To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Whether maternal obesity and gestational weight gain (GWG) are associated with early-childhood development in low-income, urban, minority populations, and whether effects differ by child sex remain unknown. This study examined the impact of prepregnancy BMI and GWG on early childhood neurodevelopment in the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health Mothers and Newborns study. Maternal prepregnancy weight was obtained by self-report, and GWG was assessed from participant medical charts. At child age 3 years, the Psychomotor Development Index (PDI) and Mental Development Index (MDI) of the Bayley Scales of Infant Intelligence were completed. Sex-stratified linear regression models assessed associations between prepregnancy BMI and pregnancy weight gain z-scores with child PDI and MDI scores, adjusting for covariates. Of 382 women, 48.2% were normal weight before pregnancy, 24.1% overweight, 23.0% obese, and 4.7% underweight. At 3 years, mean scores on the PDI and MDI were higher among girls compared to boys (PDI: 102.3 vs. 97.2, P = 0.0002; MDI: 92.8 vs. 88.3, P = 0.0001). In covariate-adjusted models, maternal obesity was markedly associated with lower PDI scores in boys [b = −7.81, 95% CI: (−13.08, −2.55), P = 0.004], but not girls. Maternal BMI was not associated with MDI in girls or boys, and GWG was not associated with PDI or MDI among either sex (all-P > 0.05). We found that prepregnancy obesity was associated with lower PDI scores at 3 years in boys, but not girls. The mechanisms underlying this sex-specific association remain unclear, but due to elevated obesity exposure in urban populations, further investigation is warranted.
Inadequate protein quality may be a risk factor for poor growth. To examine the effect of a macronutrient–micronutrient supplement KOKO Plus (KP), provided to infants from 6 to 18 months of age, on linear growth, a single-blind cluster-randomised study was implemented in Ghana. A total of thirty-eight communities were randomly allocated to receive KP (fourteen communities, n 322), a micronutrient powder (MN, thirteen communities, n 329) and nutrition education (NE, eleven communities, n 319). A comparison group was followed cross-sectionally (n 303). Supplement delivery and morbidity were measured weekly and anthropometry monthly. NE education was provided monthly. Baseline, midline and endline measurements at 6, 12 and 18 months included venous blood draws, diet, anthropometry, morbidity, food security and socio-economics. Length-for-age Z-score (LAZ) was the primary outcome. Analyses were intent-to-treat using mixed-effects regressions adjusted for clustering, sex, age and baseline. No differences existed in mean LAZ scores at endline (−1·219 (sd 0·06) KP, −1·211 (sd 0·03) MN, −1·266 (sd 0·03) NE). Acute infection prevalence was lower in the KP than NE group (P = 0·043). Mean serum Hb was higher in KP infants free from acute infection (114·02 (sd 1·87) g/l) than MN (107·8 (sd 2·5) g/l; P = 0·047) and NE (108·8 (sd 0·99) g/l; P = 0·051). Compliance was 84·9 % (KP) and 87·2 % (MN) but delivery 60 %. Adjusting for delivery and compliance, LAZ score at endline was significantly higher in the KP v. MN group (+0·2 LAZ; P = 0·026). A macro- and micronutrient-fortified supplement KP reduced acute infection, improved Hb and demonstrated a dose–response effect on LAZ adjusting consumption for delivery.
Fasciola jacksoni is a significant contributor to the health and mortality of Asian elephants, particularly those in Sri Lanka. Despite the impact of fascioliasis on elephant populations, it is a neglected veterinary disease with limited taxonomic understanding. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of F. jacksoni were carried out to evaluate its suggested basal position in the Fasciolidae. Adult worms were collected during post-mortem of elephants, and eggs were collected from living elephants in National parks across Sri Lanka. Using the mitochondrial genes nicotinamide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), and a partial 28S ribosomal DNA (28S rDNA), DNA sequences were generated from the F. jacksoni adult and egg material. Maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analyses did not resolve F. jacksoni to be basal to the Fasciolidae. Furthermore, the ML analyses showed that the genus Fasciola was not monophyletic and that F. jacksoni was a sister species to the deer liver fluke Fascioloides magna. A clear framework is required to determine the taxonomic status of F. jacksoni and this current study provides the first detailed application of molecular techniques from multiple hosts across Sri Lanka with the production of reference DNA sequences for this important parasite.
One-dimensional hybrid Distributed Bragg Reflector (DBR) is constructed using Tris (8-hydroxy) quinoline aluminum (Alq3) molecules and Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles via spin coating process. Light emission from thin films of low molecular weight organic semiconductor of Alq3 is dominated by excitons. This material has been widely used as a superior emitter for organic light emitting diodes. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is an inorganic semiconductor with a high band gap. Photoluminescence (PL) of thin films of Alq3 showed a broad PL peak at 530 nm. In DBR structures, PL quenching is observed but there is no shift in the PL peak of the Alq3. The PL quenching is tentatively attributed to energy transfer via sensitization to wide band gap TiO2 layers. A simple excitonic model is suggested to explain the observation. Fabrication process and optical properties of the structure are presented.
