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Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
Supersonic flows with high Mach number are ubiquitous in astrophysics. High-powered lasers also have the ability to drive high Mach number, radiating shock waves in laboratory plasmas, and recent experiments along these lines have made it possible to recreate analogs of high Mach-number astrophysical flows under controlled conditions. Streak cameras such as the Rochester optical streak system (ROSS) are particularly helpful in diagnosing such experiments, because they acquire spatially resolved measurements of the radiating gas continuously over a large time interval, making it easy to observe how any shock waves and ablation fronts present in the system evolve with time. This paper summarizes new ROSS observations of a laboratory analog of the collision of a stellar wind with an ablating planetary atmosphere embedded within a magnetosphere. We find good agreement between the observed ROSS data and numerical models obtained with the FLASH code, but only when the effects of optical depth are properly taken into account.
To determine whether probiotic prophylaxes reduce the odds of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in adults and children.
Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), adjusting for risk factors.
We searched 6 databases and 11 grey literature sources from inception to April 2016. We identified 32 RCTs (n=8,713); among them, 18 RCTs provided IPD (n=6,851 participants) comparing probiotic prophylaxis to placebo or no treatment (standard care). One reviewer prepared the IPD, and 2 reviewers extracted data, rated study quality, and graded evidence quality.
Probiotics reduced CDI odds in the unadjusted model (n=6,645; odds ratio [OR] 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.25–0.55) and the adjusted model (n=5,074; OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.23–0.55). Using 2 or more antibiotics increased the odds of CDI (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.11–4.37), whereas age, sex, hospitalization status, and high-risk antibiotic exposure did not. Adjusted subgroup analyses suggested that, compared to no probiotics, multispecies probiotics were more beneficial than single-species probiotics, as was using probiotics in clinical settings where the CDI risk is ≥5%. Of 18 studies, 14 reported adverse events. In 11 of these 14 studies, the adverse events were retained in the adjusted model. Odds for serious adverse events were similar for both groups in the unadjusted analyses (n=4,990; OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.89–1.26) and adjusted analyses (n=4,718; OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.89–1.28). Missing outcome data for CDI ranged from 0% to 25.8%. Our analyses were robust to a sensitivity analysis for missingness.
Moderate quality (ie, certainty) evidence suggests that probiotic prophylaxis may be a useful and safe CDI prevention strategy, particularly among participants taking 2 or more antibiotics and in hospital settings where the risk of CDI is ≥5%.
A case is presented of a 30-year-old female with treatment-resistant schizoaffective disorder who was referred to a tertiary-level specialist psychosis service. We describe the history of clozapine trials and associated episodes of agranulocytosis and neutropenia, followed by the successfully tolerated third clozapine re-challenge within our service.
The citrus leafminer (CLM), Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton causes injury to citrus and related species in the Rutaceae family. The damage that the CLM larvae can cause is significant in citrus plantations. We tested two citrus cultivars — ‘Kinnow’ (Citrus reticulata Blanco) and ‘Fairchild’ (a hybrid of Citrus reticulata Clementine x Orlando Tangelo) — to quantify CLM larvae infestation and effect on the physiology of the citrus cultivars. We then compared the CLM larval weight with its associated damage. To calculate infestation level, mine area and total leaf area, we used the image analysis technique. The infestation level of CLM was higher in ‘Fairchild’ than in ‘Kinnow’ cultivar of citrus. For both cultivars, larval weight of CLM was directly proportional to the amount of mines generated. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that the mines that CLM larvae generate pose significant effect on the net photosynthetic rates and water use efficiency of citrus nursery plants. These results will help improve our understanding of the interaction between CLM and citrus nursery plants and effect of the pest on the yield potential of the crop.
The hedonic approach has been advanced recently as an important tool for assessing the value of non-market environmental attributes. In its most usual form, the method involves an attempt econometrically to capture differential prices for homes attributable to variations in the environmental characteristic. This technique has been applied with success for a variety of attributes – most notably the study of air pollution. However, the case studies reported here for water quality valuation were much less successful. We advance several reasons why the hedonic approach may be ill-suited to measuring the value of water quality.
