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The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an electronically steered low-frequency (<300 MHz) radio interferometer, with a ‘slew’ time less than 8 s. Low-frequency (∼100 MHz) radio telescopes are ideally suited for rapid response follow-up of transients due to their large field of view, the inverted spectrum of coherent emission, and the fact that the dispersion delay between a 1 GHz and 100 MHz pulse is on the order of 1–10 min for dispersion measures of 100–2000 pc/cm3. The MWA has previously been used to provide fast follow-up for transient events including gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), fast radio bursts (FRBs), and gravitational waves, using systems that respond to gamma-ray coordinates network packet-based notifications. We describe a system for automatically triggering MWA observations of such events, based on Virtual Observatory Event standard triggers, which is more flexible, capable, and accurate than previous systems. The system can respond to external multi-messenger triggers, which makes it well-suited to searching for prompt coherent radio emission from GRBs, the study of FRBs and gravitational waves, single pulse studies of pulsars, and rapid follow-up of high-energy superflares from flare stars. The new triggering system has the capability to trigger observations in both the regular correlator mode (limited to ≥0.5 s integrations) and using the Voltage Capture System (VCS, 0.1 ms integration) of the MWA and represents a new mode of operation for the MWA. The upgraded standard correlator triggering capability has been in use since MWA observing semester 2018B (July–Dec 2018), and the VCS and buffered mode triggers will become available for observing in a future semester.
The assessment of the completeness of milk-out in dairy cows is one of the indicators used to evaluate and optimise the milking process. A number of different methods and thresholds are available for this purpose, but procedures and validation of the methods are not always described in detail, and may vary between studies. The objective of this study was to introduce and evaluate a new, precisely defined hand-milking method (DEFINED) and to compare its outcome with two commonly applied methods to assess the completeness of milking: visual scoring of the degree of quarter filling (VISUAL) and quantitative assessment of the number of easy strips (EASYSTRIPS). Each of the three methods was applied in 131 Holstein cows of six dairy herds in northern Germany. The assessment of milk-out was carried out by three experienced but non-regular milkers (evaluators). Each evaluator visited the six herds once during afternoon milking. To avoid any transitions, the interval between visits of two evaluators was at least 2 days. Maximum hand-milking time per cow was set to 60 s. The total strip yield collected in 60 s (SY60) by the application of a strip frequency of 1 Hz was used as a reference for the amount of milk left in the investigated quarter after machine-milking. The three methods were evaluated by analysing their statistical relationship with SY60, and by ranking their suitability for quantitative or qualitative assessment of milk-out. VISUAL and SY60 were not related, indicating that VISUAL was unsuitable for estimating the amount of milk left actually in the udder quarters. The strip yield in 15 s (DEFINED) and SY60 was significantly related, but results varied among evaluators. With regard to EASYSTRIPS, a significant relationship with SY60 was found, but the results were influenced by evaluator and herd. The findings of this study imply that DEFINED allows a rapid and farm-independent quantitative estimate of the post-milking strip yield. Likewise, EASYSTRIPS was meaningful in assessing milk-out of quarters in a given herd, whereas VISUAL allowed neither a quantitative nor a qualitative assessment of post-milking strip yield or milk-out. Thresholds for complete or incomplete milk-out by DEFINED must be lower than those commonly applied in 15 s of post-milking.
Milk provides energy and nutrients considered protective for bone. Meta-analyses of cohort studies have found no clear association between milk drinking and risk of hip fracture, and results of recent studies are contradictory. We studied the association between milk drinking and hip fracture in Norway, which has a population characterised by high fracture incidence and a high Ca intake. Baseline data from two population-based cohorts were used: the third wave of the Norwegian Counties Study (1985–1988) and the Five Counties Study (2000–2002). Diet and lifestyle variables were self-reported through questionnaires. Height and weight were measured. Hip fractures were identified by linkage to hospital data with follow-up through 2013. Of the 35 114 participants in the Norwegian Counties Study, 1865 suffered a hip fracture during 613 018 person-years of follow-up. In multivariable Cox regression, hazard ratios (HR) per daily glass of milk were 0·97 (95 % CI 0·92, 1·03) in men and 1·02 (95 % CI 0·96, 1·07) in women. Of 23 259 participants in the Five Counties Study, 1466 suffered a hip fracture during 252 996 person-years of follow-up. HR for hip fractures per daily glass of milk in multivariable Cox regression was 0·99 (95 % CI 0·92, 1·07) in men and 1·02 (95 % CI 0·97, 1·08) in women. In conclusion, there was no overall association between milk intake and risk of hip fracture in Norwegian men and women.
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.
An MP tandem Van de Graaff accelerator at the University of Rochester has been employed since May 1977 to detect 14C in various terrestrial samples. The carbon sample sizes required are 1mg or less. Dating accuracies based on reproducibility now approach (± 80 years). Measurements have been made on 1850 wood, Australian sucrose, a carbon sample from Mt Shasta, a baby woolly mammoth, and an Egyptian bull mummy wrapping.
