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The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
Mules and other equine species have been used in warfare for thousands of years to transport goods and supplies. Mules are known for ‘braying’, which is disadvantageous in warfare operations. This article explores the fascinating development of surgical techniques to stop military mules from braying, with particular emphasis on the key role played by the otolaryngologist Arthur James Moffett in devoicing the mules of the second Chindit expedition of World War II.
The PubMed database (1900–2017) and Google search engine were used to identify articles related to devoicing mules in the medical and veterinary literature, along with information and images on the Chindit expedition.
This paper reviews the surgical techniques aimed at treating braying in mules, ranging from ventriculectomy and arytenoidectomy to Moffett's approach of vocal cordectomy.
Moffett's technique of vocal cordectomy provided a quick, reproducible and safe solution for devoicing mules. It proved to be advantageous on the battlefield and demonstrated his achievements outside the field of medicine.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and identifying effective treatment strategies is crucial for the control of depression. Well-conducted systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses can provide the best evidence for supporting treatment decision-making. Nevertheless, the trustworthiness of conclusions can be limited by lack of methodological rigour. This study aims to assess the methodological quality of a representative sample of SRs on depression treatments.
A cross-sectional study on the bibliographical and methodological characteristics of SRs published on depression treatments trials was conducted. Two electronic databases (the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects) were searched for potential SRs. SRs with at least one meta-analysis on the effects of depression treatments were considered eligible. The methodological quality of included SRs was assessed using the validated AMSTAR (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews) tool. The associations between bibliographical characteristics and scoring on AMSTAR items were analysed using logistic regression analysis.
A total of 358 SRs were included and appraised. Over half of included SRs (n = 195) focused on non-pharmacological treatments and harms were reported in 45.5% (n = 163) of all studies. Studies varied in methods and reporting practices: only 112 (31.3%) took the risk of bias among primary studies into account when formulating conclusions; 245 (68.4%) did not fully declare conflict of interests; 93 (26.0%) reported an ‘a priori’ design and 104 (29.1%) provided lists of both included and excluded studies. Results from regression analyses showed: more recent publications were more likely to report ‘a priori’ designs [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.57], to describe study characteristics fully (AOR 1.16, 95% CI 1.06–1.28), and to assess presence of publication bias (AOR 1.13, 95% CI 1.06–1.19), but were less likely to list both included and excluded studies (AOR 0.86, 95% CI 0.81–0.92). SRs published in journals with higher impact factor (AOR 1.14, 95% CI 1.04–1.25), completed by more review authors (AOR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01–1.24) and SRs on non-pharmacological treatments (AOR 1.62, 95% CI 1.01–2.59) were associated with better performance in publication bias assessment.
The methodological quality of included SRs is disappointing. Future SRs should strive to improve rigour by considering of risk of bias when formulating conclusions, reporting conflict of interests and authors should explicitly describe harms. SR authors should also use appropriate methods to combine the results, prevent language and publication biases, and ensure timely updates.
During the early stage of an epidemic, timely and reliable estimation of the severity of infections are important for predicting the impact that the influenza viruses will have in the population. We obtained age-specific deaths and hospitalizations for patients with laboratory-confirmed H1N1pdm09 infections from June 2009 to December 2009 in Hong Kong. We retrospectively obtained the real-time estimates of the hospitalization fatality risk (HFR), using crude estimation or allowing for right-censoring for final status in some patients. Models accounting for right-censoring performed better than models without adjustments. The risk of deaths in hospitalized patients with confirmed H1N1pdm09 increased with age. Reliable estimates of the HFR could be obtained before the peak of the first wave of H1N1pdm09 in young and middle-aged adults but after the peak in the elderly. In the next influenza pandemic, timely estimation of the HFR will contribute to risk assessment and disease control.
