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β-glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharides which have isoform specific immunomodulatory and metabolic properties(1). Certain yeast (1→3)-β-D-glucan isoforms improve cholesterol(2), glucose(3) and lipid homeostasis(4). Feeding (1→3)-β-D-glucan alters the microbiome of high-fat diet (HFD) induced obese (DIO)/type 2 diabetic (T2D) mice(5). Here we investigated the potential impact of baker's yeast (1→3)-β-D-glucan in mice humanized with gut microbiomes from either obese healthy versus obese diabetic subjects on immune-metabolism within the context of high-fat feeding.
C57Bl/6J male mice received an antibiotic cocktail of Ampicillin, Metronidazole, Vancomycin, Imipenem and Ciprofloxacin HCl in their drinking water for 6 weeks to diminish the endogenous gut microbiota. Mice were inoculated with microbiota samples obtained from obese healthy (OBH) or diabetic (OBD) humans twice daily for 3 days by oral dosing. Mice were fed a low-fat diet (LFD) (10% kcal) for 4 weeks followed by HFD (45% kcal) with/without baker's yeast (1→3)-β-D-glucan (βG), for 9 weeks. Weight, feed intake, glucose tolerance (1.5g/kg), insulin tolerance (0.5U/kg), hepatic and skeletal lipid levels were examined. Tissue specific molecular markers of metabolism and inflammation, and gut microbiome analysis are being determined to compliment the phenotypic data.
OBH mice were more glucose tolerant and insulin sensitive than OBD mice, despite equal weight gain and adipose tissue mass. Fasting HOMA-IR, attributable to higher insulin concentrations, was higher in OBD compared to OBH mice. βG supplementation reduced HOMA-IR in OBD mice (P < 0.0611). Hepatic triacylglycerol (TAG) and cholesterol levels were also higher in OBD mice, which were prevented by βG supplementation. Hepatic proteomic, caecal microbiomic and metabolomic analysis is on-going in order to ascertain the impact of the OBD versus OBH dysbosis with/without βG supplementation with specific attention on immune-metabolism.
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 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.
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.
Adenotonsillectomy is frequently performed for obstructive sleep apnoea, but is associated with post-operative respiratory morbidity. This study assessed the effect of paediatric Otrivine (0.05 per cent xylometazoline hydrochloride) on post-operative respiratory compromise.
Paediatric patients undergoing adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnoea were included. The control group (n = 24) received no intervention and the intervention group (n = 25) received intra-operative paediatric Otrivine during induction using a nasal patty. Post-operative outcomes included pain, respiratory distress signs and medical intervention level required (simple, intermediate and major).
Post-operative respiratory distress signs were exhibited by 4 per cent of the Otrivine group and 21 per cent of the control group. Sixty-eight per cent of the Otrivine group required simple medical interventions post-operatively, compared to 42 per cent of the control group. In the Otrivine group, 4 per cent required intermediate interventions; none required major interventions. In the control group, 12.5 per cent required both intermediate and major interventions. Fifty per cent of the control group reported pain post-operatively, compared with 40 per cent in the Otrivine group.
Intra-operative paediatric Otrivine may reduce post-operative respiratory compromise in paediatric patients undergoing adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnoea. A randomised controlled trial is required.
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.
Research on the cities of the Classical Greek world has traditionally focused on mapping the organisation of urban space and studying major civic or religious buildings. More recently, newer techniques such as field survey and geophysical survey have facilitated exploration of the extent and character of larger areas within urban settlements, raising questions about economic processes. At the same time, detailed analysis of residential buildings has also supported a change of emphasis towards understanding some of the functional and social aspects of the built environment as well as purely formal ones. This article argues for the advantages of analysing Greek cities using a multidisciplinary, multi-scalar framework which encompasses all of these various approaches and adds to them other analytical techniques (particularly micro-archaeology). We suggest that this strategy can lead towards a more holistic view of a city, not only as a physical place, but also as a dynamic community, revealing its origins, development and patterns of social and economic activity. Our argument is made with reference to the research design, methodology and results of the first three seasons of fieldwork at the city of Olynthos, carried out by the Olynthos Project.
We present techniques developed to calibrate and correct Murchison Widefield Array low-frequency (72–300 MHz) radio observations for polarimetry. The extremely wide field-of-view, excellent instantaneous (u, v)-coverage and sensitivity to degree-scale structure that the Murchison Widefield Array provides enable instrumental calibration, removal of instrumental artefacts, and correction for ionospheric Faraday rotation through imaging techniques. With the demonstrated polarimetric capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array, we discuss future directions for polarimetric science at low frequencies to answer outstanding questions relating to polarised source counts, source depolarisation, pulsar science, low-mass stars, exoplanets, the nature of the interstellar and intergalactic media, and the solar environment.