Palmer amaranth and waterhemp have become increasingly troublesome weeds throughout the United States. Both species are highly adaptable and emerge continuously throughout the summer months, presenting the need for a residual PRE application in soybean. To improve season-long control of Amaranthus spp., 19 PRE treatments were evaluated on glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in 2013 and 2014 at locations in Arkansas, Indiana, Nebraska, Illinois, and Tennessee; and on glyphosate-resistant waterhemp at locations in Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska. The two Amaranthus species were analyzed separately; data for each species were pooled across site-years, and site-year was included as a random variable in the analyses. The dissipation of weed control throughout the course of the experiments was compared among treatments with the use of regression analysis where percent weed control was described as a function of time (the number of weeks after treatment [WAT]). At the mean (i.e., average) WAT (4.3 and 3.2 WAT for Palmer amaranth and waterhemp, respectively) isoxaflutole + S-metolachlor + metribuzin had the highest predicted control of Palmer amaranth (98%) and waterhemp (99%). Isoxaflutole + S-metolachlor + metribuzin, S-metolachlor + mesotrione, and flumioxazin + pyroxasulfone had a predicted control ≥ 97% and similar model parameter estimates, indicating control declined at similar rates for these treatments. Dicamba and 2,4-D provided some, short-lived residual control of Amaranthus spp. When dicamba was added to metribuzin or S-metolachlor, control increased compared to dicamba alone. Flumioxazin + pyroxasulfone, a currently labeled PRE, performed similarly to treatments containing isoxaflutole or mesotrione. Additional sites of action will provide soybean growers more opportunities to control these weeds and reduce the potential for herbicide resistance.
Herbicide-resistant Amaranthus spp. continue to cause management difficulties in soybean. New soybean technologies under development, including resistance to various combinations of glyphosate, glufosinate, dicamba, 2,4-D, isoxaflutole, and mesotrione, will make possible the use of additional herbicide sites of action in soybean than is currently available. When this research was conducted, these soybean traits were still regulated and testing herbicide programs with the appropriate soybean genetics in a single experiment was not feasible. Therefore, the effectiveness of various herbicide programs (PRE herbicides followed by POST herbicides) was evaluated in bare-ground experiments on glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth and glyphosate-resistant waterhemp (both tall and common) at locations in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and Tennessee. Twenty-five herbicide programs were evaluated; 5 of which were PRE herbicides only, 10 were PRE herbicides followed by POST herbicides 3 to 4 wks after (WA) the PRE application (EPOST), and 10 were PRE herbicides followed by POST herbicides 6 to 7 WA the PRE application (LPOST). Programs with EPOST herbicides provided 94% or greater control of Palmer amaranth and waterhemp at 3 to 4 WA the EPOST. Overall, programs with LPOST herbicides resulted in a period of weed emergence in which weeds would typically compete with a crop. Weeds were not completely controlled with the LPOST herbicides because weed sizes were larger (≥ 15 cm) compared with their sizes at the EPOST application (≤ 7 cm). Most programs with LPOST herbicides provided 80 to 95% control at 3 to 4 WA applied LPOST. Based on an orthogonal contrast, using a synthetic-auxin herbicide LPOST improves control of Palmer amaranth and waterhemp over programs not containing a synthetic-auxin LPOST. These results show herbicides that can be used in soybean and that contain auxinic- or HPPD-resistant traits will provide growers with an opportunity for better control of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth and waterhemp over a wide range of geographies and environments.
Primiparous ewes (n=32) were assigned to dietary treatments in a 2×2 factorial arrangement to determine effects of nutrient restriction and melatonin supplementation on maternal and fetal pancreatic weight, digestive enzyme activity, concentration of insulin-containing clusters and plasma insulin concentrations. Treatments consisted of nutrient intake with 60% (RES) or 100% (ADQ) of requirements and melatonin supplementation at 0 (CON) or 5 mg/day (MEL). Treatments began on day 50 of gestation and continued until day 130. On day 130, blood was collected under general anesthesia from the uterine artery, uterine vein, umbilical artery and umbilical vein for plasma insulin analysis. Ewes were then euthanized and the pancreas removed from the ewe and fetus, trimmed of mesentery and fat, weighed and snap-frozen until enzyme analysis. In addition, samples of pancreatic tissue were fixed in 10% formalin solution for histological examination including quantitative characterization of size and distribution of insulin-containing cell clusters. Nutrient restriction decreased (P⩽0.001) maternal pancreatic mass (g) and α-amylase activity (U/g, kU/pancreas, U/kg BW). Ewes supplemented with melatonin had increased pancreatic mass (P=0.03) and α-amylase content (kU/pancreas and U/kg BW). Melatonin supplementation decreased (P=0.002) maternal pancreatic insulin-positive tissue area (relative to section of tissue), and size of the largest insulin-containing cell cluster (P=0.04). Nutrient restriction decreased pancreatic insulin-positive tissue area (P=0.03) and percent of large (32 001 to 512 000 µm2) and giant (⩾512 001 µm2) insulin-containing cell clusters (P=0.04) in the fetus. Insulin concentrations in plasma from the uterine vein, umbilical artery and umbilical vein were greater (P⩽0.01) in animals receiving 100% requirements. When comparing ewes to fetuses, ewes had a greater percentage of medium insulin-containing cell clusters (2001 to 32 000 µm2) while fetuses had more (P<0.001) pancreatic insulin-positive area (relative to section of tissue) and a greater percent of small, large and giant insulin-containing cell clusters (P⩽0.02). Larger insulin-containing clusters were observed in fetuses (P<0.001) compared with ewes. In summary, the maternal pancreas responded to nutrient restriction by decreasing pancreatic weight and activity of digestive enzymes while melatonin supplementation increased α-amylase content. Nutrient restriction decreased the number of pancreatic insulin-containing clusters in fetuses while melatonin supplementation did not influence insulin concentration. This indicated using melatonin as a therapeutic agent to mitigate reduced pancreatic function in the fetus due to maternal nutrient restriction may not be beneficial.
