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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
This trial compared weight loss outcomes over 14 weeks in women showing low- or high-satiety responsiveness (low- or high-satiety phenotype (LSP, HSP)) measured by a standardised protocol. Food preferences and energy intake (EI) after low and high energy-density (LED, HED) meals were also assessed. Ninety-six women (n 52 analysed; 41·24 (SD 12·54) years; 34·02 (sd 3·58) kg/m2) engaged in one of two weight loss programmes underwent LED and HED laboratory test days during weeks 3 and 12. Preferences for LED and HED food (Leeds Food Preference Questionnaire) and ad libitum evening meal and snack EI were assessed in response to equienergetic LED and HED breakfasts and lunches. Weekly questionnaires assessed control over eating and ease of adherence to the programme. Satiety quotients based on subjective fullness ratings post LED and HED breakfasts determined LSP (n 26) and HSP (n 26) by tertile splits. Results showed that the LSP lost less weight and had smaller reductions in waist circumference compared with HSP. The LSP showed greater preferences for HED foods, and under HED conditions, consumed more snacks (kJ) compared with HSP. Snack EI did not differ under LED conditions. LSP reported less control over eating and reported more difficulty with programme adherence. In conclusion, low-satiety responsiveness is detrimental for weight loss. LED meals can improve self-regulation of EI in the LSP, which may be beneficial for longer-term weight control.
Added mass characterises the additional force required to accelerate a body when immersed in an ideal fluid. It originates from an asymmetric change to the surrounding pressure field so the fluid velocity satisfies the no-through-flow condition. This is intrinsically linked with the production of boundary vorticity. A body in potential flow may be represented by an inviscid vortex sheet and added-mass forces determined using impulse methods. However, most fluids are not inviscid. It has been theorised that viscosity causes the ‘added-mass vorticity’ to form in an intensely concentrated boundary layer region, equivalent to the inviscid distribution. Experimentally this is difficult to confirm due to limited measurement resolution and the presence of additional boundary layer vorticity, some the result of induced velocities from free vorticity in the flow field. The aim of this paper is to propose a methodology to isolate the added-mass vorticity experimentally with particle image velocimetry, and confirm that it agrees with potential flow theory even in separated flows. Experiments on a flat-plate wing undergoing linear and angular acceleration show close agreement between the theoretical and measured added-mass vorticity distributions. This is demonstrated to be independent of changes to flow topology due to flow separation. Flow field impulse and net force are also consistent with theory. This paper provides missing experimental evidence coupling added mass and the production of boundary layer vorticity, as well as confirmation that inviscid unsteady flow theory describes the added-mass effect correctly even in well-developed viscous flows.
Identifying routes of transmission among hospitalized patients during a healthcare-associated outbreak can be tedious, particularly among patients with complex hospital stays and multiple exposures. Data mining of the electronic health record (EHR) has the potential to rapidly identify common exposures among patients suspected of being part of an outbreak.
We retrospectively analyzed 9 hospital outbreaks that occurred during 2011–2016 and that had previously been characterized both according to transmission route and by molecular characterization of the bacterial isolates. We determined (1) the ability of data mining of the EHR to identify the correct route of transmission, (2) how early the correct route was identified during the timeline of the outbreak, and (3) how many cases in the outbreaks could have been prevented had the system been running in real time.
Correct routes were identified for all outbreaks at the second patient, except for one outbreak involving >1 transmission route that was detected at the eighth patient. Up to 40 or 34 infections (78% or 66% of possible preventable infections, respectively) could have been prevented if data mining had been implemented in real time, assuming the initiation of an effective intervention within 7 or 14 days of identification of the transmission route, respectively.