The millisecond pulsar PSR J0337+1715 is in a mildly relativistic hierarchical triple system with two white dwarfs. This offers the possibility of testing the universality of free fall: does the neutron star fall with the same acceleration as the inner white dwarf in the gravity of the outer white dwarf? We have carried out an intensive pulsar timing campaign, yielding some 27000 pulse time-of-arrival (TOA) measurements with a median uncertainty of 1.2 μs. Here we describe our analysis procedure and timing model.
PSR J0337+1715 is a millisecond radio pulsar in a hierarchical stellar triple system with two white dwarfs. This system is a unique and excellent laboratory in which to test the strong equivalence principle (SEP) of general relativity. An initial SEP-violation test was performed using direct 3-body numerical integration of the orbit in order to model the more than 25000 pulse times of arrival (TOAs) from three radio telescopes: Arecibo, Green Bank and Westerbork. In this work I present our efforts to quantify the effects of systematics in the TOAs and timing residuals, which limit the precision of an SEP test. In particular, we apply Fourier-based techniques to the timing residuals in order to isolate the effects of systematics that can masquerade as an SEP violation.
We present low-frequency spectral energy distributions of 60 known radio pulsars observed with the Murchison Widefield Array telescope. We searched the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array survey images for 200-MHz continuum radio emission at the position of all pulsars in the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) pulsar catalogue. For the 60 confirmed detections, we have measured flux densities in 20 × 8 MHz bands between 72 and 231 MHz. We compare our results to existing measurements and show that the Murchison Widefield Array flux densities are in good agreement.
Using cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), it was shown for four different types of carbon that electrode treatments at negative potentials enhance the kinetics of VIV-VV and inhibit the kinetics of VII-VIII while electrode treatments at positive potentials inhibit the kinetics of VIV-VV and enhance the kinetics of VII-VIII. These observations may explain conflicting reports in the literature. The potentials required for activation and deactivation of electrodes were examined in detail. The results suggest that interchanging the positive and negative electrodes in a vanadium flow battery (VFB) would reduce the overpotential at the negative electrode and so improve the performance. This is supported by flow-cell experiments. Thus, periodic catholyte-anolyte interchange, or equivalent alternatives such as battery overdischarge, show promise of improving the voltage efficiency of VFBs.
Ross River virus (RRV) is a mosquito-borne virus endemic to Australia. The disease, marked by arthritis, myalgia and rash, has a complex epidemiology involving several mosquito species and wildlife reservoirs. Outbreak years coincide with climatic conditions conducive to mosquito population growth. We developed regression models for human RRV notifications in the Mildura Local Government Area, Victoria, Australia with the objective of increasing understanding of the relationships in this complex system, providing trigger points for intervention and developing a forecast model. Surveillance, climatic, environmental and entomological data for the period July 2000–June 2011 were used for model training then forecasts were validated for July 2011–June 2015. Rainfall and vapour pressure were the key factors for forecasting RRV notifications. Validation of models showed they predicted RRV counts with an accuracy of 81%. Two major RRV mosquito vectors (Culex annulirostris and Aedes camptorhynchus) were important in the final estimation model at proximal lags. The findings of this analysis advance understanding of the drivers of RRV in temperate climatic zones and the models will inform public health agencies of periods of increased risk.
The Antarctic Treaty System requires that the effects of potential human disturbance be evaluated, such as through the development and evaluation of Initial and Comprehensive Environmental Evaluations (IEEs and CEEs), and through the implementation of Management Plans for Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs) and Antarctic Specially Managed Areas (ASMAs). The effectiveness of these management processes hinges on the quality and transparency of the data presented, particularly because independent validation is often difficult or impossible due to the financial and logistical challenges of working in the Antarctic. In a review of these documents and their treatment of wildlife survey data, we find that the basic elements of best data practices are often not followed; biological data are often uncited or out-of-date and rarely include estimates of uncertainty that would allow any subsequent changes in the distribution or abundance of wildlife to be rigorously assessed. We propose a set of data management and use standards for Antarctic biological data to improve the transparency and quality of these evaluations and to facilitate improved assessment of both immediate and long-term impacts of human activities in the Antarctic.
