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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.
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.
People with cerebral palsy (CP) are less physically active than the general population and, consequently, are at increased risk of preventable disease. Evidence indicates that low-moderate doses of physical activity can reduce disease risk and improve fitness and function in people with CP. Para athletes with CP typically engage in ‘performance-focused’ sports training, which is undertaken for the sole purpose of enhancing sports performance. Anecdotally, many Para athletes report that participation in performance-focused sports training confers meaningful clinical benefits which exceed those reported in the literature; however, supporting scientific evidence is lacking. The aim of this paper is to describe the protocol for an 18-month study evaluating the clinical effects of a performance-focused swimming training programme for people with CP who have high support needs.
This study will use a concurrent multiple-baseline, single-case experimental design across three participants with CP who have high support needs. Each participant will complete a five-phase trial comprising: baseline (A1); training phase 1 (B1); maintenance phase 1 (A2); training phase 2 (B2); and maintenance phase 2 (A3). For each participant, measurement of swim velocity, health-related quality of life and gross motor functioning will be carried out a minimum of five times in each of the five phases.
The study described will produce Level II evidence regarding the effects of performance-focused swimming training on clinical outcomes in people with CP who have high support needs. Findings are expected to provide an indication of the potential for sport to augment outcomes in neurological rehabilitation.
Self-Consistent 2D modelling of stellar wind interaction with the upper atmosphere of WASP-12b has been performed. The two case-scenarios of the planetary material escape and interaction with the stellar wind, namely the ‘blown by the wind’ (without the inclusion of tidal force) and ‘captured by the star’ (with the tidal force) have been modelled under different stellar XUV radiations and stellar wind parameters. In the first scenario, a shock is formed around the planet, and the planetary mass loss is controlled completely by the stellar radiation energy input. In the second scenario, the mass loss is mainly due to the gravitational interaction effects. The dynamics of MGII and related absorption were modelled with three sets of different stellar wind parameters and XUV flux values.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
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.
We present techniques developed to calibrate and correct Murchison Widefield Array low-frequency (72–300 MHz) radio observations for polarimetry. The extremely wide field-of-view, excellent instantaneous (u, v)-coverage and sensitivity to degree-scale structure that the Murchison Widefield Array provides enable instrumental calibration, removal of instrumental artefacts, and correction for ionospheric Faraday rotation through imaging techniques. With the demonstrated polarimetric capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array, we discuss future directions for polarimetric science at low frequencies to answer outstanding questions relating to polarised source counts, source depolarisation, pulsar science, low-mass stars, exoplanets, the nature of the interstellar and intergalactic media, and the solar environment.
An in vivo study in the laboratory rat model has been carried out to monitor changes to the spermatogenic cells in the testis tubules of adult Fasciola hepatica following treatment with the artemisinins, artemether and artesunate. Rats infected with the triclabendazole (TCBZ)-resistant Sligo isolate were dosed orally with artemether at a concentration of 200 mg/kg and flukes recovered at 24, 48 and 72 h post treatment (pt). Rats infected with the TCBZ-resistant Oberon isolate were dosed orally with artesunate at a concentration of 200 mg/kg and flukes recovered 24, 48, 72 and 96 h pt. The flukes were processed for histological and transmission electron microscope (TEM) examination. Changes to the spermatogenic cells were evident at 24 h pt with artemether. The spermatogonial and spermatocyte cells contained abnormal mitochondria, there were fewer spermatids and spermatozoa in the tubules than normal, and a number of cells showed signs of apoptosis. There was a further decline in cell numbers at 48 h pt and the organization of the spermatocyte and spermatid rosettes was atypical. Sperm formation had become abnormal and those spermatozoa present possessed only a single axoneme. By 72 h pt, the testis tubules were vacuolated and filled with abnormal cells and cell debris. Only spermatogonial cells could be identified and there was widespread evidence of apoptosis in the cells. Distinct cellular changes following artesunate treatment did not become apparent until 48 h pt. The changes seen were similar to those described for artemether, but were generally less severe at matching time-periods. The fine structural changes occurring in the spermatogenic cells were compared to those observed in other cell types and fluke tissues and the overall information was collated to identify the cellular targets for artemisinin action and to establish the time-line for drug action.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a new low-frequency interferometric radio telescope built in Western Australia at one of the locations of the future Square Kilometre Array. We describe the automated radio-frequency interference detection strategy implemented for the Murchison Widefield Array, which is based on the aoflagger platform, and present 72–231 MHz radio-frequency interference statistics from 10 observing nights. Radio-frequency interference detection removes 1.1% of the data. Radio-frequency interference from digital TV is observed 3% of the time due to occasional ionospheric or atmospheric propagation. After radio-frequency interference detection and excision, almost all data can be calibrated and imaged without further radio-frequency interference mitigation efforts, including observations within the FM and digital TV bands. The results are compared to a previously published Low-Frequency Array radio-frequency interference survey. The remote location of the Murchison Widefield Array results in a substantially cleaner radio-frequency interference environment compared to Low-Frequency Array’s radio environment, but adequate detection of radio-frequency interference is still required before data can be analysed. We include specific recommendations designed to make the Square Kilometre Array more robust to radio-frequency interference, including: the availability of sufficient computing power for radio-frequency interference detection; accounting for radio-frequency interference in the receiver design; a smooth band-pass response; and the capability of radio-frequency interference detection at high time and frequency resolution (second and kHz-scale respectively).
