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The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) is an 18000 m2 radio telescope located 40 km from Canberra, Australia. Its operating band (820–851 MHz) is partly allocated to telecommunications, making radio astronomy challenging. We describe how the deployment of new digital receivers, Field Programmable Gate Array-based filterbanks, and server-class computers equipped with 43 Graphics Processing Units, has transformed the telescope into a versatile new instrument (UTMOST) for studying the radio sky on millisecond timescales. UTMOST has 10 times the bandwidth and double the field of view compared to the MOST, and voltage record and playback capability has facilitated rapid implementaton of many new observing modes, most of which operate commensally. UTMOST can simultaneously excise interference, make maps, coherently dedisperse pulsars, and perform real-time searches of coherent fan-beams for dispersed single pulses. UTMOST operates as a robotic facility, deciding how to efficiently target pulsars and how long to stay on source via real-time pulsar folding, while searching for single pulse events. Regular timing of over 300 pulsars has yielded seven pulsar glitches and three Fast Radio Bursts during commissioning. UTMOST demonstrates that if sufficient signal processing is applied to voltage streams, innovative science remains possible even in hostile radio frequency environments.
Research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) course finds a substantial proportion of cases remit within 6 months, a majority within 2 years, and a substantial minority persists for many years. Results are inconsistent about pre-trauma predictors.
The WHO World Mental Health surveys assessed lifetime DSM-IV PTSD presence-course after one randomly-selected trauma, allowing retrospective estimates of PTSD duration. Prior traumas, childhood adversities (CAs), and other lifetime DSM-IV mental disorders were examined as predictors using discrete-time person-month survival analysis among the 1575 respondents with lifetime PTSD.
20%, 27%, and 50% of cases recovered within 3, 6, and 24 months and 77% within 10 years (the longest duration allowing stable estimates). Time-related recall bias was found largely for recoveries after 24 months. Recovery was weakly related to most trauma types other than very low [odds-ratio (OR) 0.2–0.3] early-recovery (within 24 months) associated with purposefully injuring/torturing/killing and witnessing atrocities and very low later-recovery (25+ months) associated with being kidnapped. The significant ORs for prior traumas, CAs, and mental disorders were generally inconsistent between early- and later-recovery models. Cross-validated versions of final models nonetheless discriminated significantly between the 50% of respondents with highest and lowest predicted probabilities of both early-recovery (66–55% v. 43%) and later-recovery (75–68% v. 39%).
We found PTSD recovery trajectories similar to those in previous studies. The weak associations of pre-trauma factors with recovery, also consistent with previous studies, presumably are due to stronger influences of post-trauma factors.
A candidate Tidal Dwarf Galaxy, ce-61, was identified in the merger system IC 1182 in the Hercules supercluster. The multi-wavelength data we obtained so far do not prove, however, that it is kinematically detached from the IC 1182 system and gravitationally bound.
Parotid gland tumours are complex neoplasms with a broad histological range. The parotid gland is also a common site of face and scalp skin cancer metastases.
Parotidectomies performed by ENT department in the Gold Coast health district from 2006 to 2013.
A total of 158 specimens were examined. Of these, 53.80 per cent were benign and 46.20 per cent were malignant. Pleomorphic adenoma was the most common tumour (29.11 per cent), followed by cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (23.42 per cent) and Warthin's tumour (12.03 per cent).
Metastatic squamous cell carcinoma accounted for a large proportion of parotid masses in our case series, reflecting the high prevalence of non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia. Primary parotid neoplasms had similar incidence rates to other studies.