Data mining of the EHR was accurate for identifying routes of transmission among patients who were part of the outbreak. Prospective validation of this approach using routine whole-genome sequencing and data mining of the EHR for both outbreak detection and route attribution is ongoing.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Introduction: ex-specific diagnostic cutoffs may improve the test characteristics of high-sensitivity troponin assays for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction. Sex-specific cutoffs for ruling in MI improve the sensitivity of the assay for MI among women, and improve the specificity of diagnosis among men. We hypothesized that the use of sex-specific high-sensitivity Troponin T (hsTnT) cutoffs for ruling out MI at the time of ED arrival would improve the classification efficiency of the assay by enabling more patients to have MI ruled out at the time of ED arrival while maintaining diagnostic sensitivity. The objective of this study was to quantify the test characteristics of sex-specific cutoffs of an hsTnT assay for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) when performed at ED arrival in patients with chest pain. Methods: This retrospective study included consecutive ED patients with suspected cardiac chest pain evaluated in four urban EDs were, excluding those with ST-elevation AMI, cardiac arrest or abnormal kidney function. The primary outcomes was AMI at 7 days. Secondary outcomes included major adverse cardiac events (MACE: all-cause mortality, AMI and revascularization) and the individual MACE components. We quantified test characteristics (sensitivity, negative predictive value, likelihood ratios and proportion of patients ruled out) for multiple combinations of sex-specific rule-out cutoffs. We calculated net reclassification improvement compared to universal rule-out cutoffs of 5ng/L (the assays limit of detection) and 6ng/L (the FDA-approved limit of quantitation for US laboratories). Results: 7130 patients, including 3931 men and 3199 women, were included. The 7-day incidence of AMI was 7.38% among men and 3.78% among women. Universal cutoffs of 5 and 6 ng/L ruled out AMI with 99.7% sensitivity in 33.6 and 42.2% of patients. The best-performing combination of sex-specific cutoffs (8g/L for men and 6ng/L for men) ruled out AMI with 98.7% sensitivity in 51.9% of patients. Conclusion: Sex-specific hsTnT cutoffs for ruling out AMI at ED arrival may achieve substantial improvement in classification performance, enabling more patients to be ruled out at ED arrival, while maintaining acceptable diagnostic sensitivity for AMI. Universal and sex-specific rule-out cutoffs differ by only small changes in hsTnT concentration. Therefore, these findings should be confirmed in other datasets.
Introduction: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at high risk of cardiovascular events, and have worse outcomes following acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Cardiac troponin is often elevated in CKD, making the diagnosis of AMI challenging in this population. We sought to quantify test characteristics for AMI of a high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT) assay performed at emergency department (ED) arrival in CKD patients with chest pain, and to derive rule-out cutoffs specific to patient subgroups stratified by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). We also quantified the sensitivity and classification performance of the assays limit of detection (5 ng/L) and the FDA-approved limit of quantitation (6 ng/L) for ruling out AMI at ED arrival. Methods: Consecutive patients in four urban EDs from the 2013 calendar year with suspected cardiac chest pain who had a Roche Elecsys hsTnT assay performed on arrival were included f. This analysis was restricted to patients with an eGFR< 60 ml/min/1.73m2. The primary outcome was 7-day AMI. Secondary outcomes included major adverse cardiac events (death, AMI and revascularization). Test characteristics were calculated and ROC curves were generated for eGFR subgroups. Results: 1416 patients were included. 7-day AMI incidence was 10.1%. 73% of patients had an initial hsTnT concentration greater than the assays 99th percentile (14 ng/L). TCurrently accepted cutoffs to rule out MI at ED arrival ( 5 ng/L and 6 ng/L) had 100% sensitivity for AMI, but no patients with an eGFR less than 30 ml/min/1.73M had hsTnT concentrations below these thresholds. We derived eGFR-adjusted cutoffs to rule out MI with sensitivity >98% at ED arrival, which were able to rule out 6-42% of patients, depending on eGFR category. The proportion of patients able to be accurately ruled-in with a single hsTnT assay was substantially lower among patients with an eGFR <30 ml/min/1.73m2 (6-20% vs 25-43%). We also derived eGFR-adjusted cutoffs to rule-in AMI with specificity >90%, which accurately ruled-in up to 18% of patients. Conclusion: Cutoffs achieving acceptable diagnostic performance for AMI using single hsTnT sampling on ED arrival may have limited clinical utility, particularly among patients with very low eGFR. The ideal diagnostic strategy for AMI in patients with CKD likely involves serial high-sensitivity troponin testing with diagnostic thresholds customized to different eGFR categories.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
