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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
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)].
A new GIS-based screening tool to assess threats to shallow groundwater quality has been trialled in Glasgow, UK. The GRoundwater And Soil Pollutants (GRASP) tool is based on a British Standard method for assessing the threat from potential leaching of metal pollutants in unsaturated soil/superficial materials to shallow groundwater, using data on soil and Quaternary deposit properties, climate and depth to groundwater. GRASP breaks new ground by also incorporating a new Glasgow-wide soil chemistry dataset. GRASP considers eight metals, including chromium, lead and nickel at 1622 soil sample locations. The final output is a map to aid urban management, which highlights areas where shallow groundwater quality may be at risk from current and future surface pollutants. The tool indicated that 13% of soil sample sites in Glasgow present a very high potential threat to groundwater quality, due largely to shallow groundwater depths and high soil metal concentrations. Initial attempts to validate GRASP revealed partial spatial coincidence between the GRASP threat ranks (low, moderate, high and very high) and groundwater chemistry, with statistical correlation between areas of high soil and groundwater metal concentrations for both Cr and Cu (r2>0.152; P<0.05). Validation was hampered by a lack of, and inconsistency in, existing groundwater chemistry data. To address this, standardised subsurface data collection networks have been trialled recently in Glasgow. It is recommended that, once available, new groundwater depth and chemistry information from these networks is used to validate the GRASP model further.
The chemical composition of soil from the Glasgow (UK) urban area was used to identify the controls on the availability of potentially harmful elements (PHEs) in soil to humans. Total and bioaccessible concentrations of arsenic (As), chromium (Cr) and lead (Pb) in 27 soil samples, collected from different land uses, were coupled to information on their solid-phase partitioning derived from sequential extraction data. The total element concentrations in the soils were in the range <0.1–135mgkg–1 for As; 65–3680mgkg–1 for Cr and 126–2160mgkg–1 for Pb, with bioaccessible concentrations averaging 27, 5 and 27% of the total values, respectively. Land use does not appear to be a predictor of contamination; however, the history of the contamination is critically important. The Chemometric Identification of Substrates and Element Distribution (CISED) sequential chemical extraction and associated self-modelling mixture resolution analysis identified three sample groupings and 16 geochemically distinct phases (substrates). These were related to iron (n=3), aluminium–silicon (Al–Si; n=2), calcium (n=3), phosphorus (n=1), magnesium (Mg; n=3), manganese (n=1) and easily extractable (n=3), which was predominantly made up of sodium and sulphur. As, Cr and Pb were respectively found in 9, 10 and 12 of the identified phases, with bioaccessible As predominantly associated with easily extractable phases, bioaccessible Cr with the Mg-dominated phases and bioaccessible Pb with both the Mg-dominated and Al–Si phases. Using a combination of the Unified Barge Method to measure the bioaccessibility of PHEs and CISED to identify the geochemical sources has allowed a much better understanding of the complexity of PHE mobility in the Glasgow urban environment. This approach can be applied to other urban environments and cases of soil contamination, and made part of land-use planning.
In this work we have conducted a study on the radiative and spectroscopic properties of the radiative precursor and the post-shock region from experiments with radiative shocks in xenon performed at the Orion laser facility. The study is based on post-processing of radiation-hydrodynamics simulations of the experiment. In particular, we have analyzed the thermodynamic regime of the plasma, the charge state distributions, the monochromatic opacities and emissivities, and the specific intensities for plasma conditions of both regions. The study of the intensities is a useful tool to estimate ranges of electron temperatures present in the xenon plasma in these experiments and the analysis performed of the microscopic properties commented above helps to better understand the intensity spectra. Finally, a theoretical analysis of the possibility of the onset of isobaric thermal instabilities in the post-shock has been made, concluding that the instabilities obtained in the radiative-hydrodynamic simulations could be thermal ones due to strong radiative cooling.