This paper examines the fertility transition and its recent dynamics in Sri Lanka using data from Demographic and Health Surveys and Population Censuses. Fertility trends and patterns were analysed for two periods: 1953–2000 and 2000–2012. The findings revealed that Sri Lanka’s fertility transition has been relatively rapid and has taken place over a period of about four decades to reach replacement level. Social and health-related factors, including decline in maternal and infant mortality, increase in women’s education, changes in institutions, reproductive values and behaviour, and increased contraceptive use all contributed to bringing down the fertility level by 2000. However, in the 2006/07 Sri Lankan DHS and 2012 Population Census, a slight increase in Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to 2.3 and 2.4, respectively, was observed. Binary logistic regression estimates based on 2006/2007 DHS data were used to identify the significant predictors of fertility preferences of ever-married women. The analysis of factors affecting the likelihood of having a larger family (more than 2 children) revealed that lower educated women were more likely to have a higher number of children than their counterparts with a higher level of education. Women who lived in rural and estate (commercial area of 20 acres or more employing 10 or more labourers) sectors were 1.4 and 1.2 times, respectively, more likely to prefer more children compared with urban women. In terms of ethnic groups, Moor and Tamil women were 4.5 and 1.4 times, respectively, more likely to prefer more children than Sinhalese women. When the economic status of women was considered, the poorer women were 1.4 times more likely to desire a higher number of children compared with rich women, while women in the middle wealth quintile were 1.2 times more likely to desire more children. The findings suggest that the Sri Lankan government should re-visit population and reproductive health policy and family planning programmes to see how it can better manage fertility among the different population groups in Sri Lanka.
In-spiraling supermassive black holes should emit gravitational waves, which would produce characteristic distortions in the time of arrival residuals from millisecond pulsars. Multiple national and regional consortia have constructed pulsar timing arrays by precise timing of different sets of millisecond pulsars. An essential aspect of precision timing is the transfer of the times of arrival to a (quasi-)inertial frame, conventionally the solar system barycenter. The barycenter is determined from the knowledge of the planetary masses and orbits, which has been refined over the past 50 years by multiple spacecraft. Within the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), uncertainties on the solar system barycenter are emerging as an important element of the NANOGrav noise budget. We describe what is known about the solar system barycenter, touch upon how uncertainties in it affect gravitational wave studies with pulsar timing arrays, and consider future trends in spacecraft navigation.
PSR J0337+1715 is a millisecond radio pulsar in a hierarchical stellar triple system with two white dwarfs. This system is a unique and excellent laboratory in which to test the strong equivalence principle (SEP) of general relativity. An initial SEP-violation test was performed using direct 3-body numerical integration of the orbit in order to model the more than 25000 pulse times of arrival (TOAs) from three radio telescopes: Arecibo, Green Bank and Westerbork. In this work I present our efforts to quantify the effects of systematics in the TOAs and timing residuals, which limit the precision of an SEP test. In particular, we apply Fourier-based techniques to the timing residuals in order to isolate the effects of systematics that can masquerade as an SEP violation.
We have used LOFAR to perform targeted millisecond pulsar surveys of Fermi γ-ray sources. Operating at a center frequency of 135 MHz, the surveys use a novel semi-coherent dedispersion approach where coherently dedispersed trials at coarsely separated dispersion measures are incoherently dedispersed at finer steps. Three millisecond pulsars have been discovered as part of these surveys. We describe the LOFAR surveys and the properties of the newly discovered pulsars.
The Square Kilometre Array will be an amazing instrument for pulsar astronomy. While the full SKA will be sensitive enough to detect all pulsars in the Galaxy visible from Earth, already with SKA1, pulsar searches will discover enough pulsars to increase the currently known population by a factor of four, no doubt including a range of amazing unknown sources. Real time processing is needed to deal with the 60 PB of pulsar search data collected per day, using a signal processing pipeline required to perform more than 10 POps. Here we present the suggested design of the pulsar search engine for the SKA and discuss challenges and solutions to the pulsar search venture.
Phased Array Feed (PAF) technology is the next major advancement in radio astronomy in terms of combining high sensitivity and large field of view. The Focal L-band Array for the Green Bank Telescope (FLAG) is one of the most sensitive PAFs developed so far. It consists of 19 dual-polarization elements mounted on a prime focus dewar resulting in seven beams on the sky. Its unprecedented system temperature of ~17 K will lead to a 3 fold increase in pulsar survey speeds as compared to contemporary single pixel feeds. Early science observations were conducted in a recently concluded commissioning phase of the FLAG where we clearly demonstrated its science capabilities. We observed a selection of normal and millisecond pulsars and detected giant pulses from PSR B1937+21.
We observed single pulses from PSR J0034-0721 (B0031-07) simultaneously at the MWA (185 MHz) and the GMRT (610 MHz). Correlation analyses reveal that the phase difference of the average profiles at the two frequencies differs from the phase difference observed between individual subpulses, indicating that the individual emission columns above the pulsar’s rotating carousel of sparks do not evolve in frequency in the same way that the global magnetosphere does. This hints at a possible departure from the dipolar field geometry in this pulsar’s emission region. Moreover, the discrepancy depends on the drift mode, suggestive of a way to constrain the emission heights associated with each drift mode.
