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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
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.
Nanoenergetic composites are of overwhelming interest to the Department of Defense because of the higher power output and the ability to finely tune the ignition thresholds of these composites. Recently, several variants of a nanoaluminum-poly(perfluorinated methacrylate) (AlFA) have been synthesized and optimized for a variety of applications including reactive warhead liners and bullet spotters. While conventional techniques such as thermal analysis and bomb calorimetry can be used to characterize the reaction mechanism and energy output of AlFA composites, characterizing their dynamic behaviour is more challenging. Bullet spotter applications require a material to be impact sensitive at very low velocities, yet be adequately insensitive. Several live-fire tests were conducted which revealed the AlFA50 material reacted consistently upon target impact at high velocities, but unreliably at very low velocities. In an effort to better understand the fundamental impact ignition mechanism and to determine the impact velocity threshold of AlFA50 a series of Taylor gas gun experiments were conducted. It was determined that the light-initiation mechanism was consistent with a pinch mechanism, and that the ignition velocity threshold was near 74 m/s. Based on these results, it was hypothesized that the addition of a filler material could be used to sensitize the AlFA50, and that Asay shear impact testing could be used to determine a more optimal shape of such inclusions. Experiments performed using the Asay shear impact test setup confirmed the pinch ignition mechanism, but observations also revealed that the size of the pinch point was important. Finally, it was shown that the addition of large glass beads (> 1mm in diameter) was effective at sensitizing the AlFA50 material at high and low velocities, with ignition observed at impact velocities as low as 35 m/s.
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.
We present an overview of the survey for radio emission from active stars that has been in progress for the last six years using the observatories at Fleurs, Molonglo, Parkes and Tidbinbilla. The role of complementary optical observations at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Mount Burnett, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories and Mount Tamborine are also outlined. We describe the different types of star that have been included in our survey and discuss some of the problems in making the radio observations.
Several studies demonstrating that central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are preventable prompted a national initiative to reduce the incidence of these infections.
We conducted a collaborative cohort study to evaluate the impact of the national “On the CUSP: Stop BSI” program on CLABSI rates among participating adult intensive care units (ICUs). The program goal was to achieve a unit-level mean CLABSI rate of less than 1 case per 1,000 catheter-days using standardized definitions from the National Healthcare Safety Network. Multilevel Poisson regression modeling compared infection rates before, during, and up to 18 months after the intervention was implemented.
A total of 1,071 ICUs from 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, reporting 27,153 ICU-months and 4,454,324 catheter-days of data, were included in the analysis. The overall mean CLABSI rate significantly decreased from 1.96 cases per 1,000 catheter-days at baseline to 1.15 at 16–18 months after implementation. CLABSI rates decreased during all observation periods compared with baseline, with adjusted incidence rate ratios steadily decreasing to 0.57 (95% confidence intervals, 0.50–0.65) at 16–18 months after implementation.
Coincident with the implementation of the national “On the CUSP: Stop BSI” program was a significant and sustained decrease in CLABSIs among a large and diverse cohort of ICUs, demonstrating an overall 43% decrease and suggesting the majority of ICUs in the United States can achieve additional reductions in CLABSI rates.
We are developing a purely commensal survey experiment for fast (<5 s) transient radio sources. Short-timescale transients are associated with the most energetic and brightest single events in the Universe. Our objective is to cover the enormous volume of transients parameter space made available by ASKAP, with an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and field of view. Fast timescale transients open new vistas on the physics of high brightness temperature emission, extreme states of matter and the physics of strong gravitational fields. In addition, the detection of extragalactic objects affords us an entirely new and extremely sensitive probe on the huge reservoir of baryons present in the IGM. We outline here our approach to the considerable challenge involved in detecting fast transients, particularly the development of hardware fast enough to dedisperse and search the ASKAP data stream at or near real-time rates. Through CRAFT, ASKAP will provide the testbed of many of the key technologies and survey modes proposed for high time resolution science with the SKA.
EMU is a wide-field radio continuum survey planned for the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The primary goal of EMU is to make a deep (rms ∼ 10 μJy/beam) radio continuum survey of the entire Southern sky at 1.3 GHz, extending as far North as +30° declination, with a resolution of 10 arcsec. EMU is expected to detect and catalogue about 70 million galaxies, including typical star-forming galaxies up to z ∼ 1, powerful starbursts to even greater redshifts, and active galactic nuclei to the edge of the visible Universe. It will undoubtedly discover new classes of object. This paper defines the science goals and parameters of the survey, and describes the development of techniques necessary to maximise the science return from EMU.
We present distance determinations to the LMC and SMC based on long period eclipsing binary systems composed of giants. Our LMC distance provides the best zero point for the whole extragalactic distance scale, while the precise relative distance between the LMC and SMC offers unique opportunity to study populational effects on the stellar distance indicators. Apart from distances, analysis of these systems allowed us to measure with a very good accuracy basic stellar parameters (1–2% radii, masses, effective temperature, etc.) of relatively large sample of giants. This catalog provides unique opportunity to calibrate evolutionary models of giant stars.