Introduction: Chest pain and symptoms of acute coronary syndrome are responsible for a large proportion of ED visits and acute hospitalizations. However, only about 15% of patients presenting to the ED with high-risk symptoms do, in fact, have an acute coronary syndrome. The objective of this study is to derive a 2-hour high-sensitivity Troponin T (hsTnT) testing algorithm with outcome based-cutoffs to rapidly rule out acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in a large proportion of ED chest pain patients. Methods: Patients included consecutive ED patients with a chief complaint of cardiac chest pain who had an hsTnT assay performed at ED arrival and 2 hours after ED arrival. Administrative databases were queried to identify troponin results and major adverse cardiac outcomes (MACE) including death, MI, and revascularization. Test characteristics of iterative combinations of initial troponin level and absolute change in troponin level were quantified in order to identify the testing algorithm that identified the greatest proportion of patients eligible for early discharge while maintaining a target sensitivity of 98.5% for the primary outcome of 7-day AMI. Results: 755 eligible patients had hsTnT assays performed at ED arrival and at 2 hours. 91 patients (12.1%) had a 7-day AMI while 108 (14.0%) had 7-day MACE. An initial hsTnT level of less than 14 ng/L, in combination with a 2-hour absolute change of less than 10ng/L had a sensitivity of 98.9% (95% CI 94.0,99.8) and an NPV of 99.8% (95% CI 98.7, 100.0) for 7-day AMI. This identified 58.5% of all patients as being suitable for early discharge. Sensitivity and NPV for 7-day MACE were 90.0% (95% CI 83.3, 94.2) and 97.3% (95% CI 95.3,98.4) respectively. Sex-specific differences in test characteristics were not clinically important. Rule-in hsTnT cutoffs were also evaluated, with specificities ranging from 85-95%, although cutoffs with higher specificity had less ability to rapidly rule-in AMI, leaving more patients with indeterminate results after 2 hours. Conclusion: A hsTnT algorithm can safely and accurately rule out AMI in 58.5% of ED chest pain patients within 2 hours of ED arrival. The lower sensitivity of this algorithm for MACE compared to AMI speaks to the importance of clinical assessment and ECG findings in identifying patients at risk for acute coronary syndromes.
We assessed evidence of exposure to viruses and bacteria in an unmanaged and long-isolated population of Soay sheep (Ovis aries) inhabiting Hirta, in the St Kilda archipelago, 65 km west of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The sheep harbour many metazoan and protozoan parasites but their exposure to viral and bacterial pathogens is unknown. We tested for herpes viral DNA in leucocytes and found that 21 of 42 tested sheep were infected with ovine herpesvirus 2 (OHV-2). We also tested 750 plasma samples collected between 1997 and 2010 for evidence of exposure to seven other viral and bacterial agents common in domestic Scottish sheep. We found evidence of exposure to Leptospira spp., with overall seroprevalence of 6·5%. However, serological evidence indicated that the population had not been exposed to border disease, parainfluenza, maedi-visna, or orf viruses, nor to Chlamydia abortus. Some sheep tested positive for antibodies against Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) but, in the absence of retrospective faecal samples, the presence of this infection could not be confirmed. The roles of importation, the pathogen–host interaction, nematode co-infection and local transmission warrant future investigation, to elucidate the transmission ecology and fitness effects of the few viral and bacterial pathogens on Hirta.
While more and more long-period giant planets are discovered by direct imaging, the distribution of planets at these separations (≳5 AU) has remained largely uncertain, especially compared to planets in the inner regions of solar systems probed by RV and transit techniques. The low frequency, the detection challenges, and heterogeneous samples make determining the mass and orbit distributions of directly imaged planets at the end of a survey difficult. By utilizing Monte Carlo methods that incorporate the age, distance, and spectral type of each target, we can use all stars in the survey, not just those with detected planets, to learn about the underlying population. We have produced upper limits and direct measurements of the frequency of these planets with the most recent generation of direct imaging surveys. The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign observed 220 young, nearby stars at a median H-band contrast of 14.5 magnitudes at 1”, representing the largest, deepest search for exoplanets by the completion of the survey. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey is in the process of surveying 600 stars, pushing these contrasts to a few tenths of an arcsecond from the star. With the advent of large surveys (many hundreds of stars) using advanced planet-imagers we gain the ability to move beyond measuring the frequency of wide-separation giant planets and to simultaneously determine the distribution as a function of planet mass, semi-major axis, and stellar mass, and so directly test models of planet formation and evolution.
