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Polarimetric studies of pulsars at low radio frequencies provide important observational insights into the pulsar emission mechanism and beam models, and probe the properties of the magneto-ionic interstellar medium (ISM). Aperture arrays are the main form of next-generation low-frequency telescopes, including the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). These require a distinctly different approach to data processing (e.g. calibration and beamforming) compared to traditional dish antennas. As the second paper of this series, we present a verification of the MWA’s pulsar polarimetry capability, using two bright southern pulsars, PSRs J0742–2822 and J1752–2806. Our observations simultaneously cover multiple frequencies (76–313 MHz) and were taken at multiple zenith angles (ZA) during a single night for each pulsar. We show that the MWA can be reliably calibrated for ZA ≲45° and frequencies ≲270 MHz. We present the polarimetric profiles for PSRs J0742–2822 and J1752–2806 at frequencies lower than 300 MHz for the first time, along with an analysis of the linear polarisation degree and pulse profile evolution with frequency. For PSR J0742–2822, the measured degree of linear polarisation shows a rapid decrease at low frequencies, in contrast with the generally expected trend, which can be attributed to depolarisation effects from small-scale, turbulent, magneto-ionic ISM components. This effect has not been widely explored for pulsars in general and will be further investigated in future work.
The aim of our study was to describe and to investigate the factors associated with glycopeptide-resistant enterococci (GRE) acquisition during a single-strain outbreak which occurred in several wards of hospital from September 2013 to January 2014. We designed a case–control study. Analyses were performed using Bayesian methods. Univariate logistic regressions with informative priors from published studies were conducted. A multivariate model was build including variables with a probability of odd-ratio exceeding one (Pr) >85% or <15%. Thirteen cases and 52 controls were recruited. The description of this outbreak highlighted the importance to quickly detect patients at risk of GRE carriage in order to implement the isolation measures and to transfer to dedicated department if they are effectively carriers. Following multivariate analysis, antibiotics during hospitalisation (Pr = 0.968), number of hospitalisation days in the year (Pr = 0.964), antacids intake (Pr = 0.878) (with a risk increase), immunosuppression (Pr = 0.026) and isolation measures (Pr = 0.003) (both with protective effect) were associated with GRE acquisition. The use of Bayesian statistics was useful because of our study's small population size and prior information availability.
Characterisation of genetic diversity in a large number of European pig populations has been undertaken with EC support. The populations sampled included local (rare) breeds, national varieties of the major international breeds, commercial lines and the Chinese Meishan breed. A second phase of the project will sample a further 50 Chinese breeds. Neutral genetic markers (AFLP and microsatellites), with individual or bulk typing, were used and compared.
DNA from 59 European pig populations was extracted on samples of about 50 individuals per population. Individuals were typed for 50 microsatellites and for 148 AFLP bands. A subset of 25 populations was typed for 20 microsatellites on pools of DNA. Allele frequencies were estimated by direct allele counting for the co-dominant markers. Frequencies of AFLP negative alleles (absent bands) were obtained by taking the square root of absent band frequencies. Within-breed variability was summarised using standard statistics: expected and observed heterozygosity, mean observed and effective numbers of alleles, and F statistics. Between-breed diversity analysis was based on a bootstrapped Neighbor-Joining (NJ) tree derived from Reynolds distances (DR). The standard distance of Nei (DS) was also calculated.
The Murchison Widefield Array, and its recently developed Voltage Capture System, facilitates extending the low-frequency range of pulsar observations at high-time and -frequency resolution in the Southern Hemisphere, providing further information about pulsars and the ISM. We present the results of an initial time-resolved census of known pulsars using the Murchison Widefield Array. To significantly reduce the processing load, we incoherently sum the detected powers from the 128 Murchison Widefield Array tiles, which yields ~10% of the attainable sensitivity of the coherent sum. This preserves the large field-of-view (~450 deg2 at 185 MHz), allowing multiple pulsars to be observed simultaneously. We developed a WIde-field Pulsar Pipeline that processes the data from each observation and automatically folds every known pulsar located within the beam. We have detected 50 pulsars to date, 6 of which are millisecond pulsars. This is consistent with our expectation, given the telescope sensitivity and the sky coverage of the processed data (~17 000 deg2). For 10 pulsars, we present the lowest frequency detections published. For a subset of the pulsars, we present multi-frequency pulse profiles by combining our data with published profiles from other telescopes. Since the Murchison Widefield Array is a low-frequency precursor to the Square Kilometre Array, we use our census results to forecast that a survey using the low-frequency component of the Square Kilometre Array Phase 1 can potentially detect around 9 400 pulsars.
Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes are known to express furosemide (Lasix®)-sensitive P-type membrane Na+-ATPase. In the present study, furosemide activity was studied in intracellular amastigotes and infected BALB/c mice to investigate its efficacy in cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Intracellular parasites, but not macrophages, were found to be sensitive to killing by furosemide (IC50 = 87 µmvs CC50 ≫ 1000 µm, respectively). Although furosemide did not induce nitric oxide production or intracellular pH changes in infected macrophages, it led to a significant reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst. Freshly isolated tissue parasites expressed a high degree of Na+-ATPase activity that decreased with culture, indicative of a higher enzyme expression in amastigotes than in promastigotes. Both intraperitoneal and oral treatment of L. amazonensis-infected mice with furosemide dosages equivalent to that prescribed as a diuretic significantly reduced the parasite's growth compared with the situation in untreated mice. Combination with oral furosemide increased the efficacy and safety of intraperitoneal treatment with sodium stibogluconate (SSG). To summarize, furosemide control of intracellular leishmanial growth by means of parasite Na+-ATPase inhibition, and macrophage ROS activation may help explain its sole and SSG-combined therapeutic effect against murine CL.
The S-band Polarisation All-Sky Survey has observed the entire southern sky using the 64-m Parkes radio telescope at 2.3 GHz with an effective bandwidth of 184 MHz. The surveyed sky area covers all declinations δ ⩽ 0°. To analyse compact sources, the survey data have been re-processed to produce a set of 107 Stokes I maps with 10.75 arcmin resolution and the large scale emission contribution filtered out. In this paper, we use these Stokes I images to create a total intensity southern-sky extragalactic source catalogue at 2.3 GHz. The source catalogue contains 23 389 sources and covers a sky area of 16 600 deg2, excluding the Galactic plane for latitudes |b| < 10°. Approximately, 8% of catalogued sources are resolved. S-band Polarisation All-Sky Survey source positions are typically accurate to within 35 arcsec. At a flux density of 225 mJy, the S-band Polarisation All-Sky Survey source catalogue is more than 95% complete, and ~ 94% of S-band Polarisation All-Sky Survey sources brighter than 500 mJy beam−1 have a counterpart at lower frequencies.
The Cosmic Background Explorer, launched November 18, 1989, has nearly completed its first full mapping of the sky with all three of its instruments: a Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) covering 0.1 to 10 mm, a set of Differential Microwave Radiometers (DMR) operating at 3.3, 5.7, and 9.6 mm, and a Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) spanning 1 to 300 µm in ten bands. A preliminary map of the sky derived from DIRBE data is presented. Initial cosmological implications include: a limit on the Comptonization y parameter of 10−3, on the chemical potential μ parameter of 10−2, a strong limit on the existence of a hot smooth intergalactic medium, and a confirmation that the dipole anisotropy has the spectrum expected from a Doppler shift of a blackbody. There are no significant anisotropies in the microwave sky detected, other than from our own galaxy and a cosθ dipole anisotropy whose amplitude and direction agree with previous data. At shorter wavelengths, the sky spectrum and anisotropies are dominated by emission from ‘local’ sources of emission within our Galaxy and Solar System. Preliminary comparison of IRAS and DIRBE sky brightnesses toward the ecliptic poles shows the IRAS values to be significantly higher than found by DIRBE at 100 μm. We suggest the presence of gain and zero-point errors in the IRAS total brightness data. The spacecraft, instrument designs, and data reduction methods are described.
Clinical and ethical implications of personality and mood changes in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients treated with subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) are under debate. Although subjectively perceived personality changes are often mentioned by patients and caregivers, few empirical studies concerning these changes exist. Therefore, we analysed subjectively perceived personality and mood changes in STN-DBS PD patients.
In this prospective study of the ELSA-DBS group, 27 PD patients were assessed preoperatively and 1 year after STN-DBS surgery. Two categories, personality and mood changes, were analysed with semi-structured interviews. Patients were grouped into personality change yes/no, as well as positive/negative mood change groups. Caregivers were additionally interviewed about patients’ personality changes. Characteristics of each group were assessed with standard neurological and psychiatric measurements. Predictors for changes were analysed.
