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The objective of this study is to compare aneuploidy rates between three distinct areas of the human trophectoderm: mural, polar and a region in between these two locations termed the ‘mid’ trophectoderm. This is a cohort study on in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients undergoing comprehensive chromosome screening at the blastocyst stage at a private IVF clinic. All embryos underwent assisted hatching on day 3 with blastocyst biopsy and comprehensive chromosome screening. Biopsied blastocysts were divided into three groups depending on which area (polar, mid, or mural) of the trophectoderm was protruding from the zona pellucida and biopsied. Aneuploidy rates were significantly higher with cells from the polar region of the trophectoderm (56.2%) compared with cells removed from the mural region of the trophectoderm (30.0%; P = 0.0243). A comparison of all three areas combined also showed a decreasing trend, but this did not reach clinical significance, polar (56.2%), mid (47.4%) and mural trophectoderm (30.0%; P = 0.1859). The non-concordance demonstrated between polar and mural trophectoderm can be attributed to biological occurrences including chromosomal mosaicism or procedural differences between embryologists.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Rodent models can be used to study neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), but the applicability of findings from the models to NAS in humans is not well understood. The objective of this study was to develop a rat model of norbuprenorphine-induced NAS and validate its translational value by comparing blood concentrations in the norbuprenorphine-treated pregnant rat to those previously reported in pregnant women undergoing buprenorphine treatment. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Pregnant Long-Evans rats were implanted with 14-day osmotic minipumps containing vehicle, morphine (positive control), or norbuprenorphine (0.3–3 mg/kg/d) on gestation day 9. Within 12 hours of delivery, pups were tested for spontaneous or precipitated opioid withdrawal by injecting them with saline (10 mL/kg, i.p.) or naltrexone (1 or 10 mg/kg, i.p), respectively, and observing them for well-validated neonatal withdrawal signs. Blood was sampled via indwelling jugular catheters from a subset of norbuprenorphine-treated dams on gestation day 8, 10, 13, 17, and 20. Norbuprenorphine concentrations in whole blood samples were quantified using LC/MS/MS. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Blood concentrations of norbuprenorphine in rats exposed to 1–3 mg/kg/d of norbuprenorphine were similar to levels previously reported in pregnant women undergoing buprenorphine treatment. Pups born to dams treated with these doses exhibited robust withdrawal signs. Blood concentrations of norbuprenorphine decreased across gestation, which is similar to previous reports in humans. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: These results suggest that dosing dams with 1–3 mg/kg/day norbuprenorphine produces maternal blood concentrations and withdrawal severity similar to those previously reported in humans. This provides evidence that, at these doses, this model is useful for testing hypotheses about norbuprenorphine that are applicable to NAS in humans.
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
Studies estimating the human health impact of the foodborne disease often include estimates of the number of gastroenteritis hospitalisations. The aims of this study were to examine the degree to which hospital discharge data underreport hospitalisations due to bacterial gastroenteritis and to estimate the frequency of stool sample submission among patients presenting with gastroenteritis. Using linked laboratory and hospital discharge data from a healthcare organisation and its affiliated hospital, we examined the International Classification of Disease (ICD-9-CM) diagnosis codes assigned to hospitalised adults with culture-confirmed Campylobacter, Salmonella, or Escherichia coli O157 infections and determined the frequency of stool sample submission. Among 138 hospitalised patients with culture-confirmed infections, 43% of Campylobacter patients, 56% of Salmonella patients and 35% of E. coli O157 patients had that pathogen-specific code listed on the discharge record. Among patients without their infection listed as a diagnosis, 65% were assigned a nonspecific gastroenteritis code. Submitting a specimen for culture ⩾3 days before discharge was significantly associated with having the pathogen-specific diagnosis listed. Of 6181 patients assigned a nonspecific gastroenteritis code, 69% had submitted a stool sample for bacterial culture. This study can be used to understand differences and adjust for the underreporting and underdiagnosed of Campylobacter, Salmonella and E. coli O157 in hospital discharge and surveillance data, respectively.