The cold, dry, and stable air above the summits of the Antarctic plateau provides the best ground-based observing conditions from optical to sub-millimetre wavelengths to be found on the Earth. Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope (PILOT) is a proposed 2 m telescope, to be built at Dome C in Antarctica, able to exploit these conditions for conducting astronomy at optical and infrared wavelengths. While PILOT is intended as a pathfinder towards the construction of future grand-design facilities, it will also be able to undertake a range of fundamental science investigations in its own right. This paper provides the performance specifications for PILOT, including its instrumentation. It then describes the kinds of projects that it could best conduct. These range from planetary science to the search for other solar systems, from star formation within the Galaxy to the star formation history of the Universe, and from gravitational lensing caused by exo-planets to that produced by the cosmic web of dark matter. PILOT would be particularly powerful for wide-field imaging at infrared wavelengths, achieving near diffraction-limited performance with simple tip–tilt wavefront correction. PILOT would also be capable of near diffraction-limited performance in the optical wavebands, as well be able to open new wavebands for regular ground-based observation, in the mid-IR from 17 to 40 μm and in the sub-millimetre at 200 μm.
Pd is widely used in producing electrodes to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT). However up to now its ability to form ohmic contacts to SWNTs was not employed in scanning probe microscopy (SPM). Here we present a study of SWNTs with Pd electrodes by SPM using Pd-coated tips. SWNTs were selectively grown on oxidized silicon substrates by low pressure CVD method. Pd electrodes were prepared to SWNTs to fabricate two terminal structures for SWNTs resistance measurements. It is shown that SPM Kelvin mode is a reliable technique for SWNT detection on insulating substrate. Contact potential difference between Pd electrode and SWNT is measured using the Kelvin mode.
Many challenges remain in the effort to realize the exceptional properties of carbon nanotubes (CNT) in composite materials. Here, we report on electrically conductive composites fabricated via infiltration of CNT-based aerogels. The ultra low-density, high conductivity, and extraordinary robustness of the CNT aerogels make them ideal scaffolds around which to create conductive composites. Infiltrating the aerogels with various insulating materials (e.g. epoxy and silica) resulted in composites with electrical conductivities over 1 Scm-1 with as little as 1 vol% nanotube content. The electrical conductivity observed in the composites was remarkably close to that of the CNT scaffold in all cases.
We consider semi-quantitatively the cyclotron resonance instability of ion cyclotron and magnetosonic waves propagating at an angle to the magnetic field in an infinite uniform plasma. The velocity distributions of electrons and ions consist of a dense cold component and a diffuse high-energy tail. If the high-energy protons are sufficiently intense and their pitch angle distributions sufficiently anisotropic, instability occurs for those waves propagating parallel to the magnetic field. If the spectrum of resonant protons is sufficiently hard, a reasonably large cone of propagating angles about the magnetic field can be unstable. Observed fluxes of trapped protons in the magnetosphere should destabilise the ion cyclotron wave at a lower intensity threshold than for at least one class of electrostatic waves.
We present here a simple expression for the resonant particle growth rate of arbitrary plasma waves propagating at an arbitrary angle to a uniform magnetic field in a spatially homogeneous plasma. We then are able to see that cyclotron harmonic wave-particle resonances contribute to instability when the resonant particle pitch angle distributions are anisotropic, while the phase velocity resonances of the Landau form are unstable to beam type phenomena. A sufficient condition for resonant particle stability is that particle distributions be isotropic and monotonically decreasing with increasing energy everywhere.
Serotonin receptors blockade is the major basis for the action of atypical antipsychotic drugs. Genetic factors affecting the density and/or function of serotonergic receptors, transporters and enzymes may therefore affect antipsychotic response. This exploratory study investigates the effect of ten polymorphisms from HTR1A, HTR1D, HTR2A, HTR3A, HTR3B, HTR4, HTR6, SLC6A4, TPH1, TPH2 genes on antipsychotic response in a sample of 289 patients with DSM-diagnosis of schizophrenia. Clinical Response was assessed using Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). Response was determined as 20% reduction improvement of BPRS compared to baseline. Selection of the biological relevant interactions, regardless the phenotype was performed using different statistics strategies regardless the phenotype to investigate epistasis within the serotonin system. the test for relevant interaction selection showed that 5HT4 and 5HT6 can be in epistatic relationship. the single locus analysis of these two receptor polymorphisms showed no significant results and the logistic regression model incorporating both genes, the clinical and demographic variables was not significant. Even this result is not significant, this strategy aimed to investigate the epistatic effect among genes could be useful for finding relevant biological interaction among genetic variants. Furthermore we are currently analyzing the methylation level of HTR2A in responders and non-responders, this epigenetic analysis will be very valuable in adding more information to the classic pharmacogenetic studies.
