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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
This research reflection examines the physiological links between redox balance, skeletal health and gastrointestinal functionality in dairy cows. With the increase in demand of animal products caused by the growth in human population, the dairy industry needs to develop and implement innovative strategies which are profitable, sustainable and cow friendly. Redox balance, skeletal heath and gastrointestinal functionality are three key physiological systems that are often seen as independent entities. In this research reflection we intend to stress that the antioxidant system, bone health and the microbiome are intimately intertwined. Antioxidants are crucial for the maintenance of redox homeostasis and optimal immune function. Optimal gastrointestinal functionality is important to maintain animal performance, health and welfare. In particular, the intestinal microbiome is increasingly seen as a driver of health and disease. Vitamin D metabolism is pivotal not only for optimal skeletal health, but in light of all the extra-skeletal effect of vitamin D, it is the foundation for optimal productive life. It makes sense to ask the question ‘how are redox balance and the microbiome involved in the modulation of bone health and immune function?’ In other words, are bugs and bones connected in dairy cows! The existing data available in the literature suggests that this might be the case. The characterization of the interactions between redox balance, skeletal health and the microbiome, will allow the development of a multisystem biological approach to refine nutritional interventions to improve dairy cattle health, welfare and productive longevity.
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 primary objective of this study was to examine the impact of an electronic medical record (EMR)–driven intensive care unit (ICU) antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) service on clinician compliance with face-to-face AMS recommendations. AMS recommendations were defined by an internally developed “5 Moments of Antimicrobial Prescribing” metric: (1) escalation, (2) de-escalation, (3) discontinuation, (4) switch, and (5) optimization. The secondary objectives included measuring the impact of this service on (1) antibiotic appropriateness, and (2) use of high-priority target antimicrobials.
A prospective review was undertaken of the implementation and compliance with a new ICU-AMS service that utilized EMR data coupled with face-to-face recommendations. Additional patient data were collected when an AMS recommendation was made. The impact of the ICU-AMS round on antimicrobial appropriateness was evaluated using point-prevalence survey data.
For the 202 patients, 412 recommendations were made in accordance with the “5 Moments” metric. The most common recommendation made by the ICU-AMS team was moment 3 (discontinuation), which comprised 173 of 412 recommendations (42.0%), with an acceptance rate of 83.8% (145 of 173). Data collected for point-prevalence surveys showed an increase in prescribing appropriateness from 21 of 45 (46.7%) preintervention (October 2016) to 30 of 39 (76.9%) during the study period (September 2017).
The integration of EMR with an ICU-AMS program allowed us to implement a new AMS service, which was associated with high clinician compliance with recommendations and improved antibiotic appropriateness. Our “5 Moments of Antimicrobial Prescribing” metric provides a framework for measuring AMS recommendation compliance.
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.
Childhood adversity is associated with poor mental and physical health outcomes across the life span. Alterations in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis are considered a key mechanism underlying these associations, although findings have been mixed. These inconsistencies suggest that other aspects of stress processing may underlie variations in this these associations, and that differences in adversity type, sex, and age may be relevant. The current study investigated the relationship between childhood adversity, stress perception, and morning cortisol, and examined whether differences in adversity type (generalized vs. threat and deprivation), sex, and age had distinct effects on these associations. Salivary cortisol samples, daily hassle stress ratings, and retrospective measures of childhood adversity were collected from a large sample of youth at risk for serious mental illness including psychoses (n = 605, mean age = 19.3). Results indicated that childhood adversity was associated with increased stress perception, which subsequently predicted higher morning cortisol levels; however, these associations were specific to threat exposures in females. These findings highlight the role of stress perception in stress vulnerability following childhood adversity and highlight potential sex differences in the impact of threat exposures.
We provide the first in situ measurements of antenna element beam shapes of the Murchison Widefield Array. Most current processing pipelines use an assumed beam shape, which can cause absolute and relative flux density errors and polarisation ‘leakage’. Understanding the primary beam is then of paramount importance, especially for sensitive experiments such as a measurement of the 21-cm line from the epoch of reionisation, where the calibration requirements are so extreme that tile to tile beam variations may affect our ability to make a detection. Measuring the primary beam shape from visibilities is challenging, as multiple instrumental, atmospheric, and astrophysical factors contribute to uncertainties in the data. Building on the methods of Neben et al. [Radio Sci., 50, 614], we tap directly into the receiving elements of the telescope before any digitisation or correlation of the signal. Using ORBCOMM satellite passes we are able to produce all-sky maps for four separate tiles in the XX polarisation. We find good agreement with the beam model of Sokolowski et al. [2017, PASA, 34, e062], and clearly observe the effects of a missing dipole from a tile in one of our beam maps. We end by motivating and outlining additional on-site experiments.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
Despite many interventions aiming to reduce excessive gestational weight gain (GWG), it is currently unclear the impact on infant anthropometric outcomes. The aim of this review was to evaluate offspring anthropometric outcomes in studies designed to reduce GWG. A systematic search of seven international databases, one clinical trial registry and three Chinese databases was conducted without date limits. Studies were categorised by intervention type: diet, physical activity (PA), lifestyle (diet + PA), other, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) (diet, PA, lifestyle, metformin and other). Meta-analyses were reported as weighted mean difference (WMD) for birthweight and birth length, and risk ratio (RR) for small for gestational age (SGA), large for gestational age (LGA), macrosomia and low birth weight (LBW). Collectively, interventions reduced birthweight, risk of macrosomia and LGA by 71 g (WMD: −70.67, 95% CI −101.90 to −39.43, P<0.001), 16% (RR: 0.84, 95% CI 0.73–0.98, P=0.026) and 19% (RR: 0.81, 95% CI 0.69–0.96, P=0.015), respectively. Diet interventions decreased birthweight and LGA by 99 g (WMD −98.80, 95% CI −178.85 to −18.76, P=0.016) and 65% (RR: 0.35, 95% CI 0.17–0.72, P=0.004). PA interventions reduced the risk of macrosomia by 51% (RR: 0.49, 95% CI 0.26–0.92, P=0.036). In women with GDM, diet and lifestyle interventions reduced birthweight by 211 and 296 g, respectively (WMD: −210.93, 95% CI −374.77 to −46.71, P=0.012 and WMD:−295.93, 95% CI −501.76 to −90.10, P=0.005, respectively). Interventions designed to reduce excessive GWG lead to a small reduction in infant birthweight and risk of macrosomia and LGA, without influencing the risk of adverse outcomes including LBW and SGA.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
We describe the design and performance of the Engineering Development Array, which is a low-frequency radio telescope comprising 256 dual-polarisation dipole antennas working as a phased array. The Engineering Development Array was conceived of, developed, and deployed in just 18 months via re-use of Square Kilometre Array precursor technology and expertise, specifically from the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. Using drift scans and a model for the sky brightness temperature at low frequencies, we have derived the Engineering Development Array’s receiver temperature as a function of frequency. The Engineering Development Array is shown to be sky-noise limited over most of the frequency range measured between 60 and 240 MHz. By using the Engineering Development Array in interferometric mode with the Murchison Widefield Array, we used calibrated visibilities to measure the absolute sensitivity of the array. The measured array sensitivity matches very well with a model based on the array layout and measured receiver temperature. The results demonstrate the practicality and feasibility of using Murchison Widefield Array-style precursor technology for Square Kilometre Array-scale stations. The modular architecture of the Engineering Development Array allows upgrades to the array to be rolled out in a staged approach. Future improvements to the Engineering Development Array include replacing the second stage beamformer with a fully digital system, and to transition to using RF-over-fibre for the signal output from first stage beamformers.