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The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm, resulting in serious widespread impact across the island, including communication and power outages, water systems impairment, and damage to life-saving infrastructure. In collaboration with the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the Public Health Branch (PHB), operating under the Department of Health and Human Services Incident Response Coordination Team, was tasked with completing assessments of health-care facilities in Puerto Rico to determine infrastructure capabilities and post-hurricane capacity. Additionally, in response to significant data entry and presentation needs, the PHB leadership worked with the Puerto Rico Planning Board to develop and test a new app-based infrastructure capacity assessment tool. Assessments of hospitals were initiated September 28, 2017, and completed November 10, 2017 (n = 64 hospitals, 97%). Assessments of health-care centers were initiated on October 7, 2017, with 186 health-care centers (87%) assessed through November 18, 2017. All hospitals had working communications; however, 9% (n = 17) of health-care centers reported no communication capabilities. For the health-care centers, 114 (61%) reported they were operational but had sustainment needs. In conclusion, health-care facility assessments indicated structural damage issues and operational capacity decreases, while health-care centers reported loss of communication capabilities post-Hurricane Maria.
This paper describes a model of electron energization and cyclotron-maser emission applicable to astrophysical magnetized collisionless shocks. It is motivated by the work of Begelman, Ergun and Rees [Astrophys. J. 625, 51 (2005)] who argued that the cyclotron-maser instability occurs in localized magnetized collisionless shocks such as those expected in blazar jets. We report on recent research carried out to investigate electron acceleration at collisionless shocks and maser radiation associated with the accelerated electrons. We describe how electrons accelerated by lower-hybrid waves at collisionless shocks generate cyclotron-maser radiation when the accelerated electrons move into regions of stronger magnetic fields. The electrons are accelerated along the magnetic field and magnetically compressed leading to the formation of an electron velocity distribution having a horseshoe shape due to conservation of the electron magnetic moment. Under certain conditions the horseshoe electron velocity distribution function is unstable to the cyclotron-maser instability [Bingham and Cairns, Phys. Plasmas 7, 3089 (2000); Melrose, Rev. Mod. Plasma Phys. 1, 5 (2017)].
We performed a new series of measurements on samples that were part of early measurements on radiocarbon (14C) dating made in 1948–1949. Our results show generally good agreement to the data published in 1949–1951, despite vast changes in technology, with only two exceptions where there was a discrepancy in the original studies. Our new measurements give calibrated ages that overlap with the known ages. We dated several samples at four different laboratories, and so we were also able to make a small intercomparison at the same time. In addition, new measurements on samples from other Egyptian materials used by Libby and co-workers were made at UC Irvine. Samples of tree rings used in the original studies (from Broken Flute Cave and Centennial Stump) were obtained from the University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research archive and remeasured. New data were compared to the original studies and other records.
Four early-generation backcross populations (BC1F2) derived from one common recipient parental background, Weed Tolerant Rice 1 (‘WTR1’), and four different donor parents (‘Y134’, ‘Zhong 143’, ‘Khazar’, and ‘Cheng Hui-448’) were tested to identify suitable donor and recipient parents for weed competitiveness and to standardize evaluation of the weed-competitive ability in rice. ‘GSR IR2-6’ (G-6) derived from a backcross of WTR1/Y134//WTR1 was selected as the best population and was advanced for phenotypic experiments in the 2014 dry season. The introgression lines (ILs) derived from the G-6 population were evaluated for seed germination and seedling vigor in greenhouse conditions and for weed-competitive ability under field conditions (upland weed-free, upland weedy, and lowland weedy). Parents and checks were included for comparison. Selection pressure for weed competitiveness was relatively stronger in upland conditions than in lowland conditions. After three rounds of selection and based on their relative grain yield performances across conditions, a total of 21 most-promising introgression fixed lines showing superior traits and weed-competitive ability were identified. G-6-L2-WL-3, G-6-RF6-WL-3, G-6-L15-WU-1,G-6-Y16-WL-2, and G-6-L6-WU-3 were the top ILs in lowland weedy conditions, whereas G-6-Y7-WL-3, G-6-Y6-WU-3, G-6-Y3-WL-3, and G-6-Y8-WU-1 were the highest yielding in upland weedy conditions. The use of weed-competitive rice cultivars in African and Asian countries will be a highly effective strategy to reduce production costs and provide alternative solutions to the unavailability of herbicides. Competitive rice varieties will also significantly improve grain yields in aerobic rice systems and can become an important strategy for successful upland rice production.