The Perth Astronomy Research Group (PARG), consisting of members from Curtin University of Technology, Perth Observatory and the University of Western Australia, is in the process of developing an automated supernova search system, using the 61-cm Lowell-Perth reflector, a CCD camera and an 80386-based computer for image analysis. Computer control of the telescope and dome, a liquid-nitrogen-cooled CCD camera, and modified VISTA image analysis software will be completed in late 1990, allowing initial semi-automatic searching of external galaxies, together with CCD photometry of flare stars and newly discovered supernovae. Full-scale automation will be introduced subsequently, in collaboration with the Berkeley group. This paper describes the project, and reports on its current status.
We compare first-order (refractive) ionospheric effects seen by the MWA with the ionosphere as inferred from GPS data. The first-order ionosphere manifests itself as a bulk position shift of the observed sources across an MWA field of view. These effects can be computed from global ionosphere maps provided by GPS analysis centres, namely the CODE. However, for precision radio astronomy applications, data from local GPS networks needs to be incorporated into ionospheric modelling. For GPS observations, the ionospheric parameters are biased by GPS receiver instrument delays, among other effects, also known as receiver DCBs. The receiver DCBs need to be estimated for any non-CODE GPS station used for ionosphere modelling. In this work, single GPS station-based ionospheric modelling is performed at a time resolution of 10 min. Also the receiver DCBs are estimated for selected Geoscience Australia GPS receivers, located at Murchison Radio Observatory, Yarragadee, Mount Magnet and Wiluna. The ionospheric gradients estimated from GPS are compared with that inferred from MWA. The ionospheric gradients at all the GPS stations show a correlation with the gradients observed with the MWA. The ionosphere estimates obtained using GPS measurements show promise in terms of providing calibration information for the MWA.
In agricultural production systems, nitrogen (N) losses to the environment can occur through nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and nitrate (NO3−) leaching. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate: (1) if urine excreted by non-lactating dairy cows pulse-dosed with dicyandiamide (DCD) and applied to lysimeters reduced N2O-N emissions and NO3−-N leaching on two soil types; and (2) if urine + DCD would increase herbage production over winter. Lysimeters were used to measure N2O emissions and NO3-N leaching. The soils used were a free-draining acid brown earth of sandy loam to loam texture (termed free-draining) and a poorly drained silt loam gley (termed poorly drained). Grass plots were established on the free-draining soil to measure herbage production. The N loading rate of the urine + DCD was 508 kg N/ha and the urine without DCD (urine only) was 451 kg N/ha. Total NO3−-N leaching losses from the free-draining and poorly draining soils were reduced from 100 and 81 kg NO3−-N/ha on the urine-only treatment, respectively, to 9 and 11·6 kg NO3−-N/ha on the urine + DCD treatment, respectively. Total N2O-N emissions from the free-draining and poorly drained soils were reduced significantly from 13·6 and 12·1 kg N2O-N/ha on the urine-only treatment, respectively, to 2·23 and 5·24 kg N2O-N/ha on the urine + DCD treatment, respectively. Applying urine with DCD to pastures inhibited the nitrification process for up to 56 days after treatment application. In the current experiment, there was no significant effect on spring herbage production when urine + DCD was applied to grass plots. Therefore, feeding DCD to dairy cows to apply DCD directly in urine patches was shown to be an effective mitigation strategy to reduce NO3−-N leaching and N2O-N emissions but did not appear to increase spring herbage production.
GLEAM, the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA survey, is a survey of the entire radio sky south of declination + 25° at frequencies between 72 and 231 MHz, made with the MWA using a drift scan method that makes efficient use of the MWA’s very large field-of-view. We present the observation details, imaging strategies, and theoretical sensitivity for GLEAM. The survey ran for two years, the first year using 40-kHz frequency resolution and 0.5-s time resolution; the second year using 10-kHz frequency resolution and 2 s time resolution. The resulting image resolution and sensitivity depends on observing frequency, sky pointing, and image weighting scheme. At 154 MHz, the image resolution is approximately 2.5 × 2.2/cos (δ + 26.7°) arcmin with sensitivity to structures up to ~ 10° in angular size. We provide tables to calculate the expected thermal noise for GLEAM mosaics depending on pointing and frequency and discuss limitations to achieving theoretical noise in Stokes I images. We discuss challenges, and their solutions, that arise for GLEAM including ionospheric effects on source positions and linearly polarised emission, and the instrumental polarisation effects inherent to the MWA’s primary beam.