The mid-infrared range contains many spectral features associated with large molecules and dust grains such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and silicates. These are usually very strong compared to fine-structure gas lines, and thus valuable in studying the spectral properties of faint distant galaxies. In this paper, we evaluate the capability of low-resolution mid-infrared spectroscopic surveys of galaxies that could be performed by SPICA. The surveys are designed to address the question how star formation and black hole accretion activities evolved over cosmic time through spectral diagnostics of the physical conditions of the interstellar/circumnuclear media in galaxies. On the basis of results obtained with Herschel far-infrared photometric surveys of distant galaxies and Spitzer and AKARI near- to mid-infrared spectroscopic observations of nearby galaxies, we estimate the numbers of the galaxies at redshift z > 0.5, which are expected to be detected in the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon features or dust continuum by a wide (10 deg2) or deep (1 deg2) blind survey, both for a given observation time of 600 h. As by-products of the wide blind survey, we also expect to detect debris disks, through the mid-infrared excess above the photospheric emission of nearby main-sequence stars, and we estimate their number. We demonstrate that the SPICA mid-infrared surveys will efficiently provide us with unprecedentedly large spectral samples, which can be studied further in the far-infrared with SPICA.
Our current knowledge of star formation and accretion luminosity at high redshift (z > 3–4), as well as the possible connections between them, relies mostly on observations in the rest-frame ultraviolet, which are strongly affected by dust obscuration. Due to the lack of sensitivity of past and current infrared instrumentation, so far it has not been possible to get a glimpse into the early phases of the dust-obscured Universe. Among the next generation of infrared observatories, SPICA, observing in the 12–350 µm range, will be the only facility that can enable us to trace the evolution of the obscured star-formation rate and black-hole accretion rate densities over cosmic time, from the peak of their activity back to the reionisation epoch (i.e., 3 < z ≲ 6–7), where its predecessors had severe limitations. Here, we discuss the potential of photometric surveys performed with the SPICA mid-infrared instrument, enabled by the very low level of impact of dust obscuration in a band centred at 34 µm. These unique unbiased photometric surveys that SPICA will perform will fully characterise the evolution of AGNs and star-forming galaxies after reionisation.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
The SALT transient follow-up programme began in 2016 and will continue for 5 semesters (until 31 Oct 2018), with an expectation of renewal thereafter. It is currently the only SALT Large Science Programme, and was awarded ~250 ksec. per semester, with a significant fraction (60%) given for the highest priority target-of-opportunity time. The aim is to characterise and study transients across a wide range of classes, currently including (from closest to most distant) cataclysmic variables, novæ and other associated eruptive variables, low- and high-mass X-ray binaries, OGLE and Gaia transients (including tidal disruption events), super-luminous and unusual core-collapse supernovæ, kilonovæ and other candidate optical counterparts to gravitational-wave events, flaring blazars and AGN, and gamma-ray bursts. This programme currently involves four SALT partners, of which South Africa is the major contributor of time (74%) and resources and includes five institutions with over 30 co-investigators. This talk reviewed the nature of the programme and highlighted some of the results to date.
This poster presented results from a detailed analysis of observed and theoretical light-curves of classical Cepheid variables in the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds. The theoretical light-curves were based on non-linear convective hydrodynamical pulsation models; the observational data were taken from ongoing wide-field variability surveys. The variation which we found in theoretical and observed light-curve parameters as a function of period, wavelength and metallicity was used to constrain the input physics to the pulsation models, such as the mass–luminosity relations obeyed by Cepheid variables. We also accounted for the variation in the convective efficiency as entered into the stellar pulsation models and its impact on the theoretical amplitudes and Period-Luminosity relations for Cepheid variables.
The Berkeley Visible Image Tube (BVIT) has been a user instrument on the SALT 10-m telescope for the past six years. It can observe transient astrophysical phenomena occurring on time-scales of micro-seconds. This overview presented some recent observations of a dMe flare star, and discussed the recent results of our optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (OSETI) around nearby exoplanet-hosting stars.