The science cases for incorporating high time resolution capabilities into modern radio telescopes are as numerous as they are compelling. Science targets range from exotic sources such as pulsars, to our Sun, to recently detected possible extragalactic bursts of radio emission, the so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs). Originally conceived purely as an imaging telescope, the initial design of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) did not include the ability to access high time and frequency resolution voltage data. However, the flexibility of the MWA’s software correlator allowed an off-the-shelf solution for adding this capability. This paper describes the system that records the 100 μs and 10 kHz resolution voltage data from the MWA. Example science applications, where this capability is critical, are presented, as well as accompanying commissioning results from this mode to demonstrate verification.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
The future of centimetre and metre-wave astronomy lies with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a telescope under development by a consortium of 17 countries that will be 50 times more sensitive than any existing radio facility. Most of the key science for the SKA will be addressed through large-area imaging of the Universe at frequencies from a few hundred MHz to a few GHz. The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a technology demonstrator aimed in the mid-frequency range, and achieves instantaneous wide-area imaging through the development and deployment of phased-array feed systems on parabolic reflectors. The large field-of-view makes ASKAP an unprecedented synoptic telescope that will make substantial advances in SKA key science. ASKAP will be located at the Murchison Radio Observatory in inland Western Australia, one of the most radio-quiet locations on the Earth and one of two sites selected by the international community as a potential location for the SKA. In this paper, we outline an ambitious science program for ASKAP, examining key science such as understanding the evolution, formation and population of galaxies including our own, understanding the magnetic Universe, revealing the transient radio sky and searching for gravitational waves.
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.
The hippocampus plays a central role in memory formation. There is considerable evidence of abnormalities in hippocampal structure and function in schizophrenia, which may differentiate it from bipolar disorder. However, no previous studies have compared hippocampal activation in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder directly.
Fifteen patients with schizophrenia, 14 patients with bipolar disorder and 14 healthy comparison subjects took part in the study. Subjects performed a face–name pair memory task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Differences in blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity were determined during encoding and retrieval of the face–name pairs.
The patient groups showed significant differences in hippocampal and prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation during face–name pair learning. During encoding, patients with schizophrenia showed decreased anterior hippocampal activation relative to subjects with bipolar disorder, whereas patients with bipolar disorder showed decreased dorsal PFC activation relative to patients with schizophrenia. During retrieval, patients with schizophrenia showed greater activation of the dorsal PFC than patients with bipolar disorder. Patients with schizophrenia also differed from healthy control subjects in the activation of several brain regions, showing impaired superior temporal cortex activation during encoding and greater dorsal PFC activation during retrieval. These effects were evident despite matched task performance.
Patients with schizophrenia showed deficits in hippocampal activation during a memory task relative to patients with bipolar disorder. The disorders were further distinguished by differences in PFC activation. The results demonstrate that these disorders can distinguished at a group level using non-invasive neuroimaging.
A study has been carried out to determine the morphological changes to the adult liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica after treatment in vivo with artemether. Rats were infected with the triclabendazole-resistant Sligo isolate of F. hepatica, dosed orally with artemether at a concentration of 200 mg/kg and flukes recovered at 24, 48 and 72 h post-treatment (p.t.). Surface changes were monitored by scanning electron microscopy and fine structural changes to the tegument and gut by transmission electron microscopy. Twenty-four hours p.t., the external surface showed minor disruption, in the form of mild swelling of the tegument. The tegumental syncytium and sub-tegumental tissues appeared relatively normal. Forty-eight and seventy-two hours p.t., disruption to the tegumental system increased, with isolated patches of surface blebbing and reduced production of secretory bodies by the tegumental cells being the main changes seen. The gastrodermal cells showed a relatively normal morphology 24 h p.t. By 48 h, large numbers of autophagic vacuoles and lipid droplets were present. Autophagy increased in magnitude by 72 h p.t. and substantial disruption to the granular endoplasmic reticulum was observed. Results from this study show that flukes treated in vivo with artemether display progressive and time-dependent alterations to the tegument and gut. Disruption to the gut was consistently and substantially more severe than that to the tegument, suggesting that an oral route of uptake for this compound predominates. This is the first study providing ultrastructural information on the effect of an artemisinin compound against liver fluke.
We report the results of a blind search for 22 GHz water masers in two regions, covering approximately half a square degree, within the G 333.2–0.6 giant molecular cloud. The complete search of the two regions was carried out with the 26 m Mount Pleasant radio telescope and resulted in the detection of nine water masers, five of which are new detections. Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) observations of these detections have allowed us to obtain positions with arcsecond accuracy, allowing meaningful comparison with infrared and molecular data for the region. We find that for the regions surveyed there are more water masers than either 6.7 GHz methanol, or main-line OH masers. The water masers are concentrated towards the central axis of the star formation region, in contrast to the 6.7 GHz methanol masers which tend to be located near the periphery. The colours of the GLIMPSE point sources associated with the water masers are slightly less red than those associated with methanol masers. Statistical investigation of the properties of the 13CO and 1.2 mm dust clumps with and without associated water masers shows that the water masers are associated with the more massive, denser and brighter 13CO and 1.2 mm dust clumps. We present statistical models that can predict those 13CO and 1.2 mm dust clumps likely to have associated water masers.