Reintroduction practitioners must often make critical decisions about reintroduction protocols despite having little understanding of the reintroduction biology of the focal species. To enhance the available knowledge on the reintroduction biology of the warru, or black-footed rock-wallaby Petrogale lateralis MacDonnell Ranges race, we conducted a trial reintroduction of 16 captive individuals into a fenced predator and competitor exclosure on the An̲angu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia. We conducted seven trapping sessions and used radio-tracking and camera traps to monitor survival, reproduction and recruitment to the population over 36 months. Blood samples were collected pre-release and during two trapping sessions post-release to assess nutritional health. The survival rate of founders was 63%, with all losses occurring within 10 weeks of release. Post-release blood biochemistry indicated that surviving warru adapted to their new environment and food sources. Female warru conceived within 6 months of release; 28 births were recorded during the study period and 52% of births successfully recruited to the population. Our results suggest that captive-bred warru are capable of establishing and persisting in the absence of introduced predators. However, the high mortality rate immediately post-release, with only a modest recruitment rate, suggests that future releases into areas where predators and competitors are present should use a trial approach to determine the viability of reintroduction. We recommend that future releases of warru into unfenced areas include an intensive monitoring period in the first 3 months post-release followed by a comprehensive long-term monitoring schedule to facilitate effective adaptive management.
Since the publication of “A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals” in 2008, prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) has become a national priority. Despite improvements, preventable HAIs continue to occur. The 2014 updates to the Compendium were created to provide acute care hospitals with up-to-date, practical, expert guidance to assist in prioritizing and implementing their HAI prevention efforts. They are the product of a highly collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the Society for Hospital Medicine (SHM), and the Surgical Infection Society (SIS).
In this comment I discuss the excellent contribution of Koppl et al. (2014) to our understanding of the role of institutions in the economic system. Much that is offered by them reinforces and extends previous analysis by institutional and evolutionary economists. However, I argue that there are areas of evolutionary economics and complex economic system analysis that need to be integrated into their evolutionary economic perspective to make it more complete. Also, I argue that they are too kind to mainstream economists who purport to deal with institutions and complexity and that they should consider where the boundaries of science should lie in economics.
Since the publication of “A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals” in 2008, prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) has become a national priority. Despite improvements, preventable HAIs continue to occur. The 2014 updates to the Compendium were created to provide acute care hospitals with up-to-date, practical, expert guidance to assist in prioritizing and implementing their HAI prevention efforts. They are the product of a highly collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the Society for Hospital Medicine (SHM), and the Surgical Infection Society (SIS).
A survey of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) belonging to the families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae was conducted in three municipalities on the Pacific coast of the State of Colima, México, to determine their occurrence and recovery frequency and predominant plant species in cultivated and non-cultivated habitats. Nineteen soil samples were collected: seven from non-cultivated habitats and 12 from habitats or areas cultivated mostly with fruit and grain crops and grasses. Of the 19 soil samples, 14 were positive for EPNs; the total prevalence was 73.7%. From the 14 positive soil samples, 12 steinernematid isolates (85.7%) and two heterorhabditid isolates (14.3%) were recovered. Irrespective of the locations, EPNs from the genus Steinernema were recovered from the three municipalities; EPNs from the genera Steinernema and Heterorhabditis were recovered from Armería and Ixtlahuacán. Only steinernematid isolates were recovered from non-cultivated habitats. Most of the isolates were recovered from cultivated habitats, and our results suggest that there is a higher prevalence of EPNs in cultivated soils.
The present multi-centre randomised weight-loss trial evaluated the efficacy of a low-intensity 12-week online behavioural modification programme, with or without a fortified diet beverage using a 2 × 2 factorial design. A total of 572 participants were randomised to: (1) an online basic lifestyle information (OBLI) intervention, consisting of one online informational class about tips for weight management; (2) an online behavioural weight management (OBWM) intervention, entailing 12 weekly online classes focused on weight-loss behaviour modification; (3) an OBLI intervention plus a fortified diet cola beverage (BEV) containing green tea extract (total catechin 167 mg), soluble fibre dextrin (10 g) and caffeine (100 mg) (OBLI+BEV); (4) OBWM+BEV. Assessments included height, weight, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived body composition, and waist circumference (WC). Attrition was 15·7 %. Intention-to-treat (ITT) models demonstrated a main effect for type of Internet programme, with those assigned to the OBWM condition losing significantly more weight (F= 7·174; P= 0·008) and fat mass (F= 4·491; P= 0·035) than those assigned to the OBLI condition. However, there was no significant main effect for the OBWM condition on body fat percentage (F= 2·906; P= 0·089) or WC (F= 3·351; P= 0·068), and no significant main effect for beverage use or significant interactions between factors in ITT models. A 12-week, low-intensity behaviourally based online programme produced a greater weight loss than a basic information website. The addition of a fortified diet beverage had no additional impact.