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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
At GE Research, we are combining “physics” with artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance manufacturing design, processing, and inspection, turning innovative technologies into real products and solutions across our industrial portfolio. This article provides a snapshot of how this physical plus digital transformation is evolving at GE.
To describe the frequency of antibiotic prescriptions in patients with known viral respiratory infections (VRIs) diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 3 emergency departments (EDs) and to identify patient characteristics that influence the prescribing of antibiotics by ED physicians despite PCR confirmation of viral cause.
Retrospective, observational analysis of patients with PCR-diagnosed VRI discharged from 3 acute-care hospital EDs within 1 health system.
In total, 323 patients were discharged from the ED with a VRI diagnosis, of whom 68 were prescribed antibiotics (21.1%). These patients were older (median, 59.5 vs 43 years; P = .04), experienced symptoms longer (median, 4 vs 2 days; P = .002), were more likely to have received antibiotics in the preceding 7 days (27.9% vs 9.8%; P < .001), and had higher proportions of abnormal chest X-rays (64.5% vs 28.4%; P < .001). Patients were more likely to receive antibiotics for a diagnosis of pneumonia (39.7% vs 1.6%; P < .001) or otitis media (7.4% vs 0.4%; P = .002), and were less likely with diagnosis of upper respiratory infection (2.9% vs 13.7%; P = .02) or influenza (20.6% vs 44.3%; P < .001).
Despite a diagnosis of VRI, one-fifth of ED patients were prescribed antibiotics. Patient characteristics including age, duration of symptoms, abnormal chest X-rays, and specific diagnosis may increase provider concern for concurrent bacterial infections. Opportunities exist for antimicrobial stewardship strategies to incorporate rapid diagnostics in promoting judicious antibiotic usage in the ED.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
India has the second largest number of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) globally. Epidemiological evidence indicates that consumption of white rice is positively associated with T2D risk, while intake of brown rice is inversely associated. Thus, we explored the effect of substituting brown rice for white rice on T2D risk factors among adults in urban South India. A total of 166 overweight (BMI ≥ 23 kg/m2) adults aged 25–65 years were enrolled in a randomised cross-over trial in Chennai, India. Interventions were a parboiled brown rice or white rice regimen providing two ad libitum meals/d, 6 d/week for 3 months with a 2-week washout period. Primary outcomes were blood glucose, insulin, glycosylated Hb (HbA1c), insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) and lipids. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) was a secondary outcome. We did not observe significant between-group differences for primary outcomes among all participants. However, a significant reduction in HbA1c was observed in the brown rice group among participants with the metabolic syndrome (−0·18 (se 0·08) %) relative to those without the metabolic syndrome (0·05 (se 0·05) %) (P-for-heterogeneity = 0·02). Improvements in HbA1c, total and LDL-cholesterol were observed in the brown rice group among participants with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 compared with those with a BMI < 25 kg/m2 (P-for-heterogeneity < 0·05). We observed a smaller increase in hs-CRP in the brown (0·03 (sd 2·12) mg/l) compared with white rice group (0·63 (sd 2·35) mg/l) (P = 0·04). In conclusion, substituting brown rice for white rice showed a potential benefit on HbA1c among participants with the metabolic syndrome and an elevated BMI. A small benefit on inflammation was also observed.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
Neutron powder diffraction techniques have been used to characterize the pseudo-macro (PM) residual stresses in ZrO2(CeO2)/Al2O3 ceramic composites as a function of ZrO2(CeO2) volume fraction and fabrication procedures. The diffraction data were analyzed using the Rietveld structure refinement technique. From the refinement, we found that the CeO2 stabilized tetragonal ZrO2 particles were in tension and the Al2O3 matrix was in compression. Different sintering time had little impact on the PM stresses. On the other hand, the magnitude of the PM stresses in both ZrO2 and Al2O3 decreased linearly with the increase of their volume fractions.
Distributions of Δ14CTOC studied in bottom sediments collected during 2011–2016 in the Curonian Lagoon and in the open Baltic Sea indicated wide variations of Δ14CTOC values. Laboratory experiments on differential carbon utilization by Pseudomonas putida isolated from bottom sediments were carried out for better understanding of impacts of different sources on Δ14CTOC variations. Preferential glucose uptake (up to 80%) as a carbon source and a rather low (2–10%) inorganic carbon incorporation was found in media with diesel fuel. Pseudomonas putida a specific biomarker analyzed in biomass cultivated on the media with different carbon sources has been used to characterize microbial communities responsible for degradation of organic substances in bottom sediments. Large 14C depletions observed in sediments collected in the Gotland Deep of the Baltic Sea may indicate leakage from dumped chemical weapons.