Production systems for fattening pigs have been characterized over the last 2 decades by rising farm sizes coupled with increasing group sizes. These developments resulted in a serious public discussion regarding animal welfare and health in these intensive production systems. Even though large farm and group sizes came under severe criticism, it is still unknown whether these factors indeed negatively affect animal welfare. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of group size (<15 v. 15 to 30 v. >30 pigs/pen) on various animal-based measures of the Welfare Quality® protocol for growing pigs under conventional fattening conditions. A total of 60 conventional pig fattening farms with different group sizes in Germany were included. Moderate bursitis (35%) was found as the most prevalent indicator of welfare-related problems, while its prevalence increased with age during the fattening period. However, differences between group sizes were not detected (P>0.05). The prevalence of moderately soiled bodies increased from 9.7% at the start to 14.2% at the end of the fattening period, whereas large pens showed a higher prevalence (15.8%) than small pens (10.4%; P<0.05). With increasing group size, the incidence of moderate wounds with 8.5% and 11.3% in small- and medium-sized pens, respectively, was lower (P<0.05) than in large-sized ones (16.3%). Contrary to bursitis and dirtiness, its prevalence decreased during the fattening period. Moderate manure was less often found in pigs fed by a dry feeder than in those fed by a liquid feeding system (P<0.05). The human–animal relationship was improved in large in comparison to small groups. On the contrary, negative social behaviour was found more often in large groups. Exploration of enrichment material decreased with increasing live weight. Given that all animals were tail-docked, tail biting was observed at a very low rate of 1.9%. In conclusion, the results indicate that BW and feeding system are determining factors for the welfare status, while group size was not proved to affect the welfare level under the studied conditions of pig fattening.
A monolithic fuel design based on U–Mo alloy has been selected as the fuel type for conversion of United States’ high-performance research reactors (USHPRRs) from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU). In this fuel design, a thin layer of zirconium is used to eliminate the direct interaction between the U–Mo fuel meat and the aluminum-alloy cladding during irradiation. The co-rolling process used to bond the Zr barrier layer to the U–Mo foil during fabrication alters the microstructure of both the U–10Mo fuel meat and the U–Mo/Zr interface. This work studied the effects of post-rolling annealing treatment on the microstructure of the co-rolled U–Mo fuel meat and the U–Mo/Zr interaction layer. The U–Mo/Zr interaction-layer thickness increased with the annealing temperature with an Arrhenius constant for growth of 184kJ/mole, consistent with a previous diffusion-couple study. The phases in the U–Mo/Zr interaction layer produced by co-rolling, however, differ from those reported in the previous diffusion-couple study.
It is well known that web-based interventions can be effective treatments for depression. However, dropout rates in web-based interventions are typically high, especially in self-guided web-based interventions. Rigorous empirical evidence regarding factors influencing dropout in self-guided web-based interventions is lacking due to small study sample sizes. In this paper we examined predictors of dropout in an individual patient data meta-analysis to gain a better understanding of who may benefit from these interventions.
A comprehensive literature search for all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of psychotherapy for adults with depression from 2006 to January 2013 was conducted. Next, we approached authors to collect the primary data of the selected studies. Predictors of dropout, such as socio-demographic, clinical, and intervention characteristics were examined.
Data from 2705 participants across ten RCTs of self-guided web-based interventions for depression were analysed. The multivariate analysis indicated that male gender [relative risk (RR) 1.08], lower educational level (primary education, RR 1.26) and co-morbid anxiety symptoms (RR 1.18) significantly increased the risk of dropping out, while for every additional 4 years of age, the risk of dropping out significantly decreased (RR 0.94).
Dropout can be predicted by several variables and is not randomly distributed. This knowledge may inform tailoring of online self-help interventions to prevent dropout in identified groups at risk.
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.