Thermoelectric materials with stable mechanical and chemical properties at high temperature are required for power generation applications. For example, gas temperatures up to 1000°C are normally present in the waste stream of industrial processes and this can be used for electricity generation. There are few semiconductor materials that can operate effectively at these high temperatures. One solution may be the use of wide bandgap materials, and in particular GaN-based materials, which may offer a traditional semiconductor solution for high temperatures thermoelectric power generation. In particular, the ability to both grow GaN-based materials and fabricate them into devices is well understood if their thermoelectric properties are favorable. To investigate the possibility of using III-Nitride and its alloys for thermoelectric applications, we synthesized and characterized room temperature thermoelectric properties of metal organic chemical vapor deposition grown GaN and InGaN with different carrier concentrations and indium compositions. The promising value of Seebeck coefficients and power factors of Si-doped GaN and InGaN indicated that these materials are suitable for thermoelectric applications.
We present a precise and accurate measurement of the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud based on late-type eclipsing-binary systems. Our results provide curently the most accurate zero point for the extragalactic distance scale.
Eventing competitions in Great Britain (GB) comprise three disciplines, each split into four grades, yielding 12 discipline-grade traits. As there is a demand for tools to estimate (co)variance matrices with a large number of traits, the aim of this work was to investigate different methods to produce large (co)variance matrices using GB eventing data. Data from 1999 to 2008 were used and penalty points were converted to normal scores. A sire model was utilised to estimate fixed effects of gender, age and class, and random effects of sire, horse and rider. Three methods were used to estimate (co)variance matrices. Method 1 used a method based on Gibbs sampling and data augmentation and imputation. Methods 2a and 2b combined sub-matrices from bivariate analyses; one took samples from a multivariate Normal distribution defined by the covariance matrix from each bivariate analysis, then analysed these data in a 12-trait multivariate analysis; the other replaced negative eigenvalues in the matrix with positive values to obtain a positive definite (co)variance matrix. A formal comparison of models could not be conducted; however, estimates from all methods, particularly Methods 2a/2b, were in reasonable agreement. The computational requirements of Method 1 were much less compared with Methods 2a or 2b. Method 2a heritability estimates were as follows: for dressage 7.2% to 9.0%, for show jumping 8.9% to 16.2% and for cross-country 1.3% to 1.4%. Method 1 heritability estimates were higher for the advanced grades, particularly for dressage (17.1%) and show jumping (22.6%). Irrespective of the model, genetic correlations between grades, for dressage and show jumping, were positive, high and significant, ranging from 0.59 to 0.99 for Method 2a and 0.78 to 0.95 for Method 1. For cross-country, using Method 2a, genetic correlations were only significant between novice and pre-novice (0.75); however, using Method 1 estimates were all significant and low to moderate (0.36 to 0.70). Between-discipline correlations were all low and of mixed sign. All methods produced positive definite 12 × 12 (co)variance matrices, suitable for the prediction of breeding values. Method 1 benefits from much reduced computational requirements, and by performing a true multivariate analysis.
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is frequently co-occurring with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents. Because ODD is a precursor of later conduct disorder (CD) and affective disorders, early diagnostic identification is warranted. Furthermore, the predictability of three recently confirmed ODD dimensions (ODD-irritable, ODD-headstrong and ODD-hurtful) may assist clinical decision making.
Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used in order to test the diagnostic accuracy of the Conners' Parent Rating Scale revised (CPRS-R) and the parent version of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (PSDQ) in the prediction of ODD in a transnational sample of 1093 subjects aged 5–17 years from the International Multicentre ADHD Genetics study. In a second step, the prediction of three ODD dimensions by the same parent rating scales was assessed by backward linear regression analyses.
ROC analyses showed adequate diagnostic accuracy of the CPRS-R and the PSDQ in predicting ODD in this ADHD sample. Furthermore, the three-dimensional structure of ODD was confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis and the CPRS-R emotional lability scale significantly predicted the ODD irritable dimension.
The PSDQ and the CPRS-R are both suitable screening instruments in the identification of ODD. The emotional lability scale of the CPRS-R is an adequate predictor of irritability in youth referred for ADHD.
The study examines the distribution of Trichuris trichiura infection in a village community in St Lucia, West Indies. The infection intensity of the same age-stratified population was assessed (by drug expelled worm burden and faecal egg count) at the initiation of the study, and after 17 months of reinfection following treatment. The frequency distribution of worm numbers per person was similar at both periods of sampling. There was a significant correlation between the initial infection intensity of an individual, and the intensity acquired by the same individual following the 17 month period of reinfection. This relationship was observed in a broad range of host age classes. The study provides firm evidence that individuals are predisposed to heavy (or light) T. trichiura infection.
Various forms of containerised gas killing systems have been used to slaughter large numbers of poultry on farms during outbreaks of notifiable diseases. However, none of the systems have been fully evaluated to assess bird welfare, operators’ health and safety and biosecurity during operation. In addition, standard operating procedures associated with containerised gas killing systems are lacking in the literature. Therefore, a research and development project was initiated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in the UK with the primary objective being to develop humane systems for culling poultry on farm and to produce operating procedures based on sound scientific principles. A series of studies have been conducted to achieve the objective and relevant observations and operating procedures are reviewed in this paper.