outcome. Nevertheless, management is complex and often suboptimal. The existence of clinical subtypes would support stratified approaches in both research and treatment.
Five hundred and thirteen patients with Parkinson's disease were assessed annually for up to 4 years. Latent transition analysis (LTA) was used to identify classes that may conform to clinically meaningful subgroups, transitions between those classes over time, and baseline clinical and demographic features that predict common trajectories.
In total, 64.1% of the sample remained in the study at year 4. LTA identified four classes, a ‘Psychologically healthy’ class (approximately 50%), and three classes associated with psychological distress: one with moderate anxiety alone (approximately 20%), and two with moderate levels of depression plus moderate or severe anxiety. Class membership tended to be stable across years, with only about 15% of individuals transitioning between the healthy class and one of the distress classes. Stable distress was predicted by higher baseline depression and psychiatric history and younger age of onset of Parkinson's disease. Those with younger age of onset were also more likely to become distressed over the course of the study.
Psychopathology was characterized by relatively stable anxiety or anxious-depression over the 4-year period. Anxiety, with or without depression, appears to be the prominent psychopathological phenotype in Parkinson's disease suggesting a pressing need to understanding its mechanisms and improve management.
To examine cross-national patterns and correlates of lifetime and 12-month comorbid DSM-IV anxiety disorders among people with lifetime and 12-month DSM-IV major depressive disorder (MDD).
Nationally or regionally representative epidemiological interviews were administered to 74 045 adults in 27 surveys across 24 countries in the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys. DSM-IV MDD, a wide range of comorbid DSM-IV anxiety disorders, and a number of correlates were assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
45.7% of respondents with lifetime MDD (32.0–46.5% inter-quartile range (IQR) across surveys) had one of more lifetime anxiety disorders. A slightly higher proportion of respondents with 12-month MDD had lifetime anxiety disorders (51.7%, 37.8–54.0% IQR) and only slightly lower proportions of respondents with 12-month MDD had 12-month anxiety disorders (41.6%, 29.9–47.2% IQR). Two-thirds (68%) of respondents with lifetime comorbid anxiety disorders and MDD reported an earlier age-of-onset (AOO) of their first anxiety disorder than their MDD, while 13.5% reported an earlier AOO of MDD and the remaining 18.5% reported the same AOO of both disorders. Women and previously married people had consistently elevated rates of lifetime and 12-month MDD as well as comorbid anxiety disorders. Consistently higher proportions of respondents with 12-month anxious than non-anxious MDD reported severe role impairment (64.4 v. 46.0%; χ21 = 187.0, p < 0.001) and suicide ideation (19.5 v. 8.9%; χ21 = 71.6, p < 0.001). Significantly more respondents with 12-month anxious than non-anxious MDD received treatment for their depression in the 12 months before interview, but this difference was more pronounced in high-income countries (68.8 v. 45.4%; χ21 = 108.8, p < 0.001) than low/middle-income countries (30.3 v. 20.6%; χ21 = 11.7, p < 0.001).
Patterns and correlates of comorbid DSM-IV anxiety disorders among people with DSM-IV MDD are similar across WMH countries. The narrow IQR of the proportion of respondents with temporally prior AOO of anxiety disorders than comorbid MDD (69.6–74.7%) is especially noteworthy. However, the fact that these proportions are not higher among respondents with 12-month than lifetime comorbidity means that temporal priority between lifetime anxiety disorders and MDD is not related to MDD persistence among people with anxious MDD. This, in turn, raises complex questions about the relative importance of temporally primary anxiety disorders as risk markers v. causal risk factors for subsequent MDD onset and persistence, including the possibility that anxiety disorders might primarily be risk markers for MDD onset and causal risk factors for MDD persistence.
Films of GaN have been grown using a modified MBE method in which the active nitrogen is supplied from an RF activated plasma source. Wurtzite films grown on (0 0 1) oriented GaAs substrates show highly defective, ordered polycrystalline growth with a columnar structure; the (0 0 0 1) planes of the layers being parallel to the (0 0 1) planes of the GaAs substrate. Films grown using a coincident As flux, however, have a single crystal zinc-blende growth mode. They have better structural and optical properties. To improve the properties of the wurtzite films we have studied the growth of such films on (1 1 1)A and (1 1 1)B oriented GaAs substrates. The improved structural properties of such films, assessed using x-ray and TEM methods, correlate with better low temperature PL performance.