The prediction of grass dry matter intake (GDMI) and milk yield (MY) are important to aid sward and grazing management decision making. Previous evaluations of the GrazeIn model identified weaknesses in the prediction of GDMI and MY for grazing dairy cows. To increase the accuracy of GDMI and MY prediction, GrazeIn was adapted, and then re-evaluated, using a data set of 3960 individual cow measurements. The adaptation process was completed in four additive steps with different components of the model reparameterised or altered. These components were: (1) intake capacity (IC) that was increased by 5% to reduce a general GDMI underprediction. This resulted in a correction of the GDMI mean and a lower relative prediction error (RPE) for the total data set, and at all stages of lactation, compared with the original model; (2) body fat reserve (BFR) deposition from 84 days in milk to next calving that was included in the model. This partitioned some energy to BFR deposition after body condition score nadir had been reached. This reduced total energy available for milk production, reducing the overprediction of MY and reducing RPE for MY in mid and late lactation, compared with the previous step. There was no effect on predicted GDMI; (3) The potential milk curve was reparameterised by optimising the rate of decrease in the theoretical hormone related to secretory cell differentiation and the basal rate of secretory cell death to achieve the lowest possible mean prediction error (MPE) for MY. This resulted in a reduction in the RPE for MY and an increase in the RPE for GDMI in all stages of lactation compared with the previous step; and (4) finally, IC was optimised, for GDMI, to achieve the lowest possible MPE. This resulted in an IC correction coefficient of 1.11. This increased the RPE for MY but decreased the RPE for GDMI compared with the previous step. Compared with the original model, modifying this combination of four model components improved the prediction accuracy of MY, particularly in late lactation with a decrease in RPE from 27.8% in the original model to 22.1% in the adapted model. However, testing of the adapted model using an independent data set would be beneficial and necessary to make definitive conclusions on improved predictions.
Central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction is a prominent feature of the functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, the neurobiological and cognitive consequences of key pathophysiological features of IBS, such as stress-induced changes in hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)-axis functioning, is unknown. Our aim was to determine whether IBS is associated with cognitive impairment, independently of psychiatric co-morbidity, and whether cognitive performance is related to HPA-axis function.
A cross-sectional sample of 39 patients with IBS, a disease control group of 18 patients with Crohn's disease (CD) in clinical remission and 40 healthy age- and IQ-matched control participants were assessed using the Paired Associates Learning (PAL), Intra-Extra Dimensional Set Shift (IED) and Spatial Working Memory (SWM) tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and a computerized Stroop test. HPA-axis function was determined by measuring the cortisol awakening response (CAR).
IBS patients exhibited a subtle visuospatial memory deficit at the PAL six- pattern stage (p = 0.03), which remained after psychiatric co-morbidity was controlled for (p = 0.04). Morning cortisol levels were lower in IBS (p = 0.04) and significantly associated with visuospatial memory performance within IBS only (p = 0.02).
For the first time, altered cognitive function on a hippocampal-mediated test of visuospatial memory, which was related to cortisol levels and independent of psychiatric co-morbidity, has been identified in IBS. Visuospatial memory impairment may be a common, but currently neglected, component of IBS. Further elucidation of the nature of this impairment may lead to a greater understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of IBS, and may provide novel therapeutic approaches.
Predicting the grass dry matter intake (GDMI), milk yield (MY) or milk fat and protein yield (milk solids yield (MSY)) of the grazing dairy herd is difficult. Decisions with regard to grazing management are based on guesstimates of the GDMI of the herd, yet GDMI is a critical factor influencing MY and MSY. A data set containing animal, sward, grazing management and concentrate supplementation variables recorded during weeks of GDMI measurement was used to develop multiple regression equations to predict GDMI, MY and MSY. The data set contained data from 245 grazing herds from 10 published studies conducted at Teagasc, Moorepark. A forward stepwise multiple regression technique was used to develop the multiple regression equations for each of the dependent variables (GDMI, MY, MSY) for three periods during the grazing season: spring (SP; 5 March to 30 April), summer (SU; 1 May to 31 July) and autumn (AU; 1 August to 31 October). The equations generated highlighted the importance of different variables associated with GDMI, MY and MSY during the grazing season. Peak MY was associated with an increase in GDMI, MY and MSY during the grazing season with the exception of GDMI in SU when BW accounted for more of the variation. A higher body condition score (BCS) at calving was associated with a lower GDMI in SP and SU and a lower MY and MSY in all periods. A higher BCS was associated with a higher GDMI in SP and SU, a higher MY in SU and AU and a higher MSY in all periods. The pre-grazing herbage mass of the sward (PGHM) above 4 cm was associated with a quadratic effect on GDMI in SP, on MY in SP and SU and on MSY in SU. An increase in daily herbage allowance (DHA) above 4 cm was associated with an increase in GDMI in AU, an increase in MY in SU and AU and MSY in AU. Supplementing grazing dairy cows with concentrate reduced GDMI and increased MY and MSY in all periods. The equations generated can be used by the Irish dairy industry during the grazing season to predict the GDMI, MY and MSY of grazing dairy herds.