We and others have reported that patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis already have significant structural brain abnormalities. Antipsychotics seem to reverse subcortical volume deficits after months of treatment. However, the early impact of medication on brain morphology is not known.
Forty-eight individuals in their first episode of psychosis underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scanning. Twenty-six were antipsychotic naive and 22 were newly treated with antipsychotic medication for a median period of 3 weeks. In each group, 80% of subjects received a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The two groups were balanced for age, sex, handedness, ethnicity, height, years of education, paternal socio-economic status (SES) and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) score. Group differences in whole-brain grey matter were compared voxel by voxel, using Brain Activation and Morphological Mapping (BAMM) software. We also conducted testing of group differences with region-of-interest (ROI) measurements of the caudate nucleus.
Relative to the untreated group, those receiving antipsychotic medication for 3–4 weeks had significantly greater grey-matter volumes in the bilateral caudate and cingulate gyri, extending to the left medial frontal gyrus. ROI analysis confirmed that, in treated patients, the right and left caudate nuclei were significantly larger by 10% (p<0.039, two-tailed) and 9% (p<0.048, two-tailed) respectively.
Early striatal grey-matter enlargement may occur within the first 3–4 weeks of antipsychotic treatment. Possible reasons for putative striatal hypertrophy and its implications are discussed.
Experiments on three-terminal ‘dotted-I’ test structures (copper metal lines with vias at both ends and an additional via at the center) show that the mortality of a single segment not only depends on the values of its current density and length, but also on the stress conditions in the linked segment. The current density in one 25μm long segment was fixed at 0.5MA/cm2, with electron flow toward the central via. In the othersegment, the current magnitude and sign were varied for different test populations, with the current varied from 2.5MA/cm2 to -2.5MA/cm2 with intermediate values including zero. For all cases, some test structures survived for the full 780 hours of testing and some did not. The percent of the lines that failed increased monotonically with an effective jL product defined as the maximum of the sum of the jL products from all paths through the structure. However, some lines with smaller than expected effective jL products failed, and some lines with relatively large effective jL products did not. Simulations of electromigration and electromigration-induced failures for all test conditions have been carried out. We find that test conditions leading to extreme values of the effective jL product probe different failure mechanisms than those associated with intermediate effective jL products. It is also shown that the definition of the effective jL product must be modified to account for zero current (inactive) segments that act as reservoirs or sinks. Multi-via test structures in general, and dotted-I test structures specifically, are shown to be versatile tools for identification and characterization of different failure mechanisms and length effects through the use of different test conditions with a single fixed structure.
HfO2 as a dielectric material in MOS capacitor by direct sputtering of Hf in an O2 ambient onto a Si substrate was studied. The results showed that the interface layer formed between HfO2 and the Si substrate was affected by the RTA time in the 500°C annealing temperature. Since the interface layer is mainly composed of hafnium silicate, and has high interface trap density, the effective barrier height is therefore lowered with increased RTA time. The change in the effective barrier height will affect the FN tunneling current and the operation of the MOS devices when it is applied for nonvolatile memory devices.
Silica integrated optical circuits are expanding in functionality to include optically active waveguides. Traditionally, the planar optical waveguide structures include silica based glass films such as thermal oxides, phosphorous, and boron-phosphorous doped glasses. Various efforts have successfully doped conventional waveguides with Er, typically by solution doping. Material issues such as rare earth solubility and glass structure dictate that efficient optical amplifiers based on such waveguides have path lengths in excess of 10–15 cm. We have developed an alternative strategy using Er-doped soda-lime silicate glass films on silicon. The waveguide processing utilizes methods of deposition similar to those used in silicon IC technology, with modificatons in the compositions and thicknesses. In these glasses the effective solubility limits are relaxed and we have successfully fabricated short path length devices which demonstrate net gain of more than 4 dB/cm. Short path length devices offer a potential advantage in highly integrated multi-channel devices and offer an additional building block in system architectures.