Zika virus infection was declared a public health emergency of international concern in February 2016 in response to the outbreak in Brazil and its suspected link with congenital anomalies. In this study, we use notification data and disease natural history parameters to estimate the basic reproduction number (R0) of Zika in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We also obtain estimates of R0 of dengue from time series of dengue cases in the outbreaks registered in 2002 and 2012 in the city, when DENV-3 and DENV-4 serotypes, respectively, had just emerged. Our estimates of the basic reproduction number for Zika in Rio de Janeiro based on surveillance notifications (R0 = 2·33, 95% CI: 1·97–2·97) were higher than those obtained for dengue in the city (year 2002: R0 = 1·70 [1·50–2·02]; year 2012: R0 = 1·25 [1·18–1·36]). Given the role of Aedes aegypti as vector of both the Zika and dengue viruses, we also derive R0 of Zika as a function of both dengue reproduction number and entomological and epidemiological parameters for dengue and Zika. Using the dengue outbreaks from previous years allowed us to estimate the potential R0 of Zika. Our estimates were closely in agreement with our first Zika's R0 estimation from notification data. Hence, these results validate deriving the potential risk of Zika transmission in areas with recurring dengue outbreaks. Whether transmission routes other than vector-based can sustain a Zika epidemic still deserves attention, but our results suggest that the Zika outbreak in Rio de Janeiro emerged due to population susceptibility and ubiquitous presence of Ae. aegypti.
Prevention of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) foodborne outbreaks is hampered by its complex epidemiology. We assessed the distribution of virulence genes (VGs), main serogroups/serotypes for public health [haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS)-related], antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns in a collection of STEC isolates obtained from cattle hide (n = 149) and faecal (n = 406) samples collected during a national survey conducted in Spain in 2011 and 2013. Isolates were cultured using McConkey and CT-SMAC agar after enrichment, and confirmed as STEC by PCR. STEC prevalence in hides (15·4%) was higher than in faeces (10·7%) and O157:H7 was more frequent in the former (2·7% vs. 0·99%). Non-O157 HUS-related serogroups were present albeit at low frequencies. The non-O157 isolates were more heterogeneous than O157:H7 in their VG patterns, with 25/64 presenting VGs from both STEC and enterotoxigenic pathotypes (hybrid isolates). Of the STEC isolates, 62·5% were resistant at least to one antimicrobial, and no differences in AMR between O157:H7 and non-O157 were detected. All isolates had different profiles by PFGE and did not form a cluster. Overall, our results demonstrated that STEC in the cattle reservoir is still a matter of concern for human health due to the presence of HUS-related serogroups, the occurrence of certain VGs, AMR and the additional risks that hybrid isolates may pose, and thus warrants further investigation.
The objectives were to assess the following: (1) the relationship between sward height and chemical composition of four pasture types in association with grazing behaviour and body condition score (BCS) of dairy cows, and (2) the possibility of developing predictive equations of the nutrient intake and grazing behaviour within a continued grazing system. Pasture type had a significant (p < 0.01) effect on nutrient supply from January to June for all pastures investigated. Ryegrass–white clover pasture (RW) had the highest metabolizable protein and metabolizable energy, followed by kikuyu pasture (KP), which was significantly (p < 0.001) higher than native pastures 1 and 2 (NP1 and NP2). The highest values for effective grazing time, bite rate and BCS were found when dairy cows grazed RW followed by KP, NP2 and NP1. The results suggested that pasture type and sward height influenced grazing behaviour and BCS of dairy cows during the dry season. In the same vein, RW showed higher effective grazing time, bite rate, nutrient intake and BCS than the other three pastures suggesting that RW pastures that appear to be more expensive than native pastures could result in superior cow performance.
