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The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
Huauzontle (Chenopodium berlandieri ssp. nuttalliae) is a locally important vegetable crop native to the highland valleys of Central Mexico and a potential source of genes for improving its Andean sister crop, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). A previous work involving two huauzontle lines identified one waxy genotype that lacked amylose due to mutations in granule-bound starch synthase I (GBSSI), major amylose-synthesis genes with two constituent subgenomes, A and B. We conducted this study to determine the extent of waxy genotypes and cryptic GBSSI mutations in 11 huauzontle accessions or landrace populations extending from Puebla in the southeast to Jalisco in the northwest. This represents one of the first published studies of genetic variation in C. berlandieri ssp. nuttalliae. Accessions were phenotyped for opaque versus translucent seed morphology and their seed starches were stained with Lugol's Stain. In addition, complete or partial GBSSI genes from their A and B genomes were polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified, cloned and sequenced. Seven accessions were either wholly or partially non-waxy while six were either entirely or partially waxy. All waxy accessions carried the same putatively null alleles, designated gbssIa-tp (A-genome) and gbssIb-del (B-genome). The identification of publicly available genotypes carrying gbssIa-tp and their potential use in breeding waxy grain quinoa is discussed.
We utilize the concept of sparsity or compressibility to develop an new generation of inversion codes for the Stokes parameters. The inversion code uses numerical optimization techniques based on the idea of proximal algorithms to impose sparsity. In so doing, we allow to exploit the presence of spatial correlation on the maps of physical parameters. Sparsity also regularizes the solution by reducing the number of unknowns. The solution has an increased robustness.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have been inconsistently reported in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) but may make an impact on treatment response.
The current study examined the presence of NSS in two independent European samples of OCD patients (combined 85 patients and 88 matched healthy controls) using a standardized instrument and conducted a meta-analysis of all published studies identified in the literature with the aim to provide a more definitive answer to the question of whether OCD patients are characterized by increased NSS.
Both empirical studies found elevated NSS scores in patients compared with matched controls. The results of the meta-analysis, which included 15 studies (combined 498 patients and 520 controls) showed large effect sizes (Hedges' g=1.27, 95% confidence interval 0.80–1.75), indicating that OCD patients have significantly higher rates of NSS than matched controls on both sides of the body and in multiple domains (motor coordination, sensory integration and primitive reflexes). The results were robust and remained largely unchanged in our reliability analyses, which controlled for possible outliers. Meta-regression was employed to examine the role of potential variables of interest including sociodemographic variables, symptom severity, medication effects and the use of different instruments, but none of these variables was clearly associated with NSS.
As a group, OCD patients are characterized by increased rates of NSS, compared with healthy controls. However, their origins and potential clinical importance remain to be clarified. Future directions for research are discussed.
Polyelectrolyte (PE) gels exhibit complex phase behavior that includes the existence of nanostructures in poor-solvent conditions. The formation of these inhomogeneous structures is made possible by the competition between the short-range hydrophobic, elastic, and entropic interactions and the long-range electrostatic forces. We develop a theoretical framework that describes the effect of monomer and charge inhomogeneities in PE gels. Numerical calculations performed on a salt-free PE gel with one-dimensional heterogeneities demonstrate the presence of nanophases for a finite range of physical parameters.
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