In this paper new materials and substrate approaches are discussed which have potential to provide (Al)GaN buffers with a better crystal quality, higher critical electrical field, or thickness and have the potential to offer co-integration of GaN switches at different reference potentials, while maintaining lower wafer bow and maintaining complementary metal–oxide semiconductor (CMOS) compatibility. Engineered silicon substrates, silicon on insulator (SOI) and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE)-matched substrates have been investigated and benchmarked with respect to each other. SOI and CTE-matched offer benefits for scaling to higher voltage, while a trench isolation process combined with an oxide interlayer substrate allows co-integration of GaN components in a GaN-integrated circuit (IC).
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Cultivated pastures in southern China are being used to improve forage productivity and animal performance, but studies on grazing behaviour of goats in these cultivated pastures are still rare. In the current study, the grazing behaviour of Yunling black goats under low (5 goats/ha) and high (15 goats/ha) stocking rates (SRs) was evaluated. Data showed that the proportion of time goats spent on activities was: eating (0.59–0.87), ruminating (0.05–0.35), walking (0.03–0.06) and resting (0.01–0.03). Compared with low SR, goats spent more time eating and walking, and less time ruminating and resting under high SR. Goats had similar diet preferences under both SR and preferred to eat grasses (ryegrass and cocksfoot) more than a legume (white clover). The distribution of eating time on each forage species was more uniform under high v. low SR. Bites/step, bite weight and daily intake were greater under low than high SR. Results suggest that the SR affects grazing behaviour of goats on cultivated pasture, and identifying an optimal SR is critical for increasing bite weight and intake.
Good canopy structure is essential for optimal maize (Zea mays L.) production. However, creating appropriate maize canopy structure can be difficult, because the characteristics of individual plants are altered by changes in plant age, density and interactions with neighbouring plants. The objective of the current study was to find a reliable method for building good maize canopy structure by analysing changes in canopy structure, light distribution and grain yield (GY). A modern maize cultivar (ZhengDan958) was planted at 12 densities ranging from 1.5 to 18 plants/m2 at two field locations in Xinjiang, China. At the silking stage (R1), plant and ear height increased with plant density as well as leaf area index (LAI), whereas leaf area per plant decreased logarithmically. The fraction of light intercepted by the plant (F) increased with increasing plant density, but the light extinction coefficient (K) decreased linearly from 0.61 to 0.39. Taking the optimum value of F (95%) as an example, and using measured values of K for each plant density at R1 and the equation from Beer's law, the corresponding (theoretical) LAI for each plant density was calculated and optimum plant density (9.72 plants/m2) obtained by calculating the difference between theoretical LAIs and actual observations. Further analysis showed that plant density ranging from 10.64 to 11.55 plants/m2 yielded a stable GY range. Therefore, taking into account the persistence time for maximum LAI, the plant density required to obtain an ideal GY maize canopy structure should be increased by 10–18% from 9.72 plants/m2.
Introduction: Diagnosing pulmonary embolism (PE) can be challenging because the signs and symptoms are often non-specific. Studies have shown that evidence-based algorithms are not always adhered to in the Emergency Department (ED) and are often not used correctly, which leads to unnecessary CT scanning. The YEARS diagnostic algorithm, consisting of three items (clinical signs of deep vein thrombosis, hemoptysis, and whether pulmonary embolism is the most likely diagnosis) and D-dimer, is a novel and simplified way to approach suspected acute PE. The purpose of this study was to 1) evaluate the use of the YEARS algorithm in the ED and 2) to compare the rates of testing for PE if the YEARS algorithm was used. Methods: This was a health records review of ED patients investigated for PE at two emergency departments over a two-year period (April 2013-March 2015). Inclusion criteria were ED physician ordered CT pulmonary angiogram, ventilation-perfusion scan, or D-dimer for investigation of PE. Patients under the age of 18 and those without a D-dimer test were excluded. PE was considered to be present during the emergency department visit if PE was diagnosed on CT or VQ (subsegmental level or above), or if the patient was subsequently found to have PE or deep vein thrombosis during the next 30 days. Trained researchers extracted anonymized data. The rate of CT/VQ imaging and the false negative rate was calculated. Results: There were 1,163 patients that were tested for PE and 1,083 patients were eligible for our analysis. Of the total, 317/1,083 (29.3%; 95%CI 26.6-32.1%) had CT/VQ imaging for PE, and 41/1,083 (3.8%; 95%CI 2.8-5.1%) patients were diagnosed with PE at baseline. Three patients had a missed PE, resulting in a false negative rate of 0.4% (95%CI 0.1-1.2%). If the YEARS algorithm was used, 211/1,083 (19.5%; 95%CI 17.2-22.0%) would have required imaging for PE. Of the patients who would not have required imaging according to the YEARS algorithm, 8/872 (0.9%; 95%CI 0.5-1.8%) would have had a missed PE. Conclusion: If the YEARS algorithm was used in all patients with suspected PE, fewer patients would have required imaging with a small increase in the false negative rate.
