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We aimed to investigate the heterogeneity of seasonal suicide patterns among multiple geographically, demographically and socioeconomically diverse populations.
Weekly time-series data of suicide counts for 354 communities in 12 countries during 1986–2016 were analysed. Two-stage analysis was performed. In the first stage, a generalised linear model, including cyclic splines, was used to estimate seasonal patterns of suicide for each community. In the second stage, the community-specific seasonal patterns were combined for each country using meta-regression. In addition, the community-specific seasonal patterns were regressed onto community-level socioeconomic, demographic and environmental indicators using meta-regression.
We observed seasonal patterns in suicide, with the counts peaking in spring and declining to a trough in winter in most of the countries. However, the shape of seasonal patterns varied among countries from bimodal to unimodal seasonality. The amplitude of seasonal patterns (i.e. the peak/trough relative risk) also varied from 1.47 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.33–1.62) to 1.05 (95% CI: 1.01–1.1) among 12 countries. The subgroup difference in the seasonal pattern also varied over countries. In some countries, larger amplitude was shown for females and for the elderly population (≥65 years of age) than for males and for younger people, respectively. The subperiod difference also varied; some countries showed increasing seasonality while others showed a decrease or little change. Finally, the amplitude was larger for communities with colder climates, higher proportions of elderly people and lower unemployment rates (p-values < 0.05).
Despite the common features of a spring peak and a winter trough, seasonal suicide patterns were largely heterogeneous in shape, amplitude, subgroup differences and temporal changes among different populations, as influenced by climate, demographic and socioeconomic conditions. Our findings may help elucidate the underlying mechanisms of seasonal suicide patterns and aid in improving the design of population-specific suicide prevention programmes based on these patterns.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Mental health research funding priorities in high-income countries must balance longer-term investment in identifying neurobiological mechanisms of disease with shorter-term funding of novel prevention and treatment strategies to alleviate the current burden of mental illness. Prioritising one area of science over others risks reduced returns on the entire scientific portfolio.
Low birth weight (LBW) can have an impact on health outcomes in later life, especially in relation to pre-disposition to metabolic disease. Several studies suggest that LBW resulting from restricted intrauterine growth leaves a footprint on DNA methylation in utero, and this influence likely persists into adulthood. To investigate this further, we performed epigenome-wide association analyses of blood DNA methylation using Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip profiles in 71 adult monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs who were extremely discordant for birth weight. A signal mapping to the IGF1R gene (cg12562232, p = 2.62 × 10−8), was significantly associated with birth weight discordance at a genome-wide false-discovery rate (FDR) of 0.05. We pursued replication in three additional independent datasets of birth weight discordant MZ pairs and observed the same direction of association, but the results were not significant. However, a meta-analysis across the four independent samples, in total 216 birth-weight discordant MZ twin pairs, showed a significant positive association between birth weight and DNA methylation differences at IGF1R (random-effects meta-analysis p = .04), and the effect was particularly pronounced in older twins (random-effects meta-analysis p = .008, 98 older birth-weight discordant MZ twin pairs). The results suggest that severe intra-uterine growth differences (birth weight discordance >20%) are associated with methylation changes in the IGF1R gene in adulthood, independent of genetic effects.