Personality changes were perceived by six of 27 (22%) patients and by 10 of 23 caregivers (44%). The preoperative hypomania trait was a significant predictor for personality change perceived by patients. Of 21 patients, 12 (57%) perceived mood as positively changed. Higher apathy and anxiety ratings were found in the negative change group.
Our results show that a high proportion of PD patients and caregivers perceived personality changes under STN-DBS, emphasizing the relevance of this topic. Mood changed in positive and negative directions. Standard measurement scales failed to adequately reflect personality or mood changes subjectively perceived by patients. A more individualized preoperative screening and preparation for patients and caregivers, as well as postoperative support, could therefore be useful.
We give an update of the observations and analysis of G2 – the gaseous red emission-line object that is on a very eccentric orbit around the Galaxy's central black hole and predicted to come within 2400 RS in early 2014. During 2013, the laser guide star adaptive optics systems on the W. M. Keck I and II telescopes were used to obtain three epochs of spectroscopy and imaging at the highest spatial resolution currently possible in the near-IR. The updated orbital solution derived from radial velocities in addition to Br-γ line astrometry is consistent with our earlier estimates. Strikingly, even ∼ 6 months before pericenter passage there is no perceptible deviation from a Keplerian orbit. We furthermore show that a proposed “tail” of G2 is likely not associated with it but is rather an independent gas structure. We also show that G2 does not seem to be unique, since several red emission-line objects can be found in the central arcsecond. Taken together, it seems more likely that G2 is ultimately stellar in nature, although there is clearly gas associated with it.
The nearby red supergiant (RSG) Betelgeuse has a complex circumstellar medium out to at
least 0.5 parsecs from its surface, shaped by its mass-loss history within the past ≈ 0.1
Myr, its environment, and its motion through the interstellar medium (ISM). In principle
its mass-loss history can be constrained by comparing hydrodynamic models with
observations. Observations and numerical simulations indicate that Betelgeuse has a very
young bow shock, hence the star may have only recently become a RSG. To test this
possibility we calculated a stellar evolution model for a single star with properties
consistent with Betelgeuse. We incorporated the resulting evolving stellar wind into 2D
hydrodynamic simulations to model a runaway blue supergiant (BSG) undergoing the
transition to a RSG near the end of its life. The collapsing BSG wind bubble induces a bow
shock-shaped inner shell which at least superficially resembles Betelgeuse’s bow shock,
and has a similar mass. Surrounding this is the larger-scale retreating bow shock
generated by the now defunct BSG wind’s interaction with the ISM. We investigate whether
this outer shell could explain the bar feature located (at least in projection) just in
front of Betelgeuse’s bow shock.
It is well documented that global warming is unequivocal. Dairy production systems are considered as important sources of greenhouse gas emissions; however, little is known about the sensitivity and vulnerability of these production systems themselves to climate warming. This review brings different aspects of dairy cow production in Central Europe into focus, with a holistic approach to emphasize potential future consequences and challenges arising from climate change. With the current understanding of the effects of climate change, it is expected that yield of forage per hectare will be influenced positively, whereas quality will mainly depend on water availability and soil characteristics. Thus, the botanical composition of future grassland should include species that are able to withstand the changing conditions (e.g. lucerne and bird's foot trefoil). Changes in nutrient concentration of forage plants, elevated heat loads and altered feeding patterns of animals may influence rumen physiology. Several promising nutritional strategies are available to lower potential negative impacts of climate change on dairy cow nutrition and performance. Adjustment of feeding and drinking regimes, diet composition and additive supplementation can contribute to the maintenance of adequate dairy cow nutrition and performance. Provision of adequate shade and cooling will reduce the direct effects of heat stress. As estimated genetic parameters are promising, heat stress tolerance as a functional trait may be included into breeding programmes. Indirect effects of global warming on the health and welfare of animals seem to be more complicated and thus are less predictable. As the epidemiology of certain gastrointestinal nematodes and liver fluke is favourably influenced by increased temperature and humidity, relations between climate change and disease dynamics should be followed closely. Under current conditions, climate change associated economic impacts are estimated to be neutral if some form of adaptation is integrated. Therefore, it is essential to establish and adopt mitigation strategies covering available tools from management, nutrition, health and plant and animal breeding to cope with the future consequences of climate change on dairy farming.