The majority of fast radio bursts (FRBs) are poorly localised, hindering their potential scientific yield as galactic, intergalactic, and cosmological probes. LOFT-e, a digital backend for the U.K.’s e-MERLIN seven-telescope interferometer will provide commensal search and real-time detection of FRBs, taking full advantage of its field of view (FoV), sensitivity, and observation time. Upon burst detection, LOFT-e will store raw data offline, enabling the sub-arcsecond localisation provided by e-MERLIN and expanding the pool of localised FRBs. The high-time resolution backend will additionally introduce pulsar observing capabilities to e-MERLIN.
Here we present a study of the radio frequency eclipses of the black widow pulsar J1810+1744 at low frequencies, where we are most sensitive to small deviations in the effects of material along the line of sight. Utilising the simultaneous dual beamforming and interferometric (imaging) mode of LOFAR High Band Antenna, pulsar flux variations throughout the orbit are compared for the two observing techniques to test for the presence of scattering and absorption at eclipse orbital phases. Dispersion measure and scattering variations are used as a sensitive probe into outermost edges of the eclipsing material surrounding the companion star. We find the eclipsing medium to be variable on timescales shorter than the 3.6 hr orbital period, and propose cyclotron-synchrotron absorption as the most likely primary eclipse mechanism.
Multi-decade observing campaigns of the globular clusters 47 Tucanae and M15 have led to an outstanding number of discoveries. Here, we report on the latest results of the long-term observations of the pulsars in these two clusters. For most of the pulsars in 47 Tucanae we have measured, among other things, their higher-order spin period derivatives, which have in turn provided stringent constraints on the physical parameters of the cluster, such as its distance and gravitational potential. For M15, we have studied the relativistic spin precession effect in PSR B2127+11C. We have used full-Stokes observations to model the precession effect, and to constrain the system geometry. We find that the visible beam of the pulsar is swiftly moving away from our line of sight and may very soon become undetectable. On the other hand, we expect to see the opposite emission beam sometime between 2041 and 2053.
For fifty years astronomers have been searching for pulsar signals in observational data. Throughout this time the process of choosing detections worthy of investigation, so called ‘candidate selection’, has been effective, yielding thousands of pulsar discoveries. Yet in recent years technological advances have permitted the proliferation of pulsar-like candidates, straining our candidate selection capabilities, and ultimately reducing selection accuracy. To overcome such problems, we now apply ‘intelligent’ machine learning tools. Whilst these have achieved success, candidate volumes continue to increase, and our methods have to evolve to keep pace with the change. This talk considers how to meet this challenge as a community.
PSR B1828–11 is a young pulsar once thought to be undergoing free precession and recently found instead to be switching magnetospheric states in tandem with spin-down changes. Here we show the two extreme states of the mode-changing found for this pulsar and comment briefly on its interpretation.
The millisecond pulsar PSR J0337+1715 is in a mildly relativistic hierarchical triple system with two white dwarfs. This offers the possibility of testing the universality of free fall: does the neutron star fall with the same acceleration as the inner white dwarf in the gravity of the outer white dwarf? We have carried out an intensive pulsar timing campaign, yielding some 27000 pulse time-of-arrival (TOA) measurements with a median uncertainty of 1.2 μs. Here we describe our analysis procedure and timing model.
We calculate the luminosity of the synchrotron radiation from the vicinity of the light cylinder. We find that even if the thermal emission from the entire surface is included as the seed photon, the γ-ray to X-ray flux ratio for young pulsars is significantly higher than the observations. For these pulsars, most of γ-ray photons may be absorbed in the magnetosphere.
We operate the six German stations of the LOw Frequency ARray as standalone telescopes to observe more than 100 pulsars every week. To date, we have collected almost four years of high-quality data at an unprecedented weekly cadence. This allows us to perform a wide variety of analyses aimed at characterising the magnetoionic plasma crossed by pulsar radiation. In particular, our studies are focused on electron density variations in the interstellar and interplanetary media, the Galactic and interplanetary magnetic field, scintillation, and extreme scattering events. Here we report the first results from our Solar wind monitoring campaign.
Phased VLA observations of the Galactic center magnetar J1745-2900 over 8-12 GHz reveal rich single pulse behavior. The average profile is comprised of several distinct components and is fairly stable over day timescales and GHz frequencies. The average profile is dominated by the jitter of relatively narrow pulses. The pulses in each of the four profile components are uncorrelated in phase and amplitude, although the occurrence of pulse components 1 and 2 appear to be correlated. Using a collection of the brightest individual pulses, we verify that the index of the dispersion law is consistent with the expected cold plasma value of 2. The scattering time is weakly constrained, but consistent with previous measurements, while the dispersion measure DM = 1763+3−10 pc cm−3 is lower than previous measurements, which could be a result of time variability in the line-of-sight column density or changing pulse profile shape over time or frequency.