Introduction: Understanding the spatial distribution of opioid abuse at the local level may facilitate community intervention strategies. The purpose of this analysis was to apply spatial analytical methods to determine clustering of opioid-related emergency medical services (EMS) responses in the City of Calgary. Methods: Using opioid-related EMS responses in the City of Calgary between January 1st through October 31st, 2017, we estimated the dissemination area (DA) specific spatial randomness effects by incorporating the spatial autocorrelation using intrinsic Gaussian conditional autoregressive model and generalized linear mixed models (GLMM). Global spatial autocorrelation was evaluated by Morans I index. Both Getis-Ord Gi and the LISA function in Geoda were used to estimate the local spatial autocorrelation. Two models were applied: 1) Poisson regression with DA-specific non-spatial random effects; 2) Poisson regression with DA-specific G-side spatial random effects. A pseudolikelihood approach was used for model comparison. Two types of cluster analysis were used to identify the spatial clustering. Results: There were 1488 opioid-related EMS responses available for analysis. Of the responses, 74% of the individuals were males. The median age was 33 years ( IQR: 26-42 years) with 65% of individuals between 20 and 39 years, and 27% between 40 and 64 years. In 62% of EMS responses, poisoning/overdose was the chief complaint. The global Morans Index implied the presence of global spatial autocorrelation. Comparing the two models applied suggested that the spatial model provided a better fit for the adjusted opioid-related EMS response rate. Calgary Center and East were identified as hot spots by both types of cluster analysis. Conclusion: Spatial modeling has a better predictability to assess potential high risk areas and identify locations for community intervention strategies. The clusters identified in Calgarys Center and East may have implications for future response strategies.
Introduction: The proportion of Canadians receiving anticoagulation medication is increasing. Falls in the elderly are the most common cause of minor head injury and an increasing proportion of these patients are prescribed anticoagulation. Emergency department (ED) guidelines advise performing a CT head scan for all anticoagulated head injured patients, but the risk of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) after a minor head injury (patients who have a Glasgow comma score (GSC) of 15) is unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the point incidence of ICH in anticoagulated ED patients presenting with a minor head injury. Methods: We systematically searched Pubmed, EMBASE, Cochrane database, DARE, google scholar and conference abstracts (May 2017). Experts were contacted. Meta-Analyses and Systematic Reviews of Observational Studies (MOOSE) guidelines were followed with two authors reviewing titles, four authors reviewing full text and four authors performing data extraction. We included all prospective studies recruiting consecutive anticoagulated ED patients presenting with a head injury. We obtained additional data from the authors of the included studies on the subset of GCS 15 patients. We performed a meta-analysis to estimate the point incidence of ICH among patients with a GCS score of 15 using a random effects model. Results: A total of five studies (and 4,080 GCS 15, anticoagulated patients) from the Netherlands, Italy, France, USA and UK were included in the analysis. One study contributed 2,871 patients. Direct oral anticoagulants were prescribed in only 60 (1.5%) patients. There was significant heterogeneity between studies with regards to mechanism of injury, CT scanning and follow up method (I2 =93%). The random effects pooled incidence of ICH was 8.9% (95% CI 5.0-13.8%). Conclusion: We found little data to reflect contemporary anticoagulant prescribing practice. Around 9% of warfarinized patients with a minor head injury develop ICH. Future studies should evaluate the safety of selective CT head scanning in this population.