Fish and PUFA consumption are thought to play a role in mental health; however, many studies do not take into account multiple sources of PUFA. The present study analysed data from a sample of 935 randomly selected, population-based women aged 20–93 years. A validated and comprehensive dietary questionnaire ascertained the consumption of n-3 and n-6 PUFA. Another assessed fish and energy intake and provided data for a dietary quality score. The General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) measured psychological symptoms and a clinical interview (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Research Version, Non-patient edition) assessed depressive and anxiety disorders. Median dietary intakes of long-chain n-3 fatty acids (310 mg/d) were below suggested dietary target levels. The only PUFA related to categorical depressive and anxiety disorders was DHA. There was a non-linear relationship between DHA intake and depression; those in the second tertile of DHA intake were nearly 70 % less likely to report a current depressive disorder compared to those in the first tertile. The relationship of DHA to anxiety disorders was linear; for those in the highest tertile of DHA intake, the odds for anxiety disorders were reduced by nearly 50 % after adjustments, including adjustment for diet quality scores, compared to the lowest tertile. Those who ate fish less than once per week had higher GHQ-12 scores, and this relationship was particularly obvious in smokers. These are the first observational data to indicate a role for DHA in anxiety disorders, but suggest that the relationship between DHA and depressive disorders may be non-linear.
The Kennicutt-Schmidt law (Schmidt 1959; Kennicutt 1998, hereafter K-S law) is a power law correlation between area averaged star formation rate (ΣSFR) and gas surface density (Σgas). Despite its importance, the physics that underlie this correlation has remained unclear. The power law index, N, is a prime discriminator of the mechanisms that regulate star formation and form the K-S law (e.g. Leroy et al. 2008; Tan 2010). We present a study of the resolved K-S law for 10 nearby disk galaxies using our new CO(1-0) data at 750 and 500 pc resolutions. The CO(1-0) line emission is established as a tracer of the molecular gas column density, and results in a super-linear correlation (N = 1.3 and 1.8). We discuss the cause of the discrepancy between previous studies, and the mechanism of star formation indicated from our new results.
Recently a method has been proposed which allows the calculation of complex magnetic structures from a simple d-band tight-binding Hamiltonian including Coulomb and exchange interactions with the help of a molecular-dynamics simulations. In this article an improved version of this ap- proach is suggested which retains the rotational symmetry of the simulated system. The improved algorithm is applied to systems with electron numbers in the range 7 ≤nd ≤ 8.
The mechanical, thermal, chemical, and tribological properties of diamond make it an ideal material for the fabrication of MEMS components. However, conventional CVD diamond deposition methods result in either a coarse-grained pure diamond structure that prevents high- resolution patterning, or in a fine-grained diamond film with a significant amount of intergranular non-diamond carbon. At Argonne National Laboratory, we are able to produce phase-pure ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) films for the fabrication of MEMS components. UNCD is grown by microwave plasma CVD using C60-Ar or CH4-Ar plasmas, resulting in films that have 3-5 nm grain size, are 10-20 times smoother than conventionally grown diamond films, and can have mechanical properties similar to that of single crystal diamond. We used lithographic patterning, lift-off, and etching, in conjunction with the capability for growing UNCD on SiO2 to fabricate 2-D and 3-D UNCD-MEMS structures. We have performed initial characterization of mechanical properties by using nanoindentation and in-situ TEM indentor techniques. The values of Hardness (∼88 GPa) and Young's modulus (∼ 864 GPa) measured are very close to those of single crystal diamond (100 GPa and 1000 GPa respectively). The results show that UNCD is a promising material for future high performance MEMS devices.
Free and bound exciton luminescences as well as donor-acceptor pair recombination of GaN epitaxial layers on 6H-SiC and sapphire substrates were investigated using time integrated and time resolved photoluminescence measurements at low temperatures. Lifetimes are determined for the donor bound exciton at 3.4722eV and for two acceptor bound excitons with energies of 3.4672eV and 3.459eV. Luminescences between 3.29eV and 3.37eV are identified as due to excitons deeply bound to centers located near the substrate-epilayer interface.