Human toxocarosis is a chronic tissue parasitosis most often caused by Toxocara canis. The seroprevalence can reach up to 50%, especially among children and adolescents. The anthelmintics used in the treatment have moderate efficacy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo anthelmintic activity of quinones and their derivatives against T. canis larvae and the cytotoxicity of the larvicidal compounds. The compounds were evaluated at 1 mg mL−1 concentration in microculture plates containing third stage larvae in an Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI) 1640 environment, incubated at 37 °C in 5% CO2 tension for 48 h. Five naphthoxiranes were selected for the cytotoxicity analysis. The cell viability evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide and lactate dehydrogenase assays using murine peritoneal macrophages isolated from C57BL/6 mice revealed that the naphthoxiranes (1 and 3) were less cytotoxic at a concentration of 0·05 mg mL−1. The efficacy of naphthoxiranes (1 and 3) was examined in murine toxocarosis also. The anthelmintic activity was examined by evaluating the number of larvae in the brain, carcass, liver, lungs, heart, kidneys and eyes. Compound (3) demonstrated anthelmintic activity similar to that of albendazole by decreasing the number of larvae in the organs of mice and thus could form the basis of the development of a new anthelmintic drug.
One of the most important parts of a hybrid reactor is the cladding because it should withstand high temperatures, neutrons with high energy, high neutron flux, as well as provide the first security contention. Besides, the material should have good mechanical properties to remove the heat. Although, the cladding material choice will have a great influence on criticality calculations. In previous works on ADS there is no cladding used, therefore in this paper it is tested different cladding materials based on SS-316, ODS, T91 and 15-15Ti used in nuclear reactors, to study the variations on the fuel depletion and variations on the neutronic parameters. The results using the cladding are compared with the one obtained without using it. The best material choice is based on the neutronic parameters that presents the closest behavior to the ADS simulated without clad.
The alloy composed of zirconium has been used effectively for over 50 years in claddings of nuclear fuel, especially for PWR type reactors. However, to increase fuel enrichment with the aim of rising the burning and maintaining the safety of nuclear plants, is of great relevance the study of new materials that can replace safely and efficiently zircaloy cladding. Among several proposed material, silicon carbide (SiC) has a potential to replace zircaloy as fuel cladding material due to its high-temperature tolerance, chemical stability and a low absorption cross-section for thermal neutrons. In this paper, the goal is to expand the study with silicon carbide cladding, checking its behavior when submitted to an environment with burnable poison variations, the impact on multiplication factor and reactivity coefficients to both claddings: zircaloy and silicon carbide. The neutronic analysis was made using the SCALE 6.0 (Standardized Computer Analysis for Licensing Evaluation) code. This code system is widely accepted and used worldwide for safety analysis, and criticality of nuclear reactors has been utilized to model a typical fuel element of a PWR.
The displacement per atom (dpa) has been a specific issue to evaluate the damage in the first wall of the Tokamak. Two different first wall materials were evaluated. In this study, MCNP5 code was used to obtain the neutron flux, the energy deposition and the main reaction rates, on the inboard and outboard first wall. The damage calculations were performed by the SPECTER code using the neutronic parameters obtained by MCNP5. The Tokamak reactor modeled has similar dimensions to the ITER. Tungsten and beryllium alloys were simulated on the outboard first wall. The results indicate which material has a higher resistance to be damage and dpa values for the analyzed material.
The Santa Eulália Plutonic Complex (SEPC), located in the Ossa Morena Zone (south Portugal), is composed of a medium- to coarse-grained pink granite (G0-type) and a central grey medium-grained biotite granite (G1-type). Available Rb–Sr data indicates an age of 290 Ma. An emplacement model for the SEPC is proposed, taking into account magnetic fabric, 2D gravity modelling and fluid inclusion planes studies. The G0 and G1 types demonstrate different magnetic behaviour: G0 is considered a magnetite-type granite and G1 is an ilmenite-type granite. The formation of G0 required oxidized conditions related to the interaction of mafic rocks with a felsic magma. The 2D gravity modelling and subvertical magnetic lineations show that the feeder zone of the SEPC is located in the eastern part of the pluton, confirming the role of the Assumar and Messejana Variscan faults in the process of ascent and emplacement. The magma emplacement was controlled by ENE–WSW planar anisotropies related to the final brittle stages of the Variscan Orogeny. The emplacement of the two granites was almost synchronous as shown by their gradational contacts in the field. The magnetic fabric however suggests emplacement of the G0-type first, closely followed by emplacement of the G1-type, pushing the G0 laterally which becomes more anisotropic towards the margin. The G1-type became flattened, acquiring a dome-like structure. The SEPC is a nested pluton with G0-type granite assuming a tabular flat shape and G1-type forming a rooted dome-like structure. After emplacement, SEPC recorded increments of the late Variscan stress field documented by fluid inclusion planes in quartz.
