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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.
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.
The Herschel Space Observatory was the fourth cornerstone mission in the European Space Agency (ESA) science programme with excellent broad band imaging capabilities in the sub-mm and far-infrared part of the spectrum. Although the spacecraft finished its observations in 2013, it left a large legacy dataset that is far from having been fully scrutinised and still has a large potential for new scientific discoveries. This is specifically true for the photometric observations of the PACS and SPIRE instruments. Some source catalogues have already been produced by individual observing programs, but there are many observations that risk to remain unexplored. To maximise the science return of the SPIRE and PACS data sets, we are in the process of building the Herschel Point Source Catalogue (HPSC) from all primary and parallel mode observations. Our homogeneous source extraction enables a systematic and unbiased comparison of sensitivity across the different Herschel fields that single programs will generally not be able to provide. The catalogue will be made available online through archives like the Herschel Science Archive (HSA), the Infrared Science Archive (IRSA), and the Strasbourg Astronomical Data Center (CDS).
Since mid-2007 we have carried out a dedicated long-term monitoring programme at 15 GHz using the Owens Valley Radio Observatory 40 meter telescope (OVRO 40m). One of the main goals of this programme is to study the relation between the radio and gamma-ray emission in blazars and to use it as a tool to locate the site of high energy emission. Using this large sample of objects we are able to characterize the radio variability, and study the significance of correlations between the radio and gamma-ray bands. We find that the radio variability of many sources can be described using a simple power law power spectral density, and that when taking into account the red-noise characteristics of the light curves, cases with significant correlation are rare. We note that while significant correlations are found in few individual objects, radio variations are most often delayed with respect to the gamma-ray variations. This suggests that the gamma-ray emission originates upstream of the radio emission. Because strong flares in most known gamma-ray-loud blazars are infrequent, longer light curves are required to settle the issue of the strength of radio-gamma cross-correlations and establish confidently possible delays between the two. For this reason continuous multiwavelength monitoring over a longer time period is essential for statistical tests of jet emission models.
Health is an important aspect of individuals’ lives as they age. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of sociodemographic factors, diagnosed chronic health conditions, and current depression with attitudes to aging in midlife.
A cross-sectional baseline analysis was conducted on the first 300 participants from the Canterbury Health, Ageing and Life Course study in New Zealand, a stratified randomized community longitudinal study of adults recruited between 49 and 51 years. Attitudes were measured using the Attitudes to Aging Questionnaire (AAQ) and analyzed with a range of prevalent diagnosed chronic conditions, current depression, and sociodemographic variables.
Individuals perceived their physical aging more negatively after a diagnosis of hypertension, arthritis or asthma. Diagnosed lifetime depression and anxiety, and current depression, showed strong relationships with attitudes to aging across domains. After controlling for sociodemographic factors and current depression, individuals with diagnosed hypertension, arthritis, asthma, lifetime depression or anxiety continued to report significantly more negative attitudes to aging. Current depression showed the strongest associations with attitudes to aging and mediated relationships of health on attitudes to aging.
Physical and mental health are related to attitudes to aging. Most chronic conditions examined are significantly associated with attitudes toward aging in the physical change domain. Diagnosed lifetime depression and anxiety, and current depression, are negatively related across attitudinal domains. Individuals can feel positive about aging while experiencing poorer health, but this is more difficult in the presence of low mood.
We have recently developed a set of equations of state based on the nuclear energy density functional theory providing a unified description of the different regions constituting the interior of neutron stars and magnetars. The nuclear functionals, which were constructed from generalized Skyrme effective nucleon-nucleon interactions, yield not only an excellent fit to essentially all experimental atomic mass data but were also constrained to reproduce the neutron-matter equation of state as obtained from realistic many-body calculations.
We study the impact of a hadron-quark phase transition on the maximum neutron-star mass. The hadronic part of the equation of state relies on the most up-to-date Skyrme nuclear energy density functionals, fitted to essentially all experimental nuclear mass data and constrained to reproduce the properties of infinite nuclear matter as obtained from microscopic calculations using realistic forces. We show that the softening of the dense matter equation of state due to the phase transition is not necessarily incompatible with the existence of massive neutron stars like PSR J1614–2230.