The IAU Commission 4 Working Group on Standardizing Access to Ephemerides recommends the use of the Spacecraft and Planet Kernel (SPK) format to provide a uniform format for the position ephemerides of planets and other natural solar system bodies, and the use of the Planetary Constants Kernel (PCK) for the orientation of these bodies. These formats are used by the SPICE system, developed by the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The working group's final report is currently undergoing final preparations for publication. A long version of this report will be available at the IAU Commission 4: Ephemerides (or its successor) web site. This long version will contain a full description of that portion of the SPK and PCK formats required to duplicate these file types for this application.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a new low-frequency interferometric radio telescope built in Western Australia at one of the locations of the future Square Kilometre Array. We describe the automated radio-frequency interference detection strategy implemented for the Murchison Widefield Array, which is based on the aoflagger platform, and present 72–231 MHz radio-frequency interference statistics from 10 observing nights. Radio-frequency interference detection removes 1.1% of the data. Radio-frequency interference from digital TV is observed 3% of the time due to occasional ionospheric or atmospheric propagation. After radio-frequency interference detection and excision, almost all data can be calibrated and imaged without further radio-frequency interference mitigation efforts, including observations within the FM and digital TV bands. The results are compared to a previously published Low-Frequency Array radio-frequency interference survey. The remote location of the Murchison Widefield Array results in a substantially cleaner radio-frequency interference environment compared to Low-Frequency Array’s radio environment, but adequate detection of radio-frequency interference is still required before data can be analysed. We include specific recommendations designed to make the Square Kilometre Array more robust to radio-frequency interference, including: the availability of sufficient computing power for radio-frequency interference detection; accounting for radio-frequency interference in the receiver design; a smooth band-pass response; and the capability of radio-frequency interference detection at high time and frequency resolution (second and kHz-scale respectively).
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
In the lead-up to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, several next-generation radio telescopes and upgrades are already being built around the world. These include APERTIF (The Netherlands), ASKAP (Australia), e-MERLIN (UK), VLA (USA), e-EVN (based in Europe), LOFAR (The Netherlands), MeerKAT (South Africa), and the Murchison Widefield Array. Each of these new instruments has different strengths, and coordination of surveys between them can help maximise the science from each of them. A radio continuum survey is being planned on each of them with the primary science objective of understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies over cosmic time, and the cosmological parameters and large-scale structures which drive it. In pursuit of this objective, the different teams are developing a variety of new techniques, and refining existing ones. To achieve these exciting scientific goals, many technical challenges must be addressed by the survey instruments. Given the limited resources of the global radio-astronomical community, it is essential that we pool our skills and knowledge. We do not have sufficient resources to enjoy the luxury of re-inventing wheels. We face significant challenges in calibration, imaging, source extraction and measurement, classification and cross-identification, redshift determination, stacking, and data-intensive research. As these instruments extend the observational parameters, we will face further unexpected challenges in calibration, imaging, and interpretation. If we are to realise the full scientific potential of these expensive instruments, it is essential that we devote enough resources and careful study to understanding the instrumental effects and how they will affect the data. We have established an SKA Radio Continuum Survey working group, whose prime role is to maximise science from these instruments by ensuring we share resources and expertise across the projects. Here we describe these projects, their science goals, and the technical challenges which are being addressed to maximise the science return.
Susceptibility to scrapie is known to be associated with polymorphisms at the prion protein (PrP) gene, and this association is the basis of current selective programmes implemented to control scrapie in many countries. However, these programmes might have unintended consequences for other traits that might be associated with PrP genotype. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between PrP genotype and coat colour characteristics in two UK native sheep breeds valued for their distinctive coat colour patterns. Coat colour pattern, darkness and spotting and PrP genotype records were available for 11 674 Badgerfaced Welsh Mountain and 2338 Shetland sheep. The data were analysed with a log–linear model using maximum likelihood. Results showed a strong significant association of PrP genotype with coat colour pattern in Badgerfaced Welsh Mountain and Shetland sheep and with the presence of white spotting in Shetland sheep. Animals with the ARR/ARR genotype (the most scrapie resistant) had higher odds of having a light dorsum and a dark abdomen than the reverse pattern. The implication of these associations is that selection to increase resistance to scrapie based only on PrP genotype could result in change in morphological diversity and affect other associated traits such as fitness.