Baird's tapir Tapirus bairdii is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is considered rare and locally extirpated from most of its historic range in Costa Rica. We conducted camera-trap and track surveys at 38 forested sites in and around the San Juan–La Selva Biological Corridor in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica. Cameras were set along established game trails and natural funnels and operated for 14–38 days per site. Additionally, we documented tapir tracks at many sites. We used survey photographs and track presence to create detection histories to estimate the habitat and survey-specific variables that influence the probability of detection and the probability of occurrence of Baird's tapir. The two major protected areas within and adjacent to the corridor were most positively associated with tapir occurrence, and forest cover and native and exotic tree plantations were also positively associated with tapirs’ use of sites. Although the Baird's tapir is rare, our findings suggest that it is more resilient and better able to use available habitat in the fragmented corridor than previously thought. This is most likely a consequence of increased forest cover from reforestation and tree plantations and limited hunting pressure. Given its charismatic nature we recommend that Baird's tapir could be used as a flagship species for the San Juan–La Selva Biological Corridor, to raise local awareness about conservation and increase economic growth from ecotourism.
To evaluate the association between weight gain in the first two years of life and the occurrence of wheezing, asthma, serum IgE, skin reactivity and pulmonary function.
The metropolitan region of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
The association was studied between 1997 and 2005 in 669 children up to 11 years of age. Data were collected on asthma and risk factors, both current factors and those present in the first years of life. Weight gain was considered fast when the Z-score was >0·67. Poisson regression was used in the multivariate statistical analysis.
Wheezing was reported in 25·6 % of the children. Weight gain was considered fast (Z-score >0·67) in 29·6 % of the children and slow (Z-score <−0·67) in 13·9 %. Children in the slow weight gain group had 36 % fewer symptoms of asthma (prevalence ratio = 0·65; 95 % CI 0·42, 0·99).
Slower weight gain in the early years of life may constitute a protective factor against symptoms of asthma. The relevance of this finding for public health is not yet certain, since it is known that children with slow and fast weight gain may be more likely to develop adverse health consequences related to both these situations.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have been inconsistently reported in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) but may make an impact on treatment response.
The current study examined the presence of NSS in two independent European samples of OCD patients (combined 85 patients and 88 matched healthy controls) using a standardized instrument and conducted a meta-analysis of all published studies identified in the literature with the aim to provide a more definitive answer to the question of whether OCD patients are characterized by increased NSS.
Both empirical studies found elevated NSS scores in patients compared with matched controls. The results of the meta-analysis, which included 15 studies (combined 498 patients and 520 controls) showed large effect sizes (Hedges' g=1.27, 95% confidence interval 0.80–1.75), indicating that OCD patients have significantly higher rates of NSS than matched controls on both sides of the body and in multiple domains (motor coordination, sensory integration and primitive reflexes). The results were robust and remained largely unchanged in our reliability analyses, which controlled for possible outliers. Meta-regression was employed to examine the role of potential variables of interest including sociodemographic variables, symptom severity, medication effects and the use of different instruments, but none of these variables was clearly associated with NSS.
As a group, OCD patients are characterized by increased rates of NSS, compared with healthy controls. However, their origins and potential clinical importance remain to be clarified. Future directions for research are discussed.
In this work, we prepared graphite oxide (GO)/polyaniline nanocomposites by enzymatic polymerization of aniline in an aqueous dispersion of graphite oxide. Two GO dispersions with sheets having an average lateral size of 12.50 μm and 247 nm were used. The enzymatic polymerization was carried out in aqueous acidic medium using toluenesulfonic acid (TSA) as doping agent, horseradish peroxide (HRP) as catalyst, and hydrogen peroxide as oxidizer. The polymerization reaction was studied using 1.0, 2.5 and 5 wt % of GO and nGO dispersions. No changes were observed in the catalytic activity of the peroxidase during the enzymatic synthesis due to the additionof GO sheets. Scanning electron microscopy images show that PANI colloids were attached on GO sheets. The PANI-GO colloids were characterized by ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy and Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy, whereas their colloidal stability was evaluated at different pHs. The UV-vis spectroscopy study revealed that GO affects the electronic conjugation of PANI modifying its absorption spectrum.