Staphylococcus aureus is routinely recovered from air and surface samples taken aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and poses a health threat to crew. As bacteria respond to the low shear forces engendered by continuous rotation conditions in a Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) and the reduced gravitational field of near-Earth flight by altering gene expression, we examined the effect of low-shear RWV growth on protein secretion and gene expression by three S. aureus isolates. When cultured under 1 g, the total amount of protein secreted by these strains varied up to fourfold; under continuous rotation conditions, protein secretion by all three strains was significantly reduced. Concentrations of individual proteins were differentially reduced and no evidence was found for increased lysis. These data suggest that growth under continuous rotation conditions reduces synthesis or secretion of proteins. A limited number of changes in gene expression under continuous rotation conditions were noted: in all isolates vraX, a gene encoding a polypeptide associated with cell wall stress, was down-regulated. A vraX deletion mutant of S. aureus SH1000 was constructed: no differences were found between SH1000 and ΔvraX with respect to colony phenotype, viability, protein export, antibiotic susceptibility, vancomycin kill kinetics, susceptibility to cold or heat and gene modulation. An ab initio protein–ligand docking simulation suggests a major binding site for β-lactam drugs such as imipenem. If such changes to the bacterial phenotype occur during spaceflight, they will compromise the capacity of staphylococci to cause systemic infection and to circumvent antibacterial chemotherapy.
Adaptation, speciation and extinction
A. Donnelly, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
A. Caffarra, Istituto Agrario San Michele all'Adige, Italy,
E. Diskin, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
C. T. Kelleher, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland,
A. Pletsers, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
H. Proctor, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
R. Stirnemann, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
M. B. Jones, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
J. O'Halloran, University College Cork, Ireland,
B. F. O'Neill, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
J. Peñuelas, Campus Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain,
T. Sparks, Technische Universität München, Germany and Institute of Zoology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK
The impact of climate change, in particular increasing spring temperatures, on life-cycle events of plants and animals has gained scientific attention in recent years. Leafing of trees, appearance and abundance of insects, and migration of birds, across a range of species and countries, have been cited as phenotrends that are advancing in response to warmer spring temperatures. The ability of organisms to acclimate to variations in environmental conditions is known as phenotypic plasticity. Plasticity allows organisms to time developmental stages to coincide with optimum availability of environmental resources. There may, however, come a time when the limit of this plasticity is reached and the species needs to adapt genetically to survive. Here we discuss evidence of the impact of climate warming on plant, insect and bird phenology through examination of: (1) phenotypic plasticity in (a) bud burst in trees, (b) appearance of insects and (c) migration of birds; and (2) genetic adaptation in (a) gene expression during bud burst in trees, (b) the timing of occurrence of phenological events in insects and (c) arrival and breeding times of migratory birds. Finally, we summarise the potential consequences of future climatic changes for plant, insect and bird phenology.
The recent resurgence of interest in phenology (the timing of recurring life-cycle events in plants and animals) has stemmed from research on the impact of climate change, in particular, global warming.
The development of electromigration-induced voids and hillocks in Al - 4 wt. % Cu interconnects is monitored by scanning electron microscopy during interrupted testing and is correlated directly with the actual grain configuration including precipitates. The short segments under study and their grain structures are defined and observed using focused ion beam microscopy. The Cu content in precipitate grains is swept away before electromigration damage, and at most such grains there is subsequent grain thinning. The observations are compared with the results from a computer simulation based on a finite-element calculation of self-consistent current density and temperature distributions. For the first time the simulation uses the actual grain configuration and incorporates Cu atom migration, and back-fluxes driven by stress and concentration gradients. In the simulation the grain-boundary diffusivity is taken to be independent of boundary misorientation or is varied according to randomly assigned orientations. The comparison of the voiding in these two simulated cases and the observations shows that some grain configurations are very susceptible to electromigration damage whatever the diffusivities. For most configurations, however, the misorientation dependence of grainboundary diffusivity is significant and must be included if simulations are to be realistic.