The properties of Ta2O5 thin films with respect to different underlayer stack have been investigated. At first, a set of samples were produced at various conditions as an underlayer of Ta2O5 film deposition. Then, Ta2O5 films were grown using a MOCVD method with Ta(OC2H5)5 pre-curser at 440 °C. The Process parameters for Ta2O5 films were remained same through the preparation of the sample set. The results were analyzed using various methods including thickness measurement, SEM, stress measurement, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and electrical property measurements. Different grain structures and growth rates were observed with respect to the different underlayer preparation condition mainly as a function of deposition temperature. The deposition rate varied from 0.6 Åsec to 1.8Åsec depend on different underlayer. Crystalline Ta2O5 films with large-grain-size were obtained on Aluminum/TiN underlayer stack. Films with crystalline structure show better leakage current characteristics than the amorphous one.
Observations in the Chandra Deep Field South (CDFS) have provided us with a useful set of data in the optical (COMBO-17), near-infrared (GOODS JHK), and mid-infrared (GOODS IRAC bands 1,2) wavelength regimes to test and improve a new spectral galaxy template library, designed to operate in the rest-frame wavelength range between 0.1 and 5 microns. In this range the stellar continuum and emission lines from HII regions dominate the Spectral Energy Distribution (SED) of galaxies. The new library is based on a self-consistent two-burst model, that has been developed in order to reproduce the star formation histories of different types of galaxies more accurately than single-burst histories and thus provides a better match to real galaxy spectra, as well as more reliable mass-to-light ratios. The spectral library is built by using a population synthesis code (PEGASE) assuming a Kroupa (2003) initial mass function. An old burst of exponentially decaying star formation with an initial metallicity of 0.1 solar is followed by a very recent (60 Myr old) second burst in order to reproduce the spectra of actively star forming blue galaxies. In addition, the templates include dust extinction of various strengths. For the multi-color classification the spectral library is red-shifted between z + 0 and z + 2.5 and converted into the 21 colors which have been observed by COMBO-17 plus its near- and mid-infrared extensions provided by the public GOODS data.
Measurement of accurate positions, pulse periods and period derivatives is an essential follow-up to any pulsar survey. The procedures being used to obtain timing parameters for the pulsars discovered in the Parkes multibeam pulsar survey are described. Completed solutions have been obtained so far for about 80 pulsars. They show that the survey is preferentially finding pulsars with higher than average surface dipole magnetic fields. Eight pulsars have been shown to be members of binary systems and some of the more interesting results relating to these are presented.
The Parkes multibeam pulsar survey uses a 13-element receiver operating at a wavelength of 20 cm to survey the inner Galactic plane with remarkable sensitivity. To date we have collected and analyzed data from 45% of the survey region (|b| < 5°; 260° < l < 50°), and have discovered 440 pulsars, in addition to re-detecting 190 previously known ones. Most of the newly discovered pulsars are at great distances, as inferred from a median dispersion measure (DM) of 400 cm−3 pc.
A method to produce αβ T-cell receptors
(TCRs) in a soluble form suitable for biophysical analysis
was devised involving in vitro refolding of a TCR fusion
protein. Polypeptides corresponding to the variable and
constant domains of each chain of a human and a murine
receptor, fused to a coiled coil heterodimerization motif
from either c-Jun (alpha) or v-Fos (beta), were overexpressed
separately in Escherichia coli. Following recovery
from inclusion bodies, the two chains of each receptor
were denatured, and then refolded together in the presence
of denaturants. For the human receptor, which is specific
for the immunodominant influenza A HLA–A2-restricted
matrix epitope (M58-66), a heterodimeric protein was purified
in milligram yields and found to be homogeneous, monomeric,
antibody-reactive, and stable at concentrations lower than
1 μM. Using similar procedures, analogous results were
obtained with a murine receptor specific for an influenza
nucleoprotein epitope (366–374) restricted by H2-Db.
Production of these receptors has facilitated a detailed
analysis of viral peptide–Major Histocompatibility
Complex (peptide–MHC) engagement by the TCR using
both surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and, in the case of
the human TCR, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) (Willcox
et al., 1999). The recombinant methods described should
enable a wide range of TCR–peptide–MHC interactions
to be studied and may also have implications for the production
of other heterodimeric receptor molecules.