This paper describes the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared
(HIFI) to be launched onboard of ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, by
2008. The instrument is designed to be electronically tunable over a
wide and continuous frequency range in the Far Infrared, with velocity
resolutions better than 0.1 km s-1 and a high sensitivity. This will
allow detailed investigations of a wide variety of astronomical
sources, ranging from solar system objects, star formation regions to
nuclei of galaxies. The instrument comprises 5 frequency bands
covering 480–1150 GHz with SIS mixers and a sixth dual frequency band,
for the 1410–1910 GHz range, with Hot Electron Bolometer Mixers
(HEB). The Local Oscillator (LO) subsystem consists of
a Ka-band synthesizer followed by 14 chains of frequency multipliers,
2 chains for each frequency band. A pair of Auto-Correlators and a
pair of Acousto-Optic spectrometers process the two IF signals from
the dual-polarization front-ends to provide instantaneous frequency
coverage of 4 GHz, with a set of resolutions (140 kHz to 1 MHz),
better than <0.1 km s-1. After a successful qualification program, the
flight instrument entered the testing phase. We will also report on
the first pre-flight test and calibration results together with the
expected in-flight performance.
To describe an outbreak of invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection after percutaneous needle procedures (acupuncture and joint injection) performed by a single medical practitioner.
A medical practitioner's office and 4 hospitals in Perth, Western Australia.
Eight individuals who developed invasive MRSA infection after acupuncture or joint injection performed by the medical practitioner.
We performed a prospective and retrospective outbreak investigation, including MRSA colonization surveillance, environmental sampling for MRSA, and detailed molecular typing of MRSA isolates. We performed an infection control audit of the medical practitioner's premises and practices and administered MRSA decolonization therapy to the medical practitioner.
Eight cases of invasive MRSA infection were identified. Seven cases occurred as a cluster in May 2004; another case (identified retrospectively) occurred approximately 15 months earlier in February 2003. The primary sites of infection were the neck, shoulder, lower back, and hip: 5 patients had septic arthritis and bursitis, and 3 had pyomyositis; 3 patients had bacteremia, including 1 patient with possible endocarditis. The medical practitioner was found to be colonized with the same MRSA clone [ST22-MRSA-IV (EMRSA-15)] at 2 time points: shortly after the first case of infection in March 2003 and again in May 2004. After the medical practitioner's premises and practices were audited and he himself received MRSA decolonization therapy, no further cases were identified.
This outbreak most likely resulted from a breakdown in sterile technique during percutaneous needle procedures, resulting in the transmission of MRSA from the medical practitioner to the patients. This report demonstrates the importance of surveillance and molecular typing in the identification and control of outbreaks of MRSA infection.
To describe the control of an outbreak of infection and colonization with the New York/Japan methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clone in multiple healthcare facilities, and to demonstrate the importance of making an MRSA management policy involving molecular typing of MRSA into a statewide public health responsibility.
A range of healthcare facilities, including 2 metropolitan teaching hospitals and a regional hospital, as well as several community hospitals and long-term care facilities in a nonmetropolitan healthcare region.
A comprehensive, statewide MRSA epidemiological investigation and management policy.
In May 2005, there were 3 isolates referred to the Western Australian Gram-Positive Bacteria Typing and Research Unit that were identified as the New York/Japan MRSA clone, a pandemic MRSA clone with the ability to spread and replace existing clones in a region. Subsequent investigation identified 28 additional cases of infection and/or colonization dating from 2002 onward, including 1 involving a colonized healthcare worker (HCW) who had previously been hospitalized overseas. Of the 31 isolates detected, 25 were linked epidemiologically and via molecular typing to the isolate recovered from the colonized HCW. Four isolates appeared to have been introduced separately from overseas. Although the isolate from the single remaining case patient was genetically indistinct from the isolates that spread within Western Australia, no specific epidemiological link could be established. The application of standard outbreak management strategies reduced further spread.
The elimination of the New/York Japan MRSA clone in a healthcare region demonstrates the importance of incorporating MRSA management policy into statewide public health programs. The mainstays of such programs should include a comprehensive and effective outbreak identification and management policy (including pre-employment screening of HCWs, where applicable) and MRSA clone identification by multilocus sequence typing.