This poster reported our spectroscopy of the neutron-star X-ray binary 4U 1728-34, observed with Suzaku in 2010 October. It is classified as an atoll source. Its continuous X-ray spectrum can be fitted by a combination of a multicolour accretion-disk model for the soft energy, plus a power-law model for the hard energy. A broad emission line at 6–7 keV can be fitted well using a simple Gaussian component with an equivalent width of ∼322 eV. However, for this object the presence of that feature is disputed, even though our results from Suzaku do suggest the presence of a broad Fe emission line that is consistent with results from XMM-Newton. Nevertheless, the parameters of the line (the line centroid and the equivalent width) are a little different, but that could be due to a difference in modelling the continuum.
This poster presented results from the Large Magellanic Cloud Near-Infrared Synoptic Survey (LMCNISS) for classical and Type II Cepheid variables that were identified in the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE-III) catalogue. Multi-wavelength time-series data for classical Cepheid variables are used to study light-curve structures as a function of period and wavelength. We exploited a sample of ∼1400 classical and ∼80 Type II Cepheid variables to derive Period–Wesenheit relations that combine both optical and near-infrared data. The new Period–Luminosity and Wesenheit relations were used to estimate distances to several Local-Group galaxies (using classical Cepheids) and to Galactic globular clusters (using Type II Cepheids). By appealing to a statistical framework, we found that fundamental-mode classical Cepheid Period–Luminosity relations are non-linear around 10–18 days at optical and near-IR wavelengths. We also suggested that a non-linear relation provides a better constraint on the Cepheid Period–Luminosity relation in Type Ia Supernovæ host galaxies, though it has a negligible effect on the systematic uncertainties affecting the local measurement of the Hubble constant.
About 30,000 astronomical photographic plates were digitised between 2012–2017 with a special digitising machine that has high precision in both astrometry and photometry. All the images from the plates, together with plate information and measured coordinates of all the objects on the plates, have been stored in the Chinese Virtual Observatory.
With so many spectroscopic surveys, both past and upcoming, such as SDSS and LAMOST, the number of accessible stellar spectra is continuously increasing. There is therefore a great need for automated procedures that will derive estimates of stellar parameters. Working with spectra from SDSS and LAMOST, we put forward a hybrid approach of Kernel Principal Component Analysis (KPCA) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) to determine the stellar atmospheric parameters effective temperature, surface gravity and metallicity. For stars with both APOGEE and LAMOST spectra, we adopt the LAMOST spectra and APOGEE parameters, and then use KPCA to reduce dimensionality and SVM to measure parameters. Our method provides reliable and precise results; for example, the standard deviation of effective temperature, surface gravity and metallicity for the test sample come to approximately 47–75 K, 0.11–0.15 dex and 0.06–0.075 dex, respectively. The impact of the signal:noise ratio of the observations upon the accuracy of the results is also investigated.
Stars are the main ingredients of galaxies, and the sites of the creation of most chemical elements in our universe. The knowledge that we gain from studying nearby resolved stellar populations assists directly our ability to measure the properties of distant galaxies. The overall objective of this project is to study galaxy formation and evolution in a complete environment of the dwarf galaxies in the Local Group, by using the same methods for all of them. For that purpose, we used the INT to conduct a monitoring survey of the majority of Local-Group dwarf galaxies in order to identify the most evolved AGB stars that are long-period variables (LPV). LPV stars reach their maximum brightness amplitudes at optical wavelengths, owing to changes in temperature. They trace stellar populations as young as ∼30 Myr up to as old as ∼10 Gyr, and identifying them is one of the best ways of reconstructing star-formation history using a method that we have developed and applied successfully to other Local-Group galaxies. Since the luminosity variations span 100–1000 days, we planned observations over 10 epochs, spaced ∼3 months apart; 9 epochs of data have so far been obtained.