“Deep learning” is finding more and more applications everywhere, and astronomy is not an exception. This talk described the application of convolutional neural networks to time-domain astronomy, specifically to light-curves of sources. The work that is discussed is based on a published paper to which reference can be made for more detail. The talk finished with a note cautioning new practitioners about the pitfalls lurking in out-of-the-box use of deep-learning techniques.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
We assessed evidence of exposure to viruses and bacteria in an unmanaged and long-isolated population of Soay sheep (Ovis aries) inhabiting Hirta, in the St Kilda archipelago, 65 km west of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The sheep harbour many metazoan and protozoan parasites but their exposure to viral and bacterial pathogens is unknown. We tested for herpes viral DNA in leucocytes and found that 21 of 42 tested sheep were infected with ovine herpesvirus 2 (OHV-2). We also tested 750 plasma samples collected between 1997 and 2010 for evidence of exposure to seven other viral and bacterial agents common in domestic Scottish sheep. We found evidence of exposure to Leptospira spp., with overall seroprevalence of 6·5%. However, serological evidence indicated that the population had not been exposed to border disease, parainfluenza, maedi-visna, or orf viruses, nor to Chlamydia abortus. Some sheep tested positive for antibodies against Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) but, in the absence of retrospective faecal samples, the presence of this infection could not be confirmed. The roles of importation, the pathogen–host interaction, nematode co-infection and local transmission warrant future investigation, to elucidate the transmission ecology and fitness effects of the few viral and bacterial pathogens on Hirta.
Neonates with critical CHD have evidence, by imaging, of preoperative brain injury, although the timing is unknown. We used circulating postnatal serum glial fibrillary acidic protein as a measure of acute perinatal brain injury in neonates with CHD. Glial fibrillary acidic protein was measured on admission and daily for the first 4 days of life in case and control groups; we included two control groups in this study – non-brain-injured newborns and brain-injured newborns. Comparisons were performed using the Kruskal–Wallis test with Dunn’s multiple comparisons, Student’s t-test, and χ2 test of independence where appropriate. In aggregate, there were no significant differences in overall glial fibrillary acidic protein levels between CHD patients (n=56) and negative controls (n=23) at any time point. By day 4 of life, 7/56 (12.5%) CHD versus 0/23 (0%) normal controls had detectable glial fibrillary acidic protein levels. Although not statistically significant, the 5/10 (50%) left heart obstruction group versus 1/17 (6%) conoventricular, 0/13 (0%) right heart, and 1/6 (17%) septal defect patients trended towards elevated levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein at day 4 of life. Overall, glial fibrillary acidic protein reflected no evidence for significant peripartum brain injury in neonates with CHD, but there was a trend for elevation by postnatal day 4 in neonates with left heart obstruction. This pilot study suggests that methods such as monitoring glial fibrillary acidic protein levels may provide new tools to optimise preoperative care and neuroprotection in high-risk neonates with specific types of CHD.
The effects of fish oil (FO) supplementation on glycaemic control are unclear, and positive effects may occur only when the phospholipid content of tissue membranes exceeds 14 % as n-3 PUFA. Subjects (n 36, thirty-three completed) were paired based on metabolic parameters and allocated into a parallel double-blind randomised trial with one of each pair offered daily either 6 g of FO (3·9 g n-3 PUFA) or 6 g of maize oil (MO) for 9 months. Hyperinsulinaemic–euglycaemic–euaminoacidaemic (HIEGEAA) clamps (with [6,6 2H2 glucose]) were performed at the start and end of the intervention. Endogenous glucose production (EGP) and whole-body protein turnover (WBPT) were each measured after an overnight fast. The primary outcome involved the effect of oil type on insulin sensitivity related to glycaemic control. The secondary outcome involved the effect of oil type on WBPT. Subjects on FO (n 16) had increased erythrocyte n-3 PUFA concentrations >14 %, whereas subjects on MO (n 17) had unaltered n-3 PUFA concentrations at 9 %. Type of oil had no effect on fasting EGP, insulin sensitivity or total glucose disposal during the HIEGEAA clamp. In contrast, under insulin-stimulated conditions, total protein disposal (P=0·007) and endogenous WBPT (P=0·001) were both increased with FO. In an associated pilot study (n 4, three completed), although n-3 PUFA in erythrocyte membranes increased to >14 % with the FO supplement, the enrichment in muscle membranes remained lower (8 %; P<0·001). In conclusion, long-term supplementation with FO, at amounts near the safety limits set by regulatory authorities in Europe and the USA, did not alter glycaemic control but did have an impact on WBPT.