Droplet interface bilayers (DIBs) are physical lipid bilayers that mimic real membranes in living cells, and they are formed quickly using droplets of water and lipids in oil (Fig. 1A). DIBs allow biomolecular sensing and direct detection of transmembrane proteins or peptides and small molecules such as drugs, anesthetics, or even ions. Cell-free expression systems allow in vitro protein synthesis using actual natural machinery extracted from organisms (Fig. 1B). Previous attempts to combine DIBs with cell-free extracts (CFE) encountered bilayer destabilization due to components in the expression system. This study evaluates incorporation of Promega’s T7 S30 High Yield (HY) Expression system with DIBs to pave the way for future in situ expression of light-activated bacteriorhodopsin (BR) and other complex transmembrane proteins in DIBs. A secondary output includes establishing a method for real-time monitoring and modeling of CF expression reactions using minimal volume. The ability to quantify CF output in such small volumes reduces cost per reaction from $20 to around $0.40, and synthesized protein levels reach tens to hundreds of micrograms per milliliter in less than 1 hour at 37°C.
The brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism has been associated with abnormalities of synaptic plasticity in animal models, and abnormalities in motor cortical plasticity have also been described in humans using transcranial direct current stimulation. No study has yet been done on plasticity in non-motor regions, and the effect of two Met alleles (i.e. ‘Met dose’) is not well understood. We studied the effect of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on the after-effects of transcranial direct current stimulation and tetanic auditory stimulation in 65 subjects (23; Val66Val, 22; Val66Met and 20; Met66Met genotypes). In the first session, motor evoked potentials (MEP) were recorded under stereotaxic guidance for 90 min after 9 min of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS). In the second session, auditory-evoked potentials (AEP) were recorded before and after 2 min of auditory 13 Hz tetanic stimulation. There was a difference in MEP facilitation post-TDCS comparing Met carriers with non-Met carriers, with Met carriers having a modest late facilitation at 30–90 min. There was no difference in responses between Val66Met genotype and Met66Met genotype subjects. Tetanic auditory stimulation also produced late facilitation of N1-P2 AEP at 25 min, but there was no apparent effect of genetic status. This study indicates that Met66Met carriers behave like Val66Met carriers for TDCS-induced plasticity, and produce a late facilitation of MEPs. Auditory cortical plasticity was not affected by the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. This study sheds light on the differences between auditory and motor cortical plasticity and the role of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism.
Scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM), when applied to biological samples has the potential to resolve the longitudinal acoustic wave speed and hence stiffness of discrete tissue components. The heterogeneity of biological materials combined with the action of cryosectioning and rehydrating can, however, create variations in section topography. Here, we set out to determine how variations in specimen thickness influence apparent acoustic wave speed measurements
Cryosections (5μm nominal thickness) of human skin biopsies were adhered to glass slides before washing and rehydrating in water. Multiple regions (200x200 μm; n = 3) were imaged by SAM to generate acoustic wave speed maps. Subsequently co-localised 30x30 μm sub-regions were imaged by atomic force microscopy (AFM) in fluid. The images were then registered using Image J. Each pixel was allocated both a height and wave speed value before their relationship was then plotted on a scattergram. The mean section thickness measured by AFM was 3.48 ± 1.12 (SD) μm. Regional height variations influenced apparent wave speed measurements. A 3.5 μm height difference was associated with a 400 ms-1 increase in wave speed. In the present study we show that local variations in specimen thickness influence apparent wave speed. We also show that a true measure of wave speed can be calculated if the thickness of the specimen is known at each sampling point.
The Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) is a globally complete collection of digital outlines of glaciers, excluding the ice sheets, developed to meet the needs of the Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for estimates of past and future mass balance. The RGI was created with limited resources in a short period. Priority was given to completeness of coverage, but a limited, uniform set of attributes is attached to each of the ~198 000 glaciers in its latest version, 3.2. Satellite imagery from 1999–2010 provided most of the outlines. Their total extent is estimated as 726 800 ± 34 000 km2. The uncertainty, about ±5%, is derived from careful single-glacier and basin-scale uncertainty estimates and comparisons with inventories that were not sources for the RGI. The main contributors to uncertainty are probably misinterpretation of seasonal snow cover and debris cover. These errors appear not to be normally distributed, and quantifying them reliably is an unsolved problem. Combined with digital elevation models, the RGI glacier outlines yield hypsometries that can be combined with atmospheric data or model outputs for analysis of the impacts of climatic change on glaciers. The RGI has already proved its value in the generation of significantly improved aggregate estimates of glacier mass changes and total volume, and thus actual and potential contributions to sea-level rise.