To investigate an outbreak of gram-negative bacteremias at a hemodialysis center (December 1, 1996-January 31, 1997).
Retrospective cohort study. Reviewed infection control practices and maintenance and disinfection procedures for the water system and dialysis machines. Performed cultures of the water and dialysis machines, including the waste-handling option (WHO), a drain port designed to dispose of saline used to flush the dialyzer before patient use. Compared isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
A hemodialysis center in Maryland.
94 patients received dialysis on 27 machines; 10 (11%) of the patients had gram-negative bacteremias. Pathogens causing these infections were Enterobacter cloacae (n=6), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=4), and Escherichia coli (n=2); two patients had polymicrobial bacteremia. Factors associated with development of gram-negative bacteremias were receiving dialysis via a central venous catheter (CVC) rather than via an arterio-venous shunt (all 10 infected patients had CVCs compared to 31 of 84 uninfected patients, relative risk [RR] undefined; P<.001) or dialysis on any of three particular dialysis machines (7 of 10 infected patients were exposed to the three machines compared to 20 of 84 uninfected patients, RR=5.8; P=.005). E cloacae, P aeruginosa, or both organisms were grown from cultures obtained from several dialysis machines. WHO valves, which prevent backflow from the drain to dialysis bloodlines, were faulty in 8 (31%) of 26 machines, including 2 of 3 machines epidemiologically linked to case-patients. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns of available dialysis machine and patient E cloacae isolates were identical.
Our study suggests that WHO ports with incompetent valves and resultant backflow were a source of cross-contamination of dialysis bloodlines and patients' CVCs. Replacement of faulty WHO valves and enhanced disinfection of dialysis machines terminated the outbreak.
The Wellenberg area, central Switzerland, is under investigation for a potential low and intermediate level radioactive waste repository. The host rock, the Palfris marl, is bounded on the north by Cretaceous limestone units of the Drusberg nappe and is underlain by a sequence of Tertiary to Jurassic sediments (limestones, marls) of the Wissberg-Firrenband-Equivalent. Chemical and isotopic data on groundwaters and rocks show that three essentially independent groundwater flow regimes occur in the area: (1) groundwaters of the Palfris marl, (2) groundwaters of the limestone units of the Drusberg nappe, and (3) groundwaters of the Wissberg-Firrenband Equivalent.
The chemical evolution of groundwater in the Palfris marl at Wellenberg has been simulated using a reactive transport model. The results were tested against the chemical and stable carbon isotopic composition of water samples from exploratory boreholes. Water chemistry is constrained by mineral and cation exchange equilibria. To reproduce measured CO2(tot) and δ3C values requires H+ ion exchange. Matching measured ratios between Cl– and other dissolved constituents constrains the relative amounts of reacting water and rock to porosities between I and 10%. NaHCO3 waters sampled from the Palfris are formed by replacement of the initial Na-Cl water by one to five pore volumes of infiltrating Ca-HCO3 recharge water. To entirely exhaust the exchange capacity of the formation so that Ca-HCO3 water persists requires several hundred to several thousand pore volumes of flow. The agreement between model results and measured water chemistry demonstrates a quantitative understanding of the geochemical processes controlling the chemistry of water naturally present in the Palfris marl. These processes will also determine the behaviour of material that might emanate from a repository. In addition, the modelling provides water flow information of use in testing groundwater flow models.
Techniques for making precise and accurate radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements on samples containing less than a few hundred micrograms of carbon are being developed at the NOSAMS facility. A detailed examination of all aspects of the sample preparation and data analysis process shows encouraging results. Small quantities of CO2 are reduced to graphite over cobalt catalyst at an optimal temperature of 605°. Measured 14C/12C ratios of the resulting targets are affected by machine-induced isotopic fractionation, which appears directly related to the decrease in ion current generated by the smaller sample sizes. It is possible to compensate effectively for this fractionation by measuring samples relative to small standards of identical size. Examination of the various potential sources of background 14C contamination indicates that the sample combustion process is the largest contributor, adding ca. 1 μg of carbon with a less-than-modern 14C concentration.