Digital signal processing is one of many valuable tools for suppressing unwanted signals or inter-ference. Building hardware processing engines seems to be the way to best implement some classes of interference suppression but is, unfortunately, expensive and time-consuming, especially if several miti-gation techniques need to be compared. Simulations can be useful, but are not a substitute for real data. CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility has recently commenced a ‘software radio telescope’ project designed to fill the gap between dedicated hardware processors and pure simulation. In this approach, real telescope data are recorded coherently, then processed offline. This paper summarises the current contents of a freely available database of base band recorded data that can be used to experiment with signal processing solutions. It includes data from the following systems: single dish, multi-feed receiver; single dish with reference antenna; and an array of six 22 m antennas with and without a reference antenna. Astronomical sources such as OH masers, pulsars and continuum sources subject to interfering signals were recorded. The interfering signals include signals from the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and its Russian equivalent (GLONASS), television, microwave links, a low-Earth-orbit satellite, various other transmitters, and signals leaking from local telescope systems with fast clocks. The data are available on compact disk, allowing use in general purpose computers or as input to laboratory hardware prototypes.
Between April and August 2005 Christchurch, New Zealand experienced an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. There were 19 laboratory-confirmed case including three deaths. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 (Lpsg1) was identified as the causative agent for all cases. A case-control study indicated a geographical association between the cases but no specific common exposures. Rapid spatial epidemiological investigation confirmed the association and identified seven spatially significant case clusters. The clusters were all sourced in the same area and exhibited a clear anisotropic process (noticeable direction) revealing a plume effect consistent with aerosol dispersion from a prevailing southwesterly wind. Four out of five cases tested had indistinguishable allele profiles that also matched environmental isolates from a water cooling tower within the centre of the clusters. This tower was considered the most probable source for these clusters. The conclusion would suggest a maximum dispersal distance in this outbreak of 11·6 km. This work illustrated the value of geostatistical techniques for infectious disease epidemiology and for providing timely information during outbreak investigations.
The electronic structure of delta plutonium (δ-Pu) and plutonium compounds is investigated using photoelectron spectroscopy (PES). Results for δ-Pu show a small component of the valence electronic structure which might reasonably be associated with a 5f6 configuration. PES results for PuTe are used as an indication for the 5f6 configuration due to the presence of atomic multiplet structure. Temperature dependent PES data on δ-Pu indicate a narrow peak centered 20 meV below the Fermi energy and 100 meV wide. The first PES data for PuCoIn5 indicate a 5f electronic structure more localized than the 5fs in the closely related PuCoGa5. There is support from the PES data for a description of Pu materials with an electronic configuration of 5f5 with some admixture of 5f6 as well as a localized/delocalized 5f5 description.
We designed and produced pure cubic zirconia (ZrO2) ceramic1
coatings by an ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) with nanostructures
comparable to the size of proteins. Our ceramic coatings exhibit high
hardness and a zero contact angle with serum. In contrast to hydroxyapatite
(HA), nano-engineered zirconia films possess excellent adhesion to all
orthopaedic materials. Cell adhesion and proliferation experiments were
performed with a bona fide mesenchymal stromal cell line (OMA-AD). Our
experimental results indicate that the nano-engineered cubic zirconia is
superior in supporting growth, adhesion, and proliferation. Since cell
attachment is mediated by adhesive proteins such as fibronectin (FN), to
elucidate why cells attach more effectively to our nanostructures, we
performed a comparative analysis of adsorption energies of FN fragment using
quantum mechanical calculations and Monte Carlo (MC) simulation both on
smooth and nanostructured surfaces. We have found that a FN fragment adsorbs
significantly stronger on the nanostructured surface than on the smooth