This paper reports the analysis of geometrical and microstructural effects on void formation in interconnects. Ion-beam machining is used to define segments for study at the cathode end of test lines. Scanning electron microscopy is used to observe damage development, focused ion beam microscopy to observe the corresponding grain structure. Finite-element calculations of self-consistent current density and temperature distributions in the conductor are used to predict damage locations both for a continuum material and for simulated grain structures. Cross-section changes in the line give temperature variations leading to divergences in atomic flux. Regions of
high flux divergence are favoured for electromigration damage, but the precise sites of damage are determined by the grain structure, as shown both in the experiment and in the modelling.
A simple computer model is proposed to simulate the microstructural evolution of Al-4wt%Cu lines. The model includes the coarsening and pinning of Al2Cu precipitates which occur during normal grain growth. This model is used to explore how Cu-rich precipitates evolve during normal grain growth, and how they affect the evolution of grain structure from polycrystalline to bamboo.
We examine the effects of grain-boundaries on the order-parameter and critical-currents in superconductors. We use a geometrical model of the lattice structure of grain-boundaries. We solve the Bogoliubov-de Gennes equation using the Recursion Method to obtain the self-consistent BCS gap function Δ and the local density of states N(E) near the boundary. Imposing a phase difference across the boundary we calculate the supercurrent and hence obtain the critical-current, Ic, of the junction.
In this paper we report the first NMOSFETs with elevated S/D selectively deposited by ultra high vacuum rapid thermal chemical vapor deposition (UHV-RTCVD). The deposition process included an in-situ vacuum prebake (750 °C for 10 sec) followed by selective epitaxial growth (SEG) at 800 °C. Si2H6 was used as the silicon gas source instead of the more commonly used SiH4 and SiH2Cl2 in order to achieve high growth rates at low pressure. To prevent nucleation from occurring on insulator surfaces during growth, an etching mechanism was introduced by the addition of Cl2. The gases included 100 sccm of 10% Si2H6 in H2 and 2 sccm of Cl2 at a process pressure of 24 mTorr. An epitaxial growth rate of 160 nm/min has been achieved. The final epi thickness was around 0.1 μm. The S/D junctions were formed via ion implantation into the epi. The subsequent RTA (10 sec at 950 °C) resulted in an effective junction depth about 75 nm beneath the starting Si substrate. Process and device simulations reveal the importance of maintaining a shallow LDD junction for deep submicron devices by using low temperature selective deposition. MOSFETs exhibit good subthreshold characteristics with subthreshold swing of 86 mV/dec at a drain bias of 2.5 V, and threshold variations due to charge sharing and drain-induced-barrierlowering (DIBL) were moderate for Leff down to 0.35 μm. The gate-induced junction leakage current is below 2 pA/μm at a bias of 2.5 V.
Detailed investigations of strain generation and relaxation in Si films grown on thin Si0.78Ge0.22 virtual substrates using Raman spectroscopy are presented. Good virtual substrate relaxation (>90%) is achieved by incorporating C during the initial growth stage. The robustness of the strained layers to relaxation is studied following high temperature rapid thermal annealing typical of CMOS processing (800-1050 °C). The impact of strained layer thickness on thermal stability is also investigated. Strain in layers below the critical thickness did not relax following any thermal treatments. However for layers above the critical thickness the annealing temperature at which the onset of strain relaxation occurred appeared to decrease with increasing layer thickness. Strain in Si layers grown on thin and thick virtual substrates having identical Ge composition and epilayer thickness has been compared. Relaxation through the introduction of defects has been assessed through preferential defect etching in order to verify the trends observed. Raman signals have been analysed by calibrated deconvolution and curve-fitting of the spectra peaks. Raman spectroscopy has also been used to study epitaxial layer thickness and the impact of Ge out-diffusion during processing. Improved device performance and reduced self-heating effects are demonstrated in thin virtual substrate devices when fabricated using strained layers below the critical thickness. The results suggest that thin virtual substrates offer great promise for enhancing the